Saturday, October 30, 2010

What a mother will do.

This is a post from last year when I maintained a private blog. I re-read it today and cried all over again. Tiffany, my favorite and the prettiest SITS girl, inspired me to share this story from the past.  


For a Literature Parade at my duo’s elementary school, my darling six-year-old decided to go as Max, the character from the beloved book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendack, Where the Wild Things Are. I located a darling seller on Etsy to whom I was willing to pay $90 (yes, 90 USD) to make and ship to me a custom Max costume complete with crown. I placed the order on October 4th. Plenty of time.


I sat back, proud of my purchase and waited. The Etsy seller I chose mentioned a 2 week turn around time.  Fine. Plenty of time. My Little Guy was beyond excited. And inquired, almost daily, when it would arrive. Any day now.  

Any.  Day.  

On October 20th, I sent a nice message to the Etsy seller inquiring sheepishly when my Max costume might ship. Radio silence. On October 21st, I sent a less-sheepish email asking for an estimated shipping date. Nothing. By October 22nd I was beginning to fear this seller had taken my 90 USD and . . . well she couldn’t have gotten too far, but still, why no response?!  

Finally, a message on the 23rd:  “I’m putting the finishing touches on it and it will ship out tomorrow or Monday.” Ahhhhh. To which I nicely reply:  “Thank you so much for the response {FINALLY!!!}, just so you know I need to receive the costume by October 29th so my son can wear it on the 30th (not Halloween, the 31st). I did not note this initially because I had no idea we would be cutting it so close.”   “No problem” was the now quick response “I’ll send it priority mail and get you the tracking number as soon as I have it.” 

On Monday, the 26th, I send another messages asking “tracking number yet?”  Nothing.  

HUGE pit.  

Late that night she replies and says “I’m putting the finishing touches on it now and will ship in the morning. Would you like me to send it Express mail?” WHAT?  She hasn’t even shipped it and we need to have it in our hands in 3 days.  


I promptly reply and state that she MUST send it Express mail to ensure I receive it on the 29th.  

Tuesday morning. I constantly check for the tracking info to arrive. Nothing. My Little Guy comes home and asks again, “Has it Max arrived yet?”  I cannot explain why I had such a  bad feeling, but I guess it is a mother’s intuition. I just knew something was not going to work.  My life has been unusually hectic in the past few months. Money has been tight. This was a splurge and I so desperately wanted him to have this. To have something special. This is not my norm. I was a desperate housewife indeed.  

Unfortunately, one who cannot sew. 

Finally on Wednesday after an irate message from me, the seller responds that she has posted the parcel Express Mail and provides me with a tracking number. I immediately start tracking. It was not posted until 4:03 PM. I fear that is too late for Express Mail to be truly express.

I try to sleep. I wake up Thursday morning a nervous wreck.  Refresh.  Now it is in Texas but not local. I do not understand the intricate workings of the postal service, and I’m trying to be hopeful, but I can't shake the pit. 


I go to lunch with my husband because he asks {I’m certain he was trying to distract me}.  He tells me to relax -- if she sent it Express Mail it will arrive.  No, I insist, Express Mail is not always overnight. It is 1-2 days guaranteed. 

Refresh.  It’s 2pm on Thursday and it’s STILL not in town. My normal mail carrier arrives. I ask him if there is still a chance it will arrive. He says no, not until tomorrow.

Nooooooooooo!!!!!  The whales at sea heard this moan. I have no doubt. 

At 3:30 I meet My Little Guy at the bus stop.  He runs past me, excited to go home and try on his Max costume. I have to physically stop him. I am crying. He starts crying. No, honey, I explain, Max is not here and I’m afraid we won’t have it in time for the Literature Parade. You will have it for Halloween, though! Tears streaming. His face and mine. 

He is such a sweet, old soul, though. HE finally tells ME it is OK. Killing me slowly. Once I compose myself, we start discussing other options for the Literature Parade and decide we can turn a paper maiche head into an Ugly Doll costume. This seems lame in comparison to the incredible costume we had planned, but he is a trooper and I’m proud of his ability to rebound.

I was not rebounding quite as quickly.  


Ahhhhhh — now it shows it is in town. 4:00 PM. At the main post office. I call. No answer. There is no way this costume is going to sit in a post office when I need it at 8 AM tomorrow morning. Certainly I can convince someone to help me. 

Enter Denise. Denise is a mother too and a postal worker at my local post office. I explain my desperation.  She says she’ll call the main post office and try to track it down for me. A glimmer. Denise calls back. The main post office has a fire alarm blaring and they are evacuating. Seriously?! She cannot  locate the package. She does say, however, that she will be in at 6:30AM and that I can call her and see if it made it to my local post office. She cannot guarantee that it will.  She explains that sometimes express packages will be dispatched straight from the main post office out for delivery.  Oh, GOD, PLEASE!!!!
I stay up too late that night converting an alien head into a red OX Ugly Doll head. I barely sleep. I  continually refresh my computer screen in my dreams.  I wake up at 6AM and refresh for real.  It is now at MY post office. The post office at which Denise will report for duty at 6:30!! 

I call Denise at 6:31. I tell her I know it is there, according to the tracking number it arrived at 5:24am. Yes, she says she has the package. Relief floods over my body. Thank you GOD!  

Thank you DENISE! 

Of course our post office does not open until 8:30. The Literature Parade starts at 8:15. Denise, though, is FURIOUS at the seller and says she should have known it wouldn’t be delivered until Friday. She agrees to meet me in the lobby. I meet her at 7:02. The tracking will later record that exact time {yes, I did again refresh even after I had it in my hands – that tracking system really is quite accurate}.  I finally have my hands on the package.  I race home and see my sweet boy eating his pancakes happy as can be. When he saw the package, though, he was ecstatic! 

 Yes, honey, it’s here.  More tears - mine, not his.  
Cutest.  Max.  EVER.

The Literature Parade was darling. Max was a hit. 
Saturday morning My Little Guy and I woke up at 6 AM again. We  purchased an obscene amount of breakfast tacos and called Denise from the lobby. She said it was just her job. She did not expect a thank you. Well she deserved it and more. My Little Guy thanked her. I thanked her. Denise said she had to explain to the other postal workers {presumably not mothers} the crazy things a mother will do. We shared a laugh. 

It is amazing what a mother will do. And moreover, I’m absolutely amazed I’m THAT mother.  

But is there any question?!?  

Not at all: I’d do it all over again.

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