I’ve learned a few things since Anne’s accident…
1. Anne does not have an “end-point.” In the early months after the accident, it comforted me to think that Anne had a fixed recovery period. Some therapists said one year… others said two years. But it’s been more than two years now, and Anne is still changing – and improving. None of us have “end-points.” I know I don’t! (At least I hope I don’t.) I would like to think I can still improve a little. What makes Anne any different? She will continue to grow and change her whole life. I’m good with that.
2. Anne needs to live life at a different pace than the rest of us. This seems obvious, doesn’t it? But I seem to forget this a lot – and Anne has a very inconvenient way of reminding me…
Like last Thursday afternoon when we had three scheduled activities back to back… Anne decided she needed to go to the bathroom between activity #1 & #2.
Now let me interject… This is wonderful!!!! She is consistently “dry” at home. She goes on the potty all the time at home now- WOO-HOO!!! This is great. Fabulous… Amazing! BUT. It takes her longer than most people to go to the bathroom. First, she has to get there. Then she has to get on the potty, and then she has to really concentrate to relax all of the right muscles – and of course, one of her siblings usually does something crazy to startle Anne – which means she has to start all over trying to relax all the right muscles. And sometimes it takes Anne 2 minutes and other times it takes Anne 15 minutes – but she eventually goes :-)
Well… last Thursday was a 15-minute-potty-day, and I was already running 15 minutes late because Activity #1 went long. So as Anne is sitting on the potty – trying to relax – I’m on the phone trying to figure out who is going to pick up Canon from school so I can get the girls to Activity #2. And then after Anne finally goes potty (HOORAY!) I can’t find Kate, because SHE IS HIDING FROM ME – because she doesn’t want to go to Activity #2 (which is the dentist).
I lost it. No, really, I lost it. The Screaming-Crying kind of losing it. And after I found Kate, and got us all in the car to go to the dentist (and had calmed down), Anne says to me, “Mommy, I think we need to pray.”
It’s all about pace. Anne needs margin, and sometimes I haven’t built-in enough for her, and that is not. good.
Thankfully, we survived Thursday and after considerable prayer and repentence for my screaming and crying… Friday was much better. Which leads me to the third thing I’ve learned…
3. Life is too short to stress over little things like being late. Sometimes we just need to step back, and gain a wider perspective. So on Friday, as I was racing into carpool to drop Canon and Kate off for school (with 1 minute to spare, thank-you-very-much), this song came on the radio. And I love this song. My friends were just chatting on the sidewalk, so I cranked it up, got out of my car and proceeded to dance. Sometimes, you just have to throw caution out the window – and live a little.