Gender bending….

On June 1, 2015, the athlete once known as Bruce Jenner revealed himself to the world as Caitlyn Jenner.

On July 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legally recognized in all fifty states.

Both of these events have led to increased awareness and heated controversy about equality and gender rights.

Because the national news is drawing attention to issues of gender and orientation, my facebook feed is full of moms who allow their children to dress how they want regardless of gender stereotypes.  My feed is full of mommy blogs declaring an end to gender “rules.”

I am glad we are talking.  I wish we could talk without hatred and anger.  I wish we could listen with open hearts and open minds.

It’s my turn to join the conversation.

I had a gender-bending kid long before it was a national news story.

When Boy Hobbit was just a tot, he dearly loved to play dress-up.  He paraded around in his sisters’ tutus and sparkly shoes.  His favorite outfit of all was a rainbow-colored leopard leotard and shiny, red, Wizard of Oz, Dorothy shoes.

There were a couple of raised eyebrows from time to time, but I couldn’t have cared less.  He was pretending to be a princess or a ballerina or a chef or a police officer.

He wore those sparkly Dorothy shoes nearly every day until he fell equally in love with a pair of red crocs.

For Christmas that year, he asked Santa to bring him a tractor or a princess “because I love princesses.”  Yes, buddy, you do.

He eventually stopped wearing tutus and sparkles, but one of his favorite colors is still pink.

Do I worry about his gender identity or his sexual orientation?  Not even a tiny bit.

We have a second cross-dresser in our house.  Baby Hobbit has been wearing boy clothes for the better part of two years.  You see, she is over-the-moon crazy about Mickey Mouse.

You can’t buy girl clothes with Mickey Mouse….only Minnie.  So that little one has been wearing boy clothes since she first fell in love with Mickey.

I have railed against the sexism of Disney, and then I have shopped in the boy section for my daughter.  For the last two summers, she has worn a boy’s swim shirt and shorts at the pool.

It’s not unusual for her to wear a Mickey Mouse football shirt with a tutu or dress-up high heels.

My Boy Hobbit enjoys Sofia the First, and my girl Hobbits love Pokémon and Lego Ninjago.

On our family vacation a few weeks ago, Hobbits #1 and #2 were doing manicures and creating nail art for the little girls.  Between four families, there are fifteen kids…..that’s a lot of teeny, tiny fingers and toes.

It didn’t take long for the boys to get in line for American flags on their fingers and toes too.  They proudly showed off their nail art to every parent.

Not one parent reprimanded the boys or raised an eyebrow.  No one told them that nail polish is for girls.  The Hobbits that were giving the manicures didn’t shame the boys or mock them.  They simply made designs on little nails, boys and girls alike.

Do I think any of those boys will grow up to question their gender?  No.  Do I think they will grow up gay? No.

Of course, I can’t know that for sure, but there is one thing I do know without a doubt.

Each of those boys know that their parents love and accept them, regardless of which shade of polish they choose.

 

 

 

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I used to be a nice mom…..

I am pretty honest about the fact that I have never “belonged.”  I was the rebellious teen, the “backslidden” Christian, the fallen virgin.

The most difficult thing I have ever done is learning to love myself.  It is sometimes a painful process that forces me to face my insecurities.

I am discovering that my differences make me interesting.  My inability to fit in makes me uniquely me.  I am profoundly quirky, a beautiful renegade.  My style, my honesty, and my vulnerabilities are exactly what make me perfectly me.

I do not belong in a small-minded world.  I long for a world of tolerance, love, acceptance, and respect.  I am creating that world for myself.

The family within my 2,000 square feet is open, honest and loving.  I created that.

The friends and family that share our lives are accepting and kind.  I have chosen them.

I experience a fair share of raised eyebrows and sideways looks, some of them more subtle than others.  I dress too young for my age. I wear my tattoos proudly.  For the better part of a year, I had a bright blue faux-hawk, and now I am rocking platinum blonde.

When the receptionist started with, “that’s an interesting outfit,” I ignored it as a weird backhanded compliment.  When she continued with, “where in the world did you get that shirt?” I assumed she was clueless when choosing her words.

When she went on to say, “that explains it.  I wondered what was going on.  I thought it was some sort of mid-life crisis,”  I quickly checked in for my appointment.  And when she ended with, “you used to be such a nice mom,” her words barely registered.

As I waited for my appointment, I replayed the exchange.  I simply couldn’t believe the ignorance and judgment she had displayed.  I became angry that I should hear such ridiculous comments when simply checking in with a receptionist.

When I needed to return a few days later, I confronted her.  I had not been able to shake off her comments.  I couldn’t let it go.  I was nervous about a confrontation, but I was determined not to be a victim of her ridiculous character assessment. I needed to stand up for myself.

So I did.

I told her that her words were out of line.  She should have never let those thoughts pass her lips.  They were hurtful, insensitive, and incredibly ignorant.  I believe I actually used the word “bullshit”.

I was annoyed with myself when I showed too much of my vulnerability, telling her that I preferred the company of tattooed people who live outside the “normal” bounds of society over the company of small-minded people.

I wanted to be invincible and badass, but my softer side was just under the surface of my bravado.

She began to sweat and I fed off her fear.  With wide eyes, she tried to apologize and tell me that she had not meant anything by her comments.

“I should never have to face ignorance and judgment when I come to a place of business,” I said.

I did not hug it out like she wanted.  I wouldn’t let her off that easily.  I wanted her to be uncomfortable with the consequences of her words.

I was proud of myself, but I also thought I was going to cry on my way home.  I didn’t understand my conflicting emotions, until Hubby summed it up in a text message.

“You stood up for yourself… where for years you were judged and just took it.  You have never really stood up for yourself face to face with someone.  You should cry!  Good for you!”

In that moment, that one silly woman represented every face that has ever looked at me with judgment.  Her words were the ones that had cut me from some of my earliest memories.  She was the embodiment of every person who claimed to love me, yet judged me the harshest of all.

And I stood up to her.  I refused to accept her criticism, in spite of my fear.

Even the most “badass” among us is afraid.

Don’t be afraid of your vulnerability.  Show your fears.  Wear your scars.  Every time that you do, you give power and courage to each of us who have ever felt alone or afraid.

You are beautiful.  You are loved.  You are worthy.

We all are.

 

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Go Big, Go Bald….

I was wrong.  I was really, really wrong.

My Hobbit never had a single doubt about shaving her head.  She never flinched, never wavered, and has still not stopped smiling!

Her anxiety didn’t sideline her.  She didn’t worry about what people would say or how she would look.  As a matter of fact, she is in love with her fuzzy scalp!

I am kind of in love with it too.  She is remarkably beautiful.  Her eyes dance.  Her smile lights up her face.  She rubs her head because it is so soft and prickly all at the same time.

She says she wouldn’t mind keeping her hair like this.  I tell her it looks pretty badass.  Of course, I whisper the word “badass” because she and I both know that word is not appropriate.  But we also know that it is absolutely true. And that being a badass is something to be proud of.

She is no longer afraid.

I struggle to reconcile the young woman before me with the lost and frightened little girl who needed the help of her younger sister to make it onto the bus every day last year.  It is excruciating to remember the nights that Hubby and I sat awake, knowing that the hallucinations would overtake her before we could asleep.

Her shoulders are no longer stooped.  Her eyes shine with confidence rather than fear.

She is not afraid to make big decisions.  She is not afraid to take chances.  She is not afraid.

Shaving her hair was not just an act of solidarity for kids with cancer.  Shaving her hair allowed her to be free.  When her hair fell to the floor, so did her worries, her inhibitions, her fears, and her past.

She grew that day.  She left baggage behind, and she began to stand taller than ever.  She became even stronger and more beautiful than she has ever been.

People gave us words of praise and affirmation for our parenting after she shaved her head.  I didn’t feel deserving.  This Hobbit teaches me how to parent a child who is more insightful than I am.  She teaches me how to live with someone who feels deeply and has endless empathy and compassion.

Sometimes, I don’t feel like I even parent her.  I simply do my best to empower her.  I cheer her on.  I watch her learning to walk and then beginning to fly.  I am privileged to be a witness to her journey.

She will never walk the easy path, but she is going to have one hell of a  beautiful life!

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Bald is beautiful…

Hobbit #2 is raising money for pediatric cancer research. She is participating in an event where she will shave her hair in solidarity with children who lose their hair to cancer treatment.  She will be completely bald at this time tomorrow.

The Hobbit originally set her fundraising goal at $500.  She really just hoped to raise enough for a free tee shirt.  When donations began to come in, we raised her goal to a scary $1,500.  Now, she has brought in over $3,000 and donations are still coming in.  People have responded with astonishing generosity.

My 11-year-old child is the top fundraiser of 160 people participating in her event.

I could not be more proud.  And I could not be more nervous for her.

This Hobbit is one of the strongest human beings I know.  She is true to herself.  She is not afraid to be different.  She is not afraid to take risks.  She feels deeply and stands strong for her beliefs.

She said to me, “Mom, I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel like I have a calling in my life.  I feel compelled to do this.”

How can she be so wise at such a tender, young age?  Her challenges in life have taken her to a place where she has learned to deeply know herself.  When she shows insight like that, I believe her.  I am amazed by her self-awareness.  I carry her words within my heart.

I worry that the reality of being bald will be shocking compared to the idea of it.

I have seen lesser things test her to her limits, and I worry that she will go back to a place of uncontrolled anxiety.

I am afraid of trusting her to make such a risky decision, and of possibly seeing her hurt.

But I am trusting that she is strong enough to handle it.  I want her to know that she should never be afraid to take chances and to make bold decisions.  I want her to learn that big decisions come with risk, but they can also come with great rewards.

I don’t want to send her the message that big decisions are too scary.  I don’t want her to play it safe in her life.  I want her…..I want all of my Hobbits…..to know that I will cheer them on when they do big things.

Sometimes, big decisions work out better, or worse, than you could have predicted.   But regardless of the outcome, you are stronger for having the courage to take chances.

I will cry tomorrow as the clippers begin to buzz.  I will cry for how brave my Hobbit is.  I will cry for how far she has come from where she was just one short year ago, when she battled demons that none of us could understand.  I will cry for her bravery in standing up to her anxiety and fighting back.

I will cry as I watch her take a step of independence.  I will cry because I know that I cannot always protect her.

Despite the tears, I will smile.  My heart will nearly burst from pride.  I will marvel at the support she will receive from her siblings.  I will cry tears of joy.

My Hobbit will know she is loved and that her family is with her every step of the way through her life.

My Hobbit is destined for great things in her life.  This is just the beginning.  I can’t wait to see what is waiting for her.

 

 

 

 

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Fifty Shades of Bullshit…

I read the Fifty Shades of Gray books.  All three of them.  They passed the time.

Mommies are busy and tired.  Why not spice things up?

I have one mediocre friend who claims she read the Fifty Shades books on maternity leave because she just had to know how the story ended.  Really, mommy?  The plot kept you reading?  Did I ever mention that Hubby had a subscription to Playboy when we were dating because “the articles were just so interesting”?

Mommies went to see the movie. Mommies went to the theater with girlfriends, and mommies will see the movie on DVD.  Whatever floats your boat, girl!  Get after it!

l will be honest.  I sat in the front row to see Magic Mike with my mediocre girlfriends.  And, yes, indeed, I will see the second one, probably all alone.  Because I really want to be in my own bed with naked Channing Tatum across the room.  Don’t judge!

But, back to Fifty Shades.  I don’t think I will see this movie.

I read that the Christian Gray actor visited sex shops and sex clubs to prepare for his role.  He said that he needed to shower before he could touch his wife and newborn baby.  He just felt so dirty.

Dude, what exactly were you doing in the name of “research”?  And what publicist told you to say that?

Here’s the deal.  Once upon a time, I tried just about anything in the bedroom.  (Okay, fine, it was last week, but whatever!) To see if I might like it, or to be able to say that, yes, indeed, I had “been there and done that.”  So what if I didn’t hate having my ass smacked while doing it in the front seat of my new car?  Who are you, Hollywood Pretty Boy, to judge how anybody gets their fun?  Who are you to say that my definition of pleasure is “dirty”?

Besides the lead actor being a Puritanical prick, I have problems with the entire premise of the story.

Here is a simplistic recap of the story line…..

Young, vulnerable, naïve female reporter gets a dream assignment to interview a wealthy, spoiled, narcissistic, bachelor business mogul.  He is damaged and sadistic.  She is horny and innocent.  They enter a consensual slave and master sexual relationship.  They have crazy kinky sex, but she sees a softer side to him as well.  They develop feelings for each other.  By the end of the book series, her love and innocence have allowed him to recover from his damaged past.  He finds sexual satisfaction in her love alone, and she finds her happily-ever-after.

Get the idea?

First of all, how many of us mommies feel young and innocent anymore?  I can’t speak for all of us, but I’m mostly just grown and cynical.  I have had enough experience to know that wealthy may be nice, but egotistical and spoiled are probably not going to change.

Horny is horny, and kinky sex is pretty fantastic.  But let’s not confuse it with love.  Sex brings all kinds of fabulous emotions, but true love is scraping the vomit out of your lover’s hair when they have the flu.  Yay!  Happily ever after.

Love is not necessarily healing.  More often, it means finding someone who will accept you as damaged and still choose to love you.

Now…you want me to do what??  Hey, right, that sounds like a great idea.  I have had your spawn sucking on my tits all day, and I couldn’t wait for you to get home, shove a plug in my ass, and remind me who is the boss.

On second thought, I have an even better idea.  How about you go load the dishwasher and get the screaming toddler out of time-out?  How about we try Fifty Shades of Housework?  Or Fifty Shades of Leave-Me-the-Fuck-Alone?

Let me tell you something, Christian Gray.  There is absolutely no leather riding crop that can turn me on like the scent of lemon Pine-Sol.

If you are willing to slog through the piles of laundry and help me load the dishwasher, I may be willing to try that blindfold in 5 years or so.  Or at least something a little more inspired than the lazy handjobs you’ve been getting lately.

How about Fifty Shades of Real Life?

 

 

 

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My moment….

Several years ago, I noticed that my oldest Hobbit’s hair on her legs was darkening.  I moaned to a friend that the future was coming, and I was sad, apprehensive, and excited.

My precious friend cut us each a giant piece of chocolate cake.  Because every mother knows that the hard things in life are easier when they are cushioned by chocolate, wine, or coffee.

We talked about what the future would hold as our children grew and how we hoped to parent them through their teenage years.

I had imagined that I would have lovely and progressive moments with my young teenagers, but it has not exactly turned out that way.  Hobbit #1 is very private.  Here is the link to my first post about parenting a daughter through the beginning of puberty.

Last night, I finally had my moment.  The warm and fuzzy mother-daughter moment that I had envisioned.

Hobbit #1 had asked me to teach her to shave her legs.  I purchased her a brand new razor and her own girly shaving cream.  Quite a difference from Dad’s old razor and the soap and water I started with as a girl.

We sat on the edge of the bathtub with our feet in the water, and began to shave our legs together.  I didn’t make a big deal out of it, and she told me at the end that it was much less embarrassing than she had imagined it would be.  High words of praise from that girl!

I couldn’t help myself, though.  Halfway through the process, I apologized for what I was about to say, and then told her how happy I was to be sharing this with her.  In her very pragmatic way, she answered, “I can’t believe you waited this long to say it.”

When we were all done, without a nick for either of us, I had to give her a hug and tell her what an awesome girl I think she is.  She humored me, of course.

As a mom, my first journey through puberty is not at all what I had expected.  There have not been very many warm and fuzzy moments.  But it is her journey, to navigate in her own way.

I am respecting her path, and I am just along for the ride.  So far, I would say she’s doing a damn fine job of making her way.

 

 

 

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The yellow ribbon….

As a little girl, I devoured every written word in front of me.  I read everything from nutrition labels on the cereal box to warning inserts about toxic shock syndrome.  If it had words, I was probably reading it.

I read the dictionary and cross-referenced words that I didn’t know.  I learned plenty of bad words that way.  Or proper words for bad things I already knew.  I suppose it was my antiquated version of Google and Wikipedia.

My first steamy romance novel was left in my bedroom after a family member visited.  I learned way more about sexual positions than I should have known when I found a sex how-to book in my mother’s closet.  Thankfully, that book taught me that I would not go blind or grow hair on my palms from masturbation like my brothers would.

My grandparents had shelves full of encyclopedias and old textbooks.  I loved to curl up in the corner, behind their old chairs, secluded and reading for long stretches of time.  One of my favorite books on those old bookshelves was a reading textbook from someone’s long-gone school days.

There was a particular story in that book that captured my imagination, and an animated dinner conversation brought the story to mind.  I promised the Hobbits that I would tell a bedtime story instead of our usual reading time.  With all of the Hobbits gathered around, I began the story….

Once upon a time, there was a little boy and a little girl who became best friends.  The little girl always wore a yellow ribbon tied around her neck.  The little boy asked, “Why do you always wear that yellow ribbon around your neck?”   She mysteriously replied that perhaps, someday, she would tell him the reason.

The story continues as the children grow up, fall in love, and eventually get married.  The question continues to be asked and unanswered, “why do you always wear the yellow ribbon around your neck?”

Finally, into old age, the woman is on her deathbed and reveals her secret.  She gives the boy permission to remove her yellow ribbon “and….. plop…. her head fell off!”

The Hobbits had a split second of shocked silence, and then dissolved into uncontrollable laughter. They repeated over and over through their giggles, “Plop!  Her head fell off!”

One example of why I am not that great at mothering.  That is no way to settle rowdy Hobbits into bed.  What was I thinking?  By the time they were tucked in, I just wanted to yell at them to be quiet.

But then, when the house was quiet, I was convinced that I am a rocking good mom.

Hopefully, they will not remember all of the nights that I hastily pushed them toward their beds, looking forward to the glass of wine or the bag of Oreo cookies waiting for me.

I hope someday, as adults, they will find themselves all gathered together, dissolving into laughter, before the most mischievous of them can even finish saying the word, “Plop!….”

 

 

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Dinner time blues…..

What are we having for dinner? Is it smoked sausage? Are we having sauerkraut? Why can’t we have sauerkraut? I hate sauerkraut. Can we have sauerkraut tomorrow? I love it so much. No! I hate it!  Mom, what’s for dinner?

I walk out of the room and repeatedly bang my head against the wall. No. Wait. Instead, I think I will open a bottle of wine.

I want to scream at the Hobbits, but instead, I feel a pit in my stomach, and the waves of desperation wash over me.  I continue cutting vegetables for dinner.

There is no way to win at motherhood.

Someone is always upset. Someone is unhappy.  Usually, it is me.

There are tears, there are tantrums, there is screaming.  Mostly just from me.

There are days when I simply swear that motherhood is a losing game and it will eventually sink me. I can’t see land, and I can’t touch bottom.

Maybe they will forgive me someday.  Maybe they won’t.  Maybe they will love me anyway.  Maybe they won’t.

I usually forgive them.  I usually love them anyway.

Today, I don’t forgive them.  Today, I am angry that nothing is ever good enough.  Today, I don’t really like them.  Today, they don’t really like each other.  They probably don’t like me, either.

I don’t really care.  Tomorrow, I will try again.

I had better not drink all the wine.

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Happy New Year

I rang in the new year in an unexpected way.  I sat in an emergency room until the doctors finally decided to keep Hobbit #4 overnight.

We settled into our room at about 8 pm, cuddled in bed, and finally fell asleep around 10. Neither of us saw fireworks.  We didn’t watch the festivities on television.  We didn’t see the Times Square ball drop.

It reminded me that we never, ever know what a new year, or even a new day, will bring.

I took a walk down memory lane to the last time Hobbit #4 and I celebrated the turning of a new year in a hospital together.  I was pregnant and we were trying to keep her from coming out too soon.  A dear friend became even more dear as we cradled our pregnant bellies and drank sparkling grape juice to celebrate the coming of 2007.

Our strong and sassy girls were born in the early months of that new year.

Last night, I held that same sassy little Hobbit close while the calendar again turned to a new year.  As I held her close and breathed in the smell of her sweat and shampoo, I realized that I never got those hospital cuddles with her.  She was born in a whirlwind, and our first snuggles were under a blanket in an ambulance.  She was whisked away from me to a NICU where our cuddles took place behind a privacy screen while I gave her my milk to comfort her through her first days of life, hooked up to IV’s and poked and stuck every few hours to monitor her progress.  I held her at my breast, while she was connected to tubes and lights to clear her jaundice.

I was angry.  I was angry with God that he would allow my precious, tiny girl to have such a rude first few days of life.  I was angry with the doctors who wouldn’t let her leave, even though she showed no signs of infection.  I was angry with myself for imaginary things that I had done “wrong” to cause her to be here.  I was angry that we weren’t snuggling at home with the other 3 Hobbits.

But somehow, even through my anger, I found moments to treasurel.  The wee hours of the morning when I would stumble through the halls of the hospital to feed her and feel my milk letdown, knowing that my body was still connected to her in some very primal way.

I came to love the way the nurses cared for her as if she were their very own precious little one.  And they cared for me also.  Did I need a snack?  A drink?  A cup of coffee?

On this New Year’s holiday, I loved our new nurses.  The first nurse who immediately asked my sick little girl her favorite color and then returned to her room with a beautiful pair of purple fairy wings.  The nurse who tiptoed in while my little one was fast asleep and took her temperature and her vitals so quietly and gently that she never even woke up.  The nurses who checked in on her when this mediocre mommy needed a break and headed to the cafeteria to get a cup of coffee and make a phone call.  The lovely nurses who brought her every flavor of popsicle, or juice, or Gatorade that she could possibly think to ask for.  The nurses who brought extra pillows and blankets so that I could curl up in bed with her.  The nurses who brought towels and shampoo so that I could shower.

The holiday was a repeat of many of the experiences she and I had shared before.  Our ambulance ride to the hospital reminded me of that first ambulance ride, just an hour after she was born.  The marking of a new year reminded me of the holiday when I wasn’t sure if she was going to be born too early.  The snuggles in our hospital bed reminded me of that precious time I never had with her.

And then I watched her use the remote from her hospital bed, whenever she wanted, to watch television shows that she wanted, and I saw what a big, strong, sweet girl she has become.  I watched her independently use the call button for the nurse, and advocate for what she wanted or needed.

Those were my jobs when she was so very little.  She is growing up, finding her independence, and she is able to speak for herself.

Those 24 hours were not how I had envisioned spending part of our holidays, but honestly, I found many, many moments to treasure.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving….

I have so many reasons to be thankful.  But my Thanksgiving has a cloud over it that I cannot shake.

A couple of years ago, I was determined to handle the holiday family anxiety with grace and dignity.  Instead, I handled it with too much Xanax and wine.  You can visit those posts here and here if you want to relive the horror.

After my brother had a scary accident, my family vowed that we would stay close and connected. For a while, we tried.  And then old habits and human nature surfaced.  We drifted again.

I almost wish I had spent this holiday flattened by Xanax.  Because, you see, I remember very little of that Xanax day.  I wish I could forget how I felt on this Thanksgiving.

I spent the day reminding myself that my Hobbits are a gift.  I gave them my best as we carried on a family tradition of making dumplings.  Every little Hobbit helped in some way.  It was messy and took much longer than necessary, but it is an experience that creates holiday memories for the Hobbit to carry with them as they grow.

I held my Hubby close and knew that he will always be my safe place.

I enjoyed every moment of being with Hubby’s mediocre family, laughing, and loving cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles who have become my family.  We cried as we toasted those that have left us. We missed them deeply.

I held my (not-so-mediocre) mother-in-law tightly, as she has become my own mother.

Through it all, though, there was still a lingering cloud over my heart.  I had my chosen family around me, but I had been deeply hurt by the family I was born into.

Today, I will not mince my words.  Today, I will not worry if my family will read this.  Today, this blog is not for my readers.  Today, the blog is a place to work through the difficult emotions I am feeling.

I woke up this morning to a sweet message from my crazy mother.  She told me that my family is precious and wished me a happy Thanksgiving.

Less than an hour later, over morning coffee, I learned that my parents were spending the holiday less than 10 miles from my house, without a word to me.  I wondered how “precious” I could possibly be to them?

I am not precious enough to warrant a visit, and neither are my Hobbits.  We are not precious enough to be told that they are going to be traveling so close to us.

For several weeks, I have thought about my childhood, and even more so, about the way my family has treated me since I became an adult.  Judgement from the people who gave you life and raised you hurts at every age.  Or at least, every age up until 42.

Just when I think I have learned to deal with it, and that it cannot affect me anymore, it does.  And it hurts all over again.

They don’t treat any of their other kids like they treat me.  They spend loads of time with sibling #2….in a weird, unhealthy sort of way since his accident…although they don’t seem all that interested in his wife or kids.  Sibling #3 has stayed close to them in spite of the fact that they have made him mental in so many ways.  Sibling #4 still sees them and has the golden child-heir.  And Sibling #5 is the one they spent their holiday with.  He has tried for years to win their love and approval.  Maybe it is finally working for him.

I don’t know how to process this.  I don’t know how to find any sort of perspective.  I don’t know where to go from here.  (Dear therapist, if you are reading this, get ready to see me next week. I have issues.)

Maybe there is no way to make it better.  Maybe the only thing I can do is make a different life for the Hobbits.

I comfort myself with the knowledge that my Hobbits will never be hurt by them.  I comfort myself with the knowledge that the Hobbits know how fiercely we love them.  I comfort myself with the knowledge that I have had a family for 19 years that loves me unconditionally.  I comfort myself with the knowledge that those are the family my Hobbits are growing up with.  I comfort myself with the knowledge that my Hobbits have involved and loving grandparents in Hubby’s family.

I comfort myself in the best ways I can.

I hold the Hobbits close.  I find solace in the arms of Hubby.  And I get up every day to be the best  partner, mother, and badass woman that I can be.

Badass.  Fiercely protective.  Unconditionally loving.  Those are the only gifts I have to offer.  I have to believe it will be enough.  I do believe it will be enough.

 

 

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