This is the first Easter that my daughter is not coming home. She is receiving a scholarship for singing in a church choir near campus. They really need her to sing for Easter services, so she is staying.
That is all a part of your kids growing up. Sometimes they don’t come home for holidays. I am okay with it. What choice do I have?? I spent the last 3 weekends with Angel, so that was nice. She made a special trip home to see a local Pink Floyd tribute band with me last weekend.
I feel a little bad because I was really tired when she came home. Friday night, my son Alex and I went to see The Dark Side of the Moon. It was an awesome show. We even talked to the sax player afterwards about my son wanting to go to school for music. He gave my son a lot of pointers. We ended up getting home at midnight.
Then I got up early the next morning and ran 10 miles. It wasn’t a regular run. I really cranked up the incline on the treadmill. I signed up for a trail marathon on my birthday this summer. It will probably be the most challenging marathon because it is going to be very hilly. After running, I could barely walk and had pain in my left calf for the next 4 days. I wasn’t expecting hill training to be so hard.
After I went running, I went bowling for a couple hours for my brother Matt’s birthday.
By the time I went to the show with Angel, I was pretty wiped out. I never had problems staying up late, running the next morning, a birthday party in the afternoon, and feeling too tired for a concert before. Am I getting old?? It was pretty easy having a conversation with Angel though.
I had a harder time making conversation with my son Alex the night before. If I ask him how he is doing, I irritate him. Are you okay, son?? How was your day? Are you thinking more about going to school for saxophone performance or jazz studies? I told you that already, just leave me alone, I’m fine!!! So we sat in silence at the restaurant until my son was ready to talk.
Then he started talking…I recently found out that my son is vaping. He asked if I had a problem with that. I am not happy about it, especially with the family history of lung cancer..But he is going to be 18 in June, so…What can I do about it?
Then he told me of his dreams to be a race car driver. Apparently he said his friends are building a race track. He wants to fix up cars and race them. He wants to drive as fast as he can. If I had to pick between living a long life or enjoying my life, I would choose the latter.
Why does he tell me these things?? I will be very happy if he outlives me. He is such a risk taker. Every time he comes home alive, I rejoice. I know it sounds crazy…there are some downfalls to actually talking to your kids openly. Ignorance can be bliss, but it is too late to stick my head back in the sand..
I had a great time watching The Dark Side of the Moon with Alex. Angel and I watched The Wall concert and the movie over break. She is really getting into the music which I think is great.
There are some nice things about having adult children. I finally feel like my kids are old enough to relate.
We found the house we wanted to buy first. We’ve had an accepted offer since January. The house was listed for sale by owner. On our first walk through, we hit it off really well with the owners of the house. By the second walk through, the owners offered us a beer and we carried on like old friends.
The owner of the house built the house. Although the house was built in the early 80’s, it is in great shape because it got a lot of care. The couple is close to retirement age and are looking to downsize. They had the house on the market for awhile and it just didn’t sell. They listed the house for a second time on our 20th wedding anniversary. It was meant to be..
We have a closing date at the end of May because the current owner wants time to build another house to live in. We are buying the house almost totally furnished because we need the furniture and they won’t have room. It all works perfectly.
We haven’t listed our house for sale yet. Our realtor said that our house should sell within a week after it hits the market. We didn’t want to be stuck with nowhere to live.
This past week my husband was out ice fishing with an acquaintance (someone he didn’t tell that we are moving). Wait! What? Yes, I did say ice fishing! That is a whole different story. The weather has been crappy this spring in Wisconsin. The extended forecast is showing high temps right above freezing with no end in sight. It might even snow, but not enough to be able to do anything besides make the roads slippery. We haven’t had a day much over 50 degrees yet. Horrible! It is making even the sanist people a little stir crazy.
Anyway…the acquaintance just split up with his wife a couple months back and I found out that he is now living with my distant cousin. What?? She heard we are moving and wants to buy my house. Double what?? It was quite the shocker all around. I gave her a call last night and she is very interested. My house is in a great location and is in the price range that is flying off the market immediately.
It’s kind of funny. My grandma and her grandma were sisters. Her grandma was an artist and I have some of her paintings on my walls. I could simply leave some of the family heirlooms behind. Lol.
So we are scrambling with the realtor. She is coming over next week to give us an estimate on what our house is worth. Then we will take it from there..
Last night my husband came home from a meeting and said that someone else we know is interested in our house. What!!?! Maybe we’ll have a bidding war before the house is even put on the market. Wishful thinking!!
It is encouraging to know that our house should sell quickly.
It started a few years ago…the unrest in my house. My daughters shared a bunk bed in a small bedroom.
It was funny, my daughter was the only one to tour the college dorm rooms on campus and think they were big. She got a lot of strange looks.
After her first year of college and living with us over the summer, my daughter Angel said that she wasn’t going to come home anymore if she had to share a room with her sister.
We thought about moving over the years. It would be nice to have more room. Sharing a room wasn’t so bad when the girls were little. It became harder as they became teenagers. There was a lot of fighting. One was messy, the other was a clean freak. One liked silence to fall asleep, the other liked noise. One liked complete darkness, the other wanted a night light. We had to create a shower chart so the kids wouldn’t fight about that either.
We live in tight quarters. But we were able to live affordably. Our mortgage payment is only $500 a month. Some of you pay a lot more than that for a small apartment. Most of our furniture that we have now is from long deceased relatives…recliners, end tables, love seat, couch, TV, dresser, lamps, pictures on the wall, chairs…free. We bought a hutch and entertainment center from other relatives…cheap. We bought our kitchen table from a rummage sale…cheap. But it is all paid for.
We are moving into a house that will be 85% furnished. Good-bye to all of our old crap! I will miss it, though, even if it is all old and falling apart. I will miss the memories of my grandparents. I will miss seeing the trees that my grandma helped lovingly plant in my backyard. My grandparents are long gone now and won’t have any connection to my new house.
We’ve lived in our house over 18 years. We lived here longer than we lived in our childhood homes. Even though we are moving into our dream house, it is going to be hard to say good-bye. This is the house we raised our children in.
We are the second longest residing family living on our block. I remember when the subdivision across the street was a field.
I’ve been running the same route around my house for a decade now. I know how to avoid dogs. I developed a long standing regular routine.
We’ve always had good neighbors. People know us here.
I know the patterns on our street. I recognize the noises. I could find my way around in the dark.
Now we are being uprooted and everything is going to change. We are moving into unknown territory…a new community.
My daughter will be going to a new school. She is nervous about fitting in. Although not popular, Arabella is friendly and likable. As the school year is winding down, I find myself sad to be ripping her away from all of her friends that she has known forever. I am misty eyed about last concerts or team events.
Arabella is very excited to go to a new school. It takes away some of my fears. She will be going to one of the best public schools in the area. She knows some kids that go there already. I signed her up to take the classroom driver’s ed class this summer in hopes that she will make some new friends before school starts. Her old friends won’t be that far away.
My son is going to finish his senior year at the school he is at now. We will still attend the same church. Some things will remain the same, although it will be a longer drive.
I will miss my house. We made a lot of memories here.
I am very excited about the move, but change has always been a little scary for me.
Last time I shared how my feet swept the ocean floor. It was pretty raw, but not at all pretty. Today the pendulum is going to swing in the opposite direction.
Both the deepest lows and the highest highs are hard to talk about. People just don’t do it, unless they are writing a novel about the life of someone else. It somehow seems too personal.
But to talk of everyday life is boring. It is like a flat line on a bell curve. Today I did a load of laundry, ran the dishwasher, and went to work…blah, blah, blah…Nobody wants to be flat lining!
I learned a long time ago not to care what others thought of me. Having a severely mentally ill brother and an obese father that is known to walk out to get the mail in his underwear would do that to you.
Seriously, I would’ve been soooo screwed if I was sensitive enough to care what people thought of me. Instead, I do what I want whether people like it or not.
This thinking opened the door to new adventures. Literally!
In two months, I will be moving into my dream house.
Who could’ve guessed that the business my husband started and I helped him build would be such a success? We struggled to make ends meet for so many of our early years. We almost bit the dust with the recession. Then we slowly earned enough money to start remodeling our modest little house. And now after selling the business (but still working there) we are starting our life over.
He is having an identity crisis now, my husband. What happens when you accomplish more than you set out to achieve? Should he start another business? Would we, as workaholics, end up destroying ourselves when there is nothing left to build? Should we retire early? How could we sit still and do nothing? Should we start new careers?
My husband always thought of himself as the underdog, scraping and scrapping to get by. Who is he now??
People are stopping by our new house just out of curiosity and showing pictures to all of their friends. Remember that boy who didn’t have a dad that we thought wouldn’t amount to much?? People are talking. Rumors are spreading like wildfire. People are asking…How much are the taxes?…Are you going to clean your own house?…Why would you want such a big house when your kids are ready to leave??…They swarm around us with a buzz of questions like busy bees.
I’ve always wanted a swimming pool. When I left home, my parents bought an outdoor swimming pool for Matt’s therapy. What??!? When I begged them for one, they always said ‘no’. I could swim in the lake up north. It always made me feel a little hurt. But in our climate, we can only use an outdoor pool for about 2 to 3 months of the year. It doesn’t seem worth it. My parents haven’t even used their pool in years.
My dream house has an indoor pool in a room that is probably the size of my current house. It is an older house, but full of character and charm. It has hardwood floors, wood burning fireplaces, and a big yard for my dog to run around in. My kids will each have their own bedrooms.
At least people cannot say that I married my husband for his money. He didn’t even have the proverbial pot to piss in when I met him.
I married a boy that spent his earliest year growing up in the projects in the inner city of Chicago. When I met him, he didn’t own a house. He didn’t have any money in the bank. He owned a rusty old Chevrolet. That’s about it. He had a mediocre dead end job. He wasn’t going to have an inheritance. He didn’t have a father and had no clue how to be one. He didn’t have any siblings. He didn’t know how a husband should act. His mother wasn’t the type to offer help.
He had nothing and knew nothing about family life. But he had this dream to start a business. It was a big risk, but it paid off.
Last year, at about this time, my brother Matt was taken off of his anti-psychotic meds. Slowly, the docile Matt that we came to love disappeared. It started with a grunt and a few twitches. The Tourette’s was back. Then he started flapping his hands again, the Autistic self-stim. It all would’ve been tolerable for his liver’s sake, I guess.
But then the old Matt came back in full force. He talked to my mom about wanting to kill my niece, my brother Luke’s daughter. He fantasized over scenarios of killing or harming her. The voices were back. He laughed at the things they told him to do. He had conversations with himself as he flapped, grunted, gagged, and twitched.
He had to go back on the medicine. It took months to wean him off and it would take months until it was fully effective again. In the meantime, Luke had to keep his little girls away from Matt.
All of this happened before…
He attacked my daughter at her birthday party when she was 4. That was before he was medicated and in a group home. After that happened, I cut myself off from my family for years.
Before that, it was me. It’s okay if he hurt me, we were the same size. It happened day after day for year after year.
I was told not to feel. Don’t feel…don’t feel…don’t feel. I got pretty good at not feeling.
My dad never told me he loved me or said that everything would be okay. He could sit in the next room laughing over something stupid on TV while I cried. He didn’t care. He looked at me with vacant eyes. He wasn’t there.
He didn’t hug me, nor did he hit me.
Then there was a switch that would go off somewhere in my dad’s mind. He would become angry. He screamed, he swore, and flailed out at everyone. He laughed at our fears and tears. He ridiculed us, called us stupid, and told us how much he hated us. My brother Luke got the brunt of my dad’s anger. But Luke rattled his cage.
My dad never said ‘I’m sorry that you have to go through this’. Instead he called us names like wimp, baby, or worse if we cried or showed any signs of weakness. I built a tough exterior around myself that wouldn’t even allow empathy in. For every punch, hit, or bruise from my brother, my mantra was that the physical pain would make me stronger. The bruises and scars have long faded, but the inner scars will always remain unseen to most.
My mother was the perfect mom. Except she had one weakness, Matt. She favored him over everyone and everything else. If Matt wanted to go, we went. If he wanted to stay home, we stayed. If Matt was hot and we were cold, she would crank the A/C. Matt couldn’t help it, she said. We had control over ourselves, he didn’t. Sometimes she was so blinded by Matt, that she would put other people at risk by his behavior. But, she cared.
A few months ago, my mom brought Matt up north for my niece’s birthday. I’m not sure if it was a miscommunication or if she was trying to force Matt back into Luke’s life once she deemed Matt as better. Both situations happened before. Luke and my mother got into a huge argument. He wasn’t ready to trust Matt around his daughter. My mother left crying.
This takes us to a couple of weeks back…my mom stopped by on a Friday night. I asked her why she was over. On Friday nights she goes to the group home to pick up Matt. She said that Matt wasn’t coming home because Luke was coming over the next day to talk…something about therapist…repressed memories…
I felt very anxious the next day. For a brief moment, I wept. I know how Luke feels. I’ve been there before. It rips you apart.
It’s been almost a year and a half since I had my last what I call post traumatic stress episode.
It started out innocently enough. I was decorating the Christmas tree. Then this memory came back, almost like an image in my mind that I couldn’t get out. With this memory came intense emotion…stronger than anything I have ever felt before. It lasted almost two days. I couldn’t sleep and when I did I had intense nightmares where I woke up crying and frightened. I had several nightmares a night. I felt intense fear, panic, and rage. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think rationally or otherwise. It was very horrifying.
I fell into a deep dark depression. I drove around aimlessly in my car. I had this strong desire to end it all. If I drove fast in my car and missed a turn…well…oh well. I screamed at anyone that tried to help me and pushed them away. I remembered. I felt the feelings I tried to repress 100x’s more powerful than if I would have felt them before.
I am afraid of this happening again.
My childhood…the flashbacks…those are the times my feet have swept the bottom of the ocean floor. I honestly don’t know how I survived, thrived in fact. I am completely ‘normal’, but my experiences in life are far from it.
The meeting with my brother was all very hush hush. He talked to my dad for 3 hours and my mom for 2 1/2. It sounds like there was closure and healing. At this point, it is hard to say.
Maybe I should talk to my parents too while I still have the chance.
If I look back, I would say that I’ve always been a writer of some sort. But is it strange that I never wanted to write a novel?
I wrote a story once when I was in grade school about a grown up version of me that started a home for girls from troubled families. I imagined during the school day that my home for girls was at the school. I don’t remember much about what I wrote. In middle school, I deemed the story as crap and threw it away.
After that I started keeping journal after journal of the darkest years of my life. I have been working on going through them slowly, as not to sink back down.
I started finding pen pals. Some were from foreign countries. I wanted to learn about their lives. There was a girl from Brazil that didn’t write in English. I had the hardest time finding someone to translate Portuguese. The best I could find is someone who knew Spanish. I could only read a line or two from every letter.
Then the internet came along and I got more pen pals(?) using dial up to get on my email.
I still don’t have an interest in writing a novel. I want to write about my own life.
I have had some very deep lows that seemed to sweep the ocean floors. I have had some pretty big highs that launched me out of this very atmosphere. Both are hard to write about honestly.
My experiences have been very unique, but my feelings are universal.
I learned that it is important to do what I want in life regardless of what others think. I live by this motto and refuse to be put in a box. People complain about everything I do anyway. So, who cares?
But yet I struggle.
Last week I lost a friend, my last pen pal from the dial up days. In the almost 20 years that we have been friends, I visited her twice. She unfriended me, along with her husband and daughter.
What is it about me that she didn’t like?? Was it because I took my daughter to the Lana Del Rey concert?? Was it because I visited the Buddhist temples in Thailand? Is it because I like to have fun once in awhile?? I don’t fit very well into the Christian box sometimes. Or maybe it was because I never replied to her last message. I was intending to.
It hurt. I tried to brush off the feelings of rejection.
95% of the time I don’t care what others think of me. It is the 5% that trips me up and prevents me from sharing the full story. I am afraid that you will reject me too. I’ve been feeling troubled about this the last couple of days.
Maybe I shouldn’t share as much as I do.
What are your thoughts?
What do you do?
If I do tell you, maybe you will reject me too.
I want to share my life story with you, but sometimes the 5% holds me back.
Yes, I am Irish. I even know the name of my ancestors that came over from Ireland.
I love corned beef and cabbage, but apparently that is not how the Irish celebrate the holiday according to some WP friends that live there. I even heard that St. Patrick is not a real saint. But I am not here to talk about Irish culture because I haven’t a clue. I know how the people in Wisconsin celebrate. Most people wear green and get drunk. Kind of like a Packer game, but in March. Except this year St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday calling out every drunk, moderate, and light drinker.
First of all, over half of America’s most drunkest cities are in my state. There probably would be more if we had more cities. I live near one of the top 5 drunkest cities in America. I might go as far as to say that I live near one of the drunkest cities in the world…a fact I am not proud of, but it is what it is.
I saw something on Facebook the other day about state motto’s. Ours was something like, ‘It’s too cold to be sober’. Here I sit on the first day of spring and our high temps are not going to be above the freezing point.
This year my friend Lisa was in town for St. Patrick’s Day. Our mutual friend Cori invited me out. I kind of had a hankering for corned beef and cabbage with green beer, so I said yes. We haven’t had the chance to get together for 6 months since Lisa moved away. Apparently, Cori and Lisa started celebrating before going out. Then Lisa said she had a tall margarita on the ride there.
Cori told the waitress that when she saw her finger up she was supposed to bring over 2 beers. It seemed like her finger was up about every 15 minutes. Cori told me that she was worried about her adult son. He drinks too much and has blackouts.
The one thing I respect about Cori is that she never drives drunk. She has been bringing her daughter out with her since she got her driver’s license. This is where I have the moral dilemma. Cori told me this past weekend that she created several fake ID’s to get her daughter into bars. Her daughter doesn’t drink. She drives people home that should never get behind the wheel of a car.
I am torn. I am totally against the whole fake ID thing, having someone in high school hang out at bars…What kind of example is that?? But I am for a safe ride home. It’s not like an Uber is easy to get.
I didn’t stay out late that night. I left before things got too crazy. There was a creepy older man dressed in black that kept coming around checking out the women on the dance floor. A woman tapped my arm and said, “You are beautiful” three times. She was young and had green hair. A wig? For a fleeting moment, I felt happy to hear the words spoken by a stranger that were never spoken by my father. I want to be beautiful forever. I grip onto her words vainly as time slips them back through my fingers. I am afraid to get old. The creepy man’s finger nail scratches my back as he steals by.
As I was leaving the parking lot, I saw the creepy old man leave with the nice girl with green hair. Did they arrive together? I feel sad. Is this her life? Why didn’t I say something kind back?
Late the next morning, I had some errands to run with my daughter. Less than a mile from home, we almost got hit by a drunk driver…probably still drunk from the night before. She swerved from the ditch into our lane…slowly weaving in and out as we pulled aside and watched her parade through.
Last week my daughter Angel was home from college for spring break. We watched a couple of rockumentaries. We watched the Kurt Cobain documentary “Montage of Heck’. I found the documentary to be rather disturbing. It showed raw footage of his drug addiction. What a tragic story of a brilliantly troubled mind. He was so talented, yet died so tragically young. Sadly, it really isn’t unusual anymore to hear of talented performers dying from suicide or drug overdoses. I wouldn’t wish the life of a performer on my worst enemy.
Then it occurred to me that this is the kind of life two out of three of my children want to have. They want to be performers.
My firstborn, Angel, is in her second year of college for vocal performance. Recently she competed in a very elite competition and was one of the very few students from her college that was chosen to sing in front of an opera star. She never had singing lessons before college. It might even sound stupid, but maybe I never fully realized her talent. She was the only one ever in the history of her high school to get as many perfect scores at state for her vocal performances. Now she is in college competing with students that have had singing lessons for their whole entire lives.
But don’t all parents think that their children are the brightest, most talented, most intelligent children even if they are not? I also had the opportunity to listen to performances of strangers for solo and ensemble. I sat through one of the worst vocal duets I ever heard to look around to see parents recording the blessedly miserable event on their phone beaming with pride.
Parents often wear blinders. Why would I be any different?
My son is going to state for a piece that his piano teacher couldn’t even play the accompaniment for. It has a difficulty rating of 9. She said that it was a PhD piece. The ‘second chair’, who is a senior, played his level 4 difficulty solo from last year and bombed it. It was the song that my son got a perfect score on at state as a sophomore. After my son played his solo this year, the girl’s mother introduced herself to me. She told me that my son is a genius, a savant at music. She went on and on to the point that I almost was embarrassed. What could I say back to her? Her daughter as a talented senior bombed the solo my son aced at state last year as a sophomore. It was awkward.
I have two children that are the top performing musicians from their small town school. They are joining the hordes of a million other talented young wannabe famous musicians who are just as good if not better than they are.
In all honesty, who doesn’t want to be a star?? I sure would love to have 20,000 followers on WP. How about you?? If you have that many followers, how worried are you about continuing to write brilliant posts? Point made.
But do I want the life of a performer for my children?? I am not so sure anymore.
I picture them searching from city to city for a mirage they can’t seem to grasp onto. They will deal with the fear of failure. But guess what? The fear of success is just as terrifying. Rejection. Not having a stable lifestyle. Not having a steady income. The possibility of finding permanent residence in my basement. Not being able to pay off college debt. Maybe being famous? Having to keep performing at a stellar level to keep their fame. The possibility of drug addiction. Fans worshiping them but not knowing who they really are. Haters. Critics. What do you think a beautiful girl might have to do to make it to the top? A life on the road. What about a family? Broken relationships. Constant pressure. The isolation from a lack of anonymity. Broken dreams from not succeeding. Not being able to handle fame.
Why do I worry that it might not go well for them either way?? Didn’t we teach our kids to follow their dreams when we followed ours? Performing is one of the most exciting career journeys that anyone can follow.
Who knows? Maybe it will end well. As I overthink about it, maybe I am just worried because that is what I do as a parent. Worry. Sure, my kids are talented. But are they talented enough??
Maybe not pursuing a dream gives a life of more regrets.
And maybe I shouldn’t have watched that documentary.
It happened after midnight early Saturday morning on a dark country road near his friend’s house.
I didn’t find out about it right away.
I found out a couple of days before the fine was due.
Operating left of the center line. It sounds pretty petty, but it cost over $200 and 4 points.
Were you sober?Yes
Were you wearing your seat belt?Yes
Were you going the speed limit?Yes
I was a pretty happy mom.
I don’t know what I did wrong.
You need to fight it in court. They were probably scouting the back roads for drunk drivers and found you instead. Lucky you! The fine is steep and you will be losing a lot of points for a minor offense.
The court date was the same date and time as the ACT test.
The fine was due. It was too late.
I paid the fine online. The site asked if I wanted to sign up for an account. What? No! This will never happen again. Then I remembered the fine from the previous month when my son was caught doing donuts in the parking lot.
Are these minor traffic offenses building me up for something bigger that I need to get a future account for?? Do hardened criminals start out with minor traffic offenses? Is it the gateway crime? My heart fluttered in fear. Is this where it all begins?
The irrational part of my mind calmed the butterflies stirring in my heart. I’m sure everything will be fine. MY child would never do something like that.