Sometimes when we read someone else’s words they hit you deep down in your guts directly to your soul, these words did exactly that. They paused me. They made me remember my job, “the keeper“
I had bracelets made for both my kids, I wear my sons, one day I’ll give it to him but for know I am the keeper of the message “ain’t no mountain high, no valley low” the song I played them so much during a very hard time in our lives, the divorce. We are years passed that now, however, old wounds die hard and long sometimes so it is just a reminder that through it all, good and bad, they could always count on their keeper
It certainly is the little things that we know to keep this lil sailboat sailing like a Viking battleship
One of our silly videos to fully embraced our motto
“I am the keeper.
I am the keeper of schedules. Of practices, games, and lessons. Of projects, parties, and dinners. Of appointments and homework assignments.
I am the keeper of information. Who needs food 5 minutes before a meltdown occurs and who needs space when he gets angry. Whether there are clean clothes, whether bills are paid, and whether we are out of milk.
I am the keeper of solutions. Of bandaids and sewing kits and snacks in my purse. But also of emotional balms and metaphorical security blankets.
I am the keeper of preferences. Of likes and dislikes. Of nightly rituals and food aversions.
I am the keeper of reminders. To be kind, to pick up their trash, to do their dishes, to do their homework, to hold open doors and write thank you notes.
I am the keeper of rituals and memories. Of pumpkin patches and Easter egg hunts. I am the taker of pictures, the collector of special ornaments, and the writer of letters.
I am the keeper of emotional security. The repository of comfort, the navigator of bad moods, the holder of secrets and the soother of fears.
I am the keeper of the peace. The mediator of fights, the arbiter of disputes, the facilitator of language, the handler of differing personalities.
I am the keeper of worry. Theirs and my own.
I am the keeper of the good and the bad, the big and the small, the beautiful and the hard.
Most of the time, the weight of these things I keep resembles the upper elements on the periodic table – lighter than air, buoying me with a sense of purpose.
But sometimes the weight of the things I keep pulls me down below the surface until I am kicking and struggling to break the surface and gasp for breath.
Because these things I keep are constantly flickering in the back of my brain, waiting to be forgotten. They scatter my thoughts and keep me awake long past my bedtime.
Because all these things I keep are invisible, intangible. They go unnoticed and unacknowledged until they are missed. They are not graded or peer reviewed or ruled on by a court. And sometimes they are taken for granted.
My husband and my boys are kind and generous and they love me hard. And this is by far the greatest job I have ever had. But sometimes being the Keeper is exhausting. Because you feel like you’re doing it alone.
So to all of you who are keepers, I see you.
I know the weight of the things you keep.
I know the invisible work you do, which doesn’t come with a pay check or sick leave, is what makes the world go round.
Hoping this can find its way all the way to the places we are from to our parents, and our friends, and maybe up to heaven if it’s not too much to ask to wish those we love and adore and miss a heck of a lot l, wish them all the most beautiful Christmas Day!
Now I’m gonna get MY bag of banana runts and curl up to watch A Christmas Story again, maybe catch the family Griswald later as well
Or imma gonna run with my Razzles and head to the beach! It’s about 80 today!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Home Turf.”
I felt compelled to ask my lover boy,and my Thing #1 and #2, what makes a house a home before I decided to delve into this for myself.
Troy responded by saying “where the people you love are around you”.
Thing#2 responded “wherever me and my pillow are because that pillow smells like you momma”. She has told me that since she was three. At five had the novel idea of making me sleep on the freshly washed pillowcase for two or three days then come steal that pillow to sleep on herself.
Both of my children also said that “when we come home from school and the kitchen smells so good from whatever you are cooking. Your banana bread is one of the favorite smells to walk into the house to. Or roast beast smelling up everywhere… that is home., (yes like in The Grinch, this is how I got them to start eating pot roasts I would make. Totally worked too, they love it )
I am a wanderlust, I’ve lived a few different states in my life and it’s not ever been about the actual location nor the actual abode. I am not exactly attached very long to very much except my family. One of my favorite things, what makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside with that “home“ feeling is to just kind of sit and listen to the hustle and bustle of my family. So I think Troyhit the nail.
When my kids walk in the door saying ” ack!! banana bread!!” speaks home. Or they are in their rooms with music playing or maybe a friends over and i just kinda check in on what I am hearing, singing or chit chat, speaks home. Listening truly makes me smile. When Thing #2 grabs my pillow and runs with it, I know exactly what she is doing, that speaks home. As of late, my kids piled up in each others room suddenly realizing they are not so far apart in age and truly enjoy each others company, speaks home. These kids teasing Troy,about making him batty, that speaks home.
After coming home from anywhere, our crazy ass pig sized dogs jumping like they haven”t seen us in years, speaks home. Even when they have eaten blue dry cake mixes and my kitchen looks like smurf”s were murdered, welp, as a matter of fact, that speaks home loud and clear.
and one other thing, Troy saying “mornin darlin,” that speaks home
It was so much more than a typical day six years ago. On the heels of a judge stamping my divorce giving me freedom, releasing both my children and myself from all of “that.” I stood my ground and got shit done. The one time in my life that my being so damn stubborn actually worked so well that I surprised even myself. Twelve days after that very important signature gave me a new lease on life, I was ready to cash that sucker in. I was a little scared, I cannot say I wasn’t. I couldn’t show exactly how scared because
of my children and also for Troy. He was already worried sick about me. So were my parents. It wasn’t that I was anxious we were moving 1000 miles to a place I had never seen, that was a completely different kind of anxiety. I was scared because just the day before an extremely drunk newly divorced x husband came to say goodbye to his children. When they were less than ecstatic to see him in the first place, he was wobbly drunk they got scared. As he left, he turned to me to talk. I wanted none of it, he was less than a nice drunk most of the time. That moment was no different. He had told the kids he was heading to rehab again (stay 7 I think) when he turned to direct this conversation to me I think for one split second he looked as though he regretted the hell he put me through. Only a split second because the mean drunk pushed that sad man, sad father and sad husband aside to unleash upon me. Any good feelings were squashed down to obliterate around him as anger and plain meanness exploded, while he was surprised I was going through with this 1000 mile move he also promised me he would take these kids from me. He vowed whatever it took, be it stealing them, he would have them and I would not.
What a great parting gift, huh?
All I had was what.Mr Chow said:
TOODOOLOO! <- Click or not to see but its kinda how I felt as we pulled away
It has actually taken years to shake that threat. My kids are big now but it still haunts me. He was a ruthless man when he was drinking, I cannot convey that as serious as it actually was. My children haven’t quite shaken it either, I still see it in their eyes when he is around them. They can’t hide it from me, and in a better world, they wouldn’t be able to hide it from their biological father. If he had been a better man he would see it, unfortunately that is not the case. Troy sees it, he sees it crystal clear and has been able to stand as our fort door keeping it strong and formidable.
That next morning after this so called good bye, when I got the call as he entered rehab, my own dad gave me the go. “Get in the car, leave today, understood little girl?” You see, the threats were somewhat real to my family, we knew this asshole and knew not to trust a word he said. Once it was confirmed he was there, I pretty much ran and he didn’t know where except within 25 miles of my parents.
When we woke up this morning six years ago, our day looked chaotic. It was just as chaotic as it had been the night before. We had pulled over about eleven or so in a town that we did not now our way around at all but we were so exhausted and stressed, we needed sleep.
Looking back, it was no wonder. We had two cars, a truck full of children’s toys and our clothes looking like the Clampets driving to Beverly Hills. My car was like a little Noah’s ark. Two dogs, two cats, a rat, a lizard, two children and me. That ark was overfilled with chaos! And an ark it was not. It was a PT Cruiser. We stopped half way just because of stress inside that car. If we hadn’t, we may of been minus and animal or two, maybe a child as well.
We were literally on the home stretch, to cash in that signature, there was a thing or two that had to happen first…. It is always darkest before it is light ….
A friend and I were talking how I make life look easy raising two kids, I about fell over laughing. Easy? She must be thinking of a different friend, nothing I encounter is easy in any way, shape or form. Most days I have that wide eyed almost twitching look that just screams help to the outside world.
While chuckling, “Whatever do you mean? Look easy? I’m bat shit crazy most days trying to prevent a war or attempting to stop a war between these kids, do you not remember Thing#2’s broken finger just goofing with her brother? Nothing is easy!”
“Oh not that normal mom crazy stuff, we are ALL that crazy, I mean how do you get them to talk with you about everything ? You definitely make that look very easy and you trust them to have s boy/girl party at 13”
How do I get my kids to open up ? Well, probably because I bug the shit out of them, that’s how. They learned it’s easier to just fess up and talk. Not accepting words such as just because, or I don’t know as a proper answer since they were able to talk helps. When they would ask the “Why?” I didn’t ever say “because I said so” I think that if we expect them to talk with us then we should, in some way, be able to explain the reasons why yes or why no. I really do not like hearing parents say that. “Because I said so” just means I have power and you don’t and I don’t know one person who likes to feel as if someone else is manhandling them with all this power. But that’s just me and how I work. I didn’t say it was a fool proof plan!
Why am I letting our daughter have more of a real party for her birthday? The first “boy/girl” party of sorts, I’d rather it be in my house versus another house. Our conversatio went into many directions, my friend thought this was helpful, perhaps, but again nothing is guaranteed
Thirteen. Think back to when you were “officially” a teenager. Not a little kid anymore but not a grown up either. The time in life where we, as girls, begin to learn so much about ourselves (which, by the way, is confusing as all hell) where your best friend is the most important person in your life, where notes were passed when we were young, they now have infinite ways to send messages: snapchat, Instagram, kik, there are too many to keep track of. Apps for your iPod touch to use it as a phone as well. I find that one funny because both my kids had iTouch’s before they had phones, being all safe -n-shit we thought we went the good route first, not just jumping into a be-all cell phone, add a wifi signal they were good to go just like downtow calling Alaska via wifi. Oopsy, learned that one the hard way
If your kid is younger than 6th grade, Facebook is an acceptable way for when your parents want to message you but they won’t admit to ever logging into that app anymore by 7th grade. You will most likely find every kid in your neighborhood has a Twitter account. Why? The reality is you, as a parent don’t probably use Twittee, this is exactly why your child will. Sneaky little buggers they are! You can find out exactly what’s going on in the town you live in when you ask your child’s username and decide to make an effort to look. I guarantee your middle school knows more about apps than the news does, by the time the news tells parents about popular apps from the iTunes or Amdroid store, your child has already moved passed that app and its old news.
The age of 12-13 seems to be highly marketed and most knowledgable too and girls more than boys. My son is almost 16 and his sister who is just 13, tells him what’s “hot and what’s not.” My kids were both on my iTunes account until last year, this was s really great way to keep track of apps they were using to finnigle about. I’d highly suggest a parent link their children to whichever, Apple or Android, you can set those accounts up with passwords and what not.
How does a mom and dad keep track of it all? Talk people, talk to your child. Or maybe just listen whilst they talk. Talk with them and their bestie, I’m telling you this works. I am actually interested in knowing my kids from the inside out more and more as they get older but from doing exactly this, talking, about nonsense somedays, well, the river of knowledge is open and flooding you because they see you are interested in them not just yourself and being their mom. Works for boys too. Although they aren’t so flowy at times, they still want you to know at least a little about them and what they enjoy too.
We have cell phone rules at our house, they apply to Momma and Daddy too. Sometimes you need reminders to turn our devices off too. Make a cell phone contract with your kids, most times if we are clear in our rules kids will actually follow them, most times. There is always that one time they lose their heads and make a bad choice here or there. Overall, we have my kids to the point where they can come and talk and usually do.
Cell Phone Contract Troy didn’t exactly hit the ground running with my little philosophy here. I can say that he was open to most of the ways I had going raising my kids. They were victims of an awful divorce and we have taken great pains to help them heal and move forward
We’ve already had to discuss the new movement among young girls of age 12 being bi-sexual because a girl professed love to our daughter who knows she is not falling into that group but respects the choices of others. Being a southern man, Troy had a hard time at first with all of this hitting our girl so young, it was way too young but it is what we were dealt. Then there was her best friends suicide, the lines of communication are so wide open now, open line to her therapist, all with no judging just compassion, empathy and love and she knows it. We have kept her mighty close to us, her brother too, but at arms length reach to when WE are needed. We press when we must, we sit back and wait as well.
The last thing my friend and I left each other with was the fact that all the crap we laid out to each other during our discussion, well tomorrow it may all go up in smoke as we are dealt a different hand. As much preparing as one can do, you cannot exactly prepare for life on life’s terms some days. On those days, you just gotta roll with the punches and do what you know worked last time with a few modifications and take on the world or the next war that just began in the living room.
A strange but familiar echo in my head
“Someone’s going to get hurt…. She’s smaller than you, remember that, don’t pull his hair either”
Topped with a huge “mom always said, do t play ball in the house” Thanks Carol Brady
Desperately hard week and my brain won’t shut off so I’m not sleeping and I’m tired so when I saw this box in my mailbox, I smiled. I gotta box! From who? My friend who I just call K (not from MIB either) I’m squirt she’s K, has been always and will always be
The stress of this particular week and this particular day, when I read the words my body simply crumbled to the floor in my kitchen, seriously, so overwhelmed. I heard myself crying like a little kid who lost his dog, made me cry more. Karma eating me alive? Maybe. If that’s what this is, I’d watch out, change your ways because when it hits like it hit me all week. Poor Troy, hearing that kind of cry he was there in all of 2 seconds and I couldn’t even speak. compounded with losing my dad, my god I’m totally crushed with the events the last week. I won’t explain them here, it will make a few very very angry and most days I’d take it but I don’t need that extra bullshit right now and neither does Troy
This is the most sincere gift I’ve ever gotten, Patty needed a hero today I couldn’t muster my own this week, Troy tried, but he was confused himself about it all. I think God tapped K on the shoulder and said “psst….I think you have a fiend calling to you…”
An hour later I saw his initials engraved on the underside.. crumble
I love it, I think it’s beautiful, it’s on my wrist but forgive me I cannot look at it, it’s there though, I feel it. One day I’ll be able to look, it will help my heart mend a bit with what the words say.
My God I hope so cuz I can’t take much more.
K knows this feeling all to well, she lost her dad sometime ago also. I thank her Momma Sue for giving us this beautiful gift, wholeheartedly the kindest person I’ve ever known since I was 15, my friend that I truly love and would try to move heaven and earth if I could when she need me, I stand eternally grateful, loved and blessed by her presence in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your letter was just so heart felt. I so miss you, when I wrap my head around this, I’ll call. Know this feller Tim is pointing me in the right direction ‘and making sure I’m okay, that my crumbling isn’t all the time. Karen, my friend, you were my hero today, you and that little box!
There will be a day I will be able to look and cherish it and she knows that wherever she is right now, it’s just not today though, she knows how much my parents mean to me. Well everyone knows I am a sap with it comes to them, I can’t help it, it’s a good thing !
Reality is that I don’t care one bit to agree I’m a daddy’s girl either. Someone unkind and spiteful called me that once in an extremely derogatory way. I think it’s a compliment. My daddy did In fact rock and had his reasons for what he did for me whether I liked it or not, I do know that in my heart, my momma does as well Also, what Nana & papa mean to my children I know that, they have always too, They pretty much co-parented with Troy and I There is not bad in any of that, I turned out pretty good whether they see it or not. Giving love is one thing but walking around with the feeling of love, through words, actions, reactions and just a very clear sense and ability to feel it, that’s something entirely different than merely giving love. I am so cheesy and sappy now, I think i always was and didn’t realize it to the full extent
My God, I do not miss Michigan not one bit, but Its moments like these that I truly miss my life long friends. K, you are the most kindest and compassionate person I know, my Dad said the same thing. I’m not all psychic ability aura lady over here by any means, but it these beautiful qualities in you, well they just ooze from you, being around you truly makes people feel good.
I believe my dad said once or twice that being around you calmed my 20’s, they had potential for major disaster! I thank you from deep within me, way down in my guts kinda thank you and love! What a way with words, eh? Seriously though, everyone says they feel blessed and grateful for friends around them but honestly, whole heartedly, embarrassing awful voice singing Respect over MANY watered down $1 long islands, I am more grateful and blessed by having you a part of my life as the life long friend I can catch up where we left off, not missing a beat as if its not been 6 years since Ive seen you kinda best friend! Thank you so much, I’ll be up to see you soon, we have a lot of birthday dinners to catch up on! Love you my friend always….
MOOOMMMMAAA!! Why not? one black one? I will choose then, You don’t look eat your salad
To my self I say in a giggle, I will do just that, eat my salad and NOT look, good Lord, here we go however it turns out it turns out…
Well, I was able to kind of eat my salad for dinner in stages while I was being upgraded here, I was able to mess with this family tree i am
working on, I tried not to look because of the colors out of the 100 nail polishes she has, a mere 5 or six were on the table- red white and blue and blackI realized I had lost my voice in this so let it be…. and listened to directions given “mom,
Thumb, other hand
Let me take a bite first I was actually eating (which by the way is hard with the wrong hand)
Red, okay, usually on my toes but it’s all good at least I can eat my salad now because the right hand is done. Hardy I at as a lefty. There is beauty in what was going on, not beauty in the sense this helps my swuatty little fingers look better, it’s not that at all, I live in reality the hands are what they are: more like my dads not like my moms long fingers and beautiful nails. Although I’m glad my feet look like hers because I’m told my feet are pretty, hey it’s something. Ha! Never thought about it until someone showed me someone else’s ugly feet. Now I can walk taller in my flip flops
The beauty is, she never stopped talking. These moments are still extremely important for my Thing #2. Not just because I now know that x boyfriend is bugging the shit out of her, but I can also see what’s in her head by the way she talks, what she talks about, what she considered serious and what she considers bullshit. I’m not saying this to brag, this child is smart so is her brother. Although I’d like to take full credit for all this, I can’t. My x-hole may have been an addict trapped in alcohol, drugs, women and gambling but he was a smart man. That’s a big compliment in my book, sad it’s the only one I can offer about that dude. Being an addict doesn’t make you dumb, addiction does not go hand in hand with knowledge and ability to process, remember and recall. Completely two different aspects of the brain.
Anyhow, back from the detour, she is a smart lite lady. Walked teo weeks after that six month photo session at the photographer, decided to run the day after, at one could climb a fence in the princess plastic shoes, she’s daring too. While on vacation for my sisters wedding in a posh hotel in South Beach Miami ( this child spoke full sentences at age one) she refused the swim diaper…a mothers worst nightmare at a posh hotel where very few children were staying in the first place and I have not just one but two under the age four so yes the guests just looked..great. I could only imagine the scene from
“Caddy Shack” oh you know which one too I bet but just in case, click it
Arguing with a 14 month old is not fun in the first place, now imagine my child nicknamed “lil miss sassafras” who can hold a conversation almost like a debate at this young age. I couldn’t get the scene out of my head. The pool, could I pretend it was a candy bar in the eventpf my toddlers accident?? Uh hell no. I held to my guns because my sisters wedding was at the hotel. Imagine the brides fears here and she is my older sister and both my children were in her wedding: I stuck to my guns!!
At some point she up and decided she’d heard enough and marched to the bathroom and says as she just stomps her foot “I’ll use the big potty!!” End of discussion! Oh lord, I wish I had this iPhone 6 then because my God she potty trained herself all in one moment out of frustration and desire to cannonball in that pool, I was already teaching her to swim. My son was four and learned pretty quickly to swim about age 2, she was determined to swim. Her brother did it so she was gonna to so move out of the way, let’s get this shit done I want to swim
POOF! My 14 month old was poorly trained and that was that. Never mentioned a damn swim diaper again. I do have a few photos of her in one the day before at the beach when she gave in to her brothers pleads because he wanted to jump in the giant ocean pool they had seen for the first time, she obliged. The next day was a different story!
She’s smart as a whip and ready to superceed what is in from of her. That personality and self image of courage, strength, determination, along side the kids beauty and loving nature is the whole package, it can never be confined to a box wrapped with a bow, I wouldn’t even try. My mom didn’t and it damn well faired me well, I will not stifle this kid, didn’t then and I don’t now.
Whether she sees it or not, these moments of beauty where I hear her talk about her, the important things, the little things, sad, happy, the struggles, the triumphs…ALL of this shows me the awkward times of 8th grade, being a year younger than all of her friends and peers, thus young lady will be okay
These moments of beauty where I hear her talk about her, the important things, the little things, sad, happy, the struggles, the triumphs…ALL of this shows me the awkward times of 8th grade, being a year younger than all of her friends and peers, thus young lady will be okay. She’s just 12, will be 13 on September 14, her friends are turning 14.She’s just 12, will be 13 on September 14, her friends are turning 14.
She and her brother, are both a year younger than everyone in their grade. Not that they are Einsteins, they hold their own, they started preschool at 2 because they were ready, moving here from up north where they qualified for early 5 programs but didn’t need them ecosystem of their higher aptitude, here it’s different and kids start school later, mine started early leaving them younger.
So it is Troy and my job to have these talks but that’s not only why I do it. And yes, he has them with her also. Being a Mom or Dad, quite frankly, is a hard ass job, constantly changing: Creating “The most perfect chaos, where you are reading about my chaos. Any mother who acts like its shits & giggles 24/7 is lying. I’m a fantastic mom because I have been raised by some damn fine parents but there are days I am an udder wreck still, mine are 12 and 15 going on 25 in their heads. That craziness and worry, constantly changing hats being the butcher, baker, candlestick maker, plumber, doctor, debater, the dry cleaner, chef and the maid and just do much more on any given day, that which you recognize as utter chaos but keep moving forward, that’s part of it, showing them you can actually achieve it some sort of triumph in your pajamas some days is important. Only burning the bread every now and then, all of it shows your children how to do it themselves as they grow up. Help them cope with their own shit. Getting into her head like this to actually understand her, well that’s my agenda. She is like me, but she is not me, she’s a much much more better version of me, I’m not too bad but she is just phenomenal in my eyes and she needs to see and feel that.. I cannot imagine the little versions of her she will create, it will be quite amazing to see
Now I don’t know what went wrong here but that’s how I was left! Lol.
And I don’t have a weird ass growth on my hand, it’s blurred because of snoopy ass people who need hotmeasure either of my engagement rings nor my wedding ring. You don’t get to snoop too much, only as far as I let you, it is what it is>>>
My happy place was rained out today, it was the first day of school for Thing #1 & Thing #2, we see all on the verge of crabby because we are all tired. Everyone is a lot more quiet than usual
I saw the news story on Jimmy Carter, It matters not if you liked or disliked Jimmy Carter, today his press conference truly showed he is a true statesman and a good man who kept his composure today and is quite satisfied with the life he has had thus far. I truly pray for him and his family that there are still many good days full of lots of love.
And that was enough to just get me…again damn it!
So I went to make myself smile and laugh, this did it, our silliness has a purpose. Click & see!