Sunday, February 03, 2013

Please Email Instructions



When Lily was barely three years old, a darling toddler,  JoJo waddled into her life and has been her classmate, foil and friend ever since.  "Sure is hard to talk to boys at the high school when you have six brothers in two grades," she's pointed out.  Oh well.

Sarah wants me to retract my statement about helping Fabian with his tax returns when it took several phone calls to her, the accountant, to get it done.  Yes, she's correct.  I'd have been sunk without her.

It was hard to hold a squirmy Mateo, who JoJo has politically incorrectly dubbed Potato, and fill in forms at the same time, plus I'd neglected to print out the tax tables.  I was also trying to give Fabian advice, since he'd asked for it, but he wasn't thrilled with my stick-in-the-mud predictable solutions to his quandary.
And JoJo?  Sitting here with Mayra and Vanessa?  "Don't wear that," I'd advised as we left the house, wondering what the heck he was putting on.  "Why?  I'll still look better than the hobos in their neighborhood," he retorted.

If you need me, never text me past bedtime.  I just don't hear it, thank you, Melatonin.  I awoke this morning, checking my phone, discovering three advisory texts from the Sheriff's Office regarding a foot chase and a suspect late last night.  I'm just glad it wasn't one of my kids.

One of my sons had recently asked a deputy, "Well, what if I make a run for it?"  This after telling me the particular deputy knew him.

"I'm gonna take you in," he was told.  He didn't run, he was taken in, booked and released, now he will have to serve a 30 day sentence for violating his probation, which will sadly and subsequently cost him his job.

"Well, what would you have done, Mom?" he'd asked me plaintively, clearly baffled by his own turn of events, not connecting the dots between behavior and natural consequence.

I'm so straight arrow, I'd not have been arrested in the first place.  "Honey," I began as usual, "Don't drink, don't take drugs, don't speed, don't fight, blah, blah, blah," which to him translates as "Don't have any fun anymore ever."

"Do you think he wants to make a turnaround?" another son later asked me about my lawbreaker.

I don't know.  I can only wish so.  I pray protection over him, so deeply afraid of late night phone calls, afraid he'll be hurt or worse, he teeters on a very dangerous side of life.

Speaking of praying, may I ask y'all to pray for a friend who only has 10% of heart muscle functioning now?  I believe in miracles, and asked her permission to involve the prayer warriors in my Sunday School class, but failed to ask if I can mention her by name here.  That said, God knows her name.

Sabrina is enjoying her college stay this weekend, the tide turning, and she's now back to considering this first choice college.  That might all change by the time I drive up there after church today to pick her up.

I've now spent three solid days tending to stuff, I haven't worked on fine tuning February's budget, something I've usually done by late January, I have so many more seed flats to plant, more scholarships to pursue for Sabrina, I still haven't repainted like I usually do in the winter - how am I becoming busier than ever yet have less kids at home than I've had in nigh on 20 years?


Tabby'd picked a handful of daffodils to take to Vanessa who'd squealed in delight at the sight, and later last night after dark Tabby'd picked a whale of a yelling fight with a very bewildered Nando.  When I addressed this skirmish,  she went into an intense screaming rage, not to be confused with temper dysregulation, but rather I could literally see her voicing her intense fears of abandonment, knowing Sabrina was away on her college visit.  On the up side it meant the Chihuahua Cat Riley could sleep in their room, something Sabrina doesn't allow, but Riley's presence illustrated Sabrina's absence, Sabrina is her Memaw.

She kicked over the wicker screen partition between the two beds, screeching like a demented banshee, snot-slinging, red-eyed, hollering crazily. "Mom, she's going psycho," Nando informed me, as if I a were deaf woman.

"Let her scream it out," I told him.

Sure enough, within 20 minutes, she'd calmed herself, and she'd apologized to both of us, her severely debilitating fear abated... for now.

About five years ago I'd once videotaped her fit for Dr. Mandy who'd been shocked by its fury.  Us parents try and explain, or describe, what we've seen, but honestly, sometimes it must be witnessed first-hand to be comprehended.

Tabby was emotionally exhausted, she'd spent time with her nieces, Evelyn, and then Alyssa and Mae, she was fighting her own inner conflict between preparing herself for Sabrina's eventual nest leaving process, and her own very deep abandonment issues.  Heck, I'd rather she scream and get it out of her system than to repress and later blow in a negative manner, to us this is progress.

Sabrina's inner conflict over going away to college versus living at home may very well stem from the fact that she's been cocooned for 8 years here, having siblings in her school for so long, being a Bodie in a small town where everyone knows Mom, reveling in our routines and stability - this is hard enough for regulated kids who've been pampered all their lives.

For my kids?  Oh my, it can go either way.  Some pick a fight with me so that they can feel justified in leaving, or some steal, destroy and lie viciously on their way out, trying to burn bridges on purpose even though it makes no sense, or some properly join the Navy or go off to college, some wait until their mid-20s, some leave at 17.

I honestly can not predict the outcome, I've been shocked too many times so far.  Bless their hearts, but I do kinda understand their inner motivations, I just wish they'd let me help them channel it properly.  Rebelling against me is like them cutting off their noses to spite their faces. "Y'all," I've often stressed, "I'm on your side."

And the final thump yesterday went to my sweet Ray.  Braving the cold he and Sarah'd gone to Memorial Park for Groundhog Day, Ray checking on all his animal buddies there, then informed by the docent that his beloved screech owls had died.  Sniffling and crying, trying not to display his emotions in public - so unlike my own severely dysregulated children - my brave grandson reeling from the blow, well it just completely broke my already battered heart.

Lord knows, all a parent or a grandparent wants to do is to protect them as long as possible from the ills of this world, sometimes it just can't be done.

We also have to try and teach them to be strong and resilient, to overcome the blows, and to keep moving forward.

Again I deeply wish God would just email me step-by-step instructions, guidelines, and a manual for each daily step every single day.  Yeah I know, that's called The Bible, but I think this hard-headed woman needs more specifications.