I’m divorced. At the time of the Great Divide, I was a stay-at-home, home schooling mom to my three sons – one of them with entry level autism. I hadn’t worked in years. Divorce was a big thing that changed my life. I still grapple with the meaning of it. My kids are back in brick and mortar school. I’m back at work after 8 months of bitter unemployment. I’m raising three boys to be men without a male presence. I yell a lot.
What I never anticipated was our ability to adapt and the beauty of the unexpected simple solution. The little things. I have a day job, but as soon as I get home, I’m in the home office doing my part time work. There are never-ending interruptions from the boys which always makes teleconferencing a challenge. Most of my clients are resigned to the screaming in the background or the occasional “Mommy I have to poop. Will you wipe my bottom?” Right now they are in my office arguing over boiled eggs. They don’t even like boiled eggs. I repeat myself with withering conviction throughout the day. “Get out of my office!” “Let me finish my work!” and my favorite “I’ll be there in a minute!” This is a good one: “Stop touching your brother!” That one works 24/7.
Anything I can do to reduce the stress I’m game for. TV, for which I have a love-hate relationship, is a big trigger for tension because the boys only have a love relationship with it. When it’s time for bed, it becomes all out war. They’ve developed effective strategies. The ear piercing whine is fairly reliable. But a couple of weeks ago they did something exceptional. They turned the volume down so I would think they had turned it off. They faked me out. Now I have to stop what I’m doing to get a visual on what they are up to. I cannot trust my ears which for a mom is a really big loss.
Last night a little thing changed my life. The guy I’m dating, the Boyfriend Candidate, is a problem solving junkie. He must look at my house with the same glee as a mosquito in a blood bank. He gave to me a most powerful weapon: a remote control power switch I can use on the TV’s outlet. From my office, without warning, I can turn the TV off at its power source. They cannot turn it back on. They may yet find a go around; they could outsmart me. They are younger and more flexible. But for now, I’ll take the peaceful resignation of “What happened? Why isn’t the TV working? Barnacles.”
Adaptation is a small and beautiful thing.