I am going to preface this post by saying that for a while now our family has been going through some extremely tough times. There is a lot of heaviness and definitely more tough times ahead as we live with sickness in our midst and are faced with the mortality of James' mom. This in turn reminds us of our own short time here on Earth.
Whether you come from a position of faith or not it is important to note that we do. When I say I thank God for something, I really do mean it. I actively thank Him on a daily basis for the ways He provides for us and provides relief for us. Sometimes it feels like we can’t go another step but again and again we are amazed at our capacity, which I know is a gift from God. I thank God every day that He gifted me with a sense of humour. This is often the only reason I’m standing at the end of the day and not huddled, rocking and mumbling to myself in a corner somewhere. I do believe that if it weren’t for my ability to see the funny side of things in the, quite frankly bizarre, happenings of our family, I would be in a home for the bewildered. I really do.
I’d like to say this day’s events are rare but sadly they are not. Right now we deal with crazy, dramatic, out of the ordinary events on an almost daily basis. I hope life doesn’t continue like this because it is wearing us out but I’m glad we have discovered humour amongst the outrageousness.
A few days ago we celebrated the beginning of the school year. I’m one of those unnatural mothers who dances a jig as the school bus pulls away. I love my children with all my heart but absence makes the heart grow fonder and this is the time of the year I feel the truth in that statement.
Not all my kids are out of the house at school though. Emily does an online school from home but she’s a good student and doesn’t require me to sit next to her all day. So, my new routine involves time with just Isabel for several hours of most days. It is blissful. That is until I realized on that second day that I had failed to factor my own cleanliness into the daily equation. Everyone was at school or on task but I was still needing a shower.
Our recent transition from cot to toddler bed means I can no longer put Isabel into her cot for a short playtime while I take care of my own personal hygiene. I figured that it would be safest to take her into the bathroom with me. What could possibly go wrong with her just a step away?
I pulled the curtain back and was confronted by a two year old who was not only wearing a bike helmet (?) but had slathered her hands and parts of the bathroom with toothpaste. There were a few positive things about this. Number one, she had found the toothpaste tube I knew was around but had been unable to find for several days (its ok, there was another one but I really wanted this one). Number two, it was white toothpaste and not blue which is harder to get off things. And of course she smelled minty fresh and that’s never a bad thing.
After that little micro drama, followed by a quick tumble down the staircase (thank God for the bike helmet fascination she is currently having) all was well with the world. She took a nap, I folded six thousand loads of washing and we prepared to take Emily to skating and pick up Kaitlyn from school. We were busy but not overwhelmingly so.
Gradually our household expanded as everyone trickled in from their various schools. I prepped dinner to be cooked later. It was time to pick up Emily and then go on to Kaitlyn’s very first soccer practice of the season. On the way I had her try on her soccer boots to make sure they still fit after not wearing them all summer long.
The noises coming from the back seat were indication that there were severe problems with the boots. Kaitlyn can be a bit dramatic but she also has some mild sensory issues so I had to work through all that to figure out if it was a problem that needed immediate attention or whether we could muddle through one practice before trying to get new boots. The noise escalated and although my insides started to boil and I really felt like having her ride on the roof of the car, I took a deep breath and pointed the car towards the soccer shop. We were going to be cutting it close to make it back to the practice in time but it was either that or not go at all at that point.
I screeched into the parking lot on two wheels and raced into the shop with Kaitlyn. I told them we had a practice in 30 minutes and they had approximately 5 minutes to sell me a pair of boots that fit. They were amazing and got her kitted out in no time. I felt a little bad for my inward feelings and at the same time vindicated in my decision to fix the problem immediately when I saw that she had been fitted with a size 2 boot and her old ones were size 12.5. We ran to the car, Kaitlyn wearing the new boots, and started for the road.
It was the beginning of evening rush hour so I had formulated a route in my head that would cut a lot of it out and hopefully still get us to practice on time. There was a break in the traffic and I hit the gas pedal. As my car leapt forward to join the line of traffic so did the razor sharp curb. I swear, it jumped out and bit my tyres with its granite teeth.
I realized within microseconds that my car wasn’t handling well, a feeling that was backed up by a bystander’s slow head shake, the look on his face saying “nope, it’s over lady”. I pulled to a stop and then inched forward very slowly to get the car off the road and into a driveway entrance out of the line of traffic. I stepped out and saw both left hand tyres with gaping holes in them and chunks taken out of one rim. I wasn’t going anywhere.
It took a long time to sort this mess out. I had to pile the kids into James’ car but since it only has five seats as opposed to my eight, he was left standing on the roadside. He did make it home after a friend took pity on him and the tow truck had hauled my sorry looking car off to the fixing place.
I am a shoe person. That is an understatement. Before this day, though, I believe Emily took the prize for the person with the most expensive pair of shoes in the household, being her figure skates. She took the prize from me for a pair of hiking boots I have from my pre kid days (factoring in the exchange rate since I bought them in New Zealand). Today she passed the baton to Kaitlyn whose new soccer boots cost more than both previous winners put together if you factor in the overly aggressive curb which made new tyres and rims a necessity. Of course if I had thought to check her boots before the day of the first practice we could have avoided that whole incident. At least the boots are green. That’s my favourite colour and its going to make me smile when I see Kaitlyn charging down the field wearing them.