Treading Water

School started exactly 1 week ago.  Scouts starts tonight. 

Both the adults in our house have strep throat. We’re both on antibiotics. I’m on day 4 of meds and not feeling much better. I suspect that I’ll have to go back in and change antibiotics. 

So far, Kiddo has not shown any symptoms. A call to his pedi put her ‘in the loop’ and if he starts coughing or has a fever she will call something in ASAP.
Not drowning, but definitely treading water. 

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Schooled On Tragedy

Like so many others, I have my own 9/11 story. There’s nothing newsworthy about it and that’s not why I’m here.

My son is in fourth grade this year. Every year when this date rolls around I try to touch base with him on the topic. It’s a fine line to walk as a parent, especially on such an emotional and political topic. Trying to balance what information is appropriate for his maturity level and being honest about the scope of what happened.

This NPR article popped up in my Facebook feed today. It got me thinking about how the topic is taught in schools. So I went to my best source and asked Kiddo if he knew what today was – he confirmed and gave me a basic outline of the facts of the Twin Towers events.

He told me that it wasn’t something they discussed in class. He actually got his knowledge on the topic from the Scholastic “I Survived…” series. I knew he’d read several of them but couldn’t recall actually seeing that particular book. Please don’t misunderstand me; I have no issue with that at all.

I’m really kind of glad that it wasn’t brought up in school yet. That’s probably because I don’t quite know how I’m going to approach the heavier aspects of that part of history.

Have your children learned about 9/11 in school?

Back To Reality

Vacation in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons was amazing. There are simply no words to express how much in love I am with the Teton range. Highlights of the trip include seeing a black bear, taking a scenic float down the Snake River and of course, seeing Old Faithful.

There are a lot of pictures to be shared. I promise, I will get to them soon.

The reentry into my normal life was a bit jarring to say the very least. We were involved in what I thought was going to be a fairly minor collision on the way home from the airport. However, after having my car looked at it seems that the greater issue has nothing to do with the accident and I'm looking at an engine replacement (or shopping for a new car).

I'll be brutally honest. My anxiety is raging and not having a clear direction on the next step yet is fueling that fire. I am literally months away from paying off the loan on my car and have to evaluate cost vs value. So I have some decisions to make in the next week or so that aren't easy.

The important things are in order – family is healthy, my job is being great (best coworkers ever) and I have a good support system. I know that my personal struggle is feeling that the situation is out of my control and quite frankly, I suck at asking for help.

….one day at a time.

Healing

It’s not uncommon that on Saturday afternoon we run errands. This usually means stopping in for frivolous browsing (& purchases). We go to the craft store, the pet store, and usually Target. Target is a special stop since it’s across town and more often than not we get a little treat at the in store Starbucks.

Kiddo went to a birthday party this afternoon – it was at the same pottery studio we held his at earlier this year. The birthday girl was G, one of the two girls who scuffled over his attention at his party. I had a commitment elsewhere so we dropped him off at the party and retuned later. He was pretty quiet about the details of the party but I did get him to admit that he sat next to the birthday girl. 

After a brief stop at Target we went next door to the PetsMart. Kiddo made a beeline for the cat adoption area.  There was a year old male tabby who immediately reminded me of my ‘babycat’ Kissa who is 15 and lives with my mother. After all these years she’s really more my mom’s cat than mine but whatever.  After Karma (her ‘brother’) passed away a year ago, it hit me really hard.  

It’s been about 6 years since I shared my home with a companion animal. While I absolutely adore my corn snake, he’s not exactly cuddly or affectionate. I said for a long time that I wouldn’t get another cat until Kissa passed away. Her health is declining, albeit slowly. She’s certainly not young anymore. 

Today we met a cat named Floyd. For the first time, I gave serious thought to adopting another cat.  There was a lot of discussion after we left the store – the practical things like pet deposits and making Kiddo responsible for feeding time.  Then, naturally, the idea of being emotionally ready. 

We decided to handle this similarly to how we approached getting Atlas, our snake. The details are different since snakes have some very specific care requirements and honestly I could walk in to a WalMart and get everything I need for a cat. However, it’s the idea of introducing a new family member the right way. 

It feels like a big step. 

I wasn’t the only one happy to have my boy home. He was practically glued to me at lunch (so much hugging/leaning/snuggling) and he just stopped playing his video game to “check and see” what I’m doing. 

I missed you too, monkey. ❤️

The Final Countdown

This afternoon was spent getting Kiddo’s footlocker packed up for Webelos camp. He leaves tomorrow afternoon and will be gone for 5 days. This feels huge to me because I’ve never allowed him to go anywhere with non-family. 

I’ve channeled my anxiety over this into the preparations for the last two weeks or so.  I realize that my need to do all this ‘just right’ is my way of feeling in control of a situation that literally leaves my hands (arms) in less than 12 hours. I understand my crazy but I don’t always cope with it gracefully as I might like.

Tonight, we went down the packing list item by item as we bagged and organized. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated. Kiddo is a bit distracted and I’m not as long on temper as I could be. It was a stop and start process to say the very least. This was the progress at about 80%:


Kiddo has been very affectionate today – cuddled up on the couch and next to me reading before bed. We lean hard on each other in time when one or both of us is unsure, anxious or scared. I’m doing everything I can to keep him (& myself) focused on how exciting this is going to be.  I know I will cry tomorrow as soon as I am out of his sight.  I miss him fiercely although it’s not an ache borne of negativity – I trust that he will be safe and have great experiences.  I just feel less centered and not quite myself when he is gone. 

In these moments I am always reminded of the words of Elizabeth Stone – “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” 

These are his first steps into what will be so many adventures that we experience separately.  I look forward to hearing the stories that he will tell upon his return.  This feels a lot like letting go (on some level) and it hurts like hell. Tomorrow I’ll reassure him that he’s going to have an amazing time.  Tomorrow I will give him an extra long hug that will carry us both through the next 120 hours. 

Tomorrow I will remind myself that my son knows his way home – and most importantly he knows that I love him.

Thankful

Photo by Rick Smith via KLTV News

It has ended up wild holiday weekend here, although it certainly didn’t start that way.  We had no major plans for the long weekend. Kiddo’s final day of school was Friday.  I wanted to finish up getting the bulk of his camp supplies since this is the final payday before he leaves. 

No big deal.

A storm rolled in Sunday night – lots of rain and high winds. I’ve spent most of my life in Texas and can recognize ‘tornado’ weather. But there were no weather alerts, sirens, or anything in my neighborhood that caused any alarm. Our power went out for less than an hour. 

 Imagine my surprise when checking the news the next morning to learn there had been a tornado that touched down in town. Preliminary reports by the National Weather Service team estimates it was an EF-1 tornado. Most of the damage has been caused by downed trees to homes and vehicles. No fatalities have been reported. 

The local news, KLTV, said this on their Facebook page about the lack of alerts:

We have researched the event to find out why people were not getting calls – the reason is because there was no tornado warning in effect when the tornado touched down in Longview. Thundercall is activated from the warnings issued by the National Weather Service and this tornado happened so quickly that a warning was not issued.

Scary stuff, y’all. 

Everything was fine at my house so I got up this morning and went about getting ready. My phone dinged at 7:35 with the news that the office was closed due to no power. 

As of Tuesday morning, SWEPCO estimates the following timetable for restored power in the following areas:

  • Carthage – 961 Wednesday at 10 p.m.
  • Gladewater – 1,076 Wednesday at 5 p.m.
  • Kilgore – 159 Wednesday at 10 p.m.
  • Longview – 21,440 Friday at 5 p.m. (Initial estimates showed 65,000 without power)
  • Marshall – 350 Wednesday at 10 p.m.

We’re just chilling at home today and counting our blessings. Hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday weekend!