Looking ahead to 1:27am, the 24th of February 2015 … that monumental age change … that awful thought that someone could put an ad in the paper with a birthday greeting of “Lordy Lordy looks who’s ….”
I can’t even finish that thought.
I never claimed 30. Never coped with that age change. I went from 27 to … something in my 30s, only after claiming 27 long enough that everyone was in on the obvious joke.
I’ve spent all month thinking about this post and what has come before.
This is what 39 and 364 days looks like from here.
I am a half orphan. My Dad up and dying … regardless of knowing his health wasn’t great … that horror of realizing that he ACTUALLY died . . . That empty gut, heart stopped horror oozing through the shock. That feeling that chokes me even now … even though it has been long enough I have to do the math and count the years since that night I stood with my brother and sister in law by a hospital bed that held Daddy. Daddy with the slack jaw and the squishy eyelids I pushed down over his amber brown eyes. All our potential gone into the where ever.
Daddy who left me an enormous mess that still isn’t cleaned up. That mess that I told myself would untangle and I would see some master plan of his underneath a pile of what looked like a well orchestrated punishment for everything I had ever been that was a less than perfect daughter and that the Daddy who loved me must have hated me to leave me this way in this mess. I promised myself that there was a reason and that reason would be found at the end of the mess. At the time I didn’t expect that the reasons were that Dad was mortal and flawed and human and made some massive mistakes. That the mess he left had absolutely nothing to do with me, and that both crushes my heart and frees me at the same time. Parents are fallible.
Becoming a parent. Holding a social security card in my hand, with a name I chose for a little boy to grow into a man with. Being responsible for that that card and the “oh wow” that went with it.
Having a baby. No drugs, feeling that whole experience. The “oh wow” of feeling his fuzzy head for the first time, actually seeing him on my stomach and realizing that yes indeed, that had been a baby growing in there all along.
Being pregnant. I’m grateful for the experience. Once was enough, please and thank you. Glad I have that chapter, don’t want to go back and read it again. Kthxbai.
Looking at the positive pregnancy test. The “oh wow” of “hey, sex really does make babies!”
Wanting a girl all my life, sobbing when the ultrasound showed a boy, begging Scout to never tell how I reacted.
Having the moment of scrapbooking for this little BOY, pasting a picture of his ultrasound feet on a carefully decorated page and being overwhelmed with loving this little BOY. Feeling that every time I see that photo in his album.
Realizing that little BOY is a replica of me. My smarts, my avoidance of sleep, my anxiety, my food pickiness, my complete focus to what I care about and my complete disregard for what I do not. Realizing I am the exact perfect parent for him, and that the only lesson in my life that truly matters is raising him right.
I will burn out on the same job after three years. Year one is a vertical learning curve of something new. Year two is fixing what I didn’t do right on year one. Year three is my spirit dying day by day as I drag myself through a routine. Gifted IQs are a curse at times, yo.
I found a gray hair and let it stay. I also dyed my hair purple red the next week, so there’s that.
I can cut my hair off short, but I will not like it in the back because it looks like Mom’s.
When I look at Mom, she looks more like my grandparents and less like my Mom and it scares me and sometimes I can’t look at her.
Sometimes I let myself try to understand that the empty gut horror oozing through the numbness feeling will hit me again some day. That she will leave me too.
I have planned beautiful weddings. I married the man I wanted and became a wife I hated. My parents had no good examples of how to be married for me to follow. They did set the bar high for co-parenting after divorce. Turns out that was the example I needed. No matter how sad it was to admit I failed the marriage I had wanted for so long, it came with knowing we were better this way … that differences and annoyances would never burn into rage or hate … That marriage date became “Happy Family Day”. We have each other’s backs by choice, not edict or legality. Family does not go away because the bonds of marriage were cut, the knot was just tied back in a different way that left us both free.
If I were to get married again, it would be for the third time. I thought that stuff was only for Zsa Zsa Gabor and Liz Taylor.
I learned to love dogs. One is snoring next to me and one is at my feet fouling my air every 5 to 7 minutes like clockwork.
Getting ready for swimsuit season involves stepping on the scale and laughing that I am once again in my all time high weight bracket and then finding a suit in my dresser that covers my boobs and finding a towel and sunglasses to use at the pool. You don’t like my cellulite thighs and “I had a kid seven years ago but will still call it baby weight” gut? Look away then bitchez, because the number of fucks I have in my garden is ZERO.
I have made amazing friends. I am completely blown away by how blessed how I am. A stroll through Facebook shows me people from Kindergarten and before (Jonelle and Rutt), girls I played with and had memorable sleepovers with in elementary school (Beth (and you too Amy 🙂 ), Nicci, Erica, Cherish), Arizona friends (Doug, Aaron, Tybo, Zooey), Minnesota friends (I ain’t listing you, I would miss one and I would feel bad. Ya’ll are from District 196 … most of you say GO EAGLES!), Kentucky Moms who went through those first child first two years OMG what have we DONE days with. Bloggy friends, some who have necks I have never hugged, some who I have slept in their homes, all who I love with a strange camaraderie of knowing other people climb in front their computers looking for kindred spirits and heart friends.
I have cut ties with good people who I thought I would be friends with forever . . . and yeah the Lawd was the Lawd of us … but sometimes a lifetime is indeed too long to live as friends, and it is just better to quietly close the door and then cement that bad boy shut and never look back.
My kid’s first teacher went from that person across the table at parent teacher conferences and became my person.
I have this great family of people I share no genetics with, parents and sisters and brothers and a little blond boy – all because I took a shot on some young guy who turned out to be the one I love … the one … I used to say that loving him was like trying to catch my breath after walking into a sudden rain storm. Now we’ve gone through the really high highs and the please shoot me I don’t want to go through this lows … and it is less rain storm and more … I don’t know, words actually fail me, if I tried, I would just fall short and make stuff up. I found the one I am willing to keep trying for. Maybe that is it.
I’ve lived through summers of wine and xanax and wanting to give up and wondering why I was having to learn some lessons again and thinking it was all just crap and pointless.
And sometimes it is, indeed, all just crap and pointless. It is what it is, and what it is – is a steaming pile.
Then there are nights like tonight – where the dogs snore and fart, the cats purr, my little boy is safe and healthy and sleeping in his bed, my mom has been here, and now it is me and M’Love on the couch ending the day together.
And you. You, gentle reader. You. You ease my fears of what 39 years, 365 days will look like.
I love this reflection from the cusp of 40. I’m glad to be with you on this crazy journey. Your honestly and humor have made my hard times a little less hard and the good times way more fun.