Friday, September 11, 2009

Expectations

I get a little glimpse of my immaturity when I hear my favorite man's truck pull up in my driveway. In fact, my heart starts to race the moment he pulls on to my street! Over the years the excitement has not waned even a tiny bit. If anything....it's gotten more intense.

My love for him is hardly unconditional, though - since my first thoughts are always of what he might be bringing me.

Like today. First, I heard his truck. Then his footsteps. I tried to act nonchalant by not flinging the door open while he was still in the driveway. And I'm savvy enough not to peek (anymore) through the curtains to see if there's a package in his big, strong hands.

And of course, I'm talking about the UPS guy.

Why I still have so much affection for him when he so often disappoints me is a mystery.

Even though I know I'm not the only consumer in this household of 9. And even though I couldn't recall ordering anything (recently). I was still downcast when I opened his package today and found it was not a cool, new, monogrammed tote (which it felt like...in the few moments when I was trying not to open it), nor some cool "bonus" from Land's End for being their Customer With The Most Returns last month.

In fact, most of the time - the packages delivered to our house are not for me. They are uniforms. Or parts my frugal husband has ordered for some appliance that lesser men would have just replaced. Or, worst of all - something for the previous owners of our house!

I deal with this same manic problem with the mailbox. Every time I go out there I expect something amazing might be in there. And my expectations usually have to do with money. As in checks. Preferably made out to me.

I was thinking about this today - in the aftermath of opening the UPS package and finding my husband had ordered himself some much-needed navy blue trousers for work - and realizing that the reason I have this "issue" is because occasionally...maybe, even rarely....I do get unexpected packages in the mail. Just last week my daughter sent me an adorable hand-made pillow and some cute bookmarks she had stamped. Now THAT is worth the walk out to the mailbox.

And once in a blue moon, someone really has sent our family a check for "no reason". One time an elderly lady from our church sent us $250 with a note that said "I was eating cereal this morning and I thought about all the cereal it must take to feed those boys of yours. Use this to buy some." And another time some friends got a small inheritance and decided to tithe on it - - - to us! That was the month every single child got new athletic shoes (and not from Goodwill!)

I bet you wonder if I'm going to end this post with supplying you with my address, don't you? LOL

No, oddly enough - I'm going to tie it into parenting. The past few weeks I have had trouble getting a couple of my children to go to bed and stay there (remember...my youngest two are ELEVEN! So this is not a new rule for them. It's been about 10 years since the rule was established.) 95% of the times they get up, I send them back to bed with an "admonition" or a privilege taken away. The point being....there's rarely any reward for getting up.

But occasionally.....Maybe 5% of the time, I see their cute little brown face; their sweet-smelling, pj-clad body; I hear their lovey-dovey, sleepy voice......and I invite them to sit and snuggle with me for a few minutes. (Sometimes I even give them some of my hot tea....or ice cream!) Sometimes it turns into a delightful, rare, one-on-one mommy/child, no-agenda time.

Sort of like going to the mailbox and finding a card with a sweet, encouraging note (and a gift card.)

I'm not saying they're right to break the 'house rule' and get up. I'm just saying that today when I heard the UPS truck drive up, even though I knew I would probably go back inside being disappointed - It was still worth flinging open the door in excitement. For that itty-bitty slim chance that it was a monogrammed tote.

I hope I remember this tonight when my quiet, solitary tea-time gets disrupted by a child hoping I've got something amazing for him.

16 comments:

Meg in Tally said...

Hope springs eternal! I lived the excitement with you today. Our excitement comes when the NetFlix arrives. Is it one of MY choices? Please, please, please...Or...yet another Have Gun Will Travel episode? Today it was Rat Patrol... (I think I'll go work on that queue in case mine isnt' the next #1!)

brite said...

So a tote is what you are hinting at for the next gift? Just trying to stay on top of the gift list...

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

Meg! Do you have our Netflix queue by mistake? The kids are always asking me why only Dad's movies make it to our mailbox. :)

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

Brite, not that I was hinting or anything...but I need a bag to take my books back and forth to school. I need something that's durable, that doesn't collapse when you put it down, and that looks amazing. If you see anything that fits this description, let me know. In the meantime, I'll be checking the porch for a UPS package.....

BParrish said...

You need to go to the Free Samples page on WalMart's site and sign up for their featured products each week. The mail starts coming in a few weeks with little boxes of "stuff" for you to try out. Much better than generic mail addressed to "Resident" or bills!

Miss Leah said...

We all suffer from delicious brown paper affairs that when opened prove to be nothing but Daddy's latest commentary need. Or we find cardboard boxes on the porch with -- medicine inside. Yip. Ee.

Laura said...

I love getting packages. And mail is so disapointing when there is no magazine, check, note, etc. inside.

Sarah said...

The only thing that's worse is when you've ordered your adorable monogrammed book bag and you're waiting for it to get here with breathless anticipation (ya know? standing in front of the mirror imaging THIS OUTFIT with the bag; trying on THESE SHOES with the picture of the bag cut out of the catalog so you can see how it looks held up to the shoes, and on and on the accessories and wardrobe looks go...) and...Daddy has also ordered something and you go to pick up your cute little Lands End tote bag off the porch and it's Calvin's commentary on Deuteronomy. I'm sure it's awesome but it's not my cute little book bag is it? Now that's depressing.

BParrish said...

Would you possibly have been eating at Chilis on Sunday evening (9/13). My husband and I came down from Thomasville and there was someone there who looked a lot like you....but then I only know you through your children and pictures posted here.

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

Leah and Sarah, you have me beat.
It would be much worse to find a box of medicine in the brown package.

Or a commentary on Deuteronomy - unless of course, it had been ordered by me during one of my frequent in-depth studies of the books of the Law :)

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

BParrish (I'm having one of those 50+ moments and your name is eluding me.......But I've had fun trying to find it on your blog. Your schedule makes me look like a lazy woman! What kind of supplements do you take, woman?!)

No, unfortunately that wasn't me at Chili's tonight. I was home with a mean toothache, staying away from hot and cold foods, or foods with sugar, or hard foods - so pretty much I'm not eating.

Want to come over and give me whatever the midwife equivalent is for an epidural? - or you can just shoot me, whichever is quicker.

Dayna said...

Precious thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

And Craig used to joke that the mailman was the "other man" in our marriage, as I anticipated his daily arrival with nigh the same joy as Craig's return from work. (Not quite)

Dayna said...

Precious thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

And Craig used to joke that the mailman was the "other man" in our marriage, as I anticipated his daily arrival with nigh the same joy as Craig's return from work. (Not quite)

Kelley said...

haha...that's so cute. I was SO in awe of you as I totally believed your excitement spilled over every time your hubby came home. I was extremely relieved when you specified that it was the UPS man (I was feeling rather guilty :-)

Neide Colson said...

You probably already know that you have a talent for writing. You did a wonderful job and yes, I thought you were talking about your husband. Here in Brazil we don't have UPS, but I remember those feelings when we used to live in Green Bay, WI.

Blessings, from Brazil.

Davene said...

Just like the others, I could identify with your anticipation surrounding mail delivery. But even more, I like how you tied that into your relationship with your kids and how they hold out hope that they'll be rewarded with that special time with you. Very creative, how you wove those two themes together. :)