Punky Mama

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Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Lately I have been writing to get paid which leaves me with little motivation to write here. It’s great I get to sit in my dining room or at swim team with the kids, write articles, and I get paid for it. Imagine that.

We have all been burning the candles at both ends, so to speak, and we are all sick. This is the first swim season in where Thorazine was a band that needed attention.  We reunited the last weekend of winter swim season and although I knew it would be hard, I never knew it would be this intense. Basically, we have off one half day a week together. Saturday late afternoon.  Our weeks are busy just like everyone else. Our weekends have gotten insane.  They kick off with diving meets on Thursday or Friday evening. Most of these I am going to miss because I am at work and in December I am not switching shifts. Saturday morning or early afternoon the boys have a swim meet.  I rouse myself out of bed and go play deck parent for the meet and by Saturday evening I am ready to chill out with Elliott. On Sunday I get up, pack food for the boys, get the boys to pack their computers and swim bags, and I am out of the house by 9:30am to head out to a double swim practice and diving practice which lasts till 1:30am.  I hustle the boys into the car and drive directly to rehearsal in where I throw my “eat me out of house and home” boys some food and we rehearse. I usually get home at about 5:30pm or 6pm.  That’s it.  The weekend is over.

It’s leaving very little time to do chores, cook, or do home owner type stuff but I know it is for the short run.  I have about twelve more weeks of this insanity with time off around the holidays. I know I am complaining about a choice I made. It’s good but I wake up every Monday morning feeling as if I never had a weekend. I have caved in and have discovered that my favorite cheap grocery store delivers and I can make lists as I am at swim team all week and have it show up on Saturday evening. I told Dallas our drummer that the delivery makes me feel like a fucking princess which of course had him laughing. It could be worse.  The band members, although they are not parents are empathetic and try to be flexible.  They never take it personally when I just run out after rehearsal and if the time of rehearsal has to change to accommodate the boys schedules.

Today the boy had a half day of school and we decided instead of driving for two hours to go to school for three hours we would take a cyber day. After they finished school for the day the boys just chilled out. They were so quiet just playing computer games and watching a movie. I couldn’t force them do to something knowing they still had a two hour swim practice tonight and their schedule is just as hectic as mine.  I think the downtime was good for all of us.

Sometimes it’s hard to have your cake and eat it too.

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Can’t Stop The Swim

This season winter swim team has gotten more intense. The team has practice every day except for meet days.  My kids miss Friday because there is no one to take them as I go to work that night and we have a sitter for a few hours.  The coaches have added on daily land drills this year. This change in the intensity of the practices has showed in their performance. At the first meet both boys had personal best times and Aaron swam his first 50 yard races. The races get longer as you pass the 8 year old threshold to 9.  Going from 25 yard races to 50 yard races was really hard for Ryan, but Aaron is doing great with it.  Actually, both placed in their races this weekend which is a first for them in the very competitive land of winter swimming. As you can see we are at the pool a lot. Then they decided to join the diving team.

Wait.  Diving team!  I was a springboard diver when I was younger. I loved it. Heck, we are already at the pool fifteen hours a week, not counting meets, what is another five hours a week?  The coach thinks the boys will be ready for meets in a few weeks and I look forward to seeing where diving takes them.  It’s going to be harder for them being they are tall but if they enjoy it I will encourage them.

Really swimming and now diving too is amazing for the boys. They have so much energy and this is a productive place to put it all.  Ryan has ADHD and is very active but Aaron who does not have ADHD has just as much energy, he just can focus when he is asked to, really it is the only difference. The coaches have learned from Ryan’s BSC how to manage his behaviors and it has become a warm loving place for him.  He has consequences if he does not follow the rules but they present it differently than they used to, he rarely is asked to sit out of practice anymore.  It gives the boys a sense of being on a team with kids as young as 4 year old and as old as 18 years old but as the same time swimming is a very individual sport and they are learning to compete against their own times. They have been swimming for so long they have created friendships that are not part of school or our neighborhood. My kids sleep well, eat heartily and rarely say they are bored because they’re not. They always ask to swim but sometimes in the beginning of the season they say they don’t want to swim anymore.  I usually ask them to give it a week and think about it because of course they want to quit right after I have paid for the season, and always they come back with swimming is for them because the bad day passes and I would never force this high level of commitment on them.

So here I am again Sunday at practice from 10 am till 1:30pm.  We then immediately go to Thorazine rehearsal, in where they have to wait for me.


Brothers Are Thicker Than Anything.

Today we celebrated the life of a family member. It was sad, but so hopeful at the same time.

We have not seen some  of the family since the summer. Today they handed Ryan his birthday card. He opened his card as we got home and it was a Target gift card.  He was so excited and immediately went to shop online.

Ryan is a shopper and it drives me insane.  I am a pick what you want and get out of the store person.  Not him.  He shops and looks, then thinks.  I find it maddening and I am so happy we now have online shopping because I could never be in a store with him. After an hour or so Ryan came to me, and whispered, I chose what I want.  I said ok, email me a link. He emailed the link and said Mom what I want is really two of these….shhhhhhhhh. I want one for me and one for my brother. I replied, Ryan you don’t have to spend your birthday money on your brother.  He declared firmly, but it will be more fun if he has one and we can do this together.

I started crying.  Ryan went on brothers are thicker than anything and I want to him to have the same thing as I have,  I can’t wait till it snows.  I hugged him.  For all they tell us is wrong with Ryan, he has a generosity of spirit that the world can learn from.  He went on Mom I need ten more dollars to buy two.  He quickly got my wallet and we bought two of what he wanted.

For me if goes back to him piling toys on his brothers lap as he was in the swing as an infant.  That part of his giving nature never changed, and I hope it never does.

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Ha Ha Harmoney Screammmmmmm

We have had some stressful stuff happening here. Nothing I can talk about but suffice to say it is hard. It has dealt us some late nights and enough seriousness for  a lifetime.

My kids and our carpool friend have been the antidote to the stressful happenings. We have a long commute home from school, but all the kids love school, the carpool kid included. Some days all the kids are quiet, others they bicker, well mine bicker and the carpool kid tells them to stop fighting and listen to me.  Have I mentioned how much I adore my carpool kid? Actually we have all developed a certain fondness for each other on the mini road trip we take together five days a week.  The kids learned a game in school called the HA game.  You try to say HA in a sentence and try to get the other person to laugh, whoever laughs is out. It started a few weeks ago with my kids screeching HA at each other as we commuted without the carpool kid. Over time they taught him and the game has gotten more and more sophisticated. We have come up with some jems.  I started it with a deadpan ha ha I laughed I am out when I was done playing.  The kids are getting more and more creative with it. Yesterday Aaron came up with, I hope you don’t miss HAlloween. Ryan settled on JAlapeno peppers burn! Where I came up with, don’t be a HAter.  The carpool kid came up with can you sing in HArmoney?

That got us going. I would start singing a note.  The kids would follow with a similar note and whomever was IT would screech in harmony. We laughed so hard. It went round and round and round and my ears were ringing more than they would after a Thorazine rehearsal by the time we got home. We all laughed so hard the commute felt like it lasted less than a  minute. Eventually, it morphed into us all screaming along with Thorazine songs after the carpool kid exclaimed, lets listen to Thorazine. People on street corners were looking twice at the car because even though all the windows were closed they could hear us screaming along with the music.  It was just so fun and cathartic, like the Sound of Music with punk rock.

Eventually I dropped the cool carpool kid off and we went along with our after school routine of homework, dinner, and my husband took the kids to swim team as I went off to work.  As I got in the car alone I really felt like screaming, just for fun.



In Where Ryan Makes a Table Full of Women Teary

Last week was Ryan’s bi-annual evaluation for his behavioral services. It involves a ton of paperwork, discussions of his behavioral difficulties, goals, treatment plans, ect ect ect. These evals are long drawn out affairs that leave me feeling like I filled out more paper work and questionnaires for the evaluation than I did when I bought my house!  They are depressing. It is hard to just focus on Ryan’s deficits for a whole hour. I know he is not wholly defined by his deficits but to listen to them mapped out in excruciating details leaves me raw for a few days afterwards.

At the end of the evaluation the psychologist leading the meeting asks Ryan to write his name, the date, and this year she wanted him to finish the sentence, I am most proud of… Ryan wrote the beginning of the sentence and got busy with an answer as I filled out even more paperwork.  After he was done the doctor asked him to read his answer.  He began I am most proud of my Mom.  She fights really hard for me, loves me, and still rocks out with her band every week.  The four people at the table stopped and visibly gasped as I reached over to Ryan for a hug. After the hug there was not a dry eye at the table. The doctor stopped and said, Ryan you got all the people here crying tears of joy. He just beamed and hugged me again.

He is so much more than his deficits.


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