Thursday, December 30, 2010

Self

Writer and literary critic Cyril Connolly said ..."Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

This is for my Self.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Afraid

There I said (typed?) it.

I just opened the syllabi for my classes for the next term.  Winter term 2011.  It hasn't even really began yet.  I still have two more weeks of "break" yet.  After pouring over the course instructions and the module readings (not to mention in one course the instructor was kind enough to make a checklist for us ... to keep us on track... this is a 5 page Word doc) I will admit I am afraid.  

I am still feeling foggy brained at times and disorganized.  Online learning is a lot harder than traditional learning from my experience.  I'm already feeling overwhelmed.  The one thing I feel good about is S's support.  She's very good at that.  
Also, I've got my resume out to 2 different facilities.  I need more steady income.  I won't let financial stress affect my health again.  I'm already getting that burning in the pit of my stomach feeling once in awhile.  I haven't felt that in almost a year.  And I'm afraid.

So I'm trying to let this fear be a motivator.  

Why does everyone think that if I am a nurse... I'm assured a job anywhere and at anytime?  Where is this fucking nursing shortage at?  If I hear one more time, "Oh you're a nurse... you can go anywhere and do anything with that degree" I just might snap.  Because right now I feel pretty worthless and penniless.

Anyway... venting.  And now my stomach's doing that burning thingy again... so this may not have been the right outlet.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Back to the Beginning

Thank you everyone who has sent me private messages, emails, facebook chats, or even commented on this site regarding the ending of Rainbows and Pony Rides.

Some of you "got it" more than others - and that's okay.

One particular blogger asked me, "What is the blog for?"  This question strung a chord with me.  I took immediate pause and went back to the beginning.  I started this blog because I was newly divorced, newly out of the closet, and I felt very isolated in my small community.  There was a certain stigma that I felt from my peer group at that time, that of course I have blogged about (and I'm like... kind of all set with that.  I don't really feel the need to go on about it anymore...).  I understand some of it had to do with ME pushing them away too.

But then there was this other stigma that I felt from the gay and lesbian community that I don't think gets talked about very often -  or if it does, I hadn't heard about it and maybe that was part of my isolation problem.  The stigma I felt was that I was married and had these children with this man.  How could I reeeeaaalllly be a lesbian?  And so on... I even felt some of this from the woman I was involved with at the time.  In fact, after we had broken things off, she had accused me of sleeping with a man.

So, I think I started out feeling isolated and wondering if there was anyone else "out there" like me.  A lesbian, a mother, possibly even someone who may have lived a straight life for a good many years... could there be even ONE other person?  That's all I hoped for.

I was already a reader of Sasha's Card Carrying Lesbian blog.  I admired her candor and honesty.  She blogs about her escapades.  She blogs about being "too pretty to be gay."  And when I read some of her posts about her bipolar disorder, I immediately felt connected to her.  However, she wasn't a mother.  She was never married or divorced.

So for many reasons, RPR began.  Mostly, I was just seeking a community.

And now, I need to embrace what I have found.  I have found what I was looking for.  There are so many of us who did get married, have children, and then "later in life" (*cough*... I'm only 31!) come out.  I started reading blogs of other women some like me and some not, some femmes, some butches, some undefined.  Some of the blogs make me laugh, some make me cry.  Some of the women were born men.  Some of the women pretend to be men.  Some of the women are straight.

But I feel accepted when I read these blogs.  And, when I write my own blog posts, I worry less and less each time about being accepted... because... I think through these last 8 months I've grown to accept myself.

I have started to blog more about *me* recently (not so much about my relationships or my kids or my job...).  Some of it has really left me feeling quite vulnerable and raw.  But I don't want to be afraid of doing it more.  Because I think that what I started this blog out to accomplish has sort of been conquered and now it's time to move in a new direction.

The tag line under the title of this blog used to read "blah blah blah blah .... of a single lesbian mother." Or something like that.  Well, I'm not single any longer (haven't really felt that way in a while now).   I have since changed it.  I am not sure if anyone ever noticed.  Today I asked S if she would ever want to be a "guest blogger" or a "co-blogger" on this site.  I told her she could even write about whatever she wanted... not just the things I tell her to.  (It's okay... laugh.)

I think it might be fun.  To get her perspective on this whole parenting thing... or she could just write about how crazy I am about the dishwasher getting loaded "properly."  Who knows.  It may suck.  But, I mostly think it's going to be great.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

No More Pony Rides

My apologies.  I sort of dropped off there didn't I?  The last week of my school term proved to be rather stressful.  But, it was all worth it.  A's again.  And I actually kind of enjoyed my last assignment (a paper) in one of my classes.  I thought I would get straight away to blogging again... but... well... my house, kids, and S all needed some attention.  Plus, I had the opportunity to travel out of state to meet S's parents (The Duo) and spend a little time with my BFF Jess.  I can blog about all that later, I s'pose.

I've felt very pensive lately.  Had quite a few talks with S about this.  And many times she's encouraged me to blog, to write.

She knows how important writing is to me.  She knows that without writing in my life I would not be able to sleep well.  Writing is like the same as breathing air.  I don't even think about it.  I just do.  Well... I do think about it.  And that's where my problem has been the last month.

People Clutter.  People Clutter is hiding my work.  I'll try to explain:

I've had some opportunities where I've felt some boundaries were blurred in personal relationships - friendships - and I've done enough work and value my relationships enough to want to keep these boundaries clear.  My first instinct, of course is to write.  Like many would want to take a deep breath, I want to go to my keyboard and write.  Get it out.  Purge it... and then it sorts itself out.

But, I feel so choked up here on this blog.  I started this blog with the intent to be able to write as if no one were reading my words; that way I would be able to write as honestly and as uncensored as possible.  In order to do this I had initially decided to be as anonymous as possible.  But the ex girlfriend found out about it... then a schoolmate... and of course a couple BFFs... and I'm not sure how I told my sister, but she reads... and then of course my partner S reads....then through those wonderful trackers out there I found an entire slew of people reading that don't know that I know they are reading.  Oh and that guy from where I used to work...

I digress...

After awhile anonymity didn't really seem that important to me.  I felt like I was still able to write as if no one were reading (i.e. uncensored), and I still felt like I was breathing.

I don't know when I stopped breathing.

But I think all of these people are really just clutter that is choking the air out of me.  Maybe I'm just being a little dramatic.

Don't ask S her opinion about my melodrama.

Of course I was discussing this with my friend (or maybe a few friends, shhhhh!)... and I have decided I have a few options here.  I can stop blogging here, on Rainbows and Pony Rides.  I can move to another site (I've been wanting to go to WordPress anyway) and take caution to use extreme anonymity... with exception to S.  I feel completely comfortable with her reading my writing and often I need her to read something before I hit "publish" anyway.  Most of you won't get the forwarding address.

I can keep this blog for just fucking around and use an "old school journal" with a fancy pen (of course) for when I need to really breath.... I mean write.  I don't know how much I like this idea.  Part of the process for me is the keyboard.  Is that stupid?  Part of the process for me is actually having it in print.  Part of the process is having OTHER people read my story and take something from it.  I need that.  So I like this idea least.  I think. 

I think the last option I have is to continue, as I am... but just be brave.  And when I start to feel the People Clutter choke the air out of me... that's when I need to push myself through it... and just come up for air.

What do you all think?  Anyone... any ideas?

Because I'd really like to get to writing about some shit that's gone down this month.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mothering Motherless (Now and Then)

She came to me, via text of course, about depression... asking if I have it, if I take medication, because... she read somewhere that it can be genetic and well... she thinks she's depressed.  Her exact words, "I have been kinda waiting to be happy for like two years now."

She told me she told her dad and he bought her hot chocolate, and then told her it was because she was a girl and a teen.  She said, "I feel like he doesn't take it seriously."

OMFG.  Is he retarded?

I told her it was serious and how she was feeling is real.  I told her how brave she is and how proud I am of her. It opened up this incredible dialogue between us where I was able to validate her feelings and create a safe place (via text of course) for her to come to about some tough feelings.

Then on Thanksgiving I invited her to our dinner.  She refused.

After dinner, though the other kidlets were on the phone and I couldn't understand who they could be talking to for so long, so I got on the extension and it was Motherless.  I invited her over, "Hey do you want to come over for pumpkin pie?  We are playing cards too."  She said fine.

She was there within 15 minutes.

All of the kids showed her around the house, they all have new rooms (their own rooms).  S and I have the master bedroom.  She wanted to see that.  She wanted to see The Baby's room.  She said it was cute.  She didn't make fun of anything like she usually does.

After cards and pie, S and I were sitting in the living room with a couple of the kidlets watching TV cuddling under a blanket, and we invited her in to watch with us (which she did for a short while).  We started talking about her favorite movie.... drum roll.... Harold and Maude.  OMFG.  It only happens to be one of S's favorite movies, possibly THE favorite one.  I don't know.  Anyway, we all giggled and shared our favorite scenes.

Then, she gets up and says, "Well I'm leaving, bye" and then leaves.  WTF? 

S tells me she is just a teenager.

It's like my heart has a revolving door and she just spins through it.  But that's not really accurate either.  Because she is ALWAYS in my heart.  Cemented there. 

She was very independent as a baby and toddler.  As a baby she never really had "needs"... I swear.  I mean, of course she fussed a little when I needed to change her diaper or feed her, but while I was doing that she smiled and giggled the whole time. 

She entertained herself mostly.  She would unload my laundry baskets full of laundry.  Over and over again.  She would sit in a kitchen sink full of water and bubbles and play with plastic cups.  She would take everything out of my cupboards and climb in.  When her dad would fix things around the house, she would toddle after him and just sit and watch.  Just watch intently.  She got a doll for Christmas when she was 2 and she became a little momma.  And I would sit and watch.  Intently.  She was so loving and caring.

Motherless sucked her thumb.  She was a self soother.  I was told to "break her of that bad habit."  I saw it differently though and I let her learn to sooth herself.  I did not try to "take her thumb away from her" and she did it on her own when she was ready.  At an age I will not disclose here... just in case she ever reads this... I will say, I sucked MY thumb longer than she did.

At bedtimes I would want to read her a story, but I could never do that.  She would take the book away from me and read ME the story.  Some times the words were jibber jabber of 3 year olds and some times the words were the actual text of the book she had memorized.  The song "Jesus Loves Me" still makes me think of those nights and well... I cry.

All of my photos, my family memories of those times, are left behind with my ex with the promise of, "We'll split the photos between us."  It's been a year.  I don't know if it will ever happen.  And the new memories I have with my oldest daughter, my daughter who made me a Mother, are only the saved texts on my iPhone.  And maybe some emails.  Oh and the Facebook messages.

Today, as I reflect on my little girl, then and now, I am very sad. 

Does she know I love her?
Does she know I miss her so much I cannot breath at times?
Does she know how incomplete Thanksgiving was without her?
Does she know how lonely Christmas morning is going to feel when her stocking stays full and her presents remain unopened?
Does she know I am sorry?

I am sorry.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Permission

I've mentioned elsewhere in this blog that S is self employed.  She is a trigger point practitioner and has her own clinic.  I just want to write a little about what it's like to be with someone that is so intuitive with my body and my emotional state.

I can't explain it.

LOL!

How's that for a blog?  Nice.

I'll try.

Often times when I am on her massage table, face down, and she is working on my neck or my shoulders I feel myself start to cry... like a small sob choke itself out.  She says the right thing.  The "right thing" is the thing that lets the rest of the tears free. 

I don't know where the tears come from.  I'm not in pain (well... not TEAR inducing pain).  I'm not feeling sad.  The source doesn't appear to be from any of the usual "tear sources" that I am used to.  Quite honestly, I am just relieved that she has never stopped and asked me, "What's wrong?"  She just keeps going like she knows exactly why I am crying, even if I don't know why I am crying.  I am given permission.

I lie there on her table, face down, naked and vulnerable, and she presses and squeezes the tears out of me.  I usually imagine a bucket on the floor beneath me catching my tears.  Not one drop of salty tear being missed.  She just keeps pressing and squeezing and smoothing her strong hands over my tight muscles until I can feel them begin to release beneath her grasp.

The tears come in streams, dripping from the tip of my nose, into the imaginary bucket.  I imagine the bucket full - and sometimes... I imagine myself picking that bucket up, and I drink from it.  I drink my own salty tears in an attempt to quench a thirst I never knew I had.  I feel the warmth of my own tears filling my belly and my soul, and I am able to calm myself.

Sometimes I sit down on the floor next to my bucket of tears, and I use a little tiny pink wash cloth to clean myself.  Only it's me as a little girl again.

I've been given permission.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recognition

The Baby turned 3 earlier this month.  I guess I should call her something else in this blog... but trust me... she really is The Baby in our family.  This weekend S was looking at a scrapbook I made when I was pregnant with her.  The final pages of the book are photos of my home birth and then the transfer to the hospital.  Also included are some of the actual items from that day. 

When she closed the book, she looked up at me with tears streaming down her face and said, "You went through so much so that I could have kids."

That was more gratitude... more recognition... in one sentence... than I had ever gotten from my husband in 12 years of marriage. 

The Baby had a viral infection on Friday that caused her to have tremendous amounts of diarrhea.  I called S on her phone when she was on her way home from the office, she brought home diapers, popsicles, vitamin water...

When The Baby needed to be held that night because she was sick and I had to finish an assignment, S put her in a Mei Tai and attempted to make tacos.

When The Baby needed to sleep with us, S made room.

When The Baby started to puke at 3 am, S got a towel.

The next morning my Karate Kid had a tournament she absolutely could not miss.  In Karate Kid's opinion she cannot miss any tournament.  S took her so I could stay home with the Lysol.

Karate Kid has been working very hard for months on her Kata, attempting to be promoted to blue belt.  I missed it!  The promotion of the year!  But S was there.  I guess my Kid told S that she felt sorry for another boy because neither of his parents ever show up, but she was really happy that S was there.  I asked S if she felt like a parent yet.

She said, "Yes.  I'm exhausted."

And that was only Saturday afternoon . . .

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret

I have a mental illness.  If I don't take medication, it's debilitating; however, because I take my pills, like a good girl, I get to be a part of society ... and trust me... when I am medicated you can't tell that I have a mental illness.  A mental illness that I would do almost anything  NOT TO HAVE.

  • I seem pretty put together.  I'm a fucking wreck.  The other day I couldn't be left alone because I was afraid of what I wanted to do to myself.  I took S into the bathroom and I told her, "I can't be around people right now, but I don't want to be left alone."  We had two hours left with the kids and she knew just what to do.

  • I appear self confident.  I think others are talking about me sometimes... when clearly, they aren't.  I'm paranoid.  It's part of it.  I apologize too much.  Sometimes this means I don't talk at parties or social events, even if I *am* properly taking my little pills... and sometimes this means that others can perceive me as snobbish or rude or bitchy.  I am just not so self confident.


  • I starve myself so that I cannot feel anything.  Somehow I forget to eat.  Somehow I know I'm supposed to eat, like, "Hey Elle do you want to have breakfast now?" I say, "Sure..." then I get going in a million other directions at the same time.  I starve myself because I don't think I deserve to eat.  

  • And let's talk about deserving... I don't deserve my pills, so I don't buy them.  Which is why I'm in the spot I'm in right now.  Nearly immobilized with panic, on the crash pad couch, tears streaming down my face... waiting for S to return so I can feel safe again.  I feel so fucking stupid.  I know better.  I fucking KNOW better.


  • I worry about when S will realize that I am not good enough for her.  Good enough.  Good enough.  Good enough.   I have a good enough syndrome.  And it's getting fucking old.  I'm sick of it.  What if S gets sick of it?  What if she can't handle me?  What if she can't handle this shit?  It's not easy having a girlfriend wife who cannot even drive herself to the goddamn shrink's office.  It's not easy loving someone who crumbles to tears because she cannot figure out the new prescription benefits on the new insurance plan.

  • I have cut myself to make myself feel something.  I have a hard time seeing that in writing.  But there it is.  I write it because I know some woman might be reading this, and she may cut herself too, in order to "feel"... and well... I don't want her to feel alone.  I think it's the same reason why sometimes I HAVE to HAVE "fuckmetakemeharderlikethatfuckmelikeyoumeanit" sex.  Because I need to feel.  I need to feel human.  I need to feel inside my body.  When I have sex like that, though, I can feel another person close to me... at least...

To my friends who are reading this... if I have friends who are reading this... I am safe tonight.  S knows how I'm feeling.  We are communicating, always, openly, lovingly, and honestly.

I just need people to know.  I have a Dirty Little Secret.  Mental illness should not be a dirty secret.  I take medication.  When I don't, I get sick.  I'm sick.  Right now, I feel pretty sick actually.  I am embarrassed that S is seeing me this "sick."

We got married again tonight.  We "marry" each other every time we have a talk about our love, our plans for the future, and our promises for commitment.  Tonight, I reminded her that we are both in this for the long haul.  Not just for the happy, feel good times.  But for the "in sickness" times too.  All I really ask of her... all I really want... is to be able to count on her.  I want to be safe.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Survived. But When Will it be Over?

My sister reads this blog and I am going to warn her that she may just want to skip this one.  Please.
****************************************************************

If my mother reads my blog, I do not know about it.  I'm not sure if she wants to read this one either.

I can't let that stop me.  I have to write this as if no one were reading...

I remember the day that my Elementary School Principal came to the classroom door and then my teacher told me to come to her desk.  My parents were in the office.  Both of them.  I remember the long walk down the short hallway to his office.
Why is dad not at work?  I'm gonna get in trouble.

I remember not wanting to remember their faces.

I remember how the smell of the cement plant filled up the Principal's office.  My dad hadn't changed his clothes from work.  

I'm gonna get in trouble.

I remember not looking at their faces.

I don't remember words spoken.  I remember going to to the girl's bathroom and getting sick ... vomiting ... and I remember a teacher finding me and asking if I was okay.  I remember wondering why mother didn't look for me.  

Was I in trouble?

They took me home.

I had just "accused" my step-brother of molesting me.  Incest.

When I got home I went to my room and at some point *his* mother came over with *his* sister.  They sat at my kitchen table, where I ate my family dinners, where I did my homework, where I played board games... and asked me why would I lie about such accusations.  My parents sat with them and said nothing.  They sat at my kitchen table and even called me names.  I was called a slut in front of my parents, in my kitchen, by my abuser's mother and sister.

I just stood there and took it.  Because that is what I knew how to do.  

"Didn't you say no?"  When did that mean I said yes?  I'm sorry... I didn't know I needed to consent to sex at age 9.

"You always were looking for attention." Oh... so by that logic it only makes sense that I did deserve what I got.  I did ask for it.  I asked for it and trust me... I learned how to take it and not complain so that I wouldn't bother anyone.

*************************************************
There were two of them, my step-brothers, and they took turns. I can't and I won't go into specific details... but after that day in the office... after that day at my kitchen table.... things changed.  It was the birth of some thing very ugly and ... well... I'd like to say the death of something very much uglier, but... it wasn't.

Let me explain.

So after the "accusations" were made and the reports were filed there was a bit of time when the "boys" were not allowed back into my home.  But I never really felt like I wasn't being violated, because even though I wasn't being touched... or watched... or... **sigh** I was literally being FORCED to talk about it with either the authorities, my parents, or a counselor.  This was supposed to be good for me.

Then, back at the kitchen table... remember the sacred place where I was called those nice things and just took it?  Well... I was told to set the table one Sunday afternoon, and I was told the "boys" would be there too.  I was told that I needed to get over it.  I was told that we needed to start acting like a family again. 

(Or something like that.  I'm sure my mother or sister both have their own memories, respectfully... these are mine.)

Again.  The kitchen table.

And so it was born.

I have thought really long and hard about this fucking eating disorder I struggle with ... and everything I have inside of me... every cell and every fiber I have.... well... it all shoves me back to the fifth grade and that goddamn kitchen table.

I would have done anything to never have to go back to the table ever again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Holy Grail of Homophobes

My ex husband would rather have one of the Other Mothers that lives down the street from him (who runs a home daycare business) have our daughter 3 times a week rather than "let" me have her.  This particular Other Mother is like the holy grail of homophobes (yes we have some history).

I'm having a super night.  Rad.  Awesome.

On an upper note... I'm still maintaining a few pretty good friendship with some of the Other Mothers and while I am starting to admit to myself that I have trust issues... it does feel good to know that I do still have friends.

I decided to write the daycare lady (the aforementioned homophobe) a letter after I learned that she was "judging" me for not having my youngest daughter during the weekdays while her older siblings are all in school.
****************************************************

November 10, 2010


Dear Mrs. "Smith",

I am writing you because I know you are pouring her juice.  I know you are putting her on the potty.  I know you are sitting with her at lunch time and listening to her adorable little jabber.  I am writing you because I know you are the one reading to her until her eyelids get too heavy for her to hold open any longer.

It is you and not me that gets to spend the weekdays with her.

At the end of the week, her father writes you a check.  Even though I have asked, I have offered, and I have even begged him to “let” me have my own daughter on the days he has to work.  He still wants to pay you to do what a mother does, quite naturally, for free.

I am writing you so that you know, so that you are CLEAR about this, Mrs. "Smith".  I do not want her in your care.  He does.  I want to have her.

Respectfully,

Elle

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Playing House (a femme's view on a butch's cock)

She said to me, "I can't wait for my business to get going so you don't have to worry about working anymore..."

(...or something like that.)

But I like working.  

"Just while you are in school... you know full time... so you can focus on your school."

(It was along those lines.)

But I like working.

I like meeting new people who are becoming new parents.  I like talking with women who have never had a nurse explain to them the why or the how of what is happening to their bodies in labor... and delivery.  I like looking at a scared father, mother, grandmother, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, daughter, sister, friend in the face and saying, "Do you have any questions... at all...?"  I like seeing their eyes scan the room, and look back at me almost in disbelief that I am asking them if they have any questions.  I like waiting... for as long as it takes... for them to reply.  

She said to me, "I want to be able to take care of you... and the kids."

(She's the perfect butch to my femme...)

But I like working.

It doesn't even feel like work some days.  The nights when I am so busy I don't have time to pee... but I make time to swallow lukewarm coffee by the pints... those are the nights it feels even less like work.  Because I know I am busy helping them, the women.  I like showing her husband or mother or sister or partner or whoeverthefuck is supporting her... how to help her, so that they can become a part of this process and not "just" an observer.  I like the thrill and delight that I see on her partner's face when he or she sees that new life slip out, finally free from confinement... then the look on her partner's face when he or she realizes just exactly how amazingly strong this woman, this MOTHER, really is.

She said to me, "That is... if you want me to take care of you... because I know you don't need me to."

(She knows.)

We take care of each other in too many ways for me to list here.  But lately... I've been very interested in our "playing house."  I've been studying S and wanting to find ways to put into words what it is about her that makes her butch.  At first glance, I think it might appear that it's simply so because she is with me, who is so clearly femme.  But... that is not accurate at all, she is not just butch against my femme...

In our playing house I often think about the traditional heterosexual roles in marriage and how I am often viewed as playing the part of the "good wife."  Cleaning, making lunch, and always making sure I have a compliment for my husband.  It makes me giggle.  I was really a shitty wife when I was married to a real life husband, but now I feel like June Cleaver at times.  Yes!  June Cleaver with an immaculate kitchen and a mouth watering roast in the oven.

And S, is my Ward Cleaver.... wanting to take care of hir lady.

But unlike the Cleavers, we do not sleep in separate twin beds.  And unlike June Cleaver, sometimes I wear  the dick.

And bingo!  There it is.  Sometimes I wear the dick.  Sometimes this femme straps on a dildo and fucks her butch.  How very peculiar.  And finally we are not playing house anymore.  Finally we are not merely pretending to be heterosexuals.  Finally we are free to be.

That's the thing... that's what make me her femme... I have to put my dick on.  S doesn't.  She has a cock that is more real that that dildo we "play with" on occasion.  It gets big and hard everytime we fuck.  Some may think or even say that this cock is all in our heads, but it's not, it's very very real and not just in S's head but actually between her thighs and sometimes, if I am lucky she even puts it between mine.

But that's another blog... for another time... perhaps...


Monday, November 1, 2010

Let Me Spread These Wings...

and learn to fly...

It's coming upon a year.  It was last October when I told my (then) husband that I wanted a divorce.  It was heartbreaking for both of us.  Even though in the past year so much had been done (and provoked)... I thought the conversation would occur much easier.  But, it wasn't easy.  We had built a life together.  And however dysfunctional that life had been for the most part, it was still the only life I had known.

The only life our children had known.

I married him only a few months after my 18th birthday and our baby girl was barely 8 months old.  We had a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony.  It was what he wanted.  It was how he was raised.  I remember not wanting to make a big "fuss" out of things.  It was NOT a huge wedding and I think the entire thing cost less than $5,000.  I think the bar tab at the reception was the most pricey part of our budget. 

We did not have a honeymoon.

He fell asleep before I was finished undressing and brushing my teeth.

After twelve years, five kids, a dozen affairs (some his-some mine), and a year in therapy I finally was able to say "this just isn't healthy for anyone."

For months after our divorce he would go through periods of extreme hostility towards me... then... swing almost without warning to this other person who would profess his undying love for me.  His mother died.  We cried together.  Then he started to pull away.  I felt it.  I felt a distance start to grow between us.  The 2 hour long texting sessions stopped.  He stopped asking if I wanted to stay for dinner when I picked up the kidlets.  He stopped bringing me "extra" of whatever he had.

And I let him.  I let him find his wings.  I heard he was dating.  I was too.

When I first met Ky, or rather... saw her - he never really introduced me to her - I texted him and told him congratulations, and that I was happy for him.  Because... I was.  Happy for him. 

Learning to fly.

Without me.

It's been a year now... and I can watch King of Queens without crying.  Even though at times he was an emotionally abusive mind-fuck... I couldn't watch "our show" for a year.  But, Kevin James is not dead to me.  He lives on.

This past weekend was rough.  My first Halloween as their single mom and S as their pseudo-I-hope-to-be-step-mom.  Last year, he took them trick or treating while I stayed home.  We were not yet officially divorced, and I had not yet moved out.  This weekend has been so hard for me.  Maybe for them too.  Maybe for him.

But we're flying... and with that scariness is also excitement. 

Freedom.
I've never felt like this.  I've never known I had these wings...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bebe

I have these incredible women in my life that I don't give credit too often enough.  I don't recognize often enough.  I don't tell them how much I appreciate them and everything they've done for me... I just don't.

There is a particular woman that has been on my mind the last few weeks and usually, when something or someone is on my mind like this... it's for a reason.

Bebe and I 'met' in cyberspace more than 5 years ago where we both offered each other (and other women) support in the form of a message board.  Our friendship grew quickly after a phone call I made to her one afternoon that lasted hours long.  I could tell we were going to be friends for a very long time...

We shared.  A lot.  We shared our experiences that brought us to that message board seeking support.  We shared our childhoods.  We shared stories about our mothers, and then after I even made a trip out to see her I even tried to push her mother into a pot of boiling water.  No worries... I saved her by grabbing her broken arm to reel her back in.  It sounds worse than it was... really.

I was there when she became a (bio)mother.  I watched her birth video and reviewed the traumatic delayed evacuation with her (so nice for a student nurse-midwife, by the way).  I was there to listen to her stories and fears and frustrations of step-mothering.

She's been there for me too.  She has told me when to lock myself in the bedroom with the phone ... that the "kids will be fine for 10 minutes."  She's told me to eat because I was to sick to feed myself.  She's called my family and friends to make sure I am safe because she lived more than a thousand miles away.  She has opened her home to me, to my kids, and now most recently to S.  She is part of my chosen family.

A year ago... she loaned me money... and it was like a birthday gift.  Because it was money I used to retain my divorce attorney.  When I left one dysfunctional relationship for another... she loved me, and she stayed by my side to show me that I am strong enough... that I am not the sum of my mistakes.

What does she say for herself?  "That's what friends do."

I've been worried about my friend lately.  I need her to be okay.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Small Note

After the proper consent was obtained from the parents, the child was taken to the circumcision room.
Plastibell


Anesthesia was obtained utilizing 0.5cc of 1% lidocaine  After proper anesthesia was obtained, the foreskin was grasped at the two o'clock and ten o'clock position using small clamps.  A third clamp was then inserted under the foreskin and the foreskin was bluntly dissected away from the head of the penis.  A dorsal clamp mark was made and a dorsal slit was cut.  No bleeding was encountered.  The foreskin was then retracted and the head of the penis freed of all adhesions and the coronal sulcus freed of all debris.  A 1.1 Plastibell was then inserted and the foreskin was brought back up over that bell and tied in place with a string.  The distal excess foreskin was then trimmed off with the scissors.  No bleeding was encountered.  The child was returned to mother in excellent condition. 

Dear Mother,

Your baby son cried.  A lot.  He was sweaty, and screaming, and struggling...

He cried until he lost his voice.

I tried to comfort him by allowing him to suckle on my gloved pinky that was first dipped in a sucrose solution.  But, he did not want this.  He wanted your arms, your nipple, your warm-sweet milk.
   
I tried to comfort him as much as was allowed while he was restrained via hard plastic and Velcro  while still maintaining the integrity of the "sterile field."

Dear Mother, bleeding was encountered.

Dear Mother, even your pediatrician doesn't agree with routine infant circumcision.

Dear Mother, please don't think for a minute that this sleeping baby I have just wheeled into your room is "just fine."

 Signed,
Regretful RN


Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Roomie:

I know you can hear us.  I am sorry.
 
I don't know what else to say to her.  You see, S and I have a (very) part-time roommate in the city.  We keep a little crash pad for when her job with The Company requires her to travel with layovers and standbys and whatever-the-fuck-they want to call it.  My job... well... I also need a place to crash in the city because my nursing career has now found me in these "parts."

I'm new to this roommate thing.  Part of me really likes it.  It's fun in a "Facts of Life" boarding school, kind of way.  (Maybe not the best description... there's only three of us, and no one is really acting as a "house mother" but... I really want to fantasize sometimes about Roomie as Jo... Shhhhhh... don't tell S.)

Anway... I mostly don't like it.  But I really like her.  She is so smart and funny.  And super duper cute (I mentioned the fantasy thing right?)  It's just this little teeny tiny ... thing getting in the way.... you see...

I know Roomie can hear us.  Talking.  Walking.  Brushing our teeth.  I know Roomie can hear me typing this probably right now. 

S and I aren't really new to the "joys" of hushed sex.  We don't like it.  But we tolerate it... for the kiddlets.  

Then we come to the crash pad and Roomie is right across the hall and it's worse than having hushed kiddlets sex.  Because at least there is a CHANCE in frozen over hell that the kiddlets may not hear us, OR if they do hear us... they won't know what the fuck that sound MEANS.

But. 

No. 


Our 30 something Roomie knows what the fuck "that sound" means coming from across the hall.  "That sound" only really means one thing.  It means that we are really enjoying our boarding school experience crash pad.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I love you Jess.

Happy Birthday, Best Friend...
this is a little reflection... for you.    

I have this friend Jess, and in my contact list on my iPhone for "title" I have her saved as Best Friend.  I have to explain, because I use the phrase "best friend" and "BFF" with so many people that it may seem as if I have a lot of besties.  I do.   And I don't.  I have many women (and one man) that are important to me for different reasons.  I could do half a year's blogging, devote one post for each person, and tell why they are important in my life.  Perhaps I'll spare you.

But Jess... she gets the title.  Best Friend.  Capitalized.  Proper noun. 

This is her birthday.  We texted this morning... and reflected about how 20 years ago... today... on this day, her BIRTHday... she got her first period... and today, on her BIRTHday... she woke up to her period.  What a reflection to be able to share with my Best Friend. 

Jess is a woman that people take for granted.  Everyone does.  Without knowing they do it... they do.  I have; I regret to admit it.  I see her husband and her children do it and while they get a "free pass" on occassion... I feel as Best Friend... I owe her more.  

Why do we do that?  Why do we give our friends more than family?

I'll tell you why I do.  Because Jess is my family... my chosen family. 

She could have chosen NOT to have been my friend, many times over, especially when I wasn't acting the role as BFF... but no... she remained by my side.  She's shown me unconditional love and whether or not she's ever judged my actions or "lifestyle" choices... I simply do not know... because it has not affected our friendship.

I hope it never does.  

I hope I can stop taking Jess for granted.  

I hope she can see herself for who she really is.   

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why I Hold Her Hand . . .

I remember the first time I held a girl's hand in public.  It was actually a woman's hand.  We were hundreds of miles away from anyone that would ever recognize me, but it still felt very identifying.  I remember how natural it felt.  I remember it felt like when I was a kid, running around without a shirt on . . . free and easy . . . shameless, before anyone told me that I was "supposed" to wear a shirt.

Then, that same woman and I, held hands in my hometown where anyone could see me "being gay..." where anyone at all could see ME being ME.  It did not make me want to run and put a shirt on, or run and hide.  I had done that long enough.  I was glad to be free and shameless, finally.

I don't believe that woman felt the same way about holding my hand unfortunately.



When S and I are near each other, we really can't keep our hands off one another.  It's her nature, though, she is a "touch-er" and I am craving to be touched.  We really fit well together.  We both touch people everyday for our jobs; we both love our jobs. 

When I am out with S we exchange hugs and kisses, long embraces, hand holding, and sometimes... more.  I rarely wonder what the public is thinking of these exchanges we are sharing.  I rarely even think about the public.  My energy and my focus is solely placed on her.  Most of the time.

I catch the dirty looks.  And that is why I hold her hand.  I hold her hand and I smile back at the Dirty Lookers as sweetly as I can.  Dirty Lookers are often of the male gender.  Their scowl is often accompanied with a disapproving look and a head shake (imagine a finger wagging too).  I want him to see me.  I want him to see S.  I want him to see me smiling at him with love and friendship and no hatred.  I just want him to see how true our love is and then find fault.  We are human, and our love is no different than his.

I hold her hand because the Other Mothers hold the hands of their husbands and why shouldn't I be afforded the same privilege?  Is it really a privilege to hold her hand?  Is it a privilege for them to hold their husband's hands?

I hold her hand because I can.  Because I don't have to campaign or march to hold her hand.

I hold her hand because it's soft and strong.

I hold her hand because it fits inside of mine.

I hold her hand because I want our children to see.  I want them to know love and affection of all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors.  I want them to see and to know it's normal and visible and equal and fair.  I want our children to feel included... not on the outside looking in.

I hold her hand because of the girl that I saw in Old Sac yesterday who was probably 14 years old.  I'm guessing she was with her father.  She couldn't stop herself from looking at S and I.  We were sitting outside having an afternoon cocktail, sharing laughter, allowing ourselves to dream.  I noticed her.  She was doing more than noticing us.  I remember being her.  I remember studying women who I thought may be lesbian, and I remember studying gay couples that I very rarely encountered in my "real life."  I felt her studying us. 

We payed our bill and as we started to stroll again I felt my hand reach for S's hand... and there it was.  It just fits.

Monday, September 20, 2010

These Days

Gay-Straight Alliance school bus (used under a CCL)

I was thinking this afternoon... that the hardest part of my day, or the hardest of my days... lately... are the days I have to go to the bus stop.  And see the fake smiles of the Other Mothers.  I smile, very huge, and usually pretty genuine.  I wave, very noticeably and I usually get a wave in return that looks like, "Please God I hope no one sees me waving back at her." 

The bus stop is in my old neighborhood, where the ex still lives, where the kids live with him during the week.  The Other Mothers are women I know well, who thought they knew me well, who pretend they don't see me when I run into them at the grocery store.

I see them.

How different things are now... they used to fall over themselves to talk to me.  And that's not conceit.  I promise.  I didn't understand it then, like I don't understand it now.

The Other Mothers don't realize that we all gave birth the same way.  Yet... I'm beginning to really learn, we are nothing alike. 

It's fine.  Pretend you don't see me.  Because really, you don't.  You never really did.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hauntings


I think the last time I had any communications with her it had to have been 2001... almost 10 years ago... maybe.  It seems like longer.  It seems like yesterday.  Two days ago there was a "request" in my inbox on Facebook.  It wasn't a name I recognized, and for whatever reason... after two days, I accepted the request.





When I saw your face inside some of those pictures, I felt like I was looking at a ghost.


There have been times in my life that I had searched for you, using all of the resources I had at the time.  When I first filed for divorce in 2003, I wrote you a letter.  I never mailed it.  When I applied to grad school I looked for you.  When I did finally leave him... I looked again.  I might have found out little tidbits of your life via my little searches... but I didn't know.  I didn't know if you were happy.  I didn't know if you were healthy.  I wasn't sure where you worked, lived, where your favorite restaurants were... I didn't know if you were still with J.  I didn't know if you were in love and I didn't know if you were being loved back.  I didn't know if you ever wondered about me.

A picture, a song, a poem, a book... I've been haunted by your memory.


Time has not changed your smile.  I used to wonder what you look like now.  I was so young the last time I saw you.  But not so young to think we'd never age, we'd never change.
 
So now what?  There's so much to tell you, so much I want to know.  But for now, I've been haunted by a ghost.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It feels undescribable.

But I will try anyway, to describe what femme feels like...  to me at least.

Femme feels like brand new baby skin.  Soft and a little squishy... almost like a puppy's skin, but brand new babies smell like fresh baked cookies for about a week.  Then the smell is gone.  Forever.  However, while finding my Femme, don't ever worry it will disappear in a week.  It's here to last.  Forever.

Femme feels pulled in a million directions.  Daughter-Sister-Mother-Friend-Lover-Secretkeeper.  Cook-Maid-Nurse-Therapist-Comedienne-Student.

Femme feels hard and soft at the same time. Femme feels like every emotion is right on the surface, but if I let them see, then I might be considered less than.  Femme feels good in the arms of someone strong.  Femme feels good to me. 

Femme feels like a cool autumn night, windows open, crickets chirping, sun-setting earlier and earlier each evening.  Femme feels like the chill on my sweat laced skin as the night breeze rushes through the room.

Femme feels invisible.  Unseen.  Unheard of.  In my very rural community to be Femme is an advantage probably.  Therefore, Femme... is isolating.

I don't know what the fuck Femme feels like, but I know that I'm the expert on whatever the fuck it feels like to me.  Femme doesn't really give a shit and is done wasting time wondering if you do too.

Femme feels like soft, warm skin ... fresh after a bubble bath. 
My favorite part of this is when I can finally stop.  I can stop everything I'm doing and the world seems to stop too, and S is there to make sure of it.  Without fail, she's there...with her oil and her strong hands.  And I can just be.  I can stop.  I can be.  I am Femme.

Femme is wearing that because I like to.  Femme is taking care of myself.  Femme is taking care of her.  Or all of us.  Femme is the smell of the laundry that I've taken off the line... Sunshine.  Femme smells like sunshine.  Femme is doing her fucking laundry every week because I WANT to, not because I have to, or because she asks me.  There is something incredibly satisfying about doing her laundry.  Especially when I can dry it on the line.

Femme is sitting in a salon chair and not a barber chair.  This is complete torture for me.  The two and a half hour procedure of "getting my hair done" requires me to premedicate with xanax or ativan or both.  I'd rather sit in a barber chair.  I have nothing to say to the women there.  They have nothing to say to me.  Usually, I try to talk about my job, because... oddly.... we all birth the same.  (Note that is sarcasm.)  But I like my long chestnut hair and without the said procedure my hair is less than spectacular.  So off to the salon I go.  I dream of the day I can take my son to the barber - just for the experience alone.


Femme wears her girlfriend's cowboy shirt when they are apart.  S's shirt on my skin, nothing else.  I can smell her, and smelling her is remembering her.  Sometimes I wear the shirt out and about and sometimes I wear S's shirt to bed.  She doesn't know this.  Sleeping alone, in that huge bed, feels very lonesome when I can smell her so close to my body.  I shut my eyes tight and make myself come, alone, but in her shirt.  And I wonder if the next time she wears it, she will know.


Femme is wearing heels, all year, and yes... sometimes when the weather determines one might should wear other shoes.  I've worn heels with the usual skirts and dresses, but also with jeans, capri pants, and even shorts.  I've worn heels to bed (and kept them on).  I've worn heels while 9 months pregnant (which probably looked ridiculous... I'll give ya that).  I've worn heels in airports and at at the zoo.  I have high heeled sandals and boots.  I will never own enough high heeled shoes.  If S is smart, she will never question my choice in footwear.


S has asked me, a few times, about how I came to understand the world in certain ways, or how I became who I am based on where I've lived my entire life.  This is a compliment.  Really.  The only thing I can tell her is one of my strongest memories from childhood... is my mother's voice telling me, 'You can do anything you want to so long as you set your mind to it and work hard.'  Other values she instilled in me were that of equality.  Equality between genders... races... etc.  I grew up feeling equal and of value... that I had something of worth to offer the world.  My mother made sure to tell me that there were others that did not believe this were true and that someday I might have to fight for equality.  I learned about others before me, before us, that did fight that fight.  I grew up feeling pretty proud of my mother.  I grew up feeling very goddamn proud of womanhood.  THAT feels like Femme today.

Anal Sex and Fisting

Anal sex is like eating Papa John's pizza (or any other chain restaurant type, college town type pizza... Domino's, Pizza Hut, etc).   Let's discuss.  One is usually introduced to this cheap and quick "pizza" in college.  Here's a scenario:  You're super drunk, and very hungry.  Or maybe not very hungry, but the beer makes you think you are hungrier than you really are... and you don't have a LOT of money... it's college... Papa John's pizza delivery is quick!  So quick you don't even know what happened.  You might not even remember ordering it.  In fact the next morning, the only way you can tell that you did, in fact, have Papa John's pizza... is that the box is out.  Probably still 1/2 full of uneaten pizza.  Because let's face it.  Papa John's pizza is not that great for a lot of people.  Especially under the conditions I just described.

Next scenario:  You're all grown up now.  Have a couple kids... but they're spending the night at grammie's and gramps.  It's just you and your lovie and a bottle of wine.  'Let's have something a little different tonight honey,' lovie says to you.  'Okay!  Sounds good.'  You remember Papa John's pizza from your college days and all these fond memories come flooding back.  But... what you don't realize is that the fondness you recall really isn't for the Papa John's... no no no!!!  It's the freedom of college, the parties, the lack of responsibilities, etc.  All of the things that you may be feeling tense about right now, but with the kids gone and the bottle of wine gone, you start to attribute the warm fuzzies to good ol' Papa John's.  So, before you know it, you are partaking in it again.  But this time you are older and have a more diverse palate.  You go for the GARLIC BUTTER DIPPING SAUCE thinking this may help.  And it does.  At first.  But after a few pieces (yes, pieces not bites) you realize it's still just Papa John's pizza.  You really are craving a handmade brick oven pizza with fresh basil and mozzarella.  You are feeling a little cheap, wondering why you didn't just splurge on that.  No.  It's you, the lovie, a hangover in the morning, and garlic sauce all over the sheets.

Papa John's pizza is never as good as you remember it.
Papa John's pizza is sometimes the only pizza available to you.  When this is the case, don't order it hastily.  Do your research about the toppings.  Maybe even decide to try different dipping sauces.  Definitely have some wine with your pizza.

I can speak from experience, not all chain restaurant, college type pizzas are terrible.  I've even craved it before.  But I've done extensive pizza research.  I also enjoy making my own pizzas.

  Now... who wants to read about how fisting is like eating sushi?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can I have a tantrum?

How do you make a hormone?  Don't pay her.

My hormones are completely out of control right now.  It's usually like this, it's nothing new.  However, currently my life's stressors seem to have kicked it up a notch (or three) so today the whole "girl-hormone" thing is almost too much to handle.  Like the straw that broke that poor camel's back (speaking of water retention).

Here's how I'm usually affected by my hormonal changes:

I eat.  Anything.  And a lot of it.  Like the other day I should have guess this was starting when I had a Whopper Jr.  and then before the paper wrapping even hit the trash can I was asking Kevin if he wanted to go to Taco Bell.  Of course he said yes, he would never deny me.  I proceeded to order my food and had to end my order with the words, "Don't judge" because I CLEARLY got a look from the counter girl.  Whatever, bitch.  I ate it all too.  It seems like the foods I want to eat are all shitty, fast foods.  Normally, I don't really eat those.  

Tonight Kevin and I are going to indulge in some Chinese Carryout (more on the water retention, good stuff).  I can't wait.  It's sad that A) I am clock watching for 5pm when I can go to his house and get my fucking food and B) I'm blogging about it.  S doesn't like Chinese food, or is it Japanese, or is it Thai...?  I don't know... I just know there is some issue with rice and I haven't had any fucking Chinese Carryout in a long goddamn time and tonight's the night.

Can you JUST READ THE HORMONES coming through?

I drop things.  I drive badly.  I cry.  I'm horny.  I over-share.

I sound really fun when I'm hormonal, don't I?

So on top of all of this, I'm a little sleep deprived from working... and I'm trying to get my resume together for a job interview on Thursday.  LOVELY time for a job interview I think.  Perhaps I'll bring donuts, try not to spill coffee on myself, and over-share about stealing work jello with possible (probable?) pubic hair my blog.  Do you think they'll hire me then?

Good Question.

In another blog I read, Feministe, a writer asks the question, "What would your 15 year old self say to your current self?"  The writer links back to a recent New York Times interview with Katy Perry where she was asked "What would her 15-year-old-self, the one whose teenage dream it was to be a gospel star, think of her life now?"

You can read the blog and the interview if you'd like. 

I think we should consider the question ourselves.   

What would 15 year old me say to 31 year old me?

I think she would be really surprised that I am not a writer, maybe disappointed.  I  think she would be completely shocked that I am a nurse and almost a nurse-midwife.  (I always hated biology and science.)  She would be amazed that I have 5 kids because at 15, I wasn't sure I wanted any.  I was going to be single forever and move away and live a fantastic life as a journalist.  Hey -  I was 15.

She would ask me, "Don't you miss Theresa?"  Fuck yes.  I do. 

She would laugh, "So you married him?"  Yes.  I did.

She would ask if I still knew her.  I don't.

She would say in disbelief more than ask the question, "You forgave?"  I have.  I would assure her... you will.

I would spend some time telling her about S and the life I hope have with her.  I don't know what the 15 year old me would say to me about being gay.  At 15 I knew, but still didn't want to be.  I think I can say that if the 31 year old me, visited and told me what my future held - things might have been different. 

But this isn't the time time for the 31 year old me to give sage wisdom to the 15 year old me.  No no... this blog is supposed to be about the little 15 year old girl, seeing herself in the future, and what that might mean to her.

I admit, there is much I want to tell the 15 year old me. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fear: Does it motivate you or paralyze you?

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

I find that most of my life has been filled with fear.  'Bullshit,' my friends are thinking.  My friends that read this.  I think that they see me as this totally brave woman.  A fearless woman who just goes out and does instead of sits and says.

If they really knew how afraid I am.  How afraid I've been. 

I think we are all afraid and I really don't feel special in this.

I have looked fear in the face though, and I have used it to motivate me.  But I do admit that there is a lot more that I feel is paralyzing about fear.  There are a lot more fears and anxieties that I have than confidences.  I'm just a really good fucking actress.  Maybe.  Or maybe people really can see right through me.

What would I do if I weren't afraid?  What have I done?

Leave him.  Hurt him.  Admit that there is no other way.  In admitting that I am a lesbian, I could not stay married to him.  For a long time I tried to find ways to leave him without hurting him.  I tried to will him into leaving me, thinking he would hurt less.  I never wanted him to get hurt.  I don't want anyone to hurt.  I was afraid, so I got married.  I was afraid, so I stayed married.  I was afraid, so I got divorced.  Fear was paralyzing and motivating. 

Fall in love.  Not use my body as a tool, as a way to avoid real communications or real relationships.  It's easier to fuck than talk.  It hurts more to be rejected for my thoughts than my body.  Talk.  Listen.  Share.  Even this blog, its' all fear based.  I get afraid.  I get quiet.  I come here and write.  It's bullshit.  To those who've told me it's so brave... bullshit.  It's not.  So... I try to make this as an authentic place as possible.  At least I can do that.  These, my friends, are the truest of my thoughts and feelings that I can share.  This is as close to me as one can really get.  My body is not involved.

Forgive.  Them.  Me.

At one time in my life I was afraid of failing, and that fear did NOT stop me from becoming a nurse.  Again, though, the fear is back.  I don't think it's a fear of failing this time.  I don't know what I am afraid of.  But the fear is there, on the surface and I have two simple choices.  Stay in school.  Quit school.  I really feel like I am meant to be a midwife, or rather, I am a midwife.  But I made choices and now, continuing my education at this point seems questionable. 

I chose myself over the lie of my marriage that was killing me.  I chose loving my kids fully over struggling to fight the resentment that was building daily while parenting them on an empty tank.

What would I do if I weren't afraid?  What have I done?

Play the guitar; Tailor my own clothes; Buy a real camera and learn to use it; Audition for community theater; Interview for a per diem RN job; Return at least one creditor's phone call; Learn how to make sushi; Cut my own hair; Wax my own bikini area;  Apologize; Forgive; Own a pet that I can't just flush down the toilet if it dies; Continue an unplanned pregnancy; Terminate an unplanned pregnancy; Talk without shame about those hard choices; Tell a friend the truth instead of biting my tongue; Write this blog as if no one ever reads it; Let myself cry and not stop; Admit that I am afraid...

There's a lot.  Too much.  So much.  But I have to keep moving forward and I must keep facing my fears.  At the end of the day I want to say, "I did all I could.  I did my best."  Some days, I wonder if that's true, sadly.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2 Moms, 4 Kids, Unplanned Trip to the Mall, Shoe Shopping (sounds fun right?)

S's phone is damaged, and she's getting a new one sent to her in the mail.  In two weeks.  WTF?  Are they delivering it on ponies?  Anyway, until then the company was kind enough to offer her a "loaner phone."   However, I live in the middle of fucking nowhere it seems and the nearest retailer for her phone company is about 45 miles away.

Road trip!

S and I packed up the kids yesterday for an impromptu, Saturday afternoon road trip to the mall.  45 miles away.  You would think an hour drive in the car wouldn't be that big of a deal ....

Five minutes into the "road trip" I had to stop for food.  Not lying.  Subway sandwiches and drinks.  All I could think about was what was happening with the Baby and her carseat while she was being left unattended with her "small" 22oz sprite.

Road trip, continues!

OH OH OH... let me mention... I had worked the night before and only had like 4 hours of sleep.  (I just want you to have the whole picture.)

We finally arrive at the mall and the kidlets are mesmerized ... you will never guess... by the escalators.  Right away the Boy wants to ride the escalators.  I have to promise him after S gets her new phone we can have one ride.

While waiting outside the cell phone kiosk for S to settle up this loaner phone deal... something comes over me.  Something stronger than me.  Something outside of my control.  I can hear myself talking and I can't stop the words, "Would you guys like to buy new school shoes while we are here?" 

(What have I done? < Internal voice shrieking< ) 

The Boy is elated at this idea.  M said she definitely NEEDS new shoes; however she is in this phase where she needs anything that anyone else is getting.  Lately she needs chiropractic care, eye glasses, and just yesterday she asked about tampons.  L said she's all set on shoes, but would like some outfits.  OF course she does.

S finishes with the kiosk.  I tell her the shoe plan.  She's in.  She's pretty easy.  She just wants to play with her new phone anyway.  She's barely watching where she's walking.  See, if she had been paying attention maybe she could have snapped me back to reality.  But no, onward, to the shoe department we go trotting.

But first...

Baby has her hand down her pants again.  Have I ever mentioned that we are potty learning?  She's doing so well!  If you don't mind spending most of your day in the bathroom with her, or telling her to get her hand out of her panties, or watching her change her panties, or helping her wash her hands a 100 times, or hearing about how she has to poop all day long but we don't have any diapers... really... it's going really really well!!

First we all stop at the toilets and everyone does their business EXCEPT the BABY.  Figures.

Shoe shopping.  Where do I even begin to describe what that was like?  It wasn't really that bad, I guess.  It seemed as though at one point I was sitting on the ground in the department store surrounded by piles of shoes in boxes with four kids, none of whom had on any shoes... no the Baby had on display shoes that were four times too big for her.  I literally layed down and asked S if we were on Candid Camera.

All in all, the Boy and M came away with new shoes and were happy.  I told L that her outfit would have to wait.  I just didn't have it in me. 

But let us not forget... the escalator ride.  We had to go up, then down.  Good god.  What must people think when they see us?

As we were leaving I was doing my little "head count" thing I occasionally do.  Moms with lots-o-kids do this.  We can't help it.  Suddenly I realized, WE ARE SHORT ONE!  Who's missing?! 

The Baby was over by the escalator still with her little chubby finger resting ever so gingerly on the Emergency Stop button.  Ah Jesus.

So on the ride home things were fairly quiet.  Except S and I kept hearing Baby squawking about something in the her seat.  Finally I decided I needed clarification, "Baby are you saying Poo Poo or Boo Boo?"

pleasesaybooboopleasesaybooboo.... There is SUCH a difference in boo boo and poo poo, ya know?  I really didn't want to deal with the poo poo smell all the way home. 

She had a terrible little boo boo that needed some attention.  THANK MOTHER CHRIST.  It was just a mosquito bite she scratched open.  Phew.  Dodged that bullet.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

S is basically on CLOUD 9 (yeah, me too)

S talked to her family a few days ago and I guess they already, ahem... knew about me.  And when I say they know about me, ME means all of me, all of those kidlets and everything.  She was so nervous that they might be less than supportive. 

I guess according to their conversation to say they were supportive may be an understatement actually. 

My heart is so happy too.  Her parents had questions about her "new family." 

You just never know, ya know.  I'm a mother, and I can understand.  You see one path for your daughter, your son, your child... and then maybe you wake up one day and you realize the kid is no longer a kid and they are not on that path.  But rather they are blazing their way through a forest making their own freaking path.  And... you are scared for them, unsure, apprehensive.  You want things to be easy.  You want things to be easier for them than they were for you. 

But you see your kid... and you are proud.  Because they are not you.  They are them.  They mirror back to you the love and strength that you provided them.

I could have told S that... a couple weeks ago, when she was biting her nails over this.  But, I didn't.  I don't know her mother.  I don't know her father.  I can see what kind of woman S is though.  And I can see what kind of mother S has been when she's with the kidlets... and there really wasn't a doubt that THAT didn't come from somewhere... from someone.

Tonight when I picked the kidlets up from their dad's, the Baby and the Boy came running to me.  Baby signing, "Mommy-mommy-mommy-" and I scooped her up rather swiftly.  I kissed her on the cheek and she said, "Is S home?"  I went out to the porch and she saw S in the van and ran out to her.

S is home.