Mystery Lane

Mystery Lane

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Parent" Is A Verb

I saw this bumper sticker a few days ago that said “’Parent’ is a Verb”.  I stared at it as I sat at the stop light.  I kept thinking about what it really meant.  I think generally I have thought of “parent” as a noun.  But when I saw that bumper sticker it hit home with me that yes indeed “parent” is a verb.  The last few weeks have definitely emphasized that fact. 
Over the last month or so our house has been infested with the cold and flu.  It’s the domino effect.  One has it, passes it on the next victim, who then passes it on to the next.  It’s been never ending.  Just when I thought we were all better, Jackson decided to go for round 2, sending me into round 3.  As I write this there are 3 of us at the tail end of a cold.  Knock on wood that the constant opening of windows and spraying of Lysol is going to ward off another round.  Nothing screams “parent” like kids with colds.  Especially when the parent has a cold too. 
On top of all of this it was time to put on the first official birthday party for Daniel.  He had never really had a real birthday party before.  So for the last month I have been planning and making sure he was involved too.  He picked out his theme (Superman), his cake, and his guests.  I had a few surprises but mostly just wanted him to have a real party for the first time.  As I tucked him in to bed that night I asked him if he liked his party.  He said it was the best he ever had.  Two days later I began planning Jackson’s birthday party.  Before his is done I will start planning Sylvia’s too.  3 birthday parties in a span of 2 months makes for a great opportunity to “parent”.  And also go on a cake diet.
I think the biggest “parent” challenge as of late has been trying to determine what is the best way to help Daniel deal with his anxiety, AD/HD and behavior issues.  His behavior has become more and more challenging, at home and at school.  For the past 7 months we have been trying bio-feedback.  It has gotten Daniel nowhere.  If anything his behavior has increased negatively.  We put him in play therapy/counseling.  I signed him up for gymnastics.  I pick him up one day a week after school and we have special one on one time.  I also do the one on one time with Sylvia.  Ultimately we decided to try medication.  Neither my husband or I are big on medication but I worry about him becoming “that kid” at school and getting labeled as a behavior problem.  So we went to the doctor and talked about some options which I could research.  We decided on a medication that wasn’t a stimulant.  When Daniel came to live with us he was on Ritalin and after school his behavior was out of control.  It was too much for me to handle.  So we gave Daniel the new medication and hoped for the best.  But within a day the little boy we knew was gone and a slow, confused Zombie took over.  It was horrifying.  Within a couple of days I called the doctor and told him it was too much, we had to change.  We lowered the dosage to half and with a day the kid we knew was back.  When you have a child who is a handful, who has behavior issues and just generally takes up 90% of your time, you just want a break, you want him to calm down and focus.  But the minute he changes, you want him back.  I don’t know if this medication course is the right one.  I know for his sake we need to try it so he can be successful at school and life.  However, this is one opportunity to “parent” that is not on my highlight list. 
I suppose that’s why “parent” is a verb.  It’s an action.  An action that can be joyous, rewarding, difficult and frustrating, all in the same day.  You have to be diverse, flexible and downright silly to “parent”.  As Ray Romano said “Having children is like living in a frat house – nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.”  So why would anyone “parent”?  To have the experience of being a “parent”?  Noun or verb?  You decide. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Birthday Reflection

Today is my birthday.  I am sitting here in my favorite bakery (Rockwood Bakery), listening to my favorite band (The Eagles) on my earphones, eating a delicious cinnamon roll and drinking hot chocolate with whip cream.  I’m pretty lucky.  Yet, kind of sad.  I miss that call that I usually get on my birthday.  The one from my Dad where he would always say “Happy Birthday Honey” and I would feel like a little girl no matter how old I got.  I miss the frosted brownies my stepmom always made for me on my birthday.  I miss all the silly little gifts my Mom would spend a year buying me for my birthday and how she would let me eat cake for breakfast.  I think when you lose your parents your birthday loses its magic.  There aren’t many people left who actually remember your birth and all the excitement that comes with it anymore.  It becomes a lonesome day filled with memories of “the good old days”.

My birthday is also a weird day for me.  I think of the woman who gave birth to me.  How young she was.  How afraid she must have been.  How the day of my birth was no doubt traumatic for her.  To give birth to a baby you carried for nine months, never even get to see it, give it up to strangers for adoption and move on with your life.  That’s a lot.  I wonder what she thinks about on my birthday.  I wonder if she has spent all these years trying to forget it and if this is a day that she dreads.

But then… I sit here my phone keeps buzzing with birthday wishes from all my wonderful friends and family.  And this morning there were two little kids waiting at my bedroom door to yell “HAPPY BIRTHDAY STACEY!!!!” to me when I opened it, accompanied by hugs.  With a card they had made themselves detailing how much they love the food I give them and how they hope I have a great day.  Jackson for his part woke me up at 5:30 a.m. lying in his bed saying “mama” (this one gift I could have done without, at least for a couple more hours).  I’m having lunch later with a good friend.  Then tonight the whole family is going out to dinner which means I don’t have to cook!  Which all Moms know is truly a gift.

I guess this is going to be my birthday.  A day mixed with a little sadness, wondering, and joy.  There are people missing from my life, people who I miss so deeply.  There are new people who have entered my life and who bring me a whole new level of joy.  It’s a balance of give and take, the routine of life. I’m not sure who said “Things don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful” but it seems fitting for my birthday and how I feel today. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Help Jackson Get a Bike!

Hi Faithful Readers!  I entered a contest to win Jackson an adaptive bicycle.  The more nominations we get the better our chances at winning.  So please go to and help us win Jackson a bike.  It just takes a second and is free!