Where have I been

Where have I been?

Wow, it has been silent here for a while hasn’t it?  We have had a very crazy February here at our house.  I have been struggling with feeling helpless and hopeless for the last few weeks, which is not a great motivator for me to write.  We have had snowstorm after snowstorm, with another one due to hit today.  We battled a stomach virus, with five of the six of us succumbing.  And my second oldest has moved back home.  That is a lot of upheaval for two weeks.

News

The news has been soooo depressing lately.  There is so much work to do, and I don’t feel I have the skills to do it, and I certainly don’t have time to tackle everything.  I am scared of calling my politicians because I don’t know what to say.  “Tell them your stories, briefly – of how you and your loved ones will be affected.”  I come from great privilege.  I am white, cis, straight, able-bodied.  My non-privilege comes from being a woman, non-Christian, and financially disadvantaged.  I don’t have stories to tell because I don’t know a diversity of people.  I live in the whitest region of the nation.  My state is the 3rd whitest state, and we are flanked by the 1st and 2nd.  So I get on Facebook to see the latest assaults to our social freedoms and protections, and alternate between being angry and being hopeless.

I have been doing quite a bit of knitting instead, and have two projects on the needles – a lace shawl, and a hat for R’s upcoming 13th  birthday.  I tried to avoid Facebook for a few days, but kept finding myself wanting to know what is going on.  What next horror do I need to know about?  I have witnessed death happen to two of my friends – one lost her husband, the other her baby nephew.  But knitting has been very helpful, and at least I feel productive after I am done.  There is something to show for my time other than tears and despair.

Snow

Oh my, the snow we have had!  My children have had six snow days so far this year.  Five of them have been in the last four weeks.  Three of them were last week.  I fully expect another one tomorrow, with 12-16″ predicted to fall between now (Sunday morning) and 7 pm tomorrow.  We finally broke down and had our driveway plowed after the last storm.  Usually we shovel it ourselves, but we were battling illness and didn’t get out there to shovel up the heavy wet snow before we got another 10 inches of fluffy snow on top of it the next day.  Thank god for good neighbors with plows.  Yesterday, I extended an open invitation to our whole town to come over if it is another snow day.  I certainly am tired of hearing, “I’m bored.  There’s nothing to do.”  I’m sure other parents are, too.

Illness

The one good thing about having three snow days in a row is that the kids didn’t miss any school time for being sick.  On Monday, I got a call from the school around 1:30 or so saying that E wasn’t feeling well.  He hadn’t thrown up, he had no fever, so they said he could stay if I wanted him to.  I said that if he came down (to the office) again I would come get him.  He came home on the bus with everyone else, but he didn’t look good.  Shortly before dinner he threw up.  I called him out of school for the next day, but then there was no school after all, so he missed no time.

The next day, R and A also threw up.  L had so far avoided it.  A threw up as she was getting ready for bed, so her bed was all a mess.  After cleaning her up, I took her to bed with me so that I could respond quickly to her.  We also took a very large mixing bowl (barf bowl, as we call it) up with us.  All night long, every half hour to an hour, she would partially rouse and then heave.  At 3:00 am, I felt queasy myself, but I made it to the bathroom in time to avoid a mess.

Fortunately, snow cancelled school again.  We had one final round of all the kids throwing up (including L this time) before bed on Wednesday night, so no one was eligible for school on Thursday.  They cancelled school again.  By Friday, everyone was well again and all went to school.  I kept thinking it was Monday though, because they had just had a long “weekend”.

Breakups

M, my second oldest, had moved out of my house and in with her boyfriend last summer.  We have always had power struggles, so this was great for our relationship.  We were able to take a good long break from each other, and I learned to give up on trying to parent her as a minor (even though she still is and I am legally responsible to do so).  Things seemed to be going great for her, her boyfriend seemed like a decent (if enigmatic) young man, and she was deeply in love.  I saw her start to flourish as a person, no longer restrained by stupid things like school and curfews, which were wrecking her mental health (and frankly, mine, too).  Officially, she was homeschooling under her father’s oversight, but he gave her a lot of freedom there.

On Friday she asked if we could talk, so I picked her up on my way to do major grocery shopping between storms.  I learned that life hadn’t been quite as rosy as she had been painting it.  She wanted to end the relationship, but there was no bad guy in it.  Just a lack of compatibility.  I dropped her off after the first store so she could think things through and talk to her godmother for advice, too, then I finished my shopping.  After I got home, she asked me if she could move back in with me.  Her sisters cleaned out the room we were trying to make into a library so she would have her own space, and I went and helped her load up my truck with the first round of her things.  Yesterday we finished the job.

I am very hopeful that we will be able to maintain a good relationship while she lives here.  We do both value it, but we so often butt heads on pesky things like rules.  She turns 18 very soon, and that will open a whole new world for her.  She will be able to get a full time job (she isn’t interested in a part-time, minimum wage job), and perhaps learn to financially support herself.

And here we are

So this is why I haven’t written much lately.  I had started a fantastic post in my head as I was driving some days ago, but lost it by the time I was able to sit at the computer again.  Hopefully, I will remember the subject soon so I can write about it.  I remember it was very interesting to me, and so I hope it will be for you, too.

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