Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dual-Control

My dear friend, Candace, and I just finished walking our dogs. She has Missy, or Melissa, as Wil calls her, and I have Flicka. Flicka has been trained to walk on the left, and Missy/Melissa, on the right. We get our pace set; one that works for a big dog with a slower pace, and a littler dog with a faster one. The dogs do their thing, and we do ours, falling quickly into deep conversation, skipping entirely over the chit-chat phase. This is one of my favorite things about my time with Candace, it nourishes me at my very roots.

At the end of our walk I said to her, "Now, go into your studio and paint something beautiful."

"You go to your computer and write something that makes me laugh," she countered.

So, given that task, I will tell you about my earlier morning power struggle with Wil. Ever since I replaced my 17-year-old CR-V with a new CR-V, we've had an on-going issue over the heating and cooling system. Wil used to always ride in the back seat of my car, but when I got the new car, we made the switch to him in the passenger seat. I should have, but didn't, foresee the endless frustration on both our parts, with all the knobs and opportunities to fidget, with the new car. He is at it non-stop.

I thought the solution was inherent in the design of the car: dual-control. There is a button that says, "Sync" and when it's depressed, the driver's knob controls the whole car, but when the passenger side is adjusted by, oh, say, a passenger, then it's get "un-synced." Perfect, right? The passenger can be as warm or as cold as said passenger would like to be, while the driver can be fully independent from the whims of the passenger.

However.

Wil is not content just moving his knob back and forth a million times in the 10-minute drive to school, he wants to control mine, too. "DON'T TOUCH MY DIAL!" I shout each day. He vacillates between freezing me out and making my menopausal body sweat to death, and today, I was in no mood for it. None.

He'd already spent the better part of last night and this morning Googling a specific type of bubble gum (Extra/Classic), and giving me careful instructions as to where and when we would be purchasing this gum, for his new best friend.

"If you touch my dial ONE MORE TIME, we will NOT stop and get the gum," I said.

We all know what he did.

I did not stop.

He did not stop.

He lectured me for the remaining ride on his rights to adjust the dial anytime and anyway he sees fit, as the car is not all mine, it's his, too. Nothing is all mine.

Truer words were never spoken.

Nothing is all mine.

Not the power.

Not the control.

It's dual.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Case Worker

I donated blood yesterday. As I was walking up to my appointment, I ran into a friend walking up to get her kids from school.

"Where are you headed?" she asked.

"I'm going up to the church to donate blood."

"Oh, good for you!" she said.

"I feel like I've been donating blood all day," I replied, bitterly.

Yesterday was one of those days where I gave and gave and gave some more. Everyone needed something and they needed it all at the same time. I put over 80 miles on my car just putting out fires.

It's been years since anyone asked me what I do for a living, but three people have asked me in the last week. More specifically, they've said the words, "Do you work?"

I need to come up with a good answer to that question.

I most certainly do work.

Do I get paid?

Not so much.

I can no longer answer that I'm a stay-at-home mom, because the follow-up question is, "How old are your children?" When I answer that they are 18 and 20, that paints an entirely different picture from the reality.

I have spent no fewer than 4 hours this week dealing with the lock on Wil's locker at school. Multiply that by the 10 million details that go into starting a new year for him, and there you have part of the story. I have other loved ones in my life that need care, too, and in one case, that level just keeps increasing.

"Tell people you're a case worker," my friend, Megan, said when I was telling her about all this, "because everyone in your life is a total case."

We had a good laugh about that and the laughter alone, helped tremendously.

As I thought about her joke, I realized it's not true, they're not all a "total case," but they are what I "do." Does that make me a "professional" caregiver? Social worker? Enabler? Personal assistant? What am I?

Today was a better day. The emergencies were kept to a minimum. In one case, we finally got some traction and got some things done that needed doing. Anytime there's forward momentum, my spirits lift. I can not handle spinning my wheels, and anything that feels like moving backwards, sends me through the roof.

I am going to be journeying with a group of women as part of a sacred circle these next nine months. I met with the leaders today to talk about the group, my background, etc. The three of us had a lively and delightful conversation about what our image of God is (or isn't). Later, Wil's former Resource Room teacher and her darling husband and child (Wil's goddaughter), came over for Beer O'Clock. We also had a scintillating conversation about what God is and isn't, in our minds, what we've come to believe, what we used to think, and where we are headed with the whole notion of "God."

you are
god
and you are not
it's good
not to get
the two confused
it is one
                        - Corita Kent

It doesn't matter what I call myself, how I answer the question of whether or not I work, or how big of a "case" people are or aren't. What matters is that I not forget that I am God and I am not. 

It is one.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Top 10 Great Things About Dropping Your iPhone in the Toilet


10. It finally answers the question, "Why do we even have a land line?"

  9. At least all that insurance money you've been paying, is finally doing something

  8. You get a five-day vacation

  7. You realize just how dependent/tethered/addicted you've become

  6. People that want to get in touch with you, have to work a little harder

  5. Most won't

  4. You have extra time on your hands because you're not playing/checking/obsessing over it

  3. You feel as though you've gone back in time

  2. You're grateful for the phone you had and realize an upgrade is unnecessary

  1. You're excited to see the FedEx truck drive up with the new one any minute


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seniors


This happy, dancing, joyful little boy, will start his senior year in high school tomorrow. He was three in these pictures, and they are certainly worth more than three thousand words. He loved those shorts. He loved those socks. He loved, loved, LOVED that Sesame Street sweatshirt, and he wore it long after it was too small (see exhibit A):

This is a picture of Wil's best bud since kindergarten, Ian. Today Ian drove to our house at 6:00 AM (sharp, don't you know), to take Wil to the Senior Sunrise Prayer Service at the top of a butte. Ian did not take Wil to the prayer service because Ian was dying to get up before 6:00 on his last day of summer, he took Wil to the prayer service because Wil wanted to go to the prayer service. Wil did not want his mother taking him (and his mother was good with that), he wanted to go with friends, just like all the other seniors. And so, Ian took both Wil and his long-time friend, Jack. That's just a tiny example of the kid Ian is. Ian would no doubt be a stellar human regardless of whether or not Wil came into his life at the young age of barely five. But it didn't hurt. 



And you all know how we feel about Claire Rose...



Couldn't you just eat her with a spoon? Claire Rose is one of those kids that was born 40-years-old. Her wisdom is unmatched. I look up to her in all ways except literally, she's a little bit of a thing. Claire Rose has had one heck of a year, but she remains rock solid and ever the wiser for the tremendous obstacles life has thrown her.





The photo above is of two of "The Boobs," a name Wil came up with for the pack of boys that have been running around together since fifth grade. Woohoo can, and should, marry any one of The Boobs. They are all the boys you bring home to mom. The Boobs are all playing varsity football together this year. For three of them, they haven't played football in years, but the team needed them and they needed to spend each and every minute they can being The Boobs until they scatter and go their separate ways a year from now.

Based on the Special Olympics Project UNIFY model, wherein a team is made-up of both typical and special athletes, there will be a religion class at high school this year that is "unified." Don't you know it, both Claire Rose and Ian are in it with Wil.

My vow to myself is to be present to this year ahead. To really be with the moments as they present themselves and then pass. I'm done crying because it will all be over soon. I know there will be no shortage of people in Wil's life once high school is over, even if there's a shortage of typical peers. 

Thank you to each and every one of the many, many, many angels in Wil's life these last 18 years. He is deeply blessed and forever changed.

And so are you.