Zen Mama Wannabee Banner

Aren’t You Glad?

Our food order got screwed up. It happens, right? We all got what we ordered except for my son – who received grilled cheese instead of the kids’ cheese pizza he had requested. Yes, it happens to all of us at one time or another. And like the famous saying about life, “it isn’t what happens to you, it is how you HANDLE it that counts.”

As soon as the food was delivered, my son immediately spoke up. He politely informed the waitress that he had ordered the cheese pizza. She agreed he had, apologized, and went back to the kitchen. Time ticked by. My husband got grumpy. We started feeding my son some of our French fries (ironic because I had told him he would have to order fruit or vegetables as his side, not the beloved steak fries. I had assured him we would share some of our fries with him, but had NO idea it would end up being this many).

His order finally arrived. The cheese looked like it was sliding off the pizza.  Seething at the way they could even pretend it looked presentable, my husband attempted to cut a piece off, only to find the crust all soggy like an old sponge. The waitress had vanished – as is usually the case. He was forced to get up and walk around to find someone to help us. The whole situation was rapidly getting worse and worse.

On another day, it might not have bothered my husband so much. Yes, the situation was completely unacceptable, but his anger and frustration seemed a bit extreme. Maybe it was that we had just come from the wonderful chaos called the Circus – where they were charging $15 for a snow cone – no joke! We had then driven 30 minutes in the opposite direction of home (which was over an hour away as it was) to go to a kids clothing store I wanted to stop at, since we were “in the area”.  Imagine our reactions when we discovered that it had gone out of business. Luckily (or so we thought) the kids’ favorite chain restaurant was nearby – one we never get to go to anymore. Might as well stop there for a quick bite before making the long trek home.

By the time my son got another pizza put in front of him, we had all finished our meals. The management hadn’t done much to make us feel any better and my husband was still fuming. The wait staff was igorning us;  we had now become those problem people nobody wants to go near (not realizing that a much-needed refill on an ice tea would be a welcome start at turning things around).

So how did my son handle all this? He was the hungry one after all. He had been eagerly awaiting his pizza; the one in front of him now was better, but certainly not up to par. Did he mope, complain, or throw a fit? (all things any of one of us at that table might have done). Nope – not him. He suggested we play the Glad Game.

I know other moms roll their eyes at some of my selections for our family’s Weekly Movie Night during the summer. I go for the classics, often choosing movies that touched me when I was a kid. And one such movie is Pollyanna. My kids took to it like I hoped they would –ah, thank you! – and thus the Glad Game came into our lives.

If you remember, Pollyanna had longed for a doll but her parents were too poor to buy one.  They requested one from the missionary barrel, but when the shipment arrived, instead of a doll, they got crutches instead!  So her father made up the Glad Game – and said he was glad she didn’t need to use the crutches. (Powerful lesson for kids – a good reminder for this Zen Mama Wannabe as well).

So my guy, in all his 8-years of wisdom, announces we should play the Glad Game over this whole mishap with the pizza. He says he’s glad that he finally did get pizza (and didn’t have to eat grilled cheese).  I say I’m glad we had all this extra time to talk about our big afternoon at the Circus and what parts we all like the best.  My little one chirps in with being glad they got to eat more French fries than they normal because it all took longer.  And my husband summed it up best of all. “I’m glad I have a family like you guys….who know how to look on the bright side of things.”

Funny if it wasn’t right in that moment that all became right with the world again. Some of my more enlightened friends would say that we physically changed the energy around us. I don’t know. But I do think Pollyanna would have been mighty proud of my son. I sure was.

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Aren’t You Glad?”

  1. LarkLady Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 6:54 am

    This morning didn’t go well from the beginning… nothing major, just a series of little things that made me run behind on getting out the door and to work. So when I logged onto the computer and read your blog while I was on hold for what seemed an eternity, I realized it was just what I needed to hear! Thank you! I suspect the rest of my day will go a lot better because of it.

  2. Zen Mama Wannabe Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Glad it helped. I think I should get the mantra: It’s not what happens to you, it is how you HANDLE it that counts!” tattooed to my forearm! Then I could see it and be reminded of it each and every time. After all, I’m not going to have my son with me ALL the time. 🙂

Leave a Reply


Archives