Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Can't a person just have a moment of embarassing indulgence to a person's self?

Initially I surprised myself by being so cool and relaxed about the fact that I broke my toe in a random slip on my own floor, mostly due to the fact that I had to launch immediately into one of my busiest work weeks of the year.  But today I had to see the orthopedic doctor who very kindly told me that I may not go running for five to six weeks.
Tonight, I am sitting on the couch with my foot up. My kids are in bed and I'm nursing my pain, both physical and psychic (due to the fact that I will not be exercising the way I like to and will be moving excruciatingly slowly for the next five to six weeks).
I popped a Tylenol with Codeine and turned on Americas Funniest Home Videos (one of my guilty pleasures).  I was just eating an ice cream bar and laughing at a baby singing "Jingle Bells" while also crying, when I heard a little voice behind me.
There was Coen.
"Oh!"  I scrambled out of my relaxed position, trying to hide the fact that I was eating a much coveted treat.
"Oh, that's okay that you're eating ice cream, Mom." Coen said. "What are you watching?"
I put walked him back upstairs to tuck him in.

When I came back my ice cream was melted.  My show was over.  I swung my legs up to the couch and knocked my water over.  There is still a puddle on the floor.  I'll clean it up eventually.  But for now, I'm going to look at Facebook posts until my Tylenol kicks in and know that tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The two stooges

There's the bruising on my toe.  Said toe is elevating as I type. It's really tired from that photo shoot we just did
Tonight, we took the kids up to get ready for bed and they had some sort of strange collision in the hallway.   I limped quickly out of the way to avoid their rambunctiousness and saw the whole thing happen from Coen's bed.  They banged into each other and suddenly Coen grabbed his foot, hopping up and down on the other one, saying "Oh my foot! Oh my foot!"  Meanwhile, Lucy was on the ground spasmodically moving her limbs around yelling "Everything hurts! Everything hurts!"
 I couldn't tell if they were actually injured until they both started laughing and then reenacted the whole scene for their own amusement. 
After Tad said it was time for hugs goodnight, Lucy tackled Coen to the ground in her nightly tackle and when they lay sprawled out on the floor, Coen said "Lucy, what was the funniest thing about that?  Like, I thought the funniest thing was when I was hopping up and down and you were saying 'everything hurts'." 
"Same fing." Lucy said, in her one-syllable, two-word, rather flippant answer.  They reenacted it one more time until Tad escorted our goofball daughter to her room, and I cuddled up with Coen to read, my broken-toed foot propped up on a stool, a little away from the bed to avoid any sudden moves my son might make whilst listening to me read.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Toe-tally ridiculous.

Tad and I promised Coen a sleepover party this summer and tonight is it.  We took Coen and Lucy, the two boys sleeping over, plus four extra  (our neighbors and a friend of Coen and Lucy's who stayed for dinner) to the park to play.  When we came back here, I rolled out pizza dough so all the kids could make their own personal pizza.  On my way to the kitchen, I slipped in something wet and fell, very oddly, down on the ground.  Not oddly that I fell-I fall all the time-but I fell in a very odd and sprawling way.  My big toe on my left foot hurt something fierce.  It hurt so bad, that I thought I was going to throw up.  This was strange to me because I have a very high pain threshold.  I birthed both my kids drug free.  I can usually shake off the odd finger/toe jam, cut or bruise.  But wow, this hurt.  After the nausea passed, I felt like I was going to pass out.
After I got myself onto the couch, with ice on my toe, I started calling emergency rooms and urgent care centers to see what wait times were like.  The way my foot looked, coupled with the pain, tripled with the fact that my Youth Leadership Summit starts tomorrow at work and I will be spending the next five days with twenty-seven high school students with varying disabilities, made me think I better go get this looked at tonight.
I did and after an x-ray determined that I had fractured my big toe, I went home.  I have a boot and my big toe is taped to the next one.  Tad's at Walgreen's getting me drugs.  I said no initially but the doctor peer pressured me into taking the prescription.  I guess I'll be having some nice, trippy dreams tonight.  And learning how to delegate tomorrow at work.
Though the highest point of the night, I have to say was this: I pulled into the garage from urgent care and three sweet boys all wearing fairy wings (for some reason) were waiting for me outside and helped me walk into the house.  And for now, I'm watching a movie with those winged boys and eating popcorn.  And wishing I could call in injured to work tomorrow. 
Here are the sleepover boys watching a movie.  There's my foot with my broken toe.

Here's Coen walking me to the house, Caleb holding the door open and Mason was inside getting my prop up chair ready.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Museums, Mummification and Memories

This is a picture of Harald and I at a museum in Baltimore in 2009.  We had this picture taken because we noticed that he and I are just barely taller than the aboriginal humans in the time of 5000-3000 b.c. 

Three years later, Harald is gone from the Earth.  And I was at the Field Museum with Lucy and my mother in law and sister in law.  We all wanted to see the mummy exhibit.  As we walked around looking at all the dioramas and mummified bodies and Egyptian burial trinkets, Lucy started asking about Harald.

"What if Harald died here?"  "Did Harald's body get buried in a box like this one?" "What did Harald look like when he died?" "Did Harald's brother have to take him somewhere when he died?"

I answered her questions as my mother-in-law looked back at me sympathetically.   It was actually kind of sweet. I told Lucy that Harald's body was turned into ashes and that someday I would go with his family and we would sprinkle his ashes around the house he built in the forest and he would become part of the Earth again. 

Once we got outside, I saw that I had a voice mail and checked it. Strangely enough, it was Harald's sister.  She was letting me know that his obituary was posted. 

At the Amtrak station, Lucy hung onto my hands and said, "Mommy? What do people's skin feel like when they die?"
"It feels mostly the same." I said. "Just not as warm."
"And it feels really weird?" Lucy said, "Because they don't have bones anymore?"
"Well...they still have bones...  But it does feel a little weird, because they don't have life anymore."

I looked up and saw that the woman behind us in line was smiling. "I was wondering how you were going to answer that." She said, "Good job."

Then Lucy swung back and forth on her heels, her hands still in mine. "My body is making my bones move right now! How do my bones do that?!!"

And we all laughed.

I still miss Harald. And strangely enough, it's nice talking about him, even hypothetically, as a mummy, in a museum.

You can read his obituary.  here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Me time, you time, we all scream for alone time.

Yesterday, my friend Kevin posted a link to This Wall Street Journal article about space in relationships.

I was very drawn to the article for two reasons.  One because it was rather affirming, as I think Tad and I do a pretty good job of giving each other space to grow as separate individuals.  Tad needs a lot more alone time than I do and he's learned how to ask for it in a way that doesn't feel hurtful or upsetting to me, as I am a person who needs a lot of togetherness time.  He takes an annual trip to a cabin to write by himself whereas I take an annual trip to see friends.  At night when I'm gone, he reads or writes or whatever, by himself, where I tend to call someone to come over and chat with me.  (See you tonight, Jen!)
The second reason was that I was feeling a bit disconnected from Tad and I didn't really realize it until I read the article.  He's just finished his first year back to teaching and the Montessori program.  He's decompressing, celebrating, and a little inside himself right now.  The article helped me think about exactly what it was that was troubling me and I realized that I work so hard at giving him SPACE, that I felt like I couldn't tell him that I needed CONNECTION. 
We were talking about the article, loosely.  Then we turned to watch the next pitch in the Brewer game on TV.  The Brewers gave up their third home run in a row.
Tad said, "Oh, that pitcher is crying baseball sized tears.  With red stitching and everything." 
And this made me laugh, and I said, "I just pictured this actually happening and it was really gross!  That's why I know we're a good match." 
Tad sat back, "Well I don't have any doubts that we're a good match.  Do you?"
And I said, "No." Then I burst into tears.
We walked into the kitchen to make tea and I explained finally that I felt like I wasn't getting anything from him and that I felt disconnected and as we were talking we had to laugh as we noticed that Tad had prepared tea for himself and not for me. 
"Augh! See? That's where my brain is. I didn't even make you tea!"
In a very odd way, this made me feel entirely better.

But here's the other thing about that article.  There were a lot of comments after it, you'll notice. One of the comments was from a single mom.  She was saying this:

And while, sure, when it comes down to it...she's right about how it is worlds harder being a single parent who gets no choice about self-time...BUT I gotta say, I feel like THIS is exactly what is wrong with human kind and needs to be fixed.  Instead of just reading an article and thinking, wow, look at those people trying to improve their lives, she had to say, hey, you don't have it as bad as I have it!  The key to fixing a marriage is to talk to a single friend?  I don't think so.  Single parenthood and Coupled parenthood are apples and oranges.  Once again, I have to ask, Why can't we just be happy for each other's growth and happiness?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Trickle Down Parent-omics

Last night, Lucy was tucked in her bed and Coen was having his reading time.  I was downstairs looking over my options for Netflix viewing and I heard their little voices.  I stood at the steps and heard them talking.  It's summer, and I'm not worried about who's in bed when; I heard no arguing; so I just let it go.
Later on, when I brought laundry up to Coen's room to put away, I sat on his bed and said, "I heard you and Lucy talking."
"Yeah", Coen said, "I told her that she could come in my room anytime she wants to call you or Daddy and that she's even free to wake me if I'm sleeping."
"Wow. That's really nice of you."
"She said she was thinking about something she didn't want to think about and I asked her what and she said 'fires' and I told her that she didn't need to worry because we have working smoke detectors. And then I told her she should think about going to the beach tomorrow instead or what she would like for her birthday."
"Coen, you are a really kind and patient big brother."
Coen smiled. "I took her back to her room and tucked her in after that."

After a phone conversation with a friend and making a mix CD, I went back up to tell Coen it was time for light's out and to tuck him in.  I noticed Lucy's door open a crack.
"Did Lucy come in again?" I asked.
"No." Coen said. "She called me again.  So I told her I would check on her every five minutes. I went in once and she was awake, twice and she was awake, three times and she was asleep."

I lay with Coen for a few minutes and scratched his back.  "Mommy?" he said, as I went down the steps, "Will you check on me in five minutes?"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sometimes you feel like it...sometimes you don't.

 Tad and I are extremely different creatures.  As are Coen and Lucy.  Last night, Tad was doing some work on the computer and I was making some cookies for my youth group this afternoon.  And I realized what I needed.  So I made some tea, and told Tad to finish what he was doing and come talk to me. 
So he closed out his file.  I poured us some tea. And we went into the living room, turned Beck on the ipod and talked for three hours straight. 

In our conversation, we talked about everything, including our children and how different they are.  He said that on the way home from summer program, Coen was cautiously feeling Tad out for whether they could run through the sprinkler before dinner or not. 

Then, Lucy said. "Well, since Mommy set up the sprinkler yesterday.  Daddy, YOU can set up the sprinkler today."  She wasn't asking if they could, she was telling Tad that they were GOING to and that he could set up the sprikler!  Tad likes it when people tell him what to do.  I like it when people have a discussion about what we might do.  But we are learning to do the opposite of what we like for each other.
And Tad said that he thought, 'thank you for giving me a child that is more like me.' Because Coen is just like me, his mom.  Tad said he wanted to pull over the car, get Lucy out of her car seat and hold her up into the air, Lion King style.

Tad and I are that different in other respects too.  Where he needs time alone to recharge and come back to himself, I need time with other people to bounce my energy off and come back to myself.  Introvert-Extrovert. 

Before bed, Tad said, "Thank you for that.  I appreciate that you make us do this once in a while."
"Well." I said. "It's what we both need, but I know that I need...Just like alone time is what we both need but you know you need."
Tad smiled. "Perfectly said." he said.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


This is me at age 17. And my sister, 14 on the right
It is twenty years to the month since I was busted for stealing cigarettes.
I was seventeen and going through some things.  I was angry.  I was confused.  I was trying to rebel.  I lived in a small town where the teenagers would sit on the Valley Bank sign and make smart aleck remarks to passersby until the police would come and tell us we were loitering.  Anyway, one afternoon, just after school had let out for the summer, my sister, our friend Becky, and I were across the street at our friend Brenda's house.  We thought we'd make some ice cream sundaes. The girls thought it would be really nice to have cigarettes after the sundaes.
"No problem." I said, "I'll get some for you."  And I walked with Becky down the street to Rehn's Red Owl to buy a can of whipped cream and steal a pack of Marlboro menthol lights.   The cigarettes, back then-as you might remember-were on an end cap totally accessible to public shoppers.  I had gone in time and time again to swipe a pack for my sister or a friend, no problem.  I was confident. Overconfident perhaps.  I stopped on my way to pick up a penny, heads up, from the sidewalk.  We went into Red Owl and I, per usual, walked past the cigarette rack and grabbed a pack, deftly shoving it up my sleeve. I suppose I could have left right then.  But I got cocky. I thought it would be fun to steal the whipped cream too.

But as I walked around the store, slowly becoming nervous, a pack of cigarettes up my sleeve and a can of Reddi-whip up the other, I noticed that one of the clerks was following me around.
"Did you steal a pack of cigarettes?" He asked me.
"Me? No!" I said.
"I saw you take them."
"I put them back."
"Show me."
My heart was pounding.  I tried to slight of hand him into believing that they were on the shelf the whole time...the pasta shelf, where I'd popped the pack out of my sleeve.  The can of whipped cream did not come out so easily.
"Come with me." He said.
Becky ran all the way back to Brenda's house to report what had happened.

I rode in the back of a police car, fighting back tears, terrified.

They put me in a holding cell.  I sat in a chair with wheels on it, and looked at the walls.  People had written all over them.  In big, dark black marker was written:
Nick was one of the most bad ass of the bad asses at our school.  My terror was only mildly dulled by the company I realized I was in.

The police officer, Officer Ramirez, who was a really nice guy, came to get me.  He was the officer who would shoo us away from our loitering posts with a joke or a light-hearted comment.  He'd called my mom.

My mom, funny enough, was on the Police and Fire Commission.

I was led to a board room, where my parents and another officer sat.

"That's a pretty nasty habit for you to be stealing to support it." The other officer said.
Tears spilled out of my eyes and I put my head down on the table. "I don't even smoke!"

I could tell my parents were trying not to laugh.

I felt terrible.  On the ride home, I cried and cried.  I kept trying to figure out why I'd been stealing but couldn't come up with anything other than I was bad.  "I'm sorry." I said to my mom.  "I know you are!" She said.  "You're punishing yourself far worse than I could."  Nonetheless I was grounded for two weeks.  I had to go to a class and do community service.  In the end, I stopped stealing and my sister stopped smoking.  I never told who the cigarettes were for.  Well, not then anyway.

Are you reading this, mom?

Maybe someday this can be a cautionary tale for my children.  About how heads-up pennies are actually bad luck. JUST KIDDING!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Can your marks, get set, GO!

 My kids always say, when they're racing, "Can your marks. Get set. Go!"  I love that.
This weekend was a race of fun and activity.

Thursday evening, Tad's friend Dave (who he's known since he was in elementary school) came with his 11 year old son, Ethan to stay at our house for the weekend.  It is really fun to imagine Coen 30 years from now, hosting one of his friends and their children at his house. 

Friday was the last day of school at Highland.  We had a carnival.  I painted faces.  There was also a popcorn machine, a bounce house, basketball, a dunk tank, arts and crafts and a hot dog picnic.  A lovely, lovely time. 

Friday night, we went to the Brewer game.  30 of us tailgated and enjoyed the exciting Brewers win against the Padres.  During the tailgate, the children colored my father with sidewalk chalk, as you can see in the picture to the left. 

I like to sing "Never Surrender" by the Cory Hart of 80's music fame when the Brewers Cory Hart goes up to bat.  I did so, the first time I was paying enough attention to see that he was hitting and BAM, a home run.  It was very exciting.

The children were up until 11:00 in the evening and awake again promptly at 6:00 am on Saturday.

We spent that sleepy day on the South Side, at College Park when Tad and David met and went to school together. We played catch in the park and Coen got his first official baseball glove.  We bought Lucy one too. Pink, like mine.

After College Park, and Sports Authority (where we got Coen and Lucy's gloves) we went to Greendale village for coffee and chocolates and some time at the park there.

Dinner was DELICIOUS at Ned's Pizza.  We ate dripping, melting, yummy frozen custard at Leon's in the 90 degree heat, trying to lick our cones faster than they could melt.

 On Sunday, we took Dave and Ethan to the airport where they headed back to Florida.  Back at home, Tad and I sat in the shade of our front porch, listening to the Brewer game on the radio and watching Coen and Lucy run through the sprinkler.   

We ate Ned's leftovers for dinner while the children watched a movie and Tad and I both fell asleep until it was over. 

We were all in bed early and Summer officially starts today.  Coen's at Art Camp.  Lucy's at Highland Summer Program.  I'm at work. And Tad is in the air conditioning of his classroom, writing report cards.
Here we go, summer, here we go!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Six photos for my 6/6 birthday.

I had a lovely thirty seventh birthday, despite some sadness after the election's wake.

I woke up this morning to Tad cuddling up to me and giving me a kiss.
"How many birthdays is this?" He said into my ear.
"I'm the same age as you now!" I said.
"Good." He said quietly. "It's been hard sleeping with a younger woman. My wife's been feeling self-conscious."

Tad and the kids surprised me with a rain barrel which is something I've been wanting for a long time.   When I got out of the shower, I heard their whispers in the living room as they covered the huge box with couch cushions so I couldn't see what it was.

I picked up breakfast treats on the way in to work--grapes for the heath conscious, gluten free muffins for the gluten free, french bakery for those with refined tastes and doughnuts for the rest of us!

During the day, Tad sent me a video of each of my children sending birthday wishes.  Coen talking and Lucy singing.  He also sent me the above picture of himself at the game last night.

I had lunch with my parents, my sister and my niece at Stack'd.  After we ate outside on the patio, Beth took me shopping at my favorite store-Rethreads.
I got a few lovely new (old) articles of clothing there.

In the afternoon, I walked to Highland to meet my family and Coen and Lucy came running to me, both having made me a card. Lucy's was made with help by her friend Karrington.  There is a picture of Me and Lucy and of Tad and Coen.  It reads:

Happ Burthday mom-you-aer-the-best
mom home you hiv a grate Berth
Frum Lucy

Coen's is a comic of a spaceship flying over erupting volcanoes.  Then there is a black hole and a little person yelling "AAA! A good black hole!"  The spaceship is then seen flying over a mountain with a sign on it: "Alie Mounton"

 We all left school and went to Maharaja for dinner where I joyed in seeing my children eating Indian food.  Lucy liked the cheese pakora and the chicken from the tikka masala.  Coen liked it all, particularly the Papadam.  He said, "This tastes like a taco, with all the ingredients already on it!"

We ran into another Highland family there, the Truths.  I share a birthday with Yvette Truth and she was celebrating her evening at Maharaja as well.

We ended our night at YoMama for frozen yogurt covered in sprinkles and candy and caramel and fruit.

I love my birthday.  I so enjoy surprises, and let's face it, attention.  Today was a lovely day. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What is essential?

Tonight is the recall election.  My heart is pounding and I've turned a movie on to get my mind off it.  NBC has already projected Walker as the winner.  And the 'in your face' mentality on Facebook starts.

I see all these back and forth conversation and there's so much meanness.  So much divisiveness.  This election, whatever the results are, is a near 50/50 race.  That means that ONE HALF of us want one thing and ONE HALF want something else.  And what we really need is something new entirely. 

I feel sick because to me Walker winning means that my children and the children in this state have less for their education.  It means poor people with disabilities have less medical care, less opportunity to go out and be in their communities.  It means teachers working harder and longer for less. It means someone running our state who believes my friends and family who are gay should not be able to visit their partners should they be hospitalized.  And for people who support Walker...if he should lose, they would have their own list of things that the loss would mean to them, that perhaps would feel just as devastating.

We are so divided and so angry and the conversation back and forth is tense and fraught with insult.  There needs to be a way for us to come to some conclusions without these back and forth votes that leave half the population feeling like something we value is in danger.  Maybe its a revolution that we need.  I wish I knew what it would look like.

But tonight, I am trying not to watch the results come in ever so slowly.  Coen chose "The Little Prince" as his bedtime story.  Tonight we lay side by side in his bed and I read:

"Goodbye," said the fox.  "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret:  It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated so that he would be sure to remember.

I put the book down and looked at Coen who was looking at me.  
"What is essential is invisible to the eye."  Coen said.
"What do you think that means?" I asked him.
"Why does the little prince want to remember it?" Coen countered.
"Well," I said, "What are things that are very important, but we can't see them?"
Coen looked up at the ceiling.  "Air." he said.
"Yes." I smiled
Coen went on. "Friendship?"
And then he dropped his voice to a whisper.  "Love."
I kissed his sweet, warm face.  

What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Goodnight friends.  Whatever happens in this vote...I am still going to work hard at being kind and open and compassionate and know that the world is due for a change.

Working (it) out...OR Exercising (your right)

Yesterday, as I was returning from my three-mile run, and I passed Matt, our favorite neighborhood mechanic, he yelled out to me, "Stop running so much! You'll get too skinny and your husband won't want you anymore!"   I didn't mind his sentiment at all; It made me laugh.  I yelled back "Oh don't worry! He'll keep on wanting me.  I'll just keep on eating ice cream!" And he laughed his big laugh and turned back this customer as I continued running on by.

That run was very helpful in my case of the the "mean reds"  I have had.  Being home with my family helped very much too.  Last night after dinner, Tad and I chatted in the kitchen while the kids played dress up.  After they were all decked out, they shared a "throne" in the living room and proclaimed themselves to be king and queen. "We're grown ups actually." Lucy asserted.  As Coen scooched over to make room for Lucy, he said, "Attention my royal subjects!  I would like to tell you the new rules!"
Tad sat next to me on the couch. "The new rules? We are ready!"
Coen proceeded to explain that the rules were that we do not have guns in our kingdoms.  Only swords. And we only use them if we absolutely need to. "But the good news is, we have a big army." he added.
"And monsters!" said Lucy, "Nice monsters that help us in our battles."
"Yes." Coen said, regally.
"As your royal subject" I said to King Coen, "I will take you to your royal bedchamber and read you a story before you sleep."
Lucy looked at Tad, "You must let me pick out two books and you must sing me a lullaby."
"Absolutely, you majesty." Tad said with a smile.

The children watched me exercises a little when they got up and then ran to the playroom to get back in their king and queen costumes this morning for breakfast.  After we ate, we all went together to vote on the way to school and work.  Lucy put in my ballot and Coen put in Tad's.  We saw lots of neighbors and friends there and it was a very exciting place to be. 

I feel good to be part of my community, both the small one in my house and the larger one around me.

I think Coen is attempting to look smug. But much like his mother, he can't quite pull it off.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Still waiting for the cloud to dissipate

I woke up this morning a little nervous to read what I blogged last night past one a.m. But I suppose it's not too terrible.

I am still waiting for this cloud of sadness, apprehension, frustration and apathy to dissipate.  I know it will and then a day or two later, I will get my period.  How unfair.  It's like having someone that isn't me, inside of me. I wish she'd leave. She's such a jerk.

But after I blogged last night, and wrote an email to my friend, I got back in bed and started to realize ways that I am to blame for frustration between Tad and I. So I got up again at 2:00 am and wrote Tad (who was sleeping in our room) an apology email.  I wanted to shake him awake and say, "go check your email!!" But that probably wouldn't have been wise.

Tonight we'll talk. And relax. And eventually I'll be myself again and Tad will be himself again.  And we'll be back up the hill on the winding, adventurous path of marriage.  And back down too.  But that's normal.  And the funny part is, my whole problem started last night because Tad washed sheets that I just washed. 

When we were talking Tad said, "I don't think these are real problems."

Maybe not. Maybe so.  But at any rate, I guess they're similar to a lot of people's ups and downs.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blogging at 1:00 am. This can't be good.

There's been a lot of talk lately about how people get annoyed because I always talk about how great my life is, my husband is, my kids are...  It makes them feel like my life is perfect and there's something wrong with theirs.   So, here I am, up blogging at almost 1 am because I am annoyed with my husband and he's annoyed with me. 

So here's the negative stuff. so that you know I am normal.  I have great days but i have bad days too. bad, crappy, rotten, can't dig out of it days.

I am getting my period and it feels like I have a large chemical imbalance, akin to mental illness. I am depressed. I feel like I will never feel better. I keep snapping at my kids and I have no interest in anything.
Tad is coming down from his big Montessori everything.
Tonight, I was annoyed because I gave him tasks to do.  and he did them.  but really i just wanted to connect together.  see how he can't win?  we haven't connected since May 21st.  really connected. That was our anniversary.
So we had a fight.
And it wasn't a big one and we ended it amicably enough, but certainly no closer to being connected.
And I went to bed to read. and tad stayed up to "unwind"  by watching TV.
And in our house, you can see the person on the couch from our bed.  but when I got up to get a drink of water, I saw that Tad had moved a chair and was sitting in it, watching TV. so we couldn't see each other.  That made me inexplicably and endlessly sad. And because I have chemically imbalanced pms right now, i was sure that this was a sign that things were really. really. bad.

Eventually I fell asleep and when I woke up again it was 12:30.  And tad was not in bed yet.  and I got mad all over again because, he finally was semi-catching up on sleep (all the sleep he'd lost during his study process...and he's been unable to keep his eyes open at the end of every night since his exams last week and tonight would have been our chance to be alert and awake together but I blew it with my wifely naggings, and bad mood and insistence on things that perhaps are not as important as I thought they might have been.  And now he'll just be exhausted again tomorrow night.  And Tuesday night he's going to the Brewer game and will be up late once again.  It feel like there's no end in sight of our disconnect. I got up and asked him if he was coming to bed. He was. And now he's sleeping and I am awake. Because pulsing through my veins is the kind of irrational rage that you get when you mix being up too late, being overwrought and getting one's period.

So there you go.  I'm being real. Tad's been saying in response to those complaints I mentioned that maybe I should be more real.  But in my defense, it's not that I haven't been real up til now. I just mostly talk about good things.  That's what this blog is about--the funny, amusing, good things that you can find in each day if you look.  But tonight , I'm sharing a down of marriage. and we all have them.  Marriage goes along with all kinds up ups--wonderful moments, shared joy, laughter.  But it also has downs--those downs that leave you frustrated and annoyed, disconnected and lonely.

That's where I am.  At 1:30 a.m. on a Sunday night.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Blogging for LGBT Families Day

Today is June 1st, also known as Blogging for LGBT Families Day In honor of said day, I'd like to share a short story.  As you might know, I am working on becoming a sexuality educator and I teach sexuality education as well as safe relationships classes to students with disabilities.  Because of this, I was very excited when Coen asked me, "Did I come from an egg?"
I explained that, in a way, he did.  That Mommy has eggs and Daddy has sperm and when they come together they make a zygote which grows into a fetus, which becomes a baby.  He was satisfied with that answer. That was when he was four years old. 
Then when he was seven, paging through a book about the human body, he asked me. "Mommy? How did Daddy get the sperm inside you?"
My moment had come.  To tell him the truth.
So I did.
And after I did, he thought a moment and then he said, "But my friend Grayson has two mommies and a donor.  How does that work?"
I was so proud of his reasoning mind.
I told him, "Well, sometimes if two women want to have a baby together, then a man can share his sperm with them to make a baby. And if two men want to have a baby together, then a women can share her egg and her body to help them make a baby."
He thought for a moment.  "Does it hurt...getting the sperm out?"
I laughed. "No honey. It does not hurt at all."

Fast forward to a bit of time later.  Coen's four year old sister Lucy was telling us that she was going to marry our neighbor, Zef.  But then one day, in the parking lot at school, she saw her friend Josie. 
"I'm going to marry Josie!" Lucy proclaimed.
"I thought you were going to marry Zef." Coen said.
"Well, now I'm going to marry Josie." Lucy said.
"That's okay!" Coen said brightly.  "If you marry Josie, Zef can be your donor!"

I love my kids so much.

And I want them to grow up and fall in love with whomever they fall in love with.  And legally marry whoever that person is, if that's what they want.  And as they get older, I will tell them stories about my coming of age and answer honestly the questions they have. I will tell them that I have had feelings for both men and women in my life. I will tell them that who I ended up falling in love with was their daddy. 

Because their daddy happened to be a man, we legally married.  But if it was a woman I fell in love with, we would not have been able to have that legal document, the tax breaks and the other perks that come with marriage.  That doesn't make any sense.  I want my kids to be able marry the person they want to marry. Whether that person is of the same or opposite sex.  And I hope that someday the picture below looks archaic as the picture above.
And whether Lucy and Coen marry someone who is a Josie or a Zef, or whether they choose not to marry at all, I wish them all the happiness imaginable.  And I wish that for you too, and any children you might happen to have.