“The Rush-Rush Day,” Friend, Jan. 1987, 18–19
Jarod wanted blueberry pancakes with puddles of melted butter and syrup on them for breakfast. He wanted to help Mommy squeeze the oranges for fresh juice. And he wanted a hardcooked egg that he could peel himself. But when Jarod got to the kitchen table and Mommy gave him a bowl of cold cereal and a plate of orange sections, he could tell that it was a rush-rush day.
Mommy said, “Hurry, please, Jarod. We have to go shopping and be back in time to tend Sister Miller’s kids while she goes to the doctor.”
At the grocery store Jarod hurried, but he really wanted to stop and look at the different kinds of vegetables and put his hand down close to the refrigerated shelves until it felt cold. He wanted to watch the butcher trim fat from the meat. And he wanted to count the different kinds of candy while his mother was at the checkout counter.
When they reached home, Jarod barely had time to get out his toys for Bobby and Kim Miller to play with. And as soon as their mother picked them up again, Jarod was rushed into the kitchen for a sandwich and a bowl of soup. Jarod hated rush-rush days.
His sisters were soon home from school, and Jarod and Mommy had to rush them to dancing lessons. Then he and Mommy rushed to the post office to mail a package to Jarod’s aunt for her birthday, to the service station to put more gas in the car, and back to the studio to get his sisters. Then they rushed home. Jarod wanted to slow down and watch a jet that was making white streaks across the sky. He wanted to sled down the big hill at the park. He wanted to go to the library and check out a book on rockets. But he didn’t ask Mommy to do any of those things. It was a rush-rush day.
While Mommy went visiting teaching, his sisters rushed to do their homework before supper. They needed the room quiet, so Jarod couldn’t watch cartoons. He couldn’t blast off in his pretend rocket because that would be too noisy too.
Daddy came home, but he couldn’t play with Jarod. He hurried to the kitchen and made a casserole with lots of noodles and hamburger. He made two because one was to go over to Sister Howard, who just had a new baby. Mommy came home and rushed the Howard’s meal over to them; then Jarod’s family all sat down together, and Daddy blessed the food. The funny-looking stuff tasted good, even on a rush-rush day.
As soon as dinner was over, Jarod was whisked off to the bathtub. He wanted to stay in the bathtub long enough for the water to wrinkle his skin, but he had to hurry so that his sisters could have their turn. Jarod was tired—tired of rushing and just plain tired.
Mommy looked tired, too, when she came to tuck him in. Rush-rush days were hard on everyone, Jarod decided.
“How about a story?” Mommy asked.
Jarod said, “It’s OK if you don’t have time.”
Mommy smiled. She got a book from his bookcase and read Jarod’s favorite story about a rocket trip to the moon. Mommy read the story slowly. She let Jarod study each picture as long as he wanted. Then they both sang a Primary song before his prayer.
“I always have time for you, even on a busy day.” Mother kissed Jarod and turned on the night light.
Jarod smiled and snuggled his chin under the covers. Even rush-rush days had nice-nice endings.