Image Map

Friday, August 29, 2014

Making Southern Lemonade

I swear I'm not Pollyanna, but sometimes when you get a raw deal a change needs to be made to make the best of a bad situation.  My kid broke her leg in April and we're still dealing with the aftermath.  The new ortho guy down here ordered an MRI on my peanut.  They planned to sedate her, as they sedate all children under 10 years of age.  Rather than carry on like a fool and allow her to worry and be anxious about the lemons we'd been given, we made lemonade.

We spent the night in New Orleans.  Reservations were at the Omni hotel, which is the spot we heard celebrities hang out when they come to town.  Unfortunately, we were in the wrong Omni.  Live and learn I suppose.  After our check-in, we happily walked down to find a great restaurant.  We passed a drug deal.  The disgusting perfume of the city reminded me why kids and New Orleans aren't a perfect match.  As darkness fell on the Crescent City, I was starting to work my worry beads.

Luckily we reached Bubba Gump Shrimp, and we enjoyed a very fine dinner.  A little trip to a candy shop followed.  My plan was to give my sweet girl a sweet treat to look forward to after her MRI.  She would be required to handle herself like a mature, young lady to earn it.  After having a brief and lively conversation with the shop girl, she insisted that the lollipop the size of my daughter's face would be free.  I had my wallet out and was planning to pay, but she was adamant that the sweet treat was on her.  She claimed that she wanted us to feel welcome in Louisiana, after our conversation had revealed that we were new here.

Moving on with lighter feet and a few blocks down the road, a man said something that my daughter and I both heard differently.  I heard, "your daughter is beautiful."  She heard, "your mother is beautiful."  Either way we said thank you and happily strolled along Canal, as the street cars dinged their pleasant bells nearby.   Two moments of kindness made our weary night into a truly happy evening.  We were bonding and holding hands, as two strong ladies walking the streets of a new city.

Our night was full of snuggles and laughter.  We had to wake up early the next morning and walked back that same road, now empty, to reach our beignet breakfast at Cafe Du Monde.  A friendly French couple sat next to us in the almost empty restaurant.  This would be our last meal before our trip to sedation.  It was sweet in more ways than one, as we were continuing to make our lemonade.

Then we jumped on one of those street cars and rode happily past the beautiful mansions of St Charles.  We watched the passengers going about their daily routine, like the curious tourists we were.  New Orleans soaked into our morning with all of its Southern charm.  Our lemonade was tasting sweet.

Then it was time to head to the hospital.  My little sugar and spicer was nervous, yet handling herself the way we had discussed.  Then the sedation nurse gave us our good news.  This mature, little sweetheart would be given the opportunity to handle the MRI without sedation.  She was given instructions and she followed them to the letter.

The MRI staff asked if she was really a 45 year old woman.  When they injected contrast into her scrawny, little arm, she didn't make a peep.  The anxious child I'd arrived with had disappeared.  What I was left with was a young lady who was the poster child for maturity.  My pride cup overflowed.

We chose to embrace a situation that certainly seemed scary at first and changed it into the sweetest lemonade we could.  The kindness of strangers made it sweeter still.  Children give you the gift of wonder and you give them the gift of strength.  It is a recipe for a bond that will hopefully prove unbreakable.  Let's now hope that we don't have to make more lemonade out of the results.

No comments: