Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

Letting Go – Holding On September 5, 2018

Real quick, before I launch into my actual post for today.  I want to jot down 2 quick takes from our last Target run.

 

Ace (waiting for me to be done browsing the book section) :  Are you going to actually buy any books or are you just going to critique the ones you’ve already read?

 

Jay (after I suggested that we buy a puzzle so that we’ll have a family activity to work on the next time it rains) :  Why would we do a puzzle just because it’s raining if we still have electricity?

 

 

Moving on ….

I realize every parent and even every generation of parents has things they struggle with and worry about.  Some are universal and some are more unique to your family and situation.  I find myself in a situation that my grandparents (that’s who raised me) and the parents of my closest friends/cousins didn’t experience.

To give some perspective, I did an illustration.

home

This is kind of how my neighbourhood looked when I was growing up.  My driveway was like 1/4 of a mile long.  My Aunt, my 1 cousin and I couldn’t even see the main road from our houses.  There wasn’t anything on the other side of us either really except a large piece of land.    Since my drawing skills are lacking, it looks like my other cousins house sat right on the main road.  That’s not true.  There was another smaller road that turned off the main road before you could get to her driveway.  We were tucked away pretty nicely.

You’ve heard me talk about the boys Aunty Juddles before and I’ve said a million and one times that the people I am friends with now are the same people I’ve been friends with my entire life and how much I love them.  Just look at that picture.  We really were very fortunate to have that set up.  We had no need really to venture out into the “real world” or to arrange play dates outside of our bubble.

 

We had lots of space to ride our bikes, roller skate, play croquet, swing, picnic.  (See all the private driveways?)  We had trees to climb and shaded patios to choreograph shows.  All our houses – even those of my Great Grandfather and Aunt were always open to us.  We roamed from house to house and yard to yard having a great time.  Our parents never had to worry about where we were; even though this was pre-cell phones.  Once we were sure that everyone had finished their homework, we had free range.  My 1 cousin had a pool, another cousin had a Nintendo and a satellite dish.  My yard was good for baseball.  Juddles was good for swinging on the tire or board games.  My house always had sweet home-made lemonade or fruit-punch.  We were allowed to have soda at my cousins and Juddles’ mom often had baked goodies.  My Aunt next door made jello with fruit cocktail in the bottom and, when we asked her to, she paid us for doing little chores around her house.  There were lots of sleep overs with ZERO worries on our parents part about whether or not we’d be safe.

 

I value my friendships so much I can’t even put it into words and I’ve always wanted my boys to have strong friendships as well.  The kind that last a lifetime.

 

Ace came home from the first day of school asking if he could ride his bike to his friends house.  He had met this kid over the summer and they’re in the same class now.  Say what?  Ahm … Uh …

 

We live in a safe area, but it’s not Jamaica in the 1980’s and we are not sheltered from the bad guys.  I don’t KNOW the parents of my kids friends.  Heck, I may or may not even know the neighbourhood kids last names.  We’ve had kids sleep over at our house before and I’m totally fine with that but I haven’t allowed my boys to sleep at any of their school friends house.  It’s just too worrisome.

 

I did let Ace ride his bike across our townhouse development to go and chill with his friend.  After verifying with the kids dad that an adult would be home and reminding Ace about being careful crossing the street and that he’d better keep his phone turned on and get back home at the appointed time.

I wasn’t nervous about it at all.  I’m totally lying.  I definitely wanted him to enjoy himself, but ….

Times are different.  But he’s 12 and I can’t stifle him.  But he’s a good kid and hopefully what he’s learned so far will serve him well and hopefully he picks good friends.  That’s so important.  But there’s still so much he doesn’t know or understand about the world at large.  But he’ll never learn if I don’t give him some space to experience things.  My God this letting your kids go business is hard.

 

You’ll be happy to hear that he came home, with 5 minutes to spare on the curfew that I gave him and he was in one, unharmed, piece.  He tells me they played fort night and talked.  Great!

 

I know it’s only going to get worse.  Or better, depending on how you look at it.  He’s going to want to spend more and more time out with friends as he gets older.  I will have to let him go; with some boundaries and stipulations of course.

 

This thing that I want so badly for him is also a thing that’s bothering me more than I expected it to.

Test your wings my little one.  Just don’t fly too high yet ok?  I love you and I’m scared.

 

Exactly the Labor Day, Birthday day that I needed September 4, 2018

The last couple of weeks have been good in some ways but trying in others.  Even though I share a lot, there are some things that are way too sensitive for public consumption so my blog has been quiet.  Ya know; while I stewed and processed and deep breathed and soaked in the fabulousness that was getting to spend time with my best friends from near and far.  That part (the time spent with best friends) was truly awesome.

 

Yesterday Ace turned 12 years old (Yay!) and it was exactly the Birthday, Labor Day, Unofficial End of Summer day that I needed.

Shaunie had left out 2 new boxes of Legos and a new book for them the night before so they’d have something to occupy them until we woke up.  At 7:45 on the morning of the birthday, I walked into Ace’s room, to find him and Jay in his bed, reading the new Dog Man book and laughing together.  Swoon.  I wished my boy a happy birthday and then Jay told me that he had offered Ace his new Lego as a gift.  Seriously … How sweet!

Next, we revealed Ace’s real gift – A PS4 gaming system.  To say he was happy is putting it mildly.  He then opened a birthday card containing a Game Stop gift card so yeah, later in the morning, after he came back from getting a fresh to death haircut, we went to Game Stop and then to Target where Jay spent his own pocket money buying Robux (video game currency) and Ace splurged on the biggest Nerf gun they had.

Back at home, everyone just kinda hung out.  The boys were happy to play with their new toys, I was happy to have them home and know that they were happy.

In the afternoon, we hit the pool for a bit, made a cake, had a Nerf war, played a board game and chit chatted as we all got ready for the next day.  Jay wants to be something scary this year for Halloween.  Possibly that guy from Scream.  Ace initially thought he wanted to be a paper boy, but has now switched to Dead Pool.  Quite the pivot.  Jays really big news is that he has expanded his food repertoire and now eats rice, chicken, sausages, scrambled eggs and corn.  What in all the hell???  For the first time EVER, we all sat at the table and ate the same meal for dinner.  This is great but I’m still kind of stunned.  Ace will need to change clothes for gym class this year and he’s not excited about that but he IS looking forward to all the other things that 7th grade has to offer.  School did not used to be a place he felt comfortable.  How far the boys have come.  I love it.

 

I spent a little one on one time with each boy before they went to sleep and everyone was out like a light by 9pm.

It was a simply delightful way to spend a day.

 

This morning, Ace was up and ready.  Jay let me know that he would not be posing for any pictures because he was not happy about going back to school and this was not a day to celebrate.  *spoiler alert*  He posed for pictures because this mama is not above bribery.

In the end, he was glad to see his old friends and the day started just fine.  I got my first pumpkin item (a muffin) of the season and there are no work events on my calendar for this week so it shouldn’t be too bad in the office.

I’m looking forward to seeing the boys later and hearing about their first day.  Oh, and also, eating more of that birthday cake.  🙂

 

3 Minutes May 10, 2016

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,Family,Life on the Jay train,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 1:50 pm
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Mother’s Day was good – and relaxing – even though a few hours of it was spent organizing and decluttering.  I actually like doing that stuff.  Makes me feel better to see the end result.  Clutter gives me anxiety.  Plus it was a really nice day outside – unlike what we’ve been having – so I had the front door open and my music turned up.

Ace and Shaunee had gone to see a 3 hr movie and then to the mall.  While I was throwing out and singing and re-arranging Jay slept soundly on the couch.

 

When I was done, I got a book that I’ve been trying to finish for about 4 months now and plopped down on the couch, put my feet up and read.  The sun was still shining and the door was still open and Jay was still curled up with his blanket.

 

Besides that quality “alone” time, I’d also gotten a french toast breakfast and jewelry and a plant and other gifts.

~ * ~

 

The boys have always had fairly early bed times I suppose.  It’s just what works for us.  When we were still in Jersey they had recently gone from 8:00 pm to 8:30 pm bed times.  Now that we are in Virginia and have a 5:15 am wake up call, they have gone back to 8:00 pm and at times even 7:45 if they seem tired.

The day after Mothers Day, I put the boys to bed at their regular time.  Jay was out like a light but unbeknownst to me, Ace was having a hard time getting comfy and falling asleep.  An hour and a half after the official bed time he was still tossing and turning and trying to fall asleep.  When I figured it out, I got in the bed next to him and he curled into me.  He moved this way and that.  He told me he had tried reading and counting sheep but nothing worked.  He just couldn’t fall asleep properly.  I shushed him and I began rubbing his back.  A whopping 3 minutes after I lay down beside him I could feel him relax and I could hear the tell-tale breathing pattern and sounds that accompany sleep.

3 minutes of Mom was all it took.

 

I lay there for a while longer thinking about all that I had gotten on Mothers Day and all the love and appreciation that I had felt and, still, being able to provide the kind of comfort my boy needed in such a short amount of time made me feel better than anything else.

 

I don’t know how much longer I’ll get to have those kinds of experiences.  He’s getting older by the day.  Shoot, by the minute.  The second.

This morning he bounced into his before care place without a look back.  No hug or kiss or anything.  I remember when that was unthinkable.  Jay at least managed to give me a cursory wave goodbye.

 

But I’ll always have those minutes on that night in his bedroom full of super hero characters and dirty clothes on the floor right beside the laundry basket cause heaven forbid he actually put them IN the basket.  But that’s for another post.