Fall

Again for those in the nose bleed section, watch Ted Lasso. It will make you feel better. And when you develop a crush on Jason Sudeikis read the GQ article. I am definitely including one of the images from the magazine in my hallway decoupage project. (to be explained in an upcoming blog post).

Are you watching this yet? When I watch Ted Lasso I start to believe all middle aged men are not horrible. When I watch Only Murders in the Building, I realize I want to marry a tv show and spend the rest of my life enjoying the characters and the setting and the adorable intro with the sketches and sweet music.

Addy just got married September 25 to George Ficken, a delightful man who is compassionate, dependable, and a complete love. I am having trouble delving into the wedding photos I took and the feelings that the wedding brought up/ the changes in having a family of tirelessly maturing daughters and sons. Who am I and all that Blah blah blah.

So I will talk about all that later.

I am taking a self portraiture class from my favorite photographers in Canada. Amy and Jenna Hobbs are sisters in law. And I admire their work immensely. Click her to view their website.

These photos are from an ongoing project called A Mother’s Beauty. And they fill me up with inspiration. The glory, the power and the beauty of mothers.

Self portraiture was not exactly my favorite class but I followed through and learned. The images of myself from the class will be in a later blog post).

Amy and Jenna are so sweet and encouraging and they actually say stuff like I love your style, Martee.

Mim’s melt downs have been melting. Lordy mercy. Tonight the steam started to come out of her ears because “BeBe and I were talking crap about her.” Actually we were talking about packing her lunches but she interpreted the conversation as an affront.The usual throwing stuff, yelling, lots of “fuck” and you aren’t my real mom. She slammed the door as she retreated to her room. I could hear her yell and throw stuff. I turned to BeBe and said ” I am so tired of this.” And BeBe replied, “She is too. She is so tired of this.” And she is. And it made my heart refill with love for both of these girls. BeBe can be frustrated with Mim and aggravated with me and yet she sees the situation for what it is. Tiring and slow development. These phases last so long, I think they will outlast me. But they don’t. And to hear Beez say it. To voice her compassion during a meltdown is amazing. The melt downs effect us all. The disturbance of any peace. The security and peace of our home is ripped apart in a flash and almost daily and here B is holding space for Mim. Encouraging me to do the same. Allowing me to rise to the occasion. Mim was tired. I went to her and she fell in my arms. After pattings, I asked her to lay her head on me as she fell asllep so I could scratch her head and ruffle her hair. My sweet sweet baby. And my sweet sweet BeBe.

I wrote the above paragraph late Thursday night and now I am writing early Saturday morning. Last night we had out very first rumble of a cataclysmic shift. I was my usual Friday exhausted. The kids had dinner with Walt. I wanted Taqueria del Sol. I had a premonition that waiting alone in line at Taq might be hard. I was right. I left with my guacamole and shrimp corn chowder in brown paper bags holding back tears. As I waited in line at the CVS drive thru for the third time this week, I cried. I felt embarrassed because I didn’t notice until I got there that my dark blue jeans and my charcoal Be Kind in sign language t-shirt was covered in Frida’s white hair. Alone on a Friday night at maybe the most popular place in town, covered in dog hair while my phone dies waiting for food that fat girls should not want. I put myself in a position of just asking to be judged. I called Michelle and she soothed and told me what I knew deep down. I was raw from worrying about judgement at the wedding and being alone so the 45 minute Taq line in front of a margarita drinking couple who attempted to cut me while not wearing masks brought all that to the surface.

Settling into our nightly routine after Daddy dinner and the taqueria crying session, I patted Mim. Dolly came in and calmly told Mim not to feed her newly rescued bunny craisins. Dolly came back less calmly and restated for the umpteenth time that Mim is not allowed to eat marshmallows under the covers in Dolly’s bed. I reassured Dolly that I had gotten Mim out of Dolly’s bed and that I had googled craisins for bunnies and that cranberries are a good bunny food. Mim rode out that wave by hiding her face while I patted her. BeBe came in flushed. She announced that Mim had told K_______ that “BeBe has sex with other people and he is only her New York boyfriend.” BeBe had been talking to K_______ on the phone and he was understanding of Mim but he was hurt about why Mim had said these things.

Mim stood up from her pattings and said I’m going hang out with Dolly. BeBe apologized to me and said I’m sorry if I made your night harder. I replied that she has to. She isn’t making up stuff. She is trying to make Mim accountable for her mistakes. Mim has to learn when she hurts people.

(Mim had said that to K_______ on his recent visit. Mim had been with the next door neighbor girl and she was trying to be cool. Also, cognitive disabilities have one of the main characteristics of having difficulty with relationships. We all have had a similar choice do I look cool and say something outrageous and untrue or do I value my sister’s feelings and hold back.)

I found Mim hiding quietly in the bathroom eating the skin around her fingernails and toenails. She yelled for me to leaver her alone. I did. After about 5 minutes, I called out to Mim that I needed to brush my teeth, she let me in to the bathroom. I told her to brush her teeth and pick up her dirty clothes. She went to bed ignoring her teeth and dirty leggings. I got in bed with her and she said “Do you hate me?” I started at the beginning of this conversation that we have repeated many times. “I would never hate you. I have loved you since you were a tiny baby and I will love you forever.” She said “I didn’t know that.” I scratched her back and fluffed her hair and gently mentioned that she could apologize to BeBe and K_______. She said she would in the morning. I asked her if she wanted to hurt BeBe and K______ by saying those mean things and she said “Of course not.”

A faint rumble of a shift. A teeny change on one small ordinary day. When faced with her own mistake, Mim did not meltdown. There was no throwing. No tirade. No locking herself in the car and honking the horn. No pounding on the doorbell and making all three dogs bark erratically. no yelling of fucks and hate. She didn’t even say “I wish I was with my real mom.” She retreated. If I was BeBe I don’t know that I would feel this as a win. But it is hope.

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