Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I have a new home.  I hope you'll follow me over there.  It's the fresh start I needed.

Self Help

Monday, May 09, 2016

This time of year is insane, isn’t it?  It’s a weird cross between “how the hell is it already the end of the school year” and “If I have to pack one more sack lunch someone is getting cut.”  Most of the time I feel like I’m riding a roller coaster backwards and blindfolded, and I’m not sure I heard the safety bar click into place.  But not today.  For some reason - I blame Mercury in retrograde - today I got cocky.  Today I felt in control.  Organized.  Like if Martha Stewart had a love child with an Ikea catalog.  #Winning #NailedIt
So when I got the email from our room mom this morning, the one that started out, “Sorry for the short notice...” I was all, HELLS YES.  Bring a flower for Teacher Appreciation Day tomorrow.  No problem. I got this.  

Don’t be fooled.  My delusions of competence only lasted until about 3PM, when the wheels officially came off.  I picked the kids up from school and my 2nd grader immediately lost his ever loving MIND about having to go to the grocery store.  That’s his thing lately.  The grocery store might as well be the center of the Zombie Apocalypse, because he is not going anywhere near that place.  Not even if I offer up doughnuts, which I did, because I am not above bribery and I really, REALLY needed to go to the grocery store.  (Because said 2nd grader is a big fan of eating food, and we didn’t have any.  Irony?)  After that my evening is kind of a blur of homework, dinner, baseball, and the second 8-year-old meltdown that was a classic mashup of “Why do I have to get my uniform on right now?  You’re so mean.” and “WHAT?  We’re late to baseball? You’re so mean.”  

So by the time we rolled into Sweet Pea’s volleyball practice, floral responsibilities were completely off my radar.  Until, of course, i was basking the glory of my silent, parked car.  That’s when I remembered the flower.  Damnit.  (45 minutes with nothing to do but stare at Facebook and Pinterest.  45 whole minutes slipped through my fingers…)

It just so happens that I was really near a Walmart.  That’s kind of out of the ordinary for me, and presents a challenge.  I would like to tell you that the challenge is a moral one, that my ethical compass prevents me from shopping at Wal Mart.  But if we’re being honest it’s more about a 42 year old woman who doesn’t want to get in trouble with her Daddy.  Because his moral and ethical compass does prevent him from shopping at Walmart.  And if anyone were to report seeing me there, the disapproving lecture would probably cut into my “no-one talk to mommy” time. But sometimes necessity means donning dark glasses and going into Wallyworld.  

It’s for the kids, I told myself.  It’s for the kids.  

Apparently I have Walmart mixed up with a 7-11 from 1992, because I sincerely thought I was going to be able to march my ass in there and find single stem roses for sale at the register. What was I thinking?  The options for single stem roses at Walmart include nothing.  Not even the wooden ones that smell like cheap perfume and ashtray, or the lacey ones made out of a rolled up g-string.  In fact, the floral section at Walmart at 7:45 p.m. on the day after Mother’s Day was completely cleaned out.  (Aww, Moms!) The kiosk that holds bouquets was literally empty, save one sad little arrangement of daisies, which I lunged for.

Mission accomplished.  Good job Supermom.  

“Mom,” Sweet Pea said with growing concern in her voice when we got home.  “What’s up with these flowers?”  

“Those are for you to take to your homeroom teacher tomorrow.”

“I think somebody spilled something on them.”

“No, I think that’s decoration.”

“It looks like spray-paint.”

“It’s decoration.  You know, to give them some color.”

“Flowers don’t need decoration.  Flowers ARE decoration.  This looks like that stuff you spray in your hair at Halloween.  It’s weird.”

“It’s springy.  Bright springy colors.”

“Who decided to spray paint flowers?  Seriously?  Who does that?”


“I’m telling Grandpa.”


Monday, April 11, 2016

Once upon a time, I thought I was living a fairy tale life.  Maybe not perfect by Disney standards.  But pretty wonderful by mine.  And then suddenly I wasn’t.  I’ve been separated from my husband since September.  Which is really all I’m interested in saying about that right now.  Not because I’m embarrassed or ashamed.  But because it’s real life.  It’s messy, and evolving, and painful.  

Also, the only story that gets told here is mine, no matter how objective and honest I try to be.  And this isn’t a story about one person.  Or two people.  At minimum this is a story that has dramatically changed the lives of four people.  I don’t want my story to shout so loudly that it starts to crowd into those other three.    

It probably seems weird for a girl who writes posts about PMS and her underpants to go silent on something as big as my life being turned upside down and inside out.  Or maybe it seems strange to bring it up at all.  Well, here’s the deal...I want to keep writing about my life.  And I couldn’t do that with the elephant in the room.  So the elephant has officially been introduced and offered a cup of tea.  Now we can get on with this business of healing and living.  

I will answer the most frequently asked question:  We’re fine.  I’m Ok, the kids are Ok.  It’s all going to be Ok.  I’m getting used to my new life, and I like a lot of things about it.  I like my new house.  I like my new neighbors.  The kids are settled and happy.  They have made some new friends.  They like the time they spend at their dad’s apartment too, and they are happy that they get to see him almost every day.  

Yeah, we’re sad.  We go to grief counseling.  Sometimes our hearts hurt a lot.  But we know that we will be Ok.  I’ve learned so much about myself.  About being brave when you’re terrified.  About being strong because you don’t have any other choice.  And about having faith when you feel like all God’s promises are unraveling around you.  

Most importantly I’ve learned to trust that my story isn’t over, and I’ve never liked stories that don’t have happy endings.