30 Days of Truth, Day 09

30 Days of Truth, Day 09- Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

When I met the dirty hippie… his son was 5 years old. An angry sad little boy, who didn’t have any social skills to speak of. I called him Eeyore, if that tells you anything. He had two parents that hated each other with their whole soul- and fought like they’d broken up yesterday. It was your worst case scenario. He met me once with his dad, and then his mom dropped him off at my house for a weekend she said wasn’t hers and his dad was out of town. He looked terrified… I took him to the destruction derby and spoiled him rotten all weekend… the only thing I could think to do, seeing as his mom had left him with a complete stranger. It had started to make sense, at least.

I started slowly teasing him out of his angry shell. He would walk in the door frowning and say “Hey” and I’d tickle him, make him go back out and come in excited. He would laugh at me for making him- but he’d come roaring back in with a shout “Hiiiiiiiiiii Jennii!!!!!!!!!!” I didn’t care how it came about- I just couldn’t stand idly by while a 5 year old walked around with such a heavy heart.

They tossed him around in their custody arrangement based on what was convenient for both of them- and to accommodate neither of them having to parent more than 2 days at a time. The poor kid was still wetting the bed every night at nearly 8 years old. It was a disaster, unfolding daily in front of my eyes. His mother absolutely hated me- and the feeling is quite mutual. She did all kinds of crazy things- caused problems CONSTANTLY… even egged my house 3 days before Christmas once. Ugh. It was a huge lesson in not saying the things you’d really like to. After 5 years of living in her nightmare schedule, we ended up in court, and the schedule changed to week on/week off. He stopped wetting the bed (poor kid) and started to really thrive in school.

With one very large exception. His dad is accommo-dad. Doesn’t make him carry his weight- and doesn’t hold him accountable. For anything. Ever. It created a rift in our family a mile wide… and it only grew with time. He learned early on that if he wanted something he wasn’t supposed to have, he just had to wait until I left, and ask his dad. My kids really started to resent them both for it. It just continued to get worse though. The dirty hippie gives his son so little- and makes so little effort. Both in being a good example and providing him with the material things he needs, but also in teaching him to do the right thing and being a strong male role model. He lets him do basically anything he wants, even if it’s unsafe. After we’d lived together for 2 years, I had at least gotten it under control while I was present- but it’s frustrating to feel like the rules change as soon as you walk out the front door.

So when they moved out… we didn’t keep in touch with them. The first time I saw his son he hugged me for a good 5 minutes. I know he misses me… I miss him. I know I was really important in teaching him to be loving, kind & good. He tells me all the naughty things his dad has let him do every time I see him because he knows I’m proud of him when he does the right thing. I don’t understand why his own natural parents don’t, but I hope in his heart he always knows he can come to me. I told him when they left that he always was welcome, and that he would always be my son too. It was desperately sad- and I wish I got to see him…

but….

It’s an amazing gift to have control over your life again- and it’s wonderful to have the sanity and security restored around here. I love my children enough to let him go- even though I know he’s stuck with two lousy parents that wont care about teaching him to do the right thing… and he’s going to be a teenager soon. Heaven help us all. I really hope I see him again at some point, and I really hope those 7 years gave him some sort of foundation.

Some people you have to let go purely to save yourself…. because some people cost too much to keep.

30 Days of Truth- Day 5

30 Days of Truth, Day 5- Something you hope to do in your life.

Ah, finally… something not so insanely painful or mortifying!

I’m a true blue dyed-in-the-wool Mommy. My kids are everything to me. There’s nothing that has ever been more important than always being there for them. They’ve never been to daycare, and they’ve never come home to an empty house after school. Every cookie in this house, has been homemade. I’m sort of crack-y like that. I’m up until 4 in the morning on Christmas Eve, Easter, etc… sewing things while they sleep so they don’t know I made them. They’re nice enough to pretend.

My venture into mommy-hood began quite early…

August 1, 1994, about a month after my 18th birthday. I’d finally gotten my college paperwork, and was heading to the University of Oregon. On a scholarship. My mom didn’t go to college, and she was overjoyed that I was getting out of Sandpoint- and SO excited I was going to college. I was excited for her to get home from work so I could tell her about the scholarship… I’d applied and dreaded not getting it- knowing my mom would die working before I chose to not go. I’d been sick all week- feeling horrible and throwing up constantly, thinking it was nerves or my usual end of the summer cold… and I realized something…

My period was late. Over a week late. Oh shit….

I had to work that day so I stopped at the grocery store on the way, and bought a pregnancy test. Realizing more and more that I had more than a few symptoms. Uh oh… I didn’t even unlock the store before running to the back bathroom and taking the test.

The pink line showed up immediately. No doubt about that one… I didn’t have to wait 3 minutes… but I did… thinking it might go away. No dice. It was practically red. So I did what any delusional pregnant teenager does…

I took the other test… and it was only darker this time.

Oh my God in heaven. It was definite. I was pregnant. Very much so, if I gave the color of those lines any credit. I’d also just found out my boyfriend was cheating on me. Same day. Oh boy. Not a bright moment in history, that’s for sure.

And yet… I was totally at peace about it. I knew I was having the baby- and I’m completely pro-choice – it wasn’t a religious decision. I just knew he was meant to be. I knew my whole entire life was about to explode around me… and I was fine. Content even. Because what I always really wanted to do? Was have kids, and be a good mom. I was heading to college more out of my love for my mother, than anything. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and I really wasn’t excited about leaving. Don’t get me wrong- it was a shock- and the months that followed weren’t easy. I love being a mother, I never felt too young and he’s an amazing kid. Meet him once and you’d completely agree with me. He was worth the sacrifice.

We were one of those rare couples that got married. We’ve since gotten divorced but we also have a daughter, great memories and a close friendship.

I really hope to go to college at some point. Even just to keep learning something. I want to learn Spanish… and Italian. Chinese too. I’d like to go just for the experience of going- hell I’d love to be in a sorority…but it might be weird if my kids are the same age as the other girls. I’d love to go to nursing school, so I have something to do with myself after my kids are grown and gone. It can wait- I’m not worried about it.

Because I’ve already gotten to do what I really hoped…

Be a mother.♥

Sad Mommy Soup

I woke up this morning hoping it would rain… please… please, please. I’m heartsick and sad and don’t want to stare at the stupid sun. I want to clean the house until you can eat off the floor… pick vegetables… and snuggle with my little princess in front of a movie. To hell with a dress… I’m in my ultra loud strawberry pajama pants and my favorite ugly sweatshirt… hell even my socks don’t match.

But I’m soft- warm and so sad… so I’m enjoying the hell out of the Sad Mommy uniform. Which is just one more reason I don’t want a boyfriend… I love days like these every once in a while. I can’t even tell you how many times the dirty hippie tried to steal my favorite sweatshirt. Fucker- there are rules about favorite clothes… and I’m thankful I managed to keep it. Yes… I know it’s a horrible shade of pink… and it’s at least 3 sizes too big… but I liken it to a hug from my Dad… it’s big, perfectly broken-in, and I can paint the house or weed the garden in it.

Being in a relationship should never mean sacrificing your favorite clothes. Ever.

I’m surrounded by vegetables. Buckets and buckets of potatoes, garlic EVERYWHERE… not to mention hundreds of shallots. Tomatoes on the counter, laundry baskets full of basil, bowls of baby zucchini & carrots, and beets ready to be pickled. I’m drowning in veg… and in my own sadness. I really blew it this weekend- and I’m gloomy sad.

Soup to the rescue (because it works every time.)

This is my very favorite easy soup recipe… and a more heart felt apology, of sorts… because I don’t share it and once you try it… you’ll know why 🙂

Husband Soup, named by my girlfriend who swears I can’t give this to men recklessly or I’m liable to end up in captivity again.

8 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade, but the store bought variety works almost as well.

8 cups peeled & cubed potatoes

3-4 shallots, peeled & diced

1-2 cloves of garlic, diced

1 tsp salt (I salt to taste, but start here)

1 tsp pepper (you can use white pepper if you’re uptight about seeing the pepper in your soup)

2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (and buy Philadelphia, it tastes better, I swear.)

2 cups of each of the following: mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, celery, etc, anything you want really.

  1. Combine broth, potatoes and spices.
  2. Saute your other veggies separately.
  3. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.
  4. Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening.
  5. Reduce to low heat.
  6. Add your sauteed veggies.
  7. Add cream cheese.
  8. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

It really is amazing- and easy enough you can make it in minutes, even if you’re not feeling like cooking and you’d rather order pizza. There’s something amazingly soothing about peeling potatoes… and dicing them into tiny cubes. The entire act of cooking something you grew… is pretty obscenely fabulous. More than that? You can’t feel sorry for yourself when your babies eat themselves sick on soup & homemade bread.

You can embrace your gorgeous domestic self…and smile yourself right back to happy.

Dinner from the Yarden

We were bored all afternoon- and came home to more garden chores… ugh. I decided we’d do fun stuff- to hell with weeding & mulching with nasty slimy grass clippings. Blech.

So I thinned the carrots… the shallots… the basil…and the lettuce. I picked a few strawberries too 🙂

I love having a garden…because it feeds my inner domestic princess. I love fresh baby shallots.

Probably like other girls like new shoes. Not that I don’t… but I’d give up the shoes before the shallots.

Baby carrots…shallots…broccoli…oyster mushrooms.  The kids helped too.

I made fresh pesto…and some pasta… Yum. Dinner only gets better when the garden starts to actually do something other than demand endless hours of work.

Happy kids, happy mommy.

To my dear baby girl, on your eigth birthday.

Dearest Girl,

I tucked you in again just before I sat down to write, as if to squeeze just a couple more minutes of your seven-ness in. You were wildly outstretched in your big bed, all long lanky arms & legs. I kissed you on the forehead and you smelled like strawberries and coconut lip gloss. You had glitter on your lips and a million freckles on your cute nose, and I had to sit and look at you for a while. I can’t help but miss your infancy, but from the day you were born I’ve felt like the luckiest mom in the world.

You were born on a Sunday night, thankfully past the first of April (I had begged you to stay in one more day, thinking of you forever having to endure April Fool jokes on your special day.) and you came into our family peacefully and quickly. You were born at 9:34 PM, and I spent the rest of the night just marveling at your perfection. You had the longest thinnest feet, and the longest little fingers. Perfect little bow tie lips and ears so pink and tiny they resembled seashells. I am still certain I won the baby jackpot.

So as I tuck you in tonight, this last night of your seventh year, I’m struck at the differences at first, then the similarities. Your feet are so long now too…but so BIG! I have to look at both of them after being shocked at seeing the first. Gone are the chubby little baby feet we used to play “This Little Piggy” with. They’ve grown so much since the first time I saw them, and again I’m a little sad. It’s all gone by so quickly, and it’s all been so wonderful.

I pull your covers up and you half smile at me… you’re such a sweet sweet girl. You write me the nicest notes, and you’re so thoughtful of everyone. Your first thought when you have extra of anything is of how you can divide it amongst the people around you. You never think about keeping everything for yourself, you generally give more away than you get to keep. I am so proud of the girl you are, and so confident of the woman I know you’re growing to be.

You still have that same gorgeous red hair that grew in like a fiery display of what-was-to-come when you were 7 months old. Your eyebrows still get red when you get mad. You make every single day better in the lives of everyone who knows you, and the world is a better place because you love everyone so thoroughly.

So I write to say Happy Birthday, My Sweet Ruby Rooster, on your 8th birthday. Though its bittersweet to watch you grow up, it’s such an unending joy to be your mom that I forget just how fast time flies! I know I flubbed your birthday verses & poems tonight, but alas, your mom is a crybaby, and I could just about guarantee that I’ll cry a little each year you grow older 🙂 Have a wonderful, fantastic, marvelous, spectacular birthday, I love you so much! xo Mom