Life that is.
Sorry for the two day blackout. I didn’t promise perfect attendance. I’m shooting for it God knows, but I know I can’t.
See, I’m pretty great at seeing the humor in life. I am especially talented at seeing the humor in the fabulousness and mystery that is me.
I’m the girl who clams up and gets tongue tied around a brush with a celebrity. I’m the girl who’s dressed all oh-so-California-chic and splatters her freshly pressed green drink on her white bell bottom pants. I’m the girl who tries to act sexy and trips and falls over her own feet in front of an audience containing several cool and hot people who just don’t ever do that. It’s funny sh*t.
My husband is funny. So are my kids. We yell and fuss and argue a lot. We also dance, create, cheer and laugh with each other. ALOT.
I’ve been thinking of someone other than myself non stop the last three days. But I don’t have much humor to inject into this post.
It’s my son. My eight year old boy who will make all his critics and detractors eat their early, pompous opinions when he’s making headlines as a mover and shaker; tapped for Forbes’ Who’s Who Under Thirty.
Then again I’d be just as pleased if he opened his own stand up paddle & surf shop back in his hometown of Laguna Beach someday.
But right now we’re struggling. As a parent, I’m out of my league. What’s going on with him is outside my scope.
I’ve read a lot. Incorporated a lot. We have consulted with professionals and other parents we’ve admired in the past. However, now I’m consulting professionals not about parenting but to directly, provide psychological and emotional support for my baby boy.
We’ve been having a tough go of it. He’s off. Something he needs to process? SomethingS he needs to process? Dad and his side of the gene pool suffer from anxiety and depression. There’s no easy answer. And my heart is breaking into a million pieces and of course, fear for his well being; his future.
If you must know, I’m almost 18 years sober. My husband too. We’re probably two of the most conscientious parents around, to the point we work hard NOT to helicopter because we know that’s as bad as not being tuned in enough. But we’re far from perfect. And then there were the years of marital strain. Yelch. We moved from SoCal to Chicago in 2011 and my son watched me break my foot in 2012, get hauled away in an ambulance and admitted later that he felt responsible for it.
Before Christmas and during the holiday break we probably allowed too much video game time (which he must earn) and T.V. time (Beyblade mostly…AWFUL Japanese anime teenagers with attitudes you DON’T want your eight year old to adopt).
He’s seen three PG-13 movies to date: The Avengers, The Hobbit (OMG! The battle at the end with the orcs! Color me HORRIFIED!), and a Christian Bale Batman, I don’t recall which one. We’d run out of movies at a vacation resort in Costa Rica where he had contracted a GNARLEY virus for four days.
What’s to blame? Or was it a formula? Or is it as simple as I’ve explained to him? That EVERY human needs help. And sometimes it is necessary and even better to get it from someone who is not your family or friend, but a professional. Often times it’s temporary, to deal with some emotions that are in boomerang. That’s what I’m hoping for here.
I’m sorry to say that I couldn’t think of serving others the last few days. Not after watching my son melt down at the kitchen table, crying, asking “why am I like this?” during a routine and not at all extraordinary firm discussion about the fact that “Yes, you are going to school today” and then proceeding to strike himself in his sternum repeatedly.
I stopped him by putting my hand across his sternum when the next strike was already on its way. When it hit, and I could feel the force with which he was hitting himself my insides unraveled. Time stood still. I could hear my breath in my ears.
However, if there’s one good thing about me, and there’s more than one, I am a solution person. I am swift and resourceful and focused. I will do what needs to be done. I spoke with all the right humans. He will get the help he needs. He will learn that it’s not only okay but that most people need help and the smart, successful and courageous are the ones who seek it, are receptive and accepting of this fact.
I am continuing to pursue how I can be a better me and a better mom. I’m a pretty rocking’ wife these days, coasting, a bit of a plateau. I’m SURE there’s another marital growth opportunity right around the corner.
It’ll probably jump up and bite me in the *ss as soon as my son has worked through some of his current stuff and by all appearances seems to be securely on his rails. Yeah. Those are the ripe moments for more personal growth to show up.
I’m not even indignant anymore. Or surprised. In fact I’ve gotten a little wise to the timing of the universe and usually have tea and scones ready and I’m greeting the new growth opportunity at the door all like, “I’ve been expecting you! Hope this doesn’t take too long!”.
I digress. Over the last few days we’ve continued to have some intense times offset by some really, really PERFECT, pure and beautiful times. It’s felt a bit manic. It shifts several times in a day and on a dime. I’m a gratitude junky; a Pollyanna. It’s debilitating and confounding to have children that seem so discontent so often. I’m sure this all means looking harder at me. I’m okay with that.
Bring it. Oh wait, it’s already brung.
In the mean time, I took several hot showers in which I cried freely. I usually shower every 1-2 days. Four in three days is a sign of crisis for me. I went to yoga two days in a row and on a date with my husband. I made sure that my daughter got special time from me. I told you I’m conscientious. I know that the squeakier wheel (my son) can distract and abscond with too much of mom and dad’s attentions from the other sibling(s). My little girl and I have dates and I make a conscious commitment that she doesn’t get shorted of my attention.
And it happens a little anyway I think. Ugh. And ugh.
It is my opinion that my son needed a break from me as much as I needed some time away from him (date with daddy; yoga; showers). He was calm and happy for the sitter and played well with his sister. The lovely times we had were probably made possible by the times apart.
Tomorrow I follow up with the professionals to whom I was referred and that I had left messages for on Friday.
I don’t need diagnoses from anyone outside the professionals right now. I’m hurting for my son more than I’m afraid for him. I compartmentalize incredibly well (abused as a child, this self preservation tool I acquired can actually be as useful as it is detrimental). I will process, take direction and the next, intuitive steps necessary as information is revealed to me. Blood work will be done as well.
So Celiac or just some bumps in the road that require a little extra attention or clinical anxiety, I will be there for my boy, advocating for him, by his side. Except when he needs me not to be.
Because I know some of this that he will be working through, he will have to do on his own. Even at the tender age of eight.
So I did not serve anonymously today. Or yesterday. Or Friday. I actually tried Saturday to pay for the car behind me at McDonald’s but I was directed to the incorrect window.
Also on Saturday, my husband made some generic, but flag-raising comments about our finances. I’ve been having to take responsibility for not being more involved. He’s always been forthcoming and inviting. But I’ve waved it off, too busy. Let’s just say, in order to feel more secure, I can’t wave it off anymore.
Fact is I’ve never been fond of finances. Finances have mocked me my whole life. They were barely within reach for more than half my life. And when we got to know each other better, they have not disguised the fact that they’re still superior to me in comprehension and they know they intimidate me.
Now however, in light of my concerns for my children, looking finance dead in the eye seems like a cake walk by comparison.
But not fun. And definitely NOT funny.