Yes. NaBloPoMo was my Mordor. No. I'm not exagerating. Okay, yes. I am exagerating.
I pulled out a tooth at school today. I made a class full of third graders crack up when I read them a fable about a fox and a crab. It wasn't that great of a story, but I really do the best voices. I got to watch a little girl have a light bulb moment after I explained fact families for the fifth or sixth time. (I wouldn't give up. Base ten blocks finally did the job.) I got to do some correcting. I love correcting. And even more, I love correcting the correcting. And I even had time to do some of that with the kids. A little girl left a note on the teacher's desk that said I was fun. And pretty.
It's easy to forget why I like teaching some days. But days like today are good reminders.
(And P.S. Don't think it was some perfect utopia. I also lost a student, like out of the school, no one knows where she is, we can't find her or her coat, for about 20 minutes. I yelled, seriously YELLED, at least three times because they were so loud they literally couldn't hear me telling them to shut it. I told them to shut it at least... 30 times? 30 wouldn't be an exageration. I found a moldy sandwich in a desk that almost, oh people it was close, had me losing my cookies in the trash can. I seriously considered taping a student to his chair. Someone stole my Halls. I didn't lose them. I left them on the table I was working at, and when I came back after recess they were gone. Teaching is almost never a perfect utopia, but that doesn't mean it's not perfect.)
They trust me. I don't.
Everytime they say something like, "You're the best mom ever!" I cringe a little. Because I see so many, SO MANY, things I could do better. It hurts to hear them say things like that. I want to tell them they have no idea what a good mom is really like. All I can think is I don't deserve them. And I wish I could be what they think I am.
I suppose all of us moms feel like that. When I look around, I see moms who look like they're doing a better job than I am. I think, "I need to take my kids outside more often, I don't read enough stories to them, I watch to much TV, I play on my computer more than I should, I sleep in when I should be up with them, I get angry too easily, I'm too critical, I don't cook enough nice meals for them..." And on and on.
And worse than those things. I hurt them. I say things in frustration that puts looks on their faces that make me so ashamed. Sometimes they are scared of me. I hate that. I remember being scared of my mom's voice when she was in a mood. I hated that. I felt so... On edge. Like any move could bring down her anger, and I couldn't be sure what it would be. It gives me a sick shakey feeling to think about it. And worse. I've seen that exact same look in my kid's eyes when I'm angry.
Today Hannah fell off her chair at lunchtime. I picked her up and snuggled her and kissed her neck where she hit it on the table. She said what she always says, "Your kisses always make my booboos better." She really thinks that. She has so much faith in me. I hate that I let her down so often.
I don't know what my point is in saying all of this, except it's what came into my head when Hannah said that today. I know some of you are reading this and thinking, she's just being hard on herself, but I'm not. I could do better. I should do better. And I'm running out of time. I won't have them here with me forever. When they leave I need them to know I love them. I need them to know I am on their side. I need them to trust me.
Right now they do. But my actions can either make their faith in me justified, or they can destroy it. They could leave here feeling like they still need to prove themselves to me, to earn my love, to do it on their own. Right now I can still magically kiss away a booboo, but they've got bigger hurts ahead of them in their lives and if I'm not careful they won't come to me with them. They won't trust me because I won't have been worthy of it.
I know what it feels like to lose trust in someone who you thought would always be there for you. I can't do that to them. I'm not saying I can't make mistakes. I know I will. I'm saying I need to remember the faith they have in me when I'm about to break it. I treasure it. It makes me feel unworthy, and sometimes a little sad, but I can't lose it.
It's not that I want them to be dependant on me forever. I want them to trust in themselves. I want them to trust in God. I want them to trust other people. But when they need me, I want them to never feel like I won't be there, or that I will recieve them with anything less that complete love and acceptance. I hope there's always something about coming to me that soothes their booboos the way nothing else does. Because even if I don't deserve to get to be that person, they deserve someone in their lives like that.
Now this is a story all about how, my life got flipped, turned upside down. I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how I almost forgot to post because I was too busy watching (almost) an entire season of Dancing With The Stars in one day.
I have nothing interesting to say.
I spent the day subbing. A little girl told me I looked very gorgeous. (I think she liked my hair. She kept touching it.) A little boy told me I was mean and lay upside down in his desk crying for around ten minutes until he realized I really didn't care. (I make kids cry all the time.)Then I spent the rest of the day/evening online shopping with my cousin Melanie. Here are some of the highlights:
I often make meals for people. When they're sick. Or they have a miscarriage. Or they lose a loved one. Or they break their foot. Or I just know they're having a rough go of things. I do it because I remember when I had my babies, and ladies from the church took turns bringing us supper. I remember when Dad was sick, and how it felt when anyone did anything nice. (And how it felt when no one did anything nice at all.)
There is just something about someone doing something, anything at all, that says "I'm with you. I care. I can't fix it, but I can do this one thing for you, and maybe it will help." At least, that's what I'm saying when I send a meal, or flowers, or whatever.
So when someone sends you a meal like this one...
(I don't think I'm going to make it. I seriously have NOTHING to say.)
Here's are some pictures of cats I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant to get, but know I totally shouldn't. But look at them. I especially like the second one. She's like a scraggly version of Fizz. They found her living with a feral cat colony. She was going blind. I think she must be a bad ass like Jynx was. Sooooooooooo tempting.
So, I think, the medication I'm taking is giving me the shakes. And possibly making me sicker. Today, after waking up this afternoon feeling even worse than yesterday, I re-read the side effects and discovered I'm taking an immunosuppressant. Actually, what prompted the re-read was my shaking hands. "May cause tremors." So, not only are these stupid drugs possibly letting whatever virus I have run wild, but they're making me sooooooo shakey. Typing this paragraph has taken a lot of backspacing.
So that's it. I'm done for today. This counts.
(Back to the doctor Monday. Because this is DUMB.)
(Before I get started I just need to say that I think this is definitely my lamest Nablopomo EVER, and I'm sorry to be putting all four of you through this just because I'm too stubborn to miss one.)
Let's talk about another show I loooooooooooooooooove. I'm rewatching all of the episodes because it's going to be forever until I get to watch new ones, and I just miss it so badly. If you haven't watched it, don't start. DON'T DO IT! Not until you have a solid week or so of vacation time to burn through. Because you WILL burn.
Oh, yes. Moriarty. I don't think there are enough o's in the world to say how much I looooooooooooove him. He has to be my favourite villain of all time. I could watch that whole pool scene over and over and over and over and over and over and over...
I'd show you more amazing Sherlock scenes, but... in the words of someone else I looooooooooove, "Spoilers!"
(Oh man, I can never start watching Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica, can I? This geekiness is getting way out of control.)
The antibiotics aren't working. I've been taking them for nothing. Sigh. I'm still sick. And not very excited to be subbing tomorrow. My ribs hurt from coughing. I'm so tired. I don't have anything interesting to say. I really don't.
Sorry. (But this still counts.)
(I really shouldn't have to write a post if I have company over. That should be a rule. Oh well, here goes nothing...)
Oh crap. I have to write a post.
Here's another thing I want to buy. (Becky don't look. You're probably getting one for Christmas. Do you like tank tops? Or t-shirts?)
I can't think of anything boring to post about tonight. And since I'm pretty sure Melissa and the other Becky are the only people reading this, I don't even feel that bad about it.
So, since I've seen links to Jimmy Kimmel's annual Halloween prank all over facebook, and it's bringing back fond memories, I'm going to repost the video that I took of the boys the day after Halloween last year.
And then, since I was on youtube anyways, I ended up watching this video again. It just always makes me happy.
Oh man. I can't breath. Literally. When I laugh I choke. And the sight of Doft and Carolyn at the end of that video always cracks me up.
There we go. That was a good post. High five!
Here's another boring blog post that's actually more of a facebook thing nowadays.
Continuing on our mind-numbing journey through the most boring types of blog posts today I give you:
I think this might be my worst NaBloPoMo ever. Not only do I have nothing interesting to say, which is common, but I don't have the energy to try and come up with something. So, instead of fighting it, I'm gonna roll with it. This week we're going to explore, in no particular order, the most boring types of blog posts. If you find yourself doing these things, trust me, you're boring. (Like meeeeeeee!)
Number 1: The Diary, Or What I Did Today
Last night Ben was up all night puking. It was bound to happen. Sam was sick on Thursday/Friday. And Hannah was sick the week before. We were doomed. It's been extra awesome because I am super sick with a brutal cough that just might kill me. Seriously. Sometimes when I'm coughing at night and close to passing out I imagine scrawling a goodbye message on a post-it note and leaving it for my family to find stuck to my cold, dead body... Where was I? Oh yeah. Ben was up puking. Till 7am. Hannah started at 10am. I slept through Hannah though. I got up at around 2pm when Glen had to leave for school, because of course, it's midterms. I hung out in my bed for an hour or two, and then I dragged myself out of bed to make supper for the kids. Before I did that, I put some leftover soup in the freezer, to save for later. When I shut the door, it popped the lid of the soup off, and my banh phat pho spilled through both drawers of frozen food. Sigh. So while the kid's supper cooked I got to take everything out of the freezer, clean it off, put it downstairs in the deep freeze, wipe out the inside of the freezer, pull the fridge out, and clean the floor and underside of the fridge. Awesome. Then supper time at last. I ate three mini Crunchie bars and some milk because there wasn't enough soup for me and I was too tired to make the ravioli I had planned for myself. While the boys happily ate their soup, I forced Hannah to try hers. It took about ten minutes of arguing before she finally tasted it and realized she liked it. Sigh. Of course, none of them finished their soup, so I could have had some after all, but I'm too scared to eat it because of their flu germs. Now I'm on the couch playing Wipeout on the Wii with the boys, then bedtime, when I'll probably cough till 3am or so before being exhausted enough to fall asleep. I'm looking forward to it. If I'm still wheezing/coughing/dying tomorrow I'll go to the doctor. I'm looking forward to that too.
Well, this poor blog must get pretty lonely sometimes, but not in November baby! I wonder if some year I'll just decide it's okay to break with tradition and skip Nablopomo? I can't even imagine.
Since I'm still sick with this darn cough, and now a bit of a wheezing problem, and tired, and my ankle is throbbing from all that walking last night reminding me that today is the three year anniversary of breaking the crap out of it... I'm feeling like a bit of a baby today, and so I'm going to kick off this wild month of blogging with this picture from last night that most of you have probably already seen on facebook...
Today. What do I say today?
It's been five years and an eternity since we said goodbye... Since I sat beside you and held your warm hand. Five years since I watched my brother crumple to the floor... Since I looked across your bed at my sister holding your other hand and saw my pain alive in her eyes. Five years since I whispered, "It's okay, it's okay. Oh Dad, it's okay..." while you took your last breath.
And look. Look how five years and an eternity can feel like five minutes ago.
Time and memories are strange things. Sometimes I feel like you were here only yesterday. I feel you so close that I could almost reach out and touch you, I could look over beside me and you'd be on my couch tickling one of the boys.
Other times you are so far away it seems unbelievable that you were ever here at all. It seems like eternity since we were that lucky. That happy. That sure that we had our whole lives to hug you, and tell you about our days, and buy you presents. Man, I miss buying you presents! Isn't that a strange thing to miss? Oh, but I miss it. Sometimes it's the thing I miss most of all. I miss picking out something special for you. I miss the kids drawing pictures for you. I miss knowing that you'd take those things and hang them on your walls, and keep them in your boat, and eat them watching TV. I don't know why it hurts so much that I can't give you presents anymore, but it really does.
You were the funnest to share things with. It didn't matter what it was, but if we shared it with you, it was better. How did you do that? How did you make a Rider's game more exciting? How did you make hot dogs in the back yard a special event? How did you make church in the morning feel so much righter? I could go on and on... Kites in the field, wading in the dug out, moving Gramma Newson, parades on Buster Days, driving to the city, a bargain at a garage sale, tractors at the WDM, fishing at the zoo, golfing in Dalmeny, shopping at Canadian Tire, Corner Gas on the couch, oysters at Christmas... Oysters Dad! You made oysters good! Oysters!!!
See? It feels like yesterday, like it's just right there and so so real. But it also feels a bit like a fairy tale that was so beautiful it can't possibly be true. Did all of that really happen? Did we have all of that and lose it?
No, never lost. Always in our hearts. Eternity in our hearts. Till we're together again.
Till then we go on. Somedays it's okay that you're so far away that it almost doesn't seem real. It makes it easier to make new memories together without you in them. It hurts a little still, but we keep on making them. Laughing and crying without you. You won't be at Ben's baptism, and Noah's grad, and Abbey's dance recital. You didn't see Sam the pirate and you won't meet Becca the spider. You can't laugh at Nathan playing video games and running out of "bullays," or hold Hannah while she cries about who knows what and look over her head at me, probably crying too at the sight of you together.
So sometimes I like to imagine you in our new stories. Like Ang and The Corn Maze. I imagine you and her going back together to conquer that thing. She's crazy Dad, just like you, completely out of her mind. I like to imagine you two determined together to beat the Rosthern Youth Farm corn maze, while Becca and get bored and wander off to eat cotton candy and pet the baby goat. Or I imagine you at the lake with us this summer digging a big hole with all the kids at the beach, and encouraging Nathan to steal Johnny's drink behind his back and laughing when he comes back to his chair and can't find it. And I imagine you and Mike taking Hunter and Roscoe Pecoe Train for a walk in the ball field and yelling at them when they run off and won't come back. "Hunter! Roscoe! Get back here you dumb animals!"
I imagine you sitting in my backyard. I'd like that so much Dad. Just you sitting in my backyard in one of my chairs from Canadian Tire, and maybe a caesar and each of us with a book for each of us to read, and the kids on the swingset. Wouldn't that be... ... ... just... heaven on earth. That's all I'm asking. Just for a little heaven down here. With me. With us.
It's been rough for me, the last few weeks. I'm not exactly sure why.
Maybe it was the play we were involved in. It was incredibly emotional for everyone, even us costuming people couldn't hear "Jesus" suffering, we couldn't see his "blood" and wipe it from his face without being touched by it. And I've gotten really good at supressing my emotions. But I couldn't surpress what I was feeling as I painted a crying Jesus on the cross.
I find now, that when I let some feelings out, all of them tend to come crowding behind, like they've been waiting. When they see the door's open, they push forward to try to make it through too.
It takes me by surprise. I couldn't understand that, when I used to hear people say that, how suddenly the pain could come and take your breath away out of nowhere. Maybe because it was so fresh then, and it hurt almost all the time. I couldn't push the pain aside for long enough to be surprised by its return. But I get it now.
I miss Dad every day. I think of him every day. I still do. But I don't ache every day. I can push those feelings out of my way, and after a while they seem to take a step back. They are patient. They watch for the door to open again.
And then they rush it.
I always tell students lined up at the door I have three rules for walking in the halls, single file, keep quiet, and walking feet all together with no rushing ahead or lagging behind. Crowds are so much easier to manage when you can get them to line up all neat and tidy and threaten them with going back to the classroom to try it again if they can't behave themselves.
How do I do that with my emotions? I haven't figured it out yet. I need a substitute Becky to take over and whip them into shape. Maybe bribe them with gummy bears if all else fails. (This doesn't make sense anymore. I'm going to bed.)
We got a package in the mail today. It's from Christine and Dave. I don't want to open it.
I'm pretty sure it's Christmas presents for the kids. It bothers me a lot that that's good enough for her, that as long as she sends the obligatory Christmas present, she's done her grandma job. That would never have been okay with Dad. I know it with everything inside of me. If he hadn't seen Ben and Sam and Hannah for six months, he wouldn't have been satisfied to just throw their presents in a box, likely the same presents she bought for all of Dave's grandchildren. They have to be fair.
It might not be Christmas presents at all. A few months ago she sent the kids birthday presents along with a necklace Ang and I had given her the first Valentine's Day she was without Dad. She was so upset and depressed and missed "her sweetheart" so much. We felt so bad for her, we found the prettiest, most expensive locket and put Dad's picture in it for her. She doesn't want it anymore, and gave it to Mike to give to me. It's sitting in the bottom of a drawer now, because looking at it hurts me. And because the relationship that the locket was meant to celebrate was, according to her, a lie.
Is there more hurt waiting in that package? There might be. It might be more stuff of Dad's. Or mine. She has a picture my gramma gave me when I was in university that she felt my gramma should have given to her. It could be anything. If there's a letter, I will not be reading it. I'll tell you that much.
It's probably just Christmas presents for the kids though. My guess is, there isn't even a card or a note. There wasn't anything like that with their birthday presents. Or the locket.
So, what is the right choice here? I'd really like to send it back unopened. What do you think I should do? What do you think I should tell the kids, if anything, if it's presents for them? Should I just give them to them, tell them who they're from, and not say anything? What if they ask why they didn't see her? They haven't asked about her yet, will this make them notice that they never see her anymore? It's wrong to keep their presents from them, right? Or is it? I don't know what to do.
I know only one thing for sure, I need some kind of counselling to get myself sorted out, because I am totally good with no contact at all. Like she's dead. I feel peaceful. But faking a relationship is out of my reach right now, and maintaining some contact feels like faking it to me. That person is not my mom, she's not the person I knew. And it upsets me to be in any way involved with her. (And don't even get me started on Dave.) And that means I'm not okay. I'm not as okay as I would like to be.