Life Lessons from a Foosball Table

Today, I experienced an important mom success. And a life lesson.

I put together my son’s early Valentine’s Day gift (early because when he came home it was apparently sitting right on the doorstep without a concealing cardboard box around it.)

And what I thought would be a great idea–a mini foosball table to enjoy hours of gentle, competitive play between friends and family. #theroadofgoodintentions

We opened it, expecting to find the said table ready to roll, only to meet with the one thing that causes deep dread in my soul–assembly instructions. #ptsdfromassemblingikea .
Because I was a softie mom and had agreed to let him open it before school, on a Friday, for a fun match before heading to the bus, I now had a quandary.

Could we assemble it in 45 minutes? Then I thought, pshaw, I’ve done an IKEA bed and survived, we got this. It’s small, only a few parts. Maybe fifteen minutes at most.
Forty-five minutes later, we are still putting it together. Taking out the screws with the Allen wrench several times because the sides wouldn’t align just right which made the later screws not match up. Then it’s point-and-shoot at him to get dressed, brush his teeth, and grab his backpack.

About one minute before he needs to run out the door I exclaim with wondrous joy, WE DID IT!

Only to realize one tiny little detail…we forgot the little foam circles. The tiny black foam circles that go on the foosball metal rods to buffer during play.

That means I have to take it apart to release the rods put the circles on.

I have a decision to make. Do I jimmy rig it and just cut the foam circles to put them on and super glue them so I don’t have to take it apart? Do I leave the circles off completely #howimportantaretheyanyway Or do I take it apart and do it the way the instructions tell me to?

I’m thinking…

Meanwhile, I smile at my son. I say nothing of the issue. I happily tell my little guy we will play when he gets home #avoidingabeforebuspotentialmeltdown. And after he blissfully gets on the bus, I dismantle the foosball table to put the little foam circles on each rod. I renegotiate the screw placements, again, and get it right. #prayersanswered

Have you experienced this? And more metaphorically, have you experienced this in life? When you think you are going to experience X and you get y + xyz (3x-2xyz) over some unreadable equation and you can’t even remember how to FOIL?

And you try to follow the instructions that you can’t understand, to the best of your ability, with distractions and difficulties and inabilities, but you still miss some of the most important parts #littlefoamcircles And you have to decide if you’re going to face it and do the necessary right thing, or if you can you just jimmy rig it?

Sometimes we can pinch-hit and that’s just the ticket. And sometimes, a lot of times, it’s about going back and doing it right.

To wrap it up, my little guy came home with foosball first on his mind. I had left the scorecard to finish together, which we did, and it actually looked like the picture #miracle And, we played fabulously fun games with a cheap item that worked great #miracletwo

Sometimes, life is about little foam circles. Going back and making it right, and putting into place the little things so that the big things can work better.

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