Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Tuesday and Thursday, there is an odd chunk of time between picking Richie up from school and getting Ryan from school.  I get Richie at 2:30; Ryan's not out till about 3:30.  Even in a small town, going home for an hour doesn't lend much time to do anything, especially when you're loading a toddler and a preschooler into car seats and out of the same.  So I decided that we'd spend our odd hour at the library in town.

It's a cute small town library.  They have a nice children's section with some toys, a little table, and of course lots of books.  The kids look forward to this time all week.  Each time they are allowed to choose one book apiece, then I pick one of my choice for them to read.  It's so much fun to sit and read and explore all the new books with them!

This time, I was a silly mommy and forgot to silence my phone.  So the honky-honker went off, and I couldn't help but check it.  One was a text from my husband about plans for the afternoon, the other was a picture of a cozy little setting that I'll see later this evening.

No, it's not for the kids.  There are no trains, red monsters with squeaky voices, or mice with tutus and hairbows.

There are no homework assignments.

No work to be done, not a single question to ponder or chapter to read before attending.

No one to keep from running into traffic or knocking over the television.

Just me and ladies who can drink from open top cups and take themselves to the bathroom.  That's right... I don't even have to help them wash their hands.

Have you any idea the novelty of this occasion?  If you have kids, you certainly do.  I don't get to do this often.  Okay, ever.  The idea of running off for a girls' evening seems frivolous, to be honest.  But you know what?  It's like the red shoes in my closet.

Nanny and I were out shopping when I was a single first-year teacher.  I spied these red slides with a wooden, planky heel and blue beadwork and stitching across the top.  Nanny asked if I liked them, and if I wanted them.  Well yes, I wanted them, but why?  When would I wear them?  They weren't at all practical in color or in style, and they certainly weren't great for teaching marching band.

"That's why you need them,"  she said, "because every woman should have a pair of completely impractical shoes just because she loves them."

Okay, maybe not the wisest thing since Gandhi.  But they're still in my closet.  Through at least five moves, a wedding, three kids, and several shoe purges they're still sitting there.  I don't remember the last time I wore them.  I did pull them out not too long ago when J and I were looking for something, and I told her the story.

To tell the truth I'm not even sure they'd fit anymore.  Multiple pregnancies have a way of rearranging things.  But I'm glad I have them. They remind me of me.

I'm happy to be Eric's wife, happy to be the Mama, the daughter.  I'm humbled at the chance to be an autism Mama.  I love serving my family and making their home a warm and fun place to be.  But you know what?  I'm tired.  Normally I don't even notice, or really think about it.  If I feel tired there is always something else to do to keep me awake.  The notion of a nap is hilarious.

But I have the chance to take a break, finish a thought, and maybe even talk about something other than autism.  Therapy.  ABA.  Speech.  Insurance.  Potty habits.  Binkies.

Not that I don't love all those things in their own way.  And honestly, I've long tried to convince myself that I don't need a break.  Can't have one, can't afford one.  Who needs breaks?  I get a break every night.  It's called bedtime.

While those things are true, every once in a while God drops a little something in your lap and says, simply, "enjoy."

So I'm going to take off here in a bit, and I'll be back in time to curl up beside my hubster tonight.  I'm thankful for my husband, who is more than willing to care for the kids, and for the means to get where I'm going, even with a likely stop off for caffeine on the way home.  I'm not sure what to wear or if I remember how to talk about anything but the aforementioned, but I'm going to give it my best shot!

Big thanks to my sweetie, who is spending one of his few free during marching season evenings caring for the kids so I can take off.

And thanks be to God for it all!

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