Blogging, Children, Family, Farming, Happiness, Victory!

Write on…

It’s been a long year. In fact…it’s been a long decade.

I finished planting my garden earlier than ever last year. My corn was a huge success for the first time! The pumpkin patch of my dreams, was a reality. Through morning and afternoon baby naps, I managed to get it planted and weeded. It was actually beautiful… but sobering. I CAN grow an acre of vegetables and bottle enough to feed an army, but I don’t NEED to. I’ve given up on the fantasy of my children loving to garden, and I remember clearly how much I hated it as a child. I’m determined to cut back this year so that it’s a blessing, not a burden.

I figured it may be relaxing to write again, if only for myself. I get the nicest emails from people, asking me why I don’t write anymore. I’m not sure how to answer that?

I’m a different person than I used to be. Growing up, and more importantly fucking up; changes you. I guess you could say that I finally learned from my mistakes. As a result of my relationship failing, finding myself as a single mother with a teenager AND a newborn and a side of heartache… I grew up. I’m slowly finding my footing again, while carefully choosing each step with the knowledge that the wrong one can have lasting consequences.

I’m a little sad to see my tiny one grow so fast and I miss her infancy when I see newborns. She lights the whole world up with her constant smile, hilarious laughter and baby chatter. I don’t know how we ever lived without the joy and love she brings to everyone and everywhere. She’s nothing short of magical. I’m that annoying friend on Facebook who shamelessly inundates everyone with baby pictures and videos.

The teenager is absolutely frustratingly normal. Most days I’m the stupidest person in the world and live purely to thwart her plans for part of the day, and her best friend the other half. I am proud of the young lady I know that she is, and hopeful she’ll escape our small town after graduation to pursue her dreams. I’m grateful for the friendship I have with her dad and step-mother.

All in all, and in every aspect; life has calmed down. The custody war has long ended and my relationship with my baby girl’s dad is peaceful and friendly. He’s dating an old friend and has moved back to Colorado to live with her. He calls regularly and I hang pictures of him around the house so she sees his face. She’s just begun to say Daddy. I’m grateful she will grow up surrounded with love, not hostility. I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be raising a baby alone, but I treasure every single second and appreciate that he does everything he can do from thousands of miles away.

We’ve learned to coexist, sleep, love and make the most of every moment in the last year. We’ve weathered financial devastation, laughed through a lot of creative pasta and rice dishes and have found a new-found peace in being carnivorous vegetarians. We all love a good steak but we can afford veggies, and I grew enough to feed us all winter.

Life has changed and it isn’t what I thought it would be, but it is absolutely joyous and full of everything simple and sweet that I treasure most.

The last vestiges of babyhood have been hard to pack away. A long-outgrown bassinet stands in the corner of my room, because I love it too much to part with it. Baby shoes, pacifiers and miniature socks clutter the top of my dresser. It’s a strange mix, no matter where you look. My black work apron, a few pens, a wine key and wilted gardenia still hooked by the bobby pin that held it in my hair all night. A school progress report for Little Red, lipgloss and an antique jar of buttons. My latest knitting pattern, some industrial foot cream for my mangled server feet and a stack of bills. As always, my crafts create a happy clutter that reminds me to take time to create. My vices are all healthy, and I am definitely guilty of being a little boring these days. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m only growing three varieties of tomatoes this year. I did away with my whimsical round garden and have practical, straight rows. I wouldn’t say I’m disenchanted… more so that I’ve gotten an epic reality check. I don’t want to be bitter and jaded, but my fairy-tales turn into nightmares when I least expect them to and my heart is not a good judge of character. Consequently… I have taken myself out of the pool, entirely, and permanently.

Never. Another. Boyfriend. I have two cats… and I’d be delighted to adopt a dozen more.

IMG_7334Being boring is awesome. ♥

Food, Love

Plan B.

I woke up before dawn on Sunday, to a sweet smiling toddler with an an avocado obsession.

B- Cado, mommy. Cado.

We’re out of ‘cados, so we have to get up and get dressed to go find some at the store. I’m exhausted and in desperate need of coffee, but realize as soon as we walk in to Safeway, that I’ll need something to distract her with if I really intend to wait in line. Everyone else wants coffee this morning too. I consider the immediate options available to me and remember that she’s learned the magic of a band-aid this week. Her last tattered Minnie Mouse bandage had fallen off on our way out the door this morning. We rush down the health/first aid aisle first… in search of some new cartoon icon band-aids  to replenish our stash.

I catch sight of an old man, slowly searching through the disposable razors, the antacids and shaving cream. I hear him grumble about not being able to find something.

I’m a server. I really cannot stop myself from helping someone, no matter where or when. I’m tired… but I love the grey-hairs and he is looking more anxious by each frantic second.

So I offer.

J- Can I help you? I hate to eavesdrop but you seem to need a little help and this is the only place I shop. This is my store. I hate to say I know where everything is, but I do.

He looks relieved and because his phone is on speakerphone, I can hear his wife, clearly.

W- You never look. I could be standing beside you holding it and you couldn’t find it in my hands. For Pete’s sake.

He turns his back to me and barks briskly into the phone.

H- Would you like me to put the nice woman who offered to help me on the phone? I’m doing my best.

W- Oh My GOD damn it, Howard, you asked for help? How embarrassing.

I smiled at him to let him I know I was not a crazy person, and he opened his mouth and leveled me.

H- I’m looking for Plan B or the Morning After Pill.

W- It’s not called the morning after pill anymore, it’s just Plan B.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I fought back laughter and leveled with him.

J- I’ve only gotten it once and I had to get it from the Health Department.

Which he relays, loudly, over the loudspeaker on his phone.

H- It’s not here Dear. She got it from the Health Clinic. Is this, Oh for hell sakes, stop shouting at me.

W- We sound like perverts. Come home. I’ll get it myself.

Meanwhile, I’ve led him to the condom/pregnancy test/tampon aisle. The pharmacy is closed and it’s the only place I can imagine it’d be.

It’s not there. You can cure a stinky vag, replenish your feminine hygiene basket and prevent pregnancy… all in the same 10 feet.

Alas, you cannot stop a misfire spermatozoa from landing his lady outside of pharmacy hours.

She’s furious. He’s frustrated. I’m crimson and biting the inside of my cheeks to hold it together.

W- Let the poor woman go. How embarrassing.

H- You’re embarrassed? A complete stranger just led me to the condoms and pregnancy tests.

I’m coughing to keep from laughing. He stammers a “thank you” in my direction and I walk away before dissolving into giggles. I was shopping for Band-aids, so we went back down the other side only to hear more of their conversation.

W- I should have gone myself.

H- It’s the Superbowl and the pharmacy is closed. I can buy condoms or pregnancy tests, which feel late and early, considering.

W- Take a picture and send it to me.

H- I’m never shopping here again. Pour me a scotch.

Wouldn’t you know it… that coffee line had emptied by the time we’d secured our Doc McStuffin’s and Hello Kitty Bandaids after the wild goose chase for the Plan B.

Never a dull moment. Never a bad day.