However, I noticed that my last post got all kinds of jacked up - but I'm working on a laptop and using hotel wifi - and somehow something got lost - I will try to fix that. :)
Anyhow.... after our four day at The Most Magical Place on Earth, we met up with The Bubbie in Burbank where my Grandma lives. I grew up here for a short time, going to pre-school in Burbank when we lived with my Grandparents after my Mom was in a horrible accident.
Everyday, my Grandpa would take me to *THIS* very Donut Prince. I would get a small sprite that came in a Styrofoam cup with the kind of ice balls instead of ice cubes. Grandpa would let me pick my donut from the glass case at the front of the store and I would always get a 'vanilla' cake donut with white icing and multi-colored sprinkles.
To this day, it's still my favorite donut. Ever.
Inside the small indoor seating area is still the same set of formica tables with orange stools that were there when I was a kid. I can still look down and see my hands on top of that orange and brown fake marbled formica top - and I can still see my Grandpa sitting across from me.
He wore this brown leather jacket, but it had a breast button down and a belt and he wore a brown newsboy-type hate. He had curly black hair and gold rim glasses. He was perfect.
He was goofy and silly and my best friend for years. The Bubbie had been in a bad accident which left her on heavy medications for a long time, so we moved in with my Grandparents. Grandma still did bookkeeping, but Grandpa was retired, so he spent his days with me.
Looking back, it's amazing to think about how this kind and gentle man in his 60s would keep up with three year old me without missing a beat. He took me for donuts and to pre-school ever day, then picked me up and we would go to the park, go swimming, do house chores.
I don't recall him every complaining or saying things like "Grandpa's too tired...." etc. He was always there - my constant playmate.
I have this one picture that my Grandpa took of me and I'm naked, facing the rose bushes and using the garden hose to water them. I'm holding the hose in one hand and looking over my shoulder - with my (then) small, chubby, cute butt facing the camera.
Today, I took that same picture of The Girl.
I'm kind of lame like that - trying to replicate those moments of my own happy childhood for my kids either with my old clothes or toys..... oh - and it's worth mentioning that my Grandparents had a pool, so I was most likely coming out of the pool and getting changed when watering roses seemed more appealing. It wasn't customary for me to run around naked. lololol.
The kids had a blast swimming in the pool, even though it's far too cold by Cali standards - my kids being true Oregonians thought the water was plenty warm. I love seeing them swim in that pool, the same pool I spent most of my childhood in. Splashing and laughing and having a great time.
Which then made me feel a little bittersweet about our life.... am I doing a good enough job? Am I finding a way through the pain to make their childhood good - am I creating memories for them that I *want* them to have? Will they have *good* things to remember?
Will they be happy?
Ahhh..... so many things to think about. So many things still overwhelm me.
I've been texting El Capitan off and on - sending him pictures of the kids and stuff. I now I don't *have* to do it - and I'm not doing it to stay "attached" to him or some such thing.... but it seems strange to me (as a parent) for the children to have this kind of huge experience and to not include him in their experience.
Am I wrong? Wouldn't that be weird?
I don't care who is paying for this or not - I think he still has a right to share in their joy and excitement - and to be more apart of it than just finding pictures on the blog or facebook, right?
Sometimes, I feel a bit like a teeter-totter - going back and forth between feeling angry and bitter about what could have been and the cost of a wandering trouser snake..... and then I totter back to the larger part of me that still wants to do the right things by my children *their* Father.
Having said that though..... my personal desire to contact him is going away..... which I think is a good thing.
Today, sitting at the coffee shop, I noticed a handwritten quote on the wall and it said:
"As you ramble on through life Brother,
whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the Donut,
not upon the hole!"
Wow. I actually got a little choked up when I saw that. Because, even though some days I'm not good at it - I'm *always* trying to keep my eye on the 'donut' (insert fat joke here............ lllololol) - BUT - it's true. I'm always looking for the good stuff - no matter what. I'm always trying to appreciate what I have and not be jealous of what I do not. And yes, I try to *always* understand that someone, somewhere has life much worse than I do. It's not about being "saintly" as one reader suggested, it's about being *realistic*. It's about having perspective and understanding that life is FULL of holes - but if all you ever see is the hole - then you miss the good - you miss the donut. And hey... let's face facts: I'm never one to overlook a good donut. hahaha
Sitting at that table I thought a lot about my Grandpa what an amazing man he was. I had always hoped that I would grow up and marry a man like him..... clearly, I failed at that. Perhaps one day I'll get another chance.... or may be you just get one man like that in your life - and if so... then I'll just be grateful for the "donut" I had and not the "hole" I ended up with. :)