Thursday, September 15, 2011

Where is the warranty?

I love her. I do. Never doubt it. But something is up with Third that is making her damn hard to like. She is as close to being out of control as a 12 year old can get, and I am thiiiiiiis close to losing it. Seriously.

She is way -- WAY -- too old for magical thinking, so what is UP with her latest nonsense? I asked her almost every single day of summer vacation to do her summer reading. I READ HER THE FIRST SEVEN OR EIGHT CHAPTERS of the book. I offered to get it for her on short, I tried everything. Tomorrow is her test on the book, and it's not done. Not no way, not no how. She was supposed to come read it today at my work, in a quiet study carrel. She went to a friend's house instead, and lied and told the mom I said she could. I'm letting her swing. I hope they throw the book (heh) at her. I hope she flunks. I really do. I have told that child about actions having consequences from the day her feet hit the ground, and I swear to Gawd if the school let's her off, fearing the skew to their MCAS results I will knee cap someone.

Last month she told the med evaluation lady that she was just not sure she could take medicine, (as both her therapist AND her pediatrician suggested) because I get drunk every night and thus could not be trusted to dose the meds properly. She told her therapist I beat her when she doesn't do her chores. She told me her father's partner raised his hand to her and that her father hit her repeatedly when they were on vacation.

One of these days she is going to say something like that to the wrong burdened reporter, and all hell will rain down on her head, and what then? I have tried to explain this to her. Every one has. What is going on in that brain of hers?

I am sorrier than she is that her dad and I split up. I am sorry she has some special needs that make it harder for her to learn. I am sorry she has a late birthday and I didn't know she was going to turn out to have learning issues so I let her start kindergarten at 5 instead of holding her back a year. I am sorry for all the things she claims I do that ruin her and cause her to be sure to fail. I am beyond sorry that I don't have a co-parent of ANY weight or merit to spell me when I just need a break.

I am sorry that I don't have a magic wand to wave it all away. Mostly though, I am sorry she has a human for a mother. I get tired, I don't always have excellent parenting replies at the ready, and sometimes I really just wish she would shut the hell UP already, and go to sleep in her own bed and stop with the demands, demands, demands, an unquenchable endless squawking baby bird, mouth open, never, ever filled. I am sorry for the voice in my head that says "you created Veruca, Mrs. Salt!" I am sorry I don't know how to best help my little girl every time she needs my help.

I am sorry, because she is EXHAUSTING me, and I am almost out of patience.

What happens when it's really gone?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ah, the sun sets on another weekend. Did I use every minute wisely? Did I seize each day, crush it, and make it count? Ummmm. No. Not so much.

But I did get quite a lot done. So it is enough? Enough is a word and a concept I have been grappling a lot with lately. I have more than enough. Too much, in fact, given the clutter around here. And yet, the desire to accumulate more is with me, all the time. Not in a compulsive, HAVE to have it way, but I do wish my house was fixed up more nicely, better appointed, if you will. There is more than enough food in the cabinets, and yet I think every other day one of the fry will wail about how "we have nothing to eat in this house!" I have seen people with NOTHING to eat in their homes. A dirt kitchen floor, and an open fire pit for a stove. I will never, ever say I do not have enough to eat. I have a roof over my head, I know where my children are at night, and I have a dry, comfortable, and safe place to sleep. That, in itself, is enough.

And yet -- here it is Sunday evening, and the list of all I did NOT do this weekend hangs heavy over me. I did not weed that garden, clean out this or that space, did not bring this or that to here or there. Did not spend time walking in nature, did not spend enough time with each child individually, did not spend enough time with my mother, did not did not did not. It does not feel like I got "enough" done. I made it to church, but not a museum. I cooked delicious food, but did not work in the garden. I did several long put off tasks, but did not complete several does it count?

Who am I comparing against? When will enough be enough? It is true, that when the house is tidy, I feel less stressed. But right now to get the house really tidy would require a dumpster, a flame thrower and the team from Hoarders.....And again, "enough" comes into to play. Is it clean enough? Enough for whom?

And how is this all my job? Have I done a good enough job parenting, if the girls don't feel vested in keeping the house clean? Let's get real here, peeps -- who in the hell has kids who skip down the halls singing "yes, it's time to help mom clean today!" This isn't the Disney channel, folks. My kids walk around here with the same baffled looks I see on the faces of all of the friends too - how does the house get clean? They don't know.

Enough. Such a fun word to say, with that groovy fricative and all. So much, in two small syllables. Yes, I have enough. But did I do enough this weekend? And who is asking?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I am not sure I have a point....but I do have a point of view....

Here's the tricky thing about this blog writing business....I feel reticent to post sometimes, as I am not sure what, exactly, my purpose is in writing this blog. I read several truly excellent blogs written by some of my friends, and they post any number of wonderful essays about the challenges of raising their families, dealing with unexpected health crises, struggles in the world of academia, etc. I just sort of...ramble. I remember my intention was to write about my "new life" as a mid-40s divorced woman and mom of three kids, starting back in to the professional world, and maybe even (gasp) dating. But it turns out that my life moves rather slowly, on the whole, and milestones in the above areas are few and far between. There is much that happens in my life, but it's Challenges come, (none -- and I mean NONE -- as daunting as those my dear friend Pennsy faces, with great wit, style, and an incredible, unshakable faith). My children are no longer at the "say cute things" revelatory stages several of my other bloggy friends' children are. My career is more just a job, and one barely sustaining us, so what's to write about there? As for me -- still rather overweight, rather undisciplined, rather spiritually parched at the moment, and pretty much creatively tapped out. I am not in a theatre production, not tirelessly supporting a candidate I believe in, not redecorating my home with cast-offs that turn out to be hidden treasures, not spearheading the research campaign into a new medical horizon...not doing much of anything really exciting. The big whoopty yesterday was that I managed to put together a meal all three of us ate, and no one complained. Who wants to read about that?

And yet - I do have points of view. I feel things, all sorts of things. I do care about issues of the day -- when I can find time to educate myself about them. I juggle all sorts of things and do many things horribly and a few things well. I fiercely love my family, and I do wish for a career to come my way that would sustain me intellectually, financially, and responsibly. Who doesn't? But is that enough to warrant a blog? Does not having a set theme for my blog mean that it's not worth having at all? If what I really need is a journal, maybe I should save the bandwidth for someone else.....

I do like the process of writing; quite a lot in fact. At least 5 times a day I long to BE an actual writer of actual books, so I could make a living whilst still being able to make the kids' games and schedule a mammogram without feeling like I am letting the office manager down. But does me liking the act of writing justify me having  a blog?

I know I have a voice, and I know I have a right to have that voice. But does that mean I have a right to be heard, if it may be that I really have nothing of import to say?


Saturday, September 3, 2011

About a boy....2

So, um....hey. I know, it's been a looong time since I posted anything. Busy working, Second dropped my laptop and it broke, busy busy, yadda yadda.

Forgive me. I need to talk today.

I brought First to college today. Settled him in, spent time, set him up, went to the meet and greets....and then drove away. Tears pouring down, heart breaking, soul singing.

He is going to LOVE his school. Seriously. Like watching the Bee Girl find her field, First has arrived where they speak his language, see how he sees, feel what he feels. He will be happy with his own kind.

But. Oh, BUT. But once upon a time, *I* was his kind. I was his star, he was my planet. Bedtimes stories, private jokes, ritual songs before sleeps. I was his Alpha, and he was my world. And how quickly that time went. How far away, how almost forgotten under the rush of it all those long-ago nights seem now. How lucky I was to have them at all. That boy of mine! How I love him. I love all my children, don't ever doubt that. But it would taste a lie to not admit that the first one, my First, holds a different place in my heart. He made me a mother, you see, and whilst that will never change, my role in his life will.

From Manager to Consultant, and one on call, at that.I hope he wants me in his life. I hope that I have earned his trust, and that he misses me too. And his hard-earned glories will be all his own now. Faculty members, TAs and mentors will get the most deserved thanks now, and I will be thankful to them too -- I will! (As long as he remembers to add "and thanks to my mom" or some such courtesy nod to my presence. Sad, innit?) They will have taught him to sing in the language he stutters in now. He will thrive under their attentions, and he will strive for their praise as ardently as he once strove for mine (and if one of THEM ever hangs your art on THEIR fridge and shows it to all THEIR friends you be sure to let me know - so there!). I really do wish him well, and I really am glad that he is so happy and so very much at home in his new dorm.

How I wish mine didn't feel quite so empty, with him gone......

Please, First, fly now. Find your excellence, find all that is within you, find your absolute TRUTH. Please, find your bliss, find it and come back and share it with me. Not because you feel bound to, not because I can't live without you, not because of obligation, guilt, duty, none of that. Share it with me because you want to. Because it's funnier when we laugh together. Because you want me to know your new language too. Fly past me, but please don't fly beyond me.

I know I tell you all the time, but oh, my dear First. How I love you so.