Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And that's no yolk

I love to watch the show Jon & Kate Plus 8. It's a family show and something Savannah and I enjoy watching together.

It comes on Monday nights, which works out perfectly because Dalt has fire department meetings those nights, so we get to settle down on the couch with our throw blanket and popcorn and see what those rascally sextuplets are up to every week.

Only it's been pretty sad lately.

When I first saw the rumors of a troubled marriage and tabloid pics in line at the grocery store, I was quick to write it off as trouble-mongering by the press. But then this season started, and Jon and Kate were doing separate interviews on the couch. Savannah asked me about it, but I said the stories probably weren't true because the press likes to exaggerate things so they can sell magazines.

Then last night we watched the repeat of last week's show where Jon & Kate announced they were separating and it said they had filed for divorce, so I couldn't avoid the sadness anymore. Or Savannah's questions.

We talked about divorce and where the kids would go and what would change for them. Unlike my kids, they are going to get to stay in their home and keep their dogs and not have to go through what we did with the move and everything. Savannah said she misses our old house because it had a pool, and I told her that was a normal thing to feel. Then we talked about the good things in our life now.

I feel very sad for Jon & Kate and their family. They are people I don't even know, but I know what they are going through. I know what it feels like to face an unknown future you never thought you would, but you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on going anyway. I know what it's like to have to shrug off the comfort and security of familiarity because the status quo could not continue if honesty was to be addressed at all. And I know, utterly, the all- encompassing, gut-wrenching guilt of dragging your innocent kids through it all with you.

The other thing I know is that there are no completely innocent or completely guilty individuals when it comes to divorce.

Marriage is hard work. It requires intense (sometimes uncomfortable) levels of communication, compromise, support for each other, selflessness and stubbornness -- the stubbornness borne of not accepting defeat. And it takes two for that. Both people have to be able to see themselves and each other as imperfect, flawed creatures who need grace and forgiveness on a daily basis.

That's the key to every relationship really, isn't it? Realizing we all fail, we all need help, and God made all of us. If He can forgive us and go forward, we certainly should be able to forgive each other. But as it turns out, we even need His help for that. (See the above "flawed creatures" reference.)

At any rate, you can't unscramble an egg. You just have to throw some cheese on it, slap it on a flour tortilla and accept the fact that it may not be what it once was, but it still tastes pretty darn good.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


So, today I went swimming with Savannah. We dove after rings and played Marco Polo and floated and did underwater handstands.

It was a nice break.

For a little while, I didn't think about unemployment or going back to school or what the heck I'm going to do.

Just a little while.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Taking time to smell the nail polish remover

Yesterday morning, as I sulked and ate a piece of leftover fried chicken and watched Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel - in Katie's room, mind you, because she was gone and I wanted to be alone - Savannah brought me a bottle of fingernail polish and asked me to do her nails. My schedule isn't exactly busy these days, so I said yes.

We settled on the floor with a roll of toilet paper, nail polish remover, nail polish and that quick-dry stuff you put on afterwards so the polish doesn't get messed up. I meticulously cleaned off all the old polish on each tiny nail. We chatted and watched Anthony in Bali and then Andrew Zimmern eating disgusting food in Uganda.

I stroked bright fuchsia enamel on my little girl's nails, one by one, until they were all finished. Then, went back and went over them with the quick-dry nail stuff. She was thrilled. I hadn't realized that I'd been so busy, I've never painted her nails before. They were gaudy and bright and almost as beautiful as her smile when she looked at them.

It was a good day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's in a game?

A few months ago I was in the toy section of Walmart looking for something fun my family could play together. We already had cards and dominoes and stuff like that, but I was looking for something more along the gameboard genre.

Then I saw it. Sitting there on the shelf, staring right at me. A little flutter tickled my heart and filtered down into my tummy and I got so excited I almost forgot I was a grown-up. It was Life.

When I was a kid, I had ALWAYS wanted to play that game. For some unfathomable reason, my parents never got it for me as a Christmas or birthday gift. A few of my friends had it shoved up in the top of their closet or crammed under their beds or in the farthest reaches of a ten-foot tall bookcase. But, inevitably, whenever I asked if we could play they would say the pieces were missing or it wasn't fun or it was too hard to figure out.

So there I was, at the tender age of 43, face to face with Life, and there was nothing to stop me from buying it. Life was going to be mine at last!

I grabbed it off the shelf and proudly payed for it at the register, marched it out to my car and brought it home. Where it has sat on the chest at the foot of my bed, unopened and virtually ignored.

Until today.

There were four of us in the house this afternoon - my 17 year-old stepson and his girlfriend, my 11 year-old son and myself. I asked Joe if he wanted to play and pretty soon Natthan and Megan were saying they wanted to play, too. We assembled the game board, read the instructions and had a blast! I love this game!!!

At first I thought it was pretty convoluted, there were so many cards and money issues and stuff. But as we played, it really all came together and was very fun. We played twice in a row, even though the first game was interrupted by me having to go pick up the girls and dinner.

Just as I always suspected, I love Life!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Love, Sally Sunshine

Zachary came over and played cards with us a few days ago. It was so good to see him. He bought a new car and was proud to show it off. A 2007 Nissan 350 something-or-other special edition 6-speed. Red. Two-seater. Pretty cool.

Did I mention he's getting deployed in October for a year? Yeah.

I guess tomorrow I'll have to seriously start looking for a job.

You want fries with that?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The third day of the rest of my life

Well, I've slept and cried and eaten large quantities of complex carbohydrates. I've thought about things and realized things and slapped myself around a little bit. So I guess now it's time to get on with the show.

Last Sunday marked two years since Nathan's been gone. It occurred to me that two years passing means that I should be over it, healed. Dalt says he doesn't think a person ever gets over something like that. I don't know. Sometimes I'm fine and sometimes I'm not. I know where he is though, and I'll get to see him again. Mourning is for the living.

Time for another cup of coffee.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I'm back

So, yeah. I got fired today.

I threw myself so far into this job that I completely quit writing. Quit doing anything on the web, really, except check emails and look up quotes for the "thought for the day" to add at the end of my daily faxes to the hospitals.

And I got fired.

There was a force at work there I don't think I'll ever truly understand. I only know for certain that I did the best I could, and I did a good job.

I guess I'll be writing again, but it feels odd. We'll see what happens, won't we?