Tag Archives: children

A post totally unrelated to dating, debauchery or humor…a tragic lesson in listening.

I’m a mom…a single mom to be exact. I’ve been a single mom for the most part of 13 years. I’ve met more children over the years than I could ever accurately recall. I’ve driven them around, cooked them dinners and breakfasts, I’ve chatted with them, listened to their problems with parents or other friends. I’ve connected with many children through this time. Of course, some I enjoyed more than others. Some had flat personalities or lacked manners. Some, I felt kinda sorry for and tried maybe a little harder to be extra kind. Some, I worried might not be good influences on my children. In my years as a mom, clearly my experiences with children have run the gamut.

However, a few months ago, I met a (then) 13 year old child who stood out from the others; a young boy who somehow compelled my attention. He literally compelled my affection, in that instantaneous sorta way that is rare in the world of a parent. I can say with absoluteness that from the very moment I was introduced to this boy, I just wanted to be/stay in his presence. It wasn’t just that the boy had the extremely good looks which screamed “future magazine model”, with his caramel skin and dark, wildly curly locks of amazing hair that would make even a grown woman envious. Truly a visual delight, this child seemed to need no more to be adored by all, but to simply wake up in the morning. After all, I know first-hand how superficial the popularity standards of teenagers are. This boy could have easily captured the heart of every teen girl he came in contact with. And the boy’s captivating persona wasn’t just from his oh-my-God-in-Heaven delightfully warm smile. Although this smile…..this smile…ahhhh…it almost defies description in that all the usual words one might use to describe a beautiful smile just seem to fall short of accuracy for this smile. Bright, encompassing, infectious…this boy’s smile was the innocent frolic of toddlers on a playground. A smile which radiated the warmth and joy of a long, refreshing day on the beach. When it was directed at you, it emitted the warmth of the brightest sunny day and quite possibly could have thoroughly warmed your skin on the coldest, dreariest day. And even if it might not have had that kind of literal physically warming ability, it absolutely exuded enough energy to warm even the most hatefully cold heart. This boy’s entire being simply defies all narrative. I have wanted to write of him for days, but the struggle to catch a truly accurate depiction of his beauty, his persona, his energy, or his personality, has kept me from so doing… The challenge to depict him accurately with words makes me beg for better writing skills, a bigger vernacular and vocabulary, and cries of my sudden and total lack of skill in this area. No exaggeration! Knowing this child, makes me want to be a better writer merely so I might truly capture his essence with my words and help others who don’t know him think they’ve seen, felt and known him. And in that sense, as well as so many others, that is why this post and my abilities will fall short and this will become a post of loss on every level. So let me accept my limitations here and jump forward to my experience of this boy.

The last time I held a conversation with him, he and his best friend were in my home, visiting my daughter. We had only been living in this house a short time and things were not yet in place. There was a beautiful heavy black bench in the basement which I had wanted in my living room for weeks. I grabbed this opportunity to have these two healthy strong boys carry this heavy as hell bench up the long basement stairway, through my kitchen and dining room, into my living room. When I asked the boys if they would help me with this, one boy just shrugged his shoulders in submission and the other smiled big, eagerly nodding, actually wanting to help with this tedious and trying task. How amazing is that? The boys stayed till well after midnight. The kids had all been watching scary movies and scattering popcorn all over my living room…leaving tons of blankets and pillows in their wake as well as countless junk food wrappers. So, as if my impressed opinion of this boy was not already at an unusually high level, as the one boy got his coat and shoes on, preparing to leave, the other simply started cleaning up the mess that all five kids had made! He didn’t ask or wait to be asked, he just started doing the utterly unbelievable for a young teenage boy.

I’ll never be certain as to exactly what it was about this particular child that not only made me want to gush all over him with praise, but also made me want to reach out to him. This urge defied the huge smile he wore on his beautiful face and even the happy spirit he exuded naturally…it was just a strange, strange thing… So not wanting to overstep my boundaries or his…or heaven forbid, make him uncomfortable, I chose to ignore this compelling urge to reach out and hug him. Instead, I simply gave him my most genuinely heart-felt smile, and said with conviction as I looked him directly in his eyes, “K…you are welcome in our home ANY time at all.” Yeah…I sorta blew off my intuition as the possible paranoid parenting of a former child abuse worker and feebly attempted to address it passively in a half-joking but sincere manner. And that was that.…

Only I didn’t stop thinking about this boy. I couldn’t stop thinking about this boy. My maternal instincts, my intuition,my  I don’t know, but over the following weeks, this boy was on my mind at least a few times a day. I actually asked my daughter about him a few times – as in, why don’t you invite that boy,  K,  over again? When my daughter and I discussed him, she always talked of what an amazing friend this boy was and how he sat next to her in several classes. She was particularly fond of the way he could make her smile and laugh on even the roughest or grumpiest day. He’s just that kind of guy, Momma..always kind to everyone at the school…always smiling that gargantuous, gorgeous smile and making people laugh. Every body loves K!  I was realizing this kid was clearly adored by many…and had more friends than could be counted and was “popular” in every clique at their middle school and beyond; a rare feat for middle school if you had a typical middle school experience like I did… And my strange concern diminished as the weeks passed. Yet, I can’t say I stopped thinking of him, more that I just randomly would think about him and instantly reassure myself of how silly my over protective nature can be.

On Friday February 4th, I was home alone a bit bored, browsing Facebook to pass the time and through my daughter’s posts, I happened upon this boy’s Facebook. Of course I go to his page to check it out. I smiled just looking at his page. I pondered being the “weird mom” and sending him a hello email, just telling him what a great friend he’d been to my daughter and how grateful I was, as well as reiterating his welcome in our home and chiding him for not having visited in a few weeks. Decided against sending the email and then clicked the “add as a friend” button. I sat for a few moments looking at the confirmation “Do you really want to add K as a friend” or whatever it says…. Indecision took over and I clicked cancel…thinking I’d just tell my daughter to tell him hello and to get his butt over to visit soon, and firmly deciding that was probably more appropriate. Thinking to myself, I’ll just tell him to add me as a friend the next time he’s over and do a re-check of that odd intuitive feeling I got from him.

My daughter came home from a friend’s Saturday afternoon and she and her friend hung out here for a while…mostly ignoring me as usual! Around 7 PM, they came out of her room and she walked her friend to the front door. When she turned around she came running over to me, threw herself in my lap and sobbed, K killed himself tonight Momma! What? Umm…you’re crying so hard honey, I can’t understand you. What did you say? She repeats herself, K killed himself Momma. My stomach literally flipped as my heart took a nose dive straight down into my gut… I can’t possibly have heard her right. I had to remind myself to breathe as pictures of K’s huge smile flashed in my head….and I couldn’t help but to look over to my right at the heavy black bench he had carried up and sat on, putting his shoes on, right before he last left our house. I was sure I was going to vomit. This was impossible. This was a horrible rumor. This was beyond tragic. Beyond sickening. Beyond devastating… No! It was a mistake. It had to be. K’s beautifully handsome face, K’s gorgeous smile, his amazing hair, his warm kind energy, the entire essence of this phenomenal child was just too fresh….too physically still available even just  in our house. This was the cruelest rumor/joke/mistake ever. It had to be. I know…not K…Momma, not K!!!!! No. My daughter had not believed it either and thus, had already verified it beyond a doubt. K had committed suicide about 6 PM that Saturday night, by shooting himself in the back of his head.

It is the strangest phenomena I’ve ever experienced in my life. The unbelievable impact this beautiful child had had on me in only a brief amount of shared time. And he was gone just that fast. As we attended his visitation and funeral a few days later, I kept wondering why I hadn’t just done and said what I wanted to this child. Why I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him….WHY I hadn’t sent him that thank you email. Why I hadn’t listened to that funny feeling I’d gotten in the pit of my stomach, telling me to look past this kid’s incredibly infectious smile and see beneath his light hearted exterior… A million why’s fill my head as I comfort my children and attempt to reach a state of acceptance for this totally unacceptable horror. I know there will never be answers or sense of such a truly senseless tragedy for any of the hundreds of friends and family members this nightmare has affected. And although it will never seem enough: not good enough or soon enough…just never ever, EVER enough, I vow to never again ignore, deny, or shoo away that God given gift of intuition, even if it does mean I’m the “weird Mom”, the nosy Mom, the interrogative Mom, whatever… I try to tell myself this child had a huge family and hundreds of adoring friends. So I couldn’t have made a difference. I wouldn’t have…right? Just like the perpetually unanswered “why’s”, I’ll never know for certain because I didn’t bother to even try.

My Darling Douche Bag…

Dear ex-for-a-reason-jackass,

Listen here douche bag my friend…  I left you ten years ago because you were an emotionally abusive, callous, self-consumed, cheating ass.  Although we have become friends over the years since that horrifying time, I’ve hardly forgotten who and what you once were both to me, and in general as well.

I recognize your control issues.  It doesn’t take a PhD in psychology to see them; hell, the sales clerks at your over-priced clothing stores probably have you tagged “the pompous ass”.  I’m sorry that you’re so insecure that you have to control every freakin element of your life and everyone else’s.  That must suck at a level of exhausting which makes me need a nap just thinking about it.  However, WE are not your employees.  WE are the mother of your children and your daughters.

We are not married.  In case you don’t recall correctly, that doesn’t bother me….in fact, I chose it.   TWICE.  I’m proud of you…really, I was am.  Your perfectionism in your career has led you to be as successful as you once dreamed so long ago in that college town where we met.  I’m delighted for you and I love that you’ve accomplished so much.  This has lead to a sense of financial security for our broken/dysfunctional divorced family that I’m ever so grateful to you for.  However, please remember that while you were living the wild single life, free to pursue your every career whim or goal, I was working 24/7/365 at raising our childrenalone.  Therefore, my success might seem meager and lacking in your corporate world of materialism, BUT it DOES make me above and beyond you the “expert” in parenting compared to your Disney Dad weekends and summer vacation parenting “experience”.

What I can’t understand is how such a monetarily generous human being can be so utterly and completely SELFISH and SELF CONSUMED?  Everything isn’t taken care of by money.  Yeah, thanks for leaving extra money on the table yesterday…the girls and I are going to a movie and out to dinner on you…and we appreciate that!  However, in as much as we appreciate it, money does not buy you an acceptable excuse for being a douche bag.  Money does not give you the right to eyeball me like a freaking steak you’ve just ordered –  mouth watering, and drool hanging off your lip…  I am not your peep-show anymore, nor your sex kitten, nor your emotional punching bag.  What I wear to clean the house is NONE of your BUSINESS. Hell, if I freakin want to clean my house NAKED, I will….maybe you need to just sit in the driveway and honk when you pick up the children.  In fact, would you? Please? 

I realize that you’ve not had to deal with physically seeing me so regularly (in sundresses, tank tops, bra-less, etc, etc, etc). since I left you so long ago, And I’m really trying to understand how challenging that might be for you.  Really, I am…  No.  You know what?  That’s a lie.  I’m not trying to understand how “hard” that it for you (no pun intended) because it’s just not MY problem.  It’s yours…same old problem as always.  And what skimpy get-up I wear to clean the house when it’s 115 freakin degrees outside is just NOT your BUSINESS, nor your CONCERN. No one even invited you IN the house…  And anyway, WHAT I WEAR has ZERO effect on the way our teenager dresses, you sexist ASS.  So, just shut your steak and mashed-potato hole…ok?  I don’t care how much money you leave on the table or deposit in my account or make a year.  I just don’t care.  You should know by now that material things don’t mean diddly squat to me.  You have no more rights than the bum sitting outside the liquor store (which I happen to frequent far more often now that we live in close proximity to YOU) to oogle me, criticize me, or comment on what I wear in PUBLIC, much less to clean my freakin house! 

I'm wearing this to clean next time...

Just shut it…just shut your too tiny for your face mouth already!  And don’t look at me with that tone of voice either. You lost that right to flap your lips or oogle your eyes in my direction years ago when I left our home with two children under the age of two.  Hear me?  LOST it….as in, NO LONGER have that right.

Our children are beautiful, well-adjusted, well mannered, intelligent, kind and compassionate souls.  They are most likely this way so much because YOU were so far away as I was raising them while you were busy making a success out of yourself in your career.  They stand up for themselves and don’t buckle to manipulation easily because they were raised by ME alone…and not in the home environment of our suppressing and spirit-murdering marriage.  They are individuals with their own fashion sense and a solid idea of right and wrong, as well as inherently beautiful hearts and morals, which DON’T include cheating, lying, controlling, or manipulation.  I left you, young, petrified, and with NOTHING so long ago because the choice between money, a husband, and marital status meant NOTHING to me when held up to the effect THAT kind of home life and poor example would have had on two little girls growing up watching the heinous and disrespectful way you treated their mother and women in general.  This was never a choice for me because I was not going to allow them to witness that debacle of a relationship and then grow up dating pompous, controlling, cheating, sexist assholes like you.  That was never going to happen and you really should have known my character well enough to know that it wasn’t going to.  And now… please understand that I did NOT raise two kids for ten years by myself, just to move here NOW so you could have a detrimental effect on their self-esteem during these critical and challenging years of their lives.  No.

If you choose to continue this manner of disrespect to me and continue to disrespect our daughters, their feelings, their struggles, their athletic abilities, what they wear, WHATEVER…I hope you will vividly recall just how it felt standing there watching us all walk out of your life and your world ten years ago… 

And remember those tears you had the day I agreed to move us here?  Well they weren’t nearly as painful or embarrassing as the one’s you’ll have when we leave if you don’t get your shit together and muster up a little respect and acceptance for all three of us.  Your wallet does NOT give you the right to criticize or hurt any one of us.

Don’t forget, I know exactly how to leave….I always know where the exits are and the emergency evacuation plan is folded up in my hand bag at all times.    I did it penniless, car-less, and devastated with two young children TEN years ago, so don’t you EVEN think for a moment that I can’t do it NOW…or that I wouldn’t. Oh, I will.  It will be inconvenient and difficult, yes…but that never stopped me before. And I’m not nearly the same pushover scaredy-cat spineless and innocent creature today that I was then…

How DID you snap this one???!

So pull your controlling, pompous head out of your ass and get over your sexual ideation of me that petrifies you that you might cheat on your girlfriend, whom I feel horribly sorry for by the way – I’m certain she has NO clue what exactly she’s in for with you yet, but that is thankfully, NOT my problem or concern any more either.  You won’t cheat on her or anyone with ME…I wouldn’t have it.  I don’t have any interest in you “that” way anymore.  NONE.  ZILCH.  ZERO.  Hell, at this point, I don’t even want to be your freakin friend anymore, much less your lover…secret or otherwise…ughh…  No. Ummm get over yourself.  Not every chick in a cute little skirt is wearing it merely because they want you, pal.  Trust me on that one.

You’ve been a surprisingly good father under the circumstances of the last ten years.  This is why I’ve given you my respect and ultimate consideration as a father and even as my ex-husband…and ultimately the only reason we agreed to move here at all.  You’ve earned that over the past ten years…so I suggest you be careful that you don’t lose it (again) now.  As you should know already from past experience, I won’t compromise what’s in the best interest of the life, health and livelihood of my daughters for ANY thing.  NOTHING is of value to me when it’s held up against that kind of damage to my children or their potential happiness in the future.  I’ve left and lost it ALL to preserve and protect that once, I WILL not hesitate to do it again, if I must.

I am shocked, disgusted, and disappointed in you to a level I’ve not reached in ten years.  YOUR adjustment to this is NOT all that matters….and certainly not what matters most here.  You gave up nothing for this and gained EVERY thing.  We gave up everything and so far have only gained the frustrating headache of dealing with a pompous, critical, controlling ass.

I will not hesitate to boil your noodle, throw my kids in the car, and haul our lives right back across the country if you don’t get a grip on this and SOON. 

get yourself a copy...

I really don’t want to have to slap you like a monkey…

 So, please and thank you already.

~K