Saturday, January 31, 2015

...and now it's saturday night

I enjoyed the show tonight.

I saw Cirque de la Symphonie at the Mesa Arts Center.

It was more symphony than Cirque--there were never more than two performers onstage with the Phoenix Symphony--but it was lovely. I loved the music and I loved the dancing and the acrobatics and now I want to see a full-blown Cirque show more than ever. 

I also want to play orchestral music for Derek every day.

...and I want to find an acrobatics class where I can learn to twist and turn, bend over backwards, step over my head, and spin hula hoops with my arms and legs extended at odd angles in the air. Ha. That'll be the day. I want to be agile and muscular, but I'm chubby and saggy and sad instead. Well-padded and lazy too. And I've never even figured out how to spin a single hula hoop around my waist. I was the only kid in my kindergarten who couldn't. 

But I can dream, can't I? 

I'm determined to start exercising and to sign up for at least an hour or two of fun at the trapeze school I've passed a million times between Bobby's house and mine. Maybe I'll do it this summer. Maybe I'll wait another summer or two until Derek can do it too.

It's late night dreaming, but I've just started watching Netflix's last season of Dr Who--so I'll need something else to occupy my time soon...dreaming is a good start, I think.

I have a 5K in the morning and it's late and I'm really very tired.

Later my loves.

saturday morning

I love Saturday mornings.

It was still dark outside when a little voice called "Mommy!"

"What?" I yelled without opening my eyes.

"Would you please come lay down with me in my bed for a minute?"

"Okay," I sleepily agreed. I put on my glasses and rolled closer to the edge of my bed. I woke up again, still in my own bed, when my brother in NY texted a weather update at 7:18. I have no idea how much time had passed, but Derek was quietly asleep in his room down the hall and it wasn't quite dark outside anymore.

I puttered around the house a little and started a load of laundry. I was sitting in front of Facebook (Tribez is my current Facebook game addiction--it's not even a great game, but it wastes a little time and I enjoy sharing it with my Facebook game extraordinaire friend Skip) when the same little voice yelled "Mommy" again and followed up, word-for-word, with the same invitation to come lay down on his bed with him. I started to refuse and then I reminded myself and these invitations won't last forever. When I got to his room, though, he sat up and warned me that the bed was wet.


We're both in the living room now and there's a pile of sheets and blankets waiting for their turn in the wash. 

I was thinking about taking him to the zoo this morning, but it's still raining a little and it's so nice to just hang out like this.

I guess we'll see what the day brings.

He's spending the night with Bobby and I'm going to a Cirque show tonight--Cirque de la Symphonie is playing in Mesa for one night and I got a balcony seat for $18 (actually $25 after all the fees) ... I hope it's fun. I still remember watching Cirque de Soleil on the Bravo channel with my mom and dad in their bedroom in Tempe. I've wanted to see one of these shows in person ever since ... but the tickets are always too expensive or the timing is off ... and this time everything is perfect and I finally have a ticket to go. I hope it's a good one!

Monday, January 26, 2015

another monday night

It's Monday night and I'm once again alone in my house, tucked into the couch with a fuzzy blanket wrapped around my feet, watching Dr Who for hours on end. The blanket is clean this time, no lurking smell of pee if I press my face into it, and I've peeled off one of my fancy gel fingernails--but everything else is the same as it was the last time I posted.

What will I do, I wonder, when I reach the end of this series? Will I start over from the beginning or will I find a new show or will I actually start spending my alone time on something more productive and worthwhile?

What would that something be, anyway?

The bosses were away in meetings last week. Before they left, my boss told me he doesn't want to fire me. It was supposed to give me hope, I guess, and it worked until today. I was late for work a week and a half ago. It was a "tardy" that put me in serious jeopardy of losing my job -- but he called me into his office and warned me that what he was about to tell me wasn't "final" yet, but he assured me that he doesn't want to fire me, that he was looking for a way to save my job. I was grateful, I am grateful, but the "not final" part worries me.

I was mostly okay last week.

I mostly put it out of my mind last week.

I started to worry again today.

The "not final" part started to haunt me and I found myself literally shaking at my desk.

I've always been a little shaky anyway.

What if? What if? What if?

There's nothing I can do. I can argue against the tardies and the tardy policy in my head all day, but what's done is done and there's nothing I can do but wait while others decide my fate.

So ...  here I am, watching Dr Who when I could be catching up on my sleep or cleaning the house or stitching the sweater with the hole at the seam or reading a book or something, almost anything, else. I like this show and yet I'm still undecided too. Have I said that before?

I've been missing my dad lately. I never stopped, of course, but I had stopped randomly crying at quiet moments and now I've started again. I read a book that I would have loved to have shared with him and the fact that I can't just brings back the starkness of his absence.

I'm a little directionless right now.

My post has no point and most of my ramblings aren't happy--but Derek and I had a pretty wonderful weekend and I'm glad for the little bits of downtime I have on Monday and Thursday nights--I miss Derek like crazy, but I like having a chance to indulge in Dr Who binges too--and maybe life can keep being good and I won't lose my job and I'll be even happier in the future.

I'll keep holding onto that hope. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I've been watching hours and hours of Dr Who.

My life has no meaning, no reason, and nothing to hold it together outside of work and Derek. When I have neither, I crash on the couch and watch Dr Who until I'm afraid to stay up any later than I already have.

I exaggerate, of course.

A little.

I love melodrama after all.

I like Dr Who, but it's so incredibly weird too.

I want someone to watch it with me. It will never be Bobby. I don't think it ever could have been him--as much as I've sometimes wished it would be. Even without all the madness and hurt of the past three years, even without another woman who he wants to follow around the world, I don't think Bobby and I ever really could have been. I'm so glad for Derek, I'm so very-very glad to have him, but I wish I hadn't wasted so many years wanting the wrong thing.

I want someone who gets it, someone who gets me too, who can laugh and say "this show is so weird, let's watch some more!"

But enough about that.

Maybe I like Dr Who because it distracts me and entertains me, of course, but also because it kind of sort of helps me think of the past and the future in safe and fictional couch-y comfort.

Reality sucks sometimes. Fiction is fun, but reality is a lonely middle-aged woman with fancy fingernails, crinkling eyes and a biscuit-dough belly wrapped in fuzzy blankets that smell like pee with my feet tucked under marker-stained couch cushions, watching too many hours of Netflix and tapping away on a Bluetooth keyboard.

Reality is me and I'm not magical or fictional. 

I feel incredibly sad sometimes. It catches me almost by surprise. I was sitting in the Subaru service center's waiting room yesterday, reading The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon while I waited for my oil change to complete, when I suddenly started to miss my dad. I wanted to call him and say hello and talk about the book and about Percy Fawcett. It hurt. It hurt so so much. And today, driving home from work, I started to think of the kids I'll never have -- I'll be 40 this year and there's no one in my life and no one on the horizon. I love Derek and I love what I have (it's true no matter how much I whine on here), but I wish I'd gotten an earlier start. I wish he had a mom and dad who loved one another and a couple of little brothers and maybe a sister too. I wish he could be a big brother. I wish a million things. I wish I could appreciate what I have without all the niggling second thoughts. I wish someone loved me back for once and I wish I wasn't worried about Bobby's complicated woman stepping in to be another mom to my only son.

So I'm sad for things I've lost and things I've never had.

My friend Virginia thinks I need to "see someone." I don't know if that's code for "you're whining too much," but I think she's right either way. I'm just afraid. I don't know how to start or how to talk, so I think I'll write for now.

Writing has always helped--and maybe I'll even get into the habit of it again and find something new to say and to share and maybe I'll find a creative streak in my late night musings and before you know it, I'll stop writing about poor-poor me and I'll jump into fiction and follow in my mom's fabulous self-publishing footsteps.

We can dream, right?

Season 5 just ended and I think that's a good stopping point for the night.

Bon nuit.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

baby dinosaurs dancing

It's been a frustrating and busy week at work and Derek's been so edgy for the past few days that coming home doesn't feel like much of a break. Almost anything can set off a full-blown meltdown right now and I'm just about ready to follow suit. Last night he said, "I love you" and I responded "I love you too." He went nuts. Apparently I had missed my cue to quote Rapunzel from Tangled by saying "I love you more." Tonight I answered his "I love you" with "I love you more" and he went nuts. "That's Rapunzel," he protested in a near scream. His teacher told me it wasn't a good day when I picked him up from school tonight. It was his first "not good day" since he moved to the threes a few weeks ago. She told me he had a hard time following directions today and then she laughed and said he wasn't the only one. She blamed the full moon. 

Whether it's the fault of the moon or not, I feel frazzled. 

But even in the middle of the craziest day, there's magic sometimes. 

I'm trying to focus on the magic: when he reached up and stroked my hair with a hot little hand and sleepily whispered, "you're pretty" ... or when we curled up next to each other in a blanket on the living room floor and took turns drawing dinosaurs, for instance. 

Drawing can be a dangerous activity when Derek is tired or edgy. His dinosaurs sometimes look too much like crocodiles and his crocodiles turn into whales and the penguins never turn out quite right and I end up with a sobbing boy and a pile of crumpled up scribbles thrown all over the house. But not tonight. Tonight everything was what he wanted it to be. Tonight we drew two dinosaurs together, a boy and his mom, and then he checked my ears and measured my face and gave the mommy dinosaur earrings. He let me draw the eyes and teeth and then he filled the space between our two dinosaurs with baby dinosaurs--tiny little scribbles with eyes and teeth and tiny legs and tiny tails--and he narrated his actions and told me about each baby, what they liked and how they cried, and it was magical and sweet and my day was suddenly a million times better. One of his baby dinosaurs even danced "like a dog in the shower" and Derek pirouetted to demonstrate and it was so perfectly ridiculous and lovely that I immediately wished I could somehow capture the moment and hold onto it forever. And then he drew a long purple line from the boy dinosaur's mouth and he growled and cried and told me his dinosaur ate all the babies and we squealed and laughed and ran around the room trying to save and capture all the little scribbles come to life. 

When I feel completely worn out and invisible, this is the kind of magic that makes getting up and doing it all again tomorrow seem possible.  

I'm always too dramatic, I know, but I love this boy so much it scares me sometimes. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

three years

On Sunday night, almost a week ago, Bobby suggested we carpool on Monday. He said he needed to talk to me. I thought it was a little strange, we were standing face-to-face in a WalMart parking lot, after all, so why not talk then? But Derek was goofing off in my arms and Bobby was eager to get to dance so I let it go.

I racked my brain that night wondering what I'd done wrong.

The next morning he texted that he wasn't feeling well and he didn't think he'd work a full day so the carpool was off. I responded with the standard "feel better" platitudes and reminded him that he said he wanted to talk. He asked if we could do lunch. I agreed. Thirty minutes into my workday, he pinged me and asked what time I go on break. I let him choose a time. He was standing at my desk before 10 o'clock. 

We walked outside and he started talking.

He first told me that he's okay, he's in good health, and just has a cold.

Then he rounded into a string of nicieties--you will always be important to me ... we have a smart and wonderful son and, no matter what, we will always be connected--that sounded like a break-up speech and totally fit with Bobby's standard method of delivering bad news. He likes to start with something nice (but what nice things does he have to say to me? Thank you for giving me a son, I'll love him forever, and for that you're kind of important to me?), to try to make the listener feel good before he delivers life-altering bad news. I tried to interrupt him, to skip past the nonsense and jump to the point, but he asked me to listen. So I listened to the impersonal compliments and then he hemmed and hawed and finally told me that he's in a "very very very complicated relationship."

I asked if he's getting married. 

"It's leading that way," he admitted.

She's in the Air Force. She's been accepted to a prestigious school in Washington. She'll be there for three years and then she'll be stationed somewhere else--it could be anywhere in the world. And he reminded me that he's in "very poor health" (he often gets dry eyes, after all, and his knees at 45 aren't what they were twenty years ago). He could be a stay-at-home dad. I asked if he's moving to Washington. He said he'll follow in three years. He invited me to come too. I told him I won't follow him and his wife. He asked what was holding me in Arizona.

I got mad at that last question.

I'd been walking next to him, tight-faced, feeling my life slip away and then he asked what was holding me here. "You!" I barked. I reminded him that I could have taken a job in Georgia two years ago, that I'd talked to him about it, that there'd been an opportunity for him to move too, and he'd told me he would never leave Arizona, he would die here, and I had decided not to go--because I didn't want to take my son away from his father. Bobby didn't remember any of that. He agreed that it sounded like something he would say, but he didn't remember it. 

My life and the sacrifices I've made, don't register to him at all.

He tried a different tactic. He said it could be somewhere cool, like England or Germany. 

I said no again.

He said a lot can change in three years. I agreed. I remembered three years ago, thinking he and I could have a family together, that Derek might even have siblings, never imagining the life I live now. But I didn't say anything. He answered a call on his work phone and said he had to go inside. He reiterated that a lot could change, that I could change my mind, he just wanted to give me a heads up, but he wasn't going anywhere yet--not for another three years, anyway.

I asked if Derek's met her. He said yes. It was the only question I asked about her. 

I cried at my desk, tossed and turned that night, and wrote and deleted a handful of angry texts and emails accusing him of taking me for granted. I reopened all my old wounds and wrote out all my grievances, reminding him that I'm not a nanny or a puppy dog who will follow him and another woman around the world, that Derek is my son and that I am Derek's only mom. I didn't hit send. I deleted everything. I texted and asked how Derek was on Monday night. I sent updates and pictures of Derek on Tuesday. I fell asleep in Derek's bed before 9 o'clock on New Years Eve on Wednesday night. It was the best sleep I got all week. And I finally started to eat again on Thursday. I had tried before then, but even the thought of food made me sick.

I make it so easy to take me for granted.

I'm better than I was. It took a few days, but I realized that Derek and I will be okay. The world isn't falling apart. It still feels a little surreal when I think about that conversation--the unchangeable Bobby, the man who didn't spend a single night with his newborn because he needed to rest and who preferred to be separated from his only son rather than risk letting horrible old me into his pristine life, is going to uproot everything and follow a woman to England or Germany? How long has he known her? Would he follow her to North Dakota or Alaska, I wonder, or is he only along for the ride if she's going somewhere cool? He won't go to Washington, after all, and he'll be 48 in three more years....

Having a baby with Bobby was a terrible mistake that resulted in the greatest joy of my life. I love Derek more than anything. It sounds like a cliche, but he makes everything else worthwhile. Even Bobby. And now I have three years to prepare for whatever is coming.