There Are Good People In The World- Christmas 2008

There Are Good People In The World- Christmas 2008

Often people wonder if there are any good people left in the world.

It was the Christmas season of 2008. My husband was out of work. I was working as a Nanny for a family. I was able to bring my children to work. This saved on childcare.

My son at, 2 1/2, had caught a cold. Like every other cold he developed, it immediately caused an Asthma flare up. It was a long night. I sporadically slept with him in my arms as he struggled to breathe. Giving him breathing treatments at least every 4 hours.

Exhausted I dragged myself and my children to work along with the nebulizer. I should have called in sick. But with my husband out of work, I really needed to work. And he’d gotten an odd job for the day.

Around noon I realized my son was struggling to breathe despite the treatments. I left work and rushed him to the E.R. calling my husband on the way.

Once examined, they immediately admitted him. We started him on oxygen, multiple nebulizer treatments, and steroids, as his oxygen saturation levels were low. As it was prime season for RSV, they tested for that.

The nature of RSV is that it is a virus that anyone can get but in children age 0-2 it’s particularly dangerous. His test results came back positive. To prevent the spread of the virus to other children he was moved to an isolation room. He was 2 1/2 years old. It wasn’t supposed to be dangerous anymore for him, but it was.

Oxygen levels had to continually be monitored, so he had a pulse ox on his big toe, along with oxygen being given through his nose, and nebulizer treatments round the clock at a minimum of every 4 hours with a mask. If you have never held up a mask for your child to breathe into for half an hour at a time, you don’t know what hell it is. They don’t want that mask anywhere near their faces, let alone the oxygen in their nose.  Lots of screaming ensues.

Then there are the normal blood pressure checks and heart monitors. Lots of chords were hooked up to this little boy who didn’t understand why he couldn’t get up and play, and couldn’t breathe. All night long and day after day this was where he and I stayed, cuddled together on a hospital bed watching Disney movies and trying to catch some sleep between treatments, blood pressure checks, and other interruptions.

Two nights before Christmas the hospital and other caring people put on a holiday party for the parents who were stuck in the hospital with our children. Nurses and other staff members stayed with our children to give us a chance to leave our child’s room. We were served Outback Steakhouse for dinner instead of hospital food (which after being there for a week was like manna from heaven). Then, we were led into a room where we could go Christmas shopping for our kids, 2 gifts per child. Not just the child who was in the hospital, but also for any other children you might have as well. All free of charge. Generous people had donated these gifts, knowing that our families likely were not going to be able to get out of the hospital to go Christmas shopping and money might be tight due to medical bills.

The next day, Christmas Eve, our son was finally released from the hospital, although still sick, his oxygen levels were staying high enough that they felt they could let him go home. We were so happy just to be home for Christmas in our own beds, with no more hospital food. This would have been Christmas enough for us.

Christmas gifts didn’t end there. Kind friends, knowing that we had been in the hospital and had not had time to buy or make a Christmas dinner, dropped it by that night for the next day. Yet more friends knowing my husband was out of work and money was tight, brought us Christmas gifts. Yet another kind stranger knowing that we needed new tires for our car,  left an anonymous donation to cover the cost.

Tears of gratitude filled our souls as we prepared for Christmas that night. The next morning we were overwhelmed as we opened the gifts that were given with such generosity to us.

Some people think there are no good people left in this world.

I write this, wanting my children to know-

How To Find The Perfect Gift For Her

How To Find The Perfect Gift For Her

Last week I shared with women how to avoid the gifts that you really didn’t want from your significant other. Or the arguments because you didn’t know what to get her and now she’s hurt because you didn’t know what she wanted. This one is for all the men with women in your lives.

You don’t know what to get her for Christmas. She’s really hard to buy for. So I’ll help you out. I’ve divided it up into categories as not all women are the same. You should be able to tell what type of gift your significant other might like from there.

First Step- Listen

We tell you all the time about things we like, enjoy or think look nice. Pay attention! We’re giving you clues here. I know you have other things on your mind and may not realize it. But if you can pay attention to what she is saying and figure out what she would like based on what she is telling you, you’re going to score major points.

Second Step- What type of Woman is she?

So it’s a bit late and you didn’t clue into the things she was telling you. No problem, I’m here to help you. What type of woman is she? What I mean by that- Is she someone who loves jewelry and clothes? Someone who would rather have something practical that she needs? Does she like the theater or arts? Is self-care important to her? Chances are she’d like more than one of these categories.

For the Woman who loves Jewelry and Clothes-

This is probably the hardest for me because I am not this woman. Try a place like Stitch Fix. Buy her a gift card for a  couple of boxes that will come throughout the year with surprises. She tells them her likes, dislikes, and size and they do the shopping for her. For someone like me who hates shopping, this is also a great gift for people like me.

For the Woman who loves Practical Things-

This woman would love things like a Roomba to do her vacuuming for her. She never has to think about it again once it’s set up.

Does she cook? An Insta-Pot is a great timesaving device. Less mess, fewer dishes, food cooked faster. It’s a win, win!

Try a dinner subscription service like Blue Apron. Every woman wonders what to make for dinner some nights.

For the Woman who loves The Arts-

A play, concert tickets (to something she wants to go to, not your favorite band. . .). A performance of The Nutcracker, or a sing-along to Handel’s Messiah.

Books. For this type of woman she likely loves books. If you don’t know what books to buy, try buying a Kindle, or a gift card to Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

For the Woman who loves Self-Care-

There are lots of options for you for this woman and for every level of budget. A full day at a Spa? Or maybe just a facial or massage. Money is tight? Buy her a pedicure or manicure. Not sure what to get her? A fairly safe bet is a nice relaxing massage. It’s a stressful time of year. Less stress means more time with you tonight. . . Check out your local spas. Not sure where to send her? Ask her best friend. She’ll point you in the right direction.

General Pointers

This is a busy time of year. There are lots of extra things to do and never enough time to do it in. Want to make her extra happy?

Call and tell her you are bringing home dinner tonight- or better yet, get a babysitter and take her out.

Don’t have time for that? Pitch in and do some dishes or scrub a toilet. Do that and she’ll be wanting to put the kids to bed early for a night with you.

Bring home flowers (as long as she isn’t allergic), for her, the table or just to brighten up the house.

Good luck!

Subscribe to An Ordinary Mom via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to An Ordinary Mom and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 855 other subscribers

It Is Important That It’s His Story To Tell

It Is Important That It’s His Story To Tell

“I feel it’s important to note that I am a parent of a child with Autism. I can tell you what my experiences are trying to Parent a child with Autism and a host of other medical diagnosis. But I can’t speak for him. He is going to have to learn to do that for himself.” Read more. . .

You Want Gifts, But He Can’t Read Your Mind

You Want Gifts, But He Can’t Read Your Mind

“I had so much frustration over gifts. It was never that I wanted something big, flashy or expensive. But I didn’t want to have to spell out things I wanted and needed. To me, that ruined the whole purpose of the gift. I wanted someone to see me and innately know those things I wanted and desired. The problem is that most people aren’t mind readers.” Read more…

Saying Goodbye to Grandma When You Have Autism

Saying Goodbye to Grandma When You Have Autism

“Grandma’s house would no longer be hers, filled to the brim with goodies, fun things and a Grandma to love him. His world was changing in a way he didn’t understand.” Read more. . .

A History of The Wedding Ring and 16 Years

A History of The Wedding Ring and 16 Years

“We were young and in love. You proposed by asking if I was sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I said yes of course, but I had no idea that was a proposal! We quickly moved on to the planning stages because weddings take a lot of planning.”

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry- Children With Special Needs

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry- Children With Special Needs

Every morning I wake my son up at 5:45 am and push him to hurry, hurry, hurry. He needs to be able to make the bus at 6:45 am. Mornings are not his thing. Hurrying is almost impossible for him to do. At least it seems that way, and I’ve had various teachers and therapists nod their heads in agreement.

This morning as I snuck back to bed while he was in the shower for a few minutes, the thought that pressed on my mind was, “I need to tell him to hurry up. He’s already been there for 20 minutes.”

But then I stopped. There was singing in the shower. He was happy. He was calm.

This is not something that usually happens during our mornings. He’s not happy and singing. He’s moving like a sleepy turtle that can barely walk and often refuses to head into the shower.

I looked at the clock. He had 30 minutes until the bus came. I could give him 10 more minutes in the shower. He had time. I could calm down my urge to make him rush.

Those of us with children with Special Needs often find we are rushing them. Trying to make appointments, trying to make developmental milestones, trying desperately to get everything accomplished we need to in the very short 24 hours we are given.

Today made me pause. It made me say to myself, “Breathe. It’s been a good week. It’s okay to take your time this morning. He’s going to make it.” I don’t do that enough.

For this morning,

I Give Thanks

Subscribe to An Ordinary Mom via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to An Ordinary Mom and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 855 other subscribers

How To Change Your Children’s Mind About Literature

How To Change Your Children’s Mind About Literature

“Especially in the case of my son, the public library has now become one of his all-time favorite places. Every week we go there and find new adventures to go on. When he was 3, there was a trip to the library that will forever go down in infamy. He didn’t want to leave his favorite place and he was going to do everything he could to stay. And I mean everything. It took the librarian, the security guard, and myself to catch his energetic body. The library is his kingdom. His second home.” Read more…

How To End The Fear Of One Shoe Dropping

How To End The Fear Of One Shoe Dropping

“If you too have a child with Special Needs and struggle with this, I would invite you to join me. Let’s change our thinking. The worst may happen. But worrying about it isn’t going to help anyone. Let’s learn to take the “blips” in stride and leave tomorrow to worry about itself.” Read more. . .

The Minivan Blues, Every Father Has It

The Minivan Blues, Every Father Has It

My husband has always said we would never own a minivan, and that he would never drive a minivan. There is that saying, “You should never say never,” right?

We only have two kids so we should be able to fit in a smaller car right? There’s only four of us. But we also have my son’s service dog Charlie who goes with us everywhere we go. He’s a Golden Retriever, so he’s not exactly small.

While we did technically fit in a car, it was a really tight fit for the kids and the dog. Add to that, that our kids are only getting older and bigger. They don’t come from a short genetic pool. Their legs are quickly catching up with mine. I expect that both of them will be taller than me one day soon.

Then there are all the health issues our son has. . . For many of them, what car we drive doesn’t matter. There’s just one really important one- Autism meltdowns. A meltdown in a car with him in the back seat becomes dangerous for his sister and dog. There is nowhere they can go to get out of his way. It is dangerous for all of us because his feet and hands can reach me while driving and I’ve dodged many a kick to the head while driving.

 

We REALLY, REALLY wanted to get a new SUV with 3rd-row seating. But when we tried them out, we discovered that that 3rd row is really hard to access except for a very few and those few were beyond our price range. We knew it was imperative for safety reasons that we have a bigger car and our only option was a minivan. (Did I mention that it replaced a Dodge Charger that has been my favorite car to drive to date? This was dream crushing.)

My husband still said he would never drive it. (Famous last words.) It is still his least favorite car and he would much rather drive our truck. But for us, the minivan works. Our son and his dog get the back row to themselves. The dog loves the minivan so much, that if we throw a treat back there and it misses him, he leaves it there until getting out of the car. And this dog LOVES his food! Our daughter sits in one of the middle captain chairs. This gives her some space from her brother. Should things really get out of hand, she can escape to the front seat when my husband isn’t along for the ride.

The storage room, um, AMAZING! I can do my monthly Costco and Winco trips together and could easily hit up a couple more stores if I wanted. Shortly after we bought our Town and Country, they came out with a new version that had a built-in vacuum- I was sorely tempted to turn it back in and get that one. Did you spill fries all over the car? Great! Vacuum them up before you leave the car! Sand from the beach everywhere? Vacuum your own row up! Oh, and there are buttons everywhere to lose and open doors. So much easier than the original minivans I grew up with.

One day we can have a car that is fun to drive again. But for now, utility wins.

This was written several months ago and I’m now pleased to say that we have a luxurious Buick Enclave and my husband is now happy. It still has the three rows of seating that make it work for us.

Subscribe to An Ordinary Mom via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to An Ordinary Mom and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 855 other subscribers