Our church has a family tubing day over the weekend. Crisp air but no wind – a gorgeous day and some good snow cover make it really inviting.
I tell Joey that we will “go out to the mountain and play in the snow.” Instead of watching his videos, he comes out and sits at the kitchen table, his sign of anticipation. When he hangs out in there, other than to eat, he’s saying, “Let’s get dressed and go.” So things look good – at first.
So off we go. Joey and I, that is. Melissa’s disability prevents her from doing this kind of goofy stuff. So the “downhill” theme is kicking in, for those who haven’t yet realized that the title of this post is about the quality of the day rather than the literal activity.
Joey and I get to the recreation area. He allows me to clip his tubing ticket to his jacket. That’s a good sign. He lets me put mittens on his hands – usually out of the question with his sensory issues. Another good sign. I am so looking forward to whooshing down the hill with him.
Joey won’t sit on the tube. He makes his angry face and starts trying to walk out into the snow at the base of the tube runs. He won’t negotiate.
So I have to give in right then and there, because we are holding up an entire line of excited tubers.
Back to the parking lot we trudge. I don’t get to whoosh with Joey. I don’t even get to whoosh for my own pleasure.
Work and care giving have this amazing power to scrub the occasional opportunity for fun right out of my life. In the last few months, I had to bag a hunting trip instead of bag some game. I had an evening open to go shooting with my son and his fiancee’s brother in law, and that misfired. I’ve lost count of the number of dinner reservations and other outings that Melissa and I have had to cancel due to this or that care giving chaos.
If you visited the blog on Sunday, you know I’m dealing with accumulated stress. Tubing downhill in the snow would have released some of that. But thanks to the wonderful world of care giving, instead of going downhill in a tube, well, I’ll just let The Boss sing it for me…