Monday, May 21, 2012

GBE2: Checking our mailbox

It isn't quite 8am on this Monday morning. Our older son just left the driveway in his bus to start another week at school. Our younger son's home tutor wouldn't arrive for another forty minutes. He was actually still upstairs in his room.

I had a few spare moments, and, ready to face the day, I decided to check our mailbox. This is something I just don't do with regularity. I am simply NOT brave enough to leave our children unattended for the length of time it takes to walk down the driveway and across the street (and back) in order to collect the mail.

To any of my faithful readers, can you just guess what can happen in this house with that amount of unsupervised time?!

Today, ready to take on the day, I decided to walk across the street. Take the plunge. Gather that mail. And, when I arrived and opened the box, what I saw was a community of forgotten letters, gathering to discuss their neglectful owner and sub-par living conditions.

I looked at that pile and thought of the past week. No, collecting the mail was not on my list. What was on that list was the fact that my husband had a "glamorous" stint in the hospital for a few days. Single mama was therefore left to stand the ground in the name of our school phobic younger son to administrators (all while he was attached to my hip).

Keep it together, I thought. I don't have to be perfect. I just need to keep it together.

"I can't wait for the weekend!" our younger son exclaimed one day as we were leaving the hopsital.

That's when I remembered: our younger son's birthday party. GASP! He was expecting a party!

Let me get this straight: Two kids on the spectrum. One kid too scared of school. One kid not sleeping because of gastric pain. IEP issues with older son. Dad in the hospital. Doctor's appointments. Tutoring. Fighting/advocating my brains out. Must still make it to the mall every night for turn upon turn on that blessed carousel, and, by the way, PLAN A BIRTHDAY PARTY for a group of kids I don't even know and who I pray attend even though younger son hasn't attended school in weeks?

Are you kidding me???!!!

I thought of some starlett in Hollywood who cried to TV cameras because of a broken fingernail. I don't know why I thought of her. Maybe she'll be one of my multiple personalities one day. (joking)

After our son professed his excitement, I kicked into turbo and made something happen, venting to a few friends in my life who understood the circumstances of the week.

Mail. No. I did not check the mail.

Husband limped out of the hospital. We all scooted into the birthday party. And, I watched that little kid of ours like a hawk. I'm positive that, on the eve of his ninth birthday, he understands that he isn't going to school the way other kids go to school. He understands that he is coping with life differently. He understands that children CAN and DO form social relations...and he understands that he doesn't have any.

He probably thinks a lot about going into his school and being so overwhelmed that he crawls under a desk and goes mute.

So, there we were on Birthday Party Day, running around an amusement park, trying to create a party to forget the chaos that preceeded it.

I think we succeeded.

And, after a day of recovery, I sent our older son to school and finally decided to exhale...and check the mail.

Cards. That mailbox was filled with cards!!!

And more cards!

Even cards from overseas...

(And one addressed from "Some guy named 'Jo'"--I have that on video--Rumor has it, this "Jo" is actually a chick!)

So many cards addressed to our younger son with kind words and special touches that he began singing "Happy Birthday to me..." as he opened them! Birthday cards sent to my little Chattie Charlie, my shadow who is having a tough school year. Sent to him by members of my blogging group who know him merely from this blog but know enough to know that he is my heart.

Thank you EVERYONE for lifting him (and us) up during a challenging time. And, thank you--THANK YOU--for helping me to make turning nine a great experience! I'm not sure I could have done that on my own.



  1. Yay! I'm so glad he got a mailbox full of love! Oh, and that Jo--(s)he is a sweetheart!

  2. omg, how very stressful. I am glad you all got through it all and he had a great birthday.

  3. When Eluzabeth Word Nerd puts out a suggestion...we, who adore the Schindlers, RESPOND! Happy birthday again Will! I'm so glad you let them pile up!

    1. Or as she is more commonly known, Elizabeth! Stupid fat fingers on the phone. ♥

  4. So glad the day turned out well. (Hope the hospital stint turned out all right too.) So wished I'd known about/not missed the birthday card shout out - would have loved to be a part of it! Some days isn't life grand when a big old ray of sunshine peeks out when you open a mailbox door? And thanks for the pics - it was wonderful to see him enjoying them so much!

  5. So glad he had a lovely birthday and you lived to tell the tale. :D


  6. Awesome! I'm so glad to have been part of something wonderfully fun! :)

  7. So glad he enjoyed the cards and his birthday! Glad we could help. You'll have to give us a heads up when your older son's birthday is coming up so he won't feel left out.