Tag Archives: dreams

Conversations

I picked up Jessica from day-camp today. I stood there watching her play Just Dance on the Wii with kids half her age and size. I don’t think Jessica even realizes the difference. These kids are on the same level as her and they’re her friends. I think the kids are at that age where they know that she’s different, but can’t figure out why. They love being around her because she’s a teenager, in junior high yet still likes to play little kid games with them.

We got in the car and she started prattling on about her day and she usually does. This is where the autism kicks him. She has a life plan and she repeats her plan every single day, multiple times a day. Any every time she goes over her plan, it’s like she’s telling us for the first time. She’s going to go to high school next year. She’s going to be 14 and in “nine grade”. Then she’ll be 15 and in “ten grade” and then 16. When she’s 16 she’ll get a computer. Then she’ll do “gradulations” after “twelve grade”. I go a long with her plan. All these things will happen. Though I’m not sure the computer will be pink with flowers, but she’ll certainly get a computer. Maybe it’ll have flower stickers.

But then she continues her plan. She’ll go to college. She’ll go to St. Mary’s and study math and science “just like you mommy”.

That’s when I get a lump in my throat. I try to fight back tears and suppress the anger at the damn 21st chromosome that will roadblock this plan.

When you’re pregnant you have all these hopes and goals for your baby. You dream of making sure they have things better than you did. You want them to know that the world is wide open and that they can do and be anything they want. And then the doctor tells you that your daughter has Down Syndrome and it’s like her potential was cut off before she was even out of the NNICU.

We have to work on her transition plan. They sent home assessments where I ask Jessica where she plans on living after high school, where she plans on working, if she plans on going to college etc… And it all just seems so cruel.

I’m friends with people that have kids the same age. They’re doing the same transitions, making the same plans, but they don’t have an extra chromosome holding them back. While I’m genuinely happy for these kids and their parents, it still stings. It still feels like she’s been robbed, like she’s had her dreams taken away before she’s even been allowed to dream them and that hurts. It’s even more painful because she doesn’t know.

She’s going to finish high school and expect to go to St. Mary’s and I have no idea how to tell her that it’s not going to happen.

I went to school and got degrees because I wanted to be a good role model for her. On the day I graduated when she said she was proud of me, it was the greatest moment of my life. And now my little girl wants to do what I did. She wants to be like me and I feel like I just set her up for disappointment.

There isn’t a “What to Expect When Your Kid has Down’s” book and no one ever tells you about this part.

Advertisements

Meshed

I miss

…conversation that’s effortless and silence that isn’t awkward

…hands that feel familiar and kisses that feel brand new

…middle of the night philosophy turning into sunrise jokes

…playlists, inside jokes and daydreams

…fingers running through my hair & fingernails running down my back

…being completely spent

…feeling connected.

It’s been years. I should have been able to find this again. It still feels like I’ve lost part of myself. The part that was able to be happy. I keep thinking I’ll be able to start over.  Shouldn’t I be able to find these things again in someone new? Yet every time I try to start over conversations are hollow, hands feel foreign and kisses are stale. It’s been years and nothing has ever meshed the way it did with him. Nights like these I wonder if it ever will.


Lather Rinse Repeat

Lather

Once again I am standing on the threshold of a new semester full of this crazy optimistic anxiety.  Every semester I go through the same resolutions: I will use my planner, I will do all my reading assignments, I won’t leave my papers till the last minute, I won’t be dependent on medication, I won’t let my bi-polar crap consume me, I’ll keep my environment organised, and I’ll strive to reclaim my identity as an honour student.  At the dawn of every semester I run through this list of goals with as much dedication as a junkie fresh out of rehab.

Rinse

I’ve decided to go off my meds again. I can just imagine the eye rolls and exasperated sighs of some people that will read that statement. I’m sure that’s a common occurrence for people dealing with bi-polar people. We’re notorious for going on and off meds. I’m no exception. After a lot of thought I’ve decided that medication and therapy were useful in getting me through the crisis. But I don’t think I’m in crisis anymore. I think that’s why they became less effective. I think I just didn’t need them anymore. I think I’m ready to do this on my own. I made it through the whole summer break without them. That’s a huge accomplishment for me. Summer break is a dangerous minefield of downtime. Downtime is a poison dart to me. I beat summer break. Now I’m going to try to beat Fall 2011.

Repeat

It’s the first night after my first day of class. I’ve diligently used my planner. I’ve colour coded and tabbed my economics books. I’ve finished one assignment. I’ve checked off the misc. stuff on my to-do list. So far I’m doing well. But now the fatigue is setting in. It’s already 11pm and instead of doing my  reading and my other economics assignment I’m blogging and considering going to sleep and doing it in the morning. Just like a junkie falling back on a needle, it’s effortless to fall back into my natural groove. After all it’s a groove that has 20 years of wear.

Lather

Boethius said “The worst misery is to have once been happy.”

I think that’s why I haven’t been able to get back to the academic standing I used to hold.  Back when I was an honour student, I was totally alone. I didn’t have friends, or love interests, or a social life.  I hadn’t tasted happiness yet.  Now that I have, the absence of it has been crushing.  I didn’t know how much the loneliness hurt back then so it was easy to just focus on school and make good grades. Now I’m so painfully aware of my loneliness, it makes focusing on school work difficult.

Rinse

So here I am again. On the threshold of a new semester. But not just another new semester. This is the first semester of my senior year.  And with more dedication than a junkie fresh out of rehab, I think I’m finally ready to let go. I’m not just letting go of those months of happiness that were followed by those years of heartache. No, I think I’m finally ready to let go of all the pain, resentment, animosity, guilt, bitterness, and fear that’s been holding me hostage for most of my life.

Repeat

No.

No, I don’t think I will.


Daydreams of Boston…

It is interesting to me that some experiences in life are so incredibly perfect that they border on religious.  In my mind there are alters of devotions to these memories.  No matter what any one may say about particular elements of these memories they are always pristine and perfect in my mind. 

Old State House: Boston

March 2009
Boston happens to be one of these memories.
I spent what could possibly be considered the greatest week of my life in this amazing city.  I was young and in love without a care in the world and the beautiful town of Boston was my backdrop.  Over time the young and in love part faded and my world filled with cares, but Boston was forever a snow globe holding the precious memory of a time when I was genuinely happy.
When things start getting to be too much, I pull my Boston box down from the closet and transport myself back to a time of sublime bliss.  There are pictures and souvenirs of course, but there are also small trinkets that are like secrets with memories that only I have access to.
Boston Harbor near the Aquarium
March 2009 

 

I find myself saying that I miss Boston and that I’m dying to return.  In reality what I miss is the way I felt in Boston, and what I am dying for is to have those feelings back.  I daydream about graduating and moving up to this city that I fell in love with, much like a girl daydreams of running off to elope with the lover from her spring break fling.
My mind filters out the logistics of the scenario as inconvenient details.  People mention the Massachusetts wrecked economy, insanely high taxes, and lack of jobs and I just tune it all out. “Details! I will deal with those another time!”.  I respond with memories of beautiful parks, exciting museums, the amazing food and rich historic culture.  My family, being from South Texas, naturally assumes I won’t be able to survive a New England winter, to which I say “Watch me!”
Union Oyster House: Boston
March 2009 

 

In reality, people move all the time.  People pick up and relocate for any number of reasons.  When people move for a job or school, people praise them on seizing an opportunity.  When I consider moving for something as monumental as happiness, people scold me for chasing pipe dreams.  Then I think about all those things that were once considered pipe dreams, and what if the creators had not brought those things to fruition.  How drab the world seems in which one never chases dreams.
Who knows if it will ever happen.  While I know that I will certainly see Boston again in my life, the jury is still out on if I will actually reside there someday.
But I think that jury is leaning towards a yes!

You were always Yellow

I showed you this book thinking that I was Yellow. Thinking I had something to share. I’m not sure what exactly.

But now I can see that you were always Yellow and I was Stripe.

Struggling to keep up.

Now you’re flying away, so far from where I’ll ever be able to reach.

And it’s so lonely here, back in these pages.

Remembering a time when I thought I could be Yellow too.

“Tired and sad, Stripe
crawled off to the old place
where Yellow and he
had romped.

She was not there, and he
was too exhausted to go
further.

He curled up and fell asleep.”

~Hope for the Flowers – Trina Paulus