With how tired Ronan's been during the week, the last thing I want to do was wake him up early on a Saturday. Saturdays are usually alarm-clock free days. But today, we have somewhere to be.
Fiona has a race today. She's already there warming up and getting ready to compete. I don't want to miss seeing her shine. But we may have to. Ronan is still sleeping.
The younger siblings are doing a great job keeping quiet until he wakes up, but the temptation to be the happy, typical, and sometimes loud kids that they are is overwhelming them. I offer them gentle reminders to use quiet voices and their tip toe feet, and to find something to do until it's time to go, but they are energized and excited to see big sister. I'm excited, too. It's Fiona's last race of the season, and we want to be there for it.
I peek in on Ronan twice. Both times he's been snuggled deep under the covers.
I text my husband:
Ronan's still asleep. We may not make it L
He texts me back:
No rush. Nothing has started yet.
I peek in on Ronan once more. He stirs but then rolls over.
I walk backwards out of Ronan's bedroom and try to keep busy. Everything is already ready though – Ronan's backpack is restocked, the snack bag is full, extra water bottles are already in the car, and the iPad and the iPhone are charged in case we need them. All that's left is for Ronan to wake up.
He's still sleeping.
So we continue to tip toe.
For big events like today, I should've thought to have someone stay home with Ronan. But I didn't ask anyone to watch him. Easily, I could wake him and get us in the car and go. But for him to have the energy and the desire to want to stay for the race once we get to the stadium, Ronan needs to ease into this day, not be jolted into it. So we wait.
We wait for Ronan a lot. We're used to it and are well aware that his pace is slower than the siblings. They'd like for him to catch up. I'd love nothing more than for that to happen, too. But pushing him isn't the answer.
Since he's regressed, we've been waiting for Ronan to talk again, to interact with us again, and to catch up with skills that he lost that used to be so easy for him. Waiting isn't easy, but our family's gotten used to it. The kids are more than able to handle some of the waiting, but they are as anxious as I am to see Ronan someday catch up. They think he will. I hope with all of my heart that he will as well. Ronan has surprised us over the years when he regains a lost skill, so we stay positive he will regain more.
Ronan just surprised me! He's awake. He's happy. I tell him that we're happy too. We're happy to see him. I tell Ronan that we've got some place to be – to see sister's race. Fiona's got a big day and we want Ronan to be there. He indicates that he wants to go.
Fiona did SO well! She added two new personal records today. Her efforts have paid off, and I'm so proud of her for trying a new sport and sticking with it. I'm so proud of Ronan, too.
Ronan stayed for the entire event. I had a back-up plan (leave early and go home), but I never had to use it. Even though it was a l-o-n-g day and a hot day, two factors that can result have previously resulted in a disastrous outcome, but today, Ronan overcame both. I was thrilled. Fiona was as well. She was happy to see Ronan be part of our family outing, and I know he was happy to see her when she was able to sit with us in the stands for a few minutes.
I love it when our family is able to do things together. With Ronan's struggles and health issues, those opportunities are few and far between. We take the good days when we can and enjoy every single minute of them.
Today was one of those days.
I had trepidations, especially when the weather changed later in the afternoon, but I didn't have to worry. Ronan remained happy, able and content to be with us and out of the house.
My hope today was for a few things to happen. It was for us to be together as a family. It was for Ronan to actively include himself in our family outing. It was for the weather to hold off long enough for Fiona to run her races (and kick some butt!). I got to check each of those expectations off my list:
Spend the day together as a family ✓
See Ronan stay engaged and happy ✓
Enjoy the first sun shiny day we've had in over a week ✓
The sun stuck around for most of the day, but as a storm got closer, I thought our day out would be a bust. It wasn't. Staying until the last possible minute in the stadium, we made our way quickly to the car as the skies darkened. Raindrops fell as we buckled up. Wind whipped up once we got on the road. Torrential rain quickly followed and stuck around longer than we anticipated. But we made it.
Ronan made it.
The kids made it.
And we were elated.
As we made our way home, the wind picked up again. Sheets of rain poured down. My windshield wipers were on high for the majority of the drive home. I didn't let the dreariness cloud my thoughts. It was a great day. It was one of the best days we've had as a family in a really long time.
Once we were back home and after dinner chores were done, I found time to sit and relax. Sitting on the couch, I peeked out the living room window. I couldn't believe it. The dismal, dark gray sky we were under was starting to clear up! It was now barely sprinkling, and against a blue sky off in the distance, I could see saw sunshine. I called for the kids. Ronan's younger brother and two little sisters came running.
"Hey, kids! Look! It's sprinkling a little, but look at the sky – it's blue! You know what that means, right?
Three voices squealed in unison, "Rainbows!"
Scurrying to get their shoes on, Ronan's siblings scampered outside to look for a rainbow. They didn't see one, but they imagined how beautiful and perfect it would look.
Today was a beautiful and wonderful day. With how everything worked out, I dare say it was pretty close to being a perfect day. Not every day turns out to be perfect, so I'm going to cherish this day and the time I had with my family. I hope that we are blessed with another day just like it again soon. I hope you and your family are, too.