Everybody complains about the Monday after a long weekend. It is difficult to get yourself up and back in the swing of things. Not me. I am always happy to start the routine again. Once Maggie gets on the bus and leaves for school the day is mine. It is not that, though. Maggie is happiest when she gets to go to school. Social activities are extremely limited for her and school is a wonderful social outlet for her.
Over the long weekend, she had fun visiting with cousins and was very excited to see her brother Eddie; but it is passive. People come to her, say hello and go about their other social obligations. Maggie is left behind. Part of that are the physical challenges presented by her wheelchair and the equipment and part of it is Maggie’s own stamina. She just cannot do too much without running out of gas. That keeps her on a rather short tether.
I am as guilty as the next person is when it comes to leaving her behind, and I feel terrible. On Thanksgiving, for example, we were hosting Steve’s family and had to cook for 17 people. Once everything was ready, I took the boys and stopped in to say hello to my mom and my siblings who were gathering at my mother’s house. I took the boys, but left Maggie and Steve at home. If we took Maggie we would have to take her down in the elevator, load her into the van, unload her at my mom’s, carry her up the stairs hold her the whole time we were there, carry her back down, strap her into the chair, load her into the van and bring her home. The 45-minute stay would have been 10 minutes and then it is just not worth the effort. Therefore, Maggie stays home.
It is easy to justify this. Maggie would not have any fun, Maggie would be overwhelmed, Maggie would be overtired etc etc. All of that is true, but it still makes a mom feel guilty.
Fortunately, the cousins arrived here before we even got home, so Maggie did not feel too left out. Thanksgiving was fun for her and everyone else. Friday was quiet and we just hung out putting things away from the Thanksgiving fete. She was happy because her brothers were especially attentive. Eddie shaved his head last week and looked like a marine. At first, she was shocked, but soon started laughing and kept rubbing his head whenever he was in reach. That was very entertaining.
Though her social interactions are far more limited than those of most people, there is another fact about Maggie. She is very easily entertained. Sitting with her for a few minutes, reading her a book, or simply including her in the conversation makes her extremely happy. Maybe that is necessity acting as the mother of invention or maybe it is the balance of nature. Maggie cannot do much for entertainment, but it does not take much to entertain her.