Saturday, May 19, 2012
Mom's In A Crappy Part Of Atlanta
Honduras itself was tough enough then, anti-American, the U.S. embassy had recently been burned, it was the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the State Department issuing travel warnings, and I was out of my element of course.
I also had no clue how far out of my element I'd have to go in the next several decades.
Yesterday I left my house at 8 in the morning, arriving back home around 5ish, only to talk to Grandma for just a few minutes before Tabby fell off of her bike, Nando rushing in to get me. Her knee and elbow looked right bad, but her nose looked immediately swollen. Uh-oh. I put her in my truck and drove her up to Yolie's house, who's way better than I when medical attention is required.
I could barely look, I'm very squeamish, Yolie cleaned it, and I took Tabby to the doctor who had to numb the knee to finish cleaning it properly, debriding it, five knee stitches later, he pronounced her nose unbroken.
Going back home, calling my teenagers who'd all gone out or home with other teens on this last day of school, since they knew I had to zip over to Atlanta, at least supper was there. The school I'd retired from had given us all their leftover hamburgers from the 8th grade cookout. Lily and I dined on the squash quiche I'd made the day before, while my sons and Tabby pigged out on the burgers.
But in Atlanta, accompanied my three grown kids, tending to issues I never dreamed I'd have to face in my life, them questioning me about proper procedures in order to stay out of trouble, steps to take with restrictions an ole bat never thought she'd have to consider when doling out advice. Thank God I have a local Probation Officer friend I can text with my questions.
I wish I could be less vague, because there no doubt in my mind that many of you have faced what he's facing, but I just can't right now, here some five years later, I'm still bowled over, and not really ready to talk. It's been emotionally painful and bitter.
I'd not had a bite to eat since a quick protein bar for breakfast, and there's nothing I like better than a hole-in-the-wall questionable looking Mexican restaurant. We were in a totally Hispanic area of town where no one spoke any English, and I popped my head in first to make sure it wasn't a bar, but indeed a restaurant it was, as the aromas were heavenly.
The waitress snapping at my dark skinned son for not speaking Spanish, telling him he'd be lost in Mexico. She wasn't getting the irony of being a non-English speaker here in America.
"What'd she say Mom?" he asked me in English obviously, which just set her back off, questioning me in Spanish if my husband was Mexican and why we didn't teach him any Spanish? My other son was speaking Spanish at the table.
"His father was Tejano," I let it go at that, not wanting to get into either an adoption spiel or divorce issue. My Spanish is clearly Southern influenced.
Technically, most of my children are Texican, as they call themselves, sneering at non-Spanish speaking siblings as Mexicants.
The food was amazing. And cheap. We weren't paying for atmosphere, rather for authenticity and flavor.
I'm a little uneasy in some of these complexes, or projects, where one of my grown daughters has been living, yet when I think about how far she's come, how limited her mental capacities are, how she's totally fluent in both Spanish and English, how she can navigate the tougher streets of Atlanta, and the myriad city bus transfers, I'm very, very impressed and I tell her so often.
Leaving Atlanta in Friday afternoon rush hour made me deeply yearn for my dirt road. Dang, it's a mess there in the city that I was born in, yet rarely go to.
Back home? Oh my goodness. One son-in-law was having an MRI which had some decent results, Sarah's 13 year old dog had surgery and successfully dodged the he's-too-old issue, and Grandma got the news that one of her friend's husbands who lives in the neighborhood nearby was in his last days, his lungs filling with fluids, no doubt reminding my mom of Grandpa's last days.
But if I could say anything to you trauma mamas, I'd say there's good news ahead about your grown kids that are now breaking your heart. I've been there many times, there's not a grown one of mine that I've not cried buckets of tears over, and literally feared for their lives, as so many seem to put themselves in harm's way, living with criminals, being chronically unemployed, self-medicated, or swayed by thug influence. Some have served time, some are serving time.
Being away from me, being out in the cold cruel world, eventually leads them to an understanding of how hard it must've been for me back then to support others, to love those that'd been so hateful and violent, to still take their phone calls, to go out and help them as they struggle (although I'm super careful not to enable, which is sometimes hard to do, as they can be supremely manipulative)...bottom line, Mom's still here.
Lisa A made me a tapping video..how cool was that?