Tonight's Homework Tonight

Updated: 2 days ago

On my first day of 7th grade, I came home and announced that I was going to fail math. I flipped to the back of the book. “I don’t know how to do ANY of this stuff.”

My mother turned to lesson one and said, “Can you do this?”

“Of course. That’s easy.”

“What’s tonight’s homework?” she asked.

“That,” I said, pointing to page one.

“Let’s just worry about tonight’s homework tonight,” she said in a way a woman who had raised three girls would say.


I wanted to go on and on, but she cut me off. “Let’s worry about tonight’s homework tonight.”

She walked out the room and left me to do the homework that I could easily do.

That line has stayed with me all these years: worry about tonight’s homework tonight. The older I get the more that line seems to apply.

Just worry about tonight’s homework tonight.

It’s been more than seven years since my daughter and I lived through Columbia’s Big Flood. During that hard time it was tempting to think 100 steps down the road and get overwhelmed, but I learned during that time that I had to take one step at a time. It was the only way. The same thing applies now since my accident.

I coined it “right this very minute coping” back during the flood, and I find myself requiring the same strategy today.

I've been on crutches for more than four months now. I've had surgery, and I'm doing everything I can to make sure I have a complete recovery. But the process is slow, and I tend to be impatient. I'm forced to revisit my "tonight's homework tonight" approach to life.

The folks at Walk N Wag are taking good care of the animals. Going up and down my stairs on my bottom isn't pleasant or ladylike, but it is possible. Uber and good friends are making sure I get to and from physical therapy appointments. I'm taking care of tonight's homework tonight. And, that is enough.

My flood experience seven years ago was like that seventh grade math textbook. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t like it, but I did it. This chapter of my life isn't easy, either. But, like the flood, this hard time will pass. Life will go on.

Eventually, I will walk my dog and go to yoga class. But, even when I'm better, I'm going to remember not to look too far ahead and get overwhelmed. Just one step at a time. Tonight’s homework tonight.


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