Transitioning to Today


20 years ago, while holding a squalling newborn, I couldn't imagine what today would look like. 

Three years ago, while watching my firstborn graduate high school I didn't want to imagine what today would look like.

Four weeks ago, while moving my second child into his tiny dormitory, I shut my eyes really, really tight and tried to ignore what today was about to look like. A today without all my children living under my roof, thieving my ice cream, tripping over their dirty socks and finding wet towels on the bathroom floor. 

And now it's today.

It's very quiet. I think that's the part I didn't want to imagine. How quiet it is when your children grow up and move out of your house and into their futures.

But mostly it looks...cleaner. My kids are slobs. Knox and myself, well, it turns out we run a tight ship. Sure, I miss constantly nagging someone not to drink milk straight out of the jug, please close the refrigerator door, don't put an empty carton back in the pantry, just how long are you going to let this trash bag sit here before you take it outside?  Okay, so it is not the nagging I miss, more so the chaos that came before it. 

I miss momming my kids. I miss them. I should have had more of them. So I told my husband just that, this weekend. 

The horror on his face as I told him I think I'd like more kids is permanently etched in my memory. He wasn't appeased when I told him they didn't need to be biological, I'd be more than happy to adopt again. He mostly just sat in the chair, shaking his head back and forth while muttering "are you insane?" over and over again. He may need some convincing.

(The upside is, I'm pretty sure he'd be super amenable to me getting another dog or five if I had followed up with that request. Anything to divert attention from my almost empty nest.) 

Since my new today is terribly quiet, and clean and honestly, a little boring, I decided to help ease this transition by popping onto campus and surprising my grown up children with a unannounced visit. I hear young adults dig it when their parents randomly show up and invade their space

It turns out, there are a TONNE of kids hanging around the university! Some of them I know! And they actually seemed happy to see me! It was like I was the most popular student on campus, only I wasn't a student, I don't have a campus and I was never really popular. 

Of course, it helped that I walked onto the dorm floor holding a bag filled with Wendy’s® and the smell of fresh fries had an effect similar to chummy shark infested waters with fresh tuna chunks. 

20 years I've been a mom; I've learned a lesson or two on what makes kids tick. A baconater will do it every time. Turns out, it works for every other kid on campus too. I've never been as beloved as I was while holding a bag filled with fries in the middle of a university dorm lounge. 

For a short period today, I soaked up my kids in their new environment, getting a brief glimpse into their world while meeting their new friends and I then I hugged them goodbye and marvelled how amazing it is to witness them bloom into adulthood even as I've missed having them underfoot.

As I walked away I wished I could go back to all those yesterdays and tell myself not to worry about today. Because it turns out, today is pretty darn good, and my kids aren't gone, they've just relocated. Different is good, and it may in fact be better than I dared imagine. 

And because of today, I know that when tomorrow comes, I will see them again. This time, I'll bring more fries and maybe a Frosty Coupon Book or two for their friends. Call it a lesson in bonding with your children and their friends through ice cream. I'm not above feeding starving university students to gain affection. 

At least until I can convince my husband to adopt a few more kids and fill this nest back up. Or he brings home a puppy. Knox and I could use the company.

This post is sponsored by Wendy’s® . 

And just so y'all know, Wendy’s® is selling Frosty Coupon Books (which include 5 free Jr. Frosty® coupons) for $1 from September 19 through October 31. The proceeds from these sales will go to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to help find families for children waiting in foster care. For each Halloween Coupon Book sold, $0.85 cents will be donated to the foundation.

Help foster kids find permanent families while helping your taste buds out at the same time. (That isn't a Wendy's official motto. But Knox approves it, so I'm going with it. EAT ICE CREAM FOR THE KIDS.)

It's a Mystery

I won't lie; this back to school routine is kicking my arse. Between the school sports, the paper work, the never-ending lunch making, I'm about done with school. 

You'd think after doing this for so many years I'd have mastered the art of parenting during the school year. Of course, you'd be wrong. I thrive on disorganization. Well, not really. I just can't seem to escape it.

It's been a particularly rough week around here. 

Knox's ear went missing.

Well, not his ear so much as his brand-new-only-11-months-old-so-not-really-brand-new-but-newish bionic hearing aide, but to be honest, it would be cheaper if he lost his actual ear and not just the insert.

From all accounts, his hearing aides were freshly inserted at 3 pm. He was loaded on to the bus and an hour later, just after getting off the bus his ear was gone.

It's not to be found. No one can find it.... Which, you know, is the definition of 'not to be found.' (Clumsy writing for the win!)

It's a mystery. A mystery worthy of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle.  

In the span of sixty minutes I am out THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS (please please please let insurance cover this cost) and everyone is like *shrug, whatcha gonna do?*

Let me tell you what *I'm* gonna do:


Then pout.

And then YELL some more. 

I may even kick a rock. Down the driveway.

Then kick a rock again. Back UP the driveway.

And then I'm gonna YELL some more. Randomly. And, possibly, at strangers.

But only old people strangers. Old people who aren't wearing their hearing aides. So they can't actually hear me yelling at them. Because I don't want to seem rude. I'm fine with seeming crazy but I draw the line at rudeness. 

And then, after all the yelling, pouting and rock kicking, I won't lie. I'm going to cry. Crying makes everything better.

I just don't understand it. He went on the bus with both of his ears and got off the bus with only one of them.

Are kids these days selling hearing aides on the black market? Melting them down to snort them? 

Hoarding them to build a giant robot that they will set forth upon the world to rule it with the super power strength of its bionic ears?



And before you ask, no, Abbott did not eat it. He's an arsehole but he's a fussy arsehole that way. Also, he was nowhere near Knox when it was discovered the hearing aide was missing or even before. He was too busy chasing the Chihuahua who is in heat.

Did I mention my dog is an arsehole?

I'm not an arsehole Mom. I'm a HORNY TEEN.

I only wish he ate the hearing aide because I would gladly excavate poop than pony up the THOUSANDS of DOLLARS it's going to take to replace this necessary equipment. 

I don't have thousands of dollars. I'm jobless and I mooch off my husband.

My husband who is GOING TO BE SO MAD.

I'd rather excavate poop than tell my husband. AND I DON'T LIKE POOP. 

Google is going to forever think I have an excrement excavation fetish. Hello perverts brought here by Google. Welcome to the party!

So. To sum up: Knox's shiny bionic ear disappeared into the realm of 'never to be seen again,' shoulders have been shrugged, the dog has been cleared and the insurance people are going to be uncommonly kind and generous because if they aren't, the poor kid who lost all his teeth not two months ago and can't get them replaced will also have to wheel around deaf as my 66-year-old father who refuses to get his hearing checked.

And I already have to cope with one relative yelling "WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU," I can't handle another.

Please universe, bring back my kid's expensive medical equipment. The aliens don't need it. But Knox (and my bank account) certainly do.

*Kicks rock.*

Cheap Pink Wine Helps Heal Everything

Trying to keep my son healthy is sucking the life out of me.

I sort of recall feeling that way when I was 20 years old and trying to breast-feed my firstborn. She was like an angry badger, my boobs were hanging on by a bloodied nipple hair and I was pretty sure with every feeding time I lost a little bit more of my life force.

This post is not about breast-feeding. 

I heartily endorse breast-feeding. Everyone should do it. Even men. 

I'm scared of the pro breast-feeding community. 

I'm writing about breast-feeding and I'm not supposed to have a mommy blog anymore. Oh my god, someone please take away my computer.


I'm trying to write a post about how my son's health is sucking the life out of me. Which, I know, sounds like a typical mommy blog post but it's not. It's only disguised to read that way. The reality is my son is a lifelike android who was sent here by an alien life form to study the breast-feeding patterns of the humanoid. 

Again with the breast-feeding. 

Seven years I wrote over on Redneck Mommy and NOT ONE POST ABOUT BREAST-FEEDING. 

Just saying.

Here's where I would typically delete this post and start again.

NOT TODAY people.

You know why? Because what little energy I have left after spending all damn day in a hospital yesterday with Knox I plan on using to beat level 73 on Candy Crush. I don't even feel a bit guilty about it.

Okay, I feel a little guilty. But only because it's a Facebook game. It's my secret shame.

So yesterday Knox was scheduled for a routine dental procedure. Except when you are a quadriplegic, with Cerebral Palsy, who is a little deaf and a lot blind and non-verbal to boot, nothing is routine. 

Of course not. 

Eight hours later, a little blood (his), a few tears (mine) and only one mild episode of rage for each of us, and Knox now has a set of clean choppers. 

Knox woke up cheerful and sparkly and beside the bloodied nostril from where they intubated him; you'd have never known he was in a hospital bed only hours earlier.

I wasn't so lucky.

Something about hospitals, the scent of death (and apparently, dental decay) ages me prematurely.

I swear I went to the hospital a young, spry woman.

I came back a lifeless old hag.

My teens winced when I stumbled out of bed this morning, my joints creaking an announcement of my arrival before I actually walked into the room.

I fully plan on picking Ken and Nash up from the high school while looking like this. I know how much they'll love it. 

This? This is what parenting a special needs child looks like. I often write pretty prose about how awesome Knox is (and Skjel was) and how rewarding and beautiful it is to parent these unique special snowflakes my sons' are/were.

And it is. 

But it is often grueling, frustrating, exhausting, overwhelming and zit inducing. I've lines on top of my lines and I'm feeling about as haggard as I look. 

The only thing easy about kids like Knox is how easy it is to love them. Everything else is hard. From haircuts to toileting to routine dental exams. It is hard. Sisyphus hard at times.

It's so hard it makes breastfeeding a rabid porcupine look easy.


(This is all Mr. Lady's fault. Damn you Shannon and your bizarre chestal activity. I've now got boobs on the brain.)  

Yesterday, while I was stuck in the bowels of the pediatric day surgery department, with no cell service, a cranky non-verbal child who didn't understand why he was hungry and with no relief in sight, I was reminded how hard this parenting gig can get. The stress overwhelmed me and for one single second, as a tear slipped past my fingers, I broke. I quit.

I was done. 

It was too hard, Knox is too hard, I am too damaged, and he's too broken. Usually these are the moments I'll hand Knox off to Bruce and take a moment to breathe, but I was alone yesterday. It was just him and I. 

There was no magical moment that made any of it easier. That's not how life works. I took a few minutes to feel sorry for myself, and feel sorry for Knox and then I carried on. That's my unvarnished reality.

But at the end of the day, when I finally got home and poured Knox into bed and myself a glass of cheap pink wine (on the rocks!) all the hardness of the day was worth it.

Because yesterday I walked into the hospital holding my son and I got to leave the exact same way.

A few years ago, I wasn't so lucky. 

Hard and haggard will always be worth it. But cheap pink wine helps too.