Gratitude, volume 3 of 5

Day 3 of 5 in the gratitude game, instigated by David Reiley:

Today I am grateful for:

This looks a lot like our car.

This looks a lot like our car.

1 – good brakes on our car. As I write this, in a coffee shop in Westwood after dropping Mose off at UCLA for the final day of his ID Tech camp, I am still pretty shaken up by a VERY close call we had on the freeway this morning. We were in the carpool lane, and a pickup truck braked hard in the lane to our right. The car behind the truck was following too close, couldn’t slow down in time, and clipped the back right edge of the truck, sending it spinning into our lane. I hit the brakes as hard as I could, and came to a stop about 5 feet from the front of the pickup, which was diagonally facing me.
We were incredibly lucky on three counts: 1 – our brakes were in great shape, so I was able to stop in time; 2 – I wasn’t speeding (which, I have to admit, I may have done if others in the carpool lane had been – I very much wanted to get Mose to camp by 9 AM); 3 – no one was following *us* too closely and so we were not hit from behind. (Also: our car, a little Prius C, is bright orange – I love it just because orange is my favorite color, and it’s easy to find in a parking lot, but it’s possible that the brightness and extra visibility to others may have helped us today, maybe even saved our lives.)
I have to learn the lesson of patience/not rushing over and over again. And right now I am so grateful to have been given the chance to learn it once more, with no consequence to me or my son other than some jangled nerves.

the Bikram poses

the Bikram poses

2 – Bikram yoga. While we’re on life-affirming topics, I must credit Bikram with so many good things ln my life over the past four years. This type of super hot, methodical and precise yoga has pretty much eradicated any back and joint pain I used to get; it has made my skin better; it has calmed me in a big way; and I find I rarely get sick. (I stopped for a while during 2 particularly stressful periods of work: the first time, I promptly got shingles, and the second time, a horrible sinus infection. I realize that doesn’t necessarily prove causality, but I then returned to Bikram and haven’t been ill since.) It has also been a huge boon for Brendan, who credits it with curing his stage fright.

3 – Dr. Feingold, of the Feingold Association Info Page. He is a San-Francisco-based allergy doctor whose dietary guidelines have helped tons of kids on the spectrum, or who suffer from ADHD and/or other issues. In our son’s case, following the Feingold program for the past nearly four years has been life-changing. We used to have a volatile, tantrum machine who would start the day with inconsolable freakouts over nothing…and when we learned about eliminating ALL artificial colors/flavors/dyes (for instance, the bright-pink Benadryl and bright-orange carsick medications the pediatrician had always told us to use! Gah!), as well as many naturally occurring salicylates, our son’s actual delightful personality emerged. Sweet, smiley artwork started to come home from school, replacing the angry paper-ripping scrawls that were there before. Where he used to have a complete meltdown if someone else took their seatbelt off before he did in the parking garage, he can now handle a truly terrifying experience like our near-accident this morning, calmly hug me “the tightest of all” and share in my relief and happiness to be alive.

Today I invite three more friends to join me in this game. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to make public posts of three things you’re grateful for every day for five days. You might also choose to tag some friends (three suggested) to invite them to start the game each day. Erika Langley,Stephen BecktaMaureen Bailey McEachen

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