Let’s all go to the lobby and get ourselves a snack

Things have been silent on the blog front lately, not for any particular reason other than that I’m taking a little break from trying so hard. A time-out of sorts — a pause, a respite, a recess. Dead air, as they say in television.

As Mother Nature unabashedly does her thing, pouring out verdant lushness, ripe peaches and tomatoes spilling out over bushel baskets at the farmers’ markets, I’m taking a moment to stock up on sunlight, fresh air, sand between my toes.

It’s not just on the blog front that things are quiet, but on the whole special needs parenting front too. My family’s needs aren’t pressing right now and there is space and ease for hanging out. After a year of steady diligence on many fronts — academic, behavioral, medical, psychological, social — I have declared myself off duty, off the clock, off the hook and goofing off. I’ve got my feet up. I’m letting the piles pile up for a while, letting go of needing to make progress, letting go of striving — the compulsion to be moving toward something, anything, away from here and now. It is deliciously restorative.

And yet there is an undertone.

Without wanting to seem pessimistic or dramatic, this break has a quality of a cease fire, a deliberate yet temporary break in the battle. It’s not that I consider myself at war with anyone or anything in particular; though it is tempting to allow myself that black-and-white self-righteousness of seeing my life as a fight against the enemies of a flawed healthcare system and an underfunded special education system, I’m capable of more complexity. But walking this path, regardless of the fact that I wouldn’t change it for the world, has its costs: fear, exhaustion, avoidance, denial, grief, frustration at not being in control, embarassment that I haven’t yet learned that no one can be.

This intermission to me is like those late afternoons Homer wrote so often about in The Iliad when Greeks and Trojans agree to put down their weapons so that they can clear their wounded off the field, bury their dead and patch their soldiers up for tomorrow. Each evening they would return to their ships or their walled city, roast a sheep, sing songs or play games, but fully aware that the next morning they’d get up and do it all over again, if they were lucky.

With this intermission I’m not just goofing off — I’m taking stock of the costs that have been made so far, awake with the knowledge that soon enough the troops of patience, compassion and courage will to suit up and be mobilized again. There will be IEP meetings, eligibility interviews, calls to my state reps, and long waits in doctor’s offices for very few answers.

Just…not today. Tonight after we put the kids to bed my husband and I will meet out on the deck for a drink and we’ll put our feet up. I’ll show him this video of vintage movie intermission clips, and we’ll talk trip to the beach for later in the month. And goof off.

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About Cristin L.

Earthling, pilgrim, peace warrior and special needs parent
This entry was posted in IEP, special education, special needs, special needs parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Let’s all go to the lobby and get ourselves a snack

  1. Susan Nadworny says:

    I love your posts! Late August is a hiatus from the advocacy that has become a part of our every waking moment the rest of the year. An intermission is a nice analogy. I am laughing to myself as I am packing for James and I visit my family in the midwest. The summers had a special smell, fresh mown grass and lakes. I loved going to the drive ins with my parents, my two brothers and sister would pile in the station wagon with me. My dad always made and packaged popcorn at home and brought water. We brought our pillows and dressed in our jammies. It was so much fun. As I got older I learned and went on dates to the drive in I learned about sex ed. The intermissions were so graphic with gonnorea (sp) psa’s. We lived in a very rural environment, and these psa’s did the trick of scaring me!!
    Looking back they were crazy, lazy days of summer and I loved the notalgia and blast from the past your post provided! So Rest up, enjoy, the days are long but the years are short.
    All the best!

  2. What great memories. Love the idea of STD PSA’s. Such a funny image! And about the days being long and the years short–so true. Have a fun trip.

  3. Pingback: It takes what it takes « Embracing Special Needs Parenthood

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