Her Dad.

BsDaddy is present in her life.  Physically.  Financially.  Not really emotionally and certainly not spiritually.  The first two being the least important of the four in my eyes.  But not necessarily in hers.  Not yet anyway.  I make sure she knows that although he isn’t buying her material items as often as Mommy does, he is giving money to Mommy which allows me that extra spending ability.  And for her to be in expensive sports and activities.  She knows we both contribute financially to her lifestyle.  And she’s grateful.  Yes, even at nine.  That’s just how my girl rolls.

So, although he isn’t what I want him to be in her life-he’s there.  It seems to be enough for her-for now.  And I’m not going to rock that boat.

Although he could have been a bit more excited about her choice yesterday to do this to her hair:

And, as I keep reiterating to NewHusband, we can’t control what goes on in the other parent’s household.  Just like we wouldn’t love if they tried telling US what to do.  (But that’s hard advice to swallow when B tells me she tried to call me Friday night because she couldn’t sleep and she was alone downstairs at Daddy’s house and she worked herself into such a frenzy she had to go be sick in the bathroom.  And I didn’t get the call because I was on the lake where service is in and out, and she didn’t leave a message.  Although now, she knows to next time-TEXT your momma silly girly!).

This is much easier now that she’s nine and understands things better, than it was when she was three.  I used to cry my eyes out when she left for her Daddy’s. 

This post reminds me of that quote:  “Just because someone doesn’t love you like you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have”.  So maybe, he’s loving her the best he can.


Did you lose pieces of yourself?

This post by DadsHouse made me think about my dating history since I started falling in love-way back when I was 16.  My first love affair was with the senior captain of several sports teams, prom king, you know the deal.  I wasn’t interested in him at first, but all my best girlfriends were.  And they told me I was crazy to deny the affections of such a stellar young man.  (For the record, he was and still is a wonderful person-you couldn’t ask for a better first boyfriend).  So, for just about the only time ever, I caved to peer pressure and said “yes” to a big, fat, topaz birth-stoned, yarn-wrapped ring around my finger.  It was fun and I remember the first kiss, the first time he held my hand…there is nothing like that initial spine tingling sense of something you’ve never felt before.  And he had this fresh smell of fabric softener or soap.  To this day, that smell brings me back.  Anyway, digressing as usual.  The point is that although I thought we’d get married and so on, he was just the first in a long line of boys I thought I’d marry and spend forever with.  

Aaah, teenage love.

Anyway, DadsHouse’s post made me think about the pieces of ourselves that we lose when we end a relationship.  Mainly the emotional repercussions of sexual relationships.  I know I’m going to share that part of the dialogue with my daughter.  Sharing so much and such special times, hurts more when you do part…I still miss the people I spent lots of time with over the years.  Although I wouldn’t trade where I’m at, I do wonder if it would have been better to have those relationships be a little less “meaningful” maybe?  Every relationship I have, I give so much of myself and love so completely, that you can’t help but lose a sliver of yourself when it ends.  And to always have that “what if” factor?  And is that little piece you are missing more critical than the life experiences you gained while you were dating the people in question?  Some of my long term relationships taught me more about life than any college course ever did.  I learned about different types of people, various relationship skills and each partner brought something new to the table, whether it be a hobby they shared with me, a skill they taught, a book they gave me.  

The woman I am today is all even-keeled and low key, low drama, because of all those factors that combined together to make me who I am. 

But it’s hard not to wonder sometimes-especially when some of the people you left seem a much better fit for the now version of you, than they were for the then version. I completely don’t regret any of my actions, but a couple of years ago, I knew I’d screwed up big with the guy I was missing.

Do you think you left some people who would have made your life even better?

My worst fears.

This is in response to a contest posted by Ms. Single Mama about posting your worst fear.  I have to list two because they both rattle me right to the tip of my size 7 shoes (usually flip flops actually).  

My first fear is regarding my daughter.  Although she’s only 8, I’m perpetually worried about the day that she will rise out of bed and be a teenager, who no longer cares about snuggle parties watching movies with her mama in bed, no longer choose me first in her options of things to do for fun, no longer speak to me with admiration and respect and no longer come home telling me that I’m the coolest mom and she’s so lucky she’s got me.  I worry that I won’t ever again crawl into her bed and wake hours later with her long, gawky legs wrapped around me and her sweet breath in my face.  I worry that her freckles will fade, her chest will grow and she will not change uninhibited or shower with me anymore.  No more shooting each other with the handheld shower head singing “shower fountain fun, shower fountain, FUNNNN!”.  I worry even more since she got braces and her face seems to be reshaping into this shockingly pretty young lady.  No longer a baby fat laden, little girls face with braids hanging down on either side of those darling freckles.  I horribly worry that she’ll become one of those angst-riddled teens who are angry and bitter and walk around with arms crossed and scowling faces.  Those girls I see in church who looks so miserable.  My little girl has often been touted as “the happiest little girl I’ve ever seen, nothing rattles her” by all who meet her.  My biggest fear is that her outrageously sunny disposition will change, like people say it’s bound to, when she’s a teenager, and I’ll lose the little person I know now.  How will I conquer this fear?  I’m doing all I can to make sure this doesn’t happen.  There are no guarantees, but she and I have one of the most open and honest relationships I’ve ever seen.  We discuss nearly everything and have daily talks about all sorts of things.  I never, never yell and never talk down to her.

 I never make her feel that her ideas are small, or that there is anything she can’t tell me.  We talk about things that aren’t even real problems now, but might be later.  We talk about when she gets older and dating and drugs and peer pressure come along.  I tell her every day how special she is, in hopes that she will have that confidence and self-esteem to know what’s right.  When she was younger, we practiced learning empathy and other moral virtues, by following certain books, such as this one, Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Children to do the Right Thing” by Dr. Michelle Borba. (Highly recommended, my daughter is incredibly empathetic and I credit this book and it’s exercises for that one).  I plan on keeping a close relationship with her by making sure that no matter how busy we are, we have special times alone together.  I will take her out of school occasionally, as long as she is doing well academically, for day trips with Mommy where we talk on our car ride and go shopping or to the movies or museums and re-connect.  By taking vacations alone together where we can get some much needed bonding time as she gets older and more independent.  In short, I plan on carving out a niche in what’s sure to be her busy social calendar.  At eight, nearly nine, I’ve already had to do this as she embarks on her busy athletic and social schedule.  I’ve told her about this fear and she swears it won’t happen to us.  And I’ve told her this will happen, that at times (gasp) I thought Nana was just the most awful unfair mother ever.  But now, I see that she was right.  I tell her that no matter how mad she gets at me, nothing I ever do will ever be without reason, that she can always try to show me that her side is reasonable and explain why it’s valid.  But I will have the final say, and it will always, always be in her best interests.  When all else fails and she shouts the refrain oft heard by mothers of teenage daughters, “You don’t even love me!”, I will pull out of my work desk drawer a tiny notebook I’ve kept since she was born that professes my love for her on a regular basis.  I’ve written love notes to her in this tiny journal, during dull spaces at work, whenever I thought of something good to tell her (money, boyfriends, death, relationships).  But they always tell her how much I love her.  I think if she reads that, she’ll see.  That’s why I plan on giving it to her when she’s 16.  That’s my plan for this one.  I will just do my best to raise her in a strong, assured way.  And when these fears creep into my head, I will squash them immediately by looking back at that little journal where the first sentence begins…”Tomorrow you will be three months old and I wanted to send you letters that I will give you when you are old enough”.  When I read through those pages it eliminates those fears because I know she will see easily how loved she’s always been.  I’m also teaching her an “appeal” procedure to use when she feels something is unfair that I’ve decided.  That helps to eliminate controversy as well.  

My other fear…bats.  When I was 17 I was sneaking back into the house after coming in late from something or other and went to shut my bedroom window.  Shockingly something flew towards me, tangled in my hairsprayed head and kept flying.  I screamed and ran out of the room.  Running out of his bedroom in his tighty-whities was my Dad.  When he saw what was up, he chased it around and I hid in the living room (my brother had shut his bedroom door in fear and wouldn’t let me in).  Finally he got it to land and he punched it, knocked it out and carried it outside.  To this day, my fear of bats paralyzes me.  But in writing this, I realized that latter fear of bats is physical and psychological-whereas the former is just completely way too real.

As for my fear of bats-I’m going to sit outside one night this summer when they are really flying overhead around the lights down by the marina and just let them fly.  It’s an immersion therapy approach and definitely works.  When I was afraid of snakes as a college student, I went to an area pet store and asked to hold several.  It really did work!

Thanks Ms.SingleMama, this was FUN!  (And chilling).

Eat, Pray, Love-Little B style.

Yes, I’m currently reading this but that phrase fits amply with the photo of the little muffin above.

My little B (not so little anymore, she’s 95 lbs and steadily creeping upwards towards her mother in height (not a huge feat, since I’m slightly exaggerating when I claim to be a whopping 5’4″) and she’s only 8 1/2, is the epitome of a happy person who has really got her inner self in a great spot.  Sure, she has her days sometimes and I get frustrated too, but this kid has figured out something at an early age it’s taken me until age 34 to learn- HAVE FUN!  While reading “Eat, Pray, Love”, I realized that although I strive daily to appreciate all that I have in my life and how blessed I am, my girl tends to do that without even being aware of it.  I’m not sure how to help her hang onto this and God help the person who bitters up that old soul in a spirited youthful body!  She asked me about this book this morning, after having seen it lying around.  When I told her about it, her eyes lit up.  I think she’ll be the one to travel all over when she gets a bit older.  Hopefully she lets me tag along!  

In my late teens and twenties, I, like Elizabeth Gilbert, was always entwined in one or another relationship with a male.  Always some drama, always an attachment.  Does anyone have any ideas how to encourage my daughter to develop her sense of self and to be strong enough to not “need” a man in her life?  I was pretty independent, but I can barely think of a time when I wasn’t somewhat involved with someone on some level, however superficial.  For right now, she’s pretty in love with this one male:

Then again, so am I.  

Another thing, for those of you who don’t know B (this just came to me, because I’m so curious, I’d be just dying to know!  😉  ), do you wonder what her name really is?  Did you figure out it starts with a B?  Did you wager a guess?