Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cut and Run

Wish I could.  Sometimes.  I've felt that way a million times, but somehow, my sense of duty stops me from acting on that impulse.  That, and the fact that I'm an incontrovertible pragmatist.  Why in the world would I get an accounting degree, otherwise?

The thing is, my circumstances have changed.  I've tucked away a few bucks for retirement.  That, added to my conviction that I'm going to die young (ok, middle-aged), and the fact that Kiddo is about to finish his sophomore year at a good school, with good grades, and ambition in spades, and that he has a responsible/conservative dad, and my life insurance would more than pay for a PhD and a respectable car, plus keep him in D&G Light Blue for life.  But that's another blog post.

Even though Kiddo detests me, I take great satisfaction in knowing that I was a good mom.  At least until 7th grade.  I read to him every night.  I was laissez-faire about potty training.  Gave him whole milk until he was two years old, because I was informed enough to know that cholesteral is a good thing when it comes to a developing brain.  I ate fruit and took vitamins and walked an hour a day when he was in utero.  I stressed over a stupid irish coffee I had before I knew I was pregnant.  Never mind that I didn't like it, so probably only drank half.

Forget that I sang "Hush, Little Baby" a bazillion times, and stood by his crib for hours, patting him on his back, waiting until I could tiptoe away without waking him. 

I comfort myself with these thoughts.  And try not to remember the painful times.  Telling him that his dad and I were divorcing.  Seeing him cry.  Going to family therapy and listening to him talking about the good times.  When I read to him in bed.  And that he loved us.  In the course of a 50 minute session, my baby became a man.  In my eyes.

As imperfect (fucked-up) as I am, I take pride in one thing.  Kiddo doesn't need me to make it in this life.  And even though he manages just fine without me, I have a feeling there will be times when he needs me.

Like me.  With my mother.  She made me crazy.  When my brother died, I had a major melt-down.  Over who was going to drive to the funeral home.  We both wanted to drive.  And we both stubbornley refused to yield the wheel.  In retrospect, we were both having a panic attack - the need to control something, even if just the wheel of a car, became paramount.  I remember screaming at her, then running to my bedroom, sobbing hysterically, a 38 year old child.  The Daddler walking into my room and telling me that he was disappointed in me.  I swear, I'd rather he whipped out a switch and put welts on my legs than say that to me. 

Strange thing.  I was stubborn.  Classic middle-child trait.  We had some sort of unpalatable (to a 5 year old) dinner.  I refused to eat it.  My mother got her dander up.  Everyone else retired to the living room to watch Perry Mason or Twilight Zone.  I sat alone.  In the dark.  I was prepared to stay the night.  I never considered eating the swill.  Then The Daddler appeared.  He told me to go on.  Wow.  He was the good guy.  It made an impression.  I'm sure that's a big part of why I love him so much.

Another time, I broke a cup.  Mother was mad.  The D told me not to worry about it.  I'll never forget that.  I was the only one who wanted to go fishing with him.  I was so proud of sticking a hook through a minnow.  Hated when it came out of the eye.  I reached into the screened cricket house, grasped a creepy bug, and stuck my hook through its thorax.  I hated when I went too low and pierced the abdomen and the yellow guts oozed out.  The worms were the best.  Couldn't go wrong.  They were like tube socks. 

Back to Mother.  When I was sick, I cried for her.  When my belly was sliced open (3 times) and I was all alone in a sterile hospital room, I called her.  She was awake.  Ironing.  And I'm sure, waiting for my call.  Fifteen minutes later, she appeared.  When she died, she cried.  In my arms.  I was the only one she talked to about dying.  And as selfish, immature, and childish as I'd been, I found a way to mother her, the same way she'd mothered me.  When she told me she didn't want to be a burden, I told her to think about all the shitty diapers she'd changed.  She was too sick to laugh, but I know that she loved me for it.  I miss her so much. 

Ok, I'm wiped out.  Gonna go have a good cry.  Try to resist telling The D about how much I love him and how much I hate the Emotional Vampire.  I tell him about my dreams of Mother.  Today, he told me that he hadn't had any dreams since he'd had his strokes.  That he used to.  It broke my heart.  But I took great comfort in his love affair with that silly dog.  Because Mother loved dogs.  And Daddy says this dog has her brown eyes.  So do I...

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