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Monthly Archives: May 2013

My Call of Duty

He’s waiting for my call.

I can see him, crouched over on his bed, trying to rouse himself out of his stupor; hoping a call from me will do the trick, maybe give him some reason to wake up.

I don’t want to call.

I haven’t wanted to call in years. Decades, maybe. But it’s not about what I want, it’s about what he needs. And what he needs is for me to check in on him daily, just to show him someone still cares, that someone is interested in whether he lives or dies. And that someone is me. There is nobody else.

He had his home health aide there earlier but he slept through her entire shift, and now he’s woken up alone. The table is covered with medications of all colors and sizes. The room is littered with books and papers and boxes of clutter. Ash from the cigarettes he shouldn’t be smoking dusts the room.

Getting from the bed to the bathroom is a dangerous escapade with his weakened legs and broken body. Through heavily medicated eyes, he considers his path. It is all so overwhelming, he allows himself the pleasure of closing them.  Sleep is a beautiful thing.

By the time he opens them again, it is over 20 minutes later, but he doesn’t feel the passage of time. He generally doesn’t feel anything, but of course, the pain. And a nagging urge for the bathroom. He considers his walker a few feet away. He should use it for support. He has fallen at least three times this week, and his body is sore from the damage. He can’t fall again.

He wonders if it’s his body that breaks down and then he falls, or his brain that loses focus causing him to fall. Probably both. More than once, he has been woken by his home health aide on the floor, where he fell. The effort to get back up is too much. The frustration unspeakable.

He eyes the walker. In this crowded space, it can be as much an asset as a detriment. Is he strong enough to go it alone? A heavy, head drooping sigh causes him to look down at his feet and notice the rash creeping up his legs. Problems, everywhere he looks. His glance focuses in on the ice cream he took out hours ago, melted on the counter. Oh well. He can pour cereal in it and have it for breakfast, if he ever gets up.

He begins to close his eyes again, telling himself he needs just a little more rest before he makes the attempt, but really he’s just unable to find the motivation to move himself.

The phone rings, distracting his thoughts, waking him a bit, taking him to a more hopeful place.

He’s waiting for my call.

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What’s a Girl to do? Act like a Boy.

If there are any boys reading this, please stop immediately. This is not about you. It’s for girls’ eyes only. Really, no big deal. You’re not missing anything. In fact, I think there’s a ball game on. Yep. And I left some chips on the table as well. That’s right, go on.  Good boy.

Okay.  Now that we’re alone, I’ve got something to tell you guys, uh, girls. I honestly can’t believe I’m going to say this, because it goes against some deep rooted beliefs, not to mention the dynamic of my marriage, but, brace yourselves – there are actually a few areas where girls could learn a thing or two from the boys. I know, I know. But, it’s true. Being the mom to three boys has taught me, that we ladies are not always right. Oh, man. Did I just admit that out loud?

Well now that I’ve gone and said it, I might as well give it you. Who knows, maybe one of you will actually listen and wind up a happier person. BAHAHAHAHA! Anyway, here’s my top five areas where I believe the boys have got us beat.

1. R E L A X I N G

I rush around, preparing them to catch the bus, ushering them to put on their shoes, finish their food, get in the car, while they meander about, moving in slow motion and half hearing my panicked pleas. It’s like they just don’t care if they’re late to school or a game or to pick up daddy at the train! They have an internal clock and it is set on laid back. While I think their time management kind of sucks, I am the stressed out one, and they are smiling goofs as I tornado around them in a storm of efficiency.

2. And on that note… Delegating

Work smarter, not harder. I don’t know any guy who gave up his chance at marriage and kids by being the office schmuck, but I do know a few girls. They’re really smart girls too, always willing to stay later, to prove themselves, to get it done right, and most importantly, to do it all themselves. For some reason, girls don’t like to share, even work. I guess, it’s because we think we do everything better. And, ahem, even if that’s generally true, the boys are doing less and walking away with more.

3. Confidence

Day in, day out, I am semi-consumed with my weight and my appearance. I study how my arms flab out, my skin gets pink and prickly, or how my stomach no longer seems completely attached to my stomach, but my boys, even the adult one, seem blissfully content as they pounce around naked, happily displaying themselves. Boys just beat each other up. We beat ourselves up.

4. Appearance

“Here, wear this.” I throw some sweats and a tee shirt at my son. He grabs it off the floor without looking and puts it on. I do that every morning to each kid, and each kid accepts my offering, in exactly the same manner, without complaint or interest. There is no feet stomping, laying out outfits days before, or refusal to wear any color other than ‘purple’. There’s no, I just must have Ugg Boots and Lululemon pants or I won’t fit in! (Oh wait, that was me). Boys don’t define themselves by what they are wearing, or use it to make themselves or others feel inadequate.  Clothes are just clothes. Although, I would appreciate if they made the effort to at least not wear them inside out or backwards.

5. Simply Simple

Comparing boys to girls of the same age is like comparing kittens to cubs.  They are both cuddly and cute, but the girls have claws and are dangerous, while the boys are just spitting puffs of fur. As the boys run, skip, barrel and roll all over the place, the girls are slowly licking their paws and stalking their prey. Sometimes, it’s nice to stop the grooming and calculation and just jump on the pile up. Roll around, get dirty, and say what you want! “I need to poop!” might be the frequently verbalized expression in my house, followed closely by “Mommy, can you get me…” And “I need a hug.”

There’s not a lot to figure out there.

Of course, my boys (besides the grown-up one) haven’t hit puberty yet, so this can all change in a few short hormones. But I think these generalities are actually pretty standard, just as, what just happened in my house a minute ago.

Boy 1 – Mom, can you get me a snack?

Boy 2 – Mom, can you find my other sneaker?

Boy 3 – Mom, I need to Poop!

And there I go, getting snacks, finding sneakers and appreciating his shit. So I’d say, for everything I know, I pretty much haven’t learned a thing.

Crap.

Forget I said anything.

Now, that's confidence.

He’s sexy and he knows it! Dirt pile, here he comes!