Look Around.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 07- Oh yeah, I'm still doing this thing.

(Woops. I got sidetracked. Life gets in the way. Also, I'm lazy.)

Day 07—Someone who has made your life worth living.

The obvious answer would be my son. He’s only a year old, though… So he’s a little knew on the scene. And while he absolutely is the sun in the middle of my solar system, the center of my universe, and without a doubt my reason for living NOW, he has not always been. While he is my reason for living and will be for the rest of my life, he has not always been the person that's made my life WORTH living. (Although now, obviously, he's on the list.)

The person who’s made my life WORTH LIVING my whole life is my sister. She’s my best friend, she was my first friend. She’s my other half. She’s the kindest, most gentle, loving person in the world. Having said that, she can also be hard as nails. You’ve never seen a person so multifaceted. My sister is a delicate flower, an innocent soul, but when the need arises she is incredibly tough. She's so much stronger than I am, so much braver. People don't realize it sometimes because she's so sweet, but she's a stone cold badass when she has to be.
She’s been my support and my encouragement, my back up, my conscience, my constant guide… She’s been these things my entire life, every day of my life. She knows me better than I know myself and miraculously loves me anyway.

There have been times as an adult living in my own home that I've called my sister from half way across the country to ask her where my keys were. No kidding. I can’t find them, and she might know where I’ve lost them. When we lived together she could always find everything, and I think this is because we are so very much alike while managing to be so different that she can see me in a way I cannot see myself. She can see what I've done or will do when I can't see it at all.

We’re like different sides of the same coin. Our souls are mirror images, our sense of humor exactly the same. But where I am broadly scattered, prone to quick and hot bouts of rage, and have a hard time focusing, she is the finest point on the tip of the sharpest needle, always level headed and kind.

She’s in my head, somewhere in there under all the noise and clutter. She’s in my heart. She knows what I’m about before I do.

When I hear other people talk about their siblings, I know they don’t feel what I do when I talk about my sister. They couldn’t possibly. We come from such a different circumstance. She’s my hero. Your sister is your sister. Maybe you like her a lot, I don’t know, but you couldn’t like her as much as I like my sister. You couldn’t like your sister as much as you’d like my sister, for that matter. She is everyone’s favorite, and if you don’t like her it’s because you don’t know her.

There were times when we were growing up, when all I wanted in the world was to stop existing. I wanted it more than I can express. It was constant pain.
In those days I remember occasionally finding myself alone in the house, pacing back and forth like a mad thing, not knowing what to do with myself, but feeling like I had to do something. I wanted so badly just to be done hurting, and I didn't know how to make that happen.

I didn’t hurt myself because it would have destroyed my mother, but more because I couldn’t imagine being without my sister. I’d be without pain, but also without her. And no matter what else was going on, no matter what turmoil or confusion or ache, my sister was a constant, steady light. I couldn’t imagine being somewhere quiet and free of the constant screaming and accusations and guilt and anger, but also free of that light.

I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to be anywhere without that light. Without my sister. I couldn’t imagine it. All the rest was tolerable, because I had my sister.

I’ve told people before and I mean it completely,no matter how much everyone always looks at me like I'm a corny mope when I say it, that I think God made a mistake with my sister. I don’t think she was meant for this world. I think somewhere along the line there was a mix-up and she wound up on the wrong train, the one bound for earth. She’s too good, too sweet, too full of love and beauty and happiness and humor and joy to be here, in this place that can be so full of sadness and trouble. I’ve always thought there must be some kind of mistake, that she doesn't belong here with the rest of us.

I’ve always been so incredibly grateful for whatever mistake there was. My sister is my soul. She is where all of the hope and happiness and peace in my life has always originated. She is my safe haven, my rock, the fearless one at my side no matter what the challenge ahead. My sister has made my life worth living, every single minute of every single day of my life.

I love you, Sammo Kay.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The way it flies by.

For the first year of Cade's life, I kept a journal. I would write and draw in it frequently, most often when things were slow at work. (Which, 0300 on any Wednesday morning? They're pretty damn slow.) I have record of the first time he crawled, the first time he walked, his first teeth, first solid foods, first words, everything. I was really careful about writing in that journal, because I didn't want to forget anything.

For the last two months, I haven't really touched it. It's in my purse, so I see it multiple times a day. I just don't open it. I carry a lot of pens in there, too, so that I can write with whichever one fits my current mood. Things have been slow at work, I've had time.

(Hey, apropos of nothing: A commenter on another blog called into question whether or not I'm a member of Law Enforcement today, and that really pissed me off. I don't know why I'm mentioning it, except that I just saw it and it's fresh in my mind. I'm really proud of what we do, and it really got under my skin that some idiot on the Internet is questioning me and what I do. Instead of blasting back at them for being an ignorant troll, I've decided to leave it be. Some people are unbalanced, which is why you should have to take a Breathalyzer or an IQ test to have an Internet connection. That's all.)

I've had a lot to say. Cade's changing so fast, he's growing and moving and everything is going so fast. I've just not had any desire at all to write any of it down. Maybe I'm too busy trying to hold onto his babyhood and soak it in while I can, I don't know. I've been amazed how quickly it goes, and I do notice and feel bad for not writing it down. It feels like somehow that means I don't care, which isn't true. I notice, and I care.

For instance:

*When we pick him up for a hug (especially in the morning when we get him out of his crib, or when he's feeling sleepy) he'll pat our arms, like we pat his back. It's the sweetest thing in the world, and if you actually saw it your head would explode off your shoulders and into orbit.

*He'll go to anyone with a badge and a gun, because he recognizes the uniform and he knows those things mean someone is going to be nice to him. (We don't have jobs like you have jobs. Everyone that works with us really is like family, and I'm glad he's picking up on that.)

*He says, "mum?" instead of "momma" or "mommy"... Always with the upswing at the end, always a question. He waits for me to say, "Yes, baby?" before jabbering about I wish I knew what.

*His daddy is his very best friend in the entire world, and I know he misses him when they're apart.

*He has a sense of humor now, and will laugh at things we do instead of mostly when we tickle him.

*He wants to be just like us. He'll wear our shoes, and he loves to wear my sunglasses. Today I put my belt on him (he had picked it up and was trying to put it around his waist) and he walked around with it dragging behind him for over an hour, pulling it up when it would slide down his legs.

I do notice. I notice everything. Every day I make sure to kiss his soft little cheeks because I know they won't be that pudgy forever. He's getting longer, leaner, looking more like a little boy than a baby every day. He's figuring things out, working through things on his own, and I know it was just yesterday that I could hold him in one hand and he'd sleep curled next to me wherever I was.

Time is spinning, darting, leaping, lunging away, and there's nothing we can do but notice and appreciate what we have right this second, because in the blink of an eye it's changed and gone.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

People On My TV I Can't Goddamn Stand (In No Particular Order):

1. Giada Whatsherfaci, on the Food Network. Have you ever noticed how she's in a permanent fake smile grimace? All the time? But it's like she's baring her teeth at the camera, not like she's happy. It comes off as a threat, is what I'm saying. PUT YOUR GIANT HORSE TEETH AWAY, GIADA. Also, stop over-Italianizing your speech. I know people who are Italian, and they don't say 'Spey-gey-ti' when they're talking about something to be served with meatballs. Ass.

2. SPENCER PRATT. If you don't know who this guy is, don't google him. His flesh-colored chin fuzz will ruin your day. And he's a giant prick.

3. Geraldo. Are you still alive, Geraldo? Stop it.

4. Kanye West. Every single thing this guy does is steeped in douchiness. He shouldn't have access to cameras or phones, or doors that lead to the outside of his house.

5. Elizabeth Hasslesomething on The View. I don't watch The View because I don't need to watch psuedofamous people gossip about news and pop culture. More than that, I don't watch The View because I don't like being reminded that Elizabeth hasn't fallen off the face of the Earth yet. STOP WHINING, ELIZABETH. Also: You're wrong about everything ever. All of the things that exist in the universe, you're wrong about.

6. Nancy Grace. Because she's Nancy Grace, every time she opens her mouth an angel gets kicked in the face by an ostrich.

7. Kate Gosslin. Look, I get what she's trying to do. It started out as a way to support her eleventy billion kids, and then she started to like the attention and sort of forgot that there are legitimate ways to support your family that maybe DON'T screw up their precious little psyches. Now she doesn't really know what else to do, so she does... whatever the hell it is she's doing. But let me clue you in to something: When two of your SIX YEAR-OLD children are EXPELLED for violence and anger issues, you need to take a long, hard look at your life and assess the situation for problems. (Hint: Cameras in their faces all the time breeding an over exaggerated sense of their own importance. And your douchey ex husband doesn't help things, nor does your long, drawn out divorce being televised. The divorce that never included therapy or assistance for your children, who are now turning into tiny little ax murderers.) Shut off the cameras, for the love of God.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 06.

Day 06—Something you hope you never have to do.

The first thing that pops into my head is "move out of my house," but I'm pretty sure that's because I'm super lazy and when we moved into this house I was five months pregnant so I have Nam flashbacks when anyone mentions doing something you hate, because holy crap, did I hate that. Charlie doesn't have anything on moving while you're gestating and it's 113 degrees outside. Eff that. (Even though I didn't really do much, because I was under orders not to lift heavy things or push things around, so I did a lot of pointing while complaining about the heat flouncing about prettily.)

That seems too superficial to count as an answer, though, so I take it back. Although, for real, it was like the seventh level of hell up in this piece. I kept getting all paranoid that I was leaking amniotic fluid out of every pore in my body because surely, no one could produce that much sweat. No one except a pregnant lady when it's hot as balls outside and you're making her move boxes and boxes full of sweaters GOD WHO HAS THAT MANY SWEATERS!?

I certainly COULD do it again, though. I mean, I wouldn't volunteer, but it's not something I really don't ever want to do.

A serious answer? To borrow the thought from a blogger I read:

I never want to bury anyone else that I love.

That's probably very near the top of my list of rational fears. In the last five-ish years I've buried both parents, the uncle that helped raise me, my grandma and two of my mom's lovely brothers... It breaks my heart to think about it, and to think about doing it again. So I hope I never have to.

That's probably unrealistic given the fact that most people are pretty mortal, though, so... Very, very specifically, I hope I never have to bury a child. Any child in my family, extended or immediate.

I can't even imagine the horror. My grandpa has buried three of his sons. They were all grown- middle aged, even, and I still can't imagine how he made it through. How his heart didn't just quit beating from the utter, bone crushing sadness.

Can't imagine. Don't want to do it, not ever. I'd rather move a million times, from one house to another, while pregnant with octuplets and standing on the surface of the sun. No thank you, sir. Good day to you.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 05

Day 05 – Something you hope to do in your life.

I’d like to write a book.

I know, everyone wants to write a book. Everyone thinks they need to be heard.

I don't even know what I'd write about... It’s what I want, though. What I’m too afraid to try to do. I hope to get it done someday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 04

Day 04 – Something you have to forgive someone for.

As much as it might seem otherwise, I’m not really a grudge holder. When I feel like I’ve been wronged somehow, my anger burns white hot and incredibly fast, like a magnesium flare. It’s blinding and painful, but over in an instant.

When the anger is over, I don’t have the energy to care anymore about whatever it was that got me all revved up. I don’t care what you did or what I did, I just want everyone to shut up and be happy. Sometimes I’m like a dog with a bone trying to get to the bottom of the situation, but I don’t hold a grudge once it’s figured out. I just want it to be over – REALLY OVER – no awkwardness, no lip service, no lingering issues. Just let it go. You don’t have to cling to things, using them as an excuse to make people miserable or manipulate them. So don’t.

For me, holding onto things anymore requires a serious degree of concentration. I have to keep my anger stoked so high that I can’t possibly forget why I’m upset. I certainly can’t maintain such a hysterical level of rage for any serious length of time; I don’t know where I’d get the energy or the motivation. Most importantly, I don’t think it’s my place to judge other people or their motives. Even if I’m angry or hurt, someone else has their reasons for doing whatever they’ve done. They have their own feelings and ideas about it, and I’m not their mother or the cricket on their shoulder in charge of shaping their choices. So where do I get off maintaining some kind of grudge over it?

It isn’t my place. I try not to do the whole forgiveness thing. What makes me so special that someone should seek my forgiveness? Even as I type this, I can’t think of anything I have to forgive anyone for.

 What was, was. What will be, will be. Move on or don’t, but stay away from me with the drama.

So I guess I don’t have anything to forgive someone for. I know this seems like bullshit, but I can’t think of anything.

I’m super proud of being able to say that, you guys. It makes me kind of grinny. I used to be quite the clinger in my early years. Turns out, when you lose so many people that you love in a very short period of time, it sort of manages to age you right past all of the immaturity, I guess. Not the way I’d recommend going about maturing, but certainly effective.

Now For Something COMPLETELY Different:

Let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters.

That other post was on the top of my page for MORE THAN long enough. I want more than anything to be honest in and to really get the most out of this 30 Days thing, but I'm not okay with lingering melancholy, so... Let's be happy, okay?


Related to the link: When Cole's and my (Cole's and mine? Mine and Cole's?) son was in my belly, he would kick to this song. He loves him some Ingrid to this day, but any music at all gets him shaking his head and doing the Can I Get A Witness jazz hands.

Remembering the crazy butterflies, the over-the-hill-on-a-roller coaster feeling of him tumbling and kickboxing in my belly for the first time when he heard this song makes me happy all the way down to the bottoms of my toes.