2/23/2013

Musings on Being Sick, Napping, Reading, Foundation-Building and the role cats play in making the world right...

It was an odd week and a half, give or take a few days, time filled with strep throat (Kathleen and I somehow sharing a portal of infections and dealing simultaneously with sick kids) and sinus infections, kids home from school and me home from work, yet still grading and reading and interacting with students. It started with me first, after seven plus weeks of being sick giving in and going to the doctor, where I got a nice shot in the flank and a 10 day scrip of antibiotics, and was followed the next day with me dragging myself to the walkin clinic with Rosie, as eczema had flared up, marring Rosie's thin, elegant hands, making them red, rough and painful. And that led to lotions, steroid cream, and socks as mittens each and every day as we worked to get her lovely hands less irritated, less painful, and with each improvement we celebrated and then hours later groaned to see it undone, and on came socks as mittens again. Quickly, though, it was followed with both girls going to the walkin and getting diagnosed with strep, and for a change, rather than being hyper and shockingly well while running fevers, they were not--they were sick, miserable little girls keeping me company in my misery.

Unfortunately, they remained NON-nappers. Non-nappers! They did manage to spend much of the week immersed in Futurama and their favorite thing of all, drawing their own paper dolls and then playing with them.

I, however, napped. And napped some more. I have napped more in the last year plus than I believe I ever did as a child, and the napping shows no sign of ending any time soon. I'm still exhausted and finally realistic that almost all the extras I've done for several years have been put on hold, even, finally hospice. Even with the sinus infection appearing to be fought down, beaten temporarily, tired is a state of being, and seven composition courses and vibrant, busy girlies are more than enough for this middle-aged woman. I don't know what I'd do without the boy's and my husband's assistance and the increasing self-sufficiency of the girlies. It truly is a team effort to keep things running smoothly.

And smoothly, for us, it does run. It might not look it from the outside, and it might be really noisy and busy and chaotic, with a fair amount of screeching and meltdowns and hands clapped to ears (my hands to my ears as much as theirs to theirs, truth be known), but trust me when I say for us that's smooth. It's a really bumpy smooth, a really messy smooth, but it works for us.

Despite the various demands on time, attention, and consciousness, I've still managed to keep peeking into autism-land online, kept an eye on the feeds at the directory, noted the trends and memes and worries and arguments. Harmonious and smooth, autism-land is not. I think that's a good thing, though, or at least I accept it is what it is. I've come to believe that there's truly enough room for everyone, for the true diversity of beliefs, opinions, and voices.

Healthy discourse, or at least the chance for a diversity of viewpoints to be seen in one place, is good. I don't comment much anywhere anymore, but I do read. And those voices who offer something intriguing, substantial, meaningful for my students to chew on, that will make my students better thinkers, I place on the links for my comp 1 class to read, as they learn to consider what it means to be disabled, to be impaired, to be handicapped, and what it doesn't mean and who the stakeholders are. I am grateful for the fact that so many of the bloggers who are neurodiverse consider these issues and offer insight.

The longer I teach, the more I read, the more I learn, the less I feel any need to control the dialogue or weigh in. Listening is good, too. I want my children and my students to think, to weigh issues, to research, to listen, to reflect, and to come to their own informed opinions. I want them, and me, to have a firm grounding, a foundation to lean on when things get bumpy, when the road ahead is not only obscured, but downright terrifying--whatever that foundation is as long as it's their foundation and it's solid for them.

And that brings me back to napping, somehow, because I've recognized that napping, getting the rest I need, and stepping back from over-scheduling myself, is part of my foundation-building, as is letting go of the need to be right, to think that there is only one way to think about a problem or a situation. My dad's tendency to say "If it ain't eating no hay..." resounds frequently in my head--it's not apathy, but acceptance.

Sitting back, checking in so that I can learn from others, and then passing that on: this is good, I think, at least for me. Being informed is half the battle--the other half being how we use that information to make things better.

Plus, when one's lap is full of kittyboys, it's hard to want to much more than sit back and rest and drink in the comfort to be had in holding a cat's paw for hours at a time. Actually, it's pretty hard to do anything but that--that's over thirty pounds of kittyboys conspiring to keep me resting.






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