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...



Kim Wombles said...

How could you eat that sweet little thing?

Old age wisdom, for sure!

Anonymous said...

Great post - loved Omar's "KFC". Happy Mother's Day - Wish we lived as close as in WI - I would join you in the padded room. Love, Ei

Anonymous said...

I love your pearls of wisdom...In working for a nonprofit that works with disabilities I hate the format we have to document under to justify being paid by the state becuase the focus isn't on what these individuals can for theselves do but how much staff have to do for them to justfy bein paid.
Very backwards in my opinion but the reality of how we have to work.
I say embrace all the joys of their accomplishments...It makes all the hard work and sacrifices for them worth while.
Enjoy your distrations with the chickens and the five minutes you may be granted in tribute to being a mother. You deserve every second.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Hanging out with the chicks as a cure for stress? Am liking that :) Happy Mother's Day!

Lizbeth said...

Gaw, I read this early this morning and I've been trying to get back here to comment all day. Three chickens? You must really love this man. But as long as they're not cat's I think its a pretty square don't have cats do you??? ;)

Anyway, have a good day giving those chickens proper names. You know you're never gonna eat them, right???

And totally off topic--I was thinking of you the other day---there was a commercial for a show about people living on the frontier and thought of you for some reason. I think maybe we had talked about how we would die in approximately 30 seconds or something....will have to find out more....

jazzygal said...

I love the fact that you have chickens and how clever you were about solving the problem of naming to avoid eating them! That's definitely wisdom that comes with age (I refuse to say Old Age!!)

Can't believe the attitude of the parents and understand your upset that the evaluations only concentrate on the negatives :-( However YOU and Omar see all (and there are a lot) of positives :-)))

xx Jazzy

Anonymous said...

I hate to comment but i am going to for this post. Thanks for your tough work, please maintain it up.:)

kathleen said...

@ K Wombles-We will NEVER eat them! They are maturing into gorgeous girls now..
@Anonymous-Thanks Eileen..wouldn't matter if we lived close or not...I am NOT sharing my padded room! I shared a room with you for long enough!! :)
@Looking for Blue sky-They are incredibly stress reducing!
@ anonymous-THANK YOU! Yes-I have heard of this exact is a shame..I guess the big question is-how do we change it?
@Lizbeth-hee! got two kittens this week! The chickens are named as followed.."Sophia", "Sausage" and "Aunt Dot"..
@Jazzygal-I thought that I was pretty clever too! Omar on the other hand...he's sad...calls them my chickens and not his..:0 Thanks..
@anonymous-Thank you. :)

Stephanie said...

I don't know. My biggest problem about raising chickens for food (other than the whole part where it's not legal in the city) is the plucking and the cleaning, not the naming and the raising. Maybe I've just spent too much time around farmers.

I hope Oscar's transition goes better than his IEP sounds. I'm rooting for y'all! (And I hope you got that bubble bath--with or without padded walls.)

kathleen said...

Hi Stephanie-once again, blogger is acting funky with comments...didn't see this till now-although it was supposed to go to my mail..*sigh*
Yes-I too have issues with plucking and cleaning...although Omar would be more than happy to do it! I think that because we only have three-and I raised them in my house from chicks-I grew fond of them...And although I am not against meat or poultry eating...I don't really care for I would rather have pets than dinner. :0

Stephanie said...

Fair enough! I enjoy pets, too, but my kids don't--so that's out. As for dinner, a nice, good salad with lots of fresh veggies. Mmmm. Though, for me, meat is good, too. I tried going vegetarian, but I just don't like enough meat alternatives to do a healthy job of it.