An Oxymoron of Sorts

By Kara Eberle


My husband and I need Mara as much as she needs us.   This became apparent after spending a recent weekend without her.  Mara had a sleepover at her grandma’s, leaving us childless for a few days.  

It’s funny how quickly we fell back into our old bad habits.  

We slept in Saturday and didn’t eat anything until noon. Then I rushed to the Baby and Kids Expo at the York Expo Center, where I was due at 1 p.m.  

If Mara were home, we would have gotten up early and eaten breakfast as a family. Lunch would have been on the table by 11:30. And I wouldn’t have had to rush to get to West York.  

That night, I drank a little too much wine and fell asleep just after 8.   Then, because I went to bed so early, I woke up around 2 a.m., and I was hungry. I headed downstairs to eat leftovers.  I watched a movie while I ate, and a little bit later, Mark joined me on the couch after warming up leftovers, too.  We watched “Bad Boys” until a little after 4 in the morning and then snoozed until 9:30.  

We were supposed to pick up Mara and have a Mother’s Day brunch at 11 at my mom’s house.  We arrived late.   When we walked through the door, Mara squealed with delight. And our lives came back into focus.  We had Mara in the car by 1 p.m., and I made it to a soccer game by 2:15.  

My mom, thank goodness, had sent us home with food, so I had something to warm up for dinner after the game.   While Mara played in the kitchen sink, I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher.  Mark and I tag-teamed the laundry.  Before going to bed, I wrote out seven bills. I also folded and put away two loads of laundry.  We were in bed before midnight.  

I accomplished more in the final hours of our weekend than I did in the previous two days.  And I have Mara to thank for that.  Who knew that having a toddler, who wreaks havoc everywhere she goes, is the reason my family functions efficiently and cohesively every day.  

Kara Eberle is editor of Smart magazine. Sign up for a free subscription to the magazine at


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