This picture is the only one I have of my dad as a child. I once had more but they became water damaged and I had to dispose of them. My dad is the one on the left. With the blonde curls. He kinda looks like a girl.
My Amma (Icelandic for grandma) really wanted a girl. She had my dad and my Uncle. Did she try to hide my dad’s masculinity for the formative years of his life? Or at least some twisted boy-girl version?
The only children my Amma bore were her two sons. And she so desperately wanted a daughter. Ironically my Uncle had two daughters. My dad had me. And my brother.
I have a couple of stories about my Amma from my uncle. My Aunt was not a fan of her mother-in-law. My mom has different stories and me, well I was her favorite so my glasses are rose colored.
Every time I have a thought regarding this character I am building I write it down. Thus far I have only had the two but I am beginning to view my dad differently. Or rather the fictional version I am building of him.
I must not paint my Amma as an evil villianess. I can only speculate as to what happened in her earlier life. We have no real on her.
My Afi (Icelandic for grandpa) is but a shadow to me. He passed away 1 month and 6 days before I was born. Came home drunk and fell down the basement stairs. Broke his back. Died of pneumonia.
My Amma and Afi shaped my dad.
Were one to look at my Uncle, respectable, looked after his family, never abandoning them to fate, you would never guess the family connection.
My dad? He is not an enigma. Not when I take my own reality of him, my mom’s and my brother’s and meld them.
He was a drunk. He left his family to fend for themselves. Never did he think how his actions affected his children. His wife.
Even as I worked to lower my expectations of him I was continually disappointed. The once sympathetic character I saw is now evolving into one you would most likely disdain.
This challenge I have set for myself is intriguing. I originally thought this was going to be a tale of a father who abandoned his children. Who chose alcohol to be his companion.
And with the turn of a phrase I suddenly found sympathy. Today as I wrote I may have had a small pain in my heart because I do believe my Amma may have treated my dad as a girl for the first while. And she babied him.
The great thing about this….I get to make it all up. But at the same time I am going to pluck my mind, my mom’s and my brother’s for memories and stories. For I realize that I need a clearer picture of the man who was my dad.
T began school on Wednesday. The above picture was taken before we left for school. He was grinning when he came out of his class and I was there to greet him. He said he had had a good day. I was encouraged given that T is not a huge fan of the education process. He read 51 pages in his new Dogman book Wednesday evening. Even more encouraging. And he went to bed like a champ.
Thursday did not have an auspicious beginning. I was up and down all night long. My hips and lower back were killing me. (I have since discovered the reason why) And so finally at 4 a.m. or so I rolled out of bed. Made a pot of coffee and sat down to try and be productive. But I could not focus. My head felt woozy and I ached everywhere. It got to such a point that I went and laid down on the couch curled into myself as I tried to get warm.
T had wanted me to walk him to school but that was not going to happen. I felt like I could not walk all the way to his school, as I was hobbling around my hips screaming in agony and my lower back felt as though something was reaching in and twisting all the muscles upside down and knotted. I took two extra strength Motrin and began to have some mobility in my legs. I hopped in the car to do my grocery shopping and a Wal-mart run.
By the time I got home it (and at this time I was still not sure what it was) my good feeling had worn off. I unpacked the groceries and left off portioning out the meat until today. Laid down on the couch and hauled the blanket over top of me. And fell asleep. I did awaken once but still tired, went back to sleep. The next time I woke up I was freezing. Ice cold. My teeth were chattering, my body shaking. I could not believe I had the flu but there you have it, I did.
T came home Thursday and dropped off his bag and went out to play with his friends. A good time was had by all and T even came inside and spent the majority of his evening with me. Went to bed without an problems. And than it began.
‘Mom, do I have to go to school tomorrow?’
‘Yes you do.’
‘But I want to stay home with you. I don’t want to go to school.’
‘Why not? What is going on tomorrow you don’t want to do?’
‘Nothing I just need a long weekend.’
‘No, you are going to school.’
And the crying began. I am positive that he cried himself to sleep. I too fell asleep. And began the night from a really bad place. It was not hell like but it was not good. I was up and down, freezing and hot. My body was still all achy. The cats finally had enough of my tossing and turning and moved to the other side of the bed. At 3ish or so, I awoke and thought I can’t handle this any more. I reached down and pulled up the fluffy blanket that I have at the foot of the bed. I never use it. Still aching I decided on more Motrin and hobbled to the kitchen for them and a swig of Pepsi. I had a sugar craving. When I went to get back in bed I realized how cold it was and turned on the heat. Yes I turned on the heat, pulled on a sweat jacket and crawled back into bed.
At 6 a.m. T’s alarm went off and I rolled over. I was coated in flu sweat, my sweat jack sodden, my hair was even wet. I rolled out of bed and turned the heat off. Went in and shook T to get up. Turned his alarm off as it was still blaring. He got up and was in a great mood. Right up until 8 a.m. when I made him get off computer and brush his teeth. I realized that I did not hear the water and told T to get in there. That is when he said he was not going to school today.
I did not handle the situation well. I could say it is because I am tired, I have the flu, I am a million and one things, but pissed off for this one. T kept saying he wanted to spend the day with me. Why did I not want to spend the day with him? I tried the explanation thing, to no avail. And than he began to cry and whine. He did not want to go to school. He wanted to spend the day with me. All in a whiney voice as he snorted back his snot his eyes kinda shiny with tears.
I told him I did not take kindly to the manipulative tactic he was attempting to use on me. I told him to get his sweater on. More crying. More whining. I told him to get his shoes on. More crying. More whining. Are you sensing the theme here?
We walked down to the garbage and T was insisting that I walk him to school. So he could spend as much time with me as possible. I said fine but we had to go back home so I could change and get the keys. He cried the entire way back. And while he sat on the stairs. And than again when we got outside. He kept saying he would miss me. He needed to be with me today.
T cried all the way to school. Holding my hand. I was short with him because well, he had been using that whining now for almost 45 minutes. He kept asking me to turn around and go back home. I was so angry. I informed him that we were going to go and talk to his teacher. We walked up there and at first I figured it would be okay, he would see his friends and that would be end of it. But no.
At his hut I told him to leave his bag there and go play with his friends. He refused. And than proceeded to tell me he was going home. He was not going into the classroom. That is when I lost all semblance of even trying for the nonchalant I have it all together type of mom. I grabbed him by his school bag and dragged him over to the stairs. He slipped and there I was dragging him up the stairs to the door.
Knocked on door and went in to talk to his teacher. T cried the whole time. I was short and to the point with his teacher. I really had no idea where this was coming from. He felt as though he could get nothing right in class. Math was awful and he was struggling with it already. I did not tell him that T did not like him because well T did tell me that one in confidence. So I am sharing in a blog, on the internet, that is not breaking confidence clause is it?
To top it off I look like crap because of the rough night. I am coated in and smell of flu sweat, my hair is barely combed and I had not brushed my teeth yet so was really in no position to even initiate adult like conversation.
I gave T one last hug and had to unwrap his arms from around my waist. I promised I would be back at 3:45 to meet him. I would be standing right outside the classroom. And than I walked out the door. Coldly, callously, T’s little staring after me with betrayal written all over his face.
Did I want to comfort him? Yes. Wrap my arms around him and tell him that it would all be okay? Yes. That I want to pull out my magic wand and fix all that is wrong in his life? Yes.
Instead I had to be a mean mom. I had to harden my heart and walk away. T is not going to hate me forever and ever, although at this point and time I am sure I am his least favorite person, next to the teacher. And the reason I had to do this was because I need to set limits and boundaries with T.
I know he is growing up and out, he is wanting his independence and his safety blanket mom waiting in the wings. I know that he will push me to see what point he can actually get away to before I order the cease and desist. And also because not everything in life is about fun and games.
I will go pick T up after school. We will take a slow walk home and I will get him some ice cream too. We will have a conversation about his behaviour and mine. I will apologize for some of the things I said. And hopefully I have established a new boundary that T will respect. Otherwise it is going to be a long winter for T with reading as his only occupation.
**Picture courtesy of Pintrest
No it is what I have to do.
I am crazy here.
This is just no good.
I need to detox my brain of him.
Staring at the phone
willing it to ring…..
oh wait, it is 2017
waiting for a text.
Watching out the window
willing him by…..
that is right
dating is no more.
Staring at the door
willing it to open….
I must have missed.
I am crazy,
insane with his touch
melancholy for his thoughts
desirous of his deeds.
No it is what I have to do.
I am crazy here.
This is just no good.
I need to detox my brain of him.
Saying good bye
tear after tear
ripping each head from view
a thousand pictures here.
And like Pavlov’s dogs salivating at the chime of a bell, my body becomes flushed and there is a brief moment, when my heart lifts and hope rises, when I hear the throaty growl of an engine. I admit to peeping out the window on more than one occasion. But the fact remains, there are a lot of fricken trucks in my neighborhood with that throaty growl and they all use the car wash next to my house.
This sits on my fridge. T wrote it in grade 2. It is more fitting.
Beginning at the end of July and for three weeks I did not have T with me. He spent that time with his father. Three weeks. Originally I thought that I would be wild and free but the truth was that I was just a boring old mom, sitting at home without her child, living it up by reading and cleaning her house. And writing of course. It harkened back to the days of being childless but not quite (I mean my home was clean, no pee on the toilet, no lego waiting to maim and disfigure me in the middle of the night) but I missed T something fierce. The last time I was away from him for any extended time was in February of 2016 when I went down to see mom in Mexico.
So hedonistic I am not, most of the time I was exercising, reading or working. I would arrive at work earlier than I needed to (especially when I was opening) and stayed later than I needed to. I got to see T for two brief moments when they came in to work to pick up some groceries and spent an hour and a half with him on his birthday. And when he stopped at work T said hi mom and than was off on a new adventure with his dad. I was glad that the two of them were getting some good quality time together and besides, it was only three weeks and than my darling boy would be mine for 3 weeks.
Needless to say despite having a fabulous day at work on August 19th, and who wouldn’t when they only had to work 6 hours and freedom beckoned at noon? my afternoon off started with a bang. I had implied via text that given my shift ended at 12 and that was when T was coming back to me, he should be dropped off to me at work. I waited half an hour, standing next to my car, cursing and fuming my ex. Firing off texts like ‘I am on a time line here, where are you?’ ‘Really? 2o minutes late and you can’t text me?’ to ‘Wth are you?’ There was steam coming out of me ears and curses from my lips.
Received a text from M who informed me that T and my ex were waiting for me at home. The ex had forgotten his phone. Well I raced home, squealed into my parking spot and went into full rage mode. I was foaming at the mouth and angry, so very very angry. I had wasted half an hour of my time waiting I screamed. I wanted T dropped off at work. I was on a time line and now it was going to be pushed back. My ex kept telling me I had never said I wanted T dropped off at work while I insisted that I had.
The apology after I went back over our texts was galling. As I said, I never actually came right out and stated ‘I am off at 12 please drop T off at work to meet me.’ I inferred that as I was off at 12 I would like T dropped off at work. It made sense in my woman mind I am done at this time so I obviously will not be at home, bring him to work. It was pointed out to me that despite having been married to me for 14 years, a man’s mind hears, blah blah blah, 12, drop him off-blah blah blah. So yes I said I was sorry.
Finally we are on the road, I have calmed down and all was right in Jay and T’s world. We sailed out to the lake. Got there before anyone else and settled in. As the family poured in, jokes and laughter were the most prevalent noises heard. And the family birthday party was a total blast. Up to and including the baby bro setting off fireworks and nearly killing everyone in the family as the finale went off straight up and than straight out in a burst of sparkles. I wish the picture of him just standing there, curled into himself like a giant bear, had turned out, because it was really too good not to share.
T came back to me not the T I had left with his dad. He was surly, belligerent and obnoxious. He back talked mom, he was not pleasant to me at all and it cumulated on Sunday with a horrific row when we arrived home. It took me a week and leaving his birthday presents at the lake to make him somewhat the polite helpful young man that he is with me.
I fairly danced through the week. T and me were getting there. There was less whining when I asked him to feed the cats and more ‘sure mom’. And holidays they were acoming. Two weeks of bliss while I vegged, hung out with T and lived the hedonistic lifestyle I thought I would indulge in back at the beginning of August. Than comes Thursday night.
T is annoyed with me because he has to be in bed early. I started work at 5 a.m. and had to be up and out of the house by 4:35 to get T to babysitter and myself to work. I tuck him into bed and sing him his lullabye and crawl into my bed, ready for sleep. And as I lay there, I hear this noise. A small sniffle, a gulp, a heave. And than T calls out in a wavering voice: ‘Mom?’
He is in bed sobbing his heart out. And he wants me to call his dad and have him come give him a hug and a kiss. Right than. And I admit I was not thinking about T when he spoke those words to me. I felt a sudden breaking of my heart, and a brutal anger rip through me. I live for T. He is my heart and soul. I am only half alive when I am not with him. But it is his dad that he wants.
I made a grave parental error that night. One I am sure I will make again and again as T grows and changes. I demanded to know why he needed to see his father to give him a hug and a kiss. Had he cried when he was away from me for three weeks? He had not text me or stopped by to ask me for a hug and a kiss.
I was vile. I was jealous. I was angry. I was hurt.
Friday I ‘forgot’ to text his dad before we left for the cabin. And when T twigged to it I placed the onus on him for ‘forgetting’ to remind me. What type of a person does that to a 9 year old child? A jealous spiteful bitch that is whom.
I did arrive at a theory that helped calm me and when I have expounded on it to others (my inner circle lol) they are all quick to agree with me. Which now that I think about is really only the right thing to do so clearly they could all be wrong.
I thought long and hard about the differences in myself and my ex. I thought about how T does not call or text me when he is at his dad’s for the week. I thought about how often he asks to come home to me early on Sundays. I thought about how I told him every day how I loved him, how I hugged and kissed him always. How T is so secure in my love of him, that he knows that I will always be here for him. That he does not really miss me when away from me for an extended time period. Because I will always be where he looks for me.
It does not soothe the sting I felt again on Wednesday this week when Tember sobbed his eyes out wanting to see his dad for another hug and kiss. Nor did it keep me from asking T if he wanted to live with his dad because well, selfish and bitch again come to mind, but it is there.
This must become my talisman. My mantra if you will. So I can stop hurting T with my anger and jealousy when he needs to ensure himself of his father’s presence. So I can be mature and reasonable.
Ha! As if……..but I will use it to keep T feeling safe and secure. And not as though there is anything wrong with his desire for a hug and a kiss from his dad, even when it is my time with him.