Normally I Am Slow

Normally I am slow. I like to take my time thinking about stuff. You won’t get big reactions from me. And if you ask what I think about some big issue or crisis du jour… my favorite answer is “I don’t know.” I joke with Shari that my gravestone should say “I don’t know” on it (she asks billions of questions and gets this answer from me all the time).

Normally I am slow. But not yesterday.

Things started out pretty typical. Shari left the house first. Then I got Ashah off to school. I was enjoying those few moments of quietness (OK, it was my 30-minute nap that I take every morning) when all of the sudden, my phone blew up.

I’ve never heard text messages come in such rapid succession. It was vibration, vibration, vibration, double vibration, pause, quadruple vibration, long-crazy-vibration, followed up by three more vibrations that seemed like exclamation points at the end of a rant.

When I picked up my phone, I saw the alerts from the most recent messages on the screen. They were from Ashah.



just pick me up from school and take me home

I feel like I am going to throw up



I quickly typed: Go to the nurse’s office. I’ll be there in 15 minutes.

So I jumped out of bed, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes, ran downstairs, found a container for her to throw up in during the car ride (it was a cardboard box – I know, totally dumb. but I was in a rush), and took off in the car to rescue my daughter.

Normally I am slow. But not when my daughter is sick.

When I was waiting at the red light, I remembered that she sent me 16 or so text messages – and I had only seen the last few on the screen of my phone. So I opened the text message thread to see what she had said before…


I forgot to study a part of the map and I am freaking


will fail it

just pick me up from school and take me home

And it hits me. She’s not sick. Not sick at all. She’s just worried about this geography test.

Now I’m annoyed. Because I’ve rearranged my day for this. I already called the office to say I’d have to work from home because of my poor sick daughter who is throwing up. AND I DIDN’T GET MY 30 MINUTE NAP.

Normally I am slow. WHY DID I NOT DO THE NORMAL THING??!?!?!?!?

So I go into the school. Sign her out for the day – due to “illness.” And we ride home together.

I ask what’s the plan. “Are you staying home all day?” She doesn’t know. It’s an awkward car ride, all tension-filled.

We go home and she disappears. An hour later Ashah walks into the room and says “OK, let’s go. Take me to school.”

Apparently, she was all studied-up and ready to go take the test.

I take her to school and tell the attendance lady that everything is OK now – no vomit and stuff – Ashah’s back for the day.

And when I get to my office, I see there’s a new text message from Ashah…


Wow. You’re welcome.

I think I learned a lesson. Slow is good. Take the time to read all the messages. Don’t freak out and start grabbing cardboard boxes as automobile vomit containers. Finish your nap.

Most of us are hares. We like to win the race, find our way out of our messes, cross a finish line or a task off our list. But the truth is that the Kingdom of God is much more attuned to tortoises. —Kathy Escobar


I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

3 Comments to Normally I Am Slow

  1. She will NEVER forget that!

    She might actually have unrealistic expectations of her husband to be there for her when she feels sick about something that she’s sure she can’t handle on her own.

    When I was in high school homework took forever because I was so slow with my English. I was dead tired. also, I had this ridiculous expectation that I had to be the best at everything. So I’d come home from work and do homework until midnight or later. And my dad would sit with me reading his books. Id feel bad and plead he’d go to sleep. He’d say “no, I’m here for moral support.”

    I always got one hundred percent.

    Shitty return for my hundred and twenty percent effort, really.

    You better believe I had unrealistic expectations of my future husband and what it means to “be there for someone” when they need it most.

    Whatever, I don’t know.

    • What a sweet papa you have Karelys. If I’m being totally honest, the only thing I would have done differently – if I’d read all her text messages before leaving the house – I wouldn’t have brought a throw-up container.

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