Sunday, May 29, 2011

Four years.

Today I celebrate four years of continuous sobriety. 

When I decided that enough was enough, I can't say.  It was a decision I came to over a long period of time.  It wasn't something that just hit me.  I knew for years that my drinking was a problem.  I lived among alcoholics.  I had surrounded myself with friends who had drinking habits like mine.  I watched how alcohol and drugs could get the better of people. Kill good people.  Destroy families.

I also had a tremendous amount of fun while drinking.  I cannot believe some of the experiences I have had, mostly good, while drinking.  I can never turn my back on, or forget all the funny, awesome times I had while drinking.  Most of my teen years and all except the last four of my adult years were under the influence.  Forgetting those good times would wipe out more than half my life.  

I've had a few bad things happen.  I got a DUI.  Drinking exacerbated my depression, and had an impact on my ADHD.  When you have impulsivity issues and you mix them with alcohol?  Yeah, some poor choices.  REALLY poor choices.  But choices that didn't leave me destitute, without friends, or family. In some regards, my story is simple, common among those that I have met in meetings.  My "low" wasn't the low that many people associate with alcoholics.  Among other alcoholics I am "normal", something I have never felt in any other group I have belonged to.

May 28th, 2007 wasn't supposed to be the last drink I ever took.  No, it should have been a few months before that.  Back in February 2007 I was told my liver was being stressed.  But I already knew that, because in 2002, the last Navy physical I had revealed my liver enzymes were "elevated".  I was worried then, but worry gave way to so many other emotions.  Emotions I wasn't equipped to handle without my magic elixir.  It made me smarter, funnier, and took the edge off of social situations.  It also calmed some of my (as of then undiagnosed) hyperactivity.  When I drank, I could be still.  My anxiety would float away for awhile.  But in the morning my self-loathing, fear, and doubt about everything I did would come creeping back.  When you have something readily available that makes those feelings go away, even for a little bit, why the hell would you give it up? 

So on that day in 2007 when my endocrinologist told me you either quit drinking or die way before your time, I wasn't shocked.  It wasn't a big "A HA!!" moment.  It was nearly paralyzing fear and resignation.  As I got on the elevator to go home, THAT was when the shock set in.  The irrational insanity that is alcoholism led me to this thought:  "What the fuck am I going to do on vacations from now on???!!!!"

It's so petty and stupid.  THAT was the first thing I thought of?  But those stupid questions didn't stop there.  No, my mind wandered to all the things I could no longer do that involved alcohol.  Social life?  Gone.  Marriage?  Thought that was a goner too.  Nothing in my life was going to be the same, of that I was sure.  By the time I left the building I was trembling, but knew in my heart it's what I had to do.  And not merely because my doctor had told me "kiddo, you are killing yourself."  No, in my head I had been killing myself for years, it's just now my body was catching up.

So from February to May 16th I was white knuckling my sobriety.  Hanging on for dear life, but scared shitless.  Then on the 17th Rob and I celebrated our first year of marriage.  We went out for crabs.  "Maybe I can just have one" crept up on me, because alcoholism is nothing if not cunning, baffling, and powerful.  So I had a beer with lunch.  Then had a few more drinks that day, we split a bottle of wine at dinner...and we didn't even finish it.  For the next several weeks I drank.  I cannot even remember if I eased back into it, but I know on May 28th I was drunk as all get out and high as a kite from smoking some weed.  We were at a friend's house, on the back porch.  I was sitting on a cooler, or something elevated enough that when I fell forward it was some distance to the ground.  And before I made it too the ground, I managed to get my hands in front of me to break the fall but not before I clipped my engagement ring on the grill right in front of me.  It drove the diamond back into my finger.  To this day I have a scar on my wedding finger from that fall.  Normally at that point of the night, and how hard we had been drinking I would have been in a blackout.  Somehow I was clearheaded enough to realize I was done.  DONE done. 

Last night I was at that same friend's house, celebrating another Memorial Day.  My husband was coming home from a week-long business trip and was going to meet me at the party.  I was tired, hungry, and just mentally done from a long week of chasing Cam with no help.  It hit me like a ton of bricks...I was right here, on this very porch when I decided I was really done.  The tension and the anxiety of the past week floated away as I took stock of how my life had changed.  That my biggest fear last night was Cam falling down the porch steps...not that I would be the one falling down that night.

In the last four years life hasn't been all rosy (with the exception of Cam).  My first year of sobriety was rough on my marriage, and we didn't think we were going to make it.  But we did and decided to add to our family.  Infertility and IVF gave us a pause.  My Dad died.  I was laid off a week after I had gotten the best review of my career, while my Dad lay dying in the hospital.  Miscarriages.  We decided to adopt and I went back to school.  We got our Cam!  My Mom had a reoccurance of breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy....and I was the primary care giver.  Finances are tight.  Mom needs a hip replacement, and I am constantly worried about her. 

In some of those days my mind flitted to a softer, gentler laced with a drink...just to take the edge off.  To shed my anxiety and be unburdened with reality and responsibility.  It was a split second of irrational romance, my romance of the power of the drink.  In the next split second my mind would take me to a particularly ugly memory...and the desire for a drink would vanish.  Just like that.  I don't believe in luck.  I don't believe that I am special.  I do know that for whatever reason, I am able to stay sober one day at a time.  Which is why for the last seven minutes of this day, the 29th, I will stay sober.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A perfect storm.

It's the whining. The whining is going to be the death of me. Or I will succumb to a broken neck at the bottom of a flight of stairs, when I try to carry too much stuff at once. I bet both will happen at the same time.  
 Cam has two teeth coming in, bringing her set up to 14 (I think).  Her daddy is away on business.  "15 months is just so haaaaaardddddd."  At least that is what I imagine Cam would say if she would just speak already.  She's been an angry little beast of a baby/child the last few days.  And I am worn.  The.  Fuck.  OUT.
There have been only a few rare thoughts of going back to drinking since I quit (almost!!!) four years ago.  I had one of those moments yesterday as Cam caterwauled through Gymboree and then the entire length of our mall.  I finally was THAT mother that was getting the stink eye from passersby and shoppers.  I was one minute into my reverie of sale goods ($12.99 or UNDER for everything in the store!!!) that Cam let lose the first shot across my bough.  A whine.  Then louder.  Then she went from 2 to 100 in a split second, culminating in a thrash (while strapped into her stroller) that lit my fuse FAST.  
I bent down to give her a snack.  Food always works.  Yup, I use food to keep my kid quiet, because it works.  Except this time it didn't.  I then rummaged through my bag to find the really good snacks...the yogurt melts.  She literally kicked them out of my hand, and she meant to do it.  I unstrapped her while I hissed "this is bullshit Campbell...stop it!" 
Okay, not mother of the year material.  Did I mention that my kid who used to sleep for 14+ hours a night and goes to bed without a peep is now refusing sleep and waking EARLY?  So early I am not even awake, and have to endure a shower while she's in the bathroom throwing things at me and screaming?  No?  Okay then, the hissing is was far better than what my malevolent heart wanted to do. 
I figured out that what she wanted?  All she wanted?  Was to be held.  Sweet, right?  Right.  If she didn't keep lunging for the floor, but arching/screaming/hitting/kicking when I attempt to give her what she wants.  The lump of a sales lady kept cutting her eyes at me, so I gathered the two items I had time to size and went to pay.  Another round of torture for Cam, as I pulled out my wallet and refused to hand my credit cards and cash over to her.  Something we go through every time we shop.  And we shop a lot.  Except this time she pulled an honest-to-dog tantrum right there in the store.  Laid on the ground and started shrieking.  I had to put her down, because the BITCH sales lady sees me struggling mightily, and says snidely "you need to sign the little box so I can finish THIS".  SAY WHAT???  She just saw that I had no compunction about cussing at my toddler daughter, did she think I would let that pass?
"Excuse ME?"  Standing fully erect, not even fooling with the kid on the floor any more, I must have had that "I fucking dare you."  look on my face, because even Cam fell silent.
"um....could you please sign...."   
I snatched the pen thingy and stabbed at the computer gizmo, not taking my eyes off her.  And then I said it:  
"Do you have children?"
long pause........"no."  Submission.
I got my bag of fantastically reduced goods, picked Cam up off the floor, and dragged my empty except mother's-lode-of crap stroller out into the mall proper.  Where Cam decided Mama wasn't really that stressed, so picked back up where she left off.  Because I parked in a nice shady garage at the complete opposite end of the mall, everyone within that mall heard my child scream as if lit on fire.  The whole way there.
Soon as we got to the car, I unstrapped her and picked her up, it got very quiet.  Within the same breath as screaming she started laughing and babbling and pointing and clapping.  I moved to put her in her car seat, and the third verse was the same as the first.  At that point, I loaded up all the gear and turned the car on to get the AC roaring.  I then shut all the doors and stood outside and counted over 100.  Which is when the urge for a drink hit.
Thankfully it left just as quickly as it came.  But when my mother asked if Cam and I would like to join her and one of her friends for dinner last night I jumped at the chance.  When she said "we drink wine...."  I had to mull that one over.  Normally I would have said "no thanks" right away.  I ended up saying "no thanks", it just took a bit longer.
And as if the universe really HATES me, as I write this, I look over and there is my baby, on the monitor.  Screaming her fucking head off.  Thanks for that 45 minute nap, Cam. 
Oh, and Rob says he's only on this business trip to look pretty.  Meaning he's bored, and has nothing to do.  No real work.  I want to slap him.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

No, my pain is worse than YOURS.

Once upon a time I was a traveler.  I remember my first flight, but have no idea how old I was.  Had to have been under the age of five.  I remember because it was really stormy weather (plane bounced all over the place and lightening!), and my sister (9 years older) squealed, sobbed, and cried the entire way.  It didn't dampen my spirit for flying, at all.  Next time I flew I was 15.  My Dad had a business trip to Vancouver, BC and decided I could be his travel companion.  It was fantastic.  The city was beyond awesome, but the flying was the shiz-nit.  Had I been able to fly everywhere I went, I would have.  And I do mean everywhere.  Flying meant efficiency, even as a teen it was something I highly prized.

After that trip to Vancouver, game was ON.  I flew somewhere every year (at least once a year, many times it was more than that) after that.  I flew to visit colleges.  I flew to Europe.  I flew home from college.  Hell, I flew out to Boot Camp when I joined the Navy.  After I joined the Navy, I took the Navy Flight Test to see if I could make it into flight school.  Passed with flying colors (pun intended).  Unfortunately, my path to becoming a pilot in the Navy was derailed by horrific vision and a penchant for pissing off sexist superiors.

Still, flight makes my heart skip a beat.  In a good way.  Just being near an airport makes me happy.  For my birthday last year, Rob surprised me with a flight lesson.  Best.  Gift.  Ever.  It was an amazing day, perfect for flying.  I felt like a little kid, the excitement the lasted for days.  Getting a pilot's license is on my bucket list.  Owning an airplane is on my list after winning the lottery. 

Today I had to drive Rob to the airport.  His company tapped him to fly out to Minneapolis last minute, for a week.  I was insanely jealous.  I mean, come on....there are no business trips for SAHMs.  When I started to think about why I was so jealous, it was because the son-of-a-bitch gets to go to the airport and fly away!  Then he told me he has to go back to Minneapolis in August, and Cam and I could go with.  Happy again.

As we approached the airport it occurred to me that I had not been to the airport in ......years.  Actual years.  My last trip was in November of 2009.  It was an impromptu trip to Grand Cayman (yes, you can start the pity party without me, I know.) with my favorite cousin.  Her hubby had to drop out last minute, so I got to fill in.  The place is absolutely fucking gorgeous.  I could write a whole blog about how awesome Grand Cayman is, but that's for another day.  When I got over the shock that I hadn't flown in that long, Rob had to make me feel like an even bigger asshole by saying he hadn't been on a plane since our trip to Hawaii...three years ago.  Okay, he wins the "poor pitiful me" contest.

I pull up to the Southwest drop zone, and we unload.  As I kiss him goodbye I earnestly say "we haven't been apart for more than two nights...EVER."  He looks at me, sighs, and says "Um, you went to GRAND CAYMAN...remember???" 

Oh yeah.  So I guess my just desserts are that he got to fly off to awesome (?) Minneapolis, and I got stuck making the loop around the airport.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A new chapter.

A month or so ago Rob and I attended an informational session on foster care.  I have had the itch to do this for many years, and we are finally in a place where we can move forward on this dream.  We've had the application packet but had to wait on sending it in because we needed to have physicals done on all of us.  Cam's was the last one, and done yesterday.  I made copies of everything last night, got out an envelope and started to address it to our local DCFS office.

It was then that my tendency to be a tad bit OCD came out.  I was completely and utterly sure that the postal service would fuck up the delivery of our application.  I was also convinced that if I didn't personally hand my application to a live body, our application would end up in bureaucracy's Bermuda Triangle.  So I woke up this morning, put the application on top of my keys and went about my mad dash to get Cam ready to go to her Grandparent's house for the morning.  I am barreling down the road when I realize I left that fucking application on the counter.  My real-live ADHD screwed me again. 

Came home put the envelope with my keys, phone, purse, AND shoes.  It occurred to me I should call and make sure I could drop it off in person.  Got the okay, so when I picked Cam up from Grandma's we headed straight to DCFS.  Soon as we went in the door of that place my super-anal-retentiveness antenna started twitching.  The lady behind the desk barely said "Huh?" as I stood there with my application.  Told her I was dropping off said application.  "Who's your worker?"  What I wanted to say was "How the fuck should I know lady, I AM APPLYING to get that privilege".  Instead I said "we don't have one?  We only attended the inform.-"  when she cut me off and snatched the packet.  "I'll make sure she gets it."  As she dropped it on a stack of other papers. 

I stood there staring at her for a few moments.  Long enough for her to start staring back.  I pussed out and left.  What I wanted to do was ask for a receipt.  Having served in the Navy, and repeatedly seen what low-level bureaucrats can do with paperwork, my confidence is very low.  Odd that I never felt this way when dealing with our adoption agency. 

So.  A new chapter in our lives may be opening.  It's a start.  Exciting and scary at the same time. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nothing says Happy 5th Anniversary like a chest full of vomit.

Which is how Cam greeted me this morning.  Rob worked from home and let me sleep in.  When he brought a smiling Cam to me, she jumped right in and started her normal bounce.  Then she got really snuggly.  Not like my Campbell.  At all.  After ten minutes laying there drinking it up, we got up to get her changed. 

And then she barfed all down the front of me.  It smelled like Parmesan cheese.  "What the fuck did you feed her for breakfast?!?!?!"

She then became the most pitiful baby I have ever seen.  So unaccustomed to vomiting, Cam kept looking at me with this confused little face.  You see, at 15 months this was the first time Cam has ever been sick.  And we don't hide her away like hermits, I fully let her lick and rub all sorts of germy surfaces just so her immune system will be strong like bull.  I am not prone to panicking, so I didn't call the doctor right away.  I asked the friendly folks of a certain forum what to do.  I ended up calling the doc.  Below is a pic of Cam I snapped from the briefest of moments she let me put her down.  The Zelda hopped up on the sofa and woke her up.  Zelda is lucky to be alive tonight.

Not so much a fan of the emergency visit.  Different doctor, and an asshole nurse.  Sure, have me come in holding my sweating, limp, whiny baby, then rush out of the room three times because you also left other patients in the lurch.  My favorite was the second time: the doc came in to see why she hadn't weighed the baby in the next room.  Why don't you pick that baby up and weigh her your fucking self dude?!  So as my kid sits naked except her diaper, you know, with the goddamned chills, you keep us waiting for another 20 minutes to give me a dose of Motrin.

The doc finally comes in and takes so long listening for her heart, in five different spots on her body, that I start to have a full-on conniption fit in my head.  When he asked to look at Cam's finger tips, I nearly fell over.  He looks at my blanched face and says "oh, sorry.  It's nothing."  After checking her ears and mouth (all clear) he starts saying it's probably a bug.  Only let her have an ounce and a half of water every hour.  He then leaves.

I got better advice and more insight from the internet, before I took her in.

We get home, she won't go to her father so I can change laundry over or get dinner ready.  20 minutes later she is whining and thrashing on my lap.  Get her a piece of banana.  She's done in less than a second and starts signing for more.  Against what the doctor said, I gave her the rest of the banana.  She signs more.  And I tell her "no more, have some juice".  She smacks my arm away and starts to violently thrash on my lap.  So I haul her into the kitchen, and try to appease her with some water.  Smacks that too.  At this point my nerves are shot, I haven't eaten, and Rob is on a conference call.  I put Cam in her high chair, and she immediately starts banging that tray like she does when she knows food is coming (the kid likes to eat.  A lot.).  Gave her an apple sauce cup, then some more coconut juice.  More!  Some rice cake.  More!  Got her to eat a little avocado and more rice cake.  She couldn't cram it in fast enough.  After that, it was as if she never took ill.  I kept expecting to see all that food come right back up.  Once, after a particularly bad tumble with the flu (sixth grade) I was so famished, and convinced I was well, I ate like hog.  If hogs liked pickles.  Yeah this dumb-ass ate almost an entire jar of pickles after being sick a week.  It took me years before I ate a pickle again.  So I kept waiting for Cam to erupt.  But she never did. 

Never seen a recovery like that.  She took a bath and went right to bed.  Have I mentioned this was the only time in 15 months she's been sick?

The kid is a machine.

Oh, and Happy 5th Anniversary to Rob...and me.  We had barbecue sandwiches and chips for dinner.  That's traditional for five years, right?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trash lady.

We live in a townhouse community that faces a two-lane road that gets a fair amount of traffic, as it leads to several marinas and other communities beyond our own.  It's a pretty road, lined with a mix of new and old trees, and sidewalks on both sides.  Rob and I partake of the sidewalks whenever we are feeling particularly fat and have the motivation to get out and move.  Since living here, six years or so, I have spent many more hours sitting on my "stoop" watching the world go by.  We see lots of people pushing strollers, running with dogs, even the odd skate boarder, and my personal favorite: those ridiculous little bicycles that fold up (boaters love those things).  After a while, one guy stood out, because he would walk down the road with a big bag picking up trash.  I first noticed him several years ago and my first thought was probably "oh, he's THAT guy."  You know, the one who is the president of the HOA, the persnickety old fart whose all up in everyone's business.  Over time, my view softened.  Perhaps maturity set in for me?  I'd like to hope so.  After a while I looked forward to seeing him pass by, earnestly picking up the trash along our shared road.  A few months ago I mentioned to Rob I hadn't seen him lately, and Rob indicated he hadn't either.  I was a little sad.

In the last year I have gotten much more eco-minded.  Now, this isn't just a tangent, I will swing back around and pick up with the first paragraph in a little bit.  I promise.  Our community has a private firm that does our trash, but they don't have a recycling program (for shame!!!), which drives me nuts.  Our town has a great recycling program, and you can pretty much recycle any damn thing you can get your mitts on.  Since I am all about organizing things into categories, and have a new-ish found appreciation for Mother Earth, this appeals to me on a very basic level:  trash vs recyclables.  I am also very much a person of "all or nothing".  The only things leaving this house as trash are food I can't fit down the garbage disposal (think large boned animals) or compost and maybe some paper products, like a paper towel or napkin.  Our new trash can for inside is our old kitchen composter, a can that is about the size of a small bathroom trash can.  We take trash out maybe once a week.

So what to do with the stuff I recycle?  Well, I was hauling it every Wednesday night to a friend that lives in city limits.  Every week we'd go to Bingo, I'd dump my recycling bin on her sidewalk.  Problem was both Rob and are are terrible about picking things up.  Ask the Korean lady who owns the dry cleaners we use.  So one week while out actually walking our neighborhood we realized we had a spot to dump our recycling bin in our own backyard.  A bank of mailboxes, like you see on rural roads...quite the anomaly where we live, sat an empty recycling bin.  We cased that bin for a few weeks.  Seems the owners filled it up, just never moved the bin.  So Rob now drives our bins to it, which is probably illegal.  Ssssshhhhhh.

After we scouted out our new recycling spot, I realized how much shit was all up and down this little road.  I had a small plastic grocery bag with me, so I started picking up trash.  Within a 100 feet my bag runneth over.  Egad.

And thus began my new career as trash police.  Each Sunday I have taken Cam and a kitchen trash bag and headed out to the big two-lane road and pick up whatever I can find.  I guess I am now that persnickety old lady who notices which neighbors live like pigs, and which keep their areas tidy.  I keep waiting for some smart-ass teenager to blow past me and throw their Slurpee cups at me, or lit cigarettes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another good reason I stopped drinking.

Last week I was reading our local newspaper, when I came across a small blurb about a dead body found in one of our local waterways.  It happens so often around our parts, at least several times a year, that it's not a shock.   It invariably turns out to be some guy (don't recall any women...ever) who lived on a boat that was docked at one of the many marinas or piers.  It's never explicitly stated in the articles, but it's not hard to imagine that the guys come home tanked from a night on the town, and probably slip getting back on their boats.  Sad, just pitifully sad.

Well, I knew this body.  Worked with him about 20 or so years ago when I worked at one of the local marinas when I was home on summer break from college.  Super nice guy, very well-read, incredible craftsman.  I remember him being very good with wood-working.  He was polite, and came across as very well-educated.  Kind of an anomaly in a boat yard.  I know he was a drinker, because we would sometimes hang around after work and drink, but he would always retire early. 

We lost touch, but being in a small town, you tend to run into people over and over (if your a drinker) at the same local boater's bars.  We'd exchange pleasantries, and move on.  Once I stopped drinking, I never saw him again.  The paper mentioned that he was only 55 years old.  Seeing as how I have one eye squarely looking at forty, 55 is not old to me. 

The next evening an article ran on the front page, quotes from some people he worked with over the years.  And his mother.  I cannot begin to imagine the horrific nightmare that a mother must face when her child dies of something so senseless.  Hell, to lose a child, no matter what.  Breaks my heart for her, and for the people that knew him best.

Tim, you were a gentleman and a scholar, and a damn fine artist.  You will be missed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The case of the missing post....

The conspiracy theorist in me was completely awakened and ready for a fight when I logged on to find my last post missing.  After hunting around, I happened upon this note from Blogger:

"What a frustrating day. We’re very sorry that you’ve been unable to publish to Blogger for the past 20.5 hours. We’re nearly back to normal — you can publish again, and in the coming hours posts and comments that were temporarily removed should be restored.  Thank you for your patience while we fix this situation.  We use Blogger for our own blogs, so we’ve also felt your pain.

Here’s what happened: during scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night, we experienced some data corruption that impacted Blogger’s behavior. Since then, bloggers and readers may have experienced a variety of anomalies including intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and arriving at unintended blogs or error pages. A small subset of Blogger users (we estimate 0.16%) may have encountered additional problems specific to their accounts. Yesterday we returned Blogger to a pre-maintenance state and placed the service in read-only mode while we worked on restoring all content: that’s why you haven’t been able to publish.  We rolled back to a version of Blogger as of Wednesday May 11th, so your posts since then were temporarily removed. Those are the posts that we’re in the progress of restoring.

Again, we are very sorry for the impact to our authors and readers.  We try hard to ensure Blogger is always available for you to share your thoughts and opinions with the world, and we’ll do our best to prevent this from happening again."

I bet the tech geeks at Blogger had a fucking awesome day yesterday.  Yes, that was sarcasm.  So, while I empathize with Blogger's IT problems (having been in the industry, man that sucks), I WANT MY DAMN POST, please.  :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I guess I am "that" blogger.

A thread from a forum I visit really bothered me earlier today.  I know I can come off pretty judgy at times, so I was careful to chose my words.  I read and re-read my post before I hit the button.  So when I got home and checked up on the forum, I was a little sad that my post was taken as a flame.  I can see now my words didn't help, I should have just "walked away".  But I couldn't. 

I never thought I would bring a discussion I was part of on a forum, here to my little parcel of cyberspace.  But I am genuinely puzzled, and more than a bit dismayed.  My intent here is not to bash anyone, I well and truly mean that.

The issue was this:  DCFS refused to place with a pre-adoptive family because the family lived two doors down from a convicted sex offender.  The offender is a member of this family. 

Lots of empathy was given for the lady of the post, because quite simply her dream had been crushed.  Not through fault of her own, but because of a family member's predatory nature.  I cannot imagine the grief she feels right now.  DCFS licensed her, knowing FULL WELL about the offending family member.  Strung her along for a long while, making her belive she had a shot at bringing a child into her home.  In THAT, DCFS majorly fucked up.  Of course, I don't know DCFS' side of things.

What got my goat were all the people coming out in support of this woman to complain (she should for what DCFS did to string her along), to find a new agency, and general "this is bullshit" type support.  She then minimized the offending behavior.  At this point I will stipulate:  I very much believe that there are MAJOR differences in levels of sexual offenses.  Statutory rape is one I have take some issue with.  But if you fuck with kids, even if it never became physical, I have a major problem with that.  Dude got his hand caught in the cookie jar.

So herein lies my confusion.  Do people really think it's okay to let the most TRAUMATIZED children of our society live two doors down from a convicted sex offender?  Really??

People were trotting out the fact that we ALL live very close to sex offenders.  True, I know and completely agree with that.  That under that reference no one should be allowed to foster.  Ummmm....okay, disconnect for me.  Most people don't live two doors down from a  family member who is also a sex offender.  And that they still keep in contact with.

Am I wrong?  Would any of you, as a DCFS worker take that risk?  I am NOT out to flame anyone, so if you have a view that is different from mine, please tell me why.  The one good quality I like to think I possess is an open-mind and a willingness to learn something new.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It's because of ALL the mothers.

It's Mother's Day (duh).  Last year was my first mother's Day, and I was probably too sleep deprived (HA!  my auto-correct chose "depraved" before I changed it.) to care what day it was, because I have zero memory of it.  This year I am very much aware of the day, because I FINALLY achieved something I dreamed of since I was a very small girl.  I am a mother, and it is the title I wear most proudly.

I also wear it because of someone else's sacrifice.  I wouldn't know the complete joy (frustration), happiness (anxiety), and devotion (I want to run away, weekly) I have in my life if Cam's first mom didn't make the choice she did.  So I honor a woman I have never met by loving her child with everything I have.

Wherever N. is today, I hope that she is happy, healthy, and knows that she is loved.  Knows that no matter what, she will always be a mother to Campbell, even if she doesn't get to mother her little girl like I do every day.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I like the way he thinks.

Having not bitched enough about the fascist HOA, I took my screed to my peeps on Facebook.  I had a few friends empathize and send curses upon the HOA, but one friend was quite helpful.  She mentioned that the HOA has no authority to tell me where I can hang Cam's unmentionables. 

So, I turned to The Google.  Indeed, this friend was right!  My fair state passed a law last year banning the bans on clotheslines.  Got that?  They banned the ban.  So, now I am devising, in my mind, the biggest goddamned clothesline a town home community has ever seen.  Rob is still chuckling in amusement.  I wonder if he will still be chuckling when I hand him the blueprints.

I went back to Facebook a few minutes ago, another very helpful friend suggested that I print out the bill that was passed, banning the ban, and tape it to each neighbor's door.  Heh.