I can’t take it.
I can’t breathe.
I feel sick.
Omg…I think I need meds.
Jonah just announced he is NOT trying out for basketball.
What? You’re not upset? You don’t think it’s a big deal? I am fucking LOSING MY SHIT OVER HERE! Jonah came to us, Me and Mark, like months ago…and he said he wasn’t going to play. We totally ignored him. I thought, he is just bullshitting. He clearly is looking for some attention; he just needs a little extra Mommy-time. Yes, that’s it. (Can you feel frenetic pace of my typing?) So I ignored his crap, and I took him for Ben & Jerry’s. Isn’t that what every Jewish mother does when shit goes down? WE feed our emotions. Fuck. I tried to push down the “I don’t want to play basketball” with a big, fat scoop of Phish Food. What? I suck, I know. I fucking suck. But I wanted so badly to ignore it. And feed it away.
But it wasn’t happening.
Jonah came to ME two weeks ago.
“Mom, I need to talk to you.” And I knew it. I knew by the look on his face, and the slump in his shoulders…he was going to do it. My 5’11” fourteen-year old, was going to rip my heart out of my chest…and tell me. I braced myself. I swallowed hard and said, “Hey baby, what’s up?”And then I burst into tears. CRAP! I did. I’m the worst mom EVER! He was so shocked, he literally stepped back! I grabbed him so tightly and buried my head in his shoulder. I said, “Jonah. I know, you don’t want to play basketball, right?” He patted my head, and said sarcastically,”Well, Mom. I can see you’re going to take this well. But, no…I’m not. I just don’t think it’s my thing. I love basketball, but I don’t love playing anymore. I don’t want to let you down, but I hope you’re okay?”
Ok. Omg. OK? Was he trying to kill me? Did he not remember the 10 years of therapy we went through to get him where he is today? For those of you who are just joining us, Jonah has Asperger’s. And way back when…the doctor’s told me, that he might not ever play a team sport. So when Jonah made the PDS Basketball team last year, I was never so proud. Wait, strike that. HE was never so proud. It was the best day of our lives. His life? Shit. I thought it was. I thought he was thrilled to be playing.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry, and shout…and yell!!
WAS IT OK? No, it was not okay…he is an awesome player! And he needs to be a part of a team. What will he do everyday after school, the guys need him! And won’t he miss wearing the uniform? And what if the coach is upset? I mean, I loved being the Team Mom. Didn’t he love that basketball-shaped cake I bought for the team party? Was it too orange? That was it, the frosting was too fucking orange. Maybe I was too annoying, after all I was that crazy mom…screaming in the stands. But it was like “our thing”. I was shaking, and trying not to cry. I looked at Jonah…and I checked myself. I took a long pause…
Breathe, Jennifer. Look at the tattoo on your ankle, and just breathe.
This is not your journey to take; it’s his. And yes, it is okay. This is not about YOU. He needs to make his own decisions, even if this one may not be the right one. He might be making a huge mistake, right? But it’s his mistake to make. And there is always next year…if he wants to try out again. Some parents may feel differently. They may force their kids to keep playing a sport they have committed to, or they are so damn good at. But why? Who is actually winning? If they don’t love playing, why make them play? Isn’t that what it’s all about…having fun? It was simple.
I looked up at him, and held his face. The face that looked exactly like it did when he was two. Only bigger. And harder to reach. And I said, “Yes, J. It is okay. This is your life, and your journey. And I will be fine with this, eventually.” Then he said,”Cool, Dad already said it was fine. We talked about it last weekend.” And he turned and left the kitchen, but not before slapping the top of the doorjamb and shouting “our house”. A little ritual he does every single time he enters, and exits the room. I was so mad, I texted Mark. WTF? He already talked to him? Thanks for the head’s up! I shook my head, and smiled. Then I chuckled to myself. Figures.
So, I guess I have to get over it. I only stayed in bed for a few days, I’m fine now. Tryouts are next week, and Jonah won’t be there…big whoop! But guess what? ZAC is going to be on that court! And so help me Goddess, I will have a kid playing hoops this season, or my name isn’t TEAM MOMMA! What, you don’t get this obsessed over your kids shit? Well, Jonah is doing track in the spring. So, tomorrow we start our training for Track and Field. I’m actually having an Olympic-size track put in my backyard. Hmmm. How do you think Harris Teeter will do at making a javelin-shaped cake? ;)