Got to find a way


Worldwide violence and U.S.-based hatred really make me sad these days. I quit watching television news several years ago as it was mostly one horrible story after another – split up by saccharine packages about dog parks or school choirs which left me with a headache. I’ve never much been the newspaper type. I have pretty much always had to get up and go in the morning and never had time to sit around eating breakfast and reading a paper. On the weekends, when I can have a little more time, I prefer music in the background. But I get plenty of news every day through various forms of social media. Lately all I want to do is turn it off and try to ignore it, even though you can’t really do that.

Yesterday was the last day of my son’s spring break from school. I brought him to work with me, where he did a decent job of holding it together, behavior-wise, with a steady stream of snacks, books and screen time. Then he had to come to a doctor’s appointment with me that took me three months to get, so I didn’t want to reschedule it. Continuing to search for a cause for my wheeze. It’s been deemed not lung-related, so I went to the ENT who did my sinus surgery a couple of years ago. He sprayed some numbing stuff in my throat and then my son’s eyes got really big when the guy slowly put a very long tube down my nostril so he could look at my vocal cords and top of my esophagus. The good news is there’s no visible damage or anything that looks askew. He suspects I may have VCD or vocal cord dysfunction, which is often misdiagnosed as asthma, and which can be frequent  in athletes/runners. But hey, not cancer is a good diagnosis. So after the appointment, I took D to one of his favorite places in Cleveland for lunch. It’s not my favorite place, but he’s a born Clevelander and it’s a Cleveland thing so I take him there from time to time because he loves it. Then we drove to an indoor play place on the east side, where there’s a big arcade, laser tag, a climbing/play area, bowling and roller skating. Of course, because I suck, I forgot to bring a lot of cash with me. I paid for an all-day pass for him but we couldn’t do a lot of the stuff like games as they required tokens and the token machine didn’t take debit cards. Oh well. After he played awhile in the ball pit, he decided we should go roller skating. We went roller skating about 6 months ago and it was mostly a disaster. He fell about a thousand times and while I didn’t fall, it took like an hour for me to be able to get around without looking like an animal trying to escape a trap. It’s just been like 40 years since I skated and my muscles really didn’t remember how to do it, plus this body doesn’t behave like my body did when I was little.

Some kid a year or two older glommed onto my son and was insistent he was going to teach him how to use the plastic, wheeled assistant thing the right way so he could learn to actually skate. I left them alone and worked on staying upright and trying not to look like a huge embarrassment. Honestly, 90% of the people on the rink were kids. Most of the parents stayed outside and sat on benches on their phones. Which is fine, not everyone is into trying not to look like a fool and avoiding things that might break your wrist is a great idea, but I just wished more people would try so I wouldn’t look so dumb on my own.

As with everything that I do with my son, I looked around for people who might look like they were carrying a gun, since that’s legal here. The last thing you want is some guy with a gun who falls down on the rink and shoots someone. I also sized up where the exits are at every place we went in the facility. I’ve got a slightly higher sense of situational awareness than most people and I hope it never comes in handy. So that’s different than when I was a kid. But we also took a chance and left our shoes and sweatshirts (and my phone, tucked deep into my shoe as I didn’t want to fall and break it) in an unlocked locker and nobody bothered our stuff the whole time we were skating, which was a couple of hours. So in this way, there is still some innocence and safety out there. It’s a weird world.

We were both sweating when we finally took a break. I used my last two dollars to buy us an apple juice to split, and got him to agree we should go home as we were getting tired. A year ago, he would have thrown a huge tantrum and I would have had to drag him out of there. But now, though he was upset, he was able to listen to my reasoning, that it’s not that far, that we would come back again, and that it would soon be dinnertime and I didn’t have any money to buy any food at the facility, and he reluctantly agreed to go without further argument. So that’s progress.

We had dinner and I gave him a bath, and then took a shower while he had Second Dinner. Man I wish I had that kid’s metabolism. We were both pooped by the end of the evening and hit our respective beds pretty hard.

He forgot to bring his Spider Man shirt for his Spider Man book report/presentation today, which he was supposed to bring from his Dad’s. He’s had a month and a half to prepare for this report, and I’ve reminded him several times to bring the shirt here, but he didn’t do it. He was mad when I wouldn’t call his Dad at 8pm last night for him to run it over, but he needs to learn we are not always going to rescue him. I didn’t call, because I know his Dad would have brought it over and I wanted D to see that he could do the presentation without it, and to learn that if you forget the shirt, you do without the shirt. He was pretty mad this morning and asked again if I would call Dad to see if he would drop off the shirt on his way to work (at 615 am!) and I said absolutely not. But he’ll get over it. Hopefully one day what he’ll remember is I took him skating and to Sokolowski’s, and to a playground and for ice cream the day before, and not that I was a bitch about making him quit eating 10 minutes before bed or about not arranging to have his Spidey shirt brought to him, but who knows how it will end up.

I try to focus on these challenges and battles since the ones going on in the world are too sad to think about.



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