4.5. Old School

When did family become old school? It boggles my mind how many times I see people who are so dependent on social media to be social that they miss the true opportunities to reach out to those they know. Or better said, those they knew. Because you lose touch with people and their realities.

When did family fights lead to a Facebook delete? And when did this delete decide whether or not people will ever reach out to each other? People can tag others on posts but won’t bother to make a phone call.

Huge life moments happen and friends can’t reach out to one another. Family can’t reach out to one another. People don’t pick up the phone, put in the effort to have a five minute conversation. Everything is from behind a screen, whether it be the phone or the computer.

I’m not really sure when communication became old school. I’m not sure when talking became old school. I’m not sure when the default button, for lack of a better term, became the go to. The button that gets slammed the minute there is an issue. Instead of humbling oneself and moving forward, we stay waged in a war we aren’t even sure why we’re fighting.

Social media was created to socialize but instead dictates and controls whether people will allow bonds to flourish or fail. We are quick to deny, delete, ignore the “requests” that should matter but we accept any and everyone who will fuel the fire our ego needs to stay warm.

Too often, I hear people criticize the Christian who only attends church on Easter and Christmas. “Chreasters.” And yet, aren’t we all fair weather friends, fair weather family? Aren’t we all guilty of only reaching out when the time is fitting?

Set aside the obligations and requirements. Instead, reach out to those who matter and make an effort. Take an extra moment out of your day and reach out. Because one day, people will be gone. And the opportunity will be lost. The only thing worse is to ask a child if they want to call someone and the child responds “who is that?” Because that child should know. But he doesn’t. And it wasn’t our choice.

I’d give anything to hear my dads voice again. I can look at pictures of him, a piece of paper with his handwriting on it. But there is nothing that compares to the sound of his voice. And only those who can appreciate the old school way could understand that.

2.38. I Am That Mother…

I will laugh with my son for hours.

I will encourage my child to make a mess just because we don’t always have to live inside the lines.

I will blast the music mid-afternoon and dance with my boy until we can’t stand anymore.

I will sing with my boy, at the top of our lungs, until our throats are hoarse…while driving down the highway.

I will spend lazy days, on the couch, in our pajamas, eating cake and ice cream for lunch because we can.

I will have an all night movie fest with my boy while eating popcorn and telling stories under our make-shift tent.

I will not have a heart attack when my son draws on the walls…his art isn’t doing any damage paint can’t eventually fix.

I will let my boy pick out his clothes, even if they don’t match and they include my pink cupcake bandanna.

I will enjoy listening to my son tell me stories, sing me songs, read to me in his own silly language.

Nevertheless,

I am that mother that will pay the bill at a restaurant and leave without eating a bite if my son gets out of hand.

I am that mother that will put back an entire cart of groceries if my son decides to have a full blown tantrum over not getting the ice cream he demands.

I am that mother that will take my son to the restroom for a moment of discipline if he decides the aisles are a good place to throw himself on the floor, hit, kick, or throw things.

I am that mother that does not believe in hitting when angry BUT I will give my son one swat to his behind if he remotely thinks it’s okay to say a potty mouth word he’s heard from who knows where. (I know my curse words of choice and those are not it).

I am that mother that will send my son to his room and leave the tv off all day as punishment.

I am that mother that will raise her voice when my boy does the exact opposite of everything I have asked him to do.

I am that mother that will ALWAYS talk to my son about why he has been disciplined/punished. I will ALWAYS explain to my son that I love him and I want his behavior to always reflect the wonder of his amazing spirit.

I am that mother that will correct my son when he is misbehaving AND reward him when he is doing wonderfully…or at least trying to.

I am that mother that doesn’t have all of the right answers.

I am that mother that struggles to find the line of nature and nurture.

I am that mother that tries every day to strengthen my sons ability to communicate his feelings instead of acting them out.

I am that mother that talks to her son like he is a human being. Not a puppet. Not a dog. Not a baby. A human being. With a heart. A soul. Feelings. Thoughts. Emotions. Opinions.

I am that mother that will never stop working at being better and encouraging my son to do just the same.

2.5. Crossroads

On the edge of the storm, I am fully aware that life will soon show it’s changes – clear and vibrant, dark and gloomy as they may be. As the finalization of my divorce draws closer…I am preparing myself for the death of a life. The blame game doesn’t exist in this new world.

Coming out of the tunnel, a treacherous journey that has spanned well over two years…I am on the verge of starting my existence for the first time in a decade. Every choice I make, every thing I do, every interaction I have must be calculated to enable a better future for my son.

I’ve gone down this particular road many times. The inkling to finish school, to buckle down and further my education, nurture my mind, grow as an artist and an individual, create something substantial that can further my potential. Just as many times as I have tried; I have failed. I’ve walked away to better focus on my household, buckled under the pressure, realized things seemed far too easy for a reason. Either way, I’ve quit on multiple occasions.

But what have I gained from quitting? I’ve put myself in a position where I cannot pursue my passion, my body hurts on a daily basis due to physical labor, I am not a positive example to my son. The last factor is what pushes me to do something about the situation I’ve put myself in.

I want to go back to school. I don’t care who supports me, who blows me off with a typical “mhm, that’s cool,” or who thinks it’s a dumb idea. This is about starting my life over to be something worthwhile for my little man. There is a risk in doing this. A risk in putting my focus toward “success,” instead of creating a growing family. Can I have both? I’m a little bit doubtful. But I can’t hesitate working on a better future for my son because I’m scared I’ll lose a hypothetical. My son needs me to be better.

Divorce is like a death. Losing something that once held life and possibility. Once the dotted line has been signed, all that will be left is choice. I can choose to die with the memory or I can fight and work hard to create something one million times better.

That’s where I want to be. Write instead of left on the crossroads.

1.190 – Quality vs. Quantity

“If you can’t handle me at my worst…

…You don’t deserve me at my best”

The clouds have rolled in and the storm is set to begin. The forecast is calling for guaranteed thunder, lightening, tornadoes, tsunami’s, and typhoons. The damage will probably be irreparable and the casualties of family bonds and friendships will be countless.

Fair-Weather Friend: A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable.

Fair-Weather Family: Someone who is family or acts like family when it’s easy for them to be, them change on you when it’s through thick and thin.

I could cry over what I feel my son and I have lost. Instead, I want to really focus on the people who HAVE been invested in the calm before the storm, the upcoming mayhem, and the potential rebuild that awaits.

 I want to say thank you to the friends and family who don’t depend on Facebook to be real friends and real family. The people who call to ask how Hunter is doing. The people who have set aside time in their busy lives to reach out and stay in touch. The people who have reached out more so when the clouds have set in INSTEAD of playing the vanishing act. The people who don’t just say “I love you,” “I care about you,” “I hope to see you soon,” but actually show that as fact.

I want to say thank you to the people who believe in me as a person. The people who don’t focus on my past and every mistake that I’ve ever made in my entire life. The people who appreciate me for the person I am striving to be. The people who have taken the genuine time to see beyond the hype. The people who have supported me as a dreamer and have motivated me to be a doer.

I want to say thank you to the people who have shown my son UNCONDITIONAL love. The people who have PROVEN that they love my son. The people who do not allow trivial adult nonsense to prevent them from reaching out and engaging with my son. The people who have opened their hearts, homes, and ears to my son. The people who have put forth effort to include my son in the happiness of their own lives.

I want to thank the people who have not shunned my son for the simple fact that he came out of my vagina. The people who do not put my son so far out of sight that he will inevitably end up out of mind.

In April 2012, my son and I enjoyed an amazing trip to Disney. It was the most wonderful trip of my life. Watching my son show such excitement to see all of his favorite characters, to play with his cousins, to laugh hysterically…it was magic. But the moment that stuck with me the most was seeing my sixteen year old nephew sit on the balcony and watch his brother and my son play. My nephew reached out to me and gave me a hug. He refused to let go. He cried. He held me tight and let the tears flow. He cannot speak. He has Cerebral Palsy and has never been able to say “I love you, titi.” But he told me. In that moment. Just as clearly as my son tells his tia that he loves her every time she calls.

These children are beating the adults. They are the real inspiration. The real conveyors of what it means to love unconditionally.

Thank you to those who have given me strength and hope. We’ve done the good. We’ve done the bad. The ugly is on its way. We may not have the masses supporting us but what we’ve got is real and will be there long after the storm passes.

1.188 – Beyond Scared

Watching Beyond Scared Straight on A&E and I suddenly broke into tears. Teens filled with anger and self-hatred. Teens committing crimes with no sense of remorse. Teens shrugging off drug use, drinking, being expelled from school. Single parents sobbing while their children are carted around a penitentiary…sobbing with hope that something will change.

And I am shattered. After five years of marriage, I chose to walk away. I felt like I was doing the right thing – avoiding a tumultuous relationship that would only teach my son what harm a match and gasoline can really do. I walked away, thinking change would come, either in the form of growth or divorce. I had always secretly hoped for growth but it never came.

I wanted to be free of the fighting. But what has my freedom cost me? My son is a statistic. My son is a product of my failure to fix the broken. I am the first to say it takes two people to make a marriage work and two people to make it crumble. But I am a mother before anything else. And I will carry every burden that is put upon my son in the wake of my actions.

I am scared. The world is a cruel place. The world is hard and unforgiving. My son was born with a united front and now will live with a scattered army – more focused on hurting each other than protecting him from the tyranny of the worlds inevitable pains.

My heart is breaking, breaking as I type. Because this was not supposed to be his start. I prayed for my son. I begged for him. I planned my pregnancy in marriage. And delivered my son to a broken home.

I can try my hardest. I can do everything humanly possible of me to show him love and to give him opportunity. But it will never be enough. He will hate me. He will resent me. He will be ashamed of the fact that I am not an accomplished individual. He will feel for me what every teen feels for their mothers at one point in their lives. And all I will be able to do is say how sorry I truly am. Because he didn’t ask for this. He didn’t ask for me.

I love my son. More than this blog, any blog, words, thoughts, tears or screams can convey. My son is my only reason to breathe. I failed in saving my marriage. I failed in giving him the dream. The dream of a child who came from a broken home.

All I can do is spend the rest of my life showing my son unconditional love, supporting his dreams, listening to him and respecting him as the unique individual he is.

But is that enough to give him the light he needs to avoid the negative influences so prominent in our world?

1.187 – Evils Voice

He berated her; calling her names for all the world to hear, mocking her in the presence of strangers. She didn’t say a word. She avoided all eye contact and just held the money in her hands while the cashier waited for some form of tender. The cart was full and she didn’t have enough money. And he humiliated her for it. He took out all of the things she had wanted and asked them to be removed from the final bill. He insulted her with each item he removed from the cart.

The transaction was over. And he continued. Vocalizing her inability to get a job. Blaming her for the job he was forced to take to provide for the household. He told her just how dumb she really was. Every time he walked by her, he leaned into her ear and mocked her a little bit more.

Their son sat five feet away.

This is not my story. This is the story of an unheard voice. One that has not had the courage to say “no more,” to the abuse. Purposefully demeaning someone for the sheer gratification of establishing control is sickening, repulsive, and pure evil.

I hope that girl finds her voice. I hope that man loses his. I hope that child learns that his father is an example of what NOT to be.

We have all heard the voice of evil. We have all been the voice of evil. If not our children, what is worth making the change?

I hope that woman figures it out. I know I have.

1.183 – 916 Days

We haven’t known each other long, in the scheme of things, and yet…you’ve changed me. Given me a new perspective on things…allowed me to grow into the person I want to be. You don’t judge me, you don’t ignore me, you don’t attempt to change me. Instead, you inspire me. You give me hope in the future. You point me in the right direction when I question what to do. You give me courage to fight the good fight, despite the odds. You make me laugh to no end. You bring tears to my eyes when you bless me with your presence.

I owe you the world. I owe you my life. I owe you one hundred percent of my attention. I owe you my strength, my time, my support.

I am lucky to know you. I am lucky to have met you. I am lucky to hear your voice every day and to see you smile.

916 days since I fell in love. 21,984 hours since I woke up. 1,319,040 minutes since I came to life. Every single moment has changed me. For the better.

I love you Hunter. My son. My love. My life.

1.180 – I Love You, Dad

“……., it’s Sabrina. I know we’re not talking but daddy’s dead. I need you to call me. Please. He’s dead. Just call me. Please.”

A year ago, today, those words lingered on a voicemail I wish I’d never received. A deliverance from a god I don’t believe in. A curse sent down from somewhere, a blatant sign of thievery, a shattering of my heart. One that would send me into an outcry as I ran from a bathroom stall on my fifteen minute break at work. One that would send me running through the back of the store, screaming “help me.” One that would leave me a collapsed lump of sobbing meat…a dying soul.

Anyone that knows me knows that my father was the light in my life that kept me alive…the one who believed in me despite the odds stacked against me. My father loved me by pure choice. He didn’t have to. He could have walked away at any time. And he stayed. He loved with his whole heart, was obsessed with technology and prided himself in being the most badass, metal rocking, piercing toting, sarcastic “jew-ban” known to man. He was a finger tapping, finger snapping, perverted, hilarious culinary master. He was a man who kept his word, who believed in love and forgiveness more than I could understand throughout my life. He was passive to a fault but a gentle soul that, at the end of the day, just wanted to be loved.

Dad’s Birthday Card #1 ~ Signed by everyone in a local bar

“You’re a good man, a good dad, and you are loved…today and every day.”

I’ve shed tears today. I’ve watched my son play and laugh and color and enjoy the motions of his life. I was lost in a heap of emotions…a sort of fog. And then my son came up to me, just about ten minutes ago and said “up.” I picked him up and he pointed to my fathers urn. I said, “that’s grandpa.” He said “hi grandpa.” I said “grandpa loves you.” He didn’t miss a beat. “I love grandpa too.”

I was going to write about how much it hurts without my father here to support me, to guide me, to enjoy life with me. But that’s the thing about this journey. What I intend it to be can change in the blink of an eye. And with my son greeting his grandpa and saying he loved him…I am inspired.

To give my son the love my father gave to me…tenfold. To love with my whole heart. To keep my promises. To mean what I say and say what I mean. To be forgiving. To be understanding. To be patient. To be compassionate. To have empathy. To learn from my child. To grow with my child. To evolve. To savor and encourage the beautiful imagination and spirit of the amazing boy who rules my world. To accept my truest emotions and to follow my heart. To keep my son at the forefront of my existence, no matter how hard the days may be and to know…my light has not left me. It shines brightly…in my memories, in the love of my family, in the beauty and joy of my son.

Dad’s Birthday Card #2 ~From his daughters

“Because her father listened to her, she knew she had something to say. Because he believed in her, she believed in herself. Because he said she could do anything, she did…

Dad, so much of the good stuff in my life started with you.    Thank you.”

I will not mourn you, Dad. I will remember you. I will rejoice in you. I will believe in what you taught me and I will show you that all of your love and hard work was not in vain…never wasted. I will love my son to no end and show you that you gave me the greatest gift any parent could ever give. You showed me what a parents unconditional love is and for that…my son and I will will always honor your name and live with your spirit in our presence.

I love you, dad. Always and forever.

1.175 – When You Are Happy

When you are sad, I will swim with you in an ocean of tears and become your life jacket when you are ready to let go of the feeling.

I will listen with an open heart..an open mind and hold your hand through every storm. 

When you are cold, I will become the fire that heats you…embers gifting you with a warmth to remind you that you are never alone.

I will cast away all shivers of doubt and worry with a blaze of assurance at a moments notice. 

When you are sick, I will make you the foods that fulfill your soul, play melodies that will morph into blankets of healing, and sing sunshine back into your frail little body. 

When you are lonely, I will appear in the twinkle of the stars, the sway of the leaves and the blossoming of every flower. Every raindrop will be a kiss from me to you and every tick of a clock will be my I love you. 

When you are afraid, I will slay every monster and capture every dragon. You will live atop a mountain of safety as I shatter the glass of darkness, turmoil and pain of this world. Glass you will never have to touch. 

When you are tired, I will lay down a thousand and one bedtime stories of your happiness, your love, your growth and triumphs. You will lay upon the stories of joy and wonder and fall into dreams of hope. 

When you are grumpy, I will do all the silly little things that make you giggle and tickle you until you hit the highest pitch of laughter known to man. 

I will shower you in jelly belly droplets and strawberry shortcake swirls, in fruit punches and sun kisses. 

When you are lost, I will shine upon you the radiant beam of the moon, to find you in the darkest hour. Whether a lifetime away or simply two feet…whether you are unfound or just feeling unseen…I will hold you in my heart and cast love and light upon your name. 

I will dim the light when you do not want to be found, though I will never turn my back, I will give you the space and time you need. 

When you are happy…oh when you are happy. I will bask in the glow of your joy and relish in the wonder of your smile. I will count my lucky stars for having the opportunity to be your mother and thank my lucky stars that you chose me. Saved me. Taught me what love means. 

When you are happy.

Inspired by When You Are Happy by Eileen Spinelli.

1.166 – Pool Rant

I took my son to the pool today. We enjoyed the sun, the warmth, the water, some snacks and bonding time. But there was definitely plenty to not enjoy. So here’s my letter to the dumbass’ of the pool.

Dear JerkFace Parents: When you pick up your yearly pool pass, you sign a contract that specifically says: NO ALCOHOL AT THE POOL. Why the hell are you morons carrying around bottles of Budweiser? You trashy alcoholics couldn’t wait until AFTER you take your kids to the pool to get wasted? Couldn’t hold off your typical display of neglect as you chug at the booze while your child dives into two feet of water? Seriously? I hate your face and I hope you die.

Dear Children of The Above JerkFace Parents: I pity you since you were born to inbred future DUI cases BUT I’m not your momma. You are not allowed to take my sons toys for your own pleasure just because your parents didn’t bring anything for you to play with. This is a pool. Play with the fucking water. And the next time you snatch something from my son, I will pick you up, take you to a very dark corner and explicitly explain how Santa Claus ass rapes the Easter Bunny until you shit yourself into a coma.

Dear Teenage Girls: If you cannot afford a bathing suit – feel free to stay home. I do not wish to see dental floss covering your bits. And if you’re going to wear dental floss: SHAVE. Pubic hair is not sexy at the pool. Invest in a Bic and save everyone the horror of seeing your nappy carpet-crotch.

Dear Teenage Boys: Stop doing back flips into the pool to impress the girls in dental floss. They are not impressed now and they will not be impressed when you crack your face open. I’m just saying.

Dear Clouds: You are evil. Do not wait until I get into the water to cover up the sun. This causes me to be cold. And I don’t like being cold. So cut that shit out. I’m not kidding.

Dear Bugs: DIE.

Yep, that’s it. I’m not going to say Happy Memorial Day because I think we need to remember those who have fallen for our freedom EVERY DAY. Making a BBQ and getting wasted sure as shit doesn’t equate to a thank you for the sacrifices so many soldiers have made. Whether you believe in war or not; someone has died for your freedoms. Don’t take that for granted.