February 21, 2011…Go Fix It

472 lights on, all at once. Not a light in the house left off. I’ve discussed this before and it continues to be a sticking point around here. Between my electric bill and light bulbs, it’s amazing I can still feed him. And it seems that when one light goes out, they all go out. I need to have a stash of bulbs on hand at all times…but sometimes I don’t. Like Saturday.

It was late afternoon when I realized the big light in Jakob’s room was burnt out. It was about 2 seconds later when I also realized I was out of light bulbs. I had used the last one the day before in the downstairs bathroom. Crap. Breathe.

This is where it gets tricky sometimes. I immediately think…”here we go, he’s gonna have a fit, he’s gonna be upset, there will be tears, there will be drama…and I am sooo not in the mood”.

Then I say…”really, how do I know that? It’s not fair to assume just because the last 217 times a light has burnt out and I didn’t have a replacement he went a little nuts doesn’t mean he will this time. This time may be different”.

And then I follow up with…”if I’m cool about it, I will model what I want him to learn…that it’s no big deal. So what if a light bulb burns out and we don’t have any replacements. The world is not coming to an end. We will survive and be just fine. It’s cool. Yup, life will go on. All is well and I got this”.

Since he was playing in my room at the time of the big burnout, I had some time to really get into the most effective state of mind for the big adventure that may or may not occur.

It was 7:58 and he walked down the hall to use the bathroom when he saw it. It was immediate. “Big light on, Big Light On, BIG LIGHT ON!”.

I was prepared…”Big light is burnt ooouuutt!” And I flipped the switch to demonstrate. His response to that was an order. “Mom, go fix it”.

So the banter began…”buddy, we’re all out of light bulbs. I will have to go to the store tomorrow and get some.”

“Mom, go fix it.” Tears welled up in his eyes and his little mouth turned down.

“I can’t go fix it, we’re out of bulbs. It’s ok. Mom will go to the store tomorrow and we’ll fix it.”

“Mom, go fix it right now. No store tomorrow. Store right now.”

“I can’t go to the store right now. I’ll go tomorrow.”

Full blown tears at this point. “Mom go fix it”.

“How about this…we’ll go to Target tomorrow at 9:00 and we’ll get light bulbs…”

“No Target at 9:00……..a ride to Target at 8:58.”

“Ok, a ride to Target at 8:58”.

I saw his wheels turning as he processed all that happened and he composed himself. The sniffles slowed down, he wiped his eyes and said, “No 8:58. A ride to Target at 8:45.”

I just laughed and agreed.

For the remainder of the evening, there was an occasional “big light on” and “Mom, go fix it” but he let it go when I would remind him that we were going to Target at 8:45. (Which I have no doubt that he remembered. He was just checking to see if I’d cave and go immediately.)

Everything was going smoothly the next morning as I wondered if he’d remember our deal. He didn’t even pay attention to the big light out in his room and I almost thought that I was gonna get out of this trip to Target. But the universe had other plans for me. I went to turn on the green light in the garden room and poof. The light was burnt out. He noticed immediately and I gave him the news. He looked at the clock and said, “a ride to Target at 8:45”.

He was so funny. He sat on the couch and watched the clock. He drank his juice and he ate some cereal and never took his eyes off the time for more than a couple seconds. And at 8:45, he jumped up and put on his shoes.

We had a nice chat on the way to Target. We made a list of a few things we needed to pick up. Of course on the list was a specific book for him. He’s in the process of collecting two of each one of this particular series of workbooks. He was ready to collect his second “BrainQuest Woorkbook 1 Book” along with the light bulbs and some sweet tea for Aunt Sandy.

Something truly amazing happened when we arrived at the BrainQuest Workbooks…they didn’t have any of the one he wanted and he remained completely and totally calm. No yelling, no crying or stomping his feet. Not even a little wimper. It was impressive. I stood there so proud and I gave him a couple options…pick out a different book or we could go to Meijer to see if they had any.

He took a minute to think about it. Then he looked me in the eye and said “a ride to Meijer”. Then we turned around, went back the way we came and walked out of Target without any light bulbs. That was huge…to leave without what we came for, to not take our usual route through the store, to not walk around and point out every light that was burnt out or look in the mirror in the young men’s department and say “big Jakob is very, very, very, very, very, very smart”, and to totally bypass all toys. That was a first and it was very cool.

Everything went equally as smooth at Meijer. We found his book, he helped me pick out light bulbs and we got Sandy’s sweet tea. Then he chose aisle 30 for us to check-out.

On the ride home from Meijer, as I was basking in the glory of all that had transpired, I couldn’t help but think of my initial reaction when I saw that first light had burnt out and I realized we were out of bulbs. I had to shake my head and laugh just a little. It does seem that things always work out for us. One way or another, everything turns out ok. And sometimes, things unexpectedly turn out to be amazing.

Trust and faith that we are always right where we’re supposed to be and that all is well.

Something to keep in mind.

In every moment.