Step Aside, Butch

To say I’m not a delicate flower is putting it mildly. I am convinced that I have a child with autism because I can handle it. I am a warrior mom; if you try to stop me when I identify something one of our boys need, let’s just say, it won’t be pretty. I’m not bragging, I’m offering up the facts here.cookie
We are now looking at 5 days until Bryan’s Bar Mitzvah. We are on the 5 day forecast. My friend Jamie will remember that years ago when she and I were getting married just a brief 3 weeks apart we joked that it didn’t feel real until your wedding date was on the 5 day forecast. Not as meaningful down here in Florida since the weather is basically the same all of the time, and not in a bad way, but you get the meaning.
There are a handful of last minute things that need to get done, some are more significant than others, but with a finite amount of time left, if you are not part of the solution, do your best to get out of my way. Don’t slow me down and don’t tell me to calm down, everything will work out. Damn straight it will work out, because Earl or I will personally make sure it does. Kudos to the husband on this Bar Mitzvah journey. He let me do my thing, let me “Jane it up” which means let me do a lot of the things in the way I like to do them. Don’t get me wrong, he is way involved, he cares a lot, but in the way that works best for our situation. Which means, if you don’t really care about something that much, let me go with it. If it’s something that you think won’t change your life, back off, I got this. Division of labor is important in all marriages, but an acknowledgement of what works best for your team, well that takes some maturity. Last night we had the boys try their suits on to make sure they fit. I really was doing this just to do it, not thinking there would be any sort of issue. After all, we just had them at the tailor about 10 days ago. Bryan’s pants were waaaaay too tight. Um, that’s a problem. So what kind of behavior did I display in response to this problem? What teaching and problem solving behavior did I model for my boys? I screamed bloody f-g murder at both of them. I yelled at Bryan to stop eating so much and yelled at Jason to stop laughing that nothing is funny 5 days before the Bar Mitzvah. What is interesting is that the pants can be fixed, but their emotional scars from my reaction, well, that will take a bit longer. After an hour of my apologizing and telling them I’m the worst mommy ever, taking a xanax, I finally got hold of myself. Earl came home and after a little while of talking it through, he calmed me down. I am proud to say years ago we would’ve argued about this, but now he knows what to say to calm me down. (Those of you that are married know that is not a little thing, it’s a big thing.) After Earl and I talked and said hey, it’s only Monday night and the tailor would be open the next day we can get this resolved all seemed okay. This morning, I said to Bryan, “I was a really bad Mommy last night”, to which he said “you can be a good mommy today”. I don’t deserve this exoneration but for now I will take it because I need to push forward.
The boys have been watching us through this process. Jason says “mommy you like to do everything really fast” as we were working on putting together the party favors the other night. Oh boy! Earl and I just laughed. Type A, I own it. Bryan, on the other hand, has been really good about being whisked out of the room as we discuss candle lighting poems, looking through photos, and discussing seating arrangements. Knowing him as well as we do, he is just happy we are happy with him and this is all about him.
One of the main things I am working on this week is reminding myself that Bryan has autism. I know that will sound peculiar but it is significant. What I mean is that in all of the planning, dreaming, loving, it cannot be lost on us, particularly me, that some part of the ceremony, party, etc. may go a bit sideways by typical standards. I need to allow myself the mental and emotional flexibility to embrace these things for Bryan’s sake and for everyone’s sake. Earl and I will set the tone for the event, so our ability to go with the flow is essential. This is easier for Earl, I can admit that, however, I would like to think that in knowing Bryan as well as I do, and adoring this boy with every drop of myself, I will rise to the occasion too.blackbelt


10 thoughts on “Step Aside, Butch

  1. Laughing and crying….sure do love to hear little bits of your day to day life. Really want to see pictures when I come back into work.

  2. Jane,
    Mazel Tov! You are human-yeah!!! We all and I do mean all have our “bad” Mommy moments. Whether your kid has emotional or health issues, life just sometimes gets in the way of you remembering how you would like to handle the situation. What I admire is the fact that you owned up to it in front of your kids, apologized and moved on. If more parents apologized for understandable behavior, I think many of our kids would be much better off. Good luck this weekend and remember it is what it is, all the people are there b/c they love you and your family and no matter what happens they will still love you. Try and relax and enjoy the moment- you’ve earned it and most important of all- post pix!

  3. Great piece. I think it’s good for kids to see that we’re not perfect – who could live with a perfect mom (or one who pretends to be)? By setting a positive example of how to handle a mistake, you did a very valuable thing. Don’t be any harder on yourself than you would be on them. You’re just as human. When I read your essays, I’m in awe of your parenting skills. Have a great celebration this weekend!

  4. As always, wise words for all parents and keeping it all in perspective for when we all do lose it, get it back, and learn to breathe again.

    Thank you!

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