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Archive for January, 2008

Beloved is home.  It’s great to have him back.  I think him being gone was also a good transition into his independent study requirements – I had some time being reminded that I can handle things.  More things.  Even while busy at work.  I can cook, take down the trash, clean up the house, do the laundry, and sort of handle the kids.  (Only sort of, due to E’s “attitude” lately.  I’m working on that.)   It’s great to have him back, and hopefully we’ll move forward with yet even more balance.  And perhaps, if it doesn’t work, I’ll hire a college student to be my “household manager” a few hours a week.

Work slowed down.  For two days, I did little else but read the newspapers (all 1,000 of them), puzzle through the evils and benefits of the “Economic Stimulus Package” and go the gym.  That will all end Monday – the Lull is Over.

I read Water for Elephants (I really think there’s another one in there) and the Book Thief.  Now I’m reading Middlesex.

I am feeling sick of the computer.  I feel a little bored of blogging.  I’ve been for a while now, but figured it would pass.  It hasn’t.  I thought maybe it’s because I was so busy at work, and I can’t blog about that (not that there’s anything interesting to say).  While I don’t think I dropped any balls at home while things were crazy, I was exhausted from keeping them all in the air and found myself passing out soon after the kids went to bed.

Maybe blogging just worked as a school-thing.  A transitions-thing.  Maybe.  It could be that next week or next month, I’ll again have the urge to post 4 times a day and share every little thing (the kids’ play! will I be house hunting?).

For now, I don’t have it in me.

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Last year, as the girls were out the door to their father’s house, I checked out “Your Ten to Fourteen Year Old” to find out what I was in for this year.

It told me that 11 year olds hate their mothers.

Shit.

Don’t I have enough hardships with E? Do I need her hating me as well?

But for a really long time – MONTHS, even – she adored me, still. She thought I was the sun, the moon and the stars (okay, maybe just the stars … but she LIKED me).

Now, though:

  • I’m dumb.
  • Irrational.
  • Irrelevant.
  • Unfair.
  • Boring.
  • Annoying.
  • Embarrassing.
  • Rude.
  • Demanding.
  • Demeaning.

God, this list could go on.

She is now – and just now – at the point where she shakes off my hand if I grab hers at an intersection. She doesn’t want me talking to her friends anymore. It’s hard to get a hug.

Not impossible.

Not yet.

But, I sort of miss her. And I hate her yelling at me. And I find it a little hard – being a parent of a tweener. It’s hard to be really strict, knowing that her independent drive will respond to my strictness by pulling away a bit more – emotionally.

which is the goal.

I know this.

And being her friend is NOT what she needs.

I know this, too.

She has a lot of friends.

They’re 11, and 12. They’re not 35.

I know we’re coming up on years where we are strangers to each other. Where she looks at me and sees something I don’t feel like.

But those years will pass. And we’ll be okay.We’ll sit in a family room, munching on chips and watching football while her kids ask me for help on their school projects.* We’ll go places together. We’ll ask each other for advice.

I hope that our tumultuous time in between is short, and that our windows of fighting are smaller than our windows of understanding.

*yes, that’s what’s happening right this minute – my dad, building boxes and finding paint with E, while my mom looks at girl scout cookie order forms with J, and the Pats are winning, and I am this irrelevant middle-generation sitting with her computer on her lap – invisible.

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For almost 4 years now, I have been riding a wave of utter spoilation.

I have done what I needed to do in order to make it through school, through the bar exam, and through the early days of full-time lawyerdom while trusting that the rest of life would work out around me.

This was because of one thing:  My Beloved.  He has cooked, he has coordinated, he has covered sick days, snow days, busy days.

This past week, I did without him entirely.  I was tired.  I was stretched (a snow day? really?  THIS week?).  But you know what?  I did it.  I met all my obligations, I took care of the girls and the house completely.  Hell, even the cats were fed twice a day.  I even cleaned out their litter box.

It’s a good thing.

Because it appears my free ride is over.

Beloved was able to take on all of the slack I let go during high stress times because we long ago decided I would go to school; then he would go to school.

Now, he’s in school.

Because he’s in a low-residency program, he was (still is) only gone for 12 days (my heart couldn’t take more, I don’t think).  But when he comes home, he has work to do.

And it’s not yucky ewie work.  It’s what he loves.  What his personal circumstances have required him to put off and put off and put off.

He isn’t putting it off anymore.

It is time for my Beloved to do the things that were put on the back burner twenty three years ago.   Things he is supposed to do.

Wow.

Has he deserved this, or what?

So yeah, I’ll need to cook more.  And I’ll need to take the driver’s seat on school projects more.   Not only can I do it, but I could do more, if I had to.  I can do it all – just like he could (and did).

I think it’s likely that we’ll have some growing pains.  There will be times my work is pulling me to stay in the office for later than we’d planned; and there will be times that his deadlines hit at the same time as a filing deadline for me.  But I think we have the foundation that we need.  I think we respect each other, and each other’s work, and we can make it work.

It helps that we also have OLD kids, who can do things and go places and work stuff out without the same intense parental supervision that was required of them in their younger years.   (I realized today that J is almost 10.  Almost 10.  This means that I almost have ZERO kids in single digits.  They are BOTH old.  J is already drooling over which cell phone she’ll get, and wondering what activities she’ll do in high school.  E is running a newspaper, texts like a pro (has yet to go over our limit), and went to a restaurant with JUST her friends for lunch on the snow day.  They had to figure a TIP, and to split the bill!!  By themselves!!)

So now he should come home so we can work it all out.

I still miss him.

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Writing in the Lull

Yesterday felt insane.  I crammed so much into the day, it wasn’t even HUMAN.   Or … not even Zuska-like.

Today, not so much.

No basketball practice tonight; we actually have clean underwear (thanks to last night’s marathon), we had food in the house, and while I had to cook, I have delegated much of the cleaning duties to my offspring.

Fortunately, work is cooperating with my single-mother status.  Despite the large amounts of work I’ve had lately, the people I work with still coddle me.  The wave has subsided some, and I’m already anxious about whether the horizon will bring me some idle-time.

Which creates conflicts in my soul.

I want to be very very very busy.  I love juggling.  I love (LOVE) operating under deadlines.  I love having more to do than I could fit into a day (and then I love fitting it into the day anyway) –

But yet, I’d really like time to go to the gym.

I mean, my 12s still fit, but 14s aren’t exactly clown pants any more.

Stupid holidays.  Stupid busy-ness.  Stupid food.

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Holy shit.Work is just –  INSANE.I feel like if anyone who works in a big firm reads this, they will just laugh at me:Oh my god!  I billed 67 hours this past week!Yeah, it felt like a lot.  I’ve admitted to the fact that I’ve been spoiled up until now.Work and kids were hugely intertwined over the weekend; but I got a lot done.It’s been crazy but good.I know my weaknesses – they haven’t changed.I need to slow the fuck down.  I need to double check myself.I need to take less on.It’s hard, though.  Especially as a beginner.  Us newbies had a hard time getting a full plate.   I kept getting assignments with the promise that it would be “oh-so-busy” and instead, the matter was stayed for one reason or another.  So I’d ask for another.  And that one would be stayed.So I ended up with a list of 6 or 7 cases that I was on.On about Christmas time, all stays were lifted.I’m now the world’s most busy-est woman.  [oh, i guess i know that’s not true.]I don’t really mind.I just wish my husband was home.I miss his adorable face, and his apple-cheeks, and his overall presence.

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I am lonely.  It is 9:53 p.m., and I don’t know what to do with myself.  Where is my HUSBAND?

And seriously, this morning, when I was woken up by weird lightning and thunder in the midst of a snow storm, and woke up a little later to drag the kids out of bed so I could take them to a friend’s house (a la school cancellation), and then when I had to yell at J because I discovered in a most inconvenient way (snow boots full of approximately 2 inches of water as we’re ready to walk out the door so I can make it to work on time and I instead have to remove the wool insert and put them in the dryer for 40 minutes so the child can leave the house in the midst of said snowstorm) that she 100% disobeyed my very very very clear instructions on her way out the door to the park with a friend on Saturday

– [deep breath] –

I was fine.  Really, not sarcastically, FINE.  I could handle it.

But now, at 9:53 – I don’t know what to do with myself.  Do I watch t.v.?  But I don’t watch t.v.  Do I read a book?  But I don’t usually read until I am tired, and I’m not tired.  And I usually read until Beloved comes in and scratches my back, and there’s no back-scratching happening this week (or next, really), and it makes me lonely.

But at the same time, it makes me happy that I am lonely.

Once before, I was married.  He used to leave town a lot.  It was nothing but relief.  I was not lonely.  I was happy.  But then when he came home, I was sad.  I was sad because life felt no different than when he was gone, except I felt rejected.  Dejected. The kids didn’t have anything in their day that they didn’t have when their father was out of town.  I had no more help, no more companionship – no partnership.

Even when he was gone for (literally) 7 months.

My life was the same.

Not anymore!!

We all have a gaping hole in our lives.  The girls are lonely for him, too.  They comment on the quietness of the house.  They ask every day if he called, if he’s okay.  They want to send him stuff.  J is concerned my slacker-self won’t get on the ball before he leaves for home.  [She may be right.]

They never ask to call the X.  They never ask to send him stuff.  They NEVER say they miss him.

And I don’t think it’s because they’re afraid to share with me, because I try so hard to be open and to talk with them and to let them voice their feelings.  Maybe I am not as good as I think I am, but – even when he does call, they don’t want to talk to him.

Beloved fills our lives; his absence is felt.  We are okay, because we are strong people – but we miss him.

And we love him.

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There’s more snow forecast for Thursday day through Friday night.  I think I’ll be okay again.  I’m most worried about the fact that I’m supposed to be driving to my folks’ house on Friday evening, and we’re slated for the Lion King on Broadway on Saturday.  I can’t NOT drive down on Friday.

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It’s all I got today.  Little whispers of what was going on in New Hampshire and in the Primary World at large.  How depressing!  I want to hear the shouting and the constant din.  I don’t want to miss out!

Beloved told me that Bill made some crack about his wife that made him sound a bit too much like an architect (in his own mind) for my liking.  I wasn’t able to check into what everyone else is saying, but to me the whole “I can’t make her younger or taller” nonsense seemed to be Bill showing off an over-inflated ego.

Poor politician couples.  No matter which spouse you are, you’re lambasted for being nothing but a face for your more intelligent/likable/powerful/savvy/height-endowed significant other.

I also heard about Hilary’s tears.

That irritated me, too.

It irritated me that I can predict that people will say “that’s what happens if you have a woman in the white house, when the going gets tough – she’ll start crying.”

But due to my own career and my own higher stress level, I wasn’t able to read an entire article through.

So the whispers of these goings-on will just rattle around in my head as I try to keep my eyes open for another 5 minutes … maybe tomorrow I can catch up with the political news.

I mean, New Hampshire returns!!!  I can’t miss that!

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