There's that saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" But, it's not ever as if life does give you lemons. What's wrong with lemons? How did a lemon get a bad rap? Why is it that the poor citrus of lemon goodness got the reputation of being the bad one? Your car is bad, must be a lemon. Doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps because I am in the extreme camp of lemon loving. And after this week, I say that if "Lemon" is really the best negative these people can come up with, then these "sayings" were really written by people who have no business writing "sayings".
How about, "When life hands you a dead animal, decaying and rotting under your house for a week, then...put on your friggin' gas mask and get that sucker out."?? I think it has a great ring to it. But, maybe that's just because that was my week. And this was my husband:
What? You don't own a gas mask?? That is because you do not have the extreme pleasure of being married to my husband: eccentric, historian, lover of all things...things, brainiac, weirdo. (Just kidding, honey. I love you and am extremely grateful that I did not have to be the one to crawl under our house to remove the perpetrator. But if I had, I totally would have stolen your gas mask to do it with...I mean, what else is it good for?? ) (Who am I kidding? I would have made chili and burned candles until the smell was gone 3 months later. There would have been no gas mask. No dead animal retrieval at all...)
So... all of that was by 8am. 8. a. m. I should have taken the hours between waking and 8am as a sign.
On the way to take Elijah to program today, I stopped at a stoplight as large wafts of radiator-smelling smoke began enveloping my car. Temperature gauge remained in the steady, so...??? I was already warned that my radiator had a small hole and would need replacing as soon as I had the freedom to leave the car for a whole day. I still owed my mechanic a balance, so I thought now was as good a time as any to get caught up on payment. I drove in under my puff of smoke. These guys love me, but they'd rather never see me, and I feel the same. This place has become a virtual second home. I help myself to coffee. I use their stinky bathroom. We talk about our kids, exchanging stories of whose kid did what and we remind ourselves that we're just not alone in this endeavor called parenting. It's not entirely unpleasant.
Two hours later, I had the car temporarily fixed (still need to take it in for that full day radiator replacement) and I was on my way.
I forgot to mention: All of this happened while my Mother in Law was in town. My Mother in Law, who we see about once a year. Welcome to our stinky house and our broken cars! Make yourself comfortable! Luckily, I am incredibly blessed by a Mother in Law who easily rolls with the punches and manages a nearly straight face as her son dons a jump suit, gas mask and long rubber gloves to retrieve a dead animal from under the house. Love you, Bev!
(We did manage at least one touristy, fun outing to the La Brea Tar Pits...)
We sent Charles' Mom off with love and delved straight back into our busy, daily lives. We have been needing to create a living trust for some time now, and the time had finally come to get the wheels turning in this regard. We made an appointment with a referred lawyer and showed up for our appointment last week. The lawyer came out to the waiting room to greet us, asked a couple of questions and when she noticed that we needed a Special Needs clause she asked what the diagnosis was. I told her our youngest son has Down syndrome. She flipped her hair and said, as she was leading us into her office, "Well, they say that's the Cadillac of all Special Needs!!"
I snort laughed. Or maybe I was having a slight smell memory of the dead Possum we (read: my husband) found under our house. What I should have said (I always, ALWAYS think of the best things to say only after the jaw dropping occasion) was, You shouldn't say that. You shouldn't EVER say that again. Just...trust me. It only works if you might be saying this to an expectant Mother who is feeling devastated by a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Then, and maybe only then, might it be taken in a positive light. I'll just say this: Once a person has a child...with ANY kind of special need, they are IN IT. They have a balanced life just like anyone, with maybe a few extra low lows, but also maybe a few extra high highs. They don't need to be made to "feel better". One could argue that the person is just well meaning and trying to be kind, but I would counter with, What do they have to be "well meaning" and kind about? That is where most parents who have a child with special needs, feel their spines prickle. How about treating them like any other child? How about treating a diagnosis as any other trait, like blond hair? We can revisit and rewrite our lawyer's question and response: What is his diagnosis? He has Down syndrome. (insert new answer) Oh, okay.
It's just so much simpler than most people make it.
No gas mask necessary. :)