Monday, June 25, 2012

The little things...

As a special needs parent, it can be really easy to get caught up in the negative things in your life: frequent illnesses, fights with insurance companies, stares when you take your kid out in public, financial worries.  Not to mention the biggest elephant in the room: that your kid has special needs.  It has become so important to my sanity that I make sure to notice and note the random acts of kindness I encounter every day.  Let's take today, for example:

My husband offered to get up with Elyse so I could sleep a little longer (unfortunately, I had a client meeting and couldn't take him up on that one...)

Despite telling us that Anabelle's prescription would be ready at noon, I showed up at the pharmacy at 10:30.  We were totally out of it for her noon dose, and I really wanted to meet a friend for lunch, which means I had to pick it up and drop it off to the nurse BEFORE I could go out.  Our pharmacist dropped everything she was doing to prepare it for me on the spot (not the simplest task, as that particular medication has to be specially compounded for the princess)

I have been going over my monthly rate plan on cell phone minutes the past few months.  The lovely AT&T customer service rep, Javier Hernandez, helped me pick out a new plan that would cover my needs without costing me a whole lot more, plus retroactively activated it to cover my overage charges and gave me a substantial refund of the difference.  He even gave me his extension so I can call him directly with any future problems

A young man pulling into the parking lot at Target saw me struggling to get a heavy build-your-own bookcase into my car, he pulled up right next to me, got out and loaded it in my trunk

A woman at the pool let Elyse use her kid's swimmy ring when we had forgotten ours.

My husband made dinner

There was nothing special about today.  Today was just an ordinary day.  But the incredible thing is, it is so easy to turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary day by simply opening your eyes...

Sisters sharing a laugh

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Private Battles

Came across this photo on everyone's favorite new time-waster, Pinterest, yesterday:

This is a lesson I learned well two years ago, and many of you have probably heard this story already.  Anabelle spent two months in the NICU before coming home, and while the majority of that time was spent by me in the hospital with her, I still had another child to care for, a business to run, and a home to keep up with.  Occasionally I had to venture out into the public.  During one of these early grocery trips, a woman was rude to me.  I honestly do not remember now what it was that happened.  Did I take 16 items into the 15 item only lane?  Did I cut in front of her at the deli counter?  Snatch the last package of cocoa krispies from her hands?  Could have been any of those.  And I don't even remember what she said.  What I do remember though, clear as day, is thinking to myself, "Doesn't she know what I am going though??"  Followed by a mid-grocery store break-down and rapid walk of shame to my car.  After sitting there crying for awhile I suddenly looked up and realized NO.  No, she doesn't.  And for that matter, neither do I, about her.  Maybe she was rude to me because she, too, has a child in the NICU and is terrified.  Maybe she just found out she has cancer, or she lost her job, or she found cocaine in her teenager's room.  Maybe she's just a bitch, but nobody starts out that way, somehow her path led her there.

I am absolutely certain that at sometime in the past two years, I have been so stressed out that I have snapped at someone who didn't deserve it.  It had absolutely nothing to do with them and everything to do with me.  And the same is probably true for that woman in the grocery store that day.  But ever since that day, I have tried to REALLY see the people around me, and take a breath before acting or reacting, look the other person in the face and see them as a human being, and not just an inconvenience in my day.  And I desperately hope that others are granting me the same grace