NOTE: This post originally appeared on the sadly closed NYC Moms Blog.
Maybe it’s those peri-menopausal hormones (the 3 month countdown to 50 has begun), or the to-do list not done, or all the coffee that gets me through the day, but I have been up in the middle of the night waaaay too much lately.
I thought when my father passed, things would finally ease a bit, that some of it the insanity would finally release, but that seems to have actually ramped things up instead. Everything I put on the back burner to care for him and support my mother in his final, faltering, increasingly dependent months is now aflame.
My children really need me present and I am swimming back to them slowly through the muck of feelings long pushed underground to just grind through those last gruesome, awful days. Two months since he has died and I have really just begin to mourn him.
The biggest flaming pile in my life is that my son with special needs, the one on the Autism Spectrum does not have a school for next year. Yes, you heard that right, it is now MID-MAY and I have no idea where he is going to school, nor how it will be paid for. We are transitioning in the middle of elementary school, which is none too easy.
Friends ask “Can’t he just stay where he is?” and I want to bang my head into the wall (wait, who’s autistic now?) Hindsight is always 20-20. No, he can’t, he’s in a school that only goes K to 2, forcing a change at this point.
We had been hoping that he’d be ready now to go to his twin brother’s public elementary school, which has wonderful CTT classes (for the laymen: Collaborative Team Teaching by a Special Ed and regular teacher, kids w/ IEPs integrated into the regular classroom), but no such luck. He still needs more support and a less chaotic environment. So here we are in limbo.
The school we really, really want for him, which would really be a great fit, has absolutely no spots for a 3rd grader next year. Were a space to open up (it could happen) we’d be jockeying with about 50 other kids for that one spot. And if any of them are girls, forget-about-it, they’re in, we’re toast (since so many more boys than girls are on the spectrum, schools need girls to keep the classrooms balanced).
And at the point this past fall and winter when I should have been blitzing every Special Ed school in a 50 mile radius and putting on a full court press I was coordinating my father’s palliative care and holding my mother while she sobbed and cabbing cross town at 2 AM to pick my Dad up off the floor, again, and …. well, you know.
I wasn’t a total slacker, I went on tours, I filled out applications, but the competition is so fierce and getting the right school for my son is such a tricky business, it needed my full on, laser beam attention, and that just wasn’t there. So now I am playing catch-up and calling in all callable favors, and praying a lot to the gods of Autism (whoever you are) that this work out for Jacob, because he is an amazing, bright, sweet boy who will sink or swim next year depending on finding a school and teacher who “get” him.
And let’s not talk about the mess that is my apartment (I’m not saying we’re giving the Collyer brothers a run for their money, but it’s getting close) or my other son’s issues with homework (DO NOT GET ME STARTED) or the 15 lost pounds I regained this winter (why did I think it a good idea to give away all my summer fat clothes?) or ... I could go on, but I’ll spare you.
Momsomnia, it’s a bitch. So someone please get my son into a great school, throw out all my piles of crap, and come cook healthy food for me and make me run 5 miles to get it. Then I can get some sleep.