Whew.

I realize (and am appalled by) the amount of time that has passed since I have posted here. Of course, I make the rules, so it’s up to me whether I have to lash myself with a wet noodle or wear some sort of hair shirt as a penance. I think I will skip any punishments.

One of the major things going on, and which has consumed my time, energy, and my emotional resources to a massive degree, is my youngest daughter and her struggles at school.

My little one has always had struggles with control, perfectionism, confidence, and compliance. She is an awesome kid, except when she is expected to produce a particular result. She is determined in her focus, and will defy authority to a DEFCON 1 state when she is expected to do what is expected of everyone. She has tested right up at the border of the Autism spectrum, and sometimes dances over that somewhat fuzzy line. Her aptitude for math and language, however, are quite high, and she consistently tests at the top of the scale, academically.

Well, we finally have the school marshalled on the issue of an IEP and Special Education services.

I feel like a huge weight has rolled off my back. I have been so worried about her progress, and what will come now that we are starting to move into a more high-expectation stage of schooling. I have worried almost constantly about how we can help her to progress, how we can help her gain self-sufficiency, how the hell we’re going to get through the next 8 years of school, let alone post-secondary options. I feel like now, we have some options. I have people to whom I can turn for ideas on how to support my child.

I finally feel less alone.

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In which I continue to allow myself latitude to not keep up

I get into the habit of beating myself up over my lack of regularity for posting here. You would think that it wouldn’t be a huge hairy deal. After all, blogging is a voluntary activity. No one forces a person to have a blog or contribute to it. There’s no rule that says I have to do anything at all.

Except the annoying EXPECTATION VOICE that lives in my head, of course.

That’s the voice that comes with a bag of pressurizers labeled, “Must Be Best At” and, “Can Not Make Mistakes With”. Not to mention the ever-popular, “Don’t Tell Anybody Anything, Lest You Fail Publicly”. That voice has been with me all my life. That voice accompanies every new thing I have ever tried, and everything I have done over time. For always. It is what kept me from ever (that I recall) raising my hand to ask a question in school. Ever.

That’s also the voice that has revved me up to learn enough to get by on almost any subject, so I guess it’s something of a motivator.

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That amount of expectation and pressure also contribute to the amount of guilt and shame that accompany just about anything that I am not immediately awesome at or about doing.

For example, I had every intention of posting to this blog with regularity. I meant to keep up with amusing, not-too-personal anecdotes. I wanted so badly to narrate my own story, to have some control over what to prose of my current life would be. But I am lazy and stressed about what life is really like, and so don’t have the humor necessary to sustain the effort necessary to do what I intended.

Learning, at my somewhat advanced age, to allow myself some latitude in this area is incredibly difficult. I am not particularly well equipped to permit less than perfection. I am trying, but it’s so damned hard. Learning to forgive myself is also hard.

And I find that relearning higher algebra is also a fairly large pisser. And I am doing that*. So I can learn to allow myself some slack. Maybe. We’ll see.

(*Really. I am doing higher algebra so that my kid doesn’t feel so put-upon that I am making her review it this summer a) because her performance in that class was less than stellar this past year, and b) because she will need a good understanding of higher algebra to be successful in pre-calculus, which she insists she wants to take next year, rather than Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry, which I suspect might be the better option for her, given that she doesn’t seem inclined to become a research scientist or phyisicst. I mean, not everybody has to be Neil de Grasse Tyson.)

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Living wilth intent, Making it up as I go along, Parenting

Things Fall Into My Lap Sometimes

Through association, I’ve become involved in TV. I never thought such a thing would happen, and I am finding it quite strange, and sort of exciting. Oh, and scary. Very, very scary, as I am afraid of not being able to pull everything together.

I’m not at liberty to say anything specific about what’s going forth, but I can say that there is singing involved, and I am recruiting like a mad woman. I’ve got some takers, and expect to have more as the next few days unfold. It’s a great opportunity to do something completely out of my comfort zone, something absolutely new and different. I’m thrilled at the prospect, certainly. This thing is something I would likely find very funny were I to come across it in me peripatetic wanderings on NetFlix. Being involved and invested in it at this stage is leaping into the great unknown without plugging my nose or deploying a parachute.

I wonder how other middle-aged women would react to this sort of random twist. Do people get stodgier as they age, or do they see new stuff as a way to add excitement and thrill to their otherwise busy and mundane lives? Is it only people who have already taken some risks who would agree to zap so far from what they know well?

Taking risks is nothing new, really. Getting married is a risk. Having and parenting children is a huge one; I am continually flying by the seat of my pants as I try to negotiate the massive landmines scattered about the relationship landscape between my eldest and myself. Every decision one makes involves some element of randomness in the outcome. Every non-decision one undertakes, every time we choose not to decide is risking that the universe will make a crappy decision for us.

I’m trusting my gut not to steer me into a wood-chipper. I am getting a great vibe from parts of what is going on right now, about which I can not give particulars, but trust me, it’s cool. If everything comes together even marginally well, I’ll be so tickled, as well as proud to have been a part of an awesome endeavor.

Meanwhile, I am left with a pithy thought and a great image to go with it:

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No idea what I’m doing, but I hope I’m doing it well.

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Okay, so I’m not consistent as such…

So, it’s becoming obvious to me that I may not be cut out for regular-interval blogging. I’m going to give myself a pass on this, and remind myself that, while I am not the most prolific writer I know, there are a bazillion people out there who couldn’t write a coherent sentence to save themselves, so I get to write whenever the mood takes me, no more and no less. Take that, practices and standards!

Rather than dive into the minutiae of what I’ve been doing in lieu of writing, I’ll hit some high notes. Or big notes. Or some notes that mean little, other than to me.

I have recently been implored to join the Board of Directors of the music non-profit for which I sing second tenor. I am unsure how people have managed to get the impression that I’d be good at such a thing, but apparently I’ve got a bit of a rep. (Not, thankfully, the kind you get in high school.) as long as people do what I tell them and don’t get in my way, I’m sure it will be fine. It was nice to be asked and receive such a positive reception.

Speaking of singing, I actually sang a solo in a foreign language and a lower vocal register this past Christmas time. While I don’t have a recording of myself, this is the song sung by another soloist somewhere:

Hacia Belen va un Borrico

What else….

I got ordained and legal with the state to officiate marriages. I will be performing my first one on Saturday, with the rehearsal this evening. I wrote what I think is a very nice secular ceremony, and I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. After Saturday, I have 2 more weddings on the calendar, and I imagine more will come, especially since Minnesota has adopted marriage equality. Yay!

As always, there are some downs to balance things out – our cat Boodle has continues to have peeing problems, necessitating special wet food that smells atrocious, x-rays, and vet visits. The Esteemed Spouse keeps throwing his back out, then not letting heal fully, so there’s often a little old man tottering about. The activities of the kids often require bi-location, which is manageable, just.

I’m sure we’ll get through. At least it’s finally warm, and periodically sunny.

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Okay, lets try this again

I know it’s been a long time. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. Beat me with a stick and call it a lollipop. So sue me.

To catch up a little:

My knee is better. It works. I can do stairs and multi-mile walks (which we did, in Chicago – from Willis Tower to Navy Pier via Millenium Park:

We also had a blast in the Wisconsin Dells in June. The general consensus was that Magiquest

was the favorite activity… Despite the roughly 19 million stairs involved.

The rest has been, unfortunately, a struggle. My big kid is in her last year of middle school, which means high school registration is in a couple weeks. I am completely unprepared for such a thing.

My little kid is struggling with behavioral issues at school. She is a great refuser of any task she isn’t interested in completing, and it’s really getting in the way of educational opportunities. She is missing out on the High Potential program, which I believe she’d love. She was worse last year, but she’s no prize this year. We’re doing everything we can think of, and I think there has been improvement, but it’s a shame and a huge frustration.

I recently opened an Etsy store, which you may be interested in visiting: ElsmamaCrochet It’s certainly nice to have the possibility of some income, but the real treat is having a creative self-calming activity to pursue.

I guess that’s the big update. I will do my best to keep posting. It’s really difficult for me to reveal much of myself, though I think the effort will pay off eventually. Outlets are good, right?

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It appears I’ve been remiss

Well, damn! Have I really been off since Valentine’s Day? Sigh. Guess so.

Well, I guess there have been some extenuating circumstances. We’ve been rushing around a bunch, getting the kids focused and motivated. Not to mention getting myself ready for surgery (which has since taken place, but the prep was a huge pain.) (The amount of laundry and grocery shopping alone was pretty daunting. I wanted to make sure the Esteemed Spouse could find what was necessary without having to look too hard.)

Before I forget, here’s  the revised appandage:

So, yeah, I’ve been busy, but not so busy that I haven’t been paying attention.

Now is the hard part: rehab. I am not the most patient person. I don’t really mind pain too much, but I have trouble coping when there is not visible progress, and I frequently expect too much of myself. (If you were to ask my eldest, she’d probably say I expect too much from her, as well.)

I am finding it a big challenge to remain somewhat positive in the face of reduced  mobility and increased discomfort. I am so darned crabby, and that frustrates me, too. We have in this culture a model for women bearing their troubles with fortitude and grace, for bearing up uncomplainingly. I apparently have bought into this, because I am feeling so guilty for not being able to spring back into the fray, physically and emotionally.

I just don’t wanna. I want everybody to leave me alone, except for when they are anticipating my needs and magically making everything better. I realize this is unreasonable. That doesn’t change the fact of what’s going on inside, though.

I hope soon to be off the pity stool. I’m sure it won’t be long.  Bear with me.

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Happy Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy. Love. Laugh. The world can be wonderful.

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