Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Thank You, God, For Keeping Me From Getting Arrested This Morning.

It's The Little Things.

I've been taking 11-year-old Seth to school lately when I am able to. It's a small thing that means a lot to him. The bus is loud, which often discombobulates his autistic mind - and this is not a great way for him to start out the day.

Yesterday morning, life took a tumble for him as his mind decided to download all the emotions surrounding my dad's recent diagnosis of multiple brain tumors. Right there in the drop-off line. We spent the next hour in the parking lot.

Life has been big lately for our family. Uber-big. This situation with my dad is only a week old, and the whole cotton-pickin' family is still reeling and processing. We don't even know the scope of it all yet, but will find out more in a few days.

Since life has been so overwhelming as of late, it's the little things that are taking over. Good and bad. Little good things seem awesome; and little bad things seem like mountains to climb. One dog suddenly deciding to chew things out of the blue feels like the world is sending me yet another huge thing to figure out and deal with; yet, all green lights driving down a stretch of road feels like God is smiling down on me today.

This morning Seth asked me to drive him to school again; and, a tad fearful of another epic meltdown, I was more than happy to oblige.

All went fine until it was Mom who had to head a meltdown off at the pass.

As we sat in our old Honda CRV with the broken gas gauge and broken CD player that clicks (exactly 16 times every time you turn on the engine), we had turned right from the light into the line in the parking lot and were waiting for it to start moving forward as kids were allowed to go inside the school. Patiently waiting, as we all must do ...

The sh$t almost hit the proverbial fan when another parent, in all of her entitled glory, drove straight through the traffic light instead of waiting (since the line was not moving yet) and nosed her shiny, silver Mercedes SUV right. in. front. of. me. Without so much as a glance, wave - nothing. There were cars waiting behind me - still at the light waiting to turn right as I had done, cars waiting to turn left into the school at the light, and her waiting to go straight. But apparently, she doesn't have to wait for the line to move like everyone else.

Um, E.X.C.U.S.E me? 

You don't really understand the term "blood boiling" until this happens to you seven days after your dad was found to have at least seven tumors in his brain (and others elsewhere); two days after he starts whole-brain radiation; two days before you find out a whole diagnosis, treatment plan & prognosis; one day after your son had a complete emotional meltdown in this very parking lot when his autistic brain finally let go of all of the emotion of recent events; and 10 minutes after you just found the ornery dog chewing on the brand new rug you just put down.

Turns out that steam really can come out of your head like in the cartoons.

It also turns out that God's hand really can come straight out of heaven and smack you. As I ramped up to unleash one of the most unhealthy, unparentlike, ugly strings of hateful rants of rage I've ever felt in my life, these words came out of my mouth. And, so help me God, I did not think them or know I was going to say them:

"And this, Seth, is when we show grace."

I think it even startled Seth, because those words did not at all match the fury upon my face or the previous sentence that went something like, "Oh you did NOT JUST DO THAT!"

Supernatural intervention is the only way I can explain my not getting arrested in Hazel Dell Elementary's parking lot this morning.

As I drove around the parking lot to leave after dropping Seth off, even though God had spoken through me just moments earlier, my ugly human self glared at the back of that woman's nice, shiny SUV all the way until she turned one way and I went straight. I spat out loud to myself, "Let. It. GO."

I decided that an expensive coffee was in order. Because God had kept me from beating another human being with my bare, scrawny hands. I think that's worth a $4.52 celebration.

When I got to this unnamed coffee chain, the line was epic. So I decided to just go inside, which is when I realized that:

I'd forgotten to wear shoes. Who forgets to put shoes on? So around this parking lot I went, back into the epic line. It's the little things. And right now, a coffee that I didn't make sounded like a million dollars.

As I waited, a woman pulled in opposite of the line from another parking lot attached to this one. As soon as I could get her attention, I waved her in front of me knowing that there probably wasn't even room behind the line, as it appeared to stretch to the road. She waved to thank me, I smiled and posted my stupid foot picture on Facebook. Because I always share my stupidity with the world.

When I finally got up to the window, I was reaching out to hand the gentleman my card to pay when he said, "The lady in front of you paid for your order and said to thank you for being so kind."

And with that, I remembered once again - It's The Little Things.


This segues nicely into one other thing.

About a year ago - I began paying for the person's order behind me in the unnamed coffee chain line about once a week. I'd like to say that I'm great and this was my idea, but it was my middle dude, Joel, who started this.

I have to pick him up from school every day because he attends a small charter school with no bus service. On our way home one day, we decided to treat ourselves to an unnamed coffee chain coffee. When it was our turn to pay, he said, "Mom, we should pay for the person behind us and maybe that will make them want to do something nice for someone else and it could be a chain reaction." Well, who can say no to that? Hence, our once-per-week "buy behind."

Sometimes it's cool to see it in action. Once when my BFF, Susan, gave me a $20 unnamed coffee chain gift card, when I went to use it, I told the cashier I wanted to pay for the person behind me. She said, "Well, their order is $21.52." I told her that was fine - and went home and told Susan her gift had paid for me to "buy behind" today. That was a cool one.

Another time, I had the person catch up to me on the road and thank me.

Today, I had the opportunity to know how it feels. And now I feel even more determined to keep up our once-per-week tradition that my son started.

The Little Things can be quite big sometimes.