Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Safety Mirage

Almost as if in rejoinder to my last post, I had a dream last night of safe harbor.

Ironic, considering I spent my last waking moments at DEFCON1. And I don't even know what to say about that anymore. As Fr M always tells me, if it were easy, it would be heaven on earth, and that's just not what we have.

It leaves me resolved to fix what's broken, but then again, if it's not me (and in this case it's not), then I have to lead the horse to water and hope he drinks.

But the horse is my mulish 11-year-old boy; I'm not optimistic.

And that voice in my dreams telling me it's going to be all right is coming from a suspect source. Which means there's something else in play and I need to watch my step.

I think of where we were, hiking in the woods together and spending time talking, and for a little while, I felt like the world was a beautiful place. And a safe place, connecting where we were to the associations I have with being there.

Therein lies the problem; Nic was in one place, telling me a story of a well-loved narrative, and my head was elsewhere, no doubt in some happy place of my creation.

What happened later just affirmed the actual here and now, minus masks, props, and scenery.

I need to *be* here, because there is so much to do. Hubby throws up his hands. And I bend down, prepared to get dirty, because I know precisely what needs doing. Except I keep hoping I don't have to. I don't want to. This is *hard*.

Understanding, again, the respite I get isn't so much that as an opportunity to recharge. Because I need to. Because the work doesn't stop. And because I need to gather the strength to accomplish what needs doing. And thinking about other stuff helps me problem solve.

And sometimes, it's just a nice distraction.

I think I've finally learned how to differentiate one from the other.

Game on.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dizzying Heights

In my dream, I am perched high on what looks like a diving platform. It slopes downward enough that I slide, sit down, and grip the sides, looking down, appreciating the fact that if I fall, the ground is quite a ways down, and I can do some serious damage if I lose my grip.

This is what waking life feels to me lately. Vertiginous is a good word. I live life bravely on the outside, but fear assails me in my dreams. So that when I wake, my first instinct is to pull the covers over my head.

Not very brave. Not even close.

The covers come off, because I know pulling them over my head isn't going to make those things I fear go away. They will only sit out there and wait...they have nothing but time on their collective hands. It's like going up that rock wall a few weeks ago; the fear is there, but I need to work/walk/play through it.

It tires me out. But necessity compels me.

So today, I declare myself thankful for the seemingly bottomless well of strength that I have to keep going. Some days, I feel I have exhausted all my resources. But on those days, I have the help of my friends and my family, on whose backs and shoulders I lean until I can muster up enough strength to keep going on my own.

I am all that we are. And I am thankful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I really have not given myself much in the way of downtime this week. But I feel I have to take a moment or 10 for myself. It's been a good week in that I have had a lot of love and support from my friends to keep me going. But, by the same token, I continue to get tripped up by the usual stuff. Nic. G. Everything they have going on all around them, all the ways in which they both adapt and cope.

And I sit here with my glass of wine and reflect that as much as I do, I still need to do more. But I do get tapped out. There are a multitude of distractions, and I see how people mix up priorities. Meeting up with a friend and her boys tonight reminded me (in a good way) that distractions are just that; problems don't necessarily go away because you are paying attention to something that gives you pleasure. Distractions are a sort of illusion--something that looks good probably isn't. You focus and deal with the hand you've been dealt--anything else is a deviation from your responsibilities.

The stinkeye I get from a certain young man is a reminder.

Whenever I feel myself getting closed in by everything, I pull back and try to see the bigger picture. What's going on here that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with me? Do I need to own any of that? Usually, no, I don't. And it's so much easier to disengage when you know, for sure, it really isn't you.

The trouble is, there's always so much spillover, isn't there? Life is messy. It just is.

I know that, right now, I am literally doing everything possible to ensure the success of my family. And by success, I mean, just doing the right thing, ensuring that they all know what their collective right thing is, and that they do it. Whatever that entails.

But I do tire of being a border collie. I do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

So much to say

I don't even know where I should start. I feel like my life is an endless obstacle course. We went to Ft Mifflin almost two weeks ago with the scouts, and ironically, Nic is getting more out of scouts now that he is no longer actually a scout. I had a run-in with a mom who made an example out of G, so I had to make an example out of her (she did not like it). We had an adventure-packed weekend last weekend that culminated in an impromptu road trip to the shore.

Nic is rocking his social skills group, even if he is not rocking middle school. Confirmation kick-off went better than expected. And G rocked his first piano lesson tonight. He will hit our pack leader in the face with a cream pie tomorrow night as the top seller of popcorn in his pack. (and I will endure a similar fate at the hands of another person's child and savor that irony on many levels).

I'm tired. The running is constant, and I have to call the little one's teacher tomorrow (and I am sure I am going to hear--again--that I am not doing enough for him). We continue to take corrective measures for both kids, but they are both almost painfully aware of what we do for each of them--and that what we do for each differs.

You know, if there were one catch-all fix, I'd be all over it. But there is none. I can only do what I can do for each of them, addressing individual needs while not comparing them. Which can be difficult, if not nearly impossible.

On the way to pick up G last night, Nic asked me "Is G better than me?"

I sigh, because I have heard this question in so many different permutations from both boys since this school year started that it all sort of blurs for me. "No, Nic. You and G are equal, but different. I can't compare you, since you have different strengths and different things to work on. But know this." We were stopped at a light, so I turned to look him in the eye. "You are both amazing, courageous, awesome kids. And I am so proud of you both."

The light changed. Nic was quiet for a moment, then leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

"Thanks, mom." His voice was a little hoarse.

"You're welcome, Nic." I cleared my throat, and there was something in my eye. Both eyes.

I don't know some days how we get through. But somehow, we do.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Words to Live By

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.”~GB Shaw

And for now, I have nothing further. Later days.