Saturday, May 12, 2012

A padded room of ones own..

~"If you do not tell the truth about yourself you can not tell it about other people"~ Virginia Woolf

  I was talking to my brother on the phone the other night...when he suggested that I was having a "sort of mid-life crisis". A mid life crisis. Me. Now, I have been accused of many things-called many names.  Most of them good...some of them...well, as this is a family blog-I won't print them here. But a mid life crisis?! Firstly, I am a little bit passed the mid life cutting off point.(48th birthday last week)  Even the spam in my mailbox agrees!- From invites to join AARP to free issues of "As We Change"  they mark me as nearer to my expiration date than somewhere closer I gleefully pointed this out to my he is 14 years my SENIOR.  This did  not make him happy (although it gave me much joy) nor did it change his opinion of me. Which is solely based on one recent acquisition.  Chickens. Yes, I am now the proud owner of three chickens.

 Since we moved into this area almost 7 years ago-it has been one of my husbands strongest desires to have chickens.  If we passed any house that had them-and there are many- he would sigh and say "They're allowed to have chickens...everyone is allowed to have chickens but me..."  I could have conceded. Much like I did with our THREE dogs, our big screen t.v. and various other things I have become primary caretaker of. But not this time...You see, Omar didn't want them as pets...he wanted them to eat! "We are not going to eat our pets!" I would exclaim. "Then don't name them." he'd reply. "I can't have chickens living in my yard and not name them!"..."Well, name one of them...we won't eat that one." On and on it went...for years...until finally-I came up with a plan. Quite a good plan if I say so myself. 

  His birthday was two weeks ago-He has had a few rough patches this, I wanted to do something extra special for him. I decided that I would get him his longed for chickens...only, on my terms. I bought a coop and set up a penned in area in our yard. Then, I brought home the three ADORABLE baby chicks...and showed them to the kids. Now, my kids very excited! "Oh Mama! they are so sweet!" "Look at how cute they are!"..."What are you going to name them?".."Well.." I said, "I promised Papa that if we ever got chickens- I would only name one of them." "That means we get to name the other two!!!"..."Well...if you insist."

  The kids met Omar at the door that evening..."Happy birthday Papa! come see your surprise!" As he looked upon the chicks with joy and (sadly) a little bit of....hunger..he said "Hmmm..I think I'll call them "K,F and C."  The kids-not knowing what he meant yelled"But we already named them Papa!" I said "Don't look at me-I only named one." and then I added..."How do you like your new PETS?"  He just laughed and said "I guess we'll be eating a lot of omelets." I guess so too.

  So, I don't see how or even why my brother would call this a  mid-life crisis. In just a few short weeks, our chicks have added so much to our household. (besides poop) They are very social-and that can be calming. If any of us has had a rough day...we just go sit with our fuzzy girls...they just make us feel good..  After this past month, I need all the "good" I can get.

  We just went through "re-evaluation" for Oscar..On the day before my birthday, we went in to hear the results of his testing. Is it just me-or does hearing results like this feel like a part of "Festivus" you know-the "airing of the grievances"? Understand, I in no way look at my son as less because of what he can not do..but in situations like feels as though that is ALL the focus is on. It is hard...and a little bit sad. Not because of what he can't do-but because there is no emphasis on what he CAN do. I feel like he isn't being seen as the whole person that he is. I know that they(evals.) serve a purpose-doesn't mean I have to like how they are done.  My day only went downhill from there.  Tht afternoon, there was a meeting at our school for parents of spec. ed. kids.  Sadly, not enough of us showed up...even sadder? Some of the things that were said. For instance-one person asked why their child did not get homework.  They felt that their child needed to learn that sometimes we all had to do things that we didn't like-because that is how it is in the real world. (meaning when they were employed) The answer she received...well...did you ever have one of those moments where you are just holding yourself together-because you know if you open your mouth...not nice things are going to come out? That was me when I heard "Our kids only do/get jobs that they like. We don't have to worry that they won't want to do the work." WHAT?????  And when I queried as to why we could not discuss autism..i.e. Oscar being the elephant in the room etc. That if a child came in wearing a cast, no one would hesitate to ask them what happened..I was told something along the lines of "Not everyone is as open and accepting about their kids as you are." As if this were a fault. Again, I held myself together...when I wanted to SCREAM "Then why don't we HELP them!! It would make their kids lives a hell of a lot easier..and theirs too!!!" I guess we'll just have to wait till our kids get those really great jobs to change things. Right....and disability isn't a four letter word.

  Thankfully, things have settled down a bit since then.  Oscar's IEP meeting SEEMS to have gone o.k.  Omar and I still have our worries...only time will tell. The kids are all healthy and happy...the chicks are thriving...and Mothers day is on Sunday.  This year I am going to ask for a little time by myself.  I gave up on asking for my own (bath)room years ago.  Although...a padded one might feel nice right about now. All soft and cozy...just me a cup of coffee and a really good book.  Perhaps even a chicken or three..Midlife crisis my backside!  More like old age wisdom..if you ask me...