Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Through the Window

I don't belong.

Maybe I never have.

I look at this world through my window, shut out from real contact, real intimacy, anything real. I don't like to be touched. It bothers me, when people think they can just touch you for no reason, rub your back, grab your arm. They have no idea how jolting, how harming that little touch can be. There are times that I have to even step away from the kid, because she is being too touchy, there is too much going on, my senses are in overload.

In fact, I feel overloaded. Unable to focus, unable to unwind, unable to concentrate on the here, the now. Unable to connect to the world, except through my window, but even that sometimes fogs over, becomes blurry from trying to get too close, from trying to see things better, clearer.

There are times that I have felt like I have been through the window, in the same sunshine that the others dance in, that if I just try hard enough that maybe I could fit in, not be exposed.

I know that this is the slippery slope into scary places. I know because I have been down this path, ridden this ride, have populated this territory before.

This. This is not the fun side of crazy. This is the dark, unyielding side of crazy. The side that tells you it won't get better, that it can't be better, that you will never belong, you will never be okay, that you don't deserve to be blessed. Not like the others.

It hurts.


I have seen the days, touched by sunlight, the days that truly have been blessed. I have felt the good days, the happy days. The days that I felt like I did fit in, that I could fit in. I know that they can come back. And while I teeter~totter with my own mental illness, my own dark side (if you will), I know that this is just a blip. A tiny little mark on happy, on sunny, on blessed.

It sucks now.

I won't let it suck forever.

Things I would like to buy today: 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Reconciling Mommy Guilt

I am working two jobs these days. 13-14 hour long days.

Yes, I still have a kid in that mix as well. I tried to reconcile it to myself by recognizing that Supergirl got a lot of my time last summer, time that other kids with working parents don't get. She also got unadulterated Daddy time that a lot of other kids don't get. In fact, in the last year since she dropped out of school, she has had a lot  more one-on-one parent time than any of us really anticipated.

These days are hard, but won't be hard for long and in the meantime, Supergirl is getting a vacation from her parental units.

She may also be getting spoiled due to Mommy Guilt, but a little bit of spoiled is okay, right?

Here is what I imagine her journal writings say. Please keep in mind that she is not really able to read or write yet, so she just writes random letters on pieces of paper and leaves them throughout the house.

Dear Diary,

These people keep harping on me about putting my shoes on. I wish that they understood that I have so much bigger things to work on. 

Once the husband drops me off at Cinderella's house, she and I are going to work on finishing up the robot that we have been working on. World domination is close at hand! I cannot wait to hold these tiny humans in my gigantic metal grasp and show them the errors of their ways. 

Cinderella wants to name the robot, Fluffy. Sometimes she can be such a child. 

I have finally been able to find a reputable dealer of liquid anger. He's six, but seems to understand the urgency of the potion making. He may be allowed to live once the planet submits to my control. We will see, Diary, we will see. 

An interesting thing happened the other evening, the wife figured out what the red eyes were in my jail cell. Somehow, she was able to transfer them to me. she may have magic to teach after all. We shall see in the coming weeks, won't we?

I met some new additions to the Overtaking last weekend. I think they well do wonderfully well, as long as they can keep up the charade and not let the captors know what it is that we are working on. The "father" would not allow us to go outside or eat ice cream, I am wondering what his agenda is. He seemed to take this captor role a lot more seriously than the others. Bah. He will be just as easy to subdue though. Cute seems to be an all-adult weakness. 

The Zombie Army testing hit a roadblock in Miami this weekend. We will have to make some changes and then send out the next group of prototypes. I am hearing that some sub-units of computer geeks are chattering about it on the internets. Adults are so simple. Do they not know that THE WAY to communicate with your brethren and not get caught is through telepathy? 

Anyway, Diary, that is all there is to report. 

I think it is safe to say that we should all be quite afraid. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pinky Dinky Stinky Eye

Supergirl wakes up in the middle of the night. "The red, glowing eyes are looking at me momma.They are always watching." I shrug it off as a little girl's bad dream and go about my daily life.

The red eyes complaints keep coming. Then, one night I am laying in her bed snuggled down next to her talking softly about how much I love her and how awesome she is. My eyes start to close and I look up at the ceiling.


My own eyes spring open and stop blurring. I look up to the ceiling and see the red light of the smoke detector. I sigh. Get the batteries and change the light from red to green.

Problem solved. I am an awesome momma.

When Supergirl got out of the pool on Saturday, I looked at her and thought, Hmmm, that eye looks a bit pink. There must be a lot of chlorine in that pool. Even though she has never had an issue with chlorine before.

That night I kept looking at it. One eye pink, the other eye clear. Not so pink to suspect anything other than chlorine, though, so we continued about our day.

I prepared my lesson for Sunday school, she sat beside me cutting things with her scissors, telling me she was making gifts for her friends at church. We ate tacos and she went to bed at a good bedtime.

But when she woke up at midnight complaining that her eye hurt it was lot more red than pink.

And at six, it was downright disgusting. I texted the kids' pastor. I sent messages to the parents of all of the children that Supergirl has been in contact with. I apologized.

And then Supergirl went to look at herself in the mirror.


And then she refused to let me take her to the doctor, because she thought it SO cool that she had these scary red eyes.

I am glad that she is 4, I don't have to listen when she refuses. Doctor confirms pink eye after she holds her hands over her face so that he cannot look into her eyes. And she renames him from Doctor D to Monster D.

We did have a good day yesterday though, as strange as that may sound. The only place we had to go was the doctor and the pharmacy. She was just sick enough to want to cuddle and be sweet, not whiny and clingy. And I got to spend a semi-relaxing day with my girl before working the 64 hours I am scheduled to work this week.

Thank you, God, for pink eye.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It's Friday, Ya'll

It's Friday and I am tired, so please excuse this post. Pretend that it never really existed, unless you love it and then you can forward to all 485 of your Facebook friends and I can actually make some ad revenue. Because, while ad revenue does not pay the bills, or buy me clothes or shoes, it is still a nice surprise when PayPal sends me an e-mail saying that I have money in my account. *

*By the way, if you just want to skip the middle man and not advertise my blog or tell people how great or funny I am, I am not above you just putting money into my PayPal account. Again, it is a really nice e-mail that they send.

I am off topic again. I totally blame The Bloggess because I stayed up much too late reading her book,  laughing obscenely loudly (perhaps it was guffawing) and forcing the Hubs to listen to me read portions of the pages while he was trying to focus on The Hunger Games because that is what I bought him with the Amazon Gift Card that I won for Mother's Day. He may never finish the Hunger Games if I keep reading to him.

Tired and the reasons behind it were not what I was planning to write about so excuse that tangent. Today, I am here to discuss with you the chickens.

The chickens that moved in last summer (along with the bear). My neighbors chickens that he will not feed or care for. They have now lived on our property for a year. In that time, I have stumbled upon many a nest (as evidenced below), but the hen never wanted to stay on the nests and the next thing you know we would have possums, raccoons, and snakes coming in to scoop in the abandoned nests.

Last summer's nest. 
This year, she has decided to actually stay on her nest and I am very excited that we will soon be the proud owners of many chickens. We don't actually own the chickens that live with us because they are not really ours. Their offspring that are being born in our yard, however, are a very different story. At any rate, I felt bad that she would soon be a mother but didn't really have a name so I named her Fern. The rooster's name is Henry.

I have been taking Fern seeds so that she would not starve and she has become very comfortable with me coming around. I have also set up a fresh water system near her nest so that she can also get cool fresh water when she needs it.

Once a day, she gets out of the nest to stretch her legs a bit. She stays out for about an hour and apparently is so grateful for the food and water that she stoops right in front of our porch steps and lays me an egg.

I am not sure if it is normal for her to continue to lay eggs like this but now that we know that this is what she is doing, I think we shall start collecting (and washing her eggs) because, seriously, the price of eggs is pretty ridiculous these days (and the lady at work that brings them from her farm and sells a monthly subscription) is making quite the chunk of change for her deliveries.

Anyone got any advice on being the momma to bunch of little baby chicks? I am pretty sure they get abandoned after hatching and I don't want Henry to go all crazy and start eating his own offspring. 

Things I talked about in this blog post:


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Know It Sounds Like A Lie...

Remember the bear? The bear that came around all last summer and plagued my every day?

He stole our trash can. It's gone.

And rather than waiting for him to bring it back or calling the trash people to bring a new one, we have decided to wait.

And drive the trash to work every morning where I throw it into the dumpster behind the building.

It seemed like a very good plan, a solid plan, a plan that would keep the bear off of the property, away from our house, prevent further littering of the woods directly across the street from our house, and allow us to devote the money that we typically pay to have the trash hauled away to other things that could use our attention. Like gas and food and the 19,000 other things that keep me up at night.

It was a good plan. I guess it still could be a good plan, except my boss caught me throwing my trash into the dumpster at Very Early O'Clock this morning and I was so flustered that I slammed the lid of the dumpster closed causing whatever juices accumulate under the lid of a dumpster to go flying into my face. (SIDE NOTE: Hand sanitizer on your face burns. It burns like a million tiny paper cuts. You know you want my life today.)

And all I can smell, all I have smelled all day is dumpster juice.

And on top of it all, my boss, who apparently does not mind the rotting smell of the dumpster clinging to his secretary like a hot, wet blanket, gave me that look today. The look that says, "I am totally being fed a line of BS right now about a bear and a trash can and country living..."

I can still use the dumpster though.

Which do you think is worse? Being thought a liar by your boss or feeding a bear every night?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Knowing My Brain, I Wonder What Is In Hers

I had a pretty big imagination when I was a little kid which leads me to wonder what the Supergirl thinks about things.

In Preschool, I believed that tulips were really "two-lips", one day as we were walking down the street I pointed a tulip that had 3 points out to mother. "Look mommy, it's a 3-lip".

In Kindergarten, I truly believed that I was a figment of someone's dream, that when they woke up I would cease to exist. I would work hard to find the balance of not being too loud or too scary, but also not being too boring or ever falling asleep because I was afraid to disappear. I might still believe this a little.

I also believed my best friend when she told me I was adopted. And believed it for a really long time.

That's me in Kindergarten. Not that much different from now. 
In First Grade, I believed that my family never smiled. I thought it was a curse and that we would never ever be happy. I am glad that I was wrong.

When I was 7, we lived in a trailer park in Alabama. A church van would come and get the kids and take them to church. My parents called this brainwashing. I really believed that my friends were going to have their brains cut out, scrubbed clean, and replaced ever Sunday morning. When they would get back I would ask if it hurt and they would look at me like I was insane.

When I was 8, I had never seen a black person except in books and on television. My parents had told me that I should not believe everything I saw on TV or in books, so I though that black people were not real. I am very sorry that the little black boy (who eventually became one of my best friends) was subjected to the pinching that I did on the first day of Third Grade, I really thought I was imagining him.

I also decided that the song Material Girl was actually Cheerio Girl and I would sing my ode to Cheerios everywhere I went.

Now that Supergirl's imagination is in full-gear, I wonder what she dreams up, what makes sense in her mind. I hear the lyrics that she makes up to songs, but I wonder if there are other things that she just hasn't shared with us.

I can't wait to hear her beliefs someday, maybe it will tell me a bit more about who she was, and who she will be one day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Good Girl

I am a nice girl.

A good girl. A safe girl.

I am reserved, but not shy. I tread lightly among people I do not know, observing.

If you hurt me, I am thinking 10 steps ahead of the now trying to create a plan to forgive you because that is what I do.

I forgive, I always forgive...

And no matter how angry, disappointed, hurt, or raw I am on the inside - you will probably never know it. I censor, I edit, and I keep it to myself.

Because that's what good girls do.

But there are moments. Moments when I will close in on myself. Where I will shut down and shut everyone out. Those are the times that I need to focus on me. On what I have going on. On the million balls and things that I have in the air right now.

Those are the moments that you won't hear from me, you may not see me. I'm still here, just have to change focus and pare down.

And it may make you mad. It may cause you to think there is anger, disappointment, or stress where there is none. And you may project your own insecurities and your own guilt on my silence.

And I could tell you that I care and that you shouldn't do that, or that I love you and all of the warm snuggly things that people tell people...

But honestly, I don't care.

I spend a whole lot of my time, my energy, my thought process worrying about what other people need, expect, want. It's part of being a good girl, a nice girl. It's part of being me.

But right now, if I don't focus on myself for a change and only the minute things that I can deal with in this very minute, if I don't shut myself down and off for a just a little while...

I am going to burn out.

And my kid needs me to not do that.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Circle of Life

Supergirl: You are a teenager.

Me: Thanks. But, no. I'm not. I'm really not.

Supergirl: But, you're not a grown-up like the other moms. You wear sneakers and t-shirts. You laugh a lot and sit on the floor. Plus, you don't sexorcise.

Me: Accessorize? No, I don't, but I am not a teenager. 

Supergirl: Don't worry momma, I don't think other people know. The Scare Bear and Aunt JoDene are teenagers too. Just like you and Daddy.

Me:  People don't know because I am not a teenager. Also, the Scare Bear, Aunt JoDene, and Daddy are not teenagers either. And it's not bad to be a teenager, just not a teenager with a 4 year old. How old am I?

Supergirl: Thir-TEEN-five.

Me: Thirty-five? Right. I am thirty-five. Not a teenager. 

Supergirl: The man on the news this morning said I am not going to granulate.

Me: Graduate? Why won't you graduate?

Supergirl: Because my parents are teenagers.

I was a teenager once. In the '90s. It was a confusing time.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

At Least The Cat Gets Sleep

I hope that Supergirl's future self is not affected by the momma that she has after midnight-before 6 AM. That lady should not be a parent.

At all.

It has been well-documented (through Facebook, Twitter, and on this blog) that my ability to effectually parent declines drastically after 9 PM, but based on the number of LOLs and lack of real people showing up at my house at 9 PM to take care of my non-sleeping child, I am starting to think that I am not being taken seriously. The following graph should help shed some light on the situation.

As you can see, I have no ability to parent from 12 AM - 6 AM. That is because I should be sleeping, not fetching f-ing water cups or being crawled on or having a conversation about why a pickle would not be appropriate to eat a) in my bed or b) at 2:17 in the morning. And the number of times that I have gotten up, fetched the water only to come back and find that there is no longer room left in my bed for me to sleep? It's a cold, cold world when the momma has to sleep on the couch. 

She is 4. Is it really so hard to stay in your bed all night long and not interrupt your momma from getting a few hours rest? Really?

Also note, that my ability never quite reaches 100%. Even at my best, I am still lacking in the ability to parent my child department.

The next graph illustrates the Supergirl's ability to annoy throughout a given day. 
As you can see, during my "lacking" hours, the Supergirl is at full annoyance levels. That is because anything that wakes me during this period (snoring Hubs, scratching cat, the bear) is at full out annoyance level. During my "prime" parenting hours, while she still has some annoying tendencies that are right at the surface, they don't bother me nearly as much. 

The closer that she gets to 9 PM, the sleepier and more annoying she becomes coming to a full peak at about the same time that I have completely crashed. 

During her growth spurts, we have a fairly symbiotic relationship. She sleeps more, and readily goes to bed, she also eats more which means that there is not an hour long argument regarding dinner. Post growth spurt (where we are now) is not a good land to live in. 

I think the cat slept well last night.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Small Town Saturday Night

There are a few things that you should know before reading this.

a.) Just south of Tiny Town, is Teeny Tiny Ville. The newest attraction (and I mean new by the fact that it is like 5 years old) is the Wal-Mart. The Scare Bear lives in Teeny Tiny Ville, I live between the two, so Wal-Mart is the one place that we can meetup and the menfolk will keep the children at home.

b.) My mother is a nurse. Sometimes my sense of humor is very, very dark. And maybe a little disgusting.

c.) Neither of us would ever abort a baby. Never. And while we are all for women having the right to choose what they will do with their bodies, for us it is not an option. At all.

*Note: If any of these things send up a red flag for you, you should probably stop reading now. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Bad Reaction

The stage of my church as taken by the members of Julian Drive
Man, Mother's Day at church this year was hard.


One of my favorite people flew all the way down from Canada to teach the message yesterday, and I swear that that woman cannot be on the stage without making me laugh or cry. And if you could hear her sing...oh, I really wish that she had sang yesterday.

But anyway, she was talking about the 3 steps that we women should follow to live our lives according to God's plan and to make sure that what we are doing is in line with what God wants for us.

One of the steps got me, it got me bad, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

"Respond, Don't React", meaning that if your kid is going off with some craziness about how she wishes that she did not have a mother and that she hates Mother's Day and she can't wait until Kid's Day, instead of popping off with a response that kind of sounds like this: "Oh, yeah, well you are starting to make me regret even becoming a mother..."*, or "Kid's Day does sound awesome, too bad you can't go because you will be grounded until you're 25"*  instead you should respond with something more like, "Kid's Day does sound like  fun, what kind of things do you think you will get to do on Kid's Day?" (because then you have diffused the situation and then, when you get home, you can sit in your bathroom and cry silently that your kid just wished you dead on YOUR stinking day).

*She said all of that after church, so I was able to go to my happy place and not say any of these things, although I cannot begin to tell you how fast they came to mind or how close they came to raining down on her. I have said it before, I have a dagger for a tongue and I can cut pretty deep when I am not thinking. 

She also pointed out that if you take a medication and you say that you had a reaction to it, then it's a negative thing, but if you say that you responded to it, that's a positive.

And (here comes the conviction) if what you do or say, outs someone else's bad behavior, curses someone or is negative - then what you are doing is not of God.


You see, a few months ago, I was hurt really badly, I was torn apart, and I felt lost. I felt so secure in my innocence (and, okay, maybe I felt a little righteous too), however,  that I blasted out all of the sins that he had committed against me on this very blog. "I'm right, I am good - look at all the wrong that he has done..."

I debated on buying team T-shirts for my girlfriends to wear with me to church...

Here's the thing, his sins, they weren't ever even about me, they weren't committed against me, they were committed against God and against himself. I had no right to claim them, or put him on blast for committing them. The only things that I should have been doing was focusing on forgiveness and healing, and praying for his salvation.

But I reacted. I reacted to the hurt, the pain, the injustice...I reacted instead of responding and became just as guilty as i was pointing him out to be.

Just in case I hadn't gotten the message, I was scheduled to teach Kid's church for the second service yesterday. The message that I was teaching was about Joseph.

Joseph had 11 brothers. His brothers were terrible, abusive, and awful to him, but rather than crying or whining about it, Joseph always did what God wanted him to do. And when his brothers came to him looking for food, he forgave them, fed them, and invited them all to live in his house.


Sometimes I think it would be easier if God could just flash in, fix the things you muck up, erase all of the blog and Facebook posts and set you back on the path He wants you on.

Of course, then, you probably wouldn't really learn the lesson.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tweet, Tweet Party People

When I started Kindergarten I refused to capitalize my name. Ever. The little boy that sat next to me (his name was Sean) would reach over and add the line to my "h" all day, everyday to make it a capital. It started in preschool, when the teacher declared that a capital makes something important.

But I didn't feel important...

                                              and didn't think I deserved the capital.

Which may be part of the reason that I have never really understood Twitter.

When I signed up for it a few years ago, and saw what it was, I questioned whether I was really important enough to have these "Followers". I could see how it could be useful for celebrities ("Heading to Dallas, May 8 - Buy your tickets now"), or companies ("Use this code for a special discount"), for churches ("Don't forget, Sunday service is gonna be JUMPING"), and even authors ("@annericestalker214 yes, my inspiration for Lestat was...").

But who am I to be that important? 

What do I have to offer that would excite people enough to wanna follow my minute movements through this world?

My Twitter account just sat out there for nearly two years, rejected, abandoned, and ignored. I would log in every once in a while, or follow a company to win a contest or something stupid like that, but it just did not have a place in my life.

In September, I wrote two blog posts. The first one got a little bit of attention and was featured on Blogher, but no one was really tweeting about it and within days everything was back to normal. The second one was tweeted, and re-tweeted, and then (amazingly) a friend direct tweeted my own blog post back to me (not realizing that I was the author, of course). 

Suddenly, I was faced with this world of Twitter again - but, what to do with it, how to use it, am I really that important? Finding that the answer again was no, I abandoned it yet again in the interest of perfecting my Facebook stalking skills.

Recently, I have begun to tenuously test the waters. I RSVP'd for and attended a Twitter party. I won a door prize. I made some new friends over conversation about Nightmare on Elm Street and Johnny Depp and bad gifts. It was fast and furious but so much fun.

So then I got to thinking..

Maybe a tweet here and there isn't really hurting anyone or making me feel conceited, maybe followers aren't like minions, maybe...
                                     I am important enough to have people read my 140 characters.

It's taken a long time to get to this place.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Are you MOM enough?

I am not even sure why this is the title regarding attachment parenting in the upcoming issue of TIME magazine, but it is. The cover (which you can view here) shows a mom breastfeeding her son, who is now 3 (which is salacious and will sell articles and make TIME lots of money - I personally cannot wait to read it a year from now in a doctor's waiting room).

What is this title supposed to mean? That you are not mom enough if you didn't breastfeed? Or if you only did it for 3 months, 6 months, a year? At what point do become mom "enough"? I have written before about my issues with never measuring up, about never being "enough" and the depression and anxiety that it caused me, and here is yet another magazine cover trying to convince me that somehow I did it wrong - again.

This article is based on the idea of attachment parenting, one of the most outspoken (and famous) proponents of that is Mayim Bialik (yep, Blossom).

I chose to breastfeed my daughter. It was probably the hardest thing that I have ever done up until that point. It hurt - SO much more than anyone that has ever nursed a baby will ever tell you. I had one friend equate it with driving nails (NAILS!) into your nipple every two hours every day. I had another friend that said that it was like someone was sawing at your fun bags with a cheese grater. I can't say that these are over-exaggerations. I was thankful for the morphine drip for the first 12 hours post C-section because it numbed me just enough to not scream and cry every time that darn baby would wake up.

But, those moments got better as she learned what she was doing and I learned what I was doing, and we fell into a comfortable routine.

Then, I was hospitalized when she was 8 weeks old and placed on IVs full of antibiotics. And they told me that I could not feed her, that she would need to have formula while I was in the hospital. Know what hurts worse than nursing a newborn? Not being able to nurse a newborn that is screaming in your face because she smells you and she is hungry, but she won't take the bottle of formula and there is not a darn thing you can do about it.

That hurts pretty damn bad.

Guess what she's doing...
Breastfeeding for her first year is what worked for our family. It is what enabled me to sleep soundly with her in the bed with me each night, instead of having to wake up to prepare bottles of formula. Co-sleeping with my child is what worked for our family, there was just something about hearing her breathe and feeling her move next to me that enabled me to get a good, full night's rest rather than waking up every so often to check on her. All night long. Holding her and wearing her in a sling (for the short time that she would let me) enabled me to function without the screaming when all she wanted to do was be held by her momma after a long day at daycare or with dad. .

But I recognize that it is not what works for all families.

The comments about a woman caring for her own child, in the way that she and her husband have agreed is right for their family, are disgusting. And there are a lot of them. The indignation and perversion that these people have for a woman attempting to educate the public about the choices that she has made for her family and for her life are revolting. From what I can tell, her blog is shut down from too many people trying to go there to - to what? To blast her for doing what she feels is right for her family? To tell her how disgusting that they think that she and her family are? To spew their hate and perversion at someone who was only attempting to educate?

So, yeah, I'm mom enough. I am mom enough to read and listen and learn about how another parent is choosing to raise her children. I am mom enough to teach my child tolerance of others, even when they make different choices than we would. I am mom enough to admit that I fail on a daily basis as a parent. I am mom enough to admit that I was eager to wean my daughter at a year.

I am mom enough to recognize that the internet is not as anonymous as people seem to believe, that the people that are venting their disgust, anger, and repulsion towards are parents as well as people's children, sisters, aunts, etc.

To everyone that feels that they have a right to an opinion about what a mother does with her own child and her own body, the BEST thing you can do for your child is what works for you and your family. Beyond that, it really is no one else's business.*

*Unless you are abusing them, then it is everyone's business and you should be prepared for when that day comes, because no one - NO ONE - has the right to abuse a child and the universe (or God) will get you for that. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Worst Liar EVER

"I am fine. Just fine. Everything's okay. It will be alright. We'll be okay."

That has been my response to everyone that bothered to ask in the last few months. Everything is fine, drop it, let's get past this uncomfortable topic, I would think behind a forced smile and a quick escape.

The truth is, well, the truth is that it has been hard, really, really hard and the harder that I worked to keep everything together and make everything seem like it was okay, the quicker things slipped away and out of my control.

And there that is again, that control that I thought I had given up almost a year ago when I lost my job? Apparently, somewhere along the way, I had picked it right back up again and started carrying the weight of the world for everyone instead of just leaving it laying on the ground where I left it.

I prayed everyday that God take that weight, that He take the burden, that He make things not so uncomfortable for me. And everyday it felt as though the weight got heavier, the burden grew, the problems multiplied. My faith was slipping, I began to doubt the things that I had KNOWN such a short time ago.

Until yesterday.

Until yesterday, when I just could not pretend anymore. When I just could not hold in the everything that has been happening and the stress and the heartache and the 5 million balls that I feel like people just hand me and walk away from. So I started lobbing some balls of my own. And crying. Crying so hard, I felt like I might flood my very tiny office. I just could not stop crying. ALL DAY.

I wrote an e-mail detailing how bad things were. I sent it to one community group leader.

The pain, the weight, it lessened but did not subside.

I sent it to another community group leader. A little less weight, a little less burden, a little less pain.

Deafening silence from both...

"God is using these moments of discomfort to mold you, grow you, ready you for something greater..." (A direct quote from my daily devotion...nice, how much bigger do I need to be?)

A friend texted me and I forwarded her the e-mail.

More silence.

I kept feeling the nagging, the tugging, the knowledge that these were not the people I needed to contact, that they were not the ones that I needed to talk to.

I rewrote the e-mail. I addressed it. I sobbed with my office door closed as I clicked send, envisioning my sister on the other end of the state divide reading the words that I had written.

I wiped my face and immediately my phone buzzed as e-mails, text messages, and phone calls began to come in - LITERALLY seconds after I clicked send to my sister! I blinked in astonishment.

The weight, the burden, the pain is gone. Not just because those financial burdens have been taken care of, not just because the imminent danger of having things turned off or cars repossessed is gone, but because I overcame that burden of embarrassment and shame, because I didn't listen to the voices of the world that encouraged me to borrow more to recover from those debts (never a good idea kids), because I laid myself bare and I told the truth.

If you are holding something back, be it from family members, your church, your friends because of shame, embarrassment, guilt, anger, etc. - LET IT GO. Be honest, even when it hurts, even when it makes you uncomfortable, even when you are ugly crying in the rain on the phone with your pastor. The pain of suffering in silence will only tell you lies, will feed your self-pity, and make things worse. 

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free ~ John 8:32

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Calendar Lies - Welcome to Summer


Saturday night, the air cooled by a late afternoon rain, slightly chilled from humidity

Letting the kids eat hot sticky roasted marshmallows on the deck while watching

Fireflies have a dance

Cranking music in the car so that the boy and girl can run and dance and jump

The excess sugar from their bodies

and chase the "thunder bugs" across the yard.

The calendar says May, the atmosphere says summer. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Scar

I don't have scars from childhood, not from the times that I fell of my bike, not from the many times that I fell down the stairs. I don't have scars from picked mosquito bites or scabs like my mother said I would.

I don't have scars from the years of my late teens and twenties when I burnt and cut my flesh as an expression of the pain, hurt, anger, and resentment that slowly ate away at pieces of my soul. 

I don't have scars from car accidents or popping pimples. 

It seemed to me, for a while at least, that this body, this vessel that I was given, was impervious to the world that surrounded it. The shell at least. As for all of the soft mushy bits on the inside, those have always been a different story. But while the shell might be marred for a moment, over time, those scars, those scratches, those bruises, those burns would heal and eventually disappear, like I had never been harmed at all. 

And then I had the Supergirl. 

For the longest time, the incision from her birth was a symbol, a numbed reminder that I didn't try hard enough, that I didn't meet my own expectations and the expectations of so many others when it came to bringing her in this world. That for all my talk of natural birth and the lack of drugs, when it came down to being able to do what I had talked smack about for months - I failed, I gave in at the first suggestion that they do the C-section, didn't even fight anymore when they said it was just time to be done with it and get her out. 

And so I hated that incision, was shamed at the scar that it left behind, for all that I felt that it symbolized, for all of the guilt and shame that I thought it represented. I bought the guilt, I devoured the shame, I let it eat at me, making me feel like less of a mother, less of a person, less of a woman. 

And then, while laying on the bed in the early morning hours talking softly to my girl, she lifts my shirt to give me a raspberry on my stomach when the small, smooth, shiny scar catches her eye. "Momma, what happened here?"

"That is where you came out of my tummy, " I respond and she lights up. She lays her head on my belly and strokes that place, that small scar just south of belly button, that is just starting to feel again, with wonderment and excitement. 

"It's so beautiful, momma. It's just so beautiful."

And I try not to cry. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Difference Between Us

I have written before how how my father was an abusive addict. About how I feared telling him things that would rattle any sense of stability that we had. As the Supergirl is growing, maturing, and forming her own unique personality I realize that my father may have made me a very different person than what I should have been. That this timid, scared person that I have always been, should have been someone else.

Fear was rampant in his household. There is not a single memory, not a single time that I was not in fear. That fear stayed with me through my first year of marriage, almost 3 years after I finally stopped living with him. I was 30 years old when I realized that there was nothing more that he could do to me, that his yelling, his barking had dwindled to idle threats over the years.

I did not have to be afraid anymore.

I wish that we could have had a better, stronger relationship after the fear had finally worn away. Instead, he died when I was 31, a shell of the monster that had reigned over so much of my life.

I see the Supergirl dancing freely, jumping off of furniture, so insanely LOUD all of the time. None of that would have been allowed in my father's house, there was very little tolerance for behaving like a child at all. Let me rephrase that, there was very little tolerance for the children to behave like children. The "adults" had other rules. 

The Supergirl has never known fear. Not real fear. Up until this point of her life the worst punishment she has ever received is the day I took all of her Christmas toys away from her (and she totally earned that). She does not know what it is to fear innocent objects (like belts, shoes, and hairbrushes), she doesn't know how the sound of change jingling in a pocket behind you can make your blood turn cold, cause your entire body to tense, and the bile to rise to the back of your throat.

Sure, she complains about the dark and the Boogie Man, and we discuss what makes her scared, but these fears are more about the attention that she receives for talking about them than actual fear.

Yesterday, I gave her a harsher punishment than I normally do. She was hurting the cat, and as patient as he was being, I knew that the situation would end badly for her if she were to continue. Besides that, being mean to the pets is NEVER an option and I have had to tell her far too often.

I got out the paper and a pencil. At the top of the paper I wrote: I AM SORRY, OLIVER. I asked her to take a seat at the dining room table.

"Supergirl, you need to copy these 3 times" (for those of you thinking that is too light of a punishment, she is 4 and writing at all is pretty new to her, 3 times was going take a LONG time). "It says, I am sorry, Oliver."

"But I am not sorry momma, I do not like the cat. He is mean to me." By mean to her, she means that he will not allow her to dress him in doll clothes, or walk him in her stroller, or lay him down in a box with a pillow in it.

"You should be sorry, we are not mean to our pets. You will write him the letter or you will go to your room for the rest of the night. There will be no tacos and there will be no ice cream."

"MOOOOOOMMMMMMMAAAA!" She groaned, looking like I had placed the weight of the world onto her shoulders.

"Write the letter, Supergirl." and I walked away.

Her punishment took her almost an hour to complete. There was a lot of groaning and crying, but she was never afraid.

I know what my father would have done for this exact offense, I remember quite well what happened to a good friend in a similar situation with my father when we were around the same age.

I am proud that my daughter will have the freedom to grow into whoever it is that she should be, rather than being stunted by the darkness of fear.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Review - You Have No Idea

I used to think there was not a lot we didn't know about Vanessa Williams. 

She was the first black Miss America, she posed for some naked pictures when she was younger, she sang Saved The Best For Last, she was on TV and in movies. It all seemed very out in the open. 

Then I received the latest BlogHer Book Club book, You Have No Idea and they were right, I really had no idea. 

You Have No Idea is the story of Vanessa Williams' life, but it also about the life of her family, particularly her mother, attempting to raise her in the image that she had for her children. As mothers I think we all have certain ideas about how we would like our children to grow up, and what we find in this book is that we really have no idea who the person is that we are raising. We can shout our rules and give demands, but our children are going to find their own way eventually to who they are supposed to be. 

Each chapter is written from Vanessa's point of view with her mother taking over at the end to rehash the view from her angle. They walk you through every piece of the life that you didn't know, that behind the scenes look at a rebellious teenager smoking pot, having sex in high school, getting pregnant, and living a life completely different than the dreams of her mother. 

Unlike most autobiographies, Vanessa does not slap you in the face repeatedly with her achievements while skating over her failures, but instead takes you deeper through pictures, journal entries, and the 20/20 vision that comes with maturity and age. 

I really enjoyed this book. I feel like the dynamic between Vanessa and her mother is both funny and poignant. You can really hear the love, respect and admiration that they have for one another through their writing. 

I highly recommend You Have No Idea as gift for any mother on your Mother's Day list this year. 

I’ll be discussing this book with the BlogHer Book Club over the next four weeks. Come join me.

This is a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club, the opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Unbridled Crazy

It's time now to release the full amount of crazy that I have kept in check in my head for many many moons out into the world (much to the Scare Bear's delight).

I have a thing about 10s and 7s. I was born on October 7 or 10/7. Every major event in my life happened on a 10 or a 7. Here are some examples:

  • The Supergirl was born on 12/17/07. 17= 10+7 (easy right). Here comes the crazy. 1+2+1+7=10 and 07. She was born on 10s and 7s. Awesome!
  • The Hubs was born on 7/3/79. Check it, 7th month and in the 70s - but that is not where my crazy ends. Oh, no, it could never be that easy. Here is what my mind has done to his birthday. 7+3=10 and 7+9 =16, which is 1+6 and equals (you guessed it!) 7. He was born on 10s and 7s too! 
  • My brothers' birthdays are a 10 and a 7 respectively, although you have to do some special math to get them there. 3/17 and 1/8 that would be (3*1)+7=10 and 8-1 = 7.
  • My father died on 10s and 7s or specifically, 2/14/2008. That one is pretty easy, 2+1+4 = 7 and 2+8 = 10. 

My mind does this for every important day in my life. I cannot make it stop.

And sometimes it makes me crazy.

But today, today, is special and it is going to be a great day, because today is one of those rare days that is both 10 and 7. (5*2=10 and 5+2=7)

And, if nothing else, it has to be better than yesterday.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Don't Wanna...

Lately anything that we ask of the Supergirl is met with an adamant, "I don't wanna" complete with a stomp of the foot, a defiantly angry face, and a very nasty attitude.

And then she gets sent to her room to think about the way that she just acted.

Today, I know just what she feels like.

I don't wanna have to go to work everyday. (I am not complaining about the job. I like the job, a lot and I know just how fortunate I am to have it right now.)

I don't wanna have to be the only one to deal with the bill collectors.

I don't wanna cook dinner tonight.

I don't wanna look for a part-time job.

I don't wanna watch cartoons (or bloody murder mystery shows that are inappropriate for 4 year olds to watch and that are all the same) for the 2 minutes that I get to sit down each day.

I don't wanna be angry everytime I walk into my house.

I don't wanna have to be the one to clean her room again.

I don't wanna be the one she calls on to wipe her bottom every night at 6:35 PM (seriously, you could set a clock on this one).

I don't wanna do all of this running around, feeling like I am ducking and dodging the inevitable.

I don't wanna be the grown up by myself anymore.

When will I get put into a time out, so that I can sit by myself in peace and figure out where I (we) went wrong?

Today, today, I just don't wanna...

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