Friday, January 18, 2013
Personal Musings about The New York City School Bus Strike
I had to admit that when I heard about the possibility of the school bus strike, I went into panic mode. Don't get me wrong, I am totally on the side of the bus drivers and matrons. This happens to be one of the rare instances where something that I support, negatively affects me as I have two kids that take the school bus. The bus drivers and matrons on these buses work hard, are trained, and are compassionate. The city wants to save money by bidding out contracts that will not provide job security, paying lower wages to untrained workers at the expense of our children. I already wrote to my Councilman and Congressman about it, I just hope it gets resolved soon.
Nevertheless, I had heart palpatations thinking about how I would get the kids to and from school. I don't drive, and even if I did, my hubby takes the car to work. When I spoke to my hubby, he reassured me and gave me different scenarios. Okay, I calmed down for a bit.
Then I thought, okay, fine, I'll get the kids to school but by the time I get back I'll have like 2 hours before I have to get them again! How was I going to find the time to do my re-fahions, sew new clothes, screenprint, prepare my tutorials, do my photoshoots ,add more items to my Etsy shop, update my Facebook, etc. In my head, there was a whirlwind of worry.
When you are a mother of two special needs kids and also a creative person, a maker of things, if you will, guarding your time is of utmost importance. From the time I put the boys on the bus, until they come home, I become fashion/crafty/DIY Nellie! The fabric comes out; ink, t-shirts and screens appear from nowhere, snaps, buttons, zippers, sweatshirts, and thread make their way into every inch of my apartment. It's my process. I need to see all my materials before I figure out what I will make that day. I screen calls, do little housework (much to the dismay of my hubby), and limit my lunches with friends, all in the service of summoning the crafting muse.
I can't do this when the kids are around, especially my little one who eats fabric and buttons, unravels thread, and runs with scissors every chance he gets. This is my very sacred time.
And now the bus strike is three days in and cutting into my precious hours. Hours that I so desperately need to be a better mom. Because, let me tell you, if I don't have my creative time, cranky mom is what's coming down the line!
Deep breathe. After my bout of desperation, I close my eyes and decide to take it day by day. I knew the strike was supposed to be starting this past Wednesday so on Monday and Tuesday, I screened as many of my orders as possible and cut as much fabric as I could so those tedious tasks would be done by the time Wednesday rolled around, and rolled around it did, with no school buses honking away. However, I have to say, that I have been met with some unexpected realizations and happenings that I would have not taken notice of if it weren't for this strike:
1. I saw my hubby, once again, step up to the plate and rearrange his schedule so he could be available. I was reminded of how wonderful he is, why I chose him as my life partner, why I fell in love with him. If there is anyone I was going to partner with in this crazy journey of parenting special needs kids, it would be him.
2. Along those lines, the ride to and from each of the boys' schools, has given us time to joke, chat, enjoy adult conversation without having to referee fights between the boys in the backseat and my 10 year old asking us what we are talking about.
3. I have extra time to talk with my oldest in the morning, when he is his most chatty, instead of having to hurry him along so we don't miss the bus.
4. I again have to deal with my issue of not wanting to ask for help. Hubby has a high pressure job and can't always get off from work to get the kids. The hardest part for me is to walk in this sense of dependence and be turned down. In the coming weeks, if the strike continues, I am going to have to make some phone calls and ask if anyone can pitch in and be okay if anyone says no. So far I asked our aunt today and she said yes!
5. In an effort to save time, I have been limiting my time on the internet, and I am surprised at how much sewing I am accomplishing.
6. After I drop off my youngest, I take the bus back. It gives me an hour to read, to structure my day, and yes, to write this very blog post.
Sometimes a disruption in routine can cause you to take notice of things, people, issues, you might have not paid attention to otherwise. Time is what you make of it. I was moaning because I felt I would be losing time but I did find time for the important things, things that add value to my life.
That's not to say I don't want this bus strike to be over as soon as possible!