Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Thank You Nancy For Loving My Son
Maybe it was the burst of adolescent energy that exploded from my van when we parked it at soccer practice, and the kids ran pell mell out into the sunshine with their friends and team mates, or when I had a solid, uninterrupted and blissful two short hours planting onions and cabbages in The Big Back Garden, or perhaps I felt it alone just by being in a t-shirt versus a sweatshirt, but even the electric feel of the air, the denseness is different, and I love the heady, eye-popping barometric changes that occur when the air warms up via the big solar power source in the sky, it never ceases to plunge me headlong into euphoria.
I've always allowed my strawberries particularly, and any other wayward volunteer plants, to reseed themselves at will, or maybe I just excused myself from further work with that justification, but I put an end to it yesterday. I dug up strawberries from several other beds, tucking them into the two correct beds, knowing they'd eventually become overshadowed anyway, and my goal of self-sufficiency needs much better planning.
Ms Carr had left me some cabbage plants to nurture, bedraggled from the hands of third graders, all but one survived, and I finally got them tucked into their final production place. Who needs more than three dozen cabbages? Well, duh, I do.
The Simple Dollar spoke about the lure of The New. How we, as a society, simply have to have the latest gizmo, book, go to the newest restaurant or movie opening and I found myself guilty as charged, especially with books. I do not rush out to Barnes & Nobles, although I'd sure like to do so, I feel that same intense need to have it, unaware that I was even falling into the lure. I just did it yesterday, on the phone with Sarah, in regards to a new Ruth Reichel book that we're both wanting to read. Hmmmm, self-realization continues. I do have self-discipline thankfully, even though I acknowledge the daily struggle to go against the grain.
My Tony's former foster mother has been reading my blog for a year, not knowing until recently that it was her original Tony I was discussing, after a Texas caseworker pointed to his picture still hanging on her wall, and must've told her that he was Cindy's Tony. She wrote to me of her hurt and loss when he was moved from her house, put into another foster home with two of his birth sibs, maybe a year before I adopted a troubled sibling group of the four children.
I still have a notebook she'd kept of his infant trips to a pediatric center, she'd gotten it documented that he exhibited Cerebral Palsy signs, that one single movement on her part later got him into the services he's needed ever since, with modifications at school and extra resources in place, and a better understanding of his needs. Her name is Nancy and she likely then had no clue that all the work she was doing for Tony would later impact him so positively. I'm grateful to her.
CP is a broad range of birth defects, often not visible, some so severe that it can physically impact a kid, leaving them wheelchair confined or otherwise physically handicapped. Tony did not have any form of speech until he was six, it was obvious something was awry, his rages were, and still are, very intense - spitting, squalling, guttural sounds of fury, and it's sometimes difficult to extricate the causes when a child comes from an inhalant abusing birth mother who was also very drunk when she delivered the baby, dooming him from the start.
Thankfully, at least of the original five children, Tony did receive nurturing from birth as he lived with Nancy. The story I got in the paperwork on the other children was that the police had found them in an abandoned apartment with garbage everywhere, kids wearing filthy diapers, and encrusted with lice and scabies. It was horrific.
This sibling group of four children were very physically and psychologically damaged by the inhalant abusing mother. Their oldest birth brother is severely mentally ill, now in jail for maybe the tenth time, the one sister has been in many intensive therapeutic programs and has not improved from nearly sociopathic tendencies, and then there's the 16 year old brother, pictured below, who has emotionally distanced himself from the other three, and attached himself solidly to CW and Chuy, pictured above, instead.
They've been with me over 11 years now. This 16 year old is very normal. There was a fifth sibling, but because he had a different birth father, he could not be adopted with his siblings, the intention was for that father to raise him, we'd kept in touch with him for years and he'd flown here once for a visit. I believe he's in Nebraska now.
The two youngest boys in this sibling group then had night terrors, staying in pullups for a long time. They'd been extremely cute toddlers when they arrived, now both are nice looking young men, but oh honey, has Tony been a handful, or what?
I love them all, but as I turned over the soil with my spading fork yesterday, thinking, thinking, thinking as I'm too prone to do, my own emotional exhaustion has been tenfold what the physical exhaustion might amount to in a large measuring cup. I have to remind myself to breathe, or to eat. I planted more chard and collard seeds, more raspberries, and wondered what was taking my 300 new strawberry plants so long to get here. Dang, I could've walked there and back by now.
And walk I did yesterday, long a favorite stress buster of mine, but something I put second on the list when I get to garden. While at the soccer fields, Lily and I went on a long, long walk, Jack on his Fusion scooter next to us, yapping away like only he can do about race cars, police procedures and his endless 'what if' scenarios involving his future profession as a law enforcement officer.
Paloma'd come home early from school again, dragging down my day, but what're ya gonna do? Chuy'd had to return to the podiatrist about that nasty corn on his foot, they sliced at it, and I buried my gagging self in a magazine.
I took my handsome, inquisitive grandson, CJ, on a meadow stroll as we have thousands of tiny Johnny Jump-Ups smiling up at us, and I hung clothes outside to dry, turning on the attic fan to get the old winter air outside and drag in the new sweet air. Oh Dear Lord, is it time to be able to sleep with my windows open?
Today after a quick dash to Academy for larger soccer cleats for Martin, I hope to plant potatoes, more radishes and another variety of lettuces.