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Archive for March, 2005

Easter has also been an interesting season for us as a family; Little Small has come along for the Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday services, as has The Dane, who also came to Ash Wednesday. i think those have all been firsts, for both of them. and it’s been an educational exercise for me to explain these services, these observances, these things i’ve been doing all my life, to newcomers. LS gets points for patience and endurance, for sure; he’s only 6, and an hour and a half must feel like an eternity, but to his credit, he pays attention, and asks questions.

some of his questions really throw me. ‘who was the first person, ever?’ came wafting out of the back seat today. huh. how do i explain my personal blend of science and religion, and answer his question honestly, while respecting whatever his birth mother’s church is teaching him? there’s plenty of time for exploration, and i don’t want to confuse him. and yet a direct question deserves a direct answer. such a balancing act, this stepparenting gig.

anyway, i’ve been busy planning and cleaning and organizing lately, and will be doing much more of the same the next few days. so – peaceful Spring wishes to all, and Easter wishes to those who observe, and see you in a few days!

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some of it has just been being busy; busy with doing and being and living. and that’s been good. life has a happy hum to it these days. many productive things are happening, i have the great good fortune of having met some wonderful people lately who are reaching out to me, and life is perking along, as i continue to find my way forward.

and then there’s the rest. i suppose it isn’t realistic to divide events neatly into Productive and Other, especially when there’s really only one major category for Other. i suppose i should be trying to see things as part of an overall whole. then again, if that’s what helps me make sense of the days, is it all that bad?

oh, small aside: Doris at the electric company had the worst day of anyone last week. turns out that the letter i received? went out by mistake. to many, many people. Doris, i think, wins the booby prize for Worst Week at Work. here’s hoping this week is better for her.

the Other, as it turns out, was a ‘come to Jesus’ phone conversation with the exwife, in which i was involved, as both topic and participant. it was two days ago, and i’m still recovering, physically and mentally. sweet Jesus, but the woman is exhausting (as many emotional vampires are). over an hour solid of her whining about how damn hard her life is, and how *we* are the reason she has a shitty job and a bad commute and a hard time talking to her kid and is essentially a single parent and never sees her husband and has such a hard life as a stepmother *cough* and is seen as a bad parent by all the other parents at the school and doesn’t have the life she wanted and doesn’t have a pretty pink princess dress and shiny tiara…. well, okay, the last two she didn’t mention. but all the rest? we are to blame. you might think that the bad parent rap could be pinned on us, and it could if we were complaining about her, but that would involve us talking about her. and we don’t. she feels that she looks bad because we volunteer, and she doesn’t. *hands on hips* now, who can fix that one? eh? riiiiiiight. *not us*.

much of my side of the conversation involved much biting of the tongue, and also suggesting that she talk to the people with whom she had the problem. it went something like this –

she: ‘i have all these problems with X! and you need to know i have problems with X! and what are you going to do with X?’
me: ‘nothing. i suggest you talk to X.’
she: *dead silence* ‘i have all these problems with Y!’

lather, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum. throw in the time she insulted my husband – incredibly bad move. (for the record, i didn’t raise my voice, or swear, once.) when i told her that she was rude, and the conversation should stay on an adult level, she got… a wee bit defensive, and said it was (repeat after me, boys and girls – you guessed it) all our fault. she demanded apologies from my hubby, rather than just saying she was sorry, and that slammed every button i have, because she just couldn’t own her behavior without striking out at others. so. i briefly lost my mind, and asked that she apologise for calling me something immensely obscene, which i won’t bother to reprint here. and do you know, she tried to defend it? ‘i was angry, and you deserved it, because my ex pissed me off!’, essentially, was her response. (never mind that i had nothing to do with the triggering incident, and screaming matches don’t help solve things.) about 30 seconds into this, it was clear that i was only selling myself short, so i said ‘this is nonproductive. apologies all around, clean slate, and let’s move forward on a positive note.’ *deep breath* in the eye of the storm, it’s sometimes hard to see that getting into the mud pit with everyone else doesn’t do any good. and i regret that i briefly lost sight of that. but i don’t regret that i called her on her behavior, and got an apology out of her.

*sigh* just… so tiring. not my job to be her emotional babysitter, nor to hold her hand.

here’s the wonderful, fantastic, amazing thing about the phone call: my husband had my back the whole way, and i had his. we make a great team. sucks to high heaven that we have this to deal with, but we are a great team nonetheless.

the saddest thing is that her biggest problem is that my hubby and i are a team, and she and her hubby aren’t. she literally said that it’s not fair to her that we (me and hubby) are a team. *shakes head* so… nobody should be happy if she isn’t. eh. see earlier point: talk to the person with whom you actually have the problem.

okay, back to Productive: we (hubby, Little Small and me) had a lovely time this past Sunday going to a maple sugaring event. we got to tromp around in the woods, see people we haven’t seen in ages, chop logs, drill sugaring tap holes, watch the boiling process, and have pancakes. it was a gloriously beautiful day, the first in ages, and we had fun, and we got pancakes. how much better can it be? 😉 we’re going back there this weekend, for an Easter Egg hunt, and i’m really looking forward to it.

little moments, or small chunks of the day, where Good Things Happen, are things that i really treasure lately, and that help feed the engine, so all the rest is possible.

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no, i am not feeling the love one bit. what i am feeling is a whole lotta hate coming my way from the electric utility.

“they” say, in their official notification, that i may be subject to arrest (hah!) for not playing nicely, that they have been trying to get in touch with me for *ages* – ages, people! – and that i’m simply not responding! it’s not the bill; oh, no, they’ve been getting their money, for sure, and that’s all fair and square. rather, i have been deliberately *obstructing* their official (because they have badges, so they must be official, right?) inspectors.

this is the very first i’ve heard of any of this, that’s for sure. one or the other of us is home during the day, so if Official Badge Man came to the door, we’d answer it. one or the other of us picks up the mail every damn day, and there’s been nary a note from El Electrico. and if they’ve been calling? well, they certainly haven’t identified themselves (we don’t answer unidentified calls), and if the anonymous pricktards who call from Mississippi every damn night in the middle of dinner are the utility company, then all i have to say is this: whose damn fault is it that you’re too stupid to leave a message? the voice mail isn’t broken. communication works both ways, fuckers, and if you choose not to leave me a message, don’t threaten to arrest me because i’m not channelling John Edwards and getting all psychic on your ass – ‘oh, wait! i have a sense that the utility company wants to talk to me! let me give them a random call!’.

oh, i’ll call them tomorrow, alright. and i will violate every rule of polite conversation. and i won’t feel bad about it. someone will need to explain to me how, exactly, it is the company has been “trying” to reach me, and who deemed it necessary to *threaten* me, when a polite message would have gone much, much further. if you start the negotiation with me by promising to interfere with my personal safety? you bet your ass i’ll call you, and i won’t take prisoners, either.

fuckers. no, i am not doing so well with the sweetness and light tonight. 😉

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i said to my mom the other day that i’ve missed a few key dates because i have my head up my ass, and that’s not too far off the mark. i’m definitely turned inwards these days, often to the exclusion of all else. (navel gazing from the inside out?) not a healthy state to be in permanently, but one that’s very productive for me at the moment. it’s been an overwhelmingly emotional and, ultimately, liberating ride so far.

i’m getting excited, too, because it feels as if Big Things are percolating, juuuuuust beneath my ability to put a finger on them, or articulate them – but that i’ll be able to do both, soon. there’s a lot of change, and stretching, and discovery, and my sense is that it’s all coalescing. into…what? i’m not sure yet. and that’s okay. i’m really very okay with that, which is another new place for me to be. very exciting, scary, and thrilling.

little signs, like crocus peeping out, hint that i’m on the right path: i got a personal note tonight, from the author whose book i’ll be teaching soon. and he gave me his personal blessing. eeeeeeee!! he’s a big name, one that you’d all know, one whom i’m sure gets mountains of correspondence in every which format. and he took the time to write. not only write, but give me his blessing.

i can’t tell you how fantastic that feels. more fantastic, i think, will be passing that along to the class, because it’s for them, too.

i can’t wait for Spring. 🙂

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yes. yes, it is. it’s a uterus, complete with posable fallopian tubes. it was crafted by the ever fabulous house9, who offered to provide them to anyone who asked (in this case, the equally fabulous shelley. (i also got to hang out with Madamoiselle and jen, which made for a really nice night.)

*sigh* sometimes, it’s nice to be reminded of how lucky i am to have met such great people. 🙂

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for me, it’s lying. lie to me, we’re done. and this is such a fundamental topic for me, tied up in trust and honor and respect, that i didn’t think it was possible for there to be a bigger issue.

but, oh, there is. lie to me *and* manipulate your child in the same breath? you have just crossed a big, fat line in the sand that no reasonable, sane person should cross. mess with me, an adult who can defend herself, that’s one issue. dick around (in the metaphorical sense, thankfully) with a kid who is only just now developing a sense of himself as an individual? gah! that is beyond unfair. and the burr under my saddle is that there is no way for me to be done with this individual. her lying, cheating, manipulation and self-serving ways are here to stay. all i can work on is how i act/react in the face of such utter and absolute bullshit. and the logical part of me understands that calm, rational support of LS is what will stand him in good stead. (on a related note, i’m coming to a greater understanding of the delayed rewards of parenting… the phone call, say, that will happen 20 years from now.) it’s also the course of action that i’ll feel best about. but goddamn! my emotional, gut reaction… i just want to smack her upside the head. often. not that i could actually knock any sense into her, but i’d be willing to try.

how… how? how does manipulating a kid seem okay to anyone? i was talking to a few friends tonight about the type of people we just don’t *get*, ones who are wired so differently they may as well be from another planet. it is not possible for me to wrap my brain around wanting to hurt someone. (yeah, yeah, i said i wanted to smack her – but the impulse goes no further than my brain. it’s not a rational action, and i’d never do it. it’s just an expression of my frustration with the thing that i don’t understand.) *growl*

there must be a reason for this. there must be a reason that i’m in his life; there’s something he can give me, or i can give him, or both, by working our way thru this bramble patch. i don’t yet see what the lesson is, but there has to be one. right? *mutters to self* right, right.

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