I am a smart person. If I were the bragging type, I would mention that I once got a perfect score on the math portion of the ACT, but I’m not the bragging type. I can write essays and grant proposals. For Pete’s sake I’m a college professor. So can someone please tell me why I’m so scatterbrained? I think it's getting worse. I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I’m showing early signs of Alzheimer’s, which I know first affects the frontal lobe where you store short-term memories—those post-it notes of the mind. Well, my post-it notes have lost all their stickiness; everything just falls off and floats away in the cerebral wind-tunnels of my airy head.
I’m not kidding. If I felt like I had any wits left, I would say I’m at the end of them. I could give you many examples, but here are two recent ones.
I’m driving the carpool to McKay’s school. Chad (our neighbor) is not ready yet and I tell his dad that I’ll pick up the 3 other kids and come back for him. I pick up the other kids. I remember at the third house that I must now go back and get Chad. I remember at the first turn. I remember at the stop sign. And then….the next time I think of Chad, I’m half way to the school and I have to turn around and go back and get him. Do I need to staple these things to my forehead?
This morning, I sent Gabie off to school, forgetting the fact that today is March 17, as in St. Patrick’s day, as in the day no child without green is safe from sadistic taunting and pinching from kids whose mothers are not suffering from holiday repression syndrome. Never mind that just before sending him out the door, I had blithely emptied his backpack of all last week’s paper detritus, noting all the little green shamrocks and leprechauns and pots of gold, and registering none of it in my head long enough to make the connection with St. Patrick’s day. Hello?
Fortunately, before McKay got dressed, he saw that I had written a big note (in green ink, no less) on the calendar to remind us all to WEAR GREEN TODAY! I immediately grabbed a green shirt and drove it to Gabie’s school. When I snuck in and asked his teacher if I could pull him out of class for just a second, she told me that he had been crying. It broke my heart. I helped him change his shirt and then drove back home, shedding a few tears of my own. I’d like to say they were green tears, but they weren’t. Just tears. And just a few since I had things to do and no time to waste. But I’m seriously at a loss as to how I can cope better with my obvious mental deterioration.
This is my brain.
Or maybe this is my brain.
And this is how I feel about my brain. At least for today.