Quote of the Day: Carry On

[Drafted yesterday, a workday.]

Remember when I used to post occasional quotes? I barely remember. This morning, for the first time in a while, I need a quote to get through the day. Actually, two quotes: one from fun., and one from Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President.

I’m tired. Martin hasn’t been sleeping well. This week I took him overnight to Chicago, for an eye appointment. I’m so busy at work. And I’m kind of a politics junkie, so (yes, my own fault), I’ve been staying up too late watching the Republican and Democratic conventions.

This morning Martin woke at 4:22 am. That was five hours after I’d gone to sleep. I had also been up at 2:45 am, because Adrian had a stomachache. Martin did not return to sleep after 4:22 am. In addition, Martin was an out-of-control nightmare this morning. He actually did not seem to have control over himself. He was so hyperactive he couldn’t sit for breakfast. His volume control malfunctioned, and he screamed words he meant to speak. He had a meltdown when I made him stop watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse long enough to go to the bathroom. He had a meltdown when I refused to let him stay home from school. (His asserted ground to skip school was that he got car sick in a shuttle bus yesterday. Which he did not. I was the one who got car sick. Furthermore, I did not get to stay home today. I am writing this post on my commuter train, office-bound.) When the school bus arrived, he shouted at me, “Now I’m never going to see you again! So long! It was nice knowing you!”


So where to go today?

You swore and said we are not

We are not shining stars

This I know

I never said we are

Though I’ve never been through hell like that

I’ve closed enough windows to know you can never look back

If you’re lost and alone

Or you’re sinking like a stone

Carry on

May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground

Carry on

fun., “Carry On

This morning is done. We survived. My take-away is the sound of my feet upon the ground, because as Martin screamed and cried, I held my chin high and carried on.

But I’m here to tell you tonight—progress is possible. I know because I’ve seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.

                        —Hillary Clinton, DNC Nomination Acceptance Speech, 28 July 2016

The quote seems banal, as I’m writing it here. Still, it spoke to me. The conventions: They get me all “rah rah, America!” and thinking about how lucky I am, and how many struggle more than I do. The talk of getting knocked down and right back up, combined with “progress,” reminded me that even if we’ve come far, there is work left to be done, and I’d better pick myself up and do it. Rah rah, me!

And let me close with perspective: If this night and morning have been hard for me, what have they been for dear Martin? He is the one whose body is fighting Lyme disease. He must be wondering why he flew out of control this morning. He will be cranky all day. He will not feel well, and he will not know why, and yet he will carry on.


I’m not much for addenda (except insofar as FindingMyKid.com, by the nature of blogging, is one long series of addenda to its “About” page and initial post). Nevertheless, I simply must add four notes to Saturday’s crappy-to-happy post.

1. I wrote, “It may go without saying that we ended up in a rush to get to [Martin’s] afternoon social program at the JCC, and that I left the kitchen a disaster, and that I didn’t get a chance to feed myself much, and that I was feeling worse by the minute.”

We were rushing to get to the JCC by 2:00 pm. We left home ten minutes late, and then I had to take Martin to the restroom to change into new pants. It was after 2:15 pm when I finally dropped him in the correct room. Still, only one other child had arrived, out of the dozen or so who usually attend. “Small group today?” I asked an instructor. “I don’t think so,” she replied. “They’ll be trickling in.” Relieved that we weren’t the only tardy family, I headed to the library to write.

I posted “From Crappy to Happy” at 4:55 pm, just in time to pick Martin up from the three-hour session. As I arrived at the door, an instructor was saying, “Okay, everyone get your coats.” Still—yes, that’s the second “still” in as many paragraphs, by design—she looked surprised to see me. One girl from the group asked, “Is Martin going home with you?” No other parents had arrived yet. The staff seemed to scramble to gather Martin’s belongings, and one had to chase us down the hall because they’d forgotten to include his art project.

Did any of this strike me as odd? No. I suppose I was spending too much time in my own head, trying to keep a good attitude, planning our evening, debating whether to insist that Martin use the bathroom before we left.

He was getting settled in his car booster seat when I saw the rest of his group, wearing their coats, walking along the parking lot to the outdoor playground.

Because the program meets from 2:30-5:30 pm, not 2:00-5:00 pm.

Because, after more than six months at the JCC, I had the times wrong.

Because we never had been late in the first instance.

I said, “It looks like your friends are going to spend some time at the playground. Would you like to join them?” Martin said yes. I felt pretty dopey as I walked him to the playground and explained my confusion.

2. The first time I picked Martin up, while the staff were scrambling to gather Martin’s belongings, the head instructor told me that Martin had had his best afternoon ever. He had talked and talked, been engaged, and participated in every activity. When I dropped him off (early!), I had explained that, although his swim trunks and towel were in his backpack, he’d been sick all week and should be excused from swimming if he didn’t want to get in the pool. Martin almost never wants to get in the pool, so I expected him to take the excuse and run. Nope. The instructor said that as soon as Martin saw the others getting ready, he asked to get into his swim trunks, too. Not only that, he showed off for the staff, with some trick the instructor called a “froggy move.”

Saturday evening, while Martin was in the bathtub, I asked whether he could show me and Adrian the “froggy move” he’d done in the pool. Without hesitating, Martin shifted so his feet were flat on the bathtub bottom, maneuvered himself into a squat position, and grabbed his knees. “This,” he said earnestly, “is how a froggy looks in the water.”

3. I wrote, “In the end, [Martin] ate the dippin’ plate. The GAPS diet isn’t easy, especially when it comes to packing for school. If Martin accepts a dippin’ plate once or twice more at home, I’ll give it a go for school lunch.”

Sunday afternoon, Martin ate another dippin’ plate, albeit with a little assistance. So that’s what he took for school lunch today: carrots and yellow bell peppers (included because yellow is his favorite color), dip made from avocado and fermented garlic, and a side of pear. (GAPS diet says to do fruit alone, not with a meal. Cut me some slack. I had to fill that last compartment in the lunch container, and rice crackers are out for now.) The dippin’ plate doesn’t really have protein, so he had a protein-heavy breakfast of bone broth and chicken-and-egg bread with ghee, and I sent some sunbutter treats for his morning snack. Here’s hoping the lunch container comes back empty.

4. On the way home from the JCC, late Saturday afternoon, Martin and I heard both My Sweet Lord and Heart of Gold on satellite radio. For me at least, that combination effects at least a 27.5309% improvement in mood.

Saturday turned out quite well.

Martin's school lunch today: a dippin' plate with carrots, yellow bell pepper, avocado-and-fermented-garlic dip, and pear.

Martin’s school lunch today: a dippin’ plate with carrots, yellow bell pepper, avocado-and-fermented-garlic dip, and pear.