Thursday, May 31, 2012

Late Night Date

Good Thursday morning... the best morning of the week!

I went outside this morning just to see what I could see, and the pics below are the result.

It appears we have a black cat.

If there is one thing we do not need, it is a black cat!

Yep. That's a fire pit. Roxie invited the basketball team over for a cookout tonight. So that's what I'll be doing today. Grilled hot dogs, homemade ice cream, smores... I doubt we'll be making a "fried cheese run" tonight. (See Late Night Date below!)

And in other news today, I have not killed my Mother's Day petunias... yet.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this plant I bought the beginning of May. It died five minutes after I took this picture. (I'm NOT kidding.)

RANDOMNESS #1 - I'm afraid 50 is Nifty is finished for the year. With the new format, widgets, rules and such, I cannot figure out how to post "pictures only."

I wish I could explain it better, but that would mean I understood it better... and I could probably FINISH 50 is Nifty if I understood ANYTHING about the picture blogs.

I'm telling you... It's a miracle A Simple Life even exists with my technology-challenged brain. A miracle, I tell you.

RANDOMNESS #2 - When Austin finished middle school, we started a Senior Trip Envelope. We put a specified amount in the envelope each payday for four years. By the time he graduated, he was able to pick from three "trip packages" we had prepared (or choose another destination of his choice). He chose an eight-day road trip to Washington, D.C., and as his traveling companion, he chose his plaque-reading, history-lovin' Dad.

And it was good.

We did the same thing for Josh, not knowing if he would want to travel for any length of time. And for a while, we didn't know what to offer him in terms of a "trip package." And he didn't have any ideas either.

So, it was with great relief that he eagerly accepted an idea I had last week. Three mini-trips.

Next week, Josh, Austin and Brad are traveling to Nashville, going to the Grand Ole Opry to see Carrie Underwood and The Oak Ridge Boys perform, staying two nights and exploring the city.

It's a perfect trip for all three of these country music loving guys, and they are excited.

And so am I.

When they return home, Josh and I will begin planning a two-night mini-trip to Atlanta which already includes enjoying a meal at The Varsity, a meal at The Marietta Diner and a trip to White Water.

His traveling companions haven't been chosen for that trip yet.

And two weeks later, he'll take his final Senior mini-trip to... Well, we don't know yet. We're all still thinking.

But it's going to be fun.

And it suits Josh.

Just like an eight-day road trip with his Dad suited Austin.

(I'm afraid Roxie is going to jet off for a two-week trip to Rio with other chicks... because that's the kind of thing that would suit her! But I'm not going to worry about that today! Tomorrow... definitely. But not today!)

RANDOMNESS #3 - Josh's Journey - 11th Grade

We had settled into our "new normal." We expected Josh's 11th and 12th grade years to be like his 10th grade year. He was still fighting OCD on a daily basis, but he was functioning. He had good days and bad days. We thought we had "figured it out."

We were wrong.

Typically, severe OCD starts showing up in males around the age of 17. Because the individual is trying to hide the symptoms (and usually succeeding), the frustration, fear and exhaustion of acting like everything is okay when it most definitely is NOT shows itself in other ways.

School work starts to suffer because concentration is so difficult.

The child may be angry and short-tempered, and the parents may jump to the conclusion the child is being disrespectful.

The child may become uncommunicative because he is trying so hard to hide the symptoms he doesn't understand.

The child may not want to be associated with their church and/or youth group any longer because of the scrupulosity which sometimes accompanies severe OCD. (Scrupulosity is the inability to have assurance of your salvation or faith because of this illness. The sufferer is left feeling totally and completely hopeless.)

A lot of the above behaviors are attributed to rebelliousness in teens.

Because Josh had been diagnosed so early, when all of the above began happening in 11th grade, we went back to the Internet and the books to see what was happening. We assumed because Josh had been diagnosed at age 12, we didn't have to worry about the "natural" onslaught of severe OCD at 17 or 18.

We were wrong... again.

Mike and I had to learn how to react to this new phase of OCD, and it wasn't easy.

We decided to try a different approach. We had been helping Josh function at school, "attend" church and work. We had not tried to "solve" the scrupulosity problem. We hoped as he got better, that would become secondary or totally disappear.

This time around, we decided to attack the scrupulosity first hoping that regaining a relationship with God would help Josh fight the illness.

We found a new doctor who assured us he specialized in scrupulosity. We were once again hopeful.

We were once again disappointed.

After treating Josh for a year, it became apparent that the NUMBER ONE trait of OCD was standing between Josh and his doctor being able to help him. He "hid" the severity of his symptoms... which is what people with OCD do. It is a huge part of the illness.

With Josh not being able to "come clean" with the doctor about everything that was going wrong, the doctor was unable to treat the problem... and his condition deteriorated at home.

He finished his 11th grade year in bad shape. He was still in the Top Twenty of his class, but we really had to push him to keep his grades up. He didn't have the desire on his own.

He attended church because we required him to attend... not because he wanted to go.

He tried working at a landscape company, but it was a bad fit at this time in his life. He instead cut seven lawns during the summer months to earn spending money.

After we saw the doctor was not helping, Mike and I began praying and searching for a new doctor. The answer was not in front of us, and wouldn't be for another six months.

We didn't know it this time last summer, but Josh's Journey was about to become even more difficult.

I'll finish up Josh's 12th grade year of school and bring you up to date tomorrow.

Again, I'm leaving out hundreds and hundreds of details. While Josh has allowed me to share this part of his story, it is most definitely HIS story now, and I will always respect his decision on how much to share.

As his Mom, it is the least I can do.

Blog Linkage - You may have noticed, I have started giving you Blog Linkage throughout the week when it pertains to something we're talking about, OR I just think you should check it out. I know it is easier to "find" the day it is posted, too. However, that doesn't mean I don't have some blog goodness for you to read today. No, siree.

1. Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman under My Blog List. Click on Photography at the top of her page. She reposted some of last year's "Coming Home" pictures from last Memorial Day. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

2. Go to Big Mama under my Blog List and read the post entitled "Is It Summer Yet?" It's a post of about everything... and nothing. It's funny and true.


Late Night Date

I don't know about you, but teenagers on the verge of being able to drive (CODE for 15 year-olds) can become mighty restless... especially in the Summer.

With two sports camps, practices, workouts, etc., Roxie's week is choppy at best, so getting a summer job, even at the age of 15, isn't an option. (We're thinking next summer when she cuts down to one sport would be a good time to seek part-time employment.)

However, on those antsy nights during the Summer when your teen "feels" like they are coming out of their skin, try to remember when you were a teenager... decades ago. I felt like that sometimes.

Monday night was one of those evenings for Roxie. We were watching television in my bedroom when she let out a heavy, heavy sigh and said, "I want some French fries."

It was 10:45 p.m. That's like 2:00 a.m. for a 50 year-old mother of three.

But I looked at her, and I could see it in her face, and I could remember feeling that way so many years ago.

"Let's go. What's open?" I asked.

"Really? Sonic!"

I put on my foundational garments, ran a brush through my hair and slipped on some non-matching shoes and we were off. Before she could ask the question we hear 100 times a day ("Can I drive?"), I tossed the car keys in her direction, and off we drove into the dark, dark night.

She decided at the last minute she wasn't in the mood for French fries after all. She wanted fried cheese sticks. (And my question was, "Who doesn't?")

After we ordered, she asked, "Can we eat here?"

By now it was 11:10 p.m. That's like 4:00 a.m. for 50 year-old mothers of three, but I said, "Sure!"

And we did. And we talked. And she said it was so much fun. And she said she really needed that. And she drove home happy, content and ready for bed.

The entire date last 35 minutes.

The entire date cost $7.38.

And, no. I do not offer my kids fried cheese every time they get a little restless or bored. (Only about 50 percent of the time.)

It was so worth it... even if I didn't get into bed until 11:50 p.m. That's like 6:00 a.m. for 50 year-old mothers of three.

Dates don't have to be planned months, weeks or even days in advance. Sometimes the most spontaneous date can be the most enjoyable. (Being a planner, it's hard for me to admit that!)

Have a terrific Tuesday. I'll be back tomorrow with Weekend Happenings, the last installment of Josh's Journey for a while, pics and Randomness.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.


The Enchanting Belinda

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