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You ever have one of those days when you look toward the sky and say “That is it Lord, stop the world I want off?” Yeah, that is kinda my life.
I am jokester, nerd, bookworm, homebody who loves my music loud, and my jokes off color, I am a closet good girl with a mean streak . In life I play many roles, complete with accents and mannerisms for each, because I have to get some laughs out of this shit or I will fall into tiny little pieces. I am a survivor of horrific domestic violence, the keeper of secrets that sometimes haunt my dreams all these years later, a mother of not one, or even two children with differing abilities and special needs, but 3 out of 5.

The eldest, Picasso; is mild mannered and sweet. He is a kind, generous young man who wants to see the world through the lens of his camera but is afraid to leave home, not because he is afraid of living but because he is afraid of leaving his mom. Picasso tries to bury himself in his art so that he can escape the reality of living with the Incredible Hulk, Ali Baba and The Flash. Sometimes I think he overcompensates for the limitations of his siblings by going above and beyond with everything he tries his hand at. I feel guilty as sin because he got gipped out of parts of his childhood. Other times I look at a younger male version of me and think how effing cool he is and that we could cause some real ruckus if either of us had the energy for it. As I am at my desk typing this he walks up asking what I am doing. I tell him and he sticks his fingers in his ears saying la-la-la’. He says he doesn’t want any details because then he can’t be called as a witness- yeah, it is official, he is mine. Jerk.

Next is the eldest girl, Miss Understood ; she has ADD and a depressive disorder that can cause her to swing from the highest high and right down to the lowest of lows. She will steal the breath from your lungs if you don’t keep your eye on her, nimble fingered like Ali Baba she has a nervous driven compulsion that causes her to be a raging kleptomaniac. She is a chronic runner, sneaking out of her upstairs window to disappear like a thief in the night for months on end, to be returned home by the law only to disappear again. Not long after she was returned the last time she had a medical scare, a hard knot in her breast that was getting bigger day by day. Imagine having to go from terrified mother, because your child, your daughter has been missing for 3 months to a whole different kind of panic, one that includes specialists, multiple biopsies and finally a lumpectomy. Now here comes the fun part, add in the fact that she is pregnant, at fif-fucking-teen. Lucky us we found out the day we went in for her pre-op appointment. Jealous aren’t you? Wanna trade lives yet? Fast forward to the end of last year, to the birth of her child, a girl. Moments after her daughter took her first breath she looked at me and asked, “What do I do now?”

Don’t get me wrong, from the moment I watched her come out (I threw up a little) I knew I was a goner. Grandma love is a different kind of love and I have it bad for that kid. The baby, Cupcake looks like a cross between her mother, her father and at times me, which is pretty damn freaky Friday-esque if you ask me. Since she was 2 days old we have been back and forth to court battling her paternal grandmother, let’s call her the Witch but with a B. Her Dad wanted to be a kid and come see her when he wanted etc. but the Witch with a B had other plans, she wanted the girl she didn’t have. So we battled it out , they played dirty while I tried to be the good guy and stay a true course, after a few months I said screw it and started playing the same game they were. Finally 9 months in things are calmed down; he gets regular visits, pays no child support and regularly breaks the court order and I get to raise another kid and pay all her bills. I sure showed his ass. Seriously I did get the best part of the deal because she is a laugh a minute and I get to watch her do all the cool shit I missed seeing my kids do because I was always working. Funny how things work out, huh?

My twins are the typical middle kids except that the boy twin is on the spectrum in addition to a handful of other issues which turn him from teddy bear to foul mouthed Incredible Hulk in the blink of an eye. Some days he is Ferdinand the bull laying on his grassy hill smelling flowers and then a bee buzzes by, the wind shifts or Lord forbid, Mom interrupts his musings and all hell breaks loose. The language is blue enough to make the rawest sailor blush and cover his ears; the fists fly, some days the walls take the brunt of his aggression other days I get to restrain him, all 5’5” of me. Did I mention he is over 6 ft. at 14? His life is a whirlwind of bullies, therapists, counselors, this specialist or that one, IEP’s, advocates, this test, that test, appointment after appointment…blah, blah, blah. He has regular meltdowns and when he is not Hulked out he is a scared little boy trapped in a teenagers body who doesn’t know what the hell is going on inside his own head. It is heartbreaking, infuriating and tiring but it is our deal and I would not trade him for anything, except maybe a unicorn. Yeah I would definitely trade him for a unicorn (sorry kiddo but you know the deal).

The gal twin, Cinderella (Cindy for short) is the exact opposite of her brother, a bookworm who gets a kick out of telling really bad science jokes and browsing eBay for deals. I kid you not, this chick will text me at 3 in the morning (from down the hall) talking about a laptop or resin kit she saw for next to nothing, but she needs my bankcard info because the deal is closing in a few short minutes. She is me all over again, minus the technology because we didn’t have shit technological in the 70’s. Sometimes poor little Cindy slips between the cracks because she is a good girl with no medical or neuro issues. We bond over lemon bars, Big Bang Theory and Criminal Minds marathons, interspersed with jokes that fly over the heads of all the others, except Picasso. She is actually a lot like him but ironically, they can’t stand each other for longer than a few minutes at a time. She is a typical teen girl, in love with her cell and the Beibs.

Then there is Romeo, the youngest who has ADHD and consistently swings from the ceilings and climbs the walls even with medication. He is the master of ceremonies in this circus we call life, keeping a never ending litany of jokes going while doing a quick tap routine mixed with some keen Power Rangering. He is the epitome of the Flash, he talks fast, eats fast, moves fast, unless there are chores involved then his batteries are mysteriously empty and he cannot move at all. Romeo is the typical little brother, harassing his sisters, pissing off his brothers then being their best friend seconds later. He was the miracle baby who wasn’t supposed to be, who changed me forever. I look at this little lighter, male version of myself and think God I wish he would sit his little ass down for 2 seconds so I can rest, and then I am overcome with love and cuddly crap for him until he starts moving again and then I just want to tie his butt to a chair.

I am not one of those moms who can tell you the exact moment my kid took his first real poop or when she got her first tooth, I don’t freaking know, I have a lot going on. But I am one of those kinds of moms who can talk crazy about her kid then turn around and punch you in the neck for doing the same damn thing.

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