Sunday, May 27, 2012

Finding Perspective

Could Be Worse
My weekend has been difficult in an illuminating kind of way.

When I went to bed Thursday night, The Husbinator shouted "Holy Shit!" and knocked a spider off of his arm onto the bed. I dove out onto the floor while he commenced with the spider eradicating. Once he was done, I reluctantly got back into bed...

only to wake up Friday morning with a giant spider bite on my chest. It looks horrible, and it hurts.

I refused to let that deter me from the revelry planned for the weekend though. Wild River Country was hosting an annual Special Needs Day on Friday for kiddos like Losh, so the Keeper of the Cheerios and I took the plunge and decided we'd take the kids to check it out. We were both nervous about letting Losh on any of the slides since he has a trach, so we decided we'd test them out with the other kiddos first.

Once we got inside, I took Little Princess and Kai to the first slide to test it out. I asked the lifeguard at the top of the slide if it was safe for Little Princess. He assured me it was, so we got Kai settled into his tube, and I settled into mine with LP on my lap. We were all excited. Right up until we hit the bottom of the first decline. LP and I flew out of the tube and got dunked.

LP freaked out and wanted off immediately.

Naturally, there was no exit on the slide. Once you started, you had to go the entire way. So, I promised her it would be okay and we got settled and started off again. Let me just say... I still feel bad for telling her that.

Second decline, we flew off the tube again and I lost my grip on her. She flew into the water, face down, and the tube landed on top of her. She had a lifejacket on, but the tube was heavier than her and she was right in the worst part of the current. She couldn't get out from under the tube.

OMG!

I don't know if the lifeguard just didn't realize she was missing or what, but I was trying to get to her and kept getting knocked down by the current, Kai was yelling that she was stuck under the tube and couldn't get out, and the lifeguard was just looking at us like we were speaking Mandarin. I finally got the tube off of her, and she was screaming bloody murder and coughing water everywhere. I was panicky. Kai was panicky... It was not pretty, and we had three more declines to go.

By the time we made it to the bottom of the damn slide, LP was terrified, I'd pulled muscles in my back doing acrobatics to keep her from going under like that again, and Kai had acquired a new fear of drowning.

We quickly decided never to do that slide ever again, and attempted to enjoy the rest of the day as best we could with LP and Kai both scared of everything. We came home Friday afternoon sunburned from head to toe and sore. But Losh had a great time, and LP and Kai eventually calmed down enough to enjoy themselves in the wave pool and lazy river. 

I went to work for a few hours Friday night, and hit my elbow on the counter trying to cook dinner for our families. It has huge bruises and hurts like hell.

I got home on Friday night to Kai crying, Tate upset, The Husbinator and the Keeper of the Cheerios stressed out. We all went to bed frustrated, and woke up Saturday to take the kiddos to Heifer International for an event being hosted there. .

After about an hour and a half, I was overheated and couldn't cool down, and Losh was hollering for milk and water because he was overheated. We attempted to head inside to Heifer Village to cool down and let the kids explore the awesome things Heifer does all over the world, but it didn't work out as planned. Kai had a tantrum, my head was starting to pound, Losh was hot, LP was fussy... We called it quits and headed back to the house. 

Once Keeper and the kiddos got on the road, I collapsed into bed in a miserable ball of crying defeat. My head hurt. My back hurt. My elbow hurt. My spider bite hurt. My sunburn hurt. The Husbinator and Tate were both being difficult. And I had to find a way to say goodbye to some very amazing people today.

I hurt from head to toe and just generally felt sorry for myself.

I woke up from a nap this evening though, and I realized that things could be infinitely worse. Despite the beating I took this weekend, I got to spend it with my friends and family, making memories. They weren't the perfect memories we wanted to make. Some were frustrating. Some were scary. Some were bittersweet. But we still got to make them together. Not everyone is as lucky.

Some of the families I fed Friday night may never get to take their special kids to a water park or on an outing, because some of those special kids may never leave the hospital.

Some of the people we taught the kids about at Heifer on Saturday don't have the opportunity to dive out of a bed to escape a spider. Many of them will die from conditions that are treatable, like infections from bug bites, simply because they can't afford medication, don't have access to healthcare, or even to clean water.

And too many people don't have the opportunity to make memories with their loved ones or say goodbye, because their loved ones are gone.

So this weekend may have been rough, and I may be battered and bruised, but tonight I found myself saying thank you anyway because, despite it all, I am blessed. And if you're reading this, whether you're down and out this weekend, or having an amazing time, you are blessed, too.

Hold that realization close, and cherish the memories that come with your imperfect life because it could always be worse. And for someone out there... it is.

I think we all need to remember that a little more often.

xoxo,
A.K.M.

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