June 18, 2009

It's All Mental or Is it I'M Mental?

Blogging can be kind of difficult. Not difficult as in life and death or anything that could be remotely compared to that.

But just after awhile you think... Why? I get sick of being in my head at times, I wonder if at times, surely y'all must be sick of it as well.

I just forget, that after five years, you meet great people, people that get to know you and your family and they wonder, "What will happen next?"

I had someone tell me once he liked reading me because it was more of a feel good story. Sure, bad things happen (it's life), but overall, it was a good story of hope in a regular family.

I had another person tell me that I was a peek into the life they didn't choose. They didn't marry and have a family... and I was a glimpse as to what that kind of life is like.

I don't typically trudge the truly awful out here! Heh. Trust me, it happens. There is a lot that has happened in the last five years that I've not put down here because the truly seriously bad sh** gets sorted out and worked on here in the privacy of my home.

I don't bring my financial worries, marital downs (there aren't many of those, FYI, but we're both human), serious kid crap here. Two reasons I guess... first because this is my blog and my family didn't ask for this. It's not right to air the nasty dirt in public. Second, because really, as bad as it may be TO ME and my family, there are 10 people reading me who have it worse.

No reason to b*tch. No matter what happens, I feel like I walk amongst the blessed... even when I'm scared to death.

The exception to the no dirt in public rule is my father in law, and not because I don't respect him, but because as we struggle with his aging and the issues it brings to the table, I know others are sorting through the same troubles and maybe if it brings solace to someone that we're struggling too... they won't feel so lonely through it all. (There are some things about him I don't post, however. Just trust me on that. There is some modicum of civility that must be adhered to. Sidenote: Harvey thinks that should be my next blog title, "A Modicum of Civility". Heh.)

So I was emailing my loyal reader George, and it got me to thinking of the last 5 years and all that has changed since I started blogging. (My blogiversary was last week... no blog change. I can't do that in my head right now. Nothing is a simple as you think it will be.)

Five years ago...

Bones was entering Kindergarten. He is now going into 5th grade. He was undiagnosed ADHD. He was funny and cute. I hated his teacher. Looking back... I still can't stand her and wish he'd not had her. I only hated his 4th grade teacher more, but we won't go there. (Notice I never blogged on that last year...) Since then, he's learned he can't stand baseball (too slow), thinks about playing soccer, learned how to play lacrosse and took up the saxophone. He is quitting the sax and taking up voice. We are trying to get out of the school he currently attends, as in Middle School it will be a disasterous fit for him. People love to be around him or hate it... they can either handle his high energy or not. He's funny as hell... but a high maintenance kid. He wants to be an actor when he grows up. Think of being around him as like being around Jim Carrey... except in a 10 year old body.

Y'all have been with me the last 5 years as I've worried over him... and I've gotten comments and private email from others with children with ADHD as well as those who have it themselves as adults and I've listened to every word... filing all the data away.

Mr. T was entering 2nd grade. He's been lucky and had great teachers every year... or rather when he's had a 'not great' teacher, he's been able to adapt and make the best of it. Our current school is a GREAT fit for him and he is thriving. Since you've been reading me, he's taken up soccer, baseball and thinks about lacrosse. He may try out for the school soccer team next year. He's been elected into Student Government for the last two years by his classmates, and was elected class Mayor in 5th grade for an event they had to attend. He took up the trumpet because his arms were too short for trombone, and the minute he gained that inch, he tossed away the trumpet... being the sole trombone player in his school band. He's in Boy Scouts and loves it... currently a 1st class, he'll make Star, for sure, in 6 months. He'll be in 7th grade and is nearly a straight A student. I'm helping him to figure out how to keep it all A's next year... He wants to go to Georgia Tech.

Ringo was going into 4th grade. It's the year that he started to mentally 'check out'. (Inference here... same crappy 4th grade teacher.) I didn't see the signs. By 5th grade... how I missed it, I'll never know. I thought it was him... there was so much more going on. I can't beat myself up over it, however. As bad a fit as our school was, he made it through and learned a lot. He has NO fond memories and never intends to go back to visit. His philosophy is nothing can be as bad as the last four years... it can only get better. (Note also, none of this was ever blogged upon.) He has high hopes. He was close to making black belt when you started to read me, quit karate as our dojo closed, took up soccer, and baseball. He took up the trumpet for three years, hating it, and turned it in for an electric bass guitar, which he loves. He plays drums, electric bass, and the double bass. He joined Scouting late just to be with his brother, is a 1st class and will be Star in 6 months. He's taken to it like a fish to water and runs for all leadership positions. He has so much hope for next year... as I do too. I suspect he'll start shaving next year... and by the end of 9th grade if not sooner, he'll be my height. That is kind of crazy...

I wasn't working when you started to read me. I was training for my black belt as well, was a stay at home Mom, had just gotten three kids in school full time and was wondering what was next in my life. In Nov of that year I started working again for 10 hours a week, back in engineering on our current latest and greatest fighter aircraft. I never thought anyone would value me as an employee again. They set out to prove me wrong... and I am happy for the faith others had.

You went through three hurricanes with me (Frances, Jeanne, Wilma), and two others that my folks endured (Ivan and Dennis) and I met Tammi as she lived through Charley.

One of my co-workers nearly had a heart attack at work, pissing me off, while another narrowly escaped it... with me riding his ass... they both got stints and huge lectures from me. My husband even bought me a one way flow valve for CPR for them (I'm certified), but I told them if they pushed it that hard, they better hope I didn't let them die instead. Pinheads. My boss has had cancer... three times. And I realized that the friendship I started with my Tech Lead 21 yaars ago, when we were both nothing but kids... has endured longer than most marriages and I view him as a major stable factor in my life. I got lucky. I have great men in my life.

I ran my first half marathon with you, and my first Full... while enduring physical breakdowns as my body... just isn't Kenyan. I had my gall bladder removed, my sister got married, she created me a niece 'The Great Flambina', and three weeks ago I got a nephew. (My husband's bro... the baby is very yummy. He looks like a little monkey.) I've made many quilts... three of them for First Holy Communion for my kids' classes and a wedding quilt I'm still working on... although I did finish the Great Flambina's baby quilt. (Ran into a technical difficulty with the wedding quilt...)

OH! And we took our first true family vacation and went skiing... and loved it!

My kids saw their first snow with you. Flew on their first airplane where Bones realized that bathrooms in airplanes were just 'flying port-o-lets'. Slept on subways through NYC and rode through some not so very nice places where the fact my husband can look like a Mafia Don was probably the only thing that saved our asses. Went to the Macy's Day Parade... twice. (We have family in the area.)

I've made great friends and met some wonderful bloggers. I've been touched by the deaths of bloggers and blogger's family members... horrified as I could do nothing but watch. We grow attached to those we read...

And if there is anything about blogging that I am thankful for it is... the people I've met... from all over the world.

I am humbled that you come back... and always thankful to hear from you. Whether I am able to respond in comments or not... I am always appreciative of what you write.


Five years.

I am pushing into my mid-40s now, I have a teenager with another on his coat-tail. I'll have a kid driving in 9 months... and I suspect y'all will live through it with me.

I don't do Facebook and appear to be the last hold out and will remain so for multiple reasons. I'd not know how to be a Twit or Twitterer or how to Tweet to save my life. I need a new cell phone as mine is on its last leg, but I mourn the fact I can no longer get one without a camera... so I don't replace it.

I'm kind of a fuddy dud I think.

And I'm OK with that...

Thank you for reading me these last 5 years. So much has happened. It took me really sitting down and reviewing it in my head today to realize... we've really been through a lot.

Thank you...

Posted by Boudicca at June 18, 2009 03:57 PM

And your first two comments to this post? Spam!

I'm one of those who lives vicariously through your blog. Not married. No kids. Don't live close to my sisters and brother with kids - when you grow up military, geography is a non-issue. But I do love reading about your boys and your life and am very glad you blog. You have a great way with words and seem to find the humor in almost everything. I hope you keep it up.

p.s. Don't do facebook or my space or twitter (what the heck is that?). Went to replace my cell phone a month or so ago and went in saying, I don't need to get email and I don't need a camera. They could accommodate me on the no email but not the no camera. So every time I open my cell phone I'm also taking a picture up my nose. Lovely!


Posted by: TxAFbrat at June 19, 2009 12:51 PM

Bou: You don't need to thank us. WE need to thank YOU. Awesome post.

I had the same experience with cellphones, you apparently can't buy a bare-bones model. But just because the thing comes with a camera doesn't mean you have to use it. In my case, I can't send photos anyway because it requires an AOL account and I use another web firm.

Posted by: George at June 19, 2009 03:26 PM

Thank you, Bou, and congratulations! You are awesome :)

Posted by: Anna at June 19, 2009 06:10 PM

.... what Anna said, ma'am........ in spades......

Posted by: Eric at June 19, 2009 07:56 PM

Hi, I'm new to reading this blog. I would like to eat some grits right now, or possibly mashed potatoes, but I don't have any. I haven't seen a live duck in quite some time.

Posted by: Toluca Nole at June 19, 2009 08:25 PM

Kathryn- Got rid of that spam. Damn we've had a lot of it today. THANK YOU for the kind words... and I do try to laugh a lot. Good Lord... otherwise you just want to poke your eye out with a spork!

I flat refuse to do Facebook, it appears to be a time sponge and I just do not get that twittering thing. I don't need to know that much about people or for them to know that much about me.

As for the phone... I'm going to pass on internet connection, but I'm stuck with a frickin' camera when I get a new one. I'm so aggravated. I don't even want a keyboard. Just a straight 10 digits with T9 is ok with me.

George- Thank you. Your email really got me to thinking...

I still don't know why people who work on the things I work on are allowed cell phones with cameras... and it's not just my stuff, that's low level stuff, but the really big stuff too. You'd think they'd have basic phones still for people who can't have a cell in their work place.

Anna- THANK YOU! Five years... Good Grief.

Eric- Thank you! BTW, my boys want BBQ again this summer! Heh!

TN- Dork. I didn't want to tell you this, but Mom and Dad love me best. They told me to keep it a secret... but I figured you were old enough to handle it now. Heh.

Posted by: Bou at June 19, 2009 08:36 PM

I started reading you during hurricane season 2004, I think. Or has it been longer?

I am pleased to have you as my friend.

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at June 19, 2009 09:00 PM

Thank you for inspiring us all (and for being my blog-mama!).

Posted by: Mrs. Who at June 19, 2009 09:32 PM

You have been a tremendous friend these past couple years. We love reading about your family and you. Thank you and happy blogiversary.

Posted by: oddybobo at June 19, 2009 09:59 PM

I am so happy to have met you, your kids, and your sister. I guess I have Eric to thank for that. That boy is good for something. Next year learn to ski powder!

Posted by: Denny at June 19, 2009 10:03 PM

Happy Blogiversary! Trust me, we have enjoyed every step of the journey along with you and your family. You make us laugh, and cry, and think. Thank you for sharing with us.


Posted by: Mary at June 19, 2009 11:12 PM

I've been at this "blogging thing" for half the time you have, but it was reading your blog (and a maybe a couple others) that convinced me that blogging could be don't right --- sharing some of the joys and trials without betraying confidences --- always with humor and tenderness.

Blogging is endlessly amusing -- if only I didn't have that "real-life thing" always interfering.

Posted by: Bob at June 21, 2009 07:42 AM

...and I'm STILL amused every time I think about your reluctance to start :-)

Posted by: Harvey at June 24, 2009 08:42 PM