Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You Mean This White Flag?

Do you guys even want to hear about this? We are in the TRENCHES. I don’t want to be in the trenches so why would you wanna read about it? It’s dark and it smells like feet.

And now that we’ve set the mood…. there is a difference between quitting and surrendering. Right now I am surrendering, but only because it might be the most important part of the fight to come. Last Saturday I sat in the parking lot of the Walgreens with a prescription for Adderal for my five year old charming wild sunshine boy. And another for a sedative. And another for Paxil for me. And I cried an ocean.

And I surrendered to it all. To the disappointment, the feelings of failure, the grief that I know that his path will be full of this crap! And I wouldn’t pick this for him. And knowing that when I get home he is going to rage at me even though my heart is breaking, because he just rages lately.  

And I surrender to the hope. To the RELIEF that, once again, I live in the age that I do, that his life is going to be fine, that I live in freaking Orange County California and not the middle of communist North Korea with a boy who has a real issue with authority. Who knew when our forefathers were fighting for our freedom that they were fighting for my five year old to be as weird as he needs to be to get where it is he needs to go? Way to go forefathers!

And to be fair I wouldn’t NOT pick this for him. There are a lot of things I would really, REALLY, not pick for him. This? This is doable.

The other day I got into a conversation with two mohawked Old Navy associates who were sitting on the floor by the boy’s jeans and after describing the invitation for Russell’s birthday party I ended drawing a mock up on the back of a receipt of the Mario level I had done on the fence. When they asked me if I was a teacher or something, I smiled with pride and just said, “Nah, I have a ADD and China has enough of my money.”

I knew I could say this, because after getting right into the nitty gritty of a rad conversation I could have told you they did too. And of course they grinned right back and said “Hey, me too”

Now, are my greatest aspirations for my child to be a mohawked old navy associate sitting on the floor folding jeans? Let’s just go with no for now. But would I like him to be himself? Have a job? Be able and willing to have engaging conversations with old lady strangers with a baby on their hip because he just happened to grow up to be a nice and interesting person? Hell, yeah!

The day I filled Russell’s prescriptions I sat in the waiting room forEVER. It’s okay, they fit me in last second, but when you have a child who was tricky but manageable 3 weeks ago and has suddenly flipped a switch to a raging, running, unrecognizable reality tv special, it feels like daggers scraping around in your ribs.

Did I forget to mention that part? Oh yeah, he’s flipped a switch somewhere… holy crap I don’t want to talk about this. He’s harder. Anger was never an issue here, and now I can see in his face… yeah, I don’t want to talk about it. It’s hard.

Anyway, I was sitting there with some interesting characters that I might tell you about another day, but the thing that kept running through my head and haunted me the rest of that day was this: am I here out of some self fulfilling prophecy? Or am I here because my child just ninja'd out of my grip again to roll down the hall commando style and push the elevator button? Again.

I sat in my car at the pharmacy and thought “am I here because I filled up my blog with stuff about ADD? Or because Russell climbed up the back of the doctors chair and launched himself onto the couch? Twice.”

Am I here because my kid is dumb? Am I here because my ADD makes me a bad parent? Am I here because my personality LIKES renting my house instead of owning it because getting a down payment together takes so much time and attention plus I don’t want to fix the ceiling fans when they break, either? Am I here because I had another baby? I am here because I let Russell go to bible camp with (awesome) people who weren’t his teachers from school and then I put him to bed a couple hours later than usual and thus messed up his whole routine just so jon and I could get a couple hours to hang out as actual real people who sort of miss each other? Am I here because somehow, somewhere, I did this to him? My actions? My genes?

So I surrendered that day too. I really don’t mind sitting in a feeling, and I was heart broken. I got home and Russell did something, and then I said something, and suddenly there was finger pointing in my face attached to a small angry body that was quivering with rage. And I snapped. And told Jon to get him out of here. I could not LOOK at him. They left, I sat numb on the couch. I turned on the tv, and this is what I saw:

So You Think You Can Dance Fix You

My heart opened. I took a breath. I called Jon and told him to get the chicken fingers “To Go” because as I watched that dance I remembered, understood, saw… I will carry him. And sometimes he will carry me. Sometimes he already has carried me. I would not switch him, or this life of mine, or this trial, for anyone elses. They got home and opened the door, and where I expected a sort of tearful reunion, he stopped and looked at me and said “geez mom, are you okay? I’m okay. Are you okay?” and walked around me to sit on the couch with his chicken. It was awesome. 

The moral of the story? We are in it to win it, people. And I will use whatever tool and resource and support I can get my hands on, I’m willing to try anything at least once. Just hand me that spoonful of sugar would, ya?

And I am going to go away for a little while. Maybe not on my blog, I am so isolated that my blog is a great help to me, a place to have a voice of my own, record events, maybe help someone else with our journey, or share a perspective from this side of things… but while your comments help this mom feel less alone, I’m sorry if you never hear back from me! Or if I don’t seem up on your blog or your facebook or if you never heard back from me about that play date we were supposed to have. 

Chances are VERY good I DO know what your facebook status is, I did see the pictures from your vacation, I enjoyed your last post, and I wished I had gotten together for that playdate. I am not suffering over here, and I WILL call you soon, but I know that part of what I need is to not feel my attention being spread thinner than it is, or like I have to find brain cells to be clever on the internet and I need my people, friends, sisters, cousins, PEOPLE, to know that I love you so much for not being mad at me for being a bad communicator right now as I navigate this stuff.

And if you live in Utah, and you are finding out as you READ THIS SENTENCE that we have just shortened our trip there for Lorraine’s wedding from 2 and half weeks to 5 days including the two days of driving! And that you’re probably on the long list of people we will catch next time… well, SORRY!

Hahahaha, holy cow, I’m a jerk.  And if this post wasn’t already long enough for you, I would like to leave you with some words from the Anna Nalick song 2AM that kind of describes how I feel about life, and Russell, and blogging through it all.

But, my God, it's so beautiful when the boy smiles,
Wanna hold him. Maybe I'll just sing about it.
There's a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout 'cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
And these mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again
If you only try turning around.
2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to
But you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.

and breathe, just breathe


kateastrophe said...

I think I'm bored at work every time you post because hai! First comment again!

OK, now to be serious (sort of. Because it's me.)

I have always believed that we picked out our life and our challenges before we got here, or at least had a hand in picking them - because we knew we could do it and get back. There's a lot of talk of old spirits and young spirits and strong spirits and I think some of the older, stronger spirits picked some of the horrific challenges of this earth because they knew the reward for living the difficult life would be more widsom and more empathy and being that much closer to Godliness. So some of them (or, in my opinion, us) picked the hard path. On PURPOSE. What were they(we) nuts?!?!? No, not really. I firmly, truly, 100% believe that there is nothing this crazy world or even God can throw at us that we can't handle because we already know, somewhere deep inside of us, what's coming and how to handle it. We just have to pray to remember.

So in a way I'm saying that I believe that while you would not pick this for your baby boy, he may have picked this for himself. He knew he could do this. And he knew he could do this because he picked YOU to be his Mother because he knew you'd be in it to win it and be his biggest fan, biggest advocate, biggest ENEMY at times even. And it's all OK because it's all part of the plan and what you and he and me and they and everyone is supposed to learn to be Gods who understand and love no matter what.

Sort of like you already do.

Andrea said...

I am glad to be the second commenter, because she already said everything, and WAY BETTER than I could have. I love you and your beautiful stinky footed children. Call me when you are able to poke your head out of the trenches.

Ryan and Lillian said...

No words other than... "WOW!" Take that for what it is intended (or add whatever meaning you want to that word...) WOW! You are my hero...You can handle so much...and also not handle so much. You are so eloquent... you are crazy (I mean that in a loving way)... you are Fantastic...you are over-the-top wonderful... you are lucky to have such an amazing child and he is lucky to have you... but you already knew that because you are so incredibly intelligent and ...you are so terribly, wonderfully human. I love to read your perspective and I learn so much from you...

so much for my one word comment I intended to write... but to sum it all up... "WOW"!!!

Teddi said...

hi lady! You are a FANTASTIC mother! Hang in there - you will see it through! Miss you (and email/phone messages/facebook friends is good for me - I'm always around and we'll get together sometime - I assume you still like me because you haven't de-friended me on facebook (...just checked...); anyhow you are a SUPER mom - your heart is in the right place - with your kiddos!