Thursday, February 11, 2016

Carpe Diem: Seize the Carp

I need a lot of downtime, whole days with nothing on the schedule.

I'm not the mother with a successful photography business raising five kids, two with special needs. I'm not the mom selling real estate while juggling the schedules of three boys in various sports. I'm not the mom who after hearing that her daughter had a lifelong intractable seizure disorder reacted by painting her home's interior. These are all women I know--real people!--but that's not how I operate.

It takes me a long time to react to new situations, to figure out where I'm going and what I'm doing. It took me three years to get used to the idea that I needed to register for summer sports in February. Who thinks about summer when you're just trying to stay warm in February? I was always the mom running to someone's house with a registration form and check in March.

I can handle only one event at a time. All my attention focuses on the band concert dress that needs to be hemmed before the band concert on Tuesday completely forgetting that another child needs an outfit for a choir concert on Thursday.

Have you ever seen the videos of people in boats traveling down a river while Jumping Asian Carp fly out of the water and whack them? That's me. That's how life feels. Make dinner, hem the dress, find the shoes, go to church, go to speech therapy, read the book, answer the e-mail, go to the play. Life keeps coming at me like those Asian Carp. I duck my head and bat them away one by one, but I need to stop often and crawl into the bottom of the boat to rest.

I don't have a type A personality. I don't even have a type B personality. I'm way down the alphabet at C, D or E.

None of this was helped by Mark dying. Now I see the carp coming, duck down and just hope no one notices I'm not even batting them away anymore. I celebrate the fact that I've managed to keep everyone in clean underwear for the last year. Seriously. Everything beyond that is gravy.

And what made me think about this today? John has needed to have his nails clipped for about a week. I beat myself up this morning as he was getting on the bus and I realized I had forgotten . . . again. Off he went to school with claws on his hands. But wait! I thought. His iPad is charged!

His teacher won't appreciate it, but today that was the carp I was able to knock down. I'm hunkered down in the bottom of the boat. All other carp are being ignored.