What is it that makes you happy? Chances are you don't do it very often. At least not often enough. Maybe because you can't do it perfectly. Or you can't do it in the morning, or at night. Or for two hours or alone or while wearing purple pajamas- or whatever restrictions or requirements your thing needs.
So you just don't do it at all. Which is sad- right? In fact, I'd have to say the fear of imperfection can stop many people from even finding their passions in life. And then when you finally find it- you just can't seem to make time to do it. The little and big things that make us- us. I like writing. But I don't have the time I need to do it really right lately. So I don't do it so much. And the less I do it- the less the creative muse speaks to me. We lose touch.
When really, I just need to do it more. For only five minutes. Or on Tuesdays. Or in the morning instead of night. Or while wearing pajamas. Or whenever my little heart desires. Do what you love, imperfectly, as often as you can. Pencil it on the to do list. Cross it off.
Today was stupid. People were mean. One people actually, but my mind turned it into all of the world. When your child is in an autism classroom, they can not be picked up and dropped off through the regular carpool lane. For their safety, our precious cargo must be hand delivered, hand picked up and kept behind locked gates at all times. Many children with autism are fearless or unaware of the danger of moving cars and parking lots. Elopement (wandering or bolting) is also a relatively common problem amongst those with autism. There are a handful of special parking spots for Greyson's classroom but today they were all full. I see Greyson waiting with his Teachers so I pull into a NO PARKING area directly in front of him to load him into the car. Suddenly a bologna douche (I've decided that adding "bologna" to names and curse words makes it more fun), comes up to me and starts yelling. YOU CAN'T PARK THERE. IT SAYS NO PARKING. I'm confused as to why a father of another student think it's his place to yell at me and play parking police. I mistakenly try to reason with him, thinking he's human; clearly he just doesn't understand my situation. "I'm not parking- I'm just putting my son in the car."
I DON'T CARE. THE SIGN SAYS NO PARKING.
"I understand that, sir, but my son is in the Special Needs Classrooms right there and all parking spots are taken. He needs assistance to get into my car so I am just going to load him in and leave."
THAT DOESN'T MATTER. YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THE RULES. WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU SETTING FOR THE KIDS? YOU NEED TO MOVE. YOU CAN'T PARK HERE. WHAT IF HE NEEDS TO GET OUT? This man asks, referring to a Sno Cone truck parked on the playground. (As a special treat to the student some days sno cones are available for purchase after school.)
"If he needs to leave, I'll be gone. My son is TEN FEET away and this will take us 5 seconds." (Besides, why would the Truck with a line of ten kids out front of it need to urgently leave? Is he expecting some kind of sno cone EMERGENCY to occur?")
We go back and forth, until finally I realized there was absolutely no reasoning with the Bologna. In fact, most people that yell at strangers in public for no good reason are not worth reasoning with. You get drained and they get fueled. "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS", I finally sputter out. "If you have a problem with me- call the police".
I'm not confrontational by nature- so this exchange took everything out of me. I got into the car exhausted. And this guy deserves NO space in my head, but boy did I give him a front row spot in my noggin. I cried to my person, Annie- "Boooooohooooo- I'm just so mad that I am CRYING over this and he probably has forgotten all about it and is already being an asshole to his next victim."
I felt like everything was just so hard. Michael was out of town for work. I was so tired in my bones. I felt sad that sometimes there are so many extra steps to consider- all the time. I felt mad that we can't use the carpool drive through lane like the general ed parents can. I felt sad that some people truly lack an ability to be compassionate. I felt sad that you can just be going about your business and someone can come up and poop on your day. I felt defeated. Defeated by Bologna, and defeated by life.
I had to wade through a lot of muck to get to the other side. It formed a big parenthesis on my day. I wish I weren't like that- but if that's the price I pay for being reasonable, empathetic and sensitive- it's (painfully) worth it. I was folding the boys laundry this afternoon and I realized that life is a lot like folding fitted sheets. It's really hard to find all the corners at once. And when you finally do- even if you line them up as perfectly as possible, it's still impossible to get everything in line and precise. You finally just end up with some parts straight and some parts swirled into place and then quickly shoved into a closet while hoping it doesn't all explode out everywhere. I keep wishing that life could be more like folding flat sheets. Easier, predictable, precise. But that's not the case, and it never will be.
Halloween was very fitted sheets. Parker refused to wear the dinosaur costume he insisted on wearing every day last week. We went to one house to Trick or Treat and then called it a night. I didn't even get any pictures. And this is what happened when I tried to recreate some magic.
This picture totally made me think of this.
And the funniest part about Parker not wearing a costume on Halloween? The next morning he refused to take this off. Go figure.
And to answer Bologna's question- "What kind of example are you setting for the kids?" One with empathy, kindness, compassion and even a little rule bending here and there when it doesn't hurt anyone. And it's a darn good example too, I hope.