Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Cleaning

We are on spring break here. So I am feeling motivated to get this place ship shape. Adam and I remulched the front yard yesterday, and started re-mortering a wall in our yard that is falling a part.

This morning, I started looking to make a plan for the house. I realized the only true way to clean and de-clutter is to lose these three children. Life with a family is messy. There are bits of things everywhere. There is artwork hanging on expensive furniture. I have a paper mache volcano on a cake plate sitting next to a water frog that is way past his expiration date. Controlled chaos.

I wouldn't trade it. I can have a perfect house when the kids are gone. But for now I am going to use this house up, enjoy our lives, and go bike riding instead of spring cleaning.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New title

I changed the title of my blog. Mostly because I am feeling less and less defined by my new-ish diagnosis. It is creeping back to where it belongs, just being a part of me, and not who I am.

Blind mothering fits in so many ways. I am a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal, so there's that. I have great kids, so I am really glad it is working out so far. hehe.

So, I have been working on my attitude toward marriage and my husband lately. I was listening to some talks on love and marriage, and thought I would try. So here is the basics:
1. Love one another - like actively, do loving things, kindness, respect, compassion. See I am a bit dark and kinda a jokster, so this is hard for me. Apparently sarcasm is not the way to true intimacy.
2. Submit - Have a servants heart. This is not sexist. Both of us should feel this way. I think the best way this was summed up for me was - Choose the relationship over self interest. Again, this is hard. I want to make sure I am not submitting more than him. I have a healthy fear of not getting out what I put in, so I am always in negotiations.
3. Don't Compete - For me this is about being right. Not just being right but having Adam tell me I am right, why I am right, and why he is wrong, wrong, wrong...
4. Be interested in their interests. Apparently, I suck at relationships, because I find this hard as well. Adam was travelling for work through parts of western Europe. He was sending me emails about castles and countrysides. He was truely excited. I was up to my elbows in throw-up and school projects. I actually asked him to stop sending me the email updates. I am not a grown up.

Really the difference is amazing. I just decided to try this new perspective and attitude. Honestly, I like myself better. And when I see old Melissa in a relationship, I am like eww. But at least now I know what I am striving for.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Snowing pink petals

I have the most amazing tree outside my front door. It gets these pink pom-poms, and they are glorious. It is only a couple of weeks from the beginning of blooms until the tree greens up. I am now in the stage where there are little pink petals snowing in my front yard. It is so beautiful, so temporary, and so fleeting.

I am feeling so much better it is ridiculous. I am about 6 months away from diagnosis. I knew I would feel better, adapt, and regain hope. I kept telling myself that, but then I would tell myself to shut up. There is no speeding up time, I just had to get through it, and it hurt. I can make myself cry again, thinking of the pain. Yet, I truly feel like the darkest days are past. It is amazing the way family and friends rally me, hold me up.

Okay, too mushy. moving on.

I have a bull horn. I got it for Christmas from my brother in law. See we all draw names, he got me, and he thought bull horn. At first, I was offended, deeply. This is no normal gift exchange. See my husbands family is so competitive, that after all the grown children exchange, my mother-in-law judges who gave the best gift. She thought the bull horn was the best. Again, I was offended deeply. She knew I was irritated by the present and she twisted the knife by picking it as the winner.

Well, I love that bull-horn. I can stand at the top of the stairs to the basement and call the kids up for dinner. I can call them in from playing. The neighbors think its hilarious ( at least that is what they tell me). I have brought mothering to an all new low. Imagine a woman in slippers, standing on her back deck, calling her children through a bull horn. I am no longer offended, I am in love.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Review

I just read Cockeyed. It is a book by a man, Ryan Knighton, with RP. He is witty, dark, simple, and it was a good read. It was so hard to read at times, so painful. He was diagnosed at 18, so I certainly did not have to do all that identity formation life stuff while also dealing with RP. Thank you God.

His blindness progressed at a much younger age than mine. Honestly, he scared the bejezus out of me. I am happily in the denial of the present, and I like it here. I think if you try to figure out too much of the future you go bananas.

Is it possible to overplan/overthink the future and be in denial of it at the same time? Yes, it is. I'm there.

Life is good

Tomorrow is the 7th grade dance. I am chaperoning. I will bear witness to people's future awkward memories. Now if the lights are turned down, I will not be much of a chaperon. I asked Mary (my 7th grade daughter) if she thinks her friends will mind if I show them some old school dances. She could not even speak a reply. hehe.

Spring Baseball is starting up. I can not wait for the first game. Seeing my husband in a matching uniform with my 10 year old makes me happy on a cellular level. One, I LOVE baseball. Second, I love those two.

Spring tennis for me is beginning. I love my tennis ladies so much. We were at lunch the other day after practice, and someone asked me about my eyes. I was explaining RP, and where I was at with it. My dear sweet friend looked at me and her first thought was "How do you play tennis?" Not, how do you drive, how fast is it happening, nothing practical like that. ha-larious. Tennis is a serious priority.
Spring is here. We have a tree with a hundred thousand white blooms on it. Sunny warm days are beginning, dotted with warm moody rainy days. I can't wait for our cherry tree to bloom, with it's pink pom-poms. Love it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Marchin' forward

I am in a funk.

The last couple of weeks has been difficult. I have repetitive obsessive thoughts about the future. The thing is, I know better. I have been in therapy before, I worked in the field of helping, and I have read countless books on personal and spiritual growth. And I feel like a total loser.

I mean really, who doesn't know better. Anyone will tell you to focus on your gratitude, your abilities, your blessings, and I am struggling.

So, I made a to do list. Sometimes, just plowin through', getting things done, and having an outward focus brings me back level.

Here is the list:
Write a blog entry - done
Call the new tumbling place for Mary
Email class about carnival baskets
Call Joanne's about a sewing class
Look at the parks and rec book for a spring Art class
Get supplies for bake sale
Go to coffee with friends

I gotta fight. I can't just lay down in this. So I am off to put on my shoes and earrings and hit the day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Embarrassment of riches

The kids and Adam both had the day off today. So we decided to skip town this weekend and head for Tybee Island and Savannah.

It was great. Warm enough for the kids to play in the waves. No way I thought the kids were going in the water. Actually, bringing their suits was an afterthought, you know, just in case. They love the beach. They love it so much, they have never bickered, and always play together when we go. Or maybe, I can't hear it over the sounds of the waves. Whichever, it is kid heaven.

We climbed a lighthouse that predates the revolutionary war. I had no problem going up, but coming down spiral stairs is really tricky on the eyes.

We went in to Savannah and went on a historic bus tour. We ate lunch at The Pirate House, a boarding house for pirates and other sea faring folk, dating back to colonial times. There was a part of the building that was close to 300 years old.

Now, while the children loved Savanah, not enough to not bicker. I was in the restroom and Adam was looking around at some signage on the walls, only to look over at the big kids at the table in time to see....Mary smacking a french fry that Theo was dangling in her face. The fry went flying onto the next table, landing in the middle of three older couples enjoying a post church lunch. Classy!

Just this morning we were on the beach. I was sitting in the sand watching my children and husband chase each other through the sand dunes. It was so amazing and beautiful. How did this happen to me? How am I so fortunate? All the flaws and imperfections, the flying french fries, the RP, it is who we are. It is what makes us love each other so much. My life is so much more than I imagined for myself.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dialog in the Dark

As the parents of three kids, valentines no longer belongs to us as a couple. It's about cupcakes, school parties, and all the heart shaped food that we can invent. My very clever husband came home on the red eye Thursday night, and stayed home on Friday with me for a date day. We had lunch and went to an exhibit in Atlanta called Dialog in the Dark.

First - lunch. I had a salad, and made Adam order one as well. Adam then ordered rum and coke at 11:30 am, and I could not let him drink alone on our valentines date! What kind of wife would I be? We both love crab cakes, so we split some, yummy!

Then we walked to the exhibit. Basically, you are given a cane, and then lead by a visually impaired guide through a pitch black walking tour. I am not going to give too many details, because I would not want to ruin it for anyone who might take the tour.

Sitting in the lobby, waiting for the tour, I had a minute. I was thinking I can't do this. I don't even want to pretend to be totally blind. Tears started to well in my eyes, and I was trying to think about other things. Then Adam leaned over and says, "I can find you in the dark, you smell like rum." Funny, funny. Thank God for Adam.

Once we were in the room and the guide began talking, I was fine. The tour was fantastic, enlightening and interesting. I love that the exhibit employs visually impaired people. Our tour guide was great. I wanted to pick his brain about his vision loss. We chatted about what he had and what I have. He said something about having friends with RP, and that they all lost their vision much sooner than I am losing mine. I really wanted like 30 minutes to interrogate him, about his life, etc.... But I didn't know how to phrase "You want to hang out sometime, so I can ask you a series of really personal questions?"
It was a really good day.