Stream of Consciousness

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I’m writing this on a Thursday night (though it won’t post until morning), sitting on my deck by myself on a lovely evening in May. If any of you have ever had four kids, three of them teenagers, you know what my May is like. Currently we have soccer, baseball, horseback, color guard, drumline auditions, 4H, scouts, recitals, concerts… have I missed something? Oh yes, I have. College research!

We had choir practice canceled for us this week because the parish needed the church. It was the first unscheduled night we’ve had in weeks—weekends included! And even at that, it was a little sketchy since #4 had soccer practice for an hour.

So, anyway, I’m exhausted. And I smell like horses, because I have been volunteering at the therapeutic riding farm—while Miss J rides, I “side walk” for a different rider.

But my exhaustion is not just because of busy-ness. And it’s not mere lack of sleep, either, although that problem continues to be, well, a problem. These days it is aggravated by chronic pain in my right upper back and my left elbow. I’ve done PT, I’ve done massage, I stretch, I use heat… during the day I’m mostly fine, but those nights are no fun, let me tell you.

And then there’s the exhaustion of feeling not up to the task of raising my kids. I was feeling pretty good about the celiac thing until last week I got called to bring her home again for GI issues—schools are pretty rigid with their rules around health matters!—and we couldn’t figure out if it was actually a bug or another gluten exposure. We were actually hoping for a bug, because we’d gone to Culver’s for lunch after multiple investigations of their GF procedures, and if it was a gluten exposure, then it calls into question ever eating out anywhere ever again.

And then, the last two days, more fun, not surrounding GI, but behavioral things that made the special ed team say, “She has to have been glutened.”

Except I traced backward. She and her brother were confirmed on Saturday, and the meal was very particularly planned to be 100% gluten free. Dessert was mixed, but the gluten-y treat was store-bought and we were ridiculously careful about how we served. There’s no way she got glutened by cross-contamination from donuts she didn’t have. Besides, that was 5 days ago.

Sunday was leftovers. Monday and Wednesday I cooked all-GF meals, and Tuesday I heated up her leftovers before I took her to guard. If she got glutened, it did not happen in this house. And the school, where she’s currently eating her other two meals, is treating her “like she’d go into anaphylactic shock if she got gluten,” her teacher said.

So then we start thinking, Could she be sneaking food somewhere? Could someone in choir, or in color guard, have given her something?

But she asks all.the.time if what she’s being offered is gluten free. So that makes no sense either.

So maybe this nothing more than hormones + senioritis (because she’s only got 2 weeks left of middle school), filtered through the lens of a cognitive disability?

You can’t get an answer out of my daughter when she doesn’t want to give one. You legitimately can’t tell if she doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to.

She perked up once I came to get her. Plenty of physical & mental acuity for horseback and color guard, apparently!

This parenthood thing can be intensely wearing, both physically and emotionally/mentally/spiritually.

I just needed that out there, while I had an hour where no one needs me.

Just a note: I most likely will not respond to questions and advice. Sometimes there really aren’t solutions, and you just have to get through the hard stuff.