The next transition.

We moved our oldest into college yesterday.

She’s not very far away, but things have changed. I think our family collectively feels “Ok, we did it – she’s there…so what’s this really gonna be like?”

How often will we see her?

How successful will she be with her college courses?

What is our relationship with this adult version of our sister/daughter gonna be like?

What will our new normal be this time?

Children in a divorced family experience lots of transitions (which may equip them to deal with change better than others) – for us:
– one parent ripped the family apart, moved them to a different town & changed their school – ouch!
– they moved again & came back to their old school
– mom had boyfriends
– dad got married
– mom moved in with boyfriend & his child
– custody changed
– mom got married
– now, one in college

In that long list of transitions, the last one is the only one where no one is mad or the dynamics of the adults who control their lives aren’t changing.

This is our daughter’s first life changing transition that she chose & she has control over. I don’t think she has thought of that yet ….

I had an unhappy home for very different reasons, and when I went to college freedom & academic heaven (total nerd? Yes!) were very tangible to me – I couldn’t wait to be on my own!

I hope the positive freedom becomes real for her and she is able to embrace it and do great things.

This transition has immeasurable positive potential, and no one’s baggage is standing in her way!


The Pathetic Statement

Well it finally happened – another parent said “you don’t understand because you aren’t really a parent”. I’m honestly surprised it took this long.

So, what was my response? There were an almost innumerable list of things I could have said:
– so your DNA connection to a child automatically makes you a wiser adult than me?
– so you are saying grandparents, aunts, uncles, others who raise children and adoptive parents don’t love their children as much or raise them as well as you?
– so you are justifying your interference with my child with your DNA connection to your child?
– so the daily sacrifices for & mentoring of two kids make me ignorant to the unconditional love and nurturing of another human being?

Or, how about, the fact that I can love & raise a child better than you scares you to death because you’ve never voluntarily loved anyone that much?

Or, what I actually said – “that is the most pathetic thing you could possibly have said to me”

I’m sorry parents get scared and upset about their children’s relationships, but we must remember their relationships are not ours. We cannot fight their battles for them. Rather, it is our job to mentor them through all aspects of life.

Do not over step. Don’t try to discipline other people’s children. If there is a concern or problem, talk about it as adults and hopefully guide your children through it together.

But while I might not share their DNA, I promise you, you mess with my kids, and I’m coming for you, so don’t think you low blows are going bother me. I saw them coming – stupidity is easy to spot.

Some Good Days…yet where’s the balance?

Parenting is hard work.  Are we too hard on them?  Are we not hard enough on them?  Should we intervene or let them fail?  I don’t want to be a helicopter parent, but I don’t want to be disengaged.

Finding the correct balance.  That is the true challenge for all aspects of life.

We have been having some good days (I think!).

Fun trips.  Preparing for prom.  Spring sports.  Preparing for college.

Yet, the struggle for balance is exhausting.  Should I take more time for myself?  Am I giving enough time to my job?  Should we have another child?  How would we have time, money, energy for another child? And above all, are we giving the children what they need?  Enough support?  Enough guidance?  Enough affection?

I don’t want to screw it up, yet I wonder if I should just relax!  But when does relaxation turn into neglect?  Where is the line?  What’s the balance.

I wish I knew.

Awake at 2:30am…again

Do you ever find yourself awake at night worrying about your kids even when they are right upstairs?

I worry about 2 that aren’t even my own…I have become one of their parents by marriage. So we are thrown together in this weird parent-child-like situation. Their father sleeps peacefully – and he loves them, he’s a great dad – yet here I am the one awake.

So, what do I worry about? Every parent’s great fears: what are they doing sexually? Are they trying drugs? Are they drinking at parties? Do they sneak out at night here or at their friends? Do we really know them and what’s going on with them?

And just when you get to the point where you think “Nah, they are great kids! We are lucky! We have nothing to worry about.” Something happens.

My youngest has a friend I’m just not sure about…seems fine but parents’ relationship dynamics makes me raise my eyebrows…uses language on social media that I don’t like…and tonight my daughter gets home from this friends house at 9:15pm and then immediately begs to go back…has a bit of a meltdown. Odd. She’s 14 – hormones? Then I wake up at 1am because I hear her upstairs…I check Twitter…and amongst the usually silly stuff there it is:

“I wish my parents were cool like everyone else’s”


What? Why are other people’s parents cool? What did we do to not be cool? Frankly, I could careless about being “cool”. What concerns me is the comparison. Do these other parents let their kids drink? Smoke? Etc?

I know of one set of parents who let kids drink underage at their home. Kids who are not theirs. How can people be so irresponsible? How could you do that to other parents??

So now, I lie awake. Being deprived of my sleep because I want to know what it means. I will ask her tomorrow, but will I get the truth?

Dear God, protect my children. I know a family who grieve the loss of their daughter tonight because of texting while driving. Protect my children from harm – harm from others and harm from themselves. Help us know how to guide them. This is my prayer.

I miss the days when my prayers were about myself. Loving others – young ones – is hard work. I long for simplicity.

It’s 3am. Their twitter is silent. Are they finally asleep and thankful for a safe home full of love?

I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own

This happened to my husband …

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

In all of the pain after my ex husband left, there is one pain that stands out as more acute than the rest. After being arrested for bigamy and bailing out of jail, my ex decided to overdose on sleeping pills. It appeared to be a sincere suicide attempt, but he made sure to cover his bases in case he survived.

He composed and emailed a suicide letter to both his new wife and to my mom. I read that email while sitting outside the DA’s office waiting to meet the victim advocate. He was recovering in the ICU.

I felt reality slipping away as I processed the words that distorted the world I knew. In the letter, he speaks of me being “impossible to live with” and “negative.” He talks about my irresponsible spending habits and how I “just had to have my way” and he “couldn’t tell me no.”…

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The storm is coming…

I proof read a letter drafted by our lawyer yesterday…the instant reaction my body had…fear. We know the reaction storm will be big. How do we protect them?

The interactions before it’s all settled….misery. We are anticipating it, and then we get to live it. Doing the right thing seems dangerous…that should nit be the case. Being the ones to bring the storm to a thunderhead with tornadoes feels wrong…disturbing the “peace”.

Why can’t she just do the right thing???