Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm Done

I read somewhere that people come into our lives for one of three reasons/time frames: a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I can't remember many Reasons, but there are so many Seasons that at one point in my years of counseling, I wondered if I was a difficult person to get along with, since so many people had left me behind. Some of them left for valid reasons (we were 9 and no longer geographically close, didn't go to the same church or school, and weren't in any of the same yeah) and others...I'm still not sure what happened.

We all have friends who come into our lives for just a little while and then move on. Some make a huge impact and leave us with happy memories and wistful wishes and some make so little impact you're surprised to see pictures of your younger self with your arms wrapped around someone and huge grins on your faces. Who was that person? Why are you two so happy together? It's like having amnesia.

I have a picture of me and another little girl sitting on a picnic table at the Abilene Swim Club, our faces and fingers covered in orange powder from the giant bag of cheese puffs between us. We're maybe 3 or 4 and just grinning away. I vaguely remember her. Her family moved away not too long after and, obviously, we didn't keep in touch. Our moms might have. I'm actually fb friends with her mom. I know who she is, I just don't remember being friends with her.

Another girl who was there for a Season was my best friend in 2nd or 3rd grade. She was a year younger than me and she's actually the person who finally taught me how to ride a bike (I was a really slow learner. Like...REALLY slow. I did other stuff well.). I missed her when she didn't come back to our school the next year but always remembered her because she had the same name as my favorite doll, a name I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles I'd made up. Apparently I wasn't very creative because it's really not an unusual name. I ran into her a couple years ago at a birthday party for a mutual friend. That was bizarre. (This just occurred to me...maybe she's a Reason...teaching me to ride a bike? lol)

My soulmate was the above mentioned 9 year old. I knew some of what was going on in her life between 3rd grade and 2009, but not much. We were distant acquaintances and then heartbreak brought us back together. I like to think of it as we spent a Season apart and we're back together for a Lifetime. Call me an optimist. :-)

In college, I made friends with an amazing group of men and women, lived with five of the women over 2 years...and am barely in touch with any of them now. Nearly all my college relationships are now primarily fb relationships: we check in on each other online, we "like" each other's pictures of our children and status updates about jobs, houses, children, etc. We try to get together when someone is driving through or in town for whatever reason,'s not the same.

Austin and I aren't exactly social butterflies. I've touched on that before, so I won't go into detail. Leaving Dallas wasn't really that hard for us. We didn't have a lot of close friends (read: none), we (read: I) didn't feel all that at home in our church, and we didn't have any kids to uproot. The main thing I hated about moving was the move itself. I LOVED my house in Carrollton. Absolutely. I felt very at home there, very comfortable. I had made it my home in the 18 months we lived there and was starting to plan a nursery and looking forward to raising my kids there when we moved. The best thing to me about moving? Being closer to a friend who had been in my life in some capacity for most of the 22 years I'd known her.

Being close to her geographically was great. We were able to get together more, though still not as often as I would have liked. We tried to plan a weekly thing, but she had lots of family obligations, which I totally understand. I was happy with seeing her for an evening once a month or so. She helped throw a beautiful baby shower for me and Asher. She came to the hospital when he was born and visited afterwards, bringing awesome food (she and her husband are amazing cooks). We still hung out on a semi regular basis even when a baby was in the mix. I just brought toys along to entertain him.

And then 2012 happened. She and her husband bought a house that needed a lot of work. I got pregnant. And I haven't seen her in nearly 2 years.

Elijah and I were in a hospital room two doors down from her sister-in-law when he was born. She didn't come by.

Asher was in the hospital overnight at ARMC, like a mile from her house. She didn't come by. I don't think she texted even (I'm not one for talking on the phone).

I tried, for a year and a half, to see her on her terms. I've offered to meet her with the husbands and kids, without the husbands, without anyone else, at her house, at a restaurant, anywhere, anytime that was convenient for her. And she's always busy. And I get that people are busy, I really do. But this....this hurt. This woman was someone I thought would be there for me and my family for a Lifetime...but she seems to have chosen to make it a Season.

So, last summer, I quit. I decided to stop asking. I decided to stop putting myself out there and letting her disappoint and hurt me with her disinterest. Even if some small part of her is interested in what's happening in my life, to me it feels like disinterest. I wasn't even going to invite her to Elijah's blessing dinner, but my mom told me I should. I knew she wouldn't come, she showed no interest in him during my pregnancy or his infancy, why would she suddenly want to bless him? And I wasn't disappointed. Several people DID come and blessed our baby boy beyond measure.

Every text conversation has been friendly, but I haven't actually heard her voice since standing in her driveway in February of 2012.

I won't lie or pretend that I don't miss her, because I do. I know we grew apart, it started in high school when we had very different experiences. I let her go and didn't miss it in college because I had such a great group of people around me who wanted to see me and hang out with me. When she came back into my life, I was still riding the high of having lots of friends who genuinely cared about me. As they petered off, mostly due to geography, she was still there. Until she wasn't.

So this is my declaration. I'm done. I'm not going to ask anymore. I miss her and I WOULD be friends again, but she has to meet me halfway. She has to try, too. It's not a friendship otherwise. I won't be a doormat anymore, waiting for her to need or want me. But I'm not going to sit on the other side of the door and wait for her to open it, either. I'm moving on with my life and if she knocks...well, we'll see. I may just be petty enough to not answer. And that's the sad, disgusting truth. The even sadder, more disgusting truth is that I probably will and will probably act like nothing ever hurt me. And I hate that part of myself.

Until then, I'm done. I wish you the best. I'll catch you on fb.

Me, the soulmate, and the baby. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I used to want an in-ground pool but now that I have one I'm not pleased.

When we bought a house built in 1920, I knew it would cost us more than a new home. I spent most of my at-home life living in a house built in 1919 and knew the bills were higher, there were more repairs, etc. I knew it was something I could handle.

And my house has decided I need to do some handling this weekend. Friday, I was all set to get the boys up, go to the grocery store, and try a new recipe for dinner that night. (I hate cooking so that's a big deal). We're doing fantastically with potty training so I'm not afraid to go out with Asher anymore and Elijah's all better after his bout of whatever last week and I was feeling a bit stir crazy myself. I hadn't actually gotten to the getting dressed part of our day when someone knocked on our door.

I hate when people knock on my door and I'm not expecting them. I can see out though they can't see in through my glass door thanks to some lace curtains and I could see it was a man in work clothes. I was hesitant but went ahead and opened the door. He was from the City of Abilene water and wanted to let me know I have a leak in my backyard. Like standing water running into the neighbors yard.

So, I put on some shoes and a sweater over my sleep shirt and go investigate. Yep. There's a very large puddle of water in the back and the whole area around it is damp or sodden. I head back in and call a plumber.

Mom calls to check something with me and reminds me that Austin made a good choice in buying water line insurance sometime last year. So then I call Austin asking about it. He can't remember anything about it except that we purchased it. In case you were wondering, that's not super helpful. However, being the awesome wife that I am, I had filed that paperwork and was able to find it and contact the company to file a claim. At 11 am they told me I'd hear from their plumber soon. So now I wait.

I haven't showered. The dishes are washed but the boys are nearly out of clean clothes. The boys are boys and kind of need baths. Leaving the house is now WAY on the back burner. As are the rest of our plans for the day.

Around noon, the plumber calls and he's not sure when he'll be able to get to me, maybe 4 or 5 HOURS. Awesome, that's exactly what you want to hear when you've got a water leak.

They finally show around 3.30 and inform me that yes, I have a leak (thanks) and they'll need to shut off the water to let it soak in before they can dig up the line. So we have to vacate for the night.

So now I'm packing up the boys, trying to remember everything, packing up myself and going nuts because I can't find my favorite shoes or my belt or my ditty bag (we call toiletry bags ditty bags in my family) and calling Mom to make sure she's ok with us crashing and calling Austin to inform him of the current status. It's SO much fun (read that sarcastically).

The boys are excited to be at Oma's house which means it takes them a while to settle down for the night. Austin's congested which means he moves a lot in his sleep. The bed is smaller than ours at home and shakes like crazy when anyone moves which means I sleep very little. So we're all up about 7am.

My hope is that everything will be fixed today and I'll be back in my own bed. Sadly, I'm mistaken.

We're getting a whole new water line (yay!) but it might be MONDAY before they finish (the guys are coming to work after church on Sunday (awesome)) so we're at Mom's again in the rickety bed with the excitable children and the congested husband and the wife who's still having aches and pains from the dental work done 10 days ago.

And Austin had to go back to work for a few hours this evening for some stuff that needed fixing. And he's working from here, too.

And the toddler screamed all through his bath and insisted on having about 8 stories read to him at bedtime.

And then the baby ate so much he threw up. So now he's sleeping in the buff.

I tell ya, it's been a hell of a month!

The good part of everything is: we have a house to shelter us, we have family to take us in, we have food to eat (and eat and eat and eat...) and clothes to wear (most of us...I knew I should have packed extra pjs for Elijah) and access to medicines (when we remember to take them). We are so much more fortunate than so many people. It's not hard to get bogged down in all the junky stuff that's been going on around here for the past few weeks (dental work seriously started in mid-December and isn't done yet) that it's easy to forget to see the good parts of it. My boys are happy and healthy and warm and safe and loved and so am I. We have full bellies and warm beds tonight.

And a house that needs special handling. Constantly. Good thing we're here to take care of it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Baby

My birthday is pretty close to Christmas, November 28. It always sucked as a kid to have a birthday within a month of Christmas. You got kind of half-assed presents sometimes, with the explanation that the bigger present would be at Christmas. Plus my birthday is always within a week of Thanksgiving so our family is usually traveling and preparing a big meal and otherwise preoccupied. The years it's on Thanksgiving aren't necessarily the worst, just the least celebrated. At least when I was a kid I'd get a candle in the pumpkin pie. This year I got a couple "Oh yeah, happy birthday!"s from my family. So I always said I didn't want to have a baby near Christmas.

And then three years ago, I gave birth on New Year's Day. Poor kid.

Asher's too young to resent it yet but I have a feeling when he gets older it'll be a bit of an annoyance to him. I mean, he could have some awesome parties for New Years/birthday, but it's not QUITE the same.

I'll probably always feel guilty about wanting to go out and do something on New Year's Eve since that means I'll be up and celebrating something other than his birthday at midnight, but I'm sure he won't really care. The last two years, I was with him by myself (well, Elijah was there last year but he was three months old.) In 2012, He was too little to stay at Mom's party so I came home alone while Austin and his parents stayed at the party. Last year Mom didn't have her party and Austin was out of town.

I remember 3 years ago being enormous and uncomfortable and irritable and just ready to not be pregnant anymore. Not necessarily ready to be a mom, just not to be pregnant. I was so sure he was going to be born any day the whole month of December, when I woke up January 1st still very pregnant, I was understandably dismayed. So I took some castor oil about noon and popped a baby out before 11 that night. Screaming and bleeding and pains and joys and tears went into the process and when it was all done, I had this tiny little perfect boy that I was wholly, terrifyingly responsible for. The last three years have been an adventure, learning how to feed him properly, dress him properly, buckle in the car seat properly and more. And in spite of our mistakes, he's a good kid. He love us (most of the time) and his brother (slightly less but still most of the time), he's mostly obedient, we're only hitting the terrible twos now, and he's polite, which I'm proud of.

So on New Year's Eve, when everyone else is celebrating another trip around the sun for the planet, I'll be celebrating another trip around the sun for my firstborn, and hoping he has way more of them ahead of him than I do.