Coward of the County

What kind of person are you?  Are you a good person?  Do you stand up for the little guy or are you a coward?  I proved tonight I’m a coward.  I don’t stand up for anything.  This woman said something so offensive at the football game tonight and I know her, she’s mostly funny, but tonight she was just offensive.  And I didn’t sit there and laugh like the woman next to me did, but I also didn’t say anything.

Why?  Did I fear retribution for my daughter because her daughter is one of the “popular” girls?  I’m just a coward.  I talked to Tenderheart about it on the way home and told her how wrong that woman was, but then I came home and cried because I knew I should have said something.  I should have said anything.  What if I was part of the group she was making fun of instead of sitting near her probably looking guilty by association?  In my past encounters with this mom, she has mostly just been loud and semi-funny, but tonight she was just rude and offensive.  And I’m not saying I haven’t said offensive things, but I don’t yell them at football games surrounded by high schoolers.  And if I did, my daughter would kill me.

This mom was also barking at one of the cheerleaders who she thinks stole another girl’s boyfriend.  This is a grown-ass woman doing that to children.  This is how bullies are raised.  And by not saying anything and by being in her vicinity, I’m just as guilty and a coward.

Our New New Normal

Every Saturday after Moonshine would get off work, she’d call me on her way home.  I’d say, Hey babe, and she’d say, Hi momma!  I could tell by her greeting the kind of day she’d had just in the way she’d say it.  When she moved to college and she’d call, I’d say, Hey babe and just prayed there’d be a Hi momma!  There wasn’t.  She’s had a really hard time, as I’ve said.

And then she made a friend, Paige.  She got a job with the Room and Board program and so did this girl who she would walk to training with.  She’s from Oklahoma but lives a couple hours away so she doesn’t have a lot of friends there either.  And it turns out the girl across the hall is from Colorado and works at the same place Moonshine does.  So some things started going right for her and the week after she moved in, everyone else moved in and they had a ton of welcome events.

And then it happened, it was Saturday, 10 days after she moved in and she posted on her Facebook that she had an amazing day with Paige and when she called, I said, hey babe and she said, Hi momma!  And I was so happy, I almost started crying.  Ten days is how long it took her to get back to Hi momma!  To get back to herself.

Then this week was my mom’s birthday and we don’t get to celebrate those unless she’s up here but my sister went and got Moonshine and took her to my uncle’s for the party and she was so happy.

She loves living that close to family and I’m so thankful they’re able to be close.  But as Moonshine gets better, I feel worse.  I miss her so much I can’t even stand it.  And I’m not saying it’s not a party here with Tenderheart, but I miss being able to talk to her and hug her.  She’s my cuddliest baby and I just miss her.  Not that I’d want her to move home and never leave, but….no, I definitely wouldn’t want that, but I felt this way after Sunshine left too.  And then we got to our new normal with Moonshine, Tenderheart, and me; but now we’re trying to get to our new new normal with just me and Tenderheart and it’s been tough.  Tenderheart’s gone all the time and doesn’t help with the chores and Moonshine was my most helpful child.

We’ll get there, I’m sure, but it’s been a journey just to get here.

Rockin’ Tenderheart: Subtweet, Subtweet, Subtweet

Sunshine was talking to someone from her school and they were talking about this annoying person in their class and she told him, Yeah, I texted my mom to tell her he’s so annoying.  And the guy said, You text your mom that stuff?  And Sunshine said, Ummm….yes.

Moonshine called me because she was geocaching and was stung by a wasp.  She didn’t know what to do.  I said some crap because most of my life is making stuff up and I told her to make mud and put it over it and the stinger would come out.  Little did I know, wasps don’t have stingers, they have venom, but the mud mask kept her busy until she could wash her hands.  Tenderheart asked if I thought other people did that, if other people call their mom for everything.  I said, I have no idea, maybe.  I asked if she thought it was weird and she said she didn’t know what she’d do if she couldn’t call me for everything.

When my kids were little, I read a lot and listened to a lot of public radio about parenting and someone said, You have to talk to them about the little things or they’ll never come to you with the big things.  So I started asking more specific questions than, How was your day?  I would ask who they had lunch with and who’d they play with on recess and the little minutia they might forget if I just did a blanket, how was your day?  Now, I don’t claim to be any kind of expert, but it really worked for my kids and to this day, Tenderheart still goes through her day period by period to tell me what happened.  And doing it like that, she remembers stuff that she’d have forgotten if we just did a generic, how was your day?

My friend said, you do that every day?  And I said, Yes, and she said, Sounds exhausting.  Well, it is, but it’s also that time with just us where I can find out how she’s doing and what she’s doing and how she’s feeling about things.  She tells me her struggles and her triumphs and it’s really fun to see her going back over her day in her mind and saying, Well, first period… and then second period…  It was so hard not being here for the first week of school because when I got home and told her to go back over her days, there was stuff she’d forgotten to tell me but that she really wanted me to know.  But wouldn’t you rather know more than less?

And then some days I have to go on Twitter to see how she’s feeling and to see if she’s subtweeted me that day, but I’ll take the ups and the downs with these little suckers.

The Big Move part 2

I miss Moonshine.  I’m too far away, I can’t help her like I want, and I’m not close enough to make sure she’s okay.  She’s cried almost every night and gets homesick during the day.

My sister said I shouldn’t make them like me so much and then they’ll have an easier time leaving.  I’m working on Tenderheart and I may have her hating me by the time she leaves for college.

On the Friday after Moonshine moved in on that Wednesday, Sunshine, Grandma and I went to lunch at our favorite place, Ted’s Escondido.  They have the most amazing queso and homemade tortillas.  Then we went to the bookstore so I could get a University of Oklahoma Mom shirt, yes, i’m that person, and Moonshine got out of training early so I told her to meet us at the bookstore.  She moved in early because she had training for her job and she didn’t have a roommate yet so she was lonely.  I had already told her on the phone that I wasn’t taking her anywhere because she needed to stay on campus and have dinner and make friends.

So Moonshine met us at the bookstore and I ran over to her and hugged her so tight and I jokingly whispered in her ear, Let’s just pack up and get out of here.  I stepped back and she was bawling.  The first thing to know about Moonshine is she’s not a cryer and she’s definitely not a cryer in public.  I said, let’s go.  And she said, you told me I couldn’t  leave.  And I said, that’s before I realized you were a mess.  I told her she could come with us to get snowcones and hang out at grandma’s and then I’d bring her back for dinner.  She said it was overwhelming and she didn’t think she’d miss me as much as she does.  I don’t know how to help her.

When she went back to grandma’s and said good bye to our dog Molly, she was crying hysterically.  I took her back to her dorm and she was crying, I went back later that night and she was crying and then I had to leave for the last time before I came back to Colorado, and we were both bawling.  She’s had a tough time.  I don’t know why I don’t hear more people sharing that their kids are having a hard time leaving for college.  It can’t just be Moonshine.  Although my sister told me about some friends she has and their kids had a hard time too, so maybe everyone just isn’t as open as our family.  Sunshine said she cried for like three weeks and she was only an hour away.  That broke my heart.  Why does this have to be so hard?

And it’s hard to watch her having a hard time.  Her roommate moved in and isn’t very friendly and has already gone home for the weekend.  She was there one day.  Moonshine thought she was going to move in and be best friends immediately and she found out her roommate is going home every weekend.  That’s no college experience, in my opinion.  But Moonshine’s met some nice people, I just need her to be okay sooner so it doesn’t break my  heart every single day she’s not okay.

And my family needs a Moonshine cam ala the Truman Show so we can see what she’s doing.  I do have a tracker on her phone so I could see she wasn’t still in her dorm room and I saw she was at the club fair, baby steps.


The Big Move

I almost live blogged Moonshine’s move to college last week similar to how I did the DMV the day before, but there was so much going on, I just couldn’t manage it.  And at the end of the DMV post, I should have gone back to post that 2.5 hours later, they told me I didn’t have what I needed.  Actually I had what I needed, but apparently Colorado rules are just slightly different from Texas rules and Colorado doesn’t budge.  Even after 2.5 excruciating hours and a customer almost in tears (me).

See, Monday was stressful enough, we still had to pack the car and get Moonshine moved to college. But I also had to get Tenderheart and Lola packed to spend the week with my best friend, Heather holla! because it was Tenderheart’s first week of school and she couldn’t come with us.  And Moonshine was MIA because she was saying good-bye to Beaux, even though they had broken up, and nothing was ready or organized.  We  had to get the suitcases in her trunk so we could put the bike on so we could get the rest of her car and my car packed.  It was already a clustertruck, so I didn’t need the DMV crap.  I left there after 2.5 hours without a car registration and told my sister situations like that are why I don’t conceal carry.  That may have been dramatic, but it was all so ridiculous, a stamped name instead of printed and a signature instead of printed, just bullshit that makes people hate the DMV even more than they already do.

But everything worked out in the way of the move, I still have to deal with the DMV.  We got her car packed, my car packed, she threw everything she owned into the last few boxes and away we went like the family from The Beverly Hillbillies.  All we were missing was Granny on the back of the truck.

And then she was sick.  She’d started getting sick the Thursday before and by Saturday she had terrible puss pockets on her tonsils so I said, it’s strep.  I took her to Urgent Care because we were leaving Tuesday and I needed to get her on the antibiotics quickly.  Of course the strep test came back negative and the antibiotics didn’t work and her tonsils got even more disgusting and it seems like it was a virus.  So on move-in day, she was miserable.  It was already going to be hard to leave her, but how could I leave her on death’s door?  She had no voice, she was lethargic, she wasn’t doing anything in the way of helping unpack.  I was starting to fear she had mono.  Luckily, she didn’t.

Oklahoma had move-in figured out though.  I pulled up my car, they put my boxes in other boxes on wheels and took everything up for us.  When we moved Sunshine to her dorm, it was on the third floor, no elevator, and no air conditioning.  It took us about five seconds to realize she needed a great big fan and I sweated buckets that day.  It was miserable.  Moonshine’s move was actually enjoyable.  We waited in the nice air conditioned room for her boxes and then started unpacking.  There were five us in there but only four working because she was not feeling good at all.  I kept saying if she’d been feeling better she would have been so bossy about where all her stuff was going.  She couldn’t have cared less and is still probably trying to find things.  But the good thing is she’s feeling better.  She’s crazy homesick and really sad, but at least her health is better.  I left Saturday, but I didn’t know what I was going to do if I didn’t feel like she was getting better.

to be continued….


If I ran the world…

I’m sitting at the DMV, where I feel like I spend most of my life. Why can’t they get this figured out so it doesn’t take so long?  I’m C217 and they’re on C194, but I keep hearing A something and B something and I have no idea what those are. Luckily I stopped at Sonic happy hour so I have something to drink and I have my cell phone so I’m never bored. The man next to me is texting in a different language. It’s freaking me out. 

It’s my first day of a week vacation and I’ve already had four texts from my worker and three from my boss. Happy vacation to me!!  It’s my first full week in four years, can’t you people do anything without me?

This lady is on her phone and she’s saying, it’s packed. We’re in it for the long haul. Same, lady, same. 

Tenderheart is working freshman orientation at school as a link leader and she’s so far out of her comfort zone I thought she was going to have a panic attack this morning. Her first day of school is tomorrow and I’m not going to be there for it because we’re leaving early to move Moonshine to college. It’s the first time I’ve had to leave her like this and that’s really far out of my comfort zone. 

We had a going away party this weekend for Moonshine and there were a lot of people. I love having big parties as long as everyone goes outside to play volleyball and they’re not hanging out in the house but it was hot and Moonshine is fighting a virus so she didn’t feel good. So there were eight people across my sectional watching the Olympics at one point and the rest in the dining room and kitchen. 

We’re at C197 and the guy on the other side of me is watching a video with his wife, sound on full blast. Where am I??  I wish you were here to see this menagerie of people. 

In the spirit of made up stats, 85% of these people have no idea what they need. Omg. Now he’s watching some kind of telemundo. Why?

I love the guy who yelled bingo when they called his number and proceeded to tell everyone he’s from New York. Oh wow, C199 ran right up. We’re cooking now. And it’s so interesting when I said, Hey, I’m going to the DMV, no one wanted to come with me. It’s weird. And why are the seats not more comfortable?  I’m probably going to be sitting here for two hours. 

If I ran the world, this would go much more smoothly. And someone would tell this New York guy he’s no comedian. 

Maybe ignorance really is bliss

I’ve had a little blog break.  It’s fine, I’m fine, but I still have a lot to say, I just really haven’t had a lot of time.  My sister, who says she reads my blog with her coffee said she’s moved on to the “Pie Lady” so that’s another win for June. Not only does she have a cooler life, now she has my sister.  Enjoy.

Last week was jam-packed with back to school activities.  There was the dentist, hair cuts and colors, Moonshine breaking up with Beaux, and one last day at the swimming pool.

When I was a kid my mom would get us a season pass to Tempo Pool.  I just said the name because it’s not even there anymore, but it used to be our neighborhood pool. It’s where the high school football coach, Coach Rose taught me how to swim and I think we were signed up for swimming lessons every summer because it was probably cheaper than a babysitter.  We would go and take sandwiches and make a whole day of it.  This is one of the reasons my face was super red and my hair was super blonde when I was younger. Anyone heard of sunscreen?

One day my sister and I were riding our 10-speed bikes to the pool and I was probably going to be in the 4th grade because that’s when my sister was deemed old enough to watch me.  I was wearing flip flops and on the way, my foot slipped off my pedal and into the spokes of my front wheel.  Think about that for a minute.  It was terrifying.  I thought I was going to die, the bike stopped because my foot was in the spoke and I must have gone over the top.  I was screaming when I landed because my knees were bloody and my foot was stuck in the spokes of my wheel.  The people who owned the lawn I crashed on came out and asked if I was okay, but no one could get my foot out of the spokes on my tire because my foot was swelling.  Finally, the husband got wire cutters and cut the spokes to get my foot out.  And we continued on to the pool.

Seriously, if my kids had done that today, specifically Tenderheart, one, she’d never ride her bike again, and two, she’d have gone to bed for a week until her knees had heeled. What I did was go to the pool take my lesson and then sit there with ice on my foot, which I must have gotten from the concession stand.  This was life before cell phones.  My mom had no idea, and I didn’t even think of going home and calling her and missing out on a day of lessons and the pool.  I’m sure I just walked my bike home after we were done in my broken flip flop.

And going back to last week’s post, I’m 200% sure my dad had no idea that even happened to me.  We only wrote letters, no calling, and I’m sure I didn’t write it to him, what a hassle.  I wonder how he found out I broke my arm when I was five or wrecked my mom’s car when I was 17 or about my sister’s appendicitis.  I don’t ever remember him coming to see us, only us flying to see him with my grandpa.  It’s weird that all my memories have my mom and only very few until I was grown have my dad.

If this would have happened current day, I’d have texted everyone I know to make sure they knew I had been in an accident and I was fine, and everything’s good.  Maybe ignorance really is bliss.

I need those statistics stat

Moonshine broke up with Beaux last week.  There was fighting and stress about leaving for college and it was too much.  Then they talked about getting back together but she just couldn’t do it and when he called after work and said he wanted an answer on getting back together, she told him she couldn’t and he hung up on her. She came out of her room at 11 at night crying hysterically.  She didn’t want to hurt him, she thought they could still be friends, but he was mad.  I told her if she didn’t feel it in her heart and her head to be able to say, Yes, 100% yes, then she made the right decision.  She’s been so torn.

And listen, I was Team Beaux.  I really like the guy.  However, I also liked Tenderheart’s boyfriend at first so I’ve been told I have terrible taste in boys.  Here’s what I know, nothing.  But she said, their relationship should be the least stressful thing in her life right now and it turned out it was the most.  They’re so young, and navigating a long distance relationship is really hard.  But when it comes down to it, I feel awful.  I hate that she hurt someone, I hate that she hurts.  High school/College relationships are really hard to watch and I know they’re hard to be in.  She took a year and a half to date someone else after her boyfriend Allyn broke up with her two weeks after going to college.  Maybe it’s better to do it before, I don’t know.

I told her it might not be over, he might still want to be friends, but she just cried while I held her.   Who knows how it will turn out.  A part of me wants her to go to college free and clear and not have to worry about a boyfriend to stay in contact with, one foot back here in Colorado.  They wanted different things, he wanted to get married and have kids and she doesn’t know if that’s something she wants to do with her life.  And she shouldn’t have to decide that right now, she has plenty of time.  They’re so young, but his parents married young and had seven children, that’s what he wants, maybe not the seven children, but she doesn’t know what she wants right now and she has time to figure it out. 

That doesn’t make her sadness any less. She still loves him. And he ended up coming over to get “one more hug” and that turned out disastrously, but I hope everyone can just keep moving forward. 90% of relationships is timing. And 76% of statistics are made up on the spot, but that timing thing might be pretty accurate. 

And I made Moonshine come to one more therapy session before she leaves to get it all out and get tips on how to move forward and I just pray every day she’ll be okay. She’s so strong, so much stronger than I ever was and I like to think I had a little hand in that. 

I can only do so much

Sitting in the emergency room last Saturday with Tenderheart, I had a faint thought that I should probably text the swooper (her dad) and let him know she was in a car accident.  I’ve also had a nagging feeling that I should send him Moonshine’s graduation announcement with pictures just so he has it.  I don’t know why, but I keep thinking I should try and keep him involved in their lives even though he seems perfectly fine not being involved.

How I feel about the graduation announcement is if he wanted one or any of the senior pictures, he would have asked.  He would have asked before the graduation to find out when it was or he would have been more involved in Moonshine’s life and showed up to the graduation just so she knows he’s still there.  When I told him a few months ago that I tried to help with Moonshine but even I don’t know how to fix it he said, Oh well, just make sure she knows I’m here for her if she needs anything in the future.  Like he’s okay with not trying to fix things with her now and he’ll be around if she needs anything in the future.  But what about all the time you’ve lost with her now?  What about not even knowing she’s moving to Oklahoma next Tuesday?  Are you okay with all that?  So I decided if he’s okay with not being in her life now then he doesn’t deserve pictures or an announcement.

Now, with Tenderheart, you might remember he took her to coffee a couple of months ago and then asked her to go camping on Mother’s Day weekend and when she said no, he went back to his monthly generic texts of “I hope you’re doing okay.”   He literally just had to ask her to something else, even just lunch and she would have gone, but to not make any more of an effort than that, she was really hurt.  He left it at, If you ever want to come over and spend time with us, let me know.  Well, she wants to spend time with you, not you, your wife, and your replacement grandchild, but she’d never tell him that.

So there I am, sitting at Children’s thinking, Huh, maybe I should text him.  But you’re okay, we’ll get the x-rays and then I’ll text him.  Whelp, there’s our name.  Then, oh good, the x-rays aren’t awful and you need a prescription so let’s go get that.  I’m sitting in the Walgreens waiting for the prescription and I texted him, “Tenderheart was rear ended today and we just got done at children’s.  She’s fine but hurt her back.”  I thought, well, everything’s there, she’s fine, she was in an accident, we’ve been to the hospital, but more importantly, she’s fine.

He flipped out.  And I thought, I could have not said anything ever and you’d never know because they don’t talk to him and he seems just fine with that.  It was really a courtesy I said anything.  I told him again, she’s fine and what they gave her for her back and he went on and on about how he has a right to know.  I said, I know you have a right to know, that’s why I’m telling you.  Listen, buddy, don’t try and swoop into their lives when something is wrong and get mad when no one welcomes you with open arms.

Tenderheart was mad I told him at all.  She told me to wait until the next day, but I was afraid it would get back to him because it was all over her Snapchat story.  So yes, Snapchat knew about it before you did, buddy, and that’s  your fault.  When I asked him not to go to Tenderheart’s school anymore in March because it upsets her, I told him, I’m the only one over here trying to encourage them to have a relationship with you, but really, there’s only so much I can do.  He said he didn’t believe me and I said, I don’t care what you believe because it’s true and if you were in their lives at all, you’d know. I’m the reason he knows anything about them.

He finally asked me today when Moonshine is moving to college and I told him next week.  Oh, and by the way, Tenderheart is staying with friends because it’s her first week of school and she can’t go.  There wasn’t even a question of him taking her for the week, I had to find somewhere else for her and Lola to go while Sunshine, Moonshine, and I move Moonshine down there.  He just said, Okay, good luck, drive safe.

I can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help himself. That’s the hard lesson I’ve had to learn and no matter how it hurts when I see them wanting a relationship or saying they wish they had a dad, I literally can only do so much.

The Call You Don’t Want to Get

Last Saturday I got a call no parent wants to get.  Tenderheart, who’s been driving on her own for exactly two months and who’s had her beautiful car for just two months called and screamed, Momma, someone hit me!!  She was crying hysterically.

I  knew something was wrong because she should have been home, not calling me.  I worry every minute I know they leave work until they get home for fear of getting that phone call so when they do call, I say, What’s wrong?  Sometimes it’s just Moonshine stopping at the store or getting a late start home, but this last Saturday, it was the worst.  Actually, not the worst because I think my mom got a call from the police when my sister rolled our Jeep.  Okay, I’ll start by saying this could have been worse, but I was so scared anyway.

And when Tenderheart called, I knew exactly where she was.  There’s a secondary street that goes between two main streets where you turn left into our neighborhood.  There’s no turn lane because it’s a smaller street, but still four lanes.  Every single time I stop there to turn left into our neighborhood I pray the people behind me stop.  Where we turn is at the bottom of the hill and everyone is always going too fast and not paying attention.  I hate it.  One street over there’s a house on the corner that has been hit four times by cars going the other way and either racing or not paying attention.  One time there were two cars in their backyard inches from the house, completely destroying the fence.

So Tenderheart called, Momma, someone hit me and I said, Where are you?  She had no idea.  Some man who stopped to help her said, she’s on blank and blank and I told her to hold on because I was coming.  When I got to the intersection, I couldn’t find her car because the guy had pinballed her up the street about 200 feet.  She was sitting in her car by herself and there were two police cars, a fire truck, and an ambulance.  Oh my!

By the time I crossed the street and got to her, she was surrounded by firemen making sure she was okay.  She wasn’t, she was freaked out and covered in HI-C fruit punch because she had her drink with her and she thought she was bleeding.  Her head and neck hurt and she was panicked.  She saw him coming at her in the rearview mirror, but she couldn’t do anything about it because there were other cars coming.  She also didn’t hold her brake so she was hit into oncoming traffic, which thankfully didn’t hit her and she managed to get back into her lane to stop.  And it’s actually a good thing she didn’t hold her brake or all the airbags would have come out and she probably would have done more damage.

So they wanted to take her to the hospital but all I could hear was cha-ching, cha-ching so I said I would take her to the hospital once we determined what was hurting after she was out of the shock of getting hit.  And it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve shown her, this is your insurance and registration, she had no idea what they wanted when they asked.  I found her insurance information for the very patient policeman and they did their police report.

This is where I should have known more, but none of my kids – Thank God – have been in an accident so I didn’t know to ask for the insurance information there.  The policeman brought over the police report number because the other guy got a ticket and they told me to move her car because it was still driveable.  I thought I’d just be able to go look up the police report, get the information I needed, and call their insurance company to file a claim.  Wrong!  I called my insurance company and they said I should have asked for the other person’s insurance information because the police just want to sell me a police report and it takes two weeks for me to start to get her car fixed.  WTH?

But it doesn’t even matter because Tenderheart said she’s never driving again.  That’s going to go over really well when I leave her next week to move Moonshine to college and Tenderheart has to drive herself places…like to school.

Her head stopped hurting, but her back and shoulder and hip and neck started really hurting bad so I took her to Children’s Hospital and they took x-rays of her back.  Her spine is twisted because one side of the muscles is holding on tighter than the other side so they gave her ibuprofen and muscle relaxers.  She’s a dancer so I wanted to get x-rays to make sure nothing was fractured that could be tweaked in her dance class.  She’s been to dance twice since the accident and she said it really hurts but the doctor said it needs to be stretched out and stop if it gets too bad.

And I really just want to say, Thanks, jackass who wasn’t paying attention, for my Saturday night in the emergency room.  I wish there was some way I could repay you for that joy and the heart attack you gave me and the terrified girl who never wants to drive again.