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Working On Mother of the Year

Apparently, hope springs eternal, and I’ve decided to try for the totally real fictitious Mother of the Year award…

I had lunch with Aidan for Thanksgiving…mmm, pressed turkey and canned green beans…I had lunch with Sean for Thanksgiving….mmm, turkey lunch meat and canned green beans…clearly, I didn’t attend for the culinary horrors delights offered for lunch…after last weekend’s scare, I feel compelled to be more involved…I just want to do stuff with them…

And because I’m a glutton for punishment feeling this way, we’re going to go see Santa as he arrives at the mall tomorrow…with the other hundreds of shrieking children…yaaaay…the boys are excited, so that’s all that’s supposed to matter…my impending headache is nothing compared to that…

Then, because I’m insane a good mother, I’m driving my children to Georgia to see their father…actually, I’m driving to Georgia for him to sign necessary paperwork to move the sale of our old home along faster, as he claims he has no access to a printer or the ability to sign anything digitally (the only excuse I would believe)…to give you the scope of this, the drive to Georgia is over 5 hours – and we’re doing the trip in one day…yaaaay…I like a good adventure, and I plan to be as prepared as possible for this…a charged Nintendo DS, a charged iPad, snacks, drinks, blankies, and an understanding that we will stop to use the bathroom at least twice – each way…yaaaay…

Oh well, no one ever said winning a fake award would be easy…

 

Remembering What’s Important

It’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day, forgetting what matters most…intellectually, I know that my children and my family are what matters most…the people I love matter…but it’s easy to take that for granted – until you’re reminded…

This week, for the first time in my life, I feared for my children…I’ve been nervous before…I’ve been anxious, worried, stressed before…I’ve never feared for them…thankfully, they were ultimately fine, but I spent a nervous night wondering if I had made a horrible decision leaving them in the care of their now ex-babysitter…if you’re going to go all crazy on me, I’m going to assume you’ll do it with my children…if you’re going to make unreasonable demands of me, I’m going to assume that you’ll do that to my children…once I lose trust in you, there’s no way you can be around my children…that’s just how I roll…

It’s a long, dramatic story that ended up fine…for various reasons – Mom #2 being the main reason…I’m not sure what I would do without her sometimes…but, for the first time since I began travelling for work, I was ready to go home because I needed to hug my babies tight…I needed to feel their warm little bodies close to me…I needed to see for myself that they were fine…

Sunday, I came home and their excitement to see me was contagious…I bravely decided we would go out to dinner…just the three of us…we survived…sort of…Sean has a new habit of telling me he needs to use the potty, requiring that I take him to the bathroom, only to sit down and then say he’s “done” when he never did anything in the first place…thanks, dude…this immediately requires washing of hands, because, well, ew, gross! Aidan likes to make paper airplanes out of his place mat, but I get to be the one who threatens his life if he throws it…

The fun didn’t stop there…because I effectively fired my babysitter, I had no childcare on Monday – Veteran’s Day…schools were closed and so were daycares…we’re doing this wrong, I think…I worked from home…well, I struggled to concentrate on the task at hand while mini tornadoes tore through my house for about 8 hours, but let’s call it work…fun times…fun. times.

My eye started twitching around 3:00 p.m…I haven’t been so happy to go into the office in a long time…but despite all the insanity, the whining, the crying, the punching, the wrestling, the tearing apart of my clean house, I noticed a difference in myself…I signed up to attend Aidan’s Thanksgiving lunch at school…which means I’ll attend Sean’s (gotta be fair, you know)…Santa is coming to the mall this Saturday, and I asked the boys if they would like to go…by the way, a resounding, “YES!!!” on that one…

I’m so happy to be back with them (despite the twitch I’ve developed every time one of the boys says, “Tell me to fart!”) that I’m taking advantage of opportunities to spend time with them…if this had been a “normal” trip away, I would have dreaded coming home to the routine…I would have dreaded the return to their normal selves after the excitement of my return wore off…that didn’t happen this time…this time, I was forced to remember what’s important…I hate that I spent even one moment afraid for my children…but I’m happy that my perspective was forced to change a bit…

A Slightly Different Thanksgiving

Ever since I can remember, I’ve spent Thanksgiving with my mom…when my dad was still alive, I would come home from college for the holidays…after I graduated college, The Ex and I were with my mom while she and I tried to create new traditions…after she remarried, The Ex and I joined The Step’s family and tried to blend in with their family traditions, which thankfully amounted to eating – a LOT…

I don’t dwell on this a lot, but I’m going through a year of firsts…the first Thanksgiving as a single mom shouldn’t have been much different than in year’s past…I should have gone to my mom’s…because of a lack of reliable transportation, the 2+ hour trip to MS didn’t happen this year – and since my mom works retail, she’ll be getting up VERY early tomorrow, so coming to me was out…

I had plenty of invitations to spend Thanksgiving with friends…and for whatever reason, I couldn’t make myself commit to any of them…I had some sort of mental block about being with anyone other than family…I kept making the joke that I might just take the boys out for Chinese…well, that’s just about what happened…except I invited The Ex to join us…

I didn’t like the idea of him not seeing the kids on Thanksgiving if he had the opportunity…and neither of us was cooking some big dinner…so we did what apparently a lot of people do – we went out to Golden Corral…so did half the city…

It was good, it wasn’t too expensive…it was awkward…it was harder than I thought…I missed my mom…I missed the food…I even missed the awkwardness that always came with being around The Step’s family…not that they aren’t wonderful – they are…I just haven’t been around them enough to feel completely comfortable…I wondered if my awkwardness with The Step’s family was because The Ex didn’t like being there…he always thought they were judging him (I don’t think they were)…I wonder what it will be like the next time I’m with them…

I wonder if I will ever have the initiative or energy to create new traditions…I wonder if I will ever be the one to cook the big meal…I wonder how I’m going to get through Christmas…

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