Thursday, August 27, 2015

An Even Keel, plus #nationaldogday

It’s a brand new school year—well, DD1 has been in for about a month now, and this week, DD2 began kindergarten.  Kindergarten!  A whole new school, a whole new world!  The first two drop offs were a little frantic, DD2 clung to my shirt, but this morning, she gave me a kiss and was like, Bye Mom!


My baby girl, getting to be grown up…in this crazy world.  Full of violence and heartache, and also mini miracles of kindness and goodwill.

All quiet on the coparenting front—minor nasty comments about old spider bites and an old scrape on DD2’s ankle from learning to ride a bike, but other than that, we’re good to go.  Thick skin, thick skin, thick skin.

Why is it that some days, the comments just roll of my back, and other days, they sting like tiny needle pricks, made just to irritate and burn?  Argh. 

Mostly though, we are business as usual, kind of boring, actually.  I like boring.  It means we’re all doing okay for the moment. 

Is it okay to wish that the rest of the world could be a little boring, too?  The latest headlines of violence and systematic violence against women is enough to make me crawl back into bed. 

So as a way to add some kindness and love into the world, here is a #nationaldogday picture of our G, who we love with all our hearts.  She adds kindness to the world with her silly antics, and eating of my hairband.  And she is teaching the girls patience, empathy, and love, too.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Five ways on how to maintain my "dignity" during divorce...

I'm so excited to share that one of my articles is on DivorcedMoms dot com!  Here's the link.

Here's to a happy Sunday! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An anniversary of sorts...

A few days ago marks four years since my ex moved out of the house.
“Just you wait,” he said, “You’ll miss how much I do around here.”
What we missed:
1)      No swearing in the mornings.
2)       No breaking toys or plates or dishes or throwing remote controls or balls at bookshelves.
3)      No screaming at the children, until they cried so hard they threw up.
4)      No flicks to the head, while happily eating cereal at the dinner table and watching cartoons, simply because he was in a bad mood.
5)      No shoving or kicking or pushing or yelling.
6)      No freezing at the table when one of the girls dropped a grain of rice on the floor, waiting to see what he would do.
7)      No choking the dog and throwing him across the room (I found a new home for our dog just a few months prior to his departure.)
8)      No threats to murder us in our sleep or put a bullet through our head.
The list could go on.  And on.  Yet as time has marched on, the memories have faded, but I think I’ll always remember the calm in the house in the aftermath of his departure.  I thought I’d freak out, overwhelmed by doing it alone, but aside from taking the trash out once in a while, I realized I’d been doing everything anyway.  He would help with the morning drop-offs—but it was actually more peaceful to wake up all together.  Sure the girls and I had to get up a little earlier, but what a small price to pay.


That's the beginning of my article that I submitted to hope they accept it!  But in the mean time, I'm taking the time to celebrate--yes celebrate the progress we've made since that time.  Since that life from before, it's like a shadow that I can sometimes remember with perfect clarity, if I'm having a PTSD moment, and other times, like a foggy dream.

So these days, I like to think about:
1)      DD1 asking me to buy a matching skirt when we went back to school shopping (swoon!) and thanking Old Navy for providing a kids' XL size, so I could do it.  Then cuddling up with her to take a picture outside of our house. (double swoon!)
2)       DD2 cackling and laughing and cuddling in the pre-school rocking chair in the mornings, so excited to feed the school aquarium fish, before I have to leave her and come to work.
3)      Swaying with DD1 and DD2 in the ocean water, as we wade (well I wade, they are floating on body boards) to an island bird sanctuary, where the birds make their nests in the ground, free from any threat of snakes.  And DD1 and DD2 oohing and ahhing at the sight of a baby bird peeking out, and the feathers of a mama bird guarding said baby.
4)       Our puppy G, peeking in from outside when we’re eating dinner that Hubby had made, and the girls laughing at Hubby’s story about how the chicken lit on fire in the grill, and G let him know by running to the other side of the yard and looking at him like, “excuse me, you need to take care of that!”
5)      DD1 taking one bite of Hubby’s macaroni and cheese and knowing right away that something doesn’t “taste right,” and all of us laughing (including Hubby) because no matter how many times he makes it, it doesn’t taste like mom’s!
6)      Seeing DD1 and DD2 hold hands when walking across lava rocks.
7)      DD2 telling me she can't wait to start kindergarten.
8)      Hubby and me, working through our challenges to make it work.
9)   Lazy week end mornings, when one or both girls climb into bed with me for a snuggle. 

The list could go on.  And on.  And it does.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Looking up

Things are looking up lately—DD1 is all settled into her school year, excited that she’s remained in her reading advanced class and it looks like she was elevated to the math advanced class this year, too.  I’m so proud of her! 

She really worked hard for the math, since she wasn’t in it last year.   I remember asking her teacher and even the principal about it (yes, I was THAT mom), only because I know she excels at math and she LIKES it.  If it weren’t for those two reasons, I wouldn’t have bothered.  It turned out that last year, her back to school math test had lowered her overall score (she’d excelled the year before that), and she missed “the cut” by three students.  So one year of extra math workbook (suggested by her teacher) and one summer of flashcard ‘math facts’ practice later, no problem, she was in like Flynn.  And the way that SHE was SO PROUD of herself, well—that makes my heart beat proudly, too!  I can’t believe how fast she’s growing up.  Some of the books this summer she read:

Tales from the Fourth Grade Nothing
Harry Potter, books 4, 5, 6
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (heart tug, one of my favorites!)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (a bunch of different ones).

I’m not listing these titles to be an annoying overachiever mom, lol.  I’m listing them because these books, or books like them (since Harry Potter and Holes and Diaries didn’t exist when I was a kid), had a profound effect on my imagination, on my personality.  I was becoming a person, I remember feeling like a whole person at DD1’s age.  And now she’s there, doing the same thing.  Asking me about love and sex and why do boys act weird around girls.  And sharing with me her concerns and thoughts and I see the wheels turning in her smart little head.  Ah, DD1!  How on earth did you grow so fast?  (btw, I’m not saying we aren’t “persons” at younger ages…I just remember parts of my crystalized in fourth grade…)

As for DD2, she is getting excited about kindergarten.  Her preschool pals are one-by-one leaving preschool as they enroll in their respective schools.  She has two and half weeks left, I can’t believe it!  She tells me she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, or a worker, or a clothes dresser, or a helper.  I love how she thinks. 

Again, what happened time?

But I’m so grateful for the passage of time.  I remember four years ago—standing on the abyss, unsure of everything and the sleepless nights, waiting, counting, worrying.  DD2 was just a baby, she couldn’t even talk!  DD1, always the sensitive, loving, caring soul, so worried about everyone. 

Now they are embracing life and life’s adventures with gusto, curious to see what’s around the next corner, giggling excitedly at the newest sight.  Their delight and energy for life makes me realize that all that pain, those shadows, those demons fought and overcome—it was worth it.  It will always be worth it.