graduation

Move Along

I took my son to school for the last time this morning.  I won’t lie, I’m not doing well.  We’ll see if I can write a short post with tears streaming down my face.

There was a very dark period in our lives when Landon was around 8 years old.  He was in and out of the pediatric psych ward, for months.  He was not our child during those times, in that space he was in inside his own brain.  Turned out, it was his seizure meds and all the psychiatric drugs the Doctors put into him just made his madness worse.

Out of desperation, we told the Doctor one pivotal morning in a meeting that we wanted him taken off of everything.  Every single little pill they were making him take, we wanted them gone.  They warned us he would have grand mal seizures.  We said we didn’t care.  They had his syringes for that.  Something wasn’t right.  Our boy wasn’t there anymore and we wanted him back.

You may wonder why I’m spilling this dark stuff right now and I’ll get to that.

I told him right before we walked out the door this morning that this was the last time I’d ever take him to school.  He smiled.  I said, “How many times do you think I’ve taken you to school all these years?”  He laughed and said, “About a hundred billion.”

On the way to school, just a few minutes away, memories flooded back of all the people in our lives who have helped with Landon and still do, all the blessed souls who God himself put in our path all these years.

As much as this week is about Landon, it’s also about all those special people.  I could write about the ones who weren’t so special.  The ones who judged us, their kids who reflected their parents and who were the ugliest inside of all, who wouldn’t play with Landon and made fun of him because he was different.  Those people all happened to be in church with us, by the way.  Yeah, swallow that.  But I won’t dwell on that.  This is about the people who helped two stupid parents who were overwhelmed and tired and in mourning that their son wasn’t well and never really would be after he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.

Thank you to my parents who were there from the beginning of his life and continue to be there now.  Countless nights they stayed with us in the hospital, states away from Texas, to be there for us and our son.  Many nights were spent in tears, not knowing what the next day would bring our way.  They kept Gracie for weeks on end during the “dark days” so we could concentrate on Landon and getting him better.  They have loved Landon like no one else could except for us.  My parents talk to him every day on the phone.  Dad has had a rough couple years but he still makes time to talk to Landon multiple times a day and answers super hero questions as best he can.  And there are a lot of super hero questions.  My Mom has made him countless blankets, the latest being a Harry Potter blanket this past Christmas.  She loves to laugh and tease with him and cook his favorite foods when we’re in Texas.  I love you, Mom and Dad.  Thank you for raising me to be the person I am, and for also loving my son, no matter what.

Thank you to my mother in law, who spends an hour on the phone with Landon each and every night.  He looks forward to those phone calls and teasing with her.  Her patience and love for our son and willingness to listen to him is a blessing I will never forget.

Thank you to the teachers, so many over the years.  You made a difference in his life in so many countless ways.  I can’t count how many teachers have sought me out over the years to tell me how bright Landon makes their days.  I wish I could express to you what a difference we have seen in Landon from being around such caring educators and administrative staff.  You are one of the reasons I’m completing my teaching degree.  I wouldn’t be writing this post without all that you have contributed to his life.

Thank you to our friends who brought meals to us so many times while we were in and out of the hospital.  Thank you for the care packages and the hospital visits, the phone calls, and notes of encouragement.  Thank you for keeping Gracie many times while I was dealing with Landon when E was out of town.  Thank you for coming to the psych hospital when I was admitting Landon by myself because E was out of town and on a plane trying to get back to Texas as fast as he could while I was falling apart right along with Landon.  You are loved and your love for us will never be forgotten.

Thank you to our friends who love him so much today.  Gary and Laurie, who welcomed him to their cabin any time on the cruise this past Spring Break.  I’ll never forget the laughter, hearing how he beat you at Uno.  He loved every minute with you.  Thank you to the Quinn family, who are driving in from Florida right this very minute to be at Landon’s graduation.  You are so very special to our family.  Thank you to Connie and Blake, who took E and I under their wing so many years ago when Blake hired E for his first job out of college.  You were and still are such an example to us.

Thank you to E.  Before we even conceived Landon, we decided that I would be a stay at home Mom.  I have been for the last 18 years.  It was our joint decision but you are the one who has worked all these years, supporting our family.  Yes, staying at home can be hard work all in itself, especially when the kids are smaller, but it’s a tough gig knowing you support three whole other lives and having that immense responsibility.  Thank you for the years you have given me to be with our children.  It has been a priceless, priceless gift and I consider it a privilege.

As my life is music and I have to put a song to everything, as I was driving home this morning from the school, I thought of songs that sum up our life so far with Landon.  The one that popped into my head was a song I listened to over and over during those dark psych ward days.  I listened to it like a mantra on days I was so depressed I could barely drive much less make myself get out of bed.  Thank you to all the people who have helped us move along all these years, to the people who continue to help us move along today.  You have not only made such a difference in Landon’s life, but in ours.

I love you all.

Sweet Tea Is For Pussies Anyway.

I took beer (4 bottles to be exact) into a Baptist church today.

Now, before y’all go cashing in those bets you made about 5 years ago in the “What Year Will Steph Actually Say ‘Fuck It’ And Take Alcohol Into A House Of God” pool, just hold on and let me explain.

It’s been seriously crazy.  Some of you may recall that I started working towards my teaching degree in March.  I’m on my third class, Survey Of U.S. Constitution & Government now.  Yes, I passed my first two classes.  Hold your applause.  Jesus says I don’t deserve any accolades right now.

Good friends of ours are coming all the way to Alabama from Florida this week to see my son graduate from high school.  They informed us they would like to come to this event in January.  I’ve had five fucking months to prepare for this joyous occasion but as usual, I have sat around with my thumb up my ass for almost half a year, doing the one thing I always achieve absolute perfection in:  procrastination.

I have waited until the last 72 hours before my friend’s arrival to purchase a new sectional sofa, boost our obsolete central air conditioning unit which was installed the year I graduated from high school (I shit you not), clean like the damned Pope is coming over, order graduation party supplies (I would thank the dear Lord for Amazon Prime Shipping but he’s still giving me the evil side eye over bringing booze into his condo earlier today), this list could actually go on and on.  E accepted a new job with his existing employer, with much more responsibility, and he’s been working later hours.  All of this is snowballing – in a really great way but it’s crazy nonetheless.

My son is graduating from high school this week.  I know I’ve already written this but my mind still hasn’t completely wrapped around the fact.  I’m waiting for my mind to get its ass in gear and just let me get the meltdown out of the way.  I’d honestly rather just show you good people a picture of my ample ass than cry.  I rarely cry because:

  1.  I usually choose to not be sad.  At the beginning of both of my children’s lives, I cried enough for a lifetime, as they had numerous tubes running from their bodies for the first few months of their lives, keeping them alive in most instances.  I’m still really tired of crying from those horrible times so I choose not to now.
  2. I hate feeling like a little bitch.  I’m not saying you are a little bitch if you cry, it’s just how I feel when I cry.  I can hug it out with you if you choose to be a little bitch in my presence. It makes me a little uncomfortable and I’d rather hand you hard liquor but I usually pull my shit together enough to be a good friend.  I won’t even mention the fact that you left snot on my shoulder.
  3. Crying ruins my makeup.  I spend too much time and money on that shit to have it running down my face.

Right now, I feel like a dam that’s about to burst.  I don’t know when or where the levy will break but if you’re going to be with me in the next week, this is your heads up.  I promise not to leave too much snot on your shoulder if you promise not to judge the fact that I’m carrying my extra large flask in my purse for the next week.  I’m just a bit overwhelmed with all that’s going on in my life right now.

Which brings us back to discussing the circumstances which led me to smuggling hooch into the Lord’s house.

A good friend of mine was really stressed this week over throwing her daughter a graduation party that was held today.  She beautifully plans every event she throws and works really hard preparing and executing tablescapes you normally envy on Pinterest.  She was texting me earlier today before the party, worried over some issues.

This friend is a lovely Christian lady who rarely drinks and certainly doesn’t keep alcohol on hand at her home that I’m aware of.  She and I are the female equivalent to Oscar and Felix from The Odd Couple.  I had to help this dear friend last month when she kept trying to order a Coors Light at a place that only sells a local brewery’s beers.  Finally, in exasperation, she came to the table empty handed.  I went back to the counter with her, gave her a quick tutorial on all the different brews (which most certainly did not include Coors Light).

Anyway, at the end of her text message, she added a really cute little beer emoji.  This is where I feel she at least needs to take some of the blame, okay?

Sending any kind of alcohol emoji to me when you’re in distress is like the Gotham City Police Department flashing the fucking Bat-Signal in the sky.  It’s like Timmy yelling at Lassie to go get help – except I don’t come back with a long rope in my mouth or wielding a bat shaped boomerang.  I come back with alcohol.  It’s what I KNOW, people.

Right before the kids and I walked out the door to go to the party, I packed up 4 of my beers with ice packs in my little collapsible cooler to take to my friend so she could unwind at home after the party.  As I was packing them, I even thought, “I wonder if it’s against the rules of the civic center to have alcohol on premise even if you’re not drinking it there?”  Because I’m not normally a rule breaker, y’all, believe it or not.  Jesus just raised his perfectly shaped eyebrows at that statement.

What is slightly alarming is I’ve been to this church two other times but only in the fellowship wings, where they hold parties and such.  That’s why my brain thought “civic center” instead of “House of the Lord God Almighty”.  That’s my defense and I’m sticking to it.  When I got to the “civic center” I placed the cooler under the gift table and forgot about it.

As I was  inhaling enjoying my generous sized and delicious piece of party cake, E (who had rode over on his motorcycle earlier) laughed and asked in jest if I’d actually went through with bringing my friend the beer.  It went like this:

E:  Did you bring Melissa (fictional name) some beer?

Me:  Yeah.

E:  You’ll give it to her later?

Me:  No, it’s right over there under the gift table.

E (looked over at the red cooler under the gift table while denial, then incredulity, then fear, and finally acceptance flitted across his face):  You brought BEER into a CHURCH??!!

Me (actually putting my fork down):  Holy crap (no, I didn’t curse because Gracie was sitting beside me and I also figured I was already on Jesus’ shit list by that time).

E and Gracie laughed uncomfortably while slowly moving away from me so as not to get electrocuted when the inevitable lightning from Heaven shot through my ass.

I sent my friend this text after the party.

wp-1463983689733.png

My friend has not responded to the text message so I can only hope she has forgiven me and that she enjoyed the beer I gave her in good faith in response to her distress text.

Also, I’m sorry, Jesus, for bringing alcohol into your house.  I’ll try to never do it again, but honestly, you and I both know that I can’t make any promises.

Lastly, can one of y’all remind me on Thursday to take my extra large flask out of my purse before I attend my son’s commencement ceremony?  Jesus also resides at the place it’s being held and I’m pretty sure I’m on a List now.  Fine, I was already on a List but today I moved way up in the rankings.

Cheers, y’all.