Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Family Dynamics

Tyler turned 15 on Sunday.

Once again, I'm not going to go into detail on the situation, except to say that after three days in Respite Care, he has a new appreciation for his family. Once I was done walking on eggshells last weekend, I actually had a pretty good time. Doug & Ann brought lunch over, and we went out back and played some badminton (emphasis on the "bad"), followed by a trip to Kitty Harbor, a cat shelter/adoption service in West Seattle.

Tom came home with us...

Although he's altered and therefore not technically a tom, "Tom" was the name he came with. He was a rescue; he'd been kept in a chicken coop and the ammonia from the chicken feces had burned his pads and caused a lot of his hair to fall out. And yet, the moment I sat down, he was the first to come over and say hello. He was equally affectionate toward Raechelle and the kids.

The kids say his full name is Tom Shanks, but I call him The Colonel, because from the moment he arrived he was managing Elvis. He's about the same age and size as our other fuzzy boy, and they wrassle and play tag and get up to the usual kitty mischief.

Anyway, Raff came over for birthday dinner, and we had homemade lasagna and marionberry pie and watched The King of Kong (awesome).

Then my stomach cramped up, I got light-headed and lost every ounce of strength. Turns out I got a bit more sun playing badminton than I'd previously thought. It was mostly better by Monday morning.

Monday was spent running admin errands and talking to Tyler's school therapist, who helped us finally get the crisis care we needed with Tyler. Then counseling, then dinner, then trying to establish a new weeknight routine. So far, so good. Wednesday, Tyler begins seeing a child psychiatrist specializing in teens and trauma - we're hoping that will start him on a healing path.

This morning, I went in for my first dental check-up and cleaning in years. The ol' ivory is still good, considering the lack of professional maintenance. I didn't have a single cavity until I was in my mid 20s; I thank my grandparents for good dental genes (as they still have all their own teeth in their 90s). I'll have to get a filling cleaned up soon, and there's a suggestion to whiten a bit before the wedding (which I'm thinking about), but overall a big thumbs up from my new dentist. Who was Sam's old dentist. And they still had her in their system from back when she was on my insurance almost a decade ago. Now Raechelle's insurance lists me as "spouse" (which I guess is admin for "domestic partner" for the time being). I haven't had health or dental insurance since 2002, so it's nice to be covered again. We sometimes joke that I'm marrying Raechelle for her insurance and she's marrying me for my house. Whatever works, right?
I hope you all realize I'm joking...

So... the Duo shoot was cancelled last Sunday (Mother's Day), but Dan and I have been plotting our next move(s) when we can. I have the feeling that this is a crazy and stressful time for many of my friends and family members. Stupid Mercury Retrograde (or whatever scapegoat you'd care to blame).

I remain optimistic about Tyler's future treatment, now that we're no longer shackled to State mental health care. And I'm thoroughly impressed with TFMD. Apparently she must really love me (and the kids). She really earned her first Mother's Day stripes. And then some.


Mark Bruno said...

This is going to sound really, really crass, but, for a (brief) second, I thought maybe you named Tom "The Colonel" because of the tie-in with the chicken coop.

Oh.my.god...I'm going to hell, aren't I?

TD said...

You are SO going to hell, Mark. In fact, you are in the first seat behind the driver of the short bus to hell.

So I can keep an eye on you.