Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

The Friday Fragments brain dump.  Brought to you by Mrs.4444 at Half Past Kissin’ time.

***My blog got hacked (again), and none of my posts are showing up in anyone’s readers (again).  This is a terrible thing to happen to someone like me, because I have zero traffic and of course I worry that all of a sudden people have decided I suck after all.  I don’t have any idea why anyone would continually hack into my blog; it isn’t as if I am a popular one.  Worst, I have two people WAY more talented than me trying to fix it, and so far, no luck.  So to save my fragile psyche, would some of you, you know, come directly to my blog occasionally to let me know I am not just writing into the void?

***I think it is just because she was so slender to start with, but man, Hannah REALLY looks pregnant these days, alarmingly so.  If she already looks huge, I can’t even begin to imagine how she is going to look in another couple of months.

***Speaking of Hannah being pregnant, she has already been making arrangements and talking to people at school and all on her own decided she is going to summer school and will take an online course when she is home with the baby so as to stay caught up.  If all goes well, not only is she going to graduate, she might even be on track to graduate early.  She has also had to deal with several billing issues for the lab work, and handled them well.  She talked to a counselor yesterday and will meet up with her again in a couple of weeks, and after that we will have some resources for counseling to help her deal with some underlying issues; maybe she is going to be all right after all.

***Eli now has his official Learner’s Permit in hand, so he has been shuttling me around everywhere.  Yesterday I forgot my coffee cup so we had to go back to the house to get it (uh, yeah.  I am SO not going in to work without my own travel mug of my own brew, seeing how I am such a coffee snob and all), so I ended up being late for work-he has a hard time getting up to speed, you see.  But he is actually doing very well, and he had to parallel park in front of the house last night and totally nailed it the first time.  Which is more than I can say; I will actually park a block away and walk somewhere to avoid it.

***Speaking of walking, our morning walks have been curtailed abruptly due to weather.  Now, I will walk in a light rain, and I will walk when it is bitterly cold, and even when there is snow on the ground.  However, when the wind id blowing 35 miles an hour and it is 35 degrees and a rain and snow mix, um, no thanks.  I am not that dedicated to anything.  Hopefully it will start to abate so we can start up again; I have been enjoying those mornings with just Hannah, Eli and the dogs.

***It should be no surprise to anyone that Sam’s dad has quit emailing Sam entirely.  Last week (or a little longer), he had his WIFE tell Sam that he thought email was too impersonal and tried to manipulate Sam and I both into letting him call him instead, which clearly didn’t work.  Sam wasn’t ready, and frankly neither was I; it didn’t take very long for his dad to have his wife email instead, maybe two weeks? and while it was okay at first because his dad is on the road for work, it soon became clear that he had no intention of making any real effort.  And that was the deal-he was going to email Sam every time Sam emailed him, he was going to accept that Sam has some really intense feelings of anger and abandonment toward him, and he said he could and would deal with that.  The first time Sam questioned his trustworthiness was the last time he emailed.  Needless to say, Sam is broken hearted all over again.

***In AA, we are taught to pray for those with whom we are angry or resentful-not to help them, mind you, but to free ourselves from those feelings.  And it really does work, I can attest to that.  I told Sam about that last night and asked if he thought maybe we should pray for his dad, and he looked at me as if I had grown a third eye. 

***Owen grew almost three inches since January.  Seeing someone day to day it is hard to notice the changes, but suddenly a few pairs of his pants were getting to be high-waters and he just looked long and lean.  Steve measured him against the wall (yes, we actually mark the wall with him and Sam’s name when we do that; are we geeks or what?) and sure enough, a huge growth spurt.  Thankfully we have a bunch of jeans that are a size 4 that have been just a tad too long, but we are really going to have to do something about those “belly shirts.”

***Today will mark day two of taking my little blue pill; I felt really tired yesterday, but I am not sure if it was the pill or simply not sleeping as well as usual.  I will take it again this morning and see what it does, and maybe I will have to start taking it at night.  Whatever; at this point, I am just about desperate so what TIME I have to take it surely isn’t going to matter.  Isn’t it funny, though, how just knowing that I have taken action and done something to help makes a huge difference? 

***I went with my mom, my grandma, and one of my sisters to see a small production of “Hello, Dolly” last Saturday night.  I hadn’t wanted to go and tried to manufacture all these reasons why I couldn’t but of course that was just me being weird.  It was a good producti0n; there were two men who totally MADE the show, and at several points my sister and I were both laughing so hard that we were crying.  Unfortunately, no one else in the theater thought it was quite as funny, and of course we were sitting right in the middle of the playhouse so everyone could see us, but we decided that we just have a better sense of humor than most.

All right, if I happen to have had anyone stop by (because of the blog issues, not because I have no readers, right?  RIGHT?), you can go back and read the prior two posts I wrote, and THEN go check out the Friday Fragments over at Mrs.4444’s place.  Play along-it’s rather fun!

A Light?

Tuesday night marked the last orchestra concert of the year, and believe me, *this* mom really hates shit like that.  I drag my feet and secretly stew about having to go and listen and deal with a jumpy toddler preschooler who hasn’t had dinner yet and I sit there with my own foot bouncing frantically because this goddamn thing was supposed to start at 7:30 and it is 7:32 and if they would just let me organize the shit it would be on time! and don’t people realize that MY kids are bathed and in bed by 8:30 every night, not just barely straggling through the door to home at 8:45?  And well.  Always, always, when confronted with the idea of going, I get sullen and resentful because really, whose idea WAS this to let him play the violin anyway, and my god, all the people, the people who haven’t bathed who like to sit right next to me and the people who are missing crucial teeth and need to not, you know, smile, and as almost always happens, I have a moment of grace, where I can stop my mind from keeping me from good things and I can simply sit and live in the moment.  For me, it was watching one high school student in particular close his eyes and feel the music as he was playing the bass, obviously so passionate about the music and what he was doing that he was not even aware that he had an audience.  Then, later, watching as these incredibly talented and dedicated high school students shepherded the little ones, Sam among them, onto the stage to take their places for the last part of the program, helping them into their chairs (this was the first time the little ones have been assigned chairs just like the “real” orchestra students; it was kind of a big deal for them), I felt so tender toward all of them.  Most of them have been in orchestra since they were in 4th grade, just like Sam, and they looked at those tiny budding musicians with such, dare I say it, love that it made me tear up a little.  I am not sure why it hit me that way, and maybe I need to stop questioning and simply accept that it did.  At any rate, it made me stop fidgeting and simply be there; no small thing.

So I am in a slightly better place than I was when I last posted, though really not for any particular reason.  Depression sometimes descends for no apparent reason, and it also sometimes is lifted for the same no apparent reason.  For me, however, a person who really likes to have a pretty stable and, yes, probably boring existence, this “for no apparent reason” stuff isn’t working for me.  Not enough to know that at some point, this will pass, not enough to not know from morning to morning whether I am going to wake up happy or wishing I could crawl back into bed and not get up.  It seems so silly to say out loud that I certainly don’t want to die, but sometimes I am just so fucking tired that it seems like a reasonable alternative.  How can I say that and not also say I am suicidal?  Which I am not, and it doesn’t make sense to me so how can I hope it will make sense to someone else?  Still, I say it, because that is part of me, just like my recovery from alcoholism is part of me, my propensity to laugh out loud at inappropriate times and weep when I am so happy I can barely stand it, and the fact that I love Wasabi Soy almonds in direct proportion to how much I hate meatloaf.  And I say it because I am scared not to-because to walk through life, in private and here in the most public of ways pretending like everything is fine and lovely and beautiful seems a betrayal of those part of me that I hate but am trying to fix.  Because those deep secret thoughts are me, and you, and everyone who has ever truly struggled with depression.

Still, a light.  I have always been convinced that my depressions are somewhat hormonally based, and then you add in a little soupcon of situational issues and poor coping skills (what do you mean I can’t drink/drug/gamble/have sex with strangers so as not to feel anything?  What the fuck?) that even ten plus years of sobriety haven’t eradicated, and you have (I have) a pretty messed up head.  So I talked to my doctor friend and in the midst of weeping and laughing at the same time like a crazy person I begged pleaded implored asked her for help and she said FINALLY!  How humbling to know that everyone around can see me jitter and shake apart and know that they can’t help me unless I ask.  And also how humbling to know that I know this stuff, I practice this stuff daily (please god help me to have another day sober and reasonably sane, please help me not lash out in anger or judge, help me live in this moment and not get all knotted up over something that may or may not happen three years from now) and yet it takes so long sometimes to remember that sometimes, most of the time,  MY God shows up in the form of people, his help is in the soft hands and hearts of other people and they can’t help me if I keep hiding that things are inherently NOT okay inside myself.

And here is the thing.  I don’t expect a little blue pill to magically change my life and make everything suddenly perfect.  No pill can do that.  I do hope and expect for it to help me simply cope better, to be able to be who I used to be, who I WANT to be, that woman I know is there but is hiding underneath a heavy fog of anxiety and depression.  Because nothing in my life is that bad; lots of people deal with the same stuff I do, it isn’t as if I am special or unique in any of it.  I just want to stop feeling like there is no point to any of it, because I do believe that life is basically pretty good, sweet and beautiful and full of magic; I know that, I just don’t FEEL it right now.

So now I hang on, and I take my pill and I eat food that is good for me and do the exercise and I write and process and I know that it will pass; I have help now, and all I need to do is get out of the way and accept it.

Those Old Monday Blues

I have the Monday Blues.  Someone hacked into my blog AGAIN, and really screwed things up.  I have lost comments from people on the post I wrote last week about Hannah, which makes me mad because it was kind of a good one, I had to have someone help me because there were a ton of comments from spammers and she ended up having to blacklist some (so if you wrote a comment and it is gone, or if you can’t comment, email me and let me know and we can un-blacklist you), blah blah blah.  It was a not very good birthday in that all I asked for was a card from and dinner out with Steve, and I didn’t even get the fucking card, and it hurt my feelings-because I didn’t think a card was too much to ask for.  Bah.  I know we aren’t supposed to do nice things for people in expectation of something in return, but already I am thinking that next year when his birthday comes around, he will get the same thing I got this year-nothing.  Again, bah.  And yes, I know he does a lot of really nice things for me at other times, I know that he is a good man and all that-I do know that.  But still.

More than that, though, I don’t know.  I am just kind of having hard time lately, hard time doing anything or getting out of this horrible cycle.  Time to get back on the anti-depressants, I think, because I kind of think  I am losing my mind a little bit.  Maybe normal people don’t get all worked up about birthdays, maybe they don’t panic when driving home in the dark on the freeway when there is road construction, maybe they don’t get annoyed beyond all get out when the three year old can only find one each of two pairs of shoes, I don’t know.  I just find that I am struggling with finding my fucking happy place and whatever peace I had last week is just gone now.  I don’t think I used to have such a hard time getting back into the living-in-the-moment, feeling joy in spite of troubles, all that jazz, but it seems elusive and short-lasting these days, gone in an instant.

Hannah, Eli and I did get up at oh-dark-thirty and go walking this morning, which was good.  Not good to have to drag myself out of bed too early, but once I got up and we were out there walking, it was lovely.  Cold, though-we have rain and snow forecast all week and maybe that’s why I can’t get over myself, the crappy weather.  Anyway, the three of us are going to walk every morning, so it will be good to have other people to hold me accountable; I have been horribly lazy lately.  Also, we have finished with the early-morning classes for Driver’s Ed, and two more weeks of actual driving and we will be done with that, so I can back into something of a routine, and that will help.  A friend has offered Hannah some maternity clothes, so that is one less thing.  I do know this will pass, all of this, but damn, I get tired.

Monday.  Tomorrow will be a better day, I just know it.

Coming Out

It is raining here, the heavy spring rain that after a dry, cold winter we desperately need.  The farmers have planted their various crops, and watched the lowering clouds with almost desperate hope; it tends to be windy here, and wind without rain means seeds blown out of the ground and semi-wild beets growing in the lawns of people a mile away and replanting and hoping all over again.  Yes, this is good, this kind of rain, and I won’t complain.  We had three days of absolutely wonderfully warm weather and in those three days suddenly everything is green, every little bud and leaf simply waiting below the surface for the warmth to give it permission to bloom, and now this rain, saying “Yes, yes, time now.”  Within a few days of this, I will drive to work and see the faintest of greens spreading throughout the fields, those things which mean potatoes for the table and sugar for your coffee and wheat for bread, alfalfa for cows which means meat for dinner and milk for little toddlers and well; I feel so much more a part of everything than I used to, so much more aware of how the weather and the farmers mean more than just pretty green fields and wheat chaff in the air come fall.  It is all connected, the weather and the food and the life and the death of everything-this seems more true in the spring and the fall, where everything begins and then ends only to begin again.

***The rain stopped, and started again, hard enough to pound against the ground and splash back up to look like mist on the ground, and stopped again.  It has washed everything clean, including my heart and my mind which have been thunderous at best as of late.  Time to make public the subject of these password protected posts, because now we know there is a baby on the way, a little girl nestling inside the body of my little girl, and she told me she wants to keep it.  New life, then, with her growing nearly as rapidly as the roots and buds in the earth are.  I have so many varied emotions about this, from absolute horror to deep sadness to the awareness that life does go on, life will go on, and she will move past me to her own place in the world.  As much as I want to tell her what I think she should do, as much as I have tried to convince her that her life is going to be so much harder than it has to be with a baby in tow, this is her body and her child and her life; my job now is to simply get out of the way and let her live it, so far as that is possible.

The practicalities of this will be worked out as we go, of course.  The doctor has been seen, an ultrasound done, my girl as healthy as can be and in turn her daughter as well.  Believe me, I might sound calm here, and right now I am, but there have been days, and will be again.  What I have to keep reminding myself is that I don’t get to control this girl, all I can do is sit back and let her make her decisions and try to help her as best as I can.  So much of it is up to her, and all I can do is pave the way.  There have been phone calls made and appointments set up and now the rest is up to her; I pray every day, every hour, that she takes the help offered and runs with it, that she doesn’t let this alter irreparably the plans she has for her life.

And outside it is still raining, but a healing rain.  I believe that while this situation is unfortunate, it is not a tragedy; many of you have been along for the ride when there have been real tragedies in our lives, and this doesn’t qualify.  There is a young girl too young to be having a baby, yet there she is, making her presence known a little more every day.  There is the beginning of life outside, and inside, and all around, and how can I be anything but humbled, truly, by the enormity of it all?  Good, bad, or indifferent, it is what it is, and can’t be changed now.  And I wonder if a year from now I will be so grateful that I forget the fear, forget the worry, and simply smell the head of a baby and smile.  Because don’t they smell a little like the fresh rain?

Friday Fragments

 Mommy's Idea

***I got the new John Irving book, Last Night At Twisted River, at the library last week, and even though he is definitely on my list of Top Five Favorite Authors, I am not loving this book.  I have found with his books that they go in spurts-I either absolutely love them, buy a copy and place it on my bookshelf in a place of some prominence, or think “Why the hell did I waste my time reading that one?”  So far, this one will go in the latter category.  Very disappointing.

***Anyone besides me notice that dogs are just plain strange?  Every morning when I let Hallie and Maggie out, they are so excited to walk the whole yard with their noses to the ground, as if this is the first time they have ever been out there, like it’s an entirely new adventure for them.  It is especially funny to watch the Basset-because to her, every smell is like crack to her, and she races around the yard sniffing like mad, tripping over her ears every other step.

***After a very long five years on probation for his last DUI, Steve is finally free!  There have been a lot of ups and downs during the course of the last five years, but he very proudly got his new, unrestricted license on Tuesday.  He has going on 11 months sober now, and is actually going to meetings and working a program (hence the 11 months; he always tried to white-knuckle it before, and those of us who are alkies know how well that works out for people like us!), and let me tell you, the difference in him is simply amazing.  It’s almost like falling in love all over again with an entirely new person.

***My friend J. brought over the pamphlet for Sam to look at in order to choose the camp session he would like to go to this summer (it is an Episcopal church camp, with several different sessions available).  It is really quite expensive, or at least seems like it to me, but J. is going to help defray the cost in order to make sure he gets to go.  What an adventure for the little guy-I am so excited for him!  The location is out of this world (go here to check it out), and I think he is going to get a lot out of it.

***Less exciting and certainly not surprising is that his dad has slowly stopped emailing and his wife has been doing it instead.  Sam asked the wife when his dad was going to start emailing again, and her reply was that she doesn’t know, because he thinks it is way too impersonal and he would really just rather talk on the phone.  She said a few other things, the intention being to try to make Sam and I both feel guilty and manipulate him/me into allowing phone calls before Sam is ready.  I emailed her back and let her know that while I appreciate the fact that email is impersonal, part of the reason for me using email as a starting point was to give him the opportunity to get to know Sam again and to prove to Sam that he is, in fact, willing to do what it takes to be able to earn the right to be part of his life before exposing Sam to even more emotional pain.  And the fact that he emailed less than a month and then turned the job over to his wife is a pretty strong indicator that he isn’t, in fact, willing to do what it takes.  Last, but certainly not least, I told her that it is not HER job to make sure Sam’s dad has a relationship with him, and Sam needs to hear from HIM a lot more than he needs to hear from HER.  I am pissed, but-what do you do?

***It is finally getting warm here, with the high this weekend supposedly going to be in the low 70’s.  Owen and Sam both have already begun wearing shorts in anticipation of it.  Last night when Owen got ready for bed, his knees were absolutely BLACK from the dirt in which he had been playing; no more every-other-night-baths for the next 5 months!

Now that you have cluttered up your mind with MY fragments, why not head over to see Mrs.4444 at Half Past Kissin’ Time for more?

Friday Fragments-on a Lighter Note

 Mommy's Idea

It’s Friday, time to gather all those scattered thoughts and little bits of things to put them into a post-kind of like making a delightful hash, only with words instead of corned beef and leftovers.  For more information, head over to Mrs.4444’s and join the party!

***My Eli turned 16 yesterday!  I can’ hardly believe this much time has gone by since he was a sweet fat little baby, a charming little boy with a big head and pudgy fingers.  Now, at 16, he is no longer pudgy at all, but is instead long (almost 6 ft.) and lean.  He finally grew into his head, to, which whew!  Actually, I just wrote that for his benefit; he got really rather angry with me last year for having lied to him his whole life about whether or not he had a big head-I always told him no, you see.  I felt bad for him because between the tooth problem and various other things, his family party with cake and his presents was put off until the weekend and his actual birthday, well, it was basically just another day, so I am letting him stay home from school today.  I can totally see the appeal of that, and wish my boss would let ME stay home on MY birthday in a couple of weeks!

***Backyard Hoebag?  Gone.  I brought Eli home on Wednesday during my lunch hour to see piles of furniture and bikes and even an overflowing hamper of dirty clothing sitting outside by the dumpster, and our landlord was just beginning to load it all onto a trailer.  Yesterday morning there was a “For Rent” sign up as well.  It looks like she just took off without notice, because really, I can see leaving the couch and bed and whatever if you don’t have time to organize a move or whatever, but who leaves their CLOTHES behind?  I can’t imagine the mess the landlord had to walk into, either, with her dogs having been locked up all that one weekend.  I don’t know what her story is, nor do I particularly care, but I am glad she is gone.  In the past when people have moved out of the houses around us,  there has been a frisson of worry about who might be moving in, but not this time.  Really, nearly anyone has to be better than Hoebag.

***Steve got a promotion at work and is now the Service Manager instead of the Service Advisor.  He is just such a guy (which is a  good thing), he is acting all cool and casual about it, saying “Oh, it isn’t that big of a deal, it’s basically the same thing I am doing now, just more paperwork and a little bit more money,” and that may well be true but I am happy for him.  If nothing else it will look good on his resume, right?

***Only one more week of taking Hannah and Eli to school at 6:45 for Driver’s Ed.  They still have to finish up their driving time, but that is on Mondays and Fridays respectively, and in the afternoons or evenings.  I am so relieved; it means in addition to sleeping a little later, I can also start working out in the mornings again, and that will be so nice.  The idea of having to take them out to practice now is a bit alarming for me, but still, I am glad.  The hope is that Hannah will be able to pass her driving test shortly after school gets out, which would make the summer SO much easier in terms of getting kids where they need to be while I am working.

***We have only three more weeks of the twice-weekly allergy shots for Sam.  He then goes to weekly ones, which is just SO much better for everyone involved!

***It might hit 60 degrees over the weekend, and if there is no wind, I will be the happiest person ever.  We need to start getting outside more, and that isn’t so fun to do when it is 40 degrees with winds up to 35 MPH.  I am SO ready for this crap to be OVER with-everything looks and feels better in the spring, you know?

For more Friday Fragment Fun, you can join in over at Half Past Kissin’ Time, where Mrs.4444 plays the loveliest hostess ever.