Last night I had this dream that I was picking up the boys from school, except it wasn't the school, it was a multi-level parking garage (you know how dreams are). As usual, I had to be in 2 places at once, and usually when that happens, I try to stand right in the middle between the 2 places so I can make a quick choice about which kid to go get first, but in my dream I was going up and down the levels of the parking garage for some reason. I had decided to go get Child 2 first so I guess I headed off toward where he was, and I saw Child 1 leaning against a wall with a couple other boys; he didn't see me. It was like they were all just hanging out, you know, like kids do, but it wasn't that he was just standing there next to them, they were actually buddies and having a conversation and shit. He was kind of being bad, I think, by not being in class and hanging out with his buddies, instead. He might have even been smoking! But I felt so relieved, and I thought "So, he actually does have friends, he just doesn't tell me about them. That's okay, he doesn't need to tell me, as long as I just know."
Of course, when I woke up, reality set in. He doesn't actually have friends and is hiding them from me, he has no friends and doesn't want friends, but I felt relieved to accidentally witness "the truth," because it meant that he was just like all the other kids and not the weird kid running back and forth flapping his hands in front of his face (even if he was smoking). I don't judge him, he is who he is, and I don't spend my waking hours wishing he was "normal," I just want him to be happy, but I can't control what my subconscious does when I'm sleeping, and in this instance, I was really happy that he was just a regular kid but I didn't know it. What can I say?
So, how do I handle stress? I guess it depends on what's stressing me out. Sometimes all I need is a stiff drink or 7, some Rock Band and I'm all set. Sometimes I go for a walk. Sometimes I just sit here and feel tense. Sometimes I take a nap. Sometimes I just plug through all the work until I get to the other side. Sometimes I just fucking go OFF on someone just for the fun of it. No, I don't really do that last one, I would feel too guilty, but it sounds so cathartic, doesn't it?
SOMETIMES I take what I call a "Mental Health Weekend," which brings me to my next point. A couple of times a year my parents go out of town and I "house sit" for them. They live about 30 minutes from me and really don't need a house sitter when they go out of town, it's just an excuse for me to have a weekend to myself. I used to get a hotel room but I can't really afford that, so this is the free version, and is what I'm doing this weekend. I will spend about 48 hours doing absolutely nothing unless I want to do it. Watching TV, being snarky on the internet, eating whatever my parents have in the fridge and sleeping, sleeping and more sleeping. There will be no children sitting on me, and no children begging me for stuff, and nobody climbing on my back in the middle of the night and no having to set an alarm or drag my ass out of bed for any reason other than having to eat and pee. I don't need a babysitter to go for a walk and I can watch whatever I want on TV without having to worry about it being appropriate (in this case, I have 16 unwatched episodes of Flash Forward. It's probably a bad idea for me to be getting into this show since I think it got canceled and there was only this one season, but it's really good and I can't help myself. And, of course, Comedy Central is live streaming the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on Saturday. It's on at 9:00am but knowing Comedy Central it will also be on all day, every day, for the next month.) Plus it's going to rain all weekend, so I probably won't ever even go outside. It's just a whole bunch of win is what that is. :)