Saturday, January 17, 2015

Well, this is embarrassing.

What I mean to do after the kids go to bed: prep lessons for the next day.

What I do: fall asleep in my kid's bed, wake up groggy at 11:30 pm, and stumble into my own bed.

What I mean to do after the kids go to bed: Have an elegantly sophisticated glass of red wine.

What I do:  Make two chocolate mug cakes, one for me and one for my husband.  Eat one.  Eat the other one.  Hide the evidence.

What I mean to do after the kids go to bed:  Read.

What I do: Circle an endless loop of Facebook, email, and Dumpaday humor sites.

What I mean to do after the kids go to bed: Meditate and do yoga.

What I do:  Watch "Continuum" on Netflix.

What I mean to do after the kids go to bed: Write a blog post.

What I do:  Read blog posts.

What I mean to do after the kids go to bed: Reclaim my own time.

What I do: Fritter away the only unstructured part of my day.

This "blog post" was written as part of Finish the Sentence Friday.  The prompt was "When the kids go to bed, I..."  Link up here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Oak has had some really bad days lately.  When I say "lately," I mean for the past six months.  Since school started, really, which is why he is now at a different school with a behavior classroom, so when he freaks the freak out, the adults can handle it, instead of it throwing off an entire classroom.

I have had some really bad evenings during this time period.  Like, he freaks the freak out, and my reptile brain goes, "Oh yeah?  You think THAT'S nuts?  I'll show you NUTS, buddy!"  And then we are both freaking out, and Linden goes into super-charmer mode, and the Winemaker hides in the bedroom, unless things get really wonky, in which case he emerges and takes over, and I run outside and cry and hate myself.

In other words, my family is highly disfunctional right now.  And our social worker is due for a visit.  Yay.

Two nights ago we had a bedtime freakout.  Yesterday he did okay at school, and continued to do okay through the evening.  Today he did FANTASTIC at school, and is very cheerful and cooperative and interactive now that we're all home.

I was thinking to myself, "It's the calm before the storm," and "It's not like this will last," and super positive and helpful things like that, because I am just that good at therapeutic parenting.  But then it hit me--

If he is out of control 50% of the time--which is a really high estimate, honestly--but in control 50% of the time, it is just as realistic to say, "Oh, he'll bounce back from this," or "This is just a hard day," when things are going crappy.  Instead of nay-saying the positive times, I can work instead to not let the negative times become what I define as normal.

Take THAT, reptile brain!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Faux poem. Fauxetry?

I just came across this poem while cleaning out computer files. I wrote this about four years ago, when I had to have an ultrasound to determine what was going on with this month-long period I was having. I've never been pregnant, so it was my first ultrasound, and we were early in our adoption journey, so I was not entirely sure I'd ever even be a mom. (It turned out to be just a peri-menopausal anomaly.) I'm no poet, because whenever I try to write poetry, I find myself writing prose with weird line breaks instead. But for the same reason I felt compelled to attempt this poem, I kind of like the result. Here it is. 

When I first realized I was an adult,
I was so pleased.
Walking down a city street in a strange land,
carrying a sack of groceries
purchased with money I’d earned myself.
A few years later, another sign.
The twelve-year old looks up trustingly from her desk
and asks me to feel her forehead
to see if she has a fever.  
Becoming an adult
is what you spend childhood preparing for
(especially those of us
who spend our adolescence rolling our eyes at our classmates’ antics).

But now it seems that time
insists on carrying me along
in her relentless march.

My mother gone
too soon for her, with projects started in her studio
seeds ordered for the garden
talk of a camping trip next summer.
Too soon for me as well.
I still need her guidance.
“How do I do this?”
I want to ask
as I lay on the table while the technician
rolls a wand over my belly.
She peers at the screen, not looking for a telltale tail
but just to determine if this unending ellipses of a period
is merely my body giving up on fertility in yet another way
or the sign of something more malignant.
This ultrasound won’t become my profile picture
won’t be posted on my fridge
at best, it signals hormone therapy and hot flashes.
“How do I do this?”
I want to ask Mom,
veteran of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer.
But when I get home, feeling forlorn,
there’s no Mom to call.

So I find comfort in some chocolate
and the nook of my husband’s neck.
Younger than me, but feeling his age as well.
Twelve years without his father,
and the young bucks during harvest season reaching over to help with the heavy loads.
How do we do this?  It keeps getting harder.
And our foundations have disappeared.

So we do what they did.

We lean on each other.  We keep going.