From Left to Write Book Club

Chasing my muse.

  This month the From Left to Write Book Club is reading The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.  The book explores the life of Monsieur Perdue, the owner of a bookstore that is housed on a boat, which he calls The Literary Apothecary.  One day, after learning that the woman whom he has been heartbroken over for twenty years was dying from cancer when she left him, he decided to hoist anchor and sail his book barge down the river. 

One of his companions on the boat is a young author, Max Jordan, who was quick to fame with his first book, and has seemed to be hiding from everyone ever since.  It was said in the book that Max Jordan has lost his muse. That he is searching for her. 

“‘He’s lost his muse, Signor Salvatore.  Max made a pact with her and gave up his normal life. But his muse has gone.  Now he doesn’t have a life-either a normal one or an artistic one. And so he’s on a quest to find her.'”  – Jean Perdu, The Little Paris Bookshop. 

I have been chasing my muse for years and years.  For those of you who have followed me for a few years, may remember a post I wrote last year about being overloaded and out of tune.  I was so optimistic about getting my life straight and being able to write again. But, just as everyone with older children has told me, as they get older, it just gets more hectic. My kids have something every night of week.  I have a day job now too and am finally able to contribute to the household financially, and on a consistent basis.  I still have my job at the dance studio, but it’s only on Sunday now. So, with working six days a week, managing a household, and running the kids all over creation, some things have either taken a back seat or been eliminated from my life altogether.

As a result, my muse is still missing.  She went away a long time ago, and hasn’t returned.  I ache for her; physically, emotionally, spiritually.  I long for the time when the words would flow and the characters would speak to me.  I was hoping she would return now that some of the stress over the finances has been alieviated. Instead, she has been replaced with exhaustion. 

“‘Maybe he didn’t love his muse enough? If so, he’ll have to ask for her hand all over again.'” – Salvatore Cuneo, The Little Paris Bookshop. 

Did I not love my muse enough? Perhaps not.  Like my old high school best friend, she took a backseat when the children came along, got tired of waiting around, and left.  Maybe one day she will come back.  (Although my friend never did). Until then, I guess I will just continue to pine for her from afar. 

This is an original ROSCMM post.  All opinions are that of Jennifer herself unless otherwise stated. This post was inspired by the novel The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, where Monsieur Perdu–a literary apothecary–finally searches for the woman who left him many years ago.. Join From Left to Write on October 8th as we discuss The Little Paris Bookshop. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Categories: Book Club, From Left to Write Book Club | 5 Comments

My “Other ” Babies.

  

Because I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my children while my husband works, I am also able to volunteer for PTA programs at their schools.  I don’t do much, but the one program I make myself available for is the PreK program.  For the past two years, I have donated my time on Tuesday mornings to help these little ones feel comfortable in the school they will attend the following year.  I find joy in their little faces and their laughter lifts me from my dark place for a little while.

Today was graduation day. 

I was filled with pride as I watched “my babies” perform their songs, accept their diplomas and march across the stage for their photo op. 

I cried happy tears as everyone watched the beautiful presentation put together by our chairperson, pictures of the children during activities we provided for them.

And my heart swelled as my kids sought me out for a hug and a “thank you” and a “have a good summer!” 

 

One of my PreK babies! Love them all so much!!

 
It may have only been an hour and a half once a week, but during that time, those kids were mine, and I loved every minute of it.

Congratulations PreK class of 2015.  I will miss you.  On to bigger and better things. I wish I could thank you all individually for allowing me to be a part of your life, however small a part it was. Have fun in Kindergarten! I’ll see you next year when I bring my new group of PreK babies in to visit your classroom. 

Love you,

Miss Jen. 🙂
  

This is an original ROSCMM post and was inspired by The Mapmaker’s Children by Sara McCoy, a copy of which I received for review purposes.  Join my virtual book club, From Left to Write on May 19th as we discuss The Mapmaker’s Children.  All opinions are that of Jennifer herself, unless otherwise noted. 

Copyright 2015 Mastermind Mommy



Categories: From Left to Write Book Club, Kids, Other People's kids | 3 Comments

A Challenge, are you up to it?

This week, I had the pleasure of hanging out with my Aunt Millie.

Aunt Millie (in red), my mom, my two kids, and me on the day of Little Miss's christening.

Aunt Millie (in red), my mom, my two kids, and me on the day of Little Miss’s christening.

Aunt Millie is my mom’s middle sister. She’s the aunt who never married, who lived with and cared for my grandmother until the day she died. She was the fun aunt.  Growing up, she was the one who got down on her knees and played with us and laughed with us.  She’s my brother’s godmother at baptism and my sponsor for Confirmation.  She is very near and dear to our family.

Sadly, Aunt Millie is succumbing to age.  Now that she lives alone, she’s become a sort of shut-in.  She screens her calls and doesn’t go out.  She’s stopped taking her medication and seeing her doctors. She’s showing signs of dementia, forgetting things from minute to minute.

And she lives in a different state.  With my mom and I being her closest family.

With her health deteriorating, my mom and I have decided that it is time to move her out of her house and into an assisted living facility here in New York.  These last few days I have been touring these facilities with Aunt Millie, showing her the best ones within her price range.  We’ve finally chosen one where she will be best cared for and we believe that she is excited to get started. She knows that she can’t handle her home anymore, she knows that she’s not in the best of health anymore. We believe she is ready to move on and part with her former way of life. And we couldn’t be happier for her.

Watching my beloved aunt go from independent working woman to the forgetful, sweet, simple soul she is now has been so devastating.  My grandmother had dementia before she passed, and it seems as though Aunt Millie is following in her footsteps.  And living alone where your family is over and hour away is scary.  I hold my breath every time I call her, waiting to hear her pick up the phone.  When she doesn’t answer I fret and worry until she calls me back. I wish she was close enough that I could just hop in the car and go to her house. But with my children dependent upon me for everything, it’s near impossible to take a day off.

Where am I going with this, you may ask.  This month the From Left To Write book club is revisiting a past reading, Thrive, by Arianna Huffington.  In it, she issues a challenge to her readers to slow down, unplug, get more sleep or practice yoga or meditation.  Kim, our fearless leader and head book nerd at FLTW is encouraging us to take one of those suggestions and attempt a seven day challenge.

Having already given up Facebook for Lent, I have decided that my challenge will be to take better care of my brain and my memories. Alzheimers.org.uk suggests that dementia may be hereditary, so I want to start taking some steps to keep my brain healthy so that maybe I won’t forget who my children are, or where I am, or when the last time was that I ate when I’m in my 70’s.  Maybe I won’t become like Aunt Millie, alone and maybe afraid because she can’t remember where she is or how she got there.

The Mayo Clinic states that although there is no sure-fire way to prevent dementia, there are some things you can do to help.

  • Keep your mind active.Mentally stimulating activities, such as puzzles and word games, and memory training may delay the onset of dementia and help decrease its effects.
  • Be physically and socially active. Physical activity and social interaction may delay the onset of dementia and reduce its symptoms.
  • Quit smoking. Some studies have shown smoking in middle age and older may increase your risk of dementia and blood vessel (vascular) conditions. Quitting smoking may reduce your risk.
  • Lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure may lead to a higher risk of some types of dementia. More research is needed to determine whether treating high blood pressure may reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Pursue education. People who have spent more time in formal education appear to have a lower incidence of mental decline, even when they have brain abnormalities.

    Researchers believe that education may help your brain develop a strong nerve cell network that compensates for nerve cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Maintain a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet is important for many reasons, but a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in certain fish and nuts, may promote overall health and lower your risk of developing dementia.

So, here I go.  Wish me luck.  I’ll let you know how I do in about 40 years.  And I challenge you to take care of your brain, preserve your memories, and live a long, healthy, and happy life.

In the meantime, I can’t wait to get Aunt Mille into her new place to my family and I can enjoy her company again and maybe, with her finally getting medical care, she’ll come back and we’ll get a glimpse of that wonderful independent woman again.

This is an original ROSCMM post. This post was inspired by Thrive by Arianna Huffington who challenges women unplug and sleep more to create a balanced life. Join From Left to Write on March 19th as we discuss Thrive. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Copyright 2015 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: Book Club, Family, From Left to Write Book Club | 4 Comments

No More Excuses

This month the from the From Left to Write Book Club is reading Maria Kang’s The No More Excuse Diet. As a member of the book club I have received a copy of this book for free for the purposes of this blog post.  

Maria Kang is the founder of the not for profit Fitness Without Borders and the mom featured in the controversial photo entitled “What’s your excuse?”.  The photo, featuring Kang in her workout gear and smokin hot body and her three children, went viral in 2013.  Many saw her as an inspiration, others saw her as a “fat shamer”, making people feel bad because they don’t look like her.

Personally, I saw it as an inspiration.  If she can do it, why can’t I? What’s my excuse? My excuse is that I am lazy and losing weight is the hardest thing in the world for me.  I love food and I don’t want to stop eating the foods I love.  And exercise is hard.  It’s so much easier being lazy and staying fat.  

But…

In my new place, I have to climb stairs. 

Huff puff. 

I have two kids that need to be everywhere at the same time. 

Huff puff.  Oh, my back! 

I have a very energetic dog who needs exercise or he becomes destructive and annoying. 

Huff puff.  Oh, my back! Oh, my knees! 

I assist my boss at the dance studio with a class of three year olds.

Huff Puff. Oh, my back! Oh my knees! Oh, my feet! 

And then there’s this…



This is the costume that I will wear on stage in front of a couple hundred complete strangers (and a few not so strange) when those three year olds perform their dance for their recital in June.

Now, I know nobody is going to be looking at me.  They’re all going to be looking at those adorable little girls in their sparkly tutus and bright pink bows. And those little girls are the ones they should be looking at.  

But I have to look at me. 

And I don’t like what I see.  

And I intend to do something about it. 

I’m already on my third day of eating under my calorie goal.  The weather hasn’t been nice to me this week, so walking the dog or getting to the gym hasn’t happened yet, but it will. I’ve learned that my body needs to trust that it will be fed consistently so that it won’t go into starvation mode and store fat instead of burn it.  I’ve learned that drinking all that water really wakes you up in the middle of the night.

This time five years ago I was twenty pounds lighter, what the hell happened? How do I get back there? How do I get past that? 



I am NOT making excuses anymore.  

Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid issues all run in my family.  My kids need to see their mommy healthy and finally happy with the way she looks.  And I need to teach them new eating habits and the importance of exercise. 

I need to do this.  They need to learn it from me

So, what’s MY excuse? I don’t have any.  Not anymore.  Thanks Maria Kang. 

This is an original ROSCMM post. This post was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was inspired by The No Excuses Diet by Maria Kang, a copy of which I received for review purposes. All opinions are that of Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted. Copyright 2015 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: Family, From Left to Write Book Club, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Ok so far…

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This month the From Left to Write Book Club is reading If I Fall, I Die, by Michael Christie. It’s about a young boy whose mother has such severe agoraphobia, he spends most of his childhood inside. It’s not until one brave day, when Will ventures outside to investigate a noise that his whole world opens up.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people my age and older tell their children “When I was young, I played outside all day.” “I didn’t have a cell phone. When my mom needed me, she stepped outside and called my name.” “I didn’t need my parents to drive me anywhere either, I had a bicycle!”

I am guilty of this as well. I routinely watch my kids roll their eyes at me when I recall the days of my youth, when I rode my bike to my friend’s house, or practiced roller skating in the street outside my house.

I hear people say that the world was so much safer back then. I don’t believe that to be true.

When I was a child, there were weirdos who drove white vans and tried to lure you in with candy, or puppies and then do terrible things to you. My friends and I knew about them, and stayed away from white vans. There were murders and rapists, psychopaths and religious extremists too.

What I truly believe, is that there appears to be more danger in the world because we are more aware of it. Dangerous people are celebritized (is that even a word?) and worshipped. Worse yet, after they’ve been made famous for a crime committed, they are deemed “not guilty” or “rehabilitated” and released back in to the world.

They are released back in to the world where our children are playing, and growing, and living. I’m not sure that I would rather be ignorant of the goings on around us, but why SHOULDN’T I be afraid to let my children play outside? Why SHOULDN’T I be terrified to let them out of my sight? Believe me, I am.

But I know I have to let them go to experience the world as I never have. I hope they travel and see sights I could only dream of. I hope they discover new and amazing things about themselves everyday. I hope everyday of their lives is an adventure.

And I also hope that when they do leave the nest, that I have taught them enough to be prepared for any situation. I hope they know how to handle heartbreak and anguish. I hope they know how to handle happiness and joy. And I hope they know how to handle fear and anger too. That they keep a level head and think before acting or saying.

I can only hope that I’m doing it right. I think I’ve done ok so far…

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This is an original ROSCMM post. This post was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was inspired by If I Fall, I Die by Michael Christie, a copy of which I received for review purposes. All opinions are that of Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted.

Copyright 2015 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: #proudmoma, From Left to Write Book Club, Kids | 2 Comments

Careful enough

Meet my grandma.

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She was my mom’s mom and my favorite person in the whole wide world. For the first 15 years of my life, she and my aunt lived in a two family house in Brooklyn. Sundays and holidays were spent at her house. Or she and Auntie would drive to ours in “Lawng Island”.

She was your typical Sicilian grandma, always telling you to eat and pinching your cheeks. And when she got mad, look out!! Wooden spoons were a fearsome weapon in our house.

She died on a sunny summer day in July 2006. We knew it was coming. She’d been diagnosed with dementia and her little body just shut down. My mom was staying with her and Auntie for a week or so before. And my other aunt, Little One, came in from Rhode Island as well. I was working in the pet store my husband and I owned. I was 27. My son was almost 4. I remember parts of the conversation with my mom that morning:

“Well? Anything?” I asked, kind of hopeful that some miracle would happen and Grandma would be well again.
“Not yet, ” my mom replied sounding sad and tired.
“Will you call me? Please? If she goes?”
“We’ll come get you, how’s that?”
“No, Ma. Just call.”
“Ok.”

No sooner had I hung up the phone, than my dad walked in. I can’t really remember, but I think he must have taken the train home from Manhattan, and instead of going straight home, he must have gotten off at the stop by my store.

He put his arm around me and whispered gently in my ear, “She’s gone.”

I remember being angry. Why hadn’t my mom just told me when I was on the phone with her? I had just hung up with her, why didn’t she tell me??

The rest of the day is a blur. I’m not sure how I got home. Or when we’d gone out to New Jersey for the wake and funeral.

A few weeks later, Auntie presented me with a tiny, red, quilted pouch. In it was a thin gold bracelet. I remember Grandma used to wear it on the same wrist as her watch. “Grandma wanted you to have this,” she’d said.

I loved that bracelet. I wore it all the time. And I was so careful with it. Always checking to see where it was. Always making sure that when I took it off, it was in a safe place.

And then I lost it. I woke up one morning and it was gone. It must have snapped and fallen off and I didn’t notice. I retraced my steps. I went back to the warehouse store. I checked the backyard where I’d help put together a pool for my son. I checked my car, my room, everywhere. It was gone.

Grandma’s gone eight years now. I keep this picture in my bedroom and I say good morning to her everyday.

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I am thankful for the time I got to spend with her. But I’m sad Big Boy didn’t get to spend more time with her and Little Miss never got to meet her. I’ve never found the bracelet either. Sorry Grandma, I guess I wasn’t careful enough.

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions come for Jennifer herself, unless otherwise noted. This post was inspired by the novel The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan, about two estranged sisters who are forced to work together in order to uncover the hidden inheritance by their mother. Join From Left to Write on December 2nd as we discuss The Mill River Redemption and enter to win a copy of the novel. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Categories: Family, From Left to Write Book Club | 3 Comments

Conversations with My 12 Year-Old Genius.

Me: What are you doing?

Him: I am trying to gauge the ratio of noodles to soup so I know how much I am eating.

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Him: So, what are you reading?
Me: Its a book called The Goddess of Small Victories. Its about Kurt Godel, a famous mathematician and his wife, Adele.

Kurt and Adele Image Courtesy of The Kurt Godel Society

Kurt and Adele
Image Courtesy of The Kurt Godel Society

 

They were friends with Albert Einstein.

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Godel and Einstein. Image Courtesy of the Kurt Godel Society

 

Him: Woah… Friends with Albert Einstein? That’s cool.

Me: Yeah, that’s why I asked what kind of things you would ask him if he could come to dinner.

Him: Well, I think I’d ask him to explain to me about his theory of E=mc2. I mean I know what it means, Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, which if something is going to speed of light it can’t really have mass. And, I think you know from all the science shows me and dad watch that there is a way to travel faster than light but its theoretical right now. You see, you’d have to bend the space time graph and …

Me: your lips are chapped and you need to cut your fingernails.

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Me: who do you think would win? Albert Einstein

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Albert Einstein 1935. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

or Stephen Hawking?

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Stephen Hawking, 1980s Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Him: In a battle of the brains or just a battle…

Me: DUH! Let’s be logical here… Stephen Hawking has, what? Cerebral Palsy? (actually a motor neuron disease related to ALS)
Him: Yeah, and Albert Einstein would be like 105 by now. (he would be 135) So, yeah, Albert Einstein.
Me: Ok, why?
Him: Because Albert Einstein came up with the equation that all of space time is based on. I mean, E=mc2 is the basis of everything in space time. Which, did you know that the equation E=mc2 was actually incomplete when he first introduced it? There was a little bit extra that needed to be added on at the end of it. They discovered that later on.

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Not for nothing, but I think my kid’s pretty smart…  Happy 12th birthday!

 

Now I know how Adele must have felt during conversations with her husband and his scientist/mathematician friends!

 

This is an original ROSCMM post.  All opinions in this post are that of Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted.  This post was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was inspired by The Goddess of Small Victories by Yannick Grannec, a copy of which I received for free for the purposes of this post.  

 

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Copyright 2014 Mastermind Mommy

Categories: #proudmoma, From Left to Write Book Club, Randomness... | 1 Comment

#FromLefttoWrite Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: 50th Anniversary Celebration

This post was inspired by the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Penguin Young Readers Group, in partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar, the world famous candy emporium, and First Book, a non-profit social enterprise that provides books for children from low-income families, is launching a year long international celebration.

Head on over to From Left to Write to learn how you and your child have a chance to win the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes where the grand prize is a magical trip to New York City plus much more!  For every entry submitted, Penguin Young Readers Group will make a donation to First Book.  Then join From Left to Write on July 24th as we discuss Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  As a book club member, I received a copy of this book for review purposes.

Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory-by-Roald-Dahl-666x1024This summer has been a crazy one…  We’re in the process of moving into our new space so everything is upside down in our home life right now, and every weekend there is something else going on.  Today, our friends are getting married, and I’m just too excited to sleep, so here I am writing my post.  Next weekend we prepare for my son to go to Boy Scout camp for a week and the following weekend, we go to Rhode Island to visit my aunt and uncle and retrieve my son from said camp.

One thing we’ve been able to make some time for though is reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  After dinner, the kids and I would sit down together on the couch and read about Charlie’s and the other children’s adventure in the chocolate factory with the eccentric Mr. Wonka.  Oftentimes, I would attempt (unsuccessfully) to sing the Oompa Loompa’s songs and speak in an English accent any time Veruca Salt opened her ungrateful, spoiled, little mouth.  It was bad.  Really really bad.  But fun.  So much fun.

As we read, I couldn’t help comparing the book to the two movies made, based on the book.  Have you read this classic?  Which movie do you think is more true to the book?

When my son was little, he was obsessed for a short time with both movies.  The Gene Wilder version of the movie we called “The Original Version”, while the remake, staring my boyfriend Johnny Depp, was called “The Creepy Willy Wonka”.   Everything he saw he related to the movies. When we would drive to New Jersey to visit my aunt, we’d pass the factories just before the New Jersey Turnpike. Big Boy would point to the smoke stacks and shout, “Look Mommy, it’s Willy Wonka’s factory!”  When we’d see a squirrel in the backyard, he’d tell me that the squirrel was collecting nuts to bring to Mr. Wonka.  Sometimes we’d make up a whole back story about the squirrel and how he was leaving his family to go to work in the chocolate factory.

It was during thA boy in all his chocolate glory!at time as well, that we took him to Hershey Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, my boy is now more in to video games than chocolate factories and silly games with mommy, but my daughter is just learning the joys of books my Roald Dahl.  I can’t wait to read more with her.

I think reading with my children is a wonderful thing.  In our crazy world of scouting events, dance classes, playdates, and birthday parties, I’m so glad we were able to find time to sit and go on this adventure together. I think another adventure is in order soon.  Perhaps James and the Giant Peach?

Copyright Mastermind Mommy 2014

Categories: Book Club, From Left to Write Book Club | 1 Comment

Figuring him out

As I type this my son is grumbling to himself and piling paper towel after paper towel over the dog’s spilled water. He’s angry with me because I won’t let him have Cheezits after he just had some brownies. Dinner will be in an hour and if I let him have more of a snack now, he won’t eat his dinner.

Tomorrow we go to the dr.

Finally.

Tomorrow we see the neurologist who will (hopefully) help us to determine why my son can’t sit still for more than a few minutes at a time, and why he gets so angry over little things like math homework and showers and the fact that Hurricane Sandy ruined his Halloween. Why he has to wear the same sweat jacket to school everyday and when he gets himself worked up in school, all he has to do is zip it up and he calms right down. Hopefully this doctor can tell me why as a baby he could spin and spin and spin and not get dizzy and why he’s not still unless he’s plugged in to some sort of device be it his iPod, his computer, or some sort of gaming console. Why he gets so fixated on one thing and can’t seem to let anything go until I absolutely lose my mind and scream at him, and then he gets angry and it starts all over again.

I need to figure him out. It started in Preschool when his teacher suggested I get him tested for ADD/ADHD because he was having trouble sitting still and staying focused. S By the time she brought it to my attention, it was too late for Kindergarten. I took him to a neurologist anyway, neurologist told me she could see him “seeking sensory stimulation” and ordered an EEG. When the EEG came back normal, she didn’t want to see him again.

In Kindergarten, the teacher said nothing to me that would imply that he would need to to be tested. He had behavior issues, but those were worked out with a reward chart.

First grade same thing.

Second grade, all hell breaks loose. He can’t concentrate on a test because the kids on the playground below his classroom window are yelling and some kid is calling his name. They’re not calling him, just some kid with the same name but its bothering him. He is constantly getting in trouble for talking and getting out of his chair. I begin to resent his teacher because I feel like she’s picking on him. Finally in May of that year, he loses his mind and shouts out to his teacher “I can’t wait till second grade is over and neither can my mom!!” Crap. She calls me in to explain myself. I tell her how I feel. She tells me to get him tested, but not to go through the school, get him tested privately. I call my dr, dr says that I have to go through the school. Call the school, psychologist says “it’s May, there’s really nothing I can do for him.” And pushed it back into my lap.

Third grade I was told that he was a genius but didn’t test well enough to get into the gifted and talented program.

Fourth grade, nothing.

Fifth grade, this past October, I get called in to speak to the teacher. “Have you had him tested? I need to know what’s going on with him.” I don’t know what’s going on with him, what do you think I should do? “Let’s talk to the school psychologist and see what she says.” One month later, I get another call to come in. “We have to figure him out.” He left his jacket (this was before we discovered the sweat jacket) in the gym and he needed to go get it, in the middle of a lesson. Without asking, he picked himself up and tried to leave the room. His teacher stopped him, but he nearly lost his mind because he NEEDED to get that jacket. “Did you call the school psychologist?” Yes, but she’s never gotten back to me. The next day, she calls. After the holidays, I get called in AGAIN. He’s had an argument with another student and told him he was going to f-ing kill him. Sigh…

There’s so much more, but I don’t want to turn this into a whine fest.

He has social issues too. He has a hard time making and keeping friends. He’s in a social skills group offered by the town. He sees the social worker at school once a week.

He has anger issues. He needs an outlet. I signed him up for Tae Kwon Do. It seems to be working.

It all seems to be helping. But only a little.

Next year he will go to Middle School and he will be faced with a whole new experience. Will he sink or swim?

So tomorrow we go. Is it ADD? ADHD? Emotional disturbance? Sensory?

I don’t know, and I’ll admit, I’m scared, but his teacher is right, we have to figure him out. And we will. And this goes without saying, I will love him no matter what. I just want him to be happy and comfortable, and safe.

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was written in response to Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives by John Elder Robinson an ebook copy of which I received for free for the purposes of this post. And no, you can’t steal my content, it’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright MasterMind Mommy 2013

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Categories: From Left to Write Book Club, i do love them even though they drive me insane, Rants | 5 Comments

The Pep Talk

20130213-175331.jpgThis month, the From Left to Write Book Club is reading Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives by Becky Aikman. It’s about a group of women, all in different stages of widowhood, getting together and forming their own support group of sorts. It was an effort by Becky to prove to herself and others that being a widow didn’t mean you had to sit around and mourn your lost husband forever. It was meant to prove that one could be a widow and still move on and create a new life.

As you know, the From Left to Write Book Club doesn’t write reviews on the books we read. We write posts inspired by the book. Last night, I was trying to put together ideas on what to write for this book. Nothing came to mind. I read posts by other members. Most of them were about the death or impending death of a loved one. I’m not feeling writing about the death or impending death of anyone. I’ve been there and done that. I want, like Becky wanted from the widows group she was kicked out of, a more uplifting post. Something that talks about life after death instead of grieving.

So, lets face it, it’s pretty inevitable that we’re all going to die at some point, right? (Unless you’re my dad who says he’s not going to die cause he’s got entirely too many people to annoy still.) But what about the people you leave behind after you die? What kind of things will they remember of you after you’re gone? This is what I want to write about for you today.

A few days ago, the kids and I were in the middle of our usual morning routine. Little Miss was at the table eating breakfast, I was packing Big Boy’s lunch, and Big Boy was off somewhere on his iPod.

Now, the day before, My Big Boy wasn’t feeling well and wound up giving back his breakfast after only eating it a half hour before. Ick. So he stayed home from school. Now I had a meeting that night and wouldn’t you know it, he spikes a fever. Dang it! So I pop him some Advil, and go to my meeting.

Next morning, he gets up, gets dressed, goes into the kitchen for breakfast. I didn’t say anything, he just did it.

Then…

I made the mistake of mentioning that since he had a fever the night before that I wasn’t planning on sending him to school. (I KNOW, I know… the rule is 24 hours fever free, but c’mon, he was FINE!) Well, as soon as he heard that I was originally wasn’t going to send him to school, he started.

“I HATE SCHOOL!! ”

“IT’S TOO HARD!!”

“I don’t wanna go!!”

Sigh…

So this is my fault, I know, so how do I handle this?? I scream at him. I argue with him. He cries… I hang my head, defeated, he hides in his room.

Then, a miracle occurred! MY HUSBAND WALKED IN THE DOOR!!

“Oh, I’m SO glad you’re home!”

Puzzlement.

“Would you please go down there and talk to your son? He’s refusing to go to school.”

“But I thought you weren’t sending…”

“I know, but he got himself up, and dressed, and he had breakfast. He’s FINE.”

Husband goes into boy’s room.

I brace myself for impact.

Now, I get told that I yell, a lot. But when my husband is angry or the kids aren’t cooperating and he’s frustrated, he explodes.

Five minutes go by and I don’t have a crying boy in front of me yet. I need to investigate.

So I go into the boy’s room, and my husband is kneeling in the middle of the room talking to the boy. TALKING!! Not yelling.

And the words?? Oh the words!

“I need you to go to school and learn as much as you can. Show everybody up. Be smarter than everybody. Make me proud.”

That’s the memory I want my son to have years down the road. The memory of his father giving him the motivation he needed when he couldn’t go on. The memory of his father talking to him, being there for him, supporting him, when his world was crashing down.

Thanks babe. You did it. I love you.

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was inspired by Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives by Becky Aikman a copy of which I received for free for the purposes of this book club. All opinions are that of Jennifer herself, and no, you can’t steal my content. It’s called Copyright, yo.

Copyright 2013. Mastermind Mommy

Categories: From Left to Write Book Club, i do love them even though they drive me insane | 2 Comments

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