Sunday, August 28, 2016

School, Gypsy Kings, Clock and Tic Tacs

Interesting week. Not always pleasant but Robert and the kids always make me laugh so I never sink too far into a dark mood.

On Wednesday the kids started school. In years past they have been year round so the first day of school was staggered depending on which track they had.  Back to school morning was, if not easy, at least manageable for me on my own. This year they are on a traditional schedule. People were parking on our street because there was no space by the school. Even the handicapped parking was full. Inside was crazy! I think the whole state was there. One could literally not move without bumping into people. In large crowds Robert always holds me tightly and tells me that, "You move for no one." Together we made it to both of the kids classes. Again I was reminded that there is no way I could handle all of this without Robert. I AM different. Other parents take for granted walking through crowds without losing their balance and mornings like that are relatively easy and require no more planning than making sure your shoes match your shirt. But Robert and I have to plan parking, timing, footwear that helps most with walking, etc. I never get to take these mornings for granted. On the other hand, the kids know this and open doors, ask people (nicely) to step aside, and are not totally embarassed by their parents. Man I have a good family!

Tommy has had difficulty with change ever since he woke up to lights flashing and strange men taking his mom away. I know, weird, right? Anyway, starting a new year always causes anxiety. I looked over at him while his teacher was talking and he had teary eyes and looked like he would rather be anywhere but at the school. I whispered for him to follow me into the hall and asked if he wanted to have a prayer. He could not even answer out loud and just nodded. I leaned close and the two of us folded our arms and closed our eyes there in the hall with people all around. After he was still a bit anxious but was no longer tearful and seemed to be slightly more brave.  He had the faith to know that Heavenly Father would take care of him and all would be well. I have never been more proud of my boy.

Every night, in her prayers, Jain says she is thankful that I didn't die. Simple but very sweet. Often this leads to questions about strokes and the events surrounding mine. I knew it was coming but I was still caught off guard when she asked, "Was it my fault that you had the stroke?" My heart broke. She had obviously been thinking about it. I had to choose my words carefully. I told her that a stroke can happen to any mom at any time when they push the baby out. I tore an artery when she was being born but it could have happened with any one of the kids and it has nothing to do with the baby.. She was a perfect, very small (barely 5 pounds) little girl and I am always happy she is here and I would happily have another stroke if it meant I got my three critters.She seemed happy with my answer. She still has lots of questions but, for today, she seems satisfied.

At dinner tonight, Papa (Robert's dad) was asking Aleq what different words were in Spanish. He would often laugh and tell us that he only just started learning. I told him that if he stuck with it he could translate all my songs by The Gypsy Kings. He rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah mom, THAT is why I'm taking Spanish. How rude!!! He should love all my music! I thought he just liked our chats in the car but it turns out he just doesn't want to listen to  my music. Not even U2. Have I taught this child nothing???

Also tonight at dinner, the grandfather clock was going. When we were first married, Robert would ask his dad to stop it whenever we visited St. George. But since they moved up here, all of us have mostly ignored the chimes. But somehow tonight was different. Every 15 minutes it would chime and I would suddenly remember being at sleepovers in skips basement, in the very same bed with 2 or 3 of his daughters. I would wake up when it was still dark out and the only sound was the chiming of the clock. Every chime was 15 minutes closer. Just not sleeping over or going home very early wasn't an option. Too many questions and I didn't dare risk his anger. Besides, maybe today he wouldn't come.  So I would just lie there, heart racing, trying to calm my breathing so I wouldn't awaken the girls and counting the clock chimes as the numbers got bigger. Then I would hear water running. Shower before work. Panic would set in.  Shortly after I would hear footsteps on the stairs and I knew he was coming. I only remember bits and pieces of what he did each time because I have spent a lot of time purposely trying not to remember. I remember Stetson cologne. I remember his freshly washed hair. I remember him kissing and fondling me. And I remember being so grateful when he had to get to work and it would be over.
Yes, I'm 42 now and can see how messed up my thinking was and I really feel that I have worked through it. But sometimes something like that will slam into me and I feel what I felt then and I want to go back in time and protect and comfort that little girl.

Did you ever see the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine gets annoyed with a guy who sidles up to her at work so she has him carry around Tic Tacs?  We always laugh because my walking isn't exactly silent. Robert says that strokeys don't need Tic Tacs. Nice.

That was my week. Mostly. All in all it's pretty darn good.

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