Tuesday, June 23, 2009

natural and logical...

My daughter is in bed, crying. I don't know whether to beat her, or cry, too.

I'm done. I'm done with PT and the freezing waiting room with its gale force air conditioning that gusts on my head no matter which freakin' place I sit, giving me an even bigger headache than my son crawling all over me, fighting inter-galactic battles in his full-voiced soprano. I'm done with the drive, with the interruption to every single day I'm off work, with the need to entertain my son at the constant cost of entertaining myself.

I'm done with talking about full range of motion and letters of medical necessity and random, made-up insurance limits that have nothing to do with our actual needs. I'm done with the whining--about the splint, about the exercises, about the appointments. I'm done with fighting with her--about the splint, about the exercises, about the appointments. I'm done caring about her stupid arm. And I'm done paying for it, in more ways than one.

Whose consequence was this, anyway?!?!

And so, tonight, there are tears, this time because she didn't do all her exercises today at her Grandmother's (despite our discussion about it this morning... and last night... and yesterday at PT...) which meant Poppa had to pull on her arm for 20 minutes instead of five. Again, whose consequence should this be? Why is it constantly mine?

And so I sit here, torn between feeling like the worst mother in the world because I allowed her to feel the consequence of my anger and frustration, which translates into "I allowed myself to get angry in front of her about this flippin' ordeal for ONCE," and feeling completely justified in my anger, if not in my lengthy format for expressing it. She is not alone in this. She took us all with her down that damn tube, and me more so than the rest. I am trying to let that go, but it is a daily battle. A raging, bloody, ugly battle. Some days I overcome. Today...

"I love you more than you'll ever know," Lifehouse sings over my new Switchfoot station on pandora.com, "and a part of me died when I let you go." I die a millions deaths with this child. Each one harder than the last. I am weary of this process.

Apparently crying is the option I choose tonight as well, though I don't recall the point at which I chose it. But the tears are there, nonetheless, and I do not think I can bear them much longer. Hers are enough.

I am done.

Monday, June 15, 2009

more lemon bars, please

All I know is that Helen's lemon bars made me happy. And so I ate several. In addition to my German Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, which also made me happy. In addition to the "Texas Caviar," which also made me happy. In addition to...

(read more at more)

as i was saying

Hope to write on Wednesday. In the meantime, a quote from my reading today:

"... many of us feel quite sure, both from the hunger in our hearts and the meager Christian fruits in our lives, that we are far from a life rooted in the deep resources of God. Times of trial and other adverse circumstances may sometimes cause us to renew our intentions and resolves in this regard for a season. Usually though, with the return of better times, or simply under the myriad pressures of life itself, we gradually relax our grip on our resolutions and return to our more pragmatic, 'real world' concerns."

Bob Benson, Sr. and Michael W. Benson

...far from a life rooted in the deep resources of God. That's what I'm sayin'...

exhibit A

This weekend we were back at the park where my daughter broke her arm in her normal over-the-top fashion, which allowed me to finally get a look at the spot where it happened. Yep. This is what my daughter raced down headfirst. The platform is at least six feet off the ground, the top of it probably ten.

"You see why I feel so stupid?" she asks.

I say nothing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

writing date, take one

A chocolate Northern Lite Cooler sits between us, though slightly closer to the small hands that reach for it with twice the frequency. She's filled three pages already in the half hour we've been here, but each page consists of three or four words, perhaps even a sentence or two, and then a wild flurry of scribbles. Needless to say, I'm not getting very far on my own writing.

My daughter has expressed an interest in writing since she was very young--even before she was able to read and write. She would illustrate stories--long, detailed stories--and then recite them from memory. Once reading and writing started, she began doing what writers do--collecting notebooks. Ten pages filled in this one, three or four written in another, bits and spurts and starts of stories interspersed with her tell-tale illustrations.

We are here to nurture that interest. To fuel the fire that that began, like her mother, "Once Upon a Time..." And, of course, to drink Mochas.

(Maybe, if she'll let me, I'll post her story later. But given the way she's guarding it with every body part she can spare, I wouldn't hold your breath!)

Friday, June 05, 2009

a bit of a stretch

It was an unusual sight. Eight or ten bodies in motion, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, and my daughter's body static. It is not a sight I'm used to. It is not a situation she is used to. But, alas, this is what happens when you break your arm.

You don't get to play on the trampoline with the other kids. Or do the sack race on field day. Or go to the water park with a friend. You have to sit on the sidelines and watch. And when you are not a sideline kind of kid, this is a bit of a stretch.

Three times a week for the last several weeks, we have driven, all three of us, across town to sit in a freezing waiting from for an hour while my daughter has physical therapy to straighten out her broken arm. This, too, is a stretch, given I had just cleared my calendar to make life more laid back.

But the real stretching comes at the hands of Todd, her therapist, who sits for thirty minutes at a time simply pulling on her arm. For a child who is not comfortable with discomfort, this is indeed a stretch. She sits, quietly (unlike at home, where I must do it for a measly five minutes, three times a day, while she whines and moans and complains) as he patiently yet firmly works to undo the damage done by four weeks of immobility.

Immobility. I know a thing or two about not moving. About things locking up, tissue wrapping around tissue, weaving tightly to the point of preventing freedom of movement. Stretching, apparently, is the key to freedom.

Like my daughter, I grouse and gripe at the simplest amount of pressure applied to a tender tendon. Like my daughter, I do not like to let someone else pull on my arm. But the type of stretching necessary to take my daughter's arm from a 90° angle to -5° is apparently something she can't do on her own.

And, apparently, I'm supposed to learn something from that.

parenting pop quiz

When your six-year-old falls into the fountain at Whetstone, completely submerged, which is the appropriate response?

A. Give him a stern lecture on not running off and climbing on things. Oh, wait, you've done that already. Twice. Just tonight.

B. Roll on the grass laughing at him as he stands there with his hair plastered to his head and water running down his legs. Try to pretend to be upset with him when you walk past the parents that saw him fall in. Ignore the fact they thought HE was a SHE.

C. Make him sit in the shade. In the breeze.

D. Your response?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

in memory

There are some who would insist I was one of his pets--that I only got the parts I did because he "played favorites." I don't know that this was true, but what I do know for certain is that I wanted desperately to please this man, and still, to this day, wrestle with conflicted emotions regarding my inability to do so.

My high school theater director died yesterday, and my emotions remain conflicted. Make no mistake--I am very sad to hear of his passing. Many of my best memories of high school, if not most, were orchestrated by and filled with this man and his larger-than-life personality. Innumerable shows, trips to New York, French class, co-directing the children's theater--when I flip through my photo albums, he is ever-present, even if not seen. Truly, I am very sad.

Harry Wilcox was an icon in our little hometown outside of Toledo. Perhaps, at least in theater circles, even in all of NW Ohio. It is true that the man could put on a darn good show. He was loved by many, loathed by others, raised to a saint-like status by many more. The man truly had a presence. Eccentric would be an understatement. As round as he was short, Monsieur, as we all called him, could command a room like no one else. And did, frequently.

I was asked, in a college composition course, to write an essay about a teacher who had most impacted my life. I wrote about Harry. It was heartfelt. I wrote, of course, about the positive impact, too close to and too confused by the rest to pay it heed at that time. I wrote about the courage and confidence I'd developed as a result of my days on his stage. About his willingness to drive me (and about a billion other kids) back and forth to practice on his way home so we could participate. About his ability to kick your butt into gear with a great deal of French cursing and feigned frustration, and to pull out of you things you didn't even know you had in you. I wrote about his good side, and the charisma and humor that exuded from that place. I meant it all.

As for the rest, well, I don't have a box to put that all in, still, after all these years. It doesn't seem to fit with the pictures and playbills and trophies. Funny--it didn't fit then, either, but that was part of the confusion. The je ne sais quoi with which I continue to wrestle at moments like these.

What I can tell you with certainty is that I truly loved this man, in my naive, wanting-to-please, high school student way. In all his quirky, irritating, amusing, and sometimes hurtful glory, he was, all in all, a loveable man who cared about his students. And I am terribly sad to hear his run has come to an end.

wild wacky wednesday, take one!

Our first official Wild Wacky Wednesday of the summer! Went to Easton and saw, you guessed it! Up, in 3D!

Our official grading:

Bub: A (I'm not supposed to tell anyone she cried)
Me: B/B+ (The beginning killed me, and the scrapbook. The rest just wasn't very compelling. Not Pixar's best work. But not bad.)
Buddy: "E+ Because it kind of scared me. But I liked it. That's why I gave it a plus."

Other movies on the list for this summer:

*Extreme Games: The Movie
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Aliens in the Attic (This one has yet to win me over, but ever since Grandpa showed them the trailer online, it's ALL I hear about. THANK YOU, Grandpa!)
Planet 51

Other fun outings we are considering:

painting our own pottery
Chuck E. Cheese
Magic Mountain (AFTER we get the library coupon!)
the zoo
the pool
Zoombezi Bay (AFTER we get the zoo coupon!)
Playing in the fountains at Easton

Other fun ideas?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

oh yes, i remember this...

It is 11:20 PM. After working for roughly twelve hours today, I am finally parked in front of my computer with my scribbles from the past several days. The kids weren't in bed until after 9:30. (After spouting some selfish notion about wanting to actually spend time with me after I've been gone all day.) Then the hubby called. (Ditto.) After that, I was going to do yoga to undo the knots from yesterday's aerobics class and try to work some of this fanny off. That was the plan, at least.

But I have 60 messages in my inbox to respond to. Dishes in the dishwasher to put away. Bills that need paid tonight. Laundry screaming both to be done and to be put away. My bedroom is dismantled, still. And what do I really want to do?

I want to write. I want to write.

Ah, yes. Summer vacation. This is what I couldn't wait for.

a few of this weekend's scribbles

I've been meditating on a passage out of my devotional entitled A Song at Midnight. I wrote this in response a few nights ago...

night vision

you speak of blessing,
insist you are near at hand
waiting for my call

but i am hoarse from
calling, all to no avail--
you do not come near

promises kept or
not kept--i know not the truth--
blind eyes do not see

fresh revelation
though the midnight hour is dark...
i welcome your sight

and the pictures, as promised

Buddy, on field day. (After a very thorough warm up stretch. Gotta have your competetive edge, after all. These relays are VERY important.)

Bub, at her California Pizza Kitchen dinner--she won their box decorating contest this spring! Dinner for six! You go, girl!

Monday, June 01, 2009

summer "break"

I've finally coaxed myself off the porch before the mosquitoes could carry me away. Next stop is bed--early, for two reasons. One is the killer head ache I've had since, oh, say Friday. The second is due to having to work early tomorrow morning. Both children are conveniently in one bed, which means my daughter's is open. Having spent the one spare hour I had of our first day of summer vacation dismantling my bedroom, I will spend tonight in the neon room, because I've had neither the time nor the wherewithall to put it all back together.

Putting it all back together. Indeed, not something I've had the time or energy to do.

Hopefully this week will bring a few pix from the end of the school year, and a post or two that have been bopping around in my head. In the meantime, I'm going to grab a couple more ibuprofen for the road...