To say it’s been a week may be the understatement of the month, possibly even year. With five kids, three of them active in middle school or high school and a principal husband, I’m often on the run as chauffeur and cheerleader. I cannot complain though, as I can easily see these days slipping away. They will be gone before I know it.
I’m swallowing hard these days at all the changes which are happening in our oldest son’s life as he recently turned 16 and is about to be half done with high school. Half done, as in we only have him two more years. The last two have gone so quickly, I fear the next two will be done if I so much as blink. I don’t want to miss a single second.
And so, I call on my momma (and sometimes daddy) friends in times of chauffeur overload and I am blessed to have some of the best who adopt one or more of my kids for the night and make sure they get where they need to go and safely back home again. It’s not all one-sided of course, I realize I’m not the only one shuffling kids as our house is often home to “extra” kids between school and ball practice and I love it. Days are sometimes long, but the years are all too short.
Last week alone, we had two volleyball games, two softball practices, three track meets, three track practices, two play practices, a band practice, an FFA event, a field trip, and a doctor appointment, not to mention work thrown in there, too. Again, not complaining, just sharing, as that’s what this is all about: sharing how we manage our life on the spectrum scene.
This is a summary of one particular day last week:
- Work, check.
- Run, check.
- Supper for the kids in the fridge so pizza & hot dogs weren’t the only thing going in them this week, check.
- Make it to the track meet 10 minutes early only to learn they started 30 minutes earlier than scheduled making me miss seeing the only time our guy would do the long jump all season long, check.
- Phone lost/stolen at said meet, check.
- Meet cancelled because of extreme weather, check.
- Run a friend home whose mom was doing the same kind of shuffling I normally do, check.
- Return home early to feast with all our kids on the only night we’d have the chance to eat together all week only to learn they just ate pizza (again) because someone missed the note on the table which was actually clean at that spot, check.
- Reported phone lost/stolen only to learn I’m eligible for a free upgrade, check.
Mountains & valleys, friends. Mountains & valleys.
Part of me really wanted to complain and say “what a day” or “worst day ever” but when it came down to it, my kids and I were home safe together and Chris was not far behind. No lives were lost, no one was hurt, or even scared to the best of my knowledge. At the end of the day, I’ll call that a good one. Sure, it was an inconvenience, but no harm done. And to top it off, Verizon got a call from Monmouth-Roseville Junior High the next day that my phone had been turned in. Thank you to whoever had a hand in that, it’s so very much appreciated!!!
I’ll admit I wondered if that could possibly happen while I was scouring the grounds for the third and last time before the winds really picked up. I tried telling myself that there are good people in the world and that if we found a phone, we would turn it in to the school hosting the event, so maybe, just maybe someone else would do the same. My husband consoled me that night and had the same idea, maybe someone would turn it in. While I thought it was a possibility and really hoped it was true, and honestly prayed it would happen, I also have to admit that somewhere deep in my heart, I really didn’t believe it. I hate that I’ve seen enough of the other side of life, that I really didn’t think anyone would turn in a found phone.
If I’m being honest, I also kind of hate how lost and almost frightened I felt without it – lost because I didn’t have instant access to something to turn my attention to while waiting at the doctor’s office and almost frightened by the “what if’s.” What if one of the kids got sick and the school couldn’t reach me? What if Chris needed something and couldn’t reach me? What if I had an accident and couldn’t call for help? What if?
I’m happy to report that for the most part, none of the “what if’s” came to fruition and the one that did was handled easily with quick thinking and the willingness to assist by one of those daddy friends I mentioned earlier. All of this is just another reminder that we’re really not in this life thing alone. None of us could handle it if we were. I sometimes feel like I rely too heavily on others for help, but looking back over the last week, I see three other families who relied on me for the same kind of help and like them, I didn’t think twice before saying, “Sure, pile in!”
Life is full of mountains and valleys. It doesn’t matter if you’re a special needs family or not, we all need help. And I’m so thankful that we not only have special people in our lives to help with our needs, but that we can also be the special people to help others.