Western education 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

.... the emotional thermometer...

..... comes in the form of a very drunk son who has been keeping it all bottled up.  We got the call last night around midnight on Mitchel's cell phone.  His friend Dan was smart enough to call us and let us know that Mitchel was sick and very drunk"could you please come and get him?" We always told our children, if they ever needed us, no matter what, no questions asked... we would come and get them.  Max dressed and hurried off to pick him up.  My teen son weighs over 150 pounds and stands just over 6 feet and while they were able to get him in the van, it was an entirely different story when Max pulled into the driveway and Mitchel poured himself out of the van and onto the driveway.  I heard the garage door open but did not hear them enter so I made my way downstairs to find Max sitting quietly beside a prone Mitch.  Max knew there was no way to pick him up and wasn't sure how he was going to move him, so I called Will, who was having a late evening snack at a local eatery.  He paid his bill and hurried home.   Then the laughter started as the two of them pulled Mitch up the stairs and managed to drag him into bed. Mitch was apologizing the entire time as I wiped his face.  There were moments when I just wanted to ball my eyes out but I didn't.  I woke up many times through the night to go and check on him.  He is our emotional thermometer.  Drunk because of a misunderstanding with his lovely girlfriend Sarah.

Will and Max love Mitchel to pieces and although they are joking around, you know they are deeply concerned for him.  William will stay the night and spend his day off with Mitchel today while I get some work done and Max continues to putter around the garden finishing the honey-do list.  He is keeping very busy relocating plants, staking up tomato plants and fixing whatever needs to be fixed.

I am now downstairs typing while the living room lightens by the rising sun.  My legs hurt and a stabbing pain through the left side of my head has made me get up for the umpteenth time through the night.  I have a cough but it is due to a running sinus.... yup, allergies are hitting and my immune system doesn't quite know what to do.

I got a lot of work done yesterday and found that I forgot a few things.... that is why I am playing memory games and strategy games on my iPad... just to keep the brain working through the fog.  That, and the constant battle with the midline bulge caused by a digestive track that has gone off the rails.  Everything I eat, regardless of how small a portion is causing me to bloat and puts pressure on me, making it hard to breathe when that happens. I will have to eat much smaller meals throughout the day.

Yesterday evening, Max and I walked Lydia to her friend's house a few blocks away for a sleepover.  I decided not to wear head gear and became painfully aware of being stared at by other pedestrians passing by us. We nod and smile but I keep moving forward... I turn to Max and ask him if he minds that I have chosen not to wear my head gear outside.  He grips my hand tighter and says no but I know him and I know that it bothers him to see other people staring at me.  We pass by a three story walk-up and a heavy set woman is sitting outside in the warm early evening with a younger woman beside her.  She takes a drag of her cigarette and you can hear the rattle of her cough.  I think to myself why anyone would get to the point where they would continue to smoke when they could barely breathe?  She is eying me closely as we walk on and would continue to do so as we retrace our steps after dropping Lydia off. I can feel her eyes boring into me until we round the corner.... I often regret deeply of ever having smoked at all and am grateful that all of my lung checks over the past few months have been clear of any signs of those years. I have not had bronchitis or pneumonia in a decade or had to use a puffer.

I love our current technology.  I have watched two live streams through my iPad this week... The Botanical Gardens in Washington with their Corpse flower in bloom on Sunday and yesterday, the birth of Prince William and Kate's first born.  This morning I have the live stream up from the front of St. Mary's hospital of the Lindo Wing where it is anticipated that the royal couple will show off their baby boy born yesterday at 4:24 p.m (11:24 am our time).  It is interesting to note that the police are standing outside the hospital doors and the media is directly across the street but the street remains open to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.  You would not see that in North America.

My hair is now standing rigid on my head and is beginning to fall out.  I am sure that it will be a few more days before the hair completely snaps off at the scalp.  My eyes are itchy, sore and I wake up feeling like I have not slept in days.  The humidity of the past few weeks has gratefully waned from our city but it still remains quite warm necessitating the constant hum of the air conditioner.

I look up as I detect movement from my iPad... it is 8:55 in the morning and the steps of the Lindo Wing are filling with police, professional photographers and a woman holding a frame which looks like an official announcement and is then carried in through the doors of the Lindo Wing.  All of a sudden, it breaks to a scene of what looks like a re-enactment on the grounds of the palace. There are guns manned for a salute.... sirens can be heard in the background... surreal.  In turn, each of the cannons fire from the grounds and near London Tower.  There will be a 42 gun salute - 21 from grounds, 21 from the Tower.  Amazing that I can sit in my home and watch in real time what is going on this instant on my iPad.

I would like to dedicate this blog to the very special men in my life who are supportive, loving and kind to each other.  My husband has been such a wonderful Dad to these two boys he has raised since Will was 4 and Mitch was almost 2.  Will has only seen his biological Dad once since he walked away after learning of my first diagnosis and only because his well-meaning ex-girlfriend thought they should take a drive out to visit. She would discover quickly that his father had no desire to visit with his son You often learn the most about someone when you are at your lowest moment. There are many such souls who take up the slack when others drop it and we usually only hear the bad side of step parenting from news media.  My husband was raised by an incredibly loving man when his mother re-married a few years after his father was killed by a drunk driver.  He is the man today because of his experiences with his step dad and the father to our boys that they truly deserved.  I love my men and the joy they bring in their laughter and their shared love and respect for each other.

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