It's all about me.
My posting date for Hopeful Parents has been hovering over me this week. Most of the time, I’m ready for it. I have a blog post in my head that I’ve been saving for this day, and I just sit down and write.
Today, I’m just not feeling it.
School ended yesterday for one kid and ends today for my oldest. I’m in that limbo world that happens between the end of the regular school year and the beginning of our extended school year summer program. I thought I could write about that - the panic that sets in knowing that I’ll have all three boys home for two weeks with no set routine and no plans.
So I could write about how I used to look forward to summer vacation time. But now I look at it as a loss of “me time”. Parenting is a 24 hour a day/7 days a week job. Special needs parenting requires an extra hour and day that just doesn’t exist. I used the time when my kids were in school to make all the phone calls and arrange all the appointments that keep my family going. I used that time to shower. To write. To just sit in the quiet space of the house. And now? Gone until September.
Or I could write that this will be the summer of transitions for my kids and for me. My oldest will be starting fourth grade, which brings a new set of challenges and demands on his time, and on mine. My five year old is heading to kindergarten, in a new school with a new IEP team and a brand new teacher. He’s leaving the place that took him in before his autism diagnosis, worked with us through his diagnosis, and showed us his strengths and not his weaknesses. And my two year old? He’ll be starting preschool in the fall for the first time. His early intervention paperwork has already arrived at the school.
Then maybe I thought I could write about the piece of paper that my oldest brought to me last week. On it, he had written about 10 places he wanted to visit this summer as a family: Cape Cod, Fenway Park, the Freedom Trail in Boston, a beach in Florida, Legoland and Martha’s Vineyard. And how I told him that I really wished we could, but it just wasn’t going to be possible. I could write that he started to cry and asked why we couldn’t take vacations as a family like all his friends did. And how my heart ached because I wanted to tell him that I felt the same way but that I‘m paralyzed by the fear of doing anything outside of our regular routine. Instead, I told him I would take him to as many places as I could - just the two of us. I wanted to tell him that it’s the sibling stuff that is the hardest part for me. That I’m sorry for all the field days that I’ve missed, all the classroom volunteer activities that have gone to other parents, and all the homework that was finished unsupervised.
I could write about any of those things. But my head is just one big jumble right now. There’s no coherent blog post that can come from that.
So forgive me for not having a Hopeful Parents post here today. I just don’t have it in me. And right now, it has to be all about me.
"You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't you?" - You’re So Vain by Carly Simon
Alysia Butler is a stay at home mom to three boys, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder. When she's not wallowing in self-pity, she writes about her kids and other things at Try Defying Gravity and on twitter at @trydefyinggrav.