Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Power of Two - Indigo Girls

Hey, you guys.  I have no idea why I stopped writing.  I think part of it is having 2 kids and being busy.  I could make time, if I wanted to, and today, well, I wanted to.  I had an experience the other day that was so ordinary and yet so profound, and sharing it with Dave just wasn’t enough.  Sorry, Dave.  I couldn’t easily fit it into a Facebook status update so, well, here I am. 

It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon.  Emerson was inside the house, reading a book, as he is wont to do, and Eliot and I were in the driveway playing with chalk.  I drew him various things, wrote some words, and was remembering how much Em loved for me to do the same when he was about the same age.  And then, at Eliot’s request, I drew him a moon and some stars.  He started singing a song called “Moon, Moon, Moon”, and then requested that I sing with him.  We sang it a few times and then he asked for “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”  We sang together in the driveway for a few minutes, and then he went back to chalking.  Almost the entire time we sang together, I cried, and was insanely grateful for sunglasses.

I’m sure you’re wondering what the hell is wrong with me.  Or maybe not.  I don’t blame you either way.  But here is the thing: Emerson has not once ever asked me to sing with him.  It’s small, but it’s gigantic, you know?  It was such a sweet little moment and I guess I realized that other people have that sort of moment all the time and I never had until that day and it was wonderful.  I have a lot of those moments these days, and sometimes they make me sadder than they should. 

It’s weird, having a kid with HFA and a seemingly neruotypical kid in the same house. It’s weird, having such strong responses to everyday interactions.  It’s weird, as Eliot grows up, realizing that we have to learn a whole new method of communication, encouragement, stimulation, engagement, and all the other ways a parent interacts with children.  I think the weirdest thing, though, is allowing myself to enjoy those little moments instead of feeling guilty that I'm having them.  

Let me explain.  There are many, many things that Em does that are not normal, but are special and wonderful in their own ways.  I will never NOT enjoy those things.  I mean, who DOESN'T love having contests to see who can use the most adjectives to describe something?  He IS my child, after all.  But for me to simply be happy watching Eliot make stuffed animals talk to each other or singing little songs or any other little normal kid things that I missed out on before - well, it's hard not to feel guilty about how much I enjoy them.  Because somehow, it makes me feel for a minute like I am enjoying them because they're not what Emerson did.  Does that make sense?  

And then I remind myself that, HFA or no HFA, each child is different, and there will always be little things that make my heart feel like it's going to explode.  There continue to be those things with Emerson, and there are just new ones with Eliot.  And I love them all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

That Guy - Tori Amos

Know what really sucks? Parents who seem hell-bent on ensuring that their children turn out to be assholes. Oh, they may not DELIBERATELY be trying to turn their kids into raging jerks, but they do. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone screws something up, and gawd knows I beat myself up about every little thing I mess up. But it’s kids who are in close proximity to mine with parents who don’t give a good goddamn about rules and boundaries and seem more concerned with being their kids' friends instead of being their PARENTS. it’s a novel concept.

Do you know what I mean?

Parents who let their kids bring expensive toys for show-and-tell because it’s easier than bringing actual stuff to discuss. Even when the teacher asks really nicely for kids to bring discussion items that could end up being educational. Photos, books, plants, stones, something from a trip – you get the idea. Not the latest fucking Lego creation that your own child will beg for once he returns home from school. And when next Monday rolls around, your child will plead to be allowed to bring his own Lego shit for show-and-tell, because Jack* did.

Parents who let their five- and six-year-old children play violent killing video games because they “lost that battle.” THAT IS A DIRECT QUOTE. I am now 37 years old, and I don’t lose battles to my 5-year-old son. Because I am The Parent. Oh, sure. It’s not always pretty, but I stand my ground. And no, this doesn’t endear me to him 100% of the time. In fact, he might tell me that he really doesn’t like me. But at that point, I’ll take a page from my mother’s playbook and tell him that he doesn’t have to like me.

I love both my children so much I feel that my heart will just burst open sometimes. But I have a duty to them. A duty to make their lives as good as possible while teaching them to be responsible residents of this planet. If they hate me sometimes because I don't let them watch TV all day or ask them to clean their rooms, well, sucks to be me. Sure, I'll let them make as many of their own decisions as possible. But when it comes down to letting my kid watch a PG-13 movie that I am 100% sure will give him nightmares? Sorry, not going to happen. That's also me being lazy - I mean, who wants to get up in the middle of the night to deal with that? Not me.

What do you guys think? Am I too much of a hardass? How do you handle that sort of thing?

*name has been changed, of course.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This Year's Girl - Elvis Costello

Hey. Remember that resolution post from last year? Yeah, neither do I. Oops. I didn't run that marathon, which I will blame on hip issues. I didn't correspond with anyone very well, and I certainly didn't step up the blogging. THIS is exactly why I think making resolutions is stupid. Because you fail at them and then you feel shitty. So no resolutions for 2012. I KNEW I should stick to not making any, but now i have proof that they're a bad idea for me.

But wait, you say. What about the one you didn't mention? The gray hair one? Aha! The lazy option. The resolution that required me to do absolutely nothing except let my hair grow and fight the urge to change it. Yes, that one I stuck to. Because it was inordinately simple. Here are some photos of the carnage.

Look at all that gray hair. I swear it's at least one-third gray at this point, because every time I wear anything black and notice hair that's shed onto my shirt, about one-third of the time, that hair is long and thick and wonky and gray. The good thing is that my hair's curly, so it almost looks like highlights. That hair is such a different texture, it's sort of incredible, actually. It's really thick and sticks out in all directions. My father's hair is all silver and it's like a brillo pad sitting on top of his head. I think this is what genetics has in store for me: the human brillo pad, female version. RAD, I know.

It started out mostly at the temples, but it's spreading like wildfire, and now it's pretty much all over. But you know what? I almost kind of like it. I mean, I'm not young any more. not really. I look back at all those facebook photos posted of me from when I was in my early 20s and realize that I'm really not that girl any more at all. not even close. she was really pretty and thin and nice and naive and all of those things that 20-somethings should probably be. I'm a lot less of all of that. weighted down by literal extra pounds and the weight of experience. The laugh lines, frown lines, and all the lines in between. The hair is just an extra step in making me look like a WOMAN.

Some days, I embrace it. I love Alice's post about feeling sort of intimidating and enjoying it. She was, of course, the person who inspired me to let the gray go. I have days when I want to cry about how much I've changed, and I wonder if it's for the better or for the worse.

The day I took this one, I guess I was feeling better. You can see the streaks really starting from a distance, and I guess I felt fairly ok about it.

Are you going gray? Do you color your hair? Why or why not? Also, do you spell it gray or grey?
I must know.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sooner or Later - ZaZa

word to the wise:

do not leave your prescription drugs within reach of toddlers, as you will never see them again. my antidepressants are gone. i'm not sure if this is just one of the universe's sick jokes or if eliot's trying to tell me something. but he CAN'T tell me ANYTHING. and now he can't tell me where the pills are.

this is not a fun game.

any guesses?