Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One of Those

                   My sister called me today just because. It was nice, no drama, no complaints, she just wanted to let me know that she's doing well and that she loves me. She asked how I was and I had not a doggone thing to contribute to the conversation that wasn't about one or all of the children. Not one thing! I thought about this and came to the conclusion that when I wasn't paying attention I morphed into one of those moms. You know who I'm talking (err, typing) about. The ones that talk and talk to no end about their kids, or in my case, since I don't like talking about my kids, have nothing to say.
                  I want to be more than so and so's mother or so and so's wife. I don't think I'm reaching for the stars here, just a little adult chat about life that has nothing to do with my offspring. That's not possible though because they somehow managed to take over my life. I'm not sure when it happened or what they want for ransom, I just know that now, not only am I a slave to them physically, mentally, and any other "ally" ending words you can think of, I'm also a slave to them conversationally.
                  Since I couldn't find anything interesting to talk about I made an excuse to hang up saying we'd chat later. We played phone tag a few times, each time she'd be busy and each time I'd be struggling with a child of mine, usually my son. She mentioned that she got a job that she loves to do. I said "I haven't worked long enough to discover what I love...I can tell you what I don't love though...diapers, poop, Autism, and anything under three feet tall."  I'm pretty sure I'll be adding "adolescence" to that statement.
                 What sucks is I'm not one those  mothers that say "My life was empty until I had a child". Yeah right! And I'm a monkey's uncle! If you're life was empty before you had kids then you have no right to breed. I'd hate to be the kid of one of those parents, I'd hate to have all that pressure of being my mother's only reason for living. At least dads have sports and in my husband's case, video games.
                 If only I could be one of those women that was fulfilled with family life. But I'm simply not wired that way. I feel like I'm being stuffed into a box that I don't fit into. After getting the kids off to school, I have lists to make, calls to make, bills to pay, errands to run, meals to cook, therapy for my son, and by the end of the day I'm starving for adult interaction. Bill collectors don't even call me anymore because I talk too much. And unfortunately for me, hubby (while he is a good man) is not the sharpest spoon in the drawer. There's not much conversation there.
                 My sister called me after dinner was done. I was laying on the couch with my son. She said, "What the hell is that?"  She was referring to the shriek of laughter made by my daughters. As I was explaining what the noise was my son looked right at me, opened his mouth, and vomited all over me. I screamed "Oh my god! He puked on me!" she replied with a monotone "I'll call you back". She didn't call me back. I called her at 8:30 PM, she was asleep. So much for my adult conversation.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Full House

                   I was offline for a while due to the fact that there was an entire family staying here with me. My sister-in-law and her 4 children stayed here for a couple of weeks while she waited for her new apartment to become available. It finally did and everything is back to normal. I'm very happy for her too! It was nice having one of my closest friends stay here and I know her boys filled a little space in hubby's heart that's been made by my son's delays, but I am glad to have my house back :)
                  I know my sis-in-law is also glad to be in her own place. I told her, you are going through everything that I'm afraid of, be proud that you are so strong. I can only hope she knows that my words were true. My girls were sad to see their cousins go, the last couple of weeks were like a huge slumber party. Bedtime was a nightmare! At the end of the night though we smiled and laughed at our goofy kids. I admit I miss them, lucky for me they are only 15 minutes away.
                Without all the kids I was kind of bored today. I took a nap. Hubby played hookie today and I had a couple of errands to run with SIL (sister-in-law) and it was fun. Who knew that I'd miss her so much, and she's only been gone for 2 days! I told her, "It's too bad we're not gay, I'd marry you! I'll cook and you can do the dishes!" Every morning she'd get up and wash the dishes. I haven't washed a dish in over 2 weeks! {Sigh} I'm really going to miss her.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy Trails To You

              While my children played outside they noticed two men taking their horses for a little ride. The kids got all excited and ran up to the two strangers and were instantly awestruck at the magnificent beasts, not to mention the Marlboro men that sat upon them. My sister-in-law and I caught up with the kids to make sure they weren't bothering the horses and of course to make sure they understood that even though they seemed like nice men they were still strangers.  Before I knew it my bestie and I were tossing our hair and smiling like two teenagers, it felt good.
             The men and ourselves made it a point to mention our spouses, "My wife loves this horse" or "My husband used to live on a ranch". We all knew a little harmless and albeit shameless flirting wasn't hurting anyone. No one was looking for anything naughty, just a little reassurance that we all have still got "it".  And we all ate it up. My bestie was adorable in her goofy way and tossing her gorgeous mane around and I was my witty smart aleck self. The two men had this cowboy charm that could win over any city girl in a New York minute. It was some of the best flirting I've ever had since none of it was inappropriate, just good clean fun.
          It did make me think though, why don't we flirt anymore? Is it because hubby already has me? I look back and recall our dating days...he never flirted with me. And hubby is so thick headed that he doesn't know when I'm flirting. One time we were watching a rom-com and I did the classic sigh/head tilt at a particularly romantic moment. Hubby turned to me and said, "I'm sorry" I asked "For what?" he replied, "I'm not romantic" and he's not, but I told him, "Honey, you've never been a romantic, and that's okay." And it is okay, because I'm not talking romance per-se I'm talking about simple flirting. Batting the eye lashes and subtle cues like hair tossing. I don't know, I don't think my poor husband knows how to flirt.
        As we walked back inside my girl and I chatted about the cute cowboys. We were saying things like "Oooh! He was cute! What a cowboy! He can take me for a ride anytime!" I even started singing "Happy Trails To You" and one of the Marlboro men shouted "Oh yeah!" It was really cute. But then after the giggles stopped I said to my girl, "The really sad thing is that their wives probably can't stand them" then she said "I know right! It's always like that isn't it?" Yes it is my friend, yes it is.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daddy Issues

               I was talking with one of my BFFs today about my Daddy issues. The first man in your life is your father and that will be the foundation of all relationships to come. If there is no father present (and mother doesn't know any better) then the daughter will seek out attention from any male that will give it to her. Luckily I didn't have a totally absent father, and when he was around he was superb. But there has been so much space in between that not only are there gaps in between major points on my time line of life, there's also gaps in my heart. I am not going to verbally bash my father, I love him dearly, but hopefully letting this little bit out will give me some prospective on our relationship and perhaps a reader or two?
              My father is a fine man. He is strong and vulnerable at the same time. He has a goofy sense of humor that won me over as a child. When I was small he told me "I'm so glad I can hold your hand now! You used to be so tiny I had to carry you in my pocket! I even stepped on you once!" and I completely believed him. I loved how he played with my gullibility. But then he was gone, for months at a time. I couldn't understand why, if he loved me so much, if we got along so well together, if I was such a good girl and his little princess, why did he stay away? After a while I stopped wondering and simply knew that's the way he is. I stopped wondering when I was going to hear from him, when he was going to come by, when I'd get a letter or card, I simply went on with my life. I visited him from time to time, sometimes spending a month or two, but we had spent so much time apart that he hardly knew me.
              When I did visit my father he tried to make the most of it and most of the time he did an amazing job of teaching me about life, God, boys, family etc. The problem was that he didn't really take the time to get to know me, he was too busy trying to cram in all the life lessons he wanted me to learn, and learn them I did, but he still didn't know me. He always thought I was simple and perfect, he didn't realize that I didn't know him well enough to be vulnerable with him, I didn't know him well enough to let my true colors show. I was always on my best behavior as if I were visiting an Aunt or Uncle's house.
              For a while, many years actually, whenever he would call I'd revert back to a 12 year old girl calling him Daddy and saying everything was perfect so he wouldn't worry about me. We never argued about anything, ever. We didn't know each other well enough to argue, so we'd be polite, he'd say how proud I make him and that would be that. He wouldn't know that I was having a bad day, perfect little girls don't have bad days. He wouldn't know that I'd argued with my husband, my marriage was perfect. He wouldn't know that I struggle with my son, in his mind I'm a perfect mother because I'm a perfect daughter. Only recently have I allowed myself to be myself, answering the phone "Hello Dad" instead of a girlie "Hi Daddy!" I'm no longer nervous about admitting that I'm too tired to talk or that I argued with my husband that day or that my son has me about to pull my hair out or that my hair is jumping out on its own. He stutters when he's nervous talking to me, and lately he's been stuttering a whole lot.
            My father needs to know the real me. Knowing me should be a good thing not something that makes him so nervous he can't talk. In discovering more about myself in my relationship to my husband, I've discovered what's missing in my relationship to my father, a relationship. I haven't had that "You've ruined my life" fight with him nor do I want to, but I have been making sure he knows his part in my life has been small and I'm done waiting for when he's ready to be more present. My daughters have been calling him a lot lately and he promised to send them some money. I told my step mother that he cannot make those promises to them like he did me. My girls are not used to having promises broken and I refuse to allow them to be hurt by him no matter what intentions he may have had. The following week there was a card for me and a money order for my daughters. When I called to say "thank you" for the gifts he said "My granddaughter challenges me and I want to meet that challenge". My heart surged. I don't think he realized just how proud of him I was then. I then told him the same thing I've told my husband many times, "I wouldn't expect so much from you if I didn't think you could do it". And with that we said our good-byes, blew kisses, and hung up. I'm looking forward to the next phone call.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

              Yesterday was my 31st birthday...and it was great! As I've mentioned before I love birthdays, especially mine. My kids made me a cake, my neighbor made me some cupcakes...are they trying to make me fat??? Hubby got me yellow gold earrings even though I wanted white gold, but hey I'll take what I can get, and I may be spoiled but never so spoiled as to turn down gold earrings. My father even remembered my birthday and sent a card last week and even called the day of. All in all it was a wonderful day.
             For my mother my birthday starts the day before my actual birthday. You see, I was her most difficult labor and she reminds me of that every year by calling me the day before and saying "Oooh! The pain the pain!" and she calls every few hours to let me know of the torturous pain I put her through, she also calls to let me know the doctor said to walk around and she's eating lobster. She performs in present tense and makes me crack up at the awkward stuff she has been telling me for so long I know it all by heart. Mom then calls me on the day of to let me know she's being admitted to the hospital, how dilated she is, how close the contractions are, and of course how painful they are. Then she calls me just after 12 noon to say, "Now it's officially your birthday". Oh, and did you know she also calls me on the day after to let me know I'm eating? Well she does! She says in a cheery voice, "I'm nursing you right now". And as weird as it may seem, I love it. I want to record her telling me that story so I can cherish it long after she's gone. And after she gives me the most dramatic "happy birthday" I've ever heard of, she gives me the biggest hug which is no small feat since I tower over my petite mother and she whispers in my ear, "You gave me all the pain in labor and I've had nothing but joy since you were born". I'll admit my eyes get a little misty every time she says that, and even though I know it's coming it gets me every single time.
                  After hubby came home from work my sister-in-law stayed with the kids so he could take me out. She conspired with the kids to bake me a surprise birthday cake while we were out. Hubby took me to have some Mexican food at one of my favorite places and he even sat next to me in the booth. He admired his thoughtful gift that hung from my ears and asked if I was having a good birthday to which I replied "Every year gets better and better". And it does. I LOVE my birthday. For a while I thought that after high school my birthdays would suck. There would be no surprise party, no BFF running down the hall with a fist full of balloons hoping to catch you before the bell rings, there's no envelopes of money from grandparents, and no teddy bears from boyfriends. I thought that when you're a grown up you don't get to feel special, and for a while that had happened to me. I didn't feel special, and because of that my beautiful family made it a point to make sure that no one that shares the same birthday with me would feel more special than me. Not even Jon Bon Jovi.