Wednesday, April 28, 2010

my childhood stories

i was looking at my last post & feeling like i was such a downer that i didn't even want to hang out with myself. when i'm in a hole, feeling all blubbery & pathetic, i maybe should just write a letter to myself rather than for the world to see. today is a better day. my life doesn't suck. it's actually a good place to be, in spite of certain less-than-awesome aspects, just like everyone has.

so on that note, i was thinking about my own childhood & my wacky oddities. maybe my mom wondered what the heck she should do with me & how could i actually belong to her because i was so different than she'd anticipated. that led me to some memories that amuse me to remember, so i thought i'd share them with you.

once upon a time, i thought i had the wrong name. i thought sherilin was a big, odd name and i was annoyed at my parents' creativity in naming me. i thought my real name should have been sabrina. it made me feel like the glamorous princess i considered myself to be.

when i was about 5, my church would sometimes bring in a college singing group for a service & my parents would usually host a couple girls for a night. my room always became the guest room, so i would be stuck somewhere else, but one particular night, apparently i sleep walked. i woke up in bed with 2 college girls who i didn't know & i wasn't just in there with them. i was curled up tightly against one of them. draped & snuggled. i was pretty embarrassed as i peeled myself off that girl & scampered out of the room in hopes that maybe she hadn't noticed.

on the topic of sleeping, let me also add that i was a bedwetter. my mattress was covered in garbage bags in an attempt to prolong its life. my childhood best friend was amy & we spent many, many nights sleeping over at one or the other of our houses. we're still friends & she likes to kid me about the multiple midnight baths we got cuz i peed the bed & we both got soaked. sorry, ame! i'm glad you still like me anyway.

when i was about 11, i started taking karate classes. i was bigger than most of the little kids in my class who were about 4, but it wasn't long before i started to consider myself a real badass. my party trick was that i could kick up higher than my head & i would show it off regularly. i probably would have run off screaming if anyone had ever tried to fight me, but i liked to think i was tough.

i spent about 6 weeks sleeping in a large cardboard box, complete with rainbow brite sleeping bag, when i was 9. we had just moved & i was getting a new bed, but i liked that box so much that i skipped the bed for a while & just relished the fact that i could lay in my sleeping bag & color on my walls. it was the beginning of a career of graffiti which continued and flourished at summer camp for years to come.

at that same camp, when i was about 14, i let the camp program director chop off a large chunk of hair out of the back of my head & then had it shaved. that was a very bad fashion statement. i was also stuffed into a suitcase & carried about (including being dropped on a rocky hill) & left as a ding-dong-ditch on the supervisor's doorstep late one night. yeah, again with the bad planning because my friends all ran away & dove into bed like they were innocent little lambs while there i was, wadded into that suitcase where i couldn't exactly deny involvement!

i once fancied myself to be a fashion designer. my friend amy & i would chop up pieces of old fabric scraps & make them into outfits for ourselves. we weren't allowed to use a sewing machine or needles though, so we had to think outside the box. we used staples sometimes & other times we'd cut little holes & then tie knots of fabric through them to keep the fabulous outfits together. we were kind of pissed off that our moms never let us wear our outfits further than the back yard.

once upon a time, my goal in life was to be a dallas cowboy cheerleader. they were so amazing in those blue & white outfits & with their tan bellies & wiggly hips. a girl needs to strive for something in life.

did you know that if you microwave a spider, its legs go up straight in the air? it's kind of amazing how that dead thing can balance on just 2 or 3 legs while raising its others in surrender.

i had a shrine to ralph macchio hidden in my diary. i used to cut out any pics or articles about him from newspapers & magazines and paste them into the pages of that hello kitty journal where i could gaze at his awesomeness any time i wanted.

my cousin steve once paid me half of his allowance to eat cat food. my brother got the other half cuz he had some too. we made out with 50 cents each.

i went to a josh mcdowell rally and i was so convinced that i was going to be a virgin till i was married that i bought a t-shirt proclaiming "I"M NOT DOING IT" in bold black & red letters. on the back of the shirt were about 52 reasons why i wasn't going to have pre-marital sex. i wore it often & it used to embarrass my friends. probably cut down the number of guys who were checking us out as we walked around the mall.

once, when i was 14, i was at my friend patty's house & her parents were less involved than my own were, so we used to go outside at night. we generally didn't do anything other than maybe go for a walk around the neighborhood, but one night we decided to spice things up. we were out in our pajamas in the backyard, sitting on her little sister's swingset & we came up with a plan to race through a few backyards in a big loop & whoever made it back first, won. the catch was that we were going to take off our pants before we started running. we still had on shirts & undies, so it was only a half streak, but it sure felt scandalous at the time. we started out & i took the lead pretty quickly. patty couldn't stop giggling, so she wasn't moving very fast. i was afraid that giggling might draw the attention of the neighbors whose yards we were running through, and i certainly didn't want to get caught running in my undies, so i was silent & determined. i had a pretty good lead going when out of nowhere, i tripped over a dog chain that i hadn't seen & fell flat onto my belly in a full sprawl that almost knocked the air out of me. my face banged the ground & i had grass stuck to my tooth, but i popped right back up & kept hauling butt because by then, patty wasn't just giggling, she was laughing hysterically. i was terrified of getting busted, plus, i really wanted to win and i was afraid she'd take advantage of my unanticipated spill. i made it to the finish line with plenty of time to spare & once i was there i realized the stupid funniness of the moment & i stood there & wet myself in her grass in my minnie mouse t-shirt.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


there are days when being brooke's mom leaves me feeling like i'm drowning. or like i'm on another planet where the creatures around me act & speak in a way that makes no sense, but i know i'm supposed to do something, i just have no idea what. they desperately need my help, but i can't figure out what that help looks like or how to perform it.

i sometimes wonder what God was thinking when He gave her to me. i don't know what i'm doing. she sometimes seems so sad or frustrated or overwhelmed, but there's nothing that i can figure out that i can do to help her. when she's hurt, she runs away from me, not toward me. if i wrap my arms around her & attempt to comfort her, she often stiffens up or tries to get away & run & hide. her stuffed animals give her greater comfort than i do. the cat makes her happier than i do. i would give my life for brooke, but so often i'm useless to her. she'd rather hold some inanimate object & hide in a hole than be with me. i just don't understand.

i think maybe it's time for us to get some testing done. i need to find a dependable, knowledgable doctor or counselor who can help steer us in the right direction, if such a direction exists. it would be great if some questions could be answered and maybe we can take some actions that would feel productive for a change.

i'm sorry to whine on here tonight. it's hard to feel funny or entertaining when i feel like i'm sinking.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

girl of wonder

my daughter, brooke, is 7 now & she's a pretty unique kid. she has a love of animals that's unmatched by anything else in her world. as i've mentioned before, she likes to wear animal costumes every single day, sometimes several costumes per day because she feels a kinship with animals & often feels like God should have made her a lion or dog rather than a little girl. she says that it makes her feel warm & happy on the inside when she wears a costume, especially when i let her wear one in public. she told me this morning when i let her wear her kangaroo suit to panera, that she likes wearing costumes in public for two reasons - one, just because it's cool & two, because it makes people happy when they look at her. i'm so glad that the happy faces are the only ones she notices. i always smile when i see a kid in costume because i know they're happy & creative & feeling pretty good about life that day. apparently however, there are a lot of people who don't share that sentiment with me & they feel free to look haughtily upon my dinosaur-clad kid as if she's got dangling boogers & gum stuck to her forehead.

i can look back now & put my finger onto an exact moment with brooke when i first realized that she's very different from me. from most people, maybe. it was a day when she was 2 or 3 & she had a hamster named bitsy. brooke had always been very careful to keep her bedroom door shut when we weren't around, to prevent our cat from stealthily creeping into her room & killing the hamster through the bars of its cage when we weren't looking. i was pretty impressed that she was thoughtful & responsible enough to bother doing that, even when she was so young.

one day, we went to the mall for a couple hours & when we came home, i found bitsy, dead in her cage. the door had been closed, so she didn't have a cat-induced heart attack or anything; i guess she'd just reached the ripe old hamstery age of 18 months & keeled over. i was standing there, looking into the cage at the dead rodent, trying to think quickly before brooke came into the room about how best to dispose of it.  i didn't relish the thought of picking it up & putting it into a box. i debated going into the kitchen for a spoon, but then i'd have to throw the spoon away because i'd never want to eat off it again, so i chucked that idea. maybe a mini pulley system of some sort... i was standing there, lost in thought when brooke came romping into the room & hopped up on a chair beside me to look at what i was looking at. i told her as gently as i could that bitsy had died while we were shopping & maybe we should bury her. her eyes welled up with tears for a minute & then she looked at me hopefully & said, "can i have her?" i started to tell her that now that she was dead, we wouldn't exactly be keeping her any more, but she interrupted me & said, "no, no! can i hold her & touch her?!" i hesitated because i didn't want dead varmint germs on my hands & i certainly didn't want them on my baby's hands either, but then again... if she picked bitsy's carcass up, then i wouldn't have to figure out how to get it out. so i let brooke reach in & gently lift bitsy's lifeless body out & cradle it in the palm of her tiny little hand. she rubbed the hamster's open eyeballs, spread out its toenails, rubbed the little fingers, petted the belly. i was totally creeped out, but she was just mesmerized by this tiny dead creature's body. she would have rubbed her lips on bitsy's fur, but i had to draw the line there. fingers only, no lips!

we finally put bitsy into a little bitty shoe box on top of a tiny doll blanket. brooke covered her with a tissue & then put a picture of herself into the box so bitsy would always be able to remember her. then i repeatedly washed both our hands in scalding water for good measure. the next day daddy dug a hole in the backyard & we buried her without ceremony.

i think this was a turning point in my perception of my girl. it was a very clear statement of how she has her own individual thoughts & ideas. since then, we've interacted with numerous dead things. we saw a dead armadillo on a road in our neighborhood, which was completely random since they don't really live around here & she begged for a closer look, so when we went past it the next time, i found a parking spot & we walked over to check out the rotting, stinking flesh of an armadillo. i never knew they were so hairy! we went home & googled it to figure out what kind it was & where its natural habitat should be. brooke was in kindergarten at the time, so we turned it into a science lesson.

we had a lovely encounter with a bird that my parents' dog brought over to me after it crashed into a window & died. brooke got a chance to spread out its wings & feel the talons & skinny little legs of that sparrow. she opened & closed the beak & reached in through the feathers to feel the skin underneath. that was when i realized that it wasn't a macabre fascination with dead things that she was experiencing, it was a love of wildlife! she wanted desperately to get close enough to touch & examine & learn about any living critter, but when a wild animal is alive, it won't ever just sit there & let you poke & prod its body. you'll never get to rub the eyeball of a live hamster, so if you wonder what they feel like, you have to get your hands on a dead one.

i stopped being distressed about it after the experience with the bird. she picks up dead fish at beaches, dead bugs from the driveway & yesterday she scooped up a dead mole she found in the yard. she examines & rubs them & learns whatever their bodies will tell her. we even attempted to dissect her pet frog when it died a few months ago. we didn't have the proper tools & a box cutter wasn't exactly the right instrument for delicate cutting, but it was interesting to see how strong the bones of a tiny aquatic frog are, even in death.

now i try to just relish brooke's individuality and the fact that if there weren't people like her out there, we wouldn't know most of what we know about bodies & how they work.

so carry on, little carcass caresser, carry on.

Friday, April 16, 2010

tipsy chickens

13 years ago when chris & i were dating & i was living at my parents' house, i was working at a paging & cell phone company. one weekend, my parents & little sisters were out of town & chris was driving a limo, so he was out pretty much all night, which meant that i was left to my own devices that friday night.

after work was over for the day, a couple co-workers & i decided that we were going to go to tgifridays, across the parking lot for dinner & maybe a drink or two. the tables were all full, so we sat at the bar, & somehow i think i forgot to eat dinner that night & accidentally had about 5 drinks instead. i was drinking royal flushes, which i'd never had before (or after, for that matter) and they were just so fruity & delicious that i kept guzzling them & ordering more. eventually, my co-workers needed to go back to their lives, so they left me there because i assured them that i was absolutely fine & didn't need anyone to babysit me.

when i was finally ready to go, i tipped excessively & stumbled out of the bar & back across the parking lot toward my office where my car was parked. on the way there, 2 men who were sitting in a parked car stopped me & asked if i wanted a cigar. so i climbed into the back seat of that car with those 2 strange men & smoked a fat stogie. when i was finished, i got back out & kept heading toward my car. once i got there i realized that i really shouldn't be driving, so i managed to unlock my office & wander in. i wasn't sure what i was going to do while i was in there, probably drunk page chris a few times or take a lil nap till i thought i was sober enough to drive my stupid ass home. i had only just tripped through the door before my boss drove back into the parking lot to check on me. i guess it had occurred to him that i probably wasn't in any state to be taking myself anywhere & he was kind enough to come back to taxi me home in his chevette.

i got back to my house; i went inside & collapsed into bed. it wasn't even dark yet, but i couldn't stay awake for more than a couple minutes. i took the phone to bed with me because i was hoping chris would eventually have time to call me back since i'd paged him repeatedly for no good reason.

around midnight i ran outside & puked by the back door, all over the ground and then crawled straight back into bed, still in my work clothes. around 3am i woke up again & by then i was approaching sober & noticed that the back door was wide open. i got a little bit nervous that i'd been sleeping with the house open & there was no one else home to protect my foolish self, so i snatched the phone out of my bed to try calling chris, but the phone had no dial tone. i ran upstairs & checked the kitchen phone & that one was dead too! i was suddenly positive that someone had cut the phone lines, snuck into the house, & i was in imminent danger of being raped and killed.

i ran straight out of the house to my parents' next door neighbor where i proceeded to bang & ring until the kind, skinny little man came down in his pajamas to see what the heck was going on. (maybe i wasn't quite as sober as i thought) he came back to my house & went room by room with me, poking through every nook & cranny. we made it to my room last & that's when he discovered that my cordless phone had been left turned on in my bed, so the lines weren't cut, it was just off the hook. hence the lack of a dial tone. i felt rather stupid after that & walked him politely to the door & thanked him for saving me from my imagination.

i was able to reach chris after that, which was good because he'd been concerned that i'd paged him multiple times but when he called me back, he could only get a busy signal on the house phone.

the next morning i was feeling pretty stupid about my escapades of the previous night & i went out back to find a hose so i could clean off the patio where i'd hurled my royal flushes so indelicately, but the patio was practically spotless. where had the barf gone? that's when one of my sisters chickens came waddling over, pecking around the edges of the patio. finishing off the last scraps of my stupid evening till there was nothing left to show for it... but tipsy chickens.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

stray kitty

yesterday a stray kitten found my husband in our backyard when he went out to feed the birds. he's a big softie, so he was feeling a bit mushy toward it & gave it a pat & some rubs. the kitty found our deck water bowl (intended for use by raccoons) & lapped it up quickly.

later in the evening, i sent brooke to put some raw chicken breast that she'd cut up for the coonies out back in their food bowl. that kitten came racing over to her from our duplex neighbor's deck & rubbed & purred on her. she immediately scooped it up & rubbed her face all over it. thankfully it was friendly & didn't claw her eyes out. brooke started brushing it and it wasn't long before she'd named it twinkle & written in chalk on the deck, "wolkum home twinkl."  that kitty gobbled up all the chicken she'd brought out for the coons as well as some cat food i sent out through the window.

it was pretty scruffy looking because it has long fur and a lot of mats, but we've cut the mats out as well as trimmed her nails & twinkle's looking pretty good now. she made it through the night & didn't get eaten by any raccoons or possums or coyotes. we already have an indoor cat who's never had a bug or worm & i'm not sure we're interested in bringing the new cat into our happy little home to bring all her parasites & dirt along with her, but for now, she's welcome to stay outside & keep my girl happy.

brooke's never had a pet to play with in the yard & she's also never had a cat who loved all over her like she was the best thing in the whole wide world. this cat can't get enough of brooke & the feeling is mutual. she's been sitting outside with twinkle today, just rubbing her & creating a little home for her with a box & a rag & a plastic shopping bag (the bag is under the rag so it'll make a nice crinkly noise when it's stepped on), brushing her & reading her books. she's done her school work outside and with a happy attitude. brooke has been out there with the cat for 4 hrs already today and showing no evidence of being tired of it yet.

i think we have a new cat.

Monday, April 12, 2010


a couple weeks ago my sister-in-law asked if there was any way i could go to charlotte for my dad's 60th birthday, which was last week, since they would be in town & wanted to try to have all 4 of us "kids" and the grandkids together. i ran up against the lack-of-a-car issue, so they came to my house from florida to pick us up in their already fully packed van & drove us to my parents' house to surprise my dad. we managed to pull off the surprise & have a really great 4 days together w/ the whole family, minus only my husband.

later this month my sister erica is turning 21 & when my parents asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said she wanted me to be there! that's not quite as simple as it sounds, but my parents agreed & so they're doing part of a relay along w/ my friend beth to get us from here to there next week so i can be there for eri's birthday.

it's made me feel special that my family members would want me around enough to drive way out of their way & take up their time to come get me & return me. i've never been anyone's birthday present before & i didn't even have to jump out of a cake. but i think i might like to!

Monday, April 5, 2010

my guts hurt

sometimes my guts hurt from parenting brooke. she can be the most absurdly challenging human being i've ever met. school especially seems to exasperate her issues & cause us both unending quantities of misery. spelling seems to push her beyond her capabilities. just writing the words down on paper or spelling them out loud makes her cry. she's working on writing each word 5 times right now & so far we've spent at least half an hour & accomplished very little except for weeping & gnashing of teeth. i try to be understanding and patient & kind. i try to give her some room to make decisions about her school work in areas where flexibility is ok, but still the weeping continues. i've tried being strict & tough when she does this, but it seems to make it worse. like then she's trying to deal w/ the stress of a disappointed parent & frustration over discipline as well as trying to do something that's too hard.

i try to make testing either non-existent or so subtle that she hardly knows it's happening, because to me, the grade is inconsequential, it's the information sticking in her brain that matters. i have never punished her for spelling a word wrong or ridiculed or criticized her. i only make her practice them more so that they'll hopefully stick. and yet still we're sitting here with her hardly able to breathe while she writes this stuff. she's gotten up about 6 times for tissues because her snot is dripping onto her paper, her head is pounding from all the crying. how the hell am i supposed to accomplish anything? how can i get through her schooling with a smart, educated daughter at the end of it if so many days are filled with this crap? she's begging for medicine and a nap and a hug and punishment, but i think none of those things will make her better. they're just stall techniques from a kid who doesn't seem to be able to perform the most basic of tasks some days. how can one person be both so smart & capable & independent in some areas & so totally helpless & miserable in others? she can spout out science information like a scientist & work the technology in the house like she was born w/ a remote in her hand, but she can't spell bread without wanting to beat her own head in.

finally she finished & then i had her draw a picture of how she felt to hopefully get it out, move past it & allow us to get on with our day. i rocked her & squeezed her & let her blow snot bubbles onto my chest for a few minutes & now we'll go outside & try to find some dirt so we can plant some flowers in pots. maybe the dirt will soothe our souls.

this girl is a mystery to me. a completely exhausting, infuriating, wonderful mystery. i'm glad i only have one kid. God knew.

round two of the self exposure

here we go again. once i got the first list done last week, my brain started delivering a plethora of fresh ideas just begging to get into another blog, so i might as well get them out here. i think i have too many for one post though, so i think i'll give this one a theme & it will be "body related incidents." unfortunately i seem to have a lot of those.

~ last easter i got myself a new dress to wear to church. i had a heck of a time finding something flattering, comfortable & affordable all in one garment, but i finally succeeded. i put it on to wear that sunday & put on the new shoes that weren't my first choice but i had run out of shopping time, so they'd have to do. i knew really quickly that the shoes were bad. too big, i couldn't walk without clomping like a kid playing in mommy's shoes. i stuffed a couple tissues into the toes to try to alleviate the problem, but it didn't help much. i got into the car to go with brooke & chris was going to be right behind us a few minutes later. when i looked down as i was sitting in the car i realized that the dress had slid so low in the chest that my nipples were almost showing! i kept frantically trying to adjust things, but it wasn't working. the boobs were out to play. i called chris, feeling panicky & asked him to rifle through my closet for any skinny tanky thing he could find that preferably might not clash w/ my dress. and even if it did, at least i wouldn't look like a ho. i still went in to church & tried to just hold something in front of my chest area because i didn't want to be late. when chris got there a few minutes later, i changed & it was fine & then i only had to deal with the tissues that kept sliding up & showing around the edges of my shoes. sigh. this is why it doesn't pay to dress up. thank God for a church where i can wear shorts & flip flops whenever i want to w/o raising an eyebrow!

~ when i was about 21 i had a membership to a gym that also had tanning beds. i'm a ridiculously pasty girl, so i took full advantage of the chance for a tan. i'd seen girls in bathing suits w/ that little space between the top of the thigh & the bottom of the butt where there was a white strip from lying in a tanning bed. i was determined to be smarter than them & avoid the white stripe, so i adjusted my cheeks in such a way that i was pretty sure i could tan that spot just fine. it wasn't until later that night that i realized that i had completely fried my butt crack. for several days, i couldn't walk, sit or use the facilities without wincing in pain.

~ my brother had a half pipe when we were in high school; it was 8 feet high on both ends. once when i was about 13 i had several friends over for a party. we were running around on the ramp, trying to climb up onto the platforms & acting silly. well, somehow in the course of my running up once, i slipped & ended up sliding down feet first w/ my belly pressed against the plywood. when i stopped moving i discovered that i'd taken a piece of the plywood with me, embedded in my pelvic region. i waddled into the bathroom & came very close to fainting while trying to pull this chunk of wood out of my shorts, but it was like my jean shorts & undies had been stapled to my body. once it was out i found that there were barbs sticking out of that thing that were holding it securely in place until i yanked really hard & managed to dislodge it. it wasn't like i could ask anyone for help! i still have it, stored away in a secure location so i can always remember my incident w/ the "cliver."

~ last year i went for my first mammogram. i had a minor issue & a family history of breast cancer, so it was time to get it done. the nurse delivered me to a dressing room & told me to undress, put on a gown & go wait in a room till i was called. ok. once she was out of my cubby, i realized that it seemed strange to have to strip down all the way when i was only getting an up-top exam, but i decided to err on the side of extra nudity. once, when i was preg, i thought i was just getting a belly check & didn't take off my pants. my dr told me i needed to take them off & then stood there while i climbed out of them, which was really embarrassing. so i thought this time i'd just take it all off. i walked carefully out to the waiting room so as to not expose my girlie goodies & eventually i was called across the hall for my boob crushing appointment. the tech proceeds to show me how to jam my left tittie into the vice & in order to do so i need to take one shoulder of my fancy gown off. i'm pretty sure my entire armpit was also pulled into that thing at some point, but that's beside the point. the tech lady stepped away & looked down at me (i could only barely see her out of the corner of my eye as i tried to crane my neck around to make sure she was moving quickly ) and i saw her eyes bug out of her head for a split second as she caught a glimpse of my bare ass. she tried to fix her face quickly, but the look of shock was definitely there. i heard her gulp as she stammered, "uh, um, most people, uh well, you really only needed to take off your top." seriously?!! you'd think the nurse lady would have told me that before i stripped bare! as if having your entire chest and armpit area crammed into a garbage disposal type mechanism while standing on tip toe & trying not to move or scream is bad enough, now i'm also worried about my apparently inappropriate nudity that's clearly making this lady uncomfortable! way to make a good impression! at some point in the way-too-long-and-torturous process i started to find the humor. like me exposing my pubies to her was making her uncomfortable, (especially since she had to be leaned in close & wrangling my tit into the monstrous machine) and that was making me uncomfortable, so it was like an equal trade. tit for twat.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

i fed my kid my life

somewhere in the course of the past 9 years i think i lost myself. when we got married, i suddenly had the inescapable urge to procreate. like i couldn't get pregnant fast enough. however, before we got married, we'd decided that we weren't going to have kids. neither of us wanted them. i don't know what happened when that ring went on my finger, but it was clear that i must have a baby. i felt like i needed to respect chris enough to understand that he didn't want any ever, but how could i live my life without ever being a mom?

we were married for a couple years before i ran out of birth control pills. it was truly an accident, but it seemed like a happy one to me & we decided at that point that maybe we would just stay off it & see what happened. i was working at a kids clothing store, so i was surrounded by pregnant women & kids all day, 5 days a week and i waited anxiously for my turn to come. and i waited & i waited & i waited. i never had another period. i constantly thought that i was probably pregnant. i took a pregnancy test every couple weeks & i expected all of them to be positive. they never were.

sex became a chore that neither one of us was particularly enjoying. it was a responsibility & needed to be done, just like the dishes or cleaning the shower. add to it the fact that chris still didn't really want kids. he had agreed because he loves me & i was willing to accept that for what it was & just be happy that he was going along w/ it, however hesitantly.

eventually we saw doctors & we both had enough issues that we were told that we'd never have kids naturally. in vitro was probably our only chance & that was so expensive that it was out of the question. i felt like my life was pointless. like my future was filled w/ only sadness & lonely, empty arms. i was pissed off at all the pregnant women around me. i had a neighbor who was a teenager & pregnant w/ her second child & smoking all the while & i could hardly even look at her because all i wanted was to punch her in her stupid, pregnant head. she didn't deserve to be a mom, in my mind. i didn't think she was a good mom to the one she had, she didn't want either of them, how could God let her get pregnant & not me?!

i lost myself in my desperation to have a baby. eventually, my mom took me to see a midwife who hooked me up w/ a few books about how to increase your fertility naturally & i read everything repeatedly until i felt like i could have taught a seminar on the topic. i was charting & taking temps & almost everything in my head became consumed by the need to have a kid. i think i made a lot of people uncomfortable because i wasn't able or maybe just wasn't willing to push my issue aside enough to not be jealous of other people & their luck w/ children. for anyone who hung w/ me through that process, i'm sorry if i was rude or indelicate. i shouldn't have taken out my pain on you. i was happy that you had your kids, i just wanted some for myself.

eventually, all our hard work paid off. that sounds funny to say cuz how hard is it to have sex regularly? but there were times when i was pretty sure that i was ovulating & even if we were fighting, it was like we had to put it aside long enough for some booty duty. i finally got pregnant & had a fairly healthy pregnancy right until the end.

our sweet, gorgeous, little girl arrived right on time & she was so fabulous to me that i could hardly take my hands off her. i rarely put her down at the beginning. i was eating, sleeping & breathing her. i think i needed her far more than she needed me. after a little while i learned that she wasn't going anywhere & i could share her and put her down sometimes. she was the most amazing thing i'd ever seen or smelled or touched in my life. all the waiting & pain & anger & jealousy was worth it. a million times worth it! i would do it all again in a heartbeat.

now my life mostly revolves around her. we can't have any other kids (more infertility issues & a couple miscarriages), so i feel like i belong to her. of course i know that i belong to God first & foremost & then to my awesome husband who is a fantastic dad to our girl. but i've been consumed w/ her for almost 9 years now. she's only 7 and a half, but i wanted her so badly before she was born and while i was pregnant that it started even before she existed in this world.

when i started this blog, i figured it would be a place to talk mostly about the wacky things brooke does. about our daily life & the stuff we experience. i know, it doesn't sound all that interesting when i write it like that. but pretty soon after i started writing again, i realized that there's more to me than just being brooke's mom. i remembered that i have thoughts & opinions & history. i have humor hiding below the surface that's all my own. i don't need brooke to exist. she's a wonderful addition to my world & one i wouldn't trade for anything (other than a hot dog on a really bad day) but i'm still me. i still have value. i can still have friends that like my company & i don't have to talk about my kid. i don't have to hide behind her.

so there it is. in writing this blog, i've found myself again.

Friday, April 2, 2010

raccoon chronicles part 3

i just got done doing an activity that was both disgusting & kind of embarrassing. i know, i know, after my last blog, you probably think i can't be embarrassed. oh how i wish that were true.

well, i just dug an expired frozen chicken breast out of the freezer, thawed it in the sink & then proceeded to chop it up into leetle, bite sized pieces. i put half in a bowl in the fridge & then snuck out the back door w/ the other half. that's right, i took it to the raccoons. i don't eat or touch meat, so this is kind of a big deal for me.

i've run out of stale bread & cereal, so a few days ago i was trying to think of something else i could feed my furry buddies so they'll keep me in their rotation. i found a package of old, fake chicken that has been in my freezer for years. it was kind of small & apparently it got lost somewhere in the deep, dark depths of my freezer. i checked the date & it said dec 06. yeah. i decided that it might be just the thing for the banditos, so i chopped it open & dumped that freezer burned lump of nastiness into their bowl on a sunny day & hoped it would thaw. chris thought it might be a bad idea because it was so old that it would probably give them the runs. i didn't care. out it went.

later that night i saw the light turn on, so i skeedaddled over to the window to see how they liked my chik trick. they had pulled all the little pieces apart & several of them were spread around on the deck, but they weren't being consumed! i was kind of disappointed. i liked thinking that maybe i could help these guys to try something new (albiet without their knowledge), but it wasn't working. the fat one dunked a couple chunks into the water bowl & stuck one in his mouth & then spit it out & ran away.

oh well, they couldn't be tricked into vegetarianism afterall. or so i thought. when brooke woke me up the next day she told me that the bowl was empty & sure enough it was! the water bowl was almost empty & filthy too, so maybe they needed a lot of water to wash it down with, but at least that box of chickenish morsels is no longer hiding in my freezer. i wonder if anyone had explosive diarhea the next day.

i like making them work for their food a bit, so i'll lock a stale slice of bread into the suet box just so they have to work to dig it out. i've tried to think of some other things i can do to mess with them, so i've been putting bits of stuff on the ledges of the window, between the panes of glass so that they have to stretch really far up or out to get them. i entice them w/ the okay stuff & put the better bits up higher.  i'll put bird seed at the bottom & then move to raisins on the second or third level window. and it's even more fun to see them reach waaaay out to try to get the ones that are really too far for them to reach. they'll be leaning so far out that they're just on the tips of the toes of one foot to reach the food, but dang, they're determined! one night, it was pouring rain with thunder & lightning & i heard a bunch of commotion out back, so i went & looked & there was a fat, soaked raccoon, smashed up against my window, trying desperately to reach a raisin that i'd put just barely out of his reach. i couldn't help but laugh at him as he kersplatted onto the ground, just managing to swipe the scrap off the ledge w/ one claw on the way down. he gobbled it up & dragged his waterlogged body up to do it again & again, all the while i gawked & giggled. maybe it's a character flaw, but i don't feel badly about making them work for a meal. just like anyone else, there's no such thing as a free lunch. i make them pay me with amusement.

we have a small, kids basketball hoop on our deck & brooke put a bunch of old hard mini marshmallows around the rim of the basket one day. i got to watch one little dude hanging on by his fingernails as he worked his way around the rim, snarfing up the sugary niblets & scooting like a pro. he kept swinging his legs around & nearly tipped the whole thing over in the process, but he hung on & got every last one.

yesterday i put out a whole frozen chicken breast & they dragged it away without me getting to see a thing, so tonight i got smart & that's why i was cutting it into bite sized pieces. i want them to have to stay long enough for me to see them. i finally got see one swipe an egg the other night, but as soon as she cracked it open, it rolled & dumped the entire contents through a space between boards. i was concerned about the potential stink in the days to come, but she scampered right down & went under the deck, so i'm assuming she was smart enough to figure out where her slimey slop had gone & retrieved it.

my cat seems to have caught on to my love of these critters because recently she's started getting really worked up when they come to the window. when they come up close to the glass to get their goodies, she goes straight up to them & meows & rubs against the glass & purrs loudly. if i'm standing nearby, she rubs all over me too & keeps bouncing back to the window to lovingly greet them again. well, one night she ran to the window to see her coony love & i don't know what went wrong, but suddenly she was hissing & yowling loudly & repeatedly slapping at the glass. i don't know if this was a different raccoon than the one she likes or if it just didn't show her enough attention, but it was pretty funny to watch. it kept backing away from her when she'd yell at it, but it couldn't resist the marshmallows for long & soon it would come back for another snack & smack at the window.

and now i play the waiting game. wait for the furry thieves to come marauding about my yard. ooo! i think i heard something!