Tag Archives: children

Moving On

I’m in the middle of card making, but need a little break and have been telling myself I would blog every day, so here I am.

I am really hungry. When I get that way, I eat chocolate for lunch. I don’t take the time to really prepare a meal; it never occurs to me. My husband often leaves out leftovers for me, or in today’s version a can of tomatoes and a bag of whole wheat penne pasta. I’m not in that mode right now. Hopefully I will kick my butt enough to throw some tuna together. I may not.

I thought if we moved somewhere, bought a house and stayed there that friendships would be easier. So far, not so. I have many devoted and even some super devoted friends here. Problem is that they don’t stay put the way I assumed everyone but me stayed put. Small had a great friend in pre-school and she moved an hour + away. She had a little crush on a boy that moved away, and her classmate that lives across the street (the smartest girl in the class I’m told) may be moving this summer. My favorite of her friends is moving to Texas. This will not do, but it does. People come and go.

Our next door neighbor has a huge, wonderful family and a son the same age as my daughter. Her high school aged son is lovestruck and is longing to marry his girlfriend, Her husband is big like a panda bear. They are from Central America and can speak English but most often speak Spanglish. (Strangely enough the Spanglish and the Spanish are equally as difficult). I love going over there and we’re welcome anytime. We will also be welcome in Texas six weeks from now, because that is where they are moving.

I will probably cry and give her lots of kisses and hugs when she leaves. She is so smart and so generous and laughs at my stories. (See, her generosity shines when she laughs at my stories). I have decided that I do not want them to forget about us, so we’re going to leave them with birthday cards for a year for all of them. I’m tossing in a wedding card, too, just to twist her tail.

If we had to move it would be to a smaller house and I’m pretty sure it would be somewhere here. I don’t regret our choice. I love the Bay Area and miss it very much sometimes, but I feel like I’m better suited here. My parents live in Fresno and were so disappointed that we didn’t move there, but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t mind the heat – it’s that I can’t relax there. I feel like I’m on edge, waiting for the world to blow up. I fear I’ll run in to an old flame or friend – I’m afraid of my mom’s sister and don’t know quite how to relate to my cousins, who are much younger than me. There are some people I’d love to see again, but there are more that I don’t want to see. When I was fat, I didn’t want people to see me that way. (Ridiculous, but the only place I felt huge and floppy that was in Fresno, or at one of my husband’s workout soirees.) There is too much Malakoa history and I can only take it in small doses. Of course, my daughter will have a ton of history here, but I think she will have to be aware that she needs to care better for people, to set stronger boundaries and I think she is better at living and resting that I was at her age.


Living your life as art today

Movies and New Generation dolls are Small’s choice of self-expression. She makes movies with her pink Hello Kitty camera and I post them on youtube. Today, in humble observance of Marcel Nunis’ Live your life as Art Day, we went to the park and recorded some takes. There were two little boys there, discussing whether or not their guardians could speak English. The mother of one could. The grandfather could not.

We decided we were done filming for the day and Small, now seven, walked up the steps to go down the slide. One of the little boys asked her in all seriousness, “Will you marry me?”

Tell him no, I whispered to my daughter. “No.” She said.

Then he had a few questions and words of advice. “Is that a doll or is that a baby?” “She should be wearing shoes. It is cold out here.”

“I will put them on her when I find them,” she replied.

After a while I told her it was time to go. She headed back and the little boy ran up to me and asked, “Can I have a date with her?”

I said no, she was too young for that. To tell you the truth, though, I disagree that she is too young. Being twenty-five or forty-five does not make you a more reliable or truer lover than a seven year old. Maybe we will see that little boy again soon. Maybe it will be at the altar while she walks down the aisle. Grandpa may speak perfect English by that time. I have no way of knowing what will happen to him. There are men who ask every woman they date to marry them. Maybe he will become one of those guys. Or maybe my daughter really is special in his heart and he will never forget her.

As if life itself is not a series of disappointments

I want to be one of those “yes, yes” and “no, no” kind of people. Look at the Sermon on the Mount, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” I want to say “yes” and everyone to know I mean it. I want my “no” to be of the same ilk. Yes. No. No, “I swear” not even, “I promise”. “Yes”, “No.” That’s it.

I am disagreeing with someone important here. He thinks that disappointment is part of life, and that a kiddo should get used to it. I think there is truth to that, but I also think it is a person’s responsibility to keep, not only to their promises, but their word. You don’t talk up a trip to Disney World, or a puppy or anything to a ten year old without following through. It’s wrong, it’s a lie. And it’s ugly. The kid learns disappointment, as if life itself is not a series of disappointments, and the child learns not to trust anyone. Trust is given freely by children, as babies they trust their mommies will come when they are called for. As toddlers they learn the floor doesn’t move. As they get older, they realize some people will not tell them the truth, and that, despite other’s best efforts, that plans fall through. Disappointment comes organically, why should that net be thrown by your parents?

I think that has to be all for today. I’m headed to Weight Watchers, and I have watched my weight faithfully this week. I didn’t track my food, I ate viciously (I think, like I said, I didn’t track it.) and exercised twice. I am getting tired of this whole dieting regime, even though I know it’s worth it. Did you know, after thirty two pounds I am still at size 14? I can still shop at Fat Lady stores while I am five pounds away from “goal”. I guess it doesn’t matter. I look fine in them, and I’m not wearing a sash that says, “#1 Non-Fat Woman of Lane Bryant”. My mother says that I may have worn at fourteen before, but it was way too tight. Whatever, mother.

Working is hard work

I’ve been working sporadically, but determinedly. Today I did an all day in a kindergarten class room with a sweet, intelligent teacher. The school is an inner city school and I’d put Small in her room in a snap. Remember Small’s kindergarten teacher? If you don’t, I won’t refresh you. It was that bad.

It’s dress rehearsal tonight. Seven year old Small is the lead. She sang a teaser to the congregation last Sunday and we got comments like “She should sing in the ensemble” (the church’s worship band). Everyone said she did a good job and in the second service she didn’t miss a note. The director of the play said, “Without Small, there would be no play”. So we’re proud and it may be that Small will have the acting career I dreamed of. I have never pushed her towards this. I think there is too much heartache, but she hasn’t had any of that so far. And she doesn’t know Carolyn Robertson.

But still, when I see her up there, the only actor who speaks with any sort of expression, the only one signing solos, the sweetest singer, the glowingish skin, my face beams. She’s all those things, and more than that, she is the one who is mine.

Feeling Kind of Sad Today (PG)

Not sure why but I’m feeling kind of sad today. I couldn’t stay for all of the Red Ribbon Don’t Use Drugs Day assembly even though Small really wanted me to. I got to the psychiatrist’s late and she wouldn’t lower my Lamictal dose even though I believe it is directly responsible for my poor word recall. She asked if there was any real reason to be anxious and I couldn’t think of one aside from being late. She told me not to worry about her, the waiting room (they call it the salon) was bursting anyway. That didn’t help.

I like her scale because it says I weigh 150 lbs. I actually weigh 178. I trust Weight Watchers more than the shrink’s office. I know I’m still a big girl and I look it. From behind I am told I have a cute butt. That’s nice to hear – I never had much of a butt before. It’s the gut I want to go away now.

Might be sad from title=”Single Dad Laughing” target=”_blank”>http://www.danoah.com/2010/09/you-just-broke-your-child.html Read it, and get back to me. The things he observes remins me so much of Dobson when he instructs parents to break their children’s “will” not their “spirit”. The way to do this, of course, is to beat them. If they do not improve, spank harder and more often. Usually desperate parents read this stuff and do it. There seems to be little concern about the ramifications of violence in their child’s home. A child who cannot be trusted to learn logically from her own mistakes doesn’t need more spankings. She definitely needs consequences to her actions, of course she would. But what logical consequence is there for a three year old to spilling food off her plate on the table? Is a spank reasonable? No, but I’ve seen a man do it. Is telling her to clean it up reasonable? Yes. Is punishing her for not getting the table immaculate? Because of the child’s age, in my opinion, the consequence is reminding them next time to be neater. Then, if she doesn’t do it, consider a more age-appropriate consequence. If she doesn’t comply, perhaps your demands are unreasonable? Consider this: Does it make that big of a deal to wipe up a table?

Dobson is an enemy to children and families. I know some friends, even readers here like what he has to teach. I respect their rights to decide how to raise their children, but I respect my own right to comment about Dobson. It’s not you, dear reader, that I have the problem with, it’s just with some of your choices. Dobson pits parents against their children, calling the poor little ones manipulative. A counselor I once respected recommended the Strong Willed Child to parents with children that weren’t perfect. When I spoke to him about it, specifically about giving it to a family we had established is abusive, he nodded at me indulgently. It would have been easy to commit murder, but I had no means in which to do it.

There are a barage of “Christian” family books, videos and CD about raising children. I read a bunch of them before I was even married. Children interest me. Unfortunately the books made cry. There was one that advocated spanking every time you get a chance, even newborn babies, with PVC pipes because they don’t leave marks like some other things might. Another guru wanted newborn babies to cry for forty-five minutes so they could learn to sleep and said that if you don’t do things his way you were going to have an unhappy family. All this talk about being able to “love them too much” repelled me. Lastly, I read that a man who said that he had never met a child under twelve who was happy who wasn’t spanked.

I knew I couldn’t have children if I had to raise them so punitively. I knew I couldn’t do it the way I was raised as well. I cried. This was outside of my scope. I could never raise a hand or a PVC pipe to any child. There was some truth to what some of them said, but enough for my shoulders to seize up and my stomach to rumble.

Thank goodness I stumbled in a more natural, less punitive way of living. In the sixth grade we learned about babywearing. I thought it made so much sense, I knew I would do it. I wanted to breastfeed because it seemed to be convenient, not to mention best for the baby. I need a lot of sleep so I knew the baby would be in a side car in my bed as long as I needed the sleep and she wanted to be there. I stumbled upon an article about “Attachment Parenting” and recognized myself in it. I wasn’t the only one like this! There were even Christians who did it, although there were a number of anti-Christians that espoused that philosophy that did not like the Christians.

I can see why. If you read only the mainstream, Christian literature it would be easy to hate Christian parents. It’s a well earned aversion. I admit I get that feeling, too. I fight against it, confident in the millstone around the neck of the person who causes a little one to stumble. That sort of justice is somewhat soothing, but it doesn’t stop the child from being broken.

I have more to say about this, but I don’t have the time to write it. Maybe later, maybe not

More joy than you can handle? No.

I hate to admit my fantasies. In my up and down mind I think everyone dreams of tropical beaches, drinking mai tais and being rubbed down with coconut oil. That sounds great, but it’s not the way I roll.

I fantasize taking this out and out abusive father, holding him back and letting someone much bigger than him get beaten up. Then, once he falls to the ground I would hit his head over and over again with a 2×4.

I think of how I could run away with Small, or how I could leave permanently without making things horrid for my family or whoever else is involved in our lives.

Aren’t I emotionally healthy? Don’t I forgive people easily? Aren’t I the kind of person who deals with her feelings productively?

I drove the forty-five minutes to the psychiatrist’s office to be reminded she rescheduled and I wouldn’t get to see her today. I burst out in tears. Here I tried to tell myself my beating a fellow brother to death was 1/2 chemical and 1/2 vengeful, really trying to get that under control and I had no one to help me.

And no appointments until October. (It’s 9/19).

Of course, at that point my nose started to gush blood. It’s not uncommon, but that doesn’t make it less of a pain in the arse.

I drove home, decided to let Small eat in the cafeteria, sometime I refused to do my whole life. She loves it because she loves people and wants to spend time with them.

That makes one of us.

Where am I finding joy in this?

Yesterday I went to pick up Small from school. Her little friend, (the only “brown” girl in her class) ran up to see and hugged me first. Small was visibly upset and we talked about why when we got home. She is not really a crier, but she cried when she told me that I hurt her because I didn’t hug her first. “Of course,” I thought, “how else could it be?” On the way to school this morning we tried to figure out the best way to make sure she got the first hug. We decided arms folded across the chest was it. So, later today, I will be hugged by her friend, but not hug her back until I hugged Small first.

I told you before, she is the only second grader that still runs to her mommy after school. From the sadness that she didn’t get the first hug, to the running towards me, all of this gives me joy. I wouldn’t choose sadness, but it is an indicator of how much things are important to her. I am glad that what’s important to her is me.

It’s so easy

Day three of the Joy Project. I dropped little one off at school. This morning, at home, she wanted me to stay for her school’s rah rah Friday morning event. By the time I walked her to school she changed her mind. That was fine; I honestly didn’t want to go anyway. But it is significant in that she already doesn’t want me to be in that part of her life. Not a lot of cause for joy.

I am thankful, however, that among all the kids in the second grade, she is the only one that still runs to greet her mama after school. She usually has something fun or exciting to tell me. I love it when it’s something exciting only in her world. Her last cause for joy was that her new library book was written about middle schoolers. She wants to read at a middle school level when she passes up to third grade. She stays up late at night in her room, trying to read herself to that higher level. She’s got something figured out and is more attentive to her education than I am. I can’t feel guilty about that, so I don’t.

It’s so easy to fall in to my illness. I could think about how awful it is that she is abandoning me at such a young age. I am already depressed, I want to go to bed for the day and I just might. What is not easy is to meditate on joy. I can think about her reading in her room, what is waiting in the afterlife, or be thankful I can write. All these things are open for me. If I could I would start the day with yoga, eat something protein rich for lunch and drink several shots of tequila. See? All sorts of options.

I drank milk for breakfast so I feel sick.