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Posts Tagged ‘Father’s Day’

Last Saturday I brought the big-ass pillow with us (the kind that you use as a backrest, with two “arms” on either side) and we successfully got all 4 of us in the car for a ride.  The pillow served to protect the backseat occupant with its bulk and punching-bag-like sturdiness.

The way we accomplished it was to put the pillow in the backseat right from the time we picked Boo up at the residence, and then after his lunch, we told him “we’re all going to the grocery store and grandma’s coming too.”  When he started to protest we reminded him that we’re going to buy chocolate donuts but only if grandma can come.  And by gosh, it worked.  He was even good in the car — he liked the pillow and rubbed it as we drove along.

Boo with his new grey pillow

Boo with his new grey pillow

a soft barrier

a soft barrier

I taped a small conversation we had along the way, though he’s parroting through most of it:

Overall it was a good visit.  At the store Boo successfully navigated the cart politely around other shoppers to the exact location where the beloved chocolate donuts awaited his arrival.  This Saturday we switched our visit to Sunday, so I will see him tomorrow, on Father’s Day, then come home in time to take my own dad out for dinner.

Instead M and I indulged in other plans, afterward ending up driving near Thatcher Park.  What a gorgeous day.

gorgeous day for it

beautiful

the bluest sky

the bluest sky

When we got home M wanted a nap so I took a walk alone to Buckingham Park and took some more pictures, then made some “nature art.”

Always there are ducks and geese, fish and turtles.

Always there are ducks and geese, fish and turtles.

I liked this little boy and took his picture as he watched a goose

I liked this little boy and took his picture at the park

I sat in the grass and I materials that were within reach

I sat in the grass and used materials that were within reach

On Wednesday Jonah had another follow-up appointment with the eye doc/surgeon.  It wasn’t a good visit.  I’m grateful that sometimes it is easier to handle Jonah’s outbursts/aggressions/whatever-you-wanna-call-them.  Sometimes they roll off me like rain washing river-paths along my body, navigating around my heart.  I don’t know why – I wish I could tap into those “sometimes” all the time.  Maybe it had something to do with the rain falling on us all week…

…but, at first, he was good.  Two care-givers from the school brought him up, so I felt more secure knowing they were there.  Still, I came armed with fruit snacks and a yellow octopus I’d bought ahead of time.  He liked both of these gifts.

all, at first, was fine

all, at first, was fine

He even smiled as she guided his head into the eye machine

He even smiled as she guided his head into the eye machine

She told us the pressure in his eye was 18 – nice and low.  She doubted herself and took the measurement again, and got 17.  She looked in his eye and said there was a lot less blood present.  We asked if he could go without the eye shield now but she said no.  This means he’s been wearing the thing for more than a month and has to keep wearing it for we-don’t-know-how-long.  Then she asked Jonah to sit back in the chair and he suddenly freaked, arching his back and standing up, his face melting into anger and sadness.

You can see one caregiver behind him and one in front.

You can see one caregiver behind him and one in front.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, it is awkward for me to whip out a camera at these moments to take a picture (all in the name of photo-journalism).  One more pic, and then I was required to enter the fray.

??????????????????????

Moments after this picture he bit N’s wrist, hard, drawing blood.  (The dude is about to retire; I bet he feels it’s none too soon).

After this we got Jonah down on the floor, where he thrashed, kicked, hit, head-butted…the usual whole 9 yards.  In the interest of protecting the two of us at his feet, I leaned in to take off his left shoe and BAM he thrust forward at the same time and kicked the shit out of my right shoulder and, afterward, scratched me up right between the eyes. (I never wear glasses around Boo anymore).  Eventually it took me, the two caregivers, and even the doc herself to get Jonah under control.

My tears were brief, and all for Jonah this time, whose face crumpled, desperately upset — innocent even in the midst of the aggressions.  The doc hadn’t yet done the ultrasound, which is an important part of the whole exam, but she made the wise choice to put this off, scheduling another appointment for a week away, making this coming Wednesday another anticipated & exciting attempt at examining his eye properly.

Then we somehow convinced Jonah that it was all over, that there would be no more doctor, that we were all done.  N was able to stand him up and guide him out of the office, holding both his arms.  I stayed behind to check out and make the next appointment.  Of course I could feel all  eyes on me, all the seated, (mostly) senior citizens who’d heard the screaming and carrying on, but I’m used to that.  What I’m not used to is what happened next with the elderly lady in line behind me.  I glanced at her and smiled, but she narrowed her eyes at me, the corners of her mouth turning sour-down in disapproval, shaking her head as if to say “what a shame you can’t raise a child who isn’t such a brat.”  Instead of shoving her over like I wanted to, I turned back to the receptionist, got our paperwork and appointment card, and quickly walked away.

Andy just called and said Jonah was good today, both with him and at the residence.  May tomorrow be a happy day too.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there, all the step-fathers, foster fathers, grandfathers, and people who act as fathers to others….to all the fathers no longer with us, to all the brand new fathers, and to fathers who are sick or alone, and to all the men who decided not to be fathers because they were mature enough to know they didn’t want to do it.

When it is Mother’s Day I usually also give a shout-out to all birth mothers who selflessly made adoption plans for their babies, but I don’t feel the same way about birth fathers.  Perhaps I should, but I just don’t.  At least not about the ones who don’t stick around long enough to see the whole thing through, and I haven’t heard about too many of those.   I couldn’t give a crap about my birth father…who he is, or where he is, or why.  At least my birth mother carried me in her womb and then had whatever it takes to watch as they took me away.

I miss my mom’s dad, who I called “Poppy.”  Jonah’s middle name is Poppy’s first name — Russell.   He died just after I’d gotten engaged to Andy.  I wish I could have known my other grandfather, my dad’s dad, but he died when I was a year old or so.  He was a deputy fire chief in Albany, and was just 57 when he passed away.

I honor Andy as our son’s father, and I’m looking forward to honoring my own father too, by spending some time with him and taking him out to dinner later in the day.

It has been good.  I feel like I can handle things.  And I’m grateful for that.

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I like to pretend I can speak Spanish, though truth be told I can speak German better, and I can’t speak that either.  So I’ll bet the title is butchered.   I do have the Rosetta Stone Spanish learning system, the whole kit and kaboodle, and so learning Spanish is on my list of stuff to do, though it seems like a terribly difficult investment of time and brain-tax.

And so, in my gringo Spanish…the day of the fathers…

There are many in my life.  M.  My dad.  Andy.  Father Noone.  My Godfather, Poppy, who was also my grandfather; he passed away before I was even engaged.  I could say a great many things about each of them, and perhaps I will, but I’m distracted today by one I almost never even think about at all…my birth father.  (My birth mother was a married woman with four children, one of whom had already died when I was conceived outside of her marriage).

They give you a bit of non-identifying information  in New York State, if you are at least 18 and you request it.  The paperwork euphemistically states my birth mother was “separated” from her husband, during which time she became pregnant with me.  There is some information on my birth mother.  A little bit.  She was in her early thirties when she gave birth to me.  She was a “collector” (at a bank).  She enjoyed watercolors.  Her father had a heart attack and died when he was 45.  Genetically, from her side I am English, Dutch, German, and Indian.  I have always wondered what kind of “Indian” they meant.

From his side, though, there is nothing.  No information.

No paternity established.  Mystery Sperm Donor.

I guess I am half John Doe along with the English, Dutch, German, and Indian.  So that makes me a Heinz 57, and Jonah — well, he must have a bit of every nationality ever known to mankind.

Jonah Boo is the only person I am related to, that I know of.  I might want to know more of you related-to-me-people.  Maybe.  Why don’t I have right to know who you people are, and talk to you — just once?  It would come in handy with a lot of Boo’s medical issues, too.  The doctors say they wish they had genealogical information on my side, and I feel I’m entitled to at least that.

I wasn’t adopted until I was 6 months old.  Foster parents had me because there was some issue with my feet (which they either did not fix or over-fixed, for I’m a pigeon-toed thing to this day).  I wonder sometimes if the foster parents maybe wanted to keep me.  Wasn’t I just a little freaked out to be whisked away to a new home with new, forever parents?  Those forever parents tell me no; I settled right in.

“You were fine,” my mom and dad both insist.

I think that means I was one weird little baby.  If someone took Jonah away from me when he was 6 months old, I don’t think he’d have been fine.  To tell the truth, I kind of wouldn’t want him to be fine.  He was my baby boo.  Mine.  Maybe when you are fostering a baby, somehow the baby knows s(he)’s not your baby.  Maybe, somehow, these little new-humans understand more than we know or can remember.

I forgot about yet another father – one I’ve never thought about at all until today.  My foster father, who raised me so briefly, from birth to 6 months.  Unless I only had a foster mother.  I’m not sure, but I’ll bet it was a couple.  My dad tells me when he and my mom drove to get me at the Department of Social Services or wherever, the “transfer the baby” lady told them there were more than a few tears when they came to my foster parents’ house to take me away.

I wonder how many other babies they’d fostered, and if they adopted any of them, or had any kids biologically.  Didn’t I miss them at first, just a little?  Their smells, their touch?  Or was it bad there and so I was happy to get the hell out?

I think about my foster/birth people on three days of the year, mostly.  My birthday, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.  That’s if I think of them at all.  I wonder if and when they think about me.

I was talking to M earlier about how my dad and I used to watch cartoons together when I was 6 or 7, and how much better the cartoons were than the crappy ones they slap together today with computer animation bullshit.  My dad and I watched the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show every Saturday at 11am.  We’d lay across the couch with our hound dog, Flower, and laugh at Foghorn Leghorn or Daffy Duck, circa mid seventies.  He even watched things like Little House on the Prairie with me, God bless him.

Today we went to church and then out to breakfast, and it was really good.  I thank God I have a forever father, and that my son does too.  Gracias, mi padres.

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Jonah calls my father “Pa.”  My dad called his grandfather pa, so it’s a tradition passed on.

For Father’s Day, my dad and I went to 9am Mass at the church I used to work for, then out to breakfast and to place silk flowers on his dad’s, his grandfather’s, my grandfather’s, and some other family member’s graves.  My dad wants to tell me their stories, share the history of the Wink family.  I’d like to compile it all into a book with pictures and anecdotes and all the tales he’d love to tell – if only to have it all in writing, to pass down to the younger generations.

I know it freaks him out to see his name and birth date next to his mother’s, but he said he didn’t want her to be alone, and his dad is buried in a different place:

I put small red flowers on my other grandfather’s grave, because they reminded me of how I always called him “poppy:”

I’m not a big ‘cemetery frequenter’ but they are good for reminding me to remember, to keep people alive in my memory.

The next day my dad e-mailed me to tell me what a good Father’s Day he’d had, and how much it meant to him.  It meant a lot to me, too – but my day wasn’t over yet.  M did not get to have his children with him for Father’s Day, so he helped me watch Jonah to give Andy a few hours’ break.  We mostly drove him around.  He was pretty good for us, we saw a train or two, let him direct our path – and request different music:  clapping song?  he asks, meaning Cake’s album, Comfort Eagle, 

  • although he’ll listen to the whole CD, what he really means by clapping song is song #2, a song called Meanwhile Rick James which, without printing up the lyrics, appears to be a song about chicks doing lines of coke in the bathroom at a party while Rick James “takes her nude, and there’s nothing I can do.”   It’s not Sesame Street we’re jamming out to, but all Jonah knows is it has lots of these clapping sounds throughout, and he loves that.

Then we go to see red barn in Guilderland, go up up up to Berne, all around Thatcher Park and Warner Lake, and finally go home, back to daddy and take bath.

It has been another difficult few days since then, mentally, for me.  The fact that in less than a week I will know if and when he will be accepted into the Anderson Center for Autism, the fact that if they can take him it will likely be very soon, and the question marks of how the direct care staff, at any facility, will treat him.  I fully intend to somehow augment their undoubtedly meager salaries, because they do the really hard stuff – they get kicked, beat, hit, scratched, puked on.  They clean shit off the walls.  There isn’t much of a break from it.  I am so grateful for dedicated people who work in this capacity with these disabled individuals.  If I were rich I would donate a few million dollars and demand that it be allocated to staff salaries.

I lost it so ridiculously this morning about the impending surrender of our son, and a whole lot more I don’t want to write about – intense anger directed at me by more than one person, a surreal feeling of floating above this whole situation, the terror of the very real possibility of my inability to come out the other side…that it was very hard to “keep it together” at work.

I bounce back every time, though.  Seeing the graves reminded me to embrace the good, even if I have to draw it from my past for a while – my sweet, cuddle-boo…

…for soon enough it will all be gone — for all of us — all the fear, the worry, the joy and pain, all of it gone.

Unlike Trix, death is for everyone!

– – –

“Live in the now!’  ~Garth, Wayne’s World

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