Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cousin It and the Bride of Frankenstein are in the car!

In my last post I told you that our family is dealing with a tremendous amount of stress right now. Since then my mom has been in and out of the hospital...and is currently back in.

When it rains it pours. In our case, it feels like a hurricane.

I feel like a raw nerve at this point.

However, something happened this morning that gave me a moment of humorous relief, and I thought I would share it with you. I find it important to focus on the good stuff to get me through the bad stuff. So, here is my attempt to do that.

Monkey is in orchestra. Orchestra practice happens twice a week before school starts, and in the case of Monkey's school, that time is 0-dark-thirty (a.k.a. butt crack of dawn).

Up until recently, we have driven to his school under cover of darkness because we were always up before the sun. It pains me to even type that. I would rather have been in my warm and comfy bed any of those days...

Well, I realized this morning that spring has sprung, and we no longer drive in darkness.

It was a typical Pacific Northwest morning: overcast, gray and misty. So, I did what I always do when I am stumbling around, bleary-eyed in the morning. I attempted to make Monkey's lunch and get him to eat breakfast, wake up Prince Charming to get his coat and slippers on, and then we headed off to orchestra. I put the defrost and heater on high so that I could see something through the windows of the car, and we got our trip underway.

Now, for the visual:  I am wearing some God-awful sweat pants that look like they've been through a war and have shrunk through repeated washings, which makes them unfashionably highwater. I have on my husband's old flannel shirt that he didn't want anymore but I thought it was too comfy to toss out. My slippers are fuzzy, but well-worn in that matted down, filthy fleece kind of way. And, the best part - I am sporting the most awesome naturally curly, long-haired bed head you have ever seen. I haven't even bothered to run a comb through my hair or even brush my teeth. Makeup? Ha! I laugh in your general direction. I am the antithesis of "put together."

So, we are driving along through the fog and the gray and I start to get a glimmer of light coming through the windshield. Could that be the sun? As we get closer to Monkey's school, the sun gets brighter and the fog gets thinner. It's actually quite a beautiful morning and I am silently reflecting on that.

We pull up in front of the school and I park in the line of cars with other parents waiting to let their children off for orchestra. The sun is brightly streaming through my sun roof and that's when I looked at myself in the rear-view mirror.


To describe my hair as "finger-in-a-light-socket, sideways-mohawk, Bride-of-Frankenstein frizzy" does not even begin to touch what I saw. There I was in all of my backlit-by-the-sun glory, exposed by the sunlight to all of the cars around me. Those poor parents and kids that saw me must likely still be in shock.

I wasn't even this cute - she has makeup on!
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I averted my eyes from my own freak show to glimpse at Prince Charming in the back seat.

He likes to bring a throw blanket with him in the car when we take Monkey to orchestra. This habit originally started out as a "I'm sleepy and cold" thing and ended up being a sensory thing. He would throw the blanket over his head, much like you would if you wanted to pretend to be a ghost. It helped him block out the bright car lights that we would see in the dark mornings, and he liked the feeling of a warm and soft enclosure. It was a sensory tool he figured out on his own, so I have supported him continuing to use it in the mornings that we make the early drive.

As I looked at Prince Charming, the only thing I could think of was that he looked like Cousin It. He was covered up by a fuzzy blanket and it struck me as funny.

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Apparently the sunshine made me a little loopy or something.

Here I was, the Bride of Frankenstein with my raggedy clothes and wild hair, and Prince Charming was a more colorful version of Cousin It.

I felt bad for Monkey having to asssociate himself with us in light of our early morning, roll out of bed version of crazy. Had he been a neurotypical junior high schooler, he would likely have asked me to park down the street so he could walk to school so that we didn't embarrass him. Thankfully, that is not an issue we have to deal with (yet).

I think maybe next time I take him to orchestra I should at least comb my hair. Darn that sunshine!

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