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04-12-2002 @ 12:43 a.m.

I spent almost 2 hours this afternoon talking to Holly. She sure is having a difficult time these days. Her 3rd child, Travis, who is almost 6 has been a challenge since the day he was born. When he was 3, she used to say they had 5 children--Laurie, Preston, Travis, Travis and Travis. And it was the truth. He was Houdini, the Great Escape Artist. He'd escape from the nursery at church and run across the street to the golf course or into the ball field behind the church. They had to keep the chain lock on the front and back door to keep him from running away down the street. Very challenging. He started to calm down and when he was 5, Holly had another baby. He seemed ok with it for awhile but it really threw him for a loop. He's been having all kinds of trouble--developing some OCD tendencies including trichotylamania (I think that's the spelling--it's eyelash and eyebrow pulling. He has no eyelashes anymore--top or bottom--and very few eyebrows. It looks weird.).He's been on Proz@c but that didn't work for him so now he's on P@xil. They're thinking he may have Ausp3rg3r's Syndr0me which is an autism-related syndrome but isn't technically autism. It has been such a tremendous stress on their family and on Holly in particular.

Add to this stress the fact that all of Holly's family lives 1000 miles away and none of her inlaws are involved or helpful. A year ago, when she was 2 weeks post-partum, her inlaws asked them to host a big Easter dinner and she did. This year, the inlaws got together for Easter and didn't even invite her family. She's so frustrated with them--about ready to sever ties with them for their indifference and sometimes downright rudeness.

She's having trouble, too, spiritually, feeling a lot of anger toward God and toward people at church who talk about how blessed they are for this and that and the other thing making Holly feel like the poor stepchild because she's feeling that her blessings are mixed, indeed, and sometimes difficult to see. I told her I had been feeling that way a lot with reference to my infertility, among other things, and that I completely knew where she was coming from. We cried together and talked together and it was so nice to feel like my experience was helpful for her and vice versa. I encouraged her to make sure that Travis's therapy also include some therapy for her, if not also for the whole family, because this is truly a whole family issue not just a Travis issue. I'll be keeping tabs on her, for sure.

Joey spent the night with Ashley tonight but Ed and I were too tired and I had too much to do to get ready for the party tomorrow to really take advantage of her absence. Sad, isn't it? I mean, we could have been having sex on the living room floor in front of the fire, but by 11pm, Ed was heading off to bed and I was heading out to the grocery store. (I decided it would be better to get the shopping done tonight rather than adding it to the list of things tomorrow, since that already includes making brownies, a 3-layer lemon pie, Chinese chicken salad, cleaning my house and preparing the games.) It's sad to get old. :-(

I need to get myself to bed now that it's 1am. You know, beauty sleep and all that.


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