spiraling down

it’s like things couldn’t get any worse. and then they did. unimaginable. the comfort and safety i once felt in having home was taken away from me, twice more. once, by an irresponsible roommate who failed to mention all the facts. second, by my alcoholic mother who i have abandoned all hope for.

in the past thirty six days:

  • i’ve moved my family five times (tomorrow being the fifth, and i’d like to think final)
  • i cried when i had to tell my daughter “good bye”. it was the hardest two weeks of my life.
  • i stood out in the rain, not sure which direction i should go.
  • i spent 7 days in a hospital. reassessing all that was good. all that is bad.
  • i’ve slept in seven different beds. only one of them being my own.

and then i rejoined reality. faced up to the things i knew i needed to do. the boundaries i had to break. people gave me hugs, patted my back. i listened to the stories of addicts, how they survived their disease. i went a week without speaking to my baby, seven days. consecutively. all those disturbing thoughts resurfaced. and then i spoke to Father Ambrose. {he says, “establish yourself”}. visited by my Pastor {he says, “things are bad, but you aren’t at your worst”}. Saturday morning hours ticked away. and then she came home to me.

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we are running away together, so to speak.

tomorrow, Monday, we are going to be leaving l.a. county and moving to ventura. it makes my insides feel like jelly when i think about it. the moving around is very unsettling. i crave stability. routine. a reason to make me wake up every morning and fight this brain disease. i trudge through the day, taking the medications that they really don’t know much about. i eat out of necessity, i try to make sure the kids get to eat first. so when i make that move, i have this painfully hopeful expectation that things will get better. i know that they could get worse, i’ve seen them get worse. but my outlook is a brighter blue than the dreary gray area in which i live. i will have a bedroom. Scout will sleep with me, filling the empty space between us. she has a better chance at getting an invaluable education. she will see more green around her. most importantly, she won’t be around the people who hurt her.

i have plenty of goals, to do’s, if you will:

  • buy our own bed
  • open my Etsy shop
  • get part time work in a veterinary office or dog grooming salon
  • finish reading “the lady of the rivers
  • finish knitting Frippery (with obligatory shots of cuteness all around)
  • maintain budget with tax refund. commit. be serious. make it work.
  • try the best to fit in somewhere else. starting over.

starting over. that’s pretty heavy. but that’s what i’m doing. i’m not even going that far (maybe 20 miles away). but far enough that i have a new chance. my dreams of walking into class tomorrow morning have, once again, been upset. there will not be any college courses this semester. but i took the initiative: i filed for the most recent financial aid paperwork. i applied for admission in a college close to where i’ll be living. i’ve already researched veterinary assistant job openings. i’m polishing my resume, long forgotten for nearly ten years. i’m making bigger decisions. i’m choosing not to live in my anxiety. i just don’t have the stomach for it. literally. i have to move on. i have to forget certain incidents that have occurred the past seven months. i am just learning this thing called forgiveness. i have to learn that giving up is not an option. thinking of what my actions could have done to my daughter, they frighten me. she is six. i hope that she will grow up and forget this. i pray to Jesus, just let her have a chance. i want her to have the chance that i didn’t choose to take.

tomorrow. it seems so far away.

tis the season

…to be over.

i know it sounds awfully Bah Humbug of me, but honestly and truly: i woke up this morning and realized “it’s the day after Christmas“. a huge sigh of relief. i know i can’t be the only people pleasing, filled with guilt if you can’t get it, type mother who gets harried during the holidays.

don’t get me wrong. i long for the long strings of holiday lights upon rooftops as i’m driving around town in the early evening. i like the array of colorful wrapping paper and shiny bows. i look forward to weather changing and with it, new holiday menus offering Gingerbread Latte’s and freshly carved turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce. i love the smell of the Christmas tree lots, especially after an evening rain. my heart melts when i hear people singing carols, ringing bells in front of grocery stores, and all the movies that make Christmas so magical.

but then there’s the other side of the holidays. there’s the financial burden. filling a room full of toys and treats for two children, these days, is much more difficult now that it’s a one income home. there is so much more pressure. this year has been particularly difficult because of the adjustment in moving residence in the beginning of the month, and the transition of Scout’s Kindergarten class. we’ve also had the pleasure of catching a cold, (Scout and i primarily).

i’ve learned from this holiday season. i’m going to make adjustments for next year:

1. knit my mom a Fair Isle sweater

2. our “holidays” will be spent at Disneyland on Thanksgiving weekend (we will celebrate both Scout and my birthdays early)

3. we will be volunteering at a soup kitchen to serve Christmas dinners to the homeless

and i’ll wrap it all up in a big red bow.

Merry Christmas.

(glad it’s over.)

2013 here i come…

as tumultuous as 2012 was, and has been, i am secretly looking forward to the New Year. secretly daydreaming of the days yet to come. you see, i have these big goals stirring in my head. i want to start new things. i want to finish old. somewhere deep down in my heart and soul i need to erase the past couple of years, of the bad decisions i made on my part. i have a few new dreams. and a couple of opportunities that beckoned.

my dreams of 2013

1.  complete reading goals: 52 books in 52 weeks (includes youth novels read to Scout)

2. start a monthly Kids Craft Club at our local library

3. commit to volunteering to knit hats for preemie babies (haven’t decided on which charity i will work with)

4. continue volunteer work for animal shelter (goal: 4 hours/week)

5. put together cupcake recipe book

6. finish semester #2 of year 2 towards my AA in Animal Sciences

7. knit my top 5 favorites on Ravelry:

a. framed pullover

b. Celestite

c. Coastal Hoodie

d. Sock Yarn Sweater

e. anything from Rebecca Danger’s new book Knit a Monster Nursery

8. join a 5K marathon in 2013

9. weight loss goals: 2012 i lost 29 pounds. 2013 i hope to lose 37 pounds

10. start working with a new church (for personal reasons)

11. with tax return:

a. pay mom back $500

b. pay back college fees $230

c. buy a new camera : a canon eos rebel t3i

d. start a fund for Scout

12. happily celebrate the year with my little family:

a. take our first family vacation

b. spend a weekend at Disneyland (Thanksgiving weekend 2013)

13. put my dreams on paper, yarn, fabric…focus on my art

…day in the life of…

waking up to the sunshine peeking through the blinds for the first time in five days.

the smell of Christmas trees as we walked past the lumberyard.

Scout waving the bright green bubble wand into the wind creating various sized bubbles.

finding gnome homes in the mushrooms growing on our neighbors yards.

a deliciously filled chocolate chip bar from the donut shop that sells the most heavenly French beignets.

eating McDonald’s chicken McNuggets for the first time in over twenty years.

finally balancing my budget online.

working on my plan to create a Kids Craft Club at the library.

visiting my old neighborhood park where the grass was a bright green and the leaves were falling from the branches in the chilly autumn breeze.

organizing computer files.

making out a weekly menu with every intention of cooking at home for the first time in two months.

 

 

All That Matters

Spring break is almost over.

The weather can’t decide between windy and warm or cloudy and cold.

We have been spending more time eating out for dinner. It gives us more time to enjoy the Spring afternoons.

I take naps earlier in the morning so Scout and I can spend the afternoon making chalk art on the walkway. Sometimes we just color with whatever medium is closest to us.

I took off a little too much time from the gym. I feel bad about that.

I studied quite a bit of my Western Civilization book. Not so much studying of Poli Sci or Women’s Studies.

I finished reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult.

I started an herb garden and planted some very pretty Gerbera daisies.

I’ve been feuling my unhealthy stash obsession.

And fabric obsession.

In Real Life

In real life there are no commercial breaks or retakes. The most break time I get is when Scout might take a nap or when I’m reading into the wee hours of the night because the Ambien hasn’t kicked in yet.

In real life relationships are quite complicated. They are not the fairy tale stories of Disney where there’s always a happy ending. Relationships take a lot of work, effort and time. Sometimes they flourish into a loving marriage. Other times they are destroyed by the alcohol that one is addicted to.

In real life there are endless hours of being on the phone, making appointments, dropping off library books, football practice, laundry, taking the dog for a walk, grabbing the mail, going to the grocery store, and on, and on, and on.

In real life there are those rare moments. Late at night the rain is still dripping from the palm tree fronds onto the puddles that have pooled outside our bedroom window. I trace Scout’s shadow and tell her how very much I love her. I tell her how things will be ok. I tell her that I will always be there for her. I even talk to Dalton. Some nights I find myself petting the bed where he used to lay in the crook of my arm purring ever so gently to rock me back to sleep.

Yes, there are those moments when life ceases to exsist if only for a moment and I can just be. There are accomplishments, heartbreaks, bouts of laughter, shaking my hips to imaginary music, dreams, inspirations. A plethora.

I think of all of these things as I watch Scout twirl around in her big girl birthday dress, pressed and pleated.

I think of these things as I carefully make the stitches that bring a present together, something I hope the kids will enjoy unwrapping on Christmas morning.

I think of all of these things when I pet Rogue and realize she’s gotten so big in the past three weeks that we’ve had to adjust her collar one notch and start walking her with a choke chain.

It’s in everything I do.

A Baby

Nearly four years I was involved in a very personal tragedy. Three days before going on a three day weekend trip to the-middle-of-nowhere-Texas I learned that I was pregnant. I had noticed that my body was changing one day while sitting in Art 102, which I was taking for Summer School. After class one day I decided to buy a pregnancy test kit. I had to confirm what my body was telling me.

I had made no decisions. I had not told the father. I just went to Texas as planned. The plans were set in stone. I couldn’t not go. So I went. I was at the LAX airport at 5 a.m. when I first started to feel, well, funny. I felt feverish.  Sweaty. Exhausted. I chalked it up to being nervous. I arrived in Fort Worth/Dallas and immediately started running for my next flight to Austin, which was leaving one hour after I landed. And then I just started to feel even worse. I was completely disoriented. I didn’t know where I was. Where I was going. And yet, somehow I got on my next plane.

Mid flight is when it hit me. I was losing the baby. A baby I barely knew or understood. I hadn’t even heard his/her heartbeat. I hadn’t felt him/her swimming around in it’s little cave. The cramping was so intense. It felt like someone continually knocked the wind out of me. We landed and I ran to the bathroom. Nothing. I ran to one of the terminal shops for pads. Nothing.

I met with my friends mother and we drove three hours to our destination. We stopped once at a small Blue Bunny ice cream shop. We both ordered double scoops of Butter Pecan that immediately started to melt and leak from the little sugar cones in the summer heat. She held my cone when I had this urge. I sat on the toilet for what seems like hours feeling the blood rush from my body. The cramping intensified as I held on tightly to the steel handle that sat next to the toilet. What was the handle for? Disabled people? Or girls who miscarried in the-middle-of-nowhere-Texas and had to stop at the closet thing that had a somewhat clean bathroom?

That evening, in the hotel bathroom, I just sat under the spray of the shower. I allowed my body to purge itself. I said my goodbyes to someone I didn’t know. Someone I would never know.

Fast forward to January 06. Shawn and I had only been together for about a month and a half before I got pregnant, for the third time. I knew it the weekend of his birthday when the morning sickness flooded my mouth. He knew it too. Neither of us said a word. We knew that we would just do what we had to do. Afterall, what other options are there? But this would be the second time that I wouldn’t get to know the little creature that found it’s way into my stomach. And heart. A week later it started all over again. I laid on my bed with my legs up. Hoping. Waiting. Praying. I watched every minute tick by on the digital clock on the stereo. I counted to 60. I counted every minute. Until I could no longer count. And then I cried. I got on my hands and knees and screamed. Shawn held me and told me everything would be ok. He looked into my eyes and asked, “Do you want a baby?”. It sounded like a dumb question but I realized at once that we both wanted the same thing. A family. Just one more person to love.

What makes me think of these things? What makes me question the inevitable? I started reading a new Jodi Picoult book that’s about “wrongful birth”. There was a comment that a priest says about life’s struggles. He says that God doesn’t give people more than they can handle. In ways I never understood, I can agree to this. I have to believe there is something better. I didn’t have a chance to name them, to know if they were blonde boys or brunette girls. I didn’t have a chance to hold them, to know if they have a birthmark on their right hip like me and Jem. I didn’t have the chance to buy them Onesies and jammies with feet, to breathe them in and never forget their scent.

It all came as a rush when Scout finally said, “I wuv you mama”. And then when she walked away with her baby swaddled in a fleece blanket imprinted with kitty cats. I hope she will  hold onto her baby for as long as she can. I still do.

scoutbaby

Scout’s Baby, “Dot Dolly” pattern from Herbst’s Etsy Shop