Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Letting go and letting God

There is so much in play in my little universe right now that all I can do is put it in the hands of a greater power than mine.

That's exactly what my plan is.

After all, there's not much else I can do right now.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Paradigm shift

My world was indeed rocked today.

I need to process. This might take a while.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Heart of a Lion

Just thinking about my good friend C. My boys had a good time at her place yesterday, and I was one of the few 'new guard' there--most of the adult company were people who 'knew her when.'

When I met C three years ago, she was a shadow. It's hard to describe, but I'll try. Any woman who has ever been in a controlling relationship knows what it looks like from the outside, and it was clear that C was there. She was a ghost. She measured every word that came out of her mouth. She flinched. A lot.

Probably the best thing that ever happened to her was when her XDH served her divorce papers. Because she disobeyed him.

People who knew her 'after' expected her to fall to pieces. Somehow, I had my money on her emerging better and stronger than she was before.

She is, after all, a lion.

So those of us gathered yesterday all agreed that we like the new and improved C (who is in reality the C who was there all along, under the layers and layers of wool). It's very cool seeing her now. I told her six months ago "It's nice to be with *you*--the real you!"

She looked surprised. "That's so funny, that's what my girlfriends from college tell me!"

SO I got to meet those friends and confirm what I knew all along. C's a lion.

I wish I could say I had something to do with the transformation, but sometimes, it's good enough just to bear witness.

You go, girl.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Magical thinking

This phrase has come up a few times in my travels the last week. My good friend wiki pedia tells me it's this:

Magical thinking in anthropology, psychology, and cognitive science is nonscientific causal reasoning that often includes such ideas as the ability of the mind to affect the physical world (see the philosophical problem of mental causation), and correlation mistaken for causation. Associative thinking may be brought into play, as well as the power of magical symbols, metaphor and metonym, and synchronicity. Since, in both theory and practice, magic does not conform to Western and modern canons of causality it is therefore appropriate to ask if it is rational to practice or believe in magic. For most theorists these questions turn on the matter of the practitioner’s thought processes, intentions, and the efficacy of their practice.

It's so funny, but for the dreamer I am, this SO does not apply to me. My here-and-now involves getting my work done and getting the boys to move forward. My getting the boys to move forward does not involve magical thinking so much as rigorous planning and follow-through on my part.

Sure, I dream big dreams for my kids, but I am also practical. Odds do not favor a golden ticket for either of them; blood, sweat, and tears (plenty of the last, I'm sure) will get them where they are going.

It's funny; this is not the extraordinary life I had in mind for myself when I was 21. But, in some ways, it's even better than I dreamed.

And I have shed the blood, sweat, and tears to make it possible.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Every child needs one person who is crazy about him."
--Uri Bronfenbenner

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Good Friends

Only time for a few lines, but another awesome time with another set of good friends. We headed over for what was going to be an hour but stretched into the evening. Nic played ball, swam in the pool and rode a bike; Gabe played with everybody and told stories while doing his little sprints in between. And after a dinner from the grill, we wandered down to the creek and threw rocks in the water.

We just got in a little while ago. So what if the neighbor kids don't play with my kids? My kids do have real friends.

It really is a lovely evening. :)

Although worth noting, we went out for my birthday the other night--we were going to do Japanese and Nic was whining about that. I told him "I just got finished telling Aunt M you don't do that anymore."

And he stopped! Just like that! :D

(ps, we went to a brew pub instead and everyone was happy)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Am I Wrong?

Just ruminating on something K said the other day (as I prepare to write something up for my day job--one of them, anyway, I need some warm up).

The quote: "I go with my gut and I am seldom wrong. But when I am wrong, I am spectacularly wrong."

I'm a gut girl, myself. Situationally, my gut is NEVER wrong; I ignore it at my peril. Experience has taught me that I lose--big time.

People are harder. I can pretty much tell up front friend from foe. But I have been fooled. And that's cost me. On the other hand, people I *knew* would shaft me I confided in, anyway. It was actually a relief in a way to be proven right, even if it did burn me in the short run.

But there are one or two people who still, years later, cause me consternation. I don't understand their betrayal because they did not seem to derive any direct benefit from it. I suspect they were used, and probably continue to be used.

Sheep, I guess, thus disposable.

But still.

Animals are easier.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Deep Thinker

Last mental snapshot of my trip:

My younger son, sitting for the better part of an hour, looking out into the water. The rest of the kids were in the cottage watching a video. G wandered to the end of the pier, curled up in one of the adirondack chairs there, and stared out into the water.

I've never seen a child do that, although I've done it myself. I was also *much* older.

G is my little old soul.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thanks, I needed that

Back and fully recharged from my retreat with the boys to my friend's house in rural Eastern MD. If K and I weren't so busy we'd make this happen more often; if we lived closer, we would definitely make it happen more often.

There was the usual nuttiness, but the things I'll remember best is all four boys piled into the hammock and swinging so high they were knocking each other out of it. Or Nic and her boys riding up and down the driveway on their bikes (something Nic refuses to do here under the watchful eye of the neighbors). Or maybe Nic jumping off the pier into the river. Or G paddling along under the pier once he felt comfortable in the water.

Or the joy on their faces as they watched the otters at the Maritime museum.

I loved, loved loved this time away. I am ready to deal with the craziness I left for 48 hours with a clear head.

Now for some Wii....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hanging out with people who get it

There is nothing cooler in the universe than watching my older boy go bike riding with his friends here. I didn't realize he knew how to ride a bike so well, since he doesn't do it in our neighborhood.

Nothing cooler, either, than my little one hanging out with kids who enjoy his company and wait until he is finished his thoughts.

I needed this recharge. I'm so glad we're here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Appropos of nothing

Just a random observation; it's funny how the paranoid mind works. If you screw some one over, you spend the rest of your life waiting for the other person to retaliate.

Isn't it easier to own your mistakes and move on?

Some people don't know how to do either. Pity for them.

Crash and Burn

In the scramble to get Nic to take his abx for Lyme disease, I forgot to give him his usual meds for anxiety and ADHD. The net result was his third tantrum of the year.

Granted, that's only 3. But it happened at lunch. :( Over long-established rules.

What we learned is that he needs the meds to keep his impulses in check. And moods. He's not on high dosages, but apparently a little goes a long way.

New day. Clean slate. Game on.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

social hell

So the block party is done, but the detritus of it is not gone. Yesterday I overheard this exchange with G and neighbor boy.

"Can you play with me?" G asked.

"I have to go watch my sister play softball" (not true, G asked his sister 5 minutes later and she was going to play with friends 'but would play with him later'--said only because I was sitting there).

"You're not doing it now, can you play with me?"

"Well, I have to go set up a playdate with H (boy across the street)."

"Can I play too?"


I whisked G off and took him to a playground he likes, then we went to Target and Costco. We talked through some of what happened, but he's hurt.

DH reported that he tried to get Nic outside to play while we were gone, but he didn't want to be outside. "He thinks the other kids own the neighborhood and that in the house is safe," he sighed. "What do we do?"

I've tried to make it so that it didn't matter if these brats played with my kids or not. They have plenty of people we meet up with elsewhere. BUT the reality is this:

They don't get asked over after school. Kids don't knock for them.

It doesn't matter how much work I put into trying to make it not matter. It still matters to them. And I just don't know what to do about that.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Methinks the Bar Requires an Increase in Altitude

if for no other reason than the kids blew me out of the water this weekend.

Let's be clear: there were plenty of downsides. G is a lot farther behind and needs PT more desperately than I first thought. His last tee-ball game was less than stellar. Nic had a lousy time at R's pool party (NEVER again--too crowded, too crazy, and two kids who he rides the bus with spent the entire time pushing his buttons, which, btw, is a huge part of the reason he is coming off that bus anyway). And Nic saw B at the block party and asked him if he liked his new shorts.

I really don't know what to do with that kid.

So that said, fresh off the triumph of Friday night, we went into the dreaded block party run by the Stepford wives. Frankly, I think they are settled doing it on our block because they get the least amount of pushback. DH is actually making noises about us living somewhere else by the time it rolls around again. But anyway.

So I made my (now famous) paella and cleaned the house while everyone from the association was doing everything but taking a toothbrush to clean the streets outside. Nic looked out the window from time to time. Dh and G were out. And I was working myself into a mighty fine froth about the afternoon when a thought formed like words spoken aloud: This is only a few hours out of your life.

In other words, I was really working myself up for nothing.

This is kind of hard. I'm socially awkward anyway, and being put in a situation where I am forced to be with people who I would never otherwise talk to is AWKWARD. These people consider my kids THOSE kids. And for that I have nothing to say to them.

So I took Nic to his party, and on the way home considered we might have been better off sitting it out. We came back and G has already been bouncing in the moon bounce a good hour. Nic got out his scooter (after having his hamburger and hot dog) and raced around with neighbor boy ("He looks normal," DH observed, a little surprised). DH and I hung out together, watching our kids, then talked to another couple who is out on the fringes before the skies opened up around 4.

Both boys raced into the house. I followed, wondered if God heard my wish for this thing to be rained out. We bowled and played a few games on the Wii before heading out for a bit. Every one was still huddled under the tents, the DJ still blared music, and I was glad to be excused from this exercise.

I'm usually all about 'free'--our outings usually cost nothing. But my mom had given me $10 for the boys to use at Dave & Busters, so I kicked in a couple bucks of my own, charged the card, and played for a bit. While we were roaming around the mall, it occurred to me that I should have checked the show times for UP (that was my plan B to get out of the block party)--called hubby and had him look it up. And, it was do-able.

Okay, 7:30 on a Saturday night is prime time move night, and I never took my kids to a theater without accomodations before. I told them we are committed once we buy the tickets. They yessed me to shut me up.

You know what, WOW they were so ready for this. Their first movie, sitting in a theater, with the lights fully down and the sound fully up and really, they were no worse than any of the other kids in there.

The partyers were gone by the time we got home (now going on 10), but DH, who had been working on a grant, reported that they were out there going at full obnoxious Animal House bore until 8:55. ("really, a lot of these guys are pushing 50, aren't they a little old to be acting like that? They were totally drunk off their asses!")

Funny from some one who has done more than his fair share, but he hasn't in years and doesn't understand the mentality of people who haven't moved on from college.

High marks for plan B.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gambles Sometimes Pay Off

So I enrolled the boys in a nature program last night so DH and I could go out to dinner. From a normal parent's perspective, this is no big deal. From autism central, you don't think about doing stuff like this.

Well, I did. And they did wonderfully.

Full disclosure: once upon a time I looked at these events that would come through my email with a great deal of wistfulness--wouldn't it be NICE if I could sign the kids up?

It's never G so much as Nic. He's a handful. G is usually fine.

Fueled by the relative success of township basketball, his classroom, his social flowering (I can't really describe it any other way--THAT's exactly how it looks) and his swimming successes, I signed both boys up. Made dinner plans.

And for about 3 hours felt like just about any other parent.

It was a success. Both boys had a blast. I was not called to get them early. And DH and I had a nice after dinner stroll through the woods before we had to pick them up.

It was a beautiful evening--for all of us.

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Fightin' Round the World with Russell Crowe" and other mental flotsam

I can't get this South Park episode out of my head. I think my younger sister started it by referencing 'Gladiator' the other day.

Random thoughts: DH thinks my family would be an interesting case study in genetics. I would be insulted except that the truth is in my face:

Two youngest children, both sons, both born to women well into their 40s (one married, one did not)

Next generation: 5 children, 1 male, 4 females. 1 clinically diagnosed autistic; others dealing sporadically with anxiety and depression

(I did not find out until our 30s and 40s my other siblings had social difficulties in school as well--WHY did we not talk to one another about these things????)

Third generation: 15 grandkids, 5 boys, 10 girls

2 boys have autism
1 boy had delays, but also had an awesome older sib for peer modeling
1 boy has speech delays and sensory issues (but is most emphatically NOT autistic)
(little irony there for those who missed it)
1 boy suspected Aspergers

Among the girls are scattered gifted, LD, and of course we have a phenom.


Maybe our gene pool needs some chlorine. Dunno.

Definitely something going on with the X side of the equation, but it would be cool from a completely academic POV to find out what.

Of course I would and probably will get beaten up for supposing some of this stuff out loud, but frankly, it's been bugging me, and my scientist husband can't help but analyze the facts in front of him.

Anyway. Other thoughts; sitting in a policy meeting last night, it occurred to me that people would find what I do and where I am boring. Not that I particularly care what anyone thinks. But what a sad little life I lead--breaking down divisions and misunderstanding, building coalitions, trying to get families services--what's in it for me?

Well, the short of it is, I'm at the table. What's in it for me is what will benefit any family going through what we've gone through. Dealing with disabilities is hard--you want to try to make it as simple as possible to get families set up with what they need so their child will have a better shot at adapting to that amorphous thing called 'the real world.'

I look at my older son, who is sharp and savvy, wanting to dress to please his friends, wanting to help his teachers by helping co-teach that which he knows well, wanting to interact with and engage his peers (and how cool is it that he recognizes that his basketball team shirt is a trophy of sorts--he wants to wear it to school because it makes him a part of a certain strata of students. He is sharp like that)

This tall, handsome sandy-haired kid may not be *normal* but he is magnificent.

G is no less amazing. I can't get enough of his sweet face and voice, his starting every thought with "You know, mom....", the fact that he wants to push in and play with the evil neighbor kids (and his persistence and bravery).

They are two very fine boys. I am proud of them both.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One down, one to go

So Nic's sitch is settled for next school year--the teacher I was hoping he'd get, plus the support. The kids again will be divided into two rooms--thank God! I think they knew I was going to kick up a hell of a fuss if they put all 4 ASD kids in one classroom (inclusion? how's THAT inclusion??)

I have to finish writing up G's PT report this am and get that over to the SPED office and get him figured out, now.

And both boys will ride the big bus. That gives me fits for many reasons, but I'll get through it--and so will they.

Finishing up some personal stuff this am--I looked at the calendar and realized with some amazement that school finishes up imminently and I have to figure something out for the hours sitch at work.

Waiting to hear if a project I put in for comes through--if it does, we're going to Europe in August. And if it doesn't, we're not.

Sitting here eating breakfast with the boys and making plans for the summer. Even if we don't make any big trips, we'll probably do a lot of fun stuff locally, which is fine. We have friends to catch up with, elevator trips to make, and yes, we'll still hang out in the woods. I'm not going to let Lyme disease rule our lives, but man, this was definitely a schooling I could have done without.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Final thought of the day

Can't WAIT to get these damn stitches out of my face!

And one other thing

Sitting at the table with the other folk, I was talking to a former teacher at Nic's school who knew Nic and was asking how he was doing. I described the last year in a nutshell, some of the successes, some of the challenges, and the woman sitting across from me said, "I'm sorry, I'm missing something. What's wrong with your son?"

"Both my sons have autism." I answered. I saw the look of pity on her face and quickly added, "They aren't doing too badly."

She shook her head. "They seem fine."

I laughed. "Spend some time with them, and you see it. I take them everywhere with me, and that's how they learn to behave. The big challenge a lot of parents have is taking their kids out in public. I take mine everywhere, they are included with typical peers at school, and you know what, they WILL be independent when they grow up. But to get there, you have to be here."

J nodded from her end of the table. "But you don't see parents doing that."

"Because it's hard," I replied. "It's so damned hard. People judge you, and I can't tell you how many times I've been ripped in public for my kids' behavior and what a thick skin I have as a result." I sighed. "But you have to do it. There is no other way."

SO. Got a little education of others in while I had my meal. And G and Nic found friends to play with. It was a good evening.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Will Never Sit Alone

Just back in from the Ministry Cook-in (thunderstorms threatening sent us inside), and it went well. The kids had a great time, G found a couple kids to play with, and Fr M as usual did something cool.

He sat down next to me, because there was no one else at our table. He knew he would draw a crowd and he did. He left about halfway through to go sit with another family, and his having been there guaranteed that I would have people to talk to.

Seriously. I love that guy.

So we chatted on a bit, the kids played, Nic of course was ready to leave once he had dessert, but I waited until I was talked out and G was played out before gathering them up and heading out.

It was perfect. We didn't stay too long, and we stayed long enough that both G and I were satisfied. We had a nice chatty walk home, the three of us, and they are watching James and the Giant Peach while I finish some work up and have a glass of wine.

Experiencing some serious peace right now despite the turmoil. It's a good life.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Record keeping stuff before I forget

I made shrimp and vegetable lo mein for dinner--good stuff, but the boys weren't impressed. Wish they weren't so damn picky. They are SO not my kids that way--I always ate anything.

Took Nic to get his titres done, and he was quite the man, sitting there quietly while the phlebotomist drew two vials from his arm. Four years ago, he sat in my lap and I held him down. We've come a long way.

Kind of on a roll thinking about Fr M--I was pretty lit and did a 'history of' for DH last night over dinner. He was not so much surprised as wondering why I was sharing all this stuff with him. He doesn't get attached to people the way I do, so he was maybe a bit perplexed.

He doesn't have that whole MIA parent thing going on that I do, either.

I don't attach indiscriminately. I did, at one time. I got over that years ago. But I can remember meeting him, and it was one of those rare moments where you lay eyes on some one and realize you are in EXACTLY the right spot at the right moment.

I liked and trusted him on sight. And as time went on, I realized the opposite was also true. He sought me out, and no matter how crowded a room was, he always managed to find me. I remember once being in the auditorium for one of the stewardship fairs and he came in, made a beeline for me, to just to say hello and "your smile lights up a room."

Full disclosure: I smile habitually not because I am happy but because I am perpetually running things that make me smile and/or laugh through my mind.

Fr M is of the brethren, and there is very little to nothing I've ever had to explain to him. And the vice is versa. When I lector during his masses, the only time we make any eye contact is during the sign of peace--he turns to me from the altar and I wave from where I am. But Sunday, and this was my first inkling something was wrong, he looked out at me first at the start of consecration, and then in the middle. The second time I realized he was really having trouble.

I nodded from my spot. *GO ON.*

He nodded himself. The whole exchange happened in the space of half a minute and no one else saw it. And he finished without a stumble. And then when he told me after what was going on, I just listened, offered some thoughts he requested, and went on my way. So I get it, too. It's good when it works both ways. Pretty rare, too.

And my family loves him, too. DH, who has no use for anybody, has nothing but good things to say about him--and the same is responsible for getting DH back to church. The boys adore him. The little one asked if he was like Grandpop--and the answer is, yes, he is a lot like grandpop. And they probably knew each other.

Need to burn some road trip disks...better get to it.

Feeling sick

Not sure which is worse, the fight I just had with Nic's ped over the meds or the fact that my big little guy is CLEARLY not himself.

I need to get through this am and then get stuff done.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Song of 7/Ditched again

I came back from a walk and found G out front with DH playing with the stomp rocket. DH went inside, Perky's kids showed up and played with mine.

Until grandson who called Nic a butthole last year showed up, and as per usual my kids were ditched...again.

Burns my ass, since my kids always invite Perky's kids to play--never the other way around.

BUT...what do I want to teach them? The higher road should prevail. But at what cost?

Thinking further on Fr M and the intersections of our lives while I walked this afternoon. My own father will be gone 35 years this August. He appeared to me in dreams when I was 14 and again right before my 21st birthday.

The first appearance was not a good one--it was not a good point in my life. He left without saying goodbye, it was that bad.

The second time we were in a white room together. He greeted me with a hug and we sat across from one another.

"So," he asked after a moment, "Did you ditch that loser?

At that point, there had been two. "Yes," I said. "The guy I'm with now is a keeper."

He nodded. "I think you'll be all right."

He didn't show up at 28 or 35, but I realized this afternoon that he *was* here, he just didn't invade my dreams like he had the previous times.

I earned my MA the day after my 28th birthday.

And October the year I turned 35 was when I met Fr M, who, for all intents and purposes, is the father that the fates have appointed for me.

And it seems like I'm the daughter he might have had if his life had worked out differently.

Thinking on all this today, putting the pieces and patterns together, and it seems like I couldn't possibly have planned any of it. But it works amazingly.

I think that's why UP resonates so with me. Life is not about the family you are born into, but the family you create--just by living, loving, connecting, being open to people.

I'll never have fame or fortune, but the wealth I have in those closest to me is priceless.

And how funny that my dad is still sending people my way to watch over me. Just to remind me that he'll always be looking after me.

So even as I struggle with this other stuff, it's nice to know that I have the universe at large watching my back.

Lyme and other maladies

Nic is now officially on antibiotics and is once again running a temp. He spat up the meds last night and got most of his dosage this am. One dose down, 29 to go. I keep telling him that the alternative is getting an intravenous drip, but the perils haven't fully sunk in.

I think getting this kid to take meds is the 8th circle of hell.

We get his titres done tomorrow, and of course they stand a 20-40% chance of coming back negative even though the symptoms are there. And his (somewhat mulish) ped is not convinced it's Lyme.

Whatever. He's going to need longer than a 10 day run with amoxacillin, which is all she's given him.

So I went to 7 am to lector to (over)hear another lector trashing me. When I confronted him, he just gave me a stupid little smile (busted, jerk). He kept his mouth shut because if he kept going, I would have simply smiled sweetly and conferred my responsibilities on him going forward. He knew it.

Fr. M presided, and I set up a date for him to come over and meet my friends, have dinner and the whole nine. Also apologized for any stuff he had to hear because of me and he quickly said no apologies were needed and everything was fine.

I wanted to treat him to breakfast, but he's sick--again. He's heading out for a three week retreat ("I'm peopled out") starting Friday.

I'm glad I got to check in, though. He keeps me going.

(edited to add) One part of our conversation sticks out in my mind--he was telling me how much he needs the time off. "And you know what, even though the grass is always greener no matter where you are, the single life sucks. There, I said it. If I get to the end of this, and there's no heaven, I am going to be awfully annoyed."

I would have hugged him if he weren't sick.

So we met my friend J and her son R at the camp yesterday, and the boys all had a blast. And DH grilled me, why is R so much higher functioning, he can't possibly have autism, shouldn't we get a TSS? I finally left the room, because he has a unique way of making me feel like I am not doing nearly enough for my boys.

It's hard sometimes, to get him to understand that this is the luck of the genetic draw. Our kids are reasonably high functioning, but there are kids who are STILL even less impacted than ours--not because their parents are doing or not doing one therapy or other, but because that's just the nature of this disorder. And it affects everyone differently.

That's one reason I hate getting together with people with higher functioning kids with DH in tow--the post mortems are brutal.

I hate that everything is such a struggle. It's no wonder the divorce and suicide rates of parents on the spectrum are so damned high.

Right now, Lyme disease and medicating it are the LAST things I want to be fretting about...but the nature of it makes it front and center. How am I going to get this kid to take 29 more doses? He doesn't get that if we don't do it this way, it's the hospital and through the veins. If we can't do it easy, it'll have to be done the hard way.

He is just not getting it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Of schadenfreude and Animals of Hostile Intent

Just a few lines to get down this am before getting into the swing of the weekend-tee ball, barbecues and get togethers are in the near future. Still trying to figure out what to do about the block party invasion next week--whether we crash or avoid altogether. I haven't decided. I think it all depends on whether I wake up feeling passive or aggressive.

I thought I had pared down my friends--or at least the people I don't mind having around--to those who truly wish me well, but find that there are still a couple around me firing poison darts when they think I'm not paying attention. Or perhaps it's to get my attention. But whatever the case, said people (actually person) I'm putting on ignore for a bit. However, person is so wrapped up in same's own in internal drama that little notice will be paid. Whatever.

In touch with another friend over a similar software issue yesterday led to a somewhat unexpected dialogue over a shared former acquaintance. My reference to person as 'an Animal of Hostile Intent' (thanks A.A. Milne) led to much hilarity--and then sobriety when the friend realized I had pegged this person accurately.

All this happened, plus a performance I attended for my older son, some work related phone conversations, and finding out more things about my younger son, led to a very thoughtful evening last night of cooking and considering some of my next moves. I already know there is nothing I can do to control the actions or inactions of others, so I don't even concern myself with those things. I only concentrate on that which I have some measure of control--which is how I react to how other people act or don't.

And this week, I just have other fish to fry.

But I am grateful to the bunch of people who responded to an SOS I sent via email yesterday. Fr M left me a phone message which makes me think some one was complaining about me again--he is a very sweet, loving person, and there was no sense of him shaking a finger at me--but the subject matter clearly points to my scheduling abilities (or lack therof). Mission accomplished, and I didn't interrupt anything. Yay.

I hate calling people on their cell.

So, I take care of things this weekend that need dealing with and next week is a new week. I straighten out G's situation, figure out Nic's, and then I get my stitches out and figure out what they next to dos are.....

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mental Laundry Sort

Have to finish the narrative for G’s placement today. His teacher gave me some new information that would be helpful. Meanwhile, dad is taking Nic to the neuro and the ped about his meds and the bull’s eye, in that order.

I have some work stuff that needs catching up, and hopefully I can get all that done today before I leave.

Meanwhile, my face has stitches and I have post surgical care stuff I need to do on my back and I can’t reach either location. That’s frustrating.

And I let R’s mom know that Nic lied about implicating him in the infamous bathroom incident this week. Turns out she had no idea and thanked me for apprising her.

Which begs the question: how can she let her kid go to school and not know what goes on with him? I envy her that freedom from worry. Sometimes I feel choked by my own need for vigilance. BUT…there is a cost for the lack of it, so it’s not even like free will is involved—I HAVE to know what’s going on, because when stuff goes wrong, I won’t know how to fix it otherwise.

Further begging the question—at what point can I step back? The dream—the goal—the vision—is that they be fully independent, functioning members of society. I like to think I am arming them with what they need to get there right now. But at what point do I let them try it out?

I celebrate a lot of small milestones that would pass unnoticed by the typical parent. But it’s such a fight to get to those points for us. It’s such a fight to get them included, when inclusion is just a matter-of-fact for most kids (and their parents). I feel that I get looked at for ‘having a lot of nerve’ for ‘assuming’ my right to have my kids included.

So I’m nervy. Add it to the list.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

And I left something out

Comforting my child at 5:15 am who was sobbing inconsolably that I left him. He woke me up out of a dream where all the hair came off my head and ended up in my fish tank, along with the phony salmon eggs DH uses to fish.

I describe this dream to my sobbing younger son, who dissolves into laughter at the complete ridiculousness of my dream. I spend the next hour reading the first few chapters of A.A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh to him.

And THAT was how I started my day. I needed to remind myself that there was plenty of good on this rainy Thursday.

Before Noon Today I

-got chewed out for an email I sent--the mistake I made was an honest one, and it turns out my boss was operating from the same assumptions I did
-went to a PTO meeting and voted in favor of purchasing new technology to help the teachers and okayed a new program to stop bullying at our school
-went to the dermatologist and had three moles removed and biopsied. One apparently has gone thermonuclear. Or not. In any case, I won't know til next week, so I'm not worrying until I have to
-saw G's alternate placement--and apparently convinced the powers that be just by being there that he needs to be in his own school with his brother, taking the big bus--as discussed
-wished my brother a happy belated birthday
-called Nic's doctor about the bull's eye rash on his back--we'll go in and get lab work done and start the antibiotics tomorrow
-continued phone tag with my fellow room mom

Gearing up for the second half of the day, which is more doctor appointments, phone calls, emails and figuring out dinner. It's only Thursday? Or is it Thursday already?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A whole lotta something going on

Sitting on the train, which is running late because of signal problems. Heading to work, will be a short day because I have a meeting, along with two other moms, with one of the SPED heads. Could be a game-changer, could be status quo.

The optimist in me has been sufficiently beaten into submission this week.

A couple factors running on here. G graduated from Pre-K on Monday, even though he'll be there for the summer. He did much better during the ceremony than Nic ever did. Even so, seeing how much beyond the pale he is can be hard to watch.

Likewise tee-ball last night, and last night he was even more off than usual. "Disheartening, isn't it?" Dh asked me. It is.

And Nic hasn't been setting the world on fire, either. Although he got an 88 in the science test that he and DH constructed a hands on study for, he peed against the wall in the boys' room at lunch time yesterday. He told me R dared him, and that Nic did it to 'take the tease out of him.'

(He's paraphrasing Rabbit's plan to take the bounce out of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh)

Oh, and G has taken to making a Pooh Shrine on his bed every night with his Pooh and my A.A. Milne hard cover copy of Winnie-The-Pooh. Then he cuddles up with Pooh and I read him a chapter before we shut off the light and say good night.

So I awakened to a storm last night, or early this am. Amazingly, it did not wake DH or either of the boys, because lightning hit pretty close and it was hitting pretty furiously. Thunderstorms have always been vaguely comforting to me--I remember when we were all small and dad telling us the angels were bowling.

We knew mom bowled in the parish league, so this sounded good. Lightning flashed when some one up there bowled a strike.

Funny, I had all but forgotten that until just now.

Anyway, heading into town, don't really want to see anyone or meet with anyone right now, although I will because I have to. Some recent reading is haunting me, too. I read Nineteen Minutes in 3 or 4 sittings over the last few days. I couldn't put it down. It was a compelling read, but the protagonist was what had me paying attention. I remember the debate raging over whether this kid had Aspergers and the autism community was up in arms and defensive about it--caused a huge uproar.

Here's my thought. Aspergers is never mentioned, but that's what it is.

I totally understand why people got bent up over this, but reading this is making me re-think some of my own tactics (tactics, like integrating my kids is war. But you know what, it is.).

I asked DH last night when we were talking about the little one and tee-ball. "Why do I even bother?" He answered "because it's good for them."

I think of all the things the mom did in the book--for the same reasons. I think of all the things my own mom did--for the same reasons.

The common denominator between me and the protagonist was that we lived it. Where we separated was how we responded to it.

But I have boys. My younger one has a temper and holds a grudge.

Is the big bus really a good idea? Do I need to back off doing the township sports? If I respected Nic's 'no' every time he said it, he'd never do anything but YouTube elevators--so I know I need to push.

BUT. How hard? How far?

Was what happened in the bathroom an isolated incident? Or is it the start of a forced move to a segregated classroom?

If it comes to that, I'd pull him out of that district and take them to DP so fast their heads would spin.

I thought I was into these battles already? What's gone before was just a warm up. The real fights start late next week.

(sarcasm on) Can't wait.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Too much to do

Going to take a long walk, clear my head and write a few bits or correspondence I need to get done.

TOTD: Get off your cross, take the wood, build a bridge and GET OVER IT!

Monday, June 1, 2009

UP, CYO, and When I Grow Up

I feel like I can finally talk about UP at some length. Although it is is admittedly not for everyone, I think it's Pixar's best yet. If you can take a couple apparently unlikable protagonists and not only make them sympathetic but also lovable, you know you've struck gold.

The kids loved it. I think they both identified with Russell on some level. And I definitely identified with Carl. Probably also somewhat with Kevin and Dug.

Muntz reminded me in equal part of Captain Ahab and an ex.

Great movie. We're definitely going to see it again.

Okay, so we did the CYO breakfast. We lived through it. Nic did awesome at the mass before hand, and we were asked to bring up the gifts at offertory. When I consider that this is the same kid who got stuck under the pew two years ago, I can say with all conviction that he HAS come a long way.

Now to get onto making the sacraments. Now MIL is harassing DH about communion and Nic. He's at least two years out from that happening. Maybe I can talk to Fr Mike about doing confession and and communion together next year, since he officially has a year of PREP under his belt already and you need two.

Oh yeah, so back to the CYO thing. So all the kids already know each other, and all the kids sat together, and Nic was the only kid just about sitting with mom. And mom really didn't know any of the other CYO parents, so we were off to the side on our own. Which, you know what, suited us both fine.

Note to self, skip the banquet in the future, do track. Leave it there.

As for the last, had a long chat with Dh on the way home from the ILs. He wants me to give up the charity gig. I told him freelance has dried up for the time being and it might not be a bad idea to hold onto the gig through the summer (since I already have this sort of figured out). I'm continuing to knock on doors, but I'm actually okay for right now. There's enough to do. More than enough.

Now to get ready for the week. It will be busy.