I started this post off as a comment in a response to Rescue Me: Over-Protective, Helicopter Parents
I realized my response became rambling and self absorbed, so it’s here.
As a parent of younger children, only one of who has reached double digits, there is a twisted hypocrisy out there. Your children must behave perfectly, but by God don’t you dare discipline them in an unapproved manner. Don’t hover, but look at that mom over there not paying enough attention to her children, we should sit here and congratulate ourselves on our superior parenting ability, oh little Johnny don’t climb so high on the approved playground equipment.
I don’t know what the balance is or if there is even a balance to attain.
I’m a single parent and my kids’ father has the children on his off days, the split is as close to 50 50 that his schedule will allow. This works out well for them and I know this is the result of decisions I made toward finding my own happiness and we are cooperative co-parents. Yet, there is a little part of me that resents the fact that the custodial rotation means my days start at 5am and don’t end until late in the evening and involve a juggle of child shlepping and work and by the time my non-working custodial days roll around I’m an exhausted mess.
It is what it is.
I was a latchkey child given too much responsibility too young. This cannot be undone and simply was the way of the time. My youngest sister is now dead and I cannot begin to explain the guilt over this. It is a Pandora’s box of pain and what ifs. If I had been a better role model, if I had paid more attention, if I hadn’t kicked her out when I had guardianship. . . shoving those back in or letting them go is unimaginably hard. Will I make the same mistakes with my own children, is this a cycle that I’ll see repeated?
Circumstances are what they are and we make the best of them. At my children’s recent parent teacher conferences I learned how proud they are of me. They see the work I do and I guess, maybe, I’m not screwing everything up. Maybe. Although it always feels like I am and that I have no idea what I’m doing. Despite everything this family has been through, we are still moving forward and they give all appearances of being healthy and well adjusted. Obnoxious, but well adjusted. I’m okay with obnoxious.
Time will bear this out.
Today, well, now it’s yesterday, I spent time with my mother and stepfather picking out Laura’s gravestone. We had her cremated in Tacoma and we had her funeral, here, back in August.
It’s time for us to lay her to rest, to let her go, and try, as hard as it is, to get back to living.
There are now more good days than bad, but I never know what will set me off. Picking out the gravestone makes sense, watching Walking Dead does not. Although I have to ask whose bright idea was it to put all that medical trauma into my favorite show? No, I don’t expect the world to stop for my grief.
I wish we still wore black armbands or had some outward symbol of pain, because there are days when the cheerful, “Hey Heather, how are you?” from someone ends up with an acquaintance getting broadsided with an accidental blurt of truth, “I’m not okay,” it’s not fair to them. They simply didn’t know that how are things is exactly the wrong question right now.
Sometimes I try to just shrug and let the question go.
Sometimes I can’t.
Yesterday I couldn’t manage to find the light, so I fell in the dark.
I’m hoping today is better; I’m standing, there’s that.
As of today I’ve been working for FeedBlitz for a full year. A year ago I had fallen asleep at the wheel, exhausted. Today I’m tired, but it’s different.
I have hope again.
I have built a new life for myself I just want some time to enjoy it. I want life to chill out for a bit and quit bringing me to my knees. And I swear, if someone tells me that I need to spend more time on my knees to get through this, I’ll call them out for being an insensitive git. I will, with the ones I love, who care, one day, one step, one foot in front of the other.
Non-sequitor: The word count is 776, not quite perfect, which is fitting.