This And That

It’s late and I should be sleeping but I didn’t want a week to go without posting, so this will be a short one…a little of this and a little of that.

I was recently reminded of another silver lining that comes from divorce, at least from a single mom’s perspective…TAX RETURNS. My chin nearly hit the floor when I saw what I was getting back. I’m not talking cha-ching since there is always something that needs attention the minute there’s even a hint of extra cash, but I will be able to get that new dishwasher, thereby saving several of the towels that end up on the floor to sop up the mess the current one is making. And I can finally get some new tires on the car. Well maybe not NEW but at least lightly worn. Woo hoo! Shopping spree. Too bad I can’t use it on a new wardrobe or a vacation sans children. Maybe next year.

We had a wonderful visit this past weekend with my dad and MA (yay!). They surprised my boys in Target of all places. It was a set up of course, and there was an additional surprise of an early birthday present. While the boys played with their new toy, I had some quality time with MA. But as time will do, it flew by and before we knew it they had to return home. It was sad to say goodbye and reminded me of how much I miss them and the rest of my family. There is something to be said of living in close proximity to your loved ones. (Actually there are probably several things to be said on the topic, both pro and con…not going to touch that one at this hour.)

While I was sad that their visit had come to an end I still has something to look forward to. As a Christmas gift I bought B (and myself) tickets to see one of the bands we love Ra Ra Riot. Although the waiting from December to February was difficult, it was well worth it. They put on a great show with great energy. The opening band Pacific Air was also impressive. Now, anyone I’ve told about the concert has looked at me sideways because they haven’t heard of either. Please someone tell me they’ve not only heard of them, but agree with me that they are fantastic!

Exciting news: I just launched my business with Origami Owl selling Living Lockets. This is so out of character for me that I still can’t believe I’ve done it. For more information on these products and the business click here.You can also visit and like my Facebook page. I’m still learning so be patient with me.

A weird thing has been happening to me lately. Well, several weird things have been happening, but I’m sure you don’t want to hear about my crankiness and woes of motherhood so I’ll stick to my original thought since it’s actually about thinking. You know that inner monologue or voice you hear when you think about writing something? Lately, my inner voice has been saying ya’all a lot! For instance, I wanted to write “Check out my Facebook page Ya’all”. Why? I’ve never said ya’all in my life! Not out loud and not in my head. What is happening to me? Any ideas? (Feel free to leave them in the comments).

So, there you have it. My shorter than normal and extremely discombobulated (<- OMG I didn’t realize that was a real word) ramblings. Hope it wasn’t too A.D.D. Have a great weekend!

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The Difference Between “Steps” And Stairs

It could have easily been a case of Step-Monster vs Rebellious Teenage Daughter. Especially with the first woman my father dated after he and my mother separated. She was nice enough from what I can remember other than the fact she didn’t want to share my dad with his kids. I have scenes from movies playing in my head where the single dad starts dating and gets engaged to a beautiful woman whom he thinks is great for his kids, only behind his back she is making plans to ship said kids to military/boarding school as soon as they say “I do”. Thankfully it never got that close, but still.

Truthfully I wouldn’t have cared much either way.  My dad and I had a REALLY strained relationship. (Like the kind where I honestly thought I hated him). It pains me to say that now, but that’s how deeply I felt unloved by him and thought I’d be better off without him. Besides I was more interested in having the freedom to hang out with my friends and flirt (ahem) with boys. My dad got in the way of that with his strict rules so the further away the better. Did I mention I was a somewhat rebellious, self centered, bratty teenager? Fortunately for us all he ended that relationship. Also fortunately for us all, she had a best friend who later became the love of his life.

It started out as a friendship that grew into a love I didn’t yet know was possible. There was respect and laughing and family time. A LOT of family time since MA (short for My-All) had 3 sisters who all had children and all lived within 10 minutes from their parents, Nanny & Pop Pop. It didn’t matter who you were, they were still Nanny and Pop Pop.  They were that family. You know the one that had a picnic for any excuse possible. They actually enjoyed spending time together. They knew everything going on in each others’ lives. I don’t remember ever being treated as an outsider or even a visitor. Until then my experience of “Family” had been completely different. Most of my family lived on other continents and I barely knew them. The ones that lived closer I saw on average twice a year. But MA’s family was what I imagined a “REAL” family to be.

As my dad and MA’s relationship progressed, my defiance started to lose some steam. MA made me feel like I was the daughter she never had but always wanted. She loved me even when I was being ugly (and I could get ugly!). She accepted me in my rebellion (which f.y.i when rebellion is accepted it not longer qualifies as rebellion). Even more than that she was able to express my father’s love for me in a way I could understand. She gave her ALL and it was the bridge that brought me back. I’d like to think that my dad and I would have eventually worked things out, but I’m not sure we could have without the help we got from MA.

In the 20+ years that my dad and MA have been married, it’s become even more evident that MA has a knack for operating in forgiveness and acceptance of which I admire and strive towards. Don’t get me wrong, that woman can get mad! I’m talkin’ the kind of mad that makes grown men wish they were in a dark alley in the worst part of the city…cause it’s safer! She’ll break a nose before she lets someone hurt her family! But if you’re family, or a friend of the family or a friend of a friend of the family, you can rest assured that she would give you the shirt off her back, or those really sweet shoes in her closet or her sewing machine because you mentioned you wanted to learn to sew.  She is a silver lining.

“There are no ‘STEPS’ in this house besides the ones going upstairs!” -MA

Always A Silver Lining

I’ve written about the divorces in my life and how they’ve affected me. I’ve also written about a lot of the good that’s come out of my own divorce as it has been the driving force behind the journey of self discovery and acceptance I’ve been on since. (You can find all these posts in my archives if you’re interested.) What I haven’t written a whole lot on is the GREAT that came out of my parent’s divorce which is where my mind is today…thankful for the silver linings

If you look hard enough you can find the good that comes out of any bad situation. It may not be the glaring silver lining you read about in books or see in movies. It may be as little as the shift in your perspective or the empathy you now have for others that comes solely from having “been there”. It’s these little linings that are many times overlooked and some times the most important. I often hear how detrimental divorce is to children and there is truth to that, but having been a child of divorce there are several things I consider to be blessings and wouldn’t change if I had the choice. It’s these “blessings” that kept me going through my own divorce. They afforded me the security that everything was going to be okay, and for that I am grateful! Here are some of my silver linings.

1. My parent’s divorce taught me what NOT to do in my own divorce. I know I’ve said it before, but it was a priceless lesson and I’m glad I learned it the first time around because how many of you know it can take many repetitions of a lesson for it to finally sink in? Please know that I don’t blame my parents for the state of their divorce. I understand that divorce is an ugly monster just in it’s natural form so to do it any differently takes vulnerability, and opens you up to criticism from those that love you and want to protect you. Either way there is nothing easy about it, but in the end I know I made the right choices for mine.

2. My parents get along better now than they ever did. This may be hugely due to the fact they there’s not much communication between them at all anymore, but there was a time when they had to communicate. I’m proud of them for learning to be civil to one another. In fact, there were several times they went above and beyond civility. Besides the expected events like graduation, weddings and showers, there were times when my parents voluntarily shared the same space.

  • At a friends house as we were getting ready for a high school dance. (I have a picture with me sandwiched between my mom and my “step”-mom.)
  • At my Pop Pop’s viewing. My mom was there to offer support no matter that the loss was on my dad’s side. My family (including my dad) welcomed her presence there and she was a huge help with her grandchildren.
  • At my Aunt’s house on my dad’s side for Thanksgiving. My dad’s family invited my mom. Again she was welcome and I know it had to take courage for her to voluntarily go and be surrounded by those that supported my dad. But she did and I believe it’s because she knew they all loved her kids and how can you not appreciate that?

These examples, along with many others, have paved the way for me in my dealings with my Ex. Just the other evening B and I went to his house by invitation of his girlfriend to have cake and ice cream in celebration of my son’s birthday. Weird, right? And while it didn’t feel completely natural, it wasn’t at all bad. We actually laughed and shared stories. It was…nice.

3. I’ve witnessed my parents’ happiness in the healthy relationships they moved into. So many times people remarry only to find exactly what they had in the first marriage. There are a plethora of reasons this may happen, but statistics are definitely against a 2nd marriage surviving. BOTH my parents married people who were terrific matches for them and who have been great step-parents to me and my brothers. After seeing a dysfunctional relationship for a good portion of my life, it’s a relief to know that not every relationship has to be that way. Their second marriages have given me hope that there is a second chance to happiness in marriage.

These are just a few of the silver linings I’ve found. I hope to share more of them with you in the near future. In the meantime, if you’ve found your own silver linings and you’d like to share them please do so in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.