It seems like going away for a few days and reading 3 books in that span of time has me thinking in metaphor. I have another one I want to write about, but first here is a metaphor that came to me as I was brooding this morning on my way home from dropping off the kids at school.
It was a morning full of ups and downs. Small triumphs. Not so small emotional explosions. A typical day. But while the chaos of my daughter swirled around the house, a chair knocked over here, socks thrown there, my eldest son walked around in a slump. Angry at the world, it would seem. Or at least highly annoyed.
He's 11. ELEVEN. Not 13. Not 15. Eleven. And while his body has not hit puberty, I'm fairly certain that his brain has. Not that our chaotic mornings are something to celebrate. And not that I've exactly been a peach in the last few days. But, my word. A smile would be nice.
So, on the drive to school, I tried to pick my son up out of his self pitying mood and we talked about things they were thankful for (fitting for this Canadian family, being that it's American Thanksgiving today). Finleigh screamed when put on the spot. My second son was general, a rehearsed school answer that meant little. And from my eldest? Silence. So, I (likely condescendingly) pointed out some things and then told him he couldn't leave the car until he came up with something meaningful. To which he replied (in his typical form) that he was glad that we didn't live in a nuclear wasteland.
I sighed as I told him to have a good day. And that I loved him. And then I fought with my daughter to put on her socks and boots so that we could get inside.
And now I'm home and here comes the metaphor. Are you ready for it? It's brilliant. Inspired. And likely stretching things a little. Or a lot.
Brian picked up a replica glass float while we were away. They hold up fishing nets.
And at the risk of sounding ungrateful after a trip away... well... I'm barely keeping my head above water. I'm barely floating.
It's taken me three days to get back into mom mode. And even longer, it would seem, to get back into student mode. I'm still back in reading novels mode, having finally started Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte after a failed attempt in high school and unable to put it down. Well, that's not true... I'm able to put it down, obviously, but the story is swimming in my head. What will come of Heathcliff? Is he really as terrible as the housekeeper would have us believe? Oh how I long to know.
But I digress.
My kids come home with homework every night, and I can barely keep up. Getting Finleigh to do homework can be a challenge. I have her IPP meeting today with her entire learning team. Its huge. And luckily I like all of them and have a positive relationship with all of them... but I'm sick to death of being that special needs mom. Of these freaking meetings. Of having to concentrate on my daughter's extra needs... as if, if my life doesn't revolve around them and I'm not constantly working on her deficits, I am not doing enough.
Also? I'm kind of tired of getting advice from those who are not experts in the field that they are commenting on. Yes. Sleep would help her greatly. Do you know anything about getting a person who doesn't produce melatonin at night to sleep? No? Well then, SHUT. UP. You are her occupational therapist. Help her cut in a straight line and write her name. Leave the behaviour and sleep to those who are the professionals in that. That is why there are a kagillion people on her learning/medical team.
So, even as a stay-at-home mom, I'm barely keeping my head above water between meals and household chores and parenting and trying to make holidays special. But then there is the extra stuff. The special needs stuff. I have a 14 page documents to fill out about Finleigh's behaviours!!! 14 pages. Antecedent events. Friggin' does she have any body issues that might effect her behaviour? How many times a day does she kick off... like each day is the same or something. And do you not think that I haven't wracked my brain to come up with ways to lessen her load. Make her life easier? Eliminate anything that might be causing her these behaviours? But I will fill out this damned form. And then track her damned behaviours. And open my house to a man for him to observe our lives. And then implement his advice, as if I'm a crap parent. Who doesn't understand that our behaviours influence her behaviours and that following through with things is the way parents are supposed to parent.
Then comes my own school stuff. That hangs over my head, that I just can't seem to allow myself to give up. And I just can't seem to bring myself to do it either. Everything seems to take precedent. But I will not give up that deepest part of myself. I'll complain about it, perhaps. Sit her and whine about how I'm barely staying afloat instead of actually using this time to work on it. But I will not give it up.
Oh, woe is me. I should really take my own advice and think of something to be grateful for. But I don't feel like it. I'll just keep riding the waves, doing just enough not to sink.
But, I guess, if pressed, I could agree with my son. At least we don't live in a nuclear wasteland. So there is that.