My daughter's picture soon arrived and carried the look of "Will she ever get home... This is taking forever." This is a genetically inherited look of frustration and tells those around her that one eye is about to pop from the socket and fly into orbit around her head if somebody doesn't do something to rescue her. I wear this exact same look at tax time, when standing in line at a Wal-Mart store and when I learn at ten o'clock on Sunday night that my daughter has to write twenty poems before Wednesday and I'm boarding a plane at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Unless I want to be writing cinquains and haikus from the airport bar, I have to push my eye back in the socket and help her start crafting poetry and rhyming words while the rest of the world is fast asleep.
The more I look at this photo I realize that this is the same look of an exhausted working mom. Yesterday, we were trying to get to a 2:00 appointment. We began our exit from our house at noon when we discovered that not everyone had exactly two shoes. I'm not sure how you lose a shoe, but it's a common occurrence here. We discovered the missing shoe in the backseat of my car about the same time I turned quickly and knocked over the giant blue drink someone had left in the car near the shoe. As my daughter rescued her glittery pink mule, I was ripping floor mats from the car and sopping up blue goo. My son is wired in to great music in the front seat of the car and is oblivious to the chaos around him as he slowly floats away to the melodic sounds of Muse and some folk group not yet discovered. The cats have discovered that there is a tasty substance dripping from the sides of my car and they are now underfoot, licking up blue raspberry goodness. It's raining, so I toss the floor mat into the rain hoping Mother Nature can lend me a hand and wash the carpet for me. My daughter and I carry similar facial expressions and neither speaks while we go through the motions of trying to fix this without complaining or crying. We are finally in the car, free from blue liquids, each with an even number of shoes and are headed out the drive when I realize I have no gasoline. Refusing to accept the rising cost of gas, I always fill my car to $50 no matter what the current price per gallon is. This way I don't stress over the rising prices and I'm more cautious to make it last longer because the tank isn't actually full. During the 30 seconds it takes now to pump in fifty dollars of petroleum, my daughter has jumped from the car, entered the station and returned with yet another unnaturally blue drink product. The muscles around my eye tighten as I try to keep my eye in place and I say nothing, because deep down inside I know that I want one too. I remove the earphones from my son who actually doesn't have the big head you see in the photo and we all go inside to get something to drink. Before long we are sailing down the road in a car with a half full gas tank, sipping on sodas, laughing and talking. Our eyes are in place and stress levels have dropped to acceptable levels. It is true, laughter is great medicine.