Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And it's only Wednesday...

School starts next week.  There are things To Do that just aren't going to get done.  What was supposed to be a "normal" week for my husband has morphed into anything but that.  All adding to an IBS flare up.  Allow me to use Maggie T. Kitten to illustrate just exactly how I feel...

The kiddos spent the afternoon with me at the preschool while my co-teacher and I cleaned our room out.  We're taking over a space that had previously been used for the year-round daycare.  It's twice the size of our previous classroom--which is a good thing since we are getting emails daily informing us of an additional student!  

The preschool does not officially start until the 10th but have our work week next week.  This year parent/student orientation is Friday morning.  In the past it's always been the Sunday prior to the beginning of school.  Monday's a holiday.  Yesterday it hit us that we basically only had three days next week to get our classroom cleared out, moved around, in order, final bits of painting done, name tags up, and lesson plans in.  Hence this afternoon spent getting sweaty and dirty.  Even though it was a lot of work, it was also very exciting to take what was basically a blank (dirty and filled with someone else's left over crap, but blank none-the-less) space and create our own space, precisely to our needs.  

Now, we can walk in Tuesday morning, complete the finishing touches, get our planning done and be ready to meet parents and student Friday morning.  Of course, I'll have to excuse myself and run upstairs to attend my own parent orientation for the wee girl's pre-k since her dad will be off dealing with either NASCAR or politicians...or both.  

Tonight?  I'm done.  There's an Advil PM with my name on it...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Light hearted post for a rainy Saturday...

Thunderstorms outside, kiddos snuggled up watching "Chicken Little" and husband working on school stuff inside.  A large percentage of toys that are supposed to remain upstairs are downstairs.  And there's a load of laundry waiting to be folded.

This is my life.  It's not perfect.  But it's mine.

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Let it be..."

A friend stopped by yesterday morning to pick up our tent for their own camping trip this weekend.  As she was leaving we were laughing about the last time she was at my house.

It was after suppertime and she was picking up a cake I'd made for her daughter's birthday the next day.  Noticing the absence of the police truck she asked if my husband was still at work.  Kinda...he'd come home then been called back out for an abandoned box.  About ten minutes after she left I received a text from her letting me know they'd had to detour around one of the intersections because of where my husband and his co-workers were "playing".

Talking about it yesterday she commented on how she didn't know how I managed it.  Not necessarily the Job, but the call outs and the uncertainty of it all.

I suppose it does look pretty crazy from an outsider's perspective.  But this is our Normal and we manage just fine.  Not always gracefully.  But no one ever accused me of being Graceful in the first place.

When law enforcement families break up the knee jerk reaction is to blame the Job.  I think the Job can place extra pressure on whatever faults were in the marriage to begin with, much like having children or any other major life change would do, but at the heart of it all--the blame falls on the couple and how they chose to handle that stress.

I don't know if I've ever told her but the greatest marriage advice I've ever received was from my sister. Of course, I didn't realize it at the time.  Because I was 19.  And I rarely listened to anyone then.   Because at 19 I was Wise.  Full of fire and passionate about each and every opinion I had--and I had a LOT of opinions--and every Cause that spoke to my bleeding heart.  And I was Right and refused to back down.  Ever.  I also had a massive chip on my shoulder regarding being raised in a patriarchal  society that was hell bent on telling me where my place was.

I was visiting my sister and her husband.  They'd been married for a couple of years already.  A disagreement arose between them and, instead of fighting for her side, she let it go.  Later I confronted her about it.  Because the big sister I'd grown up with would have never backed down.  Her answer? "Does it really matter?" I think I looked at her like she had two heads.  Of course it Mattered! What's the point of having a different point of view if you don't do your damnest to convince others to see it your way?!

It took years for what she meant to finally sink in.  It took even longer for me to sort out what truly Mattered from what Did Not.

My husband being called out at odd times, an uncertain schedule and the necessity of being flexible are all things that Do Not Matter.  They are pointless to fight against and about.  Doing so would be a waste of energy and time that could all be spent in far more positive ways.

We have friends whose marriages have recently imploded.  All law enforcement.  All blaming the Job.   Two, in my opinion (remember, I have those), were doomed from the start.  Occupation had zero to do with those implosions, no matter what the wounded party claims.

Another couple, however,  have kiddos the same ages our's were during the darkest period of our own marriage.  I remember that Dark.  The excruciating loneliness.  The despair of thinking that since I was basically single parenting anyway then I might as well make it official and do away with the pointless hope of having a partner who would actually be, well, a Partner.  I would rather leave with my children than remain and spend the few hours we had together fighting.

So how did we survive, bruised and battered but intact and stronger, when others do not?

First, we took the option of divorce off the table.  And then we remembered what Mattered.  We never went to counseling   We were our own councilors.  Not only did we talk, we also listened.  We listened to what mattered to the other one.

Late this afternoon I had a text from my husband.

"Going to be late.  I have a bunch of civil war stuff to blow up."

It's been a long, tiring week.  The least of it being I've ended up with supper duty every night this week.  I had chicken thawing for him to cook when he got home.  I read the text.  Took a deep breath...

"Dude.  You always get the cool stuff!"

Because what Mattered was that he knew I had the home front covered and that he wouldn't be coming home to a pissed off wife and stressed out children.   The rest?  I fell back on the immortal words of Sir Paul McCartney:  "Whisper words of wisdom, let it be..."

Then I called and ordered Chinese take out.

P.S...I was just reminded that I haven't cooked every night this week.  He did make burgers Monday night.  See?  Communication.  It's a two way street.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Once upon another life...

A tour across southern Spain and Portugal took two small backpacks, a tiny little rented Seat (Fiat), campsites when we could find them, hostels when we couldn't and we ate like royalty in little hole-in-the wall caf├ęs.  

Fast forward sixteen years...

One overnight camping trip requires a tent bigger than one or two apartments I've lived in, a loaded down Jeep Cherokee (in our defense, the only reason we had stuff up on the roof rack was to leave room for Bella T. Doggie in the back), cooler for pancake fixings and chocolate milk, air mattresses, pillow pets, stuffed animals and a handfull of bedtime books because one wee girlie couldn't choose just one.

I'm forever grateful for that other lifetime.  I carry many precious memories from then.  But I'm even more grateful for this one.  I still have that same hot man by my side so it's not like I've given anything up, really.  Just gained two more to share our adventures with!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

One for the Best Day Ever book...

We've been pretty vocal about the fact that our almost 5-year-old wee girl has arthritis.  We've also been fairly involved in our local National Arthritis Foundation chapter...raising money, awareness, running 5k's, sitting on committees...stuff like that.  But today was the first time we were able to participate in something set up just for the kiddos.  

There's a "club" just for all of the kids who suffer from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and it's called "Kid's Rheum" (See what they did there? Pretty clever).  They set up some pretty awesome events for all of these amazing kids to help them feel like normal kiddos.  They include the whole family so no one feels left out or slighted.  It also offers us parents a chance to be around others who Know. 

Tonight's event was a baseball game.  But not just any ol' game.  Free bat night, so both kiddos received nice wooden bats with the home team's logo.  Catered dinner in a luxury box suite game.  Right on 3rd base.  

Basically, all we paid for was cotton candy...

Apparently, $6 very well spent.

Nutzy the Flying Squirrel even made a visit to the box!  And, yes, hearing protection is the only way my daughter will attend any form of social function.  Or public restrooms. 

My son caught one of the visiting team's practice balls and the home team won in the 10th inning.

The beach on Friday and then the ball game tonight? Definitely in the running for Best Weekend Ever. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Beach day...

A day at the beach with wonderful friends was just what we all needed!

Boogie boarding...sand castle building...

Sandy toes...

Watching barges in the background spinning in the current as they waited their turn in the harbor...

I'm a product of the tropics.  My DNA craves salt water, sand and sun.  
I also crave time with a friend who knows me better than anyone else.  
Therapy for both DNA and Soul?  Good day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When sunny spots are too small...

"Go, Doggie.  It's too late for yourself!"