The other day we decided a change of scene would be good for everyone. Except we can't go anywhere we might encounter germs. The medication Addison is on suppresses the immune system leaving him extremely vulnerable to any kind of illness.
We have had a very mild summer. I do not believe it has gotten above 100 at all and it has only been in the 90s a very few days. Friday was so cool it felt like fall around here. Actually, as I write the girls are curled up by the pool reading... with beach towels wrapped around them because they said it was cold.
Back to Friday. It was beautiful weather and we happen to live a few miles from the C & O Canal. We were looking for a way to boost spirits a bit and take everyone's minds off of all the uncertainties that have become a daily part of life. We decided a bike ride along the canal was just the thing.
Nathaniel spent the entire day making sure all the bikes were in working order. The kids removed seats from the van and the suburban. Because when you have 11 people, that's a lot of bikes. They got everything in and situated and packed a picnic for dinner along the toe path.
Only to discover Addison and Carmella's trailer had blown an inner tube in the wheel.
I seriously want some kind of major mom award for acting like a grown up at this point. Truly all I wanted to do was throw myself down on the pavement and throw a major temper tantrum.
Just saying. Even I have my a limit.
Quite simply, a blown tire was the point where I HAD ENOUGH! Seriously, at that moment I just wanted to weep. But I didn't. Self righteous as this sounds I am going to say it. "Yeah, me!" I put on a smile and sent the family on ahead.
Thank God the place was abandoned. We pulled out a picnic blanket, some library books and a See's lollipop (thank you Nicole!).
We had a great time. We giggled and talked and I was again reminded why Carmella is Addison's big sister. I was sitting on the blanket watching him revert to the behavior of a three month old... and trying to get a smile out of him and seeing only blank stares. I was thinking of how hard he has worked to learn all those skills that now seem no where to be found. Skills that other kids don't have to work for at all. In short, I was getting discouraged and heart broken.
But not Carmella. She just says, "Henry want's to slide." So we slide. And "Henry wants to climb." So we climb. And "Henry wants to sit on the dinosaur." So we sit. Carmella is not bothered about whether Henry pays attention or responds. She just keeps doing what's best for him. Involving him in all the life that is around him and believing that one day he is going to slide and climb himself.
That was good medicine for me.
A change of scenery and a little fresh air went an awful long way. We returned home feeling like a weight had been, if only for a time, removed. And that is something we haven't felt in a long time. It set the stage for a pleasant and relaxing weekend in which we were reminded we are not defined by our circumstances, no matter how dire they may seem at times.
We are defined by the God who made us, the family we are, the attitudes we live and the choices we make.
Oh, and maybe carrying a spare inner tube wouldn't be a half bad idea.