When Rain Hurts by Mary Evelyn Greene

August 30, 2010

August 28, 2010


Long Beach Island, NJ (Aug. 26, 2010)

August 28, 2010.  Last week the kids and I, and Lindy, drove to the Jersey shore for a few hastily arranged days of fun and sun at the beach.  We stayed in a cruddy hotel with a wonderfully open-hearted receptionist who made the entire experience tolerable.  Despite some uncooperative weather, the four of us had a great time.  I only wish Pat had come along.  The days consumed by our Due Process Hearing, however, have robbed him of time for even a brief summer break. It seems the two of us are destined forever to waltz in orbit around the demands of raising our developmentally disabled, emotionally scarred son.  Sophie carries her own baggage, at times a heavy, trouble load with which we’re desperate to help her lighten.  Like gravity’s effect upon the moon, our children’s pasts continue to dictate the future course of our lives, to the point where it sometimes seem we have no ability to choose our own path or change course.  Missed summer vacations pale in comparison to the situation hanging over our heads regarding Peter’s impending school placement.  With only 9 more days to go, we still have no decision regarding where our son will be permitted to attend school.  I used our 60 hours at the shore to wash away the insult caused by having to endure, day in and day out, school district “professionals” perjuring themselves in an effort to best the LoBruttos, and of course in the process, poor Peter.  Luckily, it worked.  Unsuccessful but comic attempts at fishing, along with boogie boarding, shell seeking, over-priced carnival rides, and mediocre seafood, all conspired to strip me of my worries.  Our only full day at the beach was cloudy, but it didn’t matter.  Sophie regaled us with her crab-walking antics across the sand as Peter dug endless holes with a well-used yellow shovel.  The next day was beautiful, the waves particularly impressive due to the front that had passed.  We allowed ourselves, with varying degrees, to be bounced and tossed in the surf.  Lindy holding tight to Sophie and me to Peter, we’d stick it out until our laughter became choked with seawater, then we’d scramble to the beach, covered in bits of sand and shell, to catch our breath and rest.  “I’m not going in there again,” Sophie would pant.  But within a minute we’d hear, “Come on guys, let’s do it again!”  We left happy and tired and arrived home, 3 hours later, to Pat’s smiling face and the beautifully affirming knowledge that we were missed.  I don’t know why Peter and Sophie were given to us, I’m not prepared to say it was God’s will, or even destiny, but the challenge, and the privilege, is ours.  Even a few days away had me missing my husband and partner more than perhaps he knows.  I can think of at least a dozen or more people whose temperaments are better suited for daily life with our rambunctious duo, but I know in my heart and mind that the two of us have given ourselves entirely to improving their fates.  As we close in on six years as a family, I sometimes worry that we’re still reaching for that elusive equilibrium, that place where hard work, dedication, and old-fashioned courage keep a family united, turning to each other for both contentment and companionship.  But we’re getting close.  It’s time I let my guard down in this respect.  Our progress as a family, and as individuals, is real and measurable.  I sensed it the minute we walked in the door and Sophie launched into a blow-by-blow description, for Daddy’s benefit, of our adventures.  I also sensed it looking around the kitchen and living room, which were neat as a pin, a welcome home present from Pat.  But mostly I sensed it in my heart, where I felt full with the knowledge that the four of us are bound together not just by the decisions of our pasts but by the hopes and prospects of our futures.  Our children’s needs may indeed dictate the general direction of our family’s future, as is the case in all families, but they need not demand the course.  Our job, as parents and partners, is to appreciate and embrace the difference.

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5 Comments »

  1. Glad you got to get away and have some down time:) Love and Hugs!

    Comment by Sheila Greene — August 30, 2010 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  2. Reading your entry struck a chord in me as I too find the seashore to be a place of healing for so much. Maybe it was the years in St Pete near the shore during our formative years? It also reminded me of a wonderful book Gift from the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh. Reading this book brought me a good deal of perspective and one you might enjoy if you have yet to read it. Keeping fingers crossed for you that your Due Process hearing will resolve favorably for you and your family.

    Comment by Victoria Campbell — August 30, 2010 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

  3. the shore can wash away anything. i hope they find in your favor. keep us updated

    Comment by Melissa — August 31, 2010 @ 7:24 am | Reply

  4. We go to the shore often to wash our troubles away. Its amazing how therapeutic the sound of the waves and the feeling of sand between your toes can be.
    I wish I knew you were down here — would have loved to see you again.

    Comment by Janet — August 31, 2010 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  5. Sweet time with family does wonders for one’s soul. So glad you could sneak in a bit of summer fun even if Pat had to stay at home. This summer was all about gratitude and taking time to really play together as a family. We snuck away as much as possible and are being rewarded with happy, curious, loving children as fall approaches.

    Fingers crossed for your hearing outcome. I am amazed they are leaving it so late before the school year.

    Ronda

    Comment by Rodna — August 31, 2010 @ 11:51 am | Reply


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