The buses that go to Maya's school were damaged in floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy, so we have been without bussing. The day started with the typical morning busy-ness of getting Maya ready for the day, getting her school stuff together, and juggling a nursing newborn. (Well, not literally juggling. Just figuratively.) I dropped Maya off at school and apologized to Will on the way home when I noticed him licking his fists hungrily and whining.
Then back home. Sorted through bills (stressful). Scheduled doctor appointments (stressful). Folded some laundry, took care of Will, and tried to figure out the source of a nagging feeling of impending doom. Finally I realized that it's the hunt for Maya's new school (she's currently in her last year of preschool) (stressfulstressfulstressfulstressful). I went to a school fair thing two weeks ago that left me feeling like the possibilites are slim, and like I'm already behind the ball by having a baby in the fall instead of going on a bunch of fancy school tours (for schools that we can't afford anyway). I felt the panic rising, so I rode the wave, imagined the absolute worst (like Maya in a basement classroom with a few bored aides who have very low expectations) and had a hard, ugly cry. Then, still leaking tears, I fired off emails to a few knowledgeable folks who may be able to help talk me down and steer me in the right direction.
Washed my face and tried to re-group. Packed up to go back into the city.
Realized, when I'm almost there, that I've forgotten Maya's chocolate milk at home. (She has it in the car on the ride home, and since she never wants to leave school it's my kind-of-bribe . . . Come on, Maya---there's chocolate milk in the car!) Will and I stop at Starbucks to pick up a box of chocolate milk, and I think about sitting for a few minutes, but there are no seats available. Then I notice this woman:
Yes, this lady is sitting in Starbucks with her dog. And the dog has his own chair.
I realized I had lost a seat to a chihuahua. That's really the kind of day I was having.
By this time, the sleet was really starting to come down (literally. And maybe figuratively.).
Onto school pick-up, Maya turned the corner, saw me, and laid down on the floor sobbing and yelling "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" I collected her (this is where the chocolate milk bribe comes in handy) and got both kids into the car and made a mental note to order a new coat because mine was definitely no long waterproof.
And then something incredible happened. As we drove home, the sleet during to snow.
And Maya basically lost her mind (in a good way).
She shrieked. She cheered. She was in a complete, total state of pure glee. And when we got home and I took her out of the car and she was standing in the falling snow, she looked like this:
That's pure delight at the magic of snow. That's also exactly how I feel when I see the first snowflakes of the year. I love that we have this in common :)
Then we took the walk home a few steps at a time, because she had to stop and shriek delightedly every few steps------the nonverbal equivalent of a little kid yelling "it's snowing! it's snowing! it's snowing!" She might not have the words, but she certainly has the enthusiam down. I can't watch this without smiling along with her:
We went upstairs, where the day had some more bumps. The dishwasher wasn't working. Maya had a rough time in speech therapy. Will was cranky. Dinner was a battle. And then I decided we should go out in the snow before bedtime:
Watching her appreciate the magic of snowflakes wiped a way a lot of the day's stress.
And so did this smiling face.
(the picture is a few days old, but the smile is the same)
And so did the big glass of wine that I had after the kids were asleep.