On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Saturday, August 21, 2010

the smallest of blessings are usually the biggest

It's been a long, hot, hard week both during the day when I'm washing the windows and then in the mornings and afternoons with the kids, nonworking AC notwithstanding. (The house is cool, finally, FYI). And every single morning this week started with some crisis with the kids. Manageable episodes but regrettably unavoidable, loud and bordering on abuse of parents. Yes, I've said it, sometimes AB and Sissy are abusive to us.

So yesterday when I came home with the kids after school, after an impromptu meeting with AB's therapist and his resource teacher at the 3:30 bell, and still wearing my nasty, sweaty, dirty clothes from work, my body yet to be bathed, I was spent. It felt like my head was a blazing fire, I was so hot and I could smell my own stink. That's just plain nasty.

But at the meeting, the resource teacher told AB's therapist that she has no idea how I do what I do every day, that even as a special needs parent herself, she uses my life as her pH meter, her my life could always be as bad as her moment. Then she looked me square in the eye and said, "You do so much for your kids, you're amazing and I just don't know how you do it every day. I think of you every night." I was marveling at her words, a much needed balm after such a long weary week when I stood at the kitchen counter and browsed through the mail. A slow smile crept across my face when I saw Corey's name on the return address of a small card. Sweet. Mail from Corey. Inside was one of those gummy hands that you can slap people with, one of those silly little toys kids pull apart in ten seconds because they yank so hard. WG wanted it, I said no, she was screaming but I didn't care. It was mine.

Sissy got mad that we didn't forget that she had sentences to write for lying that morning (ugh, that was a knock-down-drag-out scream fest at 7 am again) and AB was pacing and talking and I didn't care. I had a gummy hand and words of praise to float me over the cacophony. And then Sissy said, "Oh mom, I have my lunch money. They gave it back to me."

*sound of needle scratching on a vinyl record as every thing else stops immediately*

The Dad looks at me and I look at him. We were both thinking mm hmm. RAD moment. She's stolen the lunch money But we wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt so I said, "Ok, I'll just email your teacher about it" thinking I'd call her bluff. Usually a comment like that rats out her lies. Not this time. She stood her ground so I thought hey, maybe she's actually doing right?

Then WG hands me her school folder and I looked through it. Stapled to the envelope with her returned lunch money was a letter, from the county. We had been approved for free lunches for all three kids for the entire school year.

yep. I cried. This is an incredible, amazing, overwhelming relief. It doesn't just save us money, it saves me time. It means I have a solid 10 extra minutes every morning for AB's oopses and Sissy's screaming and putting on AFO's and all of the other nonsense that pops up on school mornings. That's a lot of hassle-free time. It's a small blessing, but to me, it's one of the biggest. Wow.


GB's Mom said...

I am SOOOOOOOOO glad you have something to celebrate :)

Ashley said...

Wow. This is wonderful to hear. If anyone deserves you its you folks! And hey, Sissy was being truthful!