The little things. If there’s one important thing I’ve learned during my vast experience parenting two special needs daughters and a special needs dog (he has eye contact and bilateral motor integration issues), it’s to celebrate them. I’m not just talking about the little accomplishments of my children — the late adolescent shoe tyings, the days without calls from the school, or even those rare occasions when they remember to put toilet paper on the roll. I’m talking about the little accomplishments I achieve as their highly imperfect mother. You see with two special children, two careers, and two serious Reality TV show addictions, my life can get very hectic and well…imperfect. As a result, some of the things that come so easily to other women — cleaning, grooming, breathing — are not always so easy for me. But in the spirit of embracing my imperfection and what little sanity I have left, I’ve decided not to dwell on the things I don’t do so well, but to celebrate the rare things I do do well. So, at the risk of you telling me to Shut Up About My Perfect Little Things, I’ve decided to share five of my proudest accomplishments this past week.
1) I wore real pants three times last week. Now before you go around visualizing me pantless, (I wouldn’t wish that on anyone), I must remind you that we are a G-rated blog. What I mean is that I actual wore real pants. For those unfamiliar with this phenomenon, real pants are those that come with zippers, buttons, and pockets as opposed to elastic waistbands. As a writer who works out of my home, it had been some time since I had to wear real pants. Thankfully, zippering is like riding a bicycle; you never forget how to do it. And given the difficulty I had with my zippers, I was also reminded me that I probably needed to spend more time on a bicycle.
2) I styled my hair. I’m not just talking shampoo and conditioner, I’m talking blow dryer and round brush. My husband noticed right away. “Gina, you look great. Did you do something different?”
“Yes, I brushed my hair.”
“Well, that look looks great on you. You should do it more often.”
3) I had a real date. Before you get excited about salacious gossip, it was with my husband. (If you really know me, you’d know that I am far to distracted to carry on affairs. I’d mix up who I was supposed to meet and where). Now, I’m the first to admit with one daughter away at college and another with a busy social life, my husband and I now spend a lot of time alone. While we have had a series of dates recently — shoveling the driveway, shopping for toilets — this one was extra special. We actually went out for dinner and a movie. I must admit, when he requested that we sit in the back row, I was a bit nervous.
“Mike, why are we sitting way back there? You don’t want to make out do you?”
“No, the sound isn’t as loud back there.”
4) I remembered my daughter’s therapist appointment. For once, I didn’t need the therapist’s reminder system — the email, automated phone call, missed appointment bill, or singing telegram. Of course, it may have helped that I asked the 130,000+ members of our Facebook page to remind me. Thanks to all who participated.
5) I cooked dinner. I made pork chops. And even though I set off the smoke alarm (special thanks to my City’s Fire Department for their responsiveness), I felt good that I was finally able to have my husband come home to a meal that didn’t arrive on wheels. He would later fire me for making the pork chops taste like “hockey pucks,” but he did appreciate the effort, especially since hockey season is in full swing.
So there you have it. That’s my special parent brag list for the week. Let’s hear yours.