January 9, 2003


Nope, not completely off the face of the planet, but more into the bowels of indentured motherhood.  Nah, I still have my teeth, but man, the past couple of weeks, I've sure been on the edge of them!  I'm still in a really good place, despite the best attempts of circumstances to shake me from that platform of working from the Amazing Grace perspective, but it's been tough to maintain at times.

That is not a thumbnail to your left.  It's a very small picture.  If I make it any bigger, it will be close enough to you that you might hear it. 

This is actually an old picture because LORD KNOWS I don't have time to actually TAKE any, but since his expression hasn't changed in the year or so since I took it, I figured it'd work.  This is three years of wild and crazy, keening, wailing, screaming, fit throwing, wall pinging, fuzz-ball emulating boy. 

My son, Nathan, has always been a go getter, which is putting it mildly.  Anyway, his exploits are well documented through my journal.  He explores art through make-up, crayon murals, shampoo, dish soap and not to mention things like sand, salt, sugar and just about anything that can be dumped.  He's very much into "cause and effect" (and I have some effects he tends to cause as well). 

The latest and most nerve-wracking thing to date is that he SCREAMS his EVERY WORD in this wacky little three year old voice.  My last two children, as well as David (#2) when he was small, are developmentally delayed in speech.  Their comprehension is good, but their ability to clearly articulate their words is behind their age standards.  Like David (who I still believe could talk and just wouldn't), Dylan picked right up when he went to school and I'm sure Nathan will as well, but for the time being, he's SCREAMING at me in this foreign language of which I have a rudimentary working knowledge at normal tones, but I get a little fragmented on at top volume. 

He also does this thing were if I don't move right when he wants something, he freaks out and starts doing this angry little jig and flinging himself down on the floor and ranting.  Of course, I can't reward that kind of behavior by doing what he wants, so I have to ignore it until he calms down.  What a pain in the ass.  I'm living on a Motrin and Tylenol stack (one kicks it one day, the other the next) and eating anything I can butter or spread frosting onto.  I remember something about some guy named "Atkins," but I think it's something I dreamed a long time ago.   It is absolutely insane.  By the time Eric gets home, we're both exhausted and I am fighting down the headache and ready to pull up trees and beat them into toothpicks with my bare hands.  Nathan is about to pass out from fatigue (he just let go of his naps a few months ago, so he is wiped out tired by 4-5pm, so Eric is saying, I'm really not seeing the problem here. He's not like this with me."  Pfft!!  That's because he's worn out from using it on me!! 

Of course, I know this is just a phase and just about all of my kiddies went through this around this age, but it wasn't any easier then and it's maddening now as well.  Forget about journaling, personal time, or productivity on any level.  Anything I write is done with a child crawling on my back or wailing at the gate.  Tiiiiime for a vacation, sans kiddies!!  Moving along...

Remember that we had to let our car go back to the finance company when Eric was out of work?  It was with mixed emotions (and a shred of fear) that we let it go under advisement to do anything to keep it.  We tried.  We were three payments behind, which was more than we could afford to make up and still have food and heat.  We practically begged the finance company to work with us, lower the interest rate, refinance, let us make lower payments for a while, ANYTHING.  Absolutely nothing would do them but we pay the full amount of arrears, plus make our regular monthly payment.  We knew we could eek out our regularly monthly payment, it was the arrears that killed us and they were relentless.  In the end, we had to let it go because we couldn't come up with the entire back payment.  We heard this week that they auctioned off the car as expected and that it only knocked $6000 off of the principle, plus they added "additional fees" to the total, so we owe them $15,550 and change for air.  The car is not even two years old yet.  It's so amazing that all I can do is think of it in the most abstract terms.  I figured we'd owe a few grand on it, but dayum!  Oh well.  To top it off, the letter contained a provision for working out arrangements with them, provided we contact them within 5 days of the date of the letter, which was Dec 27.  The postmark was Jan 3, so they didn't even mail it out within 5 days (it came from an instate office).  I'm sure they would honor the postmark, but it's the whole sense of urgency that they put into the letter, followed by lethargy on their part.

Here's what I don't get.  It's my understanding that finance companies don't want the cars back and would rather negotiate.  It would seem that they would prefer to work out arrangements with us keeping the car (which they were unwilling to do) than to go to the trouble of repossessing the car, putting it up for auction, then going after us for the same amount that we couldn't afford to keep the car in the first place!  It just all makes no sense at all.  So now I guess we're going to wait for the law suit to come, then go to court, put it on the line and see what happens.  I swear, if it's not one thing...

The second lily is in full bloom and the miracle it brought was just lovely.  I mentioned in my crow eating column that I'd recently healed an old wound that I didn't even know was affecting me any more.   (Additionally, that is on the same page with the Accursed Venus of Willendorf Earth Mother Pregnant Making Pendant column and I want you to know I was TWO WEEKS LATE after touching that damned thing)  The things I learned from that were taking good hold and it all flooded on me again when the phone rang yesterday and it was my ex-husband who left me for another woman almost 7 years ago.  It was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me and I had been carefully considering it in the context of the lessons I had just learned.  Here he was on the phone, looking for Josh.  We never, ever speak except in the most brief terms "Is Josh there?" and "Just a minute."  This time, I broke form. Carpe Diem and all that!!   I had always imagined that when it came down to me and him, to the stand off, that it would be about me saying or doing the right thing to get him to help me understand why he did the things he did and hurt us the way he did.  I needed so much to know how you could betray a person who trusted you so much and loved you so deeply and faithfully.  I always thought he would say the thing that would make it click or show some sign of "getting it" as if he really heard and knew the pain and damage he'd caused.

When he was on the phone, it was totally different.  Because of the experiences I'd had, I was able to tell him I wanted to speak to him (he was very uncomfortable) and that I understood.  I told him that I didn't know if I could ever forgive him for hitting our kids (he interjected to say that it was OK because he couldn't forgive himself, so he could not expect me to forgive him), but that as far as he and I went, that I knew that he truly loved me and never wanted to hurt me.  He was in an impossible situation, trying to extricate himself taking as few casualties as possible in the process.  With all my heart, I forgave him for everything between us and I felt this huge whoooosh of energy leave me and I felt like I'd had some kind of spiritual enema or something.  I also thanked him for the memories  that he gave to me in almost 20 years of Air Force traveling and experiencing and living and loving...twenty years of life.  We were two damaged folks, coming from weird childhoods, trying to find our way in life and banging into one another too often and too hard.   One more time, it's about that incredible thing that Maya Angelou said, "You did what you knew to do and when you knew better, you did better."  There are so many places now where I "know better" and most of the time, I do better.  I'm very close to a totally different person than the one he knew.  When I think of things that happened back then,  it's like I'm talking about someone I read about or used to know.  It is all so much a part of what brought me to a really good place (though sometimes, a scary place) that I am finally ready to embrace it all and own it as part of the crazy composite that is my life.  I sure wasn't here 3-4 months ago, so it's definitely a process.  When they say that a load is off your shoulders, I really know what it feels like now.  It feels like a load is also off of my heart and my soul. 

The thing about Paul, my ex, is this.  I spent all this time, almost 7 years, making our conflict and anger about him.  It was about what he did and how he did or didn't feel and how he conducted himself, bad situation or not, his lack of understanding, his lack of sympathy and so on.  I put it all on his shoulders to find a way to make me understand and I put it on him to "get it" about how much it hurt us for him to betray and leave us.  What I didn't even realize until I was speaking to him yesterday was that it was never really about him.  It was always about me.  It wasn't up to him to make me understand, it was up to me to get to a place where I could understand without his help.  He wasn't the one who had to "get it," I was.  It was just so much easier to blame him and live in the wretchedness of what he'd done (even if on a deeply subconscious level) than to do the work of forgiving and taking myself to a place where I could understand.  Anyway, bottom line is that it was not as much work as I expected, it came through the most unexpected of sources and it feels really good to let that go.

I regret that he and I are not at a place to be friendly with one another, but I do understand that by whatever design, life didn't work out that way.  He is the keeper of my memories and the only other person who experienced the first 20 years of my adult life with me.  It would be great if we could touch base sometimes, help one another remember and reminisce, but it didn't happen that way.  I'm at peace with that because more and more, I'm seeing so much evidence that things are where they should be.  Everything is in its proper place and everything is right on time.

So I have the two full bloom lilies and it looks as though there are 2-3 more coming up to bloom.  I'm eager for what they bring with them and I'm excited for the miracle of having lilies (from a previous lily graveyard) in January anyway!!  Life is good, even if I do owe some faceless corporation more than my mother paid for her first house. 

OH and if THAT isn't enough good stuff to balance out the challenges, I FORGOT to tell you that a dear friend of mine sent me a LOVELY little pig statue for Christmas that is carrying some yummy pizza and wearing a chef hat!!  It is sooo me!!!  :)

Love to all!




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