Punky Mama



I have been avoiding this space for multiple reasons. A certain website has been sending me unwanted traffic lately.  I have not gone over to read what they are saying but I am sure whatever they are saying about me is not helpful, constructive, or positive .  Also I have been trying to write songs. Writing songs requires some rumination and a different type of writing than blogging. It’s exciting to have our new ideas taking shape and coming forth with music.

Onto school.  For the last two weeks Ryan as been a mess. His PTSD symptoms were back with a vengeance. The poor kid was up at night with nightmares and falling apart during the day. After a few days I asked him what was wrong. He said he was worried about going to school.  What if his new school started acting like the old school?  What if his new teacher, who we already know, was like his abuser?  I hugged him and said that if his new school started acting like his old I would immediately find another option for him.  I never willingly left him in public school to be abused and if he told me what was going on I would do something about it.  It helped for that day but he still had trouble sleeping that week.

Last Thursday we went to school for a while to meet with the boy’s teachers to discuss the coming school year. We had trouble getting to the classroom on time because we were busy hugging all the teachers, all the way through the school. They are starting the high school this year and we wanted to see the changes on the second floor.   Aaron got very comfortable in his classroom immediately.  He plopped down on a bunch of pillows and started reading. When it was time for me to go to Ryan’s classroom, Aaron’s teacher told me to leave him reading even though she had another family scheduled to be in soon.  Ryan and I went off to his classroom and we listened to his teacher. I urged him to discuss his fears with her. He said, I am afraid you won’t be kind to me.  She said Ryan I work hard to treat the kids in my class like I want my own children to be treated. I will be firm, fair, and kind.  You are going to learn and we are going to have fun doing it. She then let him touch the class lizard, which entranced him.

A huge smile spread across his face.  He has not had a bad dream since.

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The Summer Cannot Be Over

First off I have been missing because writing for someone else and getting paid for it has been taking up my time. It is nothing interesting but it is making me money and keeping me busy.

I feel like we finally hit a routine and school is starting again. We do something fun everyday.  The boys know I need to spend some time either working on my computer or sleeping in preparation for work but we do something cool together even if it is for a few hours.  Today we had the most successful pool day of the year.  We left the house at 8am for Ryan’s therapist appointment.  We were at the pool before noon and we parked in the back near the bar-b-que pits so I could sit at a table and work because I have a deadline this week. There were only a few people back there it being a weekday. The boys swam and then they got involved with digging a moat with friends and filling it in with the ash from the bar b que pits and water from the pool.  It was elaborate play and it went on for most of the afternoon.  The boys were right where I could see them and they whittled away a hot summer’s afternoon swimming and building. Kids came by and helped here and there and they rotated in and out of moat building.   The boys were really busy and at the end of the day they were super dirty.  It is exactly the way a young boy should spend a day in the summer.

I am so glad I could give them this summer experience. Life is short and I will remember today for a long time.

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Things You Learn On A Road Trip

The boys and I took a road trip to Long Island to see my mom.  For the first time driving with then was less managing them in the car and more like a real road trip adventure that we were taking together. On the way they wanted to listen to music. I let them choose the music.  Of course, they made me listen to both Thorazine albums all the way through before we moved on to other music. We all sang along because after being at so many rehearsals they know the words and the back up parts. They had questions about what songs we wrote first and what songs we wrote later. It was really fun.  After the end of Vicious Cycle, Ryan grabbed my arm and said Mom, I have to tell you how proud I am of you and Dad.  You guys are in a really cool band and I am so glad you are doing this again.  I see how much you both like to do this and I am glad you guys are my parents. It meant a ton to me to know he is proud of what we do. In that moment I wanted him to stay exactly the way he is and on the cusp of eleven forever.

Aaron loves Long Island. He adores my sister and my mother.  All he talks about is moving to Long Island. I find that so funny. I fought so hard to get off Long Island and all Aaron wants to do is move back. He loves that my mother had a rabbit in her backyard that likes to sun himself in the afternoon.  He loves the old women who make a fuss over him at the retirement community. He loves that the local restaurant wants to feed him safely. He tells me that he loves the nature on Long Island and he hopes to grow up and live in suburbia one day. I told him he was welcome to live wherever he wanted as he grows up.  I don’t get it but then again he wants to grow up to be a miner.

As we waited for the children’s hours to begin at the pool of the retirement community where my mother lives, my mom and I sat on her porch. The houses all were built around the time I was born but they are all immaculately kept with lovely lawns, perfect landscaping, and really clean cars. My mother said the people across the way were new to the neighborhood and they just moved in. The man was 53, the wife, 46, and their kids had gone off to college. I bristled, your neighbor is younger than I am and I took a deep swallow. I faced myself and thought, I could move into a retirement community, and it made me feel a little sick.   I am so not ready to move to the land of rules about the rules and retired folks playing board and card games every night in the club house. Where everyone had way too much time on their hands and they want to spent time talking about everyone else. Later that night I called home and told my husband, who will be 50 next month, about the neighbors.  He was all HELL NO.  I never want to live somewhere with just one generation of people. Jo, we are far from ready for a place like that, we are not that slow. We are busy and still have years of adventures ahead of us. I was so glad to talk to him and I felt so relieved.


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This summer has been all about using coping skills.  It’s been about all of us having to dig deeper than normal to stay sane and functioning. Elliott has been working on a huge migration this summer. He comes home most nights at about 10 pm after leaving for work at 7am or earlier. He is cranky and some nights he comes in muttering and cursing.  He goes to bed and in the morning we see him for about maybe five minutes. That is a good day. Some days are like the above but he then answers calls all night about issues. Those are the worst. He has lost weight and I think his blood most days is 95% caffeine. This all has an end but really it can’t come soon enough.

For the beginning of the summer Ryan was off his game.  He abandoned all his coping mechanisms.  His transition to summer was awkward and hard. I swear he grew about three inches this summer. His brain chemistry was WAYYYY off and he gave up coping. Suddenly, the growing slowed and I have a very easy to manage almost eleven year old even though he has ADHD and is unmedicated.  He has his moments but he understanding I work some nights and sometimes I am loopy from lack of sleep.  For my part in this is I am trying to make sure we have balance.  We get out and move every single day which in turn makes it easier for him to use his coping skills.  With Ryan using his coping skills, Aaron is bugged less.  It’s all interrelated. What I think is interesting is he is seeking out more things to give him deep muscle pressure. This is one of his coping skills but it means I get a ton of tight hugs from him when we are in a crowd or other situation that makes him feel uneasy. I can’t say I hate it knowing the “don’t touch me” teen years are looming ahead.

Parenting alone most of the week and at times on the weekends too has not been easy.  I am a bit burned out. I have kids who don’t go to camp who are around all the time. Most days I go to bed with them to get up to try keeping up with them again the next day.  I have the bar which always holds a wonderful variety of people I like spending time conversing with.  Those people have become very important and they are part of my coping skills.

Now if I can get my car to pass inspection and if I could hit the gym a couple of times a week we will move past coping and I may actually thrive again.  That will happen in two weeks, when school starts. Although I am loving August I am ready for more of a routine and more money making opportunities. Till then I can cope.


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