A Mother’s Humour and Other Ways to Delve Into Madness


It’s literally been a very odd week. It started with Mother’s Day. I, of course, wanted Wee Geek to go and pick up my mom and drive to Muncie and meet us at Outback for lunch. Which after all the court broo-haha on Friday prior to that would have been nice. However, my mom was in one of her moods that are so aspy, and yet, so completely odd to me. She decided that she didn’t want to go. I guess it was fine. Wee Geek told me to let it go and I did. So The Fix it Guy and I spent Mother’s Day eating lunch at Outback and then going to an auction which turned out to be completely great. I picked up a ton of nice vintage jewelry that I’m ever so much in love with.

I don’t pretend to understand why my mom has these moments, but when I look at it, I guess that occasionally, I do as well. So I shouldn’t be too hard on her. After all, we all need time to do our own thing and I would want her to accept that about me.

Another odd thing about Mother’s Day was that a dear friend’s mother died that day. I didn’t know this friend’s mother very well, I’ve only met her a few times, but I’m told that the irony in her dying this particular day is simply delicious. I’m glad that my friend is able to deal with the loss of his only surviving parent with this kind of humour. He, does, in general, try to face most trials in his life in this way and I suppose that this is prolly why we are friends. Because we both approach life’s tragedies and trials as if it is in reality some gargantuan joke that we just don’t know the punch line to. And we laugh anyway. If you can’t beat them, by god, join them.

I’ve been very interested in watching the dynamics of this family as they go through this difficult time, because as always, I am a keen observer of humans in general. (I may have to report back to the Big Giant Head at any moment…see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115082/?ref_=sr_1 if you have no idea what that refers to.) I hope that my friends don’t mind my observations. My friend is trying very hard to be the zen hippy dippy California guy and stay in the middle because his sister is a wreck and his brother is the guy who always orchestrates the duck line and makes sure that it is doing the right thing. So the only thing left for him to be is the guy in the middle who is even.

This process has been difficult to watch because it brings to mind the idea that our parents are getting older and their health is going to decline and they are going to need help. I am very aware that my mom doesn’t have anyone else to rely on that’s close except for me. This is hard and I often wish she would move closer to us so that I don’t have to worry so damn much.

So going through this week, trying to be considerate of my friend’s feelings, I have just been trying to anticipate what he might need and I’ve been trying to make sure that he knows that he has support or someone who accepts him and loves him for who he is. It is hard to know what to do in these situations, but especially hard when you live on the spectrum because you just never are quite sure what the protocol for social behavior is. Grieving times compound this because people do not react in uniform ways to grief. Very distressing for those of us who need some sort of species conformity in order to form rules for ourselves so that we don’t inadvertently perform some ritual that is going to cause Karma to visit us 4 times daily with extra healthy heapings of bad luck.  So, if all of you neurotypical people could just get together and figure out a uniform way to grieve, that would be very helpful, thank you.

I never know what to say. Thankfully, The Fix it Guy knows that you are supposed to say silly things like “I’m sorry for your loss”. I don’t even know how that is remotely comforting. I much prefer, “I am here for you to use however you need to so that you can get through this truly horrific moment in your life”. I would never even have guessed “I’m sorry for your loss” not even with cue cards.

So, I am still teaching blogging at this conference tomorrow and so have to miss the funeral. I always feel as if funerals should really truly be for people who were close to the dead person or family. I’m just sort of a random passerby who happens to know three of her four kids. I will be thinking of my friends tomorrow as they go down this path of their lives. It is with a truly heavy heart that I think of them.

In other news….I think I’ve figured out what the next phase in my life is. So now I have to hurry up and do all of the stuff that I said I would do while I was not working. Craft room will be completely moved this upcoming week as well as one zombie book edited. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos of my craftiness.

The first three doctors

The first three doctors

The Fourth Doctor

The Fourth Doctor

The Fifth Doctor

The Fifth Doctor

 

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Inertia…..or not


I am speaking at a writing conference next weekend. On blogging. We’ll see how that goes. I have a lovely little PowerPoint and some lovely examples of great blogs that I love, so we’ll see if it’s a hit or a miss. I like blogging. I just need to do it more often. I have a friend that tries to blog every day. I don’t think I have that much to say. Or maybe I do. I guess I wouldn’t have these mile long verbal vomit postings if I did post more often. I always think that I need to book mark this in my brain to blog about. And then I tease my Facebook friends with “I feel a blog rant coming on”. The rest of the time, I just get involved in my life or my current project or whatever you want to call it.

Wee Geek was caught up in inertia this week. Someone posted a great article on inertia and Asperger’s. Here is the link: http://archive.autistics.org/library/inertia.html. I emailed it to Wee Geek because the last month has been a true test of something in our life. It’s actually been a true test of a lot of things in life. At first, I thought it was just an IRL (in real life for you non internet savvy people in the audience) test. To see if he could handle this grown up situation and fix it. The answer to that, at least initially is no. However, after you lie to your mom about it and then realize that the paperwork is more than you can handle and that it’s the day before your court date and at least 2 of the 3 offices that you need to visit are closed or getting ready to close, you call Mom and come clean and then you work together to fix it.

The background is this. Most of you know (at least the faithful sheep in my flock do) that he got busted for paraphernalia and had his license suspended and then had to work around that for 6 months. At the end of the 6 months, the DMV required a checking account direct pay to reinstate his license. Which we did for him. He doesn’t have a checking account. Which we are going to very quickly remedy in the next few days. Among other things. So in November, I aid this and said “It’s all fixed, now go get your license. There is no problem to just go get a Kentucky license over an Ohio one.” I checked on all this for him because inertia drags him down and he gets frustrated over these little steps. I thought that after all of this, he would go do it and it was already taken care of. Then I get the panicked phone call. “Mom I got pulled over because I don’t have a license and my plates are expired and I don’t have proof of insurance.”

Wow…was I wrong. He forgot. Again, that inertia thing. So in Ohio you renew your plates on your birthdate evidently. In Indiana it’s according to a random previously established month based on the first letter of your last name. Wee Geek moved and did not forward his mail from his old address because he didn’t want his dad tracking him down. He’s managed to cut most of the ties to his life with his dad and he wants to keep it that way. Unfortunately, the DMV in their wisdom, mails your update notice to your last address (that you are supposed to keep updated with them) to give you that visual prompt that it’s time to register your car and update your plates. This is a great service for the DMV to provide. Unbeknownst to them they are superbly accommodating autistic people. So as you can see, the inertia got to him again. I only know a few people who actually put those silly insurance things in their cars. My husband being one of them. I always forget. I should be better about it, but sometimes inertia gets to me, too. The registration card is still sitting on my table from February. He had current insurance, mom is just negligent about sending that paperwork in a timely manner.

So after a couple of weeks, he calls me and tells me it’s all done. I take him at his word. I’m trying to let him be a grown up and get things taken care of without mom being mom. Big mistake apparently. So the day before his court date, he calls to tell me not to yell at him. Now this was a moment of  blinking yellow arrow signs, alarms blaring, red lights whirring…..you know that moment, don’t you? Or do only autistic people get those moments? Maybe it’s just me. I am very good at getting things accomplished when I need to. He knows this. Good for Wee Geek that he picked the mom who is efficient at fixing things. So because he was so upset and couldn’t find his only copy of his social security card. I called the office to find out what other information and type of identification would suffice. I find out that all he has to do is go to the social security office and get a printout that has his name and soc on it. I send him to the office and it’s closed. Yay. Later I find out that all social security offices close at noon on Wednesdays. Hint federal offices put this information on your freaking websites! No where is this written until you go to the office and check the hours on the door. As if this is random. And a surprise for everyone. It’s not. I call the office again and explain to the nice lady what the issue is.

It culminates in me explaining that he has Asperger’s  and Bipolar and this is just a little too overwhelming for him. Thankfully, she has a schizophrenic kid and understood a little bit about inertia. She went over to the DMV lady which is apparently just across the room and talked to her for a short period of forever. When she comes back she tells me that she’s explained that Wee Geek is “special” and that they will extend his court date for us.

A short side note. I don’t like to pull the Asperger’s card. However, there are times when it’s merited. This is one of those times. I’m the mom, I get to make those decisions when you aren’t getting the job done. Wee Geek wasn’t happy, but at that point, I think that he was just grateful for whatever reprieve he could get for his colossal fuck up.

So the next morning he got his printout from the social security office and went to take his test to get his new license. Which I made him send me a picture of. I know, silly, but you lied to me so now I need proof. A new paperwork obstacle reared its ugly head and so the plates took another couple of days. Just getting the registration was a huge feat. Apparently there was some insurance problem and he actually had to get his very own insurance and not continue to be on mine. Which neither of us knew and apparently we forgot to tell the agent that he wasn’t in school. So error and foul on everyone there. I spent half a day on line and deep in research and found him a policy that we thought he could afford. He got that taken care of and two days later, finally finished the process and got everything done. Sigh. Inertia.

I then had to be the mom and talk to him about lying to me. He’s a grown up now and there isn’t any reason to lie to me about anything. We’ve proven time and again that we are going to help him regardless of what happens. I might get upset with him, but I always help him. I might yell, but usually because I am frustrated for him and trying to get things done. I know that only moms will understand being frustrated for your child. It’s very frustrating to see your child struggling over things. I try to let him figure stuff out. He is a grown up. I yelled at him because it’s not necessary to lie to me about not doing something. Just say, “Mom, I can’t do this by myself, I need help.” There isn’t anything wrong with that.

I admire Wee Geek, because he’s trying to do things on his own without asking for help and he truly feels bad when he has to ask us for help, money, or anything. Now, Wee Geek is the kid that we were terrified might be living with us until he was 40. So we are thrilled that he is on his own and trying to the best of his ability to get it all done. We don’t mind helping him because we have always known that he was the one that was going to need the most support and the most help with getting things done as he transitions into this scary land of adult hood. We really are okay with giving him the extra support. Even the Fix It Guy (like the new title for him?) is okay with giving him this extra support. A lot has changed in ten years.

So we are going down to go to court with him so that he knows he is supported and that we are willing to be his parents and do that for him. I think that he might need help in talking to the judge because I know that I always did. The rules of court are so different than the rest of the universe and they completely defy all of the social rules that I have already memorized. I don’t expect him to know any of them. Court feels like some kind of alternate world that has it’s own built in set of rules that have nothing to do with our every day world at all.

In other news, I am still bumbling along trying to figure out what to do next. I guess inertia has caught up to me as well. I am enjoying being crafty and I’ve been working on all sorts of things. Yesterday I made fabric covered storage boxes for use on a book shelf that I bought at an auction last week. Craft storage. I’ve been trying to consolidate two rooms of craft crap into one. This has been a monumental and overwhelming task at some points. I am one of those people that has to have the exact right storage stuff lined up before I can start organizing. The Fix It Guy is extremely accommodating of this even though it’s impacting him working in his own little office. Bless his little mechanical heart. We are more on our way to that road than we have been. I’ll get to it. It’s the project of the next week.

In the meantime of all of this, we took a little trip u to the Poconos which was lovely. I like vacations. Even though right now, it wasn’t any different than our regular life, just in a different place and a hotel room. We made a day trip to Philadelphia and a day trip to New York City. In the aftermath, I am glad because the Fix It Guy is a superb planner and he can just trek us right along. My health definitely impacted this trip, though. I couldn’t just go and go without my arthritis kicking in and it required a cane for most of the trip which in the past has never happened to me in the warmer months. So I am resigning to my health impacting my life in the form of a cane. With the cane, we just have to pick and choose some of our activities better, but I try and not let it make a huge impact. I think this keeps me going. Most of the time. Sometimes I have to give up and say no.

I only had a short list of things that I wanted to do, but these things always get slid off in favor of what The Fix It Guy wants to do because he likes to wear me down into the land of don’t-give-a-fuck and I then don’t care if we do the few things I wanted to do. We did go to the Hard Rock and eat and get my shirt, hurricane glass, and charm. That’s the big thing for me. I like those little souvenir things. Baubles.

The next week, my father in law (the step one not the farmer one) bought a tent in Boston and we went to pick it up. So we made a day trip to Boston. We have decided that all of these cities deserve at least one more trip to explore further. We pack a lot into these little trips, but it’s never enough time. Especially now that I have to slow down a little.

I am still applying for jobs like a mad woman, but as I said, I have been concentrating on doing crafty things. This is the first time in 10 years that I have not had at least 2 jobs and I am enjoying it. I kept saying that if I could get a couple of weeks off, I would get editing done and get these books out the door. Guess what? Inertia happened and I’m doing all these other little things that I don’t usually have time for. So my newest project is to do these really cute Doctor Who dolls. The first two are done and number three is almost finished.

I am really enjoying doing these. I’m thinking that I will doing felty ones and putting them on Etsy. I’ve been working on cross stitch stuff, too.

I’ve been busy as you can see. I have all these creative ideas. Now that the computer is completely updated with Windows 8, new office software, the latest versions of both Scrivener and PCStitch, I am ready to roll on this creative stuff. I have been writing. Don’t worry, it’s just not as much as the creative crafty stuff.

I have made a resolution to get on the writing stuff, though. I need to do that as much as everything else. Don’t worry dear readers.