The other day, Jay, James, and I walked up to our neighborhood Starbucks, a mini-outing that seems to make its way into our schedule at least once a week. For a long time, Jay would just push me in the wheelchair and James would ride in my lap, sometimes unwillingly. More recently, I've given myself a chance at extra therapy by walking this route, with the carrot of a Starbucks coffee dangled in front of me as I slowly teeter my way along the uneven sidewalk.
(For this particular Starby run, James insisted on sporting his blue pajamas. Some battles just aren't worth fighting.)
James will often hold my hand as I walk, which I wonder if it's more for his benefit or mine. These experiences in the real world allow James to know that his mommy can engage in life like the other mommies he sees, though I think in the back of his head he knows that he has a mommy who needs him in ways that he can't fully give right now. So he takes my hand and though I'm too slow for him sometimes, he walks beside me, saying "Be Careful Mommy!" Precious and humbling. Nonetheless, as I take my son by the hand and cross the street, open the door for him and buy him a cakepop (all under Jay's watchful supervision, don't worry), I can get lost for a moment in the feeling of being a normal mommy again, and it is so blissfully sweet.
The coffee and cakepop are gone too fast, as is that feeling of being a totally healthy, able-bodied mommy for a quick stop off at Starbucks with her son before jetting off to the next set of errands and appointments. I'm not that mommy but I do get to be James' mommy, and we do get to have our own special coffee date in our own normal way. And thankfully that Starbucks is just a sidewalk away. God is so good to me.
I will be speaking at the MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) at First Christian Church of Huntington Beach on Wed, Feb 8th at 10:30. Feel free to come.