Saturday, January 23, 2016

Things I never thought I would do

In December I did two things that I never thought I would do.

I'm not sure why Christmas always catches me by surprise, as I think it has always been on the same day of the year, but this year seemed to be worse and for the first time ever, I did not mail a single Christmas card. I've been known to mail them as late as December 23 and a few on December 24, hoping the recipients would blame the postal service, but this year, not a single signature was written or envelop sealed. The one thing that has helped with Christmas is that the price of the "toys" my daughters want each year has increased enough that they only get one. Unfortunately, the things they want are the same as everyone else wants, so you hold your breath and hope your package arrives in time.

The other thing I did, was buy a second car.

I never thought there would be a day that I would need to buy a second car. I'm not sure if other parents of teens plan ahead better and think, oh we will need to buy another car when Junior gets his license, but somehow I did not.

I thought we had it worked out pretty well and for a long time, it did.

The girls dropped me off at work in the morning and then I took the bus home in the afternoon or when needed, they came back and got me. The best part was the bus ride was on a free shuttle and also gave me a little exercise. There were a few times that it was not very convenient and a few where we ended up having to borrow a car from mom and dad to make all our connections, but for the most part it was working.

Then one day, things I never could have planned for happened all at once.

The girls needed to stay late at school for an event so I had already planned to take the bus home. Weather was a little chilly but no problem.

Somewhere in the back of my mind though, I had a nagging suspicion we had forgotten something. Sure enough, we had promised to take care of an errand for a friend, delivering dinner to two older ladies.

So about the time I head out to the bus stop I take a quick glance at Facebook, only to realize there is an escaped prisoner around where I work and the police, helicopters, and K-9 units are everywhere. OK, doesn't sound like fun to stand on the corner, waiting for an unknown period of time while this is happening, but I know these ladies are counting on us for dinner.

Thankfully it all worked out but the idea of needing another car definitely came to the front of my mind.

The next day was the homecoming game for my girls' school, which I had to miss.

This is their senior year so I have been glad for them to use the car and be able to participate in events they could not otherwise when I was picking them up, but it was also interfering with my ability to run errands, go to the grocery store, but more importantly, get to them if needed me, so I bit the bullet and the next day bought another car.

I had not budgeted in two car payments, plus the insurance, but having the freedom and ability to come and go as I needed had been great, until, yes, you guessed it, the many times they are going in opposite directions, and I am still without a car.

Let me check that bus schedule again.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Shower Syndrome

My daughters are concerned I have a problem and they call it Shower Syndrome, which isn't what you expect it to be. 

I was pretty sure I knew how to be a mom when I became one and was prepared for anything that happened. Of course that flew out the door within the first hours and I accepted that I was totally unprepared but still find some things that surprise me.

When I adopted my daughters, all I wanted for them was a good life, where they could grow and mature, and I would be able to allow them to do this without holding on too tightly. I wanted them to be able to develop into the best possible person they could and have the best life possible and I would be their cheering section but I would never be a helicopter mom, holding them back. 

So for a while, this was working. Then the strangest thing happened that made me realize that turning loose was a lot harder than I expected it to be.

A few summers ago, I finally had their bathroom redone. It had an extremely old bathtub that could not be converted to a shower and so for the first 5 years or so, we all used the one in "my" bathroom. There were always a wide selection of hair care products, bath gels, soaps, etc. and we had to coordinate whose turn was first, but we always made it work.

Then their bathroom was finally finished. They packed up their hair and bath stuff and moved it into their brand new shower, and it made me terribly sad. I tried to talk them into using mine whenever they wanted but they like their own better and besides it has all their stuff in it. All of a sudden, I was the only one in mine and I was shocked at what I was feeling, I mean it's not like they had left home, and the convenience factor should easily have outweighed any other feeling, but having my own was not nearly as great as sharing had been.

The girls find it rather amusing and now when I have a similar reaction to other events, they simply shake their heads and say it is just like the shower.

The same thing happened when it was the last time I drove them to school, their first trip to the grocery store alone, and last night, they went straight from school to a friend's house for a sleepover. There have been others and each time they just shake their heads and know it is Shower Syndrome. 

It hasn't been the big things, going from elementary to middle to high school, specific birthdays, it is always odd, random things and maybe that's why it surprises me so much.

Right now I hear regularly that I will be so lonesome when they both go to college. 

I might, but I'm so proud of each thing they achieve that I am hoping that my Shower Syndrome will be short lived and instead I will focus on who they are becoming, because that was my original goal. 






Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's been a funny day

One of my all time favorite BBC comedies usually starts with a shop owner opening up his shop in the early morning hours, setting out his wares, greeting the milk lady, and his first customers. At the end of the episode, he usually ends with the phrase, "It's been a funny day."

A lot of my days, as a mom, end that way. I start the day basically the same, with an idea of what I think will happen, and generally go through the expected events with my girls before sending them out the door.

But so many times, the way the day ends is not what I expected.

This last Tuesday is a perfect example of that.

The girls are driving themselves to school after they drop me off at work. Then in the afternoon, I take the D Link home, a free bus service that stops right outside the hospital an within a few blocks of our house.

This has worked out pretty well for all of us, until Tuesday.

On Tuesday as I was leaving the building to catch the bus, I got a text that our PR department was looking for someone to be interviewed about the new mammography guidelines. They needed a breast cancer survivor. I tried several people without success and since they needed someone within the hour, it seemed to fall back to me to do, since I am a survivor, who was diagnosed at 41, it seemed a good fit.

BUT to set the stage, I am fighting an infection in my eyes that have made them rather red and swollen. I was wearing a dress the girls think needs to disappear, it's not even good enough to put in the donation bag, and whatever makeup I had put on 10 hours before was gone.

None of that would matter if I had my car and could do the quick 10 minute drive home to change, apply makeup and go. Then I was told we needed to leave in about 10 minutes.

Thank goodness we have a gift shop in the lobby as I thought I might be able to find a scarf, a jacket, something to cover up my dress, knowing that they would primarily shoot from the waist up. No luck. But instead I found a dress. I came out of the dressing room with it on, asked two customers who were standing there if it looked OK, did the paperwork to buy it and had them cut the tags off, and ran to meet my ride to the TV studio.

I sent a quick text to mom and dad and another to the girls, who were trying to find their way to pick up a pizza to take to two older ladies from church for their dinner.

It all worked out but it certainly did not end the way I expected.

It's been a funny day.