Friday, June 24, 2011

Update on me & the rest of the fam

Did I tell you I had a sleep study done a few months ago? Yeah, I found out why I was so freaking exhausted all the time. I got a CPAP machine a couple of months ago and it has been wonderful. This has resulted in my spending less time on-line because I have energy to do things that don't involve sitting in a chair. It is all pretty cool.

I went to spend my now-annual visit with my mother. She is looking much better this year than last. Her tremors appears to have be no worse, and possible even a bit less. She reports though that they are more extensive. She feels this higher in her arm and in her face. I think they appear to be less because she was so exhausted last summer. In any case, she is serious about moving out of her house. I told her that Roland and I had already talked about her moving in with us. She was glad to hear it because she thinks she can't afford assisted living, hates the idea of living in a retirement community (though she would probably adjust), and is afraid that if she moved into an apartment she would just have to move again as the Parkinson's progresses.

So we talked about the details. She would take our room on the ground floor and we would move down to the basement where we were when Carl first moved in. I warned her that she could keep her room as tidy as she wanted, but the rest of the house would be a change for her. She has clearly been thinking about that and seems prepared. She wanted to talk about the details of moving. The most important part was, I think, that I assured her that I would fly back with her. Right now I would think there is a better than 50% chance that she would move in.

Most of the time I think that is a good idea and I am very comfortable with it. Every now and then I have a moment of panic. "OH MY GOD, MY MOTHER IS GOING TO LIVE WITH ME!"

So, just to give you a complete picture: Gary should almost certainly be moved out by next summer. Brian will have just graduated from high school and preparing to move a full half mile away into the college dormitories. Andrew on the other hand will have just graduated from college and is hoping to move back home for a year (at least) while he take courses for a teaching certificate. You know, so he can put that philosophy degree to use.

Roland and I are coming to accept that we will never have to deal with the anxiety of an empty nest.

Update on Gary

So, Gary got credit for his English class, on the condition that he take economics in summer school. Since he had a day-time job, he got permission to take Econ in the digital learning academy. Of course, the class started this week and by that time he had quit the job, but we won't go there.

So far this summer he has worked for about a week painting houses. He quit that job because, well, because he didn't like it, but officially because he had to drive into The City and couldn't afford the gas. He got a job in a plant and had to quit that because they wanted him to work 60 hours a week. (I was out of town and do not know if I could have persuaded him that that was a stupid reason for an 18 year old trying to move out on his own to quit a job.)  He only worked that job one day. He went to his martial arts class and cracked a rib later that day and was told not to work for two days.

We got a letter from the insurance saying that because he got a speeding ticket back in December his car insurance was going up. Again, I was out of town and Roland just isn't as good at being tough with teenagers as I am. When I got back I explained to him that he really could not drive, except to go to work, until he started paying us $25 a month to help pay for it.

I used all my tough-teen skills, which means that instead of telling him that I would not allow him to drive I explained that I would be happy to go with him to the bank to set up an account so he could cash the two checks he had. I would further be happy to let him use those checks to pay us the $25 first even though he has already asked us for a loan based upon both of them. I pointed out to him that this would mean that he would be able to drive again in less than 24 hours!

For whatever reason, he has been unable to present himself during business hours for the past couple of days and so has not yet gone to the bank.

Today he has an interview to as frozen yogurt store. I am sure he expects to drive himself, but I am considering given him a lift as I have an errand to accomplish in the same area. Of course I will once again be all that is generous, completely overlooking the fact that my generosity will prevent him from taking any side trips while he has the car.

It is obvious to anyone who is not Gary that he is anxious about moving out on his own. He may even be depressed. As always, everything that he plans to do will be easy. He is excited and confident. Everything he currently needs to do is either easy or not worth doing for some reason or another. We have been down this path with kids enough that it no longer makes me crazy. I've gotten really good at this supportive attitude during which I am actually making his life as uncomfortable as possible. You know, given that he has a job interview he will be able to buy himself deodorant and a hair cut very soon!

If I had been posting more regularly, you would have been on the roller coaster with us. Starting jobs at which he was going to be making lots of money allowing him to move out in two weeks, only to have those jobs crash and burn. You would have had to listen to me congratulate myself multiple times on how zen-like I have become.

I will try to keep you better informed as we progress through the summer.