After these messages…

Just got the family moved out here from GA, and staying with SIL for the moment.  Quite a bit to blog about, some good and some not so good, and I want to jinxproof myself as to not upset any possibilities, so crickets may be chirping here for a bit.  Promise when I find time to really sit down with a good ‘net connection undisturbed, I’ll fill you in with more details.  Still a great deal to do, so time will be limited in the coming weeks and likely all month, but I promise not to forget to throw a few bones to my loyal readers.

See you all around soon.

Breakdown

Over and over, through his tears, he kept repeating, “why do you have to go?  Why can’t you stay?”

He tried everything he could to keep me there.  There was an Indiana Jones marathon of movies we watched together, some homemade Chex mix he made with his grandma we shared together, and even some weird game he invented rolling dice and moving little pin posts around in their holes (don’t ask).

He was spending the night with his grandma, since it was Friday night and he had behaved well enough in the week to earn the sleepover.  I was in town looking at rental houses for my family who is due to move out here in about ten days, with mixed results.  I needed to be at my own place the next day so I could sit down in front of my computer with a reliable internet connection and focus on calling the discouragingly small list of numbers I was able to come up with during the day for rental houses.  I could have stayed until the next day if I really wanted, but I’d feel better sleeping in my own bed and getting up and around at my leisure, and thinking up a coherent plan to make everything come together in the next couple weeks.  Something I have to sit and do myself, with as few distractions as possible.  Business and kids, particularly JJ, don’t mix.

I told him I had things to do next day.  I told him, without too much unnecessary detail, that I was working on getting the rest of the family out here shortly so he could see us more often, particularly his little cousin AJ who he dotes on.  I told him that I wasn’t leaving forever, that we could always find time to spend together, but right now wasn’t the time.

And yet he would not let me go.  As I headed towards the door he wrapped himself around me, perhaps thinking that turning himself into a nine-year-old boat anchor would keep me from leaving.

At first I thought that he was just indulging in his usual theatrics, something not uncommon for him.  Then I realized my shirt was getting wet.

He was crying.  No, not just crying, but downright sobbing.  And he would not let me go.

What the hell? For cripes sake, I’m not walking out of his life.  Yet he’s acting like that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I did what I could.  I stood there for an eternity holding him, telling him I’d be back next week and I wasn’t leaving forever.  I tried to make him laugh, get him to get over himself and accept reality peacefully.  I told him I loved him too much to abandon him, and meant every word of it.

And in the end, I literally had to tear myself away from him, go to my car and start up, and drive away.  And I could hear his crying all the way outside, inside my car, before I drove off, feeling like a coward running away.  The heartbreaking sound of a broken little boy.

What the hell’s the matter with him?  He acts like I’m the only one that really gives a damn about him.

Which I sometimes wonder if it’s true.

Why has nobody ever made this kid a priority in their lives?  That he’s worthy of attention and love and quality time, not to be pushed aside and treated like a misbehaving dog.  That he’s rarely been given this time, so he tries to monopolize it when he can, and hasn’t learned to accept that sometimes adults need to conduct their affairs without the kids in their hair.

I honestly believe that he wouldn’t have all these issues if it weren’t for the home environment he has to deal with.  Or for the fact that his birthmother is as crazy as a bedbug.

Or maybe I’m just being manipulated and being taken for a sucker.

If so, he’s doing a damn good job of it.  Besides, that’s undoubtedly what his Reichmarschall would think, who would clout him into next Tuesday for such theatrics.  After al, he thinks kids are like gongs, and must be emotionally beaten and broken into submission.

I realize that I’m doing little more than preaching to the choir here.  That I’ve blogged extensively, perhaps too much, about this situation that I witness and the helplessness I feel because I can do so little about it.  And that I can’t dedicate anymore time to him than I do already.

Why the hell won’t others in his life pick up the slack?  If adults would just take the time to listen to him once in a while, maybe he wouldn’t feel so neglected and attention starved, and be constantly looking for ways of getting attention, appropriate or otherwise.

I wish I could answer that one, but I can’t.  But the sound of his sobbing while I left stuck with me the long drive home, regardless of what kind of music I put on.  By the time I got home there were tears rolling down my face as well.

Think in the morning I’ll call my MIL’s phone and talk to him.  See how he’s feeling.

Yep, think that would be a good idea.  At least let him know I didn’t forget him.

Because I think somewhere in his mind, he’s afraid that I will.

Snowmageddon

8 inches of snow right now in Arkansas.

I haven’t seen this much snow since I was five years old, living in West Virginia.  Having lived most of my life either in California or south of the Mason-Dixon line, snow was one of those rare winter pleasures, a few days’ break from the normal routine.  I remember my years in Georgia as a youth when snow was something that only happened once every three years if lucky, and quite often nothing more than a teaser.  Oh, there was the infamous Snowjam of 1982 I mentioned a while back, which looked something like this, but overall snow was infrequent in the South.

Yet the past few years winter storms have been making their way more and more down here, sometimes more than once a year.  Unlike farther north, the snow usually doesn’t stay more than a day or so and a week later you’re sitting in 50 degree or higher “warmth”, not believing that a few short days ago everything was covered in 4-6” of snow.  But until recently, two or more snow events a year down South was unheard of.

I should be thankful, though.  Another, more common occurrence down here during the winter is ice storms.  Nothing at all fun about those, especially given the fact that they are brutal on trees and power lines, often resulting in blocked roads and power outages for days on end at times.  Ice storms have their own peculiar frozen beauty, however I prefer a good snowstorm any day.

As of 10 am this morning, the streets, particularly my neighborhood, were solid sheets of ice.  They promptly failed my if-I-fall-on-my-ass-then-I’m-not-driving-on-it test.  However after about twenty minutes of walking around the neighborhood (and warily eying a few cars braving the polar caps, ready to scoot up into someone’s yard if they started sliding towards me) I noticed that bare spots of asphalt were starting to become visible, courtesy of the bright sunlight and blue sky.  Clear weather is forecast for a while, so maybe I’ll check out the roads again this afternoon and see if enough has melted to brave a few errands.  More concerning is everything refreezing overnight, since I absolutely positively have to make it to work tomorrow, given that I’ve missed a day and a half due to the three-day flu.  And I don’t get paid for the time missed, so next week’s check is going to be pathetic.  Luckily taxes are coming in soon.

Oh, did I mention I’ve been sick?  Went home about noon Monday alternating between sweats and chills.  I might have toughed it out for at least eight, if not a full twelve hours, but the repeated runs to the restroom (pun definitely intended) made me decide it would be far more comfortable being miserable at home.  Doing a lot better now but am still a little woozy in the head.  Flu and viruses have been making their rounds at work and elsewhere lately (JJ said he had something similar last week, so I blame him).

Speaking of JJ, did manage to take him to the movies last weekend.  He wanted to see Yogi Bear, which unfortunately wasn’t showing locally in 3D, but we went anyway.  Probably one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen, but that was beside the point.  The main goal was to get him away from the house where he could spend a little time with someone, anyone, and that made it all worthwhile.  His papa (the Reichmarschall) was especially being a dick to him all weekend (why couldn’t you have worked the weekend and been a dick there, at least you would’ve been making money), so I know he needed the time away.  Sadly I’ve had to accept this as the status-quo in his life, so I can only do what I can.  Hopefully once Yes Dear and I get settled into a place we can make time for him more often.

Things are going to accelerate here in the next couple weeks.  Yes Dear’s taxes should be in soon (praying all is there and no complications), and will have to put that down on a cheap place in town.  Will be going to GA in a couple weeks to move things out here, and am still looking around for things on the job front.  So hopefully I got my sick time out of the way, because I’ll need to be 100% for quite a while from here on out.

Meanwhile, a little appropriate music for the occasion (especially for you, Rachel):

Brain dump 2/2/2011 (The Groundhog Day Edition)

- Desktop died earlier this week.  Has been spontaneously shutting down on occasion for a while and finally did so for good in the middle of a game of Resident Evil 4.  Now will start up for all of 5 seconds, then shuts back down.  CPU temperatures seem to be fine, but dust may be an issue.  So I’m using my venerable Dell laptop with the busted hinges which is adequate for internet and blogging, but not serious game playing.  Probably need new motherboard/CPU, but funds are hard to come by this close to moving.

- Visited mother-in-law in the hospital last week.  She’s perfectly coherent and doing better, but has profound weakness on her right side and it’s not known yet how limited she’ll be moving around yet, or what kind of extra care she may need.

- Work lately has been a lot like the movie Groundhog Day – every day is the same, no matter what I do.  A large part of my days have consisted of searching pallet after pallet for defective goods that are constantly being run by the night shifts, frustrating my boss and all the operators on my shift who have to clean up the mess.  Management could seem to care less, and I really expect the place to close down by this summer.  Desperately need a new job where I don’t feel like Sisyphus.

- Is there any lower form of life, without stooping down to the level of rapists and child molesters, than people who would steal a worker’s lunch?  I haven’t had this happen to me yet, but it has to a number of coworkers.  Especially maddening is the fact that many of these people will spontaneously offer you something out of their lunch bucket if it looks like you didn’t bring anything, stealing is totally unnecessary.  I hope to hear someday of the perpetrator being hustled out back and given a good old Arkansas redneck ass-whooping.  Or blowing chunks out of both ends from someone’s brownie stash made with Ex-lax and ipecac.

-  One last work rant:  me saying that I’ll work overtime does not mean at your whim, on a moment’s notice.  I can be a good sport and pull a little extra weight when needed, but not all the time.  Also, ask me if I’ll come in on my day off, don’t try to bully me into it.  All you’ll do is just piss me off and give me incentive to find ways to give you migraines without getting myself fired.  And never, EVER tell me I have no choice.  Bullshit, are you going to show up at my house and physically drag me to work?  I don’t think so.  I ALWAYS have a choice, and I understand there may be consequences for exercising my choices, but never think for one second you can take that choice away from me.  Don’t even go there.

-  Gotta go back to Georgia first week of March and help drive everybody and everything out here, once taxes come back.  There should be enough to put down on a place out here.  Hopefully another job close by will follow soon.  A couple nibbles last week, but nothing concrete.

- Thinking of taking JJ to the movies this weekend, if he behaves enough to be allowed out of the house.  A 3D movie would probably fit the bill nicely, I don’t think JJ has ever been to one (neither have I, for that matter).  Any recommendations for an imaginative and slightly hyperactive nine-year-old?

- Also thinking of adding a new semi-regular feature to this blog, random movie reviews of any time period that I’ve seen in my lifetime.  Some popular, some blockbusters, some obscure, and some “you have no life if you actually watched this”.   Sorta like my Musical Interludes.

- Only Mel Brooks or the producers of Monty Python could have dreamed this up:  Text Message Blows Up Suicide Bomber.  Maybe this is how Achmed The Dead Terrorist came to be?  (swiped from Leslie)

-  Okay, I’m ready for winter to end.  Anytime.  Now?