Welcome to the Chaos

You have stumbled upon the new blog (i.e. random babblings) of a quirky single mom. A shoot-from-the-hip, anti-pink (yet almost gaggingly perky), non-traditional, can cuss like a sailor but loves insanely and has the save the world syndrome gal who is bracing for a future as a Crazy Cat Lady though she secretly hopes like hell it doesn't come true. Enjoy your stay and feel free to say hi- I don't bite. Well, unless we're dating and you are into that type of thing or you contain peanut butter. >;-)

About Me

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Quirky single mom of two monkeys. I used to beat up the kids that picked on the "special students" during recess. Now I work with those with chronic mental illness. I speak quite a few languages, enjoy coed naked underwater basket weaving, have an addiction to Sushi and humor is my defense mechanism. Arrogant people make my right eye twitch. I'm ambidextrously brained, I will knit for tattoos, I am the friend that everyone comes to for advice and bail money. I pride myself on keeping my eyes, ears, heart and mind open. Making me laugh goes a long way with me, I think the brain is the sexiest organ and I'm the kinda gal you can take anywhere and I'll have a good time. Other than that, I'm just me.


I'll Take The Roller Coasters

I’ve gotten a lot closer lately to someone in my life. We’re bonded by the understanding of similar relationship types. There are so many other awesome things in common, but emotional understanding is a unique one. Just knowing that someone knows what you are going through or have gone through sometimes makes all the difference. Especially when one is male, the other female.

We were checking in with each other for the day and the ole emotional roller coaster came up. You know the one. One minute they love you and it feels amazing, the next they tell you how replaceable you are or just appear to completely bail. Yup, those.

And then I remembered. I remembered a time when the mention of a roller coaster brought a ridiculously huge smile to my face, instead of a sinking feeling in my stomach. The bad “this is gonna hurt” kind of sinking feeling that is, not the “look mom no hands” kind. Anyway, you know what I mean. Some of my way early blog posts touch a little bit about a time when I ran a group home for Autistic children in California. In many ways that home, that time, will always feel like home to me.

One of the oldest residents, J, was 16 and had Asperger’s. He was obsessed with weather and all his emotions were given as a weather report. “How was school today J?” “Sunny in the morning turning cloudy and windy shortly after lunch.” In his eyes, I was one of the coolest people ever because I had seen a tornado “live.” When he started to fly off the handle, me telling him of the times I would stand at the end of the driveway watching the tornado come then running in the house and down into the basement for safety, would calm him down.

Being the 2nd oldest in the house and having the least communication impairment was hard on J. Even harder was the fact that his parents were complete fuck ups. What saved them from epic level was the fact they finally had the sense to put him in the group home. Though, I suspect Social Services had more to do with it than they did. Every couple of months I would get a call they were visiting and J needed me. Standing there looking at them, knowing where every scar came from, emotional and physical on J’s body SUCKED. What made it even worse was knowing all he wanted was for them to love him, to accept him and he was met with cold expressions. It was the only time J actually wanted to be touched. Just my hand on his arm. Like I was anchoring the tornado. Or I was standing there watching it with him and my hand would tell him when to run to the basement for safety. Or maybe my hand was the basement. There were so many times as they sat there coldly uttering some sort of resemblance of idle chit chat that in my head I would literally picture screaming at them. Telling them everything I thought of them. It went against everything in me to not actually do it. But, I knew if I did, they wouldn’t come back. While not coming back may be a really good thing for J, it wasn’t my decision to make for him and I guess the sappy me still had hope.

We had a routine. They would leave, J would go directly to his room. I would give him some time while I charted the visit, then go check on him before he left. See what the weather report was. After one of these visits, I walked in and my eyes locked on the posters of roller coasters he had next to all his meteorology ones. J’s second favorite thing was roller coasters. But, J had never actually been on one. When I got in my car that day, it occurred to me that we lived maybe 15 minutes from Great America. So, I took a detour on my way home. After an hour with the manager of the place and the low price of $100, J and I became season pass holders. And J had his own “front of the line pass.” The next morning I walked into the home, told J to get dressed that I had a surprise for him and our new ritual began.

From that weekend on, every Saturday morning, J and I had a date. We’d get there right when Great America opened and ride all the roller coasters he wanted to. You could pack a lot in when you got to walk to the front of the line every time. Watching him close his eyes and just scream and let it all out was well it was its own lil roller coaster of emotion. Proud he was letting it all out. Relieved I’d found a way for him to do so. Happy because he would walk around that park with the biggest grin on his face. Yet, still so sad that it wasn’t just a kid having fun getting that rush from rides, but therapy. I’d wished so much it could just be fun for him. When J had enough, he would stop, look at me and say “I’m done Lolli, let’s go home.” (Lolli was what one of his house brothers called me because he couldn't say "Natali." J thought it fit me pretty good.) Like every good date, well great date in this case, the ending is key. Each time I pulled up to the house to drop him off, I got a hug. You’d have to know J to know how much it means. To me, it meant the world.

One of my favorite movies is Parenthood. There is a scene where the sweet, yet senile, lil ole grandma talks about a date. On a roller coaster. She compares it to the merry go round and life. Like life, some people prefer the merry go rounds, they are safe, they are predictable. But roller coasters, though they are scary, offer so much more. Me, I’ll forever take the roller coasters.

And thanks to wise advice from my wonderful new friend, I will always remember to raise my arms at the top of the hill.

You can watch my favorite clip of Parenthood here.


Anonymous said...

Tears rolling. Smiling. You got me, Natali.

Dan said...

Did you know, that if you don't raise your hands at the top of the hills before you start down, you'll never be able to "feel" just how high you are? Oh, and words of wisdom from my 6 year old nephew, "If you don't scream, the operator won't know if he's doing a good job". I love that boy.


UberDorkGirlie said...

Awwww hee hee sorry for the tears :) Dan your nephew is a wise lil guy indeed :) Thanks for stopping by you two :)

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