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A Starbucks Kind of Day

     It was a Starbucks kind of day. The sun was shining, the clouds were floating and Paul was raring to go.

     "When are we going to Starbucks?" he asks as he pulls his T-shirt over his head. Today's T-shirt is a KISS T-shirt—same as every other day—and he's anxious to get to his hangout over on Jamacha Road.

     "After breakfast," I tell him.

     "Good! I can talk to Mark about God and say 'The buzzer's buzzing.' I get my iced decaf mocha latte—with lots of whipped cream— and a chocolate chip cookie."

     "Well… I don't know about the chocolate chip cookie, maybe tomorrow.  Gotta watch that weight."

     "I'll lose it, mom. Don't worry."

     At Starbucks, I park in the handicap spot and remember to hang the placard from the rearview mirror. Paul unbuckles his seatbelt as I go around to the trunk and haul out his wheelchair, attach the footplates and wheel the chair to his side of the car.

     Paul is talking nonstop as I open the door for him. "Come on, Paul. It's cold out here," I tell him. It doesn't do much good. He's asking when we can go see "Rogue One" and wondering when "Mary Poppins" will come back to town and remembering how Dr. Kalmar always parts his hair on the left and…

     Finally he reaches for the overhead handgrip, lies back a bit and swings his legs out from the car, his favorite green and black Starbucks cup in hand. I take the cup and put it in his "carry-bag" and then position myself: one hand on the car door, the other on his wheelchair as he pulls himself up, holding onto the top of the car door.

     My muscles get a workout some days. Paul has a mighty pull when he's pulling himself up out of the car. I have to push with all my might to keep the door open against the force of his pull. Other days he swings out rather easily and I hardly have to hold on. Today isn't one of those days.

     Paul gets out and laughs. "Watch this, Mom." He quick takes his hand off the door so he's standing with only one attached to hold him up. Then he puts his hand back and lifts the other one, laughing heartily. He knows he's got me worried.

     Once isn't enough. Not for Paul. He giggles and quick as a blink he lifts first one hand and then the other, over and over.
I'm waiting patiently. ??? "Come ON, Paul."

     "Got everything?" he asks me—"everything" being my keys and purse. This routine started the day after he locked the car doors when I had left my purse and keys on the front seat.

     "Yes. Got everything."

     He locks the door and sits in his wheelchair, ready to make his appearance at Starbucks.

     Looks like we've run out of time. Life with Paul is a series of waiting moments. If you'll kindly wait 'til next time, I'll tell you about Paul's day at Starbucks.

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