Saturday, October 31, 2015


I'm one of those nutty people who goes all out for Halloween. I decorate the house, dress up, give toys, treats AND glow stuff to all the kids...yeah. This is my favorite holiday, by far. Sadly, this year I was sick for 3 weeks leading up to today. House? Not decorated. Toys? Never got around to purchasing goody bags or do-dads. I have some glow stuff left over from last year and hubby ran out yesterday and bought the dregs of the Halloween candy from 2 stores.

I'm feeling a lot better today, but still not 100%. I spent 2 hours cleaning up weeks of accumulated crap out of the living room so that I could GET to the front door to answer it tonight without killing myself on stacks of mail, shoes, leaves, twigs, sand, papers, books, boxes, on and on and on. I've been looking everywhere for the vacuum and just didn't SEE it tucked back in the corner of my bedroom. (I swear, I looked there 4 times!)

I have a costume on, of sorts. I look like a giant pumpkin. Hey, it's a start. I've eaten something, caught my breath, now I'll attack the rest of my to-do list. I may not get everything done before the bell starts ringing, but I'll give it a try.

Meanwhile - Tyler is going OUT for Halloween this year. I repeat! TYLER IS GOING OUT! He hasn't left the house on Halloween in YEARS. He came to me almost 2 weeks ago at the height of my illness to tell me what he wanted to dress up as for Halloween. I thought the fever was getting to me. But no, he was serious. He showed me a picture a few days later of a video game character named Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid.  I analyzed the picture from a veteran cosplayer's perspective and broke it down into pieces. Grey flight suit. Tactical vest. Long black elbow and knee pads. Thigh holster and assorted canvas/velcro straps. Black all weather boots. Black headband with long ties. Face mask (optional). Easy!

I began looking on Amazon for all the component parts and got excited as the costume took shape. Flight suit? Too expensive. Grey long-johns? That works. I went through dozens of types of knee and elbow pads looking for just the right look and price. Found the PERFECT boots ($50 ugh), thigh holster, straps, amazing vest...then I looked in the cart. Almost $200 in gear. *gasp*

I broke the news to Tyler. If he had his heart set on it, I was ready to break the bank. He was the voice of reason. "It's ok Mom. That's too expensive. What else can I go as?"  Ugh. It broke my heart. He was so jazzed! He doesn't get jazzed very often. I suggested we go to a costume shop and have a look around, but he didn't like that idea. I suggested he just wear his usual hoodie and I could get him a scary mask. Nope. Just a balaclava and be a terrorist? Better idea, but nope. Finally his dad suggested a pillowcase with eye holes. He could be a ghost. I think Dad was kidding, but Tyler liked the idea.

So keep your eyes open for a spooky teen ghost out on the streets tonight. Oh, and the Green Lantern. Max is a superhero once again. LOL It's been a different one every year.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A small light in the darkness...

I was in a very dark and low place in my last entry. Things have improved somewhat since then. Teen boy is still very very unhappy with his school situation. The small space and the addition of some really unruly elements have made things completely intolerable.  We are working with his school and the CST and have yet another meeting scheduled next week. Tyler wants to return to the mainstream school system. The special needs therapeutic environment was really helpful in restoring his desire to learn and being supportive of his unique learning style. But the trade-off was being schooled with kids who are very impaired and highly disruptive in the classroom environment. Ty complains about the chaos a lot, but I think being around the differently-abled has also taught him a bit of patience and shown him that things could be worse.

He has matured an amazing amount in the last year or so. Even in the last couple months! It's like someone flipped a switch on and he's gone from being a virtual recluse to just walking out the front door and walking to friends' houses to hang out or to the gas station for a soda. He's been playing a lot of football at recess and after school. His fitness level continues to increase and he's even begun a daily workout routine with floor exercises. He proudly held his arm against my yesterday and said "Look Mom, I have some color!"

He's recently asked for a weight set and a scooter. I like the idea of the scooter. He can coast and kick his way from place to place and it's more light-weight and portable than a bike. The problem we are running into is most scooters are made for little kids (ages 5-11) and very few are made for big kids and teens. I remember these awkward years between 13 and 16. The need for independence kicks in, but you aren't old enough to drive. I rode my bike all over town, but Ty has always been a little unsteady on a bike. I suggested a more sturdy and lower-to-the-ground model like a mountain bike, but he doesn't really get the difference between that type and his 10 speed. I wish the local bike shop hadn't shut down. This is the kind of thing where it's really helpful to see them in person and get a test ride.

I have mixed emotions when I hear that front door slam. We are still working on him letting us know when he is leaving and where he is going. He figures if he has his cell phone on him, we can always just call and ask. LOL Teens. *exasperated sigh* But at the same time, when I heard he'd just up and walked down to QuickChek to buy snacks I was so proud of him. How do I explain the magnitude of that. He went from a boy who never leaves his bedroom to a teen who just walks out the front door and keeps walking all the way into the next town where the convenience store is. And buys stuff. On his own. With his own money. It's terrifying and amazing. I am so proud of him, I cry every time I think about it.

And I'm crying again.

Oh, and have I mentioned that he broke his foot? Yeah. First broken bone. He did it when he was horsing around with some friends. He fell off a rather tall stone wall and landed on his foot funny. Fractured it. And yet, despite the pain, he is still walking ALL OVER THE PLACE and playing football.

I got rather used to him being the introverted shut-in. He was safe and I always knew where he was! And I worried that he wasn't socializing much, other than on-line through his video games... now I worry even more because he's out there, walking, all over town, and breaking bones... ugh, my poor heart.

So proud. And so very terrified. So very much like his mother at that age. He even told his dad that he didn't care if we lost power because he and his mom could just read a book. He loves to read. Just like his mom. *sniffles*

I love you so much, Ty. I love the young man you are becoming. We just need to work on that teen boy attitude toward feminism, gay rights, and the need to mercilessly tease younger brothers. We'll work on it. :)  Things WILL get better for you in school. This I vow. I'm ready to start homeschooling tomorrow, if necessary. Just watch me.