First day of the 8th-ish grade does not make nudity okay…

It’s the first day of the 8th-ish grade for Miss Homeschool Abbey. A day with the potential for much weeping and gnashing of teeth…and Abbey might be pretty upset about it too. I’m just kidding…it’s not THAT bad…but I am not a natural teacher. We do what we have to do when it comes to our children though…so that’s exactly what I intend to do…again.

Fortunately in this day and age, doing that isn’t what it once was. I can easily use a curriculum that is entirely online…which I am fortunate to have as I was not blessed with the creative genes that so many others seem to possess. My mother…being a teacher herself…could turn what looked to me to be a pile of trash into a replica of the famous sculpture of David…undoubtedly.

I, myself? 

Welllllll…hmmmm….I can WRITE about my mother who could turn a pile of trash into the sculpture of David in a humorous fashion that may or may not make someone out there chuckle slightly…who knows? 

Fortunately, for the world in general and particularly the youngsters she taught, I’m pretty sure that my mother never actually created the statue of David out of trash. That would’ve been an entirely inappropriate thing to do…being that Michelangelo’s masterpiece was nude and all…and appreciation for that particular level of the arts might be understandably frowned upon by the parents of those with tender innocent eyes!

So with thoughts of Michelangelo, David, trash, and inappropriate nudity I begin this first Monday of the first week of the 8th-ish grade of Abbey’s homeschool year! Wish me luck! I’m going to need it!

Ascots and Eve and the things we know we need….

There are things I do not understand. Why do people make the choice to wear an ascot? Why was Eve tempted by an apple when chocolate would later exist? Why do snails have cool shells but slugs go without? So many questions, so few answers.

On the flip side there are questions that I know the exact answers to which I sometimes wish I did not…particularly at 6 am. Questions like…do I really NEED to go excercise this morning? Yes. Why? Because you can. Because you are a healthier you when you do. Because you might feel better after you are done. I use the word might because that isn’t always my result…as it is more likely to be for others.

The most important of those answers to that particular question, in my opinion, is the fact that right now I can. Having MS that isn’t always the case. I have every reason to believe that it will not always be the case. It is wrong to not use the days I have now to be the best me that I can be in the future if the worst case scenario becomes a reality for my life. 

It’s important to take advantage of the medications that make that a possibility, medications that did not exist not so long ago. I believe it to be a disservice to those who I see at my nuerologist office each time I go who the opprotunity to slow down their disease from the beginning did not exist. I won’t waste that gift…usually. I’m human and sometimes the voice that says roll over wins and that’s okay on some days…I just can’t live in that place everyday and I won’t.

So…as the sun rises again, and although my cat beckons me to stay, I’ll go move my body and be thankful for another day….and probably contemplate ascots, apples, snails, and why I find the song by Young MC…🎶girl dressed in YELLOW she said HELLO🎶…to be motivational while I do that! 😜

When it isn’t going to be “okay”…

I recently watched the video blog of a special needs mom, whose name I regret I can’t recall, who I identified with immensely. It was concerning the point that you reach when you know it isn’t all going to be okay. By “okay” I mean reaching milestones that most parents must surely imagine their child experiencing. We mourn for those moments.

We mourn for the jitters wondering if she made the cheerleading squad which she will never have the opprotunity to try out for. 

We mourn for the teenage obsession of her hair, outfit, and make up to look just right for the first day of high school she will never attend.

We mourn for the mom and daughter shopping dates for dresses for the prom pictures she’ll never take.

We mourn for the first drive out to spend a night giggling about boys at a Starbucks with her friends. 

We mourn for the evenings debating which colleges and careers might fit her best.

I think it’s fair to say many like myself want to believe it’ll all work out with just a little more time, the right therapy or a great drug of some kind. It’s difficult to face the fact that while it WILL work out, it won’t look how we thought it might. We mourn for that. We feel guilty because we mourn for that.

We feel guilty, because we blame ourselves…even if there is no reason to. At my worst moments the “if only I’d done” lists are long, and I feel responsible for robbing her of what’s “normal” because of something I had faild to do…even if I am logically aware that I never really did anything at all.

We feel guilty because to mourn the loss of those moments might make us seem as if we don’t value our child exactly as she is. We do. It’s the loss of the ease of the typical kind of life, and the knowledge of the reluctance of the world to be accepting of what’s different that saddens us. It’s the thought my child needs all those resources in order to live to appear as typical as possible that I mourn the most.

If the world were a perfect place those like my daughter would be held in the highest esteem because they are different…and so often better. They have hearts of gold and lack the bitterness so typical of the typical. They are empathetic and see the beautiful in the everyday and are a gift to those of us blessed enough to have them in our lives. So while all those lost moments do make me sad, I am incredibly blessed that I get to know her and have been given the honor to call myself her mom.

“THE CORN STALK OF INSPIRATION” 

I think it would be fair to say that I find inspiration in the strangest of places. I was reminded of that yesterday on my way to excercise, but try not to die, that I manage to do more days of the week than not. It was practically a miracle smack dab in the middle of the typical, and it was back!

What?…you may ask. Well….it’s “THE CORN STALK OF INSPIRATION”. How can a corn stalk BE inspirational?…might be your next question. Allow me to answer that right now:

1. It grows in the median at a stop light of a major intersection.

2. I am not a successful plant growing person. I have nurtured corn in my back yard that has never produced a single ear of that delicious golden goodness.

3. “THE CORN STALK OF INSPIRATION” is nurtured by no one, dust and dirt are undoubtedly thrown by passing vehicles onto it’s toughened outer grass green exterior yet it DOES produce an ear of corn. THAT is perseverance if I’ve ever saw it. I just LOVE perseverance.

Sadly, after the original “CORN STALK OF INSPIRATION” produced it’s magical ear of corny goodness, I was unfortunate enough to be driving past as the road department ripped that stalk of magic up by the roots. Obviously as some attempt to beautify the intersection. 

They knew not what they had done. What is more beautiful than a stalk of corn determined to keep growing even where it might not be thought to belong? Nothing. So with that said, if this particular one produces an ear too, then I am determined to pick it before that grounds crew comes through. I will salute it’s perseverance with a buttery, slightly salty send off that all corn must dream of if corn could dream…because sources of inspiration should always be honored…even if it’s just a corn stalk by a stop light in the middle of the road!

A brand new day….

I have no doubt those with more night owl-ish tendencies wouldn’t understand my love for the early morning, but there’s something about those first few hours I find more peaceful than all others. Often still dark outside, I sit in my usual spot in front of the window with my cat in my lap…exhausted from a long night she endured sleeping next to my head…OBVIOUSLY ;)…and my bowl of berries in hand. More often than not I watch the sun peak through the trees signaling the start of a day full of new possibilities. 

While life isn’t about rainbows and sunshine all the time, sometimes it actually is. The hope this might be one of those is a nice way to begin each day. Even when the exhaustion of MS or other struggles have plagued a less than stellar day before, it’s nice to wake up knowing another chance offers another opprotunity for a better one today, and that is always enough. The hope of a brand new day, as LM Montgomery said, with no mistakes in it!

Do head horns make you a unicorn?…positivity!

I like to think there are good things regardless of whatever the situation might be. To find the balance in what otherwise might be less than ideal circumstances is important. I believe it’s an important quality when fighting Multiple Sclerosis when so often there is pain, exhaustion, and difficulties in general…particularly while having a child who fights her own battles. It aides in creating the more positive thoughts for gratitude about the little things in every moment rather than the much easier to come by “why me?” thoughts on the worst of days. Not something I’m always successful at doing, but what I strive to do.

It is possible that I sometimes take that too far. For example, I was recently feeling grateful about the fact that my left foot is working well now following a relapse leaving me limping a few weeks ago. I was disappointed to wake up yesterday morning to see a mysterious swollen area on that foot. My initial reaction was to think, seriously, what NOW!?…but that is not a positive thought.

Soooo…I began to look for the positive. Okay…well…it doesn’t hurt! That’s good, right?…(wait a minute…it doesn’t hurt?…why not?…what does THAT mean?!?!?). I examine the problem again. Hmmm….I wonder what that man who sprouted a horn on his head in the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not books thought when he began sprouting that horn? What if I’m sprouting a sixth toe? That’s ridiculous. People do not sprout toes…but what if I DID?!? I guess that would be sort of cool to have a sixth toe…I don’t know anybody else with six toes!

It was at that point I realized it’s possible that positivity can be taken a bit too far because I’m pretty sure it’s actually just a bug bite…SIGH. So much for contacting Ripley’s Believe It Or Not concerning my spot  in next year’s “Book Of Wonders”! (I hope that was read super dramatically  because that’s how I thought it!) Oh well…off for another day of this adventure I call life…with or without one additional toe apparently! 😜

SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP….

After visiting the dentist, happy was the news of Drew’s apparent exceptional tooth brushing abilities! After all, considering the fact that wrestling alligators would be preferable to the struggle of convincing him to wear the retainer that keeps that $5,000 smile in place, it was wonderful to hear that he is taking his oral health seriously for once. The happiness was immediately dulled the moment after my response of GREAT!…and he replied…I know right!!! Especially since I do not even brush them 25% of the time!!

*sighs….rubs suddenly aching head*

Thankfully, all was not lost because Abbey too was cavity free! This is fantastic news considering her new braces and the difficulty of supervising her tooth brushing needs…but it’s been worth it. Yes, the water blasting, the fuzzy brush picking, the enhanced attention to brushing IS annoying BUT it has resulted in a cavity free healthy smile, right?

WRONG.

NOPE.

NADA.

True…no cavities were found…but we most definitely had a bad brushing report. Her teeth will rot out of her head if she doesn’t brush better evidently.

Sigh.

So…while my son who loves all food made of sugar, only brushes on days he leaves the house, and must be threatened with imminent death if he doesn’t wear his retainer is the perfect brusher. My daughter who’s mouth is regularly blasted with an explosive stream of concentrated water, who practically has to stand on her head so we can get to the back of those metal covered chompers, and enjoys very little sugar is not.

Sigh.

So typical.

While it’s true that Abbey may indeed have everything harder in life than her older sibling, nobody can say she isn’t one tough cookie! This is evidenced by her declaration of SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP! in the midst of a rare need that Drew may have to swallow a pill and be relunctant about doing so…all as she downs 10+ a day every single day of her life. She does so with little jealousy about all she experiences that he does not, an admirable quality if there ever was I think! 😉