Lemonade out of Lemons

Last week and this week have been – and continue to be – challenging in a way that makes me accept every scrap of pity people send my way as the mom of a child with a disability. Bear has already started work in his new building, which is an hour and 45 minutes away. Which means that he comes home one evening during the week, then on the weekend, and the rest of the time he’s in a hotel while I solo parent it.

Of course this would coincide with two weeks stuffed with appointments. Every day last week, and multiple appointments every day this week, including another surgery on his little boy parts. I often say that nobody doles out motherhood medals, but this week? I’ve freaking earned one.

Last Thursday Atti had an appointment with a pediatric neurologist. We’ve been waiting for this appointment for months, and once he visits we’ll start working on scheduling the big surgery that will change everything for him. This was a very big deal, and, of course, an hour and a half away from home.

I planned ahead the night before and imagined Atti and I leaving before the bus to school was even scheduled to arrive, me armed with a change of clothes and snacks and diapers and drinks, driving through the gorgeous Altamont pass and enjoying the view of the verdant rolling hills.

Of course, that’s never how these things go. After a very early wakeup call thanks to Bear leaving his phone alarm on while he was in the shower, I spent the morning trying to get Atti moving, and myself moving, and Bear out the door for three days away, and before I knew it, I should have been on the road 15 minutes ago.

I shove Atti in the car and hit the road and after about 45 minutes of frantic driving trying to make up for lost time, I look down and realize my needle is on E.

I find a nearby gas station and as I’m pulling in I see lights in my rearview mirror. Another ticket. This time for expired registration. (Which is Bear’s job.) The officer was very sweet to me and let me pump my gas while she ran my plates, but I had pulled in funny, what with the cop behind me and all, and only the premium gas hose could reach my car. So I paid way too much for a few gallons of gas, since I couldn’t exactly start my car up and repark while the police officer was making sure I wasn’t a fugitive, accepted my ticket, and got back on the road.

With only a few minutes left of our journey the office calls. The doctor had to go into emergency surgery and had to cancel all of his appointments for the day.

So since the morning was such an epic failure, the rest of the day had to make up for it. We were in the Bay Area, the weather was beautiful, I was with my favorite little buddy, so we decided to cast off all other responsibilities and make this MAMA AND ATTI’S DAY OF FUN!

New toys
We went to a fancy toy store where Atti picked out some letters and I picked him out a tool kit…

New fabric
We went to a quilt shop where I picked out some fabric treasures, Atti got a sucker, and everyone in the store fell in love with him…

Splashing in the fountain
We played in a fountain we found in the center of town…

At the nursery
We picked out some flowers for the garden…

We went to the book store where Atti read his book while I got to read my own…

And we finished the day off in our favorite way. Lots and lots of snuggles.

So a long drive, a ticket, a frantic morning, expensive gas, no doctor’s appointment…shrug. It was still the best day.