Random Friday

All afternoon I have been sort of snacking on these jelly beans I brought to work this morning, not stopping to think that I should have brought just a small portion. I think I ate about half a pound of jelly beans, and now my stomach is queasy and I feel heavy and dull. I am not used to eating that much sugar, for one thing, and I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, either. I just went out for a walk during break and it felt like I was carrying an extra 10 pounds with me. The worst thing about it? I will probably do it AGAIN. I am a slow learner that way.

Eli had a Language Fair thing today and I had to have him at the school at 6:45 this morning. Since we now live in a different town, I just came to work after dropping the little boys off at the daycare. I asked him last night if he didn’t have even one friend going, one whose house he could stay at so I wouldn’t have to get up at 5:00, but the only one he has is the boy whose parents lost the house and are in the midst of a terrible separation. Not the place I think he should be hanging out right now. So I told him he needs to make more friends in the French Club because this getting up at the butt crack of dawn just isn’t working for me. He looked at me with this kind of stunned look, then said, out of the blue, “I have hair on my stomach now.” Where in the hell did THAT come from? And believe me, I did not need to know that. I already know that we go through a LOT of conditioner and he spends too much time in the bathroom-I really didn’t need to know about the hair on the stomach. Gag.

It doesn’t appear that I will be going out for coffee with the other guy, at least at the moment. Steve and I had a bit of a talk on Wednesday, and while there were no bended-knee-declarations-of-undying-love, we established that neither of us wants to date other people. He is staying at the house with me tomorrow night, too. I am not taking this to mean we are on the road to marriage, heavens no, and I don’t think I even WANT that anymore, but at least we got the air cleared a little. Now, my tendency is to second-guess, read things into a situation that aren’t there (usually in the negative sense), assume, you name it, so even now it is hard for me to take this at face value. I am aware that it could all change again tomorrow, so am trying really hard to just enjoy this for the moment and see what happens. I don’t know, I don’t even really know WHAT I want anymore, in most ways. Pretty fucked up, huh? One more thing to work on. Wouldn’t you think that at MY age, I would KNOW? I think I have so resigned myself to Steve (or anyone) NOT being present in a meaningful way that I really don’t know WHAT to think.

The post I wrote a little while ago on the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog has been picked for syndication, which is pretty damn cool. If any of you run across it in your newspaper, please buy a copy of it for me, okay?

Otherwise, I got nothing today. I have noticed that the BlogWorld seems awfully quiet lately, which is a little strange, but then I feel quiet inside, too, so many it is the February slumps for all of us. I just know that if I get in the habit if NOT posting, it gets pretty hard to start up again. Do you all have the problem as well?

Slick, Hip and Cool

A lull. I am neither in a great mood nor a bad one, just kind of coasting along. In talking with Amber just a few minutes ago, I was able to articulate one more thing that I have been feeling, I don’t know, unsettled or uncertain about. See, I keep waiting for someone to tell me what to do, and that just isn’t happening. I want someone to sweep in and give me specific instructions about how to handle this next phase of my life-from the minor things to the big one-and I am just not getting the handbook. It’s like it is there, but it is cryptic and hard to read, written in some odd language that I can’t quite grasp.

However, there are some things going on that I think I might have made a kind of firm resolution about (and if THAT isn’t vague, right?). You all know that I was kind of half-assed asked out by someone awhile back, right? The continuing story is too boring and banal to even go into any kind of detail, but the guy keeps asking me out. A lot. And it has led me to mentally planning a conversation with Steve about the status of this thing we have. Are we, or are we not, “together?” Because in many ways, we are a couple; we just don’t call it that-he doesn’t like to consider himself “taken,” doesn’t like losing the image he has of himself as a slick, hip and cool single dude. Which is his own issue, sure, but also one that does affect me. I have let it go on like this for awhile, but now, I don’t know. I mean, it isn’t like I look at this new guy and think that HE is going to be my Knight In Shining Armor; I have never believed, really (since I quit drinking, anyway), that jumping from one relationship to the next is any way to behave-too many issues are left unresolved. But it just brings to my attention that I really DON’T know what is going on with Steve. I know that he does things (family pictures, anyone?) that indicate a level of commitment, but he rarely refers to me as his girlfriend or anything like that, so I am left, often, uncertain and confused. I am not blaming him, please know that. It is what it is, and there isn’t any blame at all.

I am having a hard time keeping on track with my train of thought here. What I am getting at is that I plan on talking to Steve sometime soon and finding out if we are, in fact, in a relationship or not. That is what I want; I want to be with him, I want to be able to put a name to this history we have and call him my partner. However, if that isn’t something he is willing to do, I have waited long enough, and will commit to having coffee with this other person. The bitch of it is that I won’t really be going with him because I can’t wait to be free-the opposite is true. To accept a date with another man will break my heart, because he isn’t the man I want. But-life is pretty short, and I do deserve (and want) more than Steve has in the past been willing or able to give. It doesn’t mean I love him any less, it just means it is time to start down a different path if the one I am on is not just Under Construction but a flat Dead End. So I am committed to having The Talk with Steve, but I don’t know when; when it feels like the right time, when I can do it without sounding like an ultimatum (because it isn’t) or as if I am trying to use this other guy to make him jealous (which, okay, is just stupid), when I wake up one morning ans just know. Still pretty vague, but it helps me to be able to know that in this ONE instance, I know what one thing I need to do. Which has nothing to do with Steve, really, or the Other Guy, just me and my perception of things and what I want my life to look like five years from now.

As is usually the case, I feel a lot better after having written; it helps to process things, to think them through, and then I can generally let them go. If a solution is required or sought, I can often write it down and then it percolates in the back of my mind, being worked out while I am not even really aware of it. Thanks to all of you who keep coming back to help me process everything, big and small.

****For those of you who have already sent in your donation, thank you very, very much. You are so appreciated! For those of you who haven’t, or have no idea what I am talking about, there is a Donate Button there on the right to help my friend Amber and her family as they deal with an ill baby and all of the related expenses. I am keeping the button up until March 2nd, and am asking all of my readers to donate a minimum of $10.00. I know times are hard, I know that people are struggling everywhere, but try to give what you can. Know that if anyone needs help with something really, really big, it is her. And if you can’t donate or choose not to? Stop by and say hi to her, give her some love and encouragment. She needs it.****

The Story of a Girl

There once was a little girl, the youngest of four daughters. By the time this little girl was four, her mom had been married three times, and the entire family was irrevocably screwed up. At four years old, this little girl and her older sister (six) were both already so tired of being made to feel expendable and also so tired of being the punching bag for StepFather #4 that they decided one night to run away. They packed a few things and were just getting ready to make their escape when the Mom and the Stepdad came home. It was not a pretty homecoming; Little Girl and Sister were given the option to either go (and Mom was considerate enough to pack a couple of bologna sandwiches to get these little girls through the next couple of meals, thoughtful and loving Mom that she was) or come back inside and get a spanking. At this house, a spanking usually meant a belt on a bare butt until there were bruises. Now, both sisters still thought running away was the better option, so they very bravely bundled up their few things and headed out the door. They lived on the second floor in an apartment complex, and right outside the back door was a very long flight of stairs with a door that locked at the bottom. The two sisters got all the way to the bottom of the stairs and could not get the door unlocked no matter how hard they tried. They pushed and pulled and cried to no avail, until finally, tired and cold, they decided to go back upstairs. At the door, though, after Sister went inside, Little Girl stood at the door and could not make herself go in. She tried really hard to step over the doorjamb into the light, but just.couldn’t.do.it. Even when Mom and Stepdad acted all happy and made hot chocolate for Sister, Little Girl could not do it. She stood there, uncertain and afraid, until finally, Mom just came and shut the door without saying a word. Little Girl went back downstairs and couldn’t, again, get the bottom door unlocked, so finally she decided that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to go back inside. When she got to the top, though, Mom had locked the door. And no matter how hard Little Girl kicked and screamed and cried, nobody came to answer it. Finally, exhausted, she laid down in front of the door and fell asleep, curled up in a little ball. In the morning, Mom opened the door and Little Girl had wet her pants and was cold and shivering, and Mom got the belt out and gave Little Girl a few more bruises. That was the last time either of them thought about running away.

And now, 32 years later, this Little Girl is all grown up and angry. She is angry because she has worked so hard to not turn into her mom, she has worked so hard to love and cherish and value her children above all else, and still gets completely lambasted at every turn for not doing it right. She has left a man who was rapidly turning into Stepfather #4 (minus his tendency to want to put his hands down Little Girl’s pants every time had could get her alone), and left him with nothing but three children and a car that ran about 1/4 of the time, but has not been given accolades for that; after all, Marriage is Sacred and should be upheld no.matter.what. She is angry because now she has moved into a new home and has paid all of her bills on time (even when it meant eating Ramen Noodles for weeks on end. Little Girl does not give.a.shit. if she ever sees a Ramen Noodle again) and has worked her way up from taking a job at a temp service and making minimum wage to having a good job in a secure industry, yet still raises her four kids on less than $1000 a month, and can’t get ahead. Little Girl is angry because this supposedly could have been prevented had she just been more loving, kind, patient, forgiving when her husband was out fucking other people and stealing money from the household to buy drugs and being gone for days and days at a time. Little Girl is angry because no matter which direction she turns, this world turns a blind eye on the fact that perhaps she would not be poor and struggling if it, as a nation, held all men accountable.

This Little Girl? She has been accountable for every decision she has made for the last 32 years, ans she is tired. She is tired of being told she should not feel a certain way-angry, happy, frustrated, bitter, joyful. She is tired of trying to explain herself to people in the hopes that just one-ONE-of them will get it, and maybe stop and think before casting stones at ALL single moms. This Little Girl is tired of a justice system that does not protect the true victims but instead protects the criminal, and this Little Girl is tired of being told she should not be angry-furious, TOXICALLY, uncontrollably angry-at the man who violated her daughter, or for the lack of support she has gotten from people who are her friends. She is tired, tired, tired of being told that she should be neither lonely nor sad, when there is much to be sad about and many ways in which to feel lonely. Maybe more than anything, she is tired of standing up and continuing to fight for understanding when there is none. She is tired of being a voice for single moms when nobody is listening, tired of being an advocate for not just HER children but other ones who are being abused and yet being called a bitch, one who should just let things go. Tired of listening to the accusations of bitterness and hatred, without once being given the opportunity to explain why there are sometimes legitimate reasons for it.

Just-tired. That’s all.

The Root of My Discontent

I have a new post up over at the Rocky Mountain Moms Blog today, if any of you are so inclined to hop on over there and read it. There is also a very interesting and rather heated discussion going on over there about how women abuse the court system in a divorce in order to steal the children away from their fathers. Written by, imagine this, a man. I did my own responding, but this guy? He isn’t going to get it, so I am just choosing to step out of the fray for the time being. And yet I am wondering this: why is a man writing for a Moms Blog? Can’t quite figure that one out, as there is a growing network of those dad blogs out there that would probably take a lot less offense, but meh-whatever.

I wrote earlier in the week about the blahs I have been experiencing, and last night I was finally so disgusted with myself that I sent myself to bed early in a pair of flannel pajamas. I was testy with the kids and ended up spending money on pizza that I couldn’t really afford to spend because I could just NOT deal with trying to cook in a kitchen that is still not completely unpacked. I was just pissy enough to try to pick a fight with Steve, I yelled at Owen for getting the milk out of the fridge (this would be after he got a toy car stuck UP in the bathtub spout, after he dropped a container of salsa on the floor, after he kicked the dog’s water dish over…) and taking the cap off and spilling half of it all over the floor. Because God Forbid I should actually have a few minutes to pee, right? And by 9:30, I was just done.

While I was on my walk at lunch, though, I was able to pinpoint part of the reason for my strange mood, and it helps to at least have a reason for feeling a certain way. We have talked about the lack of adrenaline right now, and that is part of it, and the reminder of the ongoing court date, so that is part of it as well. However, right this minute, I think I am feeling very much out of sorts because I don’t feel settled.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the house, the kids love the house, and I am NOT complaining. I am still grateful for it every minute. However, it is still a huge change, and I am having a hard time adjusting. I don’t deal with change well, even if it is positive one. I am having a hard time getting into a routine that works for all of us, and you all know how important it is in our busy house to have a routine; so that has been hard. I am struggling with the fact that I have to leave the house earlier and we get home later, and I have yet to make enough time in the morning to eat breakfast before I go. I don’t see Steve as much, I don’t get to spend as much time with Jacquie, and when we get home, there are all the chores to be done THEN because the kids are no longer home after school to do them. I know that this will pass once we DO establish the routine, but in the meantime, it is really kicking my ass.

So this weekend I hope to do some things around the house to finish getting it put together. I still have pictures that need hung, boxes to unpack, cleaning to do. Hopefully if I get it all finished, I can start the next week off feeling more connected to the place, more able to adjust to this new change in routine. Soon I know it will seem as if we have always lived there, but for now, I will be happy if I simply don’t feel like a transient.

Court is Approaching

We got a notice from the court yesterday that the Pre-Trial hearing for CF is set for the end of March. Of course it has long been looming, there at the back of our minds, but everything else has sort of overshadowed it for awhile. Now, though, with the arrival of that ominous envelope yesterday, it is right there once again. I haven’t told Hannah just yet; I know that I HAVE to, and I will, but I wanted to give her a day or two more of relative peace. I think her anti-depressants are finally beginning to have a noticeable effect, so that is definitely a positive; maybe I just want to give myself a few more days, I don’t know. So much of this is foreign territory to me and I feel like I am stumbling around in the dark right now.

She-Hannah-thinks she is ready to go back to school. This trimester ends next week, so we need to make a decision about it before then. I suspect that a lot of her feeling ready has to do with this new boy, because at least she knows there is one person who is going to be there to hang out with and talk to. Before she left school, she was so engulfed in her own misery that she was incapable of maintaining friendships, and since high school girls tend to be assholes, she will be going back into school with only this boy to rely on. Of course it is a small comfort that she has at least someone. However, being the emotionally dependant on a boy, at 16, under tenuous circumstances, also creates a whole lot of worries.

She has therapy tonight, and I have suggested that she talk to her about going back to school as well. Even more than not having any friends left, I worry that she hasn’t been given any real coping skills yet, so I don’t know if she can handle the pressure that is going to be there immediately. The academic pressure, sure, but the PEER pressure: Where were you? What happened? Why were you in the hospital? Why were you being such a bitch? Why didn’t you call me/text me/email me/come see me/kiss my ass? I just-I don’t know.

I seem to be saying that a lot lately. I don’t know. I don’t know what this new normal is supposed to look like, I don’t know what kinds of things the therapist plans on working on with her, I don’t know whether or not Hannah is even going to be able to testify. I just don’t know. And can I do anything about it right no? No, I can’t; the day is coming, whether any of us is ready for it or not, and there is no sense in worrying about it right this minute. Rationally I KNOW all of that, but emotionally, I think that if I work harder, try harder, just DO something, I can impact what may or may not happen, and the truth is that I really, really can’t.

Sigh…lots of worries today.

If you guys haven’t stopped by to say hi to Amber and check up on Melanie, please do; I think Amber is feeling pretty discouraged right now, ans she could use some cheering up. Also, if you would go donate that $10.00 right now, it will start to add up pretty quickly. For those who already have? Thank you SO much, on their behalf.

Time To Pay It Forward

I have it so good. You know, we all know that some things have happened over the last year that were less than ideal, but I haven’t had to deal with any kind of really scary illness, my children are all well and relatively healthy, and so am I. I am so, so blessed. Because there are some people whom I really, really love who are going through a very scary time right now, and while my heart just aches for them, each one of them, it also makes me realize just how blessed I AM.

Today, I would like you guys to go here and meet my friend Amber. She works with me, but I have also known her for a few years from the church I used to go to. We were pregnant at the same time, she with her Makiah and me with Owen, and she has since gotten married and had another little girl named Melanie Grace just about 6 months ago.

Melanie is ill; she just had heart surgery for a defect called ALCAPA, and if you go see Amber’s blog, you can read about the diagnosis and subsequent treatment. It will break your heart, I think, as it has mine. In fact, up until yesterday I hadn’t been able to even comment or be there in any real way because I looked at those photos and I just cried.

Anyway. I know that Amber and Thayne are really in for a long haul. They have sweet Makiah at home, and Thayne has to be back here to work while Amber stays at Primary Children’s Hospital with the baby. They have health insurance, but there are going to be a lot of additional costs associated with this, from actual medical expenses to Amber’s lost income and silly little things like food and gas and other essentials involved in being away from home for an extended period of time.

So. I am putting a donate button here on my site, and I would ask each one of my readers (lurkers or not) to think about what you can contribute. I average about 65 readers a day, sometimes more, and if each one of us could scrape together a minimum of $10.00, that would add up to enough money to cover the loss of Amber’s income for a month. I know that Amber has talked a very, very little bit about the financial worries, but I don’t think she will out and out say HELP ME and put a button on HER site. So I will, because I love them all. And parents with a critically ill child should just not have to worry about money problems. I am going to leave it on the site until March 2nd, at which point I will transfer it to Amber and Thayne’s account. Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated. Did I mention that I love these people?

And if you can’t spare any money, please stop by her blog and tell her hi. Pray for her; pray for her family. Pray for her to be strong and faithful and find the everyday miracles and blessings, even in the midst of this really crappy hand she has been dealt. And also, tell her to please hurry up and come back to work because the filing, she is killing me!

Tuesday Morning Blahs

I got nothing today. I haven’t been reading the news so can’t comment on Current Events-not like I do that much anyway. Ditto with the whole TV thing; since I don’t watch TV, I can’t even comment on the shows I watched over the weekend. I am a dullard today.

Hannah’s date went well; she came home walking on air, the boy having not just taken her to dinner and a movie but also bringing a Valentine’s Day present for her. They went to see Twilight, which I had absolutely NO desire to see, so they were safe in that respect. Also, big points for being responsible: the movie is apparently quite long, and they left before it was over in order to get home on time. Hannah said he asked what would happen if he called to tell me the movie was running late, and she told him, “She won’t let me go out with you again.” I have one smart girl, I tell you. The Boy came over for dinner on Sunday night, and he seems…nice. He didn’t say much; he might be the teeniest bit afraid of me. Don’t know why.

Eli had friends over on Sunday night as well; thank your Jebus for a basement! They all just sort of hung out down there playing video games and what have you, and I was able to go to bed at 10:00 like always and not have to yell at them to keep it down. Good deal. At about 7:00 pm, they, along with Hannah and The Boy and Sam, went outside to play some version of tag called “Ghost in the Graveyard,” and it was a little sad for Owen and the dogs left inside. All three of them were leaning on the back of the couch peering out the window and whining. Cruel Master that I am, I could only laugh at the pathetic picture they made.

I don’t know. There is nothing WRONG, not at all. It was a good weekend, actually, from dinner on Friday night with Steve through the weekend. I just feel tired and a little blah today. Maybe from the sudden cessation of adrenaline which has kept me moving forward over the past few weeks. Maybe waking up to snow and ice. Maybe just because I am simply resting inside, I don’t know. Maybe later I will read through the paper and see if there is something I can work up a good rant about; my readers seem to visit a lot more when I am all worked up about something or other! Teasing, really. I just don’t feel very inspired, and yet I know that if I keep at it, the feeling will come back. Have to stay in the habit of writing, writing, writing in order to get better at it-even if that means you poor folks have to read a lot of crap waiting for the good stuff!