There once was a time when I was a bit morose. I was stuck, stagnant and felt no better than that muck in the water stuck by the rocks. Not flowing and partying, but just stuck and gross.
I wrote about it once upon a time and it’s always stuck in my head. I said something about how it was April Whatever 2009 but maybe tomorrow would be April Something 2009. I was a sluggish new mom living back with her parents and I was sad algae.
Guess what, mildew girl? It’s April Something Crazy 2013.
April has meant spreading Autism awareness and dancing and rumpus-ing our way through these days with new words and sparks of magic called conversations and sensory meltdowns in public places. We embrace all of it and we get home a little bit stronger and we dance that shit out, because tomorrow has got more for us to do. And we gotta remember this. All of it. Good and bad, crashing waves and stuck in the rocks muck.
Because somehow along the way of those Maybe and Whatever days that baby boy I’m holding in that picture up there? He’s become this sweet, outrageously funny and kind boy who kicks down obstacles for breakfast.
I’ve got to remember this. It’s going and going, and I’ve got to grab onto all of it.
Also? I have super heroes in my house. They are loud and madness wrapped in cozy blankets and my absolute favorite. (I know. I have a wall of glass in my house. It’s weird. It’s been there since we bought it and we got rid of the other glass, because Oh, hell yes, there was more of it, but now everyone has put their foot down about us getting rid of this wall. I believe it may be building up to a punchline they’re going to spring on us at a later date. Jerks, the lot of them.)
My husband is a renaissance man. He brushes hair and makes ponytails just as he puts down the reclaimed flooring from hell. This month he spent quite a bit of it being my super hot handyman and I took full advantage of that. As in getting him to finally put down those floors and cover up that godforsaken terrazzo floor in Phoenix’s room.
Baby, it’s finally warm outside and my best friend from when we were kids dancing in her room to No Doubt visited and we girls had a fab weekend of guilty TV marathons, wine, gossip, and my babies interrupting all of it. We’re all grown up and yet still the same and there’s something horribly hilarious about that. Somehow we’re not fifteen anymore and that’s ludicrous. We’re creeping up on thirty and I’ve got a kindergartener and somewhere out there two girls mooning over skater boys with spiky hair are laughing hysterically. Or crying. Probably both.
We battled one of our biggest fears this month too.
We went to the mother freaking dentist.
We’ve been dealing with Phoenix’s two back teeth for a couple of months now, and between insurance, specialists and getting procedures approved because of his sensory issues, it’s been a circus but we finally got our ducks in a row and Phoenix had his surgery. He had to go under general anesthesia as well as local, because that was the only way anything was going to do down in his mouth. I was a nervous ball of emotion. All of it freaked me out. Him going under. Explaining it to him with words like “sleepy spaceman” “make teeth all better” and hoping to God above that he didn’t lose his trust in me when they put that mask on his face, because as soon as the smell hit him he fought it.
He fought it and watching him trying to hold his breath until finally and then the surgery began and we waited out in the waiting area, and here in Orlando we’ve now got Nemours Children’s Hospital, which just opened in Lake Nona, and it’s one of the best hospitals I’ve ever been in. They knocked it out in design that really considers and caters to families. And everyone there was fantastic and kind, and it helped make waiting out there with Lucy easier.
His recovery surprised the hell out of me, but I guess at this point I’ve got to stop being surprised at this kid. It’s easy, even when you’re down in the trenches with him since day one, to think he’s not going to be able to deal with something because of that rocky and twisty rope bridge of verbal language he has to navigate to get from himself to others. I find myself falling back on old fears and worries and shaking my head all, “No, we can’t do that.” And then he does it. He wakes up from surgery freaked the hell out over the pain and the IVs in his arm and we’re holding him and explaining to this frantic boy and it’s charades and it’s heartbreaking. They’re explaining the pain and the next days and he wants only my arms so I get him there as I fast as I can. We wheel him out, with me still holding him in that wheelchair, and me and him are that 22 year-old girl and her baby again and we escape and hit that bright, Florida sunshine. He gets into that car and I drive us home. I check my rear view and see him watching outside the window, and he’s not crying or fussing. We get home and he settles onto the couch and from there he rests for about an hour until finally.
“Mom. Can I have pizza?”
And just like that, he’s back. And just fine.
I need to carry confetti with me. As a mother, this is something I need to do, because dammit if these kids don’t make me fall back in laughter leaving me two breaths from throwing them a parade.
Speaking of parades, I did this sort of crazy thing finally.
Hey, April Whatever Girl, it’s the future and you just sent out your first batch of queries to literary agents asking if they would like represent your book.
I know. Crazy talk, but you’re doing it and you’re out there and it’s gonna suck and be filled with rejections and you’re gonna curl up into a ball on the couch and make growly noises, but you’re doing it. You’re effing doing it. You’re trying and it’s glorious and holy shit if it’s not April Something.