Being a Grandchild of Divorce

Man Cub is now 4 and a half years old and is starting to realize that once upon a time Amma and Papa, my parents, were married.

Next month will be 2 years since their divorce was official and November will be 7 years since they split up.

He has never known my parents as married.

B’s parents are still married and he’s noticing a difference.

Add in my Dad’s girlfriend…who he calls by her first name, and the poor kid doesn’t know what to make of things.

I don’t ever want him to think that one day his parents will get divorced. Even if that is one of my super secret fears that rears up when the Anxiety Monster is around…

 

I’m really not sure what or how to say to D. I don’t know how to explain things to him in a way a 4 year old will understand, but not be confused or afraid it will happen to him.

The upside is that now everything is final and we’ve all (mostly) come to terms with all the emotional junk that came with being a married 20-something when my parents split up.

I make a conscience effort to spend time with all three sets of grandparents and try to make things as equal as I can. Even if my parents aren’t together and there’s a girlfriend in the picture, at least there is no shortage of people who love and care about my son. I just wish I knew how to help him understand without harping on the issue and bringing up my own baggage.

Sigh, yet again… I’m wishing there was an instruction book that came along with D when he was born.

How do I explain racism to my white 4 year old?

Last night D and I were driving home from family dinner and happened to drive past a group of people holding up signs protesting racism. One of the signs asked drivers to honk if they were against racism.

I laid on the horn.

D asked me why I honked.

I told him it was in support of the people protesting racism.

Then my four year old white, American male child asked me what racism was.

How do I explain to my son that some people are at a disadvantage in the world based solely on the color of their skin… something they have ZERO control over?

That because he was born white, things are going to be easier for him.

Things are going to be easier because he’s male instead of female?

How do I explain racism and ass backward thinking to a FOUR YEAR OLD?!?!?

 

I told him that some people think less of other people just because they’re a different color from what they are. That everyone deserves to be treated the same regardless of what they look like. That there are people in all different colors of the rainbow and we all deserve to be treated the same.

We crossed over a railroad track and my train-loving kid was distracted.

There is a part of me that wants to talk to him more about this. To explain that everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect… regardless of the color of their skin, gender, religion and sexual orientation.

There is another cowardly part of me that just wants to let it go. To let my child continue to live in ignorant bliss.

But that’s letting him be ignorant. Part of my job as his parent is to show him how people are special and deserve to be treated as such. To teach him in word and action. To help even the playing field.

Even if it is a 2 minute car conversation.

 

 

Prepare yourself… word vomit is coming.

Please forgive the word vomit coming your way in this post. I’ve been drinking wine straight from the bottle tonight. Hopefully word vomit is the only vomit happening tonight…

 

My sil has recently given birth to her first child. Meaning we have something other than banging brothers in common. Ew.

The night my newest nephew was born we went to visit after being told to stay away. Side eye emoji, but to each their own…

B, D and the brand new Daddy went to get dinner leaving me alone with my sil. Not two minutes after the boys left she launched into a tirade against our in-laws. Granted, I haven’t always had the best relationship my my in-laws ironically this sil was in the middle of that cluster f*ck. Do you sense a pattern?

I hemmed and hawed about actually going to visit thanks to my broken uterus and the two years of ovulation tests and the last six month of fertility meds. To have sil lauch into her whine fest rubbed me the wrong way. Especially since she was leaving her bitching open ended, hoping I would chime in. Been there, done that. Once burned, twice shy. There is a HUGE part of me that wants to report ever thing she said back to our MIL … like she’s done to me. But I need to be the bigger person. I am not willing to get back at my sil at the expense of our MIL, who would be incredibly hurt to know what was said. I don’t want to be that person. Especially since my relationship with her is more important to me than my relationship with my sil.

I really don’t want to be that person, but there is an incredibly petty part of me that wants to stick it to my sil. I understand that her relationship with our in-laws changed when I married in to the family. I understand that, but it isn’t my fault. She doesn’t get to take her sorrow… frustrations… whatever it is out on me. Especially at the expense of people she claims to love and care about.

I know I’m word barfing all over, but I’m feeling a whole range of emotions. I don’t know how to react to things. I don’t know how to be a good aunt to my brand new nephew when I wouldn’t be friends with his mother if she weren’t married to my husband’s brother. It isn’t this baby’s fault his mother is a mean girl a la Regina George from Mean Girls. I’m angry that she gets to be a mom and I’m trying like hell to have another.

regina-george

It’s definitely time to put the wine down, close the computer and get my ass to bed. Hopefully things will be clearer in the morning.

Love to all!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This weekend is Christmas.

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

But this year, it’s one of the most stressful.

My original family of 6 has grown and multiplied, which is amazing. I love both of my brother-in-laws… brothers-in-law??? and I adore how insanely happy they make my sisters. It just means there are more schedules and other family celebrations to work around to have one of our own. Not really a big deal.

My stress level starts to elevate when I have to work in all the other Christmas celebrations. Which makes me selfish, I know, but dang. I have Christmas with my mom and sisters, another with my dad, his girlfriend and sister; and then there’s the other side of the family to add in to the mix too.

My husband is a Christmas baby, I have the only grandchild at the moment and the only daughter-in-law with parents still living and in town. And I have two family get togethers to work around.

Le sigh.

I know that I’m prone to stress and anxiety. And I’ve refilled my Xan.ax accordingly… Let’s add in the fertility med crazies and the oh so delightful two week wait *sarcasm* and I should be as relaxed as if I were on a beach vacation.

 

Image result for tropical vacation

 

 

 

More Than A Number

December is a super busy birthday month here at Casa Vino. B, D and I are all December babies, plus Christmas. Read, December is a HELLA expensive month for us…

My dad’s birthday is also in December and this year it finally dawned on me that my dad is getting old.

I’ll have the 2nd anniversary of my 29th birthday this month. I was born just a few weeks before my Dad’s 37th birthday.  And then he went on to have 3 other daughters over the next 9.5 years.

Last weekend my Dad and his girlfriend enlisted my help in getting and moving in a brand new couch. Getting the couch into the back of the rented van was no big deal. Two guys from the furniture store moved it in with a dolly. When we got back to Dad’s house we decided that the couch would only fit through the front door.

We live in Michigan. And it’s been snowing here.

In an effort to amass more Favorite Daughter points, I offered to shovel off the sidewalk and the front porch where we would be carrying the couch and sent Dad in to warm up and play with D and the birthday presents he’d just opened from Papa and his girlfriend.

Watching my dad attempt to get that couch of the van was eye opening. Like he seriously struggled. We had to stop a few times getting the couch up to the house, and he actually stumbled and fell going up the three stairs to the front porch. I’ve never seen my Dad fall before. He told me his pride hurt more than anything else, but there was definitely a hitch in his giddy-up moving the old couch out to the garage and the new one in it’s place.

I know my Dad well enough to see when something isn’t right with him. Not that his stubborn old ass would ever admit it. And he wonders where I get it…

I do 99% of the snow removal at our house thanks to B’s asthma and crazy long work hours, so I strongly encouraged Papa to watch a Christmas movie with D and I would take care of the driveway for him. I played it off like I enjoy freezing my ass off in the cold and frigid wind to prevent further injury to Dad’s pride. But honestly, I’m not sure he could have done it himself. Yes, he could have but I’m not sure how long it would have taken him or how badly he could/would have hurt himself.

Two days later Dad came over for our twice a week coffee date and he was moving rather slowly and gingerly. He was also rocking a pretty gnarly bruise with some scrapes from his fall.

Holy shit, y’all my Dad is old. He’s on a whole host of meds for his blood pressure, high cholesterol and is an insulin dependent diabetic. I truly don’t know how may years I have left with my dad. That’s a really tough pill to swallow. As dysfunctional as our relationship is/has been, I can’t imagine a life without my Dad. How many memories does my son get to have with his Papa. Will he ever meet other kids we may have?

I don’t want to lose my Dad, and that’s obviously something that’s going to happen someday, but heaven help me… I seriously hope it isn’t sooner rather than later.

The Anxiety Monster

The Anxiety Monster has my entire being in an absolute choke hold.

I tend to retreat and fold in to myself in an attempt to keep Anxiety at bay. It’s a hell of a lot easier and way less scary to pretend everything is okay and ‘normal’.

Anxiety has been ramping up to rear it’s ugly head for a while now.

I thought I had things under control after the last time Anxiety came around in June. When my parents’ divorce was finally final. I had closure after four and a half years of separation, the last year of which had been a less than amicable back and forth in mediation.

It was the end of an era and one I was glad to see. There was no more wondering. No more back and forth. No more are they or aren’t they going to ever get divorced.

It was done.

It was handled.

It was final.

Beast tamed.

And it was wonderful.

Then came August.

B was suddenly laid off from his job of 8 years.

We went from a mostly-comfortable 1 and a half income family to a half income family. Holy shit.

We had a few days to find, pay for and secure health insurance.

An absolute must for B’s epilepsy medications that run a few hundred dollars a month with insurance.

How in the hello were we going to afford to pay our mortgage and keep food on the table after our Oh Shit fund ran out on my two days a week at work?

Short answer, we weren’t.

B put in applications at any and every place he could think of and landed a job through a temp agency driving a forklift. From 6pm-4:30am four days a week.

It was an amazing relief to have some sort of income coming in, but there are no guarantees that this will turn in to something permanent. But now I am tasked with keeping an almost 3 year old subdued during the day so Daddy can sleep. Lack of sleep is a HUGE trigger for B’s seizures. Cue extra stress. I am also the sole care provider for our son at the moment. B comes home from work, eats, takes a shower and goes to bed. He can usually sleep until 3-4p which doesn’t leave him much time with D Or me for that matter… and I’m usually asleep when he comes home in the morning. Come 5 o’clock he’s getting ready for work and out the door. I’m the one responsible for getting D dinner, playing with him until bath or bed time and getting him to sleep. Once he’s down for the night, I’m done. I check out. There is nothing left in the tank emotionally. I just can’t anymore. It’s exhausting keeping up with D and pretending like Mommy’s insides aren’t a complete cluster you-know-what. I’m tired of going to bed alone. I’m tired of feeling alone period.

I have to give B major props.

My husband is one of the most hard working men I know. He could have rolled over and given up, but he didn’t. He did anything and everything he could to provide for his family. That isn’t exactly the example of a husband and father I had and it blows me away.

And so our house is a mess. I don’t feel like I can do loud housekeeping things while either one of the boys are sleeping. And frankly, I don’t want to do it.

Today, shit is hitting the fan. Anxiety Monster is front and center. I feel like I’m vibrating and I can’t get on top of it.

My sister is getting married, which is wonderful, amazing news! I am so incredibly excited for her I can hardly stand it.

But my father has no idea.

It’s no secret that Daughter #3 wants nothing to do with our dad. That’s her choice, it’s her relationship and I’m not in her shoes. I can’t tell her how to feel or what she should or shouldn’t do when it comes to our Dad. If only that were reciprocated…

Someone incredibly important to her is walking down aisle.

Someone our father vehemently dislikes. He was present when Dad was asked to leave/kicked out and I don’t think my father will ever forgive him for that, which isn’t fair. This man was looking out for my mother, my sisters and me. He is a loving, caring man and we are all lucky to have him in our lives. He stepped up to show all of us fatherly love when we weren’t getting it from our own dad. I will always love him for that.

My father has no idea and I almost spilled the beans today when he was over for our Monday coffee time.

Daughter 3 getting married isn’t my news to share. It’s hers. If and when she chooses to let him know.

It’s only a matter of time until he hears it from her or someone else. Frankly, I’m astounded that he hasn’t heard it through the grapevine. Every time he comes over I brace myself for him asking if what he heard is true.

I have experience in this. When Daughter #4 was graduating from high school, she didn’t want Dad to know. I told her and our Mom that I wasn’t going to tell him where and when the graduation ceremony was, but if asked I wasn’t going to lie to him.

Daughter 3 getting married is life-altering. In the best way possible.

And Dad doesn’t know.

I have a ticking time bomb of information.

I’m desperately afraid it’s going to blow up in my face. I’m terrified that my father is going to hold it against me that I knew and didn’t tell him. That I knew who was walking his daughter down the aisle and I haven’t warned him it’s coming.

I’m terrified he’s going to hold it against me and it will damage our relationship. He is scary good at holding grudges.

It’s not my news to share.

But it’s eating me up inside.

I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.

It’s all feeding the Anxiety Monster and I really wish it wasn’t.

I’m purging all the feels into this post in an attempt to keep the monster at bay. I’ve deep cleaned my living room in an attempt to deep clean my brain and my heart. I have big plans for cleaning the kitchen to keep my brain and body occupied so I don’t have to think or feel.

I will make it through today and I’ll eventually come out the other side.

But right now.

In this moment.

The Anxiety Monster is winning.

Father’s Day Hurts

Father’s Day is not my favorite day. Mother’s Day isn’t my favorite either, but for different reasons.

My relationship with my dad has never been the kind of relationship all little girls want to have.

My relationship with Dad was okay until I started developing, physically, mentally and emotionally. I got boobs REALLY early. Like I got my first bra in 2nd grade early. 

From then on, my relationship with my dad was essentially bare minimum. I referred to him as the sperm donor until I was well in my 20s.

I don’t want to place all the blame on my dad or make excuses for him, but the poor man had no idea what he was getting himself in to. He had no example of a father growing up. Poor guy comes from a family of four boys and had only daughters. My grandmother used to exclaim every two minutes, thanks, Dementia, that she had four boys and he had four girls. Dad comes from a broken family in every sense of the phrase. His father was a prominent doctor in the community and had the money to buy anything he wanted. Including a nice little side piece that he left his family for and started over with the new woman half way across the county. His mother never missed an opportunity to bad mouth his father and that has to wear on a little boy.

I genuinely think that because my dad was physically present in the house that he was being a ‘good dad’.

I don’t think he knew/knows how to relate to his daughters. Spending time with him was on his terms. Added to the craziness was a less than stellar relationship, thanks parents for teaching me the extreme importance of communication! and not being able or being afraid to try and fail to support his family. My mother worked full time despite wanting to stay home at least part time and couldn’t. I definitely resented him for that. I know she did too. Can’t say I blame her.

My parents’ relationship has been shit for years.  I remember being in high school and asking my mom why she didn’t leave my dad and get divorced.

When I was planning my wedding, I didn’t want my father to walk me down the aisle. I felt like he had given up any right to giving me away when he stopped trying to have a relationship with me. I didn’t want to totally cut him out on the off chance a miracle happened and we someday had a father/daughter relationship. I didn’t want to live with the chance of regret.

After I got married, bought a house and had a grown up job I guess I was officially an ‘adult’ and no longer his responsibility. Things got better.

Just over a year after B and I got married, my parents separated. His story is she kicked him out. Her story is that she asked him to leave. I wasn’t there. I don’t know. I just know things in that house were better. My two youngest sisters were living at home and their relationships with him are/were infinitely worse than mine was.

For some unknown reason, my dad never saw it coming. He was devastated. My mom packed clothes and meds for my dad and paid for a hotel room for a week. I was his only connection to his family. Daughter 2’s coping mechanism was to pretend that everything was hunky dory and nothing was amiss. Daughters 3 and 4 have not spoken to him unless they absolutely have to and have asked him not to contact them.

It’s hard. Watching your sisters hate your father and voice their opinions on the fact that you have a relationship with him. They’re less than pleased. But what was I supposed to do? Dad was lost. He didn’t know up from down. Our fledgling relationship changed. I was ‘grown up’. I could, would and do tell him in no uncertain terms what I think and how I feel about things. It’s just how I need things to be with us. It’s how our relationship survives.

That man loves my son SO much. How can I deny my child that love? I can’t. End of story.

After 5 years of separation and one of those years (finally!) spent in a bitter divorce, it’s over. It was finally final the beginning of June.

I could almost hear Daughters 3 and 4 whooping with joy. Stab twist.

It’s incredibly difficult watching them hate our father so much. I remember a time not so long ago that I felt the same way. Their relationships with them are their’s. They had vastly different issues. I have absolutely zero right to tell them how to feel or think. It’s not fair for me to pass judgment.

But it’s a two way street.

They have no right to judge me and my relationship with him.

I don’t know if it’s because The Divorce or it being so close to Father’s Day or the fact that his girlfriend was involved, but this year the Hallmark celebration was HARD. It physically hurt. I can’t tell you how many times I threw up this weekend thinking about it.

Hopefully next year is better.

It sure can’t get any worse.

Why I Don’t Go to Church on Mother’s Day

I know, I know. Mother’s Day was last weekend.

And it’s been ages since I wrote anything here.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about Mother’s Day and I just had to get it all out.

I was in 7th grade the first time I realized Mother’s Day wasn’t all bouquets of flowers, chocolates and macaroni art.

I vividly remember sitting in church listening to one of my classmates sobbing. Gut wrenching, soul crushing, sorrow filled sobs. Her mother had died in a car accident a few weeks earlier and the minister was droning on and on about the importance of mothers. Whiskey tango foxtrot was he thinking?! Um, HELLO?!?!

I will never, ever forget the sound. It was pure anguish. Poor thing.

From that Sunday on, I wasn’t a fan of Mother’s Day sermons.

Fast forward to 2010. B and I had just found out a few months before that I probably wouldn’t be able to have children. Mother’s Day this year, I reluctantly went to church with B. (We both grew up in religious households that put a serious emphasis on church attendance.) We were sporadically attending a church where there were 3 married couples who had been married more than a few months and were not pregnant. B and me, his two brothers and their wives. How’s that for irony… It was an extremely conservative, old school church. Things I definitely am not.

I distinctly remember sitting in the pew and fuming. The pastor was preaching on the importance of being a mother and how it is the woman’s duty to give her husband children and devote her entire being to raising these children.

Children I had recently been told I wouldn’t have.

I was a bad woman and a bad wife.

Such bullshit.

I’m sure there are churches that don’t put a lot of emphasis on Motherhood on Mother’s Day. They exist.

They have to.

Once burned, twice shy. It may be small and petty, but I haven’t darkened the door of a church on Mother’s Day in 5 years and I don’t plan on doing it any time soon.

Too many people/women/couples have a hard time on Mother’s Day. There’s too much heartache associated with a mother that’s passed away. Or a strained relationship with a mother. Or families, however they’re made up, who have empty arms, wombs and hearts for whatever reason.

To all the women sitting in church on Mother’s Day feeling like they’ve been sucker punched in their broken/empty lady bits and feeling like less of a fill-in-the-blank: You are more than your cystic ovaries/fibrous uterus/blocked fallopian tubes/endo riddled insides. You are not defined by your vagina.

You are not less than because you don’t have children.

You are not less than.

Period.

You are important.

You are a good wife.

You are appreciated.

You are remembered.

You are loved.

Gee…I never thought of that.

I’ve been on a bit of a social media hiatus.

There’s some crap going on in the family. I tweeted about how I was having all the feels, how it surprised me that I was having the feels and that I just needed to vent. And it bit me in the a-dollar-dollar.

Having all the feels and not feeling like I can talk to anyone without paying them to listen to me has seriously set my anxiety through the roof.

Sarcasm is my first language and my coping mechanism.

I can’t control my anxiety, but I can usually control my sarcasm. when my filter is working…

Trust me. I SO wish I could control the anxiety right now.

B and I are going on an anniversary getaway long weekend in a few weeks and I’m trying to figure out logistics for Man Cub.
We are extremely lucky to have all four grandparents locally.
But trying to figure things out with my habitually late, last minute family is driving me nucking futs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. I absolutely adore then and would be beyond lost without them.
But no one can push my buttons and drive me crazy like they can.

During MIL’s birthday lunch today our little vacay was brought up and MIL was naturally curious when Man Cub was going to be at her house. I told her I didn’t know and that I was working on it.
I wasn’t trying to be a beach. I really wasn’t, but my frustration must have been obvious.

As we were outside saying our goodbyes she kind of pulled me aside and said it was no big deal to her when Man Cub was at her house.
Then it happened.
She told me not to worry about it.
And I reacted.
Poorly.

I believe “Gee, I never thought of that. Just don’t worry about it. Problem solved!” was my exact response.

If I could just not think/worry about some of the shit going on right now, I would. Trust me. I wish it was that farking simple. I really do.

I’m sure things will eventually, last minute, work themselves out and all will be well.
But until then?
Please, for the love of dear, sweet baby Jesus, don’t tell me to just not think/worry about it.
Anxiety+Girl

Quick and Dirty Update…Not THAT Kind of Dirty!

Sooooooo it has been a hot minute since I’ve posted.

Bad, Lo, bad!

Just like everyone else, life got twisted, turned upside down and time just gets away from me.

And now I have the Fresh Prince  theme song stuck in my head…

Here’s the quick and dirty run down of what’s been going on at Casa de Vino.

  • B had some kind of crazy, fluke breathing issue that has still yet to be diagnosed. Despite two ER visits 6 hours apart, an overnight hospital stay, pulmonary function testing and multiple doctor appointments. We’re waiting on a June appointment with a specialist to see what and if the next steps are for a diagnosis.
  • B got a promotion! He is back to first shift after 6-ish months on 2nd. And not a moment too soon for me…
  • My schedule changed. I’m still working 20-ish hours a week in D’s daycare, but I’m now working back to back days leaving me with a 5 day weekend which is absolutely nothing to complain about!
  • D is growing like a weed. I cannot believe he will be 17 months old on Friday. Seriously. How the hello did that happen? He loves cars, trucks, anything that makes noise and everything to do with playing outside. He talks a lot… just not in English. Which I’m actually pretty worried about.
  • In related news, those mother effing Matchbox Cars hurt like a son of a beach when you step on them.
  • My house is still a mess, but not as much as it has been in the past. I’m making a conscious effort to make picking up the house each night and actually folding and putting away the laundry more of a priority. *Those damn Matchbox Cars were a large influencer of the nightly pick up. Seriously, ouch!*
  • Spring seems to have finally sprung here in Michigan and we’ve had some b-e-a-utiful, sunshine filled days recently. Hallelujah. Can ingest an amen?!
And that’s about it at Casa de Vino.
But just one more thing.
Because it’s still running through my head…
 

My apologies. I can’t get the clip to auto play from my dumb phone…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nCqRmx3Dnw

 
 
You’re welcome. 🙂