Friday, March 12, 2010

A Way to Live

This morning there was an email from my husband in my inbox with a job description he'd like to apply for. He sent it to me under the assumption that I wouldn't want him to apply because of the location. I think I surprised him when I wrote back and said to go for it. Since then I've been a bit day-dreamy, imagining what life would be like if he did get this job. It's in an amazing location, in a place which would require a lot of changes on our part to fit in. I imagined myself not working, at least for the first few months, while I got the girls adjusted. I imagined us taking daily trips around the city, seeing all the sights. I imagined the interactions we'd have with people, the conversations, the life-style. It all is so perfect in my mind. Now I know two things about these imaginings. 1) It's not likely to happen, so I should not get my hopes up and 2) nothing is ever as I imagine it will be.

To the first, I feel I have a healthy attitude. Life is good, with minor exceptions, like what happened yesterday to my eldest. I have a beautiful, loving family, a wonderful home in a great neighborhood, friends, activities and a life that I love. If nothing comes of this I will be just fine with what I have.

To the second, I remind myself that the grass is always greener on the other side. I moved from the US to Europe back to the US seeking that perfect place and I am realistic enough to know it doesn't exist. Some places are more beautiful, more friendly, more fitting for a person than others but everywhere can work if we work at making it do so. But still those pictures of rising early to take the train to a cultural center with my girls in tow, showing them all the wonders they are now old enough to appreciate, well those pictures are very tempting. I imagine that I am wise enough now not to waste such an opportunity, as I frequently wasted my time in Germany. I imagine I would live every day to the fullest. Then it hits me, that I can do that now. I don't have to go to some far off fairy tale land to live. I can do it here, today, by making different choices. Instead of watching TV in the evening, I can take a walk in my lovely neighborhood. Instead of wasting away a weekend doing laundry and shopping, I can take my children skating, or to the DIA, or out to the countryside. There are opportunities everywhere, we just have to reach out and take them. That's a way I'd like to live.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It breaks my heart

Just this morning I was reading Undomestic Diva's post about a kid who was mean to her kid and how crappy it made her feel. My heart wrenched for her and her son and for all the girls and boys out there who suffer(ed) from mean kids. Little did I know then that my heart was going to be stomped all over this evening.

I picked up the girls from school and my eldest promptly told me that her best friend, the girl who she has made countless bracelets and pictures and presents for, the girl she has had spend the night and who she talks about endlessly and loves with her whole heart, the girl who JUST SUNDAY she spent an hour holding hands with at our cookie booth sale told her today that she is no longer her best friend. Apparently this girl is mad at my baby because she doesn't wear her "best friend" bracelet that the girl's mom bought her often enough. At least, that's the story. Who knows if it's the whole story.

Now of course I am seething at this news: How dare this girl hurt my girlie like that? How dare she just dump her for such a stupid thing? My god, they aren't even in Middle School yet! They're eight! Is this where it starts, the meanness, the cliques, the ins and outs and pain? I know for me it started at 10, I was the new, dorky country girl at a city school and I was tormented, tortured and ostracized by the popular girls. I remember that ache, that loneliness. I remember believing them; that I was ugly, stupid, no good. Those were the start of some of the worst years of my life. All of school was a nightmare, but fifth grade, that was the worst.

So I asked my girlie how she felt about this and of course she is very sad. At first the angry me reigned and I told her that the girl was being a drama queen. Then I composed myself a little and tried to be adult and give good advice, but in situations like this I feel so helpless. So I told her that all humans have problems with their friends from time to time, even when they are adults. That if she wants to work it out with this girl, the best thing would be to talk to her; tell her how she made her feel, and ask her why she spoke and acted the way she did.

I'm still outraged. I want to cry, and I feel like I'm going to puke. I want to shake the little brat and tell her to grow the fuck up. Friends don't treat friends like that. And I want to tell her mom a big 'fuck you'.

I'm so scared by this shit. The world is such a hard place, and I hate it so much that my sweet children have to live in it. I hate that they have to experience things like this. It breaks my heart to see them hurt. I want to wrap them in a blanket to dull the sharp edges. I want to surround them with friends who love them, unconditionally for the rest of their lives. I want to collect all the bad things and hide them far, far away. But I can't. And I hate that.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I have been self-diagnosed with DDSD, or Detroit Driving Stress Disorder. Signs that you too, may be suffering from DDSD:

  • You see orange barrels everywhere you go
  • You frequently find yourself driving 20mph over the speed limit, usually in response to someone in front of you driving 20mph under it
  • You suffer from twitches brought on by the need to suddenly jerk your car out of the way of some idiot who is drifting into your lane
  • You find yourself randomly yelling things like: "Doesn't anyone around here know how to merge?!" or "That yield sign isn't there for decoration!"
  • Your children know that "stupid cow" refers not an intellectually challenged bovine, but rather to the broad in the SUV who nearly blind-sided you while texting and driving.
  • Events at the Cobo make you want to cry
  • You life is shortened by one day due to stress for every day you drive into the city
There is no known cure for DDSD, except for moving far, far away. However there is hope; years of therapy coupled with copious amounts of Xanax has proven to improve the condition of DDSD sufferers and turn them from quivering balls of rage to mildly irritated mutterers.