Friday, October 21, 2011

The World Breaks Everyone, So Let's Eat Peppers

Hemingway explains, "The world breaks everyone. And afterward many are strong in the broken places."

Dr. Mandy knew my feelings had recently been hurt again,"This person is young, right?" knowing that older men and woman should have, at least, gained enough experiences, both good and bad, to now garner more empathy.

I'm more melodramatic, feeling that old people all eventually die of broken hearts, there's so much loss that one experiences over the years: family members and friends to death, pets, possessions, feelings and dreams, hopes and expectations, and everything else that seemingly slips through our fingers as we all plod along.

Eventually we stand totally shell-shocked, trying to take inventory, or to regain our equilibrium, coming out very differently than when we'd first started something.

I'm kind of there now.

I'd told Dr. Mandy a while back, "If this was the only sibling group I'd ever parented, I'd be devastated. If Yolie's group had been the only one I'd be nauseatingly supercilious to others I'm sure. All seven siblings groups have forever changed me into who I am now, both broken in many places, but so much stronger in others. I've learned a great deal." Duh, Cindy.

Dr. Mandy, or Emily, my pastors and others have all helped me navigate, find clarity and understanding, and to keep pressing on. Of that I'm so grateful, as I still have at least close to another decade of one or more children in my home, the majority now are older teenagers. I also want to be whole, still warm and loving, for my very many grandbabies.

At only 13 years old, Scotty had been bumped up to the U17 soccer league, he's one of the youngest, but they'd tried to make the numbers work, correctly figuring Bodie boys were aggressive enough to play with the big dogs. Last night Scotty made his first goal in that older, more challenging league, making me extremely proud.

It went down into the 40s, this after our mid 80s on Monday, I was wrapped up in layers, still cheering from the sidelines. Allen will be 16 next week, and is incredibly gifted in soccer, an amazing guy to watch at work on the field, yet the only games he's really lost badly were the two, in the last ten years, when I wasn't there for some strange legitimate reason or another, like my surgery five years ago.

He is extremely emotionally needy, coming here at age four, dazed and confused, suffering many breaks from former caretakers. Like his older brother, Edgar, he'll also publicly holler, "I'm a mama's boy!"

His baby brother had his first orthodontia appointment yesterday. "It'll be $3,542.00, but you can make payments of $89 a month," I was told, "There's no interest at all."

Doing the math in my head, questioning her, "What if I paid it all up front?"

"It'd be 10% less, you'd save $354," she replied.

Dude, I wanted to say sarcastically, but didn't do so, then that makes it an interest of 10%.

Even JoJo looked at me, much brighter than he appears to the general public, willing me not to have a verbal outburst over this obvious deceit.

I just smiled sweetly, Southern to the bone, "Let me think about it," was all I said. I have 30 days to decide how to pay. I already know what I'm gonna do, I'm just buying time in order to earn another penny in interest. Hey, it adds up.

JoJo was born in Georgia, adopted from Georgia, likely is eligible for financial help on braces and college, but I'm not so sure if that's true anymore in today's economy, and I can handle this.

It's the financial help in psychiatric residential placements that I desperately have to humble myself in order to beg for help.

I'll pay 10%, make monthly payments, whatever it takes. The dentist recommended braces, I will get him braces. I dutifully do as I'm told. Another duh moment.

JoJo complained this morning about the jaw pain from the spacers put in yesterday and I laughingly reminded him, "Honey you begged for braces, I'm shelling out big bucks, the pain'll be worth it," to which he grumbled back something unprintable and unintelligible.

A reader, Carmen, that I've known since she was very young, now a mother and a teacher, asked me to blog about my Perk Street Bank experiences. Here's the rub, Wells Fargo still wants to charge $3 for money transfers, but somehow they don't do so if it is ING Direct, and I'm finding myself paying bills from different accounts, transferring back and forth, all to avoid this stupid $3 on debit cards from Wells Fargo.

Thank you Quicken and Excel spreadsheets, that allow me to keep track of every single penny in different accounts, it's been this lifelong obsession over $3 increments here and there that's enabled me to be able to pay for braces on five kids so far, or college or weddings, or gifts or financial help, as others struggle along.

Whatever extra two dollars I own are obviously not going into my pathetic wardrobe, that I don't give a hoot about anyway, nor on beauty products that are useless when one is 57 years old, but rather into investments for the future: my children and grandchildren.

Through my tears, I watched my father being wheeled out of this house in his pjs after he died here a year ago, taking nothing with him, nothing, but knowing he'd left us all such a tremendous legacy through his generosity to us while he lived, both materially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Grandpa would've loved to be there last night to see Scotty's first goal, and Allen's constant goals.

I've had excellent parental role models. Thank you, God. Please help me to be one as well while I get a ruler out and figure exactly where I am on the line here between the red and the green. I choose wet and warmer please.

Good Golly Claudia and Linda, y'all are in for a scary winter blast, and dear Suzanne, I obviously survived my freezing moment last night. You were a first to respond to a Tweet. I didn't even know one could do so. Another learning moment for me.

Nando and Lily, fearing a first frost that fortunately didn't happen last night, ran outside to pick peppers. My kids eat my deliciously garden grown bell peppers like one would eat an apple. I cut them into strips for me, salting them first, but I've been known to eat a plateful. This is living.