My life is a broken IKEA chair. That’s what I thought as I looked at the pieces of the kitchen chair strewn across the floor. My daughter, in a rush, had grabbed her backpack off the chair and topple the chair. And I thought, Why am I still using IKEA furniture? I am not a university student anymore.
Okay, well, technically I actually AM a university student. But that’s beside the point. I looked around my house, once again a dwelling needing an overwhelming number of renovations, and wondered when this will get better. Then I was jarred from my contemplating by my eldest son blasting the horn on the car.
“We’re going to be LATE!” He growled as I jumped behind the wheel.
“Oh, no, we’re going to be late!” My youngest son, waiting patiently in his booster seat looked alarmed.
“Shut up!” My daughter told him as she put her socks on in the backseat and began searching for her running shoes.
“Don’t talk to your brother that way. And brush your hair.” I backed my car out the driveway, ignoring the “Maintenance Required” flashing light. “We’ll drop your little brother off first.”
I then began venting on my eldest child, reminding him that if he’d actually done the chore list I’d left for him to do while I was at work all day, we wouldn’t be late today. “You know, you are NOT getting any allowance.” I fumed. “And I’m taking your amps away, your chores have to be done first, just because I’m not home until 7 doesn’t mean you can ignore me. There is more to life than playing music, mister. Do you think I don’t have better things to do than write out lists for you to ignore-”
“Ok, Mom, I’m turning on my iPod now. You can stop.” Music blared from the headphones and he proceeded to ignore me for the rest of the drive.
After I dropped all three of them off at their respective schools, I drove home slowly thinking about the broken chair. And I wondered if that’s really how my life has to be. All these fragmented pieces held together by cheap glue that is going to dry out sooner or later.
But then I stopped at the mailbox and picked up yesterday’s mail. A stipend cheque for $250 was waiting for me. And suddenly I felt a bit better. Sure there are lots of little pieces to this crazy existence but if the glue dries out, maybe I should pick up that piece and glue it back on. And if it won’t stick, then maybe it needs to be discarded and replaced with something else. Or maybe the broken IKEA chair is not the best metaphor for my life after all. I don’t know.
But I do know this: those kids are cleaning up that broken chair when they get home.