My niece likes to call me a lady. At least that is what it sounds like she is saying, but what she is actually calling me is a late-y. You see, even at 8 years old, she knows that this aunt will be late for everything.
Often, I blame it on my kids. Hey, it is a great excuse. But that would imply that I only became a late-y since I had kids. Don’t get me wrong, asking — or demanding — that they put on their shoes 97 times does not help my lack of being on time for anything, but saying it started when I had kids is not really accurate.
In an attempt to cure my late-y-ness, I set all of my clocks in my house and car ahead by 5-10 minutes. But I can’t trick myself. Instead, I just find myself doing the math quickly in my head to know what time it truly is. Even when we got the extra hour a couple of weekends ago, I still missed the beginning music at church that Sunday.
Although, I will blame that one on my husband. After all, he changed the stove clock to the correct time therefore ruining my calculation that I had five more minutes than I thought I had. At least that is my story, and I am sticking to it.
Two times this year, we have missed the bus. That’s only twice, people. And yet every morning when I tell Maylie to hurry up, she asks me if we missed the bus. No, darling, we did not miss the bus — yet. That is precisely why I am telling you to hurry up. Finally, I ended up getting her an alarm clock for her room so we can share the blame of not getting up on time. And just like her mama, that child hits the snooze and rolls back over.
In fact, if being a late-y is hereditary, I definitely got it from my mama. For as long as I can remember, we were always the last ones walking into family gatherings, social events or just about anything. It has been a long-running joke in the family to tell her that an event starts at least a half hour before it actually does so that she will be close to on time. Ironically enough, my friends do that to me now.
But recently, I read an article on social media (and you know if it is social media then it has to be true), that declared that being late actually means that you are a more optimistic person. I could not agree more. That is exactly what it is.
Typically, I think I can get so much more done in a small amount of time. Yeah, plenty of time to wash my hair today, and dry it, and actually curl it (that doesn’t happen that often, but still).
What is even worse is when I do actually get up early or start getting ready for an event early. It’s like I know I have all this time I am not going to need so I may as well start a load of laundry, or fill up the dishwasher, or change the toilet paper roll — you know, things I normally would have skipped because I only had so much time to get ready. Then all of a sudden, I have less time than I would normally have had and, again, I am a late.
So see, it’s not actually my fault being a late-y. Ok, maybe it is. But please, do not mistake me being late as being lazy; I assure you that I did try and was just too optimistic with how much I could achieve before we were scheduled to meet. And please don’t for one second think that my tardiness is to disrespect your time, I promise I will make it up to you — just 5 to 10 minutes later than originally planned.
Sure, on the rare occasions when I am actually on time, it feels good — except for the disbelief on some people’s faces and the jokingly, snarky comments questioning if Hell froze over. No, nothing is wrong, I just better managed my time today. Notice the dry shampoo and my hair in a bun? Sometimes, it almost makes me not want to be early.
I mean really, in the grand scheme of things, is it really that big of a deal to be just a few minutes late. It is just who I am – take me or leave me. But remember, like my mama and fellow late-y always told me, patience is a virtue.
I’ll be there — eventually. You can count on it. I just might be a little late-y.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.