A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.
The first struggle was defused. We skipped the library. But the second struggle was much bigger. And it grew. Ronan had gotten cozy and didn't want to leave. And he wanted cake. But there was no cake. After several attempts to redirect Ronan, his frustration level rose. So did mine.
Carrying Ronan to the car, it took a bit longer than usual to get him buckled in. He was sad and still protesting. I was sad and now sweating. Our fun day out was not so much fun anymore. Once we had gotten back home, the kids settled into their activities. The girls played hide and seek while Ronan sought solitude to listen to music on his iPad. I found a quiet room and stewed.
The rest of the day was uneventful. The kids got along well. But I couldn't help but think about how some of the struggles Ronan faces, as well as the ones I've failed to handle well, have a way of bringing me down. I am not one of those people who must stick to a plan, but I do get disappointed when the best laid plans don't work out. Since I'm always trying to see the positive and to be the change and to focus on the hope and the happiness, I knew I had to let go of some of the negatives I was holding onto.
It didn't happen right away, but over the next few hours I was able to see that some of the tough moments from earlier in the day did indeed have some bright points:
Ronan communicated. He did not want to go in the library and he shared that thought. He did that as he signed "no" with a vocalization, "ahh ooh". That is huge! We've been practicing pairing signs with sound for a few weeks now. Even though it isn't a word yet, hello, communication! I'll take it.
Ronan shared emotion. That's nothing new for Ronan, but remembering what I saw at our friends house - Ronan was so happy, so comfortable, and feeling so at home - it made me realize why he didn't want to go home just yet. These friends are helpful, kind, and totally awesome. Ronan knows that. No wonder he didn't want to leave that happy place! Since Ronan does better with a head's up that things are changing, next time I'll remember to give him a few minutes to be ready to say thank you, to say good bye, and to let him know that we will come back another time.
Ronan adapted. We were not intending to be out as long as we were. But things changed. New plans were made. Ronan dealt with that as best he could. The best laid plans. They don't always work out. But they do teach valuable lessons for next time. Because there very well could be a next time.
For next time, when plans change, when things don't go as well as I'd hoped, when things get frustrating for either me or for Ronan, I promise...
To slow down.
To start over.
To try, try, try again.
And to remember to find happiness when the situation is over.
Finding happiness. It helps. It always, always helps.