Punky Mama

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Oh Aaron, You Are Sure Fickle

When Aaron turned eight he wanted two wives with four kids. Since the kids were surely going to food allergic he was going to enlist my help to teach his wives how to cook allergen free and he would do all the food shopping. He thought two wives would be good because he and one of the wives could work while one did the childcare. He had it all worked out.

At nine Aaron has been saying more and more he will never marry nor will he have kids. He wants to grow up to be a miner, like a real life Mindcraft. He has declared he will have not have a love relationships with women or men, insisting love like that was icky. Instead he will live with Ryan and babysit when he is not working hard in his mines. He requires that Ryan buy a house with room for him.

Can’t wait to see what he decides at ten.


When Ryan Wins, He Wins Big.

Tonight was the awards ceremony for the swim team, although we still have A Champs and distance champs this week, the team competitions are over. They give out awards to the kids who score the most points for the team and have a ton of spirit.  You score points by finishing in the top three during races. Last year Aaron won the high point award for the 8 and under.  Aaron didn’t get it this year because his buddy C was faster,  but I am sure Aaron was a close second for the award.

Ryan was never even a close contender for the award. He never got the JV high point or anything close to high point. I remember last summer season he struggled with his turns and doing the right turn for the right stroke. He often disqualified in his races. It was hard to watch but I tried to help him sort out the right turn with each stroke.

Then this summer started. Ryan finished in the top three every race he swam and often he was first. He swam butterfly and breaststroke, the hardest strokes to swim legally. Not only did he not disqualify this summer he won.  Often.  When they talked about the winner of the 10 and under high point award they talked about how he swims the harder strokes legally and fast which is difficult for a younger kid, and that kid is Ryan Taylor.

HOLD UP.  Screetch the needle across the record. My kid the one who is most likely to be kicked out of a school or activity won the high point award for the swim team!  He stood up and shook his coaches hands. As he graciously accepted the award I beamed. Ryan the kid who a neuropsychologist told me was doomed to a lifetime of failure unless we could find him an ADHD drug his system tolerated. When the drug to help Ryan didn’t appear she begged me to look further into off label uses of other drugs but I was not about to let my kid be a guinea pig.  My kid who has been called a “challenging case” by more than one developmental pediatrician hits the water and can be extraordinary. He can get his brain to work in his favor to win challenging swimming races.

If he can do this with swimming I am sure he can do anything he sets his mind to do. Irregardless of what the neuropsychologists want to tell us.


The Experience Over The Cost

Swim team is coming to a roaring end. The next two weekends are full of swim team obligations and band practices but then comes our longest swim break of the year.  Two long glorious months of no swim team.  The band has to muscle on because Hoovers first show is a mere three weeks away which gives us only a few rehearsals before that day.

I have been asking the kids of things they want to do in the month of August. August is this vast time of nothing planned.  My kids don’t go to camp and all their scheduled activities will be over. We will still be doing home school summer school.  We are going to attend Ryan’s teachers wedding the day before the Thorazine show. There is a vague plan to make a short trip to NY after I get my dumb car issues settled. Beyond there is nothing so I have been planning.

I asked the kids, what do you want to do in August?  I adore the responses I got.

1.  The boys want a sleep over. They want a sleep over with each other. I don’t think this will happen but they will stay up late in one room till they get so out of hand I have to go and put them back in their own rooms. Heck, if it is a day we can sleep in, then no problem. The thought, I have best friend brothers.

2.  They want to go on an extended scooter adventure. The boys want to start out in the morning and on foot and scooter and yearn to investigate three playgrounds in our neighborhood.  They want to pack a lunch and snack.  They have the snack timing planned while sitting on the wall by the hospital and in the second park.  Weird kids, planing down to the food. Wait, this summer has been all about food and swimming, never mind.

3.  They want to go to the pool in the middle of the week and have a party. They want us to get to the pool at 11am when they open, they want to claim one of the the tables in the back by one of the bar b que pits, and treat the day as if it is a holiday which includes turkey burgers, turkey dogs, pasta salad, corn on the cob, and vegan s’moors.  They want to stay at the pool till the last whistle blows, on a weekday.  They also want to do this on a weekend with Elliott. We have two big pool days planned.

4.  On a day that is not too hot, they want to go to the Smith Playground with friends if possible, and stay most of the day.

What I love about this list is that all of the above costs next to nothing. My kids are seeking out experiences that are not about what they cost but about the experience that they will have.

This makes me happier than I could ever imagine.




It Felt Good To Say No

Busy. I am busy. I like what I do, really.  Life is short and I want to go out with minimal regret, so I do a lot because I know on my deathbed I am not going to be wishing I watched more television.  I am on the board of directors of the summer swim team. It’s a good job, I send emails and get other parents to fill the jobs at the meets. Since parents need to volunteer I do my job behind the scenes so that I can be with Ryan during the meets. It works for me and his needs and I never feel like slacker Mom.

Yesterday the winter team president called and asked if I would be interested in updating the website content. It would be a compensated position which means I will be only paying for one kid to be on the swim team and to attend clinics. That works!!  I am often on deck with the team helping with Ryan so I can do this while the kids swim.  I quickly said yes to their proposal.

Then at the swim meet last night one of the parents on the team said to me, you know you need to be on the board of directors of the swim club.  I looked at her and said NO, I am not interested. The board of directors of the swim club have notoriously long meetings and where do I have time to attend these meetings?  I exclaimed, I am on the board of directors of the summer swim team, I just accepted a job with the winter team, I commute all year with my kids to school and back two hours a day, I volunteer at school,  I work for three freelance clients, I work out of the house 16 hours a week at night, two special needs kids one who has therapies and one I need to cook from scratch for daily,  and I am in a punk rock band that needs to rehearse weekly and has shows. Where am I supposed to fit this obligation? An obligation I am not sure I want to take on to begin with from the stories I have heard.

The poor woman looked flustered.  I said, yeah I have enough on my plate. As I walked away I felt good that I said no, because I can’t do everything.  Just what I want to do.


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