I turned 50 yesterday, and was reminded of how many great friends and what a lovely family I have. The morning was spent talking to Donna (sister) and my Aunty Joan, and then I opened my gifts, lots of jewelry, including a stunning pair of silver and sapphire earrings from my brother, John. I am wearing the necklace/earring set Donna sent me in the picture. Aunty Joan sent a necklace and earrings also, plus a gorgeous sort of orangey T-shirt, Mum sent sumemr pants, my coworkers gave me $150, Mr B sent a pedometer and a picture of the Tide Mill in Woodbridge by the artist Tracey Kemp. Her work is folk-arty and very whimsical, I love this picture and now have it hanging proudly in the family room. So I did manage to keep melancholy thoughts at bay, and I won’t go on now about how the years seem to be whizzing by so quickly. Even though life has not turned out as planned and I am always moaning about this and that, the truth is I am very happy, and being happy is something I will never again take for granted.
Nervously set off to get groceries today with Boy 2 in tow and he was fabulous, held my hand and was very appreciative of his gummi bears! Along with my homesickness lately, I’ve been craving my Nanny’s mince and dumplings, absolutely adored this meal, but cannot get Atora suet here (which I think is basically shredded lard) so I used instead these potatoes I had found – very small, clean-looking, small potatoes, in the hope that they would taste like English new potatoes. Well, they didn’t really, but they were still very tasty, Boy 2 and I ate them today with our mince and onions and tomatoes, followed by the cake I didn’t have space for yesterday.
I am quite happy this week is over. I don’t know why but it really feels hard right now getting up early and getting Miss W to Wendy’s. Luckily tomorrow is her last day as a 7th grader. And she is basically just having fun these last few days I think – she came home with a clay sculpture today, a deinonychus (lizard) and said its name was Brittany! Summer school starts in mid-June, but I plan to enjoy some lazy mornings between then and now, and I think Boy 2 will let me, he has been pretty mellow lately. Boy 1 is at summer school making up for failing math, he hates being there every afternoon (predictably).
I’ll just skim over yesterday’s mishap as it’s in past the past now but my bathroom has been flooding and the tub faucet was dribbling and it was just a mess. I had to call out a plumber, which made me late for work, which made me miss the little surprise mini-birthday celebration my co-workers had planned. I was so disappointed, but took home a delicious spinach quiche and some beautiful roses, it’s so long since I had flowers – I am enjoying them now, on the dresser in my bedroom. In fact tonight I’m going to light a candle, crawl into bed and read The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, I’ve only just started it but already I hate to be away from it. It just strikes me so far as a beautifully written book about war time, with none of the usual cliches that are churned out often in novels set during this era. A book I read almost 40 years ago and loved is The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong. I hated returning it to the library and never forgot about Tien Pao, the little Chinese boy evading the Japanese during WW2. Well, about a year ago I found a copy in a thrift store and bought it, telling Miss W and Boy 1 how much I had loved it, of course they couldn’t have cared less. But a few days ago Miss W picked it up and is whizzing through it very enthusiastically, I’m so pleased.
Today was quite ho-hum really, I pulled weeds (and persuaded Boy 1 to get off his behind and pull some) and then in the afternoon the sun disappeared behind some clouds and a storm blew in. I made the crustless pizza from Nigella Kitchen and read Wrack and Ruin by Don Lee. I’m not going to describe this novel as I don’t think I can do a very good job of explaining why it’s funny and so engrossing, but it is.
I decided today to press for the Joshua School for Boy 2, even though I’m being continually warned that it’s not going to happen. He has had 2 out of 3 very crummy years at APS and education-wise, this past year just may as well not have happened. They owe him, I’ve got to at least argue for what is really his only chance for a decent education unless I win the lottery.
I I seem to be having a very quiet afternoon. Boy 1 and Miss W are with their father and Boy 2 is (amazingly) just having a quiet little putter in his room. I arrived home to find an email from my sister and this picture of my gorgeous neice. I suppose it is natural to be feeling a bit homesick now, I would love to see and hold her. It didn’t help matters that yesterday at work I met this English woman and we chatted, then to torture myself further I called my Aunty Joan and watched Location Location Location. There is some new kind of snack bar in England now made of chocolate and hob nobs.
Well, thank goodness this week is winding down, it has been pure, unmitigated horror, Boy 2 ran off yesterday and I had to yell at a stranger to please help me grab him, rain has not stopped falling, and yesterday had yet another pointless meeting with the school. I was really upset to see that one particular person I had spoken to over the phone several months ago was there. She is the woman who sneered that I must find caring for Boy 2 ‘very inconvenient’ and she was just as unpleasant in person, a nasty prune-faced woman. When she said she wanted to confirm what meds Boy 2 was on and discuss side effects, I replied that I did that with the person who prescribed them, I could barely manage to remain polite because I was so angry. Extended school yearfor the disabled kids this summer is being held in the roughest, most notorious high school in Aurora – Hinkley High. Who comes up with these brilliant ideas? Today is Boy 2’s last day at this horrible place – hallelujah! He goes to South Middle in August, so fingers crossed that the staff there are decent, nice people and not the bunch of incompetent poop-heads we’ve been dealing with for the last 3 years.
I really did need some good news today and it came just in time, my sister’s baby arrived yesterday morning. I think her name is Aaliyah Petra, but that has yet to be confirmed, all I know is that she has lots of dark curly hair and weighed 6lbs 7 oz. I emailed Debra yesterday to ask how she was, no reply, so I did suspect and hope that something was going on. At last! Welcome darling Aaliyah!
Boy 2 escaped from the house last night. As it had been such an unusual and upsetting day for him I’d allowed a much earlier than normal nap. He seemed to be settling down again and getting very quiet around 9, after his supper and bath, so I began to get ready for bed myself, only to discover the door open and Boy 2 gone when I came out of the bedroom. He’d left his pajamas behind, so was naked. Threw on clothes and dashed around outside, hoping he would be where he usually goes (the shop, where he knows sweets are available) but there was no sign of him. Felt absolutely frantic. It was a warm evening, lit by a full moon. At last a man guessed why I was in a panic and pulled up, said he’d seen Boy 2 zipping past but had been unable to catch him, firemen also appeared at this point to say they’d seen him running but been unable to catch him as he tore up Powhaton Road.
I felt so sick at this point, but about 10 minutes later was reunited with Boy 2. He was sitting in someone’s car – a nice man – just covered in a blanket. As the firemen drove us home they were going on and on about how fast Boy 2 was etc. etc. I just felt so utterly depressed. I love Boy 2, but I dread the coming years, of caring for a young man who has so little understanding of how the world works and all the danger it contains. He could so easily have been seriously hurt last night. My life seems consumed with Boy 2 related activities right now, spoke to attorney again today, meeting with school tomorrow, school ends Thursday for the summer. I have no idea how I’ll get groceries with Boy 2 along.
Miss W home from camping trip tomorrow. Astounding news that I cannot go on about too much for fear of causing embarrassment is that Boy 1 now has a girlfriend, love is definitely in the air around here, along with the scent of Old Spice. Boy 1 has adopted very strict personal hygiene regimen.
Well, today was the big day – Boy 2’s dental appointment during which he was to be sedated so his teeth could get a very thorough examination, which they haven’t had for a long time. I went to sleep last night wondering if it would be OK to give him breakfast this morning, so after dropping off Miss W (and giving her a big hug as she is off camping this week and I won’t see her again until Wednesday) I called the dental clinic and asked them about breakfast, was told that as he was just going to be lightly sedated I should go ahead and feed him.
Headed off to the clinic with Mr W and was shown to the waiting area for autistic kids, which is brilliant. Situated at the end of a corridor, a door opens off it leading into a room full of dental equipment and there are numerous other doors and a long space for the autistic child to escape down so that parents have to go tearing after it. Very well designed. After a hellish 30 minute wait was shown into a room for further wait before a confused young woman entered and said we could ‘discuss options’ about how best to treat Boy 2. I explained that he was to be sedated, that I had got them all the requisite paperwork, called to check the paperwork was all present and correct 3 weeks ago, called the clinic again this morning. She just looked sorry and said it wasn’t possible, he would have to go to another part of the hospital, she would need make an appointment to talk to me or Mr W etc. etc. The whole time this conversation is taking place Boy 2 was leaping around minus his shoes and I finally just grabbed him and walked out.
Me and Boy 2 both are in a mood today, my thumping headache is only just receding, and I have just served up curly fries and cold chicken for supper. I feel so fed up over the spectacular incompetence we encountered today, so have been brooding on that, plus the absolute shithole of a school Boy 2 attends. Everything seems so problematic at times. Have no idea when he’ll go to the dentist now or who he’ll see or if he will receive sedation.