Sunday, May 22, 2011

Miss President, Dentist Visits, and Other Miscellany

The end of the school year is drawing near, and life is unbelievably hectic.  Between awards ceremonies, PTA dinners, and dentists appointments, I feel as though I'm being pulled in ten thousand directions all at once.  But I've learned that this kind of busy is the kind of busy that I definitely like to be.  Running between work and school and social events keeps me upbeat and energetic (though I am the first to admit that after a few days of the run-run-run schedule, I am ready for some rest and relaxation - that I don't always get.) 

It's one of the things I actually enjoy about single motherhood.  The fact that I'm everywhere all the time.  Of course, it sometimes makes me feel like I'll never catch a break, but I also get to enjoy all the fun things that are going on!  Of course, it sometimes means taking time off of work, or not committing myself and kiddo to too many things at once - but in the long run, I think it's worth it.

Kiddo had her first dentist appointment last week.  I was able to get her in at the office of my childhood dentist, which thrilled me beyond all reason.  He was a fantastic dentist and orthodontist, and specializes in pediatric dentistry, so I know she is in good hands.  The funny thing was, though, that a couple of the dental hygenists still recognized me - as did the doc himself.  And, it felt a little bit strange sitting in the waiting room, rather than in the exam chair.  The appointment went well...pretty much as I had expected it.  I already knew, going in, that kiddo has a pretty nasty cavity on the lower left side, and I noted that on her patient information sheet.  We go on the first to have the tooth capped, and that is something that I feel extremely relieved about.

We also had our final "big" PTA meeting of the year last week, in which I was voted in as next year's PTA president.  Am I crazy for taking the position?  Probably.  Is it going to be one of the most challenging things I've taken on, especially considering the lack of parental involvement and current state of the PTA?  Yep, I'm sure it will be.  But I think it'll be worth it...even if I can just make some tiny little impact - some improvement in the state of the family involvement in the school, I will count it as a victory.

Aside from that, not a lot has been going on.  Just the typical grind of work-school-collapse at home.  B is boaring a cruise ship today for a getaway with his brother and sister-in-law.  They are headed up to Alaska.  B is also making a deposit as well, on next year's cruise...the one we'll be taking together!  I think every day I fall for him a little more, and while it scares me to death, there is something that just seems to click so well with us.  Of course, being the way I am, I am constantly preparing myself for what will happen "when it all comes crashing down" (I don't consider myself a pessimist, but in the past, my life has had a way of going good-good-good and then SUPER HORRIBLE all of the sudden.  So, I tend to be very precautionary about things.)

And I suppose, that is that...I realize this update hasn't been much more than idle rambling, but sometimes it just feels good to get it all out!  More substance coming soon to a blog near you...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Because Daddy Lives Far Away

Kiddo has cried every day for the past two weeks.  There's been a number of reasons that she's given.  She didn't want to be the line leader, she didn't get to hug her grandma, she was upset she had to wear short socks...But last night, I think I finally got to the bottom of the real reason she's been crying.

First of all, let me preface this by saying - anyone who is part of a parenting TEAM, is so incredibly lucky.  To have a mother and a father in the same household, or even nearby is such a blessing.  True, you may get irritated with your husband sometimes.  Maybe he leaves the seat up, or leaves his stubble in the sink.  But in the grand scheme of things, it's important to realize how lucky you are (so long as it is a healthy relationship without abuse, etc. etc.  If you are in an abusive relationship, please get out!)

That being daughter has been crying, every single day for the past two weeks, because she misses her daddy.  Yep, the daddy that decided that moving across the country to northern California was a great idea.  The daddy that promised to take her to the beach and let her collect seashells.  The daddy who has since been laid off from that job in northern California and stopped sending me any kind of support (not that it was a lot to begin with, but the little he did send helped).  The daddy who has said he would come to visit around Valentine's Day and didn't.  The daddy who first said he'd be moving back in May, and has since changed his story to, "well...our lease isn't up until August..."

When he left, she cried.  For weeks.  Every day after school she would just cry and cry and cry. She wouldn't eat.  Finally, I thought we were all okay about the situation...until recently.  Now, it is happening again, only now, she doesn't wait until after school.  She cries in the morning getting ready instead, and then during lunch. She cries enough that I've had a teacher's aide from another class mention it to me.

And it's not fair.  Why do I get to be the one trying to fix this?  Why doesn't dear old dad have to step up to the plate and tell his daughter she needs to get it together so she can go to class?

I let her tears get to me this morning.  I'd walked her into school and we were getting ready to walk back into the kindergarten area and the waterworks started again.  I held her and told her it was going to be alright, daddy will be moving back soon, and that she needed to take a deep breath.  But the tears kept on coming.  Her pre-k teacher from last year walked by and saw her crying and stopped to talk to me.  She mentioned having seen her upset yesterday morning and asked her what was wrong...of course, she started crying even harder, and I had to translate her words through her tears.  When I told the teacher she was crying because her daddy lives far away, I had to lift my head and stare into the fluorescents to try and hold back the tears. I think she knew it, too, because she took kiddo's hand and walked her back, patted me on the shoulder and told me she would get her settled down.

My own tears began falling on the walk to the car.  I took the curb on the way out of the parking lot as I tried to clear my eyes.  I don't know why.  Frustration?  Exhaustion?  Helplessness?

I need a vacation.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Sad Fact About Growing Up

I've decided that I don't want to get any older.  Not because I'm afraid of wrinkles, or sagging...but because it means that everyone around me is getting older too.  All of the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and family friends that I grew up with are growing old, too.  And as much as death is a fact of life, it still doesn't make it any easier.

My Aunt Sarah passed away this morning.  I remember being a child and playing at her house - running around on the land behind the house, catching snapping turtles with my cousins, feeding the goats, and giving our city cousins bags to go up into the woods hunting snipes.  I remember the hay rides around Halloween time, when my Uncle Charles drove all us kids around on a trailer attached to the back of the truck, up to the cabin at the top of the hill - the one that the hunters stayed in when they came to my aunt and uncle's fox farm - where we built a fire outside and roasted marshmallows, sneaking the occasional one to a brave fox that didn't mind getting a little closer to our rambunctious group.

I remember watching my Aunt Sarah as she sat in front of her sewing machine, making the most beautiful quilts I've seen in my life.  I won't ever in my life understand how she was able to churn out beautiful piece after beautiful piece, the stitches in little hearts or flowers, or the most delicate little swirl patterns.  I remember, after we moved to Texas, waiting eagerly around holidays for the package that would come from her.  My favorite as a child was the quilt she made just for me - purple, with unicorns.  My favorite now, is one she made for my mother, embellished with doves and praying hands, in the most beautiful periwinkle and white.

I know she was getting older.  I know she was sick.  I know that now, she is in a better place, and that all of her suffering has been lifted from her.  But that doesn't make it any easier.

I want to stop time.  Rewind, even.  Go back to my childhood, when I didn't quite understand mortality, or know that, as I got older, I would lose those nearest and dearest to me.

I don't know what emotion I'm feeling right now.  I'm angry, but sad.  I feel vulnerable and scared.  I feel numb and empty.

I don't want to grow up anymore.