Introducing a new category of posts... This one focuses on what parenting lapse occurred this week to cause me to add money to the Therapy Fund jar. The jar is not earmarked for any one particular family member, because at the rate we are going, all of us will need therapy every now and then.
So, this week's contribution is in honor of Sam.
Dear Sweet Sam:
Only when your Tio is visiting would something like this happen.
The day started innocently enough. We woke up early and ate a big breakfast. Mommy was going to take you to your first ever picket line. The nurses of Alta Bates hospital were on strike, and I felt it was important for us to be there to show our support. So, I dressed you in your wonderful t-shirt from It's A Preemie Thing touting how proud you are to be a preemie and listing your birth age and weight and headed out to join the picket line.
The atmosphere was fantastic - for a picket line. There was music playing and a sea of nurses wearing red. We were spotted right away by the wonderful Margaret. She never looked after you in the NICU, but she really helped me when I was in L&D trying to keep you in. Margaret was the one who gave me the visualization technique to stay calm those six days I lay in trandelenberg. She was really touched to see us. Soon other nurses started to notice us. Some recognized us from the Sutter Health TV ad we did, and others were nurses we were close to. It was like a big reunion out there for us. You were the hit of the protest. You walked the line, you smiled for camera, you even let two of my L&D nurses hold you:
You finally hit a wall after two hours on the picket line. I packed you up and headed to pick up Tio so we could spend some time together before his big move to Peru. Our plan was to grab sandwiches from Bake Sale Betty and head over to Oakland City Hall to hear some of the May Day speeches. You know how your Tio loves May Day.
This, of course is where things went wrong... and why I have put a lot into the therapy jar in your honor.
As we were getting our sandwiches, the police started to shut Broadway down. Now, you would think this would have been a sign that maybe, just maybe, we should turn back. Then, there was the smoke we could see rising a few blocks up. Yet another good indicator that we should change our plans. Then, as we were walking up Broadway, person after person walking in the other direction kept saying things like "I wouldn't go there with a baby" or "It's about to get ugly up there" or "Turn around - things are getting tense". Did this get through to Tio or me... of course not.
It wasn't until we were a block away from the police barricade that I finally paused and questioned the intelligence of going further. Thank god I paused, because a moment later the first of three flash-bang grenades went off right in front of us. I told Tio I was done, and we were out of there. Not a moment later, two more flash-bang grenades went off. Then, a man in a gas mask started running towards us followed by another man screaming "they are firing tear gas.. run". And he wasn't kidding. Within seconds my throat started to hurt and your eyes began to water. Mommy instinct finally took over and I turned and began running down Broadway pushing your stroller trying my best to get away from the tear gas cloud.
That's right honey, your mommy and your Tio almost took you into a police scuffle and exposed you to tear gas- at least a little tiny bit.
Had we arrived ten minutes earlier, we could have been in the thick of the crowd and probably would not have been so lucky. Had we arrived ten minutes later we never would have known something had happened. We timed it perfectly to arrive RIGHT when all the excitement happened.
So, when you are on the therapist couch talking about your tear gas fears you will know why... and I hope the money I am putting into the jar today will cover at least some of the session.
Sorry about that.