Shockingly…. I have completely lost my ability to focus. Gone. I may actually forget where this sentence is going before I reach the end. Oh. Nope. Did it. Clearly, I have just a little bit going on in my life so I know this is excusable, but as a woman who is a shoe-in for the gold at the Multi-tasking Olympics, this inability to monitor eight thoughts at once is crushing. Is this what it feels like to be male? This stinks! As an add-on, in the of ‘oh man, I need to start drafting the next blog,’ I can’t seem to nail down a single topic for more than a few paragraphs. Shrug. This is going to be like a box of chocolates…paragraph style…there’s no telling where these blurbs are going to go…
We are continuing the process of figuring things out with Mom. The diagnosis is still a heavy leave towards dementia, but we still hold onto various appointments. She’s got both neurology and urology this week – could they hold the magic pills? It is a hard story to tell, how we got here. I’m working on a fairly detailed version – but each time I add to it, I think ‘I don’t want my dad to see this’ because it is pretty heavy. And I do understand that without the specifics, people offer advice with limited knowledge – clearly only trying to be helpful (what if I have the magic pill?) but in my constant state of exhaustion, sometimes it’s just hard to hear. The funny thing is – I know I’m guilty of this exact thing! I hear of someone in crisis and move immediately to do-it mode – how can I help, what do you need, oh, I’ve heard of that have you tried… The advice is both appreciated and unwanted – if that makes any sense. When I’m feeling sad and cranky, I forget the advice is coming from a very good place. I also forget that not everyone was born with good bedside manners.
In telling the story of Mom (the one we she went from a ten to a zero overnight), I’ve gotten some near misses in the advice-angry-rebuttal column. Dementia? Oh, she’ll be fine, my grandmother’s got that and they just gave her drugs. Well, great. That should be a huge relief to the thousands suffering through the same thing. Could you find out what your grandmother was given and how we can get a hold of it and why our own doctor didn’t think of it? I don’t think they’ve given it to my mom yet as she still can’t walk, talk, or eat. No, I do get it – someone with the right intentions offering me their own glimmer of hope. Well, have you told the doctors how much she drinks? Odd opening line but no, I only told them about the heroin. Also, no. Yes, Mom enjoys a cocktail. Yes. But certainly not to the point of pushing herself even close to the edge of cata-gin-and-tonic. There have been a lot of have they tested for? questions – which I actually do appreciate – although I’m relatively sure her doctor does not when I ring up with my daily blood panel requests. In the meantime, my Doctorate of Internet Neurology Knowledge is nearly complete. And in the meantime, we are still pushing for a handful of those tests.
While working all of that up there…we accidentally opened a mini-frat house this week. Hanover started back to school, which meant Online While Learning started, which turned into starting our OWL pod a week earlier than planned. On paper we were to have a week of solo school so the moms could figure out logistics and snacks and schedules – but after single solo day, the boys decided they were ready to be back in the pack. This was actually very heartwarming as they’d just returned from a weekend on the rivah together – the fact that they missed their tribe after only 24 hours was more confirmation that this is going to be a great year (and that these three will likely have long lasting friendships). The only hiccup with the presto-schedule-change-o was that, after a lot of mom juggling, the first OWL Pod Day took place right here – in my house. My days of summer ending denial abruptly cut off at a ridiculous hour when two other teens entered the front door for school. Have I mentioned I’m slightly (slightly… ???) OCD? OCD-Me kept thinking that this was a terrible way to maintain a sense of normalcy and rhythm and, well, quiet in the house. Yet, they arrived, dressed up in their best basketball shorts and slides – backpacks filled with at least one laptop, maybe a pen, Airpods and a total of 70 feet of power cords. Oh. So we’re just going to make Jacob’s Ladder around the kitchen table? I haven’t even had my coffee. No? Are we doing double Dutch?
I retreated to my office for what is likely the earliest work-log-in ever to settle into this new norm while watching the news, getting the caffeine in and *phooooot!*. You know you’re a mom when you can recognize your own child’s farts two rooms away. Huh. Okay. Back to the Today Sh*phooooot!’ Again? Why? And are they snickering? Isn’t that the same as encouragement? Sip, sip…I hope he’s at least on virtual mute…sip, sip…*braaaaaat! snickers* Okay, well, now it’s the other end. When does face-to-face start again? Who do I call for a sub? No. Jyl, you are just going to have to lean in. *Squeeeee…* I think that was just the sound of my chair as I leaned in. And I did. I very quickly started enjoying the chatter from the kitchen table – poking my head in about every forty-five minutes for a status check, handing out (horrors) wired earbuds for those that didn’t charge their Airpods (after explaining where to find the jack), offering snacks and even making sure lunch (potpies and fruit) was prepared and plated before the 12:05pm whistle for the mid-day break. I really couldn’t believe how much fun I was having. We never got this experience with the first child – she did her absolute best to keep her friends far outside our view and we eventually gave up on interacting with them. I was actually a little sad when the day ended and the Virtual School Bus was loaded to return our OWLs to their respective nests. I immediately started thinking of the following week and which day they would be here and what would I make for lunch and could I create an even better learning room? (Wednesday/Thursday, Hot Dogs/English Muffin Pizzas, and yes, it’s under construction).
It seemed like we were going to work our way into the weekend on the mood upswing. Until we found out that even though your child left for college, they can still put you through the wringer. I thought when they were off on their own you got to breathe just a little easier. No? That’s a lot of money spent to have to continue navigating rough waters. Has anyone ever tried to convince a recently independent-ed 18 year old that you are still her parents and that, yes, you absolutely should be looped in on major life decisions? No? I know teens are stubborn – but lawd, this one has got a list of parental wrongs at the ready. I’m sure my mother would be laughing her ass off at this – something about what goes around comes around or every mother deserves a daughter a little bit just like her. Which is the kicker – because though Zoe sees us as polar opposites – she carries a lot of me with her. That stubborn side able to hold a grudge to eternity? I mastered it – and the added ability to patiently wait for one’s senses to grow in.
The last shoe to drop this week was the loss of a friend. I’m working on a future blog about him – but it was the straw that broke the my emotional camel’s back. And Rich’s. I think we just reached the point of 2020 where we truly, truly don’t know how much more we can take. We’ve joked for nine months about the idiocies of this year – not that any of it wasn’t real, just that it has certainly become one hit after another and that the question never to be asked is what could be next? I don’t want any next. I’m spent. I never wanted to know how to function on three hours of sleep – the result of 3:00am worries. I’m trying so hard anymore to just be good. To not become ugly or cynical or asshole-y for the sole reason of releasing some of this ongoing stress.
Asking for a friend ~ can we not just declare September the last month of 2020? We ended the school year early – unheard of! – can’t we just end the year year early as well? Maybe throw a New Year’s Eve party on the 26th? It’s a Saturday, the proper day to stay up late and drink a little too much, so it could have legs. Haven’t we had enough? Isn’t it time to stand up and take back this year? (Re)create a world where we can sneeze in public, smile at police officers without wondering if it’s okay, and outlaw gender reveal kindling? Declare ourselves all learned-out on the lessons of the past nine months? Move on already? Fresh start and all that?
Where was I going with this?