A tree branch was blocking our direct satellite link to the sky. That is, a tree branch was blocking it when the wind was blowing, so that meant that if the wind wasn’t blowing – or moving at all, really – we’d have internet access and if there was any kind of puff at all, there was a fresh hunk of nada moving across our router, with an endless “connecting” circle playing.
The internet guy told us all this, while he moved his little device (that looked a lot like a tricorder from Star Trek) around and found “readings.” I was impressed. I was even more impressed that he fixed it, and also maybe most impressed that he found our place all on his own.
I ask her why she never visits me, her poor old auntie all out on the hill by herself, besieged with children and animals and longing for adult-niece company, and she says, “cuz you live out in the middle of nowhere and I can’t find your place.”
Mack came flying inside when he spotted the “ca-ta-pi-wah”, just squirming in excitement because he wanted to see it change to a “bu-tah-fwhy” and wanted me to take a “pik-cher” of it before it did, but to be extremely careful not to hurt it – “DON’T TOUCH IT, MOMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!” he bellows, and I’m marveling partly at how well his teacher has taught him the life-cycle of these things (because I sure as hell didn’t), and wondering at where he got this idea that I’m some kind of Caterpiller Crusher? What’d I ever do to make him think I’d like, reach over and whack that cute and furry critter?!!!
I remember when I was really little on our sheep ranch in Cloverdale (before we moved to Fiji). I had been told in school that picking California Poppies was highly illegal. One day after school, I was wandering around our ranch and I surreptitiously reached out and plucked one. I held it in my (probably really grubby) hand and waited for either God to send over a bolt of lightening or for swarms of helicopters to swoop down, cuff me and lead me away.
Thrill seeking, hick-kid style.
This is a Down syndrome thing that I’ve gotten into hot water by talking about in the past. It’s like, ‘zero impulse control’ – which is to say, when she wants to go, she just GOES. She doesn’t think about the consequences sometimes, doesn’t do anything other than GO.
It’s a real pain in the butt and a total nerve-wrencher. Imagine living out here with a kid who just bolts, when you know there are things like, scorpions, bobcats, mountain lions, snakes, bears and wild boar (with tusks and stuff) out there, and moreover, you know it’s not some “talk of wild animals”, it’s like, you’ve actually SEEN them (and EATEN some).
Plus side is that she’s older so she will reason sometimes.
Sometimes the “Moxie, come back NOW or Mommy will spank you and put you in time out and you will NOT LIKE THAT” sinks in and she returns. The other week, she slipped out and ran over to the next hill – through the valley of poison oak! – and I only know this because the dogs were with her, and herded her back a bit. Then she got stuck in blackberry brambles and I had to find her and unravel her.
I was not pleased.
But I had also been so scared shitless that I was completely pleased, just to see her precious face and hold her in my arms and tell her over and over to not do that, please, it’s so scary for Mommy, please don’t do that, no, no, no. I can’t take it, honey.
I don’t buy that many toys for the kids, but I’ve started to buy more than I have in the past, because it’s fun to watch them play (right, it’s all about me?! haha)
$25 as Micah’s birthday present, and all 3 kids just soaked the living sauce out of it!
He just about broke the thing – I might need to get him one for his birthday, too.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.