We had an emergency crisis meeting at work today. One of my colleagues was getting annoyed. She was frustrated that so-and-so did not come to the meeting with more answers and recommendations.
This evening, as I was cutting grapes for Lex, my mind wandered back to the day. I thought about why my colleague had been so frustrated and why I hadn't been. Afterall, I agreed with her. So-and-so was completely unprepared to help us find solutions. In the meeting, however, I defended him.
But so-and-so isn't a manager. In fact, he tried a short stint in management and hated it so much, that he went back to being an order-taker.
It struck me that the difference between my colleague and me is that I have children and she does not. I spend a greater part of my day making quick assessments about what two other people are and are not capable of. Can they navigate those stairs? Can she take her coat off by herself? Can she eat these grapes whole?
In turn, I spend a large amount of time doing those things that they cannot do for themselves - like the grapes I was cutting.
Many mothers of 15 month olds do not have to cut grapes anymore. However, my darling Lex only has two teeth. If Lex could, I am sure she would grow more teeth and neither of us would bother with this grape cutting. But the fact is, she doesn't have teeth and so I must cut her grapes.
And so it was at the meeting today. I am sure, if he could, so-and-so would have come to the meeting with a plan. But he lacks the skills. That was clear to me ? and not so clear to my colleague. She doesn't have to exercise that thought process nearly as much as I do. Also, I have built up an incredibly high tolerance for doing for others what they cannot do for themselves.
After that revelation, I popped half a grape in my mouth, gave a handful to Lex and stopped thinking about work.