Written last night, on the eve of the first day of school 2015:
Little Man starts middle school tomorrow. In our town, that’s seventh and eighth grade. Weird, because I’ve always thought middle school was grades 6,7, and 8, and junior high school is grades 7 and 8. Nevertheless, the kid starts a whole new adventure tomorrow.
For those who are new here, Little Man is my son who is extraordinarily tuned into energy. He senses people emotions. He communicates with nature. He has a heart of gold and cares deeply. And he is an empath. He also happens to have anxiety from time to time, as is not unusual with empathic people.
School has not been a favorite place for him, partly because of being empathic, and also because of being dyslexic, having ADHD, and anxiety. It is a challenge for him to force himself to pay attention and to learn something he has less than no interest in.
One thing I’ve figured out about Little Man is that his brain moves fast, very fast. Sometimes, it moves so fast, I’m blown away. I get it now. When he’s interested in something, or if something comes naturally to him, his brain is able to cruise at mach 10 where it’s happy. But if something takes a lot of effort to learn or to understand, and if it’s something he’s not particularly interested in, in the first place, he doesn’t even want to go there. It becomes a fight to even pay attention.
After the nightmare that was sixth grade, we are cautiously optimistic that this next school year will better. The school is a different one. Little Man will have several different teachers instead of just one, and they’ll all be new to him. And the support he’ll get through the special education department should be much more than he got at his little elementary school. It’s all different. And my current mantra is “different is good.”
I was chatting with a friend yesterday whose younger son graduated from high school, so she’s out from under the obligations of the mom with a kid in school, time of life. Many of my childhood school mates started their families 10+ years earlier than I did, and their kids are in college, have graduated from college, or are getting married. When their kids were in middle school, they were around the age I was when I had my son. I realized that dealing with a middle schooler and menopause at the same time is a whole lot of hormones going on! Thank goodness for estrogen supplements and chocolate.
With summer vacation coming to a close, Mother Nature decided to bring on some excitement in the way of some major wildfires followed by our first winter storm type storm. Last Saturday, the winds howled, and the rains came and stayed. Because all the trees still have their leaves, we had more tree damage than I’ve seen since I moved to Washington state.
Just before noon, I was chatting on the phone and the lights flickered. Then they flickered again. I grabbed our old corded phone and plugged it in, mid-conversation. Thank goodness! A few minutes later, the power went out, and didn’t come back on for almost 3 days.
Little Man and I ran out to do a quick errand, and when we got out of the hollow we live in, the damage and gusting winds fast became evident. We stopped at one point to help throw tree branches off the road. And by the time we returned from our errand, a stand of cedars in the pictures above and below had gone over the road we had earlier traversed.
It was quickly obvious that we would be without power for at least several hours. Because of this, I had my husband get the generator going and plug in our refrigerator and the freezer in the garage. As many times as we lose power during the winter, I can count the number of times we’ve plugged in the fridge and freezer on one hand.
Little Man was such a rock star during all of this. He jumped right in and helped lead extension cords to the house, through a window, and to the areas that needed power. We have several extra power strips and extension cords that he put to good use, making sure he plugged in his fish tank and a light in his bedroom. We had a few lights here and there, and Little Man remembered about an electric burner in the garage and brought that in. It was nice to be able to sip on hot tea while Little Man cooked ramen noodles for his father and himself.
Not only did Little Man help get us wired up with power, he grabbed a few buckets so we could dip water from a nearby stream to be able to flush the toilets. Being on a well, we lost our water supply. He also brought his guinea pig’s cage out to the living room so the little critter could be where the action was, as they are somewhat social creatures.
Little Man not only brought his pet out to the living room, where we were congregated, he brought his desk chair and a small folding table to hold his laptop. As the men were getting things set up with power, I took my loads of laundry downtown to the Laundromat.
I love how everyone jumped into gear, doing what needed to be done, no muss, no fuss, no complaining or whining; just getting it done. Little Man, in particular, loves this sort of shake up in the routine. It’s where he can shine. He is so capable in so many ways, and it’s at times like this that he truly rocks. I just wish his teachers at school could see him in action. I meet with them tomorrow and will be sure to share our latest adventure with them, to illustrate what a rock star Little Man can be.