Today was one of those days that I had pictured in my mind as perfect, but I had forgotten that my real life children don't always allow my days to go as pictured. This week the boys are having their last days of school and summer camp at my preschool is starting, and David has been participating in a bike camp program to learn how to ride a 2 wheeler......needless to say, for many families, one of these events would have been a lot to cope with, but to have all 3 going on at the same time, well, it has been sure to cause some stress. Add on top of this that Matthew had a dentist appointment yesterday, and so David's respite worker didn't come, and I had a meeting to go to last night, and well, I guess I should have predicted the shit storm that was today......but of course, I didn't.
The day started off rocky.......David is changing schools next year, and while he is aware of this to some extent, I never know how aware or how much he understands. I figured he would get up and get going today like it was any other day. What I didn't realize is that he would be sad about it being the last day, and he would "tell me" he was sad by popping open 5 juice boxes all over the kitchen the minute I got in the shower. I also didn't realize that when I reacted to the popped juice boxes with exasperation, that he would then start to sob and run away and throw every sock he owns all over his bedroom.
It was only at this point that Jacob had the presence of mind to ask David if he was sad that it was the last day of school, and that was enough for the flood gates to open.....unfortunately, this all happened at 8:16 and I had to be out of the house at 8:20, and David was still not dressed, and was now crying and I still had my hair to finish.......I did my best to give the "it's the last day of school mommy knows you are sad, but we have to get going" pep talk, with some amount of pep, all while trying to get David dressed and willing Jacob to get on his shoes, while keeping my voice calm and steady as I put together my work to do list in my head and started to figure out what could wait until tomorrow....finally, at around 8:23 we ran out the door, and I dropped the kids to my mom, with me saying I love you to David 3 times, and him pointedly not saying it in return......oh well.........I figured I would make it up to him in the afternoon.
Then, I was set to leave work at 11:30 because matthew ended school at 11:15, but at 11:40 I was still at work, so as I ran out the door, I called the bus company to tell them I would be late and to just let matthew off the bus and to tell him to go inside and wait for me. I told myself that the "last day of school photo" would have to wait, and drove home as fast as I could, making it home BEFORE the bus, somehow, with enough time to capture the picture, and to find out that Matthew had a rough day at school......of course.....his last day as well, and he too is changing schools, so of course it was rough because why would we end on a good note?
Then I rushed to the bus stop to get David and Jacob off of their buses, and totally forgot my camera, so I have no "last day of school photo" of either of them, and was greeted by a very happy David, but a miserable Jacob who "hates his last name" and had the worst day ever.......can you tell that my "I am so glad I took the afternoon off to spend it with my awesome kids", mood was beginning to sour?
From the moment all 3 kids were home it was a chorus of "what are we doings", which I answered at least 100 times with "we are taking David to bike camp and then we will see" because I had planned to take the boys to a Valleycats baseball game as an end of year surprise, but:
1. each child was rough around the edges and I wasn't sure a baseball game made sense
2. it was supposed to storm and likely the game was going to be cancelled
and I knew if I promised a game and then it was cancelled all hell would break loose!
I then made the mistake of taking all 3 boys to bike camp......I have waited years for David to ride a bike on 2 wheels, but way more important than that, David has waited a year to learn to ride a bike, and today was the day he RODE, and as he was just getting up for his first ride on 2 wheels I was breaking up a fight over who's turn it was to play on my phone and I totally missed it......(yes, I posted a video on facebook, it was his second ride.....ok, I missed his FIRST ride....totally MISSED it!)
On the way home I told the kids we would head to the pool, but of course it started to downpour, so that plan had to change......finally we just came home, and amazingly enough that is when the magic of the last day of school happened! David built an incredible train track, Matthew built his traffic light structure and Jacob drew a poster all about Smokey the Bear! All 3 boys were happy, each doing the thing that they needed to do to cope with the fact that today was a day of change and change is uncomfortable.
We ended the day with a bedtime story and happiness, and I am doing the best to avoid looking at all of the facebook posts of "last day of school fun", and I am reminding myself that behind all of the pictures is likely a few stories of days like ours.........
- I am a single mom of three amazing boys! All three of my sons entered my family through adoption. All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!