Thursday, February 12, 2015

I'm Not Sorry - The Response I Should Have Given

We were at church a couple of weeks ago having an exchange about what to do about was the week she freaked out and Dr. J was holding the sobbing mess that was our daughter.  While we were conversing about who would keep her a newer guy in our ward sort of barged into our conversation.  He said to us, "I heard you are moving."  "Yup," Dr. J said, "I got a job in ....." "Oh," the guy says, "I'm sorry.  I wouldn't want to go there.  All the gangs and stuff."  So guess what guys it turns out that about 15 years ago the small town I'm moving to had a gang problem, sort of like 15 years a lot of the small towns in the US had major meth problems.  Shoot I'm not even sure if that is or isn't true anymore.  Has anyone read anything recently about meth in small town American?  I do know that the small town I'm moving to actually cleaned up quite a bit since then, but it was such a weird conversation.  Dr. J was like, "Well I'm excited about it."  I just kind of stared at the guy like are you crazy, but what was I going to say.  I hate situations like this.  So often when I'm talking to people and they say stuff that I consider shockingly rude I just freeze up.  I have nothing.  Then the second I walk away 53 things enter my mind of what I should have said.  Granted 51 of them are just beyond rude or swear words so those ones it's probably a good thing I don't share but here is what I wish I'd said to him.

I'm not sorry.  You do realize we are going to be making a boat load of money.  I mean just so much that when I think about it makes my head spin.  For the last 13 years of our lives we have struggled.  There has never been a point where we didn't feel guilty about doing any little extra or even doing just the basics.  For the first time in our lives money will not be a worry.  Paying off our student debt, not a worry.  Putting my kids in horse back riding lessons, not a worry.  Out of the country trips, not a worry.  Saving a ton of money for college, not a worry.  I'm not sorry, you do realize that my husband is only going to be working 50% of the time.  After Q4 and Q5 work months, after only having four days off in 30, after years of having work after he came home, after years of working 24+4 shifts my husband will now work seven days on, seven days off.  That means every seven days he will have a complete week of vacation.  We will be using that to travel, to do home improvements, to go to the gym, to just laze around and oh yeah if he gets board he can moonlight and just add even more money to our pot.  I'm not sorry we are moving to a small town where we can live less than 3 miles from work and have enough property to have horses.  I'm not sorry that after 12 years of living 1500 miles from my family I will now live 350 miles from them.  I can literally drive home in half a day and if I want to fly, well I'll just have a 40 minute flight as opposed to the miserable 3 hour one I have from here, and just so you know there is actually only one nonstop flight a day from here so usually I'm looking at something closer to 6 hours.  I'm not sorry, I'm going to be living in the west again, mountains, skiing, boating, camping, hiking, some of the most beautiful national parks you've ever seen.  I'm not sorry this town is 50% Mexican.  Have you looked at me lately, I'm freaking half Mexican.  I have been counting brownies since I was a girl.  I don't understand why people think looking around and seeing all white people would be a good thing for me.  That literally makes no sense to me.  I've been reading the kids the Book of Mormon this year and there have been parts where I have just choked through the words.  I mean just choked on them.  I'm sorry but I don't want to tell my children that God causes white and delighsome people to become dark and loathsome if they sin.  I don't want to feel shamed by my skin.  I love it. I never burn.  I don't disappear when I don't have makeup on.  I'm pretty sure my sun damage and sun wrinkles are going to be less than most of my friends.  Honestly it seems to me rather then a curse I got a pretty nifty natural skin care system.  I want my kids to love me for who I am and my ones that are darker to be ok with that just like my ones who are lighter should be okay with themselves.  That doesn't happen sitting in a room of just all the same people who never question if delightsome and white should be used as similes.  That happens when you are surrounded by lots of different options, when you see that beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes, colors and personalities.  When I was a girl growing up I lived in a pretty typical LDS ward, it was me and two other brown families and everyone else was white.  My best friend growing up though had incredibly dark hair, her family was black Irish....which I think they just referred to themselves this way because rather than having a bunch of red heads and blonds, they had a lot of dark haired people, although her brother did have red hair.  I remember her mom saying to us one Sunday after church.  "I love looking out and seeing you girls and your dark hair.  You stand out and your are beautiful."  It was I kid you not one of the few times that anyone at church ever appreciated me for my dark looks and it is a memory I still cherish.  So you know I'm not sorry to add a little diversity to my kids lives.  I'm not sorry that I'm moving to the state with the cheapest food in the country.  I'm not sorry that the housing market there is still pretty amazing and I can get a lot of house and land for a reasonable amount of money.  I'm not sorry that I'm going to live so close to Oregon, that I can go and see my sister on the coast in less than a day.  I'm not sorry about moving to a state that is sunny!  I hate these gloomy winter days, I hate freezing rain, I hate those little tiny hail balls that fall in almost every snow storm we have.  I hate that it doesn't get warm enough to swim here until July and then school starts just 28 days after that and the pool closes during school hours again.  I'm not sorry, this job is perfect!  We spent months looking at jobs trying to find the one that we thought would be the best fit.  Dr. J applied to a few he thought would work and they were interested but when we saw this one come up we knew this was the job he wanted.  It allows him to do everything he loves to do and when you are someone who likes keeping your options open as medicine becomes more and more specialized that is much harder to find in the inpatient setting.  He applied immediately and they got back with us.  When we flew out there we were anxious about convincing us to want us.  Turns out they already did.  They were just trying to convince him to want them.  How can I feel bad about getting exactly, I mean exactly what we wanted.  I'm not sorry about moving to a state that still has some pretty flexible homeschooling laws, because guess what, we home school, but if we choose to send our kids to school the public school is supposedly pretty good and the private schools there which I've heard amazing things about are pretty remember that boat load of money thing, for once I could afford to send my kids to private school if I wanted to.  So sir don't apologize to me.  I mean honestly the only thing I really feel sad about is leaving my friends (Hey MOPS LADIES you have been the BEST and I will MISS YOU!) and moving to pretty much the most republican state in the country. It's going to be rough being a democrat there when the state goes for whoever the republican candidate is in 2016 and I'm voting for Hillary, because you know I'm going to be voting for Hillary but besides that dude I'm pretty darn happy so save your false sympathy for someone who cares.  Just in case you didn't notice, that's not me.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

January Book Reviews 1-4

Scarlet (The Lunar Chornicles #2) Marissa Meyer - Doe anyone remember saying I refused to read this book because I just didn't have time to get sucked into another series book...I mean I'm sorry but Harry Potter and Hunger Games I wasted years of my life waiting for your new books to come out but I was just looking for something I knew I'd enjoy and there Scarlet was.  This returns with things that are happening to Cinder the cyborg princess of Luna who is on the run from her killer aunt.  We see what is happening to her love interest Emperor Kai, let's just saying he is not balancing duty and personal life very well.  Then we get two new characters based on the story Red Riding Hood.  We have Scarlet, a French farmer who is searching for her missing Grandmother and Wolf her savior/destroyer.  These books are so silly and you know what is going to happen pretty much the entire you know Wolf is bad but you know what, if you love teeny romance, this one is great.  I knew he was bad and yet I still wanted them to end up together.  Good book for YA fans.  

Boys of Blur N.D. Wilson - I thought this book was about returning home, about football, and about shattered relationships and it is about all those things but it is also about weird voodoo/witchcraft.  It is weird.  I'm not saying it is horrible but I loved the first half and the second half I was like, "What the heck just happened."  

Eyes of the Emperor - Graham Salisbury - So this is a historical fiction based on real people.  It follows the enlistment of Eddy Okana a Japanese American teenager living on Hawaii during Pearl Harbor.  He gets send to a little island of the coast of Mississippi where he is being used as bait to train attack dogs to find Japanese invaders.  This story is extremely uncomfortable.  If you have read nothing about how Japanese people in the US were treated during World War II, well here is a great introduction.  I was thinking while I was reading this, "Thank goodness we've evolved enough as a society that we no longer punish whole groups of people based on ethnicity, country of origin, or race" and then I was like, "What the heck am I saying."  We still do that at the time.  This stuff sucks and we need to be better about rooting this out of ourselves.  

A Song for Issy Bradley: A NovelA Song For Issy Bradley - Carys Bray - So this story follows a Mormon Bishop's family after a tragedy strikes.  I picked this up having no idea what it was about, when I realized it was about and Latter Day Saint family I was intrigued.  At the beginning I was a little annoyed because there was a lot of sort of LDS things that were explained that I didn't really need explanations too, but the story was just so heart wrenching.  I cried through probably a good 1/3 of the book.  I contemplated making it my February Book group choice then I got to a sex scene and was like, nope they will hate this.  But it was honestly a great book.  It talked about marriage and parenting, about faith, and the cost of faithfulness.  This is not some perfect family where everything goes right.  They are fighting, the sex scene I mentioned above J and I had a long conversation about whether it constituted rape or was between the married couple that makes up the heart of the book.  This book was my favorite of the month even though it was so painful to read.

We Are Having Home Church Today

So I ditched church today.  Dr. J is working a late night.  He won't be home until ten pm, which means the duty of taking the children to church would fall on me alone.  Usually I can deal with the challenge.  It is not fun.  Church with my children is a chore.  I have rambunctious talkative kids.  Sacrament meeting is an hour of torture for them.  As a result sacrament meeting is sort of torture for me.  Even when J is home and we split the kids it can still be a hassle.  Last week Cheetah actually ditched us and went and sat on the row behind us with a father and his son (wife had just had a new baby and she was home with their new baby and their now second child).  I tried to coax her, pull her, bribe her back to us but she would scream every time I made any attempts.  Finally I just left her.  But that still left me in charge of two children.  Captain E and Peach.  You think Captain E being the oldest he'd have gotten used to the drill but the kid has ADD, ADD bad enough that at school they labeled it on the spectrum.  There is some interesting research coming out now that says that some ADD/ADHD might just be a continuation on the autism spectrum.  You should check it out of if you are interested but since this is not a scientific journal this is just some random mom complaining about church alone with four kids let me just tell you what that means for me.  What ADD means for me at church is that my ten year old, the one I should be able to count on to be quiet and do his own thing needs a lot of my attention.  He gets extremely board and when he gets board trouble starts.  He will start picking at his sisters to try and get a reaction.  He will throw his body over the side of the bench, he will bury his head in his coat, start moaning really loud.  He will pinch people.  He will go through my bag to find gum and then try and toss it out on the floor.  He will fight with his sisters, loudly.  A lot of stuff I just have to let go, but things that are loud, messy, or harmful I try to reign him in.  Heaven forbid I have to take him out.  The kid will plant his feet and make me drag him.  It is embarrassing and stressful and horrible.  Because of this I often have to have Captain E sitting right by me.  I will hold one of his hands and write letters on it because that stimulus usually keeps him from moving off task onto something else but it makes it hard when you have three other kids to be constantly having to care for your oldest.  I have actually walked out of church before packed my kids in the car and left.  I have sat only in the hallway.  I have bribed, pleaded, begged, and punished.  It is exhausting and truthfully I haven't heard a full sacrament in years.  There is a certain irony to the fact that no day makes me feel less loving toward my family, less Christlike than Sunday.  It's actually sad.  But that is a normal Sunday, a one hour Sacrament Meeting.  Today is Stake Conference.  Last night I said to J, how in the world am I going to do four kids alone and he said, "Don't, you don't have to."  And so that is how I ended up staying home from church today.  There is only so much one person can be expected to do.  For me on this day alone with my children, 2 hours in a darken cultural hall on the cold metal chairs is just too much to ask.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Tooth Fairy - Why Am I doing this again?

Captain E lost a tooth yesterday.  I hadn't heard a word about it until the moment he brought it upstairs.  He'd been sitting at the table procrastinating doing some math work...that's a pretty common occurrence and all the sudden I guess he realized he had a loose tooth.  So rather than finish the four problems he had so that his time could be his own the child started wiggling that thing.  Then he brought it to me to show it off.  At dinner time he asked where his tooth was.  I asked him where he left it.  Turned out it was in a plastic bag on the dinner table that I had thrown away.  So I had to go dig through the trash to find that treasure again.  Then this afternoon he realized he'd forgotten to put it under his pillow and I'd forgotten to give him a dollar.  So we engaged in a discrete little transaction of money for tooth necessitated by his sisters all being in the room.  Although why that was necessary is beyond me because Gigi doesn't even bother putting her teeth under her pillow anymore either.  She just brings them to me and demands her dollar.  It made me start to wonder..."Why am I doing this?"  Why is any parent in the world paying their children for teeth?  I mean seriously.  Those little baby teeth creep me out.  I blame the fact that even to this day I have nightmares about losing all my teeth.  I once read a dream book that said that means you feel like your life is out of control...well if that is true I guess I've felt like that my entire life.  If it was up to me I'd throw them all away and some have made it into the garbage but Dr. J likes those little teeth.  He has a few hidden away in his jewelry box...which holds a watch and an alpha omega pendant...and baby teeth.  Is that even a jewelry box.  Maybe I should just call it a creepy memento box.  Why the baby teeth?  I went and read on Wikipedia about the Tooth Fairy today.  It really gave me no greater insight into why we pay our children to give us little bloody bits of themselves.  Maybe we just don't want them hording them in their rooms.  Stepping on a Lego in the dark is bad enough, can you imagine stepping on the underside of a tooth?  Ouch!  Maybe we just collectively like magic.  I don't know, all I know is that because this tooth fairy sucks my kids now just bring me teeth and expect money, and I give it to them for honestly no good reason.


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