Escape


Martinis are yummy. I didn’t figure that out until I was in my 40’s. I’m not talking about the fru fru fruit flavored ones either. I like ‘em dirty with some extra olives. I’ve been a fan of olives since I was a wee one. Whenever my parents would entertain, I would steal all the olives, pull out the pimento and stick the olives on all of my fingers. I remember being really sad when my fingers were too big to do that any more. It was one of those things I loved to do as a kid. Not being able to put olives on my fingers was one of those weird epiphanies that I was no longer a kid. 2016 has been another epiphany that I wasn’t a kid anymore.

2016 has been a rough year so far. There haven’t been many opportunities for escape. Mostly it’s been a lot of dodging the shit reality has flung at me, at my family. Sometimes I just feel like I’ve been sucker-punched in the face. Over and over. And I can’t seem to get out of the way of the fist. So I’m drinking martinis tonight. I can’t handle getting snockered any more; so I’m just getting a “cool breeze” kind of feeling tonight. I believe I deserve it.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day; and my anniversary. 11 years. We’ve been together for almost 16, but 11 years ago tomorrow I hid my crazy long enough to get him to say “I do”. So far, I don’t think he regrets it. chuckle suckaaaa. Just kidding. We’re a pretty good match. Not quite polar opposites, but we definitely bring different things to the table. And we balance each other out pretty nicely. I’m used to him having to be the sane and balanced one. This year it’s been my turn. For reasons I’m not ready to share, I’ve had to be the rock for a change. And it’s been difficult. He’s needed me to be the one to hold things together. I don’t like being that one, I’ll be honest. But I love him more than my comfort zone. And marriage is about shifting the burden when necessary.

Unsteady by X Ambassadors is a good theme song for us right now. Luckily we have taken turns being the unsteady one. Both of us have managed to hold on enough for the other, and somehow our family has kept breathing. But we have had little to no time for escape. And everyone deserves a little escape now and then. It just hasn’t been our time. Beyond the reasons I’m not ready to share, we have a 7-year-old recently diagnosed with ADHD, we each have our mothers living with us, I have a job I love with a commute I detest, and he has a full-time school schedule that leaves time for pretty much nothing else. And we have this black cloud hanging over us, that just won’t go away fast enough. I really will share the details soon enough, just can’t yet.

So tonight we had a pseudo “date-night”/mother’s day/anniversary night. We needed to get something for our mothers, he needed something to eat, and I just needed some alcohol. And I’m a hormonal mess right now. TMI alert: I’m 45 and shit happens to women at this age. I skipped a period last month, but my body likes to pretend and still go through the motions. So I get at least 2 weeks of feeling all the misery, followed by nothing. And this month I get the actual results, but I also get double the hormonal mood swings. At least that’s how it feels. I mean, I’m crying at the dumbest shit. And I’m crying at the not so dumbest shit. I’m just a mess.

Tonight after dinner we went to the store to let our little buzzsaw pick out flowers for his grandmothers. Which was so cute. I  really was trying to let him figure it out on his own; I wanted to see what he would pick without our influence. We did some guiding. We did have to explain that if he got a bouquet of roses for one, he couldn’t very well get 2 Gerber daisies for the other. Some other shoppers backed us up and verbalized that he was learning young that it can be complicated buying gifts for women. In the end I think he picked out some pretty good flowers for his Gree and GiGi. And they were his own choices. Which makes them perfect no matter what he chose.

As we were finishing up our shopping, we were walking through the wine section and came across a wine that we only get on special occasions. Grigirch Hills. We did the Napa Wine Train experience when we lived in Petaluma CA, and that was the winery that we toured. I love that wine. It’s an amazing wine, but it’s even more amazing memories. Bdawg gets me a bottle of their chardonnay every once and awhile. Anyway, I happened to mention to my little buzzsaw that there was a wine named after him and he thought that was pretty cool.

And then he started talking about the mommy he had before me and maybe that’s why she named him the name he has. And then he asked if I picked his name. And I told him that yes, daddy and I picked his name. And then, I couldn’t stop myself, I really couldn’t even though I knew it was probably the wrong way to handle the situation. I just didn’t know what to do. I grabbed his hand and I leaned in close to his ear and I said “ I know you came out of another woman’s tummy, but I’m your mommy, I’m the only mommy you have had.”

I know he wasn’t trying to hurt me. I know he is just now starting to put stuff together and understanding what adopted means. He is just processing things. I really don’t want to put my hang ups on him. I want him to be okay with who he is. I want him to be okay with the fact that families are formed in so many different ways. And I want him to be okay with the fact that he didn’t come from my tummy.

Oh my God it hurts. It’s the night before Mother’s Day. Maybe it’s the martinis. But I don’t usually think about these things. I spent the first few years being his mother just trying to make it no big thing with everyone. But now he is old enough to start processing all of this. And just when I have gotten to a place where I don’t think about it, just when I’m getting secure in being his mommy, he starts to have self-awareness. He starts to have thoughts all his own. He starts to have questions, and ideas, and observations.

We can’t give him brothers and sisters. But he has a brother and sisters. He has blood relatives, and I thought I knew how to deal with how to explain how they fit into his life. But I have no bloody clue how to do that. How do I make him understand what a “mommy” is without diminishing her importance or mine? How do I explain her without making her sound awful? How do I explain me without diminishing my place as mommy? How do I make these questions unimportant without diminishing their importance in relation to who he is, where he came from, and how we are a family? I think I just realized that these are questions I am going to have for a very long time.

In the middle of typing all of this, my little buzzsaw came to get me for night-night time. Nothing floors me more than sitting next to him while he falls asleep, and grabs my arm to hold on to while he begins his soft little snoring. I am so his mommy. Regardless of his questions or observations. I’m the one who kisses his booboos. I’m the one who nags him into appropriate behavior. I’m the one who knows his mood swings and the reasons behind them. I AM his mommy. No matter the questions. No matter the observations.

I am all over the place with this post. I don’t really care though. Escape is theme, because I have none. Realistically none of us really have escape. I can sit out on my dark porch, turn on the tunes, and relish my cigarettes, but I don’t get to escape anymore than anyone else. We all have shit. We all have stuff we can vent about, we all have stuff we can’t vent about; we all have that place we go in our heads where reality doesn’t exist, even for a few moments. It’s probably the martinis talking. But I would really love to be on a beach somewhere just chilling, drinking martinis, feeling the perfect breeze, watching the perfectly colored water, with no other worry than having to move myself to the cabana 50 feet away to get the perfect beachside massage.

Like I said earlier, 2016 has been a rough year. It has challenged me in ways that I never imagined possible. I am so ready for the challenges to be over. And on the eve of my 11th anniversary, I begrudgingly have to admit these challenges have shown me just how many blessings I have. I have parents who really love me. They may not always understand me or agree with me, but they love and support me the way that parents should love and support their children. I have a son and I am his mommy. He may not have come from my “tummy”, but he is my son and I AM his mommy. I have a job that I truly love, and coworkers that I genuinely like and enjoy working with every day. I have financial security. I have a home that is mine, regardless of my ability to keep it clean. I have friends that I can lean on regardless of how crazy and irrational I can be. And I have an amazing man to walk beside as I navigate this outrageous path we all call life.

The trials and challenges that have been front and center for the last 5 months, if they have to be part of my life, and apparently they do, then I am glad that he is the one I am walking beside through them, and because of them. When I imagine my escape, my beach with endless martinis, he is the one lying next to me. We never know what life is going to throw at us; we never know the obstacles that will block our paths. We never know when we have to be the strong ones, and we never know what is going to challenge our faith in ourselves or those that we love. But if we are able to take the shit life lobs at us and turn it into something positive, that’s a pretty good thing. That’s a pretty good escape.

So I raise my martini glass to my amazing husband, my partner, my lover, my best friend. I would never wish the last 5 months on anyone, but I am so very proud of us, I am so very proud of you, and the strength we have both shown. At some point in the future we will be able to look back and see the positive. We will be able to see how we have held each other up, we will be able to see how in our very lowest moments, the brightness light was us. And that is what marriage is; marriage is the strength when you think you don’t have it; marriage is the light when you think you are blind and can see nothing; marriage is the escape when you think escape isn’t possible. Marriage is the ultimate beach with endless martinis.

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