I pride myself on being able to do things just as well, if not better, than fully sighted moms.  I blog about how much confidence I’ve gained with my new guide dog and other blindness-related training.  And I speak at schools about how I don’t let my failing vision get in my way, especially when it comes to being a mom.  .

So, of course, when my 5 and 9-year-old daughters asked to go to the city for the day and my husband couldn’t accompany us, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

With my new Uber and Lyft apps, I figured transportation would be even easier than cabs, especially since I’d had such good luck with both of these ride services in the burbs.

I’d gone to the city twice with my guide dog, Roja, by myself, so I figured adding a couple kids in tow wouldn’t make a huge difference.  And for the most part, it didn’t.

But the thing about kids is that they have a lot of requests.  They get hungry.  They want to go skating.  They have to use the  bathroom.  They like to buy things.  They enjoy exploring.  They like to play at city parks in January and don’t realize that they’re nearly frostbitten until they’re nearly frostbitten.  You get the idea.

5 year old, Elli, climbing on rope bridge at Millennium Park

Photo description: 5 year old, Elli, climbing on rope bridge at Millennium Park

The train ride to the city was a breeze, but as soon as we set foot into the bustling Windy City, Calm, Together Mommy was replaced by Anxious, Frazzled Mommy.

And so begin my confessions:

#1 – I confess that, while fumbling for the soap dispenser in the public restroom, I poked an oddly placed outlet instead, nearly electrocuting myself (note to self: do not wet hand until after locating soap).

#2 – I confess that, after Lyft’s GPS pinned our location incorrectly, I couldn’t explain to the driver on the phone where to find us, because I had no idea where we were (fortunately, a frantic mom with a guide dog calling out, “Excuse me! What cross street am I on?” elicits a nice response from passerby).

#3 – I confess that I did a little dance with a blind guy on the street corner, me not seeing his cane and he not noticing my guide dog. It was only later that night that my 9-year-old informed me I’d tangoed with a blind man.

#4-  I confess that I got stuck in a revolving door with my guide dog (I must’ve missed that lesson during guide dog training?).

#5 – I confess that I knocked over a display at the American Girl Store (it probably needed some spiffing up anyhow, right?)

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Photo description: My daughters at the American Girl store with new “doll of the year” (thank you Grandma Judy for the gift card!)

#6 – I confess that I couldn’t get Roja to get out of an Uber car and that the frustrated driver had to push her out.

#7 – I confess that I paraded my daughters to the wrong end of the train station on the way home and that we almost boarded an Amtrak to Kalamazoo.

#8 – I confess that I bought an entire bag of donut holes at the train station and binge ate them on the ride home.

#9 – I confess that I didn’t notice Roja’s tail was sticking out in the train aisle until it got stepped on (when a woman is focused on her donuts, attention to detail wanes).

#10 – I confess that, despite all of the above, I’d do it all over again.  I’d rather be a clunky mom out in the world than a smooth one holed up at home.

Photo description: All three of us in Millennium Park, with Roja peeking around the side.

Photo description: All three of us in Millennium Park, with Roja peeking around the side.

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14 thoughts on “10 Confessions of a Clunky Blind Mom Who Wants to Be Smooth

  1. You are magnificent, awe-inspiring, and incredibly extraordinary!!

    I confess that I never chose to take you girls to Chicago without dad because it seemed too overwhelming.

  2. Funny and heartfelt post. Loved it. Way to take on a city excursion with your girls, Joy! And I’m guilty of a weakness for donut holes, too. Especially those jelly filled granulated sugar munchkins. Powdered sugar, be gone.

  3. Well, that sounds like an adventure that the girls and you AND I will remember for a long time. Hilarious! I hope the next trip is just as much fun with an equally happy ending!

    • Ha, yes! Whenever my mom got lost driving us places as kids, she would always say cheerily, “We’re on an adventure!” It would drive my sisters and I crazy but now I appreciate that outlook!

  4. You are so much braver than me! Fully sighted I have not dared to take my kids to the city. I have only gone twice on my own and I was a nervous wreck. Not sure why as I used to love going downtown when I was in high school. So glad you had fun on your adventure!!

  5. WOW! you are so brave. You are an inspiration. I am going to try something new myself. Thanks for sharing.

  6. #3…dance with the guy and his cane! cracked me up! Shoot, I won’t even take a trip to downtown by myself anymore, let alone with 2 girls and a guide dog! you are brave!

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