Don’t be careless with your time or words

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 25, 2011

My poor husband. Once when he was at a convention in Las Vegas he received a fraud alert from our credit card company. Not long after, it was discovered someone had stolen my credit card, license and checkbook while I was at snack time with the second-graders. Now that I think about it, why do I feel sorry for him? I was the one who was home with the kids and handling the details of the theft. He was in Las Vegas!

While Michael was at another convention, I informed him of the new addition to our family. He seemed to relax when I said it was a kitten for Victoria. I’m not sure what he was thinking.

He was in Houston when the pharmacy called to say the prescriptions were ready. I explained Victoria’s trip to urgent care to my confused spouse. I may or may not have told him of our visit to Pier 51 afterwards. We had to do something while waiting for the prescriptions to be filled.

And just this week, he received a call from a manager at Dollar Tree, telling him Monique’s check and library card were found. Our daughter was baffled when she went to the store to retrieve the items. She was handed a check made out to “cash,” my library card and a $10 bill.

“Mom,” she said when I answered her call, “the check I gave you was found at Dollar Tree with your…”

“So that’s where it was!” I said before she could finish the sentence. “I’ve been looking all over for your check!” We both spoke of how nice the Dollar Tree employees were to go out of their way to return items that could have easily been brushed aside. Apparently when I ran into the store to buy fingernail polish remover — for one of my daughters who needed to remove her polish before she had to cheer — I dropped a few things in my haste. Things like that happen when you’re careless, and I was happy to be able to recover the things I had lost. Not everything works out so well.

I do not want to be careless with my time. When I taught school, I lived by a strict schedule and a to-do list. One of the things I enjoy about being home is the flexibility of my days, but I quickly realized things don’t get done unless I plan them. I grew tired of telling my husband, over and over, of all the things I was going to do. Now, I only say what I’ve done.

Neither do I want to be careless with my words, for they cannot be retrieved, and the damage they inflict is not always easily repaired. Regardless of the situation, I am desperately trying to think before I speak. I smile when my children repeat words of advice I’ve given them over the years. It surprises me because I didn’t think they were listening, but they were, and they remembered my words. This makes me quite cautious as I realize they will also remember the negative things I say.

I think I’ll use a little time today to call Michael just to encourage him and report that all is well at home. I hope he’s not afraid to answer the phone.

Ronny may be reached at