Welcome to 30

I stopped writing.

I do that. Stop doing things I love when I find myself at my most lost.

I stopped singing when my Dad died.

I stopped a whole lot of things after the birth of my son as I went through postpartum depression and processed my difficult birth experience. Some of that related to being a new mom; the missed showers, the lack of sleep. A lot of it related to how traumatized I was; the missed laughter, the missed enjoyment of almost anything for a long time.

It’s strange to go through segments of your life like that; where you find yourself going through motions and not really present. Before you know it you’ve lost some indescribable amount of time and some irreplaceable amount of present living and some inexplicable self-deprivation of things you love.

“You need to write about it,” my husband said. He would leave the computer window open to my blog, sitting silently on the screen collecting cobwebs and losing meaning.

“I will,” I would reply, and then busy myself with the comforting monotony of daily life tasks that never find themselves completed.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you write anything,” he would say again urgingly.

“I just don’t have anything to say,” I would lie, and he would pretend to believe me.

And so tonight, I’ll write about it.

The last time I wrote anything was on the eve of my 30th birthday. I was not-so-subtly freaking out about it and I had all these great post ideas about how I was going to reveal my hidden worries about turning thirty, or the things I was actually looking forward to about turning thirty, or maybe even breaking down that terrible list of what a woman “should” have accomplished by the time she turned thirty and revel in what I’ve accomplished instead.

Instead, I woke up on the morning of my 30th birthday and got ready for a hair appointment. In true “oh-my-God-I’m-turning-thirty” style I planned to get a drastic hair cut. I stopped on the way at this very nice French restaurant that serves lovely chocolate croissant pastries and a special Ginger Chai latte and ordered it to go. Only it’s been so long since I’ve treated myself there that they no longer serve the ginger chai latte and someone had just purchased the very last chocolate croissant.

Still optimistic, I continued on to my hair appointment where I showed my stylist a picture of the new cut I wanted, one that required chopping 7 inches off of my hair, adding layers, and adding some red highlights. (Did I mention the whole I-was-freaking-out-about-turning-30-part?) In order to add red, first we had to get out the blondish highlights that had been in during the summer, so my stylist matched my hair all back to it’s original color and than cut off all of my hair. Per my non-chocolate-croissant-eating request. (Side note: I don’t make good decisions when I’m hungry. Or, apparently, 30.) Then we went to add in the red.

And it came out bright purple.

Truly.

Like, Halloween witch purple.

By the time all of this had occurred it was time for me to go pick my son up from school.

With short, purple, wet hair.

Despite my speeding I was a few minutes late to pick up my son who greeted me with a “Mommy, why is your hair purple? Is it for Halloween?”

I got us home and settled the toddler with lunch. I was feeling a bit sick but thought it was probably from the lack of eating and just my general state of being stressed about the day.

I went to the bathroom and then I saw it. All of the blood.

It had soaked through my clothes and the sickness I was feeling was cramping.

And then, I knew.

My husband came home from work about an hour later to find me hunched over, crying, with purple hair.

“I don’t think there’s a baby anymore,” I sobbed.

We quietly whispered our conversation and spelled words between the little voice that asked “Why is Mommy crying?” and “What are you guys talking about?”

“Do you want me to call and cancel tonight? I have something planned but you don’t have to go.”

“NO! It’s my fucking 30th birthday. I don’t want to spend it being completely miserable. This just isn’t how I wanted this to go,” I continued sobbing.

I found myself laying in our king sized bed surrounded by the hugs of my husband and my son and realizing that the short lived excitement of a June 2014 baby would never come true.

I had discovered the two tell tale pink lines on a pregnancy test just a little over a week before. And just to be sure, seen the words PREGNANT on another test. Within a week my husband and I had both discovered and lost a baby.

I called the OB/GYN who put told me to wait for the triage nurse to call. When she called she encouraged me to go straight to the emergency room.

“Why?” I asked. “Can they do anything? Or would it just be for informational purposes?”

“It would just be for informational purposes, but it’s important to know what’s going on with your body,” she replied.

“I already know what’s going on with my body. I’m having a miscarriage” I replied in my mind, but in reality it probably came out more like “Ok, thank you.” I’m an eternal people pleaser.

I talked to my husband about it and ultimately decided not to spend my 30th birthday sitting in an emergency room. I took some advil, splashed water on my face, and went back to the hair salon to get out the purple.

It was, after all, my birthday.

A few hours later my purple hair had been dyed black because it was the only way to cover up the color. It was not the look I was going for but it was styled and curled and I purchased a lovely red lipstick to fully embrace my bold new look. The reality of what was happening set in every time I went to the bathroom and every time I let myself think about it. I found myself crying as I drove home and again when my sister called and my husband accidentally answered the phone.

I had been avoiding all of the happy birthday calls and messages all day.

By 6:00 that evening I was dressed and had fixed my make up. A friend picked me up and drove me to a local restaurant where I was surprised by a group of girlfriends waiting for me. My husband had organized a girl’s night complete with pre-ordered appetizers and wine (which I happily drank. Because, in light of recent events, there was no reason for me not to.)

We laughed and drank wine and told stories. I was so thankful to be in the company of such sweet friends and to find moments of genuine joy in a day that had certainly not gone as I had imagined.

I came home late at night and curled into the arms of my husband. I heard my son sigh in his sleep across the hall and felt my cats curled up at my feet.

And finally, I slept.

Welcome to 30.

My surprise girl's night on my 30th birthday. I am in the blue dress, black belt, and newly acquired black hair and red lipstick .

My surprise girl’s night on my 30th birthday. I am in the blue dress, black belt, and newly acquired black hair and red lipstick .

 

 

 

11 Years

The last picture I have of my Dad and I was taken in May of 2002. I was a senior in high school and was wearing all black and stage make up to perform in my high school musical. I had the leading role and would be going to college on a voice scholarship in the fall.

My Dad wore a red t-shirt tucked into his blue jeans and a belt; his signature style. 

We have our arms around each other and big smiles. 

Then, at 7:20 in the morning on October 5th, 2002, he would pass away.

I kept that picture in a small frame with pink metal flowers for a long time. With me in my college dorm room after I dropped out and returned, changing my major. With me in my first apartment and the first home my husband and I had together.

And somewhere along the way, with moves and with time, the little frame with the metal flowers and the picture of my Dad and I got packed in a box. Packed away as more of a memory than an item to be unpacked and displayed.

A lot changes in eleven years. Graduations, marriages, jobs, babies, moves.

Eleven years feels like a long time. It is a long time. Its an amount of time that allows a lot of things to change.

And people say that time heals all wounds.

I thought eleven years would be a long time.

But today, on the eleventh anniversary of my Dad passing away, I found myself in tears. Sobbing, hysterical tears. Not able to get out of the bed tears. Or talk to my son without crying tears.

I didn’t think eleven years would have felt like that. So I decided to have a regular day. I had 8 hours worth of rehearsal today. And I went to them, just like I was supposed to. And I made a spectical of myself and cried the ugly cry and had to explain that even eleven years later, the passing of my Dad felt as if it had just happened.

How even eleven years later, the wound was fresh and I could remember the details of the entire day. Like the hole in my heart had just been created.

The first few anniversaries of his death I gave myself permission not to do anything. I would skip class and spend the day crying in bed. Perhaps not functional, but it was my own version of therapy and it allowed me to avoid the inevitable embarrassment of public crying.

The anniversary in 2006 was the first one that I actually went about as a normal day. I was teaching in England, and I got up and taught. And the day was actually good.

There have been other anniversaries like that. Where it wasn’t so heart wrenching; it just WAS. I dreaded last year’s the most; the tenth anniversary seemed like such a milestone and a significant time period. My mom, brother, sister and I wanted to commemorate that occasion so we went on a weekend get away, just the four of us. It was a lovely weekend and the perfect way to celebrate and remember.

This year didn’t feel so significant. Eleven isn’t even a significant number. I had rehearsals and regular life on the calendar.

And yet, as it tends to happen with grief, this anniversary took me by surprise and left me inconsolable well into the afternoon.

The people who came to tell me it would be ok at the church rehearsal were older ladies who would say, “I lost my Dad a couple of years ago. I know what you’re going through.”

And I appreciate it. I do.

I can’t imagine that losing a partner would be easy at any point in life.

But we all know that this happens. We know that we grow older and pass away. We know that as we age our parents age, too. We must expect that at some point, in their old age, our parents will pass.

I feel like it’s entirely different losing a parent when you are young. They didn’t get to live their entire lives. They didn’t get to do everything in their careers, or travel everywhere they wanted, or become a grandparent. They didn’t get to be there for all of the things in yours. They missed your graduations, your wedding, and your baby.

I don’t think you know what that’s like unless you’ve experienced it. To have your heart entirely broken and then pieced back together again, every so slowly, and then every once in a while it loses one of the pieces all over again and you feel that you are starting over.

Starting back at the beginning of the most vulnerable time when you lost a part of yourself.

The truth is, I hate this day.

I hate the way that it always makes me remember losing him. I remember the good parts and the bad parts and our family and who he was as a father and a husband. But I remember those parts everyday. Those are the parts I can tell to my son when something makes me think of my Dad, or when I look into my son’s eyes, because I am lucky enough to have a child with my Dad’s eyes.

I hate that it makes me ponder all of the things that could have been different; SHOULD have been different if he were still here.

I hate that this day makes me remember the details of the day we lost him. The sting of that realization, the exact moment when you are told that your whole life is forever changed.

And I hate that I will never know, for the rest of my life, what days it will strike like this. What days the grief will become so overwhelming that you just can’t plaster on your usual smile and get through your day. That being comforted by someone who says “It’s ok” and “I know what you’re going through” seem meaningless because you are absolutely certain that no one knows exactly the extent of your pain or your loss.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. It lessens them, perhaps. I’m not grief stricken every day. It’s not as intense as it was at first, or as paralyzingly hard as the very first anniversary.

But when the grief comes washing over you, it unavoidably takes you back to that first place. The first time that you felt yourself break.

And sometimes there’s nothing you can do but to live there until it passes.

I can’t believe it’s been eleven years. I miss you every day, Dad. I love you.

My Dad 2002

My Dad 2002

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ponderings

This post is inspired by the prompt: 2.) Coffee Talk! Share your first pumpkin spice latte of the season with us.

I ordered my pumpkin spice latte (non fat, no whip), thanked the barista, and stood to the side in anticipation. It’s my favorite part of fall, my morning stop at Starbucks for a foamy pumpkin drink to compliment the brisk chill in the air.

I notice a mom sitting down with her son. Her hair is unwashed and her t-shirt is stained. She is wearing black yoga pants and sneakers and I don’t see any make up on her face. She is tired and happy and enamored with her little boy that coos and drools as they wait.

I see you, Mom at Starbucks. I see you rub your eyes as you try to capture some bit of sleep that eluded you the night before. I see you fidget in your clothes when the well dressed woman comes in to order. (I do it, too.) I see you smile adoringly at your son.

I see you because I’ve been you. I’ve been out, looking at the world through tired Mommy eyes. I used to wear the uniform of black yoga pants and stained t-shirts, unwashed ponytails and a make up free face.

And I wonder, if you know, that soon, very soon, you will be out of this baby phase? That black yoga pants and stained t-shirts will turn into jeans and “nice” t-shirts? That your hair will be clean and styled and make up will one day again become a part of your routine?

I only know, because I was there. I was in the baby phase and then, it seemed suddenly, I wasn’t.

The day I stood waiting for my Starbucks was a day that my four year old was in preschool. I was wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt and makeup. My hair was washed and down and I had a morning of time to myself. And I wondered if it was even evident that I had a son at all? Strange to think it wouldn’t be when he’s such a large part of myself, but it’s unsettling when parts of yourself aren’t’ always with you.

Those early years seem so very long and exhausting and constant. And then, they are gone. Your days may still be long and exhausting but it’s a very different kind, and there’s a freedom in having an older child that allows you to welcome things back into your life that you had to let go of. And one morning you may find yourself alone in a Starbucks actually looking at the new mom with a little bit of envy, because the phase of life she is in is so very beautiful and so very fleeting.

But no matter what stage of Mommyhood you find yourself in, I think the morning coffee part? Is essential.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Going Home

I have been feeling melancholy lately; stuck in a wishing of things that were.

I find the most accurate term to be “homesick”, but the truth is that I am wishing for things that are no longer. Past-sick might be more accurate and I’m finding that my definition of home and past are so intimately intertwined that I can no longer distinguish their separate attributes.

An unrequited longing for a different story line or at least a review of crossroads seems to be my private midnight movie each night as I try to silence the mind that holds me captive, brings me words, and over analyzes choices.

I’ve been planning as though my life depended on it; planning for my husband’s upcoming 30th birthday and my son’s upcoming 4th birthday.

And perhaps, in my somewhat fragile state of mind, my life does depend on it;  depend on the planning of momentous celebrations to remember that there are occasions, monumental occasions, that require attention and dedication that I am, truly, thrilled to honor them.

I have a surprise planned for my husband, a big one that I know (hope?) he will love because even though he doesn’t like to make big deals of things I like to, and turning 30 isn’t just something you can brush under the rug.

I know myself well enough to know that this is not depression (I’ve been there) but rather a valley, a passing of emotion that will fade as quickly as it appeared, mysteriously drifting in and out of my consciousness.

And I also know that it’s a fear. A fear of the reality that my son will be 4, because every year that he gets older is another year that he is growing up, just as he should.

And then I know, I’m having a slight fear of turning 30 myself, because in all of my intense planning of the celebration of others I can not seem to think of how I would like to celebrate myself.

And I’m doing silly things like going to a tanning bed (just the spray kind, not the terrible kind) and whitening my teeth and working out because I’m trying to capture, grasp, hold on, to some part of what it meant to not be 30?

Even though I’ve said for a long time that I’m ready to be 30. And I am. And I’m going crazy all at once.

I’ve talked to some old friends lately that I haven’t talked to in a long time, and at once I missed the phase of life I knew them in and wished they were more in the phase of life I’m in now.

It’s interesting to remember who you were before you became who you are.

Because you used to be oh so very different in the midst of your sameness.

Finally the birthday parties are planned and the to do lists are (almost) crossed off, and on Friday my husband, son and I are leaving for a trip to Georgia for a week full of family and birthdays and busy-ness.

And though I usually hate the craziness of trips to Georgia, this time, it feels a lot like going home.

 

 

 

Drafts

I can’t think of anything to write lately.

This morning I decided to go through my drafts, maybe pull a quick post from there, just to keep the blog going.

There are 54 drafts. 54! That’s a ridiculous number.

They all vary in different degrees of completion, and some are little more than a prompt. But an idea with no substance doesn’t add up to much.

It’s not that life hasn’t been happening.

Of course it has.

It’s that most of my life has been happening in my head.

Musings, what-ifs, possibilities and dead ends.

I talked to one of my best friends the other day who asked my what else was going on after we had updated each other on the basics; kids, husbands, jobs.

“Um, nothing, really,” I replied, because the truth is that nothing really is happening.

Just a restless mind making up things to spend time thinking about.

And when everything that’s happening in your life is just something in your mind….there’s not really that much to write about.

Does this ever happen to you?

Why I Don’t Work Out

Admittedly, I’ve never been good at working out.

I’ve never been super skinny, but I’ve always been at a healthy and happy weight without having to try much. Then having a baby happened and now I know that to keep my body in shape I’m actually going to have to do something about it.

I had such a difficult recovery from my birth experience that my first attempt to get back in shape did not happen until my son was 2 and in a two morning a week preschool class. I hated it, and I felt like dying. The few times I brought my son with me to child care he cried the entire time. It was just not a good fit.

Last summer I jumped back on the fitness bandwagon with a go at Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. Another fail. The workout was intense for me as a beginner and even though the idea of a home workout video is great, it’s harder to do than you would think when you have a toddler interrupting you every 5 minutes.

This past spring I joined an adult hip hop dance class hoping for a workout, but it turns out it was really just about learning choreography for a performance. While fun, it didn’t do anything for me. I often had to bring my son with me to class, which meant a lot of interruptions and I’m pretty sure the rest of the class didn’t appreciate it.

This summer, we decided to join a pool. After a lot of research, it turns out that the best fit for us was a summer membership to the YMCA. The branch 20 minutes down the road has a full outdoor water park (which is awesome!) and the cost of membership includes the outdoor pool/water park, full access to the YMCA gym and group exercise classes, free childcare, 3 free wellness coach sessions, access to any branch in the Richmond area, and swim lessons for my son. This summer we could play at the pool and I could work out!

My little guy has been doing a lot of summer camps, so I’ve been dropping him off at those and then going to group exercise classes, which I’ve LOVED.

Then I brought my son with me to the child care area and he liked it and I got to work out. I had my first of 3 wellness sessions so now I better understand the equipment and what exactly I should be doing as a work out (which I think has always been a large part of my problem…I don’t know what to do and at what level). Maybe I could really keep this up this time! Wednesday he went to the child care area, I worked out for an hour, and then we hung out at the pool all afternoon. It was perfect!

And then this morning my son and I were going to the gym. We slept in a little bit, and then he wanted breakfast. Not the kind I fixed him. A different kind. And then he needed to get dressed, but first he wanted to lay his clothes out in a very specific way, and then dress his Curious George lovey. And we had to brush his teeth but with a specific toothbrush that was downstairs. After we finally accomplished getting dressed, brushing teeth, and overcoming A LOT of dawdling, he was cooperative enough to get his shoes. And then he sat down so I could help him put them on and somehow spilled his water cup all over his pants. So we went back upstairs to change and back downstairs to finally put on shoes.

We made it out of the house at 11:00 AM. After driving the 20 minutes it takes to get to the gym and a lot of persuading to get him out of the car..

*”Time to get out of the car, love.”

blank stare

“Noah, come on buddy! We are running out of time!”

moves as slow as a turtle*

….I checked him into childcare at 11:30. They only offer childcare from 9:00 to 12:30 so if I miss that window I miss my opportunity. I would have one hour to work out and then we could eat lunch and play at the pool.

Except he would not go in child care. He stood outside the door screaming “NO” and refused to go in. I went in and tried to entice him with toys, the child care lady was trying to be encouraging, and he would not enter the child care area.

Realizing this was a losing battle I said, “Fine, let’s go home,” crossed his name off the list and we left.

We got home at 12:05.

We spent all morning getting ready, wasted an hour of driving and gas for no reason, I still didn’t get to work out and now he’s in his room and I’m blogging in frustration.

Sigh. I feel like this is a losing battle and I might just have to learn how to be content with being unhealthy.

How do you moms that work out all the time do this?

What I’ve Learned From a Summer of Night Shifts

My husband got the short end of the stick this summer in terms of his schedule, and he’s been on nights since May. He’s only had one 24 hour period off since then, and prior to that was on a 21 day stretch with no day off. This has made for a pretty long summer of just the toddler and I hanging out, but in the meantime I’ve learned some interesting things.

1) If left to my own devices I do not go to bed. Ever. Or at least until a ridiculously late time in the early morning which means I then have to function without sleep while taking care of a 3 year old the next day.

2) When given the opportunity to have complete control of the TV remote, I watch trash TV. The really bad kind that I make fun of other people for watching like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and The Real Housewives of Somewhere (mainly New Jersey and Orange County.) Ridiculous right?

3) I do not cook, so without my husband home to cook for us, my son and I eat out. A lot.

4) When we are sick of eating out, my ability to cook does make an occasional appearance. I actually do know how to throw together a meal of salmon, broccoli and rice or pasta and salad.

5)I’ve also spent a lot of time watching you tube how to videos…how to put on make up. This new little late night hobby has taught me a lot of new tricks and introduced me to some really fun new products. Also, I may have a new make up addiction.

6) Taking care of a three year old all by yourself day in and day out is exhausting. My old routine of put-the-toddler-to-bed-and-go-downstairs-to-write has become a new routine of put-the-toddler- to-bed-and-fall-asleep-with-all-of-the-downstairs-lights-still-on. Oops.

7) I actually like the new morning routine when my husband is home to help get the toddler ready for his various summer camps. He’s even been making scrambled eggs and bagels or toast for breakfast for our son, which I know he appreciates more than the cold cereal he gets from me.

8) Only seeing your husband for 30 minutes to an hour a day is difficult. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m lonely, because I am very rarely without the toddler and I’ve made sure to fill our calendar with a lot of play dates and summer camps this summer, but it’s hard. And it’s definitely not the ideal family life I had once pictured our family enjoying.

9) All of the work we put into getting our son to finally sleep in his own bed has gone out the window. The toddler’s been sleeping with me for two months straight now and I know that when we try to move him back into his own room it’s going to be a battle.

10) I often refer to myself as a “single mom who happens to be married” which I realize is not fair to my husband and I don’t mean to be insulting to all of the single moms who work so hard every day. But only seeing your husband/the toddler only seeing his father for 30 minutes a day for months is very difficult, and sometimes I’m downright mad about it.

This will all be over soon, and I think that the month of August has the potential to be full of quality family time, or at least family dinners, which to us will feel like a vacation.

Do you ever feel alone in parenting? How do you deal with it?

 

Aunt Babs. Kind of.

(A not-so-coded post about periods. Don’t read if you are a boy. Or my family. Or anyone that doesn’t want to read about periods.)

Let’s pretend you have an aunt named Babs. (An upgrade from the traditionally named Flo.)

Every woman has this aunt. She varies from slightly annoying to downright painful, though she does gift you with the ability to have children, which is a plus. She likes to show up once a month and almost always at inconvenient times.

My relationship with Babs has been very predictable. She started visiting me monthly when I was 12 and never stopped.

Until I got pregnant.

The funny thing about Babs is that she doesn’t like to show up when you are pregnant or nursing. She also doesn’t like to show up if you use an IUD as a birth control method, which I did immediately after my son was born (because no way was I going through that experience again.)

Taking all of this into account, I have not seen Babs in 4 1/2 years. Four and a half years people!!

It’s been amazing. Wonderful. Truly, I have not missed her at all.

I got my IUD removed last month because it was causing all sorts of mood swings (sorry husband and son) and really I had just run my course with it. (Though it is supposed to be a 5 year birth control my doctor said a lot of people tend to feel this way around the 4 year mark.)

And then, this morning, Babs showed up. Truly at the most inappropriate time. Right before my son and I have a pool party to go to this afternoon and my husband and I are going away overnight tomorrow for a late anniversary celebration.

It was a great 4 and a half year run without you, Babs. I hope to endure only a very brief visit.

 

 

 

Becoming Real

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day…

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you…

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept… Once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit 

“I think that when I go back to work, I’d like to be a writer,” I said to my husband two years ago on a quiet afternoon.

“Ok,” he said. “Then do it!”

I started blogging in December of 2011 but didn’t tell anyone in “real life”. They discovered it slowly, because as it turns out, the internet is not all that private of a medium.

If I’m ever asked what I do, I still refer to the title Stay At Home Mom. I have never uttered the phrase “I’m a writer.”

I have a friend whose been blogging for a long time, and has a magical way of weaving words. I consider her a writer, though it is still not a term I would extend to myself.

In January of 2013 I was honored to join the writing team at Moonfrye.com and 5minutesformom.com. But that just meant I was lucky.

Then I started to notice requests in my inbox for product reviews and people wanting to guest post. “That’s weird,” I thought. “Why would anyone want to work with me and this small little blog?”

There is a large annual blogging conference called BlogHer coming up in just a few weeks. This year, it will be held in Chicago. I have never ever considered going, because that’s for “real bloggers” and “real writers” and I am definitely not one of those.

Then I received an email from my wonderful content editor at Moonfrye asking who would be attending BlogHer so we could all meet. I won’t be, but isn’t that amazing that I am a part of something like that? Maybe I belong a bit more than I thought I did.

And then an amazing thing happened.

Late one night last week, I was just browsing the internet, as I tend to do when the house is quiet. I found a job posting for a local Richmond business. I wrote a cover letter, made a resume, and submitted my application. Which was strange, because I wasn’t really looking to go back to work, but something about this felt right.

I got an interview, and it just happened to work out that my mom was here to watch my son so I could go. I met with an amazing lady who I adored right from the start and the job opportunity couldn’t have been more of a perfect fit. Isn’t it amazing when things just fall perfectly into place like that?

I am so pleased and honored to announce that I am joining the team of writers on RichmondMom.com, a writing position I have long coveted. I am beyond amazed to think I will be on the same writing team as Alex from Late Enough and Kristin from What She Said, two writers I have always greatly admired. (And Kristin was just selected as a BlogHer Voice of The Year, a huge honor! So proud of her!)

Starting in the fall, I will be able to help with sales and marketing at an adorable Richmond boutique in my very favorite part of town.

I’m still trying to process that this is all real, because I feel like I have the opportunity to step into my absolute dream job and still have flexibility to stay home with my son.

And it just may be, that in the midst of processing that this is real, I am actually becoming a writer after all.

Bit by bit, I may be becoming real.

 

Why Father’s Day Annoys Me

“Happy Father’s Day to the best Dad in the world!”

“I have the best husband and father a girl could ask for!”

“Happy Father’s Day to my amazing husband and my very own amazing Dad!”

“I have the best Dad in the world I just don’t know what I would do without him!”

My enthusiasm for my daily Facebook browsing quickly weaned as I read status after status of Father’s Day wishes.

It seemed like all of the women my age in my feed changed their profile picture to one of  them with their Dad on their wedding day. Why is that thing?

Some people posted about thinking of those that are missing fathers that are no longer with us. A sweet tribute, but it felt empty. When you lose someone, you don’t need to be reminded of how much you miss them on a specific day. The truth is, you miss them every moment, every day. A random day in June neither amplifies nor diminishes that reality.

I found my self becoming increasingly more agitated and exited from the social media world for the day. As much as I wished we had a nice Father’s Day planned for our own little family, my husband is on nights and he slept the day away, just like he did last year. I don’t really remember what we did for that first Father’s Day after my son was born so it couldn’t have been too spectacular.

I haven’t celebrated Father’s Day in 10 years now and though I used to find the day to be very emotional, now I just find it trivial, jarring; a reminder of something I can’t have and the circumstances with my own husband mean that it’s not even a holiday I can fully embrace now.  I go through the motions; I never forget a card to my father-in-law and a present for my husband from my son. It all feels very obligatory.

I took out my emotional cocktail of bitterness and indifference by doing yard work today. A ton of yard work. It takes much longer to accomplish yard work with a toddler glued to your side all day, and my legs can easily be mistaken as diseased with the amount of mosquito bites I got, but at least the yard looks good better.

I realize my anger towards this day and its intentions are misplaced. I’m jealous that I don’t have a picture of my Dad and I on my wedding day. I hate that my husband’s schedule makes it impossible for us to ever do normal things like hang out with friends on the weekends or celebrate holidays. (Or that my husband actually would be the one to do the yard work.) I hate that even if I wanted this day to be significant, it can’t be.

When my husband finally woke up, my son and I gave him his Father’s Day presents. I unintentionally spoiled him this year (because good deals on all the things!) with a t-shirt, a hammock, and an adorable pillow I will tell you all about soon. We spent the evening covered in bug spray relaxing on the new hammock and catching up on a bit of family time. We have dinner reservations tomorrow to take advantage of a Father’s Day special. (Because free dinner!)

So I guess we are celebrating Father’s Day this year. Just not in the “oh my gosh you are so amazing what would I do without you” way. Because whether you know it or not, you would do what you had to do without your husband or your father. And you wouldn’t love them any more or any less no matter what date was on the calendar.

Happy Father’s Day to everyone that found meaning in it. I promise I will try to work on my attitude (and get some decent sleep. I’m grumpy when I’m sleep deprived.)

But can we please all agree on one thing….it is impossible for ALL of you to have the best husband/father/boyfriend/cat/dog/brother’s sister’s cousin in the world. Have a contest, figure it out, and then only the winner can brag.

Because obviously the heart of this issue is annoying Facebook statuses.