A little bout of the common cold, and some progress on the band-aid front…

Welcome to Sumtumn…that time of year when it’s not longer feeling like Summer, and it’s not quite Autumn thus making our lives (and wardrobe choices) miserable.  It’s cold in the morning so we shield ourselves with sweaters only to sweat like my dad on Tax Day by the afternoon.  It may be an old wive’s tale, but we all get sick and we all spread it around.  Sure, germs and bacteria flourish and kids touch things and don’t wash their hands…I know the science of it all, but I still think Sumtumn is partly to blame.  The limited social contact we enjoyed during the summer months becomes the forced socialization of the start of school and…voila!!!!…there comes the cold we’ve all been dreading, and we’ll be passing around until Spring rolls in with her green robes and flowers in her hair.

Two days, I tell you, J spent at home blowing his nose (as good a job of it as he can do,) sneezing, taking medicine and wanting to be spoiled.  He recovered-ish…and back to square one yesterday.  Misery.  Agony.  Medicine.  Whining.  Insistence on still (altruistically, of course) going to school to share it all with his classmates and teachers and aides.  I am predicting an epidemic by the beginning of October.

On the plus side of this (yes, there IS a plus side,) J is now happily relinquishing all bandages and braces for hours on end.  He sometimes even forgets that the timer that goes off is for him to get more band-aids, and he doesn’t really ask for them until it’s time to shower before bed.  His skin is looking much better, and his nails don’t stick to everything he brushes against.  There was one time when, without anyone’s help, he re-bandaged his hand to perfection…sort of like Rambo…or The Terminator in the first movie when he fixes himself…

On Sunday morning I had to repair the thumb immobilizer.  My argument about “when it rips apart it has to go” didn’t really work.  J, who is a lot more observant and clever than many people would think, found needle, black thread and mother to put together for repairs.  I found arthritis, poor vision and “I haven’t finished my coffee yet!” as valid reasons to put forward in my defense, and J wouldn’t have any of them.  He found me a comfy spot on the couch, a lamp to shine on my workspace, and he left me to get things done while he changed sheets and gathered laundry.

While I don’t agree with the constant presence of the thumb immobilizer, I had to give kudos to my son for being so proactive.  I fixed the thing, and I reminded J that it won’t last forever and, at one point or another, an asteroid might hit it and boom it’ll be gone.  He smiled at me with that knowing look of his, and said BYE.  I don’t think I was convincing enough.  As I said, I’d not had enough coffee.

The fact that J is letting us remove the bandages and occasionally forgetting about them is a good sign.  He feels safe without them, and when he doesn’t (or he feels that he needs them,) he gets them and applies them himself.  That has to be good, right?  This is the way all decisions that hinge entirely on him begin…

I try to give J some leeway to decide things, but sometimes -obviously- it is necessary for me to step in and participate in the process.  There’s been a small uptick in J’s weight because of the sudden change in his gym schedule; TGG is in class during the hours they used to go exercising, and I cannot sustain the same pace of activity as a person 26 or 30 years younger than myself.  We’ve made adjustments, but we have to work a little harder at improving the efficiency of J’s new exercise schedule.  The “anxiety” this causes J (notice the quotation marks, please) has made him want a snack after dinner…and this is something his parents have had to interfere with…firmly.

We had slipped a little, I confess, in the veggie consumption, and I had started cutting corners because I had so many things to do.  The other day I recommitted to our nutritional plan (sounds so much better than “diet”) and we’re back on track.  When I say “we” I don’t mean that I’m losing any weight.  Middle-age has parked itself around my waist and, flexible though I still am, I won’t be winning any Olympic events any time soon.  As long as J is healthy and happy (which he is, thank goodness) and he is committed to eating right and exercising (which he will be once he gets past the eye-rolling stage of the recommitment to health,) we are happy.

So that’s where we are as we skid into the middle of September.  The leaves are turning very slowly; the air is starting to crisp just enough to remind us that our garden is almost done for the season; the jackets have come out of storage, and the blankets are being washed and made accessible to all…

Another year is rolling by faster than we’d like it to, but that’s the way it works…

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