and we'll drive to Madagascar

Dear Mike,
We stopped at Wal*Mart today after we got Zane from his chest practice. Evan had birthday money he was excited to spend. After deliberating over the perfect remote control truck, he finally made his decision. We lost Zane about 72 times between the toy section and the check-out lane, as usual. Sylvia cried for a ring pop once we got in line, as usual. Evan was a solid 5 star kid waiting patiently to pay for his toy, like usual. Waiting in line always increases my joyful anxiety, but this time it doubled as a woman rolled up behind us in her motorized sit-in shopping cart. What are those called, anyway? It's a cross between a shopping cart and a golf cart: shopfart? I feel a new Urban Dictionary entry coming on......

She was kind and luckily as she inched closed and closer to us no one's toes were in the wrong spot. I finalized payment and wished in my heart I could help her unload her groceries. She struggled to reach many items from the sitting position beyond arm's length. I glanced at the kids and realized they were being good. All three of them were calm and staying by the cart and no one was crying or screaming or punching; very unusual. After collecting my reciept, I leaned over to the boys and whispered for them to please come help this woman unload her groceries.

They paused for a moment, then Evan led the way. I asked her if we could help and she graciously accepted. I stepped back as I softly instructed the boys. They each approached her cart at different sides and selected one item at a time. I marveled at how incredibly gentle they handled her groceries and carefully placed them just so onto the belt. I have never seen them behave so reverently and soft with anything in my life. I felt my eyes begin to fill with tears of happiness at seeing their willing service, but mostly for the inspiration I know I felt suggesting my boys step in to help someone.

I immediately thought of you and wished there was a way to teleport this feeling while I had the opportunity to teach out kids something of great importance to us. If I could send you this feeling, it would look like a glittery ball of magnificent light and would make you smile so very much as it hovered over your desk. It was such a peaceful moment I hope for it to remain through the night.

Well.......no such luck. It turns out the remote control truck Evan chose keeps falling apart, as usual. Anger is overcoming him and dinner is cooking and Sylvia is crying and Zane is trying to handcuff each of us with his toy handcuffs. Fortunately for us they are plastic, so it's easy to pull them off. And! He still hasn't found the real ones we have hidden under our matress.

I must tend to the children now, but want to let you know that I thought of you again as I pushed the shopping cart to the car. I thought of how grateful I am to be able to have a moment like this with our children. I thought of how hard you work for our family so I can be here teaching them and guiding them. While I often wish I was the one with the career and you were the one leading anger management sessions with Evan, potty training Sylvia, and becoming the family expert on Autism, I have to say I got the better end of the deal today.

p.s. I spent more than I should have. Just like usual.

Love you!