As I was raking out the chicken coop this morning, I thought about about how having pets teaches kids responsibility..Then, I went into the house, cleaned out the litter box, fed the kittens, gave them water, walked the dogs...fed them...and then went back outside to feed the stray cat..who has taken up residence behind the chicken coop. The chickens don't mind..so I don't either..Then I went back into the house to start the days round of laundry..I looked at the area where my laundry room is SUPPOSED to be and..Well, did you ever have one of those moments-when your brain just screams "ENOUGH!"..I usually have a couple of them a day..I tend to ignore them-mostly because I am highly distractable...but this time? This time was different. Sure, my kids failed that day in the pet care dept. Most of the time they are wonderful...sometimes they too just get distracted...and sometimes I get tired of reminding them..sometimes it is easier to just do it myself. They are kids, I am a mom-it is the dance that we do. As long as I lead..things will be fine.
A few months ago, I longed for a space of my own. I just wanted to be able to take a few minutes out of my day where I could just sit and..stare..drink coffee...collect myself. Soooo....with a couple of very handy friends(That we were paying!)-we started work on a downstairs bathroom(with a deep soaking tub) slash laundry room. I know-it doesn't sound glamorous...but it was going to be MINE. My domain..a place for me. Oh how I imagined slipping into a deep tub of fragrant bubbles while the spin cycle gently spins it's soothing siren song almost as if it is saying "Relax Kathleen...reeeeeellllaaaaxxx...let go...breathe...I will clean all your clothes for you..." O.K., maybe I'm getting a little carried away here. I doubt that I would have ever done that..I'm just not a "soaking in the tub" kind of girl. No, what usually happens is that I "plan" to take a nice long soak. I fill the tub..grab a book and some coffee..get in...and then promptly think "What now?" As I get out of the tub. I am just no good at relaxing. But..BUT-the thought of being able to do so made me heady with anticipation! The thought alone counts for something-doesn't it?.
|This is what the construction|
looked like in May.
|This is what it looks like|
"Dear ****, Both Omar and myself know you are going through an awful time of it. For that we are really so very sorry. Wish there was something we could do to help. That being said, you guys do amazing work. Really it is so beautiful and well designed-we couldn't be happier with what you all have done. The problem is..well since May, it seems that the both of you have been under a black cloud. Your truck has broken down, your work had more demands **** had a relationship end, you pulled your back out, you have your own relationship problems..Oh the list goes on..I have nothing but empathy for you guys. The thing of it is..I can't live with my house this way anymore. I can't live with thinking maybe you will be here maybe you won't. We started this project in March-August makes six months. So what are we gonna do? Should we just pay you for what you have done and get someone else in to finish? I know your life is crazy right now. But you need to understand our position too,"
I didn't write every reason that they gave since May for not showing up...But lets just say if they had mentioned locusts and plagues, I would not have been surprised. Sadly, I did not receive a response to this text..nothing. Nada. So, me being me...wrote another one
. "****, just wondering if you could take two seconds to respond to my last text? If you are done here, please do me the courtesy of being direct and honest and telling me. I have treated both you and **** with nothing but respect. I don't think that it is too much to ask that you treat me in the same way."
I did not get a response to that one either. Again, being who I am..I decided to see what I could find out. Was he sick, in the hospital? Did he lose his phone? I mean, these guys were part of our lives for a very long time. I baked for them! They got my kids off the bus on the day of my surgery! I just didn't think that a friend COULD treat me this way. To not respond? To not even say "Hey my life is crap right now-please understand?" Something HAD to be wrong. It didn't make sense. And then I saw...He's just been too busy! I mean, it takes time to post that you listened to 120 songs( all about heartbreak) via spotify on Facebook! Oh and the post about how a" hangover is gods worst invention"! I think of the hours to come up with such a pithy comment! Far be it from me to mess with someones creativity. Especially by asking them to give me a simple response. How dare I?
So here we are about to start a new school year..and the bathroom isn't yet done. I could live with that...if it weren't for all the other things going on. Oscar is going to transition over to the middle school this year-a change that has him very anxious and worried. We found out this week, that the head of special Ed. at his school has left for another position. Understand, I in no way blame her for leaving...just as I wouldn't be surprised if other spec. ed. teachers left. Kind of like rats off of a sinking ship..only they aren't rats...they are wonderful dedicated people. But, the way that our district views disability (unrealistically) and the changes (budget cuts) that they have implemented..it makes it impossible to do their jobs the way that they want to. It makes it impossible for our kids to excel in the ways that they can. Then when the test scores come in..and they find the spec. ed. kids lacking..they will blame the spec. ed. teachers whose budgets they have cut to nothing. It is a viscous circle-and the children will bear the brunt of it.
It makes me wonder sometimes...I am teaching my kids to be responsible, well mannered, critical thinking people. Sometimes, especially for my kids on the spectrum-it is hard. Yet they persevere..they go out every day and face each challenge with dignity, grace..and a positive outlook. They are not quitters. Then I look at some of the "adults" around them. I wonder why my kids have to work so hard at these skills..and why we live in a world that is so insistent that they have them..when so many people-who don't have even a quarter of the challenges my kids face daily...get away with being irresponsible. It makes no sense.
I guess that we will just get through this year the best that we can.... That we find someone to help finish up my unfinished bathroom...that we can sell our house..and maybe find a school district that values my kids as much or as close to how much that I do. Until then I will tend my chickens..and kittens..and dogs..and kids...and laundry...and dream about calgon one day taking me away..