Crying Over Spilled Juice

Before my wife left to bring dinner to a friend of ours recovering from cancer, she gave my preschooler half a glass of juice. She spilled it in the dining room, and it wasn’t until this moment that I realized a half cup of juice could destroy an entire room.

I know. I know. You assume I’m exaggerating, and I wish I were, but I AM NOT. It coated the table, bench and all its crevices, wall, floor, preschooler, and several other items with sticky juice. Then she screamed at me as though it were my fault that she can’t handle half a cup of juice with more grace than some after four cups of gin.

What frustrates me the most about this moment is that I literally mopped the dining room 30 minutes early. Ok. Wait. Let’s pump the brakes. I didn’t mop, my 10-year-old son did. But I argued with him for 20 minutes to do it, then helped move the table and chairs, and filled the mop bucket, so outside of the act of moving the mop, I’d mopped.

And to be honest, if I had to pick between mopping and slamming my junk in a car door, I’d take the car door, so the thought of mopping twice in one day felt like two car doors, and I just wasn’t up for that kind of punishment.

What had I done to deserve this? Nothing. No parent ever does.

And yet, there Aspen was, half coated in juice, crying about not having juice, and me crying on the inside, trying to figure out how to clean this mess without actually having to mop.

And I know, we are not supposed to cry over spilled milk (or in this case juice) but after being home with three kids for fours days for Thanksgiving break, all of us trapped inside because of the Oregon rain, this moment felt like something worth crying over.

So I got the mop back out. I moved the chairs again. I cleaned up the mess, and got the kid more juice. It all only lasted 15 minutes, sure, but if I had 15 minutes left to live, I’d spend them in this moment, because it all felt like eternity.

But once it was all said and done, I sat next to Aspen at the table, watching her carefully with her new half glass of juice.

She took a long pull, then she looked over at me with a sly dimpled grin and said, “It’s cool, daddy. It’s cool.”

I don’t know where she picked up that phrase, but she’d been saying it a lot recently. I couldn’t help but laugh. Then I put my arm around her and said, “Yeah. It’s cool.”

She leaned across the bench to give me a hug, and as she did, she spilled a container of seasoned salt on the floor.

I stood, and went for the broom. Under my breath I whispered, “It’s cool, daddy. It’s cool.” Sometimes we have to tell our selves these sorts of things. It’s the only way to stay sane.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 7.33.51 AM

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment