Archive for the ‘children’ category

Reflections Of A Hectic Soul

August 17th, 2010

This poor space of not much happening. The tumbleweeds and cobwebs have been finding their home in this once frequently updated spot. I wish I could fully explain what has been happening. But once the crazy hectic that is my day is over and it time for quiet reflection, communicating with others is the last thing on my mind.

My friends have suffered. My personal blog has been sorely neglected. Once upon a time, I had told myself that I would update this spot at least three times a week. Even if it were just a paragraph or two. But I am the type that does not believe in stories that begin with “once upon a time.” They are filled with grand dreams and desires but contain little reality.

My life continues to take twists and turns that were never envisioned and I find myself sorely unprepared. The last three months have been overflowing with high highs and low lows. I realize I find myself thinking and sharing this often. And no sooner do I think, “things can’t get any more insane and peculiar”, life decides to show me different.

And because I am a person of privacy, a person who keeps the really good things and really bad things close to my chest, because I’m the type who withdrawals frequently to a Fortress of Solitude which later became my Batcave, during these moments, the rest of the world outside of my teeny tiny circle becomes invisible. For me it is a necessity. And if something threatens the inner then the outer starts to collapse. I am the type who needs to feel secure within my nucleus world before I can feel secure in my interactions with the outside forces. And at times, I am feeling as if my core is beginning to fracture. So my energy has been focused on making sure that I remain whole.

It really isn’t all doom and gloom. There have been way more moments of awesome than not. And the not isn’t what I would consider terrible, it just needs a little more support and care. I’ve been needing to focus my energies on the things that fall under the category of “makes a real difference in my life at the end of the day” and allowing the “it is pretty window dressing, neat and cool but at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it doesn’t really change anything” to be ignored.

At times though, I feel as if I am not being perfectly honest with people. And I’m not quite sure what to do there, especially as I’m known for being unfailingly honest and blunt. People ask me how I’m doing and they get the default answer of, “I’m good.” Which isn’t a total lie. Overall, I really am quite swell. Sure my Lupus has been a real pain lately. I’m the worse I have been in years. I’m not as bad as I once was but I haven’t been this beat up in a couple of years. So “I’m good” is a completely valid answer to an extent, as it could be and has been much worse. However, I guess this is my own “Lupus Lie“. I’ve never fully shared the extent of my Lupus until just very recently. And only 1 person has heard the full, unedited truth of the situation.

People ask how the boys are doing. Again, the answer is, “They’re good.” And they are. But they are each going through different things right now. My heart breaks for them. But they fall under the sacred category so only 1 person will hear the entire truth on that situation as well. I had a conversation with Kid2 the other night that nearly devastated me. I suppose I haven’t been doing as fantabulous job as normal masking the pain that I am in lately.

As we were curled up watching a movie together, out of the blue he asked, “Mom… why isn’t there more focus on Lupus fundraising? Why do people care more about Cancer than they do Lupus? Do they not understand Lupus can kill you too? I don’t understand why nobody cares…” And then he went into his quiet place. I considered him for a moment and tried to mask the tears in my eyes and voice, and responded, “I think maybe it is because more people get Cancer than Lupus. Cancer is easier to understand, treat and diagnose than Lupus.” He came back with, “More reason to research Lupus instead of Cancer. They have the answers for Cancer. They don’t for Lupus. I don’t want you to die.” What do you say when your 11 year old says that to you? How do you respond to such adult questions coming from such a young child? How do you cope with something that no child should ever have to think about? I did the only thing I could think of. I gave him a hug and a kiss on the head and told him that I loved him and he is never to forget that.

And then there is my relationship. Despite the fodder, it is doing just fine. We may each be going through different things at the moment and individually may not be doing so brilliantly but we are fine. I suppose people ask because they are concerned. However, my gut reaction is to respond with either “None of your fucking business” or “We are doing horribly. Does that make you happy?” As with my children, this is sacred. So the really important things do not get discussed in public. If I wanted people to know, I’d tell them. But only after clearing what is okay and not okay to talk about with the other person in this relationship. Because after all, we are the ones that are in it. Not the observers who whisper and gossip in dark corners and then fish for information. So again, they get the “We’re okay” because we are even if individually, it isn’t the entire truth. But the whole truth is nobody’s business but our own.

It feels weird even sharing this much. But I am tired. I am feeling like a dartboard caught in the middle of all these different spheres that I use to keep quite separate from each other. Somehow they have managed to meld and collide. My friend life has mixed with my relationship life. My family life has mixed with my friend life. My relationship life has mixed with my family life. What use to be quite distinct worlds that never shall meet have mixed and mingled. What use to be clear and defined boundaries have become a blur, leaving me to build new lines in an effort to keep the core whole and secure.

At the end of the day when I’ve had time to reflect, after being bombarded by “how are things?” emails and messages and feeling like every body is being nosy and not respected my boundaries, I can conclude that they do it because they care. They may not show it in a way that I am comfortable with and instead show it in a way I find quite intrusive but for the most part I can conclude they care. The problem  is (and most would not agree this is a problem), too many people care. And I’m not always sure that they care for the right reasons. My energy is finite at the moment. It only has enough real focus for my inner most relationships: my children, my relationship and myself. Everything else is just window dressing. So instead of answering a million questions about how life is, I blog. Then I just have to say it once and if they honestly wanted to know, if they honestly cared, they will read it and understand.

I also have so much awesome going on right now. Like a lot! And I can’t share that either. SETEC ASTRONOMY (too many secrets). When the time is right, people will know. As I’ve written, things are mostly really good. I have a lot of pretty amazing things going on right now. I’ve been presented with some really cool opportunities as of late. These opportunities may not be paying off monetarily (which seems to be important for a few people in my life) but… well I think people will understand why that does not matter once I am able to share.

I’m blessed. I have solid relationships and a beautiful family. But my core is a little rattled at the moment, leaving my soul hectic and feeling frenzied. In time, I will reach a new state of equilibrium. I just ask that people are patient. I ask that people allow me to come out of this on my own time. The more I feel pushed and pressured into being sociable and “happy Jules”, the more I retreat because I don’t feel as if my needs are being respected. I feel as if people only care about their need for a happy Jules and not my need for space.

Honestly, I am good. I am just in my cave at the moment, taking care of the things that are truly important. When I am ready, when I am done reflecting on my hectic soul, I will emerge once more. I always do. And honest to bob, I think you will all squee with me when I can share the really awesome that is going on at the moment. I just thought I owed it to every one (mostly myself because I needed to get a few things off of my chest and erect some lines) to update this space and disperse with some of the cobwebs.

Devastation

July 28th, 2010

It is 4 o’clock in the morning and it will probably be quite some time later by the time I’m done writing this blog. Why on earth would I be blogging at 4 in the morning and not sleeping? Because my mind is spinning in a whirling dervish of thoughts and my gut is aching. To put it bluntly, I am devastated. And honestly, it is not as terrible as it may sound. This devastation is actually quite a good thing.

Yesterday was the Spintunes round 3 listening party. For those of you who may not be in the know of what is Spintunes, it is a song writing competition. I am one of the judges for this competition. The challenge for round 3 was to write a sad song about a normally happy event: birth. Not only was it to be a sad song, but a real tearjerker. The words “happy” and “birthday” were not to be used.

Once the deadline for each round has passed, I host a listening party in ustream. It is an opportunity for every one to listen to the songs for (mostly) the first time before they are available to the general public for listen and download. And during this listening party, I am on web cam so that people can not only hear me but see me.

I had tweeted a few time prior to this round’s listening party that I was worried about having my cam on. I didn’t want to give away any reactions to this round. I didn’t want to let on in any way if I felt (in the literal sense of the word) that people met the challenge. It totally takes away from the judges not allowed to give any real type of feedback before our rankings and reviews go live. And if the songs did indeed jerk tears out of my eyes, well the jig is up.

For a brief moment, I had contemplated not having my cam on but then decided against it. I thought I would be able to distract my brain enough, through multitasking and throwing in happy songs for breaks, that there would be no emotional responses. I failed miserably at said distraction and broke in front of those who were in attendance. 1 song jerked tears. 1 song broke me. 1 song completely devastated me. It was all I could do to keep it somewhat together and not completely crumple over with emotional pain.

I was very worried about this possibility which became reality. I had a strong feeling that this round would be quite difficult for me to listen to. I had also strongly hoped that every one would fail miserably, leaving me to have to judge from an objective perspective instead of having to include the emotional perspective as well. In my first review, I wrote that if a song elicits an emotional response from me, that is a very good thing.

I have a very difficult time emoting. Strong emotions are quite foreign to me. I never know what to do with them when they happen. But I am always thankful when something aides me in achieving a significant dam-breaking flood of emotion. But I didn’t want to have the emotional break in this round even so it was the point of the challenge. Plus, it was a challenge that I strongly advocated be the way it ended up being.

This doesn’t make sense, does it? Let me see if I can explain this in an adequate way. It may be difficult because the flood of tears will not end and my gut will not stop twisting in knots of pain and sorrow. And if I do not purge, I think I may collapse in a heap on the floor, curl up in the fetal position and tremble with the ferocity of the Big Bang. Honestly, this is not a terrible thing. What I am currently experiencing is actually quite therapeutic. I am quite grateful for it all. Okay… I should explain and hopefully I do not break any rules I am bound by as a judge in the process.

This round hits way too close to home for two reason. I knew people would write (among other topics) songs about either losing their child at birth or about the mom dying during childbirth. I almost lost Kid2. When you are pregnant, you have all types of “what if” thoughts. At least I did. You want your baby to be healthy. You want to have an uneventful pregnancy. You want all of these things and more. But if you are the realistic type, like I am, then you think about the other things just in case. You try your best to mentally prepare yourself for all scenarios… just in case.

Well, there is no such thing as being prepared for it. Nothing can prepare you for that gut wrenching and heart sinking feeling when the doctor informs you there is something wrong with the baby. The bottom falls out of your world. The world become vacuous and fuzzy and speeds up and slows down and it is all you can do to remain calm and not want to die yourself. What you wouldn’t do to insure that your baby lives. Even if that means giving up your own life. Nothing is more important than the life you’ve chosen to grow inside of you. This thing that is technically a parasite, eating away at your resources, becomes your entire Universe.

I knew my children before they were born. They were my sun and my moon from the moment I had confirmation they were growing and developing inside of me. It was a bit of a trial to get pregnant. It was something I wanted more than anything in the world. All of my life I knew my most important job was to be a mom. That was going to be my major role in life. So when I was told there was something wrong with Kid2, I was devastated beyond words. It took every ounce of strength I had to continue through my day to day, doing whatever was needed to guarantee that he would experience his first breath and grow up to be a man.

Part of this involved possible surgery on his brain while he was still in utero. When I was told they may have to do BRAIN SURGERY before he was even born, once again it was all I could do to remain outwardly calm while on the inside I was a hot sick mess. The moment to moment living that I use to get through my Lupus became of the utmost importance for both my mental and emotional survival. Thankfully, over time, the problem in his brain started to correct itself (the problem would take quite a long time to explain. If you’ve read my book then you are familiar with it). We were told that he had a pretty good change of coming through the pregnancy fine. Of course we wouldn’t know for certain until he was born and they did CT scans and closely watched his development as he grew up.

And then came childbirth and he almost didn’t make it. After all the fighting and remaining calm and trying to be optimistic while remaining realistic throughout the pregnancy was almost for nothing. He turned quite frequently while I was in labour causing the cord to wrap around his neck three times. The last 20 minutes of labour and delivery, his heart rate dropped down to 40 beats a minute every time I had a contraction. At that point, my contractions were 2 minutes long and only 20 second apart. So for a good period of time, he was being strangled plus having a heart rate drop down to almost nothing for a significant period of time without time to recover.

When his head emerged from the birth canal, the silence in the room was deafening. I looked to his dad for signs of what was going on. All my doctor told me, in a calm yet very assertive manner, “Whatever you do, Do. Not. Move. Or Push. Until I give you the word.” I read the books. I’ve seen movies. Those are not the words you want to hear. Again, it was all I could do to listen to what he was telling me to do and not panic and kill my baby. Desperately, I searched the room for answers. Desperately, I held on to my own strength. Desperately, I fought so that my baby could breathe. I just wanted him to breathe. Silence. The most painful silence one could ever know.

Finally, I was given the go ahead to push. Only to have to stop again because his collar bone got caught in my pubic bone and my doctor had to do fancy manipulation to get him out without breaking him. Once again in a very calm yet stern fashion, my doctor ordered me to not move until given the go ahead.

These two instances were only moments long but they felt like an eternity. Time stood still. The world around me ceased to exist. All that was left was the pounding of my heart, the screaming in my head and the sick feeling in my stomach, pulsating, threatening to explode at any moment. He was out.

Why wasn’t he crying? WHY IS HE NOT CRYING? WHY IS NOBODY TALKING? SOMEBODY TALK TO ME!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY BABY!?! Oh please God, somebody talk to me!! He is my baby, please, please, please, let him live. WHY IS HE NOT CRYING??? Oh God, no…

5 minutes later, after a lot of frantic motions from the doctors and nurses, he cried. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. Someone asked on Twitter tonight, “Can some girl please describe how you feel seeing your baby for the first time? happy? Joy? Victory? I’m not even a father….” My response, “Soul exploding joy. I don’t think it is really all that describable aside from saying that intoxicating feeling of being in love to the power of the speed of light to the power of infinity.” The moment Kid2 finally cried, when he finally took his first breath, it was as if I had taken my first breathe. The moment I knew he was alive, I was alive. I fell in love with him before he was even born and there he was. He was battered and bruised, had awful discolouration as a result of being cyanotic, had Klingon ridges and scratches which remain scars to this day. This made him quite ugly in many ways, but he was also the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes upon. He was a miracle.

So yeah… there is that. I don’t think I could properly explain the horror that is almost losing your child. I would have been devastated if he died. Based on my past attempts to prepare myself for the possibility of complications of pregnancy and almost losing a child and failing at said attempt, I don’t think I could ever prepare myself for the loss of my child. I can speculate. I can trick myself into thinking I am prepared for that event. But I do not think you can ever properly prepare yourself for that. And because I came so very close to losing a child I fought for, that I had planned for, I have the utmost empathy for any parent who was not as fortunate. And because of this, this round hits really close to home.

And then there is the whole losing the parent thing. Obviously I am still alive and my children didn’t lose me during childbirth. Their fathers will never have to explain to them those events. Their fathers will never have to remind them from the day they were born how much their mother loved them, even before they took their first breath. But my children do face losing me now. And this kills me.

I’ve written about this before. It is why the movies Stepmom and Finding Neverland leave me a hot sick mess. I don’t even want to begin to imagine what it will be like for them if the complications of Lupus rear their ugly heads and leave them motherless. It is why I wrote my book. So that they will have something, always always, to remember me by. I’ve left them my stories. I’ve left them love letters. I’ve done the things that fathers have to do with their babies when they are left motherless. And it breaks my heart. I’m not saying losing your mother at birth is the same. But it is relatable and as a result, I greatly empathize with both the parent left to tell the stories (I cannot count how many tears were shed as I was leaving a record for my children) and the children without a mother.

I think I needed this cry. I don’t think I have ever fully dealt with the emotions related to Kid2’s birth. I was so busy surviving and getting through the moment, I didn’t take the time to actually let it hit me. If I had done so… well I don’t think it would be good. I don’t know if I will ever fully deal with the emotions surrounding these events. Every time I think about the sadness of it, I feel as if I am doing the wonder and joy of it a disservice. I should be counting my blessings and not dwelling in the sorrow. And of course, that is what I do.

But every now and then, events will take place that bring it all back up to the surface as if it were my current reality. So I have to stop. Remember. Be thankful. All the while, allowing myself to give into the devastation.

In Which I Tell The Tale Of The Crispy-Fried Child

July 6th, 2010

My mommy heart is breaking right now. And yet, I can’t help but to laugh. I suppose that is what happens when you raise a child who is so overly dramatic. So many things with him are such a production. The way he expresses himself in times of sadness, pain and frustration, are right out of a sitcom. Grand hand gestures, elastic facial expression, quirky bodily movements, exaggerated speech, over the top physicality become his norm. And even so the mommy heart breaks, it is all one can do to not burst out into laughter.

Kid2 got a sunburn today. And not just any sunburn. My poor, pathetic child is a wonderful fiery crimson. It is enough to make the angriest sunset jealous. He came home from a sleepover feeling tired, miserable and in a lot of pain. At first I had no idea until he asked me a question. I could hear the sound of suppressed tears. I asked him what was wrong and was met with a very grumpy and pain-filled, “I’m tired and I have a frikken bad sunburn! OKAY!!” Sheepishly, I responded, “Oh sweetheart… Okay, to stop the burning, what we need to do is…” “I don’t want to hear it! I just want to be left alone! Please…”

I swallowed my instinct to completely mother him. He is so much like me. He is stubborn, strong-willed and becomes cave-dweller when something is bothering him. Like me, he needs to be left alone until he is ready for help and asks for it. So I told him to go do what it is he wants to do and if he wants my help, come and find me.

Shortly thereafter, I found him asleep on the couch. Watching my child with the crimson-coloured-angry-skin sleep was quite saddening. I was tempted to put cold, wet clothes all over him while he slept in order to stop the burning. But heaven forbid I wake the Angry Dragon. So patiently I waited for him to wake up and allow me to fix.

Accompanied by painful cries, he awoke a couple hours later. It was so completely pathetic and terrible. I asked him once more if he’d allow me to help him. He said yes, much to my own relief. I took one of his shirts, ran it under cool water and attempted to put it on him. I may as well have been beating him. The loud yet silent cries which ushered from his mouth were the most unbearable things to hear. Holding back my own tears, I left him alone as he wanted when the torture session was over.

A short while later, hunched over in the doorway, he asked me at what temperature it would be safe for him to have a shower. I gave him the instructions and down the hallway he creeped in an Igor-esque fashion. 45 minutes later he emerged, hair dripping and what I told him should be a damp shirt was leaving a trail of water wherever he went. And this is where the pathetic tale starts to turn oh so comedic but still so very pathetic.

Kid2 (shoulders hunches and pain in his voice): What time did I go to bed last night?

Me (puzzled): I don’t know, hun. You were at a sleepover last night.

Kid2 (half through tears in an over-dramatic fashion): What?!?! You mean… it is still the same day?!?!

Me (a smile trying to crack my face): Yes it is, love.

Kid2 (with the frustration of a 1000 men who have prematurely ejaculated): OH GAAAAWD! (looking up to the sky) WHY?!?! I just want this day to end!

Me (wanting to cry and burst into laughter at the same time): *sigh* Oh sweetheart…

Kid2 (almost fully on the verge of tears): This is the worst day EVER!

His brother had arrived home while he was in the shower. I told him he needs to leave Kid2 alone and not tease him because he has a horrible sunburn and is not in the best of moods. Can you guess how well he took that under advisement?

Kid1: Hey. You realize you are a ginger don’t you? And therefor burn easily? Dude! Why did you take off your shirt?

Kid2 (hands up in the air, through tears and completely exacerbated): GEEZ! I forgot, OKAY! I will NEVER forget again! GAAAAAAWD! Just leave me alone!… This is the worst day ever (collapses into couch face first with hands covering face and sobs)

Is it awful that I can’t help but to giggle over this? Am I a terrible person. I am the type of person who laughs at the most inappropriate and morbid things. I really have a whacked sense of humour. I feel so terrible for him. My heart is breaking over his pain and the fact I don’t have a quick cure to make both the emotional and physical pain he is currently suffering just disappear. But my God, this kid is hilarious even when ill.

It Really Is All My Fault

May 29th, 2010

I love my kids. I love them to bits and pieces. And not only do I love them but I actually like who they are as people. But there are days where I look up in exasperation and think, “why me?!?” I should never have named them and given them an identity. I should never have taught them to speak, never mind teach them how to speak for themselves and speak their minds. I should never had taught them to tell me anything and that I may not always approve but I will never love them any less. (Even so I am whining right now, in all honesty I wouldn’t change it for a thing.)

The last 2 days have been filled with many moments of laughter at the crazy things they say to me and many moments of “WTF!?! No parent wants to hear this stuff! LA LA LA LA I can’t hear you!” I will even turn to them and say, “DUDE! Really! Oh dear GOD! Why did you have to tell me that?” Only for them to smile and walk away. And even so part of me is serious, there is a bigger part that says, “Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life even though the pod people have taken you and you are NUTS! THANK YOU for not shutting me out and not being afraid to tell me ANYTHING.” And I really mean, anything. They don’t hold back.

The last two days have been a long series of “that’s what she said”s. My youngest realizing just how dirty the word “geekasm” is and what it eludes to and a long conversation about how it could be wrong that we shared one together. My youngest telling me “You know what, mom. If a girl ever asks me what my favourite planet is, I’m gonna tell her Uranus. Isn’t that funny? Yeah, Uranus. I can’t wait to see her reaction. Now I just hope a girl asks me what my favourite planet is.” Ah man, there are a lot of other things but I think my brain has blocked it out of existence in an effort to preserve what little sanity I have left.

But this also leads to some pretty cool moments of sharing. My oldest just played one of the best jokes on my youngest. He took him outside under the guise of showing him a magic trick. They searched the neighbourhood for a seeded dandelion as it was part of this. The trick goes: 1) You tell someone to hide a leaf on their body. 2) Once the leaf is hidden, you tell them that the dandelion is going to detect where the leaf is. 3) You “scan” their body (as if going through airport security) with the dandelion while making beeping noises. 4) You tell them to open their mouth so that you can do a full body scan. 5) You shove the seeded dandelion in their mouth.

When they returned home, Kid1 told me what he had done to his brother so that his brother couldn’t attempt it on me. The practical joker inside of me howled but the mother, while trying to suppress a laugh, had to tell him, “That’s mean!” He had told me that his brothers reaction was, “Dude! That’s awesome! I can’t wait to do that to someone esle!” as he was spitting out bits of dandelion. Then once his brother left the room, he informed me of another joke he is going to pull on his brother. This joke involves my help. I have to say, it is pretty mean and pretty damn awesome and I can’t wait!

So, yeah. It really is my fault. I tell them to be themselves. I tell them to stand up for what they believe in. I tell them that if an authority figure is abusing their power, do something about it. I introduce them to all kinds of things that are a little bit off. I treat them like real people. I tell them that they can come to me and tell me anything. And so they do. At least when they are adults, they have a solid self-assured foundation. But man oh man, my house is rather insane at times and there are days that my head wants to explode due to TMI.

I really wouldn’t change it for a thing.

In Which Kid2 And I Share A Geekasm

May 28th, 2010

Today was full of awesome and win. And I thought an experience I shared last night with Kid2 wouldn’t be able to be topped for awhile.

Last night, The Hoff somehow came up in conversation. I decided to share some of my most favourite cheesy Hoff music videos with Kid2. And he loved them almost as much as I do. It was a pretty fun thing to share with him. It was nice to see him share the same enthusiasm that I do for things that are just a little bit off. I keep trying to figure out if I am a bad influence or a good influence on my children as I expose them to things children normally have to come upon on their own or that in “normal” households, they cannot share the joy with their parents. I thought it would be awhile before an equally awesome event would take place. And then earlier today, was The Awesome Hour.

Wil Wheaton is currently at the Phoenix Comic Con. He has this thing that he does at conventions called The Awesome Hour. He blogged about it yesterday and I called him a tease for not sharing with his readers the epiphany he had come up with that would later become The Awesome Hour. Then today, just as it was about to start, he tweeted that it would be streamed live over this thing called the internets. This made a happy Jules a very happy Jules indeed.

Just as it was starting, Kid2 came whizzing into the house (as he does) with a quick “Hi!” and “Bye! Going to go whiz through Splinter Cell again!” Then this streak of a child went flashing down the corridor. I called out, “Hey! You! Not so fast! Wil is speaking. Do you want to come and listen with me?” He replied with, “I’ve heard Wil speak, mom. Maybe another time”, as he began to turn to make his exit. Before he could get a quarter of the way there, I informed him that Wil is currently speaking live at a convention and we can listen to it live! Online! We don’t even have to leave the comfort of being pantless to attend a convention that is 2620.012 km away! He found this idea to be pretty intriguing and pulled up a chair beside me. (Isn’t living in the future awesome!)

Near the beginning of his talk, Wil was speaking about the Atari 2600. Holy jumping jellybeans! If only you could see Kid2’s face as it lit up as Wil spoke about gaming. And to make it even more awesome, about gaming from the 80s. Kid2 loves the 80s. There are times I think he knows more about the 80s than I do and I grew up in the them. Kid2 wasn’t even a glimmer in his dad’s eye at that time. It really was this super cool thing to watch as Kid2’s face was pointing towards me. However, he was looking passed me as he cocked his left ear to listen ever so intently to the words Wil spoke.

As Kid2 looks passed me, I found myself staring back at him while the tones of Wil’s voice faded into the background. I watched the sparkle in his eyes, his mouth curl with half smiles. I watched him fist pump the air, only to be jostled back into reality when Kid2 would exclaim, “O.M.G! MOM! This is freaking rad!” and I would have turn my ear back to what was being said so that I could comment and have a geeky conversation with my son. We laughed at how Wil has thrown around “that’s what she said” with his boys, as it is a common occurrence in this house. We had discussions about all the games Wil mentioned as they are some of Kid2’s favourites. We talked about how Wil’s kids are weird since they would tell Wil he’s weird when really he isn’t (clarification: my children call me weird all the time. But in this house it is a compliment as my boys think I am pretty damn cool). I smiled every time Kid2 would comment about how similar Wil and I are.

That actually use to be a running joke with my ex. I would say something or talk about something, only for Wil to tweet almost the exact same thing or blog about it shortly afterwards. He would joke that Wil and I were long lost twins even so we are 3.5 years apart. Something about a tear in the space-time continuum messing with when I came into existence as you hear and see me now. And this is the major reason why I enjoy Wil the way I do. Not because of some silly crush that formed when I was 10. But because we are the same “people”.

Our lives developed very similarly. An example of that is when he was 25ish he had two boys, the oldest being 5ish. When I was 25ish, I had to two boys, my oldest being 5. We also share A LOT of the same geeky/nerdy obsessions. We have the same warped sense of humour. And we are basically the same age. Even so I didn’t literally grow up with him in the sense where we grew up as friends and hanging out etc, I did grow up with him and he was the first geeky person for me to be acquainted with in some manner. It was nice having someone similar to me having the same experiences I would have but a couple years before me so that I knew what was to come.

So, of course it makes me happy that he is one of the people Kid2 looks up to. When I was Kid2’s age, I was the lone geek/nerd. I wasn’t teased for it by my peers. They always seemed to just accept it. But I had no one to really look up to or to relate with. I had no models in the media to let me know that it was cool and okay. I had to tread these waters alone. It wasn’t until adulthood and the internets that I was able to find my tribe and by that time, I was too old for role models.

And even so I think my boys have a pretty cool geeky role model in me, it comforts me that they get to have role models outside of me. They were born into this geeky family which my generation had to go through a lot of teasing and pain to create and have it be accepted. It makes me smile with a stupid grin that my once childhood crush is now one of Kid2’s biggest role models. (Don’t tell Wil. He gets a little self-conscious when he has to think about these things.)

The Awesome Hour was almost over and Kid2 decided he didn’t want to listen to anymore of the Q&A and really needed to tear through Splinter Cell for like the billionth time. He went into the living room and played his game. But every now and then I would hear a big cheer as Wil would mention things such as, people who think girls shouldn’t like these things are stupid. There was an even louder cheer (and I swear I heard a fist pump) when Wil said geek girls are hawt (and a “Mom, Wil thinks you’re hawt! They don’t get much geekier than you, mom!). And an “all right!” when Wil said he was left handed (Kid2, even so he is ambi, decides to use his left more than his right).

I have to say The Awesome Hour was pretty damn awesome. And not because of what Wil had to say (don’t get me wrong he is a great speaker and very funny) but because I got to geekasm with my 11 year old son. We may have been geekasming over different things, as our heads were in different places, but I cannot think of a better way to spend time with my son. Thank you, internets. Thank you, future. Thank you, Wil.

Questions About My Lupus

April 23rd, 2010

Ever since I announced my World Lupus Day project a few days ago, I have been getting a lot of questions about my lupus, both in public and private. And for that I am thankful. However, here is the suck ass thing about it. I am going through a flare at the moment. And it is starting to totally kick my ass. I have a lot going on in my life right now and one of the retarded things about lupus (well my lupus anyway) is that when anything extra happens (whether it is good or bad), the added stresses impact me in big ways. The thing being attacked the worse at the moment is my brain. Because of this, I have been finding type communication that much more difficult.

I want to answer your questions. It is very important to me that I answer your questions. But I feel to answer them properly, I cannot do so in text format. It literally hurts to do so, both physically and mentally. So this is what I am asking. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask you questions. Leave them here in the comments section. Then on Sunday night, I will answer them in audio format and upload it as a podcast. I may even include some relevant chapters from my book. I will try not to cry this time a I did when I read the introduction when I was interviewed by TMA but somehow I think that will prove difficult.

Any questions that come in after Sunday, I will still answer them but I cannot guarantee how quickly I can get to them as the deadline for my World Lupus Day project gets closer. I need to conserve my energy at the moment if I am going to get this done.

You really all are truly awesome and you’re support has been so overwhelming.

And Then He Was 11

April 16th, 2010

Kid2 is 11 today (officially at 22:14 PDT). For me, this birthday has a few different feelings surrounding it. This entire week I have been reliving the week leading up to his birth. He was born on a Friday and well… today is Friday. It was at the beginning of this week (which started with over 24 hours of false labour) that one of the longest weeks of my life began.

A week of having to convince the OB/GYN to approve an early induction because I was done with this pregnancy. I was done worrying if they would have to do surgery on his brain while he was still inside of me. I was done worrying if the swelling would return. I was done with the way too many doctor’s appointments. I was done and needed him out of me. I needed to hold him. I needed to touch him. I needed to breathe him.

Today marks the 11 year anniversary of those needs becoming a reality. Today is the anniversary of a day spent planning for the arrival of our newest addition. Today is the anniversary of trying to distract my brain until 17:00 PDT when I was to show up at the hospital to have my water broken. Today is the anniversary of 9 long months, followed by 5 hrs and 14 minutes of the most unimaginable pain coupled with complication, ending with one of the most joyous moments of my life, when Kid2 FINALLY took his first breath and screamed his big head off. I don’t even know where to begin expressing how wonderfully joyful this is (especially since he almost didn’t make it through the pregnancy) and how extremely difficult it is to watch your children grow up and allow them to be their own person. He certainly is his own person and an amazing one at that.

I had thought I would include here the story of his birth which can be found in my book. That doesn’t seem appropriate for a few reason. I thought I would try and summarize some of the highlights from his life. That does not seem adequate. How can you effectively summarize the joys and pains of raising a beautiful young man? I don’t think I ever can.

So I guess that all I can really do is wish him a happy birthday, remind him how he truly is a miracle and maybe the last paragraph of his story is appropriate:

Even during the hardest of times, [Kid2] has been a constant source of humour and joy in my life. I have not even for the briefest of moments considered what my life would have been like had I decided to stay with my decision to tie my tubes and not have another child. He is one of my reasons.

Grab A d12 And A Chess Board And Game!

March 20th, 2010

Kid2 has decided once again to invent a new game with his friends. This one involved a d12 and a chess board. Rules are as follows:

1) Set up the chess board as normal.

2) Grab your d12.

3) Rolling the die determines the number of spaces your chess piece can move up, diagonally or backwards.

4) If an opponent is in front, diagonally or behind you, you can attack.

5) If an opponent is directly beside you in any direction, you can kill them without having to move at the beginning of your turn.

6) If you are advancing, you can only advance as far as another team piece. Exception is the Knight, which can jump over other pieces as it advances on the board.

Last team standing wins.

So there it is. Pretty simple I think. It may sound like a stupid game to some, however I find it awesome that my 10 year decided to take one of his favourite games (chess), grab a die and create something new with it.

In Which Kid2 Stands Up For What He Believes

February 15th, 2010

There has to be a better word to describe your amazing children than just amazing. And the word proud doesn’t even begin to articulate how I feel. I have raised my boys to stand up for what they believe in and to voice their opinions. I have raised my children to not allow themselves to be bullied by anyone. They have a wonderful sense of self and it shows.

Kid2 has been doing a lot of standing up for himself, others and for what he believes lately. When he comes home from school and tells me some of the stories, part of my high fives him and part of me winces as I wonder what on earth his school possibly thinks about his actions. A couple examples of this is: 1) he circulated a petition at school that he was going to present to the Principal in an effort to get a substitute teacher reprimanded for her bullying behavior towards the students, 2) this same teacher tried to take away snack and PE as punishment for the children not behaving. Despite worry that he may be sent to the Principal’s office, he stood up in front of the class and told the teacher she was not allowed to this as it was against the law (1 hour of daily physical activity is MANDATORY in this province for school aged children. The school is responsible for providing part of that physical activity on a daily basis and the parents are responsible for the rest. Snack time is mandatory as well). Then he told her that if she did, he would leave the classroom to go immediately to the Principal and tell. The teacher backed down and responded with, “well you guys just are bad and are behaving poorly.” He came home to tell me the story and I was very proud that he was not afraid to stand up for his and his fellow classmates’ rights regardless that it was a person in authority breaking them. Today was another such incident.

Because the Olympics are happening right now and because this province is hosting them, they are having to learn all about them. I am anti-Olympics being in B.C. for a lot of reasons. Kid2 knows this but I have never told him my reasons. When he asked what my reasons were, I told him that he needs to form his own opinions regarding the Olympics and choose for himself if he was for or against them. It is not my place to push my beliefs on this matter onto him and told him to do his own investigations. So without telling me that is what he did. Today the teacher gave the students the following assignment: Watch the Olympics daily and report back on how Canada did.

Upon receiving this assignment, Kid2 (he is 10) told the teacher there is no way he would be doing this assignment. When asked why not, he responded with “because I do not believe the Olympics should be here and will not support them let alone watch them on TV.” The teacher then asked him why he didn’t support the Olympics and he said, “Because of the Olympics being in BC, education and health care were cut. Because of the Olympics being in BC, important social programs were cut. Because of the Olympics being in BC, taxes are going up. Because of the Olympics being in BC, jobs are being lost. Because of the Olympics being in BC, homeless are being kidnapped from the streets of Vancouver and relocated so that they do not embarrass the province. Because of the Olympics being in BC, poor people were evicted from their houses to make room for athletes. Because of the Olympics being in BC, access to part of Vancouver are being restricted. Because of the Olympics being in BC, we have lost our free speech and can go to jail for being anti-Olympics. And there are more things I still need to read about.”

When he told me about the conversation my mind did a mix of cheering and thinking “oh crap!” But what happened as a result of him standing up for his convictions was pretty awesome. The teacher told him he did not have to watch the Olympics. That instead he would do a different project. He has to make a poster stating why he is anti-Olympics.

Free speech may be dead for a lot of people right now as a result of the Olympics but I am so happy that it is alive and well in my child’s classroom. I am very proud of him at this moment. This is just another example of something huge that he has done to make sure he is heard and standing up for what he believes despite fear of prosecution.

Superhero

February 9th, 2010

I have seriously awesome children.  If you have ready any of my blog posts about my children, you may have a small idea of just how fantabulous they are. Today Kid2 reached a new level of beyond wonderful.

Upon return from school today, he burst through the door declaring, “I was 40 minutes late for school today but I have a really good reason mom!” I thought to myself “it better be a damn good reason considering you left for school 10 minutes earlier than normal” but I shoved that thought deep inside and asked, “why were you late?”

That is when he proceeded to tell me one of the most horrendous stories I have ever heard. His friend and he were walking to school when they saw a cat crossing the road. A volkswagon was driving up the road. When it got to the cat, instead of slowing down the car sped up and purposely ran over the cat. (Later on his friend would describe the event in more detail. Telling me that when the car ran over the cat, it made the most disgusting and loud thud he had ever heard.) After running over the cat in front of my son and his friend it sped off. Kid2 said he had tried to see a license plate number but didn’t get it in time.

So his friend and he went to get the cat. They picked it up, wrapped it up in one of their coats and proceeded to knock on all the doors in the area trying to find the owner. None of the people they talked to said the cat was theirs. At last they knocked on a door that said even so the cat was not his, he was going to take the cat to the vet for treatment. Later on, that man showed up to kid2’s school to let him know that if it were not for him and his friend, the cat would have died. However, thanks to their actions the cat is being treated for its injuries and should live.

This is one of the proudest moments I have had as a parent. My children continue to grow up into fine young gentlemen and making tough decisions that may cause them to get into trouble but are the right thing to do regardless. Kid2 reached a whole new level of superhero today.