Tag Archives: Children

Dance Party

It seems like it’s been far too long since there has been a dance party at my house.  It used to be a weekly occurrence, usually Friday nights, where I would get home for work, get some songs queued up, and just jam out.

Today has been a really good day, friends.  K and I took Girl2 down the street to the lake and just fed some geese, tried to LARP on a hiking trail (but Girl2 wasn’t having it.  She said no fights, said I could have traps, but there could still be no fighting because it was a peaceful place.  She wouldn’t even see my logic on if there are traps, it doesn’t seem so peaceful.), then came home and just put on music.  It took some time, but soon you could feel the vibe in the air.  Throw on some cheesy songs and people will move.  Myself included.  It was good to feel present.

I will end my day, tired, but happy.  I also have never seen a girl break it down like Girl2 on Gangham Style.  

I hope you all are well ❤

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Processing Emotions

Hello, friends!  I had a blog post planned out for today about another special person, and while this one will still be about someone special, it isn’t what I originally had in mind.  Isn’t that how life happens?  You plan for one thing, and then something happens that makes you say, “Nope.  Today I have to talk about this.”  So here we go, and you will get the other post somewhat soonish, if my crazy chaotic schedule decides to cooperate.  

I had Girl2 my normal days this week, and on Thursday when we were going to bed, she had a meltdown.  She started to cry because she missed her father and she wanted to see him.  It’s hard in these situations to not feel bad for many reasons.  She has done this before, and it internally upsets me, because you feel like you aren’t good enough, or maybe they love the other person more than you. One can easily become a little bitter at these times, and it can be really, really, hard to deal with this impartially.

Growing up, I was told not to cry a lot.  The message I got was, “It’s a tough world, Sweetheart, and crying shows weakness.  We don’t cry for things.”  Sometimes it was, “If you want to cry, I will give you a reason to cry.”  I learned, crying is not something you do freely, it is shameful most of the time, and a very negative thing.  

In the span of about a minute, my mind raced. I knew a lot depended on how I reacted in this moment.  I thought about her, and her situation, rather than myself.  I thought about how it could feel to be 5 and have everything I knew change so drastically.  At 5 years old, one is not equipped to understand adult relationships.  One does not know how a marriage could fall apart.  One does not know how or why these things happen, they only understand how it changes them.

And that is okay.

So in that minute, I did what I thought I could do, and that was just understand.  I told her it was okay to cry.  In fact, I invited her to let it all out.  I explained to her that she is very loved, by myself, her father, and anyone lucky enough to know her.  I told her I understood that she missed him and that this must be very hard on her.  I held her in my arms while she cried and we talked about how I felt when my mom went through a divorce and how confusing it was.  She asked me to read her a story, and I did.  She asked me to sing to her, and I sang “You are my Sunshine.”  She came in at the end (we just don’t sing one verse; we have them all down) and sang back to me in a teary voice and went to sleep, cuddling her stuff animal and telling me she loved me.

I think to this date, with all of my three children, this was most likely my best parenting moment.  I hate the situation it stemmed from.  I hate that in order to feel to better myself I had to cause her tears.  In that moment, I had a choice.  I had the choice to give her the message of “It’s a tough world, Sweetheart.  Toughen up.” or “You have emotions, and sometimes it is a tough world, and it’s okay to react to those moments and do what you need to do to get through them.  Tomorrow will be another day, hopefully a better one.”  I chose the latter, and that made all the difference,

I know it’s a tough world.  She will know it’s a tough world.  She will now also know she can come to me, express her feelings and tears.  I will hug her, sing her a song, and just listen.  I will relate.  I will love, even when sometimes that love hurts my heart to make me want to cry myself.

Maybe the world would be a bit nicer if we just had someone to sing us a song when we are sad.

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Conversations with Girl1

Good morning again, friends!

Oh, Christmas Eve.  You are the calm before the storm that is Christmas morning.  I plan on relaxing while I can before running out to get my last minute needed items for Christmas Dinner tomorrow.

My post today has nothing to do with that, though.  It has to do with a conversation I had with Girl1 that brought tears to my eyes.  We were talking on Saturday night as she was eating her dinner.  She started talking about how she really doesn’t like the super skinny look and think it is ridiculous.  She told me she would rather have some chubs, because she thinks it is cuter than the skin and bones look.  She then started to go into details about why it is better:

It is more to hug.

She loves food too much.

She likes having thighs that hit together because it creates warmth while she is walking.  

If a cheetoes falls, she can catch it with her thighs and still eat it.

She is afraid she will lose breast sizes if she dieted (not that she needs to).

Oh, Girl1.  How proud I am of you for being proud of what you have.  How different I was at that age, already struggling.  To know that you aren’t there and that you escaped that demon.  Keep being proud of who you are, and I am so proud of you.

Eat well, friends.  Eat well enough to catch cheetoes in your thighs.

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Year in Review

Hello, friends!  It’s an early morning, I know.  Most times I don’t write this early, because let’s face it, I am usually not even one to be able to formulate a sentence this early.  However, I am up, drinking my coffee, and I figured it would be good to spend it with you.  The place is a little discombobulated, but I am happy.

I recently re-read my first post of this year.  I wanted to see what I had written on January 1, 2013 because I knew that I had laid out my year blueprint.  I usually don’t revisit my posts, but that one was important.  I wanted to see how close to the mark I came.  I was so proud, friends.  What I had read was plans for 2013 to be a year of actions.  It was a year to do hard things, and face fears.  So much happened that I know I will not be able to remember every detail for this post, and even if I did, it may be too long to write.  Instead I will write about some highlights!

This year marked the first year I had a stamp in my passport.  What a crazy and wonderful adventure that was.  First, I have never traveled alone.  I had never entered an airport on my own, and to be honest, I think the 24 hours that I spent in travel was the first time I had actually been alone for that long for many years.  It was scary to be alone on those flights, in the airport, but so exhilarating at the same time.  I cannot express in words how wonderful that trip was.   

It was the year of hard conversations.  Conversations that had been waiting to come out for some time.  It was not just in my marriage (which I will get to later), but also with my children.  I shared a lot with them this year, as I am sure they saw a lot of changes in me.  It was conversations with Girl1 about my battles with eating disorders, a conversation with my son about the fact that my first sexual experience was not of my own free will so that way he could see that rape is something that can happen to anyone.  A mother is an untouchable being to a child; almost a superhero.  I remember looking at my mom at a younger age and not truly seeing her as a person who has gone through ugly, lived and in the end triumphed through obstacles.  They are just mom.  I allowed my son to see that ugly I had been through.  I gave him the lesson of just not only not doing, but protecting those that can’t, just as in my case.  I wish someone had done that for their child on the night I was raped.  I wish someone spoke up and just took me home.  That being said, without that experience, I would not have had that conversation with my son, and it was an important hard conversation.

The most hard of hard conversations was the one(s) that ended my marriage.  It wasn’t just one, it was many over the course of 2013.  It didn’t end because he was bad, or I was bad; it ended because deep down, we weren’t happy.  It was hard to do, to split up the family structure that has been in place for years, but it had to be done.  I want my children to know to not be afraid to be happy, and that sometimes, you have to do hard things in order to achieve that happiness.  It was the hardest to give up my youngest for 50% of the time; I have never had to share my children in any situation, with Girl 1 and Boy’s father just sort of disappearing.  

I gained and lost friends this year.  

I learned how to say, “I am not okay and that is okay.”  I am also working on “I need help” when I do.  This one is a little bit harder, because I am a stubborn girl full of pride; one who likes to think that they can do pretty much anything.  I learned that indeed, I can do pretty much anything, but sometimes in order to reach the end, I have to lean on others to help support me to the end.

I saw Girl 1 enter high school.  She joined Color Guard in the marching band and I got to see her apply herself to something.  She attended many practices and games, and competitions with the marching band.  They ended up being state champions this year and I don’t know if I could have been prouder.  It was good to see her belong to something and apply herself.  Now, she just needs to learn how to load the dishwasher properly.

The Boy learned about responsibility too.  He has the job of watching Girl 2 until I get home from work.  I know this is not an easy task, but he has stepped up and done very well.  I think in some ways, it has brought them closer.  I know I wrote an entire post about how important he is to me, but I can never say it enough: In many ways, he saved me from a much deeper depression.  

It’s hard to believe that we are a little over a week from the end of 2013.  This year, which was so great and so hard, is coming to an end and making way for 2014.  I used to say that I was always taking baby steps to the places I needed to go, but 2013 showed me that baby steps are done and it is time to take giant leaps with abandonment.  It taught me to jump off the edge and have faith that I will end up more than okay.

In two days, I will be home, with all of my family (blood and not blood), celebrating Christmas.  I know the day won’t be peaceful (there is nothing peaceful about my family), but it will be a day of love.  I’m not sure if you celebrate this holiday, another holiday, or no holiday, but my wish for you is to have love and peace for not just that day, but for the rest of this year as well.  Make wonderful use of the time that we have left this year and do something that you love to close it out.  I can’t thank you all enough for being with me during one of the most craziest years of my life and take my hand.  I don’t know what 2014 is going to bring, but we are going to go together.

Love, friends.  Just love.

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For The Boy, Who Saved My World

My dearest boy,

I remember when you were 10, and you told me that when you were going to be 15, you were going to save the world.  You had it all planned out, even your code name, and you would be a vigilante to the likes the world have never seen.  You were convinced that you, and you alone, could save the world.  You were dead serious.  I signed you up for Tai Kwan Do, since I figured you would need the training if this were to come true, and yes, maybe I was a little afraid of that cop that was behind me (even though I wasn’t breaking a law and was in a perfectly registered and insured car), but you didn’t last too long.  You weren’t that keen on football either.  With only a couple years to go, I really hope you have the training you need to save the world.  Honestly though, if the world needed saving, I think you would do it with finesse.

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Our lives have changed so much in the past year.  You have become the man of the house, and the one I can depend on to do my job when I can’t.  You make sure that Girl 2 is taken care of, and fed, and bathed, while I work until 8 on nights that she is here.  I couldn’t have her here without you.  You have already started saving the world, at least to me.  

I know if I ask you to do something, it will get done.  You know how to load the dishwasher ALL THE WAY.  You can take out the garbage, and sometimes remember to bring the bin back in.  When I am having a horrible day, sometimes it is your stories, and your ridiculous way of telling them that can get me to smile.

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I don’t know what it is like to be the middle child.  I especially don’t know what it is like to be sandwiched between two very strong willed females who demand attention.  I know you think that I forget about you, or that I never ask Girl 1 to do things, but I ask you because I can depend on you.  I realize that sometimes it isn’t fair.  You tend to do things on your own, without asking for me help, because you know that times are hard.  Don’t be afraid to come to me because I would move the heavens and earth for you.

I remember you being in 5th grade and coming home in tears.  You told me you had no friends and that everyone made fun of you.  I hugged you and told you it would get better.  That it may not seem like it now, but you would go to a bigger school next year and find people that also had the same interests you had.  You would find friends that understood you.  You would then move on to an even bigger school and find even more friends.  How hard it must have been for you then, every day, going somewhere where you thought that you were not liked.  You did make it through, and now you have made friends.  It got better.  Thank you so much for believing in what I told you.  Thank you for believing in yourself.

I have high hopes for you.  I know you are going to do amazing at whatever you do, whether it be video game design, comedy, or saving the world.  I can even imagine you doing all three.  I have some words of wisdom or you as you travel on your glorious journey of this life; words that you may not heed now, but hopefully remember at some point.

Don’t lose who you are to please someone else.  Stay ridiculous.  You have no idea how your ridiculousness makes everyone happier, and all you are doing is being you.

When you get to a stage of serious dating, please treat women with respect.  Be a gentleman.  Open doors, hold hands, never raise your hand to a woman.  If she raises one to you, walk away.  Think of how you would feel if someone was doing that to me, or your sisters.  This does not give carte blanche for you to be abused, in any fashion.  If you aren’t being treated respectfully, then walk away.  

No means no.  No means no all the time, not just some of the time.  Even if it really seems like it doesn’t mean no, it always means no. If there is drinking involved, it is always no.  I have talked to Girl 1 about safety, but I will also talk to you about knowing how not to take it too far.  

Never lose sight of who you are, and what you can accomplish in this world.  I may not be able to send you to college, but I can help in whatever way I can.  I do believe that you can go on to so whatever you want to do, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Respect people’s opinions, even if they don’t match your own.  Not everyone will think the same as you, and that is okay.  In fact, listen to them and learn.  Sometimes seeing the world through someone else’s eyes is the best gift you will ever be given.

Jump at every opportunity you can.  Don’t be afraid to try new things.  If you are afraid, that means it could potentially be awesome.  Some of the best things that have happened in my life where times when I was the most afraid.  Except drugs.  Don’t try those things.

I know that it seems that I spend more time with the girls, or talking about the girls, but Boy, I love you with all my heart.  You are such a miracle to me, and such a joy.  I am so proud of who you are, and who you are growing into being.  I can’t wait to see you walk your path, and if you don’t see a path in front of you, I am sure you will kick the dirt and make your own.  Thank you for all that you give me, and don’t be surprised if I try to hold your hand a little bit harder as you get older.  

Oh, and remember, you already started saving the world.  You just didn’t know it.

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Wall of Love

So, I am getting my papers ready for the inevitable.  I typed up everything I knew how, names, dates, addresses.  Soon we’ll be having the final talk, everything in hand, so there are no real surprises later.  There were murmurs of trying, but you can only fit a square peg in a round hole for so long before you just realize that it isn’t going to happen.  So, I did that this morning.  The certificate is in, and the irony doesn’t escape me of needed the certificate to finalize everything else.

It’s easy to feel alone when you are doing this.  Easy to feel like no one can truly understand what this is like, not even myself.  I have never been here, or done anything like this on this level.  I have never had to go to a court and stand in front of someone telling them how things just fell apart.  Justify why they can’t be fixed.  I’m still scared.  I’m scared he’ll have a lawyer and I won’t.  I’m scared that I’ll lose one of the things most important to me in the world.  When I started this train of thought a couple of years ago, I was scared of many more things.  I was scared of being single with three kids.  I was scared of living on my own with only my income.  I was scared of who I would turn to when I just needed to turn to someone.  I was scared of the backlash from everyone.  As time goes on, I am becoming less and less scared, and more able to know what the right course of action is.  I am taking the steps I need to better myself.  When your boy looks at you and says all they want is for you to be happy, you know you are more transparent rather than not.

Here’s where I turn it around and make this into a love post, because this really is about love.  Love, like plants, need to be nurtured to grow.  They need certain things or they just wither and die.  Moving forward this is for the people who are currently nurturing me.

Growing up, we were poor.  Get this – I had no idea.  My mom, being a single mom at the age of 17, managed to have her own place and provided for me everything I needed so I never knew we weren’t living above the poverty line.  I had government cheese growing up, the big block that came in the cardboard box.  My mom would dress me up and do my hair in pigtails that felt so tight I thought my eyes were bulging, and we would walk to go get it.  Mom didn’t have a car, and I didn’t think that was not normal either.  On the way back we would stop at the fountain in front of the City Hall and I would be mesmerized.  I remember once I made a wish that I would get a white frilly dress with strawberries.  I must have spoken aloud, because soon after my Mom gifted me with a white frilly dress with strawberries that she made.

The thing is, my mom was single, but my grandmother lived in the same apartment building, my grandfather was there, and my great grandmother had her own place there too.  Out of the six family apartment building, three were my family  We all worked together, and they all provided me with maybe what was the happiest years of my life.  I never knew how hard she must have struggled, or how tired she must have been after working third shift and me waking her up to color with me; my great grandmother stopping what she was doing when I knocked on her door so I could go through her books; my grandfather watching daytime Soaps with me or my grandmother letting me help her put together her Avon bags.  None of us were alone.

I still have my mom.  My wonderful mom who will drive to another town to pick up Girl1 at the mall because she didn’t want to walk home, or stop over when I am sick to bring me something gluten free.  She will pick me up to play Bingo every Wednesday even though she has homework to do and wouldn’t normally stay.  I think she likes spending the time as much as I do.

I have my lovely girl K, who maybe thinks I did her a favor by letting her come to us when she needed it, but really she saved me and my household.  She brings an air of love, creativity, understanding, to us all.  She listens when I just need to vent, and on nights where she knows I must really need it makes me a full chicken meal so it’s ready when I come in after my 10 hour days.  She never sighs at me when I forget exactly how to end or start my crochet line and tells me my blankets are beautiful even if they look like tree skirts.

I have my group of friends new, and newer, who have come into my life and for a few hours allow me to be someone else.  They provide me with a fantasy world where I can be anyone I want, and have adventures.  They will pass a bottle, help me clean off a chair, and purposely look for gluten free snacks even though I am the only one who has this requirement.

I have my FB friends who like my statuses and help me feel less alone.  They leave me nice words, uplifting thoughts, and just silent strength so I know I can continue on my path.  They send me messages, attempt to make plans with me (I’m hard to tie down, but know I would love to see each of you).  They make me feel not alone.

I have my children, who love me something fierce.  They will come over and hug me when I need it and stay away when I don’t.  They will tell me a funny story, or talk in a funny voice to see me smile. 

I have my worldly friends, and FFAC, who was willing to get on a plane twice, and put me on one once to show me the world.  He never lets me doubt my worth for a moment, and when I start to tells me to knock it off.  He continually finds ways to make me smile, to make me feel valued, even if he is across the world.  He listens to me complain then asks me how I can fix it.  He helps me brainstorm ideas to fix it. 

I also have my new blogging friends as well, who have liked and commented, and shared their views.  I have put my heart out on some of these posts, and been terrified to come clean about a lot of the things I hide.  You have all been supportive and wonderful.  The reason I will throw these real life posts in here is to not feel alone, and also so maybe someone out there doesn’t have to feel alone either.  We aren’t alone.  It may feel like that at times, but out there, we all have someone who understands.

Thank you all, who have been with me, and will continue to walk this journey with me.  Thank you to ones I have mentioned, for feeding my soul and myself.  I really am so lucky that during this time I have such a wonderful wall of love surrounding me.

Until next time, lovies.  Go hug someone.

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Load Last Save

I am going to borrow this blog title from FFAC, as I sent it to him as an email subject.  I decided that I wanted to use it for a blog post title, so here we are.

I changed my hours at work to give me an extra day off during the week.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it still is, but working from 9:30 AM – 8 PM 4 days a week can take it’s toll.  Especially after very busy weekends, where Monday comes too fast and you are sitting there pretty early in the morning in your adult footy fox pajamas wondering where the weekend went.  Load last save.

Any RPG gamer knows what I am talking about when I say that.  It’s that moment that maybe you and your crew expired and you have the opportunity to do it again.  Or maybe, just maybe, you made a really bad decision at some point that is wrecking havoc now.  Load last save.  It brings you right back to where you were before bad decisions, or life threatening battles.  Hopefully even a little smarter (maybe – I have tried the same tactic multiple times thinking that somehow this time would end up different.  It usually isn’t.  You know what I am doing then?  Load last save).

Sometimes I think life needs a load last save option.

I had a conversation with my girl K at some point this weekend, or it could have been this last week, about how sometimes we just blindly walk into the same traps.  Sometimes we know something is so bad, yet, we are powerless to fight it because we make excuses.  At some point we will make our choices, good or bad, and soldier on.

I remember when playing through Mass Effect 3 for the first time I made a huge mistake.  Some wrong choices, skipping over a mission by accident and one of my most favorite characters died.  It was heart wrenching for me.  I wanted to do it, to stop the game and just go back to where I can choose differently, but I didn’t.  I had made a choice, and I needed to stick with it.  That’s what life is, making bad choices and remembering for your next play through, maybe you should stop trying to speed the dialog because you read faster then they speak.  Maybe you should take your time and make sure you do all the missions, so you don’t end up in a situation where you lose someone important to you.

Art imitates life though, and occasionally there can be a load last save option.  It doesn’t appear always when you want it to, and maybe that is just life telling you that loading everything you want to do over just isn’t a good idea.  I was pretty proud of Girl 1 the other day.  She had a falling out with someone over the summer that she cut off ties with.  She had messaged me on Facebook Friday telling me she was reaching out to the person, and I questioned her judgment.  I remember a little bit about the incident, and that this person really had bothered her.

Me: Do you think that’s a good idea?

Girl 1: Yeah, I’m sure it is, because I feel like hating her would be a waste, and that if I have to go through life dealing with people I would want to at least forgive the one that never gave up on trying to make things right.  I didn’t want to be her friend, but I figured the past is the past and in life you have to have patience.

Me: Fair enough, that is pretty mature thinking.  Protip though: Some people we just aren’t meant to get along with.

Girl 1: I understand that some people just can’t get along, and I respect that some people just don’t mix well.  Kinda like chemicals. But I also realize that I left her out and I didn’t react nicely when she would tell me that I hurt her feelings.  Now I realize that people have feelings, and not all of them do it just for attention, and that some people just need someone to talk to.  I want to be the one that says, “Hey let’s catch up” instead of the one that sits here regretting not pressing send.

I was floored.  I don’t see this level of thinking on some adults that I know, never mind a 14 year old girl.  I was proud of her for not just saying, “I chose forgiveness” but also, “Some of the blame is my own.”

I also have experienced that fear of regretting not hitting the send button.  I am learning how to try and not let fear dictate my actions, and it is a hard road.  It is also an exciting road as well as an amazing road.  I thought I was on it by myself, but as always, the horde of offspring continue to amaze me.  Even when I think I am alone, they prove to be right there with me, sometimes behind, sometimes ahead, and sometimes right next to me holding my hand.  I’ll do that for you as well, I promise.

Lesson for today, dearest friend, is that life does come equipped with a load last save option.  Use it wisely.

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