A Familiar Ache

Hi Buddy,

I have been remiss in writing.  Life has not gone stagnant, still or quiet.  It continues to be gloriously full and wonderful, joyful, and loving; as loud as ever.  Our little family chugs through it all eating our chicken soup, Os, eggies, thousands of grapes, taking fish oil capsules, vitamins each morning and  red wine at night.  Less of that, now that Uncle AJ is gone.  He used to finish off the bottle after we went to bed.  He’d eat all the cookies, finish off the raisin bran and munch through the left overs. He moved out of the garage attic, and out of the country.  He’s in Brazil by now, looking for an apartment, a job and getting settled for a least a year, he plans.  He left a few things, old shirts, his baseball card collection, a Walkman and his gaming system.  I told him I’d sell his surfboard, his wetsuit and find homes for the old shirts.  He sold his car.  The place he disheveled inside me leans on my stomach, presses against my lungs, scrapes at my heart.  Its like when you moved to Montana.

Uncle AJ holds a place inside me much like the one you occupy.  It feels important and weaves through my cells and fibers.  I ache for him. And also expect him to grow up some.  I think of that because as he slogged his way to the outdoor luggage check, he turned back to me and called, “Don’t I look cool with this skateboard hanging off my pack? Here comes a California guy.” He’s taking his new credential to teach English in Sao Paulo.

4am printing itinerary

Uncle AJ understands that you have a special hold on me.  He asked me not to invite you to his going away dinner.  Mom, he explained, I want all of your attention.  You know?”  Wise fellow he is.  Good self-protective skills.  Okay, enough of that.

Your tent is a heap of debris, your mom in school (one class to begin with), daddy security guarding for special events and home doing something or another (but not the winter firewood, I notice) the other days taking mom to doctors appointments.  When mom feel like she’s disappearing she goes to doctor appointments.  Pain pills are always the result.  Liza comes here two days a week while you are at your preschool. I give you each a bath as a routine. Wash your clothes and brush your toofers. One set of days mom went to the college in her flannel pajamas, you went to school in dirty pants worn the previous 5 days and Ellie was so, so hungry. I’d been too busy to get to it all.  And last night I finally did and Yewie, you needed it.  Ellie held me tightly for a few hours, humming and laying her head with longing on my shoulder. What does change require?  Is it possible?  I have to believe so. Don’t I?  Sickened with hopelessness, leaving me ragged. And appreciating the moments that I was vaguely hopeful. Again soon maybe.  love gma

Lost Crocs

You went to school yesterday, I had Liza here while you were gone.  Mommy was rushed, frantic, then missed the bus because the schedule is hard to read.  I took her to school gave her twenty bucks, because it is worth so much more in the long run, and she went to school.  Liza and I stopped at Gayle’s where she gobbled blueberries, watermelon cubes, sliced strawberries and yogurt to the delight of kind old ladies having a late breakfast at nearby tables.  You and I used to do that when I’d rescue you from your apartment in Capitola.  You’d be in dirty jammies, filthy diapers, grimy hands and face and I’d prop you on my lap and feed you fancy creamy desserts. Someplace inside you there is a memory of that time.  Its probably not too far away.  You left this morning with the pajama top that I put you in a few days ago.  But you did get a bath.  By the way, buddy, you wash and rinse your own hair now.  What a guy.  You went through a screeching phase during the rinse, but after swim lessons, lake water play time and a little maturing; you took charge of it.  Good for you. You came back from school with no shoes.  Oh well.

Mommy came home after a day trying to get books, counseling, library cards and bus schedules exhausted, but very happy.  She was exhilarated.  Time with adults is good for her.  Maybe next semester with planning time it will be more that 3 units.  Its okay, you are in school, I am playing with your little wild cat sister, and mommy is finding school interesting and fun.  She can breathe.

But the problems for her and daddy are bubbling up.  Daddy has work, busy days, nights and excuses for why he’s so tired all the time.  Now mommy is tired too.  OOOO I remember these times in my marriage.  The years of tired wars.  The months of imbalance, of change. Hard on us to go through these things.  Takes communication, patience and letting go.  Connecting is hardest but deepest during these times. Its hard stuff.  We’ll see how mommy and daddy do with it.  They have begun to talk to me a bit.  And its not nice stuff. It was inevitable.  And its surmountable. Everyone is just out of sorts…except me and Liza.  We are just fine.  Long walks in the jogging stroller are good for both of us.  Leg cramps aren’t a bad thing.  Just temporary.

Hey, I apologize for taking that strawberry out of your mouth with such a rapid motion today.  But I asked you not to eat it.  And you did.  Impulse control, buddy.  Wait, please.  I said.  And you just couldn’t. Me either.  I wonder what that was like for you?  Loving all of us, gma

Monday Off

Do you know what a holiday is?  The kind you get gifts is not what all of them are.  Your mommy and daddy know, ask them about it. I’m glad I get Monday off, says Mommy.  Why? It’s Labor Day, she tells me.  What are you off from? I ask awkwardly. School.

Hmmm.  Well, the one class, that you don’t yet have any assignments for, is on Tuesdays, not Mondays.  I know.  But if I did I wouldn’t work.

Well, that’s one way to think about it.  But in reality working folks and students often use these days to catch up on schoolwork, yard and homework and add some friends and BBQ time, too.  We appreciate people who do the work.  We appreciate ourselves.

Grandpa found you an adapted saddle with small and adjustable stirrups.  You and he will try it today.  You want to ride Tony.  That will be fun.  I’ll get pictures.  Yesterday we took mommy on a walk.  You showed her the old bitumen quarry, the asphaltum road and some mossy trees. Sissy came too.  She rode in the jogging (cross country ski) stroller we picked up at a garage sale.  Its good on trails.  Liza and I will go for long walks when you and mommy are in school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Daddy will be sleeping because he works nights again at Fox Shox in Watsonville. With his schedule mommy is challenged to find ways to keep busy outside the tent.  You can come over to the sand, walk to the garden, to the barn, have a picnic, climb trees…that’s my ideas.  Mommy isn’t sure.  She wants to come over here and drink coffee.  Maybe she’s lonely.  I sure hope she finds a friend at her school. You too.

This week you have left the tent and gone on your own to the garden, to my house and once down to the barn.  Mommy is very angry and fed up with you she says.  Its not safe for you to go away to those places if no one knows where you are.  I ask, why are you leaving the tent so often?  And assume that you are telling mommy and all of us that you need something to do.  You need to explore, go out and play and have physical adventures.  I bet Liza would like those things too.  Let’s figure out how to encourage mommy to understand that.  That’s why we took a walk.  She seemed to enjoy it, but then she took pain meds when she got home and felt sick to her stomach. Oh dear, mommy.  No more medication.  Let’s help her try it without.  Medi-Cal is good, but makes it too easy for her to stay drugged. Last night I dreamed Liza had a spider in her ear and mommy gave her some of her back pills and sissy fell down the cliff.  I think I am worried mommy can’t take care of you when she’s rummy.  School may help keep her busy.  She’s reading Farewell to Manzanar for her Reading class and has to stay alert to write and think.  That’s good stuff.

I hope you have fun riding today.  Tony will take good care of you.  I won’t get pics, I’ll just leave you and grandpa together and hear about it.

gotta rush for a site meeting, gma

School daze

Today I kept checking the patient online test results and when they were posted, could make no sense of them.  What the heck are we supposed to do with numbers with greater and lesser than symbols and then flagged or not flagged after them.  Flagged seems like okay, now I have a defined problem area.  Hmm.  Maybe I’ll skip the egg today.  Maybe I’ll eat all veggies today until I know what they mean,.  I’ll become a vegetarian, not, I’ll eat only oily fish and brown rice.  Shit, buddy, what’s gma supposed to do to stay healthy here?  You tell me that your tummy hurts.  I ask you to try to poop and maybe you’ll feel better.  You try, and you do. (after a doo-doo) ha.  Well, I need that kind of simplicity.  Tell me what to do.  With this patient friendly online test posting, I have too much responsibility.  I can’t remember what is good cholesterol and what is bad, why I have a high white cell count or what these others are.  And my doctor is on vacation.  Just give me back my medical dependence on her expertise.  I can’t handle it. Right, muffin.  We hate this crap.

Okay for me now the chute is clear and I can think about your day.  You started school and your teachers, Robin and Carl are friends already.  Robin was your teacher last year and Carl when you were one at Cabrillo.  Nice for mommy and daddy and nice for you. You go two days a week and Liza stays with me.  She stays with me because mommy wants to take classes at Cabrillo College.  Go, mommy.

Mommy and Daddy spent a day at the college this Tuesday.  All set, she said to me.  I go at 8:30 and end at 2:20.  What your ID for webadvisor? I asked.  Hmm. No classes in your queue. OOPs you need an application.  Why didn’t the counselor notice? 24 hrs and the ID will arrive by email.

Wednesday, mom calls, all okay.  Classes still available, Art and English.  8:30 am and 11:15.  No space in those says Webadvisor when I ck late at night. Are you sure.  There is no class meeting at that time, I state with the screen blue and jumpy in front of me.  Well, maybe its close to that time, mommy guesses.  UGH.  You have to arrive on time and stay the entire time.  And the time is in the schedule. Tomorrow, okay (today).  Sure.

I take Liza and you to school, Liza and I play, then mommy’s home.  Daddy drove to pick her up before noon.  WHY?  I scream?  Hardly any classes.  So stay and sit there until you get some classes.  UGH. F…SH…. ugh. Daddy helped mommy not succeed before starting.  Pick her up when you your son  at 3.  That was the idea.  Sit and try several sections, since you planned so late to go to school!

My BOG application is here I didn’t turn it in.  My reading class space is gone.  No English either or Art.  I’ll go next Tuesday after Labor Day.  No we’ll go tomorrow.  Call the department and ask for available classes on Tues and Thurs. I have a doctor appointment for Liza and for me next Tuesday.  What?  On Tuesday?  Yes, I’ll tell my instructor.  NO you won’t! You will have missed three class meetings! What class anyway? Re-schedule the doctor or don’t enroll in school! Never miss a class.  That’s got to be the plan.  Or just fricken don’t go.  Really.  Sorry buddy for you to overhear all this in my blog, but I am frustrated.

Its so complicated for someone to go to school who hasn’t done it before. There’s so much to think about. I am not helpful when mad at mommy.  Mommy is frustrated too.  Tomorrow we’ll see.  Maybe school, maybe not.  Mommy will decide. I’m glad we got you in your school.  Happy first day, you seemed to be having fun. Maybe my white cells have arrived and are fighting life, this crazy stuff that your mommy and daddy create, maybe that’s it. No, that can’t be it, maybe the cells are working on a secret project and its working! heck I don’t know anything today! gma