The Long Roads….

There are so many of them in life it seems…  Roads that never really seem to end…  Roads that feel like they’re uphill all the way…  Roads that feel lonely, that seem to isolate you, that feel like they’re full of potholes and dangers….

Roads that test you for all that you’re worth.

I’m currently travelling one of those roads right now…  And man, this road has been one son of a bitch to walk.

Many night and days it has left me crying lately…  bawling…  because I just don’t know what to do anymore.

What road am I on?

The job hunt.

The hunt has been on for a while now.  But it really got cranked into high gear about three or four weeks ago.  Since that time I have littered this city with resumes, I have gone on countless (actually that’s a fucking lie, I’ve counted every one) interviews…  and its all boiled down to the same thing:
“Great resume but…”

Sometimes I can feel that but hanging over my head, as well as the reason behind the but…
“Oh wow, you used to be in the military.”

Other times you can only guess at the but, but the but is still there…  the elephant in the room.

Yes…  I used to be in the military.  You know what, yeah, I was…  That means I have great work ethic; I will work myself to the bone for you because that’s what I know how to do; I will also follow your instructions instead of trying to find my own way through crap and reinvent the wheel…

And I’ll be so eternally grateful for the chance to prove myself to you that you’ll never have to worry about me slacking off or not giving 110 percent every day.

But you’re right…  But I have a military background.

Some friends have suggested altering my resume; removing that…  But that feels like it flies in the face of everything that I’m trying to teach my daughter…  Everything I’m trying to teach her about being proud and being who you are.

But maybe that’s the only way to get beyond where I am now and into something more stable…  something that will provide us a stable income.

But then I remember…  I remember taking her little hand on Remembrance Day…  taking her down to the Cenotaph…  carefully explaining to her about Remembrance Day.   I remember the look on her face as she remembered my one dear brother and his sing-song voice:
Everything he said sounded like he was singing mommy.
Yeah dude… it did.  He had a great voice.
I remember the look on her face as we put poppies on the picture of us and then placed it at the Cenotaph.  I remember the care with which she placed that picture and those poppies, the care that she took with other poppies she found on the ground…

And then I remember the older gentleman that walked up to ensure the wreaths were all in their place and everything was in order.  He stopped for a moment, went back to his car, got her a bracelet.  He put it on her little arm and stroked her cheek…  I don’t know his story but I’m sure he has one to be so touched by one little girl placing poppies.

And then I think about denying part of my story; erasing it from my resume…

Because sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get ahead.2014-11-11 15.47.17 2014-11-11 21.41.05

And The Heartbreak….

Since my post titled Being Single… I have received a lot of advice; everything from “follow your heart” to “men never change… you left for a reason”….

And it was all thought about for a very long time…  and still continues to be thought about.

But let me break down my life and my days so that you can see why I would even contemplate going back…  

And it’s not because of positive emotions for her father…  If anything I despise that man a little bit more every other weekend.  

It’s because of this…  my life…  and how I’m left feeling when she says stuff like what she did tonight….  At least if I go back I would never have to hear this again….  

To make ends meet… and to make them meet well…  I work fifty to sixty hours a week.  If Wee needs me to take time off for appointments or because she’s sick… I work when she sleeps…  Her weekends with me, I work when she sleeps.  So she may see me working in a two week period a grand total of maybe an hour…  the rest of the fifty to sixty hours per week she is either at school or sleeping.

I take her to all of her lessons and classes.  All of them.  Without fail.  Costume fittings… yup, those too…  Extra stuff….. you know it.  I’m right there…  all of it.

Doctor?  Yup…  I take her.  Hospital…  Me…  Emergency appointment…  You got it, right here….  Puking all day and night… Still me…  Asthma attack…  I take care of it…  Wipe out at school…  I take care of that too!

And I still fit in my fifty to sixty hours a week when she’s sleeping or not with me.  

I look at upcoming events months ahead and I start putting the money away early for stuff I know we’d have a blast at…  A few extra hours here… a few dollars there…  I’m proud of the way I can save up and make it work.  

All the while, any time she is around or she needs me, I’m there…  Present…  not at work…  not getting babysitters…  It’s me.

Tonight she comes home from her 48 hours gone…  half of which, as per usual, she spent at her grandparent’s house.  She had fun…  She was well cared for…  She had lots to say…  And she wanted to know how my weekend was….  

So I told her about my weekend and told her that I had a big surprise for her.  Her eyes lit up like a Christmas Tree.  
“What Mommy!!”
“Well, come here and I’ll show you.”

I had already Google imaged the Western Fair.  
“Wow, that’s pretty mommy.  Look at the lights!”
“That’s where we’re gonna go next weekend dude… the Fair.”

Her face fell.  My heart sank.  I knew what was coming.
“I dont’ want to go mommy.  Sorry.  I went already with Daddy and I don’t want to go again.”

Fuck.  

My heart broke into a million pieces and all I could think was the illogical:
“She always has more fun with her dad doing stuff.”

Now maybe you can see why I’d want to go back…  If I went back, I wouldn’t have to work fifty to sixty hours a week…  I wouldn’t have to hear “I did it with Daddy already… I don’t want to do it with you”….  I wouldn’t have to feel my heart break every two weeks.

If Everyone Would Do Their Part….

Wouldn’t the world be a lovely place if everyone would do their part?  If everyone would be accountable?  If everyone would pitch in? 

Wouldn’t it be lovely?  

They say many hands make light work.   That is more true than you could know.  

If we all pitched in and did our part, everyone’s lives would be a bit easier and run a bit more smoothly.  

Good logic, right?

So then why the fuck don’t we all do it?  Where the fuck has common sense, common courtesy, and the desire to fucking well be accountable and do your part gone?  

Let me back up…  oh….   twenty-nine hours.

My phone rings.  

Shit.  It’s the day camp where Wee has gone for the summer.

“Oh really it’s no big deal.  Really.  It’s just lice and we found some eggs on your daughter.  Treat her once and you can bring her back tomorrow.”

By this point in the conversation I’m hyperventilating; quite literally losing my shit.  

Lice…  I’ve read about these nasty little fuckers…  Fuck.  I’ve heard about them.  Hell, I even knew a kid or two who had them when I was growing up.  But I’ve never dealt with them personally. Never once have I had to deal with them personally.  Even growing up in a family with SIX kids…  Six kids who were into all sorts of team and group and camp and outdoors and tons of friends and activities…  NEVER ONCE was their lice in our house.

Why?   Because if someone we knew had the fucking things, you wouldn’t see them until it was fixed.   

When I was a kid…  When I was growing up, if someone had lice it was a big fucking deal.  You wouldn’t see that kid for seven days.   After those seven days, sure, you’d see them, but they’d have that pesticide aroma around them for a few more weeks. 

There was no fucking around.  There was a “No Nit” policy.  People would take care of the shit and it wouldn’t spread like wildfire through the masses. 

Now the general attitude seems to be “Meh, they’re kids.  They get lice.  They’ll get over it”.

FUCK THAT.  NO.  That’s not right. 

You keep your buggy kid home till that shit gets fixed! 

There should be no ‘treat once, bring it back’ option.  Fuck.  That’s how this mess started in my house.  Some kid had the bugs and the parents were told ‘treat once, bring it back’…  Now half the fucking camp has the bugs… A WEEK BEFORE SCHOOL.

Do you know what the lifecycle is on those fucking things?   FUCK!!! 

Fuck no.   A letter like this should go home:
http://www.chicagonow.com/moms-who-drink-and-swear/2012/09/the-letter-i-would-want-to-send-home-about-lice-if-i-were-the-school-principal/

Maybe people would wake the fuck up and be accountable and be responsible and do their damn jobs right.

Maybe people would stop and think. 

All I knew within the first hour of the phone call was that I needed help; I needed good solid advice…  And I needed a drink.

I have a week to clear this shit up.

Then I thought about all of the people impacted if I didn’t clear this up right.  Everyone from my neighbour who has a lovely daughter who makes sure my Wee gets on and off the bus okay all the way to the lady down the street with TWO kids who are going to be in my Wee’s class, one of which has leukemia.  She has eight people in her house in total.  EIGHT DAMMIT.  And I’m sure her little one with leukemia would not be able to have anywhere near her the chemicals needed to properly get rid of the lice.

DAMMIT. 

I needed help.  I needed help NOW. 

And I wasn’t going to turn to anyone who was an ‘old hat’ at dealing with lice.  If you’ve dealt with it that much, you’re not the person I want advice from. 

I wanted sound advice from people who felt the sense of pressure and panic that I was feeling AT THAT MOMENT, who handled the problem, and who have never had the problem again. 

Off I go to my mommy bloggers and the CDC website:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/treatment.html

http://www.bitchinsisters.com/2013/09/lice-is-a-four-letter-word/

Off I went with both of those printed out to the pharmacy, with our hairdresser texting me instructions, and a nurse from the Health Unit on my phone. 

Fuck this.   

A whole lot of money later, the process started. 

Now, twenty-nine and a half hours after the phone call, we have a routine in place that is going to involve one load of laundry every day, vacuuming twice a day, nit picking with a lice comb twice a day, two runs a day with the Robi Comb, and enough tea tree oil to float a ship in. 

I’ve got this. 

I’m mad…  I’m tired…  I’m frustrated…  I’m MAD… 

Because on top of all of this, I’m still working, my daughter is home from camp because I don’t want her to infest anyone else (or get re-infested) because it is my responsibility as her parent to ensure that this doesn’t spread beyond her. 

I can’t control what everyone else does, but I can control what I do…  And the lice stop here. 

Some people who know about the problem are saying “oh, you’re making this harder on yourself than you need to.  You don’t need to do all of that work.”

Oh yeah?   The CDC seems to think this IS a big deal.  So does every mom out there who has had to deal with this who never wants to deal with this again.  So does my hairdresser, our pharmacist, and the nice lady at the Health Unit. 

The only people who seem to believe this isn’t a big deal are those who don’t want to spend the time and money getting rid of the little beasts properly and who don’t want to do the work to keep the fucking things gone; the people who are ‘too busy’ to keep their buggy kids home; and the people who just plain don’t give a shit. 

Fuck that. 

I don’t have the time, the money, or the desire to do what I’m doing right now; battling lice with everything that I have.  But it’s my responsibility to ensure that MY kid doesn’t infect everyone else.  So I have to make the time.  I have to find the money.  I have to have more desire to never see them again than I have to turn a blind eye to the problem and assume Nix is gonna handle this shit for me. 

That’s not a solution; that’s a fucking copout. 

Getting rid of these little shits is a full time job.  On top of that I’m still working my full time job.  And I’m doing it all as a single mom.

Have YOU ever tried nit picking your own hair?  It’s not fun.  It’s not easy.  But I’m fucking doing it because I HAVE TO.  That’s my fucking job. 

My fucking job is to make sure that come September second, my kid is not going to give anyone else any bugs. 

And dammit, I’m gonna do just that. 

So to all of those thinking and saying that I’m making a big deal out of nothing…  Sure, okay.  That’s your opinion.   We all have one…  but think about this:
If I wasn’t making a  big deal now, if I didn’t stop it now…  Who would be at fault when your kid and my kid met up in a few days and my kid and your kid put their heads together…  And then your bug free kid ended up with bugs?  And then your kid and my kid were buggy best buds.  Who would be at fault?  

But all kids get them…..

Perhaps if THAT thinking went away, all kids wouldn’t get them…  Because we’d all be responsible for making sure that we didn’t spread them around.    

Lice:  Not a rite of passage.  What they are is a huge money drain, a huge inconvenience, and a huge pain in the ass. 

A Little Bit Of Shock… A Little Bit Of Awe…. A Lot Of Fun….

So I have to say first and foremost; Wee and I are having a BLAST.  This weekend has been so much fun…  And really, it’s brought us closer together.  

We’re not spending a million dollars.  We’re not travelling to new and exotic places.  We’re not even really doing anything exciting.  What we are doing though is rolling it all back to the basics and just spending time.  

It’s been amazing.  

I love her so much.  She really is an amazing little girl.  So full of compassion and empathy…  and FUN!  She is so fun!

And then we had a visitor.

I knew the visitor was coming.  I invited her out.  But I didn’t EXPECT her to actually come out.  

But she did.  

And she brought with her news and stories that I know all too well.

I think she was going to try to pass everything off as ‘being great’…  but then I think she saw me seeing…  I think she saw me listening and hearing….   I think she saw me knowing before she said a word.

My poor sister has gotten divorced. 

The absolutely wonderful man who she had met, fell in love with, and married…  well, he claims that he decided he just couldn’t do it anymore.  He says that he decided that he had had enough.  He states that he decided that the weight of her illness was far too heavy for him to bear any longer.  

So he cut all ties; even the ones that she had with his children.  

And she’s left….  Broken.  Absolutely broken.

She misses him horribly.   Misses the children.  Misses the life that they had.  

She’s been shattered by someone who meant well; but who just couldn’t bear the weight of their own past and the future that they were trying to build.  

Hm, sounds familiar.  

She then told me of his exit strategy; make everything her fault so that she felt perfectly small.  Everything.  Right down to the tumour that he knew about long before they said ‘I do’.  Somehow that tumour is her fault.  

Hm….  that sounds familiar too.  

That all sounds a lot like where I have been.  

It sounds a lot like the shit I’ve had to swim through.  

Why are there so many broken people out there in the world?   And why do they insist upon tearing up everyone who tries to love them?  

Why can’t they just gracefully say you know what, I made a mistake.  I’m so sorry.  So very sorry. 

Why must they make everything everyone else’s fault, point out every flaw that everyone has, tear them down, tear them up, and leave them broken?  

Why must people behave badly?

Another Day Ending….

Here I sit…  a cup of coffee in my hands…  Watching the world shift from day to night. The cicadas are finishing their songs for the day…  The fireflies are out dancing in the trees… Everything is shifting and the night is coming alive. 

And at this moment, I’m feeling every second of that shift.

There are some days that pass and I wonder ‘where did it go?’.  Weeks will pass in a blink…  Months…  Like water through your fingers….  

And then there are the moments where you can feel every second, every tick of the clock, all of it deep in your bones.

This is one of those times. 

I’m watching the night come alive…  Watching the day come to a close…  Hearing the difference between night and day… And thinking over the last year of my life.  

Thinking about how much has changed…  Yet how much is still the same.  

Thinking about all of the people who I have lost….  Either because our relationships have just run their course…  Or because they have passed away.  

So much has changed.  

Friendships that I thought were built out of stone have crumbled into nothing more than pebbles in the sand….  

Romance has been fleeting at best…..

Jobs have been shaky….  

But through it all, some friendships have endured…  The ones that I hope will never end have grown stronger….  

Some new friendships have been started….  

My relationship with my daughter and the bonds there have grown stronger….  

And life in general, while it isn’t where I ever thought it would be at this stage, is rolling along okay…  

Sure it’s lonely….   The nights are lonely…  The weekends when I don’t have my Wee and I really have nothing planned, they can drag on….  

Work can be an all-consuming drain….  

But really, it’s not that bad.  

Am I where I want to be?  No…  Far from it…  But it’s going to take time to get where I want to be…  Time to build the life I want my daughter to have…  

So I push on…  Take it one moment at a time sometimes…  

And when I can feel the tick of the clock in my bones…  And the loneliness comes creeping… And the voices from the past come calling…  I try to remember to breathe…  

And just take it one moment at a time.