It's been one of those weeks where "faith" and "acceptance" has been as important in my life's diet as Diet Coke and Yuban. (I mean water and exercise.)

Every day I have tried to get insurance to pay me back for some claims.

Every day I have found more charges on stolen credit cards.

Every day I have looked in my mailbox for a paycheck that hasn't arrived but two bills have taken their place.

And yet, my mind drifts back to a few Saturday agos in Big Bear. We had an amazing time as a family, but my son's tics (which had been almost non-existent) were a constant and steady stream of "mmms" and "hmmmms" and gulps that were combined with hyper activity I hadn't seen in ages.

Every throat clear... every hiccup... every click was a megaphone blaring to my frazzled soul, "YOU HAVE FAILED. YOU CAN'T CURE THIS."

A part of my brain tried to remind me that I have, indeed, done wonders in suppressing those nasty tics through a healthy diet and a stream of supplements as steady as those soft vocals, but during that particular trip - confined in a small space with no place to run and hide - I wasn't much for logic.

My patient husband held my hand the whole way up the mountain. "You're doing great," he'd whisper, as if to convince himself as much as he was trying to persuade me. (Actually, I do think he believed it. How does he do that? Where can I get some of that delusion... I mean... magic?)

I bought ear plugs. I prayed for patience. I listened to music. Nothing worked.

That night, while making dinner, I couldn't take it another second. I turned on my kids in a fury, after slamming the oven door.

"STOP!" I shouted. "I can't take it anymore! STOP RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!!!!!!!! Gox Daxit!"

Yeah, cuz I suck.

Stink didn't say a word, but my daughter looked at me in wide eyed horror. "He can't help it, Mommy. It's just his tics." She quickly added, "And give us a dollar! You said Gox Daxit!"

And there we have it. A five year old. The voice of reason.

Stink soon chimed in. I was ready for another assault on my parenting. Instead, happy as a lark, he chirped, "Oh, Pip, it doesn't matter! Mommy said a long time ago that sometimes she might tic, too, just because she can't help it! You know she LOVES them and wishes she had it, too, right Mama?"

"Right, baby, that's exactly right," I said back, now in tears. I was ashamed. And awed at his innocence.

At seven, Stink believes he is fabulous and perfect. (Because he is.) But my little anger shows -like firework explosions that only last so long -  are not going to fly when he's ten. And perhaps even more to the point, while it might not affect him (who clearly inherits his delusion skills from his Papa) it's not okay for Pip.

I took Pip aside later and told her I was sorry. That I'm working on it. That she is right. That I was wrong.

"Am I angry a lot?" I asked her.

"No," she said. "Not all the time. But sometimes. And it makes me sad."

For days after I flogged myself. A perfect mother wouldn't be irritated at Tourettes. A perfect mom would hold her cool. A perfect mom would never yell and scream... take her kids to church on Sunday and scream like the wind on Saturday.

But I am not a perfect mother. I am a human one. I occasionally cry and scream and curse and lose it all together.

And then I apologize and vow not to do it again.

And I haven't. And honestly, I don't think I will again - not like that.

Will I get mad? Irritated? Sleep deprived and frustrated as hell? Oh, sure. But I'm going to give myself more time to breathe. More time to run. More time to play and laugh.

The past two weeks - while far from perfect - have been more joyful than I've experienced in years.

Because even though Stink is still ticking (and I think I know why... more later in my "Ticked Off" section) he can still play ball with my sister after school on Wednesday.

Picture
When my daughter asks to rollerblade - even if it's dinner time - I can (God forbid) say yes.

And soon my husband will join her.

Picture
And we can mess up the patio...
Picture
Laugh like fools over dinner...
Picture
Take Grandmas to lunch...
Picture
Cook linguini and clams as a family...
Picture
And one day make rabbit stew if this stinkin' bunny doesn't stop crapping on my floor.
Picture
I am so lucky  to have my life. During quiet moments like this, I am most thankful for a house that is chaotic, my crazy family and friends and even the tics. (Well, not that last part yet, but I'm getting there. And wouldn't you know, that it's not really about the Tourette Syndrome, but my own issues with control? Yeah! Really! Who'd a thunk?)

Oh, shut up.

Happy Wednesday. May your days be filled with joy even when your life is far from perfect.
 
 
Picture
If you really want to feel blessed, make sure your wallet gets stolen. In doing so, you will find out the following:

* It's a lot easier to get a license at the DMV if you speak English, have teeth, and don't call the overworked line processer a "ridiculous buffoon who deserves to be working in this government run pit from hell."

* Your kids will surprise you with a fistful of pennies bigger than Simon Cowell's ego and tell you, "Mama, we know you're broke. We WANT you to have this." Then they will sneeze on your desk, ask you to bless them, and tell you that your feet stink.

* Your husband will randomly insert cash in your bank account because he feels sorry for you. You don't even have to do that thing with the hand
and the moaning. (Back scratches, you pervs.)

* Your best friend from grade school who held your hand on the bus all those frightful First Grade angst years ago will forgive you without a moment's hesitation for not wanting to fulfill a cooking date obligation and instead cart your butt to Target, your kids dance studio, and Office Depot where she'll promptly inform you "You're a mess. No wonder your wallet was stolen Miss NO ORGANIZATION."

Then she'll sit with you at Gelson's over ice tea and really fattening egg salad and fill out the numbers in your calendar page by page. She even lets you in on the secret code of moms everywhere that somehow I seemed to miss: Post-Its. Like great sex, they are durable, colorful, and just a little bit sticky.

* Your mom will remind you that you are doing too much and that the kids, not you, are the center of the universe these days. (It's her fault. She made me the center of the universe until 7 years ago. Now she wants me to change?)

* Your sister will offer to come babysit any day you need it. (She meant one day... for 3 hours... not every day for 24 hours each. She clarified that for me, so I'm doing the same for you.)

* Another friend will take your kids home mid-week and let them jump in her trampoline until they are dizzier than Sarah Ferguson after a bad money deal. (Did you see her on Oprah? I like her... she made a mistake, but I forgive her. She's real. She needs to guest post on my future Wabi Sabi blog. I won't even make her pay me 40k for it.)

* You will find that despite arguing with insurance companies over check reimbursements that... um... well...okay, I can't put the good spin on that one. (Oh wait! Yes I can! You can be happy you are a client and not a worker who has to listen to people like me all day long complain complain "oh give me my money now" complain.

* You can go to coffee two times in one week with old and new friends and remember that life goes on despite a crazy few weeks of feeling really discombobulated. (Because, you know, I'm not the center of the universe. Damn it.)

in closing, I'm most happy about what you see on that little desk. It is there for me no matter what. It never lets me down. It is reliable and steady like the sun.: My new little organizer! (C'mon... like my family does that! Sheeesh!)

I have started marking off times every day just for me to write and exercise. It keeps me way less stressed with the kids, which means that when things go nutty, I can roll with the punches.

One day at a time. One credit card replaced at a time.

So tell me, are you organized? Because I had underestimated the power of that. I really had. (Oh, and locking my car door. Where was that advice, Mom?)