The weather see-saws one more time…

Here we are…another beautiful day.  We have a few clouds, but there’s a nice cool breeze lacing the warmth of this gorgeous Friday, Pi Day…  Never mind that yesterday it was cold all day, and that what blew was a bracing wind that made us close the doors and hug ourselves afterwards.  J’s misery with sinus congestion has abated somewhat, but -as usual- this is the sort of malady that takes a few days to completely leave you.

This morning, after his shower (which DID help him feel better,) I sat down with J to work on “nose blowing.”  Yes, we had a lesson in how to blow our nose, and -barely effective though it was- J thought it was fun and funny.  Maybe it was the fact that I sat there puffing up my cheeks like a blowfish and then demonstrating letting air out through my nose…or maybe it was just that he got giddy because of the lightheadedness that comes from doing this repeatedly.  At the end of our session, J had managed to blow his nose ONCE.  It must have provided some degree of relief because now he tries to do it whenever I walk into the room.  OR…he thinks I will once more look absolutely hilarious when I model the behavior for him.

J’s appetite waxes and wanes when he’s sick, so I’m making sure he eats small, nutritious meals scattered over the hours when he’s awake.  My aunts believed in “feed a cold, starve a fever,” but they always said it was mostly because a good bowl of home-made chicken soup when you have a cold will help you feel better, but eating when you have a fever usually ends up making you feel uncomfortable.  I give J lots of fluids, feed him smaller meals, and let him call the shots as to what he wants to eat.  OK…he tells me what he wants, and then I alter it to a healthier version.  Today he wanted mac and cheese and shrimp for lunch, and I made mac and pumpkin with a sprinkle of cheese and popcorn shrimp.  The meal was smaller than usual, but he was satisfied because, let’s face it, after a while of eating with a stuffy nose you sort of get tired…

I am hoping that J will start feeling better by tomorrow morning, and then he can rest and recover fully by Monday.  I can tell he misses school because, while he enjoys the things we do together, I can’t offer him the variety of interaction that his classmates make available.  We all agree that J feels compelled to keep ME busy, and hardly notices that I’m doing the same with him.  I don’t really mind this because it’s as close to “normal teenager” behavior as it gets.  I remember humoring my grown-ups with a kernel of attention and participation here and there.

The only other rather ominous news in the grapevine shouldn’t be ominous at all: taxation and revenue back home garnished my ex-husband’s refund and some of the child support he owes was paid.  The ominous part is that now Social Security has to determine how this will affect J’s benefits; because this is supposed to be a $200 a month income and it hasn’t been paid for nearly three solid years, whatever comes in will be in spurts that are “sizable.”  That is: there are now 1738 dollars that weren’t there before, and some of that money was supposed to be child support for TGG who had not yet turned 21 when it was owed.

I put a call in to our local SSA office yesterday, and they will research the details and call me back.  I explained to the person I spoke to that, actually, this might happen once a year, and it will represent money that J has already spent on groceries, medical bills, etc.   Last year, in May, we paid 1200 dollars for the dental procedure J had done at the hospital, and I’m not complaining…I’m simply stating a fact.  J didn’t have that kind of money, and neither did we, but we came up with it.  Since July of 1999, the kids’ father would have had to pay 35,000 dollars worth of child support.  It is, sad to say, the proverbial drop in the bucket: less than 2400 dollars a year for BOTH kids…

The other day my ex-husband called while getting ready to file his taxes.  They’re going to garnish again, he said.  I sighed.  Well…I don’t really know what to say about that; the child support law back home indicates that, while TGG is no longer eligible for child support because he is over 21, J will be eligible forever because he is disabled.  Call me a sucker, but I don’t quite think this is going to work out to anyone’s advantage.  I’ve never asked for a revision, mind you, but it’s because he has two children with his now ex-wife, and I think (because they are both still minors, and the oldest is autistic) that they need more of his money than J and TGG do.  That we are trapped in this Sisyphus-like endeavor seems silly.

So…I called the child support agency and I explained my quandary.  Short of calling me a sucker to my face, the employee who answered my call said that I’d have to travel to file a motion to close the child support request case.  To the question “what if traveling is not viable for me because of my son” I got a very vague answer.  “What if my husband adopts my son?”  Why would I want to do that…that was the answer.  I basically said “because he has wanted to since we got married, and the only thing impeding it was the fact that the child’s biological father was very attached to the notion of what about my last name rather than to the child himself.”  Silence…a long pause…that might do it.

I wait for the weekend with a vaporizer going, half a bottle of Mucinex gone and a young man who, while applying the puffer-fish technique, can now sort of blow his nose.  It’s always something, isn’t it?  But we plod on, and things do get better…like the weather…and they get worse…and back to better…and then everything balances out…

Right?  Right…


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