Here’s the Sitch…

Y’all, here’s the sitch…

I’m doing too many things, and they’re all important so I won’t stop doing any of them.

Sound familiar? Yes? Yes. I figured I was in good company around here.

I was so tired last night my teeth hurt. Like, into my jaw. And my eyelids were sticky. I think it’s their cry for help. I pulled the feverish, puking kid into bed with me, kicked Greg out, and stayed up until 3am reading Spellbinder by Thea Harrison and eating a tub of chocolate macaroons I found hiding in the back of the pantry. Not the whole tub, though. I left one because moderation is important. 

Understand, I’m well. As in, mentally healthy. You know, ish. As much as can be expected. I’m not drowning. Not lost right now or sitting in the dark. I’m just… so tired. And yes, technically staying up ‘til the wee hours of the morning isn’t helping that situation, but I’m a mommy, folks, and mommies will beg, borrow, and steal time wherever we can get it. 

My twins turned 12 last weekend. We partied hard.

I turned 45 more quietly with a fire and marshmallows and my family playing tag on the lawn. 

One kid needs dyslexia testing. Another is in counseling for ongoing anxiety. (Like Mother like Kid — wheeee!) The college kid is having her regularly scheduled Midterm Panic Attack with a side of the flu. We have new kittens who are the Very Best Kittens in the Entire World.

And we’re probably buying a farm next week. 

Tomorrow, we’re hosting our final Meet Your Local Politician event because Everything Changed in 2016 (or rather, we finally realized folks had been suffering all along), so it’s no time to sit back and accept business as usual. LMK if you want to come hang out in our backyard with hot cider next to the fire. Not to brag, but we weeded and everything.

And next weekend, we’re hosting a backyard wedding reception for Bee and Col, aka the coolest humans ever. I Cannot Wait to celebrate them.

And finally, we’re Nose to the Grindstone / Balls to the Wall / Feet to the Pavement working on getting our oldest boy into a group home right now. He’ll be 19 next month, and he reports he’s READY with ALL CAPS to move out. And I’m ready to let him because it’s clearly Time. He needs more than we can give him these days. More social interaction. More friends. More purpose. More structure. More aid. So I’m ready except when I’m panicky and not ready at all because who will he talk to when he’s lonely and afraid? And what will happen in the middle of the night when he misses his dog? And who will reassure him when he starts at a new school or a new day support program or a new job that He Can Do Hard Things and He Has Wonderful Gifts and He Will, Too, Make Friends? Who will understand his bottomless need for encouragement and remind him he’s smart and funny and talented and the fact that his brain works differently than yours or mine doesn’t change the fact that those things are true? 

After mountains of paperwork and myriad meetings, we’re visiting a home this afternoon that may be a truly excellent fit. He’s excited. I’m excited. And I feel guilty I don’t want to keep this kid at home forever. I get the transition to adulthood for my other kids. I welcome it, actually. I find it exhilarating and fun, and I love the evolving friendships with my kids as they grow into their majority. This one I’m not sure how to navigate as well. Where to keep him tethered. Where to set him free. 

I don’t know — maybe that’s always the question anyway. Where do I drop my anchor? Where do use my wings? 

Friends, I know this is a jumbled mess, but such is life this October. This is my sitch for now. I’d love to hear about yours, too.

With love, and always waving,

 

 

 

P.S. If you’re waiting for your St. Jude pendant and necklace, DO NOT FEAR. I’m behind on All the Things, as usual, but they’re coming soon. And I have a few more options for those of you who still want them. 

P.P.S. Seriously with these babies…

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
21 comments
  1. Oh, my… Those kitties! ♥♥
    At the end of August, the 22yo moved home (he graduated from the university 6 hours away in June) and he’s working p/t while trying to figure out his future. In mid-September, the 26yo returned from his summer job (a different 6 hours away) and returned to his classes at community college 2 days later. With luck and perseverance and prayer, he may graduate in June… but he didn’t follow through with applying for jobs at the beginning of October despite my giving him THE link from a source that knew, so now he’s planning on returning to the low-level, not-what-he-wants-to-do job he had all summer? Um, yeah. That’s life with an adult kid on the autism spectrum. Like his mom, he shoots himself in the foot regularly. The 19yo is awesome but his brain still hasn’t recovered from an injury that happened more than 2 years ago, so he graduated from hs with accommodations and when he showed up for his ONE class at cc, he realized he couldn’t do it. So he disenrolled. Parents are disheartened and i don’t know how he isn’t paralyzed with depression (also, that injury could have easily paralyzed him physically, so the fact he is alive and mostly functioning is a point of daily gratitude). He is working p/t doing manual labor. It’s fulfilling in that he can DO something. He hates sitting around the house waiting to heal (which may never happen). Meanwhile, I started my “retirement” on Oct. 1st with a 2-week journey with my husband. We still like each other.

  2. I’m tearful this morning and feeling pain for you (and for your readers) for what you face every day. I can’t imagine the huge stress your families have been under the past many years. I’m so sorry! I hurt for all the kids who face such painful issues and for those of you who are trying to make a difference in their lives! Life is a bitch sometimes! I’m also amazed that you can see brightness in the midst of it all. I’ve prayed a bunch this morning that the boy child will make it through this transition even with it’s ups and downs. I know it will be hard for him and for you, the mama who understands his needs and frustrations. I hurt because you hurt. I love, as I watch you love. I want to take the pain away for you, but I can’t. I want to help but can’t figure out how. So I’ll keep praying: ‘God help them create a life that is better than the pains they have all endured.’ I’m praying for miracles, & less mess. Waving!

  3. First, if the kittens go missing, it definitely was not me. Second, we just remodeled your kitchen! What are you doing moving (maybe)?! Third, I hope this place is THE place for your son. All the best

  4. Oh. Yep. You’ve really gathered quite a tribe of people who get it over here in this corner of the universe.

    We’re hoping kid 1 keeps it together well enough to go from detention to St. Mary’s Home for Boys for intensive long term treatment instead of to MacLaren. Kid 2 is 12 and somehow talked me into buying her boots with killer heels. This fall is quite a bit quieter and less painful than last spring, but still plenty of mess, plenty of magic. I did a 24 hour read-a-thon yesterday and read six books, so that was AMAZING.

  5. Beth, I’m old. But you knew me best when I spent days with your now 19-year-old, whom I still love and adore. When you knew me, my life sounded a lot like yours only the details were different. Ours even included some addiction and jail time with recovery to follow, but we ALL made it. We are ALL fine now. Well, as fine as we can be. You will be, too, and so will all five of your wonderful offspring! I do pray, and I pray for you and yours.

  6. Ugh, so hard with the letting go and holding on with attachment trauma kiddos. Our oldest (ASD kiddo) is bright and capable and struggling, so we’re trying to get dysgraphia testing in hopes that it makes the tech in the classroom fight easier. Middle (attachment trauma, heavy in utero exposures kid) started kinder and is lovely and sweet at school but a whirling dervish of dysregulation and night-time wake-ups to “help me mommy, I’m scared”. And “why can’t I see my birth mom when she’s using drugs?” and “I don’t want to use drugs but I do want to be homeless like her ’cause that sounds better than living in a house” and “yeah, I am a survivor like my birth mom”. This child breaks my heart (and my sanity) every single day of my life. Youngest (heavy in utero exposures, preemie, recently hearing and profoundly speech delayed kid) just started preschool, not because I want him to, but because in order to get speech services in our neck of the woods, they’re only funded if in a preschool environment. So my baby is in school and working hard on speech. It’s all kind of a blur of school, meetings, therapies, frequent pauses for regulating activities, cereal for dinner (too often), and collapsing into bed. And the fighting. The two youngest fight like they’re being paid, every single minute. Punching, pinching, kicking, shoving. I am losing my shitake over the fighting. BUT, but I hiked this morning with a couple of them, and ate apple pie for lunch. So that’s a win for today. And the little one keeps telling me “I wuv you Mahmee. You kinda cute.”, which goes a long way. Keep the kitten pics flowing; those babies are perfect!

  7. My oldest is 19 and with lots letters behind his name. Unfortunately in our state options for group homes or services stink! He’s in school and after years of fuss they finally are letting him learn from elementary school custodian some job skills in what he wants to do. He’s trying and would love more independence so keep seeking and praying for some help. Adult services are black hole I hope can get to some light. Have twins turning 15 in week one with a different set of letters some same. His sister has adoption challenges and while her brothers have some they have more learning challenges. While I choose to adopt and be a single parent some days I wonder what I was thinking! They are best thing ever and I am overwhelmed, tired, and loving them!!!

  8. That really is “all the things”. Good news on dyslexia testing (my son found the process fun because who doesn’t love one on one attention! – hope they diagnose him with something anything really because otherwise insurance usually doesn’t cover the process – we were winners with 2 diagnoses!). Also if you’ve made it this far without feeling the need to test he’s probably either mildly learning disabled or excellent at coping so that bodes well for the future. It was clear my son had a serious issue (despite seeming to be very smart) as early as 4 years old evidenced by difficulty in learning the alphabet, rhyming words, anything to do with prereading skills etc. It sucks eggs really and I pray his little sister doesn’t have it too (they are so much alike). My 10 and 13 year old both have generalized anxiety and after a hiatus are both back to seeing their therapist and working on changing meds for the teen. Holy cannoli’s teenage hormones and severe anxiety is too much for anyone. When you’re getting emails from the teachers that have the subject line “R…’s mental state” you know things have gone downhill. Then there’s the sensory processing disorder and the ADD to deal with. My highly gifted teen was flunking her 3 main classes because she can’t manage the logistics of school even though she learns what she is supposed to. Turns out her backpack was a black whole of wadded up papers because she used her math folder for chorus and didn’t think to get a new one from our stash – that disorganization led to a 33 average in math! And we’re trying to find the perfect dog to adopt (thanks for making dogs sound so awesome) even though one kid is phobic because he wants to get over his phobia and everyone thinks a loyal furry non-judgemental friend would be good for their anxiety. MEanwhile the 2yr old (our surprise) needs to be affixed to my skin at all times. Anyway I feel your overwhelm and wish you well!

  9. Cutest kittens ever! First chick to leave the nest is hard, no matter the challenges, and they all have some. Not sure it gets easier with the next either! But be blessed that he can go and live and laugh and work and be! My 2 are 25 and almost 27 and I cannot believe that they are so freaking old – I can’t be that old! Now it’s me and the dogs, and the boyfriend who moved in recently and that’s interesting…

  10. Snuck that farm thing right in there 🙂 Oldest boy is going to do just fine – if he’s ready and you’re ready the first step is already going great. I mean, at first the transition will probably be hella rocky, but aren’t they always? But I’ve got fingers crossed that when the dust settles, it’s the right fit for him. Great work getting this far and good luck with the next step.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement!

      More info on the farm coming soon. 😉

  11. I had a beautiful cat that looked exactly like that. A little kitten named Confucius. He was so cute that someone stole him. I’m still very sad about it. Thank you for showing me yours.

    1. Oh no! That’s heartbreaking. 🙁 I’m so sorry, Jacci.

  12. Outside of the madness of October for any photographer, things are actually pretty ok. Eldest spawn seems happy at college, my senior in hs just got accepted to another school so her anxiety is tearing its head in the form of “how will I choose?” and we are picking up 2 foster puppies on Sunday! Just your usual October ya know. 😉

    1. I SO get this! The chaos that is “regular life.”

      Also, I peeked at your photography site. LOVE! Especially the babies. ❤️

  13. Getting your son into a group home is absolutely the right decision. Don’t question yourself. Whatever his weaknesses, getting him some independence will enhance his strengths. You (all) can do this!

  14. Oh… I hear you there. All the things and adding job hunting on top is not making life easy…
    But when you say farm… will you have llamas, alpacas, chickens, goats? Because those are awesome things and while they create more work, I think they help ease anxiety. Besides you have great friends like me who will come out and socialize them!
    And I really want to come over and sit by the fire and drink whisky.

    1. So far, I can promise the fire and whiskey. No word on animals yet, but my sister-in-law is very pro-goat and pro-alpaca, so chances are good. 😉

      Best of luck with the job hunt! Those are the worst, but I’m hoping for great things ahead for you.

  15. Oh goodness. All The Things. Jumbled mess is pretty much my normal. Here’s my sitch, since you asked.

    Child #1 (22) mostly (kind of) moved out a few weeks ago and moved in with her boyfriend, to a town 3 hours away, and with no job waiting for her. To my knowledge she still doesn’t have a job. That isn’t causing any mommy-anxiety AT ALL. She and the boyfriend are coming here for the weekend. But I won’t see much of them with my schedule.
    Child #2 (18) is in her freshman year at college 2 hours from home. She has some things that I have been encouraging/nagging her to do. For weeks. She has Aspergers, so in addition to the usual/normal mommy worries about her baby being at college comes the extra mommy worries about whether she will handle it well, make friends, be the independent spirit she wants to be.
    Child #3 (16) is learning to drive and beginning to look at colleges. That’s all I have to say on that.
    Child #4 (12) is rapidly growing out of all of his clothes, and as the only boy has no hand-me-downs to fall back on. Which means I have to take him shopping for clothes. Ugh. Also, he has a concert tomorrow and I am praying that his concert clothes still fit, at least enough to fake it through this concert.

    Also, mother-in-law recently went into a nursing home, first for rehab but now is in long-term care. And one brother-in-law is flying in from Colorado to visit her. And staying with us. And the other brother-in-law makes my brain twitch as I try to help him wade through all of the paperwork and finances associated with the nursing home.

    Also also, my calendar constantly looks like someone shook up a can of words and then sprayed it all over. And this with only two of my four children still home.

    BUT. Today the sun is shining, it is cool but not cold out, and I have an iced coffee with a scoop of chocolate ice cream in it, thankyouverymuch. Life is good.

    1. Word, friend. I identify with EVERY BIT OF THIS. The I SWEAR TO BABY JESUS I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT MY KIDS (baby Jesus laughs). The dreaded shopping. The word vomit all over the calendar. And the sun shining / life is good. Amen.

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