The first time I set foot in Texas was to meet my “even though we aren’t dating, I am in love with your son and I hope one day you will be my future” in laws.
We had just arrived from a delayed flight from Newark and had been informed that our luggage may have previously arrived. With enthusiasm to start our trip (aka: impress the future fam), I approached a friendly face wearing khaki pants and a name plate that read: Wady.
Me: Hello Wady. We just got off the flight from Newark and it was delayed and we were wondering if you could tell us where our luggage was.
Wady: Ma’am. I’m gonna to have to ask you c—a—l—m down. [Insert arm gesture for: Hope I can relax this crazy East Coast lady with all the hair.]
Me: Oh, no. I’m not upset. Iwasjustwonderingwherewecouldlocateourluggagebecausewedon’tknowwheretofindit. Theytoldusitmightbeatthebaggageclaimormaybe….
Wady: Ma’am. I’m gonna need you to c-a-l-m down.
We tried back and forth a few more times and then both helplessly turned to our interpreter. Luckily my (Ihopeyourealizehowmuchyoulovemeonthistrip) travel companion, was a native Texan who now lived in NYC and could do a bit of translation for us.
Handsome travel companion: We are looking for our bags, sir.
Wady: Carousel 3.
I will never forget Wady. I had just said the exact same thing, but apparently mine came in the package of a woman who speaks a bit too fast and is trying to accomplish a few too many things simultaneously.
My family has a name for this. We call it: The Witman mode.
My maiden name has become synonymous with a verb. If you “Witman” something your weekend was perhaps filled with a hockey game on a Friday night, followed by a trip to Atlantic City the next morning, meet the family for brunch at noon, re-mulch the backyard, see a movie, and still be in bed by 6pm sat night. And that is the pace of my retirement age parents.
So, the gene has really manifested itself quite powerfully in the younger generation. It’s tornado like.
However, this ability to multitasksimulatenouslywhiletalkingonthephoneandfillingoutpaperworkandpreparingdinner is quite helpful for my current life situation. Three small children who think everything in the house is an opportunity to modify the 52 card pickup game. These children, despite a limited vocabulary, seem to devise a “divide and conquer plan” for everything –
Okay Huddle. I will take off my clothes and run to the front door to yell loudly, while you have a tantrum about oranges, while you escape to the bathroom and come back with the toilet brush as a hat. She can’t get us all at once. Whoever gets free first, you steal the pudding. Okay? Go!
How would Wady even handle this?
My house is a loving, chaotic funnel cloud unleashing its fury on anyone who comes to the door.
Thank you for the take out. Sorry my daughter is naked and showing you her booty dance.
I’m not sure where your socks are. Oh, found them on my son’s hands. So sorry about that.
Thank you for fixing the toilet. Let me just get that lollypop my son stuck to your behind.
If I didn’t function in Witman mode, I am not sure we would function at all.
When you don’t have the luxury of time, everything of course moves faster than it should. I’ve just been moving in this workingfulltimemommyofthreemakedinnergradeshowereat mode happily, and even though I’m rarely riled up, it may not be so bad for me to find opportunities where I’m “gonna have to calm down”.
I can delay making lunches and play one more round of “I spy” with my daughter. I can make a phone call for a birthday instead of sending a text. I can listen more than I talk.
It starts with taking a big, Texas size breath.
And knowing, there are some days, when Witman mode won’t cut it – and I need to find my inner Wady.