Thursday, May 15, 2014

Beware the Ides of MAY

"It's such a perfect day." "The lawnmower stopped." "Look at the semi's - they're blocking the highway." "There is a meal in your refrigerator." "I watered my front porch." "Sure a car with less then 8,000 miles should need a new transmission." "It's not fair to the other students to accept it so late." 

Let me tell you about my May. Yes, I know it's only half way through - dang it. My tale involves a funeral, a snake, a chipmunk (may be more then one - who knows - they all look alike), a transmission, AP exams, the SAT, school, love, and friendship. Why, yes - that does pack a great deal into fifteen days.

Two weeks ago today, we buried my mother-in-law. This was totally unexpected, leaving unsaid words, and unshared hugs behind. My husband lost his first mother at four years old. He lost his second mother, the one he had since he was five years old, at 55. Are you ever prepared? As we drove to the cemetery from the funeral home, Coldplay came on. "It's such a perfect day." Our younger son pointed out the inappropriateness of the music. Of course, he was right. Then from our position as the second vehicle behind the hearse (we should have been fourth as the fourth child), we watched the time honored sign of respect of others, and their grief. The vehicles kept quietly moving to the side, pulling off where possible, just stopping in the lane where it wasn't possible. But the most touching moment didn't involve a car or truck. It involved a gentleman cutting his grass. Riding lawnmowers are cool. I'd like to have one. But they become elegant, when someone stops, climbs off, doffs his hat, and waits. I have no idea if he knew any of us. But we know his heart.

Since that day, we've traveled back home. Our older son tried to take the SAT. His first score was very good, and we suspect this one will not top it. It's hard when you're tired.

Both sons have hard course loads, and we're near the end of the semester. But our older son has organizational skills issues which is quite common with ADHD. It's hard for him to organize, and prioritize. It's showing now.  He's trying to juggle catching up work, with taking the SAT immediately after returning from his grandmother's funeral, and two AP exams, and normal school work. I wish I could say I've been a great help, but I haven't. But it was a little frustrating to hear from a teacher who imposed no deadline on a project he missed, tell me that it was two weeks late now, and she felt it was unfair to the other students to accept it this late. Yeah, life sucks. It didn't feel fair to lose so many people we love in the last year, and our dog, too. How about a break here? Yes, I know he needs to learn to do this stuff. Dang it, parenting is hard.

I've tried to answer the siren call of other commitments, and traveling to my parents, and then the car, ah the car. I won't say much other then - we need 1.5 days for lemon law status. It's been a peach, make that a lemon...almost. AND THAT'S ALL I'LL SAY....

Oh, the snake, and the chipmunk(s). I know you're dying to know about that (unless you're my Facebook friend - as most of you who might actually read something I wrote probably are - cause I have great, indulgent friends.) My friends already heard about the snake part. See I ran home from trying to help somebody. I had just enough time before meeting someone with a check for the Boy Scout troop (see the earlier statement about commitments...or being committed...sometimes it's hard to tell the difference in a Stephen King sorta way), when I stepped outside to water my flowers on the front porch. I STEPPED ON A SNAKE!! He did not BELONG on my front door mat. For the record, I now have a new door mat. It's very colorful. It is NOT black rubber allowing a black snake to blend. The word blend belongs to outfits, Pinterest, and margaritas - not to SNAKES. I threw the water in the air, thus watering the front porch. I screamed. No neighbors were around thus justifying the alarm system. No, I didn't kill him. I moved too fast to harm him, though it's amazing I didn't throw out my knee. Pretty sure I set a new land speed record.

Then I notice a hole in a board. On the roof. Between the garage, and the dining room. It doesn't look good. I think it's carpenter bees. I call two exterminators. One set says, "Don't bother us." OK - maybe it was a little different phrasing. Second set comes out, looks around, offers for $400, then $100 per month for several months they can "maybe" take care of it - but they aren't going to repair the board. That's when I call my trusted repair guy. Who takes one look, and says I think that might be squirrel damage. At which point his nephew leans out of his truck, and says. "Hey, I just saw a chipmunk come outta there." Ah...the snake wasn't laying in wait for me. He wanted Chip or Dale!! Take them, dude! Oh, and he only wants $150 total. Victory - take 'em where you can get 'em.

By now, I'm feeling whipped when Momma says, your Daddy is not doing well.

I noticed. He doesn't have an appetite. My father-in-law lost his appetite, too before he left us. We lost him last September. By now, I'm thinking that 2014 did NOT need to compete with the suckiness of 2013 where we lost my father-in-law, an uncle, an aunt, and our dog. But we've also lost one of my first cousins this year, and it's just not looking up.

So I sit here starting a pity party when the cat starts playing. He's having a good time. It's infectious. Then one of the sons comes up, and starts telling me about stuff. Stuff at school, stuff he's read, stuff he's interested in - who cares? He's a teenager, and he's talking to me. The other son is working hard, really working. He's gonna turn in that project. Whew. And I remember the dear, dear friends. The ones who put food in our refrigerator and a plant in our home. The ones who emailed, who sent cards, who called, who sent a text. The friends who gave us love. Dang it - pity party over. But if May would like to call off the dogs, I would appreciate it - greatly.

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