Saturday, August 29, 2015

So, today totally sucked!

I stayed up waaaaay too late last night working on a lesson plan I am teaching in two weeks, for no apparent reason. I was so tired I didn't even put the clean sheets on my bed and I woke up at 6am to go to the bathroom. I forced myself to go back to sleep.
Needless to say that when my alarm went off I did not spring from bed and rush off to all the things I had to do today. So, we were running late when I stopped to buy bottles of water and race off to a scout service project. It surprised me when my card was declined and I realized that the check I mailed to the DMV two days ago had already cleared and bounced. Six weeks it takes them to get me the stickers, but two days to take my money.
We drove like the wind, didn't stop for breakfast and made it five minutes late to the project my son was in charge of-not a good start. Three boys showed up, no leaders, no tools. I piled them in and we headed out to pick up a shovel at a near by house, picked up another boy who arrived just as we left and suddenly I didn't have enough seats for all the boys. Have I mentioned these are teenage boy scouts and I'm not supposed to be in charge of them?
It was blazing hot and the project as dirty and annoying. Nearing the end I piled cut branches into my car to take to the recycling bin and left the side door to my car open so I could collect more bags of greenery. Bent over picking up a bag I hear a crunch, a car crashing crunch. I see a silver mini van pulling away from my car and rush over to see if it was actually damaged. The minivan speeds away down the street.
The door won't shut, the driver door won't open. I have a car full of spider filled branches and no way to get 5 boys home.
Thanks to the help of friends the boys got home. I tied the door shut as much as it will close. It's still open about 5 inches, but I can drive it. The police are going to check the exit cameras at Leisure World and hopefully catch the idiot that did this. Maybe miraculously they will even have insurance. Probably not, and the money I earned this week will go not to my car payment or getting the oil change and new tire I need and the mattress my son needs because he's now too tall for his childhood twin, but to the deductible.
Someday they will know that they destroyed the only transportation of a poor single mom struggling to feed and clothe and bed a growing teenage boy and that their choice to run away cost me more than I can afford, because I couldn't even afford my regular life let alone another $500 to throw away because they were selfish narcissistic jerks.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Paddling your own canoe...or in this case kayak

Strange how the deepest thoughts can come from the strangest places. Today I took my son and the daughter and son of a friend out kayaking in the canals in Huntington Harbor. 
They were out of the single kayaks I had reserved, so Shaun and her daughter had to share a double kayak, while I paddled a double with the 7 year old. I watched them head one way, and then the other, constantly zig zagging across the canal, gradually making it forward. I mentioned it once, pointing out the complete waste of energy it took to cruise for a moment and then paddle twice as hard the other direction.
I, on the other hand, was paddling myself with the "help" of a very energetic seven year old boy who repeatedly thrust his paddle into the water to stop our forward progression not understanding that his attempts to paddle too were making my life harder. 
But still, I looked at the big kids and thought about how much easier it was to just do it myself rather than having to coordinate with someone else. For the past 13 years I have been largely "doing it myself" raising a boy, trying to be both stay at home parent and working parent all in one magnificent slip of the wand. 
Several times in the past 13 years I have been grateful there is no one to compromise with. I can do it my own way and get it done, no one to fight with, no one to stand in my way. I wish I had someone to have fun with and help out, but when it comes down to brass tacks, I kind of like my solitary life and only having to clean up my own mess in the bathroom. 
Continuing on with all my mixed metaphors. On the way back from our lunch stopping point the big kids got it together. They figured it out. Even being misdirected and having to take the long way, they beat us back to our starting point by quite a bit of time. 
I was also held up by mini man wanting to swim along side the kayak rather than ride inside. I was often back paddling in order to not get ahead and when he tired he hung onto the back making it nearly impossibly to make headway. 
I thought again about doing it myself. How long it takes to do it all on your own with a boy in tow; how tired I was about half way through and still paddling away mind over matter; how much I wanted to just make him get in the kayak so I could be done already, but I let him play and enjoy himself instead. 
There have been many times in the past more than a decade that I wish I didn't have to do it myself. It would have been nice to have a fairy Godmother solve it for me. For many years I was tired, ok I still am. For many years I did what I didn't want to do so that he could play and enjoy himself. I have made more sacrifices than I can remember in order to be and do what was best for him.
In a few short years he will leave the nest. I'll be back to paddling my own kayak all by myself. It will be easier, maybe I can actually start that career I've always wanted. Life will flow without all the stops and starts and worries over whether or not he's safe and keeping up. But, I will miss him more than I could possibly imagine, and as for the past 13 years, I wouldn't trade my kayak with him as my passenger for all the single kayaks in the world. 
Once he's gone, I may enjoy the single kayak life for a while or decide to invite a new passenger in as long as they are willing to be a partner, not a drag. When it works, it works better than a single paddle ever could. When it's bad, it's way worse than any amount of work on your own. I don't know what the future holds, but I'm grateful for the past and all the paddling has given me muscles I never knew were possible and never thought I wanted. 
Here's to new adventures and many more canals to discover. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Life is messy

A few years ago I started a blog with my friend because we wanted to make and sell aprons.
She wanted What a mess, but it was taken, so I suggested dirty mamas.
The first time I told a friend, she looked at me as though she had heard wrong and I just laughed. We are dirty mamas, because life is messy and our aprons will keep you clean.

So, this is my place to write and share about my messy life as a single, trying to be stay at home, working, home schooling mom. 

Tonight I am packing and preparing to go stay with my friend's kids for a few days while she and her husband go on vacation. My son is 15, it's not like he'll die staying with my parents in the 4 days I'm gone. The thing is that in all his almost 15 1/2 years I've only ever left him once. He's left me to go to his dad's and camp, but I've only ever gone away when he was already gone so he didn't know.

Maybe it's just me, but him being a teenager actually makes it worse. At 5 he probably would have just had a fun week away from mom. At 15 I worry more what he is or is not doing and if it could possibly kill him to spend 4 complete days watching videos on his phone. I'm pretty sure he won't brush his teeth and may or may not shower. There's no way to know if he'll eat anything with any nutritional value. In short, I'll miss being needed. 

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