YOU LUCKY DOG !!!
I agree with you completely. If I were even 20 years younger I would have tried to give you "a run for your money" on this one and get Elle for myself.
She is one of the nicest women I have heard of. And her brand of "crazy" is just plain endearing. Yup, you need to have a woman be willing to say what is bothering, or just is on her mind. That way the two of you can communicate and grow.
Hope you don't mind me both being jealous and asking God to bless this relationship, assuming it is His will.
Oh what great news, she is willing to go camping with you and maybe learn to love to see the sun rise and all of nature "awakens" to a new day, or the sound of a stream babbling by as you drift off to sleep in a tent and snuggled into each other, well you know. Cool. (Here's where I'm jealous).
And Elle, just be truthful with him. If a guy loves you there is nothing that can get between you and him, outside of you hiding something from him. If he truly loves you, then it will be OK.
And for the cookie monster "Call me Maybe" song.
Is this not what "the boy" talked to you about.
Was it not someone that might bring "butterflies" into their lives.
Are they not asking in that song if there is something "Carhartt" can share with them, like a cookie?
You have some really COOL kids that just "let it all hang out" and just are the kids they are, not they something "pretend" to be.
They knew that if "Carhart" would accept them "as they are", then he was well worth their adoption.
For them it is a big thing. Will this guy really let us be kids and accept us when we don't know what we are doing either, but we are attempting to have fun as to try and figure out what is happening and how it will affect our lives.
or, in other words:
" hey... me just met you - and this is craaaaazzzzyyy - but you got cookie!!!! So share it may be? ...."
He's got cookie. Maybe there are some things as neat as a "cookie" that your wise kids see in "Carhartt".
As a guy, I can not think of a better way for your kids to meet your "new guy".
They could be themselves. And like he said, he sees a bit of you in them. So if he loves you, he will love them.
Personally I am jealous of him.
God bless him even more than He has by sending you to him.
YOU ARE LOVED
and by hundreds of guys other than "Carhart", he just gets the blessings of being with you.
Today I woke up to the email above - sent from a very loyal blog reader. I have often read this readers emails and been very touched by his kind words... I even started a short story centered around this reader as the main character.... :)
Anyhow. I get all kinds of email - some good, some bad... most of it I don't share - BUT.... as I was reading *this* once I realized that I kind of did miss the truth behind the shenanigans at Shari's. It's not like I yelled at them, or even got mad at them - for being a little toooo crazy at breakfast.... .but I was just like - "seriously guys? really?!?!?!"
I think that *that* is the hardest part about "dating" now.
Yes... I'm older, but I'm wiser.
Technology is different... and we all know just how *challenged* I have been using any kind of motherf*cking technology in my dating life... sigh. Professions of undying love for a virtual stranger and handing out hookers numbers.... yeah - I should really just stick with mix tapes and passing notes in the hall.
More than that though.... is that now I'm not one person doing the dating: I'm three.
I have two kids and for one, I have to make sure that the person brought into their life *has* those cookies to share with them. AND... and that they *want* to share with them.
Every Mom worries about their kids behavior meeting new people, or just being out in public in general.... so looking back, I can see why it was easy for me not to see that day the way XXXXXX does above. *I* the "Mom" was focused on their behavior from the standpoint that I wanted them to make a good impression and in doing that I forgot to look how cute they were being. lol
I mean.... it is rather endearing that they chose *that* song. Believe it or not - they both know the *entire* catalogue of one Mr. Justin Beiber AND The Boy can do all the rap parts..... so there were other songs they could have chosen.
On top of that - at the time I *almost* mentioned it, but because it seems like El Capitan and my past life come up waaaaaay too much in conversation - I didn't say anything.... but in The Girl's room she had the most adorable 1950s metal kitchen - complete with fridge, sink, stove and hutch. I loved it. I even found a child's Formica table to set inside it: her own fully retro kitchen.
When The Girl was two years old, she was obsessed with alllll things Cookie Monster. We only had one DVD of Cookie Monster and they watched it a zillion times and then they would run around the house singing the song and one lyric in particular used to get me, so I had it put on a wooden sign:
"Friend is somebody you give up last cookie for......"
I have always raised The Boy and The Girl that you should always care enough about each other and your friends to give them your 'last cookie' in this life. And... more than once - that's an actual sentiment The Boy has followed through on.
However, more than that - and because Cookie Monster is as wise as he is blue - the truth of the matter is that XXXXX is right.... so long as Carhartt has 'cookies' and is willing to share - that's really all my children need. And sure, sure.... it's reading into their behavior a weeeeeee bit much to assume they would connect the dots that much to sing *that* song for this interpretation, but it's true all the same.
So, I will leave you with the lyrics to the song "What is Friend?" as sung by Frank Oz/Cookie Monster:
Sometime me think,
What is friend?
And me think,
Friend something very special.
A friend somebody to share your toys,
To stay with and to play with and to make a lot of noise,
To spin around until friend get dizzy,
And jump up and down until stomach get queasy,
And to sometimes tell stories to.
A friend somebody like you.
Sometimes me think,
What is friend?
And me think,
Friend something better than chocolate ice cream!
A friend somebody to take to park,
A buddy to get muddy with 'til it start getting dark
To laugh and joke and hippity-hop it,
Or tickle and poke 'til friend tell you to stop it,
And me no think of any more.
Well maybe friend somebody
You give up last cookie for.
The good news for me is that I know for a *fact* that Carhartt will share toys - will have no trouble making noise - will spin and tell stories and for *sure* will go to the park and get muddy..... which makes me feel incredibly (though cautiously) lucky to have met someone who so clearly meets the criteria of "friend" for my children according to Cookie Monster. Sometimes our adult minds make things harder than they need to be.... more complicated than the children need them to be..... big thanks to XXXXXX and Cookie Monster for the reminder.
This one simple question has been blowing up my phone, my email... my facebook chat - for a few days now. Which, on the one hand, I totally understand..... lots of well-meaning friends and readers who wonder if I'm emotionally ready to "handle" a new relationship.
On the other hand.... umm - hello? Are we all reading the same blog here? hahahaha
In any case, in spite of what people think I do (which is run off at the mouth without thinking.....), I actually spent a good portion of the day really thinking about whether or not I (and also *we*) are ready for this.....
First and foremost, it's incredibly unfair and an evil double standard that La Novia and El Capitan get a pass on this one.... it's not their fault - but simply because La Novia has been around since the start - it became an expectation that she should meet the children more than a question about whether anyone was ready.
Needless to say - no one was ready when they started bumping uglies in my Saturn a year ago... but hey - look at that.... we got through it. We made it.... they're happy and together. The kids and I survived and 12 short months later people are babysitting and co-parenting and making butterflies.....
Boof*ckingYah to the three of us.
So, while we certainly weren't "ready" when it happened, we made our way through it and came out the other side... dare I say it? *Better* for it..... kind of. I still worry about the kids, especially The Boy - and no matter how it all turns our for everyone, I'm very certain that divorce will leave it's mark.... it's just up to us to try and help it be the smallest mark it can be......
Of course, this train of thought then leads me back to the question of whether or not I should have married El Capitan after only "knowing" him for three and a half weeks.... I was pretty freakin' sure at the time that it was a good idea. Intensely so..... and over the years we had so much happen to us in those first few years that I think tragedy and crisis kind of take over and mask things that are wrong.... like - there is so much sh*tty stuff that's happening that's tangible and right in front of you and demands your action and attention right now - that you can kind of look past those things in your relationship that are bubbling to the surface.
By the time I started to think that *may be* we had bigger issue's.... we were having a baby. So. Done. Deal.
And sure... it hurt like holy f*ck last year.... betrayal and heartbreak always does. I remember when I was in the 8th grade I had two best friends: Dana and Becky. We were the three amigos... we went everywhere together and they WERE. MY. LIFE. Then the summer before 9th grade we had a monster of a right in June right after school let out.....
I remember going home and laying on my bed and crying until I fell asleep - and then I slept for like two days. Usually that's what I do - in the infamous words of Ben Folds: I go to sleep.
The rest of the summer, in every photo, I'm sullen and sad with my bangs pulled over one side of my face: trying to hide. No manner of sunshine and short shorts (gawd... I f*cking miss being able to wear those!), or skaters boys that came over to hang out my house (and there were waaaay too many).... nothing made me smile. A piece of 13 year old me was missing and I would never get those pieces back.
However, I went on to make other friends - Janda, Courtney, Jenny-Jen-Jen, Jenny B.... Miss Chloe... actually the list is pretty long of people who have occupied a similar space in my heart that Dana & Becky did.
Isn't that a funny thing to think about..... a best friend - a true friend... knows you, knows your deepest darkest secrets and your hopes and dreams: they know everything about you and you give yourself and your thoughts and your love and support to them freely..... yet when it ends people don't run around tellin you not to "make friends" with new people for a year.
No one asks you in a solemn and serious tone when you're heading out for coffee with someone you met at MOMS Club: ".... are you ready for this?......"
Somehow sex ruins it.... somehow makes it so that we have to put up walls and find ways to "protect" our hearts from being hurt again. That's silly really.... you can never protect your heart from being hurt because *anything* can happen.... you can find true love, take a chance and wind up married for 30 years only to bury your spouse on Christmas day.... that's some heart ache right there.
You can get married after one month or six months or one year..... and break up over money or infidelity or just about anything..... Mick (in Scotland) once tried to end our relationship standing in a Blockbuster type movie rental store because he wanted to rent Donnie Brasco and I thought it looked really dumb.... so he took this to mean that we had nil in common and we should break up and I should move out.
No. Really. That happened.
So. I don't know.I think that some shit works out in your life.... and some doesn't. Period.
I can't tell you *how* many weddings I have worked where people didn't make it past the first MONTH of being married after dating and/or living together for YEARS.... seriously. It's shocking. lol
I think either you're in it to win it.... or you're not.
No one is perfect. No one is going to roll up and have every single thing you think you want... there are going to be red flags and things you're not a huge fan of..... for instance, Carhartt is serious minimalist. Own enough laundry to fit in ONE BASKET clean or dirty. They are sans knick-knacks and they are most certainly without a collection of Twilight Barbie Dolls (yes...yes, I have *all* of them.). I have three or four baskets of laundry, and that's just what's dirty - because the clean stuff is spilling out of the closet and three dressers.... so yeah.... I'm pretty sure that's not the ideal living situation for them.
I think Carhartt took one look at my room and mentally started throwing my sh*t out. lol
However... if you really like someone you have to learn to compromise and accept that I will own ten pairs of shoes to your ONE however..... I could probably scale back the t-shirts and sweatshirt collection that is piled 15 deep. Yeah...I know - who really needs 15 sweatshirts? lololol
The point is.... no one is ready for friendship or love to come and we're most certainly never ready for it to leave.... but (and may be Karma will really punish me) - I think that life is best spent *living* it... which means some things are going to hurt... and hurt a lot.. and then sometimes it's going to be like really really amazing.... What if hurt and angry 13 year old me had decided to build walls to keep out friends - where the f*ck would I have been a year ago? My friends were the safety net I needed.... were it not for them, I'm not sure how I would have kept going. Most definitely worth the risk of losing one of them... is the *joy* of being their friend in the meantime. (BTW... none of you beautiful b*tches better leave me... I will be crushed. lol)
So. Am I... Are *we* "ready" for "this"......?
Well.... I'm not entirely sure what "this" defines.... but if someone is asking me if I'm ready to say: this person means a lot to me and makes me happy and is definitely someone worth my tie and my attention and my affection in the hope that it goes something super awesome and positive and amazing....?
Well, f*ck yes... and I already changed my facebook status to let the world know. lol
Am I ready to fall in love.....? Another excellent blog reader question today.... to which I say: does anyone ever have a choice? Not to go freaking Carhartt out or anything.... but in my personal experience I have about zero say over what my heart does.... *that* is the wayward f*cker I was talking about - because it just up and leaves whenever it feels like. lololol Not saying it's gone anywhere.... hahaha
In the end - I think a *much* better question is this: Why The F*ck Wouldn't I Be Ready ... for "this"?
Why shouldn't I be open and ready for a new adventure? Why wouldn't I be ready to listen to someone say nice things about? Why can't I be ready for someone to take me nice places and hold my hand?
BRING. IT. ON.
At the same time... I'm a Mom - so I'll keep talking to my kids and taking their 'emotional temperatures' and making sure they're talking about how they feel..... I'm going to make sure that *all* the people in their life are there to put them first, hang out with them, teach them cool new stuff and be someone they can count on as they grow older.
Most of all.... know what I'm absolutely, completely and totally ready for: Not worrying.
Whatever is going to be... is going to be. What I *don't* want to do is be 13 years old living behind my long bangs and avoiding eye contact and the chance to be happy at every turn.... (though I *might* be willing to change my mind if I get my short-shorts body back... *then* I might reconsider!). I don't have to be scarred because I already had my heart broken and I know it will heal again if it needs to.... but may be it won't need too - and in the mean time, my life will be filled with someone who makes me laugh, makes me smile, pulls me in line, likes my kids and *wants* to make a positive contribution to all our lives: in whatever form that takes.
How can I *not* be ready for that? lol
The conversation that took place going into breakfast went something like this:
"Hey guys..... remember how I told you that Mommy made a new friend?..... well, we're going to go have breakfast with my new friend and go to the park.
Can you guys please be on your best behavior and mind your manners for Mommy?"
Somehow this turned into each of them taking turns belting out the Cookie Monster rendition of "Call Me Maybe" which goes.... " hey... me just met you - and this is craaaaazzzzyyy - but you got cookie!!!! So share it may be? ...." It's actually a *really* cute song... but sung at 110 decibels in a Shari's on a busy Sunday morning - it's a tad out of hand.... and that's right about the time when The Girl decided that vigorously shaking her head around while holding a stuffed cat in her mouth was going to be the peak of her own contribution to the mornings "good behavior".
Needless to say, I have now crafted a letter for them in their baby books that goes something like this.....
"Dear Children, I believe that the best lessons in life are taught to us by example, as such, please try to ignore me when you are out on your first date and I am seated at the booth either across from or next to yours - where I will sing the Cookie Monster version of "Cookie Maybe" while violently shaking my head while a I have a stuff cat in my mouth. This will be followed by a sh*t ton of whining about... well, everything and nothing of course.... and I *really* hope you don't mind when I pipe up that I need to go potty and someone needs to wipe my ass. Love.... Mommy xoxoxox"
Yeah.... because that's kind of how breakfast went. Don't go meeting Mommy's "New Friend" while we're being well-behaved and playing our Leap Pads or having some articulate 8 year old conversation about Batman ... nope: it's all cookie songs, head flailing and poop talk.
So.... our 'big day' was off to a rip-roaring start..... if you haven't already figured out, El Capitan and I decided it was time for the aforementioned 'Someone' to be introduced to the children.
I did quite a bit of research into the topic and, for the most part, the books and opinions are split right down the middle.... which was useless but more money for Amazon via my Kindle! lol
For me, personally, it boiled down to the fact that I have started to feel a bit like I live "two lives" - one where I do things with my children and one.... where I do not. I hate that. While I fully understand that Someone has to be able to get to know *me* as a woman and person and a potential partner - not just as a Mother.... it's still incredibly hard for me to separate my life for that to happen.
Additionally.... it's all well and good that Someone thinks they like me (and may be even kind of like a lot a lot) - what happens if we fall madly in love and several months down the road meeting the kids for the first time and they are sitting at Shari's looking for a way to crawl under the table preferring to join the pancake/smashed fries/dirty napkins of the family who sat in the booth before us - as opposed to be publicly seen with my children?
Nope.... I'd rather get this sh*t show out of the way right now to avoid any further disappointment for myself, for the kids... or for Someone.
So I called El Capitan and we decided that he would meet with Someone and I on Saturday and have... "the talk" and that the next day the children would meet Someone. For the record... the talk went fine. El Capitan and I are in a pretty good place and .... I was personally a little excited that La Novia watched the children for the first time "on her own" which was met with zero fanfare by the children. They didn't notice or care that their Father was gone... which is wonderful for me to hear that they feel so comfortable with La Novia. Really. BooF*ckingYah for me AND La Novia.....
Then a day of fun was planned.... breakfast out (BAD BAD idea, Mommy......) - and then a trip to the park with Someone and their hunting dog, Luke. My Publisher, Nigel, wrote me a stern warning on Friday that "Someone" is a stupid name and that I need to assign a different one ASAP. While I know this comes as a shock to most of you... I tend to do what I'm told. lololol So... here it goes world:
My "Someone" - is a very, very nice someone.... who has red hair and eyes soooooo golden brown that they look red in the sun. They like big trucks - which I have learned are called "jacked up" when I have to hold onto all manner of handles to climb up in them..... They like to fish and hunt and camp.... and by "like" - I mean to say that they are the kind of person who spends allllll week in their brown (working) Carhartts, only to spend the weekend getting dirty and pitching tents and shooting at things in their jean style Carhartts. Needless to say.... Someone is the 'outdoor type'.
Sigh..... f*cking rain and sun and dirt and bugs and wind.... I fear we're going to become very closely acquainted in the months to come.....
Someone really listens to me... which - seeing as how I never shut the f*ck up... this could actually, possibly be an Olympic Sport... and while I do think that in time the appeal of my chatter might wane... for now - they don't seem to mind. (For now... mind you.) *MORE* importantly though - is that they listen with the intent of giving me *their own* opinion... and much to my chagrin: they don't always agree with me.
I love that.... finally: a challenge.
Someone let's me go.... well - a little bit crazy. lol... For instance, there was a bit of a.... misunderstanding - which resulted in me sending these epic-ally huge text messages to Someone where first I over explained why I was upset... then explained in detail why I knew I didn't really have a "right" to be upset... and then I freaked the f*ck out and sent a bunch more apologizing for being crazy... even blaming the full moon.
Sigh.... as if a book and blog weren't enough written proof that I can be more than a little bat sh*t crazy...I have to go and blow up Someone's phone with over 40 text messages. Now - *most* people, would just walk away.... because clearly I can be 'boil a bunny' on your stove Fatal Attraction crazy... (ok, may be it wasn't that bad... but it was freakin' close: I'm serious. lol) however......
The *best* part of Someone......? After said freak out over text where *allllllll* of my friends are telling me that Someone is going to bolt and that I was an idiot to be upset to start with (and this I already knew and over-explained via text to start with) - and *after* I spent hours with a pit in my stomach thinking I had blown something that is potentially really really great..........
Someone texted me back and it said: "Woman. Calm your ass down. I'm at work, your imagination is out of control: period. But, I'm glad you told me what you were thinking. It's good to tell me what's going on because I don't want sh*t between us that can't be talked about it. Have fun dancing with your friends and I'll see you tomorrow. Stop driving yourself crazy."
Yeah.... that's like... kind of awesome. Not everyone can accept your brand of crazy... I kind of think when you find that Someone who can.... well.... you better hope they stick around. lol
I really like that Someone thinks the children are great... and even after an afternoon of chaos and songs sung far too loud and dog chasing and insanity - when I asked them at the end of the day if they were "still in".... they said only this after a wee pause.... "Your kids are great. In their own ways, they are kind of like their Mom - who I'm pretty crazy about..... so how could I not like them? How could I not still "be in" this?"
There are a zillion other things I really like about Someone..... but mostly, I kind of like the way they look in their brown Carhartts.... and so - now the children have met Someone (and they approve at - this moment, anyway....) - facebook status' have been changed and I am now 'officially' in a relationship with Someone who will now be named for blog purposes....... Carhartt.
Carhartt: buckle up and hang on tight..... because my life is waaaaay more jacked up than your mudding truck.... but I hope you like this ride just as much. :)
Tonight a certain Boy came out of the bedroom at 10pm... said he couldn't sleep.... "too many thoughts are taking up space in my brain.... Mom."
It's a really fantastic night.... according to several friends on Facebook - the moon is pink....? I don't know about that, but it was super warm and bright outside still..... so I suggested that The Boy and I go for a walk to help clear his head.
"Ummm... Mom? You're like the best Mom ever." Say's The Boy.
sigh.... that's kind of rad because walking around the block at night is free... lol
The Boy then informed me that we needed a "lantern" - and asked me to get the one on top of the fridge, which is this waaaaaay babyish lantern that The Bubbie bought when he was a baby.
As I reached up to grab it, The Bubbie yelled, "Don't drop that... we've had that for a long time.. and Papa likes to use it when he goes on walks with you."
"I know.... I like it, too." The Boy continued, "I hope my hand doesn't get too big to hold the handle."
The Bubbie and I just looked at each other..... ever since he was a small, small child, The Boy has been keenly aware of 'growing up'. He would way things about how he liked being "a baby" and how life was easier then.... it's crazy how he's so in-tune with things.
Anyhow.... The Boy was even *more* stoked when he realized I was going to let him walk around in his pajamas's ..... yeah: that's how we roll at 10pm around these parts. And yes... those are plastic shoes you see in the picture, Crocs: the international sign of a parent who is too lazy to tie their kids shoes.
I let him choose the direction we went and one we went while he little hands (which very much still fit the handle... thank G*d) held tightly onto the lantern, swinging it as he walked.
At first we looked for the moon... we couldn't find it - I think there's an eclipse or something... I'll tell you what - if it isn't happening on facebook... then I a) don't know about it and b) it's probably not happening. lol So, we didn't see the moon, but the stars were out, and we could hear frogs - which The Boy thought was kind of awesome.
We walked along and I waited for him to start talking - I never know what's going on in his head and I don't want to "lead" the conversation and therefor change or influence what he's thinking .. so we walked, he swung the bug lantern and I patiently waited.
Finally.... The Boy said, "You know.... Daddy doesn't lie anymore - now he tells us he has a girlfriend - which we already knew - and now we even met her... and now he's making good choices and he feeds us grapes and yogurt and takes us swimming and dries us off...."
"Yup.... I think that's pretty cool, buddy." I reply... though I'm kind of wondering *why* he's bringing this up because he's brought it up several times before and as far as I can tell things with El Capitan are good all around... so at first I'm at a loss for why he's stuck on this....? And why the hell are we talking about food...? lol... I assume El Captain feeds them and dries them off.... it's really rather strange to think about what goes on in an 8 year old's head.
Several hours *later* I realized that what The Boy was likely saying is that NOW their Dad is "taking care" of them... like before they were out and going places and eating out... and *now* they are at his place and watching him do the thing he did before - prepare them food, play with them, etc. Wow....
OK.... so back to our walk.... and The Boy say's, "And you know [La Novia]......? She's actually pretty nice and she let us watch TV and makes us mac and cheese and butterflies...... Mom - she makes really pretty butterflies, like the best butterflies you've seen in your life."
"I know.... that's kind of cool - because she can make mac and cheese like Mom can, but [La Novia] can also make really cool butterflies - and that's something Mom can't do because I'm not good at drawing at all." I replied. "So, now you get the best of both families where everyone can do different things and do them better sometimes......"
He thought about this for a minute and then he said, "Yeah, and Bubbie makes mac and cheese - but she can't make butterflies either....."
"That's very true," I said, "So, if you didn't have [La Novia] in your life, then you wouldn't have anyone to make pretty butterflies with."
We rounded the corner for home and instead of turning in - we just kept walking as it seemed like The Boy still had a lot going on.....
"Do you remember when it was just me and you and Daddy and [The Girl] and we lived in our house....?" The Boy asked.
"Of course... we had a lot of fun times in that house." I replied.
"Yeah... yeah we did.... like the time Dad spilled his glass of water all over the kitchen....." The Boy stated.
Umm.... ok? I don't recall that - or recall an incident of water spilling significance... but I nod yes anyway.
"Yeah... I liked our house....I miss it," The Boy went on, "but Dad's new place has a pool and that's way cool..... and [La Novia] lives there, too... and she couldn't have lived in our house with us." He shakes his head.
Umm..... yeah - no on that one... lol. I mean, I think I've proven that I've got a pretty good sense of humor... but hell no to sharing my house with La Novia... lololol
"Well, we were one family in one house and now we're one family in two houses - only now our family has grown by one - [La Novia] - and I know it's different and that you miss the way we were - but are you happy with how things are now......?" Honestly... I was almost too afraid to ask.
"Well, kind of .... because I liked it when we lived in one house better, " The Boy said as part of my heart was crushed under his green Croc as he walked.... sigh.
"But I've been thinking that Dad has a girlfriend - so are you going to get a girlfriend?" The Boy asked.
I thought for a moment about having a talk with him about gender identity and dating and such... and then I thought I should probably just keep my answers relevant to the nature of his question, not his actual question.
"Are you asking if I'm going to date someone the way that Daddy is dating La Novia?" I ask.
"Well yeah because I don't think it's not fair that Daddy gets to be with someone else and you don't." The Boy went on, "because who knows Mom - they might be good at making butterflies or something else that we might like."
WTF. Seriously? I think my kid must be like a hundred years old already.... where the hell does he come up with this sh*t? Damn..... smart kid.
"Well, would you be ok if Mom was dating Someone?" I asked.
"Well sure Mom..... why not?" The Boy asks me as though I were the *dumbest* person the planet.
Which is just crazy to think about because I have not discussed *anyone* with the children, as far as they know I sit home and wait for them to get back when they go out with their Dad. And here is The Boy talking to *me* about dating Someone.... because - *duh* - I should be for starters and TWO - this person might bring their own "talents"/butterflies into their lives..... how the motherf*ck did my kid get so smart? Did they cover this sh*t on Sesame Street one day? Was this the topic on today's episode of Electric Company? Does Justin Beiber sing a song about it.....? Surely it has to be some kind of accidental parenting thing and not something I'm directly responsible for.
I think I just want to believe that my whole-hearted effort to accept La Novia has allowed the children to accept her AND accept whatever "newness" she has to offer. I think all too often in these situations people focus on, or get annoyed by, how "different" the other person is and those are brought out in a negative light.
Instead .... The Boy see's what different *good* things La Novia brings to the table AND he does this in a manner that makes him wonder what "good/new" things someone in *my* life might add to his own. That's just mind boggling and totally insane. Really. It is.
There's sooooo much "fear" that surrounds being in my shoes. When you're the cheater and you leave - you have nothing to worry about- because you take what you want with you and move on. You're happy about whatever you've lost or sacrificed, because in the end, you get what you wanted: someone new.
For the person left behind, the game is much different. Suddenly you're losing your spouse and friend and co-parent. You're packing up the house, splitting the pots and pans and blankets and such. You're busy trying to deal and heal and retain some semblance of sanity..... oh - and usually you're still raising your kids in this rubble.
More than anything - the "fear" of dating someone new isn't really related to the past relationship as such - it's more just the fear of standing in that rubble again. It's not about the past - it's actually a fear of the future - and soooo often we give in to that fear and don't move forward.
We don't allow our feelings to win out over time and common sense (and it always should in my humble opinion) - and we don't allow ourselves to trust someone new with our dreams and our inner most secrets and our passion..... which leaves us standing alone, still in our rubble.
More than that though... and according to my ever-wise 8 year old - when we don't take a chance, when we don't trust our hearts and our guts and follow our passion..... what we're really doing is missing out on the butterflies.
We're missing out on the butterflies in our stomach.......
... every time they text.
.... every time their hand brushes yours... sometimes not-so-un-intentionally.
.... when they lace their fingers through the back of your hair and pull you close to kiss you softly.
We're missing out on the excitement and the good kind of fear you start to have when you realize that Someone might actually *be* somebody... and - more than that - the huge amount of butterflies that you get when you suddenly realize that even *if* this Someone leaves you standing in rubble one day.... they will have been worth taking the chance. Or, you finally accept that it's not a matter of "giving" them your heart because that wayward f*cker**** ran off with Luke The Dog a while ago and hasn't been seen since.. and *then* you realize that that's OK because you don't really want your heart back, at least not yet AND - then you suddenly realize that you're OK with that: OK with the idea that you may never get your heart back or it might even get broken, but for some crazy, insane, unexplained reason - Someone is worth the risk... .. holy sh*t *those* are some serious butterflies.
However... aside from *those* kinds of butterflies... when we're too scared to let someone in - we're also missing out on the "butterflies" they bring with them - the new things they will teach us and share with us - the newness that they will add to our lives.... all our lives....
So here's to a weekend of possible hand-holding, soft kisses and.... butterflies.
******the wayward f*cker I'm referring to is my heart.... you know that thing that supposed to be 38 years old and making responsible choices - like not running away on a cloud of rainbows and unicorns and hope.... that heart that's supposed to jaded and cautious and careful..... *careful* ... but instead of throwing caution to the wind and being easily swayed by flannels and picnics and the worlds most amazing *Red* eyes........ sigh. stupid stupid stupid heart...... ******************
I was FOR SURE a 90s girl. I loved alllll things grunge - boys with long, flowy hair and a grudge against the yuppie world. Angry guitars and flannel shirts.....
Oh swoon... flannel shirts.
I was, sad to admit, staunchly rooted in my love for allll things Pearl Jam and as such turned my nose up (circa 1992) to Nirvana at the time: loyal only to Eddie.
My senior year BFF, Miss Courtney were completely and totally obsessed with Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield. We would sit for hours listening to The Lemonheads album.... I was pretty sure there wasn't any prettier human on the planet than Evan Dando. I'm still sure of that, actually.
By far my favorite song is actually a cover song that they do a Tom Morgan, from the band SMUDGE, song called: I Lied About Being The Outdoor Type.
Always had a roof above me
Always paid the rent
But I've never set foot inside a tent
Can't build a fire to save my life
I lied about being the outdoor type
I've never slept out underneath the stars,
The closest that I came to that was one time my car
Broke down for an hour in the suburbs at night
I lied about being the outdoor type.
Too scared to let you know you knew what you were looking for
I lied until I fit the bill God bless the great indoors
I lied about being the outdoor type
I've never owned a sleeping bag let alone a mountain bike
I can't go away with you on a rock climbing weekend
What if somethings on tv and it's never shown again
Its just as well I'm not invited I'm afraid of heights
I lied about being the outdoor type
Never learned to swim can't grow a beard or even fight
I lied about being the outdoor type
I have to admit, even born in the valley of Mt. Rainier, I was never one for doing much outdoors. I'm not a fan of being wet (stupid Northwest rain), nor am I fan of sweating or bugs or dirt or tents or hiking really really really long ways just to sweat and struggle with a tent that has directions that were written by someone who *wasn't* good enough to write assembly directions for IKEA.
I don't like eating food that I'm not entirely sure remained cool enough to stave off salmonella in that heavy ass cooler thingy.... because the only thing I want to do *less* than sleep on the ground is sh*t in the woods.... oh - except for having food poisoning or diarrhea in the woods.
Nope... not a dream. Not something I want to do. Not now. Not ever.
I am firmly rooted in the opinion that bears eat people, dingos eat babies and generally speaking, seeing as how I have sh*t for luck.... the woods is *not* a place I should ever be.
And then...... Someone came along who really really really likes the outdoors.
They have a collection of tents in various sizes, sleeping bags that don't have Disney characters emblazoned on them, funny looking pots and pans and a strange looking thing that they *promise* is "just like" a stove.... which I somehow highly doubt...... they have a collection of flashlights in various sizes and colors: a confectionery of lighted safety.
Were it *not* for their amazing personality and fantastic collection of those magical flannels....
damn sexy flannels.
......... I would have more willpower to resist.
So..... I *tried* to tell them I don't camp.... but then that's not the truth, the truth is that thus far in my 38 years of life I have never actually *been* camping.... so I can't actually say I don't like to do it.... Someone was quick to point this distinction out.
Then I tired to explain that I can't lite a fire.... or at least not one with funny shaped rocks.... Someone said that's not a problem because they can.
I then changed track to address my lack of any kind of camping gear save for a Columbia jacket, gloves from the Dollar Store and a knitted hat The Bubbie made for me.... and Someone opened up double truck doors to reveal enough assorted flavors of tents and blankets and foamy roll things that would make any homeless person jump for joy.....
Feck.... I give up.
So on Saturday..... after a very long, long drive to Southern Oregon, a certain Someone's very large truck with the double doors made it's slow and cautious way up a long and very rocky and windy logging road to a .... what had to have been one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.
It was stunning.
Foamy things and blankets were rolled out, a fire was started, and a picnic was set up.... oh - and Someone's dog Luke ran circles joy around us...... That's Luke in the picture - I call him 'my new boyfriend' - Luke the Dog... not the Someone. :)
There was no TV.
There were no movies.
There was no roof above me..... and while I will forever be loyal to Evan and his flowing locks of amazingness.... I have to admit: I really liked it.
My new converse got dirty.... but I just brushed it off.
That foamy thing made sure that rocks didn't dig into me when we sat down (damn that thing is handy!).
The view was better than anything I could seen on any screen..... and more importantly, the company was .... amazing. Funny and sweet and kind and strong and .... well... kind of great.
Really, really great.
My inner 90s girl is currently stomping her best Doc Martens 18 whole boot and refusing to enjoy this... but 38 year old me is thinking that Someone might actually get their way and turn this girl into an Outdoor Type after all......
Today, while driving home from dropping the kids off with El Capitan, I saw this bumper sticker on the back of a large mini-van.
I spent far too much time then thinking about what that meant.... like - are they saying that people should never get divorced? As in - kids "need" both parents in ONE house?
I mean... it's not that it's not a not noble goal and all... but - speaks just in statistics: that's getting less likely every day. Right or wrong, more marriages are fully failing than are not... and those only count for the people who actually just call it quits and get a full divorce. Not everyone does that.
In that case.... I kind of find this bumper sticker a wee bit offensive. I'm certainly not in disagreement that kids *need* both parents.... that's absolutely true, but (and this is me going on a hunch) - as this sticker was plastered next to a ROMNEY sticker and the white silhouette of a fish was situated to the right of these.... I'm going to go waaaaaay out (to the far right) on a limb and suggest that this family intended their sticker to refer to what is commonly called the "nuclear family".
Again.... it's a super nice thought.
Kind of like leprechauns and Unicorns and the idea that Tony The Tiger could quite possibly come bounding in my back door to join us for breakfast so long as we (that two parent nuclear family) are all sitting down a nice big bowl of Frosted Flakes.... what? It *could* happen.
I, however, don't live a land of rainbows and well-wishes and good thoughts.... I live in world where a helmet and a sense of f*cking humor are not only required... but are just about the *only* thing that's going to get you through the day..... oh - and the only thing 'nuclear' about our family is the temper tantrum I'm trying not to throw... lololol
I don't know ..... all kidding aside, I guess it'll be up to the kids to tell us which way they liked us better: married or divorced. It's hard for me to guess as which one is *actually* better for them....
While I agree with the sticker.... I think's it's too blase.... Kids need love and attention and acceptance and support... but I kind of think that that can come from multiple/reliable sources. And... frankly: it can come from more than two parents.
Just today El Capitan and I were planning out the weekend and there is a brief window of time that we need someone to watch the children while El Capitan and I do something.... and I asked him (tentatively) if he could ask La Novia if she would be willing.... lo and behold, it turns out that La Novia knows I'm looking for a job and approached El Capitan last week about the three off us sitting down with our work schedules and rotating the child care to even the load.....
Hmm..... sounds to me like La Novia is doing *exactly* what she said she would do and she's putting my children first.... more to the point - she's planning her work schedule and her days off around TAKING CARE OF THE CHILDREN.
I think that's pretty rad.
Really rad.... actually.
She could refuse to "baby sit" my kids - she would be well within her 23 year old rights I think.... but instead, she's doing that thing called 'stepping up'.... and my kids will be better for it. We *all* will be better for it... and I think that that is really cool of her.
Today they had a great time- The Girl clearly spent a lot of time with her - they made the more gorgeous butterfly cut-out that was taped to a Popsicle stick. It's really nice... La Novia has some mad drawing skillz for sure.... and The Girl ran around the house making the butterfly flap. She had a great time with her.
And me.... I'm just grateful that that is who is spending time with my kids....
So.... I thought a lot about that sticker today - and while I agree that kids do need and deserve BOTH parents.... anyone who has an opportunity to expand their 'nuclear' family to make way for people who want to join in the chaos and the fun and the love and the responsibility....well.... that's a luck family: even if they all live in two separate homes.....
I think I need a new sticker: My Marriage Failed.... but now my kids has two more parents than yours!
Today marks one full year since El Capitan left for La Novia's apartment.
Last night.... I didn't blog. Not because I was upset or whatever.... but because I was busy out on a date. lol
I honesty didn't even think about it until today when The Bubbie mentioned it.
I remember sitting on the couch, literally catatonic from the pain: unable to move or breathe or fully process what was happening to my life. I can still see myself sitting on that couch, covered in sleeping kids, TV on, kindle in my hands.... just kind of staring blankly.
Not a happy place for sure. lol
It's crazy when you think back about how much it hurt - how I thought there was no way I could ever heal or more forward or trust someone else. First I had to focus on processing and healing..... it's almost impossible to try and process something you don't really understand or have answers for - and finding healing,when you don't have any answers, is almost f*cking impossible.
A year ago, I really, truly believed that I would never - could never - trust someone - *anyone* - ever again. I thought that once my heart had been obliterated - there would be nothing else to give someone else... and surely this event would drain out every ounce of trust I had in me to where there would be nothing else to give to someone else in the future.
Thankfully... I didn't focus on that. I didn't focus on the who or the when or the future at all - I just took each day, each event - one at a time and processed them that way. I'm not sure there is any other way someone should do it. Every day changes, some days hurt more, some hurt only a little.... but you really shouldn't even be thinking about someone else in your life until you've healed the hurts and even when the hits keep coming... they just don't hurt anymore.
Then you can focus on you - on possible future someone's.
Also... time.... time and actually * experiencing* the unknown. Seeing that the kids really loved their time with their Dad - and feeling like their time with him was more important that my feelings of loss or betrayal. Realizing that it was kind of umm.... cool? It was cool to have an afternoon off to go to lunch with a friend, or go shopping at the mall without chasing my kids up and down the damn escalator. (That f*cker is like Disneyland for my kids... I swear).
As each day passed and the things I was afraid of *didn't* hurt like I thought they were going to.... it seemed like everything else hurt a lot less, too. And, once I let go of the hurt and started to let back in the laughter.... we were all laughing. Of course, being on The View helped... hahahahaha.
But, seriously - once I could start going for dinner with El Capitan and talking with him about the kids and really *co-parenting* with him.... and once I made the decision to first tolerate La Novia - that suddenly morphed on it's own... to kind of liking her.
I know... I know: that's f*cking crazy, but it's true.
And, because *I* like her - it makes it ok and easy for the kids to like her... and isn't *that* what matters the most?
Then.... once I kind of let them in.... I realized that I kind of like.... healed.
There was no magic potion or quick fix.... just time and a willingness to be open.
That same willingness to be open... well, it kind of extended itself all on it's own to other people. I was actually kind of surprised by it... really. I was.
Sometimes I think about how important trust is to our relationships ... it's actually more important than love in the respect that you can love someone, but if you can't trust them - then love is worthless. For a relationship to grow, it needs trust.... trust is like water to love - without it: love doesn't grow. Period.
The tricky thing about trust is understanding that people make mistakes - we all do - and sometimes we think we're doing the right thing.... and when it all goes pear-shaped, we realize we should have done something different... but it's too late. Damage is done, trust is marred and people stand around in the rubble without a clear path for getting out and moving forward.
I would be a fool to think that El Capitan is the last time I will stand in such rubble.... it won't be. One day - whether I like it or not.... I'll stand in similar rubble again wondering how the f*ck I got there while the dust settles around me. Sigh.....
I'm lucky though - because once you've had your heart decimated and you've put it back together .. you realize that YOU are the one who not only has control over your heart, but you have the power to heal it... and frankly, if you're lucky in this life, you'll have to heal it more than once.
Even in a marriage that lasts 50 years... you better *believe* that hearts were broken over and over ... but they healed them and stayed together. They found a way to trust and move forward.... letting their love grow and re-grow as needed. As "single" people... or divorcees' if we were living in the 1950's.... we have to be wiling to do the same thing: allow ourselves and our hearts to be broken again.
We have to be willing to take chances - both in the hope that it will turn out great, and with the understanding that a pile of rubble could soon be calling our name. While I'm not a fan of the rubble... I'm most certainly a fan of taking chances.
When you open yourself up to taking a chance - you also open yourself up the excitement that a new potential relationships can bring.... the kind of excitement that makes you smile every time they send you a text, or gives you butterflies when you see them..... and.... makes your stomach hurt and get a little crampy when you think may be it's starting to go a little pear-shaped and suddenly you realize that you are *worried* about possibly losing this person....
Because it's that kind of tender moment in something new - *with* someone new - that tells you that you really, really, really like them.... when you are suddenly feeling a bit panicked about losing them.
When that feeling of panic sets in you can either choose to run and hide... or you can trust your gut, go with your newly healed (and still someone fragile) heart - and yes.... *trust* that whatever is meant to be will be - and you have to believe that whatever that is, it'll have been worth the ride to get there.
Oh... and you have to be willing to be hurt again.
That's really what it boils down to - a willingness to be hurt again.
But... if you crawl inside your own past and live in your own baggage - you'll miss out on those butterflies and those smiles... and fun and adventure and the * possibility* that this person, even if they make a mistake and leave you in rubble... might just stay and help you back out of it to start over....
So... one year on: bring on the adventure, bring on the fun... and yes, if it happens: bring on the pain ... because one year on, I know that I can take it. That's a very powerful kind of gift, the knowledge that you can face down pain, stand in the rubble, and dig your way out. It's a bit freeing really..... because you can't truly *live* in fear.
I want to live... really live - because life is too short to settle for fear.
So I haven't and I won't.......
It's crazy to think about it... but one year ago tonight I had just finished arguing with El Capitan in the driveway about installing car seats for the first time in the dark and I was finishing packing my bag for that now infamous Mommy Weekend Away.....
Sunday will be One Year Anniversary of El Capitan leaving for La Novia.
I was thinking today, if I could go back in time, if I could go back and may be warn myself or stop it..... would? I would I go back and change anything.....?
I thought a lot about that today. I thought about the kids, and how much they have hurt.
I thought about me.
I thought about where we were..... and where we are now.
I thought about El Capitan .... and I even thought (nice things) about La Novia.
and the truth.....?
I wouldn't change a thing. Not one single thing.
I wouldn't change El Capitan cheating .... because it saved me: it saved us.
He showed me who he really was and in doing that.... set us both free.
I have to say....12 months on: I really like my freedom.
I was so scared 12 months ago. Those first few nights and days and weeks.... the pain coursed through my veins night and day. I worried about future holidays and having to "share" the children and packing them up for 'weekends with Dad' - I feared the pain of being without my children like that.....
I talk about it a lot in The Book - I think what made everything harder at the time was my fear of the unknown - what would Christmas look like? How much would it hurt? What was going to happen to the emotional stability of our children? How much would this f*ck them up? How could there come a day where I didn't wake up to my two smiling and happy children.... because they were sleeping somewhere else?
I was so scared.
The thing is..... I didn't let the fear control my actions. I didn't let my fears dictate my decisions - those I made from as objective and 'healthy' a place as possible.... as a result, 12 months on, I have very little to apologize for to anyone. I don't have anything that I need to hang in my head in shame about or be embarrassed about. I was fair and I acted in fairness. Done.
I took the time we needed to heal and make us whole again.... and we are.
Thank f*ck for that.
El Capitan stumbled.... well... a lot. If you're read The Blog all along, then you know this all too well. I can't answer for why or what was going on in his head.... I can't say he won't go through another period of time like that again.... BUT - I got the children safely through the last year, so now I'm pretty confident that I can get them through it again if I need too. Hopefully though...I won't.
Just like I have needed time to heal and figure myself out - El Capitan has to take time for himself as well. He has to spend some time on dealing with his own things and finding himself.... and I think he'll do that.
I hope he's doing that right now.
I always said that he was a good Dad and a nice guy.... he just made a catastrophic mistake.
That's still true. But those things are past tense.... and... they are forgiven.
Not forgotten.... but forgiven for sure.
I don't hold a grudge against him.
I don't wish him any ill-will.
I don't want him to live in failure simply because he cheated on me.
I don't want him to be unhappy.
I hope that he's found love with La Novia.
I hope she's the one.... I hope she proves to be worth it for all of us.
Regardless.... I have grown to not only tolerate her, but to accept her. She's a f*cking firecracker of a chic - mouthy and funny and brash and not afraid to speak her mind.... which is kind of kick ass. I choose to be believe that youth coupled with love-struck eyes compromised her moral values which lead to them cheating.... and at some point, we're all guilty of doing really stupid things for love.
I know I have.
This is the woman who told me the truth. She was honest. She apologized. She answered the phone when I called, she answered my questions.... she talked to me: she didn't run and hide.
She sat across a table from me and agreed to put my children first in her life.
F*ck yeah.... and I think she'll do it.
As their mother... there is nothing more I can ask of a person. Nothing.
I consider myself lucky that La Novia was the woman he found.... because if you're going to get "replaced" by anyone in your marriage, it's pretty f*cking nice when it's someone you can actually see a little bit of yourself in - someone you can find respect for - someone.... you secretly get a bit of a kick out of.
At least.... I can now. I have to get past my "Ugly Baby Teeth" phase.... sorry about that. I was just being honest.... I'll never be anything less than honest. You have to own what you did and I have to own what I said and what I wrote... which - *really* - isn't much compared to what it could have been... so I stand by my statement that I don't have anything to be sorry for. lol
And you know what.... being a single Mom? It's not so bad. I have lots of family and friends who have most *certainly* made this journey ONE THOUSAND TIMES EASIER. The strength of my friendships have been the safety net that kept me on *this* side of sanity.... I owe them my life..... Miss J, Jenny-Jen-Jen, Jenny B, Miss Chloe, Miss Elissa, Miss Kathy..... really. I can't thank them enough.
The kids and I have moved through the pain and the anger and the disappointment and we've come out the other side - having gone to Disneyland and The Great Wolf Lodge and tons of day trips: together. That's never changed.... we were always going away and doing things on our own - like the picture above - The Boy is 4 and The Girl is.... 6 months old.... and I took them to Seattle and to The Pike Place Market: on our own.
That hasn't changed. We're still together. The pain didn't break us ... it only masked our happiness for a little while.... but it didn't break us. I kind of think we're actually better and strong for it all... The Boy had a deep understanding of decision making and how every decision you made can affect someone else. He understand that love and family is complex and forgiveness is required.
And.... he's been strong enough to give it.
(Booyah to me..... high kick!)
We've laughed and cried and learned so much along this road... hard life lessons that I wouldn't have wanted them to witness as such early ages... but I always said that if the worst thing that ever happened to my kids was that their parents got divorced, then I will have considered them to have had a *very* good life.
So far.... life just keeps getting better.
And me..... well - I've shed almost 60 pounds now.... and I gained back my life, myself and.... I'm happy.
Dare I say it - for fear that it will go away? lololol..... but it's true: I'm happier.
El Capitan is happier.... and the truth is - we both deserve to be happy regardless of how we got here.
I'm not afraid anymore - instead I've welcomed the changes and the transitions - and we're all the better for it. The kids are loving their time with El Capitan and La Novia and me.......? Well.... I've found out that it's not really so bad to spend an afternoon or an evening on my own or out with new friends. I've found out a lot about myself - some I knew, some I'd hidden and some I didn't yet fully understand.... and it's been a blessing to be able to take this time to really be the person I was meant to be.
I kind of owe them a thanks.... but instead - I'll just wish them a nice Anniversary weekend. :)
Many months ago I wrote a blog post about the song by Phil Phillips: Home
"Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home"
I'm pretty proud of that the fact that I didn't lose site of that goal - I didn't allow myself to get caught up in the pain and the anger and the resentment giving the power to bind us up and hold us down... instead I pushed forward, some days only inches at a time... but still pushing. And here we are: happy, together: home.
So here I sit... going into this weekend - which is going to be a *Very* different weekend for me.... date four with my someone.... interesting? :) Yes please...... :) And I'm grateful for the year we've had, every heart aching moment of it... because it's made us who are and propels us towards who we will be and so long as I remain true to the course of having Two Happy Children from One Broken Home: we can't go wrong.
I really didn't think I'd be sitting here 12 months ago.... and I'm just so f*cking grateful that I am.
So. F*cking. Grateful.
So..... three dates are now under my belt.
Yup.... *three*.... and - they are, indeed, with the same person.
I consider that a win.
This is in spite of having given them a hookers number to begin with, that's gotta' be a win.
Anyhow. It really is like being in high school again - stolen time on the phone, which more than once has been interrupted by the squeals of The Girl... Mooooommmmmmmmmeeeeeeee I'm done! - and suddenly my quiet, potentially romantic conversation is punctuated by the flushing of a toilet. Good Times Good Times.
The textcapade continues, which is easiest with the children and allows you reply when you can... though, as previously mentioned - Pavlov's Dog and I would have *a lot* in common at this point... I can almost text in my sleep if I need to at this point. lol
Three dates in.... I'm thinking at some point there will be kissing - the kind my Dad always warned me about. The kind that takes place in a back seat.... which at 16 and 17 years old, I would have never done... *cough.... but at 38.... uumm... yeah - I might be the first one *in* the back seat.... or, may be not.
I mean - I was doing the mental math yesterday and it's been like.... a *very* long time since I kissed anyone (seriously) - and it's been 11 years since I kissed someone I wasn't married to. Holy sh*t.
That's a crazy thought.
Do you think you forget how to kiss.....? I mean - when I was a kid, Susan and Angie and I would "practice" our 'kissing' technique on Susan's "life size" Leif Garrett pillow. It's was actually shaped like a man - with two legs and a chest and arms - but it was a pillow and for the head it was a pillow with a picture of Leif Garrett with his blonde hair.... looking back it sounds completely creepy.
Totally and completely creepy.
We would wrap our arms around his uber-thin cotton waist and kiss him on his printed lips... only I'm sure it looked a lot more like a monkey mounting and licking a mangled dead body to death.... hardly romantic - but where else does a 'good girl' practice her make out moves?
Only life size fabric dolls of course.....
Keep in mind we were like 8 and 9 years old... our standards were Leif Garrett and linty mouths... so yeah.... thankfully I had a few years before I got my *very* first kiss at 13.
These days I'm fresh out of the fabric kind of doll and clearly *not* (not not not) the kind of girl to get a plastic one... bwahahahahaha. So... I'm hoping that kissing is a bit like riding a bike and somehow I'll remember what the hell I'm doing and where to put my hands and what to do with .... well... things.
Too much information?
Well... probably not if you're been reading this blog long enough. hahahaha
I was thinking the other day that there should be some kind of like.... 'Boot Camp' for people - like after they've spent 10 or 15 years with just *one* person - you should get to go to some kind of post-pubescent (did I spell that right......?) boot-camp where you could practice all the things you mastered with Fabric Leif Garrett and spending "Seven Seconds in The Closet" with the neighbor kid.... I mean... where's a good (collage age) neighbor kid when you need one, right?
Kidding... totally, completely kidding... lolol
In stead, I'll just to rely on my witty charm and the fact that this person *clearly* has a great sense of humor after the whole bareback/hooker fiasco.... I mean - we can only go up from there, right?
Worst. Luck. Ever.
Now that I think about it though.... I did kind of have the worlds *greatest* first kiss ever..... We were living in Huntsville Alabama. What I didn't know, at the tender age of 13, is that in Alabama boys who were 13 could get a valid motorcycle license at 13 in Mississippi ...? So a lot of the guys in my school rode their bikes to school ... daily. That's a little crazy to think about... That and their obsession is football.
Even in middle school - Friday Night Lights were *no joke* and I never missed a game... especially because my "boy friend" was on the team. To this point, 'boyfriend' constituted holding my hand in teh hall between classes (we got busted and my History teacher called my parents and I got grounded from the phone for ONE WHOLE WEEK. And by phone... I mean to the rose colored, large, plastic thing with plugged into the jack in the wall and had a very, very long curly rose cord that I would twirl around my fingers for hours.... this is well and truly before the dawn of the cell phone. sigh.....)
Anyhow, after the fourth game of the season we had all gone to Taco Bell I was sitting on his lap - trying to be dainty and cute, which given my 5'8" frame ... was hard. He informed me that I had a "bony butt" (I think we all know that I do NOT.... lol) and I went outside to pout... like any good 13 year old would do.
We would up next door standing in the drive thru for Burger King. And there.... right next to the large plastic, illuminated order board, he lifted me up by the waist and put me on the curb. He took off his maroon letter-mans jacket (Did I mention football... even *middle school* football was big sh*t? Yeah... they had letter-mans jackets..... seriously) and wrapped it around my shoulders.
Now... at first, I was simply giddy at the gesture.... not only did I have *a* letter-man's jacket... but I had *his* and he played *football*.... I nearly swooned right off that step.... I thought it was so romantic....
And it was... but it was also handy because being wrapped around my shoulder meant that when he leaned in to put his arms around me and kiss me.... I couldn't stop him because my arms were trapped inside the jacket... lololol.... so, there I stood, on top of the curb, bent down slightly - and suddenly someone's tongue was in my mouth for the very first time. (Leif was sans any kind of parts).
It was.... perfect. It didn't last long - no one got their braces stuck, no one drooled extensively, we weren't caught, and no one bit anyone's lip or clashed teeth.... yup: that's perfect for a first kiss at 13.
Let's hope the one I get at 38 has as much in common.... lololol :)
(Only without pinning my arms down... at 13 that was cute... at 38 - that'll result in a swift call to 911).
Last night I got an email and it said, in part - this:
"..... doesn't it bother you that your children will get to know another woman who possesses a 'mothering' role in their life? Doesn't that bother you - the idea that you can be replaced?"
This was in regards to the children meeting La Novia (our new name for Yoga Girl... don't forget).
I suppose on the one hand, I have to admit that it does tug a bit at my heart. Certainly though, when this situation was new and fresh the very idea that La Novia breathed *air* was enough to send me into a state of angry hyperventilation. At that time, I had no mental capacity for thinking my children should have *anything* at all to do with La Novia... and yes, the very idea of it make me cry.
Fast forward 11 months.... and by creating a space of first *tolerance* and then * acceptance* in MY life for La Novia... I as able to welcome her into a space within our family. Ironically, sweet La Novia said that she had "waited" to meet them until "the children asked".... which shows that she clearly doesn't read The Blog because the children *have* been asking since December... lolol El Capitan had reservations.....
Once I had first decided to be tolerant of her and her role in El Capitan's life - that paved a road to accepting her IN that role.... which lead to a *very* peaceful place where I could actually welcome her with open arms into our family.
You see... people always think I'm doing things for El Capitan - that I make things "too easy" for him... may be - I supposed that could be a by-product of my true intentions - which are about making thing easier for me and the children. Making things easier for El Capitan......? F*ck that. lololol
Mind you, I don't make things hard for him either.
So, fast forward to the children meeting La Novia.... was I bothered?
Nope. The idea briefly crossed my mind.... I felt my heart sting just a tiny bit.... but knowing that it was the right thing for the children made it infinitely easy to do.
Now I suppose there must be some kind of territorial thing about how La Novia "replaced" me as a wife... which I suppose she has. Sad.... again, I would have held out at 23 for something more than someone else's hand me downs.... BUT - that's the thing: La Novia doesn't see it that way. And why should she?
She see's him as new and hers.... she always has. The truth is always 100% your perspective.
Her truth is that they belong together and so they do.
Her truth has nothing to do with me... in fact, I don't factor into it - why should i?
So knowing I don't factor into it.... *why* keep putting myself there?
That only causes pain and it's not necessary.
BY THAT SAME TRAIN OF THOUGHT.... I think this is where a lot of Mom's in my shoes go wrong... they try to put the other woman (girlfriend/new wife/etc) IN THEIR SHOES and thus see that person as a "threat" of a replacement. That's probably the wrong idea.
I don't think La Novia thinks that by meeting my children she is somehow going to "replace" me.... I think she wants to impress El Capitan. I think she wants to do a good job - be a good friend to the children, etc.
Those things I believe 100%.
However.... putting La Novia into MY perspective of "Mother" is wrong and it's most likely not something she's trying to do, so by doing that, all I'm going to do is cause myself more upset and tears that are probably for nothing.
The only way La Novia is going to replace me is if I become a totally sh*tty Mom... and in which case - replacing me might be what's best for the children The solution to NOT being "replaced" is to not allow myself to get wrapped up in "what ifs" or allow my heart and my mind to be bound by the actions of the past and not.... not not - be a sh*tty parent/co-parent for my children.
So.... does it bother me that the children have a new woman in their life to whom they might relate to in a Mothering role......?
Not at all.
Imagine how many kids wander this planet with NO Mom?
Or a really sh*tty Mom?
Or an abusive Mom?
So..... my kids have one kick-ass Mom who adores them (that's me, in case you needed clarity on that) and now they also have a strong minded, strong willed, woman who seeks to be friends with them - who has agreed to co-parent them in the same manner they have always been reared - who agreed to put them first even before herself.....?
That's pretty freakin' awesome if you ask me..... and the good fortune of my children is not something that is ever going to bother me.