“Simply an Ordinary Day!”
It’s just an ordinary, no frills house plant. In fact, it’s probably the most ordinary one of them all. Yet, as I pulled out the watering can and began to water my plant today, I was struck with just how perfectly ordinary that moment was. I like having plants in my house… always have. The beautiful living greenery makes a stuffy house feel a bit more alive somehow. Why was this moment so moving for me??? There was a time when a moment such as this was completely and utterly out of my reach!! I remember that time vividly because A friend had moved and gave me all 10 of her houseplants. I was so excited to bring them home only to discover several weeks later that, to my horror, they were all dead! I hadn’t even had a moment to notice them! I actually cried!!
When my son was younger, I was completely and utterly consumed with just getting him and us through each day. Autism was my life! We went through about 4 years of this, where every single moment was consumed. He was up really early and went to bed really late and everything in between was filled with anxiety, anger, sadness, misunderstandings, etc. During the nights, I slept with one eye open listening for his movements to make sure he was safe. Most of the time, I had absolutely nothing left for anyone outside of my little family circle. I was drained and unavailable. During the small moments I was able to come up for air, I remember looking on at my peers in envy. Yes, envy is not a good look on anyone, but there I was. They were able to have simply ordinary days. Kids would be dropped off at school and they would head off to the gym, to lunch dates with friends, to places of employment. They had girls nights and craft nights and movie nights and such. Babysitters could be brought in to watch children for date nights and teachers sent home praise for good behavior.
I’m sure that their lives were anything but simple as I now recognize more fully that we all have difficulties to deal with…. but at that moment, what I wanted more than anything was to simply have an ordinary day. I longed for days when father and son could wrestle on the floor, laughing and playing, connecting as fathers and sons do. I longed for days when siblings had their spouts but then moved on. In short, I longed for days when my son could make it through a day, navigating this world without his constantly needing my help and attention…. simply an ordinary day.
In my younger days, I used to wonder how it was that so many families with special needs children seemed to be on the fringes of life. They would seem a bit too quiet or a bit too feisty but almost always a little bit on the outskirts of the action. Now, I get it! I am in a much different place than I was during those 4 years and I find that even though it has been awhile, I struggle immensely to fit into an ordinary life. I can’t go back to those carefree times, too much has happened. Too much has changed. I find that I don’t really feel comfortable in simply having an ordinary day. It’s a bit like feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. Maybe one day, those things will come back to me but for now, I sit here entirely aware of the significance of simply having an ordinary moment such as this…. watering my simply ordinary houseplant!!
Have you ever felt on the outskirts…. Wishing to simply have an ordinary day?