It was the day before my daughter started second grade. I had just been admitted to the hospital with a severe allergic reaction. The knowledge that I was going to miss my daughter’s first day of school weighed heavily on my heart.
I had driven myself to the emergency room a few hours earlier so I was just touching base with my husband over the phone. We agreed that he would bring the kids to see me around dinner time. I received a call a few minutes later from my husband telling me that Kara wanted to come visit me at the hospital and work on her summer scrapbook. She “had to” get it done before school started just like we did last year. I was tired, stressed out and not sure what I was thinking but I agreed. Kara showed up with hundreds of photos, her Project Life album, plastic pocket pages and a large assortment of Project Life cards.
There was limited real estate in a hospital room. The room had the hospital bed, a few chairs, an adjustable tray table and one night stand that was pushed back behind the bed. Kara put her little notebook on the adjustable tray and I tried to spread all the photos, Project Life cards, pocket pages and albums on my lap in the bed. We had not gotten very far in her scrapbook before this. She had a few photos and journaling cards but the majority was still left to be done. The photos had been jumbled together inside the photo box so they were no longer in any order. My IV was in my dominant arm so I had to limit my movement. In my mind, all these conditions were ripe for CHAOS!
Let me step back a moment and tell you that I am a very organized person. I love for everything to be perfect. I love to have everything stacked neatly. I love to have everything ordered chronologically. My scrapbook layouts are all organized and ordered based on a spreadsheet that I have kept for 11 years. My photos are stored neatly in folders on my hard drive by date/event. You get the picture.
As I sat there in the hospital bed looking at Kara and the mess of things on my lap, I just had to let go of perfect. My daughter wanted to spend time with me to create something that she was going to treasure for years to come. That was more important than whether we went to the museum before or after the day we visited the aquarium. Kara and I spent a few hours working on her scrapbook together until we ran out of pocket pages. It was a lot less stressful and more enjoyable to just go with the flow. Before she left the hospital, Kara flipped through the album and pointed out all her favorite photos. My heart was happy.