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1:15 p.m. - 2013-01-26
Songs We Need

An encouraging word.

No real troubles at Casa Sage, just a few glitches and dings in the shiny happy.

My beloved Steph is bowing under the weight of far, far too many things going wrong at once and it grieves me. It's times like this I wish I was a Samantha Stevens kind of witch. A few nose wiggles and my friend would be all fixed up.

It snowed just enough to lay a layer of icy crud on the driveway. The snow is too skerce to shovel, yet it won't melt away successfully because the big pines out front make too much shade. A yucky, icy pain in the patoot.

FIL's back in the hospital for the umpty-umpth time. They're calling it 'pneumonia' but they might as well call it, "You're a scrawny, malnourished collection of used up 81 year old shit that's breaking down every other day." Sorry, I don't mean to be so callous but the man's logged more hospital time than Ben Casey and the entire cast of 'Grey's Anatomy' combined. Every other week MIL hauls him off to the ER. They check him in, plug in an IV, get him stable and hydrated again and send him home. Then a week, 10 days later he coughs himself into a gushing nosebleed, or faints on his way to the john, or breaks out in a rash, or has an infected sore he's picked at down to the bone, or an arm or a leg swells up, or some combo thereof and off they go to the ER again. Not that FIL minds, he loves the hospital. Perks right up and enjoys the attention and the change of scene. MIL, in some demented way, loves the hospital too. She knows where all the coffee stations are and brings her crocheting and blithely nods when the doctors give her instructions about FIL's homecare but doesn't hear a fucking word. So after a day or two they send FIL home and the whole stupid circus starts again. And Mick's the one who pays. He drops everything and races over there, each time dreading this might be the last hospital run. He gets wildly frustrated because there really isn't anything to do about his father's agonizingly slow deterioration. Or his mother's smiling refusal to see reason and put the man in an assisted care facility. He loves his folks but they're making him crazy. This shit has been going on for over 15 years. And I don't see any end to it. Bets on when FIL's next trip to the ER is? My money's on Feb 3rd.

Wolf's off with his father for an overnight at Alex's. A belated birthday visit. Wolf's feelings about his brother are as complicated as my own. As a staunch Mom loyalist Wolf is furious with Alex for laying all his life's woes at my feet. Also with 13 years between them and Alex's resentment of this interloping little brother existing at all and that they haven't shared a roof since Wolf was in grade school, well, it doesn't make for them being best mates, you know? But I always encourage Wolf to go visit anyhow. Alex is the only sibling he has. Someday it'll just be the two of them. Even if Mick and the ex and I all live to a ripe old age Wolf will still be a relatively young man when we all poop off. I'd like to think Wolf won't be entirely alone in the world, even if his only relly is a crotchety older brother who isn't known to be Mr Fun.

Ditto Wolf's time spent with the ex. Another complicated relationship. Though I must say things have improved enormously since the ex finally moved out. Things are pleasant between Mike and me. The child support still shows up whenever, but since we share nothing but our kids these days we manage to be civil and mannerly when we speak. In fact Mike has even taken to calling ME when he wants to do something with Wolf. Well in advance and only with my permission. With the tension between his parents ratcheted down Wolf is having an easier time of it. Plus seeing his dad only once a month or so Wolf is easier in his skin. As far as Wolf's concerned he lives with his REAL parents, Mick is his father. The man, the male parent he looks to for advice and safety and love. The ex? The ex is just his dad. Sort of an uncle who takes him to the movies and to the go-kart track. Dad is for casual fun, Mick is the guy who does the true heavy lifting when it comes to fatherhood. On the rare occasions Wolf needs an adult's counsel and he can't go to me about it he asks Mick. The idea of asking the ex for any sort of help or advice is laughable.

Back to the big birthday for a bit. On Monday when I woke up I came downstairs to find the dining room decorated for a party. My first thought it had been Mick. I had no idea Wolf knew how to blow up and tie balloons. But he does. And while we were in the city Wolf hung up banners and streamers. He set the table for cake. And blew up many, many balloons. He'd also bought a card and wrapped the cookbook he'd bought me and set them next to my place at the table. So proud! I thought his head might explode when I exclaimed and thanked and showed him how genuinely thrilled I was with his surprise. At 15 there's little enough opportunity for Wolf to do something splashy. On most weekends I'm forcing down a fried egg sandwich I wasn't ready for or really wanting just because it's Wolf's signature dish and the high point of his day to present me with one. My son so badly wants to DO things. Make a difference. Be a help. So his being able to knock my socks off with a surprise party all set up and waiting for me on my actual

I never listen to music when I'm work writing but blogging I like to have some tunes. Right now it's another birthday giftie. 'GRRR!'- a Rolling Stones collection. Lots of good stuff but it has the short version of 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' (sans London Bach Choir opening) and does NOT have 'Mother's Little Helper'. Phooey. Still The Stones are boon companions on this quiet morning.

Also some of you might remember when that first song was freakily twined with my life. Before there was my Mick there was the other Mick. It's easy enough to find signs and omens when your life is free-fall, sure, but for the better part of a year I was haunted by that song. After many months of licking my wounds and trying to piece together who I might be if I wasn't Mike's wife I stepped off into that nutty year of trying things out and I swear to you whenever I stood on the edge of a decision unsure if I should go ahead I'd turn on the radio and there it was. Every time I hesitated that crazy song would start. I'd hear the first notes from that angelic choir and I'd say, "Yes." Yes to adventures, to dates, to standing up tall and going forward even when everything inside me wanted to retreat back into my comfortable misery. Back to LA the whipped dog. Not happy, not good for me, but at least it was known. Goddamn, the latter half of 2006 into early 2007 was a scary, scary time. And yet there was that song. Reassurance from the universe, from the first Mick, but probably only from the me who couldn't be quashed no matter how bad it had been, and I'd take comfort. No, I might not always get what I want, but if I tried, if I trusted myself and stopped being afraid, I'd get what I need.

And how spectacularly I've succeeded.

All my love to both my Micks, ~LA

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