2011 Mother of the Year may be out of reach for me. I took my severely disabled, underage teenage daughter to a bar on Saturday. Above picture taken from outside through the picture window But first we had to get through the wild partiers in various stages of dress and undress.
Basically, her mom took her to do things other 17 year olds have to sneak out to do. She had a blast!
This was the going away party for Maggie’s teacher Tanya Derkash who leaves San Francisco for her adventure teaching in an international school in China. This party was not limited to friends from school; this was Tanya’s good-bye to friends from various parts of her life. There were just four students there as well as the classroom staff and others from Mission High. Maggie was beside herself to be out clubbing on a Saturday night.
Maggie with Nurse Janice, Ms Laura and Ms. Derkash
Getting there was not easy. The club was across town, but it should not take more than 15-20 minutes to get there (not including parking). It took over an hour! In fact, I had to pull over to suction Maggie at one point. I took the most direct route completely forgetting it was Gay Pride weekend and found myself trapped in traffic because the “Pink Party” had streets closed around Dolores Park. Cars were just not moving and I was one in one of them. Initially I was exasperated by it, but I decided to just enjoy the energy of the revelers around me. There were some wild outfits and huge smiles everywhere. Changing attitude is the key to surviving traffic jams.
When we finally arrived at Tanya’s party, there was no sneaking in. We had to open both doors of the saloon to fit Maggie’s wheelchair. Believe it or not, most bars are not set up to accommodate a giant chair like Maggie’s with the attached computer, but there was absolutely no problem here. It was crowded, but nearly everyone in there was part of the celebration and people were happy to meet a couple of Tanya’s students. Lepa, another student, who has disabilities somewhat similar to Maggie’s is already 21 and promptly ordered himself a beer. Others helped him as he consumed it through a straw. Cindy a speech therapist I have known since Maggie was little said, “You know I met Lepa when he was three and I just never imagined than I would be sitting in a bar having a drink with him.” The other two students, Patrick and a girl I do not know came with their parents just like Maggie. Patrick just kept telling me that he was happy, and his smile confirmed that.
We did not stay too long. Maggie still needs all her procedures done and the long ride over there cut into our celebration time. We were home before 9PM, wild women that we are, but we crossed a new line. Maggie is ready to see what else is out there in the San Francisco nights.
Maybe next week we will hit the track. Maggie can bet on the ponies.