Saturday, March 8, 2014

I am not a lot

Here is a list of what I am NOT:

Im not a morning person.
Im not able to function without the sweet nectar of coffee.
Im not organized.
Im not into rabbit food or any of these fucking new age diets crap.
Im not thin.
Im not patient.
Im not a runner.
Im not typically safe for the general public's sensitivities.
Im not typical. Period.

Im also not thrilled about waking up and having to go to PT on the weekend before my 3rd mug of joe. Im fairly certain my therapist, Steve, came to this understanding when I stood infront of him receiving instructions. I was slightly hunched, a few degrees to the right, arms a la neanderthal, and eyes that were only open from the sheer force of raised eyebrows. In my workout get-up, I could of passed as an entrant in the local Zombie Run. As a zombie.

Jog in intervals on the treadmill he says.
"gnehhh..." I answer

He has the treadmill set up facing a window and I was so dazed by the sunlight I often forgot to change the speeds for the intervals.

Steve: Hows it going?
Me: Yes.
Steve: ...Does it feel ok?...
Me: Oh. Yea. Knee? Dunno...stiff. Hip..uff...
Steve:...ok. Well...we will talk when youre done...

Pre-Surgery physical restrictions, Surgery, Post surgery 6-month no-weight bearing restrictions and pain....All those suckers added weight and my hips and ass are gluttons. They rake up any extra calories around and store it away. This is evident in my need to pull my shirt down in the back every few strides. Id like to punish the hoarders but we all know im an amazing cook and I just cant buy into the Quinoa craze.

Steve is the kind of physical therapist that is used to athletes. Hes used to working with them and as far as I know, is one himself. not.
Yet and still I am set up to run plyometric drills, hoping from square to square on the ground on the tips of my toes and quick-stepping through the taped off 'ladder' on the ground. I remind myself to buy a TIGHTER workout bra. Im squatting on the flat side of a Bosu Ball which is the #1 most awkward squat I have YET to achieve.

Steve takes measurements. Lift your leg. Rotate left. Rotate right. Dont let me push your leg down. Now left. Now right. Strength, Range of motion, and flexibility measurements are jotted down as part of my re-evaluation today.

Steve: I rarely give out 5s. You have one 5 for quad strength. Most patients I receive, have not had hip or bone surgery. They come and go at a 3- or 3+ range. You have 4s. Congrats. You are technically at normal hip functionality.
Dont get too giddy. Watch that hip rotator. Its bad. And that ankle. Your 5k is no longer an if, but a when.

I am not entirely fixed.
I am not fully broken.

Growing up in Miami, 60 degrees was the dead of winter. A freeze came at 55 degrees. God forbid 50 ever showed its face in the Sunshine State. We will go to work and school hours before a Category 4 Hurrican graces our shores, loading up on booze and food for the traditional Hurrican Parties, but its a state of emergency if we can see our breath when we exhale. No one goes to school. No one goes to work. We could DIE out there!

I think it was 60 degrees most of this afternoon so naturally we went to the park.

Both girls brought their bikes, walked them to a bench, and left them there while they used the play ground.

Aeva: Momma!! Come get me!

Aeva is running fast towards a green rubberized hill on the playground. Its steep and you need momentum to run up its side. Shes halfway there.

I take off.

I look like that Zombie I mentioned, or maybe like Igor but screw that Im gonna win this race!
I make it to the top, we butt-scoot all the way down and Iris turns to me with two hands up.

"You did it mom.... High five!"

Im not fast or smooth.
Im not still sitting on the bench watching from a distance either.

Theres a trail in the park that weaves through a forested area and into a garden with more trails, a lake, and an atrium. Iris stays behind in the park with our friend Chris, and Aeva asks me to take her on the nature trail for an 'adventure'.

Aeva: Momma, I need to exercise my legs. Can I run? Will you run with me?

She takes off. Steve said no running outside because there was ice on the ground.
But its 60 degrees and I dont see ice on the trail.

We run for a few minutes, winding through the forest and dashing around other people on the trail. My canter is hobbled. My steps are shorter on the left and quick to shift to my right. Aeva picks the road when we come to fork and she tells us when to pause before resuming. We cover about 2 miles. Maybe more. Aeva names the geese we see. The two that are snapping at each other and honking angrily she names after herself and her sister. Pretty accurate if you ask me.

Aeva: I like running with you.
Me: I like running with you too.

Im not a runner.
Im not giving up yet.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fowl Name Play

"Momma, I saw a seagull at 'Ani's house today!"

Theres lots of snow on the ground and were far from a coast, but I dont want to ruin Aeva's story.
"Oh man!"

"...a seagull mom?.." Iris doesnt share my enthusiasm.

"Actually momma, it looked more like an eagle..."

"Now THATS a cool bird Aeva"

"Actually looked like a seagull AND an eagle!"

"Thats a pretty silly bird kiddo..."

"A seagull mixed with an eagle?! Aeva that would be an Ea-gull...wait no... a"

The irony of it escapes Aeva but Iris and I have a shared love for word play. Ive discovered that lately and Im grasping at it like a lifeline.

Recently Iris and Aeva had a meeting with a nice lady at the local court house. The lady is assigned to our case and has been looking into how the girls live with each parent. Officially, shes evaluating my ex and I. To the girls, shes talking about 'mommies and daddies', a popular subject for the blondies lately. A soreness for me.

Its no secret that Ive had practice being the hybrid mom-dad parent for a while. My ex is in the military and has been pretty much the girl's entire lives. There have been training periods, deployments, oversea unaccompanied assignments, unit events, and other things that meant momma was on double duty. The difference now is that its not temporary and there is no headquarters to confer with on wether small child should be allowed to keep her hippy hair tendencies, or if Iris would truly benefit from piano classes right now, or if she should have an augmented allowance, nor anyone to dutifully discuss how to handle the small child's amusing yet slightly worrisome take on scissors:

" not allowed my safety scissors anymore."
"Why?? wait...where??"
"At daddy's house...Cerberus...."
"Cerb? What did you do to Cerberus? Did you cut the dogs hair?!"
"No...I dont think so...I think it just...fell off...yeah. It fell off!"
"It fell off...the dog's hair FELL off??"

She stood by this. No matter what innocent excuse I tried to offer her in exchange for a confession....she STUCK by spontaneous hair expulsion on our old dog. It obvious that in her father's household the course of action was decided: Scissors were banned. What do I do in mine though? Who do I consult with? The incident cant even be talked about with him because we just dont communicate. Not right now anyhow.

Yet, I have an easy understanding with Aeva. She seeks to please her momma and will always, no matter how upset she gets at me for disciplining her, Aeva will come back to my lap seeking solace and cuddles. She had significantly less time in a mom AND dad household. Shes only ever really known the hybrid parent.

But Iris.
Although the fued in that child's heart and mind has been almost entirely invisible to the public eye, I've seen the struggle in her. Shes blamed me. Shes blamed him. Shes blamed both of us. Shes held herself entirely responsible. She comes to terms and then slips again. Ive watched her, wanting to comfort her but coming close has shut her down. Staying near by has made her resentful. There has been no way to bridge the gap because bridges were lost when her father and I split.

Iris has always been a Daddy's Girl. The first thing the court appointed evaluator told me when I entered her office after my children had privately spoken to her was:
There is no doubt that Iris is exactly her father's image as surely as Aeva is yours.
They look alike, speak alike, think alike and have so many common interests that I will admit...I have felt alienated from their connection since she was so very very little.

Ive been building bridges to Iris. Ive thrown out hand rails and boards for her to use. Ive learned to teach her my kitchen craft in baking as her father has taught her how to cook. We've taken up needle and thread. Word play. Harry Potter. TEXTING.  We've discussed social studies via text when we cant be together and Ive found that we understand ourselves best in written words.

This hybrid parent stuff, its difficult. Its taxing. Mothers are natural nurturers, fathers are discipliners. Hitting a mid-point between both is nearly impossible most days.

The final court dates are rapidly approaching and soon everything will be finalized. It gives me a deep ache I worry will never be eased.

I dont miss being married. The majority of the marraige was trouble and heartache for both. I dont miss the unhappiness.
I miss the parenting. I miss being able to be just mom, even if I had to wait 12 months for a deployment to come to an end. I miss sharing the mutual responsibility of the children that are equally belonging to both of us. I miss knowing that the other person loves the child truly too.

Now its me, late at night, talking to myself:

Well, she cut the dogs hair. No doubt about it. I should take away scissor.
NO. Taking them away only enforces the taboo and hightens the obsession.
But is it worth risking her chopping off her hair, or her sisters hair...or ours??!
Shut up. Youre missing the big picture. Scissors stay.

Its me watching Iris at her birthday party:

Can you believe it? 10 years...
To think we nearly lost her.
Yes but she survived and those 2 weeks of hell in NICU are well behind us.
Now we worry more about training bras.
Really?! Training bras? Thats what you worry about?
Well its better than boys.
WTF, shes TEN! Shes into Harry Potter! Shell be single a long while so long as she remains this much a nerd!
Youre right.....Im redoing her wardrobe a la Hogwarts stat.

Its me deciding wether I should push for Kindergarten testing for Aeva a year early. Its me deciding wether or not to pull Iris from a school with a bullying issue.

While being a hybrid is tiresome, I think I fear bringing someone else in to my monologues in parenting more than the exhaustion from doing it alone. What if he doesnt love them like I do? Of course he WONT, but what if he doesnt get close at all? What if relationship wise were a match, but hes not a strong parenting match. What then?

Its late and now Im having this monologue with the computer screen and keys I can see when I squint (my contacts are dry). The amount of grammatical and spelling errors are sure to be high but Im way too fucking tired to care today. Ive been a Momdy and a Dadmy something fierce lately and I guess much like Aeva's genetically confused fowl, it doesnt much matter how I divvy it up as long as I can still make it fly right?

Damn skippy.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Loose ends

I wrote this years ago in the middle of an anguished time in life full of fear of being forgotten. 
I've not been shy about my biggest fear in a long long time. Why hide it? Secrets...they seem especially sweet to the evil and perverse. They find it exquisite to lord it over you: 'see? I've something no one knows. I've cause to have you hide. To have you run.'
But no secrets stay secret for ever. I ousted mine years ago as a peace offering to life. As a plea to others. 
"See here! This is my fear. I beg of you.. Do not bring it against me. "
I fear abandonment.
Being left so swiftly and without a speck of regard. This act of purposely forgetting someone because they meant nothing. 
Severing ties that bind. 
I wrote this then and yet it still hovers over me. So I beseech anew: do not hold this blade over my neck...

Loose Ends 
I dont think you can remember me
Feels like its been ages
but counting back...weve hardly been apart
what happened way back when, can you tell me what started it all?
Ive loose ends i want to laces on a shoe
because they keep on tripping me as i walk this life
catching a foot forward by the foot thats on the back
Ive tried so hard to reach down to them
those white strings of lies 
and every time i go for them...i loose my sight and fall
Im laying here now, on the pavement, on the ground
The laces seem so far from me
I wonder if theyll be found
Somewhere far along the length of me...scars now, scars..
Resting my cheek on the gravel i stretch my arms out to the front
Dont think im reaching forward
I want to be helped up
This time its not so easy to dust the old knees off
The dirt is all over me, seething painful in my mouth
And still i think of yesturday
White lines white lace white lies
A color so easy tarnished
Except in the mind
I cant look to them, im sure i could curl up and glance
To think that they may still be unraveled
Far better that than I
looking back to see the ends shear cut off
nothing left of those strands
for me to tie back up