So here we are.... and look at me: still blogging.
Holy shit..... and, readership is climbing every day .... and even new readers.... Crazy.
Crazy cool.... don't get me wrong: but crazy all the same.
So. This picture. I took this about 4 or 5 weeks after El Capitan left. I took it with my 'real' camera and then for the last two plus years... I couldn't find the card. I was gutted. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture.... first of all: it's fucking awesome.
Second.... look at The Girl's hair: it still has curls.
The Boy is so sweet and so young... they are both so young and Miss Welen pointed out that there are no footprints in the sand. I hadn't noticed... but it is a bit like they were angles and just kind of floated to that spot..... it's a perfect moment in a time when life was shattered and utterly un-perfect.
Me and the kids go to the zoo.
Me and the kids to to the beach.
Me and the kids go see Santa... the Easter Bunny.....
Me and the kids did... all the usual "family" things because El Capitan "had to work"......
So when he left I was already somewhat versed on doing "big" outings as a singular unit... just me and the kids.
Truth be told, it was more than just "the big outings" where I was.... alone.
I chose which diapers to buy.
I chose to breast feed... until each of my children were 3 years old. (yes...i know: shocker).
I chose to co-sleep and pursue a "family bed".
I chose to Attachment Parent.....
El Capitan never cared.
I would read a book on whatever subject matter... may be a few books... then I would to him and say - "this is what they say and this is what I think..... what do you think?"
and he would say.... "Yup... that sounds good."
And.... we would do.... whatever I said.
At the time I thought it was nice that we were so "on the same page together"... and how we rarely ever fought and how we "agreed" on everything.... and how amazing that was.... how lucky I was.
I mean.... keep in mind that there wasn't ONE SINGLE FUCKING NIGHT that El Capitan EVER got up with a crying child needing a diaper change or a bottle in the middle of the night....
He used to boast, with extreme pride, that he slept soundly through the night *every* night when people would say the usual "up all night" with a newborn type comments to him.
However... looking back, now I wonder how much he agreed with things and how much he just acquiesced to them. Or..... possibly - and most likely according to Chloe and Jenny B.... how much he just clearly gave no fucks about things generally......
Looking at this picture takes me RIGHT back to that space and time when he had just left and life was.... hard. I was still struggling through the leaving and putting together the web of lies trying to find sense and truth (still trying for those... clearly that ain't gonna' happen)..... and thoughts like those always go right back to that first night.
That first night of me and the kids....
Curled up on the couch, amidst the quiet sobs and remote controls and kindles and tissues.
Just me.... and the kids, and my new found fears.
The only thing louder than my cries was the audible sound of all my hopes and dreams as a mother crashing around me, dragging me under and to a dark, dark place that took me weeks to climb out of.
A dark place that still beckons to me as it fills with doubt and regret and still more fears, even these few years later..... I never seem to run out of those: fears.
Since that first night on the couch I have only tried to maintain the one remaining dream: two happy kids from one broken home.
Period. Find a way to ease them into two houses while keeping them happy and whole and as unbroken and unharmed and unfucked up as humanly possible.....
Believe me when I tell you this is no small or easy task.
I have, for a very, very, long time.... listened to the world, to society for direction.
Find yourself a partner they said..... you'll be happy. Find a healthy relationship where the kids can see how happy you are and model a good "marriage/relationship" for them..... they said.
Which I did and.... I was... we were... happy.... but really..... they lied.
It's NOT AT ALL about Hail Mary. I want to make that CRY.STAL. CLEAR.
She's this ... firecracker.
She's on the go and ready to pick up and help out and swoop in and save the day every day and every time and every disaster that she can save you from..... with a smile and good heart.
She's babysitting during night class and all day Sunday when I work and bed time routines and dinner and chores and homework..... she's pretty great.
However... since things didn't work out with Hail Mary 6 months ago..... I've been going a lot of thinking.
The issue's isn't other people.
the *real* issue.... is me.
The issue is my greater sense of loss and how my ideal of being a Mom has been molded and changed in ways I never asked for and never approved and never ever fucking acquiesced to.....
There was no reading of books and conversations of contemplation....
It just was.... and it changed every single thing.
I've had to give up so much as a Mother. Hands down it's the biggest of ALL the losses.... homeschooling, the constant closeness the three of us... marred and jarred and interrupted by night classes and other people putting them to bed and hours of homework.... and life.
And.... I hate it.
I hate looking around and knowing all the things I'm missing and all the days I'm running down with errands and school and work.... and NOT with my children.
To that end, I've always been an unconventional mother.
My children have never not one fucking time 'cried it out' to go to sleep....
They went to sleep wrapped in love and woke up the same way.
They have never had the sting of shampoo trickle into their eyes.... never not one time.
They go to school in clean, matching clothes, hair neatly brushed, and tooth too.... with smiles.
If my daughter needs to come and sleep with me every night... so fucking be it.
Oh.... and at least two mornings a week I'm like... "We're gonna be so fucking late! Let's go!"
And man oh man... do other people - friends and potential partners... everyone has opinion.
But hey.... lookey here.... here's me: giving no fucks.
And then we try to add another person to the mix..... and .... a whole new internal battle begins. I love this person, I want them to be happy and feel fulfilled and love the kids and have a say and be a "parent.."
So I'm constantly trying .... to make everyone happy... and instead that darkness starts to swirl and I feel myself going under ever so slowly.
But THAT'S THE DAMN THING OF IT: if you're trying to be a partner and a mom: nothing comes first.
Instead it's all a balancing act of putting out this fire or stopping this fight or that one... .Hail Mary say's no they can't have the TV in bed... but I usually let them.. but tonight they didn't behave and Hail Mary took the TV away and now she's pissed because I won't 'stand behind her discipline' and the kids are sobbing and I'm like.... fuck this.
Just.... fuck it.
Now instead of just being a Mom - which is hard enough all on it's mothertrucking own - I have to figure out how to make another adult AND two half people happy.... balance their needs with me and with each other and craft these relationships where someone else is coming in from a different team and a different coach and a totally different 'game of life' and entering mine and now I have to "teach" them all new rules and yet be willing to change and alter and compromise those rules to include their thoughts and opinions on parenting and kids...... and ... and ... and.... it fucking blows*.
And. I hated it...... and again I read the books and tried to learn all the things to make it smooth and happy and solid.... but man... if it just didn't suck and always leaving me feel like I was a horrible Mom and horrible partner and you know what.... life kind of already has me feel rather shitty about myself, just generally speaking.... and this... this wasn't helping.
There was this is a whole new sense of disappointment and frustration that rushed in, taking over me and dragging me under..... and man... am I fucking tired of treading water.
AGAIN. It's NOT at all about Hail Mary.
It's about me.....
It's about me... and the kids.
We are a threesome.
Or may be we're a foursome... or a five-some if La Novia ever decides to come to the parenting plate....
But. We will no longer be a foursome.
Yup: you read that right. We will always be a threesome.
Party of three.
One and two half peoples..... and not another half or whole person more.
You see back when I was a married straight lady I used to listen to Dr. Laura ALL.THE.TIME. This, of course is mostly prior to her loosing her nut on the radio that one day.... and sure, sure.... some of her uber conservative advice would get under my skin... and yes - I know she is a bigot who thinks gays are a "biological error".... like I said: she's a crazy ass-hat.
But... every asshole has their day in the sun and what I hear in the back of my mind is Dr. Laura telling single Mom's who called into the show for dating advice... to NOT DATE.
You already fucked up one marriage... why do you think the second or third one is gonna' work out?
and on and on and on...... the base nugget of her advice was this: Your first job and ONLY job is being a Mom. This should be paramount and the only thing you work on to get right..... date when your kids are 18 and not before then.
On top of Crazy Bigot Lady's advice.... there are the countless friends I've had growing up and as an adult who tell me ..... "things were kind of okay after the divorce and they got better and then my Mom/Dad married so-and-so.... and then it all went to shit and I was miserable as a kid....."
I seem to know a lot of people who grow up in a blended family.... and didn't seem to like it. For SOME PEOPLE - some amazing people who shit rainbows and find upside down horseshoe's and four leaf clovers every time they leave the house.... for THOSE LUCKY BASTARDS.... being a blended family works out AMAZING and wonderful and is everything Disney say's it won't be..... (see: Cinderella for reference on wicked step mothers).
And man..... good on those people. Good for them that they figure out that balance and find that right person that makes their family and their kid whole..... what an amazing gift.
However, if we've learned nothing else in the (almost) three years of blogging... my life is.....
a funny sign to sell your house that instantly makes you 'internet famous' for being 'crazy' or 'vengeful'....
trips to the beach where The Girl nearly drowns.....
poopy troubles that turn into scary medical diagnosis for The Boy....
family vacations end abruptly with my child shitting on a bathroom floor.....
our life is anything but ....lucky.
And that's fine... because I'm still grateful. It doesn't have to be perfect, or wonderful..... I can dust off the sand and stuff down the Metamucil and do the paper-towel dance to clean the shit up on the floor.... but what I have discovered is that I want to do that ON. MY. OWN.
I don't want someone else's opinion on how bedtimes should go.
I don't want to know what you think time out should look like....
I give no fucks that you, friend, potential lover, whoever you are.... thinks my kid should bed in at this time or that. No. fucks... not a single one.
Just two weeks ago I had a meeting with the school principal where the office ladies tell me that every day my sweet, sweet Boy leans in their door and tells them to have an awesome day.
That every day he walks in with his head held high and he is kind and sweet and friendly to everyone.
The Principal say's The Boy is exceptional and The Girl is quickly following in his footsteps.
Thus far.... my children are not *yet* a mess.
They are more than the sand and the shit on the floor and a father who left them..... we have over come all the hurdles big and small.... and we did it: together.
As a threesome.
I'm not saying I'm the perfect Mom.... far fucking from it.
But... do I let my kids listen to the explicit version Macklemore's Thrift Shop because The Boy thinks it's hilarious when he say's.... " ... piiiiiiiiiisssssssssssss".
You have a problem with that.....?
Oh look... here's me giving no fucks about that.... and you wanna' know why?
Because NEVER NOT ONE TIME has either of my children used naughty or crude language in public - on a playdate, at school, whatever.... so.
(Clearly they leave this behavior to their mother.... cough cough.)
So. I've come to the realization that going forward for the foreseeable future..... I will not be in a 'conventional dating relationship'..... yes yes - I'm queer, isn't that unconventional enough?
Well. No, it's not.
I don't want a partner who ... "co-parents".
I don't want a person who is around who discipline's or is involved in any significant way with my children.
I don't want your advice....
I don't want your input......
Not because I'm arrogant and think I've got this shit on lock down (clearly I don't..... hahaha).
But because I'm selfish.
I've already missed on out on so many hugs and kisses and smiles and good times and sad times... I don't want to fucking share. I don't want your advice and I don't want YOU to get my hugs and kisses.
Those are my dammit.
You wanna' date me.... cool: I will see you every other weekend and may be a few times during the week here and there.
You aren't coming to the park.....
You aren't coming round for dinner and bed-time chaos.....
You aren't coming on family vacations and life events.... those are mine.
They belong to the three of us and no one else.....
My kids.... they *deserve* all of my time.
All of my attention.
They *deserve* the mother who set out to raise them to the tune of HER HEART... and no one else's.
That's how I parent.... I listen with my heart to theirs and go from there.
And guess what..... there's just no room for any other hearts.
So. That's the scoop.
I'm not dating anymore.... at least for the foreseeable future.
I reserve the right to change my mind any time I like..... but for now. My heart tells me that this is what I need and this is what the children need..... and I have to listen to my heart.
My heart said... pack El Capitan's stuff: don't burn it on the lawn.
My heart said... protect them, don't expose them....
My heart said... do the right the thing even when it hurts......
Thus far: my heart has mostly gotten things right (mostly).
So I have to listen to it now....
I'm not sharing.
These kids are mine.... and I don't want to share them.
Life.... is hard enough.
Sad enough.... and I only have two arms to hold you.... one for each child and not an arm more.
So that's how it's gonna' be.....
Just as it's always been.....
Me and the kids.
*Yes, yes, yes..... grammar police: I know this was a run-on sentence of epic proportions.... and look at me: I wrote it anyway! bwahahahahahahaha