Posts Tagged With: moving

in lieu of a nap

YBW’s mom is leaving her apartment in the fancy retirement building for a much smaller one in the next door assisted living building. We’ve spent the last two days helping her sort what to take, what to leave behind, and dividing things between our family and YBW’s brother’s family. I adore YBW’s brother, but he is inept at packing, loading and moving. So much so, that I could do nothing but stand, mouth agape when I opened the back of the truck to find such disarray, and the china cabinet tipped over, glass broken into a cardillion pieces. 

That’s when I started running the show. I’m in NO way “tooting my own horn” here. I’ve packed and moved enough times that I’ve got a particular knack for it. The fierce compulsion for order doesn’t hurt when it’s time to organize. I’ve felt the need to tread very softly through this process as it’s complicated enough without “the new girl” trying to run the show. YBW did call me Wonder Woman and praise my mad skills. (I totally heart him!)

Now it’s all over, I’m feeling a bit puny. I’m tired, have a wicked bruise on my right thigh and a little achey all over. We grabbed dinner on the way home where I murdered a gigantic cheeseburger and drank a really tall beer. We talked about wanting a nap, but realized it was simply too late to try that today. My solution is a tubby full of hot water and my iPad to binge a bit of House of Cards. I’m just dying to see what the Underwoods are up to. 

Bed will soon follow and I’m going to sleep as long as humanly possible tomorrow. (Which for me, most likely means till 7:30.) Thats OK, it’s still later than my normal 5:00.

More “wintery mix” is in out forecast tomorrow and I’m going to lie low, possibly organize my new bookshelf, and lie low some more. This week was shite and I deserve it. 

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Categories: love, me | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 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

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

lunch at El Pobs

Went to lunch with my former husband today, it was fun and bittersweet all in one fell swoop.
We ate Mexican food (I drank a margarita) and talked about random day to day things…job stuff and practical stuff, but mostly we talked about Thing 1 and Thing 2 and what it’s like to be their parents. We discussed how it will be as we move forward and parent from two entirely different physical places. We discussed faults (without any real blame) for behaviors and actions specific to Thing 1, and he apologized. We talked about how it will be to trade Thing 2 back and forth over 500 miles and that it will most likely be a very good experience for her.

We’ve been lucky to remain close even though we’re no longer a couple, but I believe it’s because we were friends before we were a couple to begin with…and actually, we were more best friends who raised kids together than anything else and that’s just fine with me.
Now this is not to say we didn’t have bad times, because did we ever! And he is manipulative and passive aggressive and I am selfish, stubborn, and controlling…honestly I’m not sure how either one of us stood the other for as long as we did.
But the love is real and it won’t ever go away.

I’ve known him since I was seventeen years old, he knows all my history and I know all his. I’ve known him for over a quarter century, had his name for more than half my life. We have been through the good, the bad, the indifferent…it was hellish and it was lovely. I broke his heart when I chose to end our marriage, I’ll always be sorry for that but I will never be sorry for deciding to do what was best for both of us.

I’m glad he and I made those two Things. I’m glad I got to be a stay at home mommy for so long, to play and learn and love those awe inspiring girls. They are my babies, my heart, and I wouldn’t have them if it wasn’t for him.

I feel overjoyed knowing in four short days I’m going to be in my new life, with the man I love. I deserve every bit of the happiness I’m about to experience.
I wish the Things daddy his every heart’s happiness too, I hope he chooses to embrace it, whatever it may be.

Categories: divorce, love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

But where are the feels?

Everyone keeps asking if I’m “so excited”. Of course, I say I am but I’m sitting here this morning and I’m feeling pretty much anything but excited.
This morning I’m pouting because (I am not really a grown up) I can’t swing a visit with my friend and mentor before I leave next week.
I’m pouting, but I don’t feel petulant, I’m sad, I’m disappointed. My heart is heavy. But I had to make a responsible choice…a responsible financial choice. (Huh! Maybe I really am a grown up after all.)

I don’t feel excited. I don’t feel anything. (Well, obviously I feel pouty, I just said that.) But I want to feel excited! I want to be jumping up and down “pants peeing” excited!!
Am I so displaced at the moment I just can’t feel anything?
OR (this just occurred to me as I’m writing) is it that I’m suppressing my feelings, good and bad, so as not become overwhelmed by them? This actually seems more like me…so I’m not excited because I’m not feeling grief for the life I’m leaving, sadness at not being with Thing 2, anxiety about having to assimilate into YBW’s life, my new job, and how that might be.
(This is one of those moments I want to “Gibbs-slap” myself.) Instead, I’ll treat myself with kindness and love, and take the time to allow myself to feel all these things so I can begin to feel excited.
OH! WAIT! It’s because I don’t feel safe! I’m not settled! I’m struggling to write, I’m struggling to feel because I’m displaced…to quote Elvis Costello, “a man out of time”. (Except, of course I’m a girl and I’m not really out of time, I’m out of “home”…that song seemed applicable in my head so I went with it.)

And why am I judging how I “should” be feeling? Why don’t I just accept how it is?
I’m going to have to let myself feel or not feel as is natural!
I’m processing. I’m on the journey. I’m going to let go of the wheel for a split second and let it take me…
(Did I mention I’m a destination girl? The journey makes my ass twitch.)
I’m processing…I’ll feel what I feel when I feel it.
I think I’m excited somewhere in there…I know I’m ready for the next week to hurry up and go so I can get in my car with my precious Thing 2 and go home.
Yall get to come with me.

Categories: loss, love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye. ~ Hello!

hello goodbye

Less than two weeks and I’ll live with YBW!

Thing 2 and I are making plans for the two weeks she’ll spend with us…what to pack for her room there, what we want to do, who we want to see…she wants to see her Aunt Sundance and cousins the mostest. (Me too!!) She wants to go to IKEA with YBW so they can eat in the restaurant and piddle around the store then have ice cream as they leave. (They both love IKEA like crazy.) She wants to have lots of snuggles. (My favorite!!)
I want to kiss YBW, see Sundance, and unpack my books. After that, it’s gravy.

I’m sad to leave my friends here, I’m sad to leave my doctor and our patients…I’m sad I won’t be close to Thing 1 and Thing 2’s daddy anymore.
Moving is hard…moving on is hard too.

Excitement is big though! Not only will I be with my darling YBW, I’ll be “going back to my roots” teaching at a wonderful, emergent curriculum-based preschool only 4 miles from home! Oh how I’m ready to be in a room full of toddlers!

Life will sort itself as I move through the process of saying goodbye to one life and hello to another…I’m going into this adventure with eyes, heart, and arms wide open.
Wish me luck!

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

ennui

I cannot write.
Am I sick?
Am I tired?
Am I bored?
Am I depressed?
Or is it any combination?
I have no idea…but I’ve got 9 papers to write this term and I can’t seem to make anything happen. That’s not good.
I’ve had fleeting ideas for this blog but had trouble developing any of them. Not good either.

All my things are at YBW’s but I’m living out of a bag waiting for July to be over so I can be there where my things are, where he is.
Perhaps this limbo is what’s creating my crippling ennui?

I’ve wondered, in the time since I moved my belongings but not myself, what I was thinking…agreeing to work the entire month for my doctor…interviewing and hiring my replacement, listening to the protests of patients who don’t want me to leave…on one level it’s flattering, on another I feel resentful that my priorities aren’t as important as theirs.

Thing 2 turned 16 on Thursday. It was the perfect Thing 2 kind of day because it was spent as through the world revolved around her…we had facials and lunch, and a trip to see our darling friend who owns our fave comic book store, then pedis (my toes are painted red with tiny white polka dots) and smoothies, finally we went to dinner and for ice cream with her boyfriend and her dad.
That is why I chose to stay here for the month of July, it isn’t about not letting down my doctor, it’s about my selfish desire to spend Birthday Birthday with my baby.

Thing 1 is off adventuring with her boyfriend this summer…like Shrek and Donkey…she’s having a blast and seeing our beautiful country through unique eyes. I’m happy she’s enjoying herself, learning and seeing new places…I can’t help but think, get your ass home and go back to school.
She called me the other night in tears, she was anxious and sad, and said that she “just needed my Mommie”. We talked for a bit until I helped her feel more calm, and then we talked about just regular stuff and she told me she loved me and thanked me for making her feel better. Poor old bear, I just wanted to hold her…turns out my words did.

Ennui is the perfect word to describe the way I’m feeling.
Ennui can kiss my freckly white ass.
Or maybe…just maybe, ennui is simply my temporary home and I’ll come out the other side eventually…will it be soon enough to finish 9 papers before the end of term?
I don’t know.

Hmm…seems I can write a teeny bit…even if it makes no sense.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

too many books?

I love my books.
I love the way they look all orderly on the shelves.
2-20120215_2812-20120215_286

I love the way they smell, especially the old ones …kind of dusty and slightly mildewy.
I love the way they feel when I hold them in my hand, even if only to dust them.
I love my books because they mean so many different things…love and learning…giggles and tears…
The ones I remember being read to me, the ones I read to Thing 1 and Thing 2 and my precious twin niece and nephew when they were still little bebes.
The ones I stood in line to meet the author and have signed, and old first editions I’ve tracked down thanks to the internet or by sheer happenstance because I love trolling used bookstores.
Vampires (Lestat not the Cullens) and a little redhaired girl on Prince Edward Island…the Pevensie children and Bennett sisters…Elizabeth and Richard’s furious love and zany madcap humor with Michael Palin…seven years with Harry and Ben Bradlee’s good life…Scarlett and Rhett and Esther Greenwood…in the garden at midnight and watching for falling angels…Morgaine of Avalon and Eloise…I’ve lived and learned and loved with these characters…these friends.

I don’t believe I could ever have too many books…until today…sweet merciful crap I have too many boxes of books!
IMG_20130602_142900_973
It’s OK though…I still love them!

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

sussing it out

So without going into great detail…due to some landlord changes I am going to be homeless sometime between now and the summer.
Isn’t that just peachy? What I love most is the absolute lack of time schedule.
And because I’ll be homeless, Thing 2 will be living with her father.
This pleases me not.
He has swayed her with promises of a brand new suspended bed, a fenced yard for her dogs, not to mention the general fact she’ll have a roof over her head. She is excited for her new living arrangements, as she should and deserves to be.
I on the other hand, want to make swift use of my icepick.

After many tears and panicked phone calls to YBW, and my friend and mentor, not to mention conversations every single day for the last ten days with the doctor I work for…I have decided…to stop and breathe.
Yes breathing is good.
My doctor says, “you’ll come stay with me for a little while.”
My friend and mentor asks, “what do you want?”
YBW (indicating himself) says, “your home is right here.”
I am surrounded by kindness. Why does that surprise me so? Oh yeah, because I’ve not experienced kindness for a while.

Financially, I’m…well…little more than a pauper. I work two part-time jobs and I’m a full-time student. Honestly that’s all I can say.
So, not having a place to live and not exactly having the means to find another place leaves me…out.

The former husband (my best friend for the last 25 years, even after we weren’t together anymore) has shown his true colors and I honestly cannot believe I was stupid enough to let him mistreat me for so long. The level of pain his behavior has caused throughout this situation has truly shocked me, and I no longer see the man I loved, but the manipulative, passive-aggressive monster I was told he was all along.
I can only hope that Thing 2 has seen his behavior with clear eyes…at the same time my heart breaks for her, I hate that she’s seen her beloved daddy in this way.
I can no longer be a buffer between him and my child (Thing 1 is a dyed in the wool daddy’s girl which is perfectly acceptable) but Thing 2 has always had the protection of me between herself and her father. I hate that she’ll be exposed to him without that mommy buffer, but I can’t do anything about that.

I can feel my friend and mentor encouraging me to focus on me and not them. Yes ma’am.
So what do I want?
Beats the hell out of me.
Well I better suss it out quickly.
All I can do is nod.

As I drove Thing 2 to school one morning this week, she took my hand and said to me, “Mommy you should go live with YBW where you’ll feel safe and loved. I can come visit you, and YBW loves me too so we’ll be safe and loved while we’re together.”
My friend and mentor says, “you did that, she didn’t grow up in a vacuum.”

I think, yes please. Which is immediately followed by, but it’s so far away from you.
So I said to my darling Thing 2, “it’s so far away. And what about the everyday stuff?”
“We can call and text and email and face time and skype and I can come see you.”
I paused, my friend and mentor and I had a long conversation about how it might work, then I said, “if that is how it goes we have to make a commitment to each other…”
“I am committed to you Mommy!”
I hadn’t even finished my sentence and she’s committed to me…is this a girl I can live without?

YBW and I discussed the practical stuff, where would my things go? How would we do financial stuff? When would I arrive? Would I cook for him and do the laundry? (my absolute favorite household chores I do when I’m there anyway) Then he said to me that his own Thing 2 (he has two Things just like me, but his Things are boys) would be the happiest boy ever if I came to live with him. (YBW’s Thing 2 and I have our own special love)

So in the last ten days, this has been my life. Hateful little fish swimming round my brain. The bastards.
Needless to say, nothing has been decided.
Thing 2 and I must discuss how we move forward before I can even begin to make a decision. Can we do it well? I trust us. I believe Thing 2 trusts us. We can do it.
I need to really heed my friend and mentor’s advice, and ask myself what I want…and be able to answer it with brutal clarity.

I have wondered for a little while if something ungoverned by me would force this decision sooner than expected…I’m thinking of the Fates, the three sisters who pull the strings…and how much I want to stab those bitches with my icepick.
I am reminded of Scarlett O’Hara who said, “…they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over…”
I wish I could talk to my mom.

I can do this. I can make sure Thing 2’s needs are met and I can focus on making sure mine are too. I am brave and I am strong and I am loved by wonderful people who are working hard to support me through this insanity.
I am going to be safe and loved no matter where I lay my head.
If I say these enough I’ll begin to believe them.

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

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