We started up the road and were listening to Christmas music (which actually is one of my pet peeves because I don't believe in listening to it until after Thanksgiving). We listened because the little people wanted to listen to it and yes, anything for a nice screamless hour and a half drive to the in-laws. We were about 20 minutes into the trip (my husband driving, of course) and the engine in the car just turned off out of nowhere - while we were on the expressway - in a construction zone. We were able to make it to the shoulder, that was as wide as half a car and had a guard rail. We started to shuffle all the kids out of the car once we realized that it wasn't going to start up again. Now, my husband had told our oldest to hold the little ones' hands and walk them down the other side of the rail so that they would be safe in case some idiot were to come along and broadside our truck.
This is where it gets scary...(keep in mind that our middle child is autistic). As I am fumbling through the car to get out our drinks, my husband is looking under the hood, and traffic is whizzing by...I hear my husband scream "KYLE STOP!!!" I look up to see Kyle bolting for the interstate and my oldest son run and scoop him up within an inch of Kyle's little life. Kyle was afraid to go toward the wooded area at the bottom of the hill, so opted to run into traffic. Now, as cars were passing, no one was slowing down even though we were hogging nearly half the lane because of the small shoulder and no one stopped. I about had a heart attack! How could I really lay into this child that didn't truly understand what he was doing? I explained to him what could have happened and that he scared me half to death. His response "Mommy, you don't look half dead." All I could do was hug the breath out of him - well, almost.
Once we were past that fiasco, I called our insurance to come tow the car back to the house because surely we had emergency roadside assistance since I am so anal about car insurance having worked for lawyers doing personal injury cases for so many years. Alas, the insurance company advised, that no, we did not have that coverage on this vehicle. Soooo, we ended up paying an arm and a leg to have the car towed back home. While waiting for the tow truck, I think I had a nervous breakdown, or maybe a panic attack, I'm not quite sure. All I know is that I kept crying and felt like I was going to pass out. Of course, I would walk away from the children after making them a seabear circle (those that watch Spongebob will know exactly what I'm talking about) and telling my husband to stay with them so I could break down. We finally made it home safe and sound.
Then, we unloaded the car with the carseats of course, and all
Off we were again, this time, I was much less comfortable.
Kyle was very concerned that Thanksgiving was going to start without us. I told him that I didn't think they would start without us to try to put his little mind at ease. So, again with the Christmas carols singing on the radio, we drove. We arrived at my in-laws and guess what!?!?! The started eating WITHOUT us! Kyle was disappointed. I made the little ones their plates, got them all set up with drinks and all and I noticed our big boy didn't have a plate in front of him. I asked him where his food was and his response was a shrug of the shoulders. At this point, I'm starving because I hadn't eaten yet. I only had coffee running through my veins, but, me being the mother I am, offered to make him a plate and I wasn't surprised that he accepted. I made his plate. Then I began to make my plate and by this time, my husband was half way through with his. I thought, ok, one last check on the kids to make sure they didn't need anything before I filled myself with much needed sustinance. But no, it was not to be yet, the little people wanted seconds of certain things. So, as my food got even colder than it already was, I now had to serve my little people seconds.
Finally I got to sit down and eat my dinner when one of my nephews came up to me (he has very bad speech delays, is very difficult to understand and according to his mother, refuses to use sign language) and wanted to eat off my plate. That I didn't have a real problem with, especially since he is this little thing that really needs to put some meat on his bones. He sat on my lap and helped me finish my plate.
Now, I have to explain a little about this sister-in-law. She is my husband's sister. She has 3 children. One beautiful little girl, one active older boy, and a son that she acquired through her husbands baby momma. She is not allowed to come to our home. I play nicely with her for the children's sake, but I do not like her at all. I do not agree with her parenting (i.e. doesn't bathe her children nearly as much as they need bathed, doesn't brush or have her children brush their teeth, gets these diagnosis' on her children to collect social security on them so she doesn't have to work, is the epitomy of trailer trash - no offense to those living in trailers, my mother lives in one with my step-father and my father lives in one with my step-mother - I speak of the stereotypical trailer trash that don't care about anything/anyone but themselves and are extremely dirty people who live off the government because of laziness).
Anyway, back to my story...after dinner, I was doing dishes and my wonderful (insert sarcasm) sister-in-law was just standing around, my nephew came up to me and wanted some more bites to eat. I told him it was all gone and used sign language with him as I spoke. My mother-in-law was so impressed with that, that she signed "very good, thank you" to me. Throughout the afternoon that we were there, I would speak and sign to him. All he wanted was to be around me.
By the time they left, as I was saying goodbye to them in their car, he started signing to me that he was hungry. I told (and signed to) him no, to wait until he got home. Now, as my sister-in-law had told me that he refused to sign, here he was signing with me after only about an hour visit. So, that frustrated me. I felt that she was too lazy to learn sign language and just didn't feel like doing it. By this time, I was angry because I felt these children (she has three and we think she has another on the way, but has not told us yet), deserved better than this. She did tell me that she has it set up if anything were to happen to her, that my husband would get the kids. As awful as it sounds, I secretly hoped that we would get the kids to be able to give them the care they needed and deserved. God forgive me for my thoughts. They left and we spend a few more hours spending time with family (I do adore my in-laws).
It was now time to squeeze back into the car. I knew that the little people would fall asleep on the way home and had prepared myself for that. Here I sat, one shoulder behind the right car seat, one shoulder in front of the left car seat, my left arm was being used as a head rest for our middle child and my right hand was holding up our youngests head up. I tried to lay my head down on the right car seat head rest, but it ended up being more like my head was at a ninety degree angle with my shoulders.
We made it home, put the kids in bed and after reflection of the day, I became thankful. These are the things I am thankful for:
Kyle did not get hit or killed by rushing traffic.
The car broke down while with my husband instead of on one of my many 3 1/2 hour trips to our youngest's doctor appointments.
We are pretty darn good parents.
My in-laws are proud of both my husband and me (this must be a rarity).
Our oldest reacted quickly and calmly under what was an extreme emergency situation.
Our oldest saved his brother's life.
Our children and what we can give them.
How well we take care of our children.
How much our children love and trust us.
Having the children that we do have.
How, now I get to drive my husband's mustang until my car gets fixed (which probably won't be until tax return time).
A job that gives me money in my pocket every night I work.
My husband is a good man and loves us very much.
I went to bed shortly after we got home because of the emotions that ran through me that day.
Boy, it sure didn't feel like a turkey day to me for the first time in I can't remember how long.