Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Day I Retired My Cape

     I have had a running joke with a good friend of mine for years about being "supermoms". It started ages ago when she called me one day and asked how she was going to accomplish all the things she had to do in a short period of time. My response: "I'll tell you how, by going into your phone booth and putting on your cape". From then on whenever one of us found ourselves in one of those crazy working mom moments we would text each other things like "my cape is on tight" or "I have a snag in my cape" or "I can feel my cape billowing behind me" and so on. I used to find it hilarious! I am SO over that joke.
     My babysitter of 10 years told me on New Years eve that she was quitting. She had been with me since I had one little newborn baby and a two bedroom apartment. I now have four kids, one with special needs, and a four bedroom house. I get it. She was tired and looking for something different and easier. I totally understood. After a moment of panic, I did what I always do and put on my cape. She agreed to stay with me until I found someone or to give me two weeks notice if she found something else first and I began interviewing new people. I could not believe my luck when I found someone who fit the bill on my second interview. Young, energetic, undaunted by the job, experience with kids with special needs and by her own admission "OCD about cleaning". What more could I ask for. We decided she would start on Monday of this week and I even helped my old babysitter find a new job.
     Yesterday was her first day and it went off with out a hitch! Or so I thought. It seemed like everything went swimmingly well. That is until today when she didn't show up. No call, no text, nothing. Just a no show. When I finally reached her 2 hours after she was supposed to have been in my house she informed me that the commute was too long and she would not be returning, umm thanks, I kind of figured it out by then. Really appreciate your thoughtfulness!
     And so today I donned my cloak yet again. I cleaned my house; made all the beds, did all of the dishes, took care of my baby, made dinner, took my son to his playdate (due to the never ending winter break from Maimonides) worked all day, collected my son from the bus, dealt with his massive meltdown because of the disruption to his routine, managed a carpool, interviewed four potential new babysitters and called everyone I know to tell them I am looking again. I even managed a swim (granted that was at 7 am before this entire debacle began). You are probably tired just reading this paragraph so you can only imagine how I feel right now and my night is not even close to over. 
     And so, after today, I have decided to retire my cape. I figure that if I stop appearing to be so damn capable I might not actually have to be. Maybe then I will catch a break, because I could sure use one. Or at least maybe I'll be a little less tired. Either of those sound grand right about now. 
     *funnily enough when I thought of writing this post in my mind it seemed like it might be funny. Pretty sure in reality, not so much.
     **if you know an amazing babysitter please let me know!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Never A Dull Moment

     When I was younger my brother used to call me "move on move past Miriam". He gave me the nickname because I could literally get over anything and everything quickly. I would choose a moment when I was done being upset or annoyed about something and just decide in that instant that I was over it. I was a master at it. It is the kind of skill that should have carried into adulthood and really served me well in life. So why didn't it?
     We were supposed to be on a plane to Israel right now. My niece is getting married and the whole family, my husband, myself and my 4 children including my brand spanking new baby were going to Israel for the week of Thanksgiving. I decided that we would all go this summer even before the baby was born. I checked with my pediatrician and asked if he would let me take a newborn without shots on a plane and he said yes barring any issues. I was eager to book the tickets during the summer because the prices were great during the war. Nothing, literally nothing could deter me. Everyone told me I was insane to take an entire family, especially a newborn for just a week, but I was on a mission.
     Last week my oldest son was hospitalized twice. Once for low blood pressure for which we were discharged after about 24 hours and then not 24 hours later we were back in the hospital because he had hiccups for 3 days straight and non stop vomiting. That combined with the low blood pressure and the fact that he was acting strange got us a one way ticket to the MRI machine. Apparently these are potential signs of a brain tumor. When all of this was going on, I did not even break a sweat. After all we have been through enough of these medical emergencies to know that at the end he is always OK. When the doctor mentioned the words brain tumor, my husband and I did not even flinch. We were that sure that he would be just fine. Yes, it is exhausting every time we land in the hospital and sure it is really no fun, but thank G-d, we have never had to actually face anything serious. In the end (bli ayin hara) it always turns out OK and we chalk it up to "its Yonatan". After each of these episodes I always say "one day they will call it the Yonatan syndrome and diagnose other kids with it". Each and every time I move on and move past.
     So why then, when I discovered last night at 10 pm that his passport was expired and realized that there was no way we would be on a plane on Sunday at 1:30 pm did I find myself in a tail spin? Crying and being so upset that I thought I was literally going to vomit? Why is it, that when things as huge as the need to rule out a brain tumor happen I don't even flinch but an expired passport feels like it will be the end of me, the straw that breaks the camels back? That same brother said to me today "come on Mir, move on move past. You of all people should know that this is really not worth getting worked up over. You have much bigger fish to fry". I know he is right but as I told him, there are so few things in my life that I have control over. I have no choice but to get over them because they are the cards I have been dealt so when the things that are in my control go to hell they hit me extra hard because those are the situations that should be in my power to control and that makes them much harder to get over.
     In the last month I have had a baby, I have taken my son to the hospital twice, I have seen countless new doctors with him, I managed to get my newborn daughter an expedited passport (and yes, I even checked all my other kids passports before taking care of hers to make sure they weren't expired and somehow missed the date on his) and the question I kept asking everyone is "can I still go to Israel" and "don't forget that we are going to Israel next week. Can we travel with those hiccups", "is the blood pressure an issue, can we still leave on the 23rd?". I think that the idea that after all of that an expired passport was going to be what got in my way, overwhelmed me. I know this happens to everyone. Who does't have some passport nightmare story? The difference is that when it happens to them they haven't dealt with all of the crap that I have before even getting to their passport fiasco. They haven't had the kind of month I have. So they can deal with it, cry a bit and move on. For me it is the build up to the stupid things that make them so hard to swallow and so difficult to move past.
     The good news is that this story has a happy ending. No we did not get on a plane today but we will get on on one on Tuesday. All of us! and we will be at the wedding, with bells on. We may be a little travel and life weary and the bells may not ring as loudly, but we will be there.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Between A Rock and A Hard Place

     I haven't blogged in a while. First I was at the beginning of my pregnancy and to sick too pick my head up to do anything. Then I got very busy with work and by the end of the day was so tired that all I could manage was either sleep or mindless TV for a few minutes before sleep. It is unfortunate because I missed many opportunities to blog about good things like my sons amazing summer at camp and our amazing visiting day experience. I didn't have a chance to talk about how great his homecoming was, or how much we all missed him. Or the ways in which I used the summer to relax. I wasn't able to share my feelings and thoughts on what was happening in Israel this summer or about the two trips my husband and I managed to take. I guess when everything is quiet we forget to take a minute to sit down and appreciate it, much less write about it. So here I am, months since my last blog post and I am back with a depressing story.
     My son has been back home since August 18th. We missed him madly and of course are very happy to have him home but what I realize again, with his homecoming, is that there is no re-entry, there is no easing back in. He is home and he is back to being himself immediately. The main difference honestly is how much he grew over the summer. He must be at least 3 or 4 inches taller than when he left. He is a giant. Before he left to camp I was already entering a new stage, one where I had begun to realize that at age 9 he is already stronger than me. That I can basically no longer physically over power him when necessary. So even though we have put many safety measures in place such as the double sided lock on the front door, the new gate to make sure he can't escape and the GPS device that he wears daily, we still have episodes. After all the plan is not to keep him locked up for life.
     And so, over the last 2 days I have had to tackle him to the ground three times. Once yesterday and twice today. At this stage though, this is a bit tricky because I am 8 months pregnant. So 1) there is a danger in it for me that was not there previously 2) it is physically more difficult and 3) I weigh considerably more than I used to and am unable to lay across him in a way that distributes my weight evenly across his body like I used to do (insert fat pregnancy joke here). But what am I to do when faced with a risk to his safety, allow him to run and potentially end up in the middle of the street or in some other dangerous situation. Obviously, that isn't a choice. Do I expect others (who aren't his mother) to have to manhandle him in that way, that seems pretty unfair to them. Or do I get down on the ground, lay across him while trying to protect my belly and call my husband to come home from work to help me? It seems there is only one answer, certainly in that moment.
     But there are bigger questions here. How do I choose in that situation who to protect? Do I protect my son who has no impulse control and can be a harm to himself. Do I choose to protect my stomach and unborn child? Is there a happy medium? Is it irresponsible of me, knowing that my son is stronger than me, to even be pregnant? My son would never hurt me on purpose, but when he loses control he can't stop himself, he is totally lost in his obsession at that moment. And what happens now that he is truly stronger than me? What does this next stage look like? How do I manage it? What happens in a few years when he is stronger than my husband too (those of you who know my husband know he is not a bog guy)? Who do I call then?
     Don't misunderstand, my son is not violent and this isn't an always problem, but we do have these moments and incidents. We also don't know what will be as he gets older, maybe it will get easier. Maybe he will be less impulsive. Maybe he will be calmer and easier to manage, or maybe not. I don't know how this story develops, all I know is that I wish I had blogged about something more sunny during the calm. It would be nice to be able to re read those blogs during the storm.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Walk For Friendship

     It has been a long while since I have posted and I can't even take credit for todays post. My only excuse is that pregnancy has made me too tired to sit down and write although I am sure I will get back to it soon.

     Every year my husband and I raise money for The Friendship Circle, an organization that is very close to our hearts. Each year my husband writes a heartfelt letter about what it means to be the parent of a special needs child and how The Friendship Circle has helped us and so I thought I would use my blog as a way to share his beautiful words this year. It is a little long but as usual his letter truly encapsulates our feelings. He is a wonderful writer so enjoy:

As you probably already know ( if you dont that just means you probably sent me an email at some point this year sorry:-) if you are receiving this email every year I try to share with you a glimpse of the life of families blessed with the gift of raising a child with special needs. Every year brings with it new experiences as we continue our journey through the valleys and peaks of raising our special children.  This year I would like to focus your attention on the parents of these children and their journey. I guess on our journey. And as always I apologize in advance for the length. I have learned that special needs requires a bit of patience.

I would like to share with you a personal experience but first a little bit of context. My family has been incredibly blessed by our communities warmth to my son Yonatan. Our experience has generally been positive and I assumed that this was the case for other families of children with special needs . However after a particularly negative experience I began to talk to other families and sadly learned that my generally positive experiences seemed to be almost exclusively mine.  I decided I would try to change that and so I met with different community leaders in an effort to impress upon them the plight of these families. 

So what is the plight of a family with a child with special needs ? I will try to explain. You will not be able to really understand but hopefully you will get a glimpse. 

It begins with the four words that are constantly on our mind - Is it worth it ? That sounds terrible doesnt it ? Well its not what you think. We dont ask whether our children are worth it. The answer to that is a resounding ABSOLUTELY! Just as you likely will never understand the depth of the challenge you equally will never understand the depth of the reward. They are most certainly worth it. The question actually is far more practical. It goes something like this -

It is worth it to make him wear his pants the right way ? ( I guess he doesnt know that Kris Kross hasnt been cool for a long time but its still better than no pants at all!  )
Is it worth it to have or go to a birthday party ?
Is it worth it to go to the grocery store ? ( By now even our fridge is hungry but if I open the door and a mail truck happens to be in front I will be on a 4 hour excursion chasing Ming - he's the mail man)
Is it worth it to have a friend over ?
It is worth it to go to Baskin Robbins? (  If I dont come with a janitorial staff I will either have to wash the floors or I will be asked not to come back)
Is it worth it to allow his siblings to have play dates at home ?
Is it worth it to make him change his shirt ( because he has been wearing the same one for the last three days with so many stains of bodily fluid and half eaten food you could probably live off it in the wilderness for 6 months) ?
Is it worth it to go to synagogue ?
Is it worth it to accept an invitation ( and if I am brave enough to accept do I tell them about my son and his strong tendency to rummage through the fridge and pantry and take what he pleases and thats after he has gone through all the drawers in the house to find their mail so that he can do the same ) ? 

The list goes on and on. The minutiae of every part of our daily routine begins with - Is it worth it ?
Most people go about their day without giving much thought to most of decisions they make. They instinctively make choices like normal people do. Families like mine dont have the luxury of normal. Every decision even the most mundane of activities is weighed against the pending disaster of making the wrong decision. The melt down that may last five hours or the tantrum the ends with me dragging my child to his room and blockading the door with my body. Maybe it is throw up all over the couch and carpet ( in someone else's living room ) or an entire grocery aisle filled with what moments before was on the shelf. Maybe its my child's hands and face deep into the toppings at the ice cream store or maybe its his "accident" while sitting there impatiently waiting. Maybe its my "accident" because I am afraid to leave him by himself even for a moment.  The list goes on and on.

And of course let us not forget about the best part .  All the evil disapproving stares encountered, as though we and our child delight in this messy life of disruption, while we so desperately try to maintain control over what is obviously an uncontrollable situation.

But none of this is the hard part. This is simply what we call life. The hard part comes after all of that. Eventually after enough such experiences we all realize that most often it simply is not worth it. And here begins the hard part. There are few outings, no birthday parties, no invitations, no play dates , no synagogue or other community events.  Instead there is an incredibly rewarding but lonely experience. Rewarding because you are privileged to see things in our world that others never will. And lonely because that which you are privileged to see you watch alone. 

This is an experience every parent raising a child with special needs has felt in some way. And so I wanted to help find places that would embrace these children and their families. I began meeting with different community leaders to try and express to them the plight of these families. I tried to explain to them that what makes our journey so unique is that unlike most other difficult journeys this one is not temporary and it does not wane. It is 24/7 and intensifies with time. Below is an email I sent to one of the community leaders after we met.
Dear .............,
Thanks for meeting with me yesterday. As you know this issue is important to me and personal. Unfortunately these families and their children will have no other advocates other than those of us who have been touched by this issue and although my experiences have generally been positive I know that it has not been the case for many  (........................................). 

As we discussed what made Abraham different (than Noah) is that he truly loved G-d so much that he could not help but try to share that love with everyone around him. We all actively pursue what we love and if we are to be honest that is exactly why often these families and their children are forgotten. It is very difficult to love someone or something we ourselves would never want. After all no one sees disability and wishes for it nor should they.

But for those of us who have been touched by this we have learned and seen that beneath the surface of challenge, difficulty, and disruption there is a treasure trove like no other of incredibly inspiring and beautiful humanity. There is a purity of soul that sees the world as it should be and each one of us as we should see each other. They see past human flaw and focus only on human goodness. Thats why those who have gotten close enough, literally just to notice it, are changed forever. 

On the surface there is nothing exciting about a project like this but it is right and more importantly just as these people forever change those around them they can also forever change our community.

While I hope that I have been able to make some strides there is still only one place where we are not alone and where IT IS ALWAYS WORTH IT! There is one place where different is truly celebrated and special.
That place is Friendship Circle.   
When there are no play dates there are "Friend's at Home"
When there are no birthday parties there are "Birthday Bashes"
When there are no outings there are "Holiday Celebrations", "Basketball Club", "Karate Club" , "Summer Camp" , "Winter Camp", "Sunday Circle" and so much more.
Friendship Circle is a place where disapproving  stares are replaced with warm accepting smiles and where uncontrollable disasters are met with loving embraces. It is a place where we are reminded that we have all had an "accident" and we have all dreamed of burying our face in yummy toppings. And most importantly its a place where if that happens its OK.

On Sunday, September 14th, we plan on joining Friendship Circle in the fifth annual "Walk for Friendship" to benefit their great work.  Any way that you can participate will greatly support us, Yonatan, and this amazing cause. Miriam and I would like to begin this wonderful campaign with a contribution of $1,250.

You can participate in honor of Yonatan by clicking the link below to view our special page on the Friendship Walk website. Simply follow the directions from there, and you will ensure that every family and every child has at least one place where it is worth it!

We thank you all for your endless support of Yonatan and our family and for so many other families.
 PS – Contributions to The Friendship Walk are tax-deductible TX ID # 20-3270890. Any amount will help. Please know how grateful we are for you belief in the work of FCLA!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Me Twice Shame On Me

     After the bus incident in Israel we made some changes in our life. For example, we used to allow Yonatan to play in the front of our house as long as he stayed inside the gate. Since we came home we explained to him that we can no longer trust him and have taken that privilege away. I have spent time researching GPS devices, chosen one and ordered it. In addition, we used to have an issue with him running out the front door but a little while ago I installed a double sided combination lock so he couldn't get out anymore which solved the problem. We also have a fence on our driveway and so when the front door is locked, our home is a safe haven. It is a place where he can play inside or in the backyard freely and we don't have to worry. Or so we thought.
     Last night (shabbat), around 7:30 pm, that changed. I had been out visiting my cousin with the two younger kids and my husband was home with Yonatan. Yonatan was playing in the backyard and my husband was resting. Our bedroom window abuts the part of the back where he plays and you can hear everything. When I came home I checked in with my husband, asked him where Yo was and he told me that he was in the back. I went to put  my youngest in bed and give my middle dinner. I have no idea what possessed me to even go outside and check on him in the back. After all, the backyard is a safe zone. Something obviously compelled me to go out there. When I went outside he was nowhere to be seen. I called his name, I looked everywhere. I came back in the house and searched each bedroom and called to my husband that he was not here. He was missing…again. It was a mystery, the front door was locked as was the gate. Where could he possibly be?
     My husband jumped up and ran outside. He looked to the left and the right and decided to go left. At that moment a car pulled up, a woman who we don't know (but apparently lives nearby and knows Yonatan) got out and said to my husband "you have a little blonde boy right? I just saw him crossing Roberston Blvd. and when I asked him where he was going he told me he was going to wait at the bus stop". For a little context for those of you are not familiar with Los Angeles, Roberston is a major street, major. While our corner has a crosswalk there is no light and it is certainly not a safe place for a child to cross alone. In addition, a few houses down from the bus stop is a halfway house full of very questionable resident. Junkies, drunks you name it.
     My husband immediately took off in a run towards the corner. On his way, he slipped fell face first into the asphalt and injured himself pretty badly but obviously picked himself right back up, ran across the street, retrieved our son and brought him back home.
     For those of you keeping score, this is way worse than what happened in Israel, far more dangerous and far more scary. We were very shaken up and once again damn lucky considering what the outcome could have been. I can't even give voice to the horrible possible outcomes that have been running through my head all day.
     I know what you may be thinking, how did you let this happen again? Why weren't you watching him. Didn't you know this could happen? Didn't you learn your lesson? That is very unfair! We were in our house. The one place on earth that we thought was a safe haven. Where we allow him to be free and roam, where we try not to have a million rules. Where we honestly thought he was safe and protected. We were wrong.
     That is the thing that I have been struggling with all day. The reason that I have been depressed since last night. It feels like no matter what measures we put in place, even when we think we are one step ahead of him, we aren't. In fact, he is always one step ahead of us. He is so damn smart. He is so determined that he wedged his body through a small gap between the fence and the wall and slipped out knowing full well that when he was caught he would be punished from here to next year. That he is so impulsive and so clever that he will always be outsmarting us, and also be a danger to himself. That he is so unable to control himself that he risked being able to ride the bus every week, which he knows will be the outcome of running away.
     It is very difficult for me to  fathom a world where even my home is unsafe for him, where I can't turn my back for a second. Where there is no freedom for him or for us. Where no matter what I do to get ahead of him, I have to always fear that it isn't enough. It is very daunting and extremely upsetting.  
     So while we have already put up a temporary measure to keep him locked in and already called someone to come and tell us what type of gate we need that even he will not be able to get around, I know that everything I do is simply a temporary solution. That he will outsmart us again. And to be honest, it is really frightening.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Scared Shitless

     It's been a while since I last blogged. The reason for that is because I have been sick. I am expecting my fourth child in October and I have very difficult first trimesters. I was basically bed ridden for the last 2  months. As you can imagine in and of itself that created much material for my blog but I have been too sick to write. I was finally feeling ready to write and then what happened today eclipsed all of my material from the last two months.
     We are in Israel for passover. I have been here for a few weeks with my two younger kids being cared for by my mother. My husband and oldest son came in time for the holiday. Yonatan loves to be here. He has a whole slew of activities that he loves to do when he is here, including riding the egged bus. He does it a few times a day with whoever is hanging out with him. He knows the bus numbers and where the buses go and he likes to ride to Machane Yehudah (The Shuk) and the city center (Ben Yehudah).
     My parents live in a complex of houses. Yonatan is of course best friends with many of the neighbors and he often wanders around the complex delivering mail and getting treats from everyone, no one can ever say no to that  boy. This morning started off exactly the same way. He was outside hanging out in the courtyard doing his thing. We have a rule that before 10 am he may not knock on anyones door and usually he is pretty good about listening. He also knows he is not allowed to go past the gate at the bottom of the stairs. My husband and I were eating breakfast at the kitchen table periodically checking on him. At one point we both realized we hadn't heard him in a while and so I sent my husband to look even joking to my sister "it's no problem, he always comes back". A few minutes later I was no longer joking about it. My husband came back and hadn't found him. We searched the whole house, we went to every neighbor, we went across the street to the makolet (corner store) which is his all time favorite place because we have a tab there and so it is a mecca of endless treats. We called my Aunt and Uncle around the corner to see if he had gone there for chocolate, as he loves to do. We walked to the post office down the block, to the houses where he loves to steal mail (btw, sorry to all those ppl missing their electricity bills, we have them) and still couldn't find him.
    At this point I decided it was time to call the police. My husband didn't agree and thought we should give it a few more minutes but I knew he was gone and so I asked my brother in law to call them. I gave them his description, I remembered kind of which pajamas he was wearing and couldn't even say for sure if he was wearing shoes since he often walks around the complex with out them. As you can imagine at this point I was hysterical. He is nine, he doesn't speak hebrew and he is unintelligible to most everyone in english. We were at about the 45 minute missing mark. At this point we had a search mobilized. My sisters kids, my brother in law, my uncle, my very pregnant cousin, my other sister and brother in law and my parents were all out looking. All of my parents neighbors joined the search and even the man who owns the makolet was looking, because, as I often say, everyone loves Yonatan.
      A few minutes later the police came. For any mother that has been through this they know that the feeling you have when you have to call the police because your child is missing is terrible, it is indescribable when you have to call them and you know that your child has special needs and may not even be able to identify himself or where his home is to someone trying to help him. The police arrived and I began describing Yonatan and what he is like and his ability to communicate. I told them about his love of mail and his love of the bus and told them they should call Egged (the Israeli bus company). About 5 minutes later a call came in that they think they found him in a neighboring area. One he could only have gotten to by bus. My knees buckled and I became hysterical. My husband was still out searching so I couldn't even find him to tell him. The police would not let me go along because I was so hysterical and they took my sister and Yonatans camp counselor who has been hanging out with us for the holiday. A minute later my husband came back and jumped in my uncles car to get him.
     Guess what, he walked out the door, got on the back of bus unnoticed (and for free) and was taking a ride on the 18 bus to Machane Yehudah. He knew exactly what he was doing and how to do it. We were hysterical but he had everything under control. A few stops from the one on my parents corner the bus driver noticed him and pulled over. He evacuated all the riders and called over a soldier that he saw near by who alerted the police. The police already had the equivalent of an APB out and so they knew who he was right away. And THANK G-D he was home safe and sound. When the bus driver asked him who he was and what he was doing he told him "I am taking the 18 bus to Machane Yehudah" and when my husband got there to collect him he was royally pissed that we interrupted his outing.
    Yep, its a true story, I really can't make this stuff up! After clearly explaining to him why he was in big trouble and hugging him for dear life we punished him for hours and made him stay in his room. When we finally let him out of "prison" the first thing he said was that he needed to apologize to the bus driver. He is so damn smart! The only way to apologize to the bus driver is to get back on the bus. I bet, had we not noticed, he would have found his way back home. As I always say about this kid, the fact that he is so smart is going to be my downfall. I think I lost 10 years off my life today.
     Yes, the GPS device is already on order.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Running A Little Slower

     I am really busy. My life is crazy. Between work and my kids there is no time for dilly-dallying at all. As a result, I am always in a rush. It is a big problem for a New Yorker living in LA where no one else is ever in a rush. It always baffles me how relaxed everyone here is and why no one else has anywhere to go. Why is it that I am the only person in this town who bags her own groceries or honks in carpool line. It is truly mind boggling.
     Of late, work has been particularly crazy, crazier than usual and so I have been in more of a perpetual rush than usual, if that is even humanly possible. Thank g-d for the holidays though when everything and everyone basically shuts down in the US. My company has sort of closed for the two week period and as a result, although I am working, I find myself a lot less frantically and frenetically paced. Which is why I had an incredibly defining moment as Yonatans mother this week.
     I often joke that G-d gave me this life that requires so much patience but sadly forgot to give me the actual patience when  creating me. Long before I was a mother I was already quite impatient. No one would ever call patience one of my virtues, least of all my husband (or my mother). The problem is, that doing anything with my eldest requires buckets and buckets of it. He marches to the beat of his own drummer always. He could care less that I am always in a rush. For this reason, I rarely take him with me to do any errands. There is almost never a "we are just going to run in and out with him". This is the biggest reason that if you drive down my block you will often see me secretly sneaking out of my house so that I can accomplish something quickly, with out my slow poke tag along.
     This week though things are different. I am in less of a rush. It is the holidays and things are quiet. I termed christmas eve (one of only two days of the year that I have both child care and vacation) the "it's all about Miriam day" and lived it up to its fullest. I saw two movies and got a massage.  I even managed to take a shower without a single soul screaming at me thru the closed bathroom door, AMAZING. A must be repeated moment. Tuesday was perfect, I really was free to do my own thing until 3:30 pm and man did I milk it.
     The joy of Tuesday though was nothing compared to the amazement of 30 minutes on Wednesday morning spent with Yonatan. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I wasn't in a rush. I dropped the younger kids at school and Yonatan joined along for the ride. He asked if he could come with me to the supermarket and I actually said yes, something that would usually be a fate worse than death for me considering the long list of things I needed from there. But as I said, I wasn't in a rush. Let me tell you what a difference not  being in a rush makes. We had a blast! I can't remember the last time I laughed so much or had such a great time at the supermarket. We  raced with the cart, we laughed, he careened around the store making u-turns and giggling out loud. It was fun. The most dreaded of outings turned out to be better than an all me all the time day. All I had to do was simply slow down. Slow down and allow myself time to enjoy the experience of watching him be free to have fun. I didn't yell even once, I didn't threaten him that if he didn't listen I would have to take away his mail, all I did was sit back and enjoy my son for who he is and embrace it. And it was perfect.
    If only I could  be in a little less of a rush a little more often in my life. Sadly, I think we all know that is highly unlikely given my personality (and life) and so, I will have to take the moments I can get.