Thursday, May 22, 2014

Little girl, little girl

I have a monster stack of paperwork to register my daughter for kindergarten in Phoenix.  Part of me wishes for a moment that I felt capable of home schooling her.  I confess that after a few years of motherhood, but the things I want her to learn I don't see how she could get from me.  At least not now.

We are working hard to fix up the house, and not being able to constantly entertain her causes fits, difficult conversations, multiple time outs.  How would I deal with having her around all day every day?  I would have to sacrifice everything I wanted to do in order to fill the day with kid learning activities.  And I will confess, I just ain't that good of a mom.  It takes so much....so much bribing, work, reward, and sacrifice of my time to just get her to read 4 words!  Sheesh.  I don't know how people do it.  And the things I hope for her to learn.....I want her to know about Jesus, but I want her to be around people who grew up with something else.  I want her to know structure....to be ambitious and know competition.  I want her to be exposed to sports and arts that I could care less about, and to ask me questions about history because she was so confused by the textbook.

All this and she's just 5.  I'm exhausted just looking at the paperwork.

My daughter can be so clingy.  She needs me to fall asleep, to get her clothes, to help with every boo boo....and in turn I do the worst thing, which is to push her off because I can't stand the constant pulling on me.  She's this beautiful thing I love, and at the same time like the worst boyfriend I've ever had.

I don't know to be a mom.  I'm still winging it.

I keep reminding myself that my theory on parenthood is to do all you can for the least of these....for the people you don't care about, can't benefit from, and definitely don't love.  And that hopefully my children will see that they too should love those who can't do anything for them. I figure love for my own kids will always come, and wit it the decisions I feel will benefit them.   They will never be the hardest to love.

The rest, I'm just winging it.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Grasping at Goodness

As we find more and more good news about our house situation (though the unknown is still frightening) I feel more and more guilty that I reacted in anger.  I know our neighbor tried to bully my husband into what he wanted.  I know that he spoke to us in a way I would have thought unimaginable.  And I know that although we did not insult him, he has no remorse speaking to us like that.  I literally want my children and husband away from him as soon as possible.  But it was my temper, my inability to play my cards close, that started this stupid war.  Mostly in the end, the kids will pay for it.  The girls next door and my girl, none of whom I feel anything but affection for.  They used to play outside well into the night, and now the parents next to us force them in.  It's a stupid game.  I want to yell at them that my children are the one chance they have at someone smart, someone whose parents don't "use" at home.  I don't want to say it out of anger, but it sure sounds mean.  So I guess we fold up and move on.

I used to have someone I called from a 12 step program who could calm my heart about this stuff.  This year I lost her number.  And we don't use last names....so I'm screwed.

A woman I barely know gave us about 350 dollars over the last 6 months.  She wrote me the following card, and it wish I could have it tattooed somewhere I was forced to read everyday:

Dear (me),

I'm not certain I will see you again.  If you'll be at the remaining two of our meetings or not.  When I first came here, my life was on pretty shaky ground.  All I had to stand on and hope on was Gods word.  I found hope in my sisters here.  Your love for Christ was a testimony of strength for me.  I am daily amazed how he burned the flesh away and renewed my heart for Him.  In the past I would never have come to your aid.  But he changed my hardened heart.  My actions now are because I would never not want The Lord to have eliminated those many days of refashioning my spirit.  I know he is doing something amazing although it is veiled from your eyes.  I'm sorry for your pain and that you are suffering.  He so deeply loves you.

God bless you &keep you, something truly good will come from this.

Rene

And as I read this, I again hope that I see how I am supposed to be changed by this....and how I can bless someone else later the way she did me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My little man

Weird to post this after the drama of May 9.  It was an awful day, and since then we've come to find things that I guess make it easier--a bit of a criminal record, and best of all, plenty of documentation that our know it all neighbor is in a rent to own relationship with some "landlord"... So basically all his blown smoke is exactly that.  Imagine renting a house and having so much hubris that you'd try to bully the owners next door into selling their house differently so you could take their driveway.  Amazing.

The good news is that I haven't wanted to eat and have had stress induced diarrhea for a few days so I lost 5 pounds!  (The long meditative bike rides helped too i guess).  Who knew that all I needed to do to budge those stubborn few pounds was have an a-hole neighbor?  Life is funny.

A year ago tonight I blogged about the baby coming, my anxiety, my coming to terms with.a second c-section.  I weighed 78 pounds more than I do tonight, and I felt like I was barely human.  I then gave birth and spent a week visiting my son in NICU....I can remember the feelings, the smells of the hospital, the feeling of pumping and his sweet tiny face with his sunglasses on in the little enclosed bilirubin bed.  I remember nursing him for the first time, holding him endlessly, loving him from the beginning.

Since then, he is my bright happy light.  He is all smiles and laughs (and prat falls).  He is a risk taker, an amazing imitator.  He loves to run through the house, pretend he's doing whatever we are doing and he makes me so happy.  Something about the second (and last) baby.  You can't seem to snuggle them enough.

Happy Birthday boy.  Stay exactly like this forever.  Just stop rolling off beds.

Friday, May 9, 2014

blame it on the alcohol?

In Iowa, a place I am starting to doubt was ever in God`s plan for me, we share a driveway with our neighbor.  It's been 5 years so I don't remember what was discussed about this "easement" except that everyone knew it had been shared from the beginning.  Two siblings built sweet little identical houses on a rural corner in Iowa.  They shared a driveway.  After time, our house changed hands, but the other didn't.  Good old Lu died in that house, then it sat empty.  We bought our house while it was empty and then a couple years ago Gary moved in.  Young, partying Gary with his "buddies" who visited frequently.  I have never been crazy about him.  The drinking, the girlfriends, the cigarette butts in my flower bed..  but I live with it.  Then Gary got a girlfriend in January who came with daughters.....daughters my daughter loves to play with.  And then the girlfriend became a fiance.  And our relationship with Gary increased.  My husband has always liked him, been service to him, defended him.  It's hubby 's way, and what I love MOST about him.

We have never argued with Gary.  For 7 months my husband has been searching for work while Gary has bragged about his moves from one blue collar job to another.  How they loved him, how they gave him raises.  I always thought that was odd....like the way he seemed to brag that his basement didn't flood, while ours did.

Basements....houses....oh yes.  Here is our chance.  We are finally getting out of this place which had seemed to be after us...wanting to squash any happiness we have, and our chance was the house.  The house we love  is also precious equity.  And when we leave, perhaps we will have $10k to start our new life...or something.

Tonight, Gary casually walked over to my husband and said that he went to the assessor, found out the shared driveway was really his, and after 90 years, was claiming it for his own.  This means when we sell the house, there will be a requirement that we share with a new buyer that Gary will be taking away any access they have to their garage and will be making them build a new garage and driveway on their property.  Right through a beautiful oak tree and probably the neighborhood telephone pole.

I walked  up to Gary and said calmly our friendship was over and to please call the girls back to his house, as I didn't see why our daughters would continue playing (this is not totally out of the blue as I fear there are a few scary substances at Gary's).

Then Gary lit up, angry as he'll and yelling.  He said my husband was a lazy f##cling person who sat in the house and did nothing to support his family for 10 months while hhheee got a job in 10 days.  Then he said it louder, then he said it to my husband in front of my daughter.  Then I had to watch my daughter's tears while I explained why she can't go over there to play Anymore and they yelled at hubby from across the way that we were "childishly" taking it out on the children.

How e not know this man hated us, nudged us, so passionately?  Gary....I do not know what will happen next.  But I do know  you will be the thing I. IOWA that convinced us it really was right to leave.