Saturday, June 19, 2010

So It Really Is This Way

Very frustrated, trapped, blah feeling tonight. We decided, like we do every year at this time, to load up the family and drive about 5 minutes to watch the Louisiana High School Rodeo Finals. It's always such a high spot in our year. We get to relive some of our past favorite times in life, watch some great entertainment, but most of all, we get energized seeing all of these high schoolers work so hard to reach their goals. Some of them are on very expensive, professionally-trained horses, and then there are those like a sweet gal we have watched grow up here, Randi, who got a regular-seeming horse locally and has used her own blood, sweat and tears to come out at the top.....another year. It's just so awesome and motivating!!!!!!!

But let me rewind. We drive into the complex outside of our small town where the rodeo is held. It's a multi-million dollar facility with huge covered and partially enclosed riding arenas, hundreds of stalls, and more concrete than all the Wal Marts in America can boast. The huge 4-H barn is there, the old YMCA that had to close because of lack of interest by locals is there. There's a big trade show building. It's a very nice facility, to say the least. Then part of the place has many hook-ups for RVs and such. Well, we drove in, and there were a couple of "dudes" (for lack of manners in using any alternative phrases I would now prefer to use when referring to them) are walking across the parking lot as we drive into a parking space. When I open my door, they are almost 20 years from our car, and on Grouchy's side, but heading toward my side, but walking behind where we parked. And I hear the second "dude" say on his cell phone in almost a yell, "Where's my sh#&? You gotta bring me my f#%&@&# sh$%!" And I let it slide, but then as the kiddos are getting unbuckled and about to climb out of the car, he repeats it. Now this is where I have to think. The easy thing to do is to tell Grouchy and be the helpless, Southern Belle.....but then logic jumps in to save the day and reminds me that if Grouchy says something to the "dude" then there might be an altercation because the "dude" even walks with that arrogant, kick-your-tail know what I mean....So I really can't stand a fist fight, especially since there are two "dudes," Grouchy, three kids and me.....ugly....
So I decide the odds of the "dude" hitting me are far, far less, and if he did, he would die a slow, painful death at the hands of I do it. I look right at him and say,"Hey, I am getting my kids out of the car here, can you please stop the language?" Ooooooooo....I get the pause in his cursing into his phone, the look of disbelief, then the eat-u-know-what-and-die look, and he proceeds to walk and talk loudly into the phone, but this time without the language....IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU GOD!!!!!!

Of course both of the girls wanted to know what was wrong. Grouchy heard my comment but not what the "dude" originally said that prompted my comment. Drama was averted and we went on to enjoy the rodeo.......or so we thought....

So we pay the $32 to get our family in, head to get some seats, and we run into many people we know from horse events, town, etc. I head off with Garrett to let him walk up and down the handicap ramps, one of his favorite autistic pastimes, and then Addie needs me to go somewhere with her, but when I try to leave the ramp with Garrett, he starts to freak out. Now I am fully aware of what freaking out is like for a toddler. I had one who did it a short while, and I have one who still does it at 7 sometimes, but it can always be solved, thwarted, stopped, somehow. But not with Garrett. Once he freaks, you are not going to have another pleasant moment for at least the next hour unless you let him go back to the thing you stopped him from in the first place. And there's no use in logic, just doesn't work. So I herd and trick Garrett into going with Addie and me to see some western jewelry, purses and such. Then we are back to the ramp. Mind you there is a whole rodeo going on just beyond where I can see from the ramp....the ramp's next destination is a street and parking lot, so there's no letting your eye off Garrett for a moment. I bribe Garrett from the ramp and over to where Grouchy and Ainslee and some friends have found some seats right neat the arena to watch the events. We try to way. Grouchy gives Garret his iPhone to let him play on it, and it works for a while. Oscar gets concerned about all the button pushing going on and gets it back. Then Garrett tries to dart off back to the ramp.....I ask if Grouchy can let him play with his phone....there are some local kids coming up in the events, and we have watched these kids grow up on horses and know their parents, and love to catch them in this rodeo because it is the STATE FINALS....big deal!!!!! He hands the iPhone to Garrett who is back to his "Rainmanning" of enjoying the music on the phone and pushing buttons over and over. All's well, right?????
Our friend's little girl goes to get a snow cone. We told our kids, before we even parked, that we were not buying anything to eat or drink. They both had donuts and soda today.....had a very healthy dinner of Vienna sausages and weird is that??...and we just thought it best to stop the dammage by not consuming junk at the rodeo. But Addie and Ainslee turned into whiners.....beggers.....pleading, whining, begging, begging, whining pleading......uuuugggh. It was rediculous. Wore me out. Then Addie starts off complaining of being too hot. We are under a huge fan, and I am comfy, but I know her body isn't like mine. So now I have to ask: Is she hot or just frustrated? I don't know!!!! Then she reminds me she didn't want to come.....but was having a blast chatting with her friend a minute before......before we said no to the snowcone...and it continues. They stand between my eyes and the kids I am dying to watch compete and WHINE!!!!!!!!!! I finally get them to sit, then Garrett wants to go up and down and up and down and up and down the we decide to leave. And I tell Grouchy I think the kids should repay their admission to us.....they at LEAST owe us that for torturing us there, right? I told the girls that had they seen themselved on video, they would not have believed it. I know if they had seen other children act like that, they would have pointed it out to me and said they had no idea how kids that age could act like babies...happened just LAST WEEK!!! So Grouchy handles the very calm lecture on the short trip home. I try to just breathe and not explode. I feel like the whole evening was a complete waste.....was suppose to be a Little House On the Praire kind of night, right? Grouchy going out of town for quite a while to work tomorrow, let's blow it out one last time and do something fun......but NO!!!!!! We get home and Grouchy goes in first, on a mission to finish packing for his work trip. The girls get out and I help Garrett out....still cannot get out of his 5 point harness by himself....or into it. And as I round the corner into the living room, I hear Grouchy getting very upset about something. It's his iPhone. While we let Garrett play with the iPhone so BOTH of us could actually sit and watch our local kids for, oh, maybe 15 minutes, Garrett managed to change the security code, thus locking up the phone. Grouchy goes postal, then I go postal, and Garrett LAUGHS, I am sure!!! The girls are scurrying around trying not to draw any foul, and we are all just tired and miserable. I end up venting to Grouchy about Garrett and how we can't ever seem to function like NORMAL people. Then it hits me like it hits me......blind sides me each time, about once every couple weeks....we are no longer normal people.

As a mom I know named her blog....My New is so true. We should get a sitter if we would like to go sit and watch anything. We should not plan to both relax and enjoy something when Garrett is with just can't happen. And it IS normal.....FOR US. This is hard for me. I am a very selfish person, and don't DARE comment otherwise here. I know me, and it's true. But this is us now.....raw, exposed, obvious, and long term. It's nights like this when I wonder how we will do this. Honestly, sometimes Garrett's mental issues far outweigh the possible physical issues he will likely face because he does seem okay, not normal, but not failing physically right now. But the mental, behavioral, that's scary. What will this look like in a year, five, 20? What can we expect? I am reminded all the time that worry is a wasted emotion, but it's not worry, it's fear, selfishness, exhaustion.....and we have som much for which to be thankful, and I can say that, but regret I don't act and feel like it.

I love these children more than I can express. Garrett is my soul......but tonight my soul aches.

That's all. Thanks for listening. Not much to think about tonight, really....ha!!!!
I have been praying now for specific things to happen regarding our potential relocation to Idaho. I think it's time. Maybe I am just trying to escape the things I cannot change by making big changes I can accomplish. Maybe it's all a big joke....on me.

And I close tonight with my eyes wide open in fear, disbelief, but thankfulness....because it REALLY IS THIS WAY.


  1. Hugs, Clara-leigh! I missed this blog the other day and only found it because you referenced it in the new blog.

    Part of me wants to be a cheerleader and say "but look at all the positives of the night" or "at least you got to go out without attachments and equipment" or even "kids will be kids". But in the end I'm just your friend and I soooo feel your pain and I'll just say "I'm so, so sorry!"

    And I mean that from the bottom of my heart! We try to do the same normal things here like go to a sit down restaurant or grocery shopping together or heaven forbid a bookstore and 90% of the time it goes wrong, terribly wrong! It seems so unfair!

    And I agree with you that the behavioral stuff is very scary. Right now at worst it looks like bad parenting but I'm at the point that I don't care if I look like a bad parent. But what about latter on... I really try not to think about it too much!

    I'm glad your weekend improved and you got to enjoy hubs last day before he started his new job! I'm praying you have a great week this week and this is the week the house gets SOLD!!!

    Hugs again, my friend!

  2. I'm crying and laughing and all I can hear is your beautiful voice singing that song that brings me right where I need to be. I love you.