This morning as I emerged from the depths of a too-short-sleep, I was gratified to see that Ricki was already awake. She even started getting dressed with no prompting from me, and I was gratified that the morning had started out so well. However, as the clock neared 7:30, we were barely on schedule. Then, determined to have her way in EVERYTHING (like most teens), she managed to put us on the late end of our schedule. Finally, after an argument over the propriety of taking a play phone to school (an argument I won, I confess, by tossing it back into the house and locking the door), we set off for school. I decided that we would take the bus. The bus only takes us half-way there, but the few minutes it can save can be crucial in getting to school on time or not.
Just as the bus arrived, Ricki's best friend tapped me on the shoulder. "Ricki's mom, do you want me to take Ricki to school today; I'm also going by bus."
This was a surprise. This friend does not even live near us, but she had slept over at her grandmother's house last night, who does live nearby. I agreed with no qualms. Ricki won't give her friends the same flack she gives me, and even if she would, I know that this friend is a natural for making clear to Ricki what is acceptable, and what isn't. But what pleased me the most is not the time and energy saved, but the fact that Ricki has such a good friend. This makes the tremendous efforts involved in her inclusion so much more worth it.
(But I still need to consider if we should get up a bit earlier each morning, to give me a bit more leave way in the morning rush…..)