Archive | parenthood

Thanksgiving 2016

I was thinking this morning that a year ago, I couldn’t have guessed how different my life would be today.

For my own well-being, I’ve had to cut some important people and things loose in 2016, some for a little while and some for good.  Frankly, that sucked pretty damn hard, but it was necessary so that I had the energy and attention to turn toward the positive things.

I’ve been to a few more funerals than I would’ve liked over the last year.  The desired number of funerals I’d like to attend is zero per year, but that’s not realistic.  That was hard, too, but each was a reminder to live fully.

Every year, I like to think I get closer to living a life that is true to who I am.  I live how I want.  I love how I want.  I don’t give a fuck if you like what I’m wearing or like who I love…ain’t nobody got time for that.  It’s my party, after all, and I am the belle of my ball, y’all.  Be the belle of your own ball as well; it’s pretty great.

I’m thankful for my family and my friends.  I’m grateful for my fur kids, too, who cheer me up on the hardest days and remind me  to get excited about even the tiniest moments.  With the crap that’s fallen apart around me all year long, I have big gratitude for the basics like hot water and hvac, and I appreciate the luxury of having a working dryer and dishwasher.  I’m grateful to have a bed after spending some nights on the floor.  I’m thankful for quiet time spent alone to think and recharge as well as happy time spent with others.

Thinking back over the last year, I’ve been to some great concerts, from dancing my ass off to Duran Duran to being in awe of Ghost’s macabre show.  I’ve made a lot of jewelry that I’m proud of; it’s gotten better with practice.  I’ve written some good stuff and some crappy stuff, too; not every writing session yields gold, but to find the treasure, ya gotta dig.  I’ve seen the kiddo graduate high school early…and looks like she’ll be graduating cosmetology school early, too.  I’ve traveled for work, and I’ve traveled a little for fun, too.  I’ve gotten to see some long lost faces over the last year.  There’s been a lot of sushi and a lot of sake.  I’ve danced to “Cry Little Sister” while dressed as a rogue cowboy, and I’ve played classic video games while laughing about how much I suck since I’m out of practice.  I’ve given some great hugs, and I’ve received some great hugs.

Today there will be turkey and pie and family.  I made breakfast in the pre-dawn darkness for the kiddo working retail on Thanksgiving morning (a travesty that the store is open on Thanksgiving!).  I’ve taken the dogs for a walk, and we gave out dog biscuits to the neighbor dogs on our route.  I’ve sent some texts out to the people I love…I hope they know that text message is love, because that is my intention.  My intention is to give more of my attention to the good stuff, to the good people.  I am thankful for the opportunity to share my words and my love with you.

0

Another Christmas Behind Us…

Another Christmas behind us. Another Yule gone. Santa still sucks as far as I’m concerned…no winter wonderland jewelry commercials came to life, no magical surprises. That bites, ya’ll. I want magic, sprinkles, fairies, dragons, jewels, laughter and amazingness. I want all this and more in 2016. More hammocks. More naps. More books. So let’s make it so.

In 2016, I will have the following amazingness and MORE:

delicious naps with no alarm clock, a great book in hand and another waiting in the wings, intuition on overdrive, coffee with friends, dessert with friends, cuddles with the critters, allowing people to adore me, unexpected opportunities to earn money, wonderful concerts, love letters that arrive via snail mail, snail mail that has happy notes in it, generosity, more of those naps, bubble baths without interruption, time to write, time to craft.

I am ready to let more good stuff in, 2016. Let’s overflow 2016 with awesomeness.

0

A Lil’ Gratitude

Facebook is awash in “Gratitude Month” posts for November and Thanksgiving. It kind of makes me wanna barf a little, because gratitude should be an all year thing, not a seasonal thing, y’know? But better some gratitude in the world than none, I suppose.

I’ve been admittedly irritable lately. Financial concerns primarily are my annoyance as child support is about to end, yet there’s still school tuition to pay, health insurance, et cetera. I’m a speck worried about making ends meet, and I frankly think it’s ridiculously unfair that one parent is “off the hook” based on a birth date. I could use some gratitude so perhaps I can be less grumbly. I could also use a miracle or two.

I’m grateful my friends. We drink a lot of coffee. We laugh. We are sassy and snarky and happy together. Even though my new job puts me in a tough spot financially, it gives me much more room to see these wonderful people for meals and adventures. I love my bunch of weirdos, near and far.

I’m grateful for my fur children. The kitties and the doggies are always glad to see me. On a crummy day, they will always snuggle with me. Priceless.

I’m grateful for a warm house on this blustery cold day. It’s crazy to think that it was so warm outside just a few days ago that I had my windows open, and now the mountains in the distance are dusted with snow. It’s warm and I have my ginormous fleece hoodie on that could fit me and a few other people all at once.

Have I ever posted that I’m grateful for my slow cooker, because I totally am?! I made turkey with cranberries earlier this week, and last weekend made a chicken with salsa. I love my slow cooker.

I am grateful for this day. The sun is shining, the dogs are snoring on the floor, and it’s almost time to go to work, but I’m alive alive alive. I’m here. We’re here. This is good.

0

Can I get a do-over??

Staycation…staying home for a week to relax, unwind.  Sounded divine, delicious, decadent.  I had visions of reading trashy novels poolside and afternoon naps.

And…

…daughter’s car on a tow truck to a repair shop.

…repair shop says they can’t fix it, so it needs to go to a specialty shop.

…daughter’s car on a tow truck to another shop.

…home to wait for a Charter tech.  wait. wait. wait. wait.  no show.

…home another day waiting for a Charter tech.

…out another day to help daughter find a job.

…up and at ’em early to go get my car’s oil changed and then go pick up daughter’s car so she can go on her first job interview.

Not exactly relaxing at all.

I would like a do-over, but this time, no tow trucks.  No Charter technicians.  No job hunts, either.  Sigh.

 

0

milestone

the kiddo got her driver’s license.

a milestone, a huge deal…

but where has the time gone?

just a minute ago, she was dancing around in rainbow colored sandals, wearing ruffled socks, ready to climb into her booster seat with her stuffed teletubby.  just a few days ago, i’m sure i was singing her a lullaby.

wow.

the only certainty we have with time is that it will pass…enjoy it.

0

holiday songs

When I was a wee lass, my maternal grandmother would sing Christmas songs pretty much all year ’round. This is also something that I do, even when it’s 80 degrees outside.

With Christmas songs, my grandmother would sing the line she knew, and then La La La the rest. So, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, la la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaa.”

I’ve come to realize that I also know many random pieces of Christmas carols…and that I also joyously “La La La” or “Hmm Hmmm Hmmm” the parts I don’t know. So mine’s like “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen, hmmm hmmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmmm hmm hmm hmmm hmmmmmmmmmhmmmmm.”

I’m curious if the kiddo will adopt this festive holiday la la la-ing when she’s grownup? Anyway, here’s one for ya. Sing along if you know the words, or la la la if you don’t.

0

What’s that sound???

That sound? That ticking sound, like a bomb threatening to detonate?  Holy crap, I think it’s my biological clock.

So.

After the failure of my long-term relationships (being an adult sucks sometimes), I’d pretty much given up on more kids really.  I’d convinced myself I didn’t even want them…even though we all know I’ve wanted a whole freakin’ tribe of my own all along…but every turn of the calendar page told me to shut that dream down, be done with it.  Not gonna happen.  You don’t want it.  You never wanted it.  Throw it away.  Forget it.  And so I did.

Or I thought I did.

Today, in my post-Vegas jet-lagged confusion, I forgot my lunch at home and had to go out for something.  Found myself at IHOP, tucked away in a corner where I could at least see trees and daylight for a little while.  A few moments after my order was taken, a family was seated in the booth opposite mine.  A baby girl in a hot pink tutu was placed in the high chair at the end of the table.  I tried not to look…not looking, not looking…omg I’m looking! And this sweet toothless girl in her hot pink cute ensemble is staring at me and smiling.  So I wave.  And she waves. And I wave. And she blows me a kiss. OMG!  All the wishes for a big family, for being mom to a whole herd of kooky kids, for some kind of reliable male partner, all that was set free in the instant that kiss was blown at me by this fuzzy headed little creature.

And now I’m just kind of an emotional girly mess.  The clock is ticking loudly.  Time is wasting, time was wasted on people who had no intention of every trying to be a family.  There is a window of time left where I could have my own kids, but that window seems so short, especially considering I’m missing the reliable male partner portion of the equation, the one who helps change diapers and helps make ends meet and wants to be a part of this whole thing.   I turn 40 next week and the biological clock is starting to sound more like a cuckoo clock in my head–was I cuckoo for wanting the kids and the partner…or was I cuckoo for not figuring out a way to do it on my own? Either way, I feel cuckoo, emotional and kinda overwhelmed.  Life has a way of working out and you never know how your dreams will come to fruition…but I am feeling skeptical about this one.

I’m not hell-bent on more kids having to be my biological children.  I could foster.  I could adopt.  I need more money and more time, though, than being a single parent paying all the bills provides.

I’m sorry if the sound of my ticking clock disturbs all of western NC.  I thought I’d pulled the battery out of that clock and tossed those out long ago, and that the clock was on lockdown in a vault somewhere.  Blame the sweet little kid in the tutu for my emotional chaos.

0

gimmegimmegimmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I took a bit of the money my office had collected for the foster kids we sponsor at the holiday to do some shopping; I needed to track down some shoes, a coat, stocking stuffers and a “Fur Real” Friend toy.  Minime goes with me to do this shopping each year, and she tells me every December that it’s her favorite part of Christmas.  Even though she’s well-versed in this exercise, I reminded her as we went in the door o’ the local ‘Mart that we were shopping for the kids in need, not for ourselves. 

Minime nodded as the second set of automatic doors opened, and then her eyes glazed over as the retail buzz hit her system…I didn’t even have a shopping cart in hand before she’d run off to a display of pajamas.

“Mom, we’ve got to get these soft flannel pajamas.  They are so cute!”

“Yes, they are cute, and yes, we love pajamas, but number one, you just bought new pajamas two weeks ago and a new robe last week, and number two, we are not shopping for ourselves tonight.”

Minime pouted only briefly before she was distracted by a display of shiny satiny sequiny holiday tops.

“Mommmmmmmmmmmmm, you’ve got to get me one of these! In blue! And in green! And maybe white.  Can I get one?”

“No.”

I pushed the cart onward, resolute and determined that we were getting what was on our list and only what was on our list.

We would make it about two steps before I had to hear “I’ve gotta have…” or “This is so perfect for me…” or “Get me one of these…”

By the time we made it to the toy department after I “no” “NO!” “NOOOOOO”ed my way through the shoe department and the selection of winter outwear, I thought my head was going to spin all the way around as I growled “nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” through clenched teeth at the request for an IDog, then an IPenguin, then a stuffed animal that is just “too cute, ohhhhh it’s so cute.”  I got a reproachful glare from another mom pushing her sleeping toddler around in a cart, and I thought, “oh honey, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet–you wait til that tike of yours is asking for Dolce and Gabbana couture in addition to every damn thing in the local retail superstore, see how much zen-like calm you can muster up then, sister.”  I smiled at her through clenched teeth, which in hindsight probably made me look rabid, but whatever.

Minime and I both lived through this shopping experience, even though she continued to ask for things all the way through the checkout line…”gum? can i get gum? what about skittles? you like skittles.” ACK!!!!!!!!  We made it to the car.  When I sat in the driver’s seat, I turned around and just gave her a look.  THE LOOK.  The scary evil parental look of I am so pissed I am out of words, child.  I turned back around and off we went into the night.  Kiddo didn’t utter another peep all the way home. 

 

0

twilight

I took MiniMe and MiniScoot to see Twilight, a tweenage chick flick about a girl and her vampire beau.  For me, it was kinda predictable, but the girls absolutely ate it up.  The vampire boyfriend is brooding and aloof, so immediately the girls were hooked on him and his amazing amount of haircare products (all the vampires and their hair remind me of Beverly Hills 90210, the original series not the new one, the boyfriend is so Dylan McKay).  I was pretty partial to the villains in the film; they all looked like they might’ve auditioned to join White Zombie at one point.

In the car on the way home, I asked if the girls liked the movie…the response I got from Minime was, “I really love the way the vampire stares at you.  He’s cute.  It’s totally creepy and I like it.”  And from MiniScoot, “Oh yeah, I like it, too…it’s creepy and romantic.” And as the mom I had to grip the steering wheel tighter as I had an abrupt mental fast forward to Minime trying to convince me it’s okay to ride on the back of her Hells Angels boyfriend’s motorcycle to the prom. 

0

Who told her?

I think I’ve done a pretty good job of sheltering Minime from brand names and mass marketing mayhem each holiday season…but somehow this year, her Christmas wishlist is nothing but brand names and super expensive brand names at that.  One of the dresses she asked for was $250!!  Who told her about mall stores and brand names and all that crap?

We’ve since had a sitdown to talk about what she might really enjoy once the catalogs and commercials have moved on after December 25, trying to get Minime to understand that having a name brand this or that doesn’t make you a better person or more popular.  I told her to think about the things on her list and consider rewriting it to be less brand name oriented and more focused on what she would actually be excited about year round.

I understand where she’s coming from on some things, why she wants them.  I remember as a kid when Cabbage Patch Kids were the rage, and I wanted one worse than anything because I knew that ALL the girls in my class wanted one, so I’d better get on board with wanting one, too.  I wished, I prayed, I coveted…not really comprehending at that time that my family was simply too poor to buy one.  When Christmas morning rolled around, there was no Cabbage Patch Kid; instead there was some homemade doll that sort of looked like a Cabbage Patch Kid but it wasn’t the real deal.  I was pretty bummed for a while…but a few weeks later, even the friends who got an authentic CPK weren’t playing with them anymore.  Hell, the doll didn’t do a damn thing and was kinda ugly, too…so when the madness of the holidays passed, so did our interest in those dolls.  I realized even back then that I’d gotten swept up in wanting what everyone else wanted just because it was on TV and in catalogs and in the color ads in the Sunday paper…and I never even really wanted it!  I didn’t even like dolls as a kid, but I’d been sucked right into the gimmegimmegimme machine just like the retailers hoped.  I don’t want Minime to be a gimmegimmegimme kid, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll come around and create a more reasonable wish list.  Cross your fingers, too.

0