Long Time Gone

It’s been a while.

Long enough for my widgets to stop working and all my social media account links to break. Long enough for pretty much everything about how WordPress works to change. Long enough for even my mother to stop visiting my blog.

Two and a half years, give or take.

Well, shit.

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Mine was sparkling cider.

Before I stopped posting entirely, I slowed down because I was writing other places. Then my day job picked up, which was glorious and time consuming.

 

Somewhere in there (step)parenting got pretty un-fun and I didn’t want to write about it. Not one little bit. I wanted a break.

Gigs took me out of the house and out of town for extended periods of time. When I was home, I didn’t want to write. I wanted to clean.

Wanting to clean is my emotional equivalent of bleeding from the eyes.

I clean and I feel like I’m having an effect on something. For like a minute. Because the thing about having a houseful of kids is that you clean a spot and six people and two dogs come along behind you and lay new shit down in the clean place while you’ve moved on, erroneously believing that you finished back there.

My last gig had a pretty brutal production period, which wasn’t unusual. But for the first time ever, I didn’t bounce back after we opened. I kept waiting, and I never bounced. I looked up one day and realized I was down the rabbit hole again. Way the hell down the rabbit hole.

Well, shit.

For many months, I didn’t think about the blog at all. Then, when I did think about it, I was confused. I felt like I needed to define a new direction and have a plan, and I didn’t know what any of that meant.

 

Ultimately though, I remembered that that’s not why I started in the first place. I just wanted to write. When I started, I felt like I had something to say. I didn’t really care if people read it or not.

I’ve been gone so long, I just wanted to come back.

I’m also going to swear. So there’s that shit to look forward to.

 

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You know you missed me.

 

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When Your Kid Isn’t Ready for College

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Have you ever heard the phrase “If you can spot it, you’ve got it”? Basically, it means that many of the thing that annoy us in other people are things that annoy us in ourselves. Things we’d rather not face.

Don’t believe me? Next time someone pisses you off, do a little soul-searching and see what you find.

I had a whole year of spotting things before I could write this post. The judgment I heard from other people, I had it in myself. The maddening, paralyzing fear in my kid- I had that, too. So I saw stuff, and I owned it and worked through it and blah blah blah… and now I have something to say.

Please go read my post on Family Circle’s Momster blog: When Your Kid Isn’t Ready for College.

If You Weren’t Sick Before…

Earlier this spring, both #4 and #5 went home sick from school on the same day. This type of thing happens only when CC is out of town, and then most often on a Wednesday, my longest work day (for the record, snow days work like this too).

I called my sub in to cover me and made it to the middle school in record time. We got home with no hurling, and when they felt up for it, I heated up some chicken soup, pulled out the saltines and ginger ale and joined them at the table.

The nurse had told me more than 25% of the kids were out sick with the bug that was going around.

Me: I like your nurse at the middle school.

#4: Same.

#5: Same.

Me: Whatever happened to “me too”?

[They stare at me blankly.]

#5: The middle school nurse is way nicer than the one at the elementary school.

Me: Yeah, that one scared me. She yelled at me.

#4: Wasn’t that because of me?

Me: Pretty much. You showed me this teeny-tiny spot on the top of your knee where you had poison ivy and I gave you Caladryl, but you neglected to mention that the back of your legs were completely covered with it and festering. Then you went to the nurse.

#4: Oh yeah, I remember that. I though they were bug bites.

Me: Yeah, well they weren’t. She screamed at me when she called. I kept expecting DYFS to show up on our doorstep for like a month.

#5: What’s festering?

Me: Festering is gross, that’s what.

#4: I remember I got poison ivy on my eye one time.

Me: When I was a kid, I got it on my whole face and my eyes swelled shut. It was awful. Though I wasn’t as bad off as my friends. They went to the bathroom in the woods and used poison ivy leaves to wipe.

[They look, horrified, in my direction.]

Me: Yes, I actually knew people that happened to.

[They look, horrified, at each other.]

Me: They got poison ivy really bad. In their … ah… nether regions.

[They both put their spoons down and scoot away from the table]

#5: Julie? Don’t ever say that again, okay?

Me: Which part?

#4: ANY OF IT!!!

*****

With my innate nurturing skills (feed a cold; starve a fever; gross out a bug) both #4 and #5 made full recoveries. #5 and I played an epic game of Monopoly in which we bent the rules and he beat me by ending up with every single piece of property. It was an entirely different win than the one the week before where we bent the rules and he beat me by ending up with every single dollar, and I had to then explain that we couldn’t just “make” new money because that’s how economies collapse.

Meanwhile, I have a couple posts up on Family Circle’s Momster blog.

When you’re a stepmom of teenagers, you have to expand your definition of parenting wins: Treasured Moments

Attempts to teach a reluctant worker the value of a job well done: Hey Kids, Guess What? Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!

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So, ah… where’s the worst place you ever got poison ivy?