Mitchell-Lama Mama’s Blog

an ordinary life in an extraordinary city

Summertime, and the Living is…well, easier, anyway June 30, 2009

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Happy Summer, all! 🙂  

 

The last week of school was crazy hectic, as always.  The last day was emotional.  The middle guy said goodbye to his friends and teachers, and I said my goodbyes to the school, also.  He was a student there for six years, so yeah, even trusting this is a good, positive decision, there was a tug. 😛  

 

The girl is beat.  This was a long, long year for her.  Mama’s prescription for the summer: reading (so she doesn’t completely lose what she’s worked so hard for), rest, and ice cream. 😀

 

One night last week Mama had the opportunity to go and visit some very impressive reef tanks.  The largest tank is 240 gallons, and the other two aren’t far behind.  Breathtaking.  

 

No rest yet, though.  Saturday, Mama’s sister in law was in town for a visit, had brunch with her and the kids.  Then long-time friends of ours from Atlanta (also in town visiting) came over.  Not restful, but beautiful.  These are friends we used to see regularly, but they don’t get to NY very often anymore, and I miss them.  It was lovely, he’s a singer/musician, and played on middle guy’s guitar for a while, including playing a new song of his own that just made me wish I could hold that moment forever. They came with their oldest child (26!), and their youngest (17!).  

 

Sunday all the excitement was tank-centered. My big guy had gone out last week, brought me home a frag 🙂 a peppermint shrimp, and an emerald crab.  The crab is to eat the bubble algae hiding in one of my little colonies.  Cute, no problem–for now. Crabs are opportunistic feeders, and can be iffy when they get large enough.  The peppermint shrimp was to eat the blasted aiptasia, which came back bigger and stronger than ever.  I have the superman of pest anemones.  Great! Umm, not so much.  Nemo didn’t like the peppermint shrimp, and proceeded to hunt it and chase it for the next thirty hours.  Sunday morning found the peppermint shrimp on the floor in front of the tank.  Crunchy.  Taps, anyone? 

 

I guess the chase was pretty intense that night, because several pieces had been knocked over, including my candy cane frag.  That piece was one of my first frags, and I happen to be very attached to it.  😦  It had landed with one head on one of the ricordias.  Ricordias are lovely, come in all kinds of colors, look like a cross between an exotic flower and mushroom.  They also have a very powerful sting.  Needless to say, that head of the candy cane was hurt.  So, Mama straightens everything up in the tank, water change, etc.  Look up to see the coral beauty taking BITES out of the candy cane.  Yes, bites.  Not nipping, but biting off pieces of flesh and eating them.  Grrrr.  

 

Now half of the crown of that head is gone, skeleton exposed. 😦  😦  I do think the coral beauty only ate the flesh that was badly damaged, and the head–or what’s left of it–did manage  to eat a pellet yesterday.  🙂  Hoping for the best. 

 

Today will be a work day.  More laundry–loads to catch up on (pun intended), dishes from last night, cleaning, and a play date coming over.  Why was Mama so looking forward to summer?  Because it’s warm, and there is SUN this morning, and no school nurse phone calls.  🙂 😀

 

Summer is Mama’s time.  I get to enjoy time with the kids, and have some of the warmth and sun I so desperately need.

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Shadows May 19, 2009

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Forget chasing windmills, I have to stop looking at shadows.  I do my most productive thinking through my fingers; keyboard or pencil, so please bear with me.  😀

 

I don’t just love my children, I adore them.  Each of them.  There are similarities in all three, but those similarities come out in different ways, and they are distinct individuals.  🙂

 

When I look at the girl, I smile always.  Usually because she’s smiling at me.  Baby’s first learned response, right? 😉  I know there is good that has come out of this neuro crud.  Her appreciation for kindness, her caring nature that includes concern for discomfort of any and all living creatures, her ability to laugh no matter how many tubes and wires might be attached to her at the moment, her strong work ethic.  These past days, though, I’m also seeing the shadows of those evils; woulda, shoulda, and coulda. 😦  I’m not focused on them, but I’m aware of their presence in a way I haven’t been since I last wrestled with thoughts on acceptance.  

 

We all want better for our children, better than we had, better than they have now.  I am not talking solely about material things– though I certainly wish for an easier reach for the checkbook on the 1st of the month for them.  If I could hand anything to my children it would be an understanding of how to balance.  Mama took herself way too seriously when she was younger, and then spent too long not taking herself seriously enough.  I know that sense of balance is something every person has to find and weigh for themselves.  As Mama, I try to help them to see what needs to be weighed, and how to portion it all out.  Right now, these shadows are getting in the way when I think about “what next?” for the girl, even though I know (thankfully) she doesn’t see them, and doesn’t ever need to.  

 

I will get past these maudlin thoughts.  They’re counterproductive, I can’t possibly help the girl move forward if I’m looking back.  But today, as I wait to see if the nurse from school calls again, I’m sad. 😦

 

Tired Mama May 16, 2009

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As I’m sure you all predicted, Mama made it through the meeting. Sorta.  Much of me feels like I’m still sitting in that chair, with endless echoes of those test results, and the sense that about a thousand doors just slammed shut. 😦  

 

Please don’t tell me about the other doors that are still open, both known and unknown.  I know that, and we’ll find them, but right now…ugh. 

Let’s just say that Mama hates neurocrud, and migraines, and epilepsy, and the ongoing unanswered whys.  

 

Last night was the big guy’s play.  It was a wonderful performance of She Stoops to Conquer.  He was great, as were all of the cast members.  🙂  A very exciting day/night of success for him.  He also received an award yesterday for quiet service to the community.  Unexpected, and an amazing honor.  

 

That’s it for today, I just wanted to post for those who might be checking.  Hope you’re all having a great weekend.

 

Serenity, Now! May 14, 2009

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Mama is doing what she can to center herself for today’s meeting.  A friend offered to meet me for coffee afterwards.  This is a friend who doesn’t know the full extent/live the nitty gritty details of having a child who isn’t neurotypical, but I’m glad for the support, and am taking her up on the offer. 

 

In trying to prepare myself, I actually dug through all my junk looking for makeup.  Now, Mama isn’t a a makeup wearing gal.  I think the last time I bought any was 6 years ago, and when we moved into this place in the fall I threw away the bulk of it–some of those tubes of lipstick were older than my oldest child. 😛  So this morning I found an old mascara, eyeliner, and lipgloss in a forgotten handbag;  broke out the coconut oil and did my best to tame my hair.  Does any of it matter?  Not really.  But there’s something about the ritual, a feeling of putting on armor.  Probably why I don’t generally bother with any of it.  😉  

 

Of course, it’s raining now, so Mama’s hair will be its usual 4 foot circumference of frizz by the time I get to the meeting.  Wonder how many years waterproof mascara retains its waterproofing? 

 

 

Torch Coral, Coral Beauty Angel (She Who Has No Name), and Giddy, the cleaner shrimp

Torch Coral, Coral Beauty Angel (She Who Has No Name), and Giddy, the cleaner shrimp

 

Mystery hitchhiker coral and edge of blue mushroom

Mystery hitchhiker coral and edge of blue mushroom

 

Busy Busy Busy May 13, 2009

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Tank Pics!

All my prettys

All my prettys

Clam--wild, huh?

Clam--wild, huh?

 

Plate coral and 6-line wrasse

Plate coral and 6-line wrasse

 

Sadie the Fire Shrimp

Sadie the Fire Shrimp

 

Clowns Protecting their Special Place from Yellow Tang

Clowns Protecting their Special Place from Yellow Tang

 

Pipe Organ

Pipe Organ

All right, One full tank shot

All right, One full tank shot

More crazy days here.  Chaperoning the girl’s all day field trip today, guitar lesson for the middle guy later, then middle guy has a band concert (trumpet) this evening.  Tomorrow (yikes) results from the girls testing, Friday night the big guy’s show–She Stoops to Conquer.  Whew!  Mama is ready for summer in every way!

 

News:  The middle guy was accepted!!!!!!!  He was thrilled for about an hour, and is now stressing about making the decision; should he go? Aargh!  Poor guy, really.  We all know plenty of adults who are afraid of upsetting the status quo, even when it almost certainly means positive changes.  Human nature, fear of the unknown. 😦 

 

Hope everyone has a good one, Mama is off and running!

 

Eyeballs, Check! May 5, 2009

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Whew, I finally did it.  After going to the girl’s classroom for another “author celebration,” I went into the one place in the neighborhood with a $99 special for exam and contacts.  Yippee!  Not only did I get the exam done and contacts ordered, they had a trial pair on hand in my prescription.  I don’t think that ever happened for me before.  So now instead of tipping my head to try and prevent the lens from falling out of my broken eyeglass frames, I’m tipping my head trying to get used to having peripheral vision again–it’s been several years.  🙂

 

I swear the colors in the tank are popping more now.   😉  Speaking of the tank, Mama has a couple of new additions.  I’ve remained in touch and friendly with the young man I bought the system from, and have been getting to know his girlfriend too.  Both very lovely.  And gf was interested in doggie gumbo, so we’ve been swapping gumbo for critters.  I got a clam!!!!!  She (she because the girl named her Boca) has a beautiful blue and brown pattern on her mantle.  Also some new zoas, and a new SPS frag that has a long scientific name that promptly trickled out of my ears. 🙂 Sorry, still no pics because I can’t get the camera to work. 

 

And here’s the most exciting tank news, Mama’s clownfish are breeding!  Have I already mentioned that? :0  No, I won’t be raising the fry, but they’re a tasty treat for the other critters.  Mama didn’t actually realize what they were doing until the aforementioned fishy friends were here and clued me in.  In my defense, clowns have some weird behavior patterns, so I thought it was just part of their regular weirdness.  

 

Both boys are miserable with their allergies now, and the girl is just wishing the school year would hurry up and end.  Me too, darling, me too.

 

Down to Roots, Poetry May 4, 2009

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Thinking through the keyboard, again. 

 

Last Thursday was Poem in your Pocket day in the NYC public schools (named after a poem of the same name by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers). The girl was thrilled, loved the whole concept, and I think relieved to find out Mama isn’t the only person in the world who reads poetry. 😉  We talked about poetry on the way to school this morning, what is a poem, no they don’t have to rhyme, etc.  For whatever reason it gave me some hope, some “oh yeah, something beautiful and worthwhile can come from anything, anywhere.”

 

Poems and poets are undervalued in our world.  The words usually heard in connection are along the lines of ;  frivolous, sappy, overwrought, angst–almost always these words are accompanied by eye rolling and a drawn out story of being forced to memorize something long and musty.  I used to write a lot of poetry, and I’ll be the first to admit that many of the poems were overwrought and angsty, though not long.  But.  There is no art as perfect. Like watching Masters play a game of chess, fluid.

 

Mama’s father liked poetry, so of course Mama thought she hated it.  Everything he showed me was looooong,rhyming, and usually a sonnet.  Not for me then or now.  But then I found a book of Carl Sandburg’s works smashed in the middle of the bookshelf over the telephone.  I think this was the first poem I ever memorized, and I’m not sure I realized what I memorized wasn’t the entire poem, but just the first stanza.

 

excerpt from Four Preludes to a Playthings of the Wind

1.

The woman named Tomorrow

sits with a hairpin in her teeth

and takes her time

and does her hair the way she wants it

and fastens the last braid and coil

and puts the hairpin where it belongs

and turns and drawls: Well, what of it?

My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone.

What of it? Let the dead be dead.

 

Why did this poem speak to 10 yo Mama?  No clue, though I’m guessing the reason could be found in thirty years of analysis.  😉 What I know is it opened a whole new world, a world I’ve been able to visit throughout my life.  Some of the poems I used to love don’t do it for me anymore.  There’s a time and a place for Anne Sexton’s In Celebration of My Uterus, and that time is long past.  The beauty is in still being able to pick up the collected works of Sexton and find a phrase that sings, an image so clear it hurts, words that can be tasted.