We are no longer in the doldrums around here. Not at all.
(I know, Readers. You weren't born yesterday. You've been through this before. Tomorrow I might cry on your collective shoulders, right?)
Anyway, tonight we are happy. First piece of good news? Benjy is starting his residential school next week. Yes!! It worked out. So many people spent so much time striving to make this happen. Not just Lars and me. A whole team of folks who want Benjy to succeed. Who will do whatever it takes to keep him learning and active and give him the community he has never, ever had. Man, I LOVE those people.
It's like my boy has ten parents, all of whom are determined to make his life better. How lucky is that?
Let me tell you, we take NOTHING for granted.
So next week there will be kids in his life (I am afraid to say "friends" in case I jinx it). And horses. Sheep. Chickens. Cats. A couple of 3-D printers and other tech stuff I don't understand. A swimming pool. Ropes course. Did I say cats? I see that I did, but cats deserve a second mention. There is going to be school as well, but what can you do? Oh, and three favorite sports: archery, tennis, and ULTIMATE FRISBEE.
So there you have it.
I wonder if I will be lonely without him. I assume I will be. But then again, so much will open up for us. For me, especially. My life has been on hold for so many years now. Not on hold, exactly, but it's been a life of triaging crises and driving to hospitals. Dispensing medications. Holding my boy and trying not to weep with him. Weeping with him anyway.
It's been a life of writing whenever possible. In waiting rooms and emergency rooms and latelatelate at night while my whole house slumbered, even the dog. A life of not reading. (What a loss. There was a time when reading was all I did. I miss it.) Of trying to remember I had another child. (I hope she will forgive my relative neglect. Maybe she'll write a memoir about my crappy parenting when she grows up.)
Now I can begin to think about me. How I'll fill my time without Ben to fill it for me. I'm not going back to academia. I'm thinking things through, though. You'll be the first to know when I figure it out.
In the meantime I have a piece coming out in a couple of weeks in a wonderful online journal, Literary Mama. This essay marked the moment I switched from writing fiction to writing creative non-fiction -- my very first attempt at writing about our lives, Benjy's and mine. It's completely out of date at this point. I think I started it shortly after that first time he begged me to help him end his life (2009??). His first hospitalization came after that, and so did this essay about the mental illness in our lives. I will link to it when it goes live on the site.
I found out the essay I sold to O, the Oprah Magazine will come out in October. That has been a loooong wait! Just did a big revision on that one, and sent the photo editor some pics, so it's really happening. For a while I thought they might kill it.
There are a couple of other publications in the works, as usual. And there is a fluffy hound with his paw on my knee. And there are no more hermit crabs in this house anymore, which makes me both glad and sad. (A story for another day.)
And now I am finished with non-sequiturs and going to bed.
Good night, friends!