Tuesday, April 18, 2017

MOM; I'm Learning to Forgive You- Part 1

Next month, my mother will have passed a year ago.  May is supposed to be amazing at it has Mother's day and my son's birthday all in the same week.  I get to celebrate the birth of my son & the Hallmark Holiday that celebrates me as the tear wiper, heart mender, tuck in at nighter with songs and good wishes, food wench & drink fetcher. It's awesome.  Well it was until last year.

Earlier in the day I had gotten a Facebook request from a friend of my mom's,  I thought nothing of it, as we had a 3 day weekend a head of us and we were taking friends to an amusement park. Ghosts of the past don't interrupt out roller coaster rides.

When I got to work that following Monday, the text's started coming in from her friend.  My mom was in the hospital for a week in ICU & they needed to find me to make some fast, hard choices as I was the next of kin.  I told them I couldn't make these choices.  We hadn't spoken in 10 years.  I had no idea if she even had an ADR, but she did have an underage son that would soon have his world rocked in the worst way ever. She had been in ICU for a week and the staff was shooting blindly.  I had to agree to a trach tube so she could breathe.  I had to consent to dialysis. I had to consent to the insertion of G-tube because she couldn't swallow & had to choose an acute nursing facility sight unseen as I was making all of these decisions from California and she was in Ohio  I had to deal with doctors who couldn't fathom the 3 hour time difference and got mad when I wasn't coherent to make a decision at 3 am when I just woke up from a deep slumber.

She miraculously came out of her coma, and started breathing with assisted machines a then on her own with a bi-pap.  She was moved from ICU to the general unit where I believe they killed her. I got 2 fluid conversations out of the 4 days she spend on the general wing.  Nobody told me she was septic.  Our last conversation, she couldn't speak.  She just grunted into the phone.  I attributed it to her diaper change.  I should have pressed the nurse, but we were busy We took the kids back to the amusement park for another day of fun.  I got a call midway through our day and I was told she could no longer swallow and was continuing to aspirate through her stomach into her lungs, May 31 was the day the G-tube was to be inserted, but I think the sepsis overtook her and at 3 am my time, she was rushed back to the ICU.  She wouldn't make it out alive.  I again from California, had to arrange everyone to get to the hospital.  I had to make sure my brother was there to say good bye.  I got a cell phone to her ear as a whirl of machines just barely keeping her alive pumped in the background. That sound will haunt me until they day I die.  She didn't hear my goodbye.  I could have been anyone.  She was too far gone.  I then had to decide to let her go.  The machines were just moving the air and the blood.  She wasn't there anymore. I asked the case worker to tell my brother they were doing all they could, but they let her pass highly sedated and feeling nothing.

This is where the story should end.  it was just the beginning of a month that tested my will, my patience, the need to do the right thing when I wanted to just go home and hopefully saved the innocent victim in all this.  It kept me away from my son during a month of a school play, a trip to Capitol Records, his 1st marching band parade and family visit at camp.  I lost my dream job that would have paid me enough to support my son on my own. I won't lie - I never want to see Ohio again.
If I thought all that was bad, there is the next part of the story where I flew back home which made the Cali portion a walk in the damn amusement park - thus Part 2

Friday, October 21, 2016

Because I'm A Victim and A Mother of a Boy

I'd like to  think that I have a unique perspective of the world given that I am 46 year old divorced woman.  I have some very republican friends who think that women who claim sexual assault is nothing more than attempt to shame their candidate. I have democratic friends livid that anyone could possibly think that a woman claiming sexual abuse could be used as a political pawn. 
Then you have me trying to raise a boy in this world.

This world of instant gratification.  Anything you want to see is on the internet. Whether it's polar bears at the zoo or two people dressed up like polar bears going at it - it's out there. When I was growing up, the Playboy Channel was scandalous and scrambled.  Boys read National Geographic to see some boobs.  Maybe if they were lucky, someone's dad had a hidden stash of nudie mags - that was the goldmine. Dating was actually having to call on the phone.  They had to take you out and court you.  There was no swiping right.  There was no "Come over and watch a movie" as code for I don't own a tv and we are going to have sex. 

Why is this relevant?  Because todays men (I term I use loosely) think they are entitled to the world because the everything is just a phone app away. Because we don't tell our kids no as often as we should. Because there are no winners or losers in kids sports because it might hurt someone's feelings.  Because Peter Pan never grew up and now he's thinks he's king of the world
Is it possible that the Republican candidate grabbed a woman by the "pussy" and then bragged about it because you can do these things when you are rich?  It is totally possible.  This is the same world that if you don't respond to a swipe right timely enough you get told you are a fat bitch who should have consider herself lucky that a guy like him would even consider saying hi. Bye Felipe show that clear as day.  These are the male roommates that think that they can come into your room at 3 am even though he knows you like him and hate the girl he's dating and then flaunt her in your face the next day.  (She should be thankful that you are too classy to meet her smug smile with a "Bitch please, I could have had your man 6 sides of Sunday and twice on Weds."). There are the men who think it is ok to have sex with you after the third date even though you said no. Why?  Because no isn't in their vocabulary.

When I was in my 20's, my sexuality was my weapon.  If I wanted free drinks, you better believe the girls were out to play.  If I didn't want to go home alone, there was a little black dress than barely covered my back end that it always did the trick.  If I wanted to stop a full class on men doing karate, dead in their tracks,  all I had to do was walk in the door in a tiny pink skirt. The thing is that if I didn't like you, I'd take you home.  If I did like you, I didn't want to been seen as the slut I probably was and wanted THAT encounter to be special  To mean something.  That I didn't see you as my midnight snack that I tossed out with the pizza box and tequila bottle the next morning. That's what happened with Dan. (Might be his real name, might not - I've blocked it.)  I'm not sure if I met him at the bar or at the club, but either way I was probably drunk,  I was quite the flirt after I lost count of the shots.  I gave him my number and he never called.  It didn't phase me and quite frankly I forgot about him.  A few months later, he called me out of the blue, reminded me who he was and asked me to a movie.  He told me he had been an extra in it and it would be fun.  I had nothing else going on, so I went out with him.  He was awesome.  He was a gentlemen,  He even called the next day.  We went out again with his friends and that went well.  I was excited because this guy wasn't my type. he wasn't a UC frat guy and he seemed like a good guy.  That was until date number three.  We went to dinner then we ended up back at his house.  We started making out and that was as far as I wanted it to go. I wasn't ready for more.  I wanted it to be based on more than sex.  I told him no.  I told him to stop.  I begged him to stop.  He called me a stupid tease.  He told me he bought me dinner,  that he drove me there and he wasn't driving me home until he was done. He told me it was the least I could do.  He proceeded to have his way with me.  I just laid there and left my body waiting for it to be over.  When it finally was, he told me to get dressed and then dropped me off a few blocks from my apartment telling me he had to be up early and needed to get back home. Not even the decency to drop me at my door.  No kiss good bye.  Actually I don't think he even said good bye.   I didn't tell anyone what happened.  I didn't report him for date rape.  He never called me again and I beat myself up thinking I did something wrong.  Thinking that had I just given it up like I had with so many other guys, we'd probably be going out again. 
Thinking I had it coming.

That thinking is SO messed up. 
Are there women out there that cry rape that aren't?  Sure there are.  A good friend of mine consensually hooked up with a girl.  When her boyfriend found out she cheated on him, she told him my friend raped her.  His word against hers and while I wasn't in the bedroom watching, they both went in happy, they both came out happy and were all smiles and smoochy the nest morning.  I'm inclined to believe him. 
I'm not a full on card carrying feminist.  I just know the bravery it takes for someone to stand up and say "this person sexually assaulted me and it NOT ok.  I don't think it's ok to dismiss this claim because it's 3 weeks before a major election.  I don't think it's ok to rape a woman behind a dumpster and have it classified as boys being boys..  I don't think it's to be gang raped, have it recorded and get off because you are the sheriff's son.

It's NOT OK.

So all I can do is raise my son to be a good person.  A respectable man.  That no means no, whether she is dressed like a nun or a whore.  To not get himself into situations where he has to defend him self as the accused.  That just because she answers the door in nothing but a thong in porn doesn't mean that as a pizza guy your tip is going to be the down and dirty.  That anything good is worth working hard for - including a woman.  If I do nothing else in my lifetime - I just want to know that my son isn't going to be "Dan".

Monday, June 22, 2015

Helicopter Mom Coming in for a Landing!

I am a helicopter mom. I can't help it.  Gman is my only child.  My baby (albeit a 9 year old and 60+ pound baby.) It is amazing that my son is as brave and bold as he is at times considering I am usually no more than two steps behind him.  When he is afraid of something - it's usually because I have had some underhand influence on him.  For instance, he is scared to jump out of trees he climbs.  I attribute this to whenever he was little and tried to jump off something;I was always there with the "be careful. you don't want to hurt yourself.  This would also be followed by me grabbing him to get him down off of whatever he was trying to jump from.  Flash forward six years; it was all I could do to hold myself back when I stayed at his first official boys chorus rehearsal.  I had to watch him navigate his way not knowing anybody. As he walked around looking lost, it tore me up inside; but I knew he wouldn't make friends if I was there holding his hand the whole time.  I am afraid to let him fail.

He is always the smallest one in his class and is an easy target for bullies because he doesn't believe in fighting back.  He always said that he didn't want the bully to feel the he or she was trying to make him feel.  Imagine my surprise when he stood up for a friend who was being bullied by telling the offender "If you mess with him, you mess with me".  Of course this was followed up with me having to march into the offending child's teacher's classroom when said child put my kid into an arm lock.  Yes, I am THAT mom. I let him try to figure out how to work through taunting and verbal spats.  He's nine and sadly, not all kids are as nice as he is.  He has to learn to defend himself, but I draw the line when hands are laid on him.

He has an insane amount of confidence despite having such a neurotic mother..  I have watched him tackle numerous performances with the stage presence of a pro - even if these are just elementary school musical productions.  The role of Aladdin as a first grader scared the crap out of me, but he wasn't even nervous, I have watched him lead his friends into song and dances he choreographs and produces. He is destined for big things.

Save for when I am at work or he has at school; I am usually around him all of the time.  Even if he is outside playing, I am in earshot of him.  His dad and I are divorced and maintain two separate households, but I usually find myself with them a lot more than I am by myself.  Why, because my son just seems to want me around.  So it came as a shock and yet not a shock when he told me he wanted to go the music camp his boys chorus was having.



Like sleep away for six nights without me or his dad?  Is he crazy?  Is he for real?  

It is all he has been talking about since he joined the chorus in March.  It was a pretty penny, but his dad came through as always and financed it. Meanwhile I am bemoaning "SIX DAYS WITHOUT YOU, how will I survive??"  He has been so excited about this telling me that six days is nothing and we will see him on parent's day.  Sure he has been gone that long before, but he was with his dad.  This is TOTALLY different.  We've talked about what we will pack, what songs he will work on while he is there, who does he think he might get as a room-mate, etc.  This is big stuff. My big kid is going to camp!

Until last night when he broke down crying.

"I don't want to go to camp.  Six days IS too long.  I don't want to be away from you and daddy for that long!"  Again, my fears have managed to manifest themselves in him.  I can't sit there and tell him about my amazing experiences at Fort Scott - I HATED camp. My parents sent me because they thought it would be good for me and so I would make some friends.  It didn't work,  I was just as anti-social then as I am now.  Back then bullying was merely classified as teasing, but I was teased so hard they had to switch cabins for me.  TWICE! 

What is a mom to do?  I mean besides the fact that is not refundable and he leaves in 3 days - I don't have a choice but to make him go.  He was afraid because I made him that way!  I did my best to reassure him how awesome of an experience this will be.  This will bond him further with the other basses.  He will be with some of them for the next seven years.  This can help him achieve his future goal as Part Leader when he gets older.  This will help him get to the Performance division faster than if he didn't go because of how many songs he can check off. (He has to memorize 39 songs and sing the bass line harmony.  Did I mention five of these songs are hymns in Latin?) Plus it is only SIX days and FIVE nights.  I told him the first day he may be a bit scared, the second day he will be more used to it, the third day he will be too busy having fun to remember he was scared, the fourth day we will visit and the last two day will leave him begging for five more.

This was enough to convince him that it might not be so bad.  The unknown is scary, but I don't want him to be like me.  I'm so afraid of what will might happen that I miss out on a lot of opportunities,  I don't want him to miss out on a great experience because he is worried about me being alone.  I don't want the independent streak that started at the end of kindergarten "NO MOMMY, you are NOT walking me to the gate anymore.  You can watch me from the car like the other mom's. I'm a big boy") to wilt and die.  This is the kid that had me come up with a code for I love you, so I could say it when I dropped him off so he wouldn't be embarrassed in front of his friends. The kid who told me if I quit PTA then I would be setting a bad example for him because we don't quit just because we didn't get the part we wanted.  (This is the same speech I gave HIM when he wanted to quit show choir when he got Cogsworth instead of Lumiere.)  He is brave and fierce and he is going to take music camp by storm.

In the meantime, I need to let him go and try new things and NOT let him know how much it scares me.  I need to let him be a nine year old boy.  Yes I even need to let him fail.  He will soar like an eagle because he has been my copilot and nobody helicopters like I do!