Category Archives: growing

Things I wish I could tell my daughters~

Not sure how I should start this~

Dear Emily and Erin,

First of all, I don’t regret marrying your father because he gave me you.  You were able to be raised in a comfortable home though not always conventional. I stayed for you both.  I am so proud of you and what you have become.

The Wedding~

I don’t know how much you know of your parent’s wedding.  We got married at Grandma Pat’s house.  We had a friend of mine who was a judge since your father was an atheist.  We got married on the rug a neighbor gave us that this couple had gotten married on and their marriage lasted over 40 yrs.  Neither Aunt Laura or Florence attended the wedding.  It was very small but then we had a reception a few days later.  The night after the wedding we went out to eat at yet another friend’s new restaurant, He was Italian and a great cook.  Your dad and I stayed at Larry Bird’s Motel ~ the Boston Connection.  It was much fancier than it sounds.

The first few years~

I wish I could tell you it got easier, and some parts did.  I have always been surrounded by a disorder.  I don’t know if it goes back to my learning disability or the way my brain functions.  I am not lazy or stupid.  I do have a zest for life, which was always under the surface.  I think this scared your dad.  I did and would speak to strangers, wear loud bright and colorful clothes, loved to dance, laugh at myself, try new things and wanted to talk, laugh, be goofy and surrounded my stuff.  I don’t think I fit his idea of a wife and mother. My mother told me I needed to have dinner on the table waiting for your dad when he got home.    How I tried, to organize myself and the house.  And your dad didn’t make it easy for me.  But I loved being a mom.  I read every book I could on parenting, feeding your child, discipline, activities to do with your babies.  But then I went back to school, and things got really tough.

Mistakes 

I don’t want to call them mistakes but I did make choices that weren’t always to my highest calling.  I lied to your dad over stupid things~ like getting the internet for free, how much things cost, friends, ideas, issues, and problems.  I learned to just get along and not rock the boat.  I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time.  Because of that, I know there were times I wasn’t a very good mother.  Times when I wasn’t present or angry at your dad and would take it out on you guys.  I am so sorry.  I realize now I was doing the best that I could to get by.    Your father accused me of sleeping around.  I didn’t.  I did have an active fantasy life.  I read books on improving myself, kept dream journals, gratitude journals, and regular journals.  I wanted to feel love and wanted a partner that liked me and liked to do things with me.  Your father found my dream journal and thought it was my real journal.  Your dad thought I was having an affair with Denzel Washington,  Ellen Degeneres, and others.   He even said to me I guess that why the house is never clean.  I wasn’t.  But I did pretend and dream about meeting various actors or musicians and have them falling love with me.  I tried to make your dad happy.  But then finally gave up,  I didn’t like who I was becoming.

Aunt Laura~

Laura was my protector, my confidant, my best friend, my hero, and my sister.  I was so proud to have her as my sister.  This was one reason I was so glad that I had two girls. Laura had been Great Grams favorite.  I was definitely not her favorite and she seems to go out of her way to be mean to me.  I got to where I didn’t even notice.  But Laura did and defended me and spoke up for me.  Something my own mother wasn’t able to do.  There was a mother/ daughter luncheon at church, I was pregnant with you Emily.  Amanda was a baby, Aunt Laura, my mom and great gram were all going to attend.  Great gram was saying pretty awful things under her breath about me how I was dressed or something I said or didn’t say.  I guess Laura finally had enough and spoke to her.  Laura spoke to my mom too.  It was the first time, I could remember someone speaking up for me in the family.  I guess that what I wanted to happen when you both were being mean to me after the divorce.  Laura spoke up to your grandma Janet and Dad.  She always said I was the kindest person she knew.   When I lost her and your grandmother I also feel like I lost a bit of my mind.  But I did get the courage to leave your father.

The Loss~ 

Now I wish I hadn’t jumped into a relationship, but sometimes when we are grieving or going through something really hard and horrible we don’t make good decisions.  That was a difficult lesson I had to learn.  Losing you all was the worst.

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The Capitalist

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I am very much of the mindset to take life as it comes.  Yes, I work and I have at many times put in too many hours for a job I felt required to do so for it.  After working … Continue reading

Holidays~ Thanksgivings

It’s the wonderful, joy filled time of the holidays.  Family, friends, food, activities, a time to connect and remember.  Growing up a couple of Thanksgivings come to mind~ both of them accord in New York.  The first memory was going to the Macy day parade when I was about 4,  we lived in Brooklyn and this was a big treat.  I was most excited about all the colored paper from the floats so I collected a large amount of the paper.  We (my family went to a restaurant before heading back home.  While I was in the bathroom with my sister, the waitress cleared off the table and threw away my color paper.  (Actually it technically it was trash I picked up off the street.)  The other memory was when I was 16, I was with the Long Walk for Survival in New York City.  I had run away to be close to a boy I fell in love with Charley Grass. That Thanksgiving I joined the group and fasted for Thanksgiving.   I fasted to remember all of the Native Americans that lost their lives for this fun-filled holiday.  The night before Thanksgiving that year  I also fell asleep on James Taylor’s couch. I met him when I was “playing the role of a secretary” for the medicine man Leonard Crowdog.    In some ways that was a very lonely Thanksgiving.

Other memories of the holidays ~ going to visit my cousins in KY.

Or when my father would invite faculty and or students that didn’t have any place to go.   These were usually foreign or visiting students.  They would bring a dish to share.  Then after my mother married my stepfather ~ we always had a house full.  We sat around the big table, and laughed and ate and told stories.  We always had a puzzle on a table in one room and would play a board game after the meal.

The first Thanksgiving my now ex-husband shared with us.  He told me it was his favorite holiday.  He also told me my mother was a much better cook than his mother.  He also told me I was a better cook than his mother.  I wish he remembered when he was telling his mother cutting remarks a few years later. But he got to see how we celebrated family~ and that was through sharing.

After we got married I continued the family tradition of inviting faculty or exchange students to our house for the holiday.  I loved opening up my home and sharing food with new friends and family.  It also worked out well when my brother Randy married a wonderful cook April and she would come and help. I would make very traditional dishes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, apple pie.  One year I made a very fancy pumpkin pecan torte 7 layers.

Another Thanksgiving,  Don (my ex) got us invited over to a colleague’s house but the turkey took much much longer to cook than his friend knew. His friend was very embarrassed but we explained it was all good. They were a young couple and this was their first holiday meal they were sharing.    I had planned to host guests at my house too.  Luck for me my brothers and niece felt comfortable going into my house and getting things ready without me.

But my biggest memory throughout those celebrations later when my sister and her family were unable to share it with us.  Were the phone calls from my sister,  she would start off calling me about 7am on Thanksgiving and tell me her big plans for the turkey.  One year she found a recipe in the New York Times ~ this is going to be the best turkey ever.  She would call me throughout the day keeping me up to date as to how her meal was progressing.  Things started off positive and then would take a turn and she would call to tell me she was having this problem and what should she do.  I would advise her.  Then she would call back a few minutes later telling me something she decided to try instead.  I believe that was the year the turkey was raw on the inside and burnt on the outside.  She said, well Martha Stewart isn’t a good choice.  The next year, it would start all over again.  I would always advise her to go simple~  turkeys should be moist and don’t need much to make them taste good.  Her phones calls seemed to follow a script.  We would laugh and how things were going or not going.  This happened for a few years till she called to tell me they were just going to have lobster and picked them up at Whole Foods.

 

 

 

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Marion’s death

When I first moved out here to the Boston area~ I thought I would live with my former brother in law and niece for a month or so till I got on my feet  unaware of how much more expensive … Continue reading

Unemployment checks!

Since my job was restructured last year~ I have been able to recuperate from my last teaching job.  A job that started off as a great place to work and I thought it was my dream job but after the first year~ it became a nightmare.  The director though a nice man ~ he is also a very weak administrator so there was no follow up on discipline or support given to staff.  Even though I was the most experienced on staff and the oldest and the most grounding I still needed support especially since I was put into a nearly impossible position.  Full time special education teacher (or in charge of all the paperwork and making sure all the services were being met and teaching 4 history classes.  I thought at first no problem~ the director understands this is a big job he will support me.  But nope he didn’t in fact when I asked him for help and even gave him suggestions as to what would help me do my job better and/ or make things easier for me.  He actually gave me more responsibilities.  WTF? dude seriously?  But the guy has some serious passive aggressive issues.  I started to push back too.  I didn’t make any attempt to waste my time doing pointless paperwork  such as writing out my lesson plans in a complete format ~ and I told him I felt like I had more important things to do like actually teach rather than fill out some sheet that he would look at once and then forget about checking on it ever again, ok I didn’t say that to him but I had noticed had been his MO.

When he told me he was going to restructure my position, I told him good luck with that. And good luck finding someone to fill my shoes.  Well, he then restructured it to what I had originally suggested to him but he waited to tell me that on the last day of school. And told me I could reapply if I wanted.  Well, that and I needed to pass this fvkkcing exam that has nothing to do with special ed.  As of this writing, I am still waiting to hear if I pass it or not again.  I was angry at first ~ feeling like he never appreciated me.  Well, seriously he didn’t until it was too late.  I did speak to him and told him my issues and I recommended he think about going into another field where he could actually make a difference instead of holding back progress at the school.  He rolled his eyes at me~ asshole.  So he lost all 5 of his teachers.  He had lost 5 teachers the year before too.  But he was saving the collab.  money by hiring new inexperienced teachers every year.  The program be damned.

But I would not have been ready to return to work back in mid-august ~ the woman I lived with was dying.  I was still feeling burned out, and I had that exam to retake.  eye roll!  But lucky me~ I could get an unemployment check.  So I go through the motions~ applying for jobs and re-writing cover letters.  But this time has given me time to think and appreciate.  I will write later about Marion’s death but if I had been teaching  I wouldn’t have been an option to assist and then be apart of her transitioning.  I am reading books, going to the beach, spending time with Lucy, hiking in the woods, think about my own health and write letters.  We don’t know what the future holds for us~ and sometimes we are giving such sweet little gifts thrown in among the sludge.

Siblings

I was fortunate enough to be born into a family with siblings.  I have 2 brothers one older, one younger and I had an older sister.  There was 10 years difference between my sister and me.  But she was my best friend, my protector, safety net, and voice of reason. Growing up my younger brother Roger and I shared a bedroom.  We had bunk beds.  One of our first real arguements I remember was over who got the top bunk, then  my older brother Randy took Roger out in the hall and whispered something to him. Roger came back into the bedroom and told me I could have the top bunk.  (Many years later I found out what Randy said to Roger to change his mind.)  Randy told Roger if there was ever a thunder storm and lightening hit the house it would hit me first because I was up higher than everyone else in the house.  For the most part Roger and I got along well~ I would do little things like trade all the good Halloween candy from his pumpkin to mine when he wasn’t around.  Regular sibling stuff.

My sister Laura was the oldest, she looked very much like my mom the way she was built small framed, dark hair and dark eyes.  I on the other hand looked like my daddy broad shoulders, tall, blond and blue eyed.  I was the only blond, blue eyed one of the bunch.  Well Roger was blond when he was little thanks to Sun In my mom put in his hair.  Laura could sing, dance, play piano, act, she was loud, could and would laugh at anything and everything.  She was my idol.  We lived together briefly my first year in college, she moved back to the midwest from CA. We had a great 2 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms.  We would have long conversations about music, boys,laughing and tattoos.  She wanted one.  I asked her repeatdly not to get one.  She knew exactly what she wanted.  A spaceship over her left breast with a little alien waving.  She got it overspring break when I wasn’t around.  *That tattoo later is part of a great story. When Laura was around everything seemed to be more fun.

After Laura graduated from college she decided she wanted to live in the New England area so back to Boston she went.  We still talked on a regular basis, but it was different with her being so far away.  She would come home for visits and I would go out there to visit her.  I knew I wanted to be closer to her.  Just the beginning….