Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Little Things

     Every little thing I do is NOT magic. Nope. One simple hop over a fallen skater in a scrimmage and >bam<. Life just got unbelievably difficult. Three broken bones in my leg and ankle = two plates, twenty-five screws and forty staples. The depression and pain was overwhelming. I wanted to give up completely at first. I'm in my third week now after the surgery and I finally feel a little better. Especially my mental state. I am using a walker and am not allowed to bear any weight. The pain has significantly lessened. But why is every little thing such a bitch to do?!!! Luckily....I really haven't had to do that much.
     I am a single mom, which means I am not just having a terrible time looking after myself, but my kids too. My three year old is being a unholy terror while my 5 year old "helper" keeps getting virus after virus! My sanity has been teetering on the brink of destruction these past few weeks. If it wasn't for the help of all the sweet, selfless, generous, and all-around-amazing women in my derby league, I would have lost myself in a sea of depression. These ladies have been my salvation and there aren't enough "Thank You" cards in the world to cover the depth of my gratitude for just having them all in my life.
     There hasn't been a night that I have had to even think about cooking dinner for my kids. In three weeks! It has been something that my league-mates have taken upon themselves to cover. They come over, one at a time or in pairs and  they just help. It has brought me to tears on so many secret occasions that I have lost count. They come in, ask me what I need, run errands for me, play with my kids, make us dinner, give the kids baths, read them books, help my daughter with homework, put them to bed, tidy my house, do laundry and dishes! These people come over and just do these things out of love. I have never experienced anything like this.
      This is a time of year people start reflecting on what they are thankful for, start pushing the notion of giving to others, look for charities to contribute to and the like. The women in my league have made such a tremendous impact on my life in the last few weeks. They embody every notion of what the holiday spirit is supposed to be. They aren't doing this because I am some charity case. They hearken to mind a quote I had memorized while in Typography class that we had used in an assignment. "Great is the person who sees the need, recognizes the responsibility and actively becomes the answer." I don't know all of these ladies as well as I would like, but I love them all the same. They are great people with great hearts that have greatly helped me in ways they will probably never fathom.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Going It Alone

So, here I go, getting a little soul-sharing for a minute. Bear with me....I just needed to get this out and possibly provide a little insight into the life of single parents. I left my marriage because it was intolerable. It was cruel. It was untrusting. I was putting in FAR too much work and getting nowhere. I was alienated from my friends and family and pretending to be a different person entirely. I was pretending that I was happy in a miserable life and that it was working. Leaving that facade behind and returning to myself while caring for two young children was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
    It doesn't get any easier in the days of the divorce aftermath. I am still constantly struggling to make ends meet, declining social engagements, sacrificing personal time and space for the needs of my kids. I have gone through periods where I can barely make the minimum attendance required for derby practice.....and it always kills me. Some people get more help from their exes. I do not. I don't expect to ever get the help I need from him. That is just how it works in a divorce. One person is always left holding the bag. I am okay with this most of the time. I know that I am always going to meet their needs, teach them great things, keep them safe, and be there for them no matter what. There are times when I question if one person really is enough for this enormous task.
     Most people are pretty understanding about a single parent situation. They are patient when you never call them back because there is never a quiet moment in which you can just talk to them. They understand when you have to cancel plans because of a sick child, a babysitter cancellation, temper tantrums, lack of money or exhaustion. Most people get it. Even if they don't have kids....they have it in them to try and wrap their heads around what their lives would be like if they did. It only takes that small percentage of jerks that can make us single parents feel like shit and our lives are meaningless, our contributions.....unimportant.
      This population of idiots that rub in our faces how many times they eat out in a week, buy extravagant yet useless items of clothing, furniture, etc., flaunt their enormous amounts of free time at us. I can speak for all single parents when I say...we hate your fucking guts. You suck. We hate the incredulous faces you make when we can't comply with your schedule due to parental obligations. We REALLY hate that you think we can just have magical free babysitters on stand-by in case we need them at any given moment. We hate your self-absorbed little world and the beautiful people with perfect hair and stain-free clothes that inhabit it. Next time your percentage of the population decides to look down your nose at me because I prioritize my children over ANYTHING else this world has to offer.....consider this: I used to BE you.