It Gets Easier When They Get Older…

I saw a meme on Facebook that said this and the women pictured were laughing, but I don’t think in a good way. It got me thinking. I do think my kids have gotten easier now that they are older. I wouldn’t go back to ages 2-5 years if you paid me. Nor would I care to re-live grammar school, for any of my 4 children. I know my life with my children was not a very typical life, with Thomas being special needs and the many rough roads we walked with him, bringing the girls with us. But the girls were very typical in their behaviors because that’s just who they were. Samantha is almost a category on her own due to being the youngest and the age differences between her and everyone else.

In my opinion and experience grammar school takes forever; grades 6-8 junior high is so slow but not as slow as grammar school; and high school literally flies by! First you’re sitting in freshman orientation…then your child is handing you the paper for all the fees associated with senior year. It’s that fast.

I enjoy my kids now that they’re older. Even when they’re moody AF, I won’t mention any names haha. When Alyssa and Lelly went through high school I have to say it was pretty painless, Samantha will be starting her 2nd year of high school and it hasn’t been easy on her being in school virtually for most of her freshman year but she has connected with a couple of girls in person so that’s cool, I’m glad for that. This Covid situation really screwed with our teens. My kids talk to me, some days they’ll tell me literally everything and that’s ok, that’s what I’m here for. And no judgement!

So to all the people who laugh when someone says it gets easier when they get older I say ha! Yes, it does.

Still Going Along…

I am still writing papers for school. I feel like I’ve been at this much longer than the beginning of June. The class that I had to finish by June 30 required a professional E-portfolio. Which I completed. However the assignment needs to be revised. I’m not permitted to see what needs to be fixed until I re-register for the class at the end of July. I’m not happy about that. Currently I’m finishing up a paper for my second class. I really hope I do well and nothing needs to be revised.

I’m bummed that I didn’t finish up everything the way I had hoped I would. The plan was to pass both classes and be on my way with my Bachelors degree by the end of July. Not happening. But… everything happens for a reason and I’m sure the Lord has his plan.

On the bright side I am just about finished with this degree. When I’m not procrastinating or playing on my phone, or writing a blog…I’m doing nothing else but working on school assignments. I’m ready to be done.

25

Today my first born turns 25. It feels unreal that my first baby is 25 years old. Of course I remember everything about his pregnancy and birth as all mothers do. I also remember how hard it was to raise Thomas. We were given this baby who grew into a toddler but not a typical toddler and not one specialist/ doctor was of any help to us. It was hard, so hard.

Did Thomas being “different”stop us from having more children? Nah… that would make too much sense, besides I wouldn’t have missed raising our girls for the world. We made decisions and choices for our family and Thomas when he was growing up that no parents should ever have to make. But that is water under the bridge and I regret nothing. I love Maya Angelou’s quote, “We did the best we could with what we knew…when we knew more, we did better.”

It’s difficult to reflect back on Thomas’ childhood without being melancholy. I fought and fought for help for him from the time he was a baby all through his teens. But I don’t expect or want a pat on the back. I’m no different than any other mother of a special needs child. Thomas changed me. He made me be very vocal, I used to be relatively quiet. Thomas gave me a loud voice. Thomas made me more open minded, I used to be a bit judgemental. After Thomas…nope not so much. I met the greatest people ever because of Thomas; women who became soul sistahs and others, ones that I admire more than I can ever express. I was fortunate to have these women in my life. So 25…it’s a milestone for Thomas and us. We all made it!

I’ve been working night and day on my “portfolio” that was assigned as one of my last classes towards my BSN. And I handed it in this morning. I have not been pleasant to be around I give my family especially my husband a lot of credit for dealing with me. I still have one more class and paper to write and then I’ll be finished. I wasn’t supposed to be finished this early, my college mentor talked me into speeding up and taking the last two classes in June and July instead of in the Fall semester. I’m not sure if I’m glad I did this…yet. I’ll probably feel differently when all the assignments are handed in. Right now I feel in a sort of limbo. And I have to wait for the powers that be to evaluate what I just handed in. I dread getting a revision notice, that totally sucks. I keep checking the collage web site to see if it’s been evaluated but it hasn’t. I’m not a fan of hurry up and wait.

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Father’s Day

Both Tommy and I lost our Dad’s; Chick (Tommy’s dad) in 2016 and Walter (my dad) in 2017. Father’s Day is hard I won’t lie. Even looking at pictures is still difficult. They were both great guys.

I was probably the luckiest daughter in law ever having Chick for a father in law, that man would do anything for me and at the end when I had to get medical information from doctors or nurses I stopped calling myself an “in-law” and just said I was his daughter. That’s how I felt anyway. And he never stopped to correct me, ever. Chick loved and spoiled my kids. Not so much with material things or gifts even thought for a while there they managed to get him to take them to the mall without me…But Chick would always make sure they had whatever my kids would want to eat or drink in the house. If we were coming over for dinner on a Sunday, Thomas always had chicken on the bone; his favorite! And we won’t get into the supply of chocolate syrup for making chocolate milk and ice cream sundaes. Chick was so very thoughtful that way. I really miss him. Tommy just said to me that “they don’t make them like him anymore.” And he’s right. Chick was definitely one of a kind.

Now my dad…My dad was just great. He was kind, caring, and loved to talk and tell a great story. I’d you had a situation, my dad had a story. He was supportive and really cared about what you were doing. And he had a way with animals I have yet to see again. My dogs and cat Smokey just loved him, not to mention how his dogs were with him. Even when my dad was working at the garage as a mechanic he had this awesome German Shepherd named CB, like the radio. He was a big dog I remember but good! Omg what a good dog and it was because of my dad. All our dogs were good, even Barney who you had to look at twice/give the side eye some days. If Barney didn’t like you there was a reason haha. I swear if someone other than my dad raised Barney that dog would have been a little on the mean side. He was we think a chow mix, all black with this gorgeous coat and he would jump in our pool off the deck; but when he got out Barney would shake himself off and be dry! Crazy I tell you.

When we started driving my dad would find us these cars…and tell us to “Just drive!” No matter what kind of car it was or what kind of shape the car was in. Just Drive IT! I still hear that voice some days and I laugh. He was funny. Back in those days I couldn’t parallel park to save my life, my father would practically yell at me “Use your mirrors!” Uh huh… lol! He would be so proud of my parallel parking skills these days. I finally learned how to use my mirrors.

So I want to wish all the awesome dads out there including my love, Tommy a very Happy Fathers Day. It’s your day to be appreciated and know how very loved you are.

More On School

So after 3 revisions I passed the final paper of that class. The reasons for the revisions were silly mistakes I made and should have been more vigilant in reviewing the requirements before handing it in. But all is well and the class is behind me.

I had an interesting conversation with my college mentor and she believes I could finish up the last 2 required classes by July and save myself from paying for another semester of college. I thought about it and I’ve decided to lkind of close my eyes, keep my head down and go for it. It’s going to be a lot of work but I keep thinking of being finished so much earlier as an incentive, and to finally be able to proudly add those BSN letters after my signature! I’ll probably sign everything possible with those initials haha!! Bank checks, school forms for Samantha, the possibilities are endless…

I will be working this summer. I’ve been working every summer since I’ve been with the Dept of Ed, I don’t mind at all and the work load sometimes is a little lighter although this year it may be a bit heavier with students returning from remote learning. We shall see when summer session begins.

It’s been such an odd school year; being closed due to Covid cases, returning afterward; still having school breaks and then being busy when school is in session even though the total number of students attending full time is fairly low, there are still students who come everyday and need nursing care. I’m hoping for a more “normal” school year this coming September.

My last Paper…Revised!

So I handed in my last paper of the semester this past Sunday. By Tuesday morning I read that I had to do a revision *and* have my course instructor’s approval. O. M. G. Wth did I hand in? My instructor called me at work Tuesday morning but I was at work and couldn’t take the call. So we emailed. I was so frustrated because things I was graded on as being wrong I know I answered the correct way. So finally after an exasperated email to the instructor she told me I referenced the wrong email that I downloaded as a pdf. I gave the wrong article title! I felt dumb. So last night I fixed what was wrong and a couple of other things that needed to be expanded on and emailed the instructor that I wanted to submit again. She called me right away and said she had to approve the revision to email her my correct paper. Done. She looked it over and approved me submitting again. So I submitted the paper again this time with the correct article title referenced. Whew! So now I wait for the powers to be to evaluate the correction. I check constantly of course. But so far…nothing

Perfect

I used to have this vision of other peoples’ lives, marriages, relationships with children, that other people have situations that are “perfect.” Call it a social media phenomenon where people only post the “good” things, like look how great we are, look what a great time I have with my kids. All. The. Time. I actually unfriended someone on social media because I couldn’t take the perfection of her life, I just couldn’t! I don’t want to see everyone’s dirty laundry I really don’t, I’ve “hid” people for being too freaking depressing like every post single post is what is wrong with the world. It might sound mean but it is what it is.

I remember when Thomas was much younger, pre-diagnosis and I felt like my life was so out of control and not perfect at all, so very far from normal never mind perfect. I felt like everyone else had this great life and their kids were so well behaved and I had this child who threw fits and hit me. I did have Alyssa though, who was so so good as a young child. I think I forget how good she was at that time because Thomas’ behavior just over shadowed everything.

These days I know no one has a perfect life, even the person I unfriended years ago probably doesn’t have it all rosy and great. (Although I’ll never know because I’m too jaded to ever friend them again, haha). A woman who watched me struggle with Thomas years ago once pulled me aside and said, “Menay…everyone’s got shit…” meaning everyone has *something* going on that disrupts life or makes life a little more difficult. That no one has a perfect life. When that woman said those words to me I truly appreciated it and I’ve never forgotten either. It made an impact on me to realize that no one has this perfect or better life than what I had. We’re all so different who can say what “normal” is? Who can say what perfect is? I will say I have a nice life, I’m happy with the choices that were made by my husband and I to get us where we are today. I’m proud of my family and I enjoy spending time with my kids. Nothing happened overnight and nothing happened without immense prayer and the intervention of a loving God and merciful Savior.

Life

Life for us has taken on a different normal. Alyssa married to Sam, Tommy and I are now “in-laws.” I still stumble my words when I mention Sam and say “my son in law.” He’s more than an in law. We really love him and see him as more than the man who married our daughter. Alyssa and Sam now have a puppy named Clayton. He is the most adorable little dog! He’s a golden-doodle, but not one that’s full size, Clayton is only supposed to grow to be around 17-20 pounds. Perfect!

I’m writing a research analysis paper for school. It’s hard, I don’t see it as impossible hard, or difficult but just a lot of work. There’s all these sections to the assignment and the whole time I’m wondering if I’m doing things correctly. I have a phone appointment with my instructor this week so hopefully she’ll clear things up a bit. In the meantime I keep plugging along and doing the best that I can. After this class I have 2; 2 credit classes left and then I’ll have my BSN. I get excited just thinking about it.

My working at the vaccine center overtime has been squashed, thanks to the great city deciding to pay agency nurses from other states their pay plus room and board, rather than pay city nurses overtime. Doesn’t make much sense to me. But what do I know? It was a good run while it lasted, I met some really great nurses and people who did other jobs at the centers. I really didn’t mind working the extra hours, everyone who was working wanted to be there and just about everyone who came in to be vaccinated wanted to be there to get the vaccine so it was a win/win situation.

So Different

I love that my daughter is married. Im thrilled that she has a great husband and awesome in-laws. Alyssa and Sam are doing their life their way and I am one of their biggest cheerleaders. God help anyone who would criticize or cause drama; not that anyone would, I’m just saying… Alyssa is 22 years old and Sam is 23. They both have college educations and the college degrees they both worked so very hard for. I never thought I’d say this but I have a bit of envy towards them.

After a 2 year engagement to Tommy I found out I was pregnant with Thomas exactly the week before we were to be married. Thomas wasn’t exactly planned but he was far from prevented. In starting our family so early in our marriage we weren’t able to travel and do many things young marrieds do before they start a family. After Thomas, along came Alyssa…2 moves, Lelly…and the rest is as they say history. I don’t regret having our children as young as we did. Right now it’s great because everyone is old enough to be left alone so that Tommy and I can go to dinner or just take off and be crazy and go to CVS. If we want to go away for the weekend there aren’t any major hoops to jump through. I was able to enter the workforce *and* go back to school for an advanced degree. I couldn’t do those things when everyone was younger and Thomas is a category all his own. There wasn’t much we could do for just the two of us back then. I remember on a Friday or Saturday night we would order dinner for the two of us, wait for everyone to go to bed and then eat by ourselves without interruption. It was nice and I love those memories.

I guess you could say the grass is always greener on the other side; of everything. Even marriage. In writing this out and seeing things retrospectively we lived our life they way God intended us to. I can’t imagine being an older parent and trying to keep up with my kids, especially Thomas. In actuality Thomas made me be “a grown up”. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again; I would not be who I am if Thomas were not special needs, but that’s a whole other blog post.

My wish is for Sam and Alyssa to have as clear of a path to their lives together as possible. I know the Lord leads their footsteps and I will be there cheering them on.