February 25, 2013

One Man Short

I’m still here.  I’ve been trying to follow that sage advice, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

I’m sick of my own damn self, to be honest.  And truly, I’ve no reason to be so full of self pity.  But I am.  And I loathe it.

It’s dawned on me, repeatedly, during the last few months that this is it.  Truly, this is indeed my life.  And it’s always going to be a struggle.  And I’m tired.  I want to cry.  Or kick myself.  Or scream and shout.  Or go to bed.  Or run.  I don’t know what to do anymore.  Because I feel my life is hard, and the  hand I’ve been dealt unfair.

I don’t like to be such a ninny.  I don’t want to feel this way.  But I do.

I love my kids so much.  They are truly wonderful, adoring, innocent, loving creatures.  I’m so blessed with them.  They are good children.  Parenting them alone is so HARD.   I'M SO TIRED.  And I’m tired of myself for even feeling this way, but I can’t and even shouldn’t apologize, because it’s the truth.

Did you know that if your husband is DEAD he does not EVER do the dishes, does not EVER put gas in the car, does not EVER cook supper, does not EVER bathe the kids, does not EVER discipline the kids, does not EVER help with homework, does not EVER pick up milk or bread on the way home, does not EVER do yard work, does not EVER fix things, does not EVER give you even a teeny tiny break, nor a morsel of support or love or caring or respect.  Nothing is what you get.  NO THING.

This is a hard life, even for me and I don't mind saying I'm a bit of an ass kicker.  I’m smart and organized and spiritual and reflective and patient and kind and loving and all that.  I have it together is what I’m saying.  And despite that….I am overwhelmed.  I constantly feel one man short.  Man down.  Man fucking down.

So now what?  I have a child not even in elementary school yet, so I won’t even bother to calculate how many more nights of homework I shall assist with in my lifetime.  I will live way more years without Dave than with him.

I’ve no idea why this panic has only now set in.  I’ve no idea why I was fine, and now I’m not.  I don’t know if this will go away or what I even need to do to make it go away. 

My voice is the only one that disciplines now.  No backup.  No support.  And I feel they are deaf to it.  I think about their teenage years, when this stage will seem like a total cake walk, and the tears just start to flow.  I’m scared.  I’m tired.  I hate this.  I hate everything.

Except them.  I love them.


February 13, 2013

Aaah Vacation

I got slightly panicky a few weeks ago when I pulled the kids' calendars from their school folders and remembered that they were off an entire week for Mardi Gras.  I love my darlings.  I really do.  But I wasn't exactly looking forward to a week off with them at home.

I started googling where we could travel by car because airfare is so expensive for an entire family.  Unfortunately, I'm not a great vehicle traveller.  By about hour six, I really start considering just jumping from the vehicle.  I'm basically an infant.

Before I knew it, I had booked airfare to the mountains of North Carolina for all of us.  Honestly, I blame the Hot Mess.  She's always going on about her vacations and how we should DO MORE not HAVE MORE, and it's true.

As soon as I pressed the buy tickets button, I had a mini panic attack.  What if we ended up like that Jon and Kate Plus 8 episode, where they were stuck on the tarmac for six grueling hours, forbidden to disembark the plane.  She was crying and pulling her hair and the kids were going insane.  I quickly calmed myself down by deciding if that happened, I would feign a heart attack and they'd have no choice but to let us off.  Remember how we taught ourselves to faint in eighth grade?  Yeah, I still remember how to do that, and don't think I wouldn't stoop to that level in a crises situation.

It wasn't too difficult to convince my niece to accompany us on a snow skiing vacation.  Hopefully she forgets how much energy my boys have before it's time for us to book another trip.

I might have been a snow skiing mountain girl in another life, and I possibly died in that other life by being bitten by a spider the size of a mouse, or by careening off a winding, narrow mountain road engulfed in a soupy fog.

I won't bore with you the vacation details, but I do need to address a few things about vacations in general.  First, do the housekeepers really wash the sheets?  How do we know?  Did they really wash the dishes?  Or did they just give them a quick rinse without soap?  Whose naked, smelly, hairy ass sat on this couch?  You see where I'm going here?  It doesn't matter if I'm in the Taj Mahal or the Super 8, this is where my neurotic brain leads me on vacation.

Little darling sets his pop tart on the bare counter, and I immediately wonder if the honeymooners screwed right there on the counter and the housekeepers didn't wash the counter with soap.

These towels...well...they don't smell like my towels.  I imagine a big, fat, scaly, smelly guy pulling the towel front to back between his legs.  What the FACK is wrong with me?

Does anyone else do this?  I fear I'm a neurotic mess.  Sometimes in a restaurant I look at the people putting the silverware in their mouths, and I almost can't put the silverware I'm holding in my mouth again.  What if it fell on the floor?

Remember this picture?

Yeah...you know that really happens.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation, as did the boys.  We so deserved this.  I'm so glad we did it.  And now I know I can do it.  I can travel with these boys and have fun and relax and count on them to cooperate and that's such an awesome thing.

February 4, 2013

Queen of Spin

They’re gone!  The house is quiet.  I can actually hear birds singing outside.   And I’m trying to decide whether I should have a twix day, or clean up this sad looking house.

Today is the first day in two weeks that I have been alone, without a sick child.  The virus that swept through this house was scary.  One urgent care visit, two ER visits, and one child admitted to the hospital for a day and a half.

This single mom gig is hard.  I can’t lie.  But when you are unable to leave the house to even get bread or milk or bring the well kids to school because the sick kids are so sick, well, it becomes impossible.  I have no idea what would have happened if I would have had a job.  Rushing people to the ER, carrying them around, and cleaning up vomit and diarrhea for So.Many.Days.   The worry alone is enough to drain you and drive you to lunacy.  Desperation is a six year old making your coffee, trust me.

Anyway, I won’t dwell on it.  It’s done and I survived.  I’m so used to doing everything by myself now (Goddess of Everything, ya hurd me!) that I don’t even think much about resenting Dave.  I just do it.  I guess I’m thankful for that.  I’m thankful that our new normal is actually normal for me now, even though it blows at times.  Thankful that people helped me, too.  Because this is further proof that raising children is seriously a two person job, and most people will never know how utterly impossible it can be.  

You know, I certainly never imagined that my life would serve as inspiration to people, or that so many strangers would relate to me like they do.  But here I am.  And last week I received this letter:

“I found your blog today, while voting on a friend’s blog. I don't know what made me click on your blog, I didn't check anyone else's out. I read the entire blog from the start to present through tears. I just want to say thank you for sharing your story and your journey. My husband is addicted to pain pills, we barely speak. Our life is a routine. We pass each other in the hallway and mutter grocery lists to each other or sports schedules for the kids. We are not happy but I grew accustomed to this way of life. I have seen him slipping away for a long time and have not done enough about it, frankly because I'm PISSED that he's so fucking weak. But I know he's sick. I know he comes from a long line of sickness. His father commited suicide, his grandmother, and his aunt. I have chosen to ignore all of it and convince myself that he wouldn't leave the kids. Well reading your blog changed that... For the both of us. I was able to make an appointment with his doctor for tomorrow and we dropped the kids off at a friends and talked for two hours. I know you never planned your life to be an inspiration to others, I know you didn't want to be the cautionary tale. But you helped more then I can explain and for that I thank you. God bless you and your children. And Dave smiling down on you.”

I can’t possibly explain the impact this letter had on me.  So often, people find my blog too late.  They relate to me because they are survivors.  I mean, yes, I do get that the largest percentage of you relate to me because I’m slightly insane and it’s rather amusing to watch a person actually magnetize shit.

But I question WHY I do this at times.  It’s becoming apparent that this is why.  I clicked on this woman’s profile and through my tears I gazed at her, sitting on her sofa, with a gaggle of kids surrounding her.  Children who will get their daddy back, for no other reason than because my own children lost theirs.  Muthas, we have spun it.

I’m not really the inspiration here.  This woman is.  Her husband is.  Because they are about to do what I couldn’t do.  What Dave couldn’t do.   And I’m incredibly inspired by them.  I’m inspired to keep telling the truth.  I’m inspired to keep communicating in the only way I know how.  I’m inspired to keep doing it, no matter how uncomfortable some are with the words.

I understand that my style ruffles a few feathers.  Believe me, it gets me into trouble in my real life as well.  Because I don’t know how not to be real.  I don’t know how to hold my tongue.  I don’t know how to keep the emotion in.  I don’t know how to say it with someone else’s words.  And I don’t know why anyone would want to, either.

I had this page torn out of the Velveteen Rabbit on my fridge for years many moons ago:

“What is REAL?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.” 

Truth teller.  Evil slayer.


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