29 September 2013

Blood, Sweat, and Tears. It's a New School Year!

I haven't written because we're back in school. Here is a re-cap of the first three weeks:

Resumed driving One back and forth to county college.

Chased and tackled Five on neighbor's lawn after he refused to board bus on first day.

Captain away on business trip.

Mandated visit to the psychiatric ER to obtain a letter stating Five could return to school after verbalizing his anxiety about being in school for the first time since last March.

Racial epithets.

Call from principal explaining Four said language learned from youtube and used in response to being called a fat fag.

Teenage break-up.

Subsequent holes punched in Two's wall.

Captain away on business trip.

House used as safe haven for female teenage friend whose family kicked her out.

Daily negotiations to get Five into school every morning.

Shut my finger in the van door. Pain, blood, infection.

Stopped Four's enraged schoolmate from chasing him into the house after an argument turned physical. Calmed him down while we waited for his mother because the driver refused to let him back in the van.

Another visit to the ER with Five who sliced open his finger using a large serrated knife to cut through a chicken bone. He wanted to see the marrow.

Interned my mother's ashes.

Add in the usual--homework, athletics, three back-to-school nights, visits with the nice psychologist who might help Five, reams and reams of paperwork--and you get a feel for why I finally asked my doctor for drugs.

This is the first time in two years I've looked around and thought I can't do this.

I'll let you know how it goes.

06 September 2013

My Time (of the month) with Patrice

I have had five children. I understand how the reproductive process works. I can, as I've demonstrated several times with my boys, explain it in a fairly straightforward manner. And yet the Captain and I are still surprised and annoyed every twenty-eight days when I get my period. I hate the hemorrhagic blood flow, and he can't believe he has to stop trying to have sex with me for five days.

This general irritation has spawned an entire backstory for my period based on the quaint custom of asking if one's "friend" has come to town. My period has never been my friend, so I imagine a man coined this euphemism as a fervent prayer that his girlfriend wasn't pregnant. Seeing as how the only times I've missed my period are when I've been good and knocked up, I get the misnomer.

Thus, Patrice was born.

Patrice is my "friend." I've known her since middle school. She's always been a little loud and needy, but tolerable in short bursts. We went to college together, but I tried to put a little distance between us when it became apparent she wasn't a great influence. I usually regretted my behavior when we were out together. But she cleaned up her act after graduation, and when I got married I'd invite her out to visit once in a while.

Ten years of steady child birthing took a toll on our relationship. Life with newborns is all consuming, so we'd lose touch for months. Patrice resented our on-again, off-again status, and would drunk-dial me in the middle of the night to complain. More than once she showed up, unannounced, at an important event to demonstrate her enduring power. I would spend half the wedding/reunion/vacation trying to control her as she refused to be relegated to the fringes of my life.

I'll admit, lately I've wished Patrice would just go away for good. My hand has hovered over the phone, debating whether to answer her midnight call from the train station. I've spoken to medical professionals about the best way to handle our increasingly toxic association. But I just haven't been able to cut her out of my life. Even though our friendship is painful, it's familiar. A lot is forgiven when you've known someone for thirty-five years.

This week I attended a Bat Mitzvah and took a mini-vacation with the boys. Naturally, I expected Patrice to show up. I've been ready, but she hasn't called. I'm not pregnant, although I can't completely dismiss the idea that the Captain's uber-competitiveness may have inspired his stranded sperm to swarm, like the Borg or those Matrix attackers, and repair his severed vas deferens.

I've grown more worried for Patrice's safety with each passing day. Most likely, she's passed out somewhere, hopefully with a hunky guy. But her absence has made my heart grow fonder. As much as she interferes with my life, our bond is unique.

I'll miss her when she's gone.