The Real Christmas List

This time of year, I need to keep lists. The kids’ Christmas lists. The teacher gifts. The class party contributions. The grocery list. The address list for holiday cards.

But I was reminded again this morning that, no matter how well I manage my big, all-encompassing list of to dos, I have no control over the real list.

The real list is contained in the fleeting moments of clarity and brief instances of focus that occur at the very last minute in my sons’ brains.

Before 7:00 this morning, I had the band teacher’s gift ready, the second grade Secret Angel gift wrapped, snack for the band party, folded a load of laundry, emptied the dishwasher, quizzed one son for his spelling test, another for his vocabulary and checked a math problem that was baffling the third.

All under control for departure at 7:25 because I am so on top of my lists. But then….

My sixth grader’s face fell as he packed up his books. “Is it Friday?”

“Yes,” I said, assuming he had forgotten to complete an assignment. “You still have a few minutes to finish whatever it is.”

“It’s not that,” he looked scared. “I’m supposed to bring homeroom snack.”

The real list is all about what happens on the fly, literally. I donned my SuperMom cape, flew out the door, got him 15 chocolate donuts with Christmas sprinkles and was back in time to get them to school on time.

There wasn’t even time to add donuts to the list. With the list that matters, there never is.

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