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 Driving Lorelei to a slumber party, unsure if the address I have is correct.

Me: Hey Lo, do you know if Lydia lives in Ava’s neighborhood, where we went to Girl Scouts at that school last year?

Lo: Uh, I dunno.

Me, driving down the street: Does this look familiar at all?

Lo: Uh, I dunno.

Me: You’ve been to Lydia’s a couple times, right?

Lo: Yes

Me, pulling up to a brown house associated with the address I think it is: Is this it?

Lo: I dunno. I’ll ring and ask if Lydia lives here.

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Jack, in the same scenario set up.

Me: Hey Jack, do you know if your friend lives in that neighborhood we went to that park once last year that had a zipline at it?

Jack: Yes, you go down that street that has Price Chopper, and then you turn right on the street where Aaron, my friend from pre-school we once had a playdate at his house lives, then you take a left at that big house with the old car in front. I’m pretty sure the house we’re going to used to be painted blue, but I think they painted it brown last year.

……

Mostly. Jack four years ago and Lo four years ago.

Of course, some things don’t change. Jack still won’t leave his sister alone, and Lo won’t stop changing her clothes.

But the heads are still able to tuck under my chin when I hug them, and the feet are still cute enough to photograph.

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And I’m grateful the memories are captured.

I’ve been sad all day thinking of Adam Yauch’s passing, which is somewhat abnormal for me since I typically just have the brief shock one feels upon hearing about a death. I didn’t know the guy, and never really closely followed his charities and whatnot. I knew he had cancer but to be honest I had thought he’d beaten it. And why wouldn’t he, he’s amazing, right? So like most Americans in my generation, I started a rotation of songs immediately upon hearing about it, because that’s what one does. And as I was driving today it hit me right about the instant Lando barked back to the opening of Sure Shot that for over 15 years now, thinking of the Beasties has been directly correlated to remembering my group of friends in college who were themselves a version of Beastie Boys (replete with Halloween Intergalactic costuming [I’d pay obscene amounts of money for the pictures that were lost on my hard drive]). Like a date stamp on the albums, I can instantly recall hundreds of memories involving the progression of time from dorm to off-campus housing to marriages and kids. Ryan in particular is closely correlated in my mind, obviously, because he was integral to that group and his date stamp cut off suddenly and unforgivably.

But my lingering sadness is not just for lives cut short, it’s from realizing I’ve always been oddly comforted when escaping into the music of a group that epitomized invincibility, because until Ryan wasn’t invincible, he was, and there’s safety in that being remembered like that. But now even they are proving fallible, and that scares me a little.

Because that makes my nostalgia that much sharper-edged, and that makes me sad.

Hi friends, do you love my bolstered promise to write more.. four months ago? Ha. Hahaha… aaaah. Yeah. Sorry about that. The road to hell and all that.

It’s interesting to me: I’ve managed to purposely carve some time to write into my life. Specifically carved it out. And yet I avoid the computer like it’s a term paper I know I can and should do, but just don’t feel like yet. Obviously I can’t find my mojo – as apparent from my post in December about this very reticence, and the subsequent complete inability to do what I swore I would. Sometimes I feel like my whole life is comparable to when I’m reading bedtime stories: I’m observably reading with appropriate voices and inflection, but inside my head I’m making a grocery list or thinking about work. It’s passable for the purpose of reading, but it’s definitely not authentic or engaged. Days pass and I am functionally showered and smiling and social, but when I crawl into bed I feel like I was on autopilot, and nothing much made an impression. Woosh, a whole day totally without meaning. And that’s not always bad, but it’s not what I want. I have always wanted to refuse to be that person who woke up one day and realized X amount of time had passed without appreciating it. And I have lofty (re:future) goals of betterment and growth and joyfulness, but good grief the high-minded self-evolution stuff can be hard to incorporate into mundane breakfasts, conference calls and IEP meetings.

I want to be the zen hippie with ashram calm without giving up my fast food mindset, and the two are antithetical. But I’m feeling the uncomfortable itch that precedes change, so I’ll let you know when I find peace.

****

Moving on to something more pleasant, I got to cross a huge event off my bucket list recently. I’ve been a Radiohead fan for forever, and when they came to town last month I pretty much made that a non-negotiable date for poor Brandon. Good guy, that one. And the funny thing is that leading up to it, I tried to pretend how much I wasn’t desperately hoping, praying, they’d play songs from their earlier albums. To acknowledge just how much pressure was on the band to fulfill my internal musical montage, as most of my major adult life events included Radiohead in the soundtrack.

So as the concert progressed and each song passed, I became more and more worried they’d totally skip The Bends and OK Computer. I’m not going to lie it was conflicting to know this was my mecca trip, and yet I felt disappointed. I thought I might actually (ridiculously, I fully admit) cry that they would leave me with nothing until it came time for the second encore*, when they honored my literal begging for just one more song, and came back out to strum the first chord for ‘Paranoid Android’.

Holy hell I have never come as unglued at a concert as I did right then, I swear to God. And I wasn’t even high.

And though I attempted to video some of the earlier songs like the nerdo I am, I know from experience that I am a sucky videographer (and always manage to tape myself singing), so I chose to just enjoy that moment, in that moment. I regret that now, though, because it was fleeting and I would like the memory recorded. Perhaps that’s why I’m having a hard time grasping the Buddhist principles. Heh.

But I did get most of ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’ from In Rainbows, and despite that I was in the thousandth row, if you close you’re eyes you might be able to imagine how amazing the experience was for me.

a

xoxo

P.S. * Encores are awkward and embarrassing for everyone. We know you’re going to come back out, you know you’re going to come back out. Why not just tell the audience you have to use the bathroom and get a drink? The faux pretending** is so weird, and I’m continually surprised that every single band I see plays into it.

P.P.S. ** is faux pretending redundant?

I know music hipsters are over Adele (if they even admitted to listening to her), but I’m a sucker for all versions of this song.

Every once in a while I mungle on to my blog and think about writing something. But with each passing year I’ve noticed my thoughts becoming  truncated down from thoughtful post to clever Facebook status to clumsy tweet. Luckily I don’t have the patience for Twitter, or my brain would be reduced to a vacuum of white noise.

Part of the reason I haven’t blogged as much as I used to is that I don’t have the luxury of time like I did when I stayed home with the kids. When my days were mostly homebound with Jack, and my thoughts were mostly centered on new motherhood and the universe we lived in. It was a blissfully innocent time then, despite wading through the world of autism, and on my most mentally tired days now I sometimes find myself wistful for the simplicity I had then. Which, please don’t mistake for me saying I want to go back – I don’t.

Had there been any doubt in my choice to leave (and there wasn’t), it was brick and mortared this last year. And then soldered in adamantium and buried in the middle of the earth.

No, what I wish is that this wave would stop fucking moving, so that I could finally slow down and try to find that focus again; figure out what percentage of me can be devoted to what and whom, and then settle back down again. I miss the freedom I had then to feel passion about parenting. Or anything to be honest. I want to think about my family’s nutrition again. I’d like to maybe take a cooking class – I’m about a decade too old to cop-out on my inability to cook functionally. I want to read books and participate in my book club more than perfunctorily. I want to be able to invest time in being a doula again. Or find a writers group or volunteer program or anything that I know I once had the energy for, and would be something that makes me feel less like my days are spent just trying to focus on the next bright spot.

I know that part of the reason I don’t write more is that it’s harder to know where I stand with my audience. A good friend is going through a messy divorce, and I’m reminded again that everything involved in that – whether there’s drama tagged along or not – is like being turned inside out for all to see. (And evaluate and opine on.) A time when people will call you for coffee just so they can look you in the eye and tell you what a horrible person you are. AS IF the previous 10, 20, 30 years of being an acceptably good person suddenly carries no weight once you cross a line they draw in the sand. I still can’t get over the entitlement, and it’s been years since I separated. I had a blog for years before anyone gave much of a rats ass about my choices, and the self-centeredness that is inherent in blogging was fine then, because I obviously didn’t have as much to worry about. And aside from the ongoing legal shit

(because hey, let’s drag this out for another year! Let’s make attorney fees in the TWENTIES OF THOUSANDS, SHALL WE? Hooray!),

I don’t have anything to hide now. But I am tired and wary. And unsure if I even WANT to entertain anyone with my thoughts, if doing so leaves me open to the same criticism now that I apparently didn’t deserve then.

Except I need to, because when I do every once in a while mungle on the blog, I read old posts I had totally and utterly forgotten about. Things I simply would not have remembered had I not written it down out of SAHM boredom. So even though my life is infinitely busier and more stressful, I know I will regret it if I stop writing altogether just because it takes energy and time I may not have currently. If I were to create a timeline of my real life vs what you’re seeing on the blog, it’s ridiculous how much is missing. I think 11 posts in all of 2011 demonstrates that. Hell, I got married in July and am just now mentioning it. Why? Because I couldn’t decide whether to shit or get off the pot with this thing, as it limped along not being anything real.

Therefore I am officially, publicly committed to writing more. My family deserves it as an amazingly technological record-keeping tool, if nothing else. Plus my memory is beginning to suck, and though I may not have the luxury or innocence to while away my days like I once did, it doesn’t mean life isn’t going by just as quickly and without worthiness of preservation. So at least twice a week. To start. And that makes me excited, having an excuse to make myself do something that once brought catharsis if not happiness.

The gossip fodder is just an added benefit of course, but mostly it’s about the kids. Our family.

Because I’ve missed you.

I’ve had this blog for almost four years now, and I’ve never had to think about the consequences of my writing, mostly because I could never in a million years have imagined I’d be where I’m at. The short answer for my absence is that Jon and I went to court about vaccines, and he used a blog post against me. I was called a dangerous mother amongst other things, and in the end I lost, spectacularly – mostly due to a tidy technicality in KS law about children and religious beliefs. I will never get over how that event played out, and it’s not something I wish to discuss, so if you think you have suggestions for me please know the topic has been exhausted, I promise. There obviously is more than this simple paragraph explanation, but I just can’t discuss it publicly.

To know that honestly the only thing that could be worse for me regarding the kids is death or kidnapping/molestation, gives an idea of what this feels to me – truly I have nightmares about it. You don’t have to have known me well to know how many years this topic has been important to me, and there is damned near nothing I can do that will change the outcome. I lost and I am hurting. Period. I’ve sincerely never thought my friends who made different choices didn’t love their children or weren’t trying to do what they felt was best, and I need that same grace now more than I have ever. Please send supportive thoughts, this is the hardest parenting thing I’ve ever done, if not the hardest thing period.

So, for now I’ve removed all the old posts with vaccines as a tag, and have found myself in the totally surreal world of actually researching to find reasons that would convince me this future for my children can be something I can attempt to support. I have to find a way to pull it together before those appointments, and if I can scare myself (oh, fucking irony,) into believing this is better for them, maybe I’ll be able to do it. So far I have failed epically, even while legitimately trying.

I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do it.

On a correlated note, it’s been five months and two days since those emails first started this phase of court and attorneys and Latin phrases I never thought I’d learn, like pro tem and nunc pro tunc, and ex parte, and no issue is really resolved. We’re still fighting over child support and the profit from our house and even which school district the kids will be in. It will likely be close to a year before it’s over, and I could spend tens of thousands of dollars in the end on legal fees. Good thing I genuinely like my attorney.

I think the worst part about it all is that I am so cynical now. I find myself not being surprised to learn things, as if my character barometer for people has shifted from a default of most likely a kind person to most likely vindictive, just not yet triggered. Sure, I get that I’m still in this and someday I will have had some space from it. But much of my naive idealism is gone, and perhaps whatever wisdom I can gain from that will be helpful for me eventually, but right now it just makes me sad that my filter is cracked. But hey, I’m not dead yet, so technically I’m supposed to be stronger. I’ll let you know when I figure out where. 🙂

And to end this update on an upswing, life otherwise is strong. Brandon and I are doing great, and are for lack of a less attention-getting word, engaged. We’re leaning toward Elvis and Vegas at some as-yet-unplanned point, so start saving your money if you want to see that spectacle. We’re also buying a house in my old neighborhood so the kids can stay in the area; Lorelei’s starting Kindergarten (d’oh!) in the fall, and Jack will be in third grade. We’re busy, we’re stressed, but we’re happy and we’ll be fine.

We will be fine. And someday we’ll be awesome again.

Peace and love, hope you’re all well.

I got a packet in the mail, and it looks like I can get COBRA through Jon’s employer with health, dental and vision.

All for the low cost of $464.76 a month.

.

Sounds awesome. Sign me up.

(Was introduced to BellX1 last night and I really like the simplicity of their song “Light Catches Your Face”.)

Parenting/Autism:

Jack and Lorelei’s swimming lessons are going AMAZINGLY. It’s shocking to me to see my kid zoom around the pool under water like an otter. It’s truly that feeling of my heart hurting with pride for him. Aside from my nightmares of drowning being subdued, it’s just great to see him succeed in an arena that he was so far behind in.

Jack’s teacher has experience with RDI, and has given me the number of someone in Chicago to call to see about finding someone in KC. My cursory refresher on the method makes me think it could possibly be beneficial, yet I’m obviously feeling reticent because I still haven’t called and I’m not sure why. Maybe because he’s doing wonderfully and I don’t want to go through the drain that therapies like that can do to expectation and hope? Or because I’m gun-shy to shell out the money after being thoroughly swindled by that guy in the DAN! program? Not sure. Navigating the world of autism sucks.

Took Jack to the doctor today. His cough was just some inflammation leftover from whatever cold he had recently, and after the doc gave me an inhaler to soothe the lining it was voila, cough-be-gone. I feel furthering contentment with my choices regarding health and my kids; my instincts continue to work, and I’m proud of my parenting.

Divorce/Emotions:

It will be final next week, and I think there’s more peace than people would think (though the point is that no one outside of it could know, so opinions altogether really in theory shouldn’t exist). We’re both dating, and our communication is still good. It took so much longer than I ever would have thought possible, but again, I think it was for the best as far as transitions for everyone.

And the thing is, I had talked to Jon months ago about permission to flesh out my feelings on here, but I’ve found since then that I just don’t have the desire, and in fact it feels like feeding some stupid gossip beast to do so. I’ve always been pretty candid about my thoughts, but I’ve changed a lot this last year, and though I know there is at least one person out there who reads this hoping for a kernel of information, the truth is that at this point, if we’re not friends enough that you would already know, you don’t need to. I don’t even say that snarkily. I’m just done with my life being the fodder for bored people.

I’m happy, I think Jon’s happy, the kids are more loved now than ever before – we’re doing fine, despite that the idea might shatter preconceptions of divorce.

Religion/People Who Suck:

Saw Bill Maher’s Religulous last week. My disdain for his arrogance didn’t wane with this, but I learned some history about the Egyptian religion (namely Horus?) and the coincidences of Christianity. I find it… disturbing that I had never learned this before. It appears to discredit a lot of the Christian tenets, and I think it should be researched by anyone claiming to be a Christian, not only to strengthen faith, but also as knowledge to arm yourself against a conversation with.. oh I don’t know.. a skeptic like me. Similar denunciations were found in the barely functional, unabashedly-conspiracy theoried ‘documentary’ Zeitgeist, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like a fool for having had the wool pulled over my eyes for so many years.

Thing is, I’m sure they connected some dots for drama, but most of this you couldn’t have made up. I mean, this is just simple history, but either I’ve never had that chapter in school, or it’s just not part of the teachings in the MULTIPLE DENOMINATIONS I’ve attended through the years. And I tell you what, but I’m basically done with organized religion. I’ve been leaning toward that for a while now, but after this last year and the things that have been said to me.. blerg.. I’m just done. Some of the meanest people I’ve ever met were Christians, and combining that with my own research on supercessionism and general irrefutable hypocrisies, and I’m just not comfortable anymore subscribing to something I think is at best flawed and at worst mythical.

So. Ok. Now that that’s out, let me amend to say I know I sound all types of dramatic, but I’m really not intending to. I’m just finally having the courage to say out loud what I’ve doubted in my mind for a long time. And even after that verbal diarrhea I’ll say that I feel agnostic about the whole subject. I don’t know what is or isn’t out there, and if in three years I’m somewhere else (or back), so be it. Shrug.

And… that’s all the semi-heavy stuff for today, I gotta clean. I’ve been craving more stimulating conversation lately, so if anything I’ve mentioned sparks a thought, please (please) feel free to comment (anonymously or otherwise), even if you disagree with what I’ve said. My commitment to the blog has changed as the catharsis of it has changed, and I’m leaning toward something that isn’t just simple updates. More topically-based, maybe? I dunno. If it doesn’t work I’ll go back to status-commenting on FB, but I’d like to see.

Let the wild rumpus start, and all that.

xoxo

So here’s some irony. Becoming a mother was the single most empowering thing I’ve ever done, and yet I have less control in my life right now then I’ve ever had. Ever.

I have no real address. I have no car (just a loaner I was thankfully, blessedly, graciously given to drive. Don’t mistake my gratitude.). My income is tenuous, at best. Jon and I got into a stupid (but resolved, because we were, in fact, always friends first) fight that only could have happened because of a divorce. I’m in a fairly constant panic about trying to remember bills and and birthdays and events and schedules, because I simply feel un-moored. Adrift, mostly.

At the moment my life is the pause in the movie while the buffering attempts to catch up. You know it will get there, but goddamn it’s torturous waiting sometimes.

Now. Having said that (but not a whole host of other things I could mention), I want to say that I’m not unhappy – mostly because I have a strong and loving group keeping my head above water. And as another cliche proves to be true, I appreciate my moments of happiness much more than I could have known to do before.  My life is a helluva lot simpler, somehow, and that’s pretty freeing in a lot of ways. But mostly it’s my kids, in all of their vulnerable, tiring, destructobotic, nomadic, innocent power, that are the only compasses I feel comfortable trusting right now. I don’t know up from down, but I love them and that’s enough to start with.

So, because I’ve got my Girls on, and I’ve been meaning to post some pics of my handiwork lately, I’ll neatly tie this Mother’s day leit motif with ‘Closer To Fine’ and recent pictures.

Have a great day, friends, and don’t forget to tell your mother you love her.

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