December 5th, 2015 | No Comments »

I am so incredibly blessed.  My life is beautiful and amazing.  I have two gorgeous children who are full of zest.  Joie de vivre – it is ours!  We live in comfort.  Our needs are met.  I have the best friends that anyone could ever hope for — all so true and solid.  I am privileged to be partnered with a wonderful man with whom I connect on so many levels and in so many ways that I can barely comprehend, let alone attempt to describe.

And yet.

I’ve said it before.  Nobody makes it through life unscathed.

it's a dog eat dog world out there

it’s a dog eat dog world out there

On the matter of motherhood, there are times that I wish that I’d simply gone to a sperm bank and opted for artificial insemination.  Certainly I wouldn’t be enduring the chaos to which I am far too often subjected, had I chosen such a route.  However, I understand that all these twists and turns in the journey of my life were necessary to place me here, now, where I am SO GRATEFUL to be.  (Oh dear Lord, me and my stranded prepositions.  Bless my soul.)

I get it!  I wouldn’t change a minute, a moment, or a circumstance, if it meant I couldn’t have the now that I have.

So what’s up, Buttercup?  Well.  Let me tell you.

I almost want to post verbatim the things he says, because it’s very hard to describe or summarize.  It’s just a bunch of drama and blah, blah, blah, and oh, so tedious.  But what the hell.

—Dec 3—

HIM.  “I have to work the next two weekends and NewWife has to work the next two Sundays. Just because I have to work does not give you the authority to take my weekend away from me, that is contempt of court which you did when you all of a sudden forgot that you weren’t coming back the day you told me from your trip. It doesn’t matter if you made the mistake accidently, it is still contempt which my lawyer expressed to me which he has already drawn up the papers for.      You may not like some of the things on my end but I also don’t agree with some of the things you are doing either!  What upsets me the most is your letting things happen with other people around the boys and when I was around it was a different story but yet you let total strangers have the same things around the boys that you bitched about me having which is so hypocritical of you. Example is the reason why you asked for only every other weekend was because of the guns that I had. Which I practiced good gun safety and respected it as I still do. so you lied about your reasoning why you restricted me from the boys which gave you no right to do so and then the bullshit you tell BB that all I did was sit on my ass and ate gummy bears every day or all the time which is a total bullshit lie in itself and why I bring that up is that he keeps repeating that you keep saying that. You seem to like to not address any concerns I have and and ignore them all together.”

To which I recoiled and reacted, when I probably should have just considered the source and dismissed it.

ME.  “I didn’t lie about anything, and I don’t keep telling BB that about gummy bears.  I really did have the trip dates wrong.  Good grief.  Also, I have a responsibility to protect them from emotionally abusive treatment, which is what I heard they endure with NewWife.  So if I knowingly send them to an abusive environment, then THAT is a breach of my responsibility as a parent.  I didn’t know how badly things were with how they were treated, and then BB spent some time with Auntie and opened his heart to her with things he’s never told me, and she relayed that to me.  So no, I never considered it was awful for them when they were at your place, until I was given reason to question it.  I did know that they seldom feel like the time they’re with you is quality time.  Their comments are generally something to do with ‘NewWife and the kids’ or ‘Daddy and NewWife stay in their room watching tv all the time and we don’t see them much’, etc.  What they want most is to spend time with their dad, YOU, and more often than not when they are there, that doesn’t happen.  I am NOT keeping them from you.  I am trying to keep them from being bullied, which is how they feel with NewWife, or feeling like they’re pushed aside, which is how they feel when they’re at your place but don’t get to spend quality time with you.  They were so hopeful when they learned that NewWife had left, because it gave them the glimmer of hope that they could spend some real time with you.  They were crestfallen to learn of her return.

Contempt of court is deliberate disobedience, and I have NOT done anything of the sort.

Further to all that, regarding contempt of court…  Why do you suppose the parenting plan has written into it the portion where you have to coordinate with me to confirm you will SHOW UP for YOUR visitation?  How many times have you had some reason not to take the kids on your scheduled visitation?  So for you to suggest that I am in contempt of court (and I can only assume you are referring to the parenting plan) because I want to ensure my kids are not placed in an emotionally abusive environment is ludicrous.

All I have asked of you is to BE THERE FOR YOUR CHILDREN.  I don’t know why you are so hungry to turn it into something ugly on my part.

Further still, in the interest of giving you more time with them and to make up for missing the time that was missed, I offered Thanksgiving break, to which you didn’t respond.  You also did not respond to my inquiry about this coming weekend, until I got your threatening email below.  You say I ignore your concerns.  You’ve called me a hypocrite and you’ve not clearly expressed specific concerns.  If I could tell what your actual concerns are, then I could respond.  I am not interested in throwing accusations back and forth.  We should have a mature and calm discussion with each other to bring up and address issues and concerns.

I like to think that I am being reasonable.  I wish I would be more vigilant, and less apt to react and acknowledge his aggression by immediately placing myself in defensive mode.  Had I completely ignored him, he might have just dropped everything.  Alas.

—Dec 4—

HIM.  “With what is written in the plan if I don’t respond then I lose my right to have them.  That is not contempt. I am very tired of people talking crap and negative bullshit about me and making crap up to make themselves look better. Futher more when you keep the other parent from seeing the kids what ever the reason is considered contempt. I have protected the boys and will always will and I question you when I hear things going on from your side. When we were together you had issues with motorcycles and guns and I have never shown a lack of responsibility and the safety. You were always preaching against those then all of sudden you turn around and do the opposite when I’m not in the picture. And then when I voice my opinion you don’t care to respond or even talk about you just do whatever you want no matter how I feel about the issue like taking the boys out of school for a week when they should be in school learning. But my opinion as usual doesn’t matter to anyone and never will unless I am made to yell and make a big stink about it. Why am I being made to do so. I have brought up many concerns about a lot of things and as usual you could care less about them you have shown that many times. Just like when I got laid off from j.b. hunt. I had to keep asking friends and the church to help pay the rent and groceries and other stuff to help but yet did you care at all. No! you just kept taking child support and didn’t care what so ever. but it doesn’t matter now anyways because you simply don’t see anything how I see it and never will or don’t care. Just like when you moved did you care about me getting to see the boys no  it took months for me to get to see the boys. I tried talking to you but no you made your excuses and didn’t give a crap.”

Interesting.  So much to say.  Gun safety.  The man does not have a track record that inspires confidence.  My former opinion remains intact.  And the rest?  Exhausting.  I know I’ve blogged ad nauseum about many of these points before.  It’s the same old stuff, regurgitated for some reason.

ME.  “The process for dealing with contempt or perceived contempt is to follow the parenting plan’s dispute resolution process.  We can schedule to meet with a mediator to resolve disagreements about carrying out the parenting plan.  I am not keeping the kids from seeing you.  Through all of this back and forth, you haven’t actually informed me of your intent to pick the boys up this weekend.  I’ve told you that we have dentist appointments today.  We can meet at McDs on 44th Saturday morning at 9.  Please confirm.”

Note that this email conversation is in parallel with a phone text conversation.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Really.  Wait for it…

—Dec 3—

ME.  I can’t tell from your friendly email whether you are or aren’t planning to see the kids this weekend. They have dentist appts Fri. I mentioned this in IM yesterday and haven’t heard from you. Also, I’d like to coordinate Christmas plans.

HE.  How do you think that crap would make you feel if I told them that crap of lies. And as always you evade what I say as usual

ME.  I don’t tell them a load of lies and crap.

HE.  So you honestly think that’s all I did? I Never did anything for anyone i never busted my ass to do things never looked out for anyone. I never went out on a limb or bent over backwards for anyone… That’s pretty much what your telling them!!!And as you normally do you ignore the facts why. Because I’m not white collar like you so since I’m considered a blue collar you get to spread lies and crap about me. If that’s how you want to play the negative crap game two can play at that game

ME.  Why do you out of the blue think I’m spilling a constant load of negative crap about you? I don’t even know how to respond to that.

HE.  I dont know why you even make it an excuse or whatever your doing when you tell him all this crap. I have never said anything negitive about you in frontof them or to them what so ever but i can start. But then again im just a blue collar loser lazy ass that doesnt do anything.Then why does BB say you say that all the time and that’s the reason you did certain things was because I was so Damm lazy and never did anything for anyone and aged video games everyday all the time .

ME.  You flatter yourself if you think I spend any time at all telling BB all about you.

HE.  Yeah just the negitive lies and bullshit

—Dec 4—

ME.  Please confirm if the boys will be picked up at 44th Mcds at 9am Saturday.  BB wants to have a friend over tonight. I need to know what time to meet tomorrow so I can tell his mom when I’ll drop him off.

HE.  I would only have them til sat eve

ME.  ?

HE.  I work sun and so does NewWife.  Plus I work sat also

ME.  You said she works Sunday, not you.

HE.  Plan states sat morning to sat eve as per what you put in there

ME.  No. Every other Sat 8am to Sun 7pm.

Did I not say it was glorious?  What the what?  Seriously, it’s perplexing.  Clearly he’s resurrecting squabbles we’ve had in years long gone.  I made a blue collar vs white collar comment several years ago during an attempt to explain why it might be so difficult for us to communicate.  Must’ve hit a nerve…

—Back to the email conversation, dated Dec 4—

HIM.  “So how is it that you keeping them from me on my weekend as the plan states not keeping them from me. Does not say I get the right or you have the right to make up for lost time. The plan was mainly done by you not me your thinking not mine. I trusted you to do the right thing and in the end you decided to limit visitation because of ridiculous thought of me having protection that they could not get to if they tried as you explained it to NewWife as to way you did that, there again disregarding what is right and what your selfish thinking put down on paper but I am supposed to idoly sit by and say nothing or have an opinion. Seems like when I do, nothing matters anyway. you can hire a mediator all you want those are for the rich people that can’t talk it out with other people on there own. again when you deviate from the plan it is contempt unless it was o.k’d by both parties with the correct information”

ME. “I am not keeping them from you.  This is the schedule.   [Excerpt from parenting plan, Sat 8 am to Sun 7pm, every other week.]  You’re telling me that you are working Sat and Sun, which essentially means that you are neither able to pick them up on Saturday morning, nor are you able to drop them off on Sunday evening.  Therefore, you are forfeiting your visitation.”

Oh my goodness!  So much blah blah blah!!!  After ALL of this, the picture emerges.  He is working the weekend and trying to find a way to turn his lack of making room in his life for his kids into my fault.  It also appears that perhaps he wants me to drop off the kids for a few hours at his convenience on Saturday, because that is his available window.

Such a tedious read!  And yet, in a way, mildly entertaining in a voyeuristic way, akin to crap fiction.  So this is a snippet of the waters I navigate.  Sadly, not fictional at all.

I actually had some valuable thoughts emerge from this experience.  First I was shaken and disarmed by the threats, and then I was mystified by the references to wild back talk.  I mulled things over and observed my emotional reaction to the onslaught, noticing how easy it is to get caught up slinging vitriol.  I don’t want to sling vitriol.  I married that man for reasons that (sort of) made sense at the time.  I had children with him.  These are choices that I made and for which I am responsible.  Now I have to find a way to live with the consequences of my choices.  He’s projecting his own inadequacies.  That is evident.  He is who he is, and I can’t fault him for that.  He is completely entitled to be who he is.  We have nothing in common, other than our kids.  Try as I might, I simply can not understand him, nor communicate with him.  I can wish that he were a reasonable and kind man.  I can wish that he would have the courage to look in the mirror and take responsibility for himself and his own choices.  I can wish that he would step up and be a dad to and for his children.  Those are wishes, and certainly hopes.  I have no control or influence on any of those things.  I do have control over my own thoughts and actions.

I want to maintain clarity where the well-being of my children is concerned.  I want to be a good example for my kids.  I want to take the high road.  I want to be able to calmly face opposition, impervious to attack and distraction tactics.  These are all within my sphere of capability, given vigilance and self-discipline.

~*~*~*~

Update.  Because, you know, NewWife chimed in with some golden nuggets of her own.

05 Dec 2015; 12:53pm
NewWife:  I will be picking up the boys at 3pm today at the mcds in renton..ty see u then

1:51pm
Me:  No.

2:11pm
NewWife: Then we will see you in court for contempt for two weekends in a row

3:00pm
NewWife: I bet the boys will love to know that you have kept them from seeing their Dad for 2 months

My immediate reaction is still far too visceral, and my vigilance to my emotions can stand to step things up a notch.  I glanced at my phone, read the message, and became internally livid, truth be told.  Having received no confirmation for meeting Saturday morning at 9, having clarified via both text and email that visitation is posted as Sat morning until Sun evening, and having concluded via email that his visitation is forfeited, the scenario seemed clear.  So to receive her demand at nearly 2pm Saturday, pronouncing in effect that I should jump in the car and drive immediately to the meeting place…  It’s an hour drive on a good day…  Let’s just say, in retrospect, that they seem perfect for each other.  Militant.  Immature.  Materialistic.  Self-serving.  Despicable.

Is there any consideration for what’s good for the boys?  They are sweet children, finding their way in life.  They have a yearning for one-on-one time with their dad.  Very simple.  They don’t want to go to his house and be sequestered with his wife and her four rowdy children.  The first questions they ever pose when visitation time is at hand is whether he will be home, and whether he will be the one to pick them up.  Before that, however, they both immediately chime in that THEY DON’T WANT TO GO.  And so often they have expressed, forlornly, that they would love to just SIT AND WATCH A MOVIE with him.  I don’t want them to see all this BULLSHIT that takes place when attempting to coordinate visitation.

It’s disgusting, really.  It mostly boils down to an issue over the haves and have nots.  It’s all about the means, not about the boys.  It seems that they consider the disparity between our respective means a catchall for any justification of responsibility.  It seems that they think, because I have more ‘means’, that I should kowtow to their shortcomings.

Ummmmm.  No.

I’m struggling with this.  I have to see and know and understand and DO what is best for my children, while honoring and upholding what the law requires, and somehow navigate through the flotsam and jetsam of attempted communication with their father.  It is a crock.  And it stinketh.

Me no likey.

November 28th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

I’ve been alive forever.

Oh Barry.  You have such a way with words.  I sit in my living room, clinging to the few precious minutes that I have to myself before I collect my children, and your voice fills my head and my heart, transporting me back to the girl I was so many years ago.

The timbre of your voice, like velvet, fills me and warms me.

My home lies deep within you, and I’ve got my own place in your soul.

I feel within me the stirrings of beauty, the dawning awareness of the magic of music.  Music fills.  Transforms.  Transports.  Breathes life to a parched heart.  Gives hope.

Music fills your heart.

My young mind is taking in the world around me.  I am filled with emotions.  I am going through the metamorphosis of child to young woman.  I feel everything.  I see beauty.  I am filled with wonder.  I am awestruck by the magnificence of God’s green earth.

I write the songs that make the young girls cry.

I yearn for love, although I know not what love is.  I ache for something that I can’t put words to.  I have an emptiness that I can’t describe.  To belong.  To be cherished.  To be wanted.  To be understood.  I don’t know who I am, but I feel.  Oh, how I feel.  I am emotion.  I am music.

I am music, and I write the songs.

I want to wrap my arms about the world and fill it with all the love that I have, that I am.  I want to wash away all the tears, comfort all the sorrows, and heal all the brokenness.  I am love, and I want to sing.  I am music, and I want to sing.

It’s from me, it’s for you.
It’s from you, it’s for me.
It’s a world wide symphony!

That girl, so long ago, still lives within me.  Who was she?  What were her hopes and dreams?  The years, like layers of dust, have accumulated and obstructed the clarity of youth.  My sense of beauty is tarnished.  My sense of wonder is shrouded.  My sense of awe is eroded.  My sense of self is masked.  But the music!  The music takes me back.  The music reveals my soul.  The music sets me free.

Now, when I look out through your eyes, I’m young again, even though I’m very old.

What does a twelve  year old know of life and love?  Everything!  The innocence of youth allows hope to exist unfettered and pure.  To see and understand eternity.  Eternity!

I’ve been alive forever, and I wrote the very first song.
I put the words and the melodies together.
I am music, and I write the songs.

What did I know of the path ahead?  What did I know of the cares of the world?  We were poor, and though it tugged at my heartstrings to see my mother’s anguish over how to make ends meet and somehow maintain a semblance of sanity amidst the bedlam in which we lived, I didn’t understand.  Worldly things were not my concern.  There was a roof over my head, food on the table, shoes on my feet and clothes on my back.  So I was rich, and I was free!  I could dream!  I could hope!   My heart could sing!  I could get lost in the music.

I write the songs that make the whole world sing.
I write the songs of love and special things.

Now I am my mother.  The cares of the world are on my shoulders.  It’s up to me to see to it that my own children have a roof over their heads, food on the table, shoes on their feet and clothes on their back.  So they can be rich, and they can be free.  So they can hope and they can dream.  So their hearts can sing.  So they can get lost in the music.  There is a sense of wistfulness that the woman I’ve become has replaced the girl that I was.  But the music takes me back, even if but for a moment, and reminds me that I am still the girl that I was.

I am music, and I write the songs.

November 13th, 2013 | No Comments »

I’m beginning to unravel and better understand certain things about myself.  I’m naturally forgiving.  I don’t hold resentments and grudges.  I think I used to.  I must have.  Maybe it’s something that develops with age.  Maybe it takes a certain maturity to face oneself in the mirror and take responsibility for all things.  Things didn’t happen to me.  Life is a compilation of experiences, and those experiences have to do with choices I’ve made along the way.  Sure, they intersect with choices that others have made along the way as well.  But I”m the captain of my own ship.  I don’t have to react to anybody.  I can choose my course.

Maybe it’s more simple than maturity.  Maybe it’s just sheer exhaustion.  One reaches a point, swimming against the current, so to speak, when one can no longer go on.  So we just stop fighting, start treading water, and simply try to stay afloat.  Maybe it’s just survival.

Whatever it is, I am glad to let bygones be bygones.  There is peace in doing so.

In all of this, however, I recognize the need for vigilance.  Forgiveness is one thing, but it’s also critically important to learn from one’s mistakes and not go on repeating them, time and time again.

I’m in a healing mode.  I don’t know what the future holds.  I don’t know much of anything.  I do know that the life I’m leading consumes my emotional, mental and physical resources.  Treading water, staying afloat, is all that I can do right now.  One day at a time.  One step at a time.  One minute at a time. I’m doing what I need to do.

I will say this.  I love being a mother.  Love, love, love.  I may be barely afloat, but when I think of my kids, I feel a smile steal over my face.

How I love them!

They are my everything.

September 4th, 2013 | No Comments »

How’s that for a title?

I had quite a bit more stuff written here, blah blah blah, but I think the title pretty much sums it  up.

a bit morbid, yet a bit brilliant, and a bit apropos as well

February 16th, 2012 | No Comments »

It’s a wondrous thing, how music can capture and convey so much heart.  I hear music, and I want to be a part of it.  I want it in me.  I want to be in it.  I want it to come out from me.  I want to be it.  Barry Manilow (laugh if you will) said it.  “I am music…”

Sometimes I feel as though I nearly am.  I feel that way with language and other things too.  Somebody once told me that is called intuition.  But I don’t know.  I just know that it feels as though I’m standing at a doorway.  I know what’s beyond that door; I can see it as clear as day.  And if only I could or would walk through that door, it would all become a part of me, and I’d be in it, and it would be in me.  I would speak forth in foreign languages.  I would play any sound on any instrument.  I would be one with music and language.

Alas.  What keeps me from stepping through that doorway?  I wish I knew.  Is it fear? Fear of failure?  Maybe.  Probably.  I don’t know.  I just continue on in my mediocrity.

There is a song that has been touching my heart lately.  It’s called “Rise“, by Shawn McDonald.

In a way, it captures some of the essence of me, and the things I’ve been going through for the past couple of years.  Me, Phoenix Rising.  I love the melody and the octave changes.

“Rise”
[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Sometimes my heart is on the ground
And hope is nowhere to be found
Love is a figment I once knew
And yet I hold on to what I know is true

[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Well I keep on coming to this place
That I don’t know quite how to face
So I lay down my life in hopes to die
That somehow I might rise

[Chorus]
Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground
I will rise
Cause He Who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

I have few answers. There isn’t much that I really know. I’m not necessarily that smart. I’m a little bit book smart, but life-smart? Not so much. I just live every day trying to be my best. One thing I do know. I know who I am. I am kind. I am gentle. I am good. I am patient. I am steady. I am faithful. I am peaceful. I am loving. I am upright. I seek to do no harm. I am [mostly] responsible. I avoid conflict. I am compassionate. I love everyone.

Am I a doormat? Maybe. I don’t know. I’m hyper-sensitive, yes.   It’s a character flaw, and I’m working on it.  I saw a bumper sticker today that said, “Jesus was a pacifist.” I’m a pacifist. For sure.

And all I want, which is all I’ve ever wanted, which is pretty much the same thing that almost anybody ever wants or has ever wanted from the dawn of time, is to love and be loved. Simply put.

I have children. They are my life’s dream come true. They need to come first, so I don’t even know what ‘me time’ is any more. I have to be strong and steady and firm and loving for them. I have to be everything they need. Because I don’t want them to ever feel, for even a moment, that they don’t belong or that they don’t matter or that they’re not important, or that they’re not wanted. I want them to be secure in who they are and how they fit into this big, chaotic world in which we live. It’s so hard, being a parent.

What can I do, besides what I’m doing?  I just go on loving.  I go on breathing.  I go on trying.  I go on being.  I go on praying.  I go on.

August 27th, 2011 | No Comments »

How can you possibly be three, my beautiful little boy?

my littlest big boy

How can I describe how you fill my life and fill my heart?  You have a vigor that thrills me — the way you are full on, whichever extreme it may be.  When you are happy, joy bursts from you in waves.  When you are angry, frenzy bursts from you in waves.  There is no middle ground.  You are raw emotion and raw energy.  You are unfettered and pure, and how I delight to see you experience either joy or rage, because you do it with such purity.  You are beautiful, my little one.

I love the way you demand that I snuggle with you.  I love the way you giggle and laugh and the way your eyes sparkle with mirth and mischief when you try to play tricks on me.  I love your sense of humor!

Already you have a keen sense of justice, and simply won’t have it if you think your brother is not behaving as he should.

I love the way you express yourself.  I love the way you say please, thank you, and you’re welcome.  And the way you remind me to say ‘Bless You’ when you sneeze.

I love the way you try to do everything that your big brother does.  I love your strong sense of independence.

You are bursting with life, my little man.  Oh, how I love you, with a love I never imagined possible.

Happy Birthday.  A very happy birthday to  you.

Posted in children, family, motherhood
June 30th, 2011 | No Comments »

Brutus, are you excited to go see your daddy for a whole week?

How long is a week?

A night and a day
..and a night and a day
….and a night and a day
……and a night and a day
……..and a night and a day
……….and a night and a day
…………and a night and a day

Mama? Will you cry when you drop us off?

I always cry when I drop you off, Sweetie Pie.

Mama?  Maybe you should go to the neighbor’s house or go to Valerie’s house or go to your friend’s house and hang out or do something fun when we’re gone so you won’t be so lonely.

Brutus, that is an excellent idea!!! [mother delightedly embraces child]

gentle brute

Ahhhhh, my little problem solver is showing a glimpse of maturity and consideration that makes me beam and tickles me pink.  I am rubbing off on him.  At least a little bit.  He is mine, this blonde haired blue eyed sweetheart of a boy.

Posted in children, motherhood
February 12th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

I’ve just dropped the boys off with their dad.  I crave the tidbits of kid-free time that it affords me, but as soon as we part, I fall apart.  Every time.  If I’m not crying on my way home, I’m crying by the time I get there.

I’m nothing, if not consistent.

~*~*~

I try to put my finger on it.  I think a part of it is grief over the absence of a nuclear family.  It seems like it should be so simple.  Why can’t the man be the man and do his job as a man, the woman be the woman, and do her job as a woman, and the couple be a couple and do their job as a couple?  It worked in Mayberry RFD.  It seems like the Cleavers and the Cunninghams had it figured out, too.

Maybe it’s even more simple than that.  Why can’t the grownups be grownups and do what grownups are supposed to do?

~*~*~

I put some valentine goodies together for the boys to share with the other kids, and a card and box of chocolates for them to give their dad and his wife.  I wasn’t planning to do anything at all for Valentine’s Day, but it occurred to me that other kids in school will probably be exchanging valentines, and I don’t want my BB to show up empty handed and feel awkward about it.  So.  He will be well prepared.  While perusing the options, it also occurred to me that the new kids, the step-brother and sisters, would probably be delighted to receive valentines from the boys.  And of course, their dad would probably appreciate the sentiment from his boys as well.

I am a saint.

Mostly, I hope to instill thoughtfulness in my boys.  I doubt they will pick up on it much now, but if I’m consistent and steady, they will hopefully –eventually– learn to think of others, and not just themselves.

~*~*~

I have to get used to the fact that our life isn’t a storybook life.  It’s our own story, and we’re living it, and we’re living it fairly well.  I know this.  I have evidence.  My boys are healthy, boisterous, imaginative, inquisitive, humorous, and playful.  They laugh.  They tease me, tickle me, and play tricks on me.  They sleep soundly.  They are happy.  They know they are loved.

October 9th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

the bird

I’ve been sick all week.  Trying hard not to let it take hold.  I even took all of us to urgent care on Tuesday, to get checked out.  We got the all clear, but got one prescription for LB for the pink eye that was making the rounds, just in case.  So who gets pink eye?  Me.  Followed by BB.  LB has a runny nose and a cough.  BB is a bit stuffed up.  And I’m a complete mess.  I took a sick day on Friday, which is just as well because BB got kicked out of daycare the minute they noticed his rosy eyes.  It’s funny how such a ruckus is made over pink eye.  Whatever version we have doesn’t even hurt.  It’s nothing compared with the sore throat that has persisted all week.  I’ve been drinking lemony tea, gargling with cayenne pepper and vinegar, sucking on menthol throat drops, popping the ibuprofen like it’s going out of style, and even working my way through the remnants of my ancient prescription painkillers.  Thank GOD the boys don’t have the sore throat.  I wouldn’t know how to help them and it would break my heart to know they had to just suffer through it.

So this is the big wedding weekend for Gadget.  His daughter and stepson are here from Kentucky, having arrived on Tuesday.  His twin and significant other arrived yesterday from New York.  I’m not sure who else is here, but rumor has it that it’s a big wedding, with 200-300 guests.  Gadget mentioned something months ago about the boys having a role in the ceremony.  I started trying to make some plans a few weeks ago, so that the kids could see that side of their family.  It turned out that Friday was a no-school day, so I told Gadget that I could actually bring the kids over on Thursday after work.  That way they could spend some time with their siblings.  They’ve never even met LB.  “We’ll see….” is what I got from Gadget.  I tried to solidify plans as the week progressed.  He finally said “No, don’t bring the kids over until around 4pm on Saturday.”  Why not Thursday, I asked.  Gadget said he wouldn’t even be home until 9:30pm Thursday, and his kids wouldn’t babysit.  WTH.  I wasn’t asking them to BABYSIT.  And at 16 and 21, are they not responsible enough to spend a few hours with my boys, their BROTHERS, unaccompanied?  WTH?  So it comes out that there is some function on Saturday for the over 12 crowd and there is nobody to watch the little kids.  He pretty much declares that I should bring them over at 4 on Saturday and pick them up Sunday.  I told him I’m not a taxi service.  My window of helpfulness was Thursday evening.  If he couldn’t work with that, then figure it out his own.  I thought I was very clear.

Fast forward to today.  Saturday.  3:54pm.  He texts me.

Him: Are you bringing the kids?

Me: I’m sick.

Him: That’s ok two can play your silly game. I knew you would pull some crap like this, but whatever.

Me: What game.  I’m sick.  U can come get them if you want.

Him: Whatever

Me: I’ve been waiting for you to communicate about how u want to handle the boys and haven’t heard a word.  What do u expect?

Him: At least I didn’t make up something. To be at least civil and not make up a lie not to do something. I wanted to bring the kids here to spend time but everything didn’t  work out that way but I have talked to you and you wanted nothing to do with anything so there you go.  You got all mad. You’re just pissed.

Me: U told me when u wanted them here.  I told u what worked for me-Thurs. I told u to figure out a plan.  Did u? And I DON’T LIE.

Him: If I have to pick them up then  they won’t be back until u pick them up on Wed.  When I say I don’t have fuel I’m not making it up.

WTH.  He didn’t even TRY to figure out an alternate plan.  He thinks it’s appropriate that I drop everything, drive an hour each way, and drop the boys off at the time he edicted.  His family members live North of me.  He lives South of me.  He could coordinate with someone to pick up the boys on their way.  He’s asked my dear friend’s husband to photograph the wedding.  He could ask them to bring the boys.  He had several options he could have explored, yet he did nothing.

So, here I am, sicker than hell, can barely swallow or breathe, and I just break into sobs.  Right in front of BB.  So then I have to tell BB that I’m crying because his dad thinks I’m lying about being sick.  Not to mention, my beautiful angel of a boy has been excited and looking forward to seeing his relatives.  And I had to tell him, no, you can’t go see them Thursday.  Or Friday.  And it doesn’t look like he’s coming to get you now.

Still sobbing, I check the clock and call my friend.  Luckily, they’ve not left yet, so they come over and get the boys.  Solution.

The man is incompetent.  And an ass.  Check out the reflection.  It’s ludicrous that I would make up a story and lie.  That he could even conceive such a notion speaks volumes as to how deeply he knows the essence of ME.

Un-flipping-believable.  I am *this* close to incorporating the f-bomb into my vocabulary.  I was recently able to produce the gesture depicted above, albeit still with a smile, and not directed at the ex.  That one was directed at my geeky friend, who I shall call Sailor.  I think he’s trying to toughen me up.  He shares his drama and I attempt to give him a rational female perspective.  I share my drama, and he offers his crude male perspective.  Basically, he says I should stand up for myself and take Gadget to the cleaners by going after max child support and daycare contributions.

Thus far, no man I encounter seems to understand my idea of the high road.  I don’t get it.  They almost unanimously share tales of child support woes.  Maybe it just kills them to see that they, being the nice guys they are, get shafted, yet Gadget, being the apparent ass that he is, gets to skate.  Gadget, as we all know, thinks he is being shafted.

I’m tired of trying to explain it to anybody.  I don’t want to hurt him.  I don’t want to make his life miserable.  I’m not vindictive.  I just want him to step up and be a man.  Good Lord.  Just. Be. A. Man.

And I hope and pray with all the hope and earnestness that I have in my heart that I can live long enough to raise my children, because if they had to be raised by him, they would have a tough road, without good and honorable examples and guidance.  I don’t want them to think it’s okay to lie.  Or to be selfish.  Or self-serving.  Or materialistic.  Or lazy.

So I guess I better step up my game, as far as taking better care of myself goes.  I have young lives to help shape.

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September 14th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

twilight

Tonight I wrote ‘Dear John’ letters to all my men, releasing them from my snare.  This meeting and dating business is too overwhelming for me.  I am a sequential person, when it comes to men, and this juggling of men is just exhausting.  I can’t do it.  I need to focus and re-focus then re-focus again on my little men, so that I can keep their interests front and center.

front and center

Front and center. They are my world. As they should be.