Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ordinary Good

Today was one of those days. No, not one of those days, one of those "You'd have to be the most depressed and/or ungrateful fool for not appreciating the weather today." days. Man, the weather was perfect spring-type weather, without whatever has been bugging the household allergies the past few weeks. I even forgot to take Zyrtec this AM, and I didn't sneeze one time! What is interesting only to me is that I was expecting it to be one of those days.

Scott left town yesterday.* Paul is in our bed every night, and the night before Scott left, he was up six times. Six. Yeah. I was sunshine and rose petals yesterday. I did, with a lot of prayers to my guardian angel and those of my children, take all five for haircuts at 6 PM. We also made it through bath/shower for the littles and a short snuggle with Paul and Molly. It was during that short snuggle that I told Paul that he would be sleeping without a light on that night. I explained that Important Scientists had discovered that having a light on at night tricks our bodies into believing it's daytime and time to work and play. He was actually very okay with the idea, but asked if he could fall asleep with the light and have me turn it off when I went to bed. Who knew he could be so reasonable? The result was a boy who slept until 5 AM and who asked that I leave the hall light off when I returned him to his bed for just one more hour.

For some insane reason I was able to get everyone breakfast even though we were out of waffles, and everyone got their respective duties done. I even doled out a few disciplinary actions that were received very well. (The on-duty lunch box washer didn't even run water over the lunch boxes and plopped them in the dish rack as though I would not notice the crumbs and smears when I made lunches. She now has lunch box clean-up for the rest of the week.) Little Guy was dropped off and we made it to school with time to spare. I then proceeded to Whole Foods where, for the first time ever, Little Guy was gleefully riding in the Ergo while Mae, who started the trip on foot, was happily confined to the cart. (She was running around charming everyone doing the AM stocking, but also became enamored with the glass oil bottles. The handwriting was on the wall. Crisis: averted.) I left Whole Foods having spent less than expected. Has that ever happened before? While I was in the store spring came to Jax, and I walked out to the most glorious weather imaginable.

This is where my mind did the thing where it reminded me that terrible things happen on beautiful days. Yes, 9/11 came to mind. Luckily, things had gone so well that morning with the kids that I swept that thought away with the thought that at least for this moment, life was perfect. Even a Terrible Thing couldn't rob me of what I had right then.

I went home to put my frozen food away and fed the baby and Mae on the front porch. Little Guy just wasn't hungry, so we packed up after a diaper change and went to our next stop; Costco. I think it may be a law that families with 3 or more children must buy certain things in bulk. I love Costco which is one more of the ever-growing list of "How I know I'm Never Going to be Cool Again" items. Also on the list is the conversion van sitting in my driveway, the fact that I own more than one pair of yoga pants and do not do yoga, and the phrase, "Life isn't fair." Once again, we had a great time at Costco. I'm guessing it was senior discount day with the number of older couples perusing the aisles. Many stopped to ask how old the Little Guy is and complement Mae on being a good big sister. This is one of those things I only correct if you are going to be a part of my future. If I am not likely to run into you again, I feel it's better left alone. Every second explaining that I am babysitting is a minute that I'm not debating buying a new steam mop I didn't know they were carrying, ya know?

The day went on in wonderful ordinary fashion of great weather, cooperative children and perfect punctuality. Now I'm sitting here writing on my blog that I hardly bother with any more and any reader who might meander over this way is wondering, "What is the point?"

The point is this; raising a kid with Down syndrome is more ordinary than not. Once again the internet is revved up with the new Belgian pediatric euthanasia law, and fears that it will be expanded to children with non-deadly disabilities. Some of the reactions are along the lines of, "You should wish for a child with Down syndrome. You should be so lucky." Once again I find I cannot relate to the insistence that Down syndrome is a blessing for those who have it. (For those of us who love someone with it, it certainly is!) Once again I think of what Mae seems to want in her life, which is to be typical. This time I wonder if the ordinary is what will make us understood. What if the ordinariness of life is what conquers the fear of Down syndrome? What if we just told the truth?

The truth is that you get into your routine just like with any other child. The truth is your child will need to be special and not special in ways that will confuse and challenge you. The truth is you will be happy with progress, no matter what it looks like or how commonplace it is. The truth is that most days you will think more about what to make for dinner than your baby's condition. The truth is that laundry will irritate you more than that extra chromosome. The truth is that this is what raising a child, any child is like. There are good days, bad days, great days and ordinary days with awesome weather that will remind you that life isn't about being happy, it's about being satisfied with what is good. Life isn't fair, but life is good.

*Normally I wouldn't advertise that Scott is out of town, but since there have been some local break-ins, our area is under constant surveillance. Also, our dopey looking dog will tear out your throat if you threaten her babies or her meal ticket. True story.

1 comment:

  1. I like this. And, also, I dread Aaron having a job where he has to go out of town. I think I'd die.