Thursday, August 20, 2009

Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Happy Birthday, my dear, infuriating, wonderful Moody Teen.

Sixteen short years ago, you came into my life rather uneventfully... on your due date, no less! My water broke uneventfully. My one contraction I endured before having the epidural, contracted uneventfully. Before I knew it, you were in my arms.

You were a thrill seeker and a car lover from the beginning... The higher and faster you could get in your swing or bouncy seat, the happier you were. You slept with a Hot Wheel in each hand every night.

You grew into such a confident, adventurous kid... If it looked fun to you, you tried it. You didn't worry what others might think, or if you'd be able to catch on.

Ah, and then the teen years came along, and what wasn't to love? I can honestly say that I only wanted to kill you a (large) handful of times (so far).

Which brings us to today...

You keep me on my toes, you rebel, you argue, you love, you laugh, you even occasionally hug, and you live like no one else I've ever known.

I am so proud of you... Not your grades or accomplishments or determination in the face of adversity or athleticism... but you.

The Mother To Whom You Are Not Speaking at the Moment Because of the Car Argument

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The More Things Change...

For those of you following along at home, we last left "The Big Family Breakup," with me having a major showdown with my elderly parents in the middle of the airport (with basically me doing both the showing and the downing), as my newly-minted alcoholic brother, fresh out of ICU, headed straight to rehab, as he had been forbidden to return home to his wife and kids. As with any good cliffhanger, I sat on the plane back to DC, torn between cutting all ties and resolving to make amends.

Fast forward three months...

Well, my brother seems to be on the mend, so to speak, but I really only know that second-hand. I'm in my usual avoidance mode with my parents, leading them to believe I'm still a somewhat willing participant in this whole nonsense that is our family unit. But of course, there has been no real dialogue. No actual communication or discussion of feelings, regrets, wishes, solutions. And I am having a hard time accepting that there won't be. There just won't. They can't do it... They don't know how.

Which leads me to feel like I need to be an adult about all of this and throw a little compassion their way.

It's all very weird and extremely sad. It would break my heart into a million tiny pieces if my boys grew up to feel this way. Not only because of the adult relationship we would be missing, but because I would know their distance is a consequence of a childhood gone awry.

And, oh, how I want them to look back and remember the happiness and unconditional love.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fool Me Once...

Okay, maybe I am just tired. Or maybe I'm a bigger sucker than I care to admit. But here it is... I think I am going to give Michael Vick a second chance to make me loathe him. I am going to take him at his word that he is sorry. I am going to trust that the US justice system, in conjunction with Tony Dungy's wizardry, actually worked, and he is the changed man he claims to be. It's a big leap for me, I know, but why the hell not?

I do wonder if, had he not gotten caught, his epiphany and subsequent decision to "be a part of the solution" would have occurred? But I look back on all of the bad/wrong/stupid things I have done, and getting caught was most certainly a catalyst for change in some cases. Should that matter?

What's so funny is it is easier for me to be forgiving of someone who a) doesn't need my forgiveness, b) has millions of dollars to make himself feel better, and c) hurt sweet, innocent animals, than it is for me to extend the same to people in my own life, who have done far less. But I guess baby steps, right?

Oh, and Michael? I may forgive, but I certainly don't forget... Just ask my husband.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Life Goes On...

So I guess it isn't really any surprise to any of you that I am a total maniac. And, hopefully, you read my silly little blog with that in mind... That I am just plain nuts. An emotional nightmare, if you will.

I feel like after my last post, I should explain myself, which is kind of counter-intuitive to the whole notion of blogging for oneself. But, not only am I insane, I also have rather substantial guilt issues. Hence, the need to explain away any kind of emotional outburst that might cause you, my dear readers, any physical or psychological discomfort. Sick, isn't it?

Anyway, the long and short of it is, nobody is dead or on the verge of death, or even within a year or two of dying, for that matter. My son is fine. Life goes on, and let me tell you, that boy knows how to handle life. We should all be taking notes.

But my head is someplace different now. I am changed. I am the one that's not okay, and that's just silly, because I am not the one with the disease. I am obviously sulking and I hate that about myself.

I am all caught up in this whole "He doesn't deserve it" thing, which leads to the whole "Well, but who really does deserve it (besides evil ol' me, of course)?" which just makes me sad for all of us. And being sad sucks.

So, in an effort to snap myself out of this, I am about to do what any self-respecting head-case would do... Make, and then eat, a chocolate cake. Please pardon me while I make myself feel better with food.

Oh, and ps: Thanks for coming to my rescue, once again. Your words, your prayers, your strength, love and humor amaze me. Pat yourselves on the back, people. You deserve it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Worst Day of Your Life

You'd think the day you find out your little five month old baby has a genetic disease that is the equivalent of a death sentence, would be the absolute worst day of your life. Well, you'd be wrong. What actually happens is, you end up feeling blessed because of a salty kiss and a tiny bit of knowledge from way back whenever. You know you should feel sad, but you are thrilled to be given a precious head start. Months, maybe years, to protect your little baby, and your own heart. Time is on your side.

And, quicker than even seems possible, that healthy baby is a healthy teen. A rebellious, funny, intense, larger than life, healthy teen. Everything is on his side. Life is his for the taking. His future, so wide open and brilliant. Congratulations to the boy who is such a brave miracle, and his mom, who must be so brave and strong, herself.

Until the day he coughs up blood. And everything changes.

Suddenly, reality... real reality, is in your face, shaking you out of that blissful cocoon of denial that had been keeping you so safe and warm for all those years. Sure, the doctor has a plausible explanation, but come on... who coughs up blood? Healthy people? No. If your other child, your "normal" child, coughed up blood, you would be a mess. And here is your big boy, with a lung disease, coughing up blood. All you're feeling is a dulled, depressing nausea. And sadness.

So very suddenly, you realize you really aren't very brave at all. Like not at all. It's easy to keep a smile on your face and stay positive when you haven't had to spend one fucking minute actually worrying, other than in theory, about your child's health or future. Sure, it sounds awfully impressive... "Yes, my child has cf and we will probably out-live him." You can get the words out without a tear, and you seem incredibly fearless. But you really aren't. You are nothing, because what no one knows, is that up until today, you didn't actually believe your own words. Your denial was so ingrained into your actual being, that the words would come out flawlessly, never making contact with your heart, much less your soul. Airtight. Your life support.

And now it's gone.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just Curious...

I want to take a minute to acknowledge a very rare and interesting breed of the human species... The Driver's Education Instructor. As Moody Teen continues to come home alive each day from "Behind the Wheel" driving instruction, I have been curious about the kind-faced (and obviously insane) instructor, risking his life on a daily basis, in order to magically transform my child into a legal (and safe?) driver.

Is he constantly (and pointlessly) stomping the imaginary brake pedal on the floorboard of the passenger's seat? Does he have to resist the urge to grab the wheel and steer away from the oncoming car/child/bike with every fiber of his being? Does he pop blood pressure pills like they're Tic Tacs? And finally, how often does he accidentally shout out, wild-eyed and in a panic, "For the love of God... You almost got us killed!!"?

Just curious.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Perfect Storm

I don't know... Suddenly, everything seems so ridiculous. Blogging is bordering on overly self-indulgent and over-thought. Maybe we all need to be out there actually living life, rather than picking it apart, piece by piece. And yes, of course, I am in a bad mood. PMS, to be exact. I know it will pass, and I'll be putting my "oh-isn't-life-so-kooky" spin on it, right here on this very blog, soon enough. But right now, I want to wallow in it. I want to scream at everyone (even, apparently, the lawn guy), feel bad about myself, and roll my eyes at all things meaningful, joyful and sweet. yuck.

I know there are things that can combat this. Exercise, a balanced diet, water. However, the only things that pique my interest right now are cookies, ice cream and my pajamas. I am not about to get my ass off the couch. I am desperate to get the family out of the house and out of my hair. And if you haven't already guessed, Moody Teen is back from the mountain, and, as God as my witness, I take back every nice thing I've ever said about the kid. Okay, maybe I'll only take back a handful of nice things... But a very large handful. He's managed to smirk, shrug and make his brother cry enough to make me seriously consider boarding school. For me! Isn't there some sort of adult boarding school where I can go and learn about botany and clay throwing? Or is that just called prison? Either way, sign me up! I promise to make my bed every day!