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.


The Diary is being featured on the very popular Canadian website “SheKnows.  Thanks to the writers and editors for the honor and the kind words.



  1. Fantastic. Loved the letter and glad she found you. Keep on spinning!

  2. Wow! You NEVER have a dull moment do you? :)
    So glad your kiddos are on the mend! The Missus has a nasty cold, but so far we have avoided the flu/diarrhea/vomiting thing. Which is surprising since we are both teachers and MANY of our students have come down with this same awful bug. Not fun!
    Maybe you can have a Twix (or two!) and do some LIGHT cleaning around the house.
    The letter from the woman that just happened to find your blog gave me the chills. What an amazing bit of encouragement you just got. How gratifying to know that you helped an entire family by blogging! Wow! Great stuff! The Missus is on he way over to become your 500th follower!!! Woo hoo!!!

    Justin- Writing Pad Dad
    Follow my blog!
    “Like” me on Facebook!

  3. I'm blog follower number 500! woo-hoo! Here's to you Lady! Oh sick kids are so hard, and all three being sick at once is crazy!

  4. The letter really touched me. Keep on keeping on girlfriend. Nothin' but blue skies from now on....

  5. Glad that the babies are feeling better! The letter brought tears to my eyes. You have a wonderful gift!
    Many Blessings!

  6. "Desperation is a six year old making your coffee, trust me."

    Sometimes I think these shiny nuggets just fall out of your brain and you don't even know how brilliant they are.

    So glad the kids are better. Take a day to rest, Woman!!!


    1. Amen to that Kristen! You deserve a rest.

  7. Now I know why my mom would never read the Velveteen Rabbit to me as a kid!!

  8. glad you survived having sick kids...there's nothing worse than having sick kids..it hurts us moms more to see our kids in pain...

  9. I just went the disgusting sickness route with Boy Wonder last week (all week) and myself this week. I will never bitch about being single mom to one because you handle 3 like a frickin' boss even when you are feeling completely overwhelmed. **Oh, thank you for dealing with spam from Sri Lanka so I can drop by and give you lurve again ;)

  10. HAHAHAHA.... Did you really mean to say that? Seriously I think you typed something wrong.... you put "I'm Slightly Insane" !!!! Slightly!!!!! LMAO! Well anyway Mad Woman.

    To be serious. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for her to sit and read from start to present with you. I did it when I found you too, but she must have been a mess, and I am so sure she was reading and scared to death if she is dealing with anything even close to what all you told us about.

    Keep on writing no matter what, it gets to people, it helps people, if even just getting them to acknowledge there is a problem, it is a long road to deal with addiction, and she could have some big bumps along the way, but being able to follow your blog, should be a great reminder, and hopefully keep her strong enough that she keeps her husband and family focused on getting back on track.

    You are an inspiration.

  11. One of my favorite books...I need to reread it and start reading it to my child. Tears...I forgot how moving. Same emotional attachment to it as "The Little Prince" for me.

    Wonderful post as always...and you and that couple are inspiring - there's room enough in the world for all of you.

  12. I read the Velveteen Rabbit to my daughters over many years. Later I created a whole series of artworks called 'Velveteen Women' about women who had lived life and loved and had the scars to prove it. I got great satisfaction from having them all in an exhibition and see the reactions from the women and their friends. wrinkles, stretchmarks, age spots, varicose veins, breast cancer surgery scars, and even internal scars all shown as part of an overall portrait of that individual.
    I appreciate your individuality and 'realness'.
    Thanks, Marty

  13. I am so inspired by blogs such as yours... everyone has a story that is captivating and I love getting to know people...

    Also, being a single mama and working is very hard... I have an amazing child care worker that is there for me non stop...

    I had to go in the hospital for surgery and I will be recuperating for about 6 weeks... she has taken my daughter and cared for her. I don't know how some single mothers cope... It is NOT easy..