Have you ever seen the movie Parenthood? If not, I highly recommend it. There’s a part near the end of the movie where the grandmother talks about the ride. Some people like the tilt-a-whirl and all the rides that spin you around and around. “Personally, I like the roller-coasters.”
The summer I turned eleven I discovered that I was tall enough to ride the BIG roller coasters. My first big ride was on The Mindbender at Six Flags in Atlanta. I rode it with my Dad and he lost his glasses in one of the loops. I remember the anticipation before that very first loop. I had no clue what it was going to feel like. The anticipation of the unknown took my breath away. And then ninety seconds later. I climbed out of my seat disappointed at how quickly it all came to an end.
After a slow gradual climb that sometimes seems never-ending our family will arrive at a spot where we feel on top of the world. The drops are quick and always have a few loops in them, but they just lead to another slow gradual climb back to the top. Our life is a roller-coaster.
My dear hubby was out of town last week and I was having a hard time breathing when I tried to figure out how to get everything accomplished without him here. On Tuesday morning Sofija had an appointment for a school physical. Her behavior for the two days before her appointment had been nothing less than horrific. She was throwing tantrums all day and nothing I did could console her. The minute the doctor checked her ears, it all made sense. Her left eardrum was full of pus to the point that it was about to rupture. I had no clue she was even feeling bad. Parent of the year award goes to….. She began antibiotics that day and on Thursday I decided that she was okay to return to school.
Okay, to be honest, I NEEDED her to go to school. Dear hubby had been in Arizona all week which just happens to be three hours behind. I waited up on Sunday night to hear that he had arrived. The call did not come until 2am and I had to be up at 6am to start the morning routine. The next night I just couldn’t sleep and somewhere around 5am I just gave up and made a pot of coffee. I stayed up Tuesday night talking to friends and on Wednesday planned to go to bed early before I crashed and burned. Then dear hubby found a way to come home early. Great news! For less than ninety seconds I was on top of the world and then he asked me to pick him up at 12:05am. Just to salt my sleepy wound….you guessed it, his flight was delayed.
After a combined total of twelve hours of sleep, covering the four nights that dh was away, I was sympathizing with my Dad and his lost glasses. I couldn’t see straight after being thrown the loop of another almost sleepless night. Sofija NEEDED to go to school.
With an anticipated three hours of time to focus on something other than parenting and a two-page to-do list, I got thrown another loop. Forty-five minutes after she was dropped off the phone rang. She had bitten her teacher. We’re talking the kind of bite that could have earned her an invitation to join the Cullen clan.
Her Tata went to pick her up completely prepared to withdraw her. We’ve discussed on several occasions that if she just could not handle school right now, we would withdraw her and try again in January or even wait until next fall. The principal instantly said, “No.” He insisted that they want her there and that they are willing to do whatever it takes to insure that she can learn. The school had already contacted the county and asked for a behavioral therapist to start coming to the school to work with her. They want her there. They want her to learn. They care about her. Thank you again, God, for answered prayers.
Mrs. M is this wonderful amazing angel that God just dropped down in our path. She is a resource teacher that just happens to be assigned to both of my little stimmers. She spends her mornings with my baby girl and her afternoons with my baby boy. She walked Seth to the van that afternoon and I had to hold back tears as I saw just how awful her arm looked. My little vampire had not only bitten the crap out of her arm, when she was told that she had hurt Mrs. M, she grabbed the underside of her arm and dug her fingernails in. That arm was black and blue and bloody.
As I sat there trying to deal with the guilt, the slow gradual climb of the day reached the top of the world. She told me that the school social worker had applied for homebound studies for Sofija for the time being. And then….she informs me that she offered to be the teacher who comes to our house to teach her. She said that she could just bring all of the materials that she’s been using at school to our house in order to keep up some continuity. And…”I just love her and I can’t imagine not seeing her every day.”
You gotta be kiddin’ me. My child assaulted you and you still want to see her every day? Mrs. M, you may just be hearing the call to adopt.
Friday afternoon I met new clients at a house they planned to see. As I pulled up, there were already two cars and four people in the driveway. I had never met my clients face-to-face, so I couldn’t instantly identify them. As I climbed out of my car, a woman came towards me saying, “Are you Kaci? I just went up to that other woman and hugged her and said how nice it was to meet her and she’s from Yugoslavia or something. They’re waiting for a realtor to show them the house.” As we walked toward the house, I paused to introduce myself to the other people and it hit me. “from Yugoslavia” I interrupted her and asked, “Where are you from?” Response, “Serbia (of course). I’ve been here one month.” Before we left, she gave me her card and her personal information and said, “I think I should help you with something and I’m here.” Uh, yeah. Don’t know what God’s putting together, but at that moment I was once again on top of the world. I know it’s something GOOD!
That first big roller coaster ride for me was disappointing because of how quickly it was over. Although in my young mind it seemed like I could see the entire state of Georgia from that first peak, we were up there so briefly that I barely had time to take in the view.
Today, I paused to take in the picture of my life at the moment. It’s a joyful sight to behold. I was driving the carpool line today and smiling about the fact that God has given me a team of people that care about my children and who are all working with me and dear hubby to help them reach their potential. I smiled bigger when I thought of ANOTHER new Serbian friend who I feel certain is going to step alongside me in this purpose God is working out. I smiled even bigger when I thought about how much I’m loved by my maker and how He never fails to provide. And then….I watched an envelope being placed in Seth’s hand. An envelope with his name written on it by another fourth grade boy. A typical fourth grade boy. A boy who wants Seth to come over on Sunday for his birthday party. It is the very first birthday party invitation he has ever received from a “friend”. By the time we got home I was crying like a baby. Another answered prayer….Seth has a friend and he’s been invited to a birthday party. Four hours later, the smile was still painted on my face as the phone rang. Thinking that the view couldn’t get any better, I answered it, listened, and choked back more tears as another of his classmates’ mothers asked for my email so she could invite Seth to come over for a lazer-tag party. Yep. That’s right folks. His very 1st and then his 2nd invites, in the same day.
I could write all night about the things that have been broken around the house in the past week or the fact that we are missing at least a dozen important items and we can’t locate her new nest. I could cry about the fact that my allergies have kept me feeling bad for nearly a month and that I really need an extra twelve hours in each day or live-in help to pay the bills, do the laundry, buy the groceries, and keep up with all of our appointments and meetings. I could focus on the fact that for the past two weeks I haven’t been able to get any of Sofija’s doctors or nurses or even her case manager to return my phone calls or emails.
Deutoronomy 33:25 “….and your strength will equal your days.”
I can’t focus on those things. God has given me every ounce of strength necessary to get through the hard stuff. He’s answered some pretty important prayers and then given me more than I even thought to ask for. I don’t have to climb out of my seat and get off of this ride. So for the time I get to pause here, I’m taking in the beautiful view.