Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Ex-Husband Ate My Lunch and the Kiddo Needs Sleep Aids

Weirdest weekend ever – or so it feels! OK, so this past weekend was my work weekend, 25 hours in 36 hours plus commute, so per me being unavailable on a weekend the kiddo and I pack up and bunk at my folks house.  If you have gotten a inkling to my relationship with my folks this would seem an odd enough set up to begin with, oh and sometimes the kiddo’s bio-dad picks her up to drop her off at his mom’s house…..when his car has not been repossessed. Oddly enough, this is the new norm, not knocking anyone just giving you the set up to the weirdness that is our normal.

In packing up, I pack my lunch for work for both days as my folks go to the store only on occasion and it is not their job to feed me nor should I ever expect that again. I usually try and make Sunday’s lunch a bit of a treat in some way per having time to prepare on Friday  and the fact that by lunch at work on Sunday I am already burnt out on the weekend.  This week’s special was a ham and cheese on a pretzel roll with mustard, real chips (not veggie), and yogurt that is supposed to taste like some sort of cake, mouthwatering.  So I dropped off the kiddo Saturday morning before work along with our stuff – including Sunday’s special treat and off to work I go.

I return 13 hours later, shower, and head to the fridge to prepare dinner and I see it or don’t rather…my lunch bag is gone and all that remains is half of my special sandwich. I try to remain calm as I am already hangry at this point and ask my mom “where is my lunch?” After a response of “what” due to not being able to hear me, my mom explains that she thought that was Sarah’s lunch that she therefore sent with her when she dropped the kiddo off for a morning visit at repo land. So I go the “the book” containing the kiddo’s info during visits and indeed she ate everything in the bag…except for the sandwich half and chips. I do my best to remain calm after heating my dinner and ask if any sandwich half/chips remained, the answer is no, I know my kid can’t chomp a hoagie that large, and half my answer – my ex-husband just ate my main dish for the next day’s work food.  If you know me at all, you know I don’t let even the kiddo eat my food (don’t worry I feed her), so imagine my surprise at the mental then verbal statement of “my ex-husband ate my sandwich?!” I mean come on! At that point all I could do was laugh because I mean seriously.

So tonight I return from my 13 hours away and my father is sitting in my mother’s chair, my mom is on the couch in my dad’s spot (they are aging and this is now a strange occurrence), I walk in and oh look – there is kiddo. I was totally thrown for a loop as she was to be asleep for a quiet exit to home. Nope.  Over-tired and wide awake as my folks informed me that she cried after being put down in their over-sized pack n’ play, then quiet happened, then their door opened and out she came. Climbed out of that sucker somehow and here she was. We are having some “go back to sleep” as I see the door handle turn issues at home as well. So I loaded up the car, packed up some pizza that was left for me (nice card folks, nice card), and off we went for a quiet ride home. Then the diagnoses formally known as aspie shows up via the atypical kiddo we know and love– insane conversation on the way home, I can’t even begin to tell you.

The kiddo is finally asleep at 9:30 so I am finally safe to unload the car and get that pizza and figure out how the heck tomorrow is going to work out in a short amount of time before passing out. However, not before I leave you with the image of paperwork that lies next to me, yes L to the YN this is your life:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sometimes There Just Aren't Enough Rocks.....

Many people know that scene or couple of scenes in the movie Forrest Gump where an adult Jenny on a walk with Forrest comes upon her old home where she used to live with her father as a young girl forced to grow up way to fast and in a manner….that well no one should have to experience. After looking at it for a few moments, she just starts throwing rocks at it in anger and finally breaks down crying as a release of all the pain. Forrest explains that sometimes, well there just aren't enough rocks.

In some cases that seems to be true.  I recently celebrated, and truly celebrated, the 3 year anniversary of leaving my abusive relationship for good – in the middle of the night, at 23 weeks pregnant, and with only essentials I could fit in one backpack and one laundry basket. Though very scary and difficult, I knew it was my only chance at getting out saving both my life and the life of my daughter. I mean that both figuratively and literally; I know we would not be where we are at today, who we are, or even possibly existent if that night never happened.

On this the third anniversary of that night, I am in a different place. The fresh wounds are healed; I have a completely new life, new home, some new friends, and a completely different me. I have forgiven for past transgressions and though there is still the general upset at times that my daughter does not have a loving father or father figure – there are only annoyances to deal with now. And my faith in a lot of things as well as just my faith has skyrocketed! I am a far cry from the single pregnant woman sitting in a pew, to holding my daughter up high at her baptism a year after during both the mother and father’s prayer as a single mom, to today just getting to know the ins and outs of our family life of 2 as my daughter approaches her third birthday and I face singly the bureaucratic school system. Though the date/time period will always resonate in my mind - it may be the last year I may really recognize "freedom day" more than just a thankful note to God.

After Jenny’s death, while talking to her at her grave, Forrest tells her that he had since had the house torn down. Consequently, during the past week, a building structure was zoned off and torn down – it was the building that I got my first divorce consultation in. I also pass by (or did) each day as I pick up my daughter after work.  Though I did not go with that lawyer, his story sticks in my head as he was very matter of fact but through a friend of a friend he was the grandfather who lost his grandson to leukemia at age 8 shortly thereafter. Small world.  It was kind of a culmination of things really, seeing the “diggers” and no structure where my reminder once was once. However, it was also a sign that sometimes there are enough rocks, we let time pass, and when the storm is long over, we are left with a peace that is our own…..

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I Met Someone At Church

This past Saturday night my mom offered the impossible – to watch the kiddo so I could to church by myself for once in a blue moon! At the end of a very, very long parenting day I took her up on it if only to get some free Chinese food beforehand and an hour away from the kiddo, I jumped at the chance needless to say.

By the time I got to Mass (what Christian Catholics call church), I was really looking forward to the spiritual side of things, it was also the first Sunday in Lent so they did what is called Stations of the Cross before mass as well.  I was pretty excited, and no I am not kidding; I have a strong faith that I have built the past few years on my life journey. So about the third station, I noticed someone sat down beside me in the pew – a guy, a young guy from what I could tell.  Hey, I am faithful not dead ;)

The mass began and I was very happy to sing the hymns, read the readings, listen to the priest and honestly get my prayer on. During a couple of the silent/transistion times, however, I did “look around the congegration” and confirmed – yes the male sitting next to me was young and not un-attractive from quick glance. Hey, I’m human – a faithful human but still human.

At this time in the mass, we start preparing communion and all the prayer that goes with it, in which we Christian Catholics (notice we ARE Christians, for those who think I am one of “those Catholics,” I assure you I am Christian first) get the running joke of how much exercise we get during mass from standing, kneeling, and sitting. Well, also during the end of that time of prep there is the Our Father; now some  folks hold the hands of strangers during this prayer and some do not. I do not, I find it weird – I mean I get the fellowship but I am not a hugger either if that tells you anything.  So of course, I start to get nervous as the moment approaches. Don’t get me wrong, I was being very prayerful to myself, but again – human people, human. And single.

I mean the guy is praying devoutly as I seem to be, singing all the hymns (if you go to a service and see a guy singing all the hymns it is a rarity, however, my dad has always done it and found joy in it), pulling out the kneeler we were sharing in the pew, etc. So I was wiping my now slightly damp palms and thinking to myself – “silly girl, it’s mass, it’s a prayer, get it together you don’t even know this guy.” The time came and thankfully no hand-holding was pushed during the Our Father (phew for me on that one) and I was able to focus on my favorite, go-to prayer. Next in mass is Peace, shake hands, “peace” or “peace be with you” and back to it – yes peace was given to my pew neighbor and confirmed – probably around my age, decently dressed for mass, and attractive to me, I am sure my friend and fellow blogger Elaine will confirm he is no Brian Williams but hey ; ) @viewfromdownhere.

The rest of mass I was very thankful for God showing me the hope and the view of what I truly want – someone to be my friend during mass, the hope of a future partner to share all that with, one who sings all the hymns and pulls out the kneeler for me as well as let’s me get my individual prayer on but to discuss topics later. I was now just comfortable, happy to not be chasing a toddler around, focused on the praise, and settled in renewed hope.

The final song ended and I was happy in my hope to get back in the car and get back at life with the hope of someday. On my way out of the pew, he spoke! He introduced himself, shook my hand, and asked how long I had been going to this church. I was really surprised and really happy to have the encounter! Ok, happy is putting it mildly. I only have a first name and the fact that he goes to Saturday night mass but it’s something, if not just more hope that God has someone who is ready and waiting for me….who is Christian and a little bonus….Catholic! I hope to meet more young people and maybe I can get the folks to babysit more often. Oh, and I was early and church ran long so I got TWO hours kiddo free J

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Red Means Stop

A while ago, I was driving the kiddo to a very early special breakfast before school, exhausted I turned left as the light had just turned red. Immediately I was scared I would hit or have gotten hit, then the fear intensified as I immediately slowed down to a stop per the flashing lights behind me. I gripped the wheel and had no idea what was going to happen or if the kiddo was going to freak out. I didn't do it on purpose, I swore it was green at the time, I am not used to that particular light, I was exhausted and prior to the lights my focus was elsewhere. The guy got up to my window – and very frankly (like a mad dad) asked “that was a red light, what were you thinking?!” I immediately answered that I saw green right before the red (there are about 4 lights in maybe 200-300 ft straight on) and “honestly, I wasn't.”

It was the truth – I was not thinking about the road at all. I was terrified as this was my second time in life being pulled over; I was lucky and we got away with both our safety and a warning. An even bigger warning hit me all day – not only did I feel  like a silly, scolded child – but I also realized that I had to slow down in the car and think. The radio is ok, but don’t look back to check on the kiddo because she is fine and does not need entertained, focus on the road and the lights (I still am saying the color out load at times), get on your straight on-know-the-road stretch before you start to pray because I know my mind starts to wonder then, focus on prayer not your own thoughts, etc.

That’s when the idea of this post and the idea for my Lenten strategy hit me – I needed to go to the desert, heck I wanted to go to the desert. For a laugh my readers, I told my mom that for Lent I just wanted to go to the desert and pray/study scripture…her response “no you don’t, it’s way too hot in the desert.” Oh Mother. Obviously I couldn't get away for a 40 day retreat, however, I could find a spot in my life and in my time to devote more to being at one with God, myself, my time, and make life slow down a little. So I decided that no visual media (i.e. TV for cable folks), shows/DVD’s  for myself during Lent only when I let the kiddo watch a show or two – and then I am either getting her dressed or making food or cramming food in my mouth. Instead, use that evening time to read scripture or Christian/meditative books, take and put into practice some ideas of one I recently read to better feel as if your life is in order, breathe, drink tea, get to bed at a better hour, etc. I tried to add on mentally but I had to stop myself as I always make my list too long. But already I find putting the important things first is coming more naturally and with more intentional focus – do I need to be staring at my phone at this moment in time or is my time better spent elsewhere.

It won’t always be easy as today I had a small child in my bed at 4:59am, no nap, and a very long day looking into our we are both too tired for this 10 year future; however, now I am trying to settle my mind rather than just flip on a show to “take me away,” I am dealing with the day the events of the past week and having faith that everything turned out OK, we have the basics, and remember have faith and not worry next time because it will likely turn out the same way.

So next time you see red at a stop light or in anger – just stop for a second.