I heard a loud sigh behind me and a straightening of a sheath of paper against a tabletop.
"Well, good enough," a disembodied male voice said, to himself, to all of us sitting around him at Naidre's, obviously deciding he was done, with something.
I laughed to myself and reached down into my bag. I mean, really. I couldn't let this go.
I turned around with a smile and the biggest gold star.
"I have to give you this," I said, "because of what you said, because of the 'good enough.' I don't know what you're working on but..."
Was it eavesdropping if someone was speaking to themselves aloud, in public? I couldn't care. He had to have a star. Finishing something is hard, knowing when you've worked on it enough to be done a sometimes Hurculean effort.
"Wow, what is this?" he said, taking the star and staring at it on his finger.
"It's a star, I give them out," I said.
"You give them out," he said, nodding. "Cool. I haven't received one of these since the fourth grade."
Funny, men especially, older men, seem to remember exactly when they got their last star, seem to want to talk about it. I smiled.
"Well, you deserve it. Sometimes good enough is good enough." He paper-clipped his project together, put it in a file folder and closed the folder. He put the gold star on the front.
"Maybe the star will remind you to do your best," I said.
He sighed, shook his head. "I'm hoping my best is good enough..."
"It's all you can do," I said. "It'll be great!"
He put on his coat and waved good-bye with a heartfelt thanks.
As I watched him go, I thought about my own deadlines, my own projects coming together today that I hoped were good enough. Had I tried my best? I know I was trying but...it's always hard to balance all you're expected to do.
This morning, my husband out of clean underwear, my children having overslept and not been given time enough to cuddle, not made their usual smoothie and hot breakfasts, I wondered if I was doing all I could do. Sometimes, something's gotta give. As the blame on me piled up, I offered, in my own defense, "Um, don't you guys sometimes make mistakes?"
Moms aren't really allowed mistakes. Often, the stakes are too high, dirty underwear and starving children high.
"I've got to get back into the loop," I said to my husband once we were finally on the way to take the kids to school.
"What loop?" he said.
I laughed. "That's the problem, there are so many loops, it's like a loop de loop."
He laughed at me. "You're loopy."
Indeed. As I tick things off this morning, complete tasks, get back into my many loops after the long weekend, I'm with my new friend: I hope against hope it's good enough...