Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spreadsheets and Tractors


Too much of my time has been spent slogging through Excel spreadsheets the last several weeks. I get why all the data is necessary, and, truth be told, the numbers I search for and record help me tell Homeward Bound's stories. I've learned that this will be a big part of April and May for me in this job - it's grant application and grant reporting season for us. (and, yes, it's really always grant season, but several really big ones happen this time of year) It's been hard for me, though, and not because of the work itself - it's not difficult, just confusing sometimes. What's hard is that it's all piled on top of an already very full plate. Balance eludes me often, and this past month it's completely escaped my feeble grasping.

Today, I got a couple of good reminders that spreadsheets do not, in fact, capture everything. Shannon's been really sick this week, so I've been daycare-driver more than I usually am. Abby is now talking just about all the time. And, I'm learning to understand some of what she's saying. Most of the time she tries over and over to tell me something and ends up shaking her head at my complete incompetence at understanding her. A very important part of the ride to daycare is a stretch of road that is under construction. My initial reaction to this, of course, was irritation at the inconvenience of dump trucks and tractors and orange cones changing the traffic pattern.

Abby, though, is delighted with the construction because of the tractors. This morning, we happened to drive that way at just the moment that 3 tractors were moving around making noise, moving dirt, in general getting in the way of traffic. For Abby, it was her own personal show and she loved every second of it. "Tractor," she shouted, and pointed out the window. "Mama, tractor, tractor!" our little one exclaimed, and then laughed with pure joy. Tractors on an ordinary morning, getting in the way, reminding me that it is often what is right in front of us that's most important: my child's simple, extraordinary joy erupting from the backseat.

And the spreadsheets and reports? They'll get finished. After we find some more tractors tomorrow morning.

1 comment:

Elane said...

Amazing how their alternate realities can shape ours! Elisabeth is able to play at pretending, which is enchanting of course, but what I love is the time spent at red lights and crosswalks "waiting for our turn." Turns out that "it is not our turn" is a theologically useful comment, as well as a reminder of the value of that pause.

So glad you're blogging again. Thanks.