The world as seen through the eyes of an exhausted, caffiene addicted, homeschooling, atheist mama.

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It’s good for the soul

I haven’t written in a long time. A really long time. Since early May, in fact. I feel bad about that. Or, I would feel badly about it if I actually didn’t. My intentions were so fucking good, so I don’t feel too bad that I didn’t bog all three of my followers with whiny shit. I just figured we’d move to Dallas and everything would be okay and I’d start blogging about all the wacky and crazy adventures we were having out there.

I didn’t want to talk about how much I miss my brother and how I don’t know how to deal with the loss of the only other person in the world who lived, and could vouch for, my childhood.

I didn’t want to talk about how sad it is for BB to miss his cat and how it breaks my heart to comfort him as he cries.

I didn’t want to talk about how Hubby was let go from his job and we were left scrambling for a way to pay our rent.

I didn’t want to talk about how he found another job that took him to Dallas or about how he left us behind, me with my grief and BB with his, to pack up and say goodbye to the only life BB’s ever known.

I didn’t want to talk about how hard it’s been to be a single mom for nearly two months or about how exhausting it is to pack up an entire life all by myself.

I didn’t want to talk about all the tears my son has cried over leaving his house and friends. I didn’t want to talk about all the tears I’ve cried over the same. I didn’t want to talk about how moving makes me feel like a six-year old, how I don’t want to be an atheist homeschooler in the bible belt, and how freaking scary it is for me to open up and make friends.

I just thought I’d move and then I’d give a happy update about how well we’re all adjusting, how awesome Hubby’s job is, how awesome all our new friends are, and how I was worried about homeschooling in the bible belt for nothing because there are TONS of great secular homeschoolers out there.

That was truly my intent. Please believe me.

But no. That’s not at all what’s happened.

Hubby was laid off last week and he’s back home now. He’s home and all the the money we lost trying to move us to Dallas is just plain gone. He was let go on Friday morning and he got home late Friday night. Just in time for Father’s day on Sunday.

And that was good. Oh. That was so good. Having my husband home again. Getting to spend Father’s Day with him. That part was good.

But that other part, the part where he’s unemployed and has no real prospects on the burner…that part sucked.

Wait.

It still sucks.

So the two of us spent the whole of today looking for work. It doesn’t matter what; we’ll do whatever it freaking takes to be okay.

And I was sad and scared, but I thought “At least we have a house to live in.”

Oh. Dumb, sweet, naive Mom’sEye.

Our landlord has decided he wants to sell the house and he still expects us to move out at the end of June.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!!!

What the hell? What’s going on? What the fuck is happening????

Where is the Zombie Apocalypse already? Why why why???? Why can’t everything be okay for once????

I was an abused child. My brother was an abused child. His abuse eventually killed him. My abuse made mothering the most difficult and triggering thing in the world. But I thought I was doing a good job. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink excessively. I don’t beat the shit out of my son, cheat on my husband and spend my days chasing random men for my next high. I’ve never made my son homeless, I’ve never blamed him for my own shortcomings. I’ve been a really good person. I’ve been the best person I could possibly be.

Maybe I’ve not made all the best choices, but when your mother is an abusive drug addict, how do you learn to be responsible? I did the best I fucking could! I don’t spank. I don’t hit. I don’t scream. Sure I yell sometimes, but I’m not abusive. I’m not.

I’ve tried to break the cycle and shit is supposed to be better because of it.

But it’s not.

We’re two fucking weeks from being homeless. We  have no jobs. We have no money. We have no family to rely on or to help us.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to wrap my head around the shit that is my life. I don’t know how to wrap my head around the knowledge that I brought my son into this life and I’m just setting him up for future failure. He doesn’t deserve this. Me? I do. I can accept that I deserve all the fucking shit that the Universe wants to throw at me. But my son? No. He deserves more and better than I can do for him.

How does a mother deal with that?

I’m so tired. I’m scared and I’m sad and I’m grieving and and I’m tired. More tired than I’ve ever been in my life. More tired than anyone should ever have to be.

Why don’t you blog? asked Hubby.
Because I don’t want to whine and be depressing.
Eh. Just do it. It’ll be good for your soul.

And so I did. I’ll let you know if it was good for me when life gets a little better.

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A Very Long Night and a Very Exhausted Mom

When Hubby is out of town, I sleep terribly.

It’s not so much that I’m afraid something will happen and I won’t have anyone to protect us.  I’m pretty sure that our two big dogs would do a fine job of chasing off an invader. Mostly it’s just that I miss him and I can’t seem to get my brain to slow down and rest if he’s not around. I guess I better get over that crap sometime soon. I have weeks to go before he comes back!

So last night I stayed up way too late watching crappy shows from Netflix and eating way too much chips and salsa. When I finally did hit the sack, it was about 1am. I’m a 10pm kinda gal, and I’ve even been known to go to bed at 9, so one o’clock in the morning is friggin’ late for me.

I did a door and window check, I turned off the lights, and I  looked at Tippee:

Look at her! She’s so cute and asleep.

and wondered if I should make he get off the couch and go to her crate or if I could trust her all night. The last time we tried leaving her out, she ended up leaving smelly brown pools of watery poo in the laundry room.

Well, she must have been sick last time. She does’t normally need to poop at night, much less have diarrhea . I’ll give her a chance.

I woke her up, sent her to her crate, shut the door, but didn’t lock it. I just made a show of shutting it. Then I went to bed and hoped to fall asleep sometime in the near future.

A couple of hours later, I feel hot breath on my face and there’s little Tippee, happy as can be. But something feels wrong, so I get up for a drink of water and a quick poo check.  And yep. She did. At least this time she wasn’t sick, but boy was it smelly. Out come the plastic bags, out come the paper towels and the heavy duty cleaners I never use because I don’t like chemicals, and I get to work. I double bagged the mess and put it in the garage for later disposal. Tippee  got sent to bed and I made a huge show of locking her leaky butt up for the night.

I went back to bed and chased sleep for about 45 minutes before I fell back into a deep sleep.

At 6:30 Harvey:

Actually, this is a pretty common look for him. He’s the biggest goof ball ever.

Starts whining. And barking. Because he’s a responsible doggie who doesn’t poo all over the house, he gets the privilege of sleeping where ever the hell he wants. When he started to cry and bark, he happened to be on the floor right next to me. If you’ve never heard a barrel-chested, 120lb dog bark at 6:30 in the  morning, you’re missing quite the adrenaline rush. It’s a deep, window rattling, floor shaking WOOOF of a bark. I thought for sure he’d wake BB.

I toss the covers off and follow Harvey to the back door where he starts scratching. I let Tippee out of her crate and let them both out to pee.

Have I told you that Tippee is a freak? Have I mentioned that she is afraid of absolutely everything? I mean really, everything. Well last night the wind blew a plastic bag into her usual potty spot and she stood on the porch growling and barking at it like it was Bigfoot or The Creature From the Black Lagoon.  I’m standing there in pajamas shushing  her, soothing her, trying to get her to shut the hell up already. But she’s too afraid of The Zombie Bag From Hell (it turned out to be a Wal Mart bag, so she was kind of right–it did come from hell).

Jeez, Tippee. Fine…I’ll go get the bag so you can go potty.

So out I go, across the dirt and gravel in my back yard to get a bag out of her potty spot so she’ll shut the heck up and pee.  On my way back the porch, where said freakish dog stands cowering and growling, I realize I had left the back door open and Sofe:

This cat is the dumbest cat ever. Tippee is Mensa worthy compared to this cat.

decides that it’s the perfect time to go on the lam. Awesome.

She runs around the side of the house  and hops the fence while I hobble and limp, barefoot, across the gravel so I can get back to the house and hopefully catch her in the front yard.

I don’t even stop for shoes, I just rush out the front, pick a direction, and run. Fortunately, I find her by the trash can.

But seeing the trash can reminds me that it’s garbage day and I had failed to put out the trash and recycling because it was so windy when I went to bed.

I pick up the world’s dumbest cat, toss her inside, quickly look for my shoes, which I can’t find, and grab the recycling. Then I remember the poop in the garage and I grab it too. And, still barefoot, I haul the trash and recycling to the curb.  At this point, my feet are throbbing, I’m relatively pissed off and extremely tired.

I bring the dogs back inside and fall into bed without even bothering to lock Tippee up.

Harvey hops right into to bed with me. Tippee follows his lead and curls up on my feet, and we all three fall into a deep sleep.

Two  hours later, BB:

Coolest kid ever!

comes in with a smile on his face and a mug of coffee in his hand. A wonderfully dark, perfectly sweetened mug of coffee that he made just for me. He ground the beans, he added the water, he made a pot of coffee just for me…because he loves me and saw that I was really tired.

Luckiest mom ever!

Yeah, he absolutely made the whole not-getting-any-sleep thing worth it.

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It’s the Little Things

This whole grief thing sucks. No, really. It sucks incredibly bad.

When my dad died eight years ago, that hurt. It hurt more than I thought something could hurt. But this…this hurts even worse than that. Maybe it’s because I just always expected that my brother would always be around. Everyone expects to outlive their parents, but outliving your younger sibling seems wrong somehow.

There are whole days where I feel fine. I feel strong and competent even though I feel sad. I go whole days where I don’t even cry. But then, out of freaking nowhere, I start to cry. And I’ll cry and cry and cry and cry. I’ll cry until I think there are no more tears left–then I cry some more.

I try to take notice of things that make me feel better. Little things that nurture my heart or make me smile just a little bit:

Walking barefoot through the clover we planted

My big-ass dog, Harvey

Little Tippee (with two Es!) looking over the wall

Our dumb-ass cat Sofe with water all over her face

My beautiful kid laughing

My handsome hubby

My wonderful, handsome husband wearing kick-ass sunglasses

I’m With Stupid

When I was about nine or ten, I had a favorite shirt that I wore everywhere. I wore it to bed, I wore it to school, I wore it to the store…Hell, I’m pretty sure I even tried to wear it to my grandparents scary, tongue-speaking, hands-laying-on, rolling on the ground with the love of Jesus church.

Even decades after it was lost or left behind somewhere, I remember exactly what it looked like; exactly what it felt like. It was positively the bestest shirt ever. Wait, not just ever. EVAH!! It was a soft blue tank top with two-inch shoulder straps. On the front was an iron-on decal of a yellow diamond with a Left Turn Arrow and the caption: “I’m With Stupid”.

I'm with stupid

Oh, my god. I can’t even explain how much I loved this shirt. When I was in the fourth grade, I wore it so often that my teacher (Mrs. What’s Her Name) asked me if I had any other clothes at home. This shirt was a warning bell to her that something wasn’t right at home–mainly because I wore it in November in Colorado. She worried for the little me that wore it like a security blanket.

I remember wearing it and walking to 7-11 with my little brother, who couldn’t yet read. I made him stand to the left as we walked, and he knew the arrow was pointing at him, but he didn’t know what the shirt said. Being the big sister that I was, I told him it said “This person is awesome!!!”. Poor kid totally believed me.

When I hit my twenties, I told a boyfriend about this shirt and we had a damn jolly good laugh over it. How funny it was that he had a girlfriend (sometimes fiance) who had parents trashy enough to let her walk around in a shirt like this! Oh! Dear, sweet, Momseye, what would have happened to you if I hadn’t come into your life to show you how fucked up you were as a kid? How adorably white trash you were!

This boyfriend (sometimes fiance) and I didn’t really mesh and we most certainly didn’t make it past the boyfriend (sometimes fiance) stage. But when BB saw this shirt at Target and just had to buy it, I thought of him and his mockery. I thought of little me and my adoration for the snarky, and I let him buy it. Well, Hubby and I agreed to let him buy it.

And he wears it proudly; A look of devious satisfaction on his face as he suckers someone  (Dad) into standing next to him. Now the message is tempered with Mickey Mouse, but the feeling of power and strength it brings to the wearer isn’t.

I can’t wait for the day that someone holds a camera and takes a picture of me with my son, his shirt proudly proclaiming that “I’m With Goofy!”

Goofy and his son

And Hubby, I absolutely love you for letting your son feel the awesome feeling of pride and power he got from “tricking” you into posing with him. You are an amazing dad. I love you–Goofy (tee-hee!)

The Beast

When I was in high school, I bought my very first car. A 1977 Buick Regal. It wasn’t really what I wanted, but I let my dad convince me it would be the most kick-ass car in the school parking lot.

It was primer grey and, we were told, it was a retired stock car. It had some sort of super-duper, 8,000 horse power, 16 gauge, modified corvette engine in it. You know, to help it win stock car races.

So, since I didn’t want to let my daddy down, I let him talk me into buying it from a friend for $100. Yeah. $100. That should have been a warning sign. But my dad assured me that since I was buying it off his friend, I was getting it for a steal. Like practically free! If he were to sell it to someone else, someone not the daughter of a friend, he’d never let that car go for less than, oh, $800!

*Note: Not my actual Regal. This one is way nicer.

I hand over my wad of twenties and climb into the drivers seat of my new car. My kick-ass new car. The car that would make the boys jealous and the girls feel threatened by my extreme awesomeness. Yeah…I could drive this boat. I could drive it and make it look fabulous!

On the drive home, puffed up with the pride only a new driver and new car owner can feel, I smiled at the rumble of the engine. It was loud. It was deep. It didn’t purr, it grumbled like a lion after eating three baby gazelles. Oh hell yeah. Best. $100. Ever. EVER! I coasted to a stop at a traffic light and dangled my arm out of the window, to show how awesome and cool I was. When I let my arm out and settled into my seat, the door popped open. Of its own accord. It just opened.

Strange. I must have hit the door latch by mistake.

I pulled the door closed. Or tried to, anyway. The damn thing wouldn’t latch! The light changed.

Shit! What do I do?

I did the only thing I could do. I leaned my arm even further out of the window and tried to hug the door closed as I drove along. Not the most effective way to get the job done, but what else could I do? This was a time before cell phones, and we didn’t even have a home phone. There was nobody I could call to help me. I was on my own.

Eventually I made it home. My dad told me it was no problem and he’d have it fixed in a jiffy. Then we’d just head on up to get this baby registered.

Apparently “in a jiffy” meant: Forget it, Sweetie. This door can’t be fixed. In the end, he wired the damned thing shut and swore that it wouldn’t be a problem with the person who inspects cars as long as I promised to get it fixed right away.

Driver side door freshly rigged shut, we headed up to get it inspected.

It didn’t pass. Not at first. But my dad being the guy he was, greased the wheels a bit and viola! I had a street legal stock car! Okay, so I had to get in and out by scooting through the passenger side or going through the driver side window like Luke Duke (I was no prissy Daisy, that’s for sure!), but I had wheels. Really awesome, really loud, really fast wheels!

Really fast. That’s about all my poor car had going for it. It truly was a fast car and I loved the way it felt to drive it, even when the brakes went out. Even when the gear shift went out and I had to actually shift gears by twisting the steering column. I loved driving it even when it leaked oil.

It leaked so much oil that eventually people wouldn’t park near my parking spot in the school parking lot because there’d be such a huge puddle underneath by the end of the day. It leaked so much that I kept a case of oil and a funnel in the trunk.

My friends dubbed my car Beast and wisely refused to ride in it.

One day, my parents sent me up to the pizza joint to pick up our pizza. They knew I drove way faster than the delivery guy and they wouldn’t have to tip me. On the way home, the pizza smelled sooo good! But there was some strange smell underneath. Some weird, burning smell.

Hmm. Oh well.

I accelerated. The smell got stronger. The traffic around me fell behind me. They must be in awe of me, I figured.

When I got home, the smell was really, really really overpowering. There was no doubt. That stench was coming from my car.

Hmm. Oh well.

I put the pizza in my lap and scooted out the passenger door. My brother stood on the porch laughing.

“Hey,” he said. “You’re on fire.”

I smiled. “Yep. Record time!”

“No, idiot. Your trunk is on fire.”

I looked over my shoulder to find my beloved Beast in flames! Okay not a lot of flames, but enough for me to freak out. I screamed for my dad, while I stood there holding the pizza.

He grabbed the dog’s water bowl and threw it on the flames and got the fire put out before it consumed my whole car. It turned out that there was a short in my brake lights which caused a spark which ignited the oil in my trunk. Turns out, the people on the street weren’t in awe of me, they were moving out of the blast zone.

My dad fixed the short and from then on, I kept my case of oil in the back seat.

Coffee and a Lazy Day

I’ve been sleeping pretty poorly the last week or so. Insomnia follows me from room to room at night and when I finally drift off to sleep, nightmares chase me through my dream-worlds.

Last night’s dream was a real humdinger, and after so many nights of not sleeping enough, I’m barley functional today. So today is going to be a lazy day. BB has a music class in a couple of hours, and we’ll go to it, but for now, I’m gonna have myself another cup of coffee and I’m going let BB read as much as he wants today.

Coffee

Fluffy pillows, cozy couch, funny book...what's not to smile about?

A  random day off is good for the soul. So are good books and coffee.

Here Comes Clarence!

When BB was about three, the Easter Bunny left him a note in his Easter Basket. I don’t remember what the note said, but it was probably along the lines of:

Dear BB, I hid eggs inside the house because it was snowing when I came by. Have lots of fun and see if you can find more eggs than your mom and dad. Oh, and enjoy the chocolate!

And then the Easter Bunny signed his name. You’d think maybe he’d be EB or Bunn or something like that.  I mean, that would make perfect sense, right? But no. Apparently the Easter Bunny is named Clarence. Clarence. Who knew?

And so it began…The tradition of Clarence leaving a short note and some chocolate on the dining room table.

I can hear some of you shouting:

Wait! Stop! Your family doesn’t believe in the Easter Story, so why do you celebrate Easter? What possible reason could you have for having an Easter Basket and an Easter egg hunt and all that jazz? Why???

Well, because it’s fun. It’s also part of our cultural identity. Major holidays can’t be avoided. You can’t just sit there and pretend they don’t exist.You can’t drive past a store, walk into a Target, or turn on a television without being bombarded with holiday images. Whether or not we’re into the meaning of the holiday, the holiday is there and it’s celebrated by a majority of people. And the last thing I want for my son to take out of his childhood is the feeling that he missed out on a lot of really fun stuff. That’s what religion is for.

So we secularize our holidays. Easter is about chocolate and an egg hunt. Christmas is about presents and making cookies for neighbors. BB gets to celebrate and take into his own adulthood the memories of creating traditions that are meaningful to our family because they don’t revolve around religion. He gets to take into his adulthood the experiences of participation, celebration, and anticipation.

As an added bonus, as he gets older he finds more and more flaws with Clarence and Santa. He’s using his own critical thinking skills to think for himself and to decide for himself if these stories really make sense. Which is probably one of the most important things I want him to take into his adulthood: The ability to critically think and to decide for himself, with reason and logic, what to believe. I don’t want him to just blindly follow my beliefs any more than I want him to blindly follow a Pope.

This is probably the last year he’ll really believe in Clarence. Part of me is sad about that, but the other part of me is really happy that he’s figuring things out on his own. That means Hubby and I are doing our job right.

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Image

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