3:40 – I  pick kids up from school.

3:41 – I take Lo to a friend’s while we drive downtown to get Brandon.

3:42 – Jack starts reading his book.

3:43 – 4:18    **crickets**

4:19 – Jack shuts his book.

4:19:03 – Jack says:

“Hey Mom did you know Cooper gave me a Pokemon card today? Cooper D___  from Cub Scouts? You know, Cooper D___ from school?  He gave me one of his older ones but it’s still in pretty good condition. The card is Shivy, I think. I think it’s called Shivy, and it does 20 damage. They all have different names and powers and stuff. Here, Mom, see, if you look in the right corner you’ll what all you can do with it. And on the bottom, too, I think.  I think I’m going to see if Brandon wants to get some cards and learn to play it with me; you and Lorelei can play it too if you want, but it’s OK if you don’t want because I know sometimes you ladies want to do other things than do what Brandon and I do, like play video games and stuff. I wonder how much these cards are more expensive than like, my mini figures and stuff. I should probably look on eBay to see how much they are because if they’re like, a dollar or something, I probably would save my tokens and spend them on Pokemon cards instead of video game time. I don’t think I’m going to play video games until like, Sunday, so I can read about Pokemon and how to play and how much the cards are and stuff. Do you think your friends’ kids want to have a playdate this weekend to play Pokemon? I bet if they’re older than me, like say 10, they probably would know more about Pokemon and how it works and the best cards to get. They probably could tell me how they got started and what cards are best and stuff. So you should probably call your friends and see if they want to play. Are they brothers or twins, these boys who play Pokemon? Do they have little sisters that might want to play with Lorelei, because I don’t think she will want to play Pokemon yet, I just don’t think she cares much about cards and stuff. Cooper gave this to me today at recess when we were done playing soccer. The teachers sometimes divide us up on to teams and we count off to make two teams and today Pedro Jose was on my team and he’s really good. I don’t think I want to play soccer again next year because I just like playing at recess but not for like, a real game and stuff. I wonder if it’s very expensive to get into Pokemon or if I’ll have to save up like I do for my Legos sometimes. I think maybe tonight when we’re done with dinner I should go on to the computer and check eBay to see how much the cards are to start so I know how many tokens to save. I think you can get these cards at Target and card shops and stuff, but I think we should see how much they cost first, but I bet Brandon will be excited to play with me because he likes this kind of thing I think. Right, Mom?”

4:23:05 – Jack takes a second breath.

4:23:07 – I smile.

4:23:08 – My head begins to pound a little behind my left eye.

Hi, I’m Susie, and I like rainbows!

Hi, I’m Johnny, and I like football!

Hi, I’m Mikey, and I think school is neat!

I AM JACOBY, LORD HIGH MASTER OF THE DOMINION MZULNOC.

I WILL CAPTURE YOUR SOUL AS THE VERY ESSENCE OF POWER.

Most Europeans I deal with in email do write in all-caps. It adds to the entitlement vibe when I think they’re yelling at me.

Of course the Americans yell too, they just use syntax properly but not punctuation.

Fun times.

HELLO GIVE ME YOUR PAYPAL EMAIL AND THE PRICE WITH SHIPPING TO FRANCE… THANKS

OLIVIER

******************************

Hello, I’ve sent an invoice with payment and shipping options on it. Thanks!

******************************

HELLO GIVE ME YOUR PAYPAL EMAIL.. THANKS

OLIVIER

******************************

Hello Olivier,

Our accounting is not set up that way; I’ll need you to pay through the invoice, which has a PayPal option. Thanks.

******************************

NO

GIVE ME YOUR PAYPAL EMAIL SO AS TO PAY YOU

THANKS

OLIVIER

******************************

Sir I apologize if I’m not being clear enough. We do not accept PayPal payments outside of eBay, if you wish to pay you’ll need to use the invoice, as it is three weeks late already.

******************************

HELLO

PAYPAL EMAIL = ……….????

BEST REGARDS

OLIVIER

******************************

Monsieur, je suis désolé mais nous ne pouvons pas faire de transaction en dehors de la facture. Si vous éprouvez des difficultés s’il vous plaît n’hésitez pas à répondre en français et je vais essayer de faire de mon mieux pour vous aider.

(Translation: Sir I’m sorry but we cannot do transaction outside of the invoice. If you are having difficulties please feel free to respond in French and I will try to do my best to help you. )

******************************

THANK YOU TO FUCK ME

IT’S A SHAME ….

******************************

YOU ARE A THIEF

******************************

Well that was classy. I’ll go ahead and turn this into the account manager; do not contact us again.

Hi
Do you have in 220volt Please for EUROPE
tanks
Bye
Patrick

***************************************

Hi Patrick,

I think perhaps you are mistaken – this isn’t the actual appliance, it’s a photo of the appliance that we’re selling.

Thanks and good luck!

****************************************
m
Hi
It s a Blender kitchnaid
So yes is a 220volt Please
m
****************************************
m
Hi Patrick,

We’re not selling appliances – we’re selling photos from a newspaper, and this is just a photo of an appliance.

m

****************************************
m
m
YOU DO NOT HAVE 220VOLT FOR EUROPE
m
m
*************************************
m
m
No, because we aren’t actually selling a Kitchenaid. I think you must have put that into your search in eBay and our picture came up because we have the word in the title. But we are *only* selling a picture that ran in the newspaper, not the actual appliance. Would it be easier if I wrote this in French?
m
m
**************************************
m
m
OK EXCUSE ME
THANKS
BYE

PATRICK

Hiya kiddo. Eight years ago right now I was walking into the hospital after 13 hours of labor, cussing through contractions and demanding Miss Megan not speak about the candy in the vending machine. In two hours and forty-eight minutes more you were born, all purple and quiet in a room full of people praying you’d make a sound.

If I’d only known how loud you’d be after that first squawk.

I love you Jack. You changed my life irrevocably for the better.


Returning a phone call today per a customer’s voicemail request.

*ring ring*

Asian woman with incredibly thick accent: Hello?

Me: Hello, may I speak to Tony, please?

AW: Who?

Me (clearly and slowly): Tony.

AW: Who?

Me: TONY ____?

AW: <<mumble>> Who? Who you <<mumble>> .. Who?

Me (slowly, unsure of how else to say it): Tony? I’M CALLING FOR TONY ______.

AW: Who?

Me: Tony, Mam. Do you understand me?

AW: Who?

Me: Tony? I was asked to call number 718-23…

**click**

.

.

Holla. Happy Monday, yo.

Because I’ve missed you.

I’ve had this blog for almost four years now, and I’ve never had to think about the consequences of my writing, mostly because I could never in a million years have imagined I’d be where I’m at. The short answer for my absence is that Jon and I went to court about vaccines, and he used a blog post against me. I was called a dangerous mother amongst other things, and in the end I lost, spectacularly – mostly due to a tidy technicality in KS law about children and religious beliefs. I will never get over how that event played out, and it’s not something I wish to discuss, so if you think you have suggestions for me please know the topic has been exhausted, I promise. There obviously is more than this simple paragraph explanation, but I just can’t discuss it publicly.

To know that honestly the only thing that could be worse for me regarding the kids is death or kidnapping/molestation, gives an idea of what this feels to me – truly I have nightmares about it. You don’t have to have known me well to know how many years this topic has been important to me, and there is damned near nothing I can do that will change the outcome. I lost and I am hurting. Period. I’ve sincerely never thought my friends who made different choices didn’t love their children or weren’t trying to do what they felt was best, and I need that same grace now more than I have ever. Please send supportive thoughts, this is the hardest parenting thing I’ve ever done, if not the hardest thing period.

So, for now I’ve removed all the old posts with vaccines as a tag, and have found myself in the totally surreal world of actually researching to find reasons that would convince me this future for my children can be something I can attempt to support. I have to find a way to pull it together before those appointments, and if I can scare myself (oh, fucking irony,) into believing this is better for them, maybe I’ll be able to do it. So far I have failed epically, even while legitimately trying.

I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do it.

On a correlated note, it’s been five months and two days since those emails first started this phase of court and attorneys and Latin phrases I never thought I’d learn, like pro tem and nunc pro tunc, and ex parte, and no issue is really resolved. We’re still fighting over child support and the profit from our house and even which school district the kids will be in. It will likely be close to a year before it’s over, and I could spend tens of thousands of dollars in the end on legal fees. Good thing I genuinely like my attorney.

I think the worst part about it all is that I am so cynical now. I find myself not being surprised to learn things, as if my character barometer for people has shifted from a default of most likely a kind person to most likely vindictive, just not yet triggered. Sure, I get that I’m still in this and someday I will have had some space from it. But much of my naive idealism is gone, and perhaps whatever wisdom I can gain from that will be helpful for me eventually, but right now it just makes me sad that my filter is cracked. But hey, I’m not dead yet, so technically I’m supposed to be stronger. I’ll let you know when I figure out where. 🙂

And to end this update on an upswing, life otherwise is strong. Brandon and I are doing great, and are for lack of a less attention-getting word, engaged. We’re leaning toward Elvis and Vegas at some as-yet-unplanned point, so start saving your money if you want to see that spectacle. We’re also buying a house in my old neighborhood so the kids can stay in the area; Lorelei’s starting Kindergarten (d’oh!) in the fall, and Jack will be in third grade. We’re busy, we’re stressed, but we’re happy and we’ll be fine.

We will be fine. And someday we’ll be awesome again.

Peace and love, hope you’re all well.

Hola, friends. We’re cooking a bunch today so I don’t have a lot of time, but we went to a super fun party last night where everyone brought their 10 favorites songs released in 2010, and I wanted to share my compilation with grand promises of actual paragraphs to come this week.  Hope you dig the songs as much as I do (I’d love feedback either way) and that your ohleven has been happy so far!

1. White Sky – Vampire Weekend ***

2. All To All – Broken Social Scene  

3. Crossfire – Brandon Flowers  

4.  Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Frightened Rabbit 

5.  You’ll Be Bright – Cloud Cult

6. What Remains – Foals 

7.  Don’t Worry, I’m Yours – DJ Dain

8. Ghost – Antony & the Johnsons 

9. Dance or Die – Janelle Monae

10. You Will Leave a Mark – A Silent Film

*** Stupid computer. I moved the file around and it’s still not working. Go here to hear the song. Gracias.

And all I’ll give you today is mah adorable daughter playing her first Laser Tag.

The baddest Sarah Conner in jammies pants and a sunflower cardigan you’ll ever see, yo.

That’s what Jack would like the name of his biopic to be someday. I’m down with it.

We watched Temple Grandin last night, and there’s no real clever or undramatic way to say that I pretty much cried from beginning to end. Little rivulets of wet just slid down my cheeks, whether my eyes were wide as I calmly watched or I was doing my involuntary mouth-scrunched-to-the-side attempt to stop from launching into full-on ugly cry. I think it was a little disconcerting to Brandon, since he kept asking why I was crying now, and I just kept shaking my head and saying because. Which is the most helpful kind of answer, I know.

And it wasn’t necessarily that I was overcome with sadness, though I’d be lying if that didn’t have a component. I think it was simply the recognition I was seeing, over and over, that hit me so hard. It was really hard to see all of the mannerisms you stereotype for Asperger, being so subtly and incredibly acted as if the story was about my son and not someone else. The familiarity of Grandin/Danes’s stims and actions (reactions) were so familiar to me it was shocking, though I suppose in fairness I’m not sure why. Probably because Jack is Jack to me, and I (obviously) forget that some of his behavior is not personal or individual, but tied into his hard wiring. Which even if these behaviors are not always.. mmm.. awesome, it’s simply hard to accept that once again, my sweet monkey is at the mercy of something bigger than he.

More than that is the idea that if Jack views his world the way the movie suggests, he really is the most resilient little kid I’ve ever known. All kids are resilient, sure, but I don’t know if I could continue to truck along like he does with that much sensory overload and confusion. And I know he trucks along because he doesn’t know that this isn’t life for everyone, but that ignorance itself makes me sad because it simply hurts me to think that there’s no foolproof or guaranteed way to protect or even help him navigate this. And that’s so maudlin and dramatic, I know, but fuck if it isn’t actually true. He told me a few weeks ago that he knows his brain is different, and that he has ‘storms’ in his brain when he feels himself getting upset, and the thunder and the lightning get to be too much and that’s when he needs a break and he KNOWS THIS and he’s ONLY SEVEN and it simply hurts me that it hurts him.

And what if this is what his life will be like? Always being unable to read people or situations, cringing when he hears the hand dryers in a public bathroom or flinching at automatic doors? He does those things, and I hate it for him. He’s grown so much since he was little, but do I really think he’ll ever just ‘catch up’? I don’t know. I still think so. Maybe that’s denial.

And I don’t pity him as if I think he will never be successful or will live a life less fulfilling than mine; I have the wisdom to not presume other people’s happiness. But what makes me sad is knowing that he struggles far more than my other child, and his struggles don’t always make him wiser or stronger –  they’re just things he learns to adapt to because he wants to be accepted. I see him wanting to understand the game, but not knowing how to ever play, because the rules elude him. How tiring must that be? Kid sleeps like a rock; I would, too.

So yeah. I don’t feel this degree of sad very often, because it’s not helpful. I focus on the wonderful things about him because he deserves it and I agree with the movie’s motif of different, but not less. But regardless of why or how it’s there, the fact remains that my child functions in a way that makes it harder for him, and my inability to ease or protect him like any worthy supermom could, sucks. Period.

I’ll be back with memories later; I’m in Colorady makin’ some.

Not having a real understanding or attention span back in the day for what MDA was, I sincerely thought for many years that Jerry Lewis was special needs in a nondescript way, and was functional enough to host a telethon every year, which was why it was so heart-wrenching and popular.

Because half the fun of the little dingleberry is finding things like closet lilypads.

And someday I will have forgotten she ever did this.

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