(I'm ready for this view!!!)
I've been quiet around here, I know. So much has happened this past year, enough to not only squash my happy plans to blog regularly, but also to entirely change my life. In general, I am a "glass is half full" kind of person. I like to look on the bright side! I still am this type of person, but the past ten months have worn me down. I'm exhausted, I feel sad.
Yet, life goes on. As we turn the corner on the school year and today, Memorial Day, marks the opening of the summer season, I look ahead with hope.
Noah has been struggling this year. It's been so complex and unrelenting. When his severe anxiety kept him from attending school, I became a homeschooling Mom. When I became a homeschooling Mom, Noah's anxiety and sadness and frustration made it very very very difficult to get through to him and to "teach." I felt trapped and confused. I still do in a way. Many kind people have mentioned what a "good" Mom I am to homeschool my child when he had special emotional needs. The truth is though, it has nothing to do with being a good mother or a bad one, I simply had no choice. No matter what we tried or what wonderful educator, doctor or specialist we've worked with, nobody has been able to get Noah back into school yet. I have wanted to stop homeschooling and I do believe that Noah would be better off not at home everyday, but I have no choice.
Luckily, in March we met a wonderful new friend and former teacher from Noah's school, Kevin. While I do homeschool, or at least try to homeschool Noah, five times a week, around 1:30, I take him to Kevin's for socializing with other homeschooling kids like him, and for educational support.
June 12th is our last day. I will miss the interaction. Because of his anxiety, we've yet been able to sign Noah up for day camp or a sports team or a class for the summer. Now it will just be he and I again. Day in and day out. He's not a huge fan of leaving the house, not very into being social, and has a deep aversion to traveling far.
On top of this, be it part of his sadness or just normal, eleven-and-a-half-year-old, "tween" behavior, but Noah is also quite annoyed and frustrated with me, and even the simplest of requests cause him to baulk disproportionately to the request. This is where my worn out part comes from.
All we can and will do is keep working on things. Keep striving to understand Noah's personality and meet his needs. Keep up with our support team and friends and have, as I said before, hope. Hope that it'll get easier and that with age and reasoning, Noah's anxiety will wain a bit, as it did for myself around the age of thirteen or fourteen. I have hope.
In the meantime, Jon and I have been re-writing our new normal. We drive more, to and from Kevin's and appointments. We've learned to stop pushing our child to do things that he's not ready or able to do. Our expectations are different and my personal boundaries are different. This is a blessing. I used to say "yes" to everything, even when it was too much for me. Now I say "no" all of the time, both because I want to and I need to. You know those times in life when you're just trying to survive? That's where I am, and "no" is a lifesaver.
I've found some great online groups for parents with children who have emotional and/or learning differences and needs. Those who are "differently wired." We share stories, listen and swap helpful ideas. Recently I've been really enjoying Tilt Parenting's website and podcast, both are upbeat, inspiring resources.
Things have a way of working out, I believe it. Once we're able to get Noah feeling happier, less worried, then everything will be better. In fact, I kind of really like so many aspects of the homeschooling world and my new life.
As the school year is winding down and I will soon have more time on my hands, I realize how important it is to take short breaks and care for myself and for Jon. Of course as a Mom, I feel completely wrong and guilty worrying about "self-care, " but it is so incredibly important. I can't remember, I honestly can not remember the last time that Jon and I have been out for a "date night" or away from Noah other than his trips to Kevin's. We need to start figuring out the logistics of getting away for coffee or dinner from time to time, and maybe even a short trip. That would be amazing.
Also, on the same front, I've come to understand that it truly is, as they say, "the little things in life." The little things like the changing of the seasons and watching birds at my feeder or baking a cake, they make me feel so happy!!! \(^-^)/
I need to celebrate the small things, I whole-heartedly intend to!
(I have never seen our wisteria vine so in bloom. It was amazing!!!)
As today is a day of remembrance for those who served so bravely in our military, and as the symbolic opening of the summer season here in the US, I pronounce this the start of my "Celebrate the Small Things Season!" I don't even know exactly what that means, but I'd love to write about small joys that come with every time of the year, because I am CRAZY for seasons and holidays.
Of course, I'll still write about gray hair too. Don't worry.
A few more items of business. For posterity's sake. In the past month, I have gotten in a small car accident, found out that I had basal cell on my forehead, had Mohs surgery to remove it, shattered my cell phone and broke our blinds. It was a strange, LONG month. Honestly, I love the mystical , astrological concept of "mercury in retrograde," that everything goes haywire during these periods several times a year, but I did not believe it until this past retrograde, which happened exactly when all the bad things were going on. Now I truly truly wonder...
Traffic suddenly stopped and I rear-ended a service van going about ten miles an hour. Luckily nobody was hurt, thank God. Unluckily, I had a rather large bruise in the shape of a steering wheel across my chest for a week and cause $9,000 worth of damage to my car. Luckily, I have insurance.
I have been going for regular skin checks at my dermatologist for the past ten years, every six months, solely due to an obsessive skin cancer fear. Ironically, last month, I was diagnosed with skin cancer! It's too scary and upsetting to talk about much, but I am so so so thankful that my dermatologist listen to my concern when I came in with a small, pink spot above my eyebrow that was a little dry. I thought at most it was an actinic keratosis, a sun spot, but to my shock, it was a bit of basal cell. I was very lucky to find it early. Two weeks later I had what is called "Moh's Surgery," where they take thin layers of your skin until they have clear margins on all sides of your spot. Everybody could not have been nicer during my procedure. I was there for four hours and left with a fairly long incision from the side of my left eye, up around my eyebrow and ten stitches. Although my spot was small, the surgeon needed to make a longer incision so that the sutures could lay flat. Something like that. I'm missing part of my eyebrow, but it will grow back. I just had my stitches removed and I look a bit scary, but over time, knock-on-wood, I hope my scar will fade. In fact, I just purchased some recommended scar therapy patches, so that's good!
I have been pretty careful with sunscreen and sun hats as an adult, but during my teenage days, I went to lake Michigan too often without sunscreen. Please friends, be careful out in the sun, and if you do enjoy the rays, find a good dermatologist that you can trust. It's so important. <3 p="">3>
Here's my small thing for today, to celebrate the coming of summer!
This is my happy place. :)
A little hobby that many of you know I have had for nearly five years. I make original window decorations for the children in the nursery school two doors down. They take almost daily walks for big portions of the year and it seems that they enjoy the ever changing decorations that I put up. I also make my creations for the many passers by that we get as we're on a sort of walking path. So many nice people have taken the time to stop and say that they have fun waiting and seeing what the next theme will be.
So for the month of June, or summer if I become too lazy, the theme is....honey bees!
I like how things turned out this time around. It's truly easy. All you need is some colored paper, a glue stick, some scissors or an exact-o knife. I also use double-sided tape and sometimes glitter and markers. Having a creative outlet in my life is not only essential for me, but one of my very favorite things.
It feels incredibly nice to at least try to make other people smile, and in the meantime make your house a cozy home. Anyone can do it, why don't you give it a try to celebrate summer!?
Until Next Time,