Whelp, it happened. After constantly telling my daughter to not touch my computer, she broke it. I opened it up one day to begin writing and the screen was SHATTERED. It was one of those moments where you have no words. You only manage to shout their name, then sit there, numb in disbelief, looking at the machine you rely heavily on for so much (one of the disadvantages of our technology-driven world), incapacitated at the hands of your 5-year-old.
I. Was. Livid. This is one of those times where I had to REALLY practice deep breathing as my child peaked around the door at me, knowing I just discovered her offense. I managed to tell her to “go sit in time out…right…now” in more of a loud whisper than anything. She did so immediately, probably scared at the fact I wasn’t yelling about what I had just uncovered in spite of my repetitious warnings not to touch the laptop.
Then I sat and cried. Computers are EXPENSIVE. The screen was distorted with a large portion blacked out, rendering it unusable. I had things to write, bills to pay, research to perform, work to check on. Yes, I have a smartphone but we all know many websites are virtually useless on mobile devices, let alone the struggle to truly type out anything of substance on the touch screen keyboard. UGH.
This was a time it would have been easy to wallow, to be resentful, angry, self-pitying, but I chose not to. I could have lost it, and while I cried out my frustration because decent laptops cost quite a bit nowadays, I didn’t entirely flip or say anything I regret, especially to my tender-hearted mini me.
Once I was finally able to speak and remain calm(ish), I called her back into the room. She wasn’t able to communicate what she did exactly, but she knew she had broken it and told me she was very sorry. We talked about how she isn’t to EVER touch mommy’s computer and she must listen to what I tell her to do because fixing the screen or buying a new computer could cost a lot of money for mommy. She was very remorseful, and I didn’t lose my temper. I took it as a small victory.
Over the next few weeks, I told the story of how I discovered my broken laptop to a good friend, who later in the course of her own work life mentioned it to a co-worker who is rather tech savvy and fixes computers on the side.
He offered to order the part and fix it for me, which I gratefully accepted, having been quoted around $200+ for new screens and labor services (I now know how much they were trying to rip me off…the jerks). Her co-worker ended up refusing any payment whatsoever, saying he was just happy to help a “jarhead” out. Ha.
So now, I am proud to say I am writing this on my once-broken-now-whole-again computer. WOOHOO! I thanked that guy profusely, but he wouldn’t take payment, even for the part. He truly blessed me with his generosity, for which I am grateful.
So sometimes, really awful things happen. It’s life. It’s inevitable. Being able to react with grace in time of great adversity is a sign of strength, and I interpreted my ability in those moments as my lifestyle changes and dedication to remaining positive all helping with stability and self-control, especially when I could have easily lost my temper.
I haven’t been able to write, but I was able to keep up with social media accounts thanks to my smartphone, so that was something. Now, I am more appreciative of my laptop and the gentleman that fixed it for me out of the kindness of his heart. It seems my grace shown to my daughter came back around full-circle.
Karma. Positive vibes. Call it what you want, but I believe if you put good into the world, you will receive positive things back to you. Maybe not today, tomorrow, or even by next month, but eventually, you will reap what you sow.