~"Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"~Mary Oliver
The summer has progressed..as summer tends to do. I got my broken lap top fixed..the kids did their summer rec program..we swam, we barbecued-everything sort of went at the pace that it always does..Usually by this time..I'd be starting my( part dance-part mantra of "Holy crap school starts in five weeks!") routine of furiously getting them ready for the start of the year while simultaneously laughing giddily because they were "GOING BACK." But this summer, it is different..
When school let out back on June 15th, I was a different person. I know that sounds odd-but there you go. I had the summer pretty much mapped out..and honestly? I looked forward to the beginning of the next school year. Just as I have for many summers..it was routine..it was the way it was..and I was used to it. I was stuck and I didn't even know it.
Looking back, way back-at the girl that I was..to the woman I have become..this is not the life that I had seen for myself. No. I had dreamed of a future filled with adventure and of foreign places..and making my mark on the world. I was a girl who rode roller coasters-and loved it! But things happen..like love and kids. They are the detours that make life the adventure that it is. I don't regret them-not even a little. What I do regret though-is getting caught up in the routine of things. With living life safely-not stirring the pot-not taking chances...with worrying about things that I had no control over anyway. I let myself get lulled.
One of the most important lessons that we have taught the kids is to "be who you are." To be strong in themselves. The world is not an easy place for anyone..add disabilities and it makes it that much harder. We want them to have a strong sense of self-to have confidence-to reach for what they want to reach for and not to let the prejudice of anyone get in their way. Yes, there will be limitations-everyone has them, some more than others. That is o.k. too. Limitations don't define my children-my children define themselves.
So how could I-one of their biggest role models seem to have forgotten those lessons for myself?
I don't know. But I did. It seems that I have been hiding behind expanding their world-while making mine smaller. Yes, I am their mother-their constant. That isn't going to change-nor would I want it to. But everything else? I had forgotten all about roller coasters. Like I wrote earlier-I was a different person on June 15th.
On June 20th, Omar lost his job. (his companies solution to Obamacare? firing their older employees) The bottom fell out..all of a sudden everything changed. Panic, anxiety..FEAR..WTF were we going to do??!!! It was a rough day for us. Omar especially. He had worked so very hard for many years-and this was his reward? How my heart hurt for him. He has been the bread winner-the money maker-our means of support..All of a sudden-without any warning-really no warning whatsoever-the rug had been pulled out from under us. Everything we had-everything we had relied on was...gone. Talk about wake up calls. This was a doozy.
But wake up we did. We both realized that we hadn't really been happy with how our life had been going. Our love for each other and the kids-THAT was the only constant that was important. As Omar put it "I was going to work 70 hours a week-for what? so I could retire and die?" So...we are going to change things...take some risks.. Life is a gift-whether you make it a big one or small one is up to you. We are aiming for extra large. So far, it is going o.k. (we still have the occasional moment of panic) The kids are thrilled that Omar is at home-(Oscar is thriving). We are finding such joy in each other. Joy in looking forward. I don't know what is in store for us or even where we will be a year from now. (The job market in Maine is not the best.) But we have each other, and we will figure it out. Most importantly-we have become the role models we are supposed to be. Practicing what we preach. Next week, we are thinking of taking the kids to an amusement park. I am hoping they are all big enough to ride the roller coaster-because I'm getting on it.