Mom-Mode

Not sure if I ever mentioned on this blog that my youngest son is deaf with a cochlear implant?  He decided to get one his junior year of high school, starting out his first week of his senior year recovering from it.  He always qualified, it was a decision I didn’t want to make for him and waited until it was something he wanted.  He actually did all the research on it himself, when he went in he fully intended to have both sides done.  After the one, that was good enough for all of us.

It helped him a lot the first year, although it’s a different sound than actual hearing.  It’s an electronic sound he had to learn how to decipher the sounds.  He wore it for years when he first went off to Northridge for their deaf program in college.  He had somewhat been in the deaf community his first few years of school, he was in a total communication classroom from K-3 grade and mainstreamed in 4th grade.  The program was in Mt. Diablo School District (highly recommend BTW).   We brought him back to Walnut Creek for middle school and high school, much to the financial dismay of the school districts.  That’s for another blog, I will say this, by middle school most parents are forced to go private or continue the uphill battle with the school districts.  We were lucky, he had been in the system since he was 18 months old.  That, and he’s really smart and a good student.

He stuck out Cal State Northridge for a year and a half, it’s my alma mater.  He lived in the deaf dorms which were sign language only, he then started getting some slack from his peers about his implant.  There was a time we were told we were the worst parents ever for letting him get the implant, that the whole family didn’t learn how to sign for him, he was ready to write us all off – almost cultish.  I took him back to his grade school one day on a break and they confirmed that HE was the one who didn’t want to sign.  I should mention with hearing aides he can speak, his hearing loss is at 90 decibels so with the aides plus lip reading he was able to communicate around 6 years old.  I did take some sign language classes for a few years.

I loved Northridge for him, it was convenient for us along with being close to my mom in case of emergency.  He moved into an apartment with some roommates he didn’t like and called it quits.  We brought him home to go to the local junior college for a semester, he realized everyone was gone off to college.  Someone he met at the local JC mentioned New Mexico State’s PGM (Pro golf management) program.  He looked into it, then transferred the next semester.

That seemed ideal, he’s been a golfer since he was 5 or 6 years old.  I worked at a golf course their whole childhood, they grew up with that course as their playground.  He played on the golf teams since middle school, they both had jobs at golf courses when they were in high school.

He’s not in school at this time, he wanted to play competitively with a break from school. This is a tough one for me, how do you support your kid’s dreams yet make sure you’re getting them started into a life where they can one day be self supportive?  Especially for when you’re not on this earth anymore?  Having a kid with a disability adds a new twist to it too, we had a guy working for the golf course from a PGM program who basically had the same job as me – my son can’t answer a phone.

Back to the implant though, he’s home to get it adjusted to use it again.  That’s a start, a few months ago he wanted another surgery to get it removed and I just cried the whole time he was saying that.  That surgery was hectic, the LAST thing I wanted him to do was to got through that again!!  I begged him to just keep it so that some day he would want to wear it again (did I say he’s stubborn?).  He came around, it was his choice to get it adjusted.

One of the side affects of the surgery is tinnitus, when he’s wearing the implant the tinnitus seems to subdue.  Another thing that helps him is tincture drops from medicinal MJ.  I discovered the tincture when I’d go with my mom’s best friend to pick it up when she was dying of cancer.  She would put it in her tea, it would help her appetite and help her sleep.  Before we got her a card she had eaten cookies and had no feeling in her legs!!  The drops are a lot milder than the edibles (I guess, I haven’t had either).

They seem to help his tinnitus without the stoney affect.  Being the good mom, after I picked him up from the airport we stopped by Berkeley to get him some drops.  One thing I’m not is an enabler, I wouldn’t be stopping by a liquor store for him if he needed a drink.  It’s a tough call, what’s the difference between something mild or say a Tylenol PM??  Now that I’ve had, it gives me vivid dreams as well as leaving me medicine like tired the next day.

Not that I’m recommending any of this, parenting is always a balance of stumbling through what the best thing could possibly be for your child hoping something will give them a lifetime of health & happiness – oh, and a well paying job!

The goal is to get him to qualify for the world deaf championships at this point.  He’s picking a new major to get back to school after he gives this a go.  Go Aggies!!

The Long Road to New Mexico

Which I haven’t even started yet, I’m still in bed drinking my 2nd cup of coffee before I rally to crank up the freezing car.  Driving my son and his dog back to Las Cruces, the super long trek that I’m going to take a few days to drive instead of powering through in a day…I can’t do that.

In the meantime, I stay at my mom’s then her brother’s house.  I’d stay one night in a hotel in maybe Phoenix if we didn’t have the dog with us, that slows us down a little.  There’s a nice dog friendly hotel in Phoenix we stayed at last year on the way back, it’s just that I don’t want to deal and my mom would freak if I drove anywhere near LA and didn’t stay with her.

So that’s the plan, braving the wild west in a Honda…

I have my keyboard packed for my mom’s house so I can still practice, have my camera & drone with me just in case something pops out.  One place I want to get some shots is White Sands, I keep going to the hot springs instead of that direction.  See if I have an extra hour drive in me when I get there?

The photography stuff is going to have to just be for me now, everyone’s a photographer. One little rant before I go, I posted my NY goals on my FB and someone new to FB – who I haven’t seen since 6th grade – started giving me “advice” on my little songwriting goal.  The link was helpful, it’s just really frustrating when someone googles stuff to give me “advice.”  With my drone business, I’d say some technology really wasn’t available yet and someone would send me a google link proving it was available.  Thank you.

I’ve been (badly) playing piano for over 10 years now, pretty sure I know at least a little about music??  2019 is going to be not listening to manspeak!!

And she’s off!!!

TGIF

Lots of parent soul searching while I’m out here, do I live for my kids or start living for me?  I’ve never been good at discipline with the kids, he really needs someone strict to just get him going and not have a meltdown (like I already did).  I want to help him, I’m just not sure I’m the person for the job?  He doesn’t listen to me at all.

I did make a decision about going back to school for a music degree, not going to happen.  I’ve been practicing every day down at this music store for the same price an hour I pay for parking in Walnut Creek.  Yesterday I headed towards the music department practice room at NMSU to hear some of the students…I’m in between.  The person playing was a definite beginner, the person playing at the music store was incredible.  What’s a music degree going to get me?

That said, I wouldn’t mind setting my keyboard up here to practice in the garage or something.

I had a dream I was asked to be the co-pilot on a charter flight in a jet.  At first I got on with the passengers, then I remembered I was supposed to fly the plane about 5 minutes before take off.  I grabbed my headset to go into the cockpit where there were other female pilots and we all had our own “stations.”  It wasn’t a normal cockpit, it was more like an auditorium with people, food, a stage, the male captain, and even a band playing.  There were 3 or 4 of us women co-pilots.  I was trying to find the landing speed – in case there was a remote chance I would land the plane – when I opened my headset case to see my kids had swapped it out for a headset that didn’t work.

There were some other things in the dream that came up, somehow I was recommended to be a pilot on that crew randomly.

In real life, my first attempt to get a pilots license was a disaster.  My written was timing out, the plane I was flying had exhaust problems so I was trying to get used to another plane for my check ride and another instructor.  I set the two weeks aside to have the kids at my mom’s house so I could just focus on finishing up with no distractions and the whole thing fell apart.  The kids got sick, I couldn’t send them to my mom’s.

The “Good ‘ol Boy” pre-check didn’t know it was a pre-check and gave me a lecture at the end about the levels he needed to sign off on before I got to the unicorn level.  I paid about $50 for the bullshit lecture that didn’t apply to me.  The last blow was going to lunch with my mom’s best childhood friend to find out she had stage 4 lung cancer.  It wasn’t time, I shelved it for a few years and let me written time out.

When I did re-take the written a few years later, it went by very fast.  My CFI told me it took him years to get his initial license, a few months to get the higher ratings.

What does any of this mean?  I don’t know, if I had it figured out I’d be the first to write about it.

I do know I have a few options:
-Captains license where I could charge people to sail
-Continue getting IFR/commercial with my pilots license & possibly get a few years of work in before the mandatory retirement.

or….

-Get IFR just to cut through the fog and commute back & forth to my mom’s house so she can stay at home?  Fly out here, fly my son to his tournaments when he does start to compete again.

All I know is that I don’t have a future in music, people are REALLY talented and I have no desire to practice hours every day to catch up, if that’s even possible?  An hour a day is perfect.

Hard Trip

This was supposed to be a trip to see if I could stay here and possibly enroll in their music program, our house is a few blocks from campus.  Instead, my son wants me to leave early because he’s so defiant.  I tip toe around him, can’t bring up work or school or I’m not being supportive of his golf.  He’s taken a year, he’s really good but in that year he hasn’t signed up for one tournament.

His problem isn’t his game, it’s his thinking.  This really isn’t much different from other millenials thinking there’s a gazillion dollars at the end of the rainbow for their minimal effort.  The latest is his game won’t be ready unless he lives in Europe, where he’ll be on the European tour.  Not going to try here, it’s just not going to happen until we somehow support him there??

When I golfed, I practiced every single day.  I’d drop the kids off at school, then hit the driving range.  If I could get in 9 holes, I would.  Once they got into 1st grade I could finally play 18 and join some groups.  Besides club champ, which for some reason I would miss by one stroke, it was hard for me to travel to a tournament.  One round the school called to say my oldest was sick, I put the phone down to get out of the sand trap, then finished the call and left by 9 holes to pick him up.  I could drive as far as the women on tour and coached for 2 years at the high school.

In that respect, it’s not a pipe dream for my son to want to play professionally.  He grew up at a golf course surrounded by pro’s.  He also did well in high school, we just didn’t focus on it that much.  I wanted it to be his, I never pressured him to the point of burn out.

This transition though is super frustrating.  Both boys did club volleyball with tournaments every weekend, it’s not like we’re unfamiliar with traveling and tournaments.  The way they grew up was learn to swim, OK, now compete.  My oldest played college volleyball on top teams.  We focused on my youngest getting a cochlear implant his senior year (his choice) and not golf.  It blew his chances of playing in college, along with the head of the league focused on being a prick not wanting any of the kids to succeed.  The coach that makes you want to quit the game is how this guy was, luckily not their team coach.

My son is just difficult, it’s his way or the highway.  He needs help to play in tournaments, we just lives so far from him now.  Most guys on tour have their own coach, sponsors, and at least a good friend to caddy for them.  I’ll say one thing about him, he’d be an awesome caddy.  He knows more about golf than anyone, he studies it non-stop.  He wants to play though and being stuck out here to figure it out on his own isn’t working.

That’s one of the reasons I thought I could come out and possibly just enroll in the music program.  Stay out here, take him to tournaments.  We’re like oil & water right now, he only wants help supporting him to tell him it’s OK not to go to school or work.

I have one son that’s making the transition to adulthood, working, graduated.  He has a grip on reality and money.  I don’t know how siblings can be so different?  I feel like a failure as a parent, I’m certainly not like that.  We’re both really self driven, I get as good as I can get at something with some pretty real expectations.

I did get a good come uppance yesterday about my piano playing.  I found a practice room at a music store where the woman in the room next to me blew me away.  Even writing, I’m reading a book written by a woman I know and her writing is amazing.  Another friend is writing a blog about her sailing adventure – I’m not worthy!!  Who knows?  Maybe my son does get it from me and I’m the one with the pipe dreams?