Spring Break

It has begun. Caleb and Em have two weeks off and I have to work four out of the first five days. Fortunately it is only for a few hours each of those days. I promised Caleb that the second week would be our “fun” week. When I asked what he would like to do, he thought for a few and then announced his desire to go to Mega Zone. My immediate response was “no way”, but then I started thinking why not? 

Mega Zone is an indoor skate park up in Riverside. That was why my initial response was no, but honestly, it isn’t that far a drive and it would make for a fun day for him. I just have to figure out what to do with Em that day. I am not thrilled at the thought of leaving him at the skate park while I take Em shopping nor am I thrilled at the idea of trying to entertain her for the day in a lobby of the skate park. If Liz stays home for her spring break, I might just leave them here and take a day for just Caleb. She is still undecided if she is headed down to see family, so until I know, it is just a possibility. 

He has been begging me to take him to Hollywood. He has this idea of what he thinks it should look like. I hate to disappoint him, but it doesn’t look like he thinks, but it is something the three of us could do. I might pitch that idea to him. A day in LA isn’t the worst way to have fun and it is an easy down and back trip. If we left early enough, I might be able to time it so that I miss the worst of the morning traffic. 

I would say we could simply head to the beach, but it is Spring Break and all the tourists are going to be swarming. I’m not ruling it out, but I want something different so that they have an enjoyable vacation. I’m sure the beach will be one of our go to spots, but the more I think about it,. the more I like the idea of LA. 

They gym and I are getting reacquainted. Thus far, we are not friends, but we aren’t cursing one another out any longer. I am working on losing my Casper coloring and making good use of the tanning bed. Yes, I know it is terrible, but I like my tan and summer is coming. No one wants to see me in a bikini with this pasty white skin. Actually, no one wants to see me in a bikini right now tan or not, but by summer, I am going to be looking far healthier. 

Life is fairly boring around here, if you couldn’t tell by this post, but sometimes boring is good. 

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Siblings

For some reason this started running through my head last night. Most likely because I had to go to work this morning and knew I needed sleep. 

Most of you know I have a brother and a sister. Well, if we are getting technical, I have a half sister and a half brother. I never really felt the need to make that clarification until recent years. Growing up, my sister and I were unaware we did not share a father. It was not until we were older, I’m thinking I was ten, maybe eleven, which would put Kim around thirteen or fourteen. 

Quick side note…if you happen to have a relationship in which one of your children is not biologically related to your partner and you plan to inform of that some day…DO IT NOW, not when they have lived their entire lives as a lie.Trust me, they would rather know sooner rather than later. A simple “Daddy is your daddy, but another man is your biological father. You have nothing to worry about, Daddy loves you and that will never change.” goes over far better than in the midst of an argument yelling out to your teen daughter “He isn’t even your real dad, you don’t have to listen to him.” Just trust me…sigh

It was that day that my whole world changed. Kim and I had always had moments of sibling bonding, but most of the time we fought. That fighting increased ten fold. She would purposely break things (a first place trophy I won for twirling), trash my room, etc. I digress…this is not about Kim and myself.

I watch my children interacting with one another. The obvious love they all bestow on Emily. The way that Jake and Liz spend hours in her room when he comes home for a weekend, and laugh at the craziest stuff. How they are always in touch via the phones and snap chat. I watch how protective Caleb is over Emily. 

It brings to mind a memory from years ago. I was at a McDonald’s play place. Garrett was helping Whitney up the ledges. When he helped her get to the top, he carefully brought her over to the edge and said “look, you made it…aren’t we high up?” My first thought was “Had that been myself and Kim, she would have earlier cut a whole in the mesh and pushed me right over that edge. 

Not my kids. They genuinely love one another. Oh, they fight and they disagree, but when push comes to shove, they are ALWAYS there for one another. I know without a doubt that if Whitney locks her keys in the rental car, that Brittany and Garrett will get them back to the hotel, and Garrett will go back with me and wait an hour for the locksmith to show up. He wouldn’t even bat an eye, nor would Britt.

I sometimes wonder what it must be like to grow up with someone that even though you fuss and argue, will always have your back. I never in my life had that relationship with a sibling.  To this day, in the middle of a terrible ice storm, I am still left in the middle of a town waiting for a car service instead of being welcomed into my sister’s home.

I couldn’t even imagine any of our kids refusing to allow another into their home. They might pretend they aren’t there, but they wouldn’t purposely say no. I also have never heard any of them refer to their siblings as “step” or “half”. They are siblings, period.

I have no idea where this was going, but here you go. 

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Park encounter

Yesterday in an effort to simply get out and do *something*, Caleb went to the skate park and Emily and I hit up the park next to it. My plan was to run the path until Caleb was done. What actually happened is I got part of my run in and then Emily noticed the playground. It was over from that point. I made my way over to the play structure and she happily played for about an hour before some other children showed up.

I noticed that the oldest boy had Ds. I smiled to myself thinking how nice it is to see others with a little something extra. He was pretty much happy in his own space and didn’t really seem interested in playing with the other kids in his group. Emily is much the same way in new situations. She is super friendly, but she is more an observer than a participant until she feels comfortable. She will laugh at your antics, but it could take her as long as half an hour before she feels it is safe for her to join.

This is different than when she is at school. There she is surrounded by her friends and jumps right in without a moment’s hesitation. In this situation, it didn’t bother me that she was standing back and watching everyone. It is how she acclimates to the new situation. 

The mother of the other child, in an effort to get the kids to include Emily, made the following comment

“Hey kids, come play with this little girl. She is just like ‘L’.”

Well, the kids instantly started looking at her differently and made it a point to steer clear of her. Why did she feel it necessary to label her? She had asked me her name and her age. Would it have been so difficult to say “Hey, this is Emily. She is seven. Maybe she would like to play with you.” I had not made the introductions because I knew Emily’s desire. Observe first, then play.

Thankfully, Emily didn’t seem to mind and shortly after Caleb came to play. He, of course, jumped right in playing with her, sliding down the slide, chasing her, etc. 

See, even those of us on this journey sometimes say the wrong things. Her name is Emily. She is not “just like” anyone. She is Emily and she is amazing.

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Losing you

It has been seventeen years since I lost you. It hit me the other day that we have passed the halfway mark for how long I had you in my life and how long you have been gone. People that say “it gets easier in time” lie. Yes, I don’t spend every moment of every day distraught, but I do spend every day missing you. So much you have missed these past seventeen years. Where do I even begin?

Garrett is married with a child of his own. Whitney has two children and is pregnant with her third. She has met the love of her life and they recently moved into their first home together. Alyssa, the one you only knew as the child I was carrying has turned into a beautiful young woman. She will be seventeen in September. I hate that you never met her. I’m pretty sure you would have fallen madly in love. You are a great grandfather, can you believe it?

Caleb is nine now. He proudly carries your name. He often asks me to tell him about his namesake. He knows his grandpa loved to build beautiful furniture. He knows that I proclaim his grandpa the most amazing father ever. He knows that talking of you makes me smile. He knows you gave me a new doll every Christmas from the time I was five until the year you passed. You would love him so much. He is smart and loves being outside. I’m sure you two would have spent many happy hours in the workshop.

Miss Emily is seven. I can’t believe my baby is seven. Oh Dad, you would not know what to do with this little bundle of sass. I am sure she would have you so firmly wrapped around your little finger, she would have put me to shame. She loves so much playing with what are now her dolls. Last year, I started the tradition with her and purchased her first Madame Alexander. Oddly enough, she likes the old ones much better. I think she feels the love in them.

She started Kindergarten this year. She is blowing everyone away with how well she is doing. You would call her a little pistol. She is determined to prove to the world that Down syndrome does not define her. She is also my only lefty. I love nothing more than watching her draw or write with that sweet little left hand…just like her grandpa.

Nana passed away a few months ago. I’m sure she headed straight to find Pa,but if you have crossed paths, please give them both my love.

I learned that Aunt Martha died this past summer. I can’t even imagine how Uncle Joe is managing without the love of his life. It does bring me comfort knowing that Grandma has her favorite son and favorite daughter with her now. I’m sure you were saddened to see her on many levels, but happy on others.

I guess that leaves me. I am doing okay. I am still working on my relationship with Mom. Some days are good and some days have me reaching for the tequila. You know how it goes. I’m my father’s daughter and Kim is perfection.

Speaking of Kim. This might pain you to know, but we still do not speak. I don’t think I can ever forgive her disrespect of you. You deserved so much more. You took on the role of father when her biological dad couldn’t be bothered and she didn’t even have the decency to show up at your funeral. Yes, I know I need to let that go for my own sake, but you deserved better.

As I started to say earlier; I’m okay. I miss you more than you could ever know. You were the single most amazing father any girl could have dreamed of and I am forever grateful you were mine.

Seventeen years, Dad. You will forever live on in my heart and in my children. I hope that I make you proud. If there is one thing I never want is you disappointed in me. I just wish you could see all the children. You would have been an equally amazing grandfather and they would have loved you.

*disclaimer* This blog was written, saved, and scheduled to post at a certain time. When I came back to edit, the blog was gone. That has never happened to me before and I hope it does not happen again. My dad deserves my best words and sadly, these were not it. I’m sorry Dad. I love you!*

Kid (I still hate that name btw)

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Protected: That moment

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That moment…

You realize it isn’t “just” the depression. That moment you realize it is the first of March and this year is going to be a tough one.

Seventeen years have past and some years it barely phases me and some years it hits me like a ton of bricks. Year seventeen, bring on the bricks.

Saturday the fifteenth will be the anniversary of my dad’s passing. I would love to say that in time I have better learned to handle it, but that would be a lie. I realized I was lashing out the past few days. Nothing was pleasing me. I then looked at the calendar. I’m not allowing myself an excuse for being down or short with people. I have no excuse for ugly behavior, but I can at least pinpoint the cause.

My dad ruined me for all men. I always expect perfection and absolute adoration. I’m pretty sure he did that on purpose. “If I make her think she is the princess on the pedestal, no man will EVER be able to live up to that and she will forever be a daddy’s girl.” Checkmate Dad, you did it.

You could have given me a clue that not all men were evil just because they called me on my shit. It would have made my life so much easier in your absence. If you had simply lived forever, this would have been less stressful. Your death left this huge void in my life that I am still trying to fill.

So, for those that know me and love me; please forgive me if I seem absent or distant this next week. Year seventeen is proving to be difficult.

And for those that hate me or wrote me off years ago…fuck you, I don’t like you either. (Thanks Dad, I still have your strength.)

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Ho hum

Not much to discuss right now. Life is well, life. I have hit a few stumbling blocks, but I am trying to get through them with the help of medication, running, etc. So far, I’m holding my own.

If this blog is not password protected, I will not be mentioning the things that have given me pause. Suffice it to say, situation remains the same and I am no more sure of what to do than I was yesterday. For the assholes reading this while pretending neither I or my children exist…fuck you and the horse you rode in on. 

Sorry, but when my lowly little blog becomes more popular than People Magazine, people really need a fucking hobby. 

I am surviving for now and today, that is enough. 

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