Monthly Archives: September 2011

I Remember…

I never imagined that my generation would have an “I remember where I was…” moment in history.  Isn’t that just for our parents and grandparents?

But I remember where I was on September 11, 2001…I was driving to school/work and heard something on the radio about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.  My original thought was that it was a joke of some sort…who ever heard of a plane crashing into a building like that?

When I got to campus, I stopped at the first TV I could find…and was both mesmerized and horrified…there it was…planes crashing into the Towers…people running, screaming, crying…it felt unreal, almost like I was watching a movie…I called The Ex (who was The Fiance at the time)…he had already heard from some of our friends…we were glued to the TV…I watched as the towers fell…and all I remember thinking was, “Oh my God, what about the people still inside?!” Watching people fling themselves from buildings was gut-wrenching

The college bookstore where I worked didn’t open, classes were cancelled, and nearly everyone on campus made their way to the Chapel…I’m not at all religious (and no, I don’t know how I managed to go to a Methodist college, either), but that was the most comforting place to be…

I cried when Peter Jennings cried on the news…I cried while watching the coverage…I shook my head in disbelief…

And now, 10 years later, Aidan is learning about it in school – as a history lesson, in rememberance of…and it’s surreal.  He knows to call them the Twin Towers…he knows that the bad guys hurt a lot of people…he knows that planes crashed into buildings…but, fortunately, he’ll never have to say he remembers where he was when it happened…

There were a lot of artists who put their talent to good use in the aftermath of 9/11…and most of them moved me to tears…but there is one in particular that still gives me goose bumps…by my nature, I don’t condone violence…I don’t believe in “an eye for an eye” or anything like that…but there are just some things that need to be said…and he did it best of them all:

 

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The Story of Sean

Sean’s story is as different from Aidan’s story as night and day…quite like Sean and Aidan…they are polar opposites.  Is that because I’m a different mother with Sean than I ever was with Aidan? Is it just how it goes with children? Hell if I know…but these two are completely different, so it makes sense that their stories, are too…

Today is Sean’s 2nd birthday…and I don’t necessarily celebrate the fact that I managed to keep him alive, like I do with Aidan…Sean, poor baby, is the typical second child – not as many pictures, not as big a fuss made over him, and, thankfully, not as many mistakes made…

I planned for Sean…the way I plan for everything – every last detail considered with five contingency plans in place.  Sean is the reason my mother refers to me as Fertile Myrtle…five minutes after I stopped taking birth control I was pregnant…three weeks later none of my clothes fit…one contraction into labor and I was demanding the epidural…6 hours of labor, there he was…

Sean is an absolute joy (Aidan is my moody, emotional child)…Sean lights up a room with his easy-going smile…tantrums are rare but hellified…his vocabulary grows by the second…he’s social…he sleeps through the night…he eats whatever I feed him…he naps for 2 hours at a time…if you’d like to know Aidan as a baby, picture the EXACT opposite of all of that…The Ex, mistakenly, thought (hoped) conceiving Sean was going to be a long drawn out process…nope.  Done in less than a month…no fuss, no muss – just like Sean.

For 25% of Sean’s life, I’ve been split from his father…he knows his “Da-da” but it’ll never be quite like Aidan does…

I have actually had people (including some in my family) ask why I ever had Sean…well, obviously 2 years and 9 months ago, I wasn’t considering divorce (even though, apparently I should have been if my friends and family are any indication)…but none of that matters.  I can’t imagine my life without both of my boys. 

When Aidan is stormy, Sean is all sunshine…when Sean is angry, Aidan (if he’s not also angry) will do anything to bring his baby brother out of his bad mood…while Aidan is made completely out of PopTarts and chicken nuggets, Sean wants to eat whatever is on my plate…Aidan sleeps on his back with his hands behind his head, and Sean sleeps like me – curled up on his stomach, holding his pillow…

Sean adores, loves, CRAVES Thomas the Tank Engine…”Thomath, Thomath, my Thomath” is a familiar refrain in our house…the weekends are ruined if there isn’t a Thomas DVD playing (last weekend, thanks to Tropical Storm Lee preventing us from going to the library, was hell on earth with no Thomas DVD)…

Sean is my laid-back child…and I’m so grateful to have him and his big brother in my life.

Inertia

Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to make me realize how much of an idiot I can be…I hate change…HATE IT…and yet, I managed to get a divorce…to demand a divorce and then make it happen.  Still, I really REALLY hate change…

I accomplished the divorce, and then thought I was done, I guess…there are so many other things I need to change in order to start living the life I want…but I’ve been resting on my laurels…I’ve been waiting for things to happen to me instead of just going out there, being ballsy (like I used to be) and doing what I need to do…

As I explained to a good friend, Music Man, I’m a peacekeeper…I avoid confrontation, I avoid the appearance of confrontation, I worry about confrontation even though usually there is no confrontation to worry about…so instead of just making a decision, sticking with it, fighting for it, and defending it, I’ve sat back and waited for change to happen to me, mostly in an effort to avoid confrontation…and the word used to describe my problem today was “inertia”…and yes, that was it exactly.

I’m done standing still…

I keep trying to make plans that will satisfy all parties involved…screw that.  I’m going to go with what works for Aidan, Sean, and myself…and that’s it…but I’m not going to follow every piece of advice I’m given, either…just because it works on paper or makes sense to you, doesn’t mean I’m following that path…

This whole thing – the divorce, the blog, my life – has been about figuring out my path and following it…I can’t let my fear of change, confrontation, and (most importantly) failure, stop me…all that does is create inertia…and I am DONE with that.

I don’t know how I’ll reach my goals…I don’t know what will happen tomorrow…but I know I’m moving forward…one foot in front of the other…on my terms.

Not Winning Mother of the Year

I say that a lot as a joke…when I send Sean to daycare with a great lunch – but no spoon…when I nearly let Sean’s stroller fall into a pond at top speed…when I remembered formula for Aidan but not the bottle (that was years ago!)…

But this weekend, it’s for a completely different reason…I was over being around my boys by 9:00am on Saturday…I love them, adore them, would kill and die for them…but all I really wanted was for them to be quiet…cacophony is the only word I can use to describe my house this weekend…

Saturday, we couldn’t go anywhere because of Bubba, and the whole weekend was pretty much shot because of the weather – thanks Tropical Storm Lee…if we hadn’t desperately needed them, we probably wouldn’t have gone out for groceries on Sunday…but what I really wanted to do was run screaming from my house…

There was a brief reprieve when my mom and The Step brought Uncle Bert…but that was much too short…and I could still hear the noise…I have never wished for anything as much as I wished for bedtime tonight…I’m probably one of the few people on the planet who can’t wait to go back to work on Tuesday…

Both boys want and need my attention…and when they think the other (or anyone else) is getting too much, they crawl on top of me, get in my face, and don’t leave…if I get up from where we’re all sitting, they follow me…Aidan asks for a hug, and then never lets go…and it’s all normal stuff, especially considering the divorce…I know that, but this weekend it was harder to deal with than it should have been…

And I feel horrible about it…Mom Guilt is pretty powerful stuff, and it’s running at full force right now…Intellectually, I know the problem is that I haven’t had a true break in weeks…it doesn’t matter what I know in my head, though, if the guilt gets in the way…

Aidan and Sean really are sweet boys, but between being cooped up for the entire weekend and how I was feeling all weekend, it felt like I was trapped with little demon children who only wanted to wreak havoc and destroy my house…Sean had three separate temper tantrums today alone…crying that lasted at least 30 minutes each time…Aidan pushed every button I have, to the point that he now knows what happens when I finish counting to 5…

I know the “solutions” to my problems…1. Get a babysitter…what do I pay that person with? Magic beans? 2. Move closer to family…um, not just no, but hell no…I couldn’t wait to get out of MS when I left the first time to go to college…I only came back because I didn’t know where else to go after Daddy died. 3. Make The Ex do what he’s supposed to do…if I had ever been capable of that, we’d probably still be married. 4. Stop whining…I wanted this life, so I just need to deal with it…

I don’t have a real solution to the problem, so I guess I’ll go with option number 4…this weekend was hard…and there are plenty of other hard times ahead…but at least I get to leave them with people who get paid to do this someone else for a few hours tomorrow…I never wanted to win Mother of the Year, anyway…

I Shall Call Him…Uncle Bert

I have this weird habit of naming the vehicles I drive…I haven’t always done it, but the last 3 all had names…

The Mercury Grand Marquis was Grandma…Grandma was cool – chrome trim, tinted windows…she was sweet…I lost her in the divorce (prior to it being finalized, in a dirty under-handed way)…karma being the bitch she is, Grandma stopped working a few weeks after The Ex started driving her…I only laughed a little…

The Ford Explorer is/was Bubba…Bubba was not-so-cool – literally, the AC stopped working less than a month ago…Bubba should never have been purchased…that was a fight I lost, and technically I was proven right about why he should have stayed on the lot, but that’s irrelevant…Bubba is my problem now…Bubba is rusted out on the bottom, chipping paint on the top, and blows mostly hot air…no offense to anybody out there named Bubba, but that perfectly describes all the Bubbas I’ve ever known…

This one is a Buick LeSabre…Mom #2 has a newer model LeSabre that she calls Grandpa…it’s definitely a male car…I consider this one Grandpa’s older brother…and I think he’s an Uncle Bert…Uncle Bert is a loaner…while I’m grateful to have reliable transportation again, I’m glad he’s only on loan…that means there’s light at the end of this automotive tunnel I’ve been in for several years…

I said the other day that I would tell the story about how I acquired Uncle Bert…all of my level-headed friends keep telling me that I should be grateful and not get emotional about it, and that’s probably true, but I can’t help it…this one just makes me sad…

Let me start out by saying I am probably the least religious person on the planet…I respect other people’s beliefs, even those that I don’t understand…but my beliefs and spirituality are my own business and I don’t discuss them with anyone…that being said, even I have to admit that God (or whatever you choose to follow) works in mysterious ways…

The Step is not my only newly extended family (I say newly extended but my mom has been married to him for nearly 7 years, so not that new)…his mother, a very sweet lady, is still alive and has loved my boys and been kind to me from the very beginning…she was even pleasant to The Ex…

About two weeks ago (closer to 3 now), she fell at home and broke her hip…she had hip replacement surgery and went to a rehab center to recover…during that time, she told my mom that she had been praying that I would get a new car and find a way to move closer to work (I’ve got a 45 minute commute – hence the need for a newer vehicle and new home)…

Several days ago, she had a stroke and then had brain surgery to stop the bleeding on her brain…while the doctor’s were doing a routine, post-op scan, they found what they believe to be cancer…because of her age and condition, they don’t recommend chemo and will just make her as comfortable as possible…are you crying yet? I know I am when I think too hard about it all…In the past few days, she’s come down with an infection that you only get in hospitals or nursing homes…not MRSA, but one like it…for her family to visit her in ICU, they have to wear a hazmat suit…Are you freaking kidding me?!

When I called The Step about Bubba the other day, he and his sister decided to loan me their mother’s car…and all I’ve been able to think is that this isn’t how her prayer should have been answered…isn’t there a Plan B we can utilize? The fact that this sweet little old lady ever prayed for me at all when she has a massive family that could also use some prayers is humbling…the fact that her prayer was answered (if you subscribe to that thinking) is even more humbling…I’ve never felt less worthy in my life…

So I will treat Uncle Bert with all the respect I can…and I will add my thoughts to those of everyone’s else for a speedy recovery for that wonderful woman…

Maddeningly Independent or Stupidly Independent?

Life works in funny ways…I was pretty convinced of what I just had to blog about…until life intervened…

My afternoon has been an emotional roller coaster…Bubba (the piece of crap I drive) decided to do crazy things on my way home…According to the Step, it’s probably my water pump…really?!  I talked to the Step when I got home to get direction on what to do…I had to wait for Bubba to cool off before we could do anything…in the hour between phone calls (I was under orders to call back to get further instructions), all I could think about was how I was going to have a new water pump installed…and what the hell I was supposed to drive in the meantime…and and and…

And it never dawned on me to ask anyone for help…Big Brother called and when he asked how I was doing, I just said, “Fine.”  I have other friends, plenty of good friends…it never occurred me to call them, either…I know that the people who care about me and the boys would be there for us…and I just don’t lean well…

I had a long conversation with BBFF (boy BFF) and discovered that he had been on the hunt to try and solve my car problem for me…without ever saying a word…I reminded him that if he had shown up at my door with a car, I would have thrown a major fit…he didn’t care…

I don’t like to ask for help with small things…and I certainly don’t like to ask for help with the big things…part of it is because my parents raised me to be independent…part of it’s my basic personality…part of it is because I don’t ever want to be perceived as weak or incapable…and part of it is because of what some would call flawed thinking…

Here’s the thing…I asked for this divorce…wanted it, needed it, and have NO regrets…but I took myself out of a marriage where there was at least the appearance of having help and chose a life of being by myself…to me, that means I need to handle the issues that come along by myself…I know who I can call when I need an ear, I know who loves my children enough to help me with them, I know those things…but I never want to lean so hard that I wear those friendships out…so it’s easier to hardly lean at all…And it drives my friends crazy…what can I say, I am often maddeningly, stupidly independent…

Oh, and there is a possible solution to the Bubba problem.  If it comes to pass, I will write about it in a separate post…but know that my loved ones are forcing me to accept help…and I’m so desperate for a solution, I’m just damned grateful and am actually speechless about it…

Feel Like A Woman

Ok, so Shania totally got this one right…For the first time in a long time (probably ever), I’ve started feeling like a woman…not a mom, not a worker-bee, or a million other things…just a woman

I’ve felt pretty…I’ve felt sexy…I’ve felt…”hot,” to quote someone.  I could get used to this…I’ve laughed, I’ve flirted…Nothing serious, nothing major – the way I want it, right now…I’ve hung out with friends who truly care about me…I’ve been teased and reminded not to be so serious…

I did get a little reality check today though…I was asked what I want, what I want to do, what my next big thing is…and I had no idea…my only response (which is completely true) is that after the past 12 years, I feel like I’m coming out of a fog…a fog that has finally lifted and I’m discovering a whole new world that I didn’t know existed…I haven’t even had time to process it all and figure out what I want out of life…

But, to prove that I’m not completely numb to the world, when I was asked what my idea of the perfect weekend was, it took a minute, but at least I had an idea…during the day, water – either on a boat or a beach, but the ocean…and at a night, music and a dance floor…I’m sure my thoughts on that will change over time…but right now, I just want to relax and have fun…and that’s my idea of a great time. 

Yesterday, I did the most dangerous thing an overworked but crazy-busy person can do…I took time off of work…and I hung out…I talked…I laughed…I had a good time…I paid for it today when I got back to work…but it was absolutely worth every second…

I’m going to go against my nature and NOT overanalyze this one to death…I just know that I like how I feel right now…I’d like some more, please!

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