November 28, 2009
Unfortunately my ex and his parents haven’t spoken in two and a half years. This is a situation that breaks my heart for all of them. They had a falling out over his affair and then over the way his now wife spoke to and treated them, which was vile and made-for-tv-movie level crazy. She made his parents choose to never speak to me again in any way, shape or form or to never see them and their new son together. They refused to do that, it was insanity. Then she made my ex choose her or his parents. He chose her. Homewrecking and ball-less-ness were taken to a whole new level, as was the meaning of dysfunctional family.
At Thanksgiving I take pause, as most do, and inventory the things for which I am most blessed and thankful for. I’m thankful for my beautiful, smart, loving and healthy daughter. I’m thankful for my home, despite the evil wicked HOA situation. I’m thankful for my job, even though I have days where I want to dig a freedom tunnel under my cube. I’m thankful for my friends, after all they put up with me and I can be a handful. I’m thankful for my family. The one’s that have to love me because we’re related and are afraid if they don’t love me that I might not pay the bill at the old folks home they might live in someday. And I’m thankful for the family that doesn’t have to love me because I’m no longer married to their son but still do.
In the tradition of holidays rarely going as planned I received a tearful late night phone call on Wednesday night from my ex-mother-in-law. It was one of those calls where you know something is horribly wrong before you even answer the phone. I could hear it in her voice as soon as I answered. My ex-father-in-law had a stroke. At that moment I learned that nothing confirms how much you care for someone until you get a late night phone call and your stomach sinks, and your heart hurts and you’re scared by the news you hear.
My ex-mother-in-law then asked me if I’d do something that I knew would be hard. That’s how you also know you love someone, you do shit that you really would rather not do but for them you’d do anything. She asked me to call her son and let him know about his father. I agreed, as awkward and uncomfortable as I knew it would be. I’ve tried in the past to get him to please speak to his mom, all of my efforts have failed. She’s tried as well with no success. I had hoped maybe in a weird way that his dad having a stroke would crack the door open for them.
So I spent Thanksgiving morning telling my ex his dad had a stroke and was in the hospital. Then I spent the next ten minutes pleading with him to please end the cold war and talk to his mom while he sat there silent. Fighting back my own tears I told him how over the past 2 ½ years she’s been a broken woman. She misses him every minute of every day and she loves him. Still he sat silent on the other end of the phone. I told him it was his mom that really needed him now, even just to hear his voice on the phone. Silence. Then I apologized for even being involved and that I meant no disrespect by getting in his business but that his mom had asked that I call. Silence. The thought occurred to me part way through that this was not my problem, why am I in this awkward position and in the middle of this family drama that’s not even my family anymore. Then the silence was broken.
I heard my daughter in the background talking to her half brother and eating breakfast. And then I heard her laugh, her beautiful laugh.
At that moment I knew the real reason I was doing this. It wasn’t just because I love and care for his parents and I don’t like seeing his mother heartbroken. It’s not because she is a sweet and gentle woman who is as kind as the day is long and doesn’t deserve the pain she’s in. That’s not it. This is not my family, why am I emotionally torturing myself over this two and a half year rift. It’s not my family….. but it is my daughter’s family. I’d give my right arm for her father and her grandparents to be whole, because I love her. This is her family. These are her memories. This is her story of her family that she will carry for the rest of her life. It paints part of the picture of who she is and who she will be. It will not define her, but it will be an ingredient.
My daughter and I have dinner once a week with her grandparents so that they can see her and spend time with her. It breaks my heart that she doesn’t get to spend time together with them and her dad together. I know in my gut that if he waits until it’s too late he will live with a guilt that will haunt him for the rest of his life. He’s often a douche to me but he’s my daughter’s father and I don’t want to see her father carry the guilt of that. Ultimately I’m powerless to fix this situation. It won’t stop me from trying.
Holidays rarely go as you expect. I did not expect to have Thanksgiving dinner in a hospital cafeteria eating the only thing they had available, crappy salad. I did not expect to have such a touching conversation with my ex-mother-in-law and to be trusted with her deepest feelings at one of her weakest and most vulnerable moments. I did not expect to cry the second I saw my ex-father-in-law laying in a hospital bed, I’m usually the comic relief. I didn't expect to feel so blessed to be able to be there for them for a change when they needed family the most and had no one else.
In experiencing all of those unexpected things I add to my list of things I’m thankful for… I’m thankful that I’ve realized that I may not be able to fix everything at least I’m stubborn enough to not give up because I'd rather be that person than the person that walks away. I’m thankful I know exactly who is important to me, why and that I make sure that they know it. I’m thankful that I’m dumb enough to take on impossible tasks simply because I love my daughter so much I'm willing to make a fool of myself to achieve them. I know this sounds crazy, it might be a futile effort and in fact it probably is, but it’s now my mission to reconnect this family. This family that may no longer be mine but now belongs to my daughter.
November 5, 2009
And there is this one too...
November 4, 2009
My daughter is a character. At four aren’t they all though? She did something tonight that made me have a small aneurysm and quite possibly a stroke. I know it’s one of those moments that will be funny when I’m oh, I don’t know, ninety and senile. She lifted her shirt and with the boisterous excitement that only a four year old can harness said “look at my boooooobies!!”
Now this would have been cute had she not done it on video. Live video. Web cam live video being shot across the time space continuum to her dad. I’m pretty sure for a second there he thought she certainly must have gotten this from me. Which was probably moderately amusing for me.
Now, I know she’s only four years old and had no idea what she was saying was an oh-my-god-my-daughter-is-one-hokey-pokey-dance-away-from-a-stripper-pole inducing mental moment for me but it was.
It was only two days ago that she was using her blue crayon to circle all the toys in a catalog so that I’d know what to get her for Christmas. You know, because mommy has toy deficit issues when it comes to the old memory. When I asked her why she was circling EVERY SINGLE TOY in the catalog she told me she needed lots of toys if her “boyfriend” Nicholas was going to come have a sleep over with her.
She also told me they are getting married but they aren’t having kids. Thank God for small miracles.
So what have I learned here from my daughter, who seems to have at the age of four picked up on?
Show your boobies and you get attention? The girl with the best or most toys get’s the boy? What the hell are they putting on Sesame Street these days? She spends all of her time at pre-school and home. We don’t watch Springer, what the hell is this shit? It’s all funny and ha ha but at the same time I’m a little freaked out that even at four she’s getting some pretty heavy gender and relationship messages. The worst part, I can’t figure out where she’s getting them but I’m going to be looking a lot harder from now on. It’s probably that bitch Barbie’s fault.
The real bitch of it all… the irony that my four year old has a boyfriend and I haven’t had a date in over three years is not lost on me.
Dear Jon Gosselin… you are a fucking moron. If you are genuinely sorry for your douchetastic behavior why are you apologizing to your wife and family in the media and not directly to them? Color me crazy but I’m pretty sure a genuine apology actually means you do it privately and at least fake a real human emotion that is not just about yourself. And what the fuck is this shit about you hanging out with Rabbi Shmuley? I actually really dig Rabbi Shmuley. As far as Rabbi’s go he’s a smart dude with a lot of charisma. Rabbi Shmuley should let me hang out with him. I’m much more worthy of a Rabbi Shmuley life makeover. Why the fuck isn’t life fair and where’s the fountain you threw your lucky bastard penny in because I need to visit that wishing well? Where the hell is the life changing celebrity man of the cloth side kick for the single moms who are out there struggling to get by day after day while moving past idiot fuck heads like you Jon Gosselin? God damn it you annoy the hell out of me.
Dear Balloon Mom and Dad… Really? What the fuck is wrong with you? I sat in front of my slow loading CNN live feed online in my shitty cube at work and was sick to my stomach at the thought that there was a little boy in that jiffy pop parade balloon you fucking whack jobs made in your back yard. You’re a bunch of fucking assholes. Then I saw that R rated “rap video” you had your children make and then I realized that you’re not only assholes but your idiots as well. And really? You put your kid in a box in the attic? I mean shit we all joke about doing that to our kids but you don’t actually do it! Wait, I don’t joke about doing that. I’m sure someone does though. Either way you’re morons. Start saving now for those kids bail fund in the future. You’ll need it!
Dear President Of My Homeowners Association… go fuck yourself you greedy fucking fuck head. You want $1700.00 to settle a $276.88 debt that you were sent a check for and then sent back to me? What the fuck are you growing and smoking in your backyard that would make you think this is reasonable? I’m pretty sure whatever the hell you’re smoking is an HOA violation. I’m convinced you need this complete random dollar figure of $1700 to get a penis pump or something of the like. I mean $1700.00 is a pretty fucking random figure for a $276.88 debt. That again, you received a check for and then sat on for more than a month and mailed back to me. You fucking suck. I’ll make sure to blow you a kiss when I see you in court in a couple of weeks.
Dear People Who Support Roman Polanski… what the fuck is wrong with you? On what planet is an old dude drugging and boozing up a young teen girl and then having sex with her not a crime? Seriously, did I fall and hit my head? What. The. Fuck. If you support him please wear t-shirts daily that tell me this so I can avoid you and keep my young daughter away from you. Far away. Bunch of whackadoodles.