Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shall We Dance?

A bit of housekeeping…

I’d like to thank each and every one of you who reached out to me after my Mega Mommy Meltdown last week.  The emails, the phone calls, the comments and messages… even people who didn’t know how to get in touch with me but who figured out through a friend of a friend….

Thank you for all the kind words and support.  It was quite the feel-good moment for me and you know how rare those are.

Just writing about it makes me want to say thanks all over again…

So THANKS!!!!…. Again.

Now onto the blog…

I’m not sure where to even start today’s entry.  Let’s throw some things up against the wall like you’re supposed to do with spaghetti and see what sticks, shall we?

It was 30 degrees the other day and I had to tell Sean to wear pants.

A coat, or sweatshirt, only does so much when it’s wrapped around one’s neck.

Did I really just tell Sean the other day that there is to be no laptops in the bathroom while sitting on the toilet?

Oh, and he went to his first junior high dance at the park district without me.

Yea…. Oh crap is right.

I know… what was I thinking?

Was I freaking out?  In my best 80’s Valley Girl speak… totally!

You all know I’ve been sick this past week.  It’s flu, it’s fatigue, and it’s sniffling and sneezing until you pee.

I’ve been miserable.

Like all super moms, I’ve tried to keep functioning but I finally waved the white flag and took to my bed this weekend – or as much as you can when you have dirty gym clothes that need to be washed and your children have only one word in their vocabulary (hint… starts with an ‘M’, ends with an ‘M’ and is O so not the name on my driver’s license… but then again, neither is my true weight!).

It was bad enough that I had to send Rich to go on a rock climbing trip with Sean for the Boy Scouts that I had been looking forward to for months.

The last thing I wanted to do was be hunched over in pain and wake Rich to tell him that I couldn’t go.

It killed me…. And the pain did, too!

Even at that early hour, I knew I was never going to be able to work my evening shift at the park district.

Once a month the park district holds a dance for the local junior high kids.  It’s three hours where the parents can dump their kids and they can enjoy some freedom (the parents that is…not the kids). 

We have a bunch of staff assigned to the dances to make sure Elk Grove’s finest pre-teens and new-teens play nice and don’t do whatever that dance move is that makes most adults long for the days where you had to keep either an invisible balloon or Bible in between you and your partner.

Considering I have two of these wunderkinds, I always make sure I sign up to work those nights.  Am I spying on them?  You could say a part of me is.

But the bigger part is due to Sean.  He rarely goes anywhere unsupervised.  And when I say, “supervised” I mean by either Rich or myself. 

With few exceptions, if Sean is attending something, then so is one of us.

For the last couple of years we’ve been able to drop him off at gymnastics practice and then go back home.  However, it’s a Special Olympics team and they have more than enough staff and peer partners, as well as knowledge and experience, to deal with anything that comes up.  In fact, it’s not only the first place we’ve ever been able to drop him off at, but almost strictly the only place we would feel comfortable enough to.

Every now and then, we will leave him at a Boy Scout meeting without one of us staying around in the next room.  I might have to run to the grocery store or head home to do something.  Even though one of the leaders has a special needs son, Sean is my kid and my responsibility.  I don’t think it’s fair to drop and go and let someone else have to deal with the myriad of issues that could come up.

But back to the dance…  If I wasn’t working then surely Sean and Carissa were not going to be allowed to go.  That’s the rule.  No negotiations.

When I told Sean that, he must have channeled every Supreme Court Justice as well as the state champion debate team because he came at me with so many arguments for him going that my NyQuil soaked brain hurt even more.

“Mom, I’m mature.”

“Mom, I’m almost in high school.”

“Mom, I’ll stay away from those girls.”  

He had been made fun of by a pack of girls at the last dance.

“Mom, I promise I won’t ask any girls to dance.”

The poor kid is 0 for 12 in asking.  I’ve told Carissa to always accept an invitation to dance because it takes the boy so much courage to ask.

And the reason I always work these nights…

“Mom, I promise I won’t get bullied.”

Isn’t that one of our greatest fears?  Special needs child or not, we parents live in fear of our kid being victimized.  We watch for signs.  We ask.  And yes, we spy.

Sean is using logic on me and coming up with some really sound reasons. 

And it’s working. 

Damn that growing up!

My irrational mommy-fear is the only thing I can come up with to not let him go.

Thus, I cave…but only if Carissa goes with.

Before she walked out the door I gave her instructions to not ditch Sean and to look out for him.

Considering he’s the older one, it felt a bit backwards saying that to her but I trust you all understand.

And off they went…

I tried to relax but couldn’t.  My eyes were glued to the clock.

When Rich left to pick them up, unlike the day of Sean’s high school placement test, the threat of bodily harm if he did not bring my two little ones home safe and sound was spoken loud and clear… and often.

Upon arriving back at home, Sean burst through the door and found me sitting on the couch in the barroom (what we call our family room).

“The dance was great.”

Great…I should have known, right?

What else would he say?

But then again, how else would you describe a night where you got to be just like everyone else…

And ditch your mom…

Yes, Sean.  I’m sure it was….


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