Excitedly looking out the window at the dentist office, rain falling for 30 minutes, I couldn't wait to get home and gauge our own amounts. Lily'd texted me this picture from the high school that's just minutes from our home, and the very clear delineation shows what I've faced all summer long. The rain buck stops here, my splutteringly sad disappointment each time is immense.
My exercise determination is decidedly not immense, is unimpressive at best. Like, why bother? But I know I always feel better when I force myself off my butt and all research points to the same conclusion. Folks like me, with heavy-duty PTSD, major stressors, a threatening, hovering depression, well Lord Have Mercy, that means get shaking.
I irritably walked 3 quick miles at the soccer park last night during Nando's practice session, Tabby on a scooter, Jack on a bike, and I, subsequently, felt wonderful. Duh.
Last practice ended at 9, my U17 sons are hard to calm down afterwards, re-trashing the kitchen when we arrived home, and I got to watch the last several innings of the Braves-Nationals game with my favorite brother-in-law, Kevin - 600 miles away - via texting, but that's better than not doing so. Is he backing an awesome team, or what?
Still catching up on all the podcasts I've not heard this summer, listening to Dave Ramsey spout off the average car payment nowadays is $486 monthly for 84 months. Seven years of massive car payments and then that American-made gas guzzler is often ready to expire, according to its planned obsolescence, leaving folks scrambling to start up another cycle of ridiculously expensive payments, but I have always wondered how on earth do people afford such nice vehicles. Now I know.
I think my 1998 truck is very nice, I really do, and I wish I could brag here that I'm saving up efficiently for my next truck, but that isn't so. I'm gonna make this little bugger go for another 100,000 miles even though I'm already close to the 200,000 mile mark already.
A delightful mail event for me yesterday, books from Dr. McCreight, even Grandma has read Healing From Hazardous Parenting, giving her a written acknowledgement, a validation, of what she's seen with her very own eyes here. It's been so dang crazy that logical folks will undoubtedly not trust their own eyes anymore. Seriously. It's been that bad at times.
If you foster and adoptive parents have not yet read this short book, you certainly need to do so. All adoption professionals need to stop right now and read it in its entirety as do psychologists and psychiatrists. Like NOW, I must insist.
I'm now reading Family Matters by Dr. Brenda McCreight. Is it obvious how much I adore her?
I'm building a new patio of sorts with stones I've scavenged for free over the years, near the chicken coop, it's a Chicken TV viewing area in which my dogs and I can relax and watch the hens cavort. It's no secret that I truly love all of my loyal dogs, they are all so easygoing and dependable. My lovely niece, Kelly, posted this link of the most incredibly adorable dog photos ever. (Note to Gina: click and look at them, you'll go nutso.)
Last night at the park I'd met someone with a French Bulldog puppy, Brindle colored, and so sweetly chubby I thought my hardened heart would dribble out of my inwardly and invisibly bruised chest cavity.
See? It takes so little to make me happy, yet in a trauma ward, such as the one I've long resided in, the inmates daily and methodically attempt to remove all sources of happiness from those they should be supplying it to - such is the face of trauma. Don't think it won't happen to you in the adoption of older children.
It hasn't been pretty, but I've fought back, as the warden, in not allowing my inmates to run my asylum, even though disengagement policies might make it appear to be so at time. "Just ignore him," I constantly stress to JoJo's teachers, who call me all frustrated with his repetitious shenanigans. I commiserate, I know how they feel, imagine living like this for decades? And JoJo's remarkably smart, he just goes to great lengths to counteract that perception.
I deeply miss the intuitive teachers like Ms Carr who truly and innately understood these challenging issues, or Mrs. Wages, an administrator extraordinaire. The entire elementary school somehow, as a group, totally comprehended. My children were so blessed in grades K-5, but now in high school the expectations are naturally higher, and some of my kids visibly struggle with this seemingly unattainable maturity level.
JoJo's older sister, my former Viper Girl, the one who'd had to be home schooled after repeated suspensions for fist fighting constantly at our very uppity high school that certainly frowned upon constant altercations, the one who moved out without permission before age 18 - AKA ran away - the one who alternately clings to me, and/or often simultaneously repels me with her negative behaviors, the one who's been arrested several times, the most emotionally conflicted young lady, lovely yet extraordinarily difficult - she texted me a copy of her newly earned GED as I weeded yesterday.
I immediately called her, relaying my happy congratulations, "You know I'm as proud of this as I'd be of a college graduation?" I stressed to her, my Nessa. She does know how I feel about education, it just took her awhile to assimilate this middle class value, to apply it to her own self. Today she turns 22 years old. Happy Birthday to my educated young'un!
It sure took us a long, long time to get to this place, but it's worth waiting for, lemme stress.
She's now applying to a community college - Way to Go Miss Beautiful! Two exclamation marks that seem exhausting to read, yet are so well deserved by her. I am very, very proud. Pictured here with her birth sister, Miriam, and her way too cute Mini Me Evelyn clone. This sibling group of seven now only has one high school holdout at the moment, my goal is 100% participation in at least a high school graduation level, anything else is gravy. (A note to my unnamed holdout: no pressure Sweetheart.)