Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When life hands you a vortex...

"You be the captain, and I'll be no one.
And you can carry me away if you want to."
Kasey Chambers

I don't know how it happens...it is an odd phenomenon. I know that I am not alone in this..there are others like me..Others struggling with this same problem day in and day out..I won't be silent any longer! I must tell the truth. There seems to be some sort of vortex in our house..an invisible hole, one that sucks away socks and gloves..not pairs..just one of each pair. I don't know how it happens. I watch very carefully. I am like a cat with a mouse hole. And yet, I now own fifty unmatched socks and twenty five right hands of gloves. I'm starting to wonder, is there an invisible one footed left handed thief among us?

Oh sure, I've heard similar stories. People making jokes about recovering missing socks..gloves..you name it. They are just covering up their fear. Fear of the unknown. You see, I have had these things disappear before my very eyes. It seems to occur with Sammy the most. I will be talking to him..he will have both gloves on..and then, all of a sudden..one will just be gone. Nowhere to be found. He hasn't moved, hasn't left the room-and yet, his left glove will be missing and we won't be able to find it-anywhere! Poof! Into the vortex. The really scary thing is, we won't ever find that glove again. It is starting to freak me out a little.

My kids (well, mostly Sammy) misplace things all the time.Hats, books...trombones.. I am a regular visitor to the lost and found box at school. This is why EVERYTHING they own is marked with their names in indelible ink. That way, they always know if something is theirs or not. This is most important to Oscar. He is fastidious about his things. He always knows where his shoes are, his hat, his gloves-everything. It is one of the constants he relies on to get through his day. Which is why I was totally blown away by what happened last week.

It was Friday, I was eagerly waiting for the bus. I thought that the kids would be excited as it was the weekend AND Oscars birthday was on Sunday. Birthdays are a big occasion at our house. Really, how often does anyone get to celebrate just having been born? (Personally, I celebrate having survived labor) On a cold winters day, nine years ago, after almost being born in a car, Oscar came barreling into the world at a whopping 9 lbs. 3 oz. (his sainted mother was too far along for an epidural to have worked) Did I mention celebrating the fact that I survived labor? Either way, I expected Oscar to be excited when he got off of the bus. Instead, I was met with a very upset and crying boy. Oscar, buddy, whats wrong?" "My hat...my hat..my gloves.."
"What about them?...why are you crying?" "They're lost..Sammy lost them..lost..they are lost"
"What do you mean-Sammy lost them..on the bus?" "No!! at the museum..Sammy lost them at the museum..my hat and gloves.." "O.K..we'll find them..come on, calm yourself.." "NOOOOO!!! I want my hat and gloves..I won't have my birthday..my birthday is cancelled..no birthday for Oscar!" "Come on Oscar, we'll find them...it's just a hat and gloves...we'll figure it out..it's your birthday Sunday..cake and presents!! It will be o.k." "NO! No birthday! no cake! no presents!" and up the stairs he went..to go yell in his room for a bit. Nothing I could do but let him. Trust him to get through this-even though my instincts screamed for me to run after him and fix it. sigh..."Sammy? What happened..how did you lose Oscars hat and gloves?" "I left them at the museum" (Sammy had had a field trip that day) "How could you leave Oscars hat and gloves at the museum? When you left home this morning, you were wearing your own!" "I know!..I thought I had lost mine, but when I got on the bus to go home, Oscar had them and HIS were missing!" Do you understand why I am freaked out now? Scared of this hat, glove and sock vortex that is overshadowing the lives of my family?

An hour or so later, a very calm Oscar came downstairs to talk to me. "Mama? It's o.k. that Sammy lost my hat and gloves. It was an accident" "It was bud, he didn't mean it. Do you feel better now?" "Yes." "I'm glad..a hat and gloves are just things. No need to get so upset about them. If Sammy can't find them...we'll get you some new ones...is that o.k.?" "O.K. Mama...uhhh..Mama? We can still have cake and presents right?" "Oh Oscar...come here and let me hug you..of course we'll celebrate your birthday! How could we not? It is one of the best days ever! And off he went. and off he goes..Three years ago, losing anything would have been cause for a major freak out. I look at my now nine year old in amazement. My curly headed flying boy...How much he has grown, how wonderful he is. Kids grow and develop at their own rate. The important thing is to simply let them.

I have however, decided to wage a battle against the sock, hat and glove vortex. To try and get back some of those things I have lost. So, if there is anyone looking for fifty or so socks or right handed gloves, please leave me a message. Maybe we can get together. I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I can't stand when blogger doesn't let you change the date of posts...so the post below was really written today!! I just had started the idea of it on Monday. There. Frustration vented. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting there...Just like that

"Sir,I don't know if you noticed. But it's July, and it won't be July for very long. Pretty soon it will be winter. And it was an awful nice night."
Sarah Graves

"Mama?...are we there yet?"..."We just pulled out of the driveway Lil."..."Well when will we be there.." sigh.."In about two hours."..."Well..I wish we were there NOW!".."Me too Lil, me too."

Last weekend we went on a family trip. We drove down to Hampton Beach N.H. to attend my dearest and oldest friends wedding. It was the first time in three years that we went anywhere overnight-as a family. It has taken me that long to recover.

Don't get me wrong, My kids are great fun. They love going places, seeing new things. They are adventurous in their own way. It is the "getting there" that overwhelms them...and me. The amount of packing required for one overnight trip, the special blankets, sleep items, forty changes of clothes, swim wear, swim accessories..you name it-and that's just for the girls...add the thirty or so books Oscar can't live without, and Sammy's collection of action figures-with corresponding playing cards..and I start thinking of bringing two cars-and of staying home. Sigh...we would not have made very good pioneers.

Our two hour road trip only took us three and a half hours..record time considering that I had forgotten to pack the boys pants, the girls shoes and Omar's belt and tie. Of course, I didn't realize this until we were half way there, but it was nothing a quick trip to Sears couldn't fix. Although we did forget to buy Omar a belt and tie..we got the necessary kid things...my children(like it or not) would arrive at the wedding clothed.

What a wedding it was..The bride was stunning, the groom handsome...the beach freezing! Yes, they got married on the beach in N.H. in the dead of winter. I have to say though..during the ceremony-it felt like a spring day. I'm guessing that it had to do with the guests forming a wind break..or it was magic. They spoke their vows and all the flower kids (every child there was given a basket of rose petals to toss on the beach-which is another blog post in and of itself) sang a stirring rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle little star"..So maybe, just maybe it was just a little magical..

After the ceremony, we walked over to the reception, which was (thankfully) indoors. I have to say, I was worried about the herd. They aren't overly fond of crowds..loud noises (unless they are making them), strange food (meaning anything I haven't made for them from their specific menu of five things)..I guess I just didn't want them to be overwhelmed..As I watched them..walk around..join the other kids...dance..and even try different food..I was the one who became overwhelmed..When did this happen? Where have I been? Who are these children??!!

There was Oscar on the dance floor-all by himself..switching between doing a goosestep and freestyle(reminiscent of people at "Grateful Dead" concerts")...My girls..joined a bunch of other kids and put together an impromptu play-with the bride as the lead..and Sammy.. he took that first tentative step from young boy to young man. There was an older girl (at least thirteen), seated at our table..and Sammy was enamored. Sammy is a very young eleven, and this girl-well she was out of his league. That didn't stop him. When we were all on the dance floor.he asked her to dance..My Sammy, the boy who still sits on my lap, who is scared of aliens under his bed, The boy who at one time could not speak..ASKED A GIRL TO DANCE!! and even better..She said YES! He took her hands and proceeded to "dance" around in a circle-looking everywhere but at her. Afterwards, he walked her back to the table, sat down next to her, and again, continued looking everywhere but at her. It burst my heart to watch him..Later when it was time for the bride to throw her bouquet, she invited anyone single to try and catch it. Sammy..went up and ..well... The bride threw it and he leaped.. there was no stopping him, he was on a mission..he caught it...dusted himself off..walked across the banquet hall to our table...and presented it to the girl, thanking her for the dance and her company. Just like that.

You know, there are so many different ways to travel as a family..sometimes, as a parent, I get so caught up in the planning, the going..that I don't always realize when we get there. My herd has hit some milestones recently..achieved things that although I didn't think them incapable of..I just wasn't aware of them getting there. I hadn't stopped to look. Now that I have...well, I have to say, the view is incredible..

As we were pulling away from the hotel, Lily called out "Are we almost there yet Mama?"I turned and smiled at her.."yup, just about."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Can you help out?

I'm asking people to please stop by www.respectforinfinitediversity.blogspot.com and lend a hand...or an email. I don't know if you are aware of the case of young Zakh Price, an eleven year old boy in Arkansas, who is being charged with assault. His family was not given the proper assistance from the school, his I.E.P. was not followed...he was restrained, and cornered. He fought back. Now, this eleven year old boy faces assault charges AND the possibility of placement in a mental institution. His family needs your support and your help. We are asking people to email both the school and the district attorney. All that information is at the blog site.
If we are going to change how the world views our children-if we want the chance to get them the services that they need-we need to be vocal-we need to be loud. We need to be heard. Please go on over and lend your support. Thanks..

Monday, January 4, 2010

immortal words...

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons"
T.S. Eliot

"Mama?"..."Yes Lil?"...When I'm thirty, how old will Sammy be?" "Thirty six." "How old will Oscar be?" "Thirty four." "And Zoe?" "Twenty eight." "Mama?....When I'm a hundred, how old will you be?"..... Decrepit." "Decrepit??? How old is that?".."Ancient." "That's o.k. Mama, I'll take care of you." Sigh...I have no problem imagining Lily running around at that age.-no problem at all..But me? Being around at one hundred and thirty nine? I hope that by then, I will have long since packed my last snack. I do know this though...long after I am gone, my words will live on..if not in my writing, definitely in my kids.

The minute you have a child, your mortality becomes all important..you fret and you worry -"What would they do without me?..Who will take care of them the way that I do?..Who will love them like me...and get their snacks and tuck them in.. and raise them up and accept them...and understand them...Who?" Sigh... Parenting can be a perilous road...and at times I wonder, just what in the hell was I thinking in bringing these kids into the world. I have no idea of what I'm doing! None. I'm flying by the seat of my pants, driving blind...in the dark! I don't know what tomorrow will bring...or how I will deal with it. The tricky part is, not letting my kids know this. To them, I am all knowing, all powerful...omnipotent-at least, until they are teenagers . Even then though, my words will affect them.

I can still hear my mothers voice even though she has been dead half of my life. My grief has faded, but her words live on.. "Don't judge a book by its cover", " treat people the way in which you wish to be treated", "wash your hands after using the bathroom" and "ladies don't smoke or chew gum in public".sigh...I might not always listen to those words-but they are there, in the back of my head...especially when smoking in public. It does make me wonder though, what words of mine will my kids will remember...will it be "I think you are wonderful" or "Can't you just let me have five minutes to myself??!!" Or maybe, "I will always love you no matter what" or "If you don't get down off of that table, you won't have cookies till you're fifty!" I think they will remember a little of both...fondly...Or at least I hope so. I do know this-I will always make sure that they know that they were loved. Unconditionally.

Last week, my father, my nemesis, my friend, one of the biggest pains in the ass there ever was, and one of the funniest people I have ever known, my dad, died...leaving a gaping hole in my small world, and I am reeling... treading grief like it were water, just barely keeping my head above..And yet, at the same time, in my mind, I can hear him saying .." Kid?- A kick in the behind is a kick forward"..Strangely enough, I can also hear "I feel like a horses behind" "I'm so mad I could eat nails" and "You can kiss my rosy red behind"..And in an odd way, these words give me comfort, and through them, I know that I will get by-endure. My father may indeed have been fallible, his words...interesting, but he did teach me how to swim. v/

I really do hope that I am not around when Lily is one hundred years old..I mean, Sammy wants to put me in a nursing home now-what would become of me at one hundred and thirty nine? I do know this though-no matter how long I have on this earth, my kids will always know their importance to me-and that they are loved. They even may wind up quoting me now and again...just as long as I don't "feel like a horses behind"-I should be alright...