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Click here to read Part 1.

With the thought of putting our middle son (“Dark Child”) in public school, I started considering what I would do with my days. Specifically I started thinking about what kind of job I could get if he were in school and not home every day.

…until I got a text from my oldest son at school; some of the hardware of his braces snapped apart in the middle of class.

He could barely talk because of the way it was hanging, and if he had tried to eat the hardware would have stabbed the roof of his mouth. I needed to go pick him up ASAP and make an unplanned trip to the orthodontist. With the picking up, the drive, the repair, the drive back, and the dropping back off at school, this was a nearly three hour ordeal.

I sent my husband a text to let him know what was up and said (half jokingly, half not…), “this is why I realistically can’t get a job.”

If something like this happens, I need to be available to take care of it. In the event of an emergency, yes there are other people who can step up. But those people also have their days full with work, responsibilities, etc… so unless it’s an emergency, like I said, I need to be available. (Then there’s the normally scheduled trips to the orthodontist, dentist, doctor, eye doctor, vet, etc, etc, etc…)

That’s just one event, I’m sure you’re thinking, a fluke. A rarity. No big deal.

I thought the same thing at first. Then a few days passed…

Monday morning of the next week rolls around. The two school boys are walking down the steps to catch the bus. The youngest slips on the last step, falls and scrapes his back on the stairs. It looked for all the world like he tripped over air. Granted, we aren’t the most graceful family, but wow.

So I step outside to check on him, help him stand up, lead him in the house, and tell the oldest to go ahead and get on the bus and go on to school. I give the youngest a hug and some tylenol, make sure he’s okay, give the medicine some time to kick in, then drive him to school later that morning.

Okay, two flukes….?

THAT SAME WEEK: I was outside walking the puppy, thinking again about the things I would have time to accomplish once the Dark Child was in school. (Granted, this time was slightly different, because I wasn’t just considering an outside job, but also things around the house, again with the “once he’s in school” caveat.)

The elementary school nurse calls WHILE I AM MID-THOUGHT. I stare at the caller ID on my phone for a second, my thoughts switching from “oh the things I could do” to “no, this is my actual life.” My youngest had suddenly gotten choked up on his snack and he ended up puking all over his clothes and shoes. I needed to bring him some fresh clothes and also see if I think he should be checked out for the day.

There’s other things that have happened in the past couple of months; smaller things, random things, things that I haven’t shared for whatever reason, but these three “big events” paint a decent picture of what’s been going on recently.

The universe has been telling me something. Now it’s time to fully decode the message and wrestle with future plans that I’d thought were decided and done.

(Part 3 should be up some time next week.)

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