December 7, 2011, late afternoon. I am leaving Meijer, a huge store in this part of the United States. It is based in Grand Rapids, MI not far from here, and it was the blueprint Sam Walton used to design his mammoth Walmart stores. I lucked out and one of my favorite cashiers walked by and gave me the signal she was opening. I quickly got out of line and into hers. It truly is the little things that are encouraging. Little did I know this was the high point of my day.
I was making something new for dinner. I love the promise of a new recipe. It is simple recipe, but pretty time consuming. I was going to start at 4:00 to have it ready by 5:45 when my 11 year old came in the door and the first thing I heard was a choking groan in the back of his throat. "Not good" I thought. I tried to be upbeat, but it was too late. As soon as he saw me he dissolved into tears. It wasn't really anything, he was feeling sad, and tired and needed to let go to his mom. I'll take it while I still get it. These moments of closeness with my boy will be disappearing soon enough. It started my dinner late, but I dove in while he was working on his homework.
Meanwhile Todd came home. Everyone was saying how good it smelled in the house. Things were looking good. Todd then said, "but I'm meeting my friend at 5:30 before the MSU basketball game." Then quickly added, "but I can drive Zach to swimming on the way" to try to make up for the fact that my work thus far was for naught. So I decided I could finish most of it, put it together the next day and stick it in the oven. That is the last step anyway. It should work.
Daniel was in the basement, in his glory that he didn't have anything after school for the first day in weeks. I let him be on the computer for some rest and relaxation. Zach and Todd left. I was packing up the dinner when the phone rang. Zach was at the high school pool and it was dark and locked. Todd had dropped him at the curb, and when he went in, that's what he found. I knew he was in a rocky state so we talked for a minute to relax him. He said two other kids were there with him (so I didn't totally flake on a cancelled practice I thought to myself) I told him it made sense it was locked up, because the high schoolers who usually are practicing before them were at a meet. I knew because we chose not to send Daniel. We are easing him into the schedule for his first year of the swim team. Since he had two other kids with him, I asked him to wait for 5 more minutes and then call me if a coach hadn't showed up. He did and called me back with relief that his coach had arrived. Crisis and an ill timed trip to the high school, averted.
I started packing dinner only to realize that I now had a filthy kitchen, no dinner and I was starving. I threw Daniel's together which I have the basics on standby because he doesn't usually eat the same main dish as us, unless it is hamburgers or tacos or bratwurst sausages. (?) I make batches of his stuff and serve it with the same sides as we have. So I heated a hamburger, gave him melon, and carrots and fed him. I decided to order a pizza (which I could live on twice a day every day if someone would let me) but mid order I realized my wallet wasn't in my purse. I couldn't give him the VISA number without it. (I only have it half memorized). So I hung up in search of my wallet. Only to remember that the last time I saw it I was at the stove watching my Labradoodle run by with it in his mouth with my husband in hot pursuit. Our labradoodle, Oscar, has a thing about stealing things. He never eats them, he just finds great pleasure in snatching things and running through the house with us yelling "drop it" and "no" and he runs around tables and over the top of furniture to escape us. It's super fun....for him. Especially when you are in the middle of something. At Thanksgiving, unbeknownst to us, he had taken my brother in laws wallet. We found him in the living room with it in front of him on the floor pulling bills out of it, one by one. My wallet didn't measure up for the fun factor as it only has that pesky plastic in it.
After texting my husband demanding to know where my wallet ended up, I realized I was beyond hungry and getting really testy. He told me 4 or 5 places he was sure it was and said he had "been no where else in the house". This was obviously wrong since it wasn't in any of those places, but since he was having a drink with his buddy before the game, he wasn't feeling my pain and I don't blame him. I finally located the wallet (oddly in a room Todd had claimed to have never been in) and called back the pizza guy for him to say 40 minutes. Which put me right about the time I was supposed to be picking up Zachary. Sigh. I decided to risk it. It came in time for me to scarf down some pieces, yell to Daniel I had to run to the high school "quickly" and be back. Another problem barely averted.
I pulled into the high school to see nothing but cars as far as the eye could see. They were illegally parked, added on to ends of rows, on the grass. The quick part of this scenario evaporated. Not good. After circling 3 or 4 times I decided the fire lane was my best bet. I had to go in to get him, since we hadn't arranged other wise and that has been the routine. I saw my friend who lives across the street pull in front of me (we had pulled out of our driveways at the same time.) We talked for two minutes (the best part of my evening). I abandoned my car in the fire lane, hoping that it would still be there ticket free when I returned but feeling optimistic that 10 other cars followed my lead in the fire lane. I made it to the pool and it was empty. I knew he must be in the locker room and chose to wait outside the door. I amused myself watching the high school girls basketball be silly in the hallway, ignoring the anxious middle age woman hanging outside the boys locker room (me). I have spent an unimaginable amount of time outside of a boy's locker room door, waiting for my children to appear. Daniel takes his sweet time when I'm waiting. Savoring the fact that I am helpless and unable to charge in and demand he speed up. It's an annoying and helpless feeling. Zachary finally emerged, I found my car where I left it, again feeling like I barely got by with another one this night.
I then realized Zachary had no food. I looked at my tired boy and said "How about some McDonald's?" He sighed with relief and said "that sounds perfect". Off to the drive through, feeling guilty for once again getting fast food and happy that I felt like I just made Zachary's night. We went home for homework. Zach was working on his (again) and went through Daniel's folder only to see Daniel had a research assignment he had "started at school" with no mention of what he had already done. Just a list of websites, but no mention of which he had visited. When I ask Daniel questions about this sort of thing he becomes angry, he thinks I should know all of this (but really I SHOULD but for some reason the school refuses to communicate it to me). He obviously doesn't want to repeat what he's already done, or he can't remember, or he doesn't want to remember, or he feels I should know or he simply can't communicate to me and pull the words together (most likely). Doesn't matter, it always ends up with Daniel getting mad and having a tantrum. He's 6'1" 215 pounds by the way. Then I'm mad at the school for not just telling me the damn information. So I wrote a note to the school saying if they don't tell me, I will just not even attempt it at home anymore. Done. (The response I received the next day was basically "Daniel knows what he did". Sigh. They really think I'm making this up? Do I want to cause more tension and anxiety? I don't think so. Don't need it, obviously.)
Next, Daniel emerged from the basement and calmly said, "the lens fell out of my glasses". (of COURSE it did). I asked what he did with it and he replied in a off handed, what else would I have done way, "I just put it back in." Wait a minute. What? Something like his glasses falling apart will normally cause him to dissolve into a tantrum demanding that they be fixed immediately at 8:00 pm on a Wednesday night. I asked him for his glasses and he removed them and went to shower. I tightened everything as much as I could, with the set of tiny screwdrivers we have for such things. I of course had a wrong size but made due. There was a glaringly empty space where it is most likely that the correct sized screwdriver should be but was not. I made due. I was still amazed at the calmness Daniel exhibited while delivering the news of broken glasses, but just counted my blessings while I looked up what time the Optometrist opened the next morning, planning on bringing him in before school, or with him missing as little school as possible (he doesn't like to miss ANY, it's his routine) I wanted to make sure they wouldn't fall apart at school. THAT would be a disaster.
Daniel emerged from the shower checked his glasses, satisfied with my workmanship. He went to take his 2 5 mg Buspar that is his evening dosage of his anti-anxiety meds. He uses a days of the week container so he has 4 per day. 1 in the morning, 1 after school and two at night. He says, "Wednesday is empty. I'll just get two more." Wait a minute. "Why is Wednesday empty?" I responded. "I don't know." (Teenager) He answers while pulling out the pill bottle to 'get two more'. I told him he was NOT taking two more and asked if he took all three that were in there after school. He said "no". I then asked, "well what happened to them, did you drop them? throw them away?" "No, I TOOK THEM BY MISTAKE". (he hates making mistakes) Let me get this straight,he took 15 mg after school instead of 5 mg. Highly unusual since he is so methodical about every thing. I worried for a moment that he took way too much (running a quick ER scenario through my head) then I remembered the Dr. had told me 30 mg / day would still be an appropriate dose for him. I counted it up and realized he had taken 20 mg so far that day and gave him only one for the evening. He wasn't happy because in his mind it wasn't "right:". But he did accept it.
When Todd got home from the game and I was very happily alone on the couch, I was relaying this evening to my husband he said "No wonder he was OK with his glasses falling apart." What would normally send him into a spiral was "oh well I'll just pop it back in" because he had taken so much anti anxiety medication!. I hadn't even had the time to put this together or I was too tired to do so. We dissolved into laughter on the couch, realizing that his mistake of taking too much medication showed us that he just might need a bit more, and that his mistake might have been a very good thing. Come to think of it. After reflecting on this day in the life of....maybe I could use a little of that medicine too. I think I need it as much as he does, or maybe not, if I can end this day laughing with my husband on the couch about it.
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