Thursday, September 30, 2010

Midnight Drooling, Snoring and Flatulence (no, not me!) No Particular Order

     Okay, something’s going on. I know what it is. The problem is how to get a handle on it. Maybe the problem is not a handle but a doorknob. Let’s not stop at just any old doorknob. Let’s make it a bedroom doorknob. My bedroom doorknob. On the other side of that doorknob is a bed. My bed. I’m not in it.
Why not? Where am I? I’m sitting on my living room floor in a late night semi-trance as I watch an ant trying valiantly to haul off the remnants of some food item that one of my kids left behind. Why do you ask, would I rather be watching an ant at one thirty in the morning with drool starting to run down my chin, eyes glazing over, than in my soft, comfy bed that I have all to myself. Hmm……..all to myself. Maybe that is the problem?
     No, I don’t need a pity party. I've gotten rather used to sleeping by myself. I even have a list of perks that only come from sleeping by oneself. How does one sleep by oneself anyway?? Unless you divide like an amoeba in the middle of the night....... Oh sorry, getting off track......Anyway I've got it really good. I don’t have to listen to anyone snoring, mumbling or flatulating  in their sleep. I get to hog all the covers and put my cold feet anywhere I want. I get to wake up with my eyebrows shooting off in all directions like my Uncle Stanley with no one there to notice. I don’t have to wake up to someone's morning breath. Now come on, is this not the life or what?

     I won’t say what I do miss about having someone else in my bed. This is a PG rated family-type blog and if anyone has to think too hard about that than, well…………geez there’s nothing I even can say! And's not all about the "S" word. You know.....snoring :) And yes, I can say sex. Just did!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Card Carrying Estrogen Member

So we all know we do it. It's a hormonal thing. We often times divide and conquer obligations in our relationships by our estrogen and testosterone levels. It's true that there is more cross over now when it comes to the "standard" responsibilities of the sexes. I've discovered there are men who love to cook and many of them are much better at it than I am! I've also discovered that I am even more capable than I previously realized of taking care of the more testosterone loaded responsibilities around the house. However, there are inherent things we tend to do as males and females that are generally unique to our genders.

Part of the requirement of being an estrogen card carrying member was that it was mandated that I, just by having sole ownership of that card, frequent Bath and Body. On a somewhat regular basis. Any estrogen card holder knows this experience comes with ownership privilege. I would come home with an assortment of products for the sole purpose of taking baths with bubbles that called themselves Coconut Lime Verbena or Amber Woods, and body creams that smoothed and softened my dry Utah desert skin.

At the end of a long day (which was generally most days) I would get the kids to bed, run a hot tub filled with sweet smelling bubbles in my lovely garden tub, take a book, and ah....................I would soak the cares of the day away.

Fast forward a couple of years and one of my favorite past times has been severely inhibited. I walk in my little closet....oh sorry, I mean my bathroom. I look at the tub and longingly remembered the days where I could soak in the tub without my knees being pushed up to my chin. I look down at my reading material for the evening and sigh. The History of Islam would generally not be my first choice but I have a paper to write. I look around for all of my female bath paraphernalia and see my bottle of bubbles lying on the floor of the tub, emptying its last couple of teaspoons down the drain. Someone knocked it over and didn't pick it up.....again.

I notice I'm out of sugar scrub and wonder if I can make some. Surely I could! So I do. I really feel like pampering myself tonight so I go to scrounge up some candles. The only ones I could find were a half a dozen tea lights, but hey, in a pinch those will do! So I take my text book, light the candles, turn out the bathroom light and sink into the tub. All six inches of it. I lay there wondering if I could have a better experience if I bought a kiddie pool for the backyard, let the water warm in the sun all day, and run a little toy boat around in it when I take a bath so that it will create some bubbles.

I try the sugar scrub. Something was wrong with my sugar oil ratio and I'm left with sugar hardening on some parts of my body while other parts are streaked with oil that I just can't seem to get off....maybe the water wasn't hot enough? So, I try to read while I pretend my sugar scrub is an all over body mask. Hey, I couldn't have gotten the same treatment at the spa for 75 cents! I had just gotten to the most engrossing chapter on Islamic law when the air conditioner turned on and whooshed out my little teeny tiny tea lights.

So there I am. Laying in six inches of now cooling water in the dark; trying to dangle my now stiff from under my chin legs over the side of the tub so I don't stay in a permanent Quasimodo position. I am crusted (or would that be encrusted?) and oiled over at the same time. Yes, I have special talents. And I am thinking to myself. "Self. One day you will laugh about this. One day you may have a bath big enough to soak in without having to become a contortionist. One day, you may actually remember why you used to have normal size candles in your bath and bedroom. One day you will have a tub to take a bubble bath in that holds more than six inches of water at a time."

In the meantime, my estrogen card is going in the time out corner.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Nest Will Empty


It’s a given. You know from the moment you see a little face change color and scream, that God has let you borrow a child. We call them our own, raise them as best we know how - but in the end they leave you to live their own lives. It’s a moment we live for, threaten to celebrate, hope comes sooner than later, then the day comes when you’re cleaning up after them for the last time and find water leaking down your face.

I look around the room - the rooms, he called his own and move the scattered piles of memories folded or piled in heaps and see in them his life as I knew it.
A dozen and a half years ago he came to me, welled up into this world out of an incision and became a part of my world. Nine years later he was mine and mine alone forsaking and forsaken by his mother.

Sitting in his room(s,) surrounded by all the years’ accumulation of clothing, gear, cards and pictures, I feel like a part of me has gone out and left there now, is an empty hole that is sucking the energy out of me. I know he’s not gone, as all the world knows gone, dead and gone. He’ll be back, but when he returns he’ll be a man - not my little boy who needed me.

Eight years. Eight years of holding everything together, being the pillar of strength for this little family. Eight years of being the Father, the Mother, the maid, the laundry girl and every other thing, teacher, counselor, chauffer and mechanic. I can’t say never, but rarely did I let the teardrops fall - and my boys didn’t see them on my face.

The problem, as I see it, with raising children, is that if you do it right there is no need for them to come back to the nest and ask for your help. Four sons I’ve raised from childhood to fathers themselves. The oldest have their lives, their children and their wives. They are making it in the world and sometimes come by to visit. But none really need me to hold their hand as they go on in the world. Yes I’ll pat myself on the back, there is no one else in this empty house to do it for me.

So I’ll pack up the house. The children's home for their entire lives, mine after the divorce, but theirs since their inception. I’ll pack up their lives and move some of it into storage, send some to good will, haul much of it to the dump, and pack me up to another life somewhere down the road. I know that life is more than the stuff we gather to ourselves. That beyond this life are riches beyond measure. But being a Dad, and living just to be a Dad for all those years…

I sit in his room, surrounded by the scattered remnants of memories lived and discarded as a boy traveled the road to manhood.

And I cry.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Embrace The Journey

So I picked up a new bracelet yesterday. I had decided it was time to treat myself. If I was going to spend the money then I wanted get something that I not only really liked, but that had some kind of meaning to me as well. I looked at and tried on dozens of bracelets, and while all of them were beautiful in their own way, nothing was jumping out at me saying, "pick me, pick me!"

I spent a good amount of time looking around and getting a little frustrated at not finding what I wanted. I was getting ready to leave when I ran across some bracelets that had sayings on them such as, "Mother, Love, Dare to Dream" and one other that caught my eye immediately. Inscribed on the bracelet were the words "Embrace the Journey." It was mine. It was meant for me. It had "pick me" just radiating from it! I had some rather vague thoughts in my mind at the time as to why those words resonated with me so strongly. I knew why, but I was fighting against those very thoughts at the same time.

I have not just been trying to "put up with" or "grin and bear" my divorced and single status and role as a single mother, but have been making a conscious effort to find joy and happiness with where I am at. Makes sense, right? Feels good for extended periods of time? No.

So the question has been tripping around in my head the last 24 hours or so as to if I could actually "embrace" my life as it is right now. I've tried to find joy in my journey, but can I actually embrace it? To hold it to me; to clasp it as if it is something precious and desirable? I think I have come to the conclusion that I am already doing this to some degree. I am trying. Some days I do more embracing than others. Most days, I feel strong and capable. Some days I feel the burden of loneliness.

The journey will continue on no matter how I feel about it. To be able to "Embrace" it will determine to no small end how my journey looks, feels, and where it will ultimately take me.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Like the North Star

So I went for a late night bike ride last night. I’ve done that a lot this summer. These are some of my favorite times to commune with the heavens. I had been struggling with some questions and frustrations on a spiritual level. I didn’t feel I was understanding what God has been trying to tell me and that I could not trust myself to “get it right” and/or trust that God would keep his promises. So....I stopped asking.

There was no moon last night and as there is an observatory where I live, we are not allowed to have street lights. So obviously it was really dark out. I was half waiting to ride into a pothole and end up sprawled on the ground tangled up in my bike wondering what my name was!! Maybe it’s not the smartest thing to do but I enjoy my bike rides in the dark. As I was riding and thinking I looked up and saw the Big Dipper and the North Star. Here I was riding through the dark, much the same as I’d been wandering in the dark in regards to the spiritual things that had been on my mind. As I was riding and praying I glanced up and saw the North Star, which as we all know gives direction to those who may be lost or need to stay on course. It was one of those moments where God puts something in our path, or our mind, and allows us to “see” and recognize that we are not alone, and that He is guiding us through the darkness in the direction He most needs us to go.

There are potholes and obstacles along the way that may trip us up and leave us sprawled out on the ground feeling wounded and hurt, but we don’t need to wander (or ride) around in darkness, losing our hope and faith in ourselves, in others, and in God. Just like the North Star, God is constant. He is always the way.