Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010 Can Suck It

Every January 31st, I anxiously await the clock to near midnight. I sit there filled with hope that this NEW year will be better than the last. That might sound selfish to some, I call it honest. No matter what blessings you have in your life, they are countered balanced by trials. We all have them and we all hope to put on a happy face and pretend our life is perfect. Mine - not so much! Yes, I have a wonderful husband, a home, a good job, great kids (for the most part), etc etc etc BUT at the same time, I have heartache, pain, defeat, burdens, etc etc etc. While I realize that other people have burdens far worse than my own, the burdens I carry are oh so heavy because they are mine. I empathize with others but at the back of my mind - the small dark hateful corner of your mind that no one likes to acknowledge - I am still thinking about what I am going through.

I've been through some very dark times as an adult. Divorce is no picnic. Especially when you are left with the burden of two children - raising them, supporting them (financially and emotionally), loving them. Its a hell of a lot of balls to juggle and inevitably, you drop some. All you can do is hope that the shiny balls that lay shattered on the ground aren't ones that will have an impact in the long run but only time tells. As you stare into the shards that represent pieces of your life, you just hope that you can put it back together enough that the cracks can be hidden on the backside, like a antique Christmas ball.

How as a parent can you come out and honestly say that you have failed your child? To admit those words - its like ripping your heart out through your asshole....both painful and embarrassing. Unfortunately, as parent's we WILL fail our children. That is the one lesson that I have learned. It WILL happen. You just have to hope that its not something that will have long reaching consequences.

I sit and look at pictures of my oldest child. The baby boy I had when I wasn't much more than a baby myself. I had dreams of being someone in life but I allowed "love" to take over and sacrificed everything I had ever hoped for. I'm still someone in life but that reality is far different one than I imagined at 16, 17 or even 18. I'm a mother - for better or worse. And let's face it - there is a lot of worse involved in raising children. No one can make you question your intelligence, sanity, confidence, and common sense more than a child.

My "baby" moved out of the house back in April. It was for the best as he grew to the point where he didn't believe that a single rule applied to him. Somehow the balance of power shifted. No longer was I the one making the rules and enforcing them - he was the one telling me how it was. He forgot that it was MY house. That I paid the bills. It was miserable. I was ready to hand him his walking papers when he left on his own accord. Naturally, there was no planning on his part. He met a girl in another town (about 2 hours away) and would go visit on weekends. I knew the writing was on the wall and I was secretly counting down the days until he was gone, all the while feeling a huge load of guilt because I didn't think it was OK to feel this way. He eventually ended up staying there. Why? Simply because he didn't have gas money to come home. Does he love this girl? I don't know. Not the most auspicious way to start a relationship.

I got the news most parents have nightmares about last week - the girl is pregnant. Pregnant at 18. A life of dreams shattered. A young adulthood filled with fun over. My son is 19 and has absolutely NO concept of what he is for. His lifelong mentality of somehow, someway it will all work out isn't going to happen in this case. I'm angry, hurt, sad for them, and so very disappointed. Worse of it, he doesn't understand why I feel ANY of this. He thinks (and yes this is what he actually said to me) that since this happened, they must be ready for it. I wanted to reach through the phone and choke him. I don't know this child. This isn't my baby so filled with dreams and ambitions. This person is a complete stranger to me - one that is heading on a one way path to a life filled shattered balls and broken dreams. One that is doomed never go anywhere in life.

Now, before anyone starts telling me that this doesn't mean his life is over - let me tell you, I know this child, you do not. This is the child that I didn't think could hurt me any worse than when he didn't get his shit together to graduate. This is the child that over a year later still doesn't have a diploma or a GED. This is the child that gives up when things get tough. I wanted him out of the house to have a strong dose of reality but this wasn't what I bargained for.

So, at the end of the day, I failed my child somewhere down the line. I wish that I could pinpoint the exact moment. Was it divorcing his dad? Was it giving him too much freedom because he'd always been responsible? Was it ending therapy too soon because I couldn't afford it? Was it removing him from Catholic school? Truth is, it could be all of those things or it could be none of them. Children must forge their own paths. As I've told him, you bought this big boy bed, now you figure out how to make it.

What am I looking for with this post? Nothing - just simply a way to articulate the sadness and anger I've been experiencing. 2010 has not shaped up to the year I'd hoped it to be, not just because of this, there have been other issues. I've struggled to find my voice to talk about them. They have been stowed in my emotional backpack for me to take out and stare at in the dark and question myself. So, 5 more months of 2010 - I say lets start the countdown now and raise a glass to hoping 2011 is a better year.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Isn't It Ironic

As I was driving to work this morning, I had the tunes blasting on my Pod. Nothing makes a Monday drive to work a little less sucky like good music and since this is MY pod, I get to listen to MY music without all of the craptastic (thank you Sasha!) garbage my husband likes. (hello - Bon Jovi??? Are you a 15 year old girl in 1987???)

First up - Kashmir. One of the best sex songs ever! No, not for the lyrics but the beat and the wailing???? Hello, Orgasm! Sorry, I lost myself there for a minute. Then, one of my guilty pleasures. A Motley Crue song. Yes, they are totally a hair band from the 80's and yes, I totally just made fun of my husband for this same type of music. Shut up, you know you listen to them too.

I'm driving down the street attempting to sing along to Shout at the Devil. Anyone who knows that song knows all you can sing is Shout, Shout, Shout, Shout at the devil. The rest is like listening to Mick Jagger singing Jumpin Jack Flash. Unintelligible. Unless, you are a total dweeb who looks up the lyrics so that you can sing along (Hi, Honey! I love you!). I stopped at a traffic signal and looked out the window as the chorus was playing and I was singing. What was I stopped next to? A Catholic Church.

So, yeah, a lapsed Catholic badly belting out the chorus to Shout at the Devil while stopped next to a Catholic Church. The irony of it all. I started laughing uncontrollably. Needless to say, I couldn't be sure if the funny looks I was getting were from the music choice, my caterwauling, or maniacal laughter.

All I can say is, its a good thing Closer played while I was on the road and nowhere near the house of God. Although, you gotta think that God has a sense of humor.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah vs Mike

Obviously, the world lost two icons yesterday. There is no disputing the greatness that was Michael Jackson. However, I feel that a great disservice is being done by only honoring him and only reporting the sensational details of his death. Lets face it, a peaceful, quiet, and dignified death just isn't going to grab the headlines.

Farrah was an icon in her own right. I read that her poster from the 70's is still the biggest selling poster of all time. There is no denying that she was gorgeous and could easily have been typecast into your stereotypical blonde bombshell roles but Farrah had some acting chops. She took on some real gritty roles. Playing Diane Downs in Small Sacrifices - a role so repugnant due to the nature of her crime - and playing her well. I've read the book by Ann Rule and seeing Farrah act out the character is so true to life to the book its just as you imagined Diane Downs as you read it.

Farrah seemed to live a quiet and dignified life. She didn't create a ton of tabloid headlines and was only recently in the news again due to her documentary. A documentary so gritty and real that it was almost the antithesis of a Hollywood star. She used her illness to educate the world. She used her illness to shine the light on huge inequities in our health care system. She refused to gloss over the gory, sad, and horrific side effects of her devastating illness and through it all kept her dignity and class in place.

On the other hand, Michael's passing surpassed and tributes to Farrah and even preempted network television. You couldn't change a channel on the TV without hearing a song of his playing or hearing the details of his death. I cannot deny that the music world has lost an indisputable legend and tremendous talent but his death shouldn't be reported as more important than Farrah's. I've heard the media say that his death is more tragic because it was unexpected but let's be real - his death is garnering more media because of his scandalous life. The strange marriages, the molestation accusations, the childlike way that he lived, and now drug abuse.

I think that this is the very epitome of what is wrong with the media. We, as a culture, thrive on salacious details. Who's dating whom, who's marrying whom, who's divorcing whom, etc. I am not excluding myself from that group by any stretch. I enjoy reading a good bit of celebrity gossip as much as the next person. However, the more I watched the media coverage last night, the more perturbed I became. I heard newscasters saying they had tributes planned for Farrah that were now cancelled due to Michael's death. How is that right? Our culture lost TWO great icons yesterday but only one of them is getting recognized.

I personally was not a huge fan of Michael's. I don't mind his music (as a music lover, you have to appreciate how revolutionary he was) but as a person, I think he was a nut. Whether or not he actually did sexually molest those boys, I am not sure but I do believe there was something "off" about a person who gets comfort from surrounding himself with young children - especially boys. I also believe that there is nothing right about sharing your bed with children who are not your own or any type of relation. He lived his life in the spotlight - partly because of his tyrannical father but lately because of his bizarre actions. I feel for the child he was but I cannot respect, or even like, the adult he became.

He will definitely leave a lasting effect on the music world. Everyone in the 80's knew someone with the Beat It jacket, glove, and huge mirrored aviator shades. People today still emulate his dances, especially the moonwalk. And a new generation is becoming familiar with his music. That should be his legacy. His legacy shouldn't be drugs, cosmetic surgery, bankruptcy, and legal issues.

Farrah is the Charlie's Angel we all remember. It doesn't matter that she was only on the show for one season. I remember my cousins and I would play Charlie's Angels and invariably there was a huge fight over who was Farrah. Most teenage boys in the 80's had a crush on her and most teenage girls wanted to be her or at least have her hair. Be at peace, Ms. Fawcett!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WTF Wednesday

I need to vent and what better way to do it then to wrap it up in a cute little package with a title filled with alliteration? (Gee, can you tell that I've been helping the boy wonder with his English homework?)

Lately, I've been on daycare duty. This isn't something I normally do as the daycare is close to Hubby's work. Its been about a year since I've been in and out of there with any regularity. Needless to say, there is new staff and when I walked in a couple of weeks back to pick up the Demon, I realized that I no longer knew which room she was in. As I was looking around, one of the girls asked me who I was looking for. When I told her, she stared at me a minute longer and then asked if I was grandma. WTF? Seriously, if you have any doubt, don't you err on the side of caution and say Mom? That way, you won't insult anyone and if I was in fact, grandma, you would have flattered me. Of course, since I'm so polite and all, I told her I was mom and then informed her that I didn't like her.

Crapplebee's again. After this, you would think that I would know better but apparently I'm a slow learner. Also, read the comments on this post - someone out there really loves Crapplebees! We waited ages to go back and what happens when we do? There is rotten (and I do mean ROTTEN) celery in our starter. Normally, I wouldn't eat the celery but I just happened to be munching away on the rotten stalk. When I called the manager over and showed him the rotten celery, he asked what the problem was. Are you FUCKING kidding me???? WTF? He took the starter off our bill but it went downhill from there. I've never left a restaurant without leaving a tip but I did that night. I even wrote a note on the receipt explaining why I wasn't leaving a tip and told the manager I wasn't leaving one and why. We had to ask for our child's drink and our waitress couldn't be bothered to come back to our table. We weren't offered refills - EVER - and after sitting and waiting 10 minutes with a rambunctious toddler, I finally took the bill to the bar and bitched out a different manager. Yeah, I'm sure this get a slew of anonymous comments telling me to stay home and eat meatloaf but whatevs.

Hubby and the Demon left for a short vacation to PA this morning. I miss them already but seriously, Hubby, can't you book a flight that doesn't leave at the ass crack of dawn??? WTF? You know I'm not a morning person and it makes me want to remove your testicle (singular on purpose :D) to get up that early especially when you are off to have fun and I have to go to work. You're lucky I love you the way I do.

Hormones + teenage girl = mother ready to drink for fear of killing teenage daughter. This one doesn't even get a WTF - it gets a full Fucking Kill Me Now! Bad part is, she's only 14 so there is no end in sight. I think teenage girls are a mother's punishment for torturing their mother. I've tried apologizing but my momma only laughs. I spend days trying to decide which is less painful, repeatedly smashing myself in the head with a hammer or throwing myself down the stairs or dealing with her.

Join me in the bitch fest, won't you?

Monday, May 18, 2009

What Today Should Be

Today should be the day I stand by my oldest child with my heart swelled with pride. Watching as he carefully dons the mortar board and cocks it at a jaunty angle and gives me the grin I've been seeing my whole life. The grin that says, I know this isn't right but you know you can't help smiling with me. This should be the day I reach out and straighten the hat and help him carefully place the tassel. The tassel that will eventually hang from his rear view mirror in a rite of passage. This should be the day I jam my purse full of tissues and watch my baby - the baby whose first faltering steps I witnessed - make that trek across the stage and receive the diploma that signifies his transition from childhood to adulthood. This should be the day that I watch each year of his life flash by me with each step he takes toward that diploma, from the cute little baby to the gangly preteen to the man he is today. This is all what today should be about.

Instead, today is about dreams dashed and hopes dimmed. Today is instead the day I listen to my other coworkers talk about their children's graduations that occurred over the weekend. Today is the day I listen to their stories and realize that I won't have one to share. Today is about failure, shame, and embarrasment - his and mine.

Sean needs one - let me repeat that - ONE freaking credit for his diploma. Instead of buckling down and getting the work done, he's been putting it off. Oh, he'll get a diploma but he will never have that walk, dressed in a dark green cap and gown, to receive it. I'll never have the moment of my heart swelling with love and pride, watching him take that walk. I'll never get cheesy pictures with a diploma in one hand and a thumbs up with the other hand with his buddies.

I've spent the last few weeks trying to convince myself that its ok. That as long as he eventually receives that piece of paper, the ceremony doesn't matter. I was wrong. It does matter. I sit here typing this with a lump in my throat, knowing I've failed. I've failed because I let him fail. I kept telling myself that he is 18 and it has to be his responsibility to get the work done. However, reaching high school graduation is my last official job as a parent and I didn't make it happen so the failure is mine. Now, he has 3 assignments to finish and he'll receive his diploma without any fanfare, without any announcements, without any revelry, without any ceremony. And my heart aches.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Not So Good Times

Yep. I've totally neglected this blog and the blogs of all those I read. I have still been reading, but I haven't been commenting. Mea Culpas!

At any rate, between our usual busy time at work, I've also been dealing with some personal stuff. About a week ago, my parents house caught fire. Thankfully, everyone is ok and that is truly the main thing! Unfortunately, the back side of their house is trashed! Once we got over the shock, we realized that our family truly does deal with things with humor as there have been many jokes.

I've never had a childhood home. With my father being in the Air Force, I spent most of my years in base housing. I was very lucky though, in the fact that no matter where we lived or what kind of house it was, it was always home. My parent's weren't (and still aren't) wealthy but every place we lived in had a home filled with love and memories. Most of our memories can be conjured by looking at certain items in the house. No matter where we lived, I always knew home by the things around me - a house decorated for tradition, family, and comfort and not for show.

My mother was one of 10 children. Obviously, my grandparents didn't have any money and most of our "family heirlooms" were probably purchased using Green Stamps at the grocery store. I remember it being my job to lick the stamps and put them in the books.

One such purchase was our famous Turkey platter. Yes, this is just what it sounds like - a platter with a picture of a turkey on it. It graced many of my childhood Thanksgiving dinners back East until it eventually came to reside with my mother a few years prior to my beloved Nana's death. We used that platter faithfully every Thanksgiving and it was well known amongst my siblings and I that the platter would eventually pass on to me as the oldest child and the only one with children.

Once, my mother, sister and I were at an indoor flea market. I was marvelling over the booths filled with junk that was so similar to many items we had in our house. Things that others would easily view as junk but to the right person would hold precious memories. I turned a corner and busted out laughing - calling my mother over at the same time. My mother came over, thinking, I'm sure that her oldest had finally lost her mind, and stopped dead and joined my giggling. There, sitting in pride of place in this booth was the exact same turkey platter. Selling for a whopping $2.50. Once the giggling subsided, I thanked my mother for my fantastic inheritance.

We don't know what items will be salvaged from the kitchen (the worst of the damage) and the fear is that turkey platter will be lost forever. However, it is good to know that my parents will be able to claim their $2.50 loss back from insurance!

That lovely plastic covered hole you see is the kitchen

The view from the other side of the plastic

On the upside, my mother finally gets to remodel!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes We Can

Today, I sat at a computer completely transfixed while watching history be made. I've struggled to find the reason why this inaugaration is different and the only thing I can come up with is Change. Ushering in Obama as our 44th President signifies youth, hope, unification, and change.

As I lay in bed last night, a thought struck me. There is a fundamental difference between my generation and my children's generation. As a teenager (same age as the Drama Queen), I couldn't fathom the idea of a black man and a woman competing for a presidental nomination. I saw the carnage that a female vice president wreaked on Walter Mondale. I have to admit that it was beyond my comprehension that this day would arrive. As I sat in awe seeing all the "old school" candidates drop out (ie: white males) and watched it come down to the wire between Hillary and Barrack, I knew I was witnessing history. To me, it was akin to what those in the 60's must have felt watching the civil rights movements and see the integration of the blacks. To my children, it was just the way it was. It wasn't a question for them of if could happen but why couldn't it happen. That is the moment I realized just how important this election was.

I watched on election night as polls closed and votes came in to see Barrack take state after state, I realized how much our country and our people needed this. This became not an issue of a black president, but of a young, new leader who had the power to energize a nation with his words. The power to remind us that it is not an issue of black or white, woman or man but an issue of American people stepping up to the plate to do what we can to affect change. I sat and watched my 13 year old daughter intently watching the television, so excited about an election, not because of the barriers that have been broken but because she too felt inspired by Obama and realized his message is meant and understood by all ages, race, sexes, and religions.

I, for one, am excited by all the barriers that have been broken throughout this election. Woman or man, black or white, old or young no longer matters. Having the power to unite and compel a people through your words, having the skill to speak convincingly and inspire a nation, giving us all hope for a better and brighter tomorrow is what it should be about.