Tag Archives: protect

‘the keeper’

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 ​

​http://us.vivavideo.tv/v/zX6gd2sq/1/


 

“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. 


I see you.


And I salute you.”


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Credit: Lucky Orange Pants

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The Clampets, Noah and the Ark

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 ….

 

 

 

 

Amongst Men

 Thing#1 asks his Papa a few questions today and my dad says, “one day he’d sit down and tell him all about it..”   As this kinda perplexed my son as to why not now?  My Daddy began to tell him all about it right then. I just sat listening to my Dad tell Thing #1 about family,  what family means, and exactly why he was telling him.  My mom and I looked at each other more than once in this discussion, just acknowledging to each other and to my son the truth my Dad was speaking.  When my Dad was done talking, I then asked my son one simple question,  “Now do you understand exactly why I am the way I am?”     I have heard that story now a few times in my life. The last time was almost six years ago in our driveway 1000 miles from where I stand today when my Dad gave his facts of life the way he saw it and expected it to be to Troy, which Troy found absolutely reasonable as he shook my daddy’s hand that day.

I’ve told my kids these things as well, however, when it’s spoken by my Dad, that makes this, well I don’t quite have a word for it,  when my Dad speaks, we listen.  What he says just IS, like family law or something.  Sounds extreme, well it is.  Family is well defined, expectations of everyone, respect for everyone, it’s a package deal, it is how I was raised so I find none of it oddball at all.  I know that when Troy’s father has spoken to just me numerous times or even to my kids, we all  gave undivided attention and full respect to the conversations because that’s exactly what I was taught to do and the moment when you see their words true, that much more respect is given.  None of this is unheard of.  Now, if someone starts telling you bat shit crazy, twisted ideas of family, well, that is a different story, we all will excuse ourselves from that person forever.   By no means am I Italian or related to the Gotti family, however, family is everything to ours and my dad just happens to be a helluva lot like Tony Soprano when dealing with outside sources as they pertain to his family and a few choice friends;  protective, serious, honest and loyal.  He can and will hit the ground running if he is crossed, and so will each of his children and also the love of his life, my own Momma.


When it comes right down to the heart of the matter, Thing#1 has some pretty fabulous men around him as roll models.  Men of character with heart and soul, who love fiercly and are not afraid to show their love; who protect instinctively they are not forced, and they do not attach strings to their love because it is unconditional.   They are certainly not afraid of the truth and always speak it and expect you to so the same; loyalty runs deep, it’s a part of them that is not questioned, it is in their blood so you do not have doubt because it’s in yours as well.  They are so very easily trusted and respected because that is exactly how they treat you, they are open and extremely honest, if you are in need of hearing the truth, well, hold up because they will give it and expect you to do the same.

This is just the men of my family. As  I decide to take on the ladies here and there, you will and perhaps have already seen that we are all that and a bag of chips and not plain old tater chips either!  Us ladies be those Spicy Sriracha, habanero tater chips dashed with ghost pepper flakes; a force to be reckoned with, a very fine hot mess that if you are extremely lucky, it only takes two hands to handle each of us.  Family is our everything, we stand stronger than the mafia boss because we give the mafia boss his strength.  Overstepping boundaries may not fair any person well,  tangoing with any of us, well it’s just not one of those fabulous ideas one could have.   “Forgive and forget” turns into “move along, but remember to not trust that one.”     The one single person that could bring  Tony Soprano down was his wife, Carmella.  

Diamond in the Rough 

I am no different than any other mother out there, it’s a learning process isn’t it?  You have no clue what you are actually in  for until that first baby lands on you, kinda like hitting a brick wall for me.  My older sis never had any children so I had not been around any babies ever really.

BUT the day my son came at 42 and 1/2 weeks of baking,  the timer to which I was begging to ring.  I wanted to clamor that bell for mercy, to admit defeat,  I was beyond miserable being pregnant at that point.  I only wanted to get this thing out of me that was playing hackey sack with my appendix!!  Then …it was over and I had not one clue in the world what to do!

This day, however, is the day I came to understand my parents in their entirety, for real.  It was like an epiphany, no joke. Every decision I ever bitched about, cried about,  cheered about, just about everything that happened in my own little life, well it made complete sense.  I looked at him and promised him that I will say no, he will get mad-but I won’t care.  I completely understood the phrase “no, it’s for your own good.”  That would go for yes as well, but we don’t remember all of our own “yes’ from our parents, we remember the big fat ‘No!’.  I knew he’d get mad, pout, scream, cry, shout, all of it, but I won’t care because it’s for his own good to do or not do.  He may even say he doesn’t like me sometimes, fine & dandy little man, as your momma I am bound to protect you until you are ready for this world!

Protection at all costs, ALL costs, I would give my life. When I got divorced from a man who was mentally and physically abusing and  who decided to take his inability to parent out on my daughter, I found strength that i didn’t know existed, it hadn’t existed in me-not quite like that.  I kicked into high gear and did all in my power to not ever let it happen again.  My kids went thru enough that no other person in this entire world would ever treat them badly, not on my watch, not as long as I’m breathing.

So when I started a new relationship later, well, I laid the cards on the table, upfront , they are first, FIRST not second. Is this understood? Is it crystal clear?  Now many men would be all,” yikes, single mother, asshole x & 2 kids? Naw, I’ll pass”  but a certain he didn’t high tail it out of there,  quite the opposite and now we are a melded family and Troy is the father figure with my own dad chiming in (which I love because he is an awesome guy just like my bae)  (yes bae, I did that purposely to annoy me kids) we are perfectly imperfect, dysfunction that functions really on most days anyhow and we are actually a happy hot mess.

By walking in our life, he was subject to losing aspects of his own and it’s really too bad.  I have a beautiful loving family and we would do anything for each other, no question.  And he would as well, he’s part of us now. I won’t ever quite understand what was before me in his life, but somehow it wasn’t good and that has nothing to do with me or my children.  I didn’t cause a divorce, I didn’t make a 20 year marriage miserable for 20 years and neither did my kids.  As harsh as it sounds, absolutely none of that is our fault and I refuse to take blame, go on keep trying, I won’t be the scapegoat for anyone.   I do know exactly why his kid, who is 10 years older than my oldest  and 13 more than my youngest, was less than kind to both myself and my kids.  I’m a big girl I can take what’s dealt to me and deal with it. However, the day it crossed to my children,  well, momma bear mixed with a lioness and fire ants, I didn’t  tolerate that well.  Showing disdain  towards me is one thing, but to an 8 & 11 year old is one helluva different cup of tea.  Now because I was, quite frankly, a complete bitch and wouldn’t stand for these kids to take that, well, we are all hated and somehow usually blamed for anything that  we can could possibly  be blamed for.  The hate for me is so great that their relationship just ended, no ifs ands or buts, it was so very hard on him but he got blamed himself for every part of his own divorce, and unhappiness of others, even though both parties  agreed they were miserable, a divorce decision happened way before I was a thought.  The weight was placed solely upon him. No matter if both parties were right & wrong in the marriage.  Then, enter us three, it made matters worse for him.  Then he moved south with me, the pile  of hatred  for us is now mounting & going  to topple with anything else he does or says.

And then it completely collapsed……

Working on 6 years later, it’s still a mess.  He’s blamed for craziness, addiction, complete crazy shit, I can’t list it all.   I thought, no, I truly hoped  & prayed when she had her own children, somehow she would understand that I was protecting my own children from her hatred, the uncalled for behavior towards them, and all the nastiness that my children heard about me, and the outright disdain we all saw and felt when my kids fell in love with their step father, her father.   They were little kids then and she was his kid I understand but also an adult child who knew better. Who was taught better and damn well expected better to by everyone else. I know Troy was, in fact,  protecting them as well by saying “no more!”  There is no contact, there is sadness and hurt on both sides, and irregardless of what anyone may say, I saw it happen and saw both sides at work here.  I should say it loudly, won’t make one damn bit of difference but create more hate when I say what choice did he have?  I wasn’t intoxicated that night and neither was he, someone else was.  Will that make anything different?  Help  it work out?  It’s been a long time now, I would love to say it would end up working out but I don’t think it can, and that is awful.  They both are too proud? too angry,?  Shall I knock them both off that high horse down to where I am and…and what???   I don’t know!  I now know, it’s not my job to even try, whether anyone would ever care to know I did try back then?  Oh no, I did, well we see how that worked out. It’s not worth it for me to try, brings way too much drama and lies to sift through for truth.  Why would he even want that either?   That I feel terrible about that because I see a different person, a completely different person in him.  A happy one, not that man in that 20 year marriage.  People change, yes, for better and for worse.  That’s not what I am referring to though.  By removing just one aspect of misery/unhappiness; a marriage, so you can see outside of that which makes you feel badly about yourself, meanness, resentment, whatever negative vibes it gave you, once it’s gone you can see what happy IS!  If you can let yourself recognize it, the possibilities are endless really.  You must allow yourself to feel it.  You find yourself again, the person who you really are explodes out and suddenly you aren’t willing to subject yourself to all that bad juju anymore.  Does that make us evil, heathen, self absorbed, unkind, uncaring, and just plain shitty people?  No unfortunately it doesn’t.  The day I separated from my x husband, my father shook my hand and said “Welcome back”. I hadn’t noticed I was gone, but I had been gone for a long time, I got stifled by another who only  fed into the idea  I wasn’t worth too much, not to anyone.  It simply wasn’t true, I wasn’t worth it to HIM.  Maybe that’s what it boils down to, an unhappy couple don’t find worth in each other because they are too busy picking each other apart?  Maybe, at least in part.  All I know for sure is, he is not that sad, dreary man anymore.

No one can’t help anyone see who we have become, that would be a feeling you’d get seeing our world, because our world now is not anything like the world we were in 5, 10 or even 25 years ago.  It’s just too bad really.  I wasn’t given a chance here nor were my kids. Not one damn thing I can do about that either, I cannot make anyone see what is In front of them if they won’t look and really see it for themselves.  Choices were made though, my choices have been and will mostdefinitky  continue to be in the absolute best interest of my kids.  So, let’s get the facts straight here,  standing up for & protecting my kids is exactly why I am hated.  Standing up for myself, is exactly why I am hated.  Standing up for him, is exactly why I am hated.  I guess at least I know….What was it they say about first impressions?  It’s hard to erase that, unfortunately

Post Script:  I had a few very close friends read this  and I think,  T, founder of BadAss Bitches, summed this up quite well… She picked the title too!  I absolutely love my girls! And for what it’s worth, I sure hope they find it, is it ever too late TO find it!  That’s up to you…..

 Your are the diamond in Troy’s rough.  He is the Diamond in your kids rough , and he is your diamond too.  Even “she” will have to find her diamond in her rough to truly find forgiveness and happiness.

You are a diamond and this is evident in how your kids and family come first.  some people can’t see your true intentions are not ill motivated.  It is a choice they make.  It is not your issue.

Love you girl!  You ROCK, Bad Ass Bitches