Yesterday, I was brewing on a blip with the system that we’ve encountered since moving to Vancouver. The school’s daycare refuses to consider Aaron for before/after school care unless he ‘secures his own funding’. And the wait list for government funding for childcare for kids with disabilities is months, even years, for a kid his age. This lack of care, of course, affects our work schedules in a dire way.
Ruminating on this stupid fact sent me spiralling into a rage. This rage started to border on outrage, and I began furiously texting my (one) friend here about this great injustice, and feeling meanness wash over me. I started fixating on all the things that were wrong in my life, like being far away from my beloved Ella, and missing her deeply every day. I started fretting about my eldest son, who is in scarce email touch and somewhere in America on tour with his band. The thought started creeping in that I wasn’t creating change fast enough in my new job. That I had to practice my talk for an upcoming conference. That the toilet upstairs wasn’t flushing properly. Then I looked down at my jiggly thighs. You know that this thread of negative thoughts was going nowhere fast.
I didn’t like feeling that way. I know of some people who are permanently in a state of rage, and I’m sad for them. But I also see how easy it is to push over that edge.
So in the midst of my self hate-talk, I laid on my bed and did this:
Not ironically, I won this picture in a door prize at a special needs mom spa day that my (one) friend here kindly invited me to last month. It was a lovely day of pedicures, massages and nice food. And bonus, I even won a coveted door prize that is now hanging in my office at work.
Wait, I have an actual office at work? With a window? And a walls to hang pictures up on? Yes I do. And I have a job with flexible hours and wide autonomy, where my arrival from Edmonton was trumpeted by a great welcome from the staff? Uh-huh. And this job brought our family to Vancouver, land of blossoming cherry trees and mountains and excellent sushi and infinite beauty? And we are now living close to my only brother and his wonderful family, including my little two year old niece Olive? And I am now closer to my mom and dad on Vancouver Island than I have in 20 years, and I’m awfully happy about that because we are all getting older? Yes, yes and yes.
All this occurred to me when I was being still on my bed. I remembered all the kindnesses that have been bestowed on us over the past month – how other moms that I barely know have given me hugs, so easily welcomed me into their circles, taken me for coffee, and helped me figure out the lay of the land. When I was still, I could feel that rage about the daycare dissolving away.
Then yesterday my brother took Aaron out for his 12th birthday gift. I should note that Aaron is obsessed by luxury cars. He tells me he’s going to work at a Mercedes store when he grows up.
His Uncle Geoff took him to a Porsche dealership, where Aaron took a tour, was feted by the sales staff there, and given a Porsche hat and model car. Geoff’s friend James whisked Aaron off for a speedy drive through the streets of Vancouver in his brand new red Porsche. Aaron arrived home very pleased after his birthday experience. At dinner, I asked him: How was the tour of the dealership? How was the ride in the Porsche?
Aaron looked at me, his mouth full of pizza, and said: Lucky.
I said, lucky?
I am lucky, he repeated.
He is a lucky kid. I am a lucky mom. We are all lucky. The next time I am starting to forget that, I’m just going to be still for a while. I think that’s when I find the peace in my heart.