Thankful

I’m struggling. I tend to write about the things that challenge me. That is, after all, why I started this blog. To heal and cleanse my life of the negative feelings that get me down.

On a day that every one is supposed to be thankful, I find my mind going to the places where the dark and heavy feelings stay. The things that I don’t allow myself to think about are creeping all around me. I’ve felt this way all day long. So I’ll make a conscience effort to tell those feelings that they don’t belong in my life because I do, after all, have so much to be thankful for.

In a way I consider this the first Thanksgiving since my split from Violet’s dad. Last year I was so numb, it was all I could do to make it through each day, let alone grieve over the loss of my family. The process of divorce comes in phases. I’ve gone through a series of realizations that have helped me grow, and some that have made me more sad than I ever thought possible. For seven years I was a part of an amazing family. I thought I’d be spending holidays with them forever, I didn’t get married to get divorced.

Last years realization: I DID get married to get divorced. I don’t deserve to be so disrespected, I deserve to be cherished and loved out loud.

This years realization: I lost my family.

I was very close with a lot of people in my ex’s family. I’m still close with some of them. The ones who truly care to keep in touch with me do so on a regular basis. In spite of busy schedules and crazy lives I’ll get a random text here, or a call there. It usually comes at a time that I need it most.

At times today the sadness I felt was overwhelming. It’s hard to stop myself from feeling like a victim when I lost a family that I wont ever be ready to let go. I *hate* to feel like a victim. The solution? Write the rest of this post about what I do have, what I haven’t lost and what I’m thankful for. And when I need a reminder, I’ll peak back at this post. We all need a little help remembering things from time to time.

I am thankful for my parents and for all of the time that I am able to spend with them. I am thankful for the morals that they taught me to have, and for the love that they’ve always shown me. I am thankful that Violet has their influence as much as I did, and I hope that she will develop a heart full of love and empathy, just like mine.

I am thankful for my support system. I have an amazing group of friends who have really shown me their true colors. Some live close, others live far (too far) away. Either way each and every one of them have been here for me. To move me, to talk to me, to let me cry, to just be, to let me get my crazies out, to plan with me, to have some wine, to take road trips…. Wow I could go on and on.

I’m thankful to be learning that there are men in this world who *are* capable of telling the truth. That I won’t always need to keep this wall of “trust no one” built around my heart. I’m thankful to harbor hope in my soul that says maybe, just MAYBE I will have a baby boy some day. I’m thankful that I don’t have to be married to do that. Because let’s face it: being married again hasn’t made it on to my “to do” list.

I am thankful for my job. It puts a roof over my head, food on my table, clothes on my back and affords me some fun every now and again. I’m thankful for the people I work with and for the company I work for. I love what I do, not everyone can say that.

I am thankful for my journey. It’s been a long and painful road, but I’m awake and alive. I’ve grown so much, and understand life so much more than I did before. I’ve evolved and have so much more evolving to do. I really like the person I’ve become, I wish I would have known her long ago.

I am thankful for my beautiful and perfect baby girl. She is the center of my universe, she makes my life complete. When I’m not with her I feel like I’m missing my left arm. She is a funny, smart, loving, sassy, independent, one-of-a-kind mini me and I just can’t get enough.

To all of my family and friends past, present and future. Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you. Always.

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He will always be a son to me.

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This makes a momma want to cry. (Happy tears)
I worry so so so much that I will lose the awesome relationship I have with my bonus kid. As time passes, and he gets older, and I get closer to the finality of my divorce from his dad I sometimes feel Violet’s brother slipping away. It makes me so sad–sometimes it’s overwhelming. The holidays don’t help. And tonight I sent him a little text that was returned with the sweetest thing to ever come from a 12 year old’s text. I feel better, and I can’t wait to plan our Christmas weekend.

Yes…..she STILL sleeps in my bed.

Sometimes I have so much to write about, I don’t even know where to start. I could post every conversation I have with Violet–as all of them are full of wonder and intelligence. I could post about realizations that make me sad– just when I think I’ve reached a new level of healing. I could post about how ridiculous daily life is with my wacky parental units. I could post a whole post on what I could post. So….tonight I’ve decided to share what makes me happiest. A story about my Violet.

So…I *try* to peacefully parent Violet. But she’s two, so it’s sometimes not very easy. There are days when I feel like nothing I do is sinking in, and that just maybe if I turn into a raving lunatic mom like the ones I see at Wal-Mart, Violet will all of a sudden not act like a two-year-old any more. And then there are nights like this one:

I was wrapped up in getting as much done as I could on my day off. Vi was wrapped up in being in my arms as much as possible on my day off. You can see where this is going, can’t you? So I would stop what I was doing and take Violet/Mommy breaks. We watched a movie and read books. When she gets upset I validate her feelings, “Violet, you are so upset because you just want mommy to hold you all day.” I would explain what I was doing, “Mommy would love to just hold you all day, but I’ve got a lot of stuff to get done. We just finished that movie, and Mommy must get back to work.”

After her bath she found a new sense of freedom and started to play on her own like a champ. I took full advantage and started plugging away at an organization project. Before I knew it, it was 10 PM. Whoa. My kid was *wide awake*. So I tucked my project away and called for her. “Violet! I need you!” She came thumping down the hallway and I said, “It’s time for sleep.” She took one look at me, grabbed her pink glitter purse and with some serious purpose headed towards the front door.

V: “I gotta go momma. I have my purse. I’m going back to work now. I’ve got stuff to do.”
Me: “Oh, you do? Violet, it’s after 10, where do you work?”
V: “At the bank, in town. Mommy, I got to go. I have my purse.”
Me: “But Violet….I just want to hold you.” *makes sad face* “Please can I hold you?”
V: “Momma, I have stuff, okay?” I give her a sad sad sad pitiful face and without missing a beet she looks at my mom and says, “MeMaw, mommy’s upset.” She looks back to me and says, “Its okay momma, I see you at lunch. Bye momma, I go back to work in town.”

Well be still my heart. There I stood looking at the perfect miniature replica of ME. She validated my feelings with “mommy’s upset” just like I do with her, but still had no intention of staying home from work…again, just like me. It just goes to prove that children of ALL ages can know *exactly* what’s going on in the world around them. Stories like these concrete my desire to always be gentle and kind with my daughter. She may not always remember WHAT I say, but she will remember how I make her FEEL. And this little wake up call reminded me that I do work full time. That’s a lot. So it’s not so bad at all that my munchkin and I snuggle up at night, we need that quality time together. She won’t always want to be so close to me, so I’ll enjoy it while I can.

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