Saturday, March 9, 2013

Finding Focus

Lincoln was up at 6:30 this morning. My au pair starts at 7. This is what you would call a "First world, white lady" problem.

I have a lot of these. I need my roots dyed. I need tree work done on my property. I need interior design work done. I'm out of organic apples. I have to get more wine. I need to have three more appointments to finish work on a root canal. I don't have a pair of black, every day boots or a black purse.

I need to pay for my kid's day camp, my property taxes and the fee for my NEW au pair. Ruby's 13th birthday is coming up and I have to pay the deposits on all the reservations I made.

I've got to find new psychotherapists for my daughters because for varying reasons, the ones they have aren't effective.

I mean, am I fucking serious?

As I type on my macbook air, my kid playing with his ipad in the background, my other two kids lounging on the couch downstairs as they watch the flatscreen TV, am I really finding things to complain about?


I know I am living a charmed life. My children are alive and here on earth with me. My husband loves me and thinks I am as amazing as I wish I was. We both have jobs. We have friends...

So why the stresses and worries? Why can't I materialize any number of the patients I take care of every single day who have NOTHING in moments like these. The women who are addicts, living on a wing and a prayer, who have no family, no support, bad teeth, terrible health, violent spouses/parents/friends? The ones who know they won't be taking their babies home. The ones who don't know where their next meal will come from when they leave the hospital.

Gratefulness is a gift that I think I have. But the trappings of the life I am living prevent me from truly realizing it as often as I should. Perspective is hard to have when you can't see farther than the back of your own head; when life is so filled with things to do, we can't refocus our vision on things outside of ourselves.

I try. I really do. But right now I have to fill out camp forms and finish my coffee (with half and half and agave syrup) and put Lincoln's ipad on the charger and, and, and, and...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Cup Runneth Over (with wine, of course)

The great thing about life is that you never know when it's gonna whisk you off your feet and make sweet, sweet love to you.

I feel like I resist talking about the good stuff all the time because I don't want to come off as some fucking Pollyanna (which I am not). Sometimes I think that if I write down all the good, then I will lose my edge. Total bullshit, I know.

So. Anyway, the other night, after Penelope NAILED her opening performance as Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast, we were weaving and wading through the pretty incredible crowd in the lobby signing autographs, when she looks up at me and says: "Mama, this is the BEST day of my life!" She was holding one of my hands in her two tiny ones and her eyes were sparkling out of her skull. It was a parenting moment I wanted to bottle up and take secret whiffs out of for the rest of my days.

I'm not gonna lie, hot husband and I had serious, serious doubts that she was going to be able to do it, to follow through and get on the damn stage, remember her cues, her lines, not faint, not fidget, not cry, not run off (or freeze) in absolute panic. I had 10mg of Inderal ready if I thought she'd need it.  I feel like my two other children disappeared during the last weeks of rehearsal. All eyes, energies, tactical plans were keenly focused on Penelope and her opening night.

And, well, that's when that stud, the universe, came in all smoldering and ready for action and laid. Shit. Down.

That little girl soared, she was electric and gracious and PROUD. And her mama is still rolling in the post-coital bliss.

I've thought for a long time that as the guardians of special children, we need to exploit their gifts and in dong so, see their deficits fade.

This can be tricky territory out in the world of IEP's and transition meetings and appropriate settings.  For the most part, the world wants our kids "table ready" and not stimming and hooting and whizzing and whoooing and crying and yelling and swearing. They want them to have clean fingernails all the time and be toilet trained before they go to school and be really good at wiping their own butts. You think I don't want that shit? But, that's just not my reality all of the time. I mean, I get some of those things some of the time. So instead I focus on what my children are really, really good at all the time. It's amazing what that little paradigm shift will do for you.

Penelope is a mimic. An awe inspiring mimic. She copies popular culture to a "T". Her emotional range is very well suited for the stage and her loosey-goosey, tiny frame makes her a fascinating figure to watch. Helllooooo! ACTING. A.C.T.I.N.G. I am totally hitching my wagon to that little girl's star.

Fragile X can kiss my sweet ass this weekend.