- There has been a near-constant symphony of wind chimes in my neighborhood for the past two days. It makes the raw, rainy wind seem almost pretty.
- The Who has woken up whimpering (uncharacteristically) three times since he fell asleep (late, after having uncharacteristic trouble falling asleep.) The last time, he said, in his half-asleep stupor: “I have a problem.” But he couldn’t articulate it. We did discuss some stressful/loaded things tonight, among them possibly missing a really important and exciting event at school due to planned travel as well as talking about what kind of summer vacationing we should do. I think it’s gotta be anxiety. Those are some big things for a little kid.
- After an unplanned missed first day of teaching for me, tomorrow is my actual first day. It’s practically Christmas break already. I hope I don’t forget to go.
- I made a scant few phone calls for Hillary tonight, asking democrats to canvass this weekend. No one said yes, but a 73-year-old man did talk to me for ten minutes about what a shitshow Trump is and how he’s gonna vote a straight Democratic ticket even though he is registered Independent. (Not according to my list, but whatevs.) I also called a woman whose teenaged son said she was home, had an audible conversation with her about who I was and why I was calling (he didn’t know) and then eventually came back and told me she was in the shower.
- Saturday I am taking The Who with me to sit in our town and register voters. We cannot fuck around with Pennsylvania. There’s way too much at stake.
- I watched the hell out of that debate last night. And then I discussed it with no fewer than five people in person. I listened to Fox & Friends and MSNBC break it down this morning and then I scrolled through Facebook posts about it intermittently during the day. I watched the Will & Grace “reunion” and loved every one of the 9 minutes (why can’t that show still be on?) I looked at a LOT of memes and gifs (my favorite was the shimmying Hillary and the shimmying Shaq) and now? Now I am goddamn saturated. I hate Trump as a person and as a “politician” (really?) If he is elected, he will certainly destroy many things, but the destruction I am most worried about is our faith in humanity. I have to think about other things for a few days.
- The Sox did not clinch the AL East tonight in Yankee Stadium, as we had hoped. I love me some Soxtober; I hope they can get it done.
- I’m writing fiction! This is monumental news. I’ve tried it before, but never been successful, mostly because it always sounds contrived and trite. I could never find a storyline that appealed to me, that held my interest. I’ve heard about fiction writers who actually know their characters, who think about them, but I never understood it. Except now, I have a character that I can’t get out of my head. I’m worried about him, about how he will cope with the stuff that’s coming down the pike for him. In a story. A make believe story that is not real. Of course, my main character is loosely based on The Who. But, still. Fiction!
I’ve been in bed for 16 straight hours, which is interesting since I compared this migraine to labor last night and that’s exactly how long my labor was. In my haze of misery around 10pm, I thought, “if I can make it through labor, I can make it through this.” I didn’t feel optimistic as I coached myself. I was just trying to fake it ’til I made it.
I made it. Almost. Soon. I can feel it. (One more dose of meds? Another hour in bed? Here’s hoping.) This was the worst migraine I have ever had and there’s no rhyme or reason. It just was terrible. It came on slowly, like they usually do, but then all of a sudden, it kicked my ass. Nausea, unrelenting, throbbing pain no matter where I rested. No amount of pressure on my temple gave relief, as it usually does, and the worst part: I couldn’t sleep. I always can sleep when I have a migraine. That’s the only saving grace, usually. Sleep. But not this time. I lay in my bed, listening alternately to podcasts, stand-up, and silence. Flipping sides. Applying pressure to my head. Covering my eyes with a t-shirt (I lost my sleep mask somewhere in my summer travels.) Sitting up. Light on. Off.
I didn’t even have it in me to complain on Facebook. Womp, womp. Sad trombone.
I have felt, on and off, like I should see someone — a specialist — about a better treatment than multiple, ill-advised doses of Excedrin. But I am always stopped by the fact that I only get one (sometimes two) a month. I don’t know; this one might be the one that put me over the edge.
One of the things The Who’s new teacher stressed in his letter home to parents was the growing independence of our kids this year. He encouraged us to let our kids take more responsibility and risks and celebrate the achievements and suffer the consequences that come from that. And although I have historically been the parent that runs the left-behind lunchbox to school, I am up for the challenge. And as tonight is the eve of second grade, I decided to let The Who know that I was consciously making a decision to let him take more responsibility. First, we had a long talk about Facebook. I know this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything, but I think it actually does.
Over brunch, I explained what Facebook actually is. He thought he understood it, but I knew there was more to it. Specifically, the particulars of having different levels of privacy (including the fact that nothing on the Internet is actually ever private) and what he is actually saying yes to when I ask for his permission to post something. I told him the three things I would never post (him naked, him sleeping, him using the bathroom) and explainedthe possible repercussions of posting anything online at all (using the potential employer scenario.) I also explained the difference in my level of privacy vs. say, m*’s. And I let him know that I would be giving him a lot more say-so about what gets published. (He gave me permission to tell this story.)
The other thing he did today was grocery shop. Now, listen. The Who is no stranger to the grocery store. He’s been my shopping companion since forever and he could probably drive us there himself if I let him (but that’s a rein he won’t be taking for several years.) He is also no stranger to independently getting what he wants. He is often given a $5 bill and sent into a Dunkies so he can choose his own snack as I watch from the car. On several occasions he has run into Starbucks for me to pick up an order I placed electronically. He is outspoken, a problem-solver, and a strong reader. He can figure things out. So, today I gave him his own list and the two of us set off in opposite directions, each with our own carts.
Of course I kept tabs on his whereabouts and I didn’t let more than 5 minutes go by without having eyes on him (even if he didn’t see me). Sometimes, I even said hi to him as I passed to see if he needed help. (Once, he did. He couldn’t figure out how to work the scale in the bulk candy aisle. One of the perks of independence is getting to choose to buy bulk candy as part of the three off-list things I allowed him.) I’m betting, though, if I hadn’t come upon him in those moments, he would have figured it out or asked someone for help. A few minutes earlier, I had spied him gazing up intently at the store directory, deciding where to go next. Resourceful, that one.
The experiment was an unqualified success. He got everything on the list (even sussing out that even though I said “clear solid” deodorant, I actually meant “invisible solid”) and decided on his own that he thought he would like to try honey wheat bread instead of our usual whole wheat.
The end result: he felt proud of himself, I felt proud of him, and to be perfectly honest, I felt proud of me. His baby steps are becoming giant leaps right before my eyes.
Bring it, Grade Two.
Mostly, I just want to sit quietly and work on my new puzzle. And nothing is actually stopping me from doing that except inertia.
We breezed into town in the late afternoon yesterday, in just enough time for me to unload the car, shower, and head out to a staff orientation meeting. This morning I was up and out before 7 to gather breakfast for the teachers at The Who’s school, later this afternoon is Open House at school, and then after everyone else is asleep, I will join a secretive cohort of stealthy mamas to do secret stealthy things under the cover of night. Then it will be Friday. Blissful, plan-free Friday.
We loved our time in Boston so much that we’re ready to book the same house again for next year. As soon as the airbnb glitch (the one where they think I am trying to book a house with a check-in date in the past) is worked out, we’ll have solidified plans for next summer. We also just booked flights and hotels for our next trip to Boston in the fall for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. Oh, Boston, I just can’t quit you.