July 2, 2010. So much for spending lazy summer mornings in our pajamas. The LoBruttos are rising an hour earlier than the regular school year schedule because Sophie’s on the summer swim team. We are at the town pool, which is unheated, by 7:15 am, five mornings a week. The lows for the last several mornings hovered in the low 50s. Brrr! More than once Sophie has emerged with blue lips and fingertips. By today she may be frozen solid. Peter starts summer school next week, a program initially denied to him by the school under the theory that he is doing so well he doesn’t need it. Luckily our filing for hearing prevents them from implementing such an ill-conceived directive. His 6-week program begins Tuesday. This week has been difficult for him, as it has been for me. Sophie is busy with her activities and friends and Peter has little to do, despite my trying to put him on some sort of recognizable, organizing schedule. Right now he’s downstairs working with Lindy, who will try her best to undo the cumulative damage of several days with no routine. He’s filling his Pullups with so much urine that last night the crotch of his diaper protruded down one leg of his shorts, causing him to walk like an old man with an acute prostate problem. And still he looked me in the eye, insisting he was dry. I’m sending him to use the bathroom approximately every 20-30 minutes, which is no picnic for either of us, but still the problem persists. “I don’t pee in there, Mom,” he announces gaily. “Sometimes, but mostly I play.” The very idea of trying to toilet train an almost 9-year old while preparing madly for our endless Due Process Hearing, instigated because the school has lost its collective mind and continues to adhere stubbornly to the fiction that Peter is educable in a large classroom setting, offers many layers of irony. But its 4th of July weekend and I don’t want to go there. Not right now, anyway. This afternoon we’re going to the pool and then tonight we’re heading to the Fairgrounds to watch a rodeo and after that, the fireworks. I hope the evening is as full of old-fashioned, small town fun as I’m envisioning it will be. All I ever wanted to do was help our son, but when reason, hard evidence and sugar produced no results, I’ve had no choice but to put on my boxing gloves and get tough. In the process I’m afraid I unwittingly may have created the persona of a crazed mother on a jihad, but there’s very little other choice. If I keep shouting our story from the highest ridge, my voice ringing through the dips and crevices of the valleys below, my plea for our son just might reach the heart and mind of someone, somewhere, who’s in a position to intervene, who can and wants to stop this madness. But this weekend I want to set these worries, this mission, aside. This weekend I just want to be Mom. I want to have fun with my kids and my husband. I want to shield Sophie’s eyes from any scary parts of the rodeo and run back to the car with Peter in tow if the booming fireworks are more than he can handle. I want to put the kids to bed early one night and coax Pat into a relaxing, romantic evening where we can escape our problems, if only for a few, stolen hours. Most importantly, I need to remind myself that what Pat and I are doing right now is not a sustainable, much less desirable, life pursuit. It’s temporary, and it will pass. We will have a life beyond fighting for Peter’s rights and his future. But in the meantime, we’ll have to settle for stealing snatches of normalcy when we can, like this weekend, for instance. I smile just thinking of Sophie singing You’re a Grand Old Flag in the backseat on the way to the lake. Such a small little dream, but I sure hope it comes true.