September was a blur!

September was a blur!
So much for writing twice a week…(I’m going to need for you to get it together, Robynbird.)

Thing 2 finally got sorted…not at school though, she worked herself up to literally (And I understand the meaning of the word, K?) foaming at the mouth she was so anxious. So after many tears, and a great deal of patience on all our parts, she has decided to get her high school equivalent and begin community college in January. Is this the plan I had for her? No. Do I think she gave going back to high school her all? No. But I do believe she feels more comfortable with this plan. She has passed all the pretests with good indication she’ll pass the GED test, and she is actively researching courses at NOVA with talk of transferring to a “proper” college in two years. (Just in case you aren’t aware, there are SO MANY wonderful Virginia schools to choose from.)
So, Thing 2 is employed at a job she really enjoys, ready to pass her tests, ready to enroll in community college, and just about ready to move into her new digs in the basement. All in all, I feel good about this, for her, and in general.

As for moving into her new digs…we’ve hired contractors to create a bathroom, bedroom (With a pretty spectacular closet.), and a big ol’ family/rec room in the unfinished basement. They started a week ago yesterday and in that time have framed, put in three windows and a six foot door, all the electrical and plumbing…and when I say plumbing, I mean they started with a jackhammer as there was no rough in. Yesterday the inspector came with two big thumbs and Monday we will have drywall. WOW!
So Thing 2 has chosen a sink and cabinet, a loo, tile, and paint colors for her bathroom…and bedding for her bedroom, but cannot seem to commit to a color choice for her bedroom. We went to Benjamin Moore earlier this week and she totally choked. She just shut down completely. I’ve seen her do it before and knew the signs. I just watched it happen, powerless to stop it. So…yeah, I’m going to need for her to get it together with a quickness.

I had surgery on my foot in September and am now on week three of being non weight bearing. Not that I’m a complainer or anything…but I’m kind of over it. Want to use two feet instead of one foot and crutches or one foot and a knee scooter. But as my beloved Grandaddy would have said, “You’re old enough for your wants not to hurt you.” At least they finally removed the stitches so I can wash my foot! I mean really wash it, you know with soap and water and a scrubbie. It’s like my own little Christmas being able to clean my stinky foot!
I know the surgery was successful because when I woke up, there was no pain, and not the anesthesia and pain killer kind of no pain, the kind of no pain that was the exact opposite of the excruciating pain I’d been in for the two weeks prior to the surgery. I’m pain free! But I can’t walk…yet.

YBW and I went to our twenty fifth high school reunion the last weekend of September! We went to see people we see frequently (Sundance) and people we only see every five or ten years, me on my scooter with the big boot on my gimp foot and a sassy high heeled shoe on the good foot, and YBW with two good feet.
Friday night was…blech. I couldn’t move around because the space was tight and a girl I knew briefly my sophomore year was hammered when we got there and latched on to me with stories of our deep and meaningful friendship and never left my side. Even Sundance couldn’t save me from that.
The next night was better. The venue was larger and I was able to get around a bit. There were less people there so we got to spend more time in smaller groups. But the most amazing thing about that night was that YBW stood up in front of all those people we went to high school with and asked me to be his wife.
OHMYGOD! I know! I was totally peeing my pants! (Sorry, that was my super squealy teenage girl voice.)
Seriously, it was the most precious thing, he got up and talked about how we began dating after our twentieth reunion and have been together for five years, four of which were long distance. He talked about how we love each other’s kids and how the words boyfriend and girlfriend seem strange words to use because we’re adults. But then he said he found a word he wanted to call me, he wanted to call me his wife. Then he walked to me and got down on one knee with the most perfect diamond in his hand.

the most perfect ring

I was shocked! Not that he asked me, because we decide in the summer we were going to get married…shocked that he did it in a room full of people that we never really see or have real relationships with, shocked that he did it in such a grandiose way.
Shock moved quickly aside and the joy has come a calling.

It’s big, happy, exciting news! We are filled with love and joy. We are accepting congratulations. We are using the word fiancé gratuitously. (But only to each other.) We are planning for the fall next year, and on the sixth anniversary of dating, we will be married.
All four Things are overjoyed for us and eager to celebrate with us.
Family and friends are supportive and loving.
I feel giggly and excited, but I also feel like I’m coming home.

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

hearth-fires and holocausts

Thing 2 is here!
It’s been really positive and she’s enthusiastic about starting over. She decided she was ready to go back to proper brick and mortar high school. (This was a difficult choice for her as she has to be a junior again instead of being a senior. But she made it and she’s feeling strongly about it.)
We went back to school clothes shopping and got everything she needed from skivvies to sweaters. Shopping is interesting with Thing 2, I always learn something new about her and we have hilarious dressing room conversations!
She got a job today and a brand new do. Things are certainly going her way.
We go tomorrow to register her for classes. She’s picked out what she’s going to wear and has a notebook and pens in her new school bags.
It has been VERY positive. I overheard her tell someone she was so glad she was here and it was a good choice.

And then…
She just came downstairs with tears in her eyes and told me she was going to bed. I asked if she was OK and she just shook her head. I asked if I could help and she shook her head. She headed back up the steps and I asked if she needed to talk about it. She called back, “It won’t help.”

My initial inclination is to rush to her and work my ass off to make it better for her. But something strange is happening. It occurred to me that she needed to feel whatever it is she’s feeling. She needs to mourn the loss of her friends. She needs to shed that old layer in order to feel at home in her new environment.
She can cope with sadness. She can cope with feeling stressed about all the change. She can even cope, albeit not really well, with the anxiety of starting a new school.
It is extremely difficult for me to “sit this one out”, but I can’t fix this for her, I can only be available when she needs me.

She’s anxious about meeting people. “Cool people, not because they’re popular, but because they look like cool people I’d like to hang out with.”
She’s a bit of a hipster, that Thing 2 of mine. She wants to hang out with quirky people like her, but not end up in social Siberia. She doesn’t want to be popular, she wants to be real. She likes to play D & D. She likes eclectic music. She’s got a sassy personal fashion style. She wants to be engaged while functioning through her own special brand of awkward.

I want to go up and get all snuggly in her bed with her and feel as though I’m helping her feel better. I think that’s about me.
I trust her to sort it.
On the other hand, she’s been left to sort it for the last year all by herself.
So, I can offer love. I can listen. I can encourage.

When I think of my baby, I am reminded of Jimmy Stewart’s beautiful words in The Philadelphia Story: “You’re lit from within. You’ve got fires banked down in you, hearth-fires and holocausts. You’re made out of flesh and blood. That’s the blank, unholy surprise of it. You’re the golden girl. Full of life and warmth and delight.
I believe there is a part of her that realizes this about herself.
I aim to make sure of that.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a rather quiet Thursday

robynbird:

Sounds like the perfect Thursday morning.

Originally posted on a day in the (preschool) life:

We decided to have a rather low key (we heard Miss R say those words to Miss J) Thursday.
When we came in from the playground…we couldn’t go down to the field because Miss J and Miss R were worried it would be WAY too wet after the big storm yesterday…we were bummed, but we got over it.
Anyway…
When we came inside, after we washed our hands (with soap!) and sat on the couch, Miss R read KR-J’s book about Ladybug Girl. Then LM asked if we could please read more books, the ones with CD’s…and our Thursday morning was born.
We listened to a book Miss J chose, then one LM chose and one MN chose, and we have a couple saved for the next time we listen to books.

We didn’t make or do anything today…we just listened to books. We needed to sit with our friends…

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how exercising patience made it better

Thing 2 is coming home to roost in MY nest.
The joy this brings me in indescribable! Though, quite possibly not for the reasons you might think. Of course I want to be nearer my baby. BUT I believe she’ll be better off where there is more stability, a solid foundation of extended family to help support her. As well as two “brothers” who adore her and want her to actively be a part of their life, a YBW who has opened his arms and home to her and wants to do everything in his power to make her transition as smooth as possible. Mostly she’ll have her Mommy. And for that girl and this Mommy, that is paramount. She and I have a connect that transcends time and space and I believe we both miss it.
Thing 2 needs to feel safe.

Sundance told me she thinks Thing 2 is afraid she has to ask me to be her Mommy again and isn’t sure how to deal with that. My response was I never stopped being her Mommy. Perhaps she’ll realize that.

Thing 2 texted me about wanting to talk to me if I had time. When we talked she said: May I come live with you? I’m ready to be there with you. My child asked permission to be in my home…perhaps Sundance has a point.
Yes, yes! A thousand times yes!

YBW is a bit nervous about having a teenage girl in our home…he’s never really been around one. But he’s open and excited.

I talked with Thing 2 just yesterday and she’s so excited, she’s packed up most of her things and planning how to pack the rest and excited for the Mommy – Thing 2 road trip. She’s planning her room and what she wants to study when she goes back to school. She told me she had the worst year, that she completely effed it up. But she’s ready to get her life back. She texted me: Aspirations! Ah!!
The fire in her belly that was just sad little embers for the last eighteen months or so has once again become an inferno. She is ready to take her life back.

I couldn’t be more supportive of this if I’d invented it. I’m ready for Thing 2 to be the real Thing 2 because that’s what’s best for her. And she deserves to be the best Thing 2 she can be.

My friend and mentor has been very invested in every moment of this process. We talked last night on the phone and she asked about Thing 2, we talked about the goings on…how I’d been patient and respectful of where Thing 2 was. Then she said something that rang so true in me.
She said: You have been present with her though all her craziness.

Isn’t that what Mommies do?

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

it’s official…I’m old

So this happened:

readers

Finally broke down and purchased my first pair of readers this weekend.
I tried on several adorable pairs at this precious little shop in Clifton. Stood in front of the mirror trying to decide. Asked YBW what he thought…helpful soul that he is said: I’m not use to seeing you with glasses.
(Um…thanks?)
They’re pretty cute…I can use them in low light when no matter how far away I hold things I still can’t read them…and the little fabric case matches the arms.

No shame in my readers game…I started wearing glasses in 1985. Great big Estelle Getty looking glasses, too. (For that I may feel a bit of shame.) Had LASIK in 2007. Best decision EVER! But that surgery caused the need for readers…I’ve held out for five years, though. I didn’t want to get them sooner than I really needed them and become reliant upon them. But when I catch myself tipping something into better light and having to hold it further away, I figure the time has come.

I’m not yet ready for a chain round my neck, but I suspect that’ll come in time.

Won’t change my sassy attitude.
I’m young enough to be sexy and old enough to not waste my time trying too hard.
It’s win win. In a damn cute pair of reading glasses.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

it can’t be a contest if I choose not to particpate

Thing 2 told her father she’s coming to live here in the fall…this was her decision and hers alone. I offered to help her tell him, she told me she wanted to do it herself, partly because it was her plan and she wanted to advocate for it and partly because she knew if I was involved he’d think I was coercing her. Thing 2 is very bright.

She told him on Tuesday, and this is the email he sent to me Wednesday. Following that is my response this morning.

I am thrilled FOR my daughter, not because she’ll be with me, but because she is ready to climb out of the hole he helped her dig. She’s climbing out all by herself. I couldn’t be more proud.

I don’t understand this “you win” nonsense…but then I have never played the game.

(email he sent early Wednesday morning)
I don’t know where to start and wish I didn’t have to. The idea of letting Thing 2 go to Va. just hurts me so, but it is probably the best thing for her. I just want her to be in the best place for her to grow. Living here has been a slow learning process for her and I feel to blame for that just because she has been home alone far more than she should have been. I have to work and keep the bills paid, food on the table and have entertainment expenses. If she had gone to CHS this past year it may have been a different result and I believe better.
You have gone to Va. and tried to make a new life for yourself but I have been left to try to make a life here where my life of taking care of my family has been twisted to become something different. I am not sure what I can do to help Thing 2 here now that I have committed to the expenses of this house but it would have been the best thing for Thing 2 if she had stayed in school at CHS. I could give up and make my expenses less but now she wants to create a new life in Virginia and that may be the best thing for her.
So now I have to go to work like always and soon I must find a way to make a new life for me.
You Win……..JM

(my resonse)
JM,
The fact that you said, “you win” makes me feel sad and kind of sick.
Nobody wins here. Thing 2 failed her junior year and wants to drop out of high school.
Everybody fails.

I agree she would have been better off at CHS…and that might have been able to happen second semester had she been able to get it together enough to pass first semester and transfer back. But she was not supported by the people who are supposed to support her. We are her parents. We must behave like parents and support our children.
We failed her.

You work the way you work, the way you’ve always worked. It’s not an excuse, it just is.
I understand you’re having to reconfigure the plan of your life. I understand that it’s hard. You’ve stood on your own two feet financially since you bought your first house…now you have to figure out how to stand on your own two feet emotionally, and it’s hard, and you don’t have much practice…so it’s going to feel icky, and I’m sad that it’s icky for you.

I had nothing to do with Thing 2’s decision. She called me and asked if she could come here, asked if she could be in my home. My babies will always have a home wherever I am, I can not, did not tell her no.
I did not feel that I’ve “won” anything. I don’t view those girls as a contest with you. I don’t consider them items with which to hurt and humiliate you. They are my babies. I will always work tirelessly to do what I believe is best for them.
Thing 2 believes she will find success by relocating her life, I support that, not because she’s coming here to where I am, but because I heard her voice, heard the long dormant fire in her belly crackling as she spoke to me. Heard her planning, and being excited to plan, her future.

The fact that you say I’ve won makes me think you’ve got it all wrong…I don’t believe it’s a contest.
I chose to do what I believed was best for me when you decided what was best for you was for me to be away from you. I saw your seriousness and chose to make arrangements to leave when you expressed your desire for change.
I never saw any of our life as a contest, that feels hurtful, as though knowing you and loving you is somehow negated. If it’s a contest then we’ve both lost.

I don’t like that you’re hurting. I have not liked hurting. I don’t understand what happened to the kindness between us, I guess it went away when it turned into some kind of contest.
I choose not to participate in any contest with you. I choose to just be. I choose to just care.

Thing 2 needs something, she’s looking for something, perhaps she’ll find it here, perhaps not. But she’s looking. I don’t want to discourage that.
R

So the high road pays off…my friend and mentor will love that!

Categories: divorce, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The War on Fun—How Modern Culture is KILLING Creativity

robynbird:

Can I get an Amen?
As an early childhood educator I deal with this concept every single day! Even at a play-based, emergent curriculum school, I constantly feel the need to defend my teaching methods to parents who don’t understand.
I want to shout this concept from the rooftops…
Would anyone ever listen?

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Moi with the AWESOME Chuck Wendig...

Moi with the AWESOME Chuck Wendig…

Since homeschooling The Spawn, life has shifted dramatically as I struggle along this uncharted learning curve. For instance, it is a gorgeous summer this year. I’ve lived in Texas most of my life and never witnessed weather so balmy and beautiful. This morning, I step out to let the dog go bark at every thought scuttling through her brain (instead of going pee) and it’s oddly quiet. No kids. No squeals of riding bikes or rollerskating or plundering trash piles for construction materials for some ramp or fort or weapon.

When a Kid Could Be a Kid

When I was Spawn’s age, the second cartoons were over, we’d have been out the door for the entire day…willingly. Even though it was always triple-digit heat. Weather like THIS? We might have skipped the cartoons.

Okay, we’d have watched the good ones and not hung on…

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British (preschool) Invasion

My preschool keeps “daycare” hours because it’s a Reggio-inspired school…this means school in the summer…it’s fun though, because each week is themed out like summer camp.
This week is ‘Globetrotters’ and the country we’ve chosen is the UK.

The Anglophile in me is squealing and clapping like a little girl!

This morning discussed why Great Britain has so many names and that the flag is called the Union Jack. We looked at photos of Her Majesty, Big Ben, and of course, the iconic red double decker buses.
I’m teaching them a bit of British slang, (Only age appropriate things like. ‘loo and ‘telly’.) and introducing them to a musical genre called Punk. (Though not enough to have to explain anarchy…)
I’m wearing my Union Jack Chucks all week!

At our ‘Parade of Nations’ on Friday, my friends will be “riding” in the double decker bus they’ll make this week.

Some days I know my co-teacher and I have more fun than our students…this week will be five of those days! Though, one of our little friends, in a fairly decent English accent said: Excuse me sir, could I please use the loo?
(I’m already “chuffed”!)

Categories: education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

normal = positive…who knew?

Taurus horoscope for Jul 4 2014
You have found a new path to controlling and uplifting your emotions. It is evident to those around you who know you well, and it is a joyful sign. Now that you are beginning to feel transcendent above the difficulties, you are feeling more powerful too – because you have empowered yourself through optimism. You can expect many things in your life that were formerly challenging to become much easier. And since your spirit is lighter and you are more yourself, you will find that wonderful people and circumstances will gravitate to you.

Interestingly enough, I have experienced these feelings in the last week or so…by shedding the veil of grief I began to feel ‘normal’ but it’s more than that.
I do feel uplifted and powerful…and strangely optimistic.
I already have wonderful people around me so perhaps the circumstances will follow.

Normal = positive.
Who knew?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

pretty great Robybird week

I took the day off to do estate stuff…which included me going to the antique coin shop, an antique shop and going to the bank.
As it turns out, the coins Daddie had are pretty much worthless above face value. Some of the old dimes are worth about a dollar and ten cents and the Kennedy half dollars are worth about two dollars because of the silver content. (Um, OK…thanks.)
The girl at the antique shop told me they do buy silverware and handmade lace, the owner wasn’t in the shop today, and she does the buying, but I can call her and set up a time to come in if I’d like. (Super…thanks.)
The bank was a bit more successful, but not exactly what I was expecting.
I’m so over “estate stuff” I could scream.
My brother, who complains he’s three thousand miles from home and miserable, is selling off all my Dad’s woodshop and mechanic tools and using the money to buy heroin. (Awesome.) Then he’s up my ass about what I am and am not getting done. (Oh I’m sorry, does the fact I work full time keep me from getting stuff done and that displeases you? Well too damn bad for you. Go back from whence you came…I’m sure I can handle this without your input.)
Of course he can’t go back to the west coast because he hasn’t any money…so I’m stuck with him and his crap attitude. I believe he expects a big payday when all is said and done…well that’s not going to happen.
It’s OK because I’m going about my business and doing what needs to be done for my life and the estate. I’ve spent forty one years worrying about him and I think it’s time for me to stop. It’s hard though, because I can’t just say: I’m going to need for you to get it together. He hasn’t gotten it together in forty one years…and that’s his issue not mine, it’s just easier for me to ignore it when he’s there and not here.

On a more positive note, I’m feeling really great about my new classroom at school and I’m absolutely mad about my co-teacher. She and I work beautifully together! We have similar points of view but come at things from different places, so we compliment each other well. She came from a four year old class and I came from a two year old class, so we’re meeting in the middle with these three year olds. I know where they’re coming from and she knows where they’re headed and we are successfully combining our know how to make a great classroom. I’m so pleased with the progress we’ve made in two short weeks. It makes me love being a preschool teacher again.

I’m going to watch a bit of Baltimore baseball…my Nationals are having a respite tonight after kicking the asses of the Rockies three times this week. I love that I’ve helped YBW learn to like baseball…even if the heat was unbearable Tuesday night, I got my Nats blankie and I was happy. YBW said, I don’t normally like to sweat this much unless there are orgasms involved. I just cackled and folks looked at us but I didn’t care, I was with my own precious darling watching my favorite game. And we won!
What a great Robynbird week!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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