Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Own Milestones...

A helicopter mom I am not.  However, I am a mom who stalls and drags her feet at certain milestones when it comes to my daughter.  She's almost 12, and she's an amazingly sweet girl and has earned herself a bit of freedom.  I let her go to school dances (as if I had a choice because it's either let her go or listen to her huffs and puffs all night while ignoring me as she sits on her Kindle).  I got her a cell phone (but I make her buy her own minutes and I have free reign to check the damn thing any time I want).  She roams our new neighborhood with her friends and always is diligent about calling and checking in letting me know she hasn't been abducted.  So I figured the time has come to let her walk home from school.  There really is no reason to say no.  The route that takes her from school to our new house has sidewalks and they're really all side streets anyway.  Hell, she has a cell phone which she can hopefully quickly dial 911 fast enough should my town hold a crazy abductor or some shit I freak myself out with on a weekly basis.

So I decided three weeks ago to give this a try; let her walk home from school all by her big girl self with one rule; call me when you're leaving school and call me when you get home.  As an aside, I should mention at this time that her father informed me that he would be following her in the car to make sure she was all right.  This in turn reminded me of when my dad told me he followed me once upon a time when I walked to the corner store for, gasp, penny candy.  It was awesome.  Not only was I scoring mom points for letting her walk home by herself, but I needn't worry cause dear old dad is apparently more paranoid than I am.  I am proud to say that she did exactly as she was told and called me both when she left and when she got home safe and sound.

Let's fast forward to quitting time for me at work where all I had to do was go home.  There were zero stops to be made.  There were zero concerns that I was going to hit traffic and be late picking her up.  In fact, I was thinking to myself as I pulled into my driveway -- why the hell hadn't I done this earlier in the school year.  This shit was awesome and opened up a whole new world of possibilities - FOR ME!!! Shit, I could run errands after work while she walked home and did her chores.  Shit, I could work late and grab some extra cash while she walked home and did her chores.  Shit, I could just have a little extra "me" time and take the long way home and sing at the top of my lungs to my tunes semi-carefree.

Yes, re-reading this I realize how selfish I sound, but I know for a fact, anyone with kids that have been up their asses for years now can share in my happiness of a little extra time in their day being their own.  It's not a lot but 15 minutes is all it takes to put a new perspective on things.  I don't care that I sound selfish because I know from the get-go it wasn't ever about me.  I had her best interest in mind the entire time.  I am just excited to have found a benefit for me in all of this that I will take full advantage of.

I am realistic though and realize I will drag my feet when the next milestone comes along because that's just the kind of mom I am.  I want to make sure my kids are ready for the next phase of their world.  I know sometimes you have to throw them into it and let them experience it, but I refuse to do it blindly for them.  I am just hoping that in all my nail-biting, feet-dragging mommy moments, I am helping, not hindering them along the way -- just like my very vague job description tells me to.  I love those little shits of mine.  They make me so very proud and prove to me that no matter how often I think I'm failing them I really am doing something right by them.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Superheros Drink Wine and Play Horseshoes

I am just going to get right to it and you can just get right back into reading and tell me how happy you are that I've found my way back.  This past Friday my divorce went through, and not one of you people dare utter anything along the lines of "wow that was fast" or any combination of words that make my Trip de Divorce seem like a breeze.  I'm just a girl who doesn't have time to fiddlefuck around.  I have a life to live you know, kids to raise, shit to take care of so let's get things rolling.

However, in retrospect, I will admit that it was pretty fast even though at the time of going through it all I didn't think that the quicksand-sucking-me-in-too-fast-feeling was going to end.  So let's count all the ways I could have lost my shit and never come back but I'm too strong to give in shall we.  While there are many moments I am sure I cannot recall and there are most definitely many moments I do not care to remember, the thing I can recall with the utmost clarity are the words I said to myself the day my heart fell out of my chest the moment that I was informed my wifely duties were no longer needed, thanks for playing, don't come back now was 'what am I going to do now.'  I think it took me less than 12 hours for the answer to come to me, and it said loud and clear 'whatever it takes because there are a couple of special people counting on you.'  So I did exactly that; I found myself a job outside of the home back into the office.  I then found a place in town to rent a house, not just an apartment but a whole house, because it would be completely unfair to rip the kids out of their schools, and I knew there is nothing worse in the eyes of a tween then being ripped out of sixth grade to go and fend for herself in another school with *gasp* people she didn't know since kindergarten and try not to sink but to swim.

So, with those two major things in place I moved out in November and pretended to never look back.  I clung to my friends and family who refused to let me drown.  I drank too much wine and muddled through the holidays with snots and tears running down my face from time to time.  I laid awake more nights than I slept from anxiety and fear that I would let my kids down.   I admit to using Hamburger Helper from time to time because it was easier.  I lost my first job that I had gotten and refused to let that break me, and that path brought me to the job I currently have, the job which is, quite frankly, freakin' perfect for me, and that I actually do very much like.  I also came to enjoy the "me" time I don't remember really ever having or taking full advantage of in the past.  I go to the gym and run 5Ks because it's a terrific way to let out aggression and feel accomplished.  I hung out, and continue to hang out, with friends that I know I neglected and made sure to make memories with them that will cause us to say more often than not, "Remember when..." and then fall into fits of laughter because yes, yes I do remember when.  I also am now realizing how much I am capable of.  I never really believed deep down inside I would fail my kids because that's not the type of person I am.

So in thinking about the past year and all the ridiculous events that unfolded causing the demise of my marriage, and my, let's face it, inevitable divorce, instead of having a pity party, I am spending my time actually seeing how far I've come.  While I don't own my own house right now, it's okay because I own a lawnmower, and that pretty much makes me somewhat of a homeowner, or at the very least, a big girl who has to do things by herself, for herself, for her kids because that's what it means to do what you have to do.  I am not considering this part of my path in life a bump in the road simply because I have learned so much about myself since this started but rather a real, honest-to-goodness, not-cliche-at-all second chance, or in my case, third chance.  As the old saying goes, the third times a charm, and while I've never had reason to believe those silly words, I am slowly realizing that whoever started that saying might just know what the hell they are talking about.  It makes me realize that if someone were to ask me, do I have everything I want, my answer would be yes because my kids are happy and my kids are happy because I never let them down.

So in closing, what came to me as I was mowing my lawn after work, besides that, shit, I have a much larger yard than I first realized, is that superheros come in all shapes, sizes, and strengths, and they really do exist not just in the movies or in life-and-death newsworthy situations.  I should know because I would like to believe that I am proof.  Also, my birthday is coming up, and I would really, really like it if someone could bring me, besides a box of wine (red, ahem), a set of horseshoes.  I really, really am looking forward to playing horseshoes, in my freshly mowed backyard, with my incredible, never-once-thought-to-let-me-go friends and family.

*cheers my friends*

Psst...if I try really hard to keep my page up, you can find me at Confessions of a Truu Mom