Friday, March 24, 2017

The Screaming Place

So, when things are going particularly crappy, I take the dogs and walk a couple of blocks to the hills behind our house.
I let the dogs off of their leashes, and I start to climb the hill.

And, I have to stop a few times because it's steep, and I'm sometimes crying.
I get to the steepest part, and I stop because it's steep, and my calves are burning, and I need to catch my breath from the climbing and the crying.
All the while, the dogs are having a blast.

Finally, I get to the top.
I look around and catch my breath again. Then, I scream.
Or, I try to scream.

But, I can't.
I can't scream.
It's not because I haven't caught my breath.
It's not because I'm still crying (although, my throat is tight and my face is puffy and my eyes are swollen).
It's because I just can't scream.
I feel like I'm not allowed. That's appropriate for someone else to do. There's no reason for me to be throwing my little fit. I'm a failure. I am so lucky and shouldn't be feeling sorry for myself. In the words of the wonderful songstress, Emily Saliers, "there's not enough room in this world for my pain." Who do I think I am, anyway?
It's a real shit storm of brain gymnastics that happens at the top of the hill - all the while, I feel like my chest is about to cave in, and my fingernails are digging into the skin on my palms.

Then, I let out a preliminary cough-like thing. And another. And another. They each get progressively louder until - finally it erupts like an animal growl-scream. Not a piercing teen-aged girl thing, but an angry, guttural, forceful mess of a howl.
Christ. I can't even scream right.
So, I try it again. Maybe a third time. But, now I'm tired.
Just trying to get it to come out has exhausted me.

On a "lucky" day, like earlier this week, the wind has whipped up around me, and my "scream" is lost in the gusts. Nobody in the homes below knows that I've momentarily lost it.
Then, I sit down on a rock, and hold my head in my hands while I sob.

Then, I get up, try to breathe through my stuffy nose, and pick my way through the loose rocks as I make my way back down the hill.
I leash up the dogs as we reach the street, and I return home to make dinner.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

treat stealer...

So, tonight sucked.

Yes - last night, I ate 1/4 bag of those little malted easter eggs (robin eggs). My spouse had set them out so that the boys could snack on them. Instead, I snacked on them. So, tonight the spouse was giving me a hard time about the missing candy. Jokingly, I blamed "a mouse - a really fat mouse." Then, one of the boys worried that we had mice, so I said "We're just joking. There is no mouse. I ate the candy."

My adorable child #1 said "Mom, you eat everything."
Adorable child #2 asked "Yeah. Why do you eat all of our treats?"

The funny thing is that I eat 2 fruits and 3 veggies every day. I limit carbs. I drink loads of water and no soda. I am the person who tries to keep high fructose corn syrup out of the house. I am the one who uses only whole wheat flour and doesn't make food from boxes (anymore). I am the one who is moving the family away from cow dairy. I make sure that we take our vitamins, and I am always the "bad guy" for enforcing limits on screen time.

Yes - I have a sweet tooth, and I occasionally binge on the candy.

8yr olds can be harsh. Spouses sometimes just sit there....

Boo-hoo. Waaaa-waaaa-waaaa.
Just feeling fat and unappreciated and sad and temporarily ruined.....
[Sigh. I'll suck it up and get over it soon.]

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

cherry-chocolate, please

Today, we are celebrating some great behavior from the boys in school for several days in a row.
It just seemed like an ice cream kind of night!
I stopped by the local greasy spoon to get everybody's favorite flavor. Four shakes for $18. (Holy hell - what a rip off!)

Peanut: Butterfinger
Meatball: Strawberry
Bub: Coffee-banana
Me: Caramel-cashew

Every time we get shakes, I'm reminded how going out for ice cream was a HUGE treat when I was growing up. We typically didn't have money to spend on these types of things, so it only happened about once every six months or so. Isn't that crazy?
Anyway, I can only remember getting a Bishop or Caramel-nut or Caramel-Marshmallow concoction, although I'm sure that I've tried so many more.

My mom, however, unfailingly ordered a Cherry-Chocolate shake. Always. No matter what.
How long do these silly simple memories stay with you? It's not like I sit around and think about this stuff; I never think about this until I get a shake of my own. Invariably, though, at that time I manage to think of her and how she savored every bite knowing that it would be 6-7 months before she could afford to buy herself and all of us another one....

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

the hammer, or the nail?

I just finished watching a movie where "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" played over and over.
Not the whole song - just the first verse.
I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail
Yes I would, if I could, I surely would
I'd rather be a hammer than a nail
Yes I would, if I only could, I surely would

I didn't really notice the song because it fit into the movie just fine.
Afterwards, however, the song popped into my head, and I immediately thought "I would rather be the nail."


The movie was about a woman who was beaten down by life, and she struggles through her personal demons to eventually become a happy, well-adjusted human.
So, good for her. The hammer smacked the crap out of her, but she eventually became the hammer and is a strong woman.
Or, something like that.

And, I totally get that. I usually agree with it.

Today, though, I think that it's the nail that's the most important part of the equation.
Yes - it gets hit by the hammer, but they both suffer an impact. (The nail more so than the hammer due to its size, but...)
The nail, though, is only hit a few times, and then it's done. The hammer moves on to the next nail and more impact. Time and again. Overall impact to the hammer is more...

The nail, on the other hand, holds everything together for what seems like forever. As a mom - and a middle child - I think it's not a bad gig. Right?

Monday, December 14, 2015

The siblings

MY siblings. That's who I'm talking about.

You know, I would do just about anything for any one of them - even the one that I don't get along with.
We rarely hang out. I think I've mentioned it on here before.

Growing up, I always thought that we were close. Turns out that we're not. After my mom died, we sort of just fell apart. We don't really get together. We don't really go out. We honestly suck at this sibling thing.

I see my oldest brother a few times per year - maybe. The excuse there is that he works crazy hours and we live 2 1/2 hours away from each other.
I see my sister about the same number of times. This time the excuse is that she lives in Mexico or Tucson or where ever it is that she has chosen for the year. Sun seeker, that one. Give her a margarita and some hot sunshine, and she is a happy girl.
I also see my just-older-than-me brother only a few times per year. Oddly, he only lives 7 miles away from me. We just don't get along. Never really have, but it doesn't help that he doesn't like my wife, and I don't really like his all that much.
Then, there's the baby brother. I see him most (even though he also lives 2 1/2 hours away) because we get along the best and because he comes up this way fairly often to visit my dad. Even so, it's not frequent at all.

All that being said, I would bend over backwards to help any of them if necessary.
I bailed one of them out of jail once.
I spent a week with one of them when he was suicidal. (Man, was he sick of me by the end of that week.)
I've pretended to be happy about a couple of seriously sketchy life choices (which actually turned out great in the end).

Sometimes, one of us can be an asshole or a pain in the ass.
At one time or another, each one of us have been married to (or have dated long-term) a complete screw-up that nobody approves of.
A few of us have some serious competitive issues.
At least two of us can be very bitchy.
I would venture to guess that all of us have a chip on a shoulder.

We don't see eye-to-eye politically.
We don't even remotely agree on gun control, abortion, hunting, racial inequities, animal rights, conspiracy theories, government spending, voting, paper or plastic, climate change...
Hell, we can't even agree on which beer to drink.
(We are, however, united in our don't-really-give-two-shakes attitude about religion.)

HOWEVER, do NOT try to stop me from sharing in their happiness. Do NOT tell me to hurry up a visit with one of them.
We get together so infrequently that the time that we do spend is valued and precious and fun even if we're arguing about something...
So, don't tell me that we're not close. I know that it's not true even though it seems to be. I know that all of them would do anything for me. I know that my kids would be supremely cared for if something happened to me and Bub. I know that I am loved by all of them even though I never see them.
Don't try to tell me otherwise.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Not important

When I was growing up, my mom was THE most important person in my life. I wanted to be with her. I wanted to be like her. I wanted people to compare me to her. My dad wasn't around much, and when he was there, he wasn't a stellar family man. (No. I'm not busting on him. Facts are facts. I love him, but he struggled with being a good dad and husband.)
When Bub was growing up, her mom was the most important person in her life, too. After all, it was just the two of them for many years as her dad wasn't the greatest guy either.

I wanted to be a mom forEVER. I wanted to be the most important person in somebody's life. (Perhaps that's a middle child thing?) I knew that I wanted someone to love me as much as I loved my mom.

There was a time in my life where I said that I didn't want to have kids mainly because I didn't think that I was ever going to actually get married. Me - chubby, nerdy girl with poor social skills... It just didn't seem possible. But, then I met Bub, and we got not-legally married. At that point, I was more of a realist and knew that I could just have kids without the spouse, so I was really clear with her that kids were part of the deal.
She wasn't enthused.

Convinced that she would be a horrible mom, she didn't want kids. At all. Ever.

Fast forward several years, and here we are.
She's an awesome mom, and my kids can't stand me. (Well, neither can she, to be honest.)

I am never home.
By the time I get home, everyone is tired and cranky and fighting over whether or not to eat dinner.
Then, the boys get some computer time, and then it's bedtime.

I don't get to help with homework (even though I tell Bub to switch up the schedule so that I can help. I actually WANT to help.).
I don't get to volunteer at their school.
I miss so much time with them.

I work my ass off so that she can stay home with them even though we really can't afford it.
I take the bus (4 hours per day) because we can't justify spending the gas for me to drive into SLC every day.

They listen to her. They fight with me.
They tell me that if something happened to them, I wouldn't be sad - I wouldn't miss them.
We have no connection.

This is not what I imagined. This is not what I dreamed of.

Instead of being someone important to them, I am someone who gets after them for being disrespectful. I am someone who pays for their school lunch. I am someone who they get mad at when the internet doesn't work because I'm late with the bill. I am someone who tells them to get off of their computers.

I play the role that my dad played in my life.
I am irrelevant.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

And, then it hits you... And, it sucks...

So, you get up.
Get dressed.
Rush to the bus stop with computer and gym bag in hand.
Work at 5am while commuting on the bus.
Get to work and head to the company gym for (traditional) yoga class.
Back to cubicle for non-stop"fun."
Eat salad while working.
Keep working.
Catch bus - ALMOST miss connector that will truly take you home.
Sit down, log in - ready to work some more.
Put off working so that you can browse FB and DDPY.
THEN - you finally do the thing you've been avoiding all damn day: you look at the calendar in the corner of the monitor.
You can't stop a few tears even though you're on the bus, and you hate to cry in public.
You knew what day it was from the moment you woke up, but you've managed to keep yourself busy.

Here's the thing: My mom was SO cool. She would have been 74 today. She's been gone 17 years. She would have loved my boys. She would have been over the moon when we finally, LEGALLY, married. She would have been at the finish line of all of my races. She probably would have tried DDPY with me because she was just that cool.