Holy crap...I can't go... :(
~ My personal Facebook status, last Friday afternoon
After yesterday's much more serious and honest post, I had to talk about something a bit more light-hearted today.
About 2 weeks ago, I entered an online contest to win tickets to an intimate acoustic show featuring Matchbox Twenty. I love Matchbox Twenty. There's just something about listening to them that takes me back to college. I remember listening to them in lab or while studying in my apartment. My soundtrack of those years included 3 AM and Push.
I never imagined I'd win. After all, I've won just about nothing in my lifetime. Imagine my surprise when I get an email from a promotions assistant for the radio station letting me know that I had not only won, but that I'd also get to meet the band (!) and get my picture taken with them (!!!). I'm sure the squeals could be heard 50 miles away.
Then, I saw what time the concert started - 11:45 AM. On a weekday. As you can imagine, the swearing ensued.
Here's why - this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was going to affect both therapy and carpool that day. The mommy/martyr in me recoiled from the whole idea. Don't go, Jeanie! Sacrifice yourself and that chance to make eye contact with Rob Thomas!
(Does that make me sound like a creeper? I don't really care.)
So many of my mom friends stepped up to the plate for me. The encouragement I got was incredible. I was hearing that I should do something for me. That taking a day off wasn't going to make or break Jack's progress. That I should go have a good time doing something that was fun.
My confidence rose within me. Maybe, just maybe, Jack could take a day off of therapy and have a midday babysitter in order for me to do something for me. Maybe I didn't have to always sacrifice. Maybe the world wouldn't think poorly of me for doing this. Maybe I was the only person who would look down on me.
Come the day of the show, I began to feel remorse. How could I be so selfish? How could I take that time away from Jack during the portion of the day when he is my sole responsibility? How could I justify that going to a concert was more important than going to therapy?
I felt the guilt monster creeping up on me. He remained there, hanging on to my back as I readied myself that morning. He remained when I picked Jack up at school. He was there when I turned Jack over to someone else to watch him. He even clung to the car as we drove away.
The funny thing is that the further away I got from home, the less that monster kept hold over me. I started to let go. I started to look forward to what was coming and not regret what I was temporarily leaving behind.
I needed to give myself a break. I arranged for someone to watch Jack and I rescheduled OT for the day. I found another special needs mama to join me for the show; it made me feel great that another mama who deserved a chance at a special treat/break could take my second ticket.
I'm so glad I did, too. Otherwise, I might not have been this close to this:
And I might have missed out on this:
And I never would have gotten to do this (and yes, that's me shaking Rob Thomas's hand!):
And all of the above - hanging out with another mama who gets it, shaking hands with a man with one of the most gorgeous voices in music, and getting to kick back for just a few hours - was so good for my sanity and my soul. Did Jack struggle a bit during the rest of the day? Of course. We changed things up on him and that makes the poo hit the fan. Was a little down-and-dirty-autism-reality worth the couple of hours I had earlier? Probably.
Not probably. Definitely.