August 5, 2011

The wheels on the bus that humble and other life experiences.

This fabulous monster is what has been my main form of transportation the last couple of months.  My car finally took a turn for the worst and is ending up resting in peace in the cemetery of twisted metal that is a junk yard.  While for most people this may not be the end all of existence in the city, it is if you live in Los Angeles.

This city plain and simply was not built for the ease of public transportation.  It has improved vastly in the last couple of years.  However it is not conducive to work with a schedule of a single mother of two who's normal commute to work is an hour each way on a normal day, without having to take a bus.  In order to get to work I was having to get up at an ungodly hour, schlep myself to a bus stop, wait in the darkness of the morning, take three buses only to end up 20 minutes from my start time.  Two hours of commuting, if I was lucky to catch the bus on time.  *SIGH* 

I have missed a bus and by missed I mean TOTALLY missed it.  I got home at 8.  Just enough time to pick the kids up, bathe them and put them to sleep.  I cried that night.  Big Cheese has been more of a hindering factor than a helping one in all this.  I asked for help and I got the "I am busy with my life, it's not my weekend, you deal with it"  speech.  It was actually an angry tirade that set me back.  I felt alone and just defeated.  I did a lot of crying, a lot of praying.  I had to figure out life, how to get me and The Things to and from all of our various activities, how I was going to come up with some reliable transportation. 

It is in the moments like this that you know who is really there for you.  I had a car for a few weeks from a family friend that is like a big brother.  He was going through his own set of difficulties and yet he helped me out.  He had gone to Mexico with a friend to visit his wife and young child, only to find his wife sick.  Turns out she has leukemia and he was staying longer to take care of her.  He saved me a couple of weeks of grief from riding the metal monster of the bus.  I have had a co-worker help me get home at a decent time occasionally.  She has a son and is a single mom and knows all to well how I was missing my babies.  Then there is the friend from Facebook who I know through her brother and mostly through posts and comments on each other's status.  She saw the post where I was on the bus and how I was people watching.  She sent me a message "I do nothing all day, I can give you a ride".  Raw in delivery but the sentiment was felt deeply.

Then there is T.  T is my source of support, my spouse in a spouse less relationship.  She made arrangements as much as she could so I wouldn't be on the bus all the time.  Then there was the slew of people keeping an eye open for a newer used car on sale.  Like Pretty Eyes, who gave me her dad's number and now I am a day closer to a newer set of wheels. 

I have been humbled, brought to tears, and then redeemed by the love of friends and family.  Life's lessons are hard to swallow, especially when there are little ones involved.  I am just glad I am seeing the light of day finally and that the Things and I will be off to new adventures again.  Minus a bus. :)

What challenges have you had as a parent?  What or who saved your sanity during that trying moment?

August 1, 2011

The end of an era... *SNIFF, SNIFF, SIGH*

Let me just start off by saying that I apologize for my long hiatus from my lovely blog.  There have been circumstances in my un-virtual world that have caused me a lot of reflective thinking and I've become a cyber-space hermit.  I will post in a later blog of what I have been reflecting on.  But now on to more important issues:

Thing One graduated from Gymboree this Saturday.  What's Gymboree?  Clothes? NO!  It's been the best mommy and me experience for my kids and I.  When I was a preschool teacher way before kids I remember hearing parents talk about the nice experience they had taking their children their and all the stuff they did.  Then came the time I was home alone with my first baby, going bonkers.  All of my friends pretty much had school age children or teenagers, so I had no idea how to connect with them at this time in my life.  I really felt isolated and in dire need of letting my inner social butterfly to GET OUT. 

I hopped on to the website for Gymboree Play and Music out of curiosity.  I searched to see where the nearest facility was and just to observe.  They offered a free first time class and it so happened they had one for infants.  I had to get out, I had developed carpal tunnels which was painful, the baby crying, and feeling isolated, well I just had to. 

I walked into a brightly colored space with Thing One tightly wrapped in my arms.  I was greeted by the biggest brightest smile from Kristen.  She was the teacher on Saturdays and for the next three some odd years for my darling children.  The first day we attended Thing One was 3 months old and he was a fidgety, crying stressed out baby.  Kristen explained that sometimes the stimulation caused all that crying and that it would go away eventually.  It did and he eventually came to think of Gymboree as his home away from home.  We all did.  This experience was not just for him but for Mami and Me. 

In the three odd years that we have been going faithfully to Gymboree we developed life long friendships with many of the families.  Thing One has grown in those years and learned so much while he was there.  He rolled over on the first time while in class.  He cruised around the foamy mats and did his famous army crawl.  He mastered climbing on and off the structures, which I'm sure is why he never fell off the bed, he knew how to do it right.  He sang his first words, only to babble incessantly at the age of 2.  He learned to make friends and take turns.  He lost his fear of crawling through a tunnel and graduated to leaping off the climbing structure. 

So when his teacher left Gymboree it felt like it was time to go.  The class didn't have the same feel after Teacher Kristmas (As Thing One would refer to her) was gone.  I started to notice that Thing One had no real interest in the classes and well we already had started soccer and many more activities were opening up to his age in the community.  I decided to pull him out of the program and take on other challenges.  It was a hard decision to make.  He simply outgrew Gymboree and he was now becoming a preschooler.

His last day was this Saturday.  I had a rush of memories and all that had gone on in the three years that had transpired.  All very positive and I realized it was time to let go.  I had some tears that morning.  My baby boy was now a preschool boy.  Thank you to my Gymboree family!  You will never know how much sharing we have done watching our kids grew together.  On to the next chapter...

First class 11/2007

Last but not least...His last review at Gymboree...we will miss you Gymbo, thanks for all the memories, friendship, and family!

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