Late Night

In the still darkness of the night
In the small hours I sit
Unable to sleep
Thinking
Wondering
Pondering on
Wishing I could close my eyes
And rest
Peaceful
Quiet
Relaxed
But the silence is so loud
It rings in my head
A muffled bell that tolls
Reverberating
Shaking thoughts loose
The echo lingers
And clings though I yawn
Eyes heavy, I struggle
Stop
Be still
Be calm
Sleep.
Please.

Luck of the Irish

OnlySon broke his arm a few weeks ago.

While out walking our dog, Jack, he decided to run across a busy street to try to beat a motorcycle that was headed his way, slipped on some gravel, and slammed his left forearm into a curb, snapping the radius, and also causing a small “greenstick” break in the ulna. 

In other words, thoroughly messing up his left arm for the summer.

He’s been in a cast now for the last few weeks, and today is our last x-ray to decide whether or not the doctor wants him to have surgery to straighten it out, or let it heal, slightly crooked.  The doc assured me that when a child breaks a bone like this, often times they will heal better if they just let it grow back together at a small bent angle, than to do major surgery and try to correct something that won’t make much difference in the end.

But.

OnlySon and I went in for his x-ray appointment last week, and the doc wasn’t entirely happy with the way the films looked. 

Crap.

So, today, we find out whether OnlySon has to go under the knife, and ends up with his whole summer bound up in plaster.

Luckily, OnlySon is part Irish, on his father’s side.  He’s a lucky kid most of the time, as witnessed by the fact that whenever I take him out somewhere – grocery store, restaurants, parks, etc… he finds money on the floor.  No kidding.  He found a $20 bill on the ground once at a park here in town.  Just randomly laying on the ground.  The kid’s got it, whatever it is.

So here’s hoping the Luck o’ the Irish is with him, and me, today. 

Official update:  NO SURGERY REQUIRED!!  Found out yesterday afternoon that OnlySon is a mutant self-healer lucky-charmed kid, and is healing faster than the doctor expected. 

In 2 weeks, we go back, they’ll take the current cast off, and x-ray again.  If everything looks good then… OnlySon can finally have his summer!

Fiddly Little Bits

My brain’s spinning at about 98 RPM right now.

I have a list a mile long of things that still have to get done for graduation, and only a couple of them crossed off.

I lost my mind on my children last night.  There is a list of someof the things that need to be accomplished before the end of the week up near the kitchen.  Just some of the things, mind you.  And I told the children about the list, and that I needed help getting them done.

I didn’t put the list up there for my benefit.  I know what needs to be done, and have been carrying lists around with me for a couple of weeks now.

The list was for them. 

And they knew it.

Yet, last night, when I got home from work, both of my girls were sitting on their butts.  Doing nothing.

List un-accomplished. 

Un-attempted.

And I lost all the fiddly little bits of my brain that deal with stress in a calm, rational manner.

They fell right out of my ears, and smashed on the floor.

I flipped out.

Told the girls that the list I’d posted was only about half of the stuff that needed doing, and that I was tired of getting on bended knee and begging them to help me get ready for YOUNGERDAUGHTER’s graduation.  In a house that they ALL live in.  Not just me.

Told them that “Whatever doesn’t get done by Sunday, willremainundone on Sunday, and THEY can explain to guests why the floor is filthy, or there are dandelions eating their children in the front yard. 

Mom’s going to be tucked away in a corner, rocking back and forth, with a drink in one hand, and a vacant smile – humming tunelessly.

All my fiddly little bits of sanity, lying on the floor next to me.

Countdown to Blastoff

I have 1 week in which to prepare for the high school graduation of YoungerDaughter.

Gah.

My internet connection at home has been spotty – at best.  The modem is dying, and has begun its last gasps of hot, tainted air.  The cable company told me they’d be out “somewhere between 8am and 5pm”.   So… that means Tuesday, the 12th of never, right?

A couple of days ago, my youngest child, OnlySon – broke his left arm.  Both bones.

The one on the bottom, is a 50% displacement fracture (according to the orthopedic doctor).

The top one, the ulna, is a slight “greenstick” break, near his wrist.  It just shows up on the x-ray as a “fuzzy line” (official radiology terminology, I assure you.) 

This x-ray was taken after they casted his arm.  Nope, they don’t re-set the bones on kids for this type of break.  Surprised me too.  There’s a long, complicated reason, the doctor explained and assured me about.  However, if the bones shift any more within the next 3 weeks, OnlySon may have to have pins and plates surgically inserted into his arm to correct this. 

Yay.

To top it off, he has to wear his new appendage accessory for at least 6 weeks, with a possibility of a separate, shorter cast for another 3 weeks after that – depending on how it heals.

He was overjoyed at this pronouncement.

So, this means no swimming. For the whole summer.  Or at least, most of it.

The one physical activity that OnlySon really gets into, and he isn’t going to be able to even splash around in a baby pool.

Last summer, we had most of our city flooded, including the public pool.

No swimming last year.

No swimming this year.

This also happened to occur 10 days before the end of his school year.

He had to stay out for the last 2 days, due to pain, and the effects of the pain medication the doctor put him on. 

The end of this school year is looming over all of our heads like a vicious, man-eating hydra, snarling, dripping and horrible.

See, with the dripping?

And every time you take care of one problem, cut off one of the heads – 2 more sprout and take its place.

Gotta love that Greek mythology.

So, I’m making lists, checking them – not twice, I’m not Santa Claus – but constantly, throughout the day, everyday.

Planning, re-planning, re-drawing my battle plans and lists.

Counting down to blastoff.

Graduation Day.

Where the hell are my cap and gown?

I should be graduating with honors for my multitasking abilities and for keeping my sanity.

That is – if I still have it at the end of next week.

 

A Murder of Crows

Standing outside my office building yesterday, I watched in wonder as a murder of crows gathered, swooping and gliding, over my head.  20-25 of them – black slashes drawn boldly against the sky – they cawed raucously to one another as they danced overhead.  Spiralling acrobatics punctuated their flight, as they would come together, screaming and diving, then splitting into smaller groups that would spin around one another, only to meet up again with the others, and circle back to the spot directly over where I stood.

We have crows in our city, they’re everywhere.  But this is the first time I can ever remember seeing the aerial display that I saw yesterday.  It was almost as though they were trying to tell me something, since they would swirl out and away, disappearing from view for a few seconds, but would always return to the same place – over my head.

So, I searched my memory for meanings behind the crows… but all I came up with were the battle crows and the Morrighan.  Not comforting images, to be sure, with all the imagery of battles and death.  I knew, too, that there were different meanings between seeing 1 or 2 crows, to seeing a whole murder of them.

And the fact that they kept coming back to me, had me just a little uneasy… so I went searching for deeper interpretations.  And found this:

*”Ravens and Crows represent magick, mystery, and sacred law as well as battle, and the mysteries of the Crone and Matron (warrior goddess). A gathering of ravens is called an “unkindness”while a group of crows is a “murder”. They are highly intelligent birds, and have been known to follow armies for many miles. In Native American Myth, Raven is a Creator/Trickster god. In Celtic lore, the raven is sacred to Badb (whose name means “Battle Crow”and the Morrigan as well as Bran and Lugh. In Greek lore it is sacred to Hecate, and Apollo among others. In Norse tradition, the two ravens that sit on the shoulders of Odin are called Huginn and Muninn (Mind and Memory). As guardians through the cycle of death and rebirth, the scintillating rainbow colors in their dark wings remind us that even in the midst of darkness we have the power to touch the light.” *

I know that I’m reaching a new place in my life.  I’m a grandmother now.  I’m finished with the “having children” part, and have moved into the “almost done raising them” phase.  YoungerDaughter is graduating from high school this year, and OnlySon is, of course, now a teenager.  Pretty soon, they’ll all be off on their own adventures – and I’m fine with that.  Truly.

There are still struggles, and I’m going through some of them now, having changed last year from being “Married – with children” to “Single Mom, single income”.  It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve managed.  And now, with the addition of 3 more people to the household, it’s become a whole new type of struggle.  We’ll get through this, too, I know – but it won’t be easy.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s the message that the crows were trying to impart with their aerial dance and mock battle yesterday. 

“Join with those around you, for if you fly alone… there is no dance, no glorious battle to make life better… Dance, fly, dive and soar… chase the dream of something better – and make it yours.”

Sliced and Diced

I feel pulled in about a million different directions lately.

There are a lot of things going on, but it’s hard to pin just one of them down long enough to finish what needs to be done.

So I’m slicing and dicing this week.  A little here, a little there, and hope I end up with something that resembles a cohesive whole instead of something that ends up being fed to the dog.

I'll take the mess - no problem!

Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on:
 
*I’m trying to get the house ready for when the grand-baby gets here.  We have to clean the basement (which is difficult with Future-Son-In-Law leaving his stuff all over the floor, chairs, tv, tables, couch, etc.)  I also need to clean up the spare bedroom down there so we can get EldestDaughter’s and FSIL’s stuff in there.  Is it too late to call the reality show that helps people organize their homes and lives?  Yeah… I thought so.  They’d call it a “fail” anyway, I think. 
 
*Went out with some co-workers on Friday night.  It was fun – but I felt too old for the crowd.  I think I’m supposed to be having some kind of “mid-life crisis” over this?  Well, I’m not.  I like hanging out and laughing occasionally, but the party-girl era has passed.  I’d rather sit in a quieter restaraunt or bar and be able to actually have a chat with someone than be in a place that’s so crowded that taking a deep breath causes you to get accused of sexual harassment. I no longer remember where the fun is in attempting to stand still in a room jam-packed full of sweaty, drunken people who think screaming at the top of your lungs to be heard is the sign of a “good time”.
 
*And on that same tangent… I’m tired of people who think I should be on one side of the fence or the other when it comes to being friendly with others.
I can get along with a lot of different types of people, and I don’t have to bad-mouth either side to do it.  If others want to play the “my side/their side” game, count me out.   I had a friend who was extremely jealous of anyone I spent time with outside of that friendship.  Just because I talk to other people and can get along, doesn’t mean I’m any less of a friend.  I’m just not getting in the middle of the dispute.
 
*I want ED home.  She’s been away for almost a whole month, and I’m worried that she’s all alone at the end of her pregnancy.  There’s supposedly a winter storm coming on the day I’m supposed to be bringing her home, and she’s 2 hours away.  I’m praying as hard as I can that the weather holds out until we get her through my front door.  Then we can all relax a bit.
 
*OnlySon and I need to do something together again.  I feel like I’ve been neglecting him, even though he’s with his father a lot, and isn’t even home most weekends.  We need to do something – baking, book-shopping, something fun.  He has been getting along really well with A lately, though.  They’ve been talking “dude-stuff”, and OnlySon has been having a blast, giggling so hard he almost has a seizure.  I’m so glad they’re getting along – and fear that I’ve created a testosterone monster dynamic in which I end up out-numbered and getting the “It’s a guy thing” speech, complete with the rolling eyes and conspiratorial glances at each other.
 
*YoungerDaughter is having a rough time with her crush.  I’m trying to be as understanding as I can, but I’m truly not comfortable with her contemplating dating this guy.  He’s a decade older than her, they’re in completely different stages of their lives, and… did I mention he’s a decade older than her?  I know I can’t be hypocritical about this, because my brother and sister-in-law are 12 years apart, but at least they were both adults when they met.  YD is still just a teenager.  It does make a difference now, even if it won’t in a few years.
 
*I’m working on trying to get things ready for YD’s graduation in May.  There’s so much that has to be done, it’s a daunting task.  And, since the divorce, I have to organize it by myself, plus still keep the household running – with the addition of 2 more people (ED and FSIL), and the promise of another one (grand-baby) on the way next month.  Daunting, indeed. May is a lot closer than it appears at first glance.  I’m feeling a little like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, and wondering what I did with my pocketwatch – and my sanity?
 
But… as a wise man once said…
Well said, Mr. Bueller… well said.
 

Runaway Train

Lately my life has felt somewhat like this:

  The train is barreling down the track, and I haven’t been able to decide where I am in relation to the train.

Am I on the train?  Am I driving it, and haven’t figured out that the brakes work?  Am I in front of the train, and have no hope of getting off the tracks in time…

Or am I standing on the platform in the station, watching it as it speeds past?

Everything’s been moving at light-speed, barely giving me a moment to catch my breath from one stop to the next.  And while I’m moving as fast as I can, just to keep up… I’m not sure I have the brain power to keep moving this fast and furiously forever.

Not that all of it’s been bad.

Why do you have a problem with HappyMom?

There have definitely been some good things going on, and I’m happy about them.  Getting to know A better has absolutely been a good thing.  Being able to spend time with him, getting to know his kids, it’s been a whilrwind – but one I’m glad to be caught up in.  I wouldn’t change that, because it’s been a lot of fun, and I’m smiling more, giggling, even… it’s enough to make YoungerDaughter comment “Geez, Mom – you’re worse than a teenager!” 

To which I say “And that’s bad, why?”

And the anticipation time for the new grand-baby coming is growing.  We’re only a couple of weeks away from EldestDaughter’s due date, and she’s getting ever more impatient.  I’ve almost resigned myself to the fact that she’s going to find a way to get on the back of a motorcycle on a bumpy country road, just to be done with this already!

I laugh about it, but I remember that same feeling – oh so very well. 

But there have been other things, not-so-happy things, that have been zooming past, daring me to keep up or be left behind.  The situation with EldestDaughter has been a difficult one, and there are still some unresolved issues.  I know that we’ll work them out, get her life back on track and going in a healthy direction.  It’s just hard – knowing that I can’t actually do anything to catalyze the change.  ED has to do that herself.  I’m just here as support staff.

So, where does that leave me in relation to the train?  Hell if I know.

Somedays, I’m on it, watching the scenery slide past in a watercolor blur, not knowing which station I’ll get spat out at.

Some days – I’m driving the train – blowing the whistle and laughing my head off at the sheer exhiliration of the speed we’re travelling.  Hair blowing around my face, and my eyes shining, I look forward in anticipation of what’s going to appear seconds away just up over that ridge.  I’m strong, and ready for it.

Some days…. I feel more like this:

I guess – it’s all just a matter of perspective?