I've spent the last two days in Hell. Weak in the face of Satan's Temptations.
Languishing in Dutchess County's version of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Galleria Mall.
I almost turned into a fucking pillar of salt on my way out. Twice.
Saturday Jack was meeting up with his peeps. Posse. Friends. Whatever they're called these days.
Ty needed new clothes cause I make him wear Jack's hand me downs which is no fair and totally uncool.
he's got a point
Mia was coming down with something and didn't want to go. Which means she really wasn't feeling well.
Last time we were at the mall she was crawling out of her skin mommy i love it here so much i want to live here.
We found a space in Hell's parking lot, ventured forth into Target and our plans changed.
The Devil is sneaky and sly.
The boys met up with best friend Andrew and decided to go to Grandma's Cecile's house for nerf gun fights.
I guess Ty's new wardrobe could wait.
Mia and I were alone.
In the Mall.
With credit cards.
OK. Now you know I am sonot girlie. And I hate shopping. I hate buying things. I hate spending money.
I would buy all my clothes at Goodwill if I could.
I try, but then the kids tell me I look like Nanny McPhee.
So yesterday I let Mia go crazy. We gave in to all temptation and I allowed my baby to commit all manner of deadly sin.
Oh my god the squeals of delight that came out of that girl.
It was really fun. Probably the most fun I've had shopping ever.
She has Big Girl taste. Aeropostale. Wet Seal. Forever 21. Hot Topic.
Oh yeah. I am in big trouble.
She fits into a petite cause she's tall and has long monkey arms just like her mama.
We tried on clothes and I trusted her judgement of all my choices.
And she trusted my judgement of her choices.
The Universe is Abundant.
We went into The Store Filled With Insanely Insane Prom Dresses.
I was tempted to try some on and take pictures, but the owner was very nice and I thought it might insult her.
I searched Google Images for visual enhancements and nothing even came close to the shit in that store. Seriously.
Three hours later, we left with many bags full of pretty things and memories of a damn good time.
Mia was content. A miracle.
I promised the boys they could go back today. Another descent into Hell.
The sneakers I bought them in September do not fit in January.
We hit Zumiez.
Wadaya mean I spent 75$ on your last pair of sneakers? No WAY I never woulda done that
You did mom I remember
I don't remember. I would remember doing that.
You were really stressed out. That's why we asked you to go to the mall that day. Cause when you're stressed out you'll say yes to anything
I guess today I was not stressed cause the thought of spending 74 bucks on a pair of sneakers that'll be too small in 6 months
made my head wanna explode.
Oh come on mom they're OD mega fleaaness live Whatever the fuck that means. I think it's something good. Alright. Fine. Amy's making you spaghetti for the rest of the month. Say it! in unisonAmy's making spaghetti for the rest of the month Fine And the rest of the month starts Tuesday.Not today. 2 happy boys with new OD mega fleaa sneakers men's sizes 9 and 10 1/2.
And neither kid is anywhere near 90 lbs.
Jack says mom, you know what they say about guys with big feet?...they need bigsocks!
Jesus, Jack. I'm you're MOTHER.aye aye aye
There's a lot of stuff in malls.
Who makes all this stuff? The Chinese?
And who buys all this stuff? Dumb Americans?
Am I a dumb American?
Were these stupid-expensive sneakers manufactured in some factory where the women are working 80 hours a week for 2 dollars and don't get bathroom breaks but DO get depo provera shots so they never get pregnant and don't get their periods either?
To minimize their need for the bathroom?
i think i heard that or read it maybe i made it up i dont know.
So. Eve's choice. Knowledge of Good and Evil
I choose knowledge.
And my knowledge causes me to atone for my sneaker sin by making my kids eat spaghetti for a month.
And who makes spaghetti anyway? Is spaghetti manufactured ha manufactured food here or in China?
Is the wheat grown here then shipped to China and made into spaghetti then shipped back to Target?
So it's not that early. The sun is coming up. The kids are still asleep.
We all have the day off. I will try to listen to BAI's daylong tribute to Dr. King.
They always do a good one.
I've been away from blogland this week. I haven't even read very much.
There's too much going on in my head and I'm distracted and restless.
It's all good, though. Nothing too crazy. Just a whole lot of intensity.
And a whole lot of Unbloggable
I'm single. For good.
I've been through far worse. This is OK. Really not bad at all.
It's almost good in a really masochistic fucked up kinda way just kidding
It's actually liberating. I feel a sense of freedom that I've never felt before.
But I continue to ask for understanding and clarity and for the obstacles to be removed.
I try not to push and plow through in order to get what I think I want.
I remind myself to breathe and un-hunch my shoulders and stop clenching my teeth.
Cause that shit's giving me a goddam headache.
For the most part, it's working.
I've been in a fully committed relationship for almost 20 years.
And more than half of it was so unbelievably awesome.
We thought we were invincible. We thought we'd grow old together.
We thought we'd retire and spend our golden years driving around the country in a winnebago.
Seriously. That's what we thought.
We never ever dreamed that life and genetics and brain chemistry could sneak up on us and knock us on our asses and change us to the point that there could be no more Winnebago Dream. No more Chica and Brucie
But we've always been solid solid solid Friends. Really good friends.
Can Tell almost Anything To friends.
We know each other really well.
We are friends again still. And it hasn't taken years to get here. Only weeks.
the Universe is Abundant
Nancy at Away We Go wrote a beautiful piece about The Smog in our lives.
We are the blessed ones for whom the smog illuminates.
Warning: total TMI post but you know that's how I roll and I expect some of you have been sitting in the same spot. on the same pot.
I gotta poop Mom wait I gotta poop Mom I need to take a shower Ty showers every day now since he developed ringworm on his neck and I told him it's from not showering frequently enough
which by the way is only minimally true
Strike 1: Manipulative Parental Dishonesty at least it's not the hair on his palms thing I gotta poop Ty gimme five minutes Ok Nevermind I'll go upstairs Ty sighs in relief good Up the steps I got to poop brushy brushy brushy Jack's brushing his teeth in the upstairs bathroom Oh my god I gotta poop I hear Jack finish brushing thank god but then I hear the medicine cabinet open and close
dental floss dammit now is not the time for good oral hygiene I gotta poop I'm pacing like the Dusty Dog when I've forgotten to let him out Mom I need help with my homework Right. Mia's homework.
The homework she didn't do yesterday when we were snowed in because instead I allowed her to have a Secret Life of an American Teenager netflix marathon.
Strike 2: Questionable Parental Judgement Honey I gotta poop Can't I come in with you? Honey I want privacy But I wanna come in with you Ok fine but you can't talk to me you have to be quiet But what if I have a question about my homework? Ok fine A few questions later and Mia is done with her homework and is replaced by Ty who has finished his shower in the downstairs bathroom.
And is now standing in the upstairs bathroom.
Where I'm pooping. Finally I love you mommy I love you too honey He comes over and wedges himself between me on the toilet and the bathtub and gives me a hug Honey I'm pooping I know mom but I love you so much He's in love with me today because last night I caved and got him a cell phone.
He used the mom you can save the planet arguement which gets me every timeeven though his reasoning was completely faulty.
And he knew it.
Ball or strike? Ball Ok honey I love you too Then he just stands there,wedged between me and the toilet and the tub, looking at me and smiling. Honey I need to wipe do you wanna stay or do you wanna give me some privacy? ummm...privacy mom Good choice
So if you need the backstory go here for Part l and here for Part ll.
A few days ago Brandon's baby brother Christopher popped into my head. I haven't spoken to mom since the evening she came to see me after I found out Brandon had died. The last time I saw Christopher, he was brought by his grandparents.
After all these years I know that when a patient randomly pops into my head in THAT way, I'm gonna be seeing them real soon.
So I get to the office this morning and there's a phone message from Brandon's/Christopher's mom regarding some medication he was prescribed. And though these random or not so random premonitions are pretty reliable, I still find myself thinking wow that's so fuckin weird I was just thinking about her.
I'm reminded of her every day. Brandon's funeral card is in a basket on my dresser. Every single morning I see it as I'm putting on deodorant or choosing earrings and every single morning I think of her. But this other kind of thinking about comes from the outside and knocks me upside my head with no warning.
So baby brother Christopher was in the office twice yesterday and in the ER last night.
Half the little ones in the county have it. Easy peasy. It's ok. Not too serious. It just sounds bad.
But Mom was worried.
Now I've known this mom for 14 years. She is not a worrier.
Even when Baby Brandon got his chest cut open, she did not freak out.
But can you imagine your favorite child dying? It's ok don't feel guilty we all have a favorite.
And then can you imagine how astoundingly terrifying it must be when your remaining child is ill?
The fear of randomly losing another child must be overwhelming.
I could see how it might fuck a usually chill mom up to the point of 2 office visits and a trip to the ER within a 12 hour period.
So I called her.
She sounded good
I said are you ok?
She said she was good, and then told me about baby Christopher.
I reassured her. She felt better. Oh thank you michelle I feel so much better now that I've talked to you you saved him i wouldn't have had him for 13 years you took away his pain
I asked again are you ok?
Yes. I'm ok. You know today was Brandon's birthday so I went to the cemetery my sister came with me and I said what I needed to say to him and I cried a little but I'm ok.
And I understood why this extraordinary mom had been in a panic over her sick baby. It was the day before her dead son's birthday.
I told her where I keep Brandon's funeral card.
I told her that I think of them both EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Because I do.
Oh my god michelle thank you thank you so much that's so beautiful thank you
hail mary full of grace
Now although this wackadoo synchronistic shit happens all the time, especially with patients who are dug deep into my heart, part of me is still astounded when it does.
And I am left knowing again that my patients do far more for me than I do for them.
I'm having trouble sleeping for a variety of reasons.
I wake up at 2 or 4 and my brain starts ticking and then it's all over.
This too shall pass
These early mornings have become my favorite time of the day. The kids are asleep.
I can read or write or whatever with a cup of coffee and have a moment's peace before the mayhem begins.
I used to love working 12 hr days, if only for the reason that by the time I got home, the Who's would be all a snooze and I'd have a window of alone time before Bruce got home.
A home full of sleeping babies is a wondrous thing.
But now they're Big.
The boys are still up when I walk in the door. They feel the need to catch up on 12 hours without Mom for which I should be thankful i am but I really just want to curl up in bed with some hot wings and a fizzy drink. So at 10 and 13, they still want to tell me about their days, are tempted to follow me into the bathroom when I go to pee they refrain, and want good night hugs.
There are worse things.
Mia, thankfully is usually conked out.
So these early I can't sleep there's too much shit in my head and only half my brain is working mornings are lovely in a way.
I put the insanely gorgeous children picture back up cause it makes me happy.
They are insanely gorgeous. It makes my heart hurt.
They're also awesome and miraculous.
I started reading The Lovely Bones. I've refused to read it for years.
I can handle Dead Kids better than most but there are certain things I can't do.
I can't watch Precious.
The scene in Beloved when Oprah's character is raped by the slave owner and his sons?
Can't do that either.
The girl in Utah. The girl in the tent in the crazy guy's back yard.
Can't do that shit. Makes me feel like I'm gonna throw up.
Which is weird cause before we were cable-less I was totally junked out on Law and Order SVU.
Bruce used to come home and say chica how can you watch this it's so disturbing.
I guess some things seem fake and some things seem are real.
SVU? Hot cops, lots of drama, so not real.
The other stuff? Entirely too real. That's the problem.
So. The Lovely Bones. A good read.
But it's made me paranoid.
I give my kids a pretty long leash. I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to make my kids afraid.
I don't want to think there are dangerous predators around every corner.
Even if there are.
I remember being free as a kid. Out all day in the summer. Wandering in the woods for hours.
You know what I'm talking about.
CPS might totally nail me with "lack of supervision" if given the opportunity, but I want my kids to have as much of that sense of freedom as they possibly can.
Still, it's hard to explain to Mia why she can't go to the park without her brothers, or have a sleepover at just any friend's house.
You know what I mean.
So yesterday morning, Jack leaves for school a few minutes late.
I see him sprint down the block and think god he's so fucking handsome and graceful just like my dad
30 seconds later, I see a gray sedan with BEACON CITY SCHOOLS on the side panel drive by.
We've lived in this town for 6 years. My kids have gone to these schools for 6 years.
I don't ever recall seeing what essentially looks like an unmarked police car claiming to belong to the school district.
Our school budgets never pass the first time around. The district has no money.
School district cars?
Fuck you Lovely Bones. Fuck you for making by brain visit Creepdom at 7:30 in the morning.
What would Jack do if he's running late for school and a car claiming BEACON CITY SCHOOLS pulls up and a guy with weird facial hair wearing a hat and sunglasses says hey, son, wanna ride to the middle school? i'm on my way there
Thank god for texting
Me: U ok? Just got this weird feeling. Txt me back
Me: Sorry.paranoid mom stuff. So not like me. saw a plain grey car with beacon city school district on the side and thought someone was goin all lovely bones on us
Jack: Stop reading that book -_-
All right. Sun is up. Kids are up. Me time is up.
ps. Jack just told me the district has had those cars for 3 years to transport kids to out of district schools.
Cars. Cheaper than buses.
The Board of Ed is now saved from a crazy paranoid email from a crazy paranoid mom
"it occurred to me that the only real sin you can commit as a mother is to deny your children's right to be who they are and what they want to be and that the only real sin you can commit against yourself is to deny who you truly are and prevent yourself from being who that is"