I’m sitting here trying to recover from a chest cold given to me by my daughter. She’s an angel when she wants to be but is so hard headed and stubborn, like both of her parents. I got up at 4:30 a.m. to let the dog out. A thunderstorm was coming. I could hear the rumblings. Flashes of light were coming through the curtains by our patio. I love listening to the rain fall. Jimmy just left for work and Emma is still asleep. Some time to myself. I love it.
It’s the kind of morning where you want it to stay dark and stormy so you can curl up on the couch and enjoy yourself. It gives you an excuse for not running errands or trying to keep up with the millions of things that keep a life going. I like to think it’s a way for God to slow things down a little bit. Rain makes you reflective I think. It can take you on a vacation as well. It’s a guiltless way to enjoy your solitude. I’m not sure if that makes sense.
So here I sit. Pondering what to do with the time I have. I’m not sure if I’m thinking about the few hours I have before Emma awakes or the rest of my life. My brain still weaves in and out of what’s gone on in the past few weeks. Still trying to resolve what to do with mom’s death. How to deal with dad. How to keep control in a situation that is totally uncontrollable. Sometimes I feel like a superhero, trying to fight off the villains and realizing I’ll never win. Sometimes I feel like a stuffed animal, flung around, walked on, hugged, then put to rest on the bed. I guess that’s part of life.
Whenever it rains, I like to picture myself in Paris. I’m in my 20’s and long and lean. I have dark hair and a turtleneck sweater on with a herringbone mini skirt, black tights, and high heel ankle boots. I’ve got an umbrella and I’m walking around to a small cafe. I take a small table and order just a warm cup of coffee, because I’m not really hungry. La Vie En Rose is playing in the background. My day is open and I’m wondering what museum I’m going to stroll through today. I’m not lonely. I’m enjoying myself and all that life has to offer. I smile at everyone walking by and they smile back as if they know we have some inside joke or secret that we share. I know later I will return to my apartment, where I will write a short story or a book. Something that won’t make me rich but will pay the rent. And that’s all that matters to me. I’m just excited that I can exist on the things I write down. Snap back to reality Nicole!
Anyway, here i sit. Writing down little bits from my thoughts. I’m not sure why, but it relaxes me. I am sipping on a cup of coffee because I’m not really hungry yet. I’m not the french girl, I’m just a mom, wife, a person here. I don’t really have a secret or an inside joke. But I have the rain, I have some solitude, I have some time to write. I hope somewhere you do too.
1. She put her tongue on a 9 volt 2. Jumped onto a catapult 3. She wore a Yankees hat in Boston 4. ODed on chocolate frosting 5. Her brain froze from gelato 6. Smoked way too much pot, oh 7. Her road rage blew her gasket 8. Stole a 5 year old’s Easter basket 9. She drown while bobbing apples 10. Too many dudes on her napples
I had my first big move as a military family. This feels strange. The last time I moved was from Ohio to Texas at age 12. It was a nightmare. My parents fought and fought. I didn’t know what moving meant. I thought it would be easy. As a kid, you don’t think about things like missing family and losing a support system. Here we were, stuck with two parents that couldn’t get along. Just me and my sister. We fought too, but I think that was normal for our age. We changed and adapted to a new city. We grew to like San Antonio. Our parents grew tired of fighting. I swore I would never move again. Although I loved to travel, I couldn’t help but feel it would be a disaster if I moved away from my support system.
Flash forward 30 years later. I’m in a military family. I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful husband. What are we doing? Moving! When Jimmy first got orders to Barksdale AFB, we tried commuting for a year. My parents weren’t doing well. My sister was five minutes down the road. I had a network of friends I didn’t want to leave. We had a nice house in a nice neighborhood. I’ll have to admit, I was eager to try commuting so I could stay in my comfort zone. Once we knew for sure that my husband would be staying in the military for another four years, we decided it had to end. The drive from San Antonio to Shreveport was too long. Emma, my daughter, missed her dad. I knew in my mind that my comfort wasn’t what was important. My family and friends shouldn’t come first. We needed to bring our family back together again.
So, I quit my job. A job I had for 8 years in an industry I had been in for around 20 years. That was scary. I’ve never not worked. I’ve never depended on anyone to support me outside of my parent’s house. I was an independent woman before I met Jimmy. I was supposed to show the world that I didn’t need anyone to help me and that I could do it all on my own. At least that’s how I was raised to be.
My mom was a strong woman and raised us to be the same. I missed that mom. She had faded away over the last 8 years. The mom I had now was frail. She was on oxygen. She was slowly slipping away from emphysema and a heart condition. She had a clouded mind and her health was on a roller coaster. She didn’t want me to leave, but I did.
Three weeks after I arrived in my new home, my mom died. It was somewhat unexpected and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I felt a huge sense of guilt. I thought I should have done more for her. I wanted her around to see what I would accomplish and to see her grand daughter grow and learn. I wanted her to be proud of all that I had done. I still had so much more to show her. Once again, I had the feeling that moving was a disaster; however through all of this, I’ve learned a lot. I’m stronger than I ever though I was. Time is short and there are no do-overs. You’ve got to make the best out of your life and quit worrying about the “what-ifs.” Soak up what life has to offer. Enjoy every second and cherish your family. We all have our ups and downs. We all have our challenges. There is nothing fair and nothing guaranteed. So I’m going to go scoop my daughter out of bed, give her a big hug, and start my day. As I often say to her, “Let’s go find an adventure!”
Ever wonder why we’re such creatures of habit? One standard in your life is removed and suddenly boredom and nervousness sets in. Whether it be someone passing away, someone leaving for an extended period of time, or a move to someplace new. We have to find a habit to fill our time again. Something standard to occupy our thoughts so we don’t dwell on what’s missing. We take a class, learn an instrument, try something artistic. What to do what to do? Suddenly that something new isn’t new anymore. It’s folded into our everyday life. I’m just sitting here wishing time would go by faster. I want my missing piece back and I don’t want to fill it with anything else.
When did I become a mom? I spent years only worrying about myself. My biggest concerns were work and trying to create a world where I would be happy alone. Then it seems like in a flash it totally changed. When I used to dream about if I would ever find someone to settle down with, I’m now having dreams about bouncers for children’s birthday parties. True! Last night I had dreams about how the bouncer was set up across the street in a park instead of our back yard and kids with germs were bouncing in it that I didn’t know. Meanwhile Emma (my daughter) was asleep and my car was in the shop. Somehow my parents buying illegal drugs filtered in as well. I’m sure this all parallels into my real life and my childhood. Not that my parents were horrible. They did the best they could. My mother always seemed two steps behind where she should be…ala…Christmas morning her coming out of the closet after all the gifts were opened to hand you a bag with an unwrapped gift that she forgot. Crazy as it sounds, I’m killing myself most days to make sure I’m not like that. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the event the person it centers around disappears. Emma may not care that her whole party is coordinated with Mickey cake, gifts, and decorations, but I will kill myself to make sure it happens. I guess it’s all because we always want to be better than our parents and have our kids have a better childhood than we did. Well…I’m off to get ready. Got to pick up the Mickey cake, balloons, and decorate for a two year old. When did Disney take over my house?