the home that wasn’t

In exactly one week, we head off to a whole new life…a new world to us, new environment, new culture, new (to us) house…..everything new and different!!

I am scared, excited, fearful, exhilarated, anxious, and sad…  I see the sun peeking up as I write and I think of the thousands of sun rises and sunsets which have encroached upon this world for me…  I’ve had the happiest sunsets I ever thought possible right here in this little frustrating town.  I’ve had the absolutely most phenomenal sunrises here as well.  I can say with complete candor, I’ve had experiences and moments here which were the very stuff that dreams are made of…the very fiber of fairy tales come to life.  I have made some unbelievably wonderful friends and known some interesting people.  I’ve laughed till my stomach hurt for days following and my cheeks felt like they had done strenuous Pilates.  I’ve cried more tears than I knew I had in me.  Here, my heart has been so full of love I thought it would burst and so broken, I thought I would die.  I’ve spent days on the beach about which I could have written novels, both comedic and romantic.  I’ve met pilots traveling through, partied with hundreds of people inside military planes.  I’ve gone swimming by moonlight, laughing through the waves.  I’ve skipped in the rain and laughed in the snow. I’ve sat out and I’ve danced.  I’ve lived in ten different houses here, all with unique people and experiences.  I’ve been single here.  I’ve been married here.  I’ve been a mother here and responsibility free.  I had my first real boyfriend here and my first grown-up love.  I’ve learned lessons I never even imagined as a child.  I’ve grown, I’ve stagnated, I’ve flown free as a butterfly and I’ve been imprisoned like a criminal.

I’ve played house and wife, mother and employee.  I’ve played conservative party-girl, lost hippie child, and unemployed beach bum.  When I moved away for college and a few years later my world crashed, I ran here.  This has been the only home (“base”) I’ve ever known.  The only place I’ve been able to return to (come “home” to)in the whole world  no matter what happened.  As much as I’ve often felt out-of-place here, out of sorts, and like an “outsider”, over the years, I’ve become this place; both the things I love here and the things I don’t.  This place is a part of me…a huge and irrevocable piece of my growth and my essence.  I will carry people and memories, lessons and experiences from here as though it’s part of my genetic DNA.  In spite of the fact that I did not “grow up” here, I very much did grow up here in so very many ways.  The people and things I’ve done and known here have shaped my soul in a good ways and bad.  The sand from the beaches has become embedded in my skin forever.  The memories rooted in my soul, never to be un-done, even if someday forgotten.  I carry every person, every moment, every encounter, every drop of beach water, every crashing wave, every love, every hurt, every tear, and every laugh with me for the rest of my days.   I’ve been hated here, loved here, nurtured and abused here on every imaginable and unimaginable level.  I’ve wildly dreamed of escaping this hell-hole and I’ve ached to return to its embracing shores…

I’ve never known a “home”, a home base, a place to run to…never.  And yet, I knew that here; the home of a place to go when I was lost and scared in the world (my dad).  The home where I felt I was always supposed to be, the place I walked into and realized I had been holding my breath for so many years, I didn’t realize how beautiful breathing could be (Dave).

This has been the only home I’ve ever known by any definition or connotation of the word “home”.   I am scared to the pit of my soul to leave here…and yet I’m scared equally to stay.  I fear I can never come “home” again, in the way that this is now my home.  I’m a mother and a college graduate and I wasn’t even raised here, and yet somehow it almost feels like I’m leaving the nest for the very first time.  I feel like a high school graduate heading off into the world on my own into the far and unknown beyond.

What will be here when I next return to visit, to live, to escape, to…????  What feelings will remain?  How will I be changed?  Nothing will ever stay the same as it is now and has been.

Life is scary.  Change is inevitable.  This was never my home…and yet strangely it’s also been the only home I’ve ever known.

ponderings

I know he loves me.  We couldn’t have come through four years any other way.  Everything started to transform shortly before I moved and then kept moving along a positive, growing path after the move.  So many more positives than I ever expected!  And I’ve been so grateful for each and every positive movement/change.

And now, I have no idea what on earth is happening!  I sense certain things, but I can’t tell the difference between intuition, knowledge, fear, and faith any more.  I’m not grounded enough to discern among them.  I feel such a positive wave of change that I can’t deny…  The insane drunken visits stopped.  Concern and consideration was demonstrated.  He even allowed little bits of his humanity show to me as though he was slowly developing trust for me again.  We reached a new level.  I didn’t understand all of what it meant, but it was clearly an entirely new level.  I didn’t need to understand anything further.

Last Thursday/Friday was incredible!  Soft and sweet; slow and intentional…  Lots of tiny little considerations which were lost for so long.   Of course then, Wednesday/Thursday was not so much.  Drastic polar opposites of direction…  Yet our time was so wonderful, how could I belittle that in any way?  How can I allow myself to qualify such a thing?  After me, he was unable to be with anyone else.  Now, he can do it all.  He can be with someone else and then shower me with affection and consideration at the same time.  She can’t have a powerful position really then…  He doesn’t run from me or push me away.  I’m not running to him or at him though either.  Is that why?  Well, Thursday I did and it was wonderful.  The sober sensitivity was back.  It’s been coming back.  Some sort of shift in his drinking habits that I haven’t figured out, but it seemed very positive.   Shifting back to the other though I think.  A crying shame, but it is what it is.  Or I can hope it isn’t, but all signs point to yes it is.

I really do want him to be happy.  I want to protect him, but I’m learning to let go of that and just let him go through whatever he’s headed towarrd…just praying for his ultimate safety and praying that it leads to happiness for him.

He loves me.  That will never change.  Don’t know what this other with the others is.  Don’t really have to know.  He loves me.  He’s finding his way the best he knows how today and I’m proud of his positive steps.  If he steps back a bit, then that’s part of what needs to happen.  I don’t hate her.  She isn’t a very good person and I’m afraid of the kind of person she is and the position he’s in.  She is very selfish and miserable.  He has become very selfish as well too though…  Maybe that will work?  Or maybe she’ll bring out the unselfish part of him as I did and that will be their balance?  Or vice versa? 

I believe he knows right where his happiness is and if he has to thrash about for awhile to prove that to himself, then  that’s what he has to do.  I will just pray for minimal damage to them both.  No one else needs to get hurt in this.

Christmas gift?  I wish I could get him something anonymously, but he always knows.  The fact that I can’t makes me think I shouldn’t get him anything at all, but I want to get something.  Wish I could come up with some creative way to remain anonymous even to him…

Oh well, I’ll do what’s best and what will be… will be.

Transformation

My beautiful, loving, extraordinary oldest daughter started middle school Tuesday.  By day 3 of middle school, I’m dealing with a completely different child!  I’ve heard of this instant transformation from other parents and in some ways, I feel I’ve prepared myself for this as best I can.  Yet, nothing could have prepared me for last night. 

She wanted to go to the high school football game because a few of her fellow 6th grade friends were going.  I thought it would be fine as long as I attended along with her, but my younger daughter and I really did not want to go.  I said next time when I’ll go with you, you can go.  She had a melt down!  She wasn’t disrespectful directly to me, but she cried in the car and then flung herself in her bedroom as soon as we got home.  The entire neighborhood probably could hear her wailing at the injustice of it all!  She told me that “everyone” in the 6th grade would be talking about the game on Monday and when they asked her if she went, she would have to say, “No, my mom wouldn’t let me go!”    This,  spoken with absolute disgust of course.  Suddenly the “best momma in the whole world” of only a few days ago was transformed into the worst mother in the 6th grade; a fate worse than death apparently.

And although this was miraculously worked out this time by a friend who offered to take her to the game and stay there for its duration, I was struck hard in the gut by the reality of my situation, feeling as though the wind had been knocked out of me upon the realization that she is suddenly on her way off and there’s nothing I can do but sit and watch her go…  Watch her enter into the world where her friends are the most important thing in her life; where being popular with everyone is the goal; where I’m only going to again be “the best momma ever” if I compromise my rules and boundaries.

I don’t know what to do except call her father across the country in Nevada after she leaves to discuss my fears and sadly inform him that our daughter is no longer the girl we’ve known and loved for the past 11 years.  He, of course, has some practical suggestions as how to possibly “handle” this transformation and I am grateful for his practical nature, but still feel scared out of my mind that for all intents and purposes, I am in this battle alone.  He is a fantastic father to our children and a wonderfully generous provider so I’m much more fortunate than most.  Yet, for all of that, the nature of our situation, requires that I alone take on every upcoming battle we have ahead of us.

And I’m mourning this sudden loss.  I picture my little baby with her soft baby-curls flowing all around her head like a halo, running to me as fast as her short chunky little legs could carry her and shrieking, “Mamma, I wanna hold yoooooooooou!”, insisting I tuck her in at night because she “can’t fall asleep” if I don’t, begging me to read “that story again”, falling down and needing me to kiss her boo-boo bye-bye…  My mind runs through every precious beautiful loving thing we’ve shared and deeply regrets every single time I was “too busy” or too preoccupied to give her my full attention or play whatever little girl game she wanted me to play right that moment.  Of course, I was going to lose her eventually anyway, right?  Even if I had been there every moment for every single thing she ever wanted me for, she was still going to get to this place of complete separation and re-prioritization.

Oh, I feel so very unprepared and so utterly alone in this stage before the perpetual heart-breaking battles begin!  I love her so much and I’m so very afraid for what’s to come.