So Stink started school last week. The four-month summer finally ended and he couldn’t be happier about it. Great classmates, great subjects, great elective. He’s learning music! Maybe I can finally stop whining about his hair and he can be in a band. God works out all for good for those who love him, right? And his own son had long hair, so I need to just shut my pie hole apparently. (Though, really, Jesus would not be allowed on a public school campus with those open toed shoes he was so fond of wearing. That crazy Christ. He was such a rebel.)
For those of you who have read my blog from the beginning, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m only neurotic as hell 25% of the time rather than 99% of the time. This is no small feat. If I can find peace, then you can, too. For me, eight years into this crazy journey called Tourette Syndrome, I’ve gotten to the point where the tics are what they are. I don’t love them (vocals still pretty consistent) and his focus is abysmal (I am sooooo sick of reminding him of a zillion things) but the boy is happy. If he’s happy, I have to be happy, too.
The truth is, even if I wasn’t loving life, I wouldn’t have time to complain about it. With a third book rewrite, a few new writing clients, some Ebay on the side to fill in the gap and parenting… I don’t have time to think about my problems. Which, well, aren’t problems. Issues with his tics are my perception, not the reality. The reality is that he continues to be happy with himself so gosh darnit I must be as well.
But, if I’m being honest, it still hurts sometimes. This evening, for example, a neighbor’s kid mentioned to me that a student in his class has the same case as Stink. “Oh, you mean he has T.S.?” I asked him. “Yes,” he responded. “And he is also in his own world a lot… just like Stink.”
What does that even mean? That my son is alone a lot at school? That he forgets a lot? That he is day dreaming and considered weird and strange and odd and eccentric and okay going too far, Andrea, STOP.
The old Andrea would have had a panic attack right there on the porch, called ten friends, sobbed to my mom, screamed at my husband for not supporting me on a diet that would absolutely eradicate tics thereby catapulting him to the top of the seventh grade social structure and then passed out on a bottle of Two Buck Chuck and a bucket of Trader Joe ho ho’s. .
This new Andrea. This sober thinking Andrea? I just let it go. Deep breath. Quick prayer. “God, take it.” As my sponsor is so fond of telling me, “Drop the rock, Andrea. It doesn’t matter. What matters is life on life’s terms.”
So, friends, with the goal to live life on life’s terms, here’s where I’m at.
- I am not picking up burdens that aren’t mine.
- When I do pick up burdens that hurt me, I will talk about them, but attempt to set them back down where they belong.
- I will always run my burdens before other people who know more than I do when I’m feeling exhausted. Like tonight.
- I will continue to give my problems to God who, apparently, doesn’t need my help. (What the hell is His problem? Does He not know how smart I am and if He just did as I said the world would work so. Much. Better?)
- I will continue to learn more about this Jesus dude. (I don’t really get him. I just don’t. Who is He? Did he really die for me? If so, why don’t I feel it more?)
- I will get back to taking care of me a bit more. (If I miss my personal writing so much, why don’t I blog more? Time to start that again.)
- I will continue to look at the fine line between being of service (truly my key to contentment these days) and self-care.
- I will continue to live in gratitude, because really, that calms me down. And a calm mom is such a better mom. At least for me, anyway.
I don’t know a lot. But I do know that I am so in love with my children. They are growing so fast. In six years Stink will be out of high school. I DO want to minimize his tics as much as possible through diet or medication, but I don’t want this to be my sole purpose anymore. My sole purpose is to love the hell out of him. He is what matters.
It is time to drop the rock.
But sometimes, when that rock lands on your foot, it hurts.
And, well, that’s where I am at tonight.
Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I wear steel toed boots and start over.
And you can, too.
Love you and miss you all.