School Boy

We enrolled Mikey in school. Public school. It’s been shocking for sure. He is mesmerized by all of it.

He gets up with no trouble in the morning and feels that it is very important not to be late because then he would have to get a ‘late pass’. What would happen then? He does not know and does not want to find out. He believes that ‘walking on the right’ and having to raise your hand are good ideas. He likes his classes. He says the work is interesting and most of teachers are nice. I noticed him putting LOTS of extra gummy-fruit snacks into his lunch bag and questioned him. For his teachers. Good idea, Mikey.

He says the kids yell ‘Hi New Kid!’ in the halls and he yells back ‘Hi!’ Last week he told me that he was a celebrity. This week he says he’s a legend.

He says he has a teacher that has a very snotty and rude tone of voice…unless another adult enters the room or is on the phone. He says that he does not believe that another of his teachers likes children. When this teacher was shaking his head and stated that he did not know what they were all laughing about, my own little Amelia Bedelia asked him if he should explain exactly what they were laughing at. He reports that both of these teachers enjoy gummy snacks :)

He says everyone is jealous of his self-made lunch. It’s totally a ‘homeschool’ lunch. Fruits & veggies, cheese & crackers, nuts & yogurt – in  a cool, little bento box. You just have to laugh. He’s rocking it.

Today he told me a story about having to eat lunch in his math class, with his math teacher because he did not finish all of the previous evenings homework. I asked if it was a ‘punishment’ – he stated that it was not – just a time to do the work. He proceeded to tell me that eating in the math class, with his math teacher, doing math with three other students was WAAAYYY better than eating in the lunch room. It’s the little things.

He informed me that he was not finishing all of his math homework tonight either.

This is strange for me. I did not like school. I do not like rules and regulations. I do not like a whole lot about school. There are things he tells me that make me cringe. I hold my tongue and listen to him recount it all in his own way. Things that would really bother me, don’t bother him. When I ask him what he thinks of a situation – he usually has a very different take than I would. I dislike structure and he seems to be enjoying the routine.

Mikey calls Gavin ‘homeschooler’. Gavin calls him ‘schoolboy’. All is well.

schoolboy

The heading of my blog says ‘I Blog 4 Boys’, right? Lately I feel like ‘I Cook 4 Boys’ and ‘I Chauffeur 4 Boys’ – but certainly not blog.

I know a Sunday has come and gone without posting ‘Sunday Scenes’ because I slack like that and several others ways I could admit too.

The house is in flux because Ethan has been displaced from his room. There are few holy rules in our house – one is not to displace Ethan! You have seen Rain Man? Welcome to my world. His room is being renovated, so his hoard has been moved to the kitchen, dining room and living room. You know we live in a tiny space, right? This does not help anyone. Ethan is doing as well as he can with the situation and I am doing as well as I can with the clutter – which I despise! I’ve tried to embrace my inner hoarder, but I don’t have one :)

Did I mention we are looking at a giant space? A big house. I’ve been trying to wrap my head and heart around the concept of moving. <Insert distasteful sound here>. Some things about it would be amazing and some would be downright scary – like heating and cleaning it. Pray for us.

Otherwise, I am battling the daily urge to crawl back into a warm bed – so I make it quickly in the morning. Then I stand in front of the warm dryer and I leave the oven open after baking to benefit from the ancillary heat. I have even resorted to filling the tub with hot water, rolling up my jeans and reading while seated on the edge. 

I’m cold, but I’m not as SAD as last year. That is so good.

I wish the weather was warming up. I wish the trees were blooming. I wish I could watch Downton Abbey from my hot tub – I wish I had a hot tub.

I wish I could find my blogging mojo.

 

Sunday Scenes – Still Snowy Version

When it's not about cars, it's about planes. Or trains.

When it’s not about cars, it’s about planes. Or trains.

A view from my shoes

A view from my shoes

Snuggle bug

Snuggle bug

Cara Cara Oranges by Sunkist. We've eaten 3 bags of them this week

Cara Cara Oranges by Sunkist. We’ve eaten 3 bags of them this week

 

Doodle Bug

Doodle Bug

Sundays are nice. So nice. Mondays are something to be tolerated. Ethan is off at school and The Boys are off skiing. I am here taking care of all types of business – from the ridiculous to the sublime. There are baskets of laundry and lists of phone calls, miles to be walked and two big jobs that I REALLY want to get done. I think I can….

Sappy Valentine’s Day

I tried to buy a Valentine’s Day card for Dennis. I really did.

We do not use the words, ‘Darling’, ‘Sweetheart’ or ‘Honey’. Never have and never will. He often refers to me as “Borland”, my maiden name. I just call him, you know, Dennis. Or ‘dude’.

The cards were so sappy, that at this point in our relationship (the 20-year mark) they seemed condescending.

I think if cards said things along these lines, they would be more authentic.

To The Guy I Married,

I love you because you’ve changed as many diapers as I have and you know when to make the kids take showers and when to just send them to bed.

I appreciate that you have learned to consider grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup dinner and you know just when to order pizza.

Thank you for ALWAYS coming by and unlocking my car with your key fob when I lock my keys in the car – again, and bringing jumper cables to the mall because we left the interior lights on – again. I love you because you say ‘it’s no problem’.

I love you because you understand that library fines are just a part of life.

Thanks for always offering me the big tv and the more comfortable couch. Love comes in many forms.

It means so much to me that you go to work – everyday. I know you love me because you have never let the household utilities get shut off or the house go into foreclosure, you make sure the kids have sneakers and you understand that $523 at Costco IS a bargain.  Thank you for consistently improving our FICO over our 20 year marriage.

Thank you for the date nights we’ve spent in Target – I really like being there with you. I truly love ‘family date nights’ to arcades and the boardwalk.

You are never better-looking than when you are vacuuming and your household ‘to-do’ list makes me feel very special.

The times we spend together are, indeed, the very best of my life. Mean it.

You see, it just depends on what you consider ‘romance’ folks.

Something New

We knew that change was on the horizon.

So, there were inquiries and phone calls, conversations, debates and paperwork. Next, there was a tour and a talk, a physical and a shot, and piles of more paperwork. Finally, there were meetings and signatures and a paper grid of boxes with words like ‘Phys. Ed’ and ‘Social Studies’ in them.

In the end, Mikey was all set to go to school. But it’s not the end – it’s actually the beginning of a new adventure.

School clothes and name brand sneakers (so sue me) have been procured. A new hoodie, a backpack a lunchbox were selected and a three-ring notebook full of loose leaf was added.

We even covered a textbook in brown paper.

DSC04758After all the appointments and hardwork, there was very little fanfare. He looked like every other kid walking up to the school – except he was shooing away his mother’s camera. As it was time to go, he was shooing me away too and ducked away from an attempted kiss. We would never have sent him if he was not going to be ‘fine’. He was fine.

I wish I could say the same for me.

Sunday Scenes

I like Sundays. (That is Dennis and my “Powerball-Winning-Pool in the FGL video)

Summer Sundays are way better than Winter Sundays. But they’re all I’ve got right now.

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It’s a real good way to start

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They refer to each other as “Best Brothers”

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Law & Order always helps me log my daily miles

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One of life’s true labors of love – really homemade chicken soup – no stock in this pot!

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If you are inclined to crochet anything, ever, pick a wool afghan in this solid rope stitch

Happy Monday. I do not like those as much as Sunday. Nope.

 

To The Mom Who Left Her Newborn with Down Syndrome

Dear Ruzan,

I’ve read the stories about you and I wonder what it is like to be a headline. I’ve read the comments after the stories and they are very harsh.

I know nothing about you. Neither do the people who are writing the stories or making the comments. I don’t know what the state of your marriage was before your baby was born, your personal struggles, your finances, religious beliefs or your mental health. I know the state I was in after I gave birth, and I would not want anyone judging me on that period of my life. Ever. I do hope, for your own sake, that you have people that care deeply for you around you right now.

I find many facets of your story incredibly intriguing. One is that everyday in the media we hear horrible stories of mothers who have beaten and neglected their children, drowned them, thrown them from bridges or set them on fire. As gross as this is, it is true and many people make the flippant comment – ‘if she only left the baby somewhere safe’.

You’ve done that. Congratulations. I mean that. You left your child in the loving and capable arms of his father who seems to be confident in his ability to love and raise Leo and I pray they will receive all the support they need in their endeavor.

Let me tell you something about myself. I gave birth to my first child who was diagnosed with Down syndrome shortly after birth. It is probably one of the most challenging and devastating periods of time for a mother of a child with a profound disability. It can be hard. Really hard.

I knew from the moment I received the diagnosis, that I would fight harder, love him more, become a better version of myself and put him ahead of anything else on the planet. He is one of the great joys of my life.

I also know the struggles I deal with on a daily basis. They are deep and sometimes dark. My son is hard and has many medical and behavioral complications that I never anticipated. I have looked back a certain periods of our family life and wondered how on earth we came out on the other side. I believe any mother of a child with significant special needs will tell you – the highs are gloriously high and the lows are sometimes so low they are scary. This is my life.

Coincidentally, I am also raising a child whose biological mother was incapable of raising him. She told me herself. I can’t imagine admitting that and yet I can tell you that surrendering him and walking away was the best decision she ever made. I look at him and believe in destiny. He belongs with me and his father and his brothers. I wish good things for her and say a prayer ever time I think of her because she gave me one of the greatest gifts I will ever receive.

I even hope for him (and her) that someday it might be possible for them  to forge some type of healthy and productive relationship. I hope that he can accept her for who she is and all she could and could not do. She is no villain. What if she is, in fact, a hero?

I don’t think you are a horrible person, or even a terrible mother. The grief you must be dealing with is probably immense. You have lost the child you thought you were having and you were unable to embrace your new reality. You have determined that you are not able to raise your little boy. You have received lots of negative publicity and many people are very quick to rake you over the proverbial coals – although most of them have never and will never face your situation.

If you are unsure of your decision and need help – please, reach out and get it from whomever you think can help. Now you know where I am.

If you are certain, I wish that all of you the joy and love that is meant for you in this crazy life.

I wish the same for your gorgeous, baby boy.