The night before last I went to see Mary Poppins. It wasn’t my first choice, but it wasn’t about me. That night I was accompanying two young ladies, one of them with special needs. You wouldn’t be able to see any difference between the two unless you knew what to look for. It was a perfectly normal evening spent attending a perfectly normal event. I split my attention between the movie and the girls.
Sitting next to the mom of one of the girls, I knew what she was doing. She was sitting in hyper-vigilance mode, a side note of care is hyper-vigilance because you are constantly on alert for what may or may not happen. Trying to make it so a negative situation can be diverted or eliminated completely—that’s always the dream in caregiving. I’ve come to understand that few realize they’re in hyper-vigilance mode, which is why they mislabel the restlessness and inability to sit in the present moment on any number of things.
Sitting there in the dark a few rows down I watched the two girls laugh, sometimes too loud, go to restroom probably more than was needed and probably that ate way too much popcorn. None of it had me blink an eye. It’s nice to sit back and watch normal everyday moments that others take for granted being enjoyed by those who don’t. As the girls enjoyed themselves, the mom was able to as well. Moments and snippets of respite can be found anywhere so long as you don’t get stuck in the way it has to look.
The giggles and talking too loud in spurts, all of this I realized is what had me smiling. I know the long road ahead this young lady may be facing, these moments of complete relaxed enjoyment are far and few between and should be savored. No one is able to put down their issues, least of all family caregivers, but maybe momentarily forgetting they’re in place will have to suffice.
As we stood up to leave I noticed how much spilled popcorn their was on the floor and all I could do was laugh. Not because I want spilled popcorn but because it seemed so incredibly natural for these over silly young girls to have dropped so much. It was in that moment I realized sometimes you have to just leave things be, including spilt popcorn. Being present in all of the moments is how you appreciate the experience.
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