We got out into the world today. I had tried to plan an outing that was fun for both me and the two youngest (I wish I could get my teenager out in nature but that's not usually even a slight possibility). The battle plan was to pick up tacos from our favorite food truck on the way, then drive to a nearby park that has a beautiful creek. This creek is perfect for us because it has 1) clear(ish) water that moves and doesn't smell like poop and 2) a shady bank for me to park Julian's chair.
My BFF came over earlier this week and helped me sled out my disgusting car, plus we cleaned out and organized a giant diaper bag to help me be a more efficient mom to two littles with disabilities. Pulling out of our neighborhood with the radio on, the sun shining and a fully stocked diaper bag sitting in the passenger seat beside me, I felt optimistic. Like, look at me planning shit and packing shit. This is going to be PERFECT!
Hurdle number 1: Our usual taco truck was closed. I found another one further down the street, and it did not end up being a good gamble. The wait was over 30 minutes even though I didn't see any other customers there. BUT the stars aligned and the boys sat in the car with me calmly listening to music the entire time, which was like a miracle. Tacos (which turned out to be subpar) in hand, we kept driving.
Hurdle number 2: Our new guy, after breaking his own record and riding calmly for the whole entire drive, decided he was distraught and absolutely NEEDED to be held the moment after I parked the car. Which wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that I needed to get 80 pounds of excited 10 year old, 35 pounds of hysterically upset preschooler, a wheelchair, a lawn chair, a diaper bag, and a bag of tacos down the steep as fuck path to the water. AND my dumb ass forgot the Tula carrier for the little guy because of course I did.
So we made our way down to the water loudly and with many tears and carrying on from all three of us. Poor little guy was in shock that I couldn't pick him up (we are working on attachment so we ALWAYS pick him up) and alternated between clinging to my upper thigh while crab walking and laying on the path sobbing for the entire way down. Julian, excited by all of this background noise, was screaming his head off while joyfully flailing all four limbs, which is exactly what you want when you're pushing someone's wheelchair down a steep incline. We were the hottest of messes.
We finally reached the shady patch of trees beside the little creek, which was completely deserted THANK GOD. I immediately put on the wheelchair breaks, dropped the gear, and sat in the dirt in my actually-cute-for-once sundress outfit, pulling little guy onto my lap for a much needed emergency snuggle session.
I rocked back and forth holding his little body, taking deep breaths to help us both with regulation, singing so that Julian, who is blind, would know that I was nearby.
When I find myself in times of trouble...Mother Mary comes to me.
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be.
I had been mentally beating myself up about this "perfect" plan that hadn't been going so perfectly. But as I sat there, the sun shining on my legs, my little one growing still and calm against my chest, I realized that perfect is relative.
And so we splashed in the creek and listened to the birds. We ate not so good tacos and really good guacamole. I had 15 minutes to sip my Pepsi and read the book I'd brought while J chilled in his chair and baby brother splashed joyfully and threw a million rocks into the water. We explored a little nature trail, my little guy carefully helping me push his brother's wheelchair, determined and proud. I let him strip down when he got gravelly sand in his swim trunks and then immediately regretted it when another group of kids and parents showed up and looked over from down the creek, horrified, and my dude's naked tush.
We had a really great time.
After a couple of hours we packed up and walked/rolled back to the car with no tears from any of us. Which was a big win for a little guy who prefers being carried.
Like many moms, I often feel that my good enough is not really enough for my kids. But today at least, I'm trying not to feel that way. Our day really was good enough, and perfectly imperfect.
I'm choosing to let it be what it was, a fun day with quite a few challenges mixed in.
Let it be.