Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So you want to renew your driver's license...

Today I decided to look into renewing my driver's license since it will expire this month. I went on line first to renew my car's registration. Filled out the form, used the info from my renewal statement that came in the mail, hit send, voila registration completed.

Next I was ready to renew my driver's license. When I go to the first page this is what I see:

Step 1a: Certify Conditions
By exercising this method of renewal, I am certifying under penalty of law the following:
- I have received a Louisiana computer generated mail-in renewal invitation.
- I have not experienced any loss of consciousness other than normal sleep.
- I do not have any mental or physical condition that would impair my ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Blah-de-blah blah about registration - so on and so forth, amen.

I certify the above statements to be true and correct. Yes, No

Ok. First what the heck do they mean have I not loss consciousness other than normal sleep. Really? Are they really asking this on this form? I just find that bizarre. Secondly - can I really honestly say I have no mental condition. I am almost 50 years old with 2 kids under 11 years old, own my own business with plenty stressful episodes daily, and so goes my life. Are they really expecting me to answer this honestly? Third(ly?), I am too honest sometimes. I can not continue on because I did not get a renewal in the mail.

So, now I have to call the DMV (or in the New Orleans area - the driver''s license place). After going through the automated directions (now here is a blog just waiting to happen - computer generated voice directions vs. a human - ok, a human that speaks English as their first or second language. People we live in the USA. Our official language is English. I expect to speak English or have someone at least understand English when they are in customer service. Another time though.) I am in the queue for 7 minutes, caller number 20. Thank goodness for speaker phones. Not only does the DMV have music on hold but helpful tips about driving, getting your license, registration and so on.

When I do speak to a customer service rep I am told that I can not renew on line because I did not get a renewal/invitation. She said they are like jury duty - some people get them and some don't. She said that when I go to the DMV (synonymous with going to the dentist or GYN) to make sure I have paperwork, my license and cash - $24.50. Now why? Why not $25? Will they make change? No check. No credit card. Just cash. $24.50. And she says to be sure when I get my license that my name and address is correct before I get out of line. I did not ask but I suppose if you are walking out, see they spelled your name wrong or gave you a different name or address and you go back, you have to pull a number and wait all over again. Now I don't know about you but that is just wrong.

I do not relish the idea of having to go there in the first place. The pool of humanity can be off the charts. There are things being said, stories being told or scenarios that just make my mind run amok that I would rather not experience. Secondly I feel intimidated in there. They have the power and they know it. I ain't messing around with them - you best believe. I want quick in and quick out. A nice photo would be a bonus but they can't pose you or tell you that "The first shot makes you look fat. Let's take another one darlin." Oh no. "Look here." Click. "That's all you get now move on." That's it for the next 2 years. And how about the weight question? I hope I don't get a look over the glasses or a "A huh". That would set me off and I can't afford to do that.

So wish me luck. Maybe I can use the experience for another blog. Or maybe I should pray I get a renewal form/invitation in the mail next time. Watch me get jury duty instead.

I'm off to unconsciousness.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

10 years ago

Ten years ago around this time I was being driven to the hospital in Massachusetts to be admitted for a scheduled C-section for our first child. It was a misty morning and I was nervous and excited at the same time. We just moved to Massachusetts a few days prior. I went to see my new OB on a Thursday and he said "Looks like we'll have a baby on Monday". My reaction - "This Monday. Like the Monday after this Saturday Monday. Can we wait?" He said I could, but for how long. "A month or so maybe?" I replied. I was not ready. I just moved from New York, had boxes and boxes to open, things to put away, we did not have a changing table or any furniture for that matter. We borrowed Sheila and Kevin's baby bassinet. Fortunately for us, Cindy was in to see her folks in Conn. and she drove over to see us. When you need action done, Cindy is the one to call. She took good care of us and got all we needed for those first days.

So I remember the op room. Not a place that is cheery. It probably made me more nervous than ever. I can't recall all the procedures except for the arms out routine, the draping, the tugging and such. I however vividly remember when the doctor delivered the baby and showed her to me over the drape. Something came flying towards me before the baby so I was stunned when I saw the little one. They took her and cleaned her up, checked her out, measured her and such. Paul was right next to me. Staring down at me. He looked ashen. He kept stroking me. Then they gave the baby to Paul and he brought her down to me. All I could see was her face. She was a cocoon with a cap. But to me she was beautiful. I fell utterly, totally, fully and unconditionally in love with this child. Right there.

After I was all taken care of, we were in a recovery room. Us. Our new family. Our new baby - Sarah - Paul and me. Paul held her oddly at first. I suppose he was being very cautious. After awhile he did bring her to me in the bed. I stared at that child for the beginning of an eternity. There was nothing more important or more interesting to me at that time. Just Sarah.

And now 10 years later I reflect on what a wonderful child my Saz is. She is smart, talented, funny, beautiful, interesting, good hearted, and a blessed child of God. She is so precious to me. I love her with all I am. God has shown me what love is for a child that I never could have understood before. He has shown me what my mom feels, which I never did understand before.

Not everyday is a bed of roses I do have to admit. Those of you who know us know that I am at wit's end most days; some new adventure to traverse on a daily basis around here.

But all in all I am so proud of my Saz. She's a great kid. Thank you God for this child and for the blessing to be her mother. I prayed so many days for a child and You have answered my prayer many fold.

Happy Birthday my little pooka. Here's to your first decade. I love you dearly.