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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Our Best Surprises

Some of the best surprises in life are the ones we never wish for.  They are moments that can never be recreated. They are little surprises -- like waking up late for work, getting dressed in a panic, and then, as you reach for the door, realizing it's a Saturday.  Happily surprised, you return back to the comfort of your bed.  Or, the surprising moment when you find a folded and washed dollar bill in your pocket.

Those simple,  ordinary, every day moments are the ones that I often take for granted.

Last week was a difficult week.  I was anxiously anticipating and then attempting to come to terms with Ceci's neurology appointment.  I was snappy and exhausted and sad and demanding.  I complained about my house and it's squeaky floors -- I wished for a new one.  I complained about the "ridiculous" wait to see the doctor -- and wished for a different doctor.  I even went so far as to complain about my husband -- and during my tantrum, I may have wished for a new one of those too.

Romance becomes an entirely new ball game when you have children.  You are no longer concerned with trying out that trendy new tapas restaurant down the road.  Gone are the days when you were able to primp for hours while something other than the Frozen soundtrack blares on in the background.  There's new tactics to learn -- like how to effectively escape the house when a toddler has you in her death grip.  And there's new situations to ponder -- like how much are you really supposed to pay the babysitter?

And when you become the parent of a child with special needs, the game changes once again.  I have to make sure whoever is caring for my child knows all of the specifics -- from how to pick her up to when to adminster her inhaler.  And in all honesty, there are very few people I trust with this monumental task.

This week, l fell susceptible to focusing on what isn't there that I want -- like non-squeaking floors and no wait times.

I sat frozen and saddened by the fact that in the last two years, my husband and I have only been on two dates.

Two dates in two years -- there have been no fancy dinners, no romatic escapes, no relaxing retreats. In two years we have seen seven different doctors and participated in over seven specialist exams.  In two years I have taught a total of at least 374 lessons.  In two years we have paid countless bills, driven many miles,  attended numerous therapy sessions -- and in two years, we have only gone on two dates.

And if I allow myself to sit there long enough, it is easy for the gravity of these truths to weigh heavily on me -- to discourage me.

That's where Brent comes in -- this amazing man, who has been my source of support and comfort.   He has made me laugh and held me when I've cried.  He is the one who listens to my diatribes about Common Core and standardized testing. He encourages me and
celebrates with me.  He loves me when I am impossible to love.  He has taught me to appreciate our small moments together.

But sometimes, I forget.  I get caught up in what isn't there -- the child free nights and the romantic destinations.  I forget that some of our best times have consisted of a Grey's Anatomy marathon and a bag of raisinettes.

Last night, as I sat in the parking lot at Walgreens waiting for Brent, I was in a place of jealousy and sarcasam -- a place where wishes and wants run rampant.  I was thinking of everything that wasn't.

And then, Brent opened the car door, his sideways smile spread across his face, a bouquet of flowers in hand, and I'm reminded that some of the best surprises in life are the simple, small things we have never wished for -- like six red roses in a Walgreens' parking lot.

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