So… I solemnly swear, I am up to no good. I’m redecorating (because I redecorate instead of move. Gypsy magic, try it sometime.) which means I’m trying to create various craft projects that will work in a room that I painted terra-cotta. For men… that means the color of those orangish clay pots. The ladies already knew that. Why doesn’t anyone talk me down?? Oh yeah, I’m the only grown up here. My little projects are disastrous just now, because you live and you learn. Also… they’ll be fine in the end, because if it’s not fine, it’s not the end. Get a mantra, people. Since I have decided to leave well enough alone, I thought I’d chat with all of you. Just for kicks, the geneticist that is supposed to make sweeping pronouncements that will profoundly affect my little zebra’s life just decided she’d like to work part time instead of full time. Thus, the appointment I’ve been awaiting for the last three months has been canceled and he’s on a wait list. So… back to Shriners, who will see him in February. It’s August. When I completely lost my marbles, it wasn’t because I think anything will really be different after the appointment. A little guidance would be useful, but nothing is going to fundamentally change. It’s just one more thing to handle alone… Somebody send me a little Gypsy magic for that, please and thank you.
The thing about being a single parent is that there’s never quite enough to go around and everyone lets you know it. In my world, there aren’t a whole lot of people with the temerity to actually address this sort of thing to me, but there a handful of battle axes that can’t leave well enough alone. Most days, I can just shake my head and know that happy people don’t run around trying to destroy other people. Thus… I get to keep my high road. My mama didn’t raise any fools – gypsies, tramps and thieves?? You bet your happy ass, but not a fool in the bunch. Guess what? I could have done better. I yelled at times when I shouldn’t have and sometimes threw up my hands in defeat. I really can’t fix a hell of a lot, because sometimes everything just sucks and you just have to go through it. Having successfully kept these people alive and not serial killers, I’m pretty sure, anyway, nor have they ever been homeless or hungry, this is my advice. If you love them with every fiber of your being, and I know you do, not being perfect won’t matter. It will be enough.
I’ve spent the last (nearly) twenty-two years of my life raising good little Americans. Patriotic, kind, share your last bag of pinto beans kind of humans… My oldest boy has always toyed with the idea of joining the military. We’re a Marine Corps family… and that’s where he’s looking. (A recruiter met with him last week, without me, making Officer Recruiter public enemy #1.) I’m not surprised… he likes the big guns (pointed at my heart, bang bang, shoot ‘em, like a firing squad) My son is too young to remember 9-11, and can only remember our nation at war. A year from now, I know I will put my baby, who used to stalk my eggs so he could “hatch” them by throwing them on my kitchen floor, on some sort of transport to Paris Island. I’ll be proud and terrified, because I’m old enough to know that humans have an expiration date that is arbitrary. I wish I was still telling him to color on paper, not walls.
My oldest daughter told me, tonight, about singing in public for the first time in a long time since the fellow she married ripped her up and made her feel small about it. She gets that from me… both marrying bastards and singing out loud… Given enough time, she’ll collect most of herself back. Immediately following this story, our Marine candidate was ready to throw down with a trucker who was feeling a little lecherous toward her on Route 20… lol… I’m not sure when my boy became a man, but he seems to have just about arrived. My younger daughter is going to bless me with a grandson any day now… I promise, he will come out and you are going to rock motherhood. The two little ones are still finding themselves, and they have all the time in the world. I haven’t raised any rocket scientists, doctors or lawyers. Instead, I raised good people… the kind who will pull over if you’re broke down, who will listen in the grocery store when you’ve just been diagnosed with a fatal disease and who will write a blank check for this country because their soul tells them they ought to. Raising these fine human beings has been the pleasure of my life, and I am proud of every single one.
When you’re bogged down with the minutia, sometimes it’s just too much. Like any single parent, it’s kind of the deal, part of committing yourself to a tiny human until they are ready to go forth and be. It’s ok to fall down, so long as you keep getting back up, even if you are doing that by digging your nails into the furniture to keep yourself upright. Obviously, Miss Shannon has had a rough week. Instead of letting it eat at me, I’m going to keep on keeping on and be proud that I alluded to songs from three different genres, because it makes me happy in my heart. Take your joy where you can find it.