Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I was "catching up" with an old friend last night after not speaking with her for nearly a year. Of course, we talked about my recent separation and impending divorce and how the kids are doing, yada, yada, yada. I mentioned that I'm increasing my work hours to nearly full-time when I return to work this fall and I'm worried that it will be difficult for Sergeant. My friend gave the usual response about how kids are resilient, etc, but then she drops the bombshell and says "she's better off then she would have been in the orphanage!" WTF - like it's somehow more okay for her to be in daycare full-time because she spent her first nine months in an orphange. My "friend" clearly thinks that Sergeant would still be in an orphanage, had we not "rescued" her. She clearly doesn't understand that, had we not adopted her, there were, oh, 30,000 people in line behind us who would have gladly taken her home. I think I feel more guilty about the divorce and my increase in work hours on her behalf than I do on behalf of her sisters. I feel guilty that we adopted her and now she is not going to grow up in an intact nuclear family. Not that I would ever change it in a hundred million years. I'm grateful every day for her presence in my life...but still....maybe she'll be pissed someday that we adopted her and then 2.5 years later, broke up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First night as a "single" mom

Well, my soon-to-be ex-husband is officially moved out. He's spending his first night in his new apartment. It feels anti-climatic - we decided it would happen over a month ago. I wondered how the kids would take it when the actual move happened, but they, um, didn't really even seem to notice. We got home from swim team practice at 7:00, had dinner, went to buy some drops for Sunny's "watery" ear, came home, watched some TV and I tucked the kids into bed. Not one of the three even mentioned that their dad is not here! I guess my feeling that he had been involved in our family in a purely peripheral way was relatively accurate. I know he loves the kids, but family life seems to be a bit "much" for him. I think he will probably spend more quality time with them now that we are separated. At least I hope so. So, onward and upward.
Smartie had a great swim team practice. The coach had her swim with the older kids, and she did well. After practice, Sergeant ran out into the street after her sisters (who, thankfully, had checked for traffic before stepping off the curb) tripped over her flip-flop, and had an unfortunate encounter with the asphalt. When I picked her up, my focus was on her nose, which had a bit of road rash. But when I buckled her into her car seat, I realized that her mouth was bleeding quite a bit. By the time we got home, she had a huge fat lip. Then, while I was icing her mouth (ha- I just read that back and it sounds like I was putting frosting on her, like a cake - she would love that), she complained about her tooth and I realized that her top front tooth is loose. I called our dentist at home (gotta love a small town) and he said it will probably "tighten up," but if not, she'll just have a gap until her permanent tooth comes in. I'm working on a post about some behavior issues that Sergeant has been having - today was a great day, though, because I changed my own behavior. Funny how that works.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sink or Swim

From the moment our kids are born (or adopted), we begin to "let go," in small ways and in big ones. The major moments are obvious - giving up nursing (or bottles), potty-training, going off to kindergarten (or, gasp, college!), that first sleep-over, and on and on and on... But we had a smaller "letting go" moment this weekend at the first swim meet of the season. Sunny swam last year, but this is Smartie's first year on the swim team. There are swim meets every weekend for about eight weeks. Smartie's first meet was this weekend. Due to terrible weather and pool maintenance issues, she had only had a total of two hours of practice prior to the meet. And she's seven. And she's never swam competitively before. The night before the meet, she had a major melt-down, after Sunny told her (in a not-so-"sunny" moment), that she's "stupid, and she'll never make finals in the swim meet." Then, Saturday morning, prior to her first event, she cried and cried and cried and said she wasn't going to swim. The first event was a relay, with three other girls, who could not have competed without her. And I knew that I couldn't let her give in to the fear and back out. So, I gave her a hug and lots of encouragement and walked away to the bleachers. I asked some of the older swimmers to talk to her, crossed my fingers, and sat down with a Texas-sized lump in my throat. One of the other parents on the team is a stroke-judge, and was standing by Smartie while she got ready to swim the relay. She later told me that Smartie told her, "I'm not ready! There's no way I can swim all the way to the other side of the pool." She kept repeating that sentiment until it was her turn to swim. Then, as soon as her team-mate touched the side of the pool, she dived in and swam like hell to the other side. She was awesome! She wasn't the fastest, but she surely was the bravest. Because the definition of bravery is not the absence of fear, but facing fear and plunging forward despite it.