It’s been right about a year since PJ ran out of my life. If you asked me a year ago what I’d be doing today I would never have said sitting at my desk writing a mothering story about among other things, putting my youngest on the bus with THE Husband for Kindergarten and finally not only starting to feel “normal and happy” again but also starting to enjoy being a mother, like at all. This is most definitely NOT a parenting blog. If anything it’s a blog about the beautifully flawed humans all parents ultimately are. A look into the mind and life of their mother for MiniMe and The Destroyer in about 15 years. I took a few days off from writing to enjoy a family vacation to Holiday World , spend some time cleaning and reclaiming my home from the evil sadistic monkeys I’m raising, and get my TWO kids ready for school. At this point school starts in the morning, but roughly 5 days ago I was still in a little bit of denial about my nostalgic feelings for putting baby K, The Destoyer on the bus in the morning.
4 days ago I was standing in Holiday World. I was content, relaxed, calm. I’d just taken a ride on the gigantic swing things that twirl you around way high up in the air. It feels like gently flying through the sky, at a terrifying height. I love this ride and rode it with my arms all the way out and my eyes often closed and my feet just dangling. And I thought one of my fave Incubus quotes..”And in this moment I am happy”. The day was perfect. It was sweaty hot in the sun but starting to cool off in the early evening, there was a breeze, the park was not crowded to the point of waiting no longer than twenty minutes to get on a ride, and that was the bumper cars. The Husband was going to get to ride on all 3 of the parks coasters, a first in 4 trips with the kids to the darn place. In the few hours we were there we road every dry ride we wanted in the park. Some of them multiple times. This is a pretty big milestone. We are NO LONGER parents saddled to strollers, diapers, sippy cups, and naps. There are no cups of applesauce or packets of gold fish in my purse. I can carry a handbag or nothing again. We DON’T have little kids anymore. I have one tall enough to ride anything she wants in the park, and one tall enough to ride any water slide as long as an adult is with him.
I have a not so secret confession. I don’t think until recently that I have liked or truly enjoyed being a mother. Don’t confuse this with me liking or loving my kids. Don’t confuse enjoyment of the job with skill at doing it. The Husband previously suggested I had not yet reconciled motherhood. That I was still pissed off about what becoming a mother took from me, did to me, to my pre-motherhood life of freedom of time and money. Of sleep filled nights and fewer absolute dependent living things to care for. My Dad died the week we had MiniMe’s ultrasound. He never lived to find out she was a she and to call her Jasper Anne, his pre-dained nickname for my child. My Mom died when I was 6 months old. So even though I had a step mom I called Mom and two younger half-brothers I considered brothers, this was an extraordinarily huge loss for me. BY all accounts I should of been able to lose my shit for a good few weeks. But I was 5+ months pregnant so I had no chance to lose my shit. I had a baby to grow. Once I had her and started living the terror that was her first year plus of fuck you I’m not planning on sleeping and I will be crying all the time, when I’m not eating from your one boob that will make me enough milk or pooping all over those expensive adorable Gymboree down to the matching socks AND shoes you keep insisting on buying me.
I digress for a moment to tell you the MiniMe had no less than 6 pairs of shoes her first year, including a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes I wish I’d kept. . I don’t think I bought The Destroyer even a single pair of shoes until he was walking..at least.
The thing no one tells you when you are pregnant is that having that baby unleashes all kinds of crazy you’ve either been ignoring or didn’t even know you had. Nothing like a woman with multiple Mommy issues becoming a mother herself. Hello, my name is Lola and I’m a recovering reluctant Mother. I bet I started recovering from this when I started to take ME back from what I had become way back in summer of 2009 when the first stirrings of WTH life began. Also when suddenly thrust into the reality, over Mother’s Day Weekend, that I was likely about to be a single parent, I sort of had no choice but to recover from reluctant motherhood. I could go on and on whining about being a part time single parent for a few months. But that would seem utterly disrespectful to the ladies and gents out there that are truly raising kids on their own. I became very humbled by a lot of things on my almost divorce journey and single parenting was one of them.
I had to be more fierce than ever. These weren’t going to be our children anymore. These were going to be MY children half the time and HIS children half the time. I already knew that getting over being pissed off at whatever my life was vs. whatever I thought it was going to be was the ultimate goal of all the working on myself I was doing. Well that and become a more centered person living a little less dichotomous life. And find a mate of a suitable emotional, intellectual, social and professional stature. Which by the way, yes, I did truly believe at one point that PJ was or was headed towards all of these things. I know I’m a sucker for brown eyes and a nice smile, but even when I was encroaching the lightest grey of bat shit insane from all the stress and grief and overwhelming frustration of going through an almost divorce, learning to be a single parent, losing three soul mate friends, addicted to r/gonewild chat rooms or to PJ, I was still ME. And as my strength and clarity and resolve returned, as I shed off layer after layer of bullshit and dealt with fucked up issue numbers 4-57. As I pulled myself up out of the pit with only God by my side because that is how a journey this transforming is made, I became a better mother. A much more involved Mother physically because I had no choice but I also started an emotional journey to liking motherhood, embracing it. Plus because they are getting older I can now see a light at the end of the tunnel. So that helps tremendously. Now I’m smart enough to know that I’m just trading one set of parental issues and drama for another. But the point is that after almost 9 years, I think I can finally find a way to adjust my attitude enough to actually enjoy being a mother. To recognize that each moment I’m given with them is a gift to be enjoyed. To seek ways to adjust myself so that I enjoy them more.
It occurred to me in Holiday World during a stream of consciousness flow on that swing ride starting at “Gee I’m so happy and peaceful and calm and serene right now”. And ending at “Did you ever think you’d actually be this happy again? Who’d of thought you’d be with The Husband putting the last kid on the bus to start school. Wait a minute, you never really pictured PJ there with you for that event…did you. Did you??? Did I? I had to process that a little bit. I hadn’t pictured what a life with PJ and the kids both headed to school looked like for this year. I had often imagined my life with PJ for last fall, when he was supposedly headed back to his 2nd year of Art Grad school about 45 minutes up the road. And had already been back in that town for over a week when he nuked it all. Nothing like waiting until you move from 3 hours away at home in the region to 45 away just up the road to show me what a sick mother fucker he really is. More emotionally devastating if she thinks she lives off an exit on the same highway you do. It involved a dichotomous life where he hadn’t met my kids in person yet. I had no plans for co-mingling those two sets of people for months once we were actually together, outside of the just have to have you now sneaking in booty call visits after the kids were in bed. It was a fantasy afterall. I don’t KNOW IF PJ would of been standing there on that bus stop putting The Destroyer on the bus too in an awkward blended family moment. It’s most likely not, just like now, that would of been PJ’s doing, not mine. We had planned for him to be away at Grad School #2 this fall, and me traveling as much as I could. Oh the fabulous pipe dreams of our future he used to spin me.
Today in this moment I am filled with peace, happiness, contentment. I know that tomorrow morning when The Destroyer gets on that bus I will be standing next to The Husband. I’m pleased with my choices up to this point, even the bad ones. I’m actually bordering on pretty certain that I am where I am supposed to be in THIS mothering moment, because of the choices I made in getting here.