Monday, March 10, 2008


We reached an all time low tonight, and I wondered if we will hit even lower, or if this is rock bottom. It got me thinking about perspective.

Perspective. The word kind of connotes math for me, so no wonder I find it a struggle. When I think of the word perspective, I think of art, space, measurement. As a word girl who cannot draw a stick person, find her way home from the mall, or guess your weight within 40 pounds, I would not consider perspective among my strengths, at least in that sense of the word. And my track record for estimating "rock bottom" wouldn't win me any prizes either.

There were times in the BC ages (Before Children) when I thought I felt pretty low, sad or lost, scared or anxious. I grew up with an alcoholic father who ran off when I was ten (along with all our bank accounts), my mother brought home a few even worse boyfriends, I had a childhood seizure disorder, and in my twenties I got an anulment after choosing Mr. Wrong, all of which seemed massive at the time. These things still seem larger than getting gum stuck on my shoe, but in hindsight I would recalculate their scope as vastly smaller than, say, driving home from school today with the rooster.

So I cannot help but wonder what, say in another five years, today will look like; pebble, or boulder?

I asked the school psychologist, "How big is this?" Understandably, he looked confused. "I have lost perspective," I told him. "I need your help. When I go into a store, and I see a pair of pants I like, I have to take four pairs in to try on, because I cannot begin to tell which size will fit me. So you have to help me size up these struggles we're facing now." But, of course, he couldn't.

In preparation for our Big Doctor Visit on Friday, I got out all of my rooster memorabilia. We have albums, baby books, day care journals, etc. There he is on a boppy, and here he does the combat crawl, and look - remember how much he used to tilt his head before surgery? And I had forgotten about that noise he used to make when he ate, but his teacher wrote about it, and I'm so glad she did. She also wrote about the rooster as a toddler loving to steal other kids' pacifiers, which I recall vividly.

Which will today be? Will I have to look back at my ancient blogs a few years down the line to remember that the rooster went on a rampage in the car one hot March day when he was not yet four, or did he sear it into my consciousness until I'm so old that I can't remember how to make toast?

After my bad breakup, and before my wonderful husband came along, I took a writing class that felt like the best therapy life could offer a word gilr like me in the pre-blogging era. I thought I was feeling pretty far at the bottom -- like base camp at the Grand Canyon -- and I wrote a poem about my hopes for the climb up and out. It's not much good, because I'm not much of a poet, and it's certainly self centered angst, but tonight seemed like a good time to blow the dust off it in my quest for perspective. It helps me count my blessings - my jumbled, messy, ordinary, extraordinary blessings, amid the pebbles and boulders on my journey, without daring to be too positive. (And if you read my last post, you know I just waved my arms in the air. Wave yours for me, too - I think the deities might lurk around here.)


before I go
there will be more pain
I know there will be more pain before I go

others will go first
taking pieces of me
pieces I need
pieces I cherish
they will leave me aching
they will leave me to pay the steep fare
for their journey away from me

before I go
there will be more pain

pains that sear, burn, sting, throb
pains that shoot
and spread
and torture my fragile flesh
pains that humiliate

before I go
there will be more pain

goings and comings and sunderings
lovers that leave and friendships that fade
and longings unfulfilled

before I go
there will be more pain

I will stand alone
and I will stumble
I will err and I will wrong
and I will change, and not always for the better
before I go
and that is certain

but will there be more joy before I go?

will there be
wedding days
and sacred vows
and unconditional love both given and received?

will there be babies
healthy, strong and mine all mine
to raise and love and teach and tickle?

will there be snapshots taken and scrapbooks filled
and will there be more joy?

before I go


Sustenance Scout said...

G, how to even begin. When I feel overwhelmed, I make lists. So here goes: 1) your childhood, wow. So much there to dig through. Consider delving deeper as you go; blogging rocks. And read author/blogger Carleen Brice (Pajama Gardener blog)'s first novel, Orange Mint and Honey. Growing up with an alcoholic parent sucks as much as polio.
2) you are a poet and a parent and a teacher and a blogger extraordinaire. Read Patry Francis' blog Simply Wait to see how powerful heartfelt, first-person stories really are. I've told Patry for a while that many of her posts deserve to be in a book. I already feel that way about your writings too.
3) Rooster is Rooster and he loves you no matter what he says or does. My NT son had many screaming fits in the car when he was little, one I remember in particular when he was four because I had to pull over and get out of the car to keep from retaliating. Parenting can suck too but those hugs help. So does a good babysitter. Is there a local agency that helps with that? Just one more thing for your to-do list, I know. Hang in there, call that friend and ask her to read your latest posts and then to stop by soon. Keep reading Kristen's blog; she's a gem and she's on the front lines. Sorry I'm not more help, but I had to write. Hugs from Denver, K.

Joeymom said...

***HUGS HUGS HUGS*** All I can tell you is that child loves you, and is communicating the only way he can. I hope the doc can give you some better direction on Friday, but if you find yourself still at Square One (or not far enough from it), ask about local disability support centers. LA has a Family Resource Center ( that may be helpful. The ARC may also be able to help with locating services and figuring out what might be helpful (don't be put off by the name- they help with all types of developmental disabilities, not just mental retardation. If your local chapter doesn't do autism, ask who does.) (National ARC The Autism Society of America can also be helpful, but take things with a grain of salt- you find all types in their ranks, from die-hard curebie Mercury Moms to militant Neurodiversity champions to plain old moms like me. A real gambit. But lots of info, and the local chapter might know where to get services, including things like respite help (ASA, Also, hook up with other special needs moms in your school district- is there a parent advisory committee or something like that? Or a parent support group? They can be really useful (though again, the attitudes run the gambit).

Keep us posted!

Niksmom said...

Coming late to the party, so to speak...I just wanted to tell you that you've been on my mind and I hope today is better.

Perspective. It's so easy to lose in the midst of the fear and chaos of the moment. Then, something wonderful will happen to shift the perspective yet again. Here's to that something wonderful for you soon. :-)