autism,  family,  high school,  teen years

Scattered Brain, Scattered Thoughts

Family time at the Red River Market. “Isn’t summer the best? It’s just so much more laid back. We can just hang out as family. Do all the fun things.”–Steve Beck. I’m taking this picture, so you can’t see my face. But J’s face is my face right now.

I’m not really sure what to write about for this week’s post. I’m really feeling so many things as my kids gear up for a new school year. I’m ready and I’m not ready, and right now I’m just trying to make it to the finish line (end of summer) or starting line (a new school year, however you choose to look at it). I know I’m not running at full mental capacity–I’m forgetting texts, am working off of two different calendars (one with my general responsibilities, the other with orthodontic appointments, XC meets, XC practice times that switch from one week to the next). My brain is on lock-down mode. As of this past week, all I can handle is what’s on my calendar or already in my head–at least until August 23.

Which is why this is going to be a brain-scattered post. I’m going to try to keep it to 3 main (almost identical) points. Throw in some pictures. Hopefully it makes some sort of sense.

  1. I’m SO ready for the kids to be back in school. I want my house back. I want to go back to sending one load of dishes through the dishwasher a day–Right now we’re at 3 loads a day. My kids are eating constantly throughout the day. They also somehow use almost all 30 glasses we own in a day too (does anyone else’s kids do these things?) As much as they love just lounging around the house and doing what they want and keep pretty much to themselves, somehow it’s still impossible for me to do simple tasks–like make a three minute phone call with the dentist (because that’s the exact moment someone needs something from me. Every. Single. Time.) And when they’re not lounging I’m trying to get them to do some sort of work (W has it easier: making her bed, practicing piano, doing a load of laundry. J has it harder: math practice, reading practice, visual therapy exercises). Equally, it’s like pulling teeth trying to get them to do any kind of task. It actually makes me kind of nervous for school. Maybe a different taskmaster will help?
  2. I’m so NOT ready for the kids to be back in school. Because daytime taskmaster turns into after school homework taskmaster. And after school homework taskmaster has to coordinate with real deadlines and fast-paced schedules that don’t exist in the summer.
  3. But I’m also REALLY read for the kids to be back in school. I’ve had to put off most of my writing for the entire summer and I’m itching to get back to it. Because my life plan outside of autism is to have a book published (and hopefully some short story publications) in order to help me find a tenure track creative writing job sometime down the road. That way I’m not hoping every other semester to land a Creative Writing course at adjunct salary (if you don’t know what adjunct salary is, do a quick Google search. Or you can check out this article here). Adjuncting is fine at this point in my life: I can’t have a full time job with J in public school. But sometime in the future I’d like to have a real full-time job.

I actually had a discussion with Steve about my recent feelings and chaotic mental state. I think he summed it up the best when he said: “I think this is how every summer goes. You can’t wait for it to start so you can get out of the school stress mode, you go on a few holidays in the middle, and you come back in stress mode trying to get your kids ready and back to school.”

17 years and we look SOOOO young. Because we were young.

Yup that pretty much sums it up. It’s crazy, Steve and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on Friday. And I think after all these years, he’s pretty much figured me out, which I’m really grateful for–someone to understand my crazy. For the most part, he knows when to let me cry. He knows when to give me my space (I also got news of another writing rejection this week, and he did a good job of balancing the supportive and the space part). I don’t know why or how our marriage keeps working for us. We do have some really great times, but we have more than enough really crappy times (almost always chalked up to the autism factor in our lives). I’d love to say that it’s because of love and hard work that makes our marriage work. And while I’d say we have both of those, I know a lot of people who love each other and work hard and their marriages still struggle or dissolve. Burn out is real. Life is hard. I’m just grateful that it still works for us.

I forgot! W also had her birthday party this week. Here is W’s murder mystery birthday party crew: 9 teenage girls for an exciting (and loud) few hours! W turns 14 in less than a week and she wanted a murder mystery party. Which is a whole lot of fun and a whole lot of work 😉

So there you go. I’m a little bit of an emotional/mental case in the weeks and days leading up to the school year, just as I was in the weeks and days leading to the end of the school year. Normal schedules don’t exist. I have dental appointments to make, registration to attend, and activity fees/picture fees/plus whatever fees to keep track of and turn in and it gets a little stressful trying to keep it all straight and I just want the normal crazy back again.

W’s murder mystery required masks for each character and W had a very specific idea on what she wanted. Here is the finished mask. It only took trips to 4 different stores to get all of the components necessary to make this mask the “right” mask. Because things like that are important when you’re turning 14.

I guess I should cut J a little more slack for those darn transition times.

Please follow and like us:

One Comment