Wednesday, June 30, 2010


2 a : something expected: awaited or looked forward to

Back when we were planning out the kitchen remodel, I thought this week would be a week with lots of work getting done while my daughters weren't here to be in the way.  Everything was going along remarkably smoothly until last Friday evening.  I had spoken to the installers about my counter tops, had the other contractors work harder and more quickly and everyone pushed to be ready for the templates to be made last Wednesday so that installation could happen Friday.  And then the installers broke a piece of granite while getting it off the truck and into our house.  Everything ground to a halt.  And will remain at a halt until next week when a new slab of granite has arrived and been cut and installed.  Only then can the backsplash be tiled, the dishwasher installed, the sink hooked up.  So instead of coming home to a nearly finished kitchen, my daughters will come home to a kitchen where not much has changed.

I was talking with a friend this morning about recent developments and she said that all of this definitely falls under the heading of expectations.  I was looking forward to work being done without my daughters here.  I was looking forward to a week with them back in town and it not being necessary for us to leave the house everyday.  A week where we could just enjoy our home and each other.  That week will hopefully still come, but not in the timing I anticipated.

We all have expectations that go unmet.  We all have to adjust.  The concept of unmet expectations is something that I address regularly with my daughters, who have a difficult time when their expectations are thwarted.  Last Sunday, when we flew up to Chicago together, our flight was longer and more turbulent than expected.  This meant we did not get a snack or a drink en route.  My eight year old was frustrated, especially since the flight attendants had taken our drink orders but never delivered the drinks.  She and her sisters were eagerly anticipating their Sprites - a special treat.  But her expectations were not met.  I was sad for her since she rarely has the opportunity to fly and the snacks were part of what she joyfully anticipated.  But I couldn't change it.  I couldn't fix it.  I couldn't make the turbulence go away or ask the pilot to change his mind about whether it was safe to serve drinks.  I couldn't really even explain the situation well to B because she and A were sitting together across the aisle from K and I.  But B coped fairly well.  She questioned me about it several times and even asked as we were deplaning, "Can I get my Sprite on the way out?"   But she kept her emotions in check and didn't let her disappointment get the best of her.

Which is what I'm trying to do with my own thwarted expectations surrounding the kitchen.  I'm trying to be thankful for the quiet that enveloped my home yesterday, with no one hammering, sanding or working.  I'm trying to remember that it will all be worth it the first time I prepare a meal for my family in the new kitchen.  I'm trying to not let my disappointment get the best of me.  Because I don't want to ruin the little time J and I have alone together by mourning my unmet expectations.  And because I don't want to go through life thinking I'm entitled to having all of my expectations met.  I want to hold my expectations loosely, fully prepared to let them drift one way or the other.  Which is, of course, easier said than done.

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