I grabbed Luca and jumped in our Honda Odyssey. She needed a break from her brother and sister. I needed a break from the computer.
But it was Christmas day. Well, it was Christmas night by the time we slid our way off snow covered Lea Hill and into town looking for something to eat besides corn flakes and nachos.
We weren’t picky. Pretty much anything with a drive thru would suffice because the only thing covering my feet were a pair of Land’s End slippers.
We drove by McDonalds. Closed.
Taco Bell? Closed.
Dairy Queen? Closed.
Arby’s and Taco Time? Closed and closed.
Only Jack-in-the-Box was open. As I pulled around the parking lot all I noticed was a line of cars snaked around the building. We got in line and waited our turn to order. About 20 minutes later we pulled up to the window.
Finally, a young man opened the window and said, “I’m so sorry. I just gave your order to the car in front of you. It will be a few minutes longer”
In years past I probably would have let out a loud *sigh* to express my displeasure. At the very least, I would have directed a frown his way.
But I didn’t do either.
I smiled and said, “No problem. It happens”.
He said, “Well, it’s happened a few times today, and I’m sorry it happened to you”.
I could see he was working hard to remake our order. But it didn’t really matter. I wasn’t upset. It was Christmas and here I am out driving around snowy roads in a minivan with my daughter wearing slippers.
And it gave me more time to chat with Luca who told me all about the sewing kit Santa brought her. I glanced at her cute smiley face in the rearview mirror as she explained how Santa knew exactly what she wanted. Her words sprang with joy, and she paused only to catch her breath between details.
Our food arrived hot and stuffed into two bags. I handed Luca the vanilla milkshake she received by promising not to tell her brother or sister. One lick of the whipped cream on top told me I should have ordered myself one.
As we slowly made our way up the hill to our home, I told myself that I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt this year like I did tonight at the drive-thru. I’m not going to jump to conclusions and assume I know all the details. I’m going to listen more and talk less.
Even in those situations where a response or reaction is warranted, I’m going to do the unexpected and say, “No problem”.
We turned off the main road and slid around our neighborhood before making our way down to the end of our cul-de-sac. As we pulled into the driveway of our little yellow house, Luca said, “Dad, I’m glad that guy didn’t give my milkshake away”.