When you ask an artist to paint a door, this is how she does it, there were horses drawn on the baseboard before she finished the job. White trim work is a dumb idea around here.
I get away so very little, like once last year to Lauren's William & Mary college graduation for less than 48 hours, and again this year with Lauren's dad for a 48 hour time period.
"What do you do for some ME time?' I'm asked about a thousand times when folks hear I have so many kids.
I answer, "I garden," and folks look at me as if I didn't understand this very simple question. OMG, she's addled, they've gotta be thinking. But, I wanna holler, I LOVE gardening.
OK, technically there is no me time when one has chosen to parent a large family. I did factor that in when making this decision years ago, and that was long before I understood the payback phenomena.
Everyone was very glad to see me Sunday night, yet they all woke up on the wrong side of the bed Monday morning, snarling, oppositional, disobedient, rude, hateful, mean and ornery, nipping at my heels, swatting like grouchy bears at everyone else.
Finally at dark o'clock I retreated to my room, so very glad this day was over.
The behaviors were predictable, all contrived subconsciously to make me regret and pay for leaving them.
I get it, I really do. I'd just forgotten, since I rarely ever leave for even 48 minutes.
I sank into a deep, tired slumber, worn out since no one lifted a finger to help for a single minute yesterday, except Lily who painted and CW who mowed. Two bonded since birth kids, so very predictable.
The phone rang loudly at one a.m. and I struggled to become conscious enough to blearily answer it.
"This is the Sheriff's Department," words I don't wanna wake up to, my heart seemingly exploding then with crazy fear, "We need you to come pick up your son," the deputy told me, using my home phone, not my cell phone, and I had a challenge wrapping my mind around his words, not even recognizing his name.
"What?" I brilliantly responded, completely confused.
Apparently one of mine had snuck out of the house, had a friend pick him up, and they were happily gallivanting around like they were grown folks who paid their own bills.
"This is fairly minor," a deputy told me when I got there.
"Not to me it isn't," I replied.
Another deputy had arrived that I knew, he was trying to hold back his laughter. I didn't look that amused. He's wrassled bears at my house before.
Like The Adoption Counselor writes, after years of kids rebelling constantly and almost idiotically, this is so predictable, yet highly annoying.
We rode back to the house in complete silence.
I prefer to address issues when I'm calm.
I do wonder someday when this is all over, will I recover properly, or will I just sit in a corner sucking my thumb, saving my pennies up to buy adult diapers?
Conversely, Allen received his first paycheck yesterday, all the layers of ironies involved, as his sibling group, with the exception of Miriam, has really and spectacularly struggled with the concept of gainful employment. Fabian finally is holding down a full time job, a very difficult one in a poultry processing plant, I've expressed my pride in him, and to him, quite often, Vanessa also is working over in Alabama, Edgar is/was employed out in the mid-west right now.
An issue-ridden sibling group of seven who are on Year 13 of being my kids, JoJo's the baby of that group. Even he has been doing some (itty-bitty teeny-tiny) chores this summer without a complete meltdown, we are seeing incremental progress. Those of y'all who've read my blog for so long can very likely recall the challenges we've encountered. I'm clearly not naming one of them right now, almost 19, who isn't working, nor trying very hard to make me proud.
It's so inordinately easy to make me proud, my expectations are so very minimal.
This picture is for Ms Carr, who taught Allen (and CW that same year along with many others of mine) in third grade, infinitely patient and incredibly understanding, especially of Allen's emotional challenges. To this day he remains crazy about her, as do all my children. To have had such incredible teachers has made a lifelong imprint upon my extremely challenging children, to have had other adults pour into them, besides mama, is priceless.
We've been blessed, thank you Boss, Miss Debbie and Michael, Pastors Bronson, Chris, Anthony, Emory, and Tracy over the years, Pastors Tony, Terry, Geoff and David, our high school guidance counselor Mike is amazing, Miss Lisa and other children's pastors, and so many teachers and coaches.
We've truly and deeply been blessed with The Best.