Friday, September 21, 2012

A Zillion Weeks of Fotos

In no particular order,
here are weeks and weeks
of fotos.

As the the seasons have changed
although the temperature 
has not gotten the memo.

As the boys became
a 3rd grader 
and a pre-schooler.

As we ate grilled cheeses
and made forts
and baked bread on lazy Mondays
when we were all off.

As I became obsessed with "Game of Thrones"
and posted up on the couch 
which I never do
and actually kind of love now.

As first handprints 
and "Back to School" night
and car dance parties
continued to fuel that part of me
that wonders if it is in fact possible
to die from too much joy in your heart.

The sun is setting earlier,
Halloween is popping up here and there,
I hope the weather cooperates soon
and Fall makes a legitimate debut.

There are apple pies to bake
and cuddles to make.

I'm sort of obsessed with the new album by
The Walkmen.

I don't need perfection,
I love the whole.

The Walkmen - We Can't Be Beat

Happy Weekend. xo

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Weekend with Giants

We left at 7am on Friday.

2 cars packed with people I love
and camping gear
and snacks
and a book I never cracked.

Off to Sequoia where I had never been,
where my cell phone was worthless,
and died an hour in so I don't have pictures.

Where you have to put all of your food and smell good stuff
in a metal locker.

Because there are bears.

I drove up and Paul only reprimanded me once for my revving.

We made it in 5 and half hours and it was beautiful
and we set up camp 
and stopped by a lodge to call the other car
and pick up some wood.

"Have you seen any bears lately?"

I asked this partially expecting the kid behind the counter
to say no.

"Nope, not here. *pause* But they've been around Stony Creek."

(aka our campsite)

"What'd they do?"

As I nervously smiled and glanced over at Paul
who thought this was hilarious.

"Oh rip up a tent and mess with someone's trailer."

The kid was being very nonchalant.

"Yeah *nervous laugh...sigh...nervous laugh* but no one was in it right?"

"Oh no...the guy was in it.  Turned out he'd been BBQing all night
and went to bed in his clothes."

Needless to say
 I OCD'd all weekend about food smells
and food out 
and scrubbing Lucas down 
with unscented baby wipes.

I may or may not have choked 
on my beating heart Friday night
waking Paul in tears 
because I was convinced
every pine needle falling from every tree
and every twig snapping
was a black bear coming to eat us.

Saturday the two of us woke before dawn
and headed for a spot called "Lost Grove".

We moved Lucas to Paul's mom's tent
and took his uncle along with us.

We drove in the dark to an unmarked spot,
walked down a dark, sparse trail
to quiet peace of heaven amongst the 
trees and moss and woodpeckers.

I went for a walk and Paul took pictures.

We came back and made bacon and pancakes
and my coffee had grounds in it but I didn't care.

We spent the day,
7 of us in one car,
walking and climbing
and laughing
loving the weather
which was a stifling 73 degrees.

Apparently Los Angeles nearly died in the sweltering heat while we were gone.

We came home and made bacon wrapped hot dogs
and I secretly wondered if the bacon smell would attract the bears
and then we had s'mores and I drank hot tea
and for the second night in a row
Paul read Sherlock Holmes to Lucas and I
until we fell asleep.

On the last day we made breakfast and broke camp
and the other car left for home
and Paul and I drove for 7 hours through Kings Canyon.

It was beautiful and peaceful
and I don't know how and when we got so good together
we are so good together.

We made it home Sunday night and unpacked
and washed dishes
and made a replacement list for the supplies.

We took hot showers
and my hair still kind of smelled like smoke
and we went to bed
and I didn't have to be afraid of bears.

We retire the camping gear until spring.

Sad face times infinity.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Admissions in Disheartening Decisions

I don't want to write about it because
I'm afraid to be judged.

I don't want to write about it because
I'm afraid you'll judge him.

I don't want to write about it because
it makes me feel sad.

And anxious.

And like we've failed in some way.

People have always had opinions
when it came to my children.

From the women sharing their
labor stories with me in an elevator,
to my well meaning mother
chasing after me with the boys' sweaters.

I still remember bursting into tears
when the daycare provider convinced me
that my then 2 year old Lucas was speech delayed.

No speech delay here...
the kid barely draws
a single silent breath.

Sometimes I take the advice
and sometimes I don't.

Sometimes it angers me
or leaves me feeling insecure;
and sometimes it doesn't.

My non-speech delayed son
walked at nine months
and was climbing trees
and playing in mud
and hanging upside
pretty quickly afterward.

Nimble fingers and quick-mind,
taking things apart
and putting them back together;
working to figure out
how this world worked.

His Pre-K teacher told us he had
problems focusing and staying on task;
we felt he was just bored.

How many worksheets can a 4 year old do?

His Kindergarten teacher said the same thing.

He's just a boy we thought.  Boys are hyper.

His first grade teacher said it again.

She doesn't like him. He's being bullied.

His second grade teachers (all 3 of them)
said it too.

We have to do something.  Third grade is hard.

It was at the end of last school year
that we decided to look further
into the causes and conditions
of ADHD.

We felt it was over-diagnosed.

We didn't want to medicate our son
(he's already on one for his epilepsy).

We didn't want him to feel different.

We didn't want the eternal thems and yous
to treat him differently,
but it was all becoming more and more

And after conferencing with his
phenomenal teachers last year
and meeting with a great
behavioral science team,
we knew we had to do everything
we could to set him up for success.

Which is why last week
we started our son on medication.

And I felt like a failure.

I felt like I hadn't tried hard enough
to help him in other ways.

I felt terrible for putting a
chemical in my perfect son's body.

I cried because I gave myself
5 minutes to feel really fucking guilty
and really fucking sad
and even sort of angry.

I still don't know how I feel
other than ferociously protective
which is why I'm writing this
even though I don't want to.

It's a letter to the universe
asking Lucas' future self
for forgiveness.

We really are trying to do
what's best.

The medicine is not a cure all
and I refuse to believe it is
a forever thing.

I'm trying to do best by my kid,
but that can be so difficult
when the water seems so murky.

Be gentle with us

Monday, September 3, 2012

Friday Fotos on Monday and Life in General

Paul is quizzing Lucas
on subtraction flash cards
as I type.

They are getting frustrated with each other
and it is hard not to intervene.

There is chocolate chocolate chip 
banana bread in the oven.

James is with his dad until 6pm
and I miss him on quiet, lazy days
when I bake and am totally relaxed.

I wish he was here
to stir and eat and be kissed.

All last week I felt like this video...

Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime

I think I was a gypsy
in a past life. 

It would explain why
sometimes when life is 
really, super good
or really, super hard,
I feel like the roots that ground me
are also strangling me.

A good friend and fellow blogger
wrote last week about "keeping it real"
and I totally understood.

Because so often times 
we of the digital age 
are inclined to share 
a sanitized version of our real lives.

The good days,
the pretty Instagrams,
the laughter and the love and the joy.

Today I can write about the past 2 weeks
because I am no longer in the midst 
of the past 2 weeks.

The truth is sometimes
it's really hard to be a mom.

I have one child who is constant energy and opinions
and another who is a crier;
and sometimes I don't like them very much.

The truth is I am in a relationship
with a really great guy,
and I love him and it is so god damn good,
and good and great
are not synonyms for perfect.

The truth is I bear the scars of every non-great guy from before,
and my head is loud and it doesn't always say nice things
and sometimes I have to fight myself
not to burn it all down.

The truth is I suffer from depression
and other forms of soul sickness
and sometimes for no reason at all
I wake up and I am painfully

It used to be that if I felt like I was feeling recently,
that I brought everyone else into the ring with me.

I am so glad that that is no longer the case.

I am so glad that I'm not immobilized.

I'm so glad I still managed to do all of this:


on a boat...

on a beautiful day...

and not throw up.

Spend a Saturday morning...

...finger painting with all three of my favorite guys.

Find moments of sweetness...

...and humor...

...and love...

...and more humor...

...and ice cream.

 Pool parties...

...and being thrown never getting old.

Photo booths...

...and night swimming.

Time for warm bread.