Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tears on the Stairmaster

This day a little wacky. A little off. I need to underscore this with 3 letters that I think we all blame for havocing up the day: P.M.S. I think I got a little miffed by copious returns where they then wanted a sample of the product that they returned.
I was distracted but determined to make the day better where I could. When I left work, it was time for pricey gas. Brought my cash in to the clerk. Asked for 30 on the pump and um, 2 scratch tickets. Feelin' entitled to luck. "Can I see ID?",she asks. "ID?!" I look at her puzzled and slightly irritated. "Fo reals?". She nods at me with all the authority of the Washington State Gambling Commission behind her. "Um, OK." I trot back to the car WTF'ing my way back and forth. I so did not need a delay. Got my 2 bucks worth and told myself, "I am so gonna win after that shit." After sitting in the heinousness of 167,(where people cut you off, only to go 10 under the speed limit) I phoned home to let the Rosie know I needed to go get tie one on at the Y. At this point, I was about to melt. Like Warren G, I needed to regulate.
Workouts for me = Madonna-thon. Its all about hitting the random shuffle on web radio, skipping the Spice Girls songs they toss in and getting into the groove. My favorite workout songs consist of the following:

1. Madonna - Jump
2. Madonna - Get Together
3. Madonna - Holiday
4. Madonna - Hung Up
5. Madonna - Sorry
6. Annie -Heartbeat
7. George Michael - Freedom 90 (that's a whole nother future topic of happiness)
8. Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl (that's right get your pom poms out, gettin' everybody riled up!!!)
9. Fergie - Here I Come
10. Lady Gaga - Just Dance

So I am in a good Madonna rotation. I have not dropped my phone, fallen off the bike, or called it quits prematurely. When, what's this? Madonna slow ballad. Oh nooooooo! Not gonna jack up my stride. I glanced over to see what was on the menu. Rut ro... I can't skip this song. Call me a magical thinker but it would be dissing the dearly departed.

"Don't cry for me Argentina" was beginning to play. This. Was. Dad's. Favorite. Song (gulp).

Growing up, I was instructed, persuaded, begged, and bribed to play this song on the piano and sing it for my dad. He loved Evita. He loved Andrew Lloyd Webber. And he actually was quite fond of Madonna's rendition. I cant tell you how many times I played that song. It was my meal ticket back home on weekends home from college. Often after dinner Dad would say " You know what song I want to hear". I would protest. He would almost grovel. There was this gentle nature about Dad when he would ask. I knew that hearing this song made him very happy. The truth is, I did not want to play it, because it made me too sappy and sentimental to see my dad so happy.To know that this sweet song went straight to his heart was almost more than I could see without wanting to lose it every time I played it for him. This was the song that my dad would have wanted me to sing when he died. But I did not have the balls to honor this unspoken request.

So here I pushed, pedaled and prayed that I would become elliptically challeneged and fall off the in a puddle of snotty tears. I continued to listen to the song. Eyes wet. Stretching my head up to roll back the tears I knew I could no longer fight.

Ironically the sweet chorus would ask of me, "Don't cry for me Argentina. The truth is I never left you."

I was done trying to be put together. I listened to the words "And as for fortune and as for fame...I never invited them in. Though they seemed to the world all I desired. They are illusions. They're not the solutions they promised to be. The answer was here all along."

I pressed on. I pedaled harder. I smiled a little. Dad just put another gentle request out there to remind me that the truth is he never left me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The spectrum

I was standing at the cash register fiddling around with something. I heard this shameless scream. I looked over to my right. Saw a older kid with his mom, hovered around a little boy that they were trying to soothe and make happy. I know this scene far too well. Screaming like your being chased by a monster. Arms flailing. Fear. Its what my son was doing several times earlier today. This is every day. The little boy was older than Wyatt. But the look on his face. It could have been Wyatt. Being a mom of an autistic child, I can tell the difference between the child that is sullen and snotty and the child that looks like they have just seen a ghost. I brought the little boy a toy reindeer to play with. His hands needed something to keep him busy. The lights, the piano the tinny noise of the shoppers. That's a lot for a kiddo with autism to regulate and absorb. He spotted the toy the way Wyatt does. Just a slight sliver of a glance and autism has locked you in on something else. If its the right something else, it will soothe. It will pacify. Mom can shop for a few moments. Big loving brother can take a deep breath and gear up for the next unprovoked meltdown. The boy, his name Alex, lit up. He said "ooh" and smiled. Calmed himself. Wiped his tears. Alex looked sad. He was trying to put himself back together as best he could. Almost as if he knew that he did not want to be this way and did not know how to stop himself. His cheeks red. Mom said "say thank you". He looked at me, painfully and only for a moment, said "thank you" then had to look away. His brother was 13. He said "I don't think you are going to get that toy back". I told him I kind of thought it might go down like that. Mom got to shop a little. Alex was at peace. Something tangible to focus in his hands. An object that would stay predictable and safe. When they were leaving, the older brother came to tell me thank you for my help. The family was possibly Cambodian. Mom said in broken English "he has some autism." I told her my son did too. Alex came to say goodbye. I held my hand up to give 5. He gave me 5 back the way Wyatt does. Repeatedly. With Focus. Open, flexed fingers. Giving everything he had to make a connection.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Resolution #1: The Garage

Not one to waste any time (OK, actually I waste a lot of time) The garage is killing me! Post move garage. Post move disheveled, unorganized, unsorted. My garage could be featured on "Hoarders". Well, maybe that's pushing it. After all, I have not amassed large sums of 10 year old fecal matter in there. Maybe if I start storing kitty poo in there I can be deemed worthy of a professional organizer AND a therapist coming to my home.

As soon as Wyatt's eyes shut, I sprung into action! Like a mad mother! Racing against the hands of sleep! Knowing that too soon, morning will come. Know that my kids will not take kindly to a Martha Stewart style organizing session ( I was kinda trying to channel her while sorting shit). Knowing, above all else, that soon enough I will say "fuck it!" I will lose my gumption. Organizing your house after moving , during the holidays, when you work retail and you have 2 kids, and a type B husband is honestly not worth the Xanax. I have given myself some wiggle room, more forgiveness and less urgency.

While we are on the topic of organization, my mother just called to wish me happy new year and give me street by street directions to the location of where she spent her evening. O Rosie!

So here is one thing I realize when attempt projects like this: I have major guilt over things left undone, unhung, unsorted unfinished. I feel horrible when I look at Wyatt's art projects that were proudly hung in his old room. Each of them displayed with a clothespin on a line of rope. I have to get that up tonight. I look at copious amounts of scrapbooking supplies that I never have time to create with and I feel like I just wasted copious amounts of moola. Please tell me I am not the only one with this need to collect stickers at the age of 35! Please tell me I am not the only one who loves candles the way Hoarders peeps love their dead cats!

Like many women,I am fulfilled by the desire to do things, imagine, create ideas and possibilities.Sometimes, when you are a working mom, daydreaming about order, getting pictures into albums, really clean bathrooms, folded and PUT AWAY laundry is all you got. Gotta that love mommy porn ;)