Letting Go

Several things are spinning around in my head right now:

When I was 15 my family lived in down-town Vienna, Austria for a year. The freedom I had because of the amazing public transportation was... remarkable. Coming back to the States was... hard. I'm thinking a lot about my son's last week on his adventure in Guatemala. I'm thinking about how weird it is going to be for him to adjust to being back home and sharing a room with siblings. He loves us and will be happy to be home, but we will be something of a let down. In 17 1/2 years of mothering I've moved from being the center of the universe to being a let down, though to be honest, I'm glad. For one, I don't have a basement he can move into.

I'm also thinking about the other end of my parenting spectrum. Jack has been wanting to hold the glucometer himself. I've not been encouraging it until today. I realized he's going to have to eventually take care of himself. He might outgrow the hypoglycemia but he might not, so I need to let him hold the silly glucometer. I also need to teach him the names of his medications and how much he needs of each. It's not rocket science.

With kids ranging from 17 to 1 1/2 it's hard to keep a handle on slowly letting go of everyone at all their different levels. However, Samuel's bid for independence will be nipped in the bud. He's figured how to get the child safety door knob off the front door and let himself out of the house. I'm pretty sure that's a bad thing. At least he can't (yet) get the car key in the car door.


Schedules and Stirring

I'm sitting here surrounded by train track. The Train Track was picked up last night at least twice. However, it was not put under armed guard and stored secretively in the toy closet. At some point Samuel hijacked the container and re-stirred it out onto the floor, without me noticing.

Everything within climbing distance in my home is picked up and redeposited elsewhere, all day long. Thus a full household Stirring occurs every 6 hours. I think that should be the official job description of toddlers, Stirrers.

I'm getting ready to start thinking about, thinking about school starting again. I've got to get back on a schedule of sorts. The older kids and I had a steering committee meeting about our schedule for the rest of the summer. Kind of a "Flylady" meets "Managers Of Their Homes" moment. Hopefully the kids all felt like they got the jobs they like best -or at least dislike the least. We'll see.

The only really strict schedule we have right now is posted on the fridge to be used for Hospital Days. It's been worth it's weight in gold. We don't have family in town, and let's face it, the ordinary civilian is not equipped to invite 6 children over. So when Jack is in the hospital the kids have detailed job assignments and a schedule to give structure and during the school year to keep the school work moving. Our own personal "No Child Left Behind".

Oh, lovely. Samuel and Jack just brought me a stack of clean cups from the dishwasher.

Phones and Humility

I have unusual teens in that none of them really like to talk on the phone.  Our family policy is that you get a (cheap) cell phone when you can drive and until then you share the (cheap) kid-cell phone with the other kids.  Therefore our 17 yo, Luke, has a phone and the three girls all share a phone.  The rest of the boys are still too young to care.  Luke's cell phone has a broken screen but he can't get a free (and cheap) upgrade until December, so for now he's stuck with it.  He really doesn't care because he would have to be lying in a ditch needing help before he would voluntarily dial someone anyway.  However, as I was helping him pack up his phone and charger for his three week trip to Guatemala I became concerned that he might have trouble making an international call without being able to see his screen, so I swapped the girl's phone with his.

I forgot a few things, things like... 

1)The girl's phone says "Bump it to the trumpet" on the outside screen.

2)The girl's phone says "Hey, girl!"  when the phone is opened.

3)The girls asked me to pretend to be Aunt Petunia from Harry Potter- and they recorded me.  The ringer doesn't ring instead it repeats, "Mummy is calling, my little diddykins", over and over and over.

4)The girls programed all this and locked it with a password that no one remembers.

My husband called to remind me of the above, ostensibly to ask for the password so they could fix the situation.  But he had already rightly guessed that no one would know the password.   In reality, he simply called to share the situation with me because accidentally humiliating your teenage son is just good clean fun, especially if your spouse is the guilty one.

Somehow I have the feeling that I will not be hearing my son's voice for about 3 weeks.  I'm just glad there's email.



"Fail" is the name of a popular Internet meme where users superimpose the word "fail" or "epic fail" onto compromising photos or short videos.[1]The meme is widely believed to have come from the arcade game Blazing Star. When the player loses, the message "You fail it! Your skill is not enough! See you next time! Bye bye!" is shown.[2]

This wiki entry was my day. We sent our oldest child, a 17 yo son, off to Guatemala for a three week intensive lanugage school, studying, you guessed it, Spanish. He is such a great kid and has turned into a great, shall I dare say, adult. A seriously fun to raise child, except for a brief time when he was 6 and inexplicably wanted to spit everywhere. This trip is a big deal for him and for my husband and I. A day of independence for him and a day of letting go for us. I had so many images of a happy, maybe even tender farewell, images of my husband and I praying with him before they drove off, taking photos as they left. Not.

Instead there was the small problem of his debit card being cracked, which we only discovered on Monday morning. Then there was waiting for the new one (which we paid $25 stinking dollars to have expeditied), then there was the mix up with the PIN. Instead of happy family photos around Dad's car there is Mom, still in her night gown, in the driveway saying in a screetchy, unpleasant voice, "What do you mean you don't remember your Social Security number...." All while inside the 18 mos old is tirelessly unpacking the momentarily unguarded suitcases.

At least it may take him longer to be homesick.

Fast forward to the pool (let's just skip the crying jag), we are having fun. The older kids are enjoying being with friends and I'm starting to relax. Jack and Sam are jumping off the edge of the pool into about 6 inches of water in order to show off for a random cute little girl and her mom. Suddenly little girl's mom stiffens and moves little girl away. Always a bad sign. Jack has vomited into his Spiderman swimsuit. Luckily the suit is one of those body suits with floats inserted into it, so the vomit is all caught neatly and disgustingly in an indentation around the neckline. I whisked littles out and away. Jack's blood sugars were fine, not great, but fine. No idea why he threw up. He could have just swallowed some water when I wasn't looking. He's fine. We are home taking it easy.

I just hate this illness. I hate it for Jack. I hate it for the other kids. I hate it for me. I hate the way it ambushes us when I least expect it. It ambushes, gives an adrenaline rush and then 98% of the time nothing happens. I give some carbs and protien and everything is fine. Then I'm stuck with a bunch of adrenaline, feeling foolish and slightly crazy. The alternative is worse. The 2 % of the times that carbs don't work means the hospital, and pain, and more fear, and interminable waiting.

"You fail it! Your skill is not enough! See you next time! Bye Bye!"