Thursday, November 10, 2011

Focusing on Unexpected Love and Blessings

It is 11:00 PM, and I sit here in bed as the family has all settled in for the night.  It is likely I will be awake much longer, as it is easier to breath right now while propped up.  No real change yet but hopefully now that a second dose of Prednisone and antibiotics is in me I will start to see some improvement tomorrow. 

I have stopped the world though, finally saying I need to rest.  No answering the phone, no going anywhere, nothing more than laying around.  I have let a few folks down because of it, and that feels very uncomfortable for me, but at this stage is necessary.  I can't walk well, I can't breath well, and I can't talk well either as coughing interrupts everything.  Yes, Dominick is enjoying that part :-)

How blessed I am in so many ways though.  Two different friends supplied meals tonight, totally unexpectedly and it was SUCH a relief.  I know to some that is not a big deal, but as I awoke from a nap this evening as I tried to make up for only 4 hours sleep last night, it was like being wrapped in a big ol' hug to walk into the kitchen and discover such tender thoughtfulness came my way.  Dominick is so tired himself, trying to cover everything I normally do and arising at 3:30 AM each morning working the early morning flight at the restaurant before beginning his "real" day.  

We tend to expect me to be down for the count with something related to bronchitis/asthma/pneumonia on an almost annual basis.  Sad to say, but it is true.  My lungs just don't fight off the crud the way some folks can do more easily, and it almost always slips into something fierce and challenging to recover from.  I guess I am lucky it came early this year and won't interfere with Christmas like it did a few years back! Hahaha!  See?  Always something to be thankful for.

I am thinking of an old friend of mine tonight, my childhood bestest buddy who is grieving the loss of a job.  Angela was my nearest and dearest friend for so many years, someone I admired and respected even then for her intellect, her AMAZING musical gifts...seriously gifted...and her warmth.  Another Italian in my life who preceded the entry of my hubby, it was my first glimpse into the life of "gravy" and home made pasta when I visited her home.  I remember thinking to myself how happy I was that one of our daughters was coming to us with the given name of Angela, and how I secretly hoped she wouldn't want to change it, as it was a reminder of that dear friendship and all it had meant to me.  Honestly, had we selected a name ourselves, Angela would have likely been first on the list.  I know the pain of losing a job, and how hard it can be on the self-esteem.  My heart is heavy for her tonight, as I well remember the tears that were near the surface for several weeks as I tried to pick myself up and remember that who I was did not have to be dictated by what someone else thought me to be.  Easier lessons to embrace as we grow older and wiser, but nonetheless still very painful to go through.

I also know many would think that having 5 kids and being essentially on bed rest...and throwing homeschooling into the mix...would be just terrible.  Dominick has lifted some of the burden by carrying it himself on the house project, taking the kids and working the past couple of days there with them.  What seems to be a real hardship on one hand with him having very little paying work at the moment, has actually been God's provision to help us in our quest to finish.  I remind myself not to worry about finances every single day, that somehow all will work out and perhaps the very reason he has been slow has been so I could recuperate.  I feel like a total idiot over my knee, which is healing but really, really hurts still and I have to be very careful with it. 

The kids have been fantastic, cleaning up around the house, urging me to get to bed, letting me rest when I can finally fall asleep.  I asked them this afternoon to work on their language arts assignments, and I realized we have come a long way towards independence when I knew I could crash in bed for a couple of hours without any concern that they would be doing exactly what was asked of them, with no need to babysit. For as young as they are, they are really self-motivated and with my schedule created for each of them they just check things off the list as they complete them.  Don't get me wrong, they still leave Legos and filthy socks all over the house...and the bane of my existence when the girls leave their apple cores on the coffee table, but that seems like little to complain about when most parents have to beg and plead with kids to get their homework done every single day.  I know I could go off for a week, and the kids would just move along on their own to do those subjects which they work on independently. That is something I never expected until they were much older, and it really helps when we hit the wall like we are at right now.

They are tired...and I counted up that they have worked over 115 hours on the house project thus far.  They will deserve the break coming next week when we head to California on the looooong drive to visit Grandmas for Thanksgiving.  It will be our fall break, and hopefully I will be in much better shape and able to relax and enjoy our time together as well.  I need to be out of sick mode and teacher mode for awhile and reconnect with the kids in mom mode.  It has been awhile since I have felt well enough to be at my best with them, to really tune in, and just enjoy the people they are.

I have a LOT to follow up on with Kenny, thanks to so many of you.  How can I say thanks??  Our homeschool program has also really stepped up to help create a game plan, and we will see how it all works out.  I have a lot of research to do, many great leads and ideas thrown out.  I feel better about it all as at least there is something to go on. 

Kenny and I had a long talk in the car this morning and I explained a little about what is going on behind the scenes.  I talked about what we thought might be wrong, about all I had to learn so I could then help him learn.  How humbling it is to have a kid have complete and total faith in you.  Kenny said "Well, if you are on it, then I know I'll be OK.  No one is as smart as you mom.  They may have college or have some important job as a teacher or something, but no one else got me to read, no one else got me to stop being lazy and stop thinking I was stupid."  Then he laughed so hard and he said "I remember when I first came home and I was special for awhile, and I thought it would always be like that with everyone making it easy on me.  Then school was hard and no one really expected me to be smart, so I got away with being really lazy.  The only one who caught me all the time was you!!" then he laughed his funny little Kenny laugh which is such a hoot to hear and he added "I wanted to homeschool because I thought you wouldn't make me work as much as regular school.  Man, that was when I really WAS stupid!  I should have known better!  You make me work harder than anyone ever will.  If I can survive you as a teacher, no other teacher will ever feel hard to me." 

Then he got serious for a minute and turned to look straight at me while I am still driving and he said "Thanks Mom.  If you hadn't worked so hard with me and put up with me being lazy at first, I never would have changed.  It was too easy to just get by and have everyone feel sorry for me.  Plus I really, really thought I was stupid and couldn't learn.  Once I saw that you thought I was totally smart and weren't going to let me get away with pretending and being lazy, I think I started to see that I could do a lot more."  I asked him what the hardest things were for him now and he said "It is hard to know stuff and then lose it in my brain.  That really, really bothers me.  It is hard to know I should be understanding something you tell me to do, but I can't.  It is hard for me to think that someday I'll get fired because I can't follow directions.  But maybe now that we both know more, we can figure this out.  If anyone can, you can Mom, and I promise I won't be lazy.  I may forget stuff a lot, but I won't ever be lazy and want people to feel sorry for me anymore.  I am not like that anymore, I think you changed that forever for me."

So, I will focus on recovering, relaxing, and then...

kicking butt. 

Because this support thing is mutual, and Kenny thinks I am smart and not lazy.  So I have to be smart and not lazy.  For him.  For all of them.

Watch out folks, Cindy may be down for the count momentarily, but when she rises from her sick bed, when she can breath without wheeze, we will start down the rabbit trail of learning something new about strategies and management for auditory processing.  Of course I can do it, I tell the kids all the time that you can teach yourself anything you want to know.  Time to put up and shut up, and show them how it's done.  You don't need a college degree to learn, you only need desire.

OK, off to spend another restless late night watching Netflix.  Maybe in a couple of hours I'll be feeling well enough to lay flat and try and sleep.  I doubt it, but we'll give it a try.

I think I've blogged more the past few weeks than I have in months prior!  You all must be totally bored with all this rattling on!  Night!

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