Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A new place, a new world, a new life filled with new feelings.

It has felt like forever since I have updated my blog and so many things have changed. I believe that this blog will slowly change as I do. I was standing in the kitchen loading the dishwasher so full of thoughts about being a mother, about life and where we are right now in this place in the world and I felt a strong desire to put my thoughts "out there" or as if it were...pen to paper figuratively of course.

Our military lifestyle once again has taken us to a new place, and we find ourselves in a state I have never been to and I am not afraid to admit that in the short time we have been here...I have fallen in love.

It is scary to move around from place to place without the chance to plant roots. I think my children have often thought it was easy for their Dad and I but though I am easy going and have always done my best to see the positive in every place, not every experience is the greatest and I have been ready to move on from some places we have lived. It is also hard to feel as if there is no "HOME". My husband and I both are from different states where are families are and yet we have seen all these beautiful states, and in our mid-forties wonder where in the world as we face "retirement" in the next 10 years where "HOME" will be. It literally chokes me to think that "HOME" might be in a place where my children might not choose to live near but I then realize that I myself, am no where near my family and have wandered the country for years. I am a nomad...and so are my children as a result of my choice to marry my sweetheart. It is a hard life to wander, to like one place and leave or dislike another and be forced to stay for a while. This is just the life we live. Today I told my husband I felt as though I might be disloyal in some way if I decided that there was another place that I decided felt like "home" to me. Would I be a traitor of some sort? Would I be a renegade? However, when I have lived close to home (relatively speaking) family visits though more often have still been few and relationships are not what I ever hoped they would be "if we lived close to home". I don't believe they ever will be.

My sweet husband and I now stand on the edge of this cliff of our life, looking out on the future. The next couple of years are critical as we watch 2 more children graduate and my husband passes the threshold of 20 years in the Coast Guard. This is the time when the rug can be pulled out from under our feet and so we have to be "Prepared"...very prepared. We still have Justin to continue raising and decide where we want to go, and what we want to do and where we want "home" to be. We just moved to this place and it is really hard because it is already feeling like home. THIS feels as a place that I could grow in to the person I have longed to be. THIS is the place I feel already as if I could find lasting, and real friendships. THIS is a place I feel as I could grow personally, emotionally, physically, intellectually and THIS is a place that could challenge me to do things I never dreamed I might do.

I don't know what the future holds...we have been here all of 6 weeks maybe, we haven't seen the "yucky" time of the year even but we actually look forward to the changes and the challenges.

All of my "chicks" are in the nest for now...one I hope can find her way to a job, schooling and a life of independence. Another child will spend only 2 short years here before we send her back to where she calls her home "Texas" to go to college. One will be lucky enough to do all of his 4 years of High School here and he seems to be happy and engaged in the new life we have here. Then my little jellybean loves his new yard, picking berries, playing Frisbee in the yard with Daddy and all the adventures that he has already had in the short time we've been here.

This isn't nirvana, but it's a good place to be for now and I feel hopeful for the future for our family. If nothing else...the next four years should be a tremendous joy ride...not without the usual twists and turns.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Over the past 10 days a bridge has been built for which I can finally cross. I suppose I am so guilty of saying one thing but yet doing another. I am fiercely in love with my children and struggle to put barriers between us that make them feel as though I am not there. It's not much but it's enough to get a phone call that starts with a "Hey Mom" and ends with an "I love you" and reminds me of that very real young lady I know. Every once in a while I offer something here or there to help, a bus ticket, an alarm clock...just something simple. She doesn't ask for anything but advice sometimes and when I have offered just a little bit more help she has countered with a genuine "I'm alright" and I believe she is truly trying to do this on her own. I worry for her safety and I can sense her fear as well. She is doing this....she is, and I am proud of her. She doesn't have much...but what little she has...she is making on her own.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I hate how sometimes I feel like I did something wrong but I don't know exactly what it was. Then I sit and wonder if I am over analyzing a situations and pretending there is a "vibe" that really doesn't exist yet it seems to. My husband tells me that "these are just teenagers" and their moods. I suppose that is a real possibility but yet it makes me sad because I feel a total WALL, like hand in the face, "you really irritate me"aura exists between myself and one of mine here in the house. I don't know what I am supposed to do. I have apologized for everything I can possibly think of but it makes me feel like I am on the bottom of the bucket for motherhood I suppose. Crap. Gah...I just don't know what else I am supposed to do sometimes.

I want to get angry, really angry and stomp and throw and tantrum and say things that would probably be ridiculous because it may simply be as my husband says..."teenagers and their moods".

Who would look stupid then?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

When I was a little girl I ate lunch in the school cafeteria and I hated it. The food was pretty yuck, not to mention the marbled melamine 6 compartment lunch trays in off putting colors made it even worse. I never got to take my lunch and envied kids who did, like Ellen Pickens. She was tall, skinny and had the most beautiful hand writing I had ever seen. I thought she was pretty awesome especially because she thought the stuff on my lunch tray was cooler than the same stuff her Mom packed in her lunch sack. I couldn't believe that her Mom actually got up every morning and made her lunch. Heck, I couldn't believe that she even saw her Mom in the mornings before school.   Ellen and I had an arrangement and we often traded  treats at the lunch table. She had these giant Mexican cookies the size of my palms that I loved. They tasted like pure vanilla and something my Mom would never buy so for her to offer me these for my fruit cocktail or hardened brownie was a no brainer. I always felt like I came out ahead on that one. 

This morning I was making lunch for my "Jellybean" as I do every morning. I packed up his snack of pretzels and threw those in his back pack and then started in on the PBJ sandwich that I carefully cut in a circle and it hit me how fun this part of being a Mom is. I do love grabbing this and that and putting it in the lunch box. It's fun for me to think of all the silly conversations that are taking place as straws are being wiggled out of plastic and forced in juice boxes, noses are being wrinkled at the "same thing" they are sent again for lunch, and the trades going on at those tiny round tables. I picture shoe laces untied, little feet swinging, napkins floating to the floor, and mouths wide open chewing, while chatter reaches audible levels irritating the cafeteria ladies.  I feel a part of this event of my little boy's day even though I am not there and it all starts with the simple act of making a sandwich. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I can breathe....

Sounds so odd to say that but I feel like I can. I have this sense of relief right now because of a simple and brief conversation with my daughter today. She finally called me and just the few details she gave me made me feel a bit of comfort that she is okay. Things are not perfect but she is alright and that puts my mind at ease. I have been trying to reach her because I wanted there to be some sort of open communication between us. I wanted to her to know we haven't shut her out of our lives and I hoped she hadn't shut us out of hers.

I asked her if she had groceries and she said she was being sent on her way to her new place with a box of Ramen from her boyfriend so I offered a gift card to a local grocery store. I must admit in my excitement to help (yeah, I said it...H.E.L.P.) and show her that I do care...I sent her a care package with a couple of old towels we had here, some shampoo she left behind, her hair brushes and then I went to the grocery store myself and got some toiletry items, some laundry soap and some girly "emergency supplies" so that she wouldn't have to spend her grocery money on that. For an extra treat I got a "Taco Bell" cheap gift card and a "Little Caesars Pizza" card. I know it's everything I said I wouldn't do but quite honestly, there is NOTHING that has made me feel better since she left than THIS. So if this is what it took, then I am okay with it. At least I know that for a couple of weeks she will have food and some of things she needs to get by. For me...I can breathe a little easier and perhaps turn my brain off for a while. I hope so.

Friday, January 13, 2012

From "Unsettling to Unsettling", waiting for "Settling" to arrive....

I do my best thinking in the car, driving with the music playing. I have always told the kids that music reaches me the way other things can't. It pierces me deep. I must sound like a "beet nick" saying that. I don't even know if I spelled that right.

Driving to an appointment this morning I was once again in tears thinking and talking aloud as I often do. I realize that I must think I sound pretty good to myself. I decided to ME, I make perfect sense. Looking back at all the times I have sat and talked, and talked and talked to my eldest she probably tuned me out long before I ever finished. My heart was in the right place but now it seems I was seeing more of "ME" sitting there and less of her. I was making her, and her problems just like "what I did", or would tell her "what my parents" did. I talked way more than I listened. I tried to force her to talk when she did not want  to and that made her very upset. She never wanted me to see her cry or emotional because she didn't want me to get to her. She didn't want me to think I had control over her. I never wanted control over her, I just hated to leave things unresolved an so I pressed matters until a volcanic eruption of emotions by the both of us, and then some sense of resolution. It was wrong.

Today I sit and feel unsettled and keep waiting for the settled feelings but they don't come. I cannot control the actions of my daughter. I can keep her in my prayers and take care of me and the rest of my family. That is what I can control.

I take comfort in the fact that she has been raised by a family who loves her dearly. She comes from a family where eating dinner together as a family every night was ritual. Just the other night her little 6 year old brother said "too bad K is not here. You know it's not a big family dinner unless K is here". She has been raised being taught that she can do whatever she sets her mind to. She comes from a big family with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins who love her. She has been taught from the moment she was placed in my arms that she is a Child of God. I told her once while sitting in a parking lot recently that no matter what she professed to me to ever believe that I would respect her if I knew she had really studied and gained a knowledge and testimony of it on her own....but, I wanted her to know that a seed was planted deep inside of her and it would always be there no matter what. She will always know she is a child of our Heavenly Father, that will be with her no matter her decisions in life. Whatever she chooses, that feeling will tug at her heart.

Someone gave me advice  today... STOP, and just leave her be. I have left her alone. I think it was more a "STOP" and don't take anymore of you away emotionally from your husband or the rest of your kids because of this. She wants this, let her spread her wings, see what happens. In theory it sounds so easy to say, and type but to do this for me and by that I mean for me to quit worrying, to quit thinking horrible things is incredibly difficult. You see that picture of the ferris wheel with the overgrowth on it? Yeah, that is what I want the ride I am on to look like. I want it to stop moving, the whole carnival to move along, and things to just grow up around it and it become a distant memory. I don't want my sweet daughter to be a memory, just all this heartache.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I have no idea why doing the silliest of things makes me cry but it does. I suppose because these tasks are mundane and I have nothing to do but THINK. There is nothing like standing in the middle of the kitchen with a mop in hand and crying. I keep waiting for a day when it won't be like this. 

I  thought of my Heavenly Father and our Savior and I know I cannot compare this but yet the thought was still there. I thought how hard it must have been to watch his son suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane and listen to him beg not to have to go through that, but yet showing his willingness to do what his Father asked. I can't imagine that pain for a Father to watch his son, especially his perfect son, who was willing to die for us. 

Then I have thought about other families in the scriptures and what have they done when a child strays. There is that lingering part of me that asks is it okay to turn my back. 

I have to say...I have prayed about it and the one, LOUD, CLEAR thing that is come back to me over and over is that I cannot "intercede". I can't do it, perhaps that clear voice is telling me that I am not supposed to do it. All these choices, all these mistakes, all these directions are not mine, they are hers and she wants it this way. I cannot intercede. 


I keep seeing this little girl twirling around in a video I have but I dare not take it out and watch. If I pull out that VHS tape I know I will crumble. It will be a deliberate act of torture. 

Recently, my daughter asked me why I called my parents and shared something private with them regarding her. Tearfully I told her that sometimes, even at my age...we need our parents. I am blessed to still have my Mom and Dad around. In an hour of sheer agony when I didn't know what to do...I called them.  I felt like a little girl again and I needed my parents. I have shared with her that there are so many pieces of this she will never get until she holds in her arms her very own and she watches that little person grow and struggle. I never loved ANYONE at all like I loved until she came in to my life. People asked if there is someone you'd die for and I wasn't sure until she was born and then I got it. 

I know your children are NOT supposed to be your friend but she and I have had special bond. There has been an openness and ability to talk to each other since she was a little girl. I have nurtured that because I wanted her to know that she could tell me whatever she needed to in her life. I have always told her that I wanted her to live a "wild and crazy life" so at the end of it she'd look back and have no regrets. I tell all the kids this. I want them to all reach out and live their dreams. Dream big, that is what I hope for them.  I want their faith to come deep from within. I  hope their beliefs will be deeply personal and their very own. I want them to be individuals who know who they are and love who they are! I am lucky because I was blessed with beautiful, talented and really smart kids. I hit the lottery in that department. 

Getting through this storm is just the hard part for me. I feel guilty sometimes for making it "my storm" but I feel what I feel. She may be an adult, she can be 19, 25, 40, 60 ...I don't care. I will always her Mother. I will always be their Mom. I will worry, I will have an opinion, I will hurt, I will butt in where I shouldn't sometimes. More than anything I hope I will do the absolutely best job possible and these four kids will know how much I love them, and I pray at the end of my life they can be grateful for all tried to do. I have made mistakes  with them, I have owned those mistakes, I have apologized and I have tried to do better but I haven't found the "owner's manual" yet. I am still searching for that. I suppose by the time the last one leaves our nest...I'll discover it and of course it won't be too late...because I will still be trying to "Mother them" even then.  :0)

Monday, January 9, 2012

It feels like a completely different week....

It's been a week...a whole week and I have been UP...and down...and around...and down. You know those crazy rides at the carnival that swing you out, spin you around fast and bring you back? I have felt like I have been swung out and pulled back in over and over again but without the popcorn and cotton candy to go with all the fun.

Of course I'm lying about the fun part but this is all the learning part of life and learning is not all fun. I am almost 46 years old and I learn something every day. I learn about myself, I learn about my children, I learn what I'd do better, I learn what I think I did JUST FINE! Yes, there are somethings...I am willing to say now, I did the best I could and I could not do it any differently with what I was given.

One thing I am trying to overcome now is this sheepishness about allowing myself to be angry and letting  that be felt. I am constantly worried about making sure that there is this peace, and not stepping on toes, etc. I forget it's okay for me to be angry and hurt. If there being barrier right now it is a consequence of my feelings, then maybe I need to let that be felt. Perhaps that sting needs to be realized, not deliberately but I have to quit trying to mend because that is what is tearing me up. I am constantly trying to fix, trying to repair, trying to help and it does NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING! Well it does something, right now it just hurts me, right now it just angers me and right now it alienates me. It is unwanted, unappreciated, un-noticed...for now. I said I wasn't going to attempt to help and yet, I try to keep the lines of communication open. I guess I do that because I don't want to ever think of my child completely lost from my life forever.

So if I am going to a carnival of emotions, I rather it be a fun one. I want the corn dogs, the funnel cakes, the giant diet cokes and the super salty popcorn. I'll pass on the wild rides but I can sit back and enjoy the rest of my family while they get on those and have a great time because they love those crazy things. We need a break from the unexpected, unwanted, unfortunate, un-asked for "take a seat" NOW in THIS roller coaster! It will be nice to be able to pick and choose what we want to do, and what rides we'd like to go on.

Without a doubt I want to include EACH and every one of my children in my life but for now, I am coming to terms with the fact that one of them wants this separation and I will give it to her. I give myself permission to let go emotionally. (doesn't mean I won't have to remind myself of that 1000 times)

Funnel cake sounds good on a rainy day, doesn't it. Doesn't exactly fit with any New Year's resolutions I may have or may not have made... but just the thought is a sweet one to have and I can certainly use those.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Trying to learn to "not worry about it".

I swear...that is one of the things that truly sucks. I am trying to figure out some "magical" way to relax and  tell myself to "not worry about it" but I am doing a lousy job. In my efforts to protect myself financially, I have perhaps isolated my child more. Texts, emails, Facebook messages...NOTHING...no response. My willingness to send her what is hers and what she clearly needs is ignored. For the moment, it is as if she has fallen off the face off the earth. I wonder if she wants it that way? It wasn't that way when we said goodbye but now she seems to have faded in to the mist.

I dropped off my littlest at kindergarten and my other daughter at the High School and while I was driving back in the subdivision...it hit me. I have GOT to figure out a way to quit worrying about this. She will get in touch with me when she gets in touch with me. If she wants what I have that is hers badly enough, she'll surface. In the mean time I have to "let it go".

Does anyone have one of those cool "Harry Potter" wand things? I could sure use one. I am just kidding. The only cure for this is time, prayer and the distraction of diving in to the craziness that our three others bring us! Our world is never dull.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I found a moment to breath.

Last night after I finally got the 6 year old all tucked in bed, said prayers, and left him with his book I headed downstairs. I walked by my bathroom door and stopped for a moment as I caught out of the corner of my eye the remains of some serious battles in my bathtub. It looked as though Batman took a beating from Puss'n Boots, Spiderman was attacked by T-Rex and I believe that the Green Lantern was the winner of a Nascar race of sorts. The Rescue Heroes were there in force to help out but all in all I would say that there were more good guys that bad, and plenty of getaway cars and those poor "prehistoric" creatures never could have fit in them anyway. So looks to me like a good time was had by all, especially my  innocent little boy.

I stood and looked at all of this in my giant tub and air filled my lungs, and peace filled my soul and for a moment I breathed happiness and contentment. In my 19+ years of being a Mom, I have found nothing sweeter than finding the shower floor filled with My Little Ponies, Barbie Dolls or Action Figures. I have knocked plastic airplanes out of the corner of the shower stall to find a place for MY shampoo. Yes, I have even gone to take a quiet bubble bath all alone, only to have to share it with a one eyed "Mr. Potato Head" who decided to roll in from the side of the tub. I love every bit of this. These moments go away far too quickly. We blink and they are gone. 

If you asked ME, what I wanted to do when I grew up I would tell you..."I wanted to be a Mommy". There is nothing that has or will ever change that. Whether it is the joys of bathtub toys or heartaches, I will take every bit of it. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How many buckets I could fill with tears?

I sit at stop lights some times and I wonder if people ever look to their side and wonder what in the world that "crazy lady" is bawling about. I try to get it out of my system before I get home so no one will really see just how much I do it. I am grateful for the quiet hours when I am all alone where I can space out and look out the window and just cry silently, pray silently and wish silently. Sometimes I wretch because the emotion is just overwhelming and I can't hold it in...because I just don't know what to do.

I am lost between this strange space. There is this place between knowing there is nothing else you can do but yet you don't want your child to feel like you don't love them, and you have shut the door on them forever. I just can't help anymore. Who was it in the Alamo that drew the line in the sand? I keep reminding myself over and over and over that these choices our children make as adults are theirs. My child, seemed almost deliberate in her desire to do what she could to have someone push her away so we could be blamed.

So I sit and feel this home that feels this weird sense of peace but my heart hurts and my emotions are in knots. I don't know if I will bury her someday. I say that not to be melodramatic but she came close before and when I look at what options she has now, I don't know if I could feel some hope or see a solution. I tried to think of one for her, and when she was here, we tried to help her with things but she wants her own path. I want it to lead to success but I am frightened for her.

As I clean up the mess she left for me, the literal garbage that litters her room I wonder where she went, my child. I know there before me went I. I made mistakes, I screwed up and had to "find my way". It was never to this extent but I struggled. It has made me sad for the terrible pain I must have caused my parents. I had no idea it hurt this much. Sometimes I wonder I what I signed up for and she is only the first.

My husband and I agreed to "let it go" no matter the mess, no matter what we found...just to "let it go". I am trying to stick to that but it's hard. When she was 14 and made a terrible mistake, I went in her bedroom and literally threw all her stuff away and regretted it ever sense. I find myself doing that again now but only because she left it as garbage, like trash every where. The things I thought she liked, wanted and needed, are left behind. The things that I believe are truly sentimental to her, I am setting aside and putting away because I do love her and someday she may want those special things. The rest of it, I guess it is as she left it...garbage.

In some ways I am left feeling like there has been the sacrifice of one of my children to save the rest. This is the part that has been the single hardest thing for me to do. She removed herself on her own but I have had to do it in my heart to survive it you might say. I have to protect the rest of the family so we can go on and get through this and not continue to be hurt by one crisis after another, by one manipulation after another by one lie after another. I told her before she left this was it. She is not coming home, not to call seeking anything and if she lands herself in another situation trying to manipulate me into "coming to her rescue" I won't. It took a very long time to get HERE but I cannot rush to her aid anymore. She has to do this on her own, no matter how hard it may be.

The anger that is pushed way down deep inside my soul might help give me the strength to stand straight and not feel the urge to collapse. I do feel angry, I do feel hurt...I do feel taken advantage of, we all do. This affected each and every one of us in our home and how she could ever think it didn't was so incredibly selfish of her. If I could tap in to that at this time perhaps it might push me ahead and I'd not feel such a mess. I know time will work all this out and we will all get "there"...where "there" is, is the unknown for now.

I am much better sometime at writing my feelings and painting pictures with words than I am at speaking. So this is why I am starting this blog. I need a place to vent. I am not searching for "I am sorry", or "what can I do?" because I am sorry too, not for me, but for my daughter. Her life is gonna suck for a really long time and IF she survives it, she will amazing, but if she doesn't, then I have prepared myself for that. I hate it but I have. There is NOTHING, anyone can do about that, except say a prayer for her because she will need all she can get.

Off to empty buckets of tears and to clean up more garbage and wash clothes for Goodwill and see how life unfolds.