Mom’s Visit | Day 5

I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family.

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[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, and Day 4 here.]

Hello, friends! Today was another great day, with only a few minor low points to share. Today is my mom’s 50th birthday, and once again, we decided to go to the pool at the Metro Center in Princeton, and it was even better than it was yesterday! We decided to schedule our whole day around the pool trip this time, so that we could get as much time in the water as possible, and left much earlier than yesterday, as soon as Liam finished his breakfast, and we all got showered and dressed.

It was barely 11:00 when we got to the pool, and there were only a handful of swimmers in the large pool. Once again, we had the kiddie pool to ourselves, and Liam could hardly contain his excitement as we approached the shallow pool. There was no hesitation this time, no clinging to my legs, no fear, just pure happiness, and so much splashing. He really wanted to put his adorable, new swim shorts to good use! He came 100% out of his shell, wading through the water, going after the pool toys, dunking them, pouring them, and being so much more curious and adventurous with the water. My mom managed to get a dozen more pictures of him today, and he was smiling in every single one of them. It filled my heart with so much joy to see him having so much fun.

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We stayed at the pool for about an hour, but had to leave around noon to grab some lunch, because Kyle had a meeting about a scholarship for his CDL class at 1:00. Luckily, the meeting was in the same town, so we stopped at a nearby Subway to get some lunch, but because the lines were so long, Kyle had to leave his sandwich with us, and leave for his meeting. While he was gone, my mom drove me a bit nuts, which has been happening off and on for the last couple days, but I managed to have a good time. I ordered Liam his own sub for the first time, and he sat in a booster seat at the table with me for the first time ever. He did so well! It was amusing to watch him pick apart the sandwich, and decide which veggies he did and did not like (his absolute favorite Subway veggies are pickles and olives, just like his mama!).

Unfortunately, my happiness faded when I saw Kyle pull up, just a short time later, with a very obvious frown. He did not get the scholarship. His income was too high, thanks to his last two, abnormal paychecks, and he did not qualify. He was upset, and my mom kept saying that she would pay for it for us, which made me upset. She already paid $5000 toward my failed college education, and I still owe my old school, and her, money. I didn’t even want her paying for things for us while she was here (despite her many protests), let alone dish out thousands for Kyle’s class. But without her help, we don’t know if we can make it happen, and that is absolutely crushing. Maybe I should put my pride aside? I don’t know.

After lunch, we headed back to Peru to do a little grocery shopping. Despite our fridge being absolutely empty, and only having $80 to buy food for the month, I found myself feeling offended when my mom offered to pay for our groceries, and turned her down yet again. She left the store to have a cigarette (she quit years ago, but started smoking again recently, and hasn’t told her boyfriend), and never came back in. Things were a bit tense between Kyle and I, as they usually get when the topic of money comes up, and we grabbed only a handful of things, like milk, bread, bagels, cheese, and bananas, to try and stay under budget. We warmed up again once we left Walmart, and headed home.

Liam had not taken a nap yet, so I put him down as soon as we walked in, and he passed right out. I put something on Netflix for us to watch, but our internet stopped working shortly after that, and despite our best efforts to revive it, I ended up having to call our internet provider, who had me do a handful of ineffective things, before informing us that there was a actually massive service outage in our area.

Fantastic.

With no internet, cable, movies, games, or really anything to do, we all just kind of sat around in silence for a bit, not knowing what to talk about. Eventually, the internet came back on, and we continued on with watching Netflix, and fiddling with our phones. Around 4:30, just about when Liam would be waking up from his nap, my mom suddenly stood up, and left, telling us to text her if we wanted to get food or something later. Sure enough, not even 10 minutes later, Liam woke up, and we texted her to come back. She hadn’t even gone back to her hotel, she had gone to the park up the street, because apparently the trees and grass are better company than we are.

We decided to go to the large, Chinese buffet in Peru, located right near her hotel, since it is a favorite spot of ours. We pigged out hard on all the delicious things, and left feeling miserable, and hating ourselves, as usual. It was delicious. Afterwards, we decided to take Liam to the mall play area to burn some energy, and tire him out, since he had taken such a late nap. When we got there, there was only one man in the play area, with four boys. We immediately hit it off with him and his sweet boys, and Liam made two friends. He was there with his wife and mother, who were across the way getting their nails done at the salon. He had a baby with him, who was just four months old, and the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen. He made my ovaries weep, and made me crave having a tiny baby again. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

He also had a little boy who had just turned two, and another boy who was four. They were absolutely enamored with Liam, and the four year old asked me a million questions about him, and me.

“Does he like cars? What kind of car do you have? We have a Diesel truck!”
“Does he eat a lot of food?”
“Does he cry a lot? I cry a lot, and scream, because my parents irritate me.”
(LOL!)
“Does he talk a lot? My brother is two, he doesn’t talk.”
“Do you like bouncy balls?”
“Do you live here? We’re from far away. We’re driving.”

He was adorable. I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family. The four year old kept giving Liam hugs, and saying he wanted to be friends, and the two year old would walk up to me and share his bouncy balls. They were the absolute sweetest, and it was so wonderful. We talked and played for a while, before we all had to go our separate ways and head home.

Oh, I forgot to mention that right before we left the mall, my mom got a FaceTime call from her boyfriend back home (who she has been with for 20 years, but they aren’t married, so I still call him her boyfriend instead of my step-father), and we were able to introduce him to Liam and Kyle, and chat for a little while. It was nice to see him, and for him to meet the boy who is basically his grandson.

We also stopped to introduce my mom to our upstairs neighbor when we got home (the one who has helped us with many, many problems we’ve dealt with since living here), and we all chatted outside for a bit, before I insisted on going inside, since it was an hour past Liam’s bedtime. Liam was half asleep before I even put him in his crib, and I sat down with a cup of coffee, and began typing shortly after. Kyle goes back to work tomorrow, after having these last two days off, and I think I might take a day to myself to catch up on housework and cleaning, which has gone completely undone since my mom’s arrival. We’ll see.

I am also trying to arrange a nice dinner with Kyle’s mom, my mom, and Kyle, Liam, and I on Friday, since it will be my mom’s last full day in Illinois, and we really want her to meet Kyle’s mom, who is basically my second mom. It is the only day Kyle’s mom has off, though Kyle works until 6:00 that night. I’m hoping we can work something out.

Anyway! That’s all for today! Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

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5 Pictures, 5 Stories

Immediately, I volunteered Kyle and I to help him out. We got to work, lighting 300 tea lights, balancing them on the railings, around the benches, and spelling out “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” on the dock.

Hello, friends! I know I’ve been missing a bit lately, and haven’t been able to post my daily prompts and whatnot, but I have a good excuse, I swear. Well, kind of. To be honest, the last few daily prompts have been hard for me. I honestly haven’t been able to write anything on them. I couldn’t even think up a silly haiku in place of a blog post. I did manage to write out a couple of dream journal posts, but not much else. My son has also been going through a very clingy phase as of late, and I’ve barely been able to sit at my computer. I even spend most of his naps napping, because I’ve been exhausted lately. Ugh.

Anyway, I wanted to do something fun, and share a few random pictures with you guys, as well as some stories associated with them. I dug through my Facebook albums, and found some good ones to share, so here we go! 5 Pictures, 5 Stories!

1. The Ring
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On February 28, 2014, after a delicious dinner, Kyle and I went for a late-night walk around our favorite lake. It had been snowing for the last week, and there was thick, frozen snow on the ground, making it impossible to really walk. Kyle kept leading me towards this tiny fishing dock, where he and I would sometimes sit when the weather was warm. In the distance, we could see a young man already on the dock, lighting what appeared to be candles. Kyle and I walked over, and asked him what he was doing out on the lake, in the dark, wearing a suit, and lighting candles. He informed us that it was his girlfriend’s birthday, and that her mother was out driving her around, because he was planning to propose to her… but he needed to light 300 tea lights, and was having a hard time with the wind.

Immediately, I volunteered Kyle and I to help him out. We got to work, lighting 300 tea lights, balancing them on the railings, around the benches, and spelling out “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” on the dock. Kyle even had to make a run to the store to buy another lighter, once the one the guy had stopped working. The end result was beautiful (I took pictures), and we got to stick around to watch the proposal. After it was done, we talked a little bit, before parting ways. As soon as we got in the car, Kyle informed me that he had brought me there to propose to me, and that he was disappointed now, because it was ruined. I laughed, because I had already figured that out. Determined to still propose, we drove to another park in town, where he awkwardly dragged me to the gazebo, and attempted to propose. I couldn’t stop laughing. He gave up on the speech, and we kissed, and he put the ring on my finger. Sappy speeches are not his thing, and it was a perfect proposal anyway. That was two years ago today, and we are now friends with that other couple! Happy birthday, Kelsey! 😉

2. Boys and Girls Club
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One of my favorite things about working at Target was how often we had the change to volunteer. Over the course of just one year, I volunteered at a homeless shelter making meals, at a daycare center reading books, and my favorite, volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Peoria. This was an amazing experience. The Boys and Girls Club that we went to was one of two in the area, as the cities are divided by east and west, and was located in a low income neighborhood, across from a school. We brought in new games for their game room, cleaned out the old games, painted walls, weeded and cleaned up their garden, and did crafts with the children once they got out of school.

I really wanted to do this because we did not have a Boys and Girls Club in my hometown, but we did have an after school program called Kids Out, which was for lower income kids, or kids who didn’t have anywhere to go after school. I went to this program for 3 years, and the counselors and volunteers were great. I was thankful to be able to volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club, and was so proud to be a part of something great, even if just for one day.

3. Hiking With Friends
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In June 2014, my good friend Corey came to visit Kyle and I. It was my first time meeting him in person, but we had been friends via World of Warcraft, my podcast, Twitter, and Facebook, for a long time, and he was one of my closest friends (still is, don’t worry!). We decided to all go to Starved Rock State Park and go hiking, despite the fact that NONE of us were dressed for hiking, or for the heat. I was wearing jeans and sandals for crying out loud! It was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to take my son there when it gets warmer. Corey took this amazing picture of me taking a picture of a mama deer. You can see one of her two babies off to the left. It was such a fun day! He also took a picture of Kyle and I by the waterfall, which is one of my favorite pictures of us. I was also pregnant with a tiny Liam during this time!

4. The Ginger Kittens
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In 2009, a little while after my ex and I started dating, I decided that I wanted to adopt a cat. I had had always had cats throughout my entire life, and it felt odd not having one now that I was an adult, living on my own. We went to an adoption event at a PetSmart, and fell in love with two, ginger kittens. I decided immediately that I wanted them both, if possible. We had enough to cover the fees for both kittens, and sat down with one of the employees, and began the paperwork process. We finished all of the paperwork, handed it over for them to look at, and went over to play with the little babies. A few minutes later, the woman came back, and informed us that we needed to be 21 or older to adopt. I was crushed. I had the female kitten in my arms, and had already fallen in love with her. As we put them back into the cage, and walked away, they climbed up their cage door and meowed loudly. I cried in the car on the way home.

A few months later, I bought my tuxedo baby girl, Jade, from a pet store (yes, this was before I knew better than to buy from a pet store). I had Jade until November 2014, when I was forced to re-home her with a friend, after struggling to find an apartment where we could all live. I cried for weeks, but I had no other choice. We have no animals now, as they are not allowed in our building, but I hope that we can bring another furbaby into our home in the future.

5. Out of the Darkness1383626_10200935288763954_1702612861_n

In October 2013, Kyle and I walked in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Walk for Suicide Prevention. The previous year, a classmate of his had committed suicide, and we made Team Dallas t-shirts, and walked in his memory, as well as the memories of others in our lives who had been touched by the tragedies of suicide. Myself included. I’ve written a bit about it in the past here, but I’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts, as well as self-harm, since middle school. I tried to take my own life twice, and was, thankfully, unsuccessful both times. At the time this picture was taken, it had been 6 months and 2 days since the last time that I self-harmed, and I am proud to say that I never self-harmed again after that. It was an amazing experience, and I met so many wonderful people, who were all there to celebrate the lives of the loved ones that they had lost. I was unable to participate in 2014 or 2015, but I hope to participate again this year, with the people that I love, who have kept me grounded, and saved my life.

Thank you for reading, friends. I’ll post another one of these in the future if people enjoyed reading it.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/11/2016 | Under My Skin

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/11/2016 | Quirk of Habit

“Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.”

Strangely enough, peoples’ various quirks don’t bother me all that much. There are a few things that I would prefer that people refrain from doing around me, but nothing too crazy. I’ve seen people get physically angry at someone smacking their gum, or clicking a pen, or constantly clearing phlegm from their throats (okay, that one is pretty gross though…), but I’m just not one of those people. I’m not perfect, and I know I probably do things that might annoy other peoples, and I’m okay with that.

I do enjoy when people are kind, and do nice things for others, without being given orders to do so. I greatly admire people in the medical community, specifically doctors and nurses, who give up sleep, sanity, and often times family, to help others. I admire volunteers, whether it be once a month at a food kitchen, or every day at an animal shelter. People who sacrifice a little bit from their lives to improve the lives of others. Those people are just wonderful.

So, habits don’t bother me, but I guess you could say certain personalities do. Even certain, tiny aspects of peoples’ personalities. Is that a habit? I actually don’t know. Let me just give you a few examples of things that do get to me, and be warned, this is going to get a bit ranty, and may likely offend someone.

1) When teenage girls refer to a grown man, who is a complete stranger, as “daddy” on the internet, and says things like “fuck me“. I specifically see this on Facebook/Twitter/YouTube, directed at YouTubers, or musicians, etc., and it is SO creepy. Now, I’m no prude, and I’m definitely not going to judge grown men and women who call their partners “mommy” or “daddy“, or any variation of the two, in the bedroom, because that is none of my business. But when a 12-year old girl comments on a 29-year old YouTuber’s Instagram selfie with “OMG daddy fuck me“, I get concerned. Where the hell are the parents? Who is teaching them this? Ugh. That really gets to me. It is just so unhealthy.

Related irks: People who obsessively “ship” two real people, young teenagers writing VERY smutty fanfiction, stalkers.

2) People who blatantly fish for compliments. I’ll be the first to admit that I have low self-esteem, and I know there are many out there who feel the same way about themselves. Recently, on Facebook, a friend of a friend shared an image of a piece of paper that simple said “Share this if your ugly!“. Grammatical error aside, things like this piss me off, because this is 110% for attention. The ONLY reason to post something like this is to get responses like, “Aww, no, you’re beautiful!” but this is the wrong way to do it, and it just irks people, and makes you look insane. The kicker in this situation was that the girl was GORGEOUS, and upon further snooping, I discovered that she is actually a MODEL. Are you joking? No. Just stop.

3) People who constantly butt into other peoples’ issues and problems. As many of you know, we recently had to deal with some stupid, family drama surrounding the Dodge Journey that we received from Kyle’s aunt. Well, as of last night, we got a new car (that gorgeous Lincoln LS), and Kyle’s mom took the Journey off our hands to use as a second vehicle. But just a few days prior, our drama reached a boiling point, when Kyle’s grandmother poked her nose into a matter that did not concern her, and tried to play middle woman, but ended up twisting everything that Kyle said, passing along false information (lies), and ultimately made the whole situation 10000% worse. In the end, Kyle ended up blocking his grandmother, and both of his aunts, and we most likely won’t be attending Christmas this year. Ugh. If a problem has nothing to do with you, then leave it alone. If it is not directly affecting your life, then butt out, and let the other parties sort it out.

And now… the big one. I’ll apologize ahead of time. Sorry.

4) I’m not religious, but I am also not disrespectful towards people tho choose to believe in what they believe in, as long as they are not forcing those beliefs on others in order to control them and their lives. We’re all living on this planet together, and life is too short to hate on someone for believing in something different. With that being said, one of the things that bothers me more than ANYTHING else, is people who use the Bible to justify their hatred of something, i.e. homosexuality, but cherry-pick through the rest of the sins, simply because they want to do them. You all know what I’m talking about. Saying that you hate homosexuality because it is an abomination, because the Bible says so, but being guilty of ANY of the following, makes you a hypocrite:

Divorce/Adultery.
Love of money.
Any of the following dietary abominations: eating shellfish, eating many kinds of birds, eating anything that has many legs, or stands on four legs, and eating and touching PORK!
A woman wearing PANTS.
LYING, guys. That’s a big one!
Arrogance.
Blatantly ignoring the law.
Wearing mixed fabrics.

Getting a HAIRCUT, or shaving your beard.

So, if you’ve done any of those things, which I know you have, guess what? Those are all considered just as sinful as homosexuality. Those are abominations, according to the book that you quote from, to prevent two people who love each other from getting married, or living happily. You can’t pick and choose what things to be an asshole about, just because you like to eat shrimp, and think that two men kissing is icky, or unnatural. Guess what? There are over 1,500 species of animals that display homosexual behavior, and many of these species are older than the human race. You can’t get any more natural than nature, folks. So, I’m sorry, but that just isn’t how it works.

Now, if I remember anything from my time in the Brownies, I seem to recall that the original book was written with no punctuation, and was completely open to interpretation, and has changed so many times throughout the years, to fit the specific beliefs of whomever was interpreting it. If this is correct, then couldn’t it be possible that many of these things, as well as homosexuality, were not originally meant to be labelled as abominations, but the words were misinterpreted as such? Just something to consider.

As I said before, I personally don’t believe in any of this. I lead a life free of religion. I do believe that, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone, or infringing on someone’s legal and human rights, then everyone deserves to be happy. But you need to understand that there are so many religions that are practiced on this earth, and not everyone believes in yours, and they all have different rules, which are open to interpretation, and we are all live vastly different lives, and just accept that. Stop thinking that just because someone chooses to believe differently, or acknowledge different things, that you and your beliefs are being threatened. Relax, folks. I do apologize if this offended anyone, but if it did, then maybe you have some things you need to think about?

Anyway, I’m done. Those are some of the big ones for me. I’m not trying to start a debate in the comments, or attack anyone’s beliefs, I’m just trying to tell you things how I see and interpret them.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/4/2016 | Alone In A Crowded Room

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/4/2016 | Naked with Black Socks

“Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?”

My brain is complicated when it comes to my anxieties over people, and how I perform under pressure. Public speaking terrifies me. Speaking in a small group terrifies me. Speaking to someone one-on-one in a professional setting terrifies me, for example, if I am at an interview. Don’t even get me started on parties. I am a freaking turtle in her shell at parties. Despite my anxieties, I’m a pretty decent performer under pressure, especially when it comes to school. As long as I have something to focus on that is important to me, I’m usually able to able to conquer my anxieties, and come out on top… there is usually some sort of mini breakdown afterwards, but that is besides the point.

A good example of this is when I was a freshman in college. I was in an Environmental Sciences class, with mostly juniors and seniors, who were looking for easy science credits. I didn’t know anyone in the class, except for my then-boyfriend’s cousin, who really didn’t want anything to do with me. We were told to get into groups of four for group projects, and I just sat in the back, waiting for everyone to group up, so that I could join whoever was left.

The last 3 remaining were a group of girls, who I could tell right away felt that they had better things to do than be in the class. We introduced ourselves, and listened to the professor explain the project. Each group would pick a country out of a bowl, and we would have make a presentation on that country, including details about the economy, climate, religions, landmarks, etc. Each person in the group had to speak on a specific topic pertaining to the country, for 4-5 minutes, making the average group presentation about 16-20 minutes long. We would be presenting over the course of several days.

The entire time he spoke, I was sweating. I had never had to speak for more than 30-60 seconds in front of a group, and even then, it was usually a group of friends, or at least people I had known for a little while. My group seemed very disinterested, and I had a hard time getting their contact info so that we could work on our project together. They were all juniors and seniors, and none of them lived on campus, and when I suggested meeting in the library, they might as well have laughed in my face. Eventually, I convinced them that that was best, as I had no transportation off campus, and the library had a ton of resources for us to use.

In the following weeks, I realized that I was the only one in my group taking the project seriously. I was also the only one showing up to meetings. I would sit in the library, usually alone, unless my boyfriend came down to help me, working on my portion of the project, which was about the environment. Specifically, I was talking about the pollution of the Ganges River, and the endangered Ganges River Dolphin (oh, we got India, in case I didn’t mention that). My boyfriend even helped me sew a beautiful sari, which I spoke briefly about in the introduction of my part. I reached out to the other girls several times, asking them if they needed help, or if they wanted to meet to rehearse our projects, but they blew me off.

Twice, I worked with one of the girls from the group, who was doing her report on Mother Theresa. Each time, she brought her young toddler son, and spent more time playing/chasing him around, than working. I ended up doing a chunk of the research, and writing half of her speech, for her. I was so frustrated, because this was a GROUP project, meaning we all would share a grade, and I was the only one doing anything.

The day of my group’s presentation arrived, and I was surprised that the other girls even showed up. The first one to present spoke about India’s economy, and her bit lasted just over 3 minutes. She had no visuals, or anything else to go along with it. We were the last group of the day to present, and no one was paying attention at all. The second girl spoke very briefly about pollution, as well as the environment, which irritated me, because that was not her topic. It was mine. The other girls even gave me a look as if to say, “Um, did you know about this?” Her bit lasted just a few minutes, and just like the first girl, she had no visuals to go along with her presentation.

Then came the girl doing Mother Theresa. About 5 seconds into her presentation, she turned to the teacher, said that she didn’t feel well, and quickly ran from the room. That got everyone’s attention, and all eyes turned to me. I now had to make up a ridiculous amount of time, thanks to the slack of the first 3 in my group. Luckily, I was pretty prepared. I introduced myself, and spoke about the sari that I wore, my voice trembling slightly. More people started paying attention, interested in the garb. Even though their eyes were on me, I was elsewhere, somewhere inside my head. I needed to do well, because I was not about to fail this after working so hard. I also had a slideshow presentation, which went along with my note cards, and a trifold display board with pictures and facts. I was prepared, and it felt good.

I ended up speaking for a total of 7 minutes. After the first minute or so, I felt completely in control, and everything else faded away. My presentation could have been even longer, but class ended. Afterwards, my group left without a word, and the professor asked to see me for his office hours later in the day. When I went to see him, he told me that he would be grading me separately from my group, as he could see that I was the only one who put in any effort. I nearly cried. I candidly told him how it had been so difficult to get any of them to work with me, and he completely understood.

I received an overall score of 93/100 for my project, and ended the school year with an A- in the class. I never spoke to the other girls again after that class ended. Honestly, that was probably my proudest moment that whole year.

Thank you for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 1/25/16

Present day.

Kyle, Liam, and I were shopping at Target. Our cart was piled high with toys, and topped with a few frozen pizzas, and a bottle of juice. We walked to the front of the store, and walked out the front door without paying for anything in our cart. Dozens of others were also leaving with carts filled with merchandise that wasn’t paid for. No one noticed.

As we drove home, the roads were lined with people carrying comically large cardboard boxes, all staring and waving at us as we passed by. The closer we got to our apartment, the more people there were, crowding the sidewalks and streets. As we pulled into our driveway, we were shocked to see that all the people with cardboard boxes were gathered on our lawn. As we rushed to push through the crowd to get inside, they started taking  wrapped gifts from the boxes, in all different shapes and sizes. In unison, they started singing Happy Birthday to Liam.

We quickly shut our door, shutting them out, and turned to see that our living room and kitchen were piled from floor to ceiling with boxes and presents. I picked up my phone and called 9-1-1, but the officer laughed at me, telling me to be grateful that so many people would give us gifts for our son, but I was too freaked out to be thankful.

The officer hung up on me, and Kyle and I started boarding up our windows, trying to block out the many strangers still standing on our lawn, and their singing.

And then I woke up.

Daily Prompt 1/22/2016 | My Favorite

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/22/2016 | My Favorite

What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.”

Hours. Just a few hours.

I have never left my son with anyone, other than his father. Ever. Even with his father, it was only for 15-20 minutes so that I could shower, or an hour or two so that I could nap. The thought of leaving him alone with anyone makes me anxious, and when I am away from him, it gets worse. I thought this feeling of separation anxiety would dissipate after a few months, but it hasn’t. Not even a little. Even on our worst days, when I want to scream and cry and give up, I can’t fathom the thought of leaving him with anyone else. Here are a few reasons why I feel this way:

1) Nobody knows him like I do. Nobody. Kyle has had little part in our day-to-day lives. He’s changed a total of 6 diapers over the course of a year (none of them poopy), and has never cooked for, or fed, Liam. He doesn’t know how much of what to give him, or what he likes and dislikes. He’s never put him to bed, brushed his teeth, or given him a bath either. So you can see why leaving him alone with him would cause me stress.

2) Liam has stranger anxiety. Even with his dad, if I’m gone for more than a few minutes, he gets upset. He loves his daddy, but being away from me is stressful for him. He still doesn’t really let anyone hold him, and if he does, it is only for a few minutes. The idea of leaving him at someone’s house, or at daycare, terrifies me. I’m afraid that once I leave, he will cry and cry and cry, and will never stop, and they will hate him.

3) Trust. I’ve seen how much Kyle’s mother spoils our niece, even against her mother’s wishes. I’ve heard her say candy/cookies/soda, etc. and then Kyle’s mother turns around and gives her whatever she wants. Now she is a spoiled 4-year old who throws tantrums at every little thing. I don’t want that. I don’t buy into the whole “grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandkids” crap. No. If the PARENT tells you that they can’t have something, you need to respect that. You’re teaching the child that what mommy and daddy says doesn’t matter, as long as grandma says yes. Big no-no.

4) Past experiences. Now, this is a bit more of a stretch, but on more than one occasion, I encountered abuse at the hands of a caregiver as a child. Completely normal, seemingly nice people. I’d like to think that Liam’s grandmother, father, a babysitter, or whoever, would never think of hitting him out of frustration, or for any other reason… but you never know how people will handle the strain of a crying baby, even if they’ve dealt with it in the past. This terrifies me.

Am I crazy? Overprotective? Maybe. Probably. I don’t know. I will need to go back to work some day, and I’m hoping that Liam starts warming up to strangers by the time that needs to happen.

Any other parents have anxiety over leaving their babies with someone else? My son will be one tomorrow, and this fear is not letting up at all.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 1/15/16

Present day.

Kyle and I have just finished a date night, we are both dressed up. Liam is at his grandmother’s. We stop at a gas station convenience store to get snacks before going home. We are waiting in line with several other people, when three men wearing masks come running in, waving around guns, and telling us all to get down.

Terrified, we all get down on the ground, while the three men go to the counter and demand money. The leader of the group seems anxious, and he is threatening the cashier, pointing the gun right in his face, screaming at him to hurry. The other two guys repeatedly tell him to calm down, and that they just want the money, they don’t want to shoot anybody. The cashier reaches for the alarm button, and the robber shoots him in the head.

We all scream. There is a middle-aged couple in the store with us, as well as a man who later explains to us that he is an ex-marine, and a young mother with a little girl. The two other robbers rush to the leader, and an argument ensues. They are angry that he shot the man, and they didn’t want to hurt anyone. The leader shoves one of the men and hits him with his gun, knocking him out. The other robber runs out the door.

The leader begins pacing, talking to himself angrily, while waving his gun around. The man on the floor starts moving again, and he pulls him up violently, yelling at him for not following orders. While they argue, the ex-marine quietly instructs us how to get out. He motions for the young mother and her little girl to get to the door quietly, and they manage to get out without the men noticing.

Next, the older woman and I are told to go. We crawl to the door, breaking into a sprint at the threshold. We join the woman and her daughter in the parking lot, who are already calling 911. Next, all three men make a break for it, but the armed men notice, and start firing.

They manage to make it out the door… but aren’t fast enough. Kyle and the ex-marine are both shot several times in the chest, and collapse on the curb. The two men take off running.

I scream, rushing over to Kyle, who has two holes in his chest, and blood trickling from his mouth. He is struggling to breathe, yet tried to speak to me. I cradle his head in my arms and sob, urging him to save his breath, and begging him not to die. After several minutes, the older woman pulls me away. I look down at Kyle’s lifeless body, and collapse back to the ground. I crawl over to him and try to give him CPR, but he is gone. I grab his hand, kiss it, and pull off his wedding band, slipping it into my pocket.

The police come to take our statements before releasing us all to go home. I watch them cover Kyle’s body and load him into an ambulance. They don’t bother turning on the lights as they drive away. The older woman and her husband offer to drive me to my mother-in-law’s, and we get into their truck. I take out my phone to call her, but my entire body is numb and heavy, and I can’t move.

When she answers, she doesn’t seem to notice my violent, hysterical sobbing, and brightly talks to me about our plans for Liam’s first birthday. She asks where Kyle is, and all I can do it hang up. We get to her house, and the couple helps me inside, where Kyle’s mom and two sisters are waiting. They don’t seem to notice the blood on my hands, face, and clothes, or my red eyes, still crying.

I collapse to the floor as the woman and her husband tell them what happened. I can’t hear them, but I know they mention Kyle, as his mom falls back onto the couch in tears. She then turns to me and says that I need to find a job now, or I will lose our apartment. She asks me who is going to take care of Liam, and if she can have our vehicle, since I can’t drive.

Liam walks over to me and gently tugs on my hair as I curl into a ball in the middle of the floor, shaking and crying. The older woman is patting my shoulder, telling me everything will be alright. Then they leave, and I am left on the floor, sobbing, while Kyle’s surviving family members stare at me.

And then I woke up.

I woke up with a pain in my chest, and tears in my eyes, as I rolled over in a panic to make sure that Kyle was still there. He was, but it had felt so real…