How Our Lives Have Changed: 3 Weeks

We’ve been in our new state, our new town, our new home for a little over three weeks.  In that time, we have moved in, started summer camp, and gotten married.  And we have settled in for the most part.  The Boy rebelled a bit for awhile when his camp turned out not to be exactly like his usual ESY experience, but he found some activities to love, and now looks forward to it each day.  I am desperately trying to find some form of employment, and unpacking and getting the house in order in the meantime, checking things off of my to-do list which has grown to several legal pad pages.  I have also been battling government offices to get my name changed, and to just get a driver’s license.  These things really shouldn’t be so hard when you are clearly a law-abiding citizen, but I digress…

The Ocean is Just Down the RoadOne of the most pleasant changes in our lives has been the proximity to Grammy and Poppy.  Besides being fabulous grandparents, they are also awesome parents, and great friends.  It has been exceptionally nice to have a girl’s afternoon with my mom here and there, and The Boy has enjoyed hanging out at their place in the afternoons, after camp.  As a former single mom who was never able to leave the house alone without the aid of a babysitter (and the requisite money involved), The Boy’s regular Saturday Night Sleepover at Grammy’s still brings tears to my eyes because I am just so grateful.  Every couple needs time alone, and this weekly respite is already oh-so-special.

The flip-side of this is that there are a lot more people in our lives on a daily basis, and this has taken a bit of getting used to.  We have to check with people now before we make decisions, and more compromise and flexibility are necessary every day.  This isn’t a bad thing, and it isn’t unexpected, but it is an adjustment.

We miss our friends, and I miss having adults to talk to, but this is no different from any other summer, for me.  I’m starting to have a hard time with not having something to do each day — I’m one of those people that needs to feel like I’m accomplishing something, and organizing my desk and hanging a few pictures just don’t qualify as “accomplishments”.  I’m trying to practice patience and perseverance in the job search.  Trying.

All in all, we are very happy.  The Boy is counting down the days until school starts, and is very excited.  I’m loving the summer sun and heat, reveling in the proximity of my loved ones, and enjoying being a newlywed.

Cheers! 😀

I Don’t Owe Him a Thing

When I was first divorced, I bent over backwards to make sure that The Boy spent time with his dad.  And I often bent further than was really fair.  Because I knew if I didn’t, their relationship would suffer.  But finally, I realized that their relationship wasn’t up to me.  It was up to them, and since The Boy is a child, it was really up to the adult in that relationship, namely the ex.  It was most definitely not up to me.

A few days ago, I wrote about the ex’s most recent behavior, asking me for a few “favors”.  My first, knee-jerk reaction was to try to help him out, because if I don’t, he will take it out on his son, probably cancelling his visitation time, and not calling.

But the truth is, that’s pretty likely, even when the ex isn’t pissed off at me.  And lying for him is definitely not in my best interests, nor in the best interests of his own son.  Doing “favors” for him when he hangs up on me is reinforcing that bad behavior.  The truth is that we don’t have that kind of relationship.  We have a business relationship, if that.  Some divorced relationships are cordial and even friendly.  Ours just isn’t.  And because it isn’t, favors are not required.

The simple question is, would he do the same for me?  The answer is no.  The simple question is, would you do “favors” for a person who periodically swears at you, threatens you, hangs up on you, and doesn’t meet his obligations to you?

I didn’t think so.

Deconstructing Glasses

I’m pretty sure no one on Earth will need this tip, but just in case…

I think I’ve mentioned The Boy’s penchant for fake eyewear.  He wears them so regularly that his teachers have even been fooled into thinking that they are prescription.  Lately, however, he has been preferring the pair of 3D glasses brought home from Toy Story 3, from which he has torn the flimsy black “lenses”.  The reason?  He doesn’t have to clean them if there are no lenses. (Of course, duh…)

Except that he has outgrown the 3D pair (graduating from the all-purpose “kids’ size” to the all-purpose “adult size” in the interim, I suppose), so they look rather silly.  Not a big deal, but we are trying to make new friends in our new community… The Man and I had found a set of three pairs of reading glasses for $3 at the local discount store, and I mentioned it to The Boy, saying we could probably pop the lenses out.  He liked the sound of that, so we bought a set.

glasses de-gooingAnd he decided he wanted me to pop the lenses out about half hour before we had to leave for camp this morning…  Bleh!  So I pushed on those plastic lenses until my thumbs hurt, and could only budge them a bit.  I tried hot water and then cold water to see if expanding and contracting the plastic of the frames would help, but to no avail.  Finally I considered my old friend Goo Gone.  I poured some into a plastic plate, and places the glasses, lenses down, into the Goo Gone.  After about 20 minutes, the lenses popped out with little resistance.  Not sure why this worked, but it did.

So, if you ever find yourself in the position of needing to pop lenses out of some plastic frames, now you know what to do.  Glad to be of help 😉

It’s Just A Word

Still using the "r-word"?  Find yourself a dictionary...

Still using the “r-word”? Find yourself a dictionary…

Recently, the r-word has reared its ugly head again in my purview.  Several weeks ago, I was on Pinterest, and saw a pin with this “joke”: “Sometimes your knight in shining armor is just a retard in tin foil”.  Hilarious, right?  No.  Not funny in the least.  And I usually don’t jump on people on that site, because I don’t know them from Adam, and don’t want to get into it with strangers.  In my experience, that can get a little scary.

But I noticed that several others were posting comments to the pin that took exception to it, so I chimed in.  And a couple of people responded to me, jumping all over me to “get a grip”, “life isn’t always nice”, “people are too damn touchy today”, “get over it”, “cool your beans” and plenty of expletives.  Now let me explain that my comment was in no way heated — it was: “Just because it doesn’t hurt you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt someone else.”  But I was told to “cool (my) beans” and “get a grip”!

One person responded specifically to me, and in her response, said this: “If the word hurts you, it is because you allowed it to. I am overweight, if I cried every time I heard the word fat, I would be a constant mess.”

So, it’s OK for people to use derogatory language, because I’m supposed to be stronger, and those on this planet with Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Cognitive Impairments, and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are just supposed to be stronger, and “get over it”, if the word “retard” hurts them?

Another commenter said this: “Oh goodness it’s a word for crying out loud! I have a cousin with Down syndrome and a cousin with autism and not a single person in my family over reacts over the word ‘retard’ you know why, because we don’t use that word to describe them so why the hell should it be offensive, do you actually sit there and call your mentally disabled children retarded? No? Then get over it!!!”

So, because I don’t use that word to describe my son, it shouldn’t be offensive to me??

Um… What???

I think the people on the wrong side of this, those who accuse us of being the “word police”, need some stronger arguments, because theirs just make no sense.  I am not the word police.  But I will point out to you when a word you use is hurtful, because I believe people should be nice to each other – didn’t we all learn that in Kindergarten?  Because I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, that you just didn’t realize you were being mean.  If you dig your feet in, because you should be allowed to say whatever you want, you are correct.

You can say anything you want.  But that doesn’t mean you should.

If you agree, check out this awesome info-graphic about the word “gay”.  We should totally get one of these made for the r-word!

Independence Day

IndependenceGrowing up, I didn’t really give a fig about the Fourth of July.  I know it is an important American celebration, it just wasn’t my favorite.  I like fireworks as much as the next gal, but they get old pretty quickly, and we were never a family to go and buy a bunch, simultaneously burning up our backyard and pissing off our neighbors.

It wasn’t until the year I got divorced that I really appreciated the meaning of independence.  I finally understood how scary it is to declare independence from the only way of life you have ever known, and to take that brave, militant step into the unknown, with only trust in yourself to get you through.

I filed for divorce right after Independence Day that year.  Right after the ex left town for the weekend, leaving The Boy and I without a car.  Right after I had to be resourceful upon finding out he had given our grill away without my knowledge (and after I had promised The Boy a cookout).

And even though I have just given up a little independence recently, Independence Day still means a lot to me.  It is a celebration of the faith I have in myself, and the courage I found then that I never knew I had.

Happy 4th, Everyone!

Peter Pan Keeps Coming Back

Will he never grow up?  Will he never learn to manage his anger?  Will he ever learn that I just don’t play that way?

Cover of 1915 edition of J. M. Barrie's novel,...

Ah, yes.  The Angry Ex has returned, texting me today, all nicey-nice about a couple of favors he needs from me.  The check is in the mail, but will I send a short paragraph to his potential mortgage lender about how he pays child support regularly?  And can I send him a copy of our divorce papers?

Number 1: He doesn’t pay child support regularly, so he is asking me to lie in exchange for money that he already owes his own son.  Number 2: We are divorced, and keeping track of his paperwork is no longer my responsibility (like it ever was?).

When I first spoke to an attorney about the possibility of divorce, the attorney told me that so many of his cases were against “Peter Pan” – guys who just never grew up.  The ex in my case seems to be Peter Pan’s darker twin brother, because when I won’t play along and do what he expects me to do, he gets angry, verbally abusive, and retaliates by not speaking and/or seeing his son.

At first he was fine with me not making copies of the divorce papers.

And then he called.  As soon as I heard my phone (I have a special ringtone, just for him), I knew that I would be asked for another “favor”, and not that he was actually calling to talk to his son, with whom he hasn’t spoken in two weeks, and then only because The Boy called him.  He explained that he was in a “time crunch” and asked if I would scan in the divorce papers and email them to him.  I told him I really didn’t have the time, and he hung up on me.

As if that hurts me in some way.

Nope, he’ll never grow up.

“We won’t grow up!
We will never grow a day
And if someone tries to make us
We will simply run away” ~ Peter Pan

Our Simple-y Wonderful Wedding

Our very simple wedding was this past Friday.  We ended up having about 20 people in attendance. Sunshine and Princess appointed themselves Flower Girl and Bridesmaid, and their parents served as our witnesses and photographers.  The Boy was the best ring bearer a bride could ask for, and the whole thing was over in about 10 minutes.  It couldn’t have gone better.

Earlier in the day, I got my hair done, and bought some flowers for myself, and my “attendants” (two bunches of Gerber daisies for $8 total).  We came home, and got ready.  PITA  loaned me a sixpence that she had put in her own shoe when she got married (this was my “something borrowed”), which I tucked in my bra, and we all headed to the gazebo.  Guests started wandering up, and at 5:30, we started the ceremony.

Afterwards, most of us walked a few blocks to a restaurant and had a great meal.  It really wasn’t stressful in the least, just a short, sweet ceremony filled with love and smiles, and a very nice evening with most of our closest friends and family.  Trust meThis is the way to do it.

A word about the pics: My new husband is not too keen about having his picture plastered all over the internet, and I’ve made a conscious effort not to do that to my son, either.  The result is that the pictures you get to see will not give you the whole picture, so to speak.  I’m sorry I can’t give you more, but my commitment to my boys is rock solid.

Our New Family Who Has the Rings? With This Ring... Flower Girls wedding1