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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Made it to the Mat


I come down the stairs this morning on my way to yoga when I notice the sink full of dishes. Blue was supposed to have cleaned them last night.

After having my supposedly, professional, surface-cleaning crew clean the kitchen yesterday, I can't tell you how happy I was when Blue decided to make homemade cookies last night at 10 p.m. (I call them surface cleaners because last week after they left, I changed a room around and ended up vacuuming up a ton of dust from places they apparently have never seen.

I look at Blue like he has three heads. He told me the dishes were clean last night. He appears to be sticking to his story despite the evidence. It's kind of like the current President of the United States, who expects us not to believe what we actually see with our own eyes and hear coming out of his mouth. 
"The dishes are clean," he insists. 

They are nowhere near clean. They are piled one on top of the other. There are remnants of cookie dough, sugar, and flour on everything, including the kitchen floor. 

"But I used hot soapy water," he says.

I left him with hot soapy water in the sink before I went to bed so that he wouldn't attempt to use cold water and no soap because no one was watching. 
"You didn't wash them thoroughly or there wouldn't still be food on them. And then you piled dirty dishes on top of ones that are supposed to be clean. Clean dishes that have been washed go in the drainer after being rinsed with hot water, so that they can dry. Cleaning the kitchen means clearing the sink ...entirely." 

From there, I start getting caught up in showing him how to do it correctly ...again. 

We're going back and forth when my mom chimes in, interrupting us. "You know Blue, your father is going to notice those cookie crumbs on the kitchen table when he comes down to have his coffee." 

Seriously mom? You have to interrupt us to mention crumbs when I'm already trying to get him to do dishes he doesn't want to do. You need to add your two-cents right at this moment?  Insert massive eye-roll here. Help me, Jesus. 

After all the years she has lived here, she still doesn't get that it's hard enough to discipline or correct him, but to have more than one person correcting him at the same time, is what can make him blow a gasket.

In autism, over the years I have found that everything is worse with an audience, especially with audience participation. 

I know that he needs money for the day. There will be a negotiation for how much because he has several stops to make. He has to take the train. He doesn't have a student pass for the summer. I don't want to discuss this in front of Mom. I ask him to meet me in the garage. This is how I have to live my life. Always the secret meetings behind closed doors. Always, explaining and compensating for the behavior of others. 

I am tired of giving him money. I am tired of negotiating over money. I am tired of micro-managing his spending. I am tired of justifying the money I have given him to his father who always blows a gasket and second-guesses me. 

Blue worked a five-week internship this summer through Texas Workforce/Vocational Rehabilitation's Earn and Learn program. He blew through that money faster than my head could spin. He still has one more check coming. Thank God! Not that it will last any significant amount of time. 

Half-heartedly, I pull out of the driveway and around the corner. I get to the stop sign at the end of the block. I make a u-turn back towards the house. I decide not to pull in front. I pull up on the side. I don't want anyone in my family to see me contemplating. I spend a lot of my time contemplating. It's a whole thing in my day. I should put it on my calendar.

Should I take him to the train station? 
It's going to cost at least ten dollars for him to get there. 
I could just take him and save that money.
Alan's always bitching about how much Uber money he spends. 
I really want my frappuccino before class. I haven't had one in three whole days. 
(I've been addicted to them this summer. They have been my guilty pleasure.)  
If I take him to the station I could go to the other Panera, grab my frappuccino and probably make it back to class on time. 
Nope! 
I'll be cutting it too close and I'll end up missing class.
f*#% that. 
I missed class last week. 
I need this today. 
Why am I sitting here negotiating my own self-care? 
You don't do that much for yourself, Karen. 
Remember last night at the grocery store? You felt like you were ready to jump out of your own skin, while Blue shopped with the speed of a turtle with only 3 legs. You wanted to run away and change your name? It was like you just couldn't do one more damn thing for another ungrateful human.  Like you need a vacation ...yesterday. And today, you're negotiating yoga time?  What is wrong with you? 
Fennis in Maui
Owner/Instructor
Flow Yoga, Cedar Park TX

Thirty minutes and one frappuccino later, I'm in some version of twisted root pose on my mat when Suzette the instructor, comes over to ask if she can help adjust me into the pose correctly.

"Would you like a blanket to prop your shoulder?" she asks in the softest, most kind, voice. 
Soothing yoga music is playing softly and my heart melts a little.
She props my shoulder onto the blanket. I want to cry real tears.

I'm here. 
It's so nice to have someone checking on ME, asking what I need. 

In this moment I am so thankful that I decided to walk away from the madness.
Well, I drove away, but I made it to Yin class.
I put myself first. 

The usual Yin class instructor who I really dig is in Hawaii on vacation. That may have had something to do with my hesitation.

I will not mention how I wish that I was there in Maui ...with her or instead of her.  I won't call her any ungodly names, out loud.  I love the beautiful pictures on Instagram of her doing yoga poses on the beach in front of the bluest ocean I've have not personally seen this summer. I certainly will not mention any envy over her sculpted, lean, yoga body, and the fact that she has carried children more recently than I have. Nope. Jealousy is not a part of my vocabulary. 

Before class, I thought maybe I wouldn't appreciate the practice as much as I do when Fennis teaches. I was wrong. Suzette was great.  

After savasana, she guided us to thank ourselves for making it to our mats this morning.

I am truly thankful. Today I chose me.  

Namaste. 

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By the way...I am happy to announce that my blog made the Top 30 Autism Parenting Blogs on Blog Feedspot for 2018.  Check out the hyperlink to see some of my homies who also made this list.