I'm working on a few job applications, this morning. A couple are for early childhood music positions. Since I've been running programs for several years, it wouldn't be difficult for me to prepare a demo class or talk about my experiences. These schools could easily come and observe my classes, as well.
There is another position, however, that intrigues me. It would be a real stretch in every way. The school is in the city and the students are K-8 aged and learning disabled. Sure, I have my doctorate but it's not really in the right area of music and it's certainly not in special education. The only field work I have is my son, one autistic piano student, and a couple of classes I have taught for learning disabled kids but for nursery school and K/1, not for older kids. It's a long shot but I've decided to go for it. Maybe they could train me, I'd be a good student....
I have long felt that there is not appropriate and meaningful musical instruction for kids with needs, and this would give me an opportunity to learn and do something about it. The other thing is, if middle school doesn't exactly 'work' for Belac in Sunny Patch, maybe a school like this would be an option with a faculty discount, if I could manage to get myself there.
"What do you mean you're ending your blog?" my husband asked me in disbelief, last night. "What do you mean, what do you mean?" I asked my husband, laughing. Does it really matter? Apparently, he wants to keep this blog for later, when he has the time-appetite-distance-I don't know what- to look back at this time of our lives. I was touched.
I will truly miss Snowflake, but it's time. Lately, I've been feeling that I've left too many things on hold. I love my family and they will always come first, but we're all better off if I'm not playing Martyr. There are things I want to do and I'm looking forward to what a new chapter brings.
The fat lady is singing, folks! Love and peace to you all.
Recently, I have been thinking of putting a THE END to this blog. This story began on the first day of school, when there was so much uncertainty and I was scared. I felt like I had dragged my family to the edge of a cliff and forced them to leap with me. For much of this school year, I wasn't sure that we would all land at the other side together or even safely someplace else.
It was also during this time, that I began regularly reading several blogs and felt almost ashamed of the things that troubled me. There were others that had children who were deathly ill or severely challenged in ways that my children were not. Some had serious money troubles or suffered crumbling marriages, isolation and desperation. As real as my problems and worries were to me, these writers would surely roll their eyes at my ramblings, in the same way that I become easily exasperated by what I view to be the ridiculous whinings of those who seem to have nothing at all to worry about.
It seems like an opportune time, with the house finally sold and both boys more or less adjusted to their new school, to bring this particular story line to a close. Maybe I'll start another blog. Maybe I'll be back tomorrow as usual! My point is. We've landed at a safe place and we are doing okay. Of course it's not 'and they lived happily ever after, THE END.' I know it doesn't work that way. But it just feels good to take a moment and appreciate where we are.
Happy to be home and wearing my Master Of The House crown. Sometimes a little breather is just what I need. To be away and be appreciated not just as wife or mom, but for the other parts that make up me. I spent the week in Boston eating at whatever restaurants I wanted and sitting at tables for 1. I skipped meals when I felt like it. I had to be all over the city for rehearsals and walked everywhere at my own pace. One night, I visited a good friend and her 4 children, the family that came to visit a couple of months ago. I had my hair "done" by her kids and gave the girls some serious giggles as I proceeded to walk out of their apartment and into public with 7 ponytails.
I just needed a little time to miss my boys. On Friday night, when my family arrived to Boston, the kids munched on treats and sipped orange soda while oohing and ahhing over the view and the people they could see in other buildings. My parents and hubby sipped wine and caught me up on the details and funny stories of the week. By end of night, Jake let himself fall backwards on the bed, proclaiming "I'm so happy!" "ME, TOO!" Belac followed, not missing a beat. The next morning was spent at the Science Museum and I marveled at how excited the kids were to see and touch everything. I could hardly believe how independent my boys had each become and how easy it was to be out and about with them.
When my family left Boston on Sunday, a few hours earlier than me because I still had another concert to play, my husband told me, "it really sucks that you're not coming home with us right now." I could not have agreed more.
We moseyed around the Prudential Center after breakfast, this morning. I told my husband that I noticed a little pink watch that I liked. It wasn’t very expensive but it wasn’t cheap. As we came full circle he asked, ‘are you still thinking about the watch?’
Jake and I went back to the stand and we had a look at it. I tried it on and decided to buy it. I liked that this watch was tidy in all respects and that I could probably leave it on when playing the piano and violin. As we walked to meet my husband at the car, Jake asked. ‘You make your own money. How come you had to talk to dad about buying a watch?’
‘Dad and I always talk about how we're spending money,’ I explained, 'don't forget, we're saving to buy a house!'
‘Have a good concert!’ my family all chimed before giving me quick hugs and smiles and zooming off. My parents had a NY flight to catch back to Detroit, leaving me to head home, tonight, after the second concert.
Back in the practice room, I gave my pieces a whirl and delightfully checked on the time with a quick flick of my wrist. It was then that I realized that I forgot to show my husband this perfect little watch.
My husband trusts me implicitly. I also know he thinks the world of me. Sometimes I am distrustful that his strong feelings for me will endure. After all, my husband and I will be married 10 years this summer and nothing lasts forever, right? Aren’t things supposed to get old and head down hill as time passes? Especially if you throw a little special needs into the mix and living in one of the most expensive places in the world despite not being millionaires.... I recently read about a man grabbing his wife’s butt after 30 years of marriage and describing it as being no more exciting than grabbing his own. I don’t ever want to be that couple in the restaurant, looking everywhere else but at each other and having nothing to talk about.
Maybe things not coming entirely easy protects us and prevents my husband and I from completely taking each other - or the good things - for granted. Maybe loving our kids and feeling like we have to live to be 100 years old to make sure especially one of them is okay, keeps us forever striving to be young and lean and subsequently attractive enough for each other. I don’t know. The fact is. My husband lived with my parents all week and slept on a lumpy pull out couch with nary a complaint. I perform 3 times a year in Boston and it's basically a pain in the ass for everyone except me. I also didn’t really need a watch. I am a lucky girl and I love my husband.
I am waiting for my family to arrive. My husband works for a hotel company and was able to get deeply discounted hotel rooms in downtown Boston. This means that my parents will hear me perform tomorrow night. It means my boys will swim in the pool and take a visit to the Science Museum. It means I checked in early and took a hot bath.
Now I am sitting with my heels kicked up, enjoying a pretty view of the Charles River. Also did a little grocery shopping for some fruit, salty snacks and wine for a Welcome to Boston party I told my boys would be awaiting them. My kids will jump up and down for joy when they see the orange soda, a rare indulgence. They're going to love the view of the boats and city lights.
We continue to have problems getting our offer to contract on Chris’ house. Despite having pretty major bumps over the past 2 months, we've managed to work everything out. More recently, though, we’ve had to get our lawyers involved. At this point, we are all smiling pretty tightly as we try to prevent this deal from unraveling.
Basically, we need to know that Chris can really let us close by August 30th. She has pushed the closing date through many dates, already, and we reluctantly agreed each time. July 1 became August 1 became August 15 became August 30. Now she has called again and wants September. We immediately gave notice to our lawyer to stop payment on our check that was on its way to escrow.
Look. We have given Chris everything she wants so far: her full asking price and every previous date she wanted. We patiently waited for her to get the house’s Certificate of Occupancies while assuring her we weren’t walking. But closing in September would really begin to present some hardship for us. By September, we will no longer have a place to live. More importantly, by September my kids will be starting school and I refuse for them to be living out of a suitcase or for us to be stuffed into a hotel room a couple of towns away. And then will September turn into October turn into…?
In a subsequent phone call, Chris assured us she’ll vacate by August 30 but then proceeded to make a few offhanded comments that made us even more doubtful. So we are forcing her to put her money where her mouth is. Unless she signs off on closing by August 30th and paying a hefty daily penalty for each day beyond, there's no deal. I hate that we can’t trust her. She hates that we don’t trust her. (Yes! I know and I heard you! We should be looking at other places.)
My parents are in town. I love, in particular, that my dad is here, who is not always able to come. I think my dad and I get each other. He's a photographer in his spare time and he finds the details interesting. But he's not the type to snap and snap away. He's economical in everything he does, the way he talks, the way he behaves. It's meaningful, reliable. He is one of very few people in this world I completely trust. He is intellectually curious in the most refreshing way. I love that the two of us walked after breakfast and he later sent me home without him because he saw a beautiful tree he wanted to go back and look at and take a photo of. That's my dad for you.
Until the end of the week, my parents will be here to watch over the kids. It's a gift to me so I can go to Boston and perform with my chamber group. It makes me especially happy that my boys will have time with my dad.
We were halfway through Friday morning's walkthrough, when the wife cornered me in the kitchen and let our husbands continue on without us. She did not see the rest of the house beyond the yard and first floor. She obviously thought something else was more important and took pen and paper from purse.
"Can you tell me which nursery schools are in walking distance from the house? Where did your kids go?" she asked. I rattled off a few. I also mentioned the amazing town camps in nearby Edgemont and Ardsley. As a resident of the umbrella Town of Greenburgh, her children would be eligible to attend summer camp as a non-resident in those districts.
"Do you know if we can pay extra for our kids to attend school there?" she asked.
I was absolutely shocked at this question. Obviously she had some idea what they were getting themselves into in purchasing this house in this school district, but did they not have a plan for school? "Yes, it's possible," I answered very casually, "you can call the districts directly." What I knew and didn't say, was that the Ardsley public school would have cost 18K/year for a kid like Jake. Over 50K for Belac as a kid with an autism diagnosis. People did it and it was a 10 month payment plan. There was a reason we had to move, we especially didn't have a viable school option for Belac. I moved on quickly to the topic of the much cheaper Catholic schools in our town and she interrupted "we're not Catholic." I was absolutely floored. I had assumed they were Catholic.
When we arrived to the closing 30 minutes later, I warned my lawyer not to breath a word about our IEP meeting we had to run off to. I didn't want to land on the topic of schools just as we were trying to close the sale. As we all waited around a long conference table for an assistant to arrive, the bank attorney asked, "Could you tell me your current forwarding address?"
The buyer's attorney, someone who lives in the neighborhood of the house we were selling, exclaimed "Oh! You're in Sunny Patch! Do you know the Lintz's? They, too, lived in our neighborhood and also moved to Sunny Patch this year."
No, I didn't know them, but I'm sure they had children. There could only be one reason they moved to a place with much higher taxes and housing prices for the same kind of house. I was definitely not engaging on this subject. I heard our buyer ask their lawyer what Sunny Patch was like. I concentrated hard on the documents before me. My husband and I did not say a word. Let them enjoy the moment and at least a couple of years of their little boy running around that amazing yard. If they find a private school they can handle, they'll be fine and could live in the house for a long while. If one of their kids turns out to have significant needs, though, it would be entirely different. As amazing as that house is, it wouldn't be enough to stay. And I say that having tried to figure out, tooth and nail, any way to stay.
I have not yet processed the events of the day and since I will be heading to Allie's in a few minutes, I can't stay long. She has prepared a huge celebratory feast! In a nutshell:
First, we closed on our house for sale! My lawyer said it was the fastest closing in the history of her career.
Second, Belac has been given an impressive IEP that reflects his progress but also his need for continued support. The district even offered to send an Aide to summer camp with Belac, which completely shocked me. In previous years, we always paid for his Aide ourselves.
Third, Allie and I are going to become neighbors! (Allie, promise me that we never ever fight without making up right away, cross-your-heart-hope-to-die, okay?)
I have been on the brink of tears every step of this day. I am blown away by our luck and full of gratitude. Thank you.
3 PM Meeting and Building Inspection of awkwardly charming house
Given how difficult it has been to sell our house (14-1/2 months on the market) I actually can't say that Belac's meeting is the most important thing, tomorrow. If we disagree about Belac's IEP, we can always come back armed with evaluations and papers, even a lawyer if need be. And Chris' house. Well, there's no pressing reason why it couldn't continue to drag on for another 2 months. We have a place to live for the next while.
I won't be so bold as to wish for a grand slam, tomorrow. But if we could just get our house sale to home plate, I will consider the day a great success. Anything else would be icing. Let's be clear though, in case the universe is listening. I'm not on a diet! I like icing.
Ever regret telling someone something? That's the thing. Once the cat is out of the bag, there's no shoving it back in. Over the years, I have regretted telling some people about Belac's diagnosis. They are usually the ones who are excited to put me in touch with the one person they happen to know who has some interest or exposure to autism and they just know we'll bond and become best friends forever. Or they speak to me in hushed tones in an overly chummy way about my mah-velous son. Nice and well-intentioned as these people are, they don't realize that their behavior is actually pretty self-serving. If they took a moment to assess, they might realize they aren't really helping matters.
So this is how I've come to be generally very careful about what I say to people I especially don't know well, almost secretive. You can also imagine how surprised and then dismayed I was, yesterday, when the mom of a student asked how the purchase on the house was going. Did I really tell her something about it? "You know," she clarified, "the house that needs papers?" Okay, I did say something. "Oh, we're still waiting..."
"I don't know, Gimky," she dove right in, "don't you just think you're waiting too long? I take that as a sign...." Of what? I forced a smile. The more I didn't say anything or get reeled in, the more she continued blabbing up worst case scenarios. We have a really good lawyer, I assured her. Yes, I know everyone is a crook. Yes, I know the house might cave in. And no, I don't want a fire to burn the entire house down. Yes, I know it's early in the season and I could go around and low ball other places we couldn't otherwise possibly afford...
She wouldn't stop, this woman! "You're right," I finally engaged, "we should be looking at other places."
When I finally escaped to my car, I breathed a sigh of relief. She was exhausting! Did she really think I hadn't already thought of all these things? Was there really nothing worth waiting for these days?
And the truth is. Despite what I've told other people, I'm not looking elsewhere and haven't stepped foot into another house. I don't expect anyone to understand it nor do I feel any particular need to justify this. It's simple. I'm waiting. And if Chris cannot legalize her house properly in the next few weeks, I plan to continue renting.
The listing on the place we are renting has gone up on MLS. Showings have begun and it has forced me to give this home a good clean up. In doing so, I started noticing the extent of what has accumulated all over the walls these past 12 months.
There are the signs. WOMEN'S RESTROOM with a stick figure in a skirt on the bathroom door, with the afterthought AND MEN'S and an androgynous stick figure squeezed into the corner of the scrap. NO DRINKING OR EATING IN MY ROOM on one of Belac's walls. There's OUT with an arrow near our front door. "Why does your window have a sign that says window?" someone asked recently. "Because it's a window!" was all I could think to say.
More overwhelming, though, are the drawings. He loves to draw. At school, Belac earns 'free draw' at the end of the day if he behaves properly in school. It is a highly motivating incentive for him. When I pick him up from school and see marker smears on his face and hands, I know he's had a good day. More recently, he has gone to bed telling me about some idea he has, only for me to find him at the crack of dawn the next morning, working on that idea. Like the 'Tipe to Learn' book of last week. It was his desire to make me a look and find book and he cried his head off when there was no time to finish it before we had to run off to school.
There are literally hundreds of drawings and papers of his from just this year. They are mostly overflowing from drawers and in sloppy stacks in every room. They are also on the walls. I honestly have not hung up a single one! It's all Belac's doing but not every drawing has been worthy of going up on a wall, mind you. It is with interest that I notice what Belac chooses to hang. My heart melted the other day when I accidentally discovered all of what was plastered on the back of his door. When his door is closed, he can see all of those drawings while laying in bed. I find it deeply touching that he's been decorating his room and love that he has his favorites.
You know what's interesting to me? If he didn't draw, I'd never know that he noticed some of the finer details of things he was seeing. And his books. It is shocking to me that he is able to carry a thought - however basic - or storyline through. There is a beginning, middle and end. This is something he just cannot accomplish verbally, in relating one spoken sentence to another to form a cohesive line of thought or even describing a static scene. Even answering the most basic questions can be difficult for him. There is so much missing verbally and his eyes are never really looking where they should be, so it's easy to just assume that he's missing out on a lot. (But more -I've come to realize - than he actually is.) Given his challenges, drawing and writing are invaluable skills of his.
Last week, I decided to write an old friend who is a gainfully employed artist. I attached a few drawings and asked him if I should be doing something to encourage him besides just applauding him from the sidelines. If he were sitting at the piano all of the time and plunking out notes, I'd give him lessons. So what was I to do with a kid whose every desire is to draw? He explained how his artist parents had encouraged him and gave me good pointers on what I could do. He made some observations about Belac's drawings I never noticed before. It was all helpful.
But what about painting? I wanted to know. Could I get him to be less concrete in the way he sees things by painting? Could I get him to be less rigid by... I don't know what, this wasn't my field. My friend forgot to answer that question. I would love to know what happens in your head when you go from drawing to painting or how differently you see things when you draw and paint the exact same thing. But as much as I wanted to continue the conversation and pick my friend's brain, I couldn't bring myself to pester him more. The thing is, Belac's not in anyone's field. He's a puzzle and I know very well that it's trial and error with him.
It remains to be seen if we can get ourselves into the awkwardly charming house. But if it happens and we have our very own place to mess up, I'm giving this kid paint!
Ever want something so badly but can't have it? Ever wish you could go back and fix a regret? Or wonder if?
The other day, an old school friend called me out of the blue. We hadn't been in touch in months. "I feel like I'm having a midlife crisis," she told me. "You and me, sister!" I agreed before we both burst out laughing. We became best friends in middle school and accustomed to each other's prepubescent melodramas from the start.
But actually, it's not the same fun and games anymore. Since last year, she's had a chronic health issue that has caused intense pain at times and mounting anxiety for her and her family. She described a new type of MRI that was being ordered. "How are things with you?" she asked. "Same," I replied casually, not wanting to indulge.
That's the thing about life. It only goes forward and you move on. You make the best choices you can. But there's no going back to change anything and there's no bargaining with the universe about what life hands you. So what is there to do but push ahead and work with everything you've got.
Who knows how much of what was written here was prompted by his Aide or copied from the kids around him? But I accept this like it's his. I know he loves me, even though I don't ever remember him saying so unprompted. I've learned to recognize love in other, perhaps more important ways. Of course the bit about going to a web address is his signature line and all his! It made me laugh out loud.
(PS - For kicks, I just looked up that website he made up. The content of the page was so shocking and unexpectedly vulgar that I couldn't stop from gasping, then laughing and choking on my coffee! If you choose to peek, be forewarned: not for the fainthearted and especially not for looking when kids are around!)
It's not the 13th, so maybe we'll be lucky. I'm afraid we might be pressing our luck, though.
10 AM - Closing on the house with the hill
12:30 PM - Belac's Annual Review and IEP meeting in Sunny Patch
I begged my lawyer to please change the date and time of the closing. Just the IEP meeting was enough! What are the chances of 2 successful outcomes in ONE DAY, back-to-back?
My lawyer insisted that we go forward with this closing date and time. After numerous delays on the bank and buyer's part in getting to this point, she advised to just accept this date and DO IT. Sell the damn house! We will sign over power of attorney in advance if the closing runs late and we have to be out the door for Belac's meeting.
Meanwhile, Sunny Patch has scheduled Belac's annual review for the last time slot of the day. There will be 6 others present. I've been told we were purposely assigned this slot so we'd have "2 hours or more" to discuss. Two hours...? That's great on the one hand, but the generous amount of time preemptively allotted is disconcerting. We're not getting to know each other, anymore, and I don't believe I'm just such a fun person to hang out with. Why do they think we need 2 hours or more for this IEP meeting? All I can think is that they want to take away services and anticipate a fight with us. Lately, they have been laying it on thick about the progress Belac has made and there have been significant budget cuts....
What can I do? Just thinking positively and hoping I don't have to force the district's hand with Belac's diagnosis papers. Please! Let's not end this honeymoon with mud slinging.
"Gimky, look how crooked Jake's glasses are," my husband pointed out during dinner, last night. "We've got to get them adjusted."
"True. But he's about to get new glasses anyway...."
"You mean, I'm about to have my 3rd pair of back ups?" exclaimed Jake.
We have a strong history of myopia and lazy eye on both sides of the family. From a very young age my husband and I and our siblings wore glasses. Jake is no exception. He is very nearsighted. One of his eyes is -11, the other is something like -5. I often joke that he inherited one eye from me and the other from my husband. To my husband, I'm always expressing how jealous I am of his 'good' eyesight. His eyes are -6, mine are -13.
Want to know something interesting? Belac has perfect eyesight. No exaggeration, it's perfect! As a courtesy to me, Jake's eye specialist gives Belac a quick but thorough eval each year. Always 20/20. This report never ceases to amaze me considering our family history.
Yesterday afternoon, Allie's mom peered over Belac's shoulder at some colorful and intricate thing he was drawing. "Wow!" she said, "Look at that! I hope you're keeping everything and making a portfolio...." As I put Belac's drawing away, last night, I remembered her comment and it got me thinking about how he sees things. Wouldn't it be absurd if Belac is the perfect one and we're the ones that are messed up and more than literally not seeing things properly?
Belac is very much what you see is what you get. When he's happy or unhappy, there's no hiding it. If he's not interested in you, you'll know. It's not personal. He's honest and reliable, extremely devoted to the fewer-than-'normal' things and people and details that matter to him. He has some great, special strengths... Maybe there's something not exactly time-wasting but at least slightly unhealthy or overvalued about trying to be passably good at everything. Or always acting like everything is fine. Or pretending to be interested in things because society says you're supposed to be interested.
Look at my blog. It's all about finding me and figuring out what I'm supposed to be doing and I am 40 years old! For most of my life, I was the kind of person who mulled over a restaurant menu and could not decide. I would just as soon have someone else order for me. I was your consummate middle child, always not really living up to her potential and in need of direction or a clear goal. Then I had my son, Belac, who I discovered to be as rigid and decisive as I am accommodating, as stubborn as I can allow myself to be be pushed over, as spectacular at a few things as not-bad I am at everything. Both extremes have their advantages, but neither is ideal.
The fact is. Belac and I have a lot to learn from each other. Maybe one day we'll meet in the middle.
My landlord and his realtor came by earlier today. I had spent the whole night cleaning and the place was spotless. The morning sun streamed into the kitchen, illuminating the sweet sight of little shoes lined in cubbies and little jackets on hooks.
"I'm sad to see you go," the landlord let me know, as we walked from room to room.
"Where are you going?" his realtor asked.
"It's not official yet," I explained hesitantly and referring to my landlord, "but we wanted Edward to know well in advance so he could make plans."
The previous night, after getting the kids to bed, I asked my husband what he thought about our simply staying put. "I mean, with our house closing next week, we'd save a wad of dough if we simply stayed here."
My husband agreed. "It's true. If I lost my job, we'd have a lot less stress. I'd have more flexibility to look for another job. Or we could start the business...."
The topic continued to linger as I sat with my feet in my husband's lap and watched him eat dinner. We were both quiet and thinking. True, he could lose his job. But it probably would have been more likely during the company's massive downsizing of the past 2 years. True, he could change jobs. But I'm not sure what his prospects would be for the next while, given the flood of people looking these days. And yes, we could start that business. But really, I'm the one whoshould be working my ass off in trying to get it going. And only if it proved to be a viable endeavor should my husband even think about quitting his job....
"It's really a lifestyle choice we're making, Gimky," my husband began, finally breaking the silence. "Look around, we're bursting out of this place.... We have 11 years with the boys before they're all grown up, a time that will become memories of their childhood and our time as a family. We're not staying in this town after the kids are done with school, the steep taxes don't justify it. But while the boys are growing up, it would be really nice to have a house we could call home."
My husband's words rang in my ear like the most beautiful string of notes from some heavenly place. I didn't at all expect this almost-romantic perspective from him, which once upon a time would have more likely come from me. It made me smile.
Had one of those icky afternoons getting stuff done with the family. It was super hot and muggy, the kind of day where everything takes a lot more effort than usual.
Earlier, my husband purchased and downloaded a program called "Crazy Machines" for the boys. Of course, it could not be transferred to the boys' profile and would only work when the administrator was logged in, defeating the whole purpose of having profiles. My husband, a techie and former programmer, was beside himself as no amount of rigging the settings could get it to work. "That's it, wasted money or at least a wasted afternoon with the help desk."
"Let's just get out of here, sweetie. It's not an emergency and we'll fix it later."
Next stop was the barber shop for the boys. Belac behaved terribly and received a lecture first from me and then my husband. Half way finished, we realized we didn't have cash and had to withdraw from a machine that made us pay fees, something we hate to do. Afterwards, we drove to the bike shop a few towns away with Belac complaining about wanting to go home the whole way. My husband admitted he was still mad about the program and couldn't shake it. Arrived at the bike shop, it was closed. "Out Riding" read the sign on the door. "Great," my husband voiced what I was thinking, "on one of 2 days they can get good business and they're closed. How idiotic!"
He pulled out of the parking lot from an exit we were unfamiliar with. Ever have this happen to you? Reaching one intersection after another of not being able to turn into the direction you need to go. My husband was getting himself worked up. By the time we reached the parkway, he was going the wrong direction. By the time he turned around, we had missed the green light at a long intersection.
"I need to just go home, I can't do this" he declared, throwing his hands up.
"Why do you get this way?" I retorted in exasperation, "A few wrong turns and you're all worked up! And now you're going to give up??"
Finally, we got on course to get to another bike shop. I looked back at Jake.
"What's wrong?" I asked. "I'm hungry," he moaned. "Did you eat more than the 2 bites of fruit at breakfast? Didn't we tell you this would happen?" my husband asked.
Belac opened his mouth and I interrupted "I do NOT want to hear it if you are going to complain or whine. I am all ears if you want to talk about something else but I cannot stand anymore complaining and whining."
"I wasn't complaining," he told me.
"Then what were you going to say??" Jake dared him.
"Uh. I don't know," he answered.
"I knew it!" Jake declared.
What a lovely afternoon we were having, wouldn't you say?
By the time we neared the new bike shop, my husband missed a turn. So much for getting Jake a new bike today.
"Ok," I said, frustrated with my husband, not at his missing the turn but at the frustration he could not contain. "Let's just go home and you can get back to the computer."
We got into the house. The boys sat at the island eating carrot sticks as I started boiling pasta.
I saw my husband go up and then come down with a changed shirt. I did not look up, I was irritated with him. I saw him put on his sandals out of the corner of my eye. Was he leaving the house? Out he went. He closed the door behind him. I waited. Was he going out long? I stirred the pasta in silence. This was so unlike my husband. Was this really happening? In a flash, I was back to once upon a time like it was yesterday. The difference was, there was always a huge scene and a massive guilt trip before my mom drove off into the night. Maybe he's going out biking, I thought. That would be good, he really needs to let off some steam.
A few minutes later he returned. I don't know what just happened. Maybe he thought better of it? I looked at him. "You should go biking, it would be good for you."
"But who would come with me?" he asked, looking at all of us.
It was too hot. The kids were hungry. He went upstairs to the treadmill.
After I put plates of pasta in front of the kids, I went upstairs. My husband was running in his underwear and had his earphones on. He pulled them off at the sight of me.
"You look sexy," I teased.
He seemed to nod as he was running at top speed.
"Do you feel better?" I asked.
"Getting there," he replied, breathing heavily as he ran.
"What do you always say to me? Make like a duck in water...? You need to let things roll off a little," I pointed out. I noticed that his legs were pure muscle and he was running super fast. "So can the kids use the program?"
"Yes, just log in as the administrator," he instructed.
30 minutes later, I went to check in on everyone upstairs. My husband was just solving a puzzle on the new program, much to my boys' jumping up and down delight. He let Jake have a turn and got up.
"Did you notice how fast I ran, Gimky? I was fast today," he said, flaunting his muscles like Popeye.
I smiled at his manly display. "So, were you thinking about leaving us before?" I asked with my arms crossed.
He paused and looked at me in a funny way before rolling his eyes.
"Gimky! For God's sake! I was fishing out my i-pod from the car."
"Time to look at other houses, Gimky. I wouldn't put all of your eggs in one basket" my sister advised the other day. Allie agreed. "I know you're not a window-shopper but it wouldn't hurt to look at the house on Halloween Street."
I asked my husband, "What do you think the chances are that things will work out with the awkwardly charming house?"
"I'd say 80%," he guessed.
Yesterday, we received official confirmation that at least half of the house is illegal, much to the Owner's utter dismay. "I'm pretty much writing it off, Gimky" my husband told me, last night. Thinking aloud, he thought we could send letters of inquiry to owners on a particular street we like.
I can't really get my head wrapped around this. So much effort! Do we want to own a house so badly? Not really. But I'd love to have a patch of green for the boys to kick around a ball. It would make me happy to be growing stuff again and nursing a yard full of flowers and vegetables. I'd also really appreciate to not be living next to a bank parking lot, where all the trucks begin arriving at 5:30 am to make deliveries to the shops in town. Every morning I wake to the roar of their idling engines and the beep, beep, beep as they adjust their positions in the lot.... But, you know. It's not that terrible if I pretend we just moved out of the city and it's definitely not expensive for everything it offers.
Since Monday, when we first suspected something was amiss with the awkwardly charming house, I walked the dog past other houses for sale. Every other well-located house was well beyond our means. But you know what the funny thing is, I realized? If I had money to burn and could buy anything in Sunny Patch, I'd still be intrigued by the awkwardly charming house. What Annicles said is true. That wonky house has definitely captured my imagination. To the degree that the impatient, type A me is compelled to wait and see if the Owner can fix the problems. There's not another listing that entices me to actually want to go inside and I definitely don't have the appetite to go sniffing around for unlisted options. If it's not going to be this awkwardly charming house, I'm actually content to just stay put and wait.
Had good friends over for dinner, last night. Before saying good night, we talked about when to meet next. I loaded up google calendar. My friend could see I was a novice at this. "Watch this," he told me, as he proceeded to click a button on my calendar to email himself the time and date.
"But I don't have an account set up for this..."
"Watch!" He was clearly impressed with what was about to happen.
He pulled his blackberry from his pocket. Up and down he scrolled with his thumb, looking for the email I apparently just sent from google calendar.
He finally looked up at me. "You're... Ginky Snowflake? Seriously! Ginky...?? What the hell?"
EXACTLY. What the hell just happened here? I should have told him it was my porn star name and that I was just having fun. "It's a... I don't know... a pseudonym!" I spitted out. Why did I just say that? Now he knew I was hiding something, probably writing something.
Okay, dear friends. If you've found yourselves here, why hello! Let me just spare you the trouble and tell you what a truly boring and time-wasting read this is. These are the ramblings of a privileged suburban mom who needs to get a life. Trust me. Very boring stuff.
This story is about my family. We make our home in Westchester County, NY. I am a concert pianist, but mostly I am mom. My husband works in IT. We have 2 boys, our pride and joys. Jake (12) loves reading, freaky facts, and table tennis. Belac (10) loves to draw, make videos, and build with Lego. He also has atypical, high-functioning autism, not Asperger's. This blog began on the first day of school in our new hometown of Sunny Patch and our story is forever evolving. If pressed, though, I'd say this blog is about figuring things out and making the best of everything we've got.