Tag Archive: son


To Infinity and Beyond!

Kip, Chi, Mae, Abshie, Pynni, Timmus, Pieces

I spent last week at my parents’ house with my kids and their cousins. Seven kids all told. All 10 and younger. It was loud, chaotic, and amazing!

My mother took the older kids to an amusement/water park on Wednesday and I kept the two Littles. We ran some errands and I just listened to their conversations in the backseat. Here’s one.

Pieces and Timmus

Timmus and Pieces, counting by ones: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven….twenty-one…..forty-seven….eighty-eight…one hundred…

On they went counting, by ones, until:

Timmus and Pieces: One hundred and twenty-eight, one hundred and twenty-nine, one hundred and thirty!

Timmus: WAIT! WHEN DID I LEARN TO COUNT TO ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY?!? I used to only be able to count to one hundred and twenty-five!

Me:  If you know how to count to one hundred, you can count to any number.

Pieces: To infinity and beyond!

Dear smallest person;

STOP GROWING! Okay, no, don’t do that. Continue being your awesome you. Continue finding the fun and laughter in absolutely everything. I love that you have so much joy. I love how much you love your older siblings. I love seeing you come out with your blazing personality and having your very own opinions that aren’t mirrors of Pynni’s. I love seeing you learn and grow, change and GROW. You just keep getting bigger and bigger.

Muted Silliness

You fell asleep on me a few days ago. You used to do that all the time, but now the napping on Mom is very scarce. I miss it. I miss how warm your little body gets and how you melt into me and almost become a part of me again. I will miss the naps on mommy when they finally do forever stop, but I will grab and hold on tight to the times when they do.

You’ve been in pre-school for the past two years. For most of last year, I thought you would be prepping to head off to Kindergarten, but much to my delight, you will be having Kindergarten at home with me. I feel a bit of sorrow that you won’t have that first day of Kindergarten experience and that you won’t know what it means to ride on the bus. I know you little kids find delight in all that newness, but I’m hoping that being at home and schooling with Mom and Chi and Pynni will make many great memories.

Can't. Contain. The silliness.

I’m looking forward to that. Yes I am.

You are the best younger brother any two kids could as for. No one has such a jolly happy brother as you are. The relationship you have with Pynni is amazing and even though Chi is more than 5 years older than you, you are super special to him, too. The amount of love I see the three of you express toward one another makes my heart expand. It’s really the one thing I KNOW I’ve gotten right.

I’m so glad you’re you, and I’m so glad you’re mine. Happy fifth birthday, Rhysie Piecie Japanesie! I love you!

❤ ~Mom

Zombie Earth

My youngest children were plotting the demise of humanity in the back seat today.

 

Pynni:  What if the zombies won?

Pieces: Yeah.

Pynni: What if the zombies took over Earth?

Pieces: What about the aliens?

Pynni: What if there were only zombies? What if the Earth became Zombie Earth? When the aliens came they’d see only a big giant zombie face because the zombies are all that live on Earth.

Pieces: Yeah. The zombies would eat the aliens.

Pynni. Yeah. And I’d be in charge.

I’m not real big into the whole “New Year’s” thing. I don’t, on the whole, look back at my year with grateful fondness, or wistful nostalgia, or even apathy. It was a time period. It passed. What’s coming up this afternoon? Tomorrow? Next weekend?

In the same vein, I do not look forward with gleeful hopes of major lifestyle changes. I don’t plan lists of resolutions that will get dumped and/or forgotten in the first few days of the year. Sure, I have things I’d like to change about myself: lose weight, eat better, get more exercise, be more patient, smile more, laugh more, etc. But this dreamer is a realist and I know that making a giant list of “THIS IS WHAT I’M GOING TO DO, DAMMIT” is just setting myself up to fail which injures a self-esteem that wobbles from assured and confident to shattered and bewildered and back again.

Those things I’ve listed? I like to think I work on them always. I’m far from perfect and I’m a professional rebel. I question all authority, even that which I have over myself. “Self,” I say, “Self, sodas are bad for you. They rot your teeth and they are addictive and they make you fat(ter).” Self gives me the finger and has soda. So I have to play mind games with Self and trick it (me). (I AM NOT CRAZY!)

So, anyway. What I thought I wanted to say, was that with all the above mentioned things in mind (that’s YOU keeping those things in mind since I already know them), I was thinking about this year passed. It was a year like any other, I guess. It had bad, dark moments, months even, but then the light always broke through and things got better.

There were things like:

My back. It was awful at the beginning of the year. I was heading into month four and I was still almost completely stuck lying flat, no sitting or standing. Very little vertical allowed or even possible. The pain was awful. I saw my chiropractor two times a week until March or so and then I saw him every week until August when I was finally able to start physical therapy. Now I go once a month and physical therapy is over. And you know what? I’m better. I’m still at risk for surgery, but I have tools to help myself, now. Yoga for one and Tai Chi for another. Pain is minimal and sometimes gone altogether which is a revelation!

Chi. His third grade year was so much better than his second grade year thanks almost entirely to Miz Eff, his third grade teacher. We fretted and worried and planned and prepared and still I just knew that Chi was going to bomb that End of Grade test, but when we got his scores, he was among the top 5% in his grade. And all with no drama. He just let that test roll right off him as if it was nothing. I’m still not sure if it was nothing because we prepared so much, or because Chi was just inexplicably unaffected. Then we started homeschool in the fall and that has exceeded my wildest imaginings for what it would do for him. He is wholly himself. He hops around on his exercise ball and answers questions. He will even write a few sentences with no complaints. He loves school. He is more calm and collected than ever and seems so at ease in his own skin. A first.

Pynni. The start of 2011 began the odyssey that pushed me over the edge and made the decision to homeschool. It has been a hard row to hoe with her, but we seem to have hit our stride. I can only guess that most of our issues stem from how her Kindergarten experience damaged her self-esteem. It took four long months but she is reading. The light returned to her eyes when she was reading a short book to me and as she struggled through and sounded out all the words without any help from me, I touched her cheek to get her attention and said, “Pynni. You’re reading. Do you realize that? You. Are. Reading.” A grin that became a full on smile that lit the room (I swear) dawned across her face. Every so often, now, she’ll be reading quietly to herself and turn suddenly and say to me, “I really love to read!” All of that has made school with her easier, quicker and more enjoyable for the both of us.

Pieces. My fabulous, jolly little man is in preschool again and again it is all business. He loves it, but he is very serious about school. And it turns out, he may be my smartest child. He knows all of everything he is supposed to know for Kindergarten already. I’m going to start teaching him to read.

Doodle. He lived with us for most of 2011. Things got strained at the end. Things that are too personal, and still yet, painful to put down here. He moved out and then promptly got a new job and moved away. I will not be seeing him much anymore, although we talk on the phone. We have a very special relationship, my brother and me, and distance has never interfered, but I miss his presence. With his move comes the reality that his kids won’t be here much anymore, but we will get them here for a week or so every summer. I can be happy with that. Content? No, but happy and grateful for any amount of time for sure.

Grandad. My maternal grandfather was hospitalized after Thanksgiving. He’s had bypass surgery before and due to his age and heart issues, he is no longer a candidate for bypass surgery. Things were very sketchy for him there for a bit. He is very at peace with where he is in life and what his life has represented. He is a Godly man who has spent much of his adult life ministering to those in need, and I don’t mean preaching. His life is such a great example of what being Christian means. I can look at his example and be less jaded. Still, I am not ready to say good-bye and I am very grateful that he pulled through and is at home recovering.

Yeah, 2011 was mostly good. I’m sure I could month by month it and list all the things, good and bad. But I won’t. 2011 ended and I’m moving onward, but resolutions? Nah. I’m constantly working on bettering myself. One thing, though. I’m making my cousin a scarf or something, even though she hasn’t blogged SINCE JUNE!

Last night Hubs asked me if I thought Chi would ever change. I turn and observe the following:

Chi is “walking” on the balls of his feet squatted down so that his butt is mere inches from the floor and his miles of leg are folded up so that his knees are pressed into his chest. He is wearing a long sleeve shirt and has pulled his hands up into the sleeves and spread them out to make a kind of oval shape in the fabric.  He is pressing these fabric covered hands into the floor in front of him as he zooms around as fast as he can, making but one of his deep and vast repertoire of noises. He notices me watching him and says, “I’m a level 2 vacuum cleaner.”

Hubs taking all this in right along with me, says, “You might need upgrades.”

I turn back to Hubs, amused, and say, “No. No, I don’t think he’ll ever change.”

Chi in motion.

Ten years ago, I birthed a baby boy. He was a difficult baby, if exceptionally cute. He seemed very unhappy with his lot. He cried a lot. When he wasn’t crying he was staring out at the world through giant blue eyes that grabbed your attention and held it. At about three weeks old, he started crying every evening for hours on end. Most people told me this was colic or gas, but I didn’t buy that then and I don’t buy it now. I discovered, by sheer force of intuition, that his crying was less severe and lasted for a shorter period of time if I turned out almost all the lights, and made my apartment as silent as possible after the dinner-time feeding. I also learned that keeping his day dim and quiet helped with the nighttime crying jags.

As he got older and he developed far beyond his age, for the most part, (commando crawling by 4.5 months, pulling up by 5 months, cruising by 6 and walking by 9), he got happier. The more he was able to move the more smiles wreathed his face. When he started cruising, he would circle the room over and over and over again. Once he started walking, he always walked on his toes and would run as fast as he could. This began the day after he took his first steps out into the room. When he became more proficient at both walking and running, he would slam into things on purpose and spin and spin and spin without getting dizzy.

As he began his tactile and oral explorations, I noticed that he never touched anything with his hands first. He always touched things with his feet, played with things with his feet. I have record of this phenomenon as early as 10 weeks old.

As he got older, instead of falling less, he fell more. He would fall right out of chair at the dinner table even when sitting directly on his behind. His movement grew more, not less, awkward with time and maturation.

Whenever we would go out, he would fall into screaming fits for no reason that I could see. He wasn’t worried about not getting something he wanted, he just seemed extremely distressed. If the schedule was off by the barest fraction of a minute, he would fall apart. If something was a surprise, if plans changed last minute, if a playground wasn’t exactly as he’d expected, he would melt into a limp little ball of Chi. (This still happens today, by the way.) He isn’t a spoiled brat. He knows that no means no and I don’t do negotiations. Still, these things happen.

**note: If you see one of those parents with the screaming kid who seems much to old to be throwing a temper tantrum, consider for a moment that they may have an autistic child, or simply a child with SPD or ADhD that cannot process the sheer sensory overload that occurs at places like grocery stores and the mall**

Once he started public school things seemed to progress in a backward sort of direction almost immediately. He became uncontrollable and completely over-stimulated at all times. I had not had him assessed before public school, because I had, somehow, always figured out how to best deal with him without professional help, but school introduced a whole lot of outside influences that I had no way to control.

Fast-forward to this year. (You can read about our struggles through public school elsewhere on this blog just look under Educational Experiences in the Categories section. I’ve pretty well documented things since he was in the second grade (when things when from awful to untenable).) We started homeschooling and we’ve had our bumps along the way, but one thing stands out as a bright shiny beacon of AWESOME. Chi is better.

Chi is flourishing. He’s not cured, if there is such a thing, if I would even seek it out if there were, but he loves homeschool. He looks forward to it. He pays attention, in his way, and does the work and cooperates. We’ve been slowly working toward him doing more and more of the work himself without me having to walk him through everything, and he hasn’t balked at being asked to write more and more of the answers himself.

He is calmer. He can still meltdown unexpectedly, but it is very far between right now. We keep a schedule still and we stick to it. He knows what to expect and can even deal with things he’s not that excited about without much issue. The only time in the last few months that we’ve had major issues has been when I’ve taken him to the grocery store (or Target or mall). I’ve learned that avoiding those places unless absolutely necessary when Chi is with me is really the best course of action. It makes everyone’s lives a little bit easier.

I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to know that I made a good decision so far as Chi is concerned. I’m so glad that the investment we’ve put  into homeschool  is paying off in such big dividends. It’s priceless, really.

Dear Chi;

Happy #10, Chi!

At 3:11am on this day ten years ago, you were born. You were plump and healthy. You did  not cry. Your eyes were wide and alert and the doctor had to put a knuckle to your chest to get a peep out of you. The minute she removed that knuckle, though, you stopped crying again. What got you going, finally, was being wiped down under those bright lights. All the poking and prodding finally got to you, I guess.

You slept a lot during that first week, and I didn’t have to fight you to get you on a schedule. Turns out, that was going to be the mantra to live by with you. Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. But that’s alright because I like schedules, too. Also, it turns out, that the poking and prodding and bright lights would make you cry for years to come. Sensory processing disorders are like that, and yours manifested very early on.

I’ve always been so happy with you no matter how difficult the little things have gotten. I love that you are your own person. I love that you don’t do whatever everyone else around you is doing. I love that fads pass right by our house with nary a pause. I love that you are so fabulously odd and so wildly unique that I’ve yet to meet a kid that reminds me of you. I love that your imagination is larger than the universe and that you can slip into that world so effortlessly. I love your perspective on things and the comments you make about what is going on around you. I love that sarcasm makes no sense to you. I love that you will explain sarcastic comments and figures of speech to those around you, namely your brother and sister.

I love what a great big brother you are. I love that you would be content to have 10 younger siblings. I love how snuggly and loving you are. I love your soft heart.

Things will be difficult for us: namely navigating a world designed for the neuro-typical. But we will always be there for each other and you will always have me.

I can’t believe you are ten, and yet somehow, that’s just right. Happy Birthday, Chi. I love you more than I can ever express and beyond.

~~Mom

My heart is all splintered apart and part of it has returned to California to be with their mom for the school year. I can’t seem to let go and move on. I have to keep forcing myself to do something else besides wallow in sadness.

Today, I made a commitment to face forward and move on with life. I know that sounds melodramatic, and maybe it is, but the sadness is real. The depression is dragging at me like weights in the deep dark waters of time. I have to make myself turn away from the darkness and start swimming in the direction of the light because that’s where the air is. I feel like I can’t breathe. I need to breathe.

This summer was great and we had a royal blast. We did a lot and time flew by unheeded. I’m thankful that we had this time. I hope it’s not the last.

I made a video documentary of sorts because the list of things that we did and their stories would fill up too much of this white space.

Enjoy.

I may elaborate in the future. I don’t know yet.