Monday, September 29, 2008

hello from Red State USA

Well, we're now down to just 34 days until the election. I can't believe it, this process seems like it's been going on forever! The first big debate was last Friday, and I was proud of the job Obama did in holding his own, looking distinguished, calm, and presidential. He sure didn't smirk, sneer, laugh or be sarcastic towards his opponent, unlike someone else I could name.........

On Saturday, I took A to a birthday party for a classmate. His school is small, and by now we pretty much know everyone in the 2nd grade (only about 75 kids total). Several of the same kids have been to a few parties recently, so I've chatted with their Moms. 2 Moms were at the last party as well as this one, and we talk "small talk" about the kids, the school (LOVE IT!), our families, etc. This time, though, "Mom 1" asked if we'd watched the debate. Both of us ("Mom 2" and me) said we had, although admitted it hesitantly. Mom 1 asks if we want to discuss it, and Mom 2 says that maybe she should say up front who we support before going down this road.

Mom 1 = McCain. Mom 2 = Obama. I jumped onboard once I knew I wouldn't be alone in defending O. I just didn't want to fight that battle and be outnumbered. After that, it was awkward but ok. We were all nice, civil, etc, but expressed ourselves. Mom 1 tells us "I just don't like the wife" which meant Michelle Obama. We asked why, she said "she seems like a Black Panther to me". WTF? We countered by saying how much Sarah P worries us, that she's so close to being president but is so unqualified, etc.

It just brings to my mind thoughts about how reluctant we Democrats have to be around here to admit who and what we are and what we believe. Thankfully, there are a few other Obama bumper stickers here in the parking lot of my school, but it's not like that community-wide or state-wide. SC is extremely Red, practically burgundy or maroon, even though it seems to be against the self-interest of a lot of our citizens for them to vote that way. I just got up the nerve about a month ago to put that Obama sticker on my car, and it' s not because I don't support him or fully believe in him, etc. It's that I just didn't want to "go there" by inviting snide remarks, arguments, or even attempts to run me off the road! It's never happened, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did. Good old SC is just chock full of people who think Obama is either: 1--the antichrist 2--a muslim or 3--both. And they won't listen to you tell them otherwise.

Ok, time to pray: Lord, help us as American citizens as we approach this important election. Help us to look and listen with open minds to what the candidates have to say, and to make informed and faithful choices based on that, NOT based on bigotry, ignorance, fear and a reluctance to fight the status quo. Please allow the man who is best suited for the job to win, and to bring a return of peace, safety and prosperity to our country. Amen.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

ups and downs, mostly downs

So, what have we been up to, you ask? Near-miss from Tropical Storm Hanna (or Tropicalanna as my A calls it), extra day off from school because of it, being "tourists in our own town" all weekend (because we can, LOL) and then there's me......vacillating between anger, sorrow, frustration and a desire to just give it all up and walk away. :(

E has finally been started on meds for the ADHD. I say "finally" because somewhere inside, I knew we'd eventually reach this point. Sooner or later, and it was sooner. I don't relish this fact, nor do I want to brag about it, but here we are. Started Wednesday on Tenex, which is not a stimulant and is supposed to help with calming and with reducing aggression, etc. The couple of weeks leading up to last Wednesday were nightmarish in terms of his behavior........preschool calling me several times, just to tell me how bad he was being and to describe his horrid exploits in detail (while I'm supposed to be teaching). When the doc at the ADHD clinic heard all this, she immediately suggested trying the meds now, since not much else we're doing seems to be working.

First couple of days on the meds seemed like miracles to me. I was calmer and more at peace with daily living than I can remember being in a long time. Last few days, not so much. It's making him too tired during the day, and when he's not overly tired he seems nearly as hyper and out of control as before. *sigh* Here we go on that roller coaster I've heard so much about, of adjusting dosages, trying new med after new med, etc. :(

And then there's A, and what happened at church this morning. Anyone who knows him knows that he's a hugger, no question. Hugs everyone, adults to kids, and it means nothing more than that he's excited to see you or to share something exciting with you. Nothing else, ever. I say all this because.....

We have told very few people at church about the Asperger's diagnosis, or being on the spectrum at all, really. It either hasn't come up or just wasn't necessary. Kind of nice, really, to just "pass" with the typical kids and not have to walk around with the scarlet A on his chest (and that A is not for his name, if you know what I mean). During the church services, A sits with various families out in the congregation, because K and I are always sitting up front with the choir. He's done this for several years and is totally fine with it. He's got his favorite families that he gravitates to, and they are (*or so I thought) fine with having A join them for an hour a week.

But today, after service, a man that I already dislike comes up to talk to me. He's a part of one of the families A sits with, and he sat there today. Rather than name this man, let's just call him Baldy. Baldy tells me "I know A's always been a close-space kind of guy, but today he was just getting a little TOO close with the girls, hugging them too tight, not letting go, etc. And ____________(another Dad who sat nearby) was really getting upset at the way A was hugging his daughter, so I tried to talk to A and tell him you need to back up, give the girls some space etc. But he didn't listen to me, so I thought I needed to let you know".

In shock, I said something like "ok, got it" and he moved on. But as minutes went by and I could think, I got more and more and more and more pissed off about this. These stupid, rich, bigoted, lily-white Republican men (and I mean that in the worst possible way) know NOTHING about my child and our reality with him. NOTHING. And to think that the dad of a 7 year old somehow thinks MY 7 year old is doing something inappropriate or even "sexual" by being in his daughter's personal space or hugging her too much/too firmly, is preposterous and insulting. Not to mention chicken-shit, considering that he wouldn't come and talk to us himself or ask questions to potentially learn more about A and why he might do this......oh no, we can't do that. Just send a lackey to come complain to me and talk in a patronizing way, dripping with sweetness and yet dripping with condescension at the same time. Basically saying "I know you guys don't teach this stuff to your kids, but do you mind helping us keep your little pervert's hands off of the angelic girls of this church?"

So I spent the rest of the day stewing over this. Stewing over how to explain this to Andrew in a way that's concrete enough for him to understand, remember and execute. Much easier said than done, for sure. And, stewing over how to respond to these losers in our church who have a problem with how A behaves. Still haven't decided, but I'm leaning towards doing some educating, throwing the ASD stuff in their faces and pointing out that A has no earthly clue what anything sexual is and DOES NOT mean anything inappropriate by his actions. And if the losers can't accept that, A will just sit somewhere else with some more open minded people. But that begs the will I explain to him that he can't sit with Baldy and crew anymore? :( :( :( :( :(