Okay. Sand surfing. There’s a right way to go about it.
And there’s what we did.
go to Monahans State Park when the sand is cool. This enables the actual surfing to occur. I do not understand the science behind that statement, and I will not pretend otherwise. Wear athletic/tennis shoes and socks.
What we did:
go to Monahans State Park when the sand feels as if it has been freshly roasted in hell.
wear flip flops.
burn the flesh right off your feet.
try to surf.
that’s because – I THINK – the plastic of the surfing equipment is being melted and you can’ t slide.
be sure one child loses a flip flop deep in the burning sand and it cannot be recovered.
that way you will be forced to strategize an exit strategy and rescue effort for how to get the child back to the car with only one flip flop. walking across sand is not an option. carrying the child is not an option. hopping is not an option - it’s too far.
you can approach it as a team building exercise.
that’s easier if two brothers do not abandon the one shoe-d brother in order to get themselves a drink. “Um. We are parched.”
Excellent use of the word ‘parched.’ Now let’s discuss never leaving a brother behind. And then rescue him.
It took thirty minutes I think.
It involved one brother taking the stranded brother my flip flops. The rescued brother wore the girly flip flops safely across the sand and then got in the car and griped ungratefully about how painful they were.
Turned the a/c on high on the floor vent option to cool our red hot feet and drove back home.
i took a two hour bath.
But that was only day one. The next two days we continued our adventure and we conquered firebuilding and bobcats and fishing and public restrooms and camping. I’ll get to that soon enough. The next two days were fantastically more successful than the sand nonsurfing. We’d TOTALLY go back and do the next part of our trip again, bobcats and all.
two exciting words:
Like how FUN does that sound? surfing down sand dunes. i can hardly wait. i have NO idea what you wear for that. I’m out the door with 3 boys to surf. we might all be dressed wrong and weird and i don’t care. SO looking forward to today.
i’ll tell you how we do.
i have adorable boy children types ALL OVER THE PLACE.
they’re home. seth-7yr’s hair is noticeably longer. Ethan-13yr is noticeably taller. caden-9yr is noticeably more affectionate. he held onto me tightly for more than an hour this morning.
SO. that’s good.
it’s kinda all that mattered today.
boy kids. asleep in beds.
i’m staying awake just enjoying the quiet of a full house.
Part of an actual phone call from my actual life, dear God help me:
Her: ‘blah blah blah mortgage blah blah more details, numbers, blah blah.’
Me: Yes. Fully Aware. And it’s all in MY name. Yes. But it’s my exhusband living there.
Her: So… could you just lend your husband the money for the payment and then he could pay you back?
Me: shocked silence
Her: I mean, ex-husband.
Me: IF YOU HAD THREE THOUSAND EXTRA DOLLARS A MONTH WOULD YOU GIVE IT TO YOUR EX HUSBAND SO HE COULD LIVE IN YOUR MARITAL HOME AND JUST HOPE THAT HE WOULD PAY YOU BACK EVEN THOUGH NO OF COURSE HE WOULD NOT DO THAT? ARE??!! YOU?! KIDDING?! ME?! I”M BUSY PAYING MY OWN RENT. ON MY LITTLE RENT HOUSE. THAT I LOVE, DON”T GET ME WRONG, BUT COME ON, LADY. I”M NOT THAT NICE. NOT! TODAY! AND DON”T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON CANADA.
Me: I need to go now. I apologize. Have a nice day.
I’m a little embarrassed.
Like when you open your mouth to say ‘hello’ and instead all of your most private thoughts come out? Or worse, you just maybe know that someone saw them all on your face in an unguarded instant and you didn’t say anything at all?
It’s like that.
Except, you know, NOT, because I totally said ALL KINDS OF THINGS in that last post I normally wouldn’t have said in such a public format.
I do not take it back. I do not delete. I own it.
However. I add to it by saying:
1) I am slightly better. I talked to the kids last night.
2) I am a fierce mama bear who should not be provoked.
3) I just can’t stay mad for long. I don’t like to BE mad for long. So I’m busy painting and stuff.
4) Love y’all. REALLy, really do.
one Big Rule to blogging:
Be VERY careful and totally absent from the internet when you’re in altered states of being, if at all possible.
Now let’s break it.
I went to sleep at 1. i’ve been up since 4.
I’m on my 3rd diet coke and my second big handful of baby carrots, because when you are MAD AS HELL then there’s just something great about the loud annoying crunch of carrots echoing through an empty house.
The dogs are exhausted. I’m keeping them awake with all the angry carrot eating.
I believe you CHOOSE your moods. You are not a victim of them.
I CHOOSE ANGRY-CARROT-MAD-AS-HELL.
Just so we’re clear.
I CHOOSE ANGRY-CARROT-MAD-AS-HELL BLOGGING.
I also believe you can only control your OWN life and choices.
It would be worthless to tell Claude to maybe not leave the country for a week with the kids on vacation if he hasn’t caught up on child support. It would be worthless to tell Claude to maybe, I don’t know, maybe you should catch up on your rent before leaving on an international vacation. It would be RATHER POINTLESS to say hey, ‘MAYBE YOU MAKE SURE THE KIDS GET TO HUG THEIR MAMA GOODBYE AT A BASEBALL GAME BEFORE YOU ZIP AWAY WITH THEM FOR TEN DAYS, IT”S NOT THAT HARD.” (I did say that. He hung up on me. He didn’t like my tone of voice. Called back and said he’d hang up on me again if I spoke to him like that again. Hardly necessary. I asked to talk to Seth-7yr instead so I could congratulate him on a great game and wish them a nice trip.)
Claude’s choices are not my choices. They rarely are in the same universe of thought.
I can choose to vent here at 545 when my jaw is killing me from the stupid raw vegetable fixation i have going on, but is that REALLY helping? I don’t know.
You can screw with my finances. You can screw around with lies about me. You can screw with my credit. But when you whisk the kids off without a hug before a long trip…? THAT IS WHEN I LOSE IT.
CONSIDER IT LOST.
YOU ONLY HAVE TO HAVE BARELY MET ME ONCE TO MAYBE KNOW THAT YOU DON”T MESS WITH MY KIDS LIKE THAT.
I’ll spend the next ten days cleaning and painting and working and paying my bills on time because that’s WHAT I DO and hoping that my children MIGHT be able to contact me in some way but WHO KNOWS. Was that ever established? Uh NO. I had to get lawyers involved before I could even get their itinerary.
There might be a lot of ill advised blogging ahead in the next ten days. I MIGHT FEEL SOME ANGRY CHOICES COMING ON, I ADMIT IT. BUT HEY.
THAT”S ABOUT THE WORST THING I DO. I DEPRIVE THE DOGS OF SLEEP WITH MY ANGRY KEY SLAMMING CARROTY MAD INTERNET STUFF.
After stomping around the house praying in a mad voice. And crying and snotting and being like, “I NEED LETTUCE AND A WINE COOLER” and going to the grocery store at 10 o clock last night and ramming my teary self and cart straight into a guy with long hair humming la bamba and apologizing to him but not meaning it because HIS HAIR REALLY ANNOYED ME and anyone can see you don’t get close to the tear stained mama who has no idea how to buy alcohol because she doesn’t drink and she’s screwing even THAT up and you know what?
THAT IS MY UGLY NIGHT. Right here. I own it.
I chose it.
It coulda been worse.
It definitely might get worse.
If that title is still all screwy, it reads “Don’t Read This, Mom.” She doesn’t like it when I’m gross. And I’m being gross. I have a tech-y help request in with that whole title problem thing. Just so you know.
It’s hard to have 3 boys and not be gross from time to time, though. I mean, REALLY. And also? Long as we’re discussing this. It’s hard to have 3 boys and NOT have a pair of handcuffs on your nightstand. It’s perfectly innocent. They’ve been there for ages. It means nothing, except, HELLO I HAVE 3 BOYS and I had to take those away at some point in the middle of a 3 boy handcuff fight and that’s the only reason they’re on my nightstand. Show me a mom with 3 boys and I’ll show you a dirty bathroom. Show me a mom with 3 boys, and I’ll show you a nightstand with handcuffs. It’s just standard.
For a few days there, it was bad. Caden-9yr and I stared at the ceiling and discussed how now we knew the taste of hot germ chunks that came straight from within our lungs, and we wish we didn’t. You know how when on a cooking competition show someone serves the judging panel something like ‘squid ink ice cream with deep fried gluten free spaghetti garnish’ and you’re like, “oh. Those are the only people in the world who share that culinary experience. Ew.” Kinda the same thing with Caden-9yr and me. Like, WOW. We really have essentially licked our infected lungs. And it was not good. Uniquely bonding, sure, but nasty.
i’m no longer tasting hot germs all the time, and then brushing my teeth to try to get rid of it.
this is improvement.
perhaps i shouldn’t have mentioned here i was sick. it invited the opportunistic to be even fiercer than usual. but whatever. i’m still tougher, even on my sickest day, and you do NOT want to mess with my Hot Germ Breath. (you might want to back up, buddy, i feel a cough coming on.)
yesterday to add a little variety to life, we went to my mom’s house and i flopped like a wet sock at HER house instead of mine. And instead of my dad and stepmom’s. Spreading the love around.
I fell asleep in her guest bedroom window seat in a sunbeam.
This morning I must be better. Creativity is returning. Creativity in parenting is returning. There’s energy for that, so this must be good. From my perspective. Not from Ethan-13yr and Caden-9yr’s perspective.
They got into a really ridiculous argument last night. I was not up to it. I put them to bed and told them they’d be “screen free” until they successfully resolved the issue with me and with each other as long as necessary.
This morning i assigned them a large-ish laundry task that was to be completed as a team, respectfully, with kind communication, and then they were to report on their success and how they accomplished said harmony.
Total instant fail.
Discord in the hall.
I had them sit in my bedroom and hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
First I had to teach them.
And explain it was kinda a 70s thing, as far as I knew. And it means, “come by here, Lord” i think, and that was exactly what they needed because they weren’t ever seeing another screen again as long as they were acting like this.
They held hands. They closed their eyes and reverently sang Kumbaya. I hid my face under the covers so they wouldn’t see me laughing. I wondered if I could video it, but figured I couldn’t get away with it. Then they started fighting over whose underwear Caden-9yr was wearing and I made them start over.
When they were finished I sent them to resume their laundry assignment and told them if they could not complete it with respect and teamwork and kindness I would think of something else they could do besides hold hands and sing. They seemed motivated.
Laundry task completed. They chatted happily and worked together and have no clue how or why they managed to do that. But whatever. They did it. Kids spaced out in front of screens all over the house. Success.
I’ll make them move and do stuff later. For now, it’s not bad.
For now, it’s actually really pretty good.
i took a little trip. it was planned.
it did not go as planned. and yet, it was still SO good and i’m so glad i went.
took the boys to see my dad and stepmom. boys had been ill.
halfway there, i realized i had a fever. felt awful. i had caught the horrible thing the boys were trying to recover from. surprise. i do not often get sick. i did not see this coming.
the fever hit right around the time i tried to drive off with the gas pump thing still attached to the car. it snapped me back with surprising strength.
i reversed, disconnected, made large conversation across parking lot with another mother who had seen it and was laughing at me. we waved when i finally drove off.
by the time i arrived at our destination, i was really dizzy. HolyMimi took the boys inside and my dad took me to a clinic where the doctor said i absolutely should not be driving. Hmm. Yes. okay. well. my dad is driving now.
the doctor gave me upper respiratory stuff and steroids and offered me the anti-dizzy stuff which i turned down for some reason i really can’t remember now. i should probably not have done that. i think i said, ‘oh no. i don’t need that. it’s not that bad.’
then i flopped around my dad and stepmom’s house like a wet sock for a few days.
i did not mow pastures.
i did not help in any way with anything at all.
i did not walk around pretty nature-y places.
occasionally i walked VERY slowly to some outdoor point and then sat for a really long time and then tried it again. until i made it back to the house.
i ATE. you can’t go there and not eat amazing food, regardless of how you feel. it’s impossible.
we made it home today.
and then i realized i forgot my bag that had my divorce decree (YES i needed to take it) and all of my medicine that was almost about to start helping me recover from being Wet Dizzy Sock Girl.
also, wheat grass for holycousin to grow for her cat. i forgot that.
and a book.
on a fascinating theory about releasing physically held tension and trauma.
at least i think it’s fascinating.
i may have a bit of ‘physically held tension and trauma.’
i bet you do too.
i hadn’t read the book yet.
when i get all worked up about divorce stuff and legal stuff, i sorta tend to get sick. there’s much of all of that. even though i’m divorced. even though it’s supposed to be done. i’m opening this can of worms, no regrets, forcefully, again, like right now. BAM.
the outside of me still looks like a lifeless sick sock. But it’s just a really great disguise for the ready warrior within.
HolyMimi sent amazing food home WITH us in a cooler.
turns out i really don’t like fireworks. do y’all? I don’t know what it is. i’ve fought this realization for awhile.
i just…. don’t. so…. over the top. ha. yes. over the top. and expensive. and bang-y loud.
but the sparks above the campfires my dad makes… winding their orange trails up into the inky sky? ooooh. well. that’s absolutely captivating.
i’d take that over fireworks any day.
i got to stare at those gorgeous flecks for hours the last two nights.
i had s’mores.
the boys ran free and wild all over the place and did not hurt each other with machetes. they cleared brush. they mowed. they hauled trees to burn piles. they did everything i wanted to do and couldn’t.
i had to sit and watch. and then sit. and watch. and then sit and watch some more.
and THAT was really good. i wasn’t fighting them for the mowers or the tractors or the coolest dirtiest jobs….
they got them all.
it was their turn.
i love s’mores.
it was good.