There are days when the few, small, good moments keep me afloat.
These are those days.
Life right now is big in the overwhelming department. The decline and death of Danny's mother following so close on the heels of my father's passing has bogged down our family in the mourning department. It has been a year since my father began his big slide. A year we have been dealing with the deterioration and dying of the old people we love.
Hopefully, this ends here. Hopefully my mother is in the relative good health she appears to be and will grace us with her presence for at least a few more years. At 88 she is going strong. But she is so sad and lonely still. I want to do more for her, but there are not enough hours in the day. She needs a companion, and I cannot be that. I have young children that need me more. But I am tugged. And whatever I do, there is guilt over what I am not doing.
Our family is intact, we have taken the hits and absorbed the pain, but we're not sparkly this year. We just don't have much energy for the usual fall razzmatazz. We haven't been apple picking, haven't taken a hike in the woods, not a leaf has been peeped. It's a small miracle I got the boys to our upstate friends annual Halloween Party, although we arrived late and Jake's pumpkin never got carved.
Seems I am half-assed right now about... just about everything. Except of course, my actual ass. I've been stress eating, so that's now an ass and a half.
Today I was just bone weary, and did NOT want to get out of bed. But with kids there's no choice, they need a mom. I have to get up, shower, make food, make plans, get us out the door to do... something. Even if that something is just going up the street to someone else's apartment to play with someone else's toys and watch someone else's TV.
It's doing "something".
And most importantly, it's connecting with other people.
I need to keep reminding myself of all the recent small good moments. String them together like little gems to glisten amid the dung balls that seem to rain down so often in our lives right now.
The other day Jacob had a dentist appointment, and it went wonderfully. Jacob was able to follow my instructions even though I was behind the protective wall, and we got bite wing x-rays from him for the first time.
I have had mixed feelings about doing most of his brushing - typically I "start" (do the job) and he "finishes up" (usually a few big swipes and then off to rinse) - because we are really trying to foster more independence in our 8 year old boy. But dental hygiene is too important to sacrifice to his huge learning curve. He just likes the feeling of biting on the brush too much to do a good job himself right now, no matter how much we coach him. And when we tried an electric? Bite-o-rama.
But the up side: good dental visits. And for a kid on the autism spectrum? That is a godsend. We have a great pediatric dental practice that knows how to be patient with special needs kids. But this visit? He was so close to "typical," really no harder to manage than Ethan, who - no surprise - tends to talk too much, even while they are trying to clean his teeth.
It was extraordinary. It was a big shiny pearl of a moment.
|Jim Steinhardt - The Pearl Seller, NYC, 1947|
Finally, I am brought much joy by my new toy: the scanner. Coupled with the copious old photos that have recently resurfaced while moving my mother to her smaller apartment, I am in nostalgia heaven.
|Cousins, February 1973|
So the garland wrapped around my life currently looks like this: turd, pearl, turd, pearl, turd, turd, turd, ruby, turd, pearl... hoping tomorrow is more pearls than turds (but keeping the rubber gloves on, just in case).
*We called the song "We are Juvenile Delinquents," but you might know it as "Swinging on the Outhouse Door." It's an old semi-naughty camp song of unknown provenance and variable lyrics. This is one version of it (ours was quite different, but I haven't found it on the web yet).