Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Perfect Storm/Changes

Well, I'm almost through my first week as a working mother. It hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. Little Man starts twitching at 5 am anyways, so what am I losing by getting up at 6? He's transitioning back into daycare, even though yesterday he went on a hunger strike because he was upset at being left there. I can't believe that almost 14 months have passed so quickly with him in my life. I wish I had relished his infancy more than I did, but I was filled with doubts and worries as to how we were going to make ends meet. Legitimately so, but I should have done more praying than worrying. Still, I learned a lot of lessons. More on that later.

My son does not hesitate to frighten me. When he's in the other room and he coughs, I go running, because he has a tendency to find things and put them in his mouth that I was sure he would not be able to get into. And he LOVES to eat things that just are not palatable. Like shoes. We now cal him "Bam Bam" (Flintstones), because he's so destructive. He has completely de-baby-proofed this house. What was the point? It took me two weeks to put on those door latches, and now he just snaps them open. And if he eats another one of my earplugs, I don't know what I'm gonna do... Needless to say, this picture shows him doing my favorite thing. :-)

School is going alright, though my perfect grade was ruined by an unknown change in the syllabus. I'm hoping that my grade will be restored by the weekend. I had expected that any changes in the syllabus would have been followed by an email or post in the classroom, but I was wrong. So my place at the head of the class was taken by another. Grrr...still, I think the teacher might be willing to work with me. Steve keeps laughing and calling me a nerd. It'll be him next, I think he's going to start school in March.

Valentine's Day came and went, Steve upgraded my ring. Prior to Steve, the only precious gem I had on my finger was a birthstone that I bought once. It's kind of nice to wear something other than CZ, even if it's not a big one. Not that I'd want a big ring. I tend to leave them in the shower, and I don't want to end up losing the equivalent of a house payment. I'd lose my mind.

My boss is a pretty nice guy. If I'm not careful, I'm going to get even fatter than I am now because I work for the owner of a restaurant! I'm his personal assistant. Not a bad job at all. When I work holidays, he treats me to free lunch, and man is the food good. When Steve and I finally go to the JotP, we may go there to eat. They have a lovely upstairs dining room, and I'm sure he'd let me reserve it and decorate for the occasion. Nothing too large, I cannot see the logic in feeding and entertaining people who cannot even keep in contact with me (i.e. relatives). Yeah, onto that.

A wise man once said that there are three different types of storms in life: storms of direction, storms of correction, and storms of perfection. I spent the past year trying to find out what type of storm we were in, but I've come to realize that we were in our own little Perfect Storm, a combination of all three. A storm that came through and wiped our lives bare of all the things we took for granted. A storm that revealed to me who my true allies are in life. A storm that pushed us through a dark valley into a better place where we have more knowledge; about each other, about our faith, and about our desires for our future as a family. Nevertheless, storms suck. You end up wet, cold, or in the worse case scenario, homeless. We came too close.

The wise man is my pastor. Amusingly enough, there are some who would say that he's not my pastor because I'm not in church every Sunday. Well, it's 20 miles away, and if we don't have the gas or it snows, I'm staying in VA. That's what he has online video feeds to his services for. Still, it's funny how many people in the world can come to a conclusion as to the content of your character based on where you are on any given day. Nobody asks "why" anymore, we live in a fast-paced world with all the answers, and apparently there are folks out there with "answers" about me. Go figure. People have labeled me as lazy for not working, others have labeled me lost because I'm not attending the church THEY go to. Others have labeled me crazy because I was honest about my struggle with mental illness.

And still others have just written me off altogether, because I'm not able to go party with them. And there are those "Christians" who won't touch me with a ten-foot pole because Steve and I aren't married. Ah, if they knew the truth of this distasteful situation (WHY we're not married), they'd be even more shocked. Still, I have the right to ask my future husband get his house in order before I take his name. And I feel it to be wrong to bring unnecessary confusion and pain to my son by separating from his father. We are the only people he feels completely comfortable with. He may not be able to talk, but I know it would bother him if his father were not there. I went on vacation without Steve once, and had to go home early, because Little Man is used to sleeping between us. He kept reaching out for his father in the night. Imagine a more permanent situation. He will walk through the house looking for us and calling for us if we're not there. I'm not going to cause him pain for the sake of anyone's scruples. I anxiously await the day when I can legally call myself Steve's wife. Believe me, I don't like this situation any more than anyone else. Hopefully by spring it'll be rectified.

It makes me wonder about my own judgment though, how in blazes I surrounded myself with such people. Well they aren't here anymore and the crickets are chirping a little too loudly for me, but it is what it is. I'm trying not to be bitter and go back to my antisocial ways. I've spent most of my life without friends. I guess my early 20s were a time when I learned to be more sociable. Turning inward would go completely against any sort of preparation for ministry. Instead, I'm choosing to use this time of solitude as a lesson. I fight the loneliness every day. I have to remind myself that most people are alone inside their own heads. I reach out to those who I know are like me, and ironically most of these folks are online pen pals, people I've never met, but people who seem to take more of an interest in my life than people right down the street. I've stopped sending emails to a "friend" who lives less than a mile away. I get the point. I just wish it hadn't come to that. If my company was so distasteful, wouldn't the right thing to do have been to tell me?

Ever since I was a little kid, and I learned that lying to inflate myself only made me look rediculous, I've been adamant about telling the truth. I'm far too serious for most, including poor Steve. I believe in the value of one's words, so I don't joke. That often creates a disconnect between me and my significant other, because he likes to tease. But I feel that if my word is to have any worth, I can't be light with it. So if it were me, and I felt that someone's company wasn't in my best interest, I'd tell them so. Gently, but honestly. I wish that had been done to me. This isolation hurts, and it's not easy for me to admit that.

My therapist has challenged me to get out and be sociable again. I'm not quite ready yet. I've come to the conclusion that for now, it's best to be quiet and stay at home. As I rebuild my life, perhaps I'll come in contact with people I share interests with (LOL, that'll be the day...another 28-year-old with a passion for Tudor England). It's going to take a few years for me and Steve to get to where we want to be in our lives. The light is growing brighter at the end of the tunnel.

I just have to keep walking.

Monday, February 1, 2010

2 Years

I cannot believe it. The 13th will mark two years that Steve and I have been together. It's been a rough road, but I can honestly say that I would not have wanted to go through what we've been through with anyone else. I do treasure my sweetheart.

Little Steve is growing in both stature and attitude. We push things farther and farther back on the dining room table, as well as the little coffee tables, but he still manages to reach what he wants. He's still eating paper. It's so cute to see, when you move something away from him, the look on his face says, "but I want it, I WANT IT!" If he throws one more bottle at me, I'm gonna suplex him. I swear.

Because of the temperature problems in this apartment, Little Man is still sleeping with us. A few nights back, I had put him down to sleep in his crib and gone to wash some conditioner out of my hair. I come out of the bathroom about 10 minutes later, and Steve is in the bedroom. Little Man is in the middle of the bed fast asleep. I ask Steve, "did you put him there?" He tells me, "no, he was there when I got there!" Little Man let us know where he planned to sleep.

He kicks like the dickens, so I would love for him to sleep in his own bed. But it gets so cold at night, so I feel guilty about leaving him in that crib, when the warmest place is in between us. But we wake up at least 4-5 times per night with a foot in our mouths. By morning, Mommy is not a happy camper. But whatever makes the gremlin feel secure. We're setting up his room this spring, if finances allow. I want to put bunk beds in there, so he can sleep on the bottom bunk wiht a bedrail, and the girls will both have a bed when they come up to visit. Mickey Mouse theme! Wal-mart has an entire line of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse bedding and accessories. And Ikea has the right furniture.

School is going well, so far I've made perfect scores on all my assignments. That sure does feel good. I still remember thinking that I was so stupid when I was growing up. Side note: my son is very determined. He likes to pull paper out of the printer to eat. When I put it out of his reach, he stood up on one of his toys to get to it! Oh my gosh!

Life is kind of quiet in this house, but I wish it were quieter. I still find myself worrying about money all the time. I may just give up and go back to work ASAP. Right now it doesn't really matter if I hate my job, at least we won't struggle. We're alright at the moment between my tiny tax refund and school refunds, but I was hoping for a slightly larger nest egg to get us through the year. It's not to spend, it's just to look at. Oh well.

I'm planning big things for Valentine's Day/Our Anniversary. Pictures to come!