Category Archives: Family

The Perfect Cut

She won!

She could not believe her luck.

She had worked so hard to get to this point

But she had given up, she did not have the strength to go on

It was just taking too much from her

All the paperwork, the anticipation and the dread of losing

Had taken a huge toll on her

She had just given up and wanted to move on

But today her family won

They had finally called her and told her

That they had won the most perfect cut of half side beef

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Whose child is this?

I don’t think my brother’s son looks like him at all.  I think his girlfriend cheated on him and is trying to pass this kid off as his. I never liked the girl and now I like her less.  If I can tell the kid looks like some random dude, my brother must be able to tell too.  I think it is horrible for a woman to cheat on her partner, not use protection, get pregnant, decide to keep the child and then pass the child off on someone else.

I feel like calling her out on her shit.  “Hey, that is not my nephew.  No way in hell is that kid related to us. You young lady is a home wrecker, a low life, a cheat!  How dare you try to trap my brother with a child we all know is not his!” I would stand there in front of her with my finger shaking in her face.

But, I can’t be a party pooper. Every kid needs a father, even if the father and kid are lied to.  I will not be getting close to that kid or building a relationship because one day my brother will find out and when shit hits the fan, I won’t have no child ripped from my life.  But he is the cutest little thing in the world…I guess I could love him just a little bit.

Riding The Bitter Bus

I haven’t spoken to him in fifty days! It has been the longest that we have gone without contacting each other since we met in 1997.

The idea of texting him came into my head when one of the men I am conversing with asked me to be honest with him.  I don’t know how we came to the conversation, but he said, “I want you to be honest with me.  If he came back apologetic and was willing to work on the relationship.  Would you take him back?  No BS.”

I believe in honesty especially if you’re trying to develop a friendship of some sorts with people.  “Yes, I would.” I responded.  “But I don’t talk to him because of this reason.  Because he is no good for me.”

Then this sweet man said, “Then why are you not working on it? He will come back.  They always do.  I don’t even really know you, but I can tell you that they always come back.  Don’t kid yourself.”

I held my cell phone in my hand and thought about what this man had just said to me.  Could he be right?  Would he come back to me and my family would be back to together?  But at what cost? Could I trust him again?

I did not sleep well that night.  That morning, I spoke with another friend and told him about my conversation the night before.  He agreed and said my ex would be back.  We texted back and forth about how I could potentially test the waters while protecting my heart.  We decided that I could open the door of communication, by checking up to see how he was and to tell him the kids really missed him.

It took him hours to respond.  He said he wanted to see them.  It had been over fifty days since he saw our daughter.  This has been his new pattern ever since he started dating his new girlfriend.  The conversation was pleasant enough. Then out of the blue, he tells me he plans to move away and accused me of not giving him access to the kids.  Remember, he is a liar and a (cheating ***hole).  

It seemed nothing has changed with him.  Still the same old drama and ability to deflect his own shameful infidelity onto the person who he harmed.  I used to yearn for him to explain why he was the one who was so angry at our breakup when it was him who cheated, lied and destroyed our family. I was not sure what I was looking for in this explanation from him.  Maybe I wanted to know that he felt guilty for what he had done.

The wish for my (cheating ***hole) to understand and comprehend his behaviours and impact on people who love him is fruitless.  It is a complete waste of my time to argue or engage in anything he has to offer me at this time.  It is like the man, I fell in love with has died and has been replaced with a complete stranger that I want nothing to do with.

Over the last few days, he has been on my mind.  I feel sorry for him.  I feel sorry that he is wasting his life being angry at himself.  It is not me or anything that I have done that he is mad at.  I have come to the conclusion that he does realize what he has done and how much it has hurt someone else.

He has to face himself in the mirror everyday.  He has to live with the thoughts that he is not the great, wonderful and caring person that he wants to portray.  He is a bitter man and if he does not have it in him to forgive his transgressions he will forever live in agony.  It is up to him to make amends with himself in order to make amends with me and our children.  I feel so very sorry for him that this is how he will move forward into his middle age.

He is still the same.  I tried.  He is just not ready to change.

 

Kicking Beauty

Today I woke up and I make a decision.  It will probably be the hardest thing I will have to tell you.  But I have to tell you because I need to get it off my chest.  We both need to be honest with each other. I just can’t do this anymore.

I hardly slept last night.  I was tossing and turning. It was probably the worst night of my life.  Sometime in the middle of the night,  I woke up to find myself on the edge of the bed.  I think I was awoken to the fact, that I was falling.

So, I spent most of the night battling thoughts in my head on how I was going to break the news to you.  How could I gracefully tell you how I felt, without it sounding like I don’t love you anymore.  I played different scenario’s in my head.

Maybe I will wait till you’re in a great mood and we are having a wonderful day.  I just could not figure out the best way to tell you, what it is that I need to tell you.  I imagined the words slipping out of my mouth and the reaction on your face.  I am hoping you will understand how I feel, that I can’t do this anymore.

It’s been six years now, since you and I have met.  They have been the best years of my life.  I was fine with what you wanted, every night, I let you have your way.  But now, it has to end.  I just can’t do it anymore.

I can’t have you sleep in my bed anymore. You have a room of your own and a beautiful bed that I bought you.  When I was little, I wanted a bed just like the one you have.  I wanted a room just like the one you have.  My daughter, my girl, my sunshine you can’t sleep with your mommy anymore.  It literally drives me up the wall.  I spend all night, fighting off your kicking feet in my back, in my stomach and sometimes in my head.  I cannot sleep well, you hog the bed and you push me to the edge.

Tonight, we start something new.  You MUST sleep in your own bed from now on.  I am sorry, that this must end, but last night was the worse of it yet.

Love your tired mommy

Photo Credit

co-sleeping

Come My Way

This is written for and to my potential publisher

I am sure you get many manuscripts that come across your desk everyday

But I have a brilliant idea, let me invite you to my humble abode for a day

I have been searching for something to say.  Something to grab your attention and sway your vision my way

I have a little book I wrote, filled with little things I had to say.  Things about love, relationships, kids and family.  Things about my struggles, my humour, my pain and life just getting in the way

I am what they call a single mother, the man I loved went away. He left me in charge of everything and I kinda like it this way

I can’t be mad at the path that I choose, it allowed me to put all my dreams to play

I want you to meet me outside of your office space, sit with me and my children and let me have my say

I don’t have a lot of money to invest in my dream.  I can barely pay all my bills, times are tough in this day

My kids need to know that some things can stay the same, things like shelter, food, clothes and all the little in between’s. Those things just need to stay the same

So come and meet me halfway, I have too much to say.  I have learned the hard way and I really want to share it all with you today

Just invest in this little dream,  put this single mother to the test. So come and sit with me and my kids, let’s pave the way for the rest

Times are tough and money is tight, but we can do this I just bet

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ALL IN THE FAMILY(S)

I am a single mother.  I have four children and two separate families.  My  family 1 consists of my my three older children(boy 1, boy 2 and boy 3), (me) and my ex partner(cheating ***hole).

My second family consists of boy 3(you met him in family 1), (me) and my (persistent princess).

In family 1, I am a carefree mother, who spent time with her children as they grew up.  I attended school functions and went on school trips.  I raced my three boys in the park and I never let them win because they needed to learn how to be tough and to know that life isn’t always fair. My house was always clean and dinner was always ready on time.

I had a somewhat normal relationship with (cheating ***hole, who was then referred to as  my best friend). I knew what my future held and I made plans with(cheating ***hole) about growing old with him and still being in love.  We took road trips and and life was exciting.  There was lots of laughter and love in this family.

In family 2, I am a working mother  with little time with my kids.  I am always late for school functions and I have not volunteered to go on a school trip in over six years.  I can’t stay home to raise my kids, it would be a bad financial decision.

I have no life partner and my future is up in the air.  I don’t have a concrete future plan and I don’t have a man around the house to paint, put blinds up or put gas in my car.   I am seeing a new man, but I am unsure what we mean to each other.  It is hard to define.  We like each other,but I am fearful that he will turn out to be like (cheating ***hole) who at the moment has taught me not to believe in relationships and in love.

SPOILER ALERT: THE MAN CAVED AND I DID NOT! Are you confused?  You can read about who caved right here or you can get caught up on this story, right here.

My four children, are having totally different experiences.   They certainly have complete opposite childhood stories to tell their own children.

My son who sits in both family 1 and family 2,  lives a double life.  He was able to experience what it was like growing up with both his parents in the home, having a relationship with all his siblings, watching his siblings move out and then watching his family smash apart, like an egg falling to the ground, and all you can do is mutter to yourself knowing, this *hit is going to be a hassle to clean up. He has watched his parents be at odds with each other and watched his father change into this person that is indescribable.

You would think that he has the best of both worlds, being able to experience and have strong relationships with his siblings and his parents.  The thing is, I think he is worse off than the other children who have grown up and are growing up in both families.  He has the memories of what a two parent family was like, the great memories, the laughter, the trips and the love.  Then he gets to see, both his parents struggle with their identities as they try to rebuild their lives  separately.

He is now the man of the house in family 2.  He keeps track of where I am going, who I am going with and gets a little bossy at times. Sometimes, I feel like I am answering my father and I am prone to lie so I don’t get in trouble with him.

“I am going to the library with my friend. I will be home by curfew.”  I don’t think he believes me all the time.  He will text me, if I don’t come home when I say I will come home .  When I get his text, I know that I better respond right away and remember where I told him I was going, in order to keep my story straight.  He even waits up for me.  I always fail at sneaking in, he always catches me and gives me this look before he goes to bed.

The most difficult part of dating as a single parent is deciding how much risk your own child’s heart is worth” – Dan Pearce

My (persistent princess) is a single child, being raised by a single mother and a distant and inconsistent father.  She gets to be dropped off to daycare providers five days a week, so I can work.  I have co-parented with private and public daycare centres her entire life.  There has been more people who have assisted me in raising, educating, loving and caring for her when compared to her older siblings.

My (persistent princess) doesn’t get all of me, all the time because financially I am not able to be a stay at home mother.  I am raising her on an income that is drastically different than the one I raised her older siblings on.  Times are tight and money is scarce.  Things are certainly different in terms of what she is able to have, when compared to what her siblings were able to have.  Things are more expensive and the list of what is available to purchase now is exhaustive.

Getting the (cheating ***hole) to financially support her and be there for her has tired me out.  I used to take it upon myself to arrange his access visits.  I no longer feel it is my responsibility to encourage a man who was fully capable of being a father in the past, to be one now.  It is is loss and he is sowing his own seeds of despair.

Boys 1 and 2 do not need me as much as they used to anymore.  Soon they will delight me with weddings, children and celebrations.  It feels really awkward thinking of how wonderful it will be to hold one of grandchildren or watch boy 1 and boy 2 fall in love.

Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and and do things differently for them.  Maybe I would offer them more independence like I do to persistent princess and boy 3 and maybe I wouldn’t spoil them so much as I did when they were kids.  I did the best I could with what I had and as they travel on their own paths, I hope they have learned from the mistakes of their earliest teachers (me) and (cheating ***hole).

I have experienced both the empty nest syndrome and the joys of watching milestones, sometimes on the same day.  There are days, when the memories of the old days come flooding back to me.  Three little boys running around the house, cars, trucks and bikes carelessly left in the backyard.  My (cheating ***hole), helping me to raise three boys and trying his best to make them into a better man than he was.

Then there are the days, when (persistent princess)’s voice travels through our little apartment and her laughter is so boastful and happy.  Then I see a picture that boy 3 has taken of himself and persistent princess and it warms my heart to see that somehow they are able to stay close and protect each other.  Then, I know I wouldn’t change anything because I love family 1 and family 2 with all I have.

You never know, maybe I will start family 3…

“I’ve remembered that most of life is about small, essential connections, so unobtrusive, so elastic, that you scarcely realize they’re actually holding you together. The big ones-the great, grand emotional bonds-those are the ones that break, the ones that fail you, the ones that give way and send you careening toward the foot of the bleak and jagged canyon. It’s the tough, gnarled, unadorned ties that really do bind, that never let you fall all the way down into darkness.”  – Sharon Shinn

 

Life Is Like A Blog…..

It’s 6am in the morning and I have been contemplating since last night what I should write for my first assignment for Blogging 101.  The first assignment was to tell my story about why I am blogging and to introduce myself to the Blogging 101 community.  I had already done that on two occasions.

I started blogging in September 2013 when my relationship ended.  I was very angry and I wanted the world to know how I felt.  I wanted my ex to come across my blog one day and see how much he had hurt me.  Maybe he would care. I introduced myself as a newly separated black woman with an ex who had done the unthinkable.  He was unfaithful.

I took some time off from writing and blogging as I made a very lame attempt of trying to get this man back in my life.  I really missed him.  I was stuck in the past with the wonderful memories we had.  I just wanted my old life back as quickly as I had lost it.

Then I woke up and asked myself why I was trying so hard to get someone to love me again.  It just didn’t seem fair to me.  So, after four months of almost losing my dignity, I came back to WordPress and reread my first initial blog entries.

I could not believe what I had read.  I was that bitter jilted ex lover, you hear about in books, in movies and on television.   I did not want to be this person.  I was not this person. I continued reading and the more I read, the more those old feelings came back to me.  Rejection, humiliation, devastation and pain.  I no longer wanted to feel like that.

I wasn’t sure if I should leave my old blogs out there for the world to see.  I spoke with a friend about what I had written in September 2013 and what he thought I should do with those blogs.    He told me, that those stories were part of this journey, part of my healing and part of of my growth.  He told me to leave them up, as they were, unedited and raw.  I agreed.

So I left my first stories that were thrown into blogsphere exactly where they had fallen.   As I began to recreate myself on WordPress(I no longer wanted to be identified as the jilted ex lover), my stories were funnier, had more depth and emotion(good ones).  I did not want to be connected to how I felt back in September 2013.  I am no longer that person.  It’s my ex’s fault he lost a good woman and he will have to live with that decision for the rest of his life.  I decided that I would not delete my initial blogs, I would make them private, just for me and for whomever, I chose to share my story with.

Maybe they will make it into my book that I want to publish.  Maybe they will forever stay private.  Who knows at this point.  Time will tell.  I am not done healing yet.  They say if you can tell your story without crying, then you know you are healed.  I don’t cry anymore.  However, I still feel that knot in my stomach when I think about him, about us and about the plans we had made.

So what began as a personal diary has now become a lifelong dream.  I want to be a published author.  I want t o inspire people. I want my “voice” to be heard.

So, keep reading I am not done yet.

 

The Girl With The Pink Umbrella

I bought my daughter a pink umbrella last week.  The weather has been treating us better these days.  The snow is melting and having her wear snow pants is a bit of a hassle.  So off we go to our favourite Big Box Store- Walmart-  to pick up slush pants, rain boots and a rain coat.

I know my daughter has this thing for umbrella’s.  I spot them first and I am trying my best to keep her eyes from darting in the direction of seeing a bin filled with colourful umbrella’s.  Ones which are perfectly sized for her six year old hands.  I tried my best but she sees the umbrella’s.  Or maybe they see her.  However, the meeting of my daughter’s eyes and the umbrella’s handle happened, it was the moment, my heart screamed out, “NO!”

You may be wondering why, a mother would be screaming over a bin of umbrella’s in a Walmart.   Well, last year we went through the umbrella stage.  It was horrible, she brought that thing everywhere we went.  When the thing finally broke, I was both elated and defeated.  First, she screamed and cried over it for weeks.  Second, she screamed and cried over it for weeks. I wanted that umbrella back, just so the crying would stop.  I never did find another umbrella made for a little girl.  Well, I never tried hard enough.

So my daughter runs over to this bin and rumbles through it.  I stand back, with tears streaking down my face.  I am exaggerating, but I was scared again to go through this umbrella stage.  I knew what I was up against.

I watch her as she picks this one, no the other one, no this one, then finally chooses the right one.  They were all the same, colour, size and shape.  She spins around to face me, this eager crazy look on her face.  I was scared. I try to fight back, but I am too weak.  She demands to have this umbrella.  It’s spring time now, she will need it.  I try to speak up, to use my mommy voice, but she is not having any of that.  We are getting this umbrella, I just know it.

Her little smile on her face, tells me that this will make her happy.  After all, my job as a mother is to sacrifice my own happiness for hers.  She gets the pink umbrella.

We bring the umbrella home with us.  We did not get the slush pants or rain coat.  She didn’t care after she found the pink umbrella.  I didn’t look for the raincoat or the slush pants, she didn’t need them.  After all, she has the umbrella to protect her from getting wet.

This pink umbrella comes everywhere with us, on our walks, in the car, to school and to the grocery store.  It’s been a part of the family for five days.  I remind her everyday, make sure you don’t hurt anyone with that umbrella.  Make sure you listen to the teacher if she tells you to put it away.  You don’t need the umbrella, it’s not raining right now.  Get in the car, you don’t need to open the umbrella right now.

It has only rained for one day.  But wherever we go, this umbrella follows us.  I think we need to name it soon.  I think the pink umbrella knows we are at odds.

No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.

When I watch my daughter carry this umbrella around, I can’t for the life of me understand what is it about this umbrella that makes her so happy.  I watch as she slowly gets out of the vehicle, opens up the pink umbrella so very carefully, raise the umbrella above her head and gently bring it down with such grace.  Then she smiles, the biggest smile ever and walks very slowly, enjoying every step, every moment as her pink umbrella protects her.  We still only had one day of rain, but she proudly exclaims, “in case it rains, or snows, or there is too much sun!”

I stand back watching this love story unfold with my daughter and her pink umbrella.  I feel a bit jealous.  Does she feel the same way about me as she feels about this umbrella, does she enjoy every step with me, every moment that we share.  Does my daughter smile so proudly when she thinks about the time we spend together.

What am I thinking? It’s an umbrella, a pink umbrella, for a six year old.   I need to ask my mother if something happened to me with an umbrella when I was a kid, because for my sanity I need to know. Which umbrella messed with my head.  It’s only a pink umbrella.  I think it is growing on me.

We have only had one day of rain so far.  The pink umbrella is here to stay and my daughter is happy.

Oh, we got rain boots too!umbrella

 

MEMORY LANE

My six-year-old daughter is the exact replicate of me.  It’s scary.  How can someone so little, have such a big, bossy and unique personality like her mother.  Someone told me once, that she is an old soul and had been on this earth in another life.  They also told me that she was a gift from the Universe, because she held the relationship I had with her father a little longer by her blessing our lives with love.  I believe it, now when I do have time to look back on where we were before we had her, it makes sense.  She needed us and our love needed her.

“For the first forty days a child is given dreams of previous lives. Journeys, winding paths, a hundred small lessons and then the past is erased.”  – Michael Ondaatje 

I love telling people the story of how I found out that I was going to be a mother again.  My daughter loves to hear this story too at certain points in our journey together.  There are two versions to the story, one for her little heart and ears and the one I tell those who want to know about how I became a mother.

I was doing dishes and her father had a family member come over for a visit.  I didn’t think anything of it, so I continued doing my chores while he visited outside.  Her dad then came inside and stood looking at me with this soft look in his eyes. His eyes were the roadmap to his soul.

He then told me there was this little girl born the day before who needed a good home and we were asked to take care.  I remember laughing at the thought of starting over with a baby.  My youngest at the time was ten years old.  It was a silly idea, we couldn’t do it.  No way!  I had waited for years to get my career started and here I was in the thick of it and a baby was going to ruin the plans I had made.

We continued this conversation way into the night, bouncing the thought of becoming parents to a little girl off the wall that we were staring at.   There was money, time, commitment, our relationship and our other children to think about.  There was no way we could do this.

It would be nice to have a little girl in the house, someone to team up with me against a house filled with boys.  It would be nice to dress her up in beautiful dresses, it would be nice to buy pink ribbons and put them in her hair.  It would be nice to have a little baby babbling in our home.  What was I thinking?  This idea was so far-fetched.  What roadblocks would we have to jump over to have her come home to us?

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That  night we both barely slept, talking into the night about whether we should jump in with both feet or run for the hills.  We tossed and turned until daylight and then got up to face the day, with three boys, a life, bills that were over due, and the constant thought that our relationship would never last the test and the trials that were to come with a baby. In the end, we painted a nursery, our friends collected clothes for us, we changed our lives and became parents to a little girl we always dreamed of.

My daughter knows that she did not grow in my tummy.  She knows she has a “tummy mommy.” I am not sure where I came up with the story I tell her about her “birth”,  but when your then four-year old asks you how she came to live with you,   being quick on your toes is necessary.

What she knows about her “birth” is that her other mommy was sick and needed to get better.  I told her that her other mommy came to our house with her and asked if her daddy and I would take care of her.

My daughter gets really excited and asks in her high-pitched voice, “what did you say, mommy?”  Then I tell her that “of course I will take care of her.  I will love her forever and I am happy to be her new mommy.”  My daughter then sits back with this huge smile on her face and her arms crossed, like she won the Playoffs.

When I look back on how I became her mother, our love story may have started at a kitchen sink, hands in dirty water and looking into her father’s eyes.  But to us, it’s the best love story to be told.  I found a little girl who is just like me in every way and my life would not exist without her.  She champions me everyday to be a better woman, mother, person and human being.

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DISPOSABLE RELATIONSHIPS

We live in a disposable society.  Everything can be replaced for the next big thing, something shinier, something newer and something better.  Now when something breaks we replace it.  It’s that simple. We break our cell phones, we just get a new one.  We get a new car, because we want to drive something newer and better. Our homes are not big enough, so we get something bigger.  Our jobs don’t pay enough, so we move on.

The grass is always greener on the other side.  People don’t believe in forever love anymore.  People don’t want to work at anything.  It seems our society has gotten lazy, if it takes effort then it isn’t worth it.  It seems to be the norm that relationships don’t last very long anymore.

When we see an older couple still together, we are in awe.  We want to know what is their secret of weathering the storm.  There are no secrets.  Things were different, if it broke you fixed it and you made due.  There was no money to hire and lawyer.  There was no starting over on your own.  They fought it out, stayed silent for a few days and fixed what broke.  It was that simple. People stuck together and they learned to fall back in love again.  They stayed committed.

People don’t want to work at anything that meant something important to them at one point in their lives.  Love, commitment and loyalty are words that anyone can say, but a few can do.  We are surrounded and bombarded by broken relationships and the easy task of walking away.

People and relationships should not be disposable.  Life is not easy, relationships are not simple and love is hard work.  But, we dispose of our relationships and the people in it too easily.  We maybe a disposable society today, but I guarantee you, we will become a society filled with people with regret.

Regretting the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we threw away and the things we could have fixed but didn’t.