But nobody ever hears him or the sound he appears to make,
and he never seems to notice…but the fool on the hill sees the sun going down,
and the eyes in his head see the world spinning ’round.”
~Fool on the Hill; The Beatles. (I changed man to boy, for Boo).
Fool on the Hill is Andy’s mother’s favorite Beatles song. I remember little details and forget big ones.
It was not a good weekend for Boo, or so I hear. I didn’t get to see him. This weekend was our annual Spring Convention at NYPA, where we represent nearly 800 community newspapers and gather them all for a weekend full of training, fun, and elegance, this past Friday and Saturday at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga. As it involves months of preparation and hard word, it is particularly difficult on some people in my office, and they pull it off, year after year, with smiling, professional aplomb. I don’t have that kind of whatever-it-takes to do it. I tried, years ago, and couldn’t pull it off. “The weak get crushed like insects,” young David’s father told him in the fabulous move Shine.
So mostly I attended a lot of classes, all taught by awesome speakers giving great advice. Our keynote speaker at Friday’s lunch was Alex Jones, and I thought he was awesome. I even bought one of his books when I got home: “Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy (Institutions of American Democracy).”
Friday night there was a Gala, and I wore a slinky blue dress, flowing and sparkling. I loved it when I saw it and bought it without concern for whether or not I could pull it off. “Keep your shoulders back,” co-worker L kindly reminded me, for I tend to hunch in on myself, as if in an attempt to disappear completely. If you’re going to sport a dress like the one I wore, you have to have something I just don’t have. I felt shockingly thin and overly self-conscious. When will I learn to find a fashionista friend to shop with me and be my Simon Cowell? I don’t drink, so I didn’t gain “liquid courage.” (In fact, one of the reasons I don’t drink is that at one gala I did get tipsy, and overbearingly begged for one publisher’s reminiscence of the Grateful Dead for way too long. I’m still embarrassed every time I see him; I think he’s really cool. When I am drunk I am a train wreck. Best to avoid that.
Dr. Phil (who is not my personal guru or anything, believe me) says “You wouldn’t be so worried about what people thought of you if you knew how little they did.” In this case I know he’s right. In spite of my stupid self-absorption I had a great time and met lots of incredibly awesome people. ‘Twas a success, methinks. A big one. The whole thing was made all the richer by the presence of a new bunch of people representing ethnic papers. They were gracious and cool to meet and talk to, learn from.
At the end of the conference I gave one publisher’s daughter, little J, my ID card lanyard. She wore it proudly.
I am sorry for my mom and for Andy most of all. I guess on Saturday Andy drove Jonah up to visit my mom, and everything was okay for a while, until car ride. They went to see train and caught a long one, but Jonah quickly became agitated afterward. My mom said he took off his pants, grabbed handfuls of his poop and smeared it on the back window.
God knows what else he did that neither she nor Andy told me about. The cleanup, the tantrums, the shit quite literally all over the place, the ride home. Dropping Jonah off. Thinking about it and trying not to try not to think about it.
I was spared from it by convention, thank God. Were I there it would have almost certainly been worse for everyone and maybe me the most. The weak get crushed like insects. Thank you to my mother and to Andy.
Tomorrow Andy and I have to take Jonah to a semi-emergency appointment to see the pediatric rheumatologist. (The earliest appointment she had was in June and she squeezed us in now because we have to be quick about all this). So far we’ve gotten lucky with Jonah’s doctors but we’re due for a shitty one. Either way, it looks like there is eye surgery of some kind in Jonah’s future. His right eye, blessedly, is fine. The doc appointments just kind of just go on and on, but I guess that’s just being a parent. We will save the sight in his left eye; I’m going to do my damndest to see that we do.
Next Tuesday is another appointment with Dr. Simmonds again, the glaucoma doc, and E and J will be able to bring Jonah up to that one. I love those guys. I know I keep saying it, but I can’t help feeling so grateful for them. By then the glaucoma doc and the juvenile arthritis doc will have conferred and will have a good recommendation for what we can do.
Your mama misses you, Boo, and loves you very, very much. But I’m not going to lie to the people this weekend – I’m glad I wasn’t there when you flipped out this Saturday. I’m glad – even if that exposes me as a selfish little girl.
I am so tired today, I don’t have it in me to do much of anything at all.