I've been thinking a lot about the difference between urgent and important. The children have a hard time understanding what is actually an emergency. An emergency is both urgent and important and must be taken care of immediately. Here is a list of things that they have called me about that they think are emergencies which actually are not: a Star Trek sweatshirt, somebody ate all the brownies, The Dog won't do a trick, Child 2 just threw up at the church. OK, that last one was really an emergency, but a cute pair of shoes in a catalog does not an emergency make.
Here are some things that were important that they didn't tell me about: the toilet overflowing, the washing machine breaking, failing a class, Sister 2 calling and talking to Child 3 for a long time (I had to hear about that from my parents because Child 3 never gives messages.)
So, my dear children, here is an example of an actual emergency that sort of overlaps with someone having a worse day than me.
See there was a man on a boat who was in distress off the coast of Australia and he was too far for the Australian coast guard to pinpoint his location so they asked planes in the area to look for him. An Air Canada flight diverted to help with the search and the crew and passengers spotted him and radioed his coordinates so he could be rescued. So thank you, Mr. Yachtsman, for reminding me what a real emergency is and making me grateful that I am not adrift off a coast anywhere. And thank you, Air Canada, for showing that you understand what is truly important and that saving a life is a good thing even if it delays your arrival for a little bit..