An Amazing Journey

For the past several weeks the kids and I been watching life form before our eyes. Life of baby Blue Birds that is. The kids and I absolutely love our new home; one of the great things we love about it, the front porch that is covered. Apparently the Blue Birds like it too. There were two nests one of each side of the porch. Unfortunately the first batch of birds did not make it because another bird attacked the nest and all the eggs landed on our concrete patio.

May 12, 2012

Then we realized there was another batch of eggs in the other nest. So we have been witnessing the miracle of the little guys growing. It’s truly an amazing sight to see. There were originally four, one was dead on the patio. This whole life thing is tough business.

May 16, 2012

My daughter got upset seeing the dead baby bird and we had a lesson on how nature works. As we as adults know if there is something wrong with the babies mother bird will toss it out of the nest. Or it could have been four was a little too crowded, one rolled over and one fell out. Regardless it was sad. We’re sappy like that.

Looking at nature is wonderful. My mother and I did it all the time and I learned even though it’s pretty you don’t touch animals when they are born. I learned this lesson with kittens that were born in the barn. As cute as they were if humans touch them mama may not anymore.

Over the past few weeks I have taken pictures without disrupting the nest. I wanted to share with all of you photos of these little guys over the past few weeks.

May 19, 2012

Last week one of the birds (I called him Fred) fell out of the nest. Carefully without putting our human scent on him we put him back into the nest. This morning those 3 baby birds took their first flight out of the nest.

I was sitting out on my front porch when they decided it was time. Mama bird was not around. Infact, when they all were out of the nest she came into feed them; to find them gone. I had all ready witnessed the great escape. I had never seen how this happened before. Truly it’s an amazing thing to witness.

It started while I was out having coffee. I heard something hit the house and then I saw it was a baby bird. He made quite a journey all ready, because he hit the opposite side of the house by the porch. I looked up and saw two birds in the nest peeking out, flapping their wings. The next one was working up the courage to take that first flight. He just jumped and hit the wall about 3 ft from the house. Then the last one took a little time but finally jumped; this little guy didn’t get very far…straight down on the concrete slab.

May 27, 2012

For the next few hours I watched carefully. I wanted to get pictures, but I also didn’t want to disrupt the process. It reminded me of when both my children took their first steps. The neighbors probably thought I was a fool talking to the bushes and encouraging them.

Each of the birds ended up in the bushes that are next to the nest. One by one, on their own time each of them came out of the exact same spot. I couldn’t believe it, all the nooks and crannies ad all 3 of them came out the same way. They flew….they fell; they crashed they hopped, the entire length of the house to the back yard where we have a beautiful setting for birds.

This entire process lasted several hours. I found them in the backyard. One was not up in a tree and I looked carefully to make sure I wouldn’t step on any. Then I looked up into another tree and there two of the were. Gaining the courage again to try flying. Little flaps there, a few falls there. mom and dad both were not far off

May 27, 2012

If I lost track of the birds I looked up to see where mom and dad were. They had a perimeter set up that they guarded. The baby birds had to figure this out on their own, mom and dad weren’t near them, but were ready to protect them if need be.

May 27, 2012

Again it brought me back to moments as a mom. It also reminded me of my very first day of school. Mom hid behind the pine tree at the end of the lane way. I wanted her to. Years later she told me she stood behind the tree bawling her eyes out. I had several moments like this with my own children. I found myself wondering how the mom and dad blue birds were holding up. I was a nervous wreck and they weren’t even my baby birds.

For those baby birds it will probably be maybe a couple more weeks; maybe even days then they will be on their own. The first flight for a bird happens just once and then they are off into the world. For us as human parents, there are several first flights or as we call them milestone, that we witness with our children.

Whether it is watching your own children take their first flight or watching baby blue birds take their first flight it’s an amazing process to watch.

May 27, 2012

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Part Two: The Mother-in-law from Hell

Remember that storm that I mentioned I felt brewing? It took from Christmas 1997 until we moved back to the states, for that storm to come ashore. It took a Thanksgiving in 2001 for it to build it’s ugly head. An outsider witnessed the entire thing over the holiday. Actually my brother in laws partner. He was disgusted with the way I was being treated. Guess what people? When an “outsider” sees it, it’s happening. I knew exactly how I was being treated. I just took it. But he was the one who spoke up to my brother in law and then apparently my brother in law confronted his mother. BTW it’s my fault he did that. What happened as a result to that?

March 2002 I get card in the mail because it’s my birthday. Oo the card is from my in laws; that was very nice of them. Oh and there’s a letter in it. I get excited with mail too, just as much as I do Christmas. 7 pages of note paper of how much she hated me. I was using her son. I did nothing. Her son did it all. I didn’t play with my child. And I had the gall to turn her sons…not just Jack her other son as well..against her. I drove a wedge in between her family. How dare I. I was pissed beyond belief. I stayed outside most of the night. I threw the letter at Jack. “I just want you to know. I am not done with you, but I am done with them.” Ugly words…and nastiness uttered my mouth. My husband read the letter and he was more pissed than I was. So pissed he wished “that bitch would die.” What she doesn’t realize those words did not hurt me. I might have seemed weak to her. She may have believed every word she wrote but what hurt the most was that this mother who claimed to love her son, did this to him. I never made him choose his parents over me. I would never ask him to do that. I wouldn’t want it asked of me. My heart ached for my husband. All I could do was hold him and told him I wasn’t going anywhere. I even told him to stop saying those horrible things about his mother. “don’t wish her dead Jack, she’s your mother. She’s not perfect. Yeah it hurts what she said. I know it’s not true. I’m pissed as hell because she never gave me a chance. She never wanted to know me.” He assured me he wouldn’t regret what he said over that kitchen sink if she croaked tomorrow. He also took away my keys and he went to the store and bought my a six pack of my favorite drink. Even in a crappy situation I can make a joke because if you don’t the hurt will consume you. “Why you taking my keys it’s not like I am going to waste the gas to drive 8 hours and confront her. She’s not worth it.” he knew I was upset. Yes I was. He didn’t want me driving. I wasn’t the only one to get a letter. Her daughters husband got a letter….9 pages. Him and I joked about it. Of course if they read this they will say I didn’t like him. Guess what I didn’t have to like him…I wasn’t married to him. He loved their daughter more than they will ever know. Him and I may not have always say eye to eye. I didn’t like the things he did , but I didn’t have to live with him; none of my damn business. It was after the letters we received I actually got to know a different side of him. He was tough on the exterior, but he had a soft heart.

The reason for her letter? Blah blah blah. She has always been the black sheep in her family. Her family treated her like crap. Her mother was dying and she was so frustrated. Blah blah blah…wonk wonk wonk..whatever.

Over the course of the next few weeks it was quite interesting. She called the house to see if I got the letter. Jack answered the phone because I told him it was their number. I didn’t hear her end just remember what I heard on his end. Yeah she got the letter. Did she call you to discuss the letter? Then I don’t think she wants to talk to you right now. Can’t say as I blame her really. No I am not going to get her on the phone. it got worse. He started yelling. what the hell do you mean you’re pissed she showed me the letter and how dare she? I’m her damn husband and my mother just sent her a hate letter in her effin’ birthday card. He was more ticked than I was. He was screaming on the phone. Veins were popping out of his neck.

A couple days later his dad called him. I always liked his dad, I never really had a problem with his dad. I had a lot of respect for his dad. I would have called him dad because that’s how I felt being around him. I didn’t always agree with his dad, didn’t always liked his views, but I liked him. His dad had called to get me to apologize. Just make it go away have her apologize and we can move on. It hit a nerve in Jack that I had never seen before. The two of them got into it as well.

The whole thing made me sick. Regardless of what she was accusing me of it wasn’t true. I knew it wasn’t true. I wasn’t perfect but I knew her accusations were not true. Jack accused her of never liking any of the women he hated or had relationships with. He went back and recounted girlfriends he had in school. She disagreed.

A few weeks later Jack’s grandmother died. We all rushed home to Moline. If I recall he said I didn’t have to go. What part of I am in this for the long haul don’t you understand? I knew I didn’t have to go. I knew I had ever right not to want to be around this woman. I loved my husband…her son more than she could ever comprehend. I think even more than he could comprehend. If you aren’t willing to go through the fire with a person you have no business marrying them.

The day of the funeral, I stepped outside for a smoke. I didn’t have anger, I didn’t have hatred. Despite what his mother did and said to me, I still showed up. Not to be in your face you can’t break me. Sometimes people do these things to others that are hurtful because they are the ones hurting the most inside. She came outside as I was puffing enjoying the cold March air in Illinois. We stood there, she started talking, I talked and then she broke down. I did the most instinctive thing I knew….held her. It was awkward I won’t lie. I recall hearing in history class of soldiers…enemies stopping the fight to wish each other Merry Christmas. It wasn’t some “fairy tale” I heard it through the tears of a War Veteran. I didn’t think of this woman as my enemy, she was human. I didn’t like what she did or how she did things or hurt people but she was family now. She just lost her mother and regardless of all the bickering a mother and daughter do there’s a relationship there that no one understands. I was leery of the situation however. Are the fangs going to appear from her? You can think of all the scenarios. I didn’t care if she spit venom at me. She needed to be held. She was hurting. However, as a woman I also knew…it wasn’t me she wanted holding her. I was just the one that showed her kindness despite what had taken place. The rest of her family was still pissed at her and she deserved everything she got. I excused myself politely and marched into the funeral home and sought out her husband, daughter and two sons. “I have spent the last five minutes outside holding a woman who just weeks ago told me how much she basically hated me. GET YOUR ASSES OUTSIDE and go to her. She doesn’t need me consoling her. She needs her family; she just lost her mother for crying out loud.” And I stood there looking at them all.

There was no mention again of that time, I never forgot and it still hurt. It never got better; it only got worse.

2003 I was pregnant with our daughter. Our daughters due date was actually my mother in laws birthday. She was excited. I knew my daughter wouldn’t be born on her grandmothers birthday. She was going to pick her own day. It wasn’t I didn’t want her to be born on a family members birthday. If my daughter had any ounce of my blood in me and the generations of women on my side of the family….she was going to be born when she damn well felt like it. A week later and a week over due; told y’all. For some reason people think I pull words out my arse and say things willy nilly.

Mom was coming down to help with our son. Second babies come early so she would come two days after the due date. Boy was she surprised when I greeted her at the bus stop. “We stopping at the hosptial?” I grabbed her suitcases and laughed, “Nope, I’m gonna be pregnant forever.”

Jack had announced to everyone…marines, friends, family. Not to come to the hospital until the baby is born. This was also told to his parents. Finally we are going to be having a baby. Jack calls his parents they will be up…Oh yeah they moved again 2 hours from us.

Jack and I are chilling out in the birthing room. I am doing a crossword puzzle. We are laughing and joking and the nurse says “you have visitors” Jack looked at me “I’m gonna kill those marines I told them.” and he stopped and saw his mother’s head peek in. Oh how are you kids doing? We just thought we would stop in before we went to the house to see if you guys need anything. The kindness and sweetness made me want to throw up. I didn’t say anything…I bit my tongue. Jack and her go get something to eat and bring it back to the hospital room. I was thinking what both of them could do with their whoppers or whatever the hell they were eating as I asked my father in law to “pass the ice chips please.’ I thought about throwing the cup of ice chips at Jack….I controlled myself. The lack of respect this woman had for OUR wishes was mind blowing. Finally Jack pulled his dad aside and said to get her out of here and he couldn’t believe he let her do this. Jack’s dad did apologize. He had no control over it. She offered to drive the last leg of the trip and he told her they shouldn’t come here but she insisted.

Beatrice kept hounding me. Did she want me to go get my mom? She could drop Jack’s dad off and be back in an instant. Nope. I had all ready talked to my mother. I had asked her if she wanted to come into the delivery room. She said no because I would have to invite Jack’s mother and she didn’t want Jack’s mother near me when I was delivering.

The baby was here…finally. Jack’s parents and mom brought big brother to see his sister. We had set rules, big brother gets to be introduced and see the baby first, before anyone else. If I recall correctly his parents only stayed two days. When they said they were going home, we all looked at them like they were crazy. When they left, mom said Beatrice tried so hard to get her to come back to the hospital with her. Mom flat out told her that the kids have said they do not want anyone at the hospital and we are going to respect that. Mom wasn’t stupid she knew what Beatrice was up to. If she got mom to go to the hospital I wouldn’t say no and the two of them would see their grandchild born. We all thought she got her nose out of joint because of that and that’s why they left. She didn’t get what she wanted so she was going to go sulk…maybe write another letter.

In 2003 another death in the family. I will never forget the phone call as long as I live. Jack was not at home. I answered the phone and it as his sister. I could tell something was wrong. She was asking for Jack and I told her he wasn’t home. I knew something was wrong by her voice. I loved her I thought of her like a sister. Again I didn’t always agree with her but I loved her. Her husband died that day. My heart sunk for her. There was no thinking , it was “we’ll be there as soon as we can.” I’m blowing up Jack’s phone. And we leave as quickly as we can.

Once we are back in Jack’s home town the entire family is there for his sister and her son. I didn’t know what to do for her. I felt helpless. How do you help or console someone who just lost someone they love? We were out on the back deck and his sister was talking to the pastor. I had gone inside and Jack’s mother was all ready in there and out of my mother in laws mouth came “she will be better off now. This is for the best” I looked at her I couldn’t believe what she just said. Her daughters husband had not been gone but not even a day and this is what her mother says. Are you kidding me? Then you wonder….of all the people she could have said this to, that are around in this house…why did she just say it to me? You just let it go like the rest of the BS she’s be dishing…whatever.

2006 my mother becomes sick. I had all ready been home once and I was getting ready to go back again this time I had told Jack I am going home until the end. He dreaded asking his mother for help. But he did. She came up and that very night my mother took a turn for the worse…that I had been telling everyone was happening. The kids, jack and I left at midnight and told her to lock up.

2007 our son went to his grandparents for a week. I am working, going to school, taking care of our daughter, dealing with bills because we were financially strapped before mom got sick and me not working for 2 months put us behind. Doing this…doing that…go go go. I get a phone call at 10 pm at night and this time it was Jack’s dad. Pissed at me. Who packed the suitcase? My son. I had gone over and gone over…and questioned our son. Did he have underwear, this many t-shirts, socks, this that and the other..yes mom I do. But I didn’t check it. Our son had done this several times. Jack didn’t check the suitcase. Then…his dad starts in about how he knows about me and I have been able to pull the wool over peoples eyes and he knew exactly what I was. Umm what are you talking about? I was a user a manipulator a this that and the other. And guess why we left as abruptly as we did when our granddaughter was born? Really people that was 2003…it’s now 2007. “We read your journal” Oh really?

I have kept a journal since I was a teenager. That was my venting. That’s how I released my anger at situations, how I thought things through. It had happy moments in there, it had angry moments in there. “you left it out we figured you wanted us to read it.” hmmm… “don’t recall either one of your names on the mortgage bill, which means if you aren’t Jack, me or our two kids…you’re a guest.” It explained a lot because all the sudden his sister started getting hateful. Turns out I had been venting about her husband. I don’t’ even know what I said.. I don’t re read my journals. It was raw emotion…at that moment. They wanted to condemn me for what I wrote in a journal that really was written and done with, put away when I ran out of paper. Point out the fact of what they have said when someone walks out of the room, out of ear shot or the CRAP pulled by them…his wife, who ever; just ignore that. I was done.

I told my husband to go get our son. While his dad was yelling and screaming at me and I yelling and screaming right back…I heard my son crying in the background. This is not happening anymore. I told Jack I wasn’t going to make him choose. I didn’t want it to be like this, I tried, and if that means I don’t go around them anymore this is how it is going to have to be. I loved him too much; I love my son too much to make either of them choose between me or them. If him and our son wanted to go there for thanksgiving fine; I was not going anymore. I was no longer subjecting myself to this.

What they were doing; had been doing was totally wrong. Sure Jack got pissed at them. But when it came right down to do, they are who they are just accept it. No I don’t have to accept it when your mother is treating me like crap. Then she would wonder why I didn’t talk to her much or want to go shopping with her or do anything with her. Why?

It was her way or no way. Guess what. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree on that one. As much as Jack would complain about her and dislike what she did; he would do the same crap to people; including me.

I am glad I am done with the whole brood. That wasn’t life; that wasn’t living; that wasn’t family. I don’t wish them any ill. They can all go on being unhappy, judging people, being racist, making the gay jokes, whatever they want to do.

What have a learned from all of this. I learned I don’t want to be that mother or that mother in law when it comes time. I saved the letter she wrote. It might be hanging on to bitter memories. I feel I owe it to my children to keep it for when they start relationships. I know there will be girlfriends/boyfriends I am not going to like. We all make our opinions known; but doing what was done to me, to my husband will not take place on my watch. When I feel that way–I’m going to pull out the letter and read it. I want to remember how it felt to be on the receiving end. I also know what I will not tolerate anymore if I ever get into a relationship again. From my partner or from his family.

Part One: The Mother-in-law from Hell

My very first encounter with my future mother in law was when my soon to be husband called to let them know we were getting married in a week. There was a little chit chat and then Jack dropped the “we’re getting married next week,” bomb. There was obviously silence. Then his mother uttered, “I really liked that omit name girl. She was great.” I think my look at Jack was like when a dog hears a sound that makes their head tilt to the side. I ignored it citing that, hey we both put our parents through hell. I was also young and innocent and didn’t say anything. I did laugh when Jack’s dad said “Yeah she was great. She about made our son’s D**k fall off.” Pssst this girl cheated on him while he was on a 6 month deployment–she was spectacular. THAT was the very first encounter of my mother in law.

The second encounter, with my now mother in law was when our son was 6 weeks old. Jack, the baby and I fly to Des Moines, Iowa to be with his family for the holidays. It was a stay a couple days in Des Moines with his parents, then we would all drive to Moline, IL to be with the rest of the family. Jack made me hold the baby as we disembarked from the plane. “Hold him, she will have to go to you because you are holding the baby.” Remember I was 19 here, not 34. How bad could it be? That’s what I had been telling Jack the whole time. He had given me a little snippet of what his mother was like. For me I kept an open mind. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt….obviously something Jack’s family doesn’t do.

When Jack and I stepped off that plane and out into the terminal his parents were there. Jack’s mom’s eye lit up seeing him and the baby. She put’s on a good show. To the passer by and even to her son, she wrapped her arms around me in a hug. His mom made it look damn good. The hug she gave; cold as ice; and chilled me to the bone. You ignore it and again make excuses in your mind. This is a hard position for our families to be in. It’s going to take time.

It may have been a day later or maybe two and Jack’s mom and dad decided to go to the grocery store. She wanted to take our son with them. The excuse “it will give you two a chance to have a break.” She had him swaddled in a blanket. I believe I made the comment of do you need help putting the infant carrier in the back seat? She said the words so sweet to our son “We don’t need a car seat I am just going to hold him in the front seat while grandpa drives.” Jack happened to be standing right next to me we were messing with the baby bag or something and I whispered to him, “over my dead body she is. If she takes him he goes in a car seat and that’s final.” Is it really MY place to confront her about this after only being there a day? I mean really. I don’t believe it is. Jack said something about the baby needing to be in the car seat. The look on her face, her son just slapped her in the face. “But we did this all the time with you kids and your sisters son. It’s just down the road.”

My hormones were still out of whack. I was stressed over this whole meeting the family. Jack and I had a lot going on. New marriage, new baby, getting ready to leave for Japan in a few months, learning the Marine Corps way. I don’t care who you are it’s stressful. Now I’ve got Beatrice, here thinking it’s the 1970’sand not 1997. Jack even came to me and said, “it’s just down the road, it’s fine.” I held my ground. “you are telling her our baby doesn’t go if he is NOT in a car seat.” I had tears in my eyes and I was NOT going to let her see the tears, so I went down stairs into our room and flopped on the bed. When Jack came down I was crying into a pillow so no one could hear me. He slide next to me on the bed, “she’s not taking him.” Then “you can’t let her get to you this way. Mom is who she is and you have to toughen up around her or she is going to eat you alive.” I looked at him, “That’s not right. I am not going to let her do whatever the hell she so desires doing. This is our family Jack and if my mother were doing this you can be damn sure I’d be saying something.” You dust yourself off; collect yourself and go on. Tuck n roll.

When I finally entered back into the room mother in law was still harping about she didn’t see what the big deal was, they did it all the time with their kids and all this. I ignored it to some degree but gave responses as cold as she uttered them. Rules have changed since we were all younger; it’s the law now. On the inside I am thinking, yeah and there are reasons why we have laws. it’s like the disclaimer before a dumb ass video don’t try this at home. Obviously the laws/rules have changed since the 1970’s due to numerous kids being killed, injured in car wrecks sooo.. Voila we have laws.

I am not always talkative around new people. I listen, I observe, I get my surrounding. It’s who I am, it’s who I will always will be. I was highly uncomfortable there. There was so much tension in that house it was nerve racking. I put that aside because I loved my husband. I loved my child.

As I write I realize I still have “Jack’s responses” in my head. He thought my “vibes” my “intuition” my gut feelings were ridiculous. It’s how I have always been. I could feel a storm brewing, something in my gut, the atmosphere told me it was just a matter of when that storm would come ashore.

Jack’s mother, Beatrice had this house that when you walked into “common folk” weren’t sure where the hell they should be. Should I sit on the couch? Hell should I use the towels in the bathroom? Everything had it’s place. It wouldn’t have surprised me if you moved the toaster and an outline of where it should be placed back would be there. I didn’t even feel comfortable making our son’s formula in their kitchen. God forbid I use the wrong damn thing. I made Jack do it. After all, his first wife and her got into an argument of how to properly fill an ice cube tray for crying out loud. You fill the cubes individually with water…no you slant the tray down and let the water run through. Really? Who gives a rats ass how the tray gets full. I will blow everyone’s mind and say “we never used ice except to keep shit cold.” I don’t use ice for my drinks cause it waters the drink down.

We all went out to the mall one day (she likes to shop), I am not much of a shopper. Walking the GD mall I might do 2 times a year just stroll it. Most of the time, I go in get the what I need and get out. All 5 of us got to the mall. G’ma is holding the baby. “Where’s his binky?” he doesn’t have a binky. He doesn’t like the binky. “you don’t leave the house without a binky.” Sweet Lord. The child doesn’t LIKE the GD binky. We all headed straight to a high price store.. 7-8 bucks for a stupid ass choo-choo binky……that he spit out. She kept trying to hold it in his mouth. I kept getting pissed and biting my tongue. When I’m pissed I shut down, I don’t’ want to talk to you, cause I am about to say something you aren’t going to like. She was complaining he wouldn’t keep the binky in his mouth, even with her holding it in there. “Told you he doesn’t like the binky.” You whisper it just under your breath so you husband hears it and laughs.

I was happy we were all getting in the car and going to his sisters house. Maybe there would be normal. His sister remained in Moline. His brother had lived in Chicago and would be coming in a few days.

Jack before had told me, “there’s something I have to tell you about my brother.” ok? “he’s gay.” that’s it? Good grief I thought you were going to tell me something bad. I mean really? My mother’s best friend from high school was a lesbian. One of her friends was gay. To me gay or lesbian was no big deal. Murder, convicted felon…that’s a big deal. Gay? Ummm no. Then I was warned it was a touchy spot in the family. Apparently so are black people or as his family likes to refer to them as “N” I can’t even say it. I said it one time in my life and I still feel the sting. I was allowed to drop the F bomb anytime. But calling a black person a “N.” My mother would NOT tolerate it. Which is funny because Beatrice doesn’t like the “F” bomb but she will let “N” fly like it’s nothing. Imagine the rude awakening I got with that one.

What have I learned over the years? I am ashamed to say, ignoring it is accepting it. Even uncomfortably (nervous) laughing at the remarks is also accepting it; condoning it. All of them…including my own husband, let it all fly. You learn to keep your mouth shut. On the inside it was repulsive, ignorant, and it made me sick to my stomach.

It’s like I told Jack when he left and was telling me everything wrong with me and how I didn’t do this…didn’t do that. You get what you give. It’s that simple. That’s EXACTLY how I treated his parents. What they gave; they got back. What Jack gave; he got back. It took me longer because I actually loved him with all my heart. He got what he gave.

If dealing with his parents…mainly his mother was not an indicator to Jack that, I wasn’t going anywhere I don’t know what else was. There’s a lot of things that should have been an indicator to Jack that I WASN’T GOING ANYWHERE because I genuinely loved him.

Christmas literally SUCKED that year. It’s immature to be excited on Christmas Eve. “Can we wake them up yet?” No go back to sleep….five minutes later…”how about now” For the love of God you’re an adult go the hell back to sleep and wake up when everyone else wakes up. WTH kind of CRAP is this. Who the hell sleeps in on Christmas? “When name omitted nephew wakes up…then we all wake up.’ SIGH!!!!! Toss ;turn… Who the hell taught this nephew? Whose rules are these, I want to complain.

How did I grow up? Go to midnight mass at one of the local churches (they all took turns)…come home, go to sleep for a couple hours. Visions, sugar plums…yaddity yaddity yah….haul ass down stairs….go back up the stairs cause you didn’t slide down the banister…I had to hear mom “stop sliding down the banister.” Heard it…OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO presents. When we lived in the trailer…tin can as mom called it. I climbed through the window that had been taken out when the addition was added. “quit climbing through that.” sorry mom serious business here…OOOOOOOO presents. Now? Welcome to Military version of Christmas. Jack was used to the military long before he ever joined. Structure…YUCK! Everyone “had” to wake up. Get coffee, have breakfast. COME ON ALL READY.

Jack was pissed he never could change that in me. 34 years old…I still do it. I go NUTS over Christmas. It starts about end of November and goes until January 1. I love Christmas time. It’s the best time of the year. Don’t give a crap if I get presents..I love the season.

I was glad to get back to North Carolina after that “vacation.” We move to Japan a few months later. I keep in touch with his parents writing them letters, sending them pictures of our son. The majority of the flowers his mother got….I sent or hounded him to the point the went and did it.

At our son’s 2 year birthday Jack and I decided to go to FL. His parents had moved there from Des Moines. The joke of the family was…they will only stay there two years. For some reason they or Beatrice has to move. Jack would always say “everyone in the neighborhood has probably pissed them off about time for them to move.” They graciously invited my mother down to FL so she would be able to see us as well. I will say my mother had more tact that I did. My mother couldn’t stand Jack’s mother. For her, dealing with them was worth the sacrifice to see me, Jack and her grandson. I laughed hysterically at mom.

You should have seen Beatrice face when we went to Daytona….and mom said to my husband “take me to get a tattoo.” You want to talk about pious. Beatrice was the queen at it. “I can’t believe your mother is getting a tattoo. If God wanted you to have tattoo he would have given you tattoos. If God wanted you to have earrings he would have given you holes.” My response. “Those new earrings you have…those are pretty.” Smile. Beatrice likes throwing God around when it suits her. Her “Christian” beliefs pertain to only others….not her. Then she’d wonder why we didn’t want to go to church with her. “Oh let’s go to church.” Oh let’s not. I believe in God. I pray to God almost every night. If I want to go to church…I go to church. If I don’t want to go to church…I don’t go to church. Oh and I wear what ever the heck I want to wear to church. I don’t have to dress up.. The gates of hell didn’t open up and swallow me when I walked into church at 11 years old wearing a Bon Jovi t-shirt….think I am good. If we go to church…can I bring a barf bucket cause your “Christianity” is making me sick….hypocrite. Thought it…didn’t say it.

My son and I come back from Japan. We ended up staying 7 weeks at his parents house. Jack had wanted me and our son to go there for a couple weeks. Then he wanted me to stay there for the duration until he came to the states, cause he didn’t want me to be driving alone to my mom’s house…in St. Andrews New Brunswick by myself with our son. Even now I see it as a control issue. I truly think he thought that if I went to Canada that long, I wouldn’t want to come back. Again I don’t know what part of “I’m in this forever” is not understood. Anyway, Jack would say I was crazy with that thought. It’s how I felt…it’s how I feel.

You try to be this good little house guest. After all it was just the two of them and two other people adds expense. I offered to help pay for groceries, help with any bills you name it I offered. One day I finally got a head of Jack’s dad in line and finally paid for groceries. Freeloader I am not. If you want to play mind games of when I offer to do something and not take me up on the offer…that’s on you. Don’t bitch about it. If I didn’t want to do it….I wouldn’t have offered the gesture. Our son was in American overload. Poor child only knew Japan. He was SO excited to see his grandparents. I didn’t exist. He didn’t want mom…hell mom was there every day…G’ma this…G’pa that. I mean some mothers would get jealous of this. It was new to him. Mom took him to go pee and poo all the time. “I want grandpa.” or “I want grandma.” It was important to him. He was a child in 3 years this was the second time he saw his grandparents. I mean really.

You make sure you aren’t leaving your child so they think you are taking advantage of them. You feel damn well guilty for going two days to hang out with your brother in law but they are pushing you out the door, “Go have fun. Mom’s need breaks. Don’t worry about him he’s fine.” OK even after I said “I don’t’ need to go, I don’t want to leave you guys here with the almost 3 year old.” Oh crap did I just insult them for being old and not able to take care of a 3 year old? He’s pretty chill but likes to keep going.

We went to Daytona. The grandparents wanted him to feel the ocean on his toes. He said no. They drug him and he started kicking and screaming. I just said “he doesn’t want to guys, don’t force him.” Oh well he was ruining the trip to the beach. Who gives a rats ass if he wants to sit in the damn white sand and build sand castles all day. The kid hasn’t seen the ocean before. He likes pools. The ocean FREAKED him out. And what did Jack’s parents do. Called him a spoiled brat. He ruined the trip. They made him feel like shit. He came up snuggling next to me. “Mommy I want to go home.” I held him close. And the two kept on at him. I told him we would go back to the gma and g’pas house later. We were having a day at the beach. “No mommy I want to go back home to Japan.” Then it was the question of “When can we go see nana.”

The cold hearted truth. My son knew his nana (my mom) better than he knew his g’ma and g’pa (Jack’s parents). It wasn’t intentional. I wanted my child to have the same kind of relationship with his grandparents as he did with his nana. The difference, the grandparents didn’t have a computer. My son talked to his nana every day. On the computer and on the phone for those 3 years. He knew his nana. They talked about anything and everything. He only talked to Jack’s parents a handful of times while we were overseas. He recognized pictures. I had family pictures out because I wanted him to recognize his grandparents and his family. Just because we were half a world away didn’t mean he didn’t have to not know them.

Our son reacted differently when it came to my mom and to Jack’s parents. He was my snuggle bear. How my son and I were during the day while Jack wasn’t there, was different when we were all together. When Jack was home our son would come to me for consoling, praise. There were times lil man wanted his dad….there were times he wanted his mom. I regret now listening to Jack in the child rearing. Mother’s do it differently than dads.

We finally left to go get daddy in Atlanta.

It’s Summer Time

I’ve had to get used to many things since living in the south since 2001. For one school for my kids does not go from September to June.

Yesterday, May 22, 2012 was my children’s last day of school. My handsome young man will be going into high school next year; my lil miss will be going into the 3rd grade. Yes, you get brownie points if you tell me at 34 years old I do not look old enough to have a son going into high school.

I remind my children…“I remember what it was like being a kid.” I guess I am a parent when they look at me like I have lost my marbles….just like I did when my mother said those exact same words. Of course my mom was born n 1943 and had been just before she turned 36. Lol when I had my son (almost 15 years ago) I had only been out of high school since June 1996. The 1960’s and the 1990’s were a smidge bit different.

Regardless kids love summer time. Hell adults love summer time. Despite the money situation, despite all the issues going on between the divorce and their dad; they will have a good summer. Sometimes the greatest memories don’t require the best vacations that you didn’t know your parents couldn’t exactly afford.

My fondest memories of summer–hanging out with my two best friends. Ok Ok you got me I am snickering a little bit. There was baseball in my best friends yard. I don’t even think my friends and I played baseball we just had her brother hit the balls, to see how far he could get them into “the Triangle.” The triangle you ask? Oh you only get a triangle if you live where we lived. Essentially it was the little part the construction people forgot about when making a road. Yes where I come from we were guilty of landmark directions. When you said “meet you at the triangle” you knew it was the intersection..out in Chamcook. We were quite pissed years later when they paved our paradise and we couldn’t play there any more. God only remembers what we played in the triangle.

Of course as you get older your summers get more cool; or so we thought; because we were cool. There were Glass Tiger concers; Lee Aaron concerts. Hey don’t mock me. Lee Aaron was Canada’s queen of Heavy Metal.

Summers for me are memories of sleep overs; that sleeping never took place. Going for a little toodle (a drive) that sometimes ended up being 2 hours and God knows where we would end up. The sun stayed out until around 9 close to 10 pm if I recall (Atlantic time). Playing some sort of card game with my best friends family, going on another genealogy adventure with mom.

Summer meant awesome take out. By take out I mean…you sit in your car and eat your food. The windows get fogged up. Many of the “take-outs” back home are seasonal and it’s not full on like donkey kong until the American Memorial Day Weekend. Fries and fried scallops, tuna rolls, lobster rolls. Seafood platters.

Summer’s were going to the lake, summers were freaking awesome as a kid and we didn’t need to be going to some awesome vacation. We had vacation in our own back yard. The ocean, lakes, nature trails and all the fun things to do back home. Just being and hanging out was awesome.

Today when I got home from work. I had 7-9 bikes in my front yard and walked into the house with my children’s friends and the joy and it was an awesome feeling. While they do not realize it now, memories are being made. It doesn’t have to be spectacular or grand to make an awesome memory in your life. I hope one day they realize that. Unfortunately it will be when they are adults. Our parents heard the same thing we hear “mom we’re bored”

Construction

You will notice I am changing sites and changing things around. I will let you all know if more changes are coming.

There are a lot of things I love doing. Writing is just one of them. However, I am a jack of all trades. There is nothing I can’t do. I love computers and I love the design aspect as well.

The blog will start slow and hopefully as more people discover this site there will be more advancing. Please keep up with my facebook page as well on One Woman.

Have a great day

Bryant

Life of a Single Mom

No one ever thinks they will be a single parent. There are a lot of things we do not envision happening in our lives; that do end up happening.  Some of us have seen single mothers in action.

As many of you know my mother raised me by herself. My dad was out of the picture by the time I graced this wonderful earth. Child support? Ahhh no. There was no child support to be had. The money coming in was the money mom was making and that was it.

For me there was no back and forth between my mom and my dads. There were no sorted issues that put me in the middle between my mom and dad.  If he had been in my life; I have no doubt there would have been those issues.

Life as a mom is not easy; life as a single mother is not for the faint of hearts.  There are many of us out there; and there will be many more. Somehow we all survive.

When Jack left me in June 2010, I was technically working part-time and making about 600.00 every two weeks. Then shortly after he left me; hours got cut and I was making somewhere around 300.00 every two weeks. I was looking for other jobs, even though I loved what I did. If Jack wasn’t helping me financially, I needed to find another job that was secure. Not only secure but that would offer benefits as well. Something many Americans need to do when looking for a job. I am sure one of the first questions out of a potential employee’s is “what are your benefits like?” I would take jobs where others couldn’t because I didn’t need the benefits. I would however once Jack and I were divorced, and I no longer was eligible under the military benefits.

600.00 a month to take care of a 14 year old and an 8 year old. Jack refused to give me money. After all he was doing “me” a favor by making the house payment and other bills. No matter how much I tried to get through to the wall of China and try to make him realize, “it’s not ME you are doing the favor for; it’s OUR kids.” One thing he forgot about when he was off having an affair and so in love was hey “WE” GOT OURSELVES INTO DEBT.  I don’t care who you are, you take care of your children before ANY other partner. Kids come first no matter what.

I would have to call him; and GOD knows I hated calling him for money. I dreaded the phone call. Because I would have to hear, I am paying the house, I am paying this I am paying that. Well I didn’t want to hear his whining because he got handed over ALL the bills when I requested  the money to upkeep the house come to me. He said no and the stack of bills got slide across the dining room table at him. Welcome to my hell buddy. I refused; outright refused to deal with any of the companies we owed money to when I didn’t know when money would be coming. Let him deal with it.

On top of the bills were the children. I needed money for this; I needed money for that. Any time I called him it was the same old same old, what you can’t manage your money? Oh I don’t know you make about 4,000.00 a month and I make 1200.00 a month and have two children to take care of. His famous line, “its all you.” Would he give the money? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

I had suggested he give me what the estimated child support would be each month and then we would figure out the bills. No, Jack was riding his lil bus. “He” was in control.

The problem, he believed me to be this money monger. Somewhere along the way he decided I had used him all those years we were married. Please buddy if I was going to be using someone for their money I would NOT have married a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps.  Quit drinking what your mama fed you.

Despite not getting hits on my resume I stuck out the 300.00 every two weeks as long as I could. I had learned how to use coupons  in the ending stages of the marriage. I was trying to get us on the path of better finances. With not much help from him. Jack was working an extra duty job in a local grocery store,  when he wasn’t doing his police officer job.  The extra duty was a sore spot with me because I didn’t want him working that much. Even he was impressed when I asked him to pick up some items once he was off duty. If I recall he ended up spending .13 cents and came out with 10-15 items. So you penny pitch where you can to make that 300.00 last for two weeks. It was costing me 50.00 a week to go back and forth to work. So I only had 200.00 to get the kids through the two weeks. Kids being kids are going to ask for things. I mean really just because my mom was a single mother didn’t mean I didn’t ask for stuff. They are kids for crying out loud.  10.00 here for a school function. When you go through that grocery line and you “pray” your debit card accepts the charges; it’s a good day. But there have been times I have had to put back items the kids needed so I could purchase the items they really needed. Lunch meat becomes a luxury. PB&J and ramen noodles become necessity.

To say you do not become a little resentful of your soon to be ex…he is still technically my husband is an understatement. Especially when he shows up sporting a new tattoo on his forearm to pick up the kids. It’s great he’s being all big and bad….look what the new girlfriend let me get that you would have freaked out about. Meh we’ll see how long she “let’s you” do this crap…I “let you” do this crap and we were on the verge of bankruptcy. The  kids to his place for the weekend and when they come back , it’s “look what daddy bought me. Look what omit her name bought me. My tongue bled I bit it so hard. “Oh that’s great sweetie.” or “bud” Meanwhile back at the ranch….

Of course every time you say something to the ex that you need more money or you complain about his lack of support, he says to you “Give them to me.” Meaning the kids. You have to hear that he’s got the money so it makes sense for the kids to come live with him and his girlfriend while we are still married.

In the beginning you try to be nice then you realize he’s doing everything in his power to make you miserable. Jack would say no, but this is typical Jack.

Finally things in the job aspect start turning around. I found out about this job; the same job I was doing but with a little bit better pay and the benefits were awesome. I applied, went through the interview process and then got hired. I was on cloud nine. It’s funny, I have told my friends while married to Jack I would have never taken this job because his job came first whether he wants to believe it or not. You even call Jack and try to talk to him about the fact you have a new job and you are going to need his help. For the first little while he would  have to call out when the kids are sick until I could  accrue sick and leave time. This job was a whole different ball game. He tells me that he will and I take him at his word.

In true fashion lil miss gets sick within my first week of work. I had to call Jack and I said I will just meet you at the front of your apartment parking lot. He agreed, didn’t say anything else. Once there, I sit and I wait…and wait. My first week of work and guess what I’m all ready late because of him. Then the truck comes rolling in and you want to scream. You don’t. Instead of telling me he was coming from his girlfriends place and he wasn’t at his apartment he just made me come to his “stage” apartment as I called it. I handed off lil miss, and didn’t bother saying a word to him about his lack of consideration. You just beat feet to your job. Upon getting to the job you get a little talking to from your new boss about being late and this can’t happen anymore. You try to explain the situation of why you were late but you do not want to go into too much detail….at your new job about your personal life. You take the lumps that are given; it wasn’t bad really but still you don’t want to disappoint the people who hired you, you don’t want to disappoint yourself because you are good at your job; not the best but good.

Jack was not going to ruin this for me. Most especially Jack was not going to ruin this for the kids. Yes, my job was so I could provide better for my children. My new job no weekends were involved, once I accrued time I would be able to take those days off the kids asked for and still get paid, or when they were sick still get paid. My other job as much as I loved it and as much as I hated leaving, my family came first. My family whether Jack ever gets it’s through his head, always comes first.  So you start laying down the law. From now on Jack will meet me a parking lot in my work and we will exchange sick kids there.

Of course like in our marriage what is any different than when we are going through a divorce; Jack doesn’t like to be told what to do. Of course when you tell him this he gripes and moans. He complains about the driving distance and how much it’s going to impact him. Guess what? I no longer care.

Leaving the old job to the new job, I went 3 weeks without a paycheck. Stress levels go up but you keep on trucking.  I have always been so used to saying “I’m fine, I will make it.” You are stressed about bills, about making it the 6 months probation you are on with your new job, kids need this, kids need that, added the stress Jack was putting on me with the crap he was pulling. I knew what Jack was doing and is still doing, is wrong. Of course you have the years of being married to him where he has convinced you it’s not him it’s you. Then when you tell people what he is doing…male and female they affirm your thought process of what he is doing is wrong.

Jack and I can’t even talk without it going into an argument. Why? Because Jack is a bully. He wants it his way or no way at all. It’s quite funny actually for years I had to listen to Jack tell me I caved all the time. I couldn’t make a solid decision and stick with it. Then I realized when I would say “NO” and give my reasoning’s why. It didn’t matter, Jack went and did it anyway. In the marriage I learned that. So I finally stand up and say NO and mean it. Jack did it anyway.

In January while you are dealing with lil misses head lice. Which by the way Jack made it my fault, that she got head lice. You don’t even have the money to buy the head lice shampoo and if it wasn’t for a very dear friend running out and getting me the head lice shampoo, my daughter wouldn‘t have gotten treated. You work all day and you are up to your elbows in head lice shampoo until midnight. This was truly the week from hell. While I am dealing with head lice, I check the mail and there’s the foreclosure letter on the house. We had to be out by February 7th.  Your son is sick…you have no money for the co pay. You have no money for meds. You are still pulling eggs out of your daughters hair and Jack calls and says “I can take him to the doctor if you want.” Oh just kick it on in the driveway why don’t you on the 500 mile trip. It’s when you have had you FILL of Jack and the crap he is pulling. “No Jack here is what you are going to do. I have all ready taken the day off….I got this. What I don’t have because of you is money to help me financially raise our children. So you are going to call up the doctors office and you are going to make payment arrangements for the measly 12.00 co pay…I don’t have. THEN you are going to call up the pharmacy and let them know YOU will be the one paying  for any all medications that the doctor sees fit in prescribing.” Stuttering on the phone. “I don’t think they will do that.” I rolled my eyes on the phone, “Jack do you really think that this is the first divorcing couple the doctor’s office and the pharmacy have seen? I mean really. They can do this. How do I know they can do this, because they have this thing called a credit card machine that one can manually punch in numbers on. It’s great. We did it all the time at my old job. Now do it.” In this conversation I also told him the 1100.00 he was going to pay on the mortgage…that was now in foreclosure…not to. When he asked why I said “because you are going to set aside that money so when I call you and tell you the kids and I have found a new place to live the kids and I will be able to move in. Otherwise you make a payment and the mortgage company will apply it to the loan and still foreclose on us.”

I had told him months ago it made sense for the kids and I to stay in the current house. Not just because it was the only home the kids knew, but financially. Because finding a “decent” place for the kids and I to live would be about the same cost as what the mortgage payment was. It made sense.  First and foremost as a mother I was trying to keep the kids lives as normal as possible given the situation they were in the middle of. They knew the possibility that we would end up moving. Both kids got apprehensive about it. Whether Jack wants to accept it or not, that house was their safety net. It might just be four walls but to our children that was home. To any child it’s more than just four walls. Yes we all know in life one must accept change and kids also need to be able to deal with change.  Jack’s response to everything I tried to make him see about the kids and what this was doing to them was “they will get over it” “Tell them to suck it up, it’s life.” By the end of the week I had found the kids and I a place to live. Great neighborhood. Friends they all ready had at school. I called Jack and said I needed 1600.00. He said he didn’t have it I would have to wait another two week. Then I stated that I realized it wasn’t 1100.00 so he could give me the 1100 and in two weeks give me the remaining. After all he had set aside that 1100.00. Guess what he didn’t have it. Of course I got the there are bills to pay that we all ready have and I didn’t know. I pointed out oh yes I knew, even after almost 1.5 years of not handling the bills, I knew the bills we had. When you do the banking from the time you were 20 until 32…you know exactly the financial crap the two of you have gotten into. “You had no intentions of making that house payment like you said you were.” Then you make the jab, “it’s not so easy supporting two households is it? You never thought of that when you were having the affair. Semper Fi Marine.” click.

So here the kids and I are 3 weeks until probably the sheriffs department comes and evicts us from their home. I had been in constant contact with my lawyer, here’s what he is doing now.  My lawyer contacted his lawyer. His lawyer wrote a letter back to my lawyer. I read the words and I got pissed.  Jack likes to take credit for what others present to him. All those months of me telling him it made sense for the kids and I to stay in the house, we were established in the house, moving would incur costs of start up. Jack’s lawyer wrote verbatim of what I had been saying to Jack for months. Kick it on in the drive way, buddy.

Of course by now, financially, common sense wise from a single mother’s stand point. No! Staying in that house was not making sense anymore. We all know there are pros and cons to owning and renting. I wrote this to my lawyer and told him he could use whatever he so desired to use. From a single mother’s stand point and providing for her children, staying in that house, no longer made sense. The house was 10 years old and stuff starting to go. The HVAC for the 4th time ate up another compassitor….150.00 repair. The last repair when I mentioned to the HVAC guy about us thinking about changing out units said that’s gonna be a hefty price because codes have changed since the unit was put in. It wasn’t just a simple replace the unit, you had to replace everything, including duct work. He nonchalantly said as he as putting in the compassitor “that will run about 7,000-13,000.00.” We were on septic and the last time we had it pumped out it was 500.00…that was in 2007. The honey sucker was probably about due to come out. So as a single mother what made sense was to rent. Why? Because the landlord is responsible for these repairs. Given the fact Jack wasn’t helping me financially with the kids, it made even more sense.

My lawyer got me that 1600.00 to get into the house. The kids and I were down to the wire; 1 week to get the entire house moved. I was so worried my kids were going to see us evicted and I didn’t want them to see that. Jack didn’t care, him and his girlfriend and her 3 kids were shacked up in their little abode. Meanwhile as you are helping your children pack up their worldly possessions and crying because they are packing up with tears in their eyes, holding them because there’s nothing you can do other than hold them. You keep telling them, “things will get better” and you yourself are wondering when the hell  things are  going to get better. You have to remain strong for your children.

You have all ready had to take a humble pill when within weeks of your new job, bags of groceries end up in the break room, because somehow they know. Christmas was provided by a church and if it hadn’t have been for that group of people, your children’s last Christmas in their home would have sucked big time. Even though their dad’s plan was to have them for Christmas, the kids refused to go because they wanted to be home for Christmas.

Thanks to a dear friend we moved the entire house in one weekend. I was so proud of the kids. Because as hard as it was and as tired as they were they kept plugging a long. There were times we stopped to cry a little bit, there were times we got mad at the situation and just kept loading.

Once we moved into the new house…Jack stopped helping. Even though once again you ask and you ask that he start giving you something his response is. “Not until I am ordered to by the judge.” What kind of man does this to his children? What kind of man thinks that this is ok?  It’s no longer just my opinion, it’s many people’s opinions about him. As much as he wants to think he has integrity; he has none.

I have had women and men tell me they have a lot of respect for me. The fact that I refuse to back down and I remain standing up for what is right. It’s not right that you ex shares the divorce papers with your oldest son and then says “see what your mother is doing to me?” It’s not right that Jack is not helping me with the kids financially. None of this is right; but you keep going. At some point someone will hear your screams, because you refuse to sit down and shut up to make it easier on yourself.

It’s through this experience I have affirmed what I have always known. I am strong. I am stronger than most. I am even stronger than Jack. What I do as a single mother, Jack needs two. 😀 It is what it is.

As a single mother I have learned many things.  Just keep going. With no help from Jack, I am hanging onto this house by myself.  I explained it to my friend as I am hanging onto the edge by my nails to the point splinters are digging up under my nails. She laughed when I told her that. I think she laughed more when I said, I have a darned good finger nail file to get the splinters out. The 1600 dollars Jack gave me to get the kids in the house until the end of April when he gave me 500.00 has been the only money since the kids and I have moved, he has given to “help out.”

Here’s a simple fact ladies. That pretty house, those nice counter tops, the big SUV, the fancy vacations.  85% of women would NOT be able to enjoy solely on their paychecks if they were single mothers. That’s my opinion; I could be wrong. We all know men make more in the work field. Yes I also understand there are women out there who make some big bucks in yearly salary.

Ask yourself this. If I were a single mother with what I am making right now would I be able to afford what I have right now? Nope you do NOT get to factor in child support because you have an ex called Jack. I think a lot of you are a little sickened by that thought aren’t you? Oh and guess what if you do not have an ex husband that is helping you if you make 30,000 a year here’s one little enlightening thought; YOU DO NOT QUALIFY FOR FOOD STAMPS. Despite that you have worked and you have paid taxes you do not qualify for those services.

This weekend I saw my 8 year old daughter do something that hurt but yet I was so proud of her. She shouldn’t have to grow up this fast, but she is. She set up a lemonade stand; her and her friends in our yard. I was actually surprised the kids made money. Friday the kids made about 4.00. Lil miss divided up the money evenly between her friends. Yesterday the girls did the same thing and today the girls did the same thing. What did my daughter do with her money. She went to a yard sale just down the road that was selling girls clothes and bought herself clothes. Again it hurt as a mother, but yet it was a proud moment. She knows that mom can’t even afford to go yard saling at this moment. I got paid Friday and the money is gone on bills to keep the kids in this house. Again holding on by my finger nails with splinters going up under the fingers.  She is exactly like me. At 14 I was out earning money to take the burden off my mom for all the things I needed because mom couldn’t get them for me. By the time I was 16 I was buying my own school supplies, clothes, bought my first car at 500.00,  got it inspected, paid my own insurance, put gas in it. I did this without any help.  I wonder if my own mother hurt to see her daughter out there so young working to take the burden off of her.  I don’t have to wonder however if she was proud of me,  I know she was.

My son who is a teenager is still learning about all of this. Yes kids will ask for stuff they always will. It’s part of being a kid. I have a wonderful opportunity for both of my children now.  Unlike my mother who raised just daughters as a single mother; I am raising a son and a daughter as a single mother. Guess what I cannot say the things my mother said to me about men. That would be a huge injustice to my son.  This is an important time for a 14 year old young man. This is also an important time for an 8 year old little girl. How this mom proceeds is going to impact them as adults. How their dad proceeds is going to impact them as adults. It’s like the therapist said in the court ordered parenting class that all divorcing couples in the state of Georgia are required to take before their divorce. “the kids will figure out who the smuck is and they probably all ready have.”

One thing I have had to learn how to do is,  not worry about Jack anymore and what he is doing to our  kids. I cannot be responsible for what Jack does or doesn’t do. He has to figure this out on his own.  I don’t wish Jack any ill as much as he ticks me off; I don’t even hate him.  And my friends  when they read this will say “she’s right, that’s her.” I know I am not perfect. I know at 34 years old there is still a lot of growing inside of me left to do. I am not always going to get it right with the kids. There will be times they will not like me. We have all hated our parents, we have all thought we were better than our parents. There are times I cry because the stress of it all gets too much. Crying is not weakness; crying is releasing what bothers you inside when you are hurting. Crying releases the bad so you can continue to be strong.

Why do I write this blog? Why do I share my experiences with you? Because I know there is someone right now going through exactly the same thing I am going through and that woman or even that man is wondering how the hell they are going to get through it. You will, I don’t know when, I don’t know how. I don’t even know how long it is going to take. It hasn’t even happened for me yet. It will. I have always rooted for the underdog. I believe in the Rabbit and the Turtle. It’s one of my favorite stories as a child. Believe in yourself. Most of all continue being you and what you stand for. In the end, the truth shall prevail. You are stronger than the individuals who try to knock you down.