Veeder: In times of worry, pay the good stuff forward
Last night, the person in front of me paid for my meal at the drive through.
It had been a long Monday, and I got to the end of it only to realize I hadn’t really eaten anything all day. So I went to one of the only drive-throughs in town, sacrificing nutritional value and inevitable heartburn to make sure that I didn’t pass out on my drive home.
And really, there’s nothing like a fast food taco when you’re pregnant and starving. “Next time I’ll remember to pack an apple or something,” I decided as I reached in my purse to dig out my money only to realize I didn’t have my wallet. Combine mom brain with pregnancy brain and things like this happen I guess – wallets get left in diaper bags in baby rooms 30 miles away.
Does any place take checks anymore? Remember when we used to write checks for things like tacos?
“Do you take checks?” I asked awkwardly while trying to explain that I left my wallet at home, and I’m so sorry this sort of thing never happens it’s just been a crazy day
“Well you don’t have to worry about it, doesn’t matter,” she stopped me. “The car ahead of you paid for you. They left a note. Have a great night.”
She might as well have handed me a squirmy new puppy because that’s how surprised and happy the simple gesture made me, especially given the timing and my overall grumpy attitude with the world lately.
I blame it on hormones and lack of sleep, but some days it’s something more.
It’s bad news on my television screen. It’s the lack of rain and the heat. It’s too much on my list and too little daylight.
It’s missing my husband who gets up early for work and comes home late from the hay field. It’s my puny tomato plants.
It’s nothing really, in the grand scheme of it all.
Funny how we let ourselves get this way when things are going pretty dang good really. It’s the blessing of a good life, to have the time to complain.
This morning, as I type, we’re on our way to our mid-pregnancy sonogram. My husband is driving into a hot sun, and I’m squinting into the computer screen because I forgot my sunglasses and I have a deadline. Our daughter is safe and sound, playing with her friends at daycare. Her gramma will pick her up this evening, giving us more time in the big town to maybe have a long lunch without picking hot dogs up off the floor.
In an hour we’ll see the little fuzz of our new family member, the length of a banana, inside my belly and hold our breath until they tell us that all is well.
Now that we’re down to it, maybe my mood’s been a little less about the puny tomato plants and a little more about the quiet worries sitting in my gut with the banana baby, tickling my nerves.
Maybe we’ll buy someone lunch today, pick their baby’s hot dogs off the floor and pay the good stuff forward.
Jessie Veeder is a musician and writer living with her husband and daughter on a ranch near Watford City, N.D. She blogs at veederranch.com. Readers can reach her at email@example.com.
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