There’s plenty to write about. Massive storm on the East Coast, final week before the election, recent personal events, Halloween, and all kinds of miscellany floating around in my tiny, tiny brain. I need to carve out some time for the other writing. Right now, I have some personal stuff demanding attention.
Tonight we will carve Liam’s first ever pumpkin and go to the grocery store. Tomorrow we’re going out trick or treating with a friend and her daughter at a Carnival in the East Valley. It should be lots of fun. Will have to pick up Meghan directly from school and head out….should take us about an hour to get to my friend’s house. Meghan has changed her mind at the last minute and decided to be Katniss from The Hunger Games (she was going to be a Greek Goddess but decided it wasn’t cool enough). Liam will be a little dinosaur. Although it cools off at sundown, it will still be warm (it was 90 degrees yesterday) so I hope the outfit isn’t too hot for him. I’m also worried about the tail. How will he sit with a big fat tail in the way? Guess I should of thought about that when I bought the costume. Maybe I can partially detach it so it swings to the side….funny visual that.
This weekend, my daughter’s visit and another soccer game. The next two weekends after that are soccer tournaments–which eat up the entire weekend. For those of you who are divorced, you know how this goes. The other parent signs the kid up for something and it interferes with your time but the kid wants to do it. So you go along with it because, well, you don’t have a choice. If you say no you’re the bad guy for denying the kid something they want (particularly if its something that’s good for the kid) and the other parent has already committed, spent money, yadda, yadda. If you say yes, you have to rearrange and sacrifice other parts of your life. That’s where I’m at. I love watching her play soccer and I know it’s good for her. But I have to give up a lot of time doing some other things that are important to me as well. I’ve been invited to go away for the weekend. To hang out and go fishing. I would love to do it, I just don’t know how to balance what my kid wants and what I want. This is probably the oldest conundrum in the book. I can just see Eve telling Adam….’Cain and Able have that javelin tossing tournament this weekend and they always do better if I am there, but Lilith invited me to go to the spa and I really could use the break…….” Spin the wheel is and see who you will disappoint this weekend! Usually I choose to disappoint myself, but that gets really old after a while.
Add to that having my two year old son with me at said soccer games. He’s good for about the first five minutes and after that, he wants to run out onto the field and play with Sissy (yelling, “Sissy….Mey….Gun! Soccer! Kick!”). And if he’s not running out onto the field, he is trying to do anything that I don’t want him to do. It’s cute but also, let me be honest, annoying. I can’t really watch the game because I expend all my energy keeping him off the field and entertained. I am an enthusiastic fan (note, remarkable understatement) and I enjoy watching her play. I played about 3 or 4 years soccer (some co-ed) myself (mostly as goalie). Plus, I am very, very competitive. So it’s very, very, very hard for me to watch the girls make some easily avoided mistakes and keep my mouth shut. Unlike a rec league, parents are not allowed to coach. We can only encourage. And let me just say, I can encourage with the best of them, loudly. Meghan is a superstar (of course, note this is bragging but also true). She has the most assists, the most shots on goal and, I think, the most goals scored on her team. All that and she is about 3-6 inches or more shorter than her teammates and the competitors. One of her skills is that she’s fast. She didn’t get that from me. I’ve never been much of a runner–it’s from her Father who is short and muscular, fast twitch muscle and all that. She’s a striker–a natural at offense which is the opposite of me. I am a natural at defense. Sometimes she amazes me with her skill and instinctive footwork. So, like I said, it’s fun to watch her and encourage her.
With Liam however, watching is very much curtailed. And during tournaments, participation of any kind becomes almost impossible. The running to and from usually in a different town, resting in between games, or at least trying to get Meghan to rest between games while refueling her is tough. This last one we spent untold hours going back and forth from the fields to our car (they had such crappy scattered parking they had to run shuttles). Between games if there wasn’t enough time to go to a restaurant, we waited next to the fields trying to avoid getting burnt to a crisp and trying to eat something while fighting off boredom. And the amount of food, water and stuff you have to carry around is ridiculous. I didn’t have Liam with me that weekend, but if I did, I couldn’t have done it. It’s just far, far too much. Liam is a very well behaved boy but there are limits to what any 2 year old can tolerate (and to what Mommy can endure). I am going to have to buy one of those foldable carts to carry Liam, coolers, chairs, etc. Normally though, he’s with his dad.
However, with the upcoming tournaments I will probably have him. Liam’s dad is starting to get busy at work (or at least is projected to get busy) so he probably won’t be taking Liam on Saturdays for a couple of months. So either I don’t go to the tournaments or I bring Liam. It will also mean that I won’t get a break of any kind unless I hire a babysitter. This could all be avoided if Liam’s dad had a normal 8 to 5 job but he has chosen to do seasonal work. In the summer there’s nothing and he lives off of unemployment. In the Fall and Winter, it’s work like crazy. This is a sore point between us because I believe he could get a job that is more consistent, year round and that pays more (even with benefits). But he’s content to work seasonally, getting paid by how much he produces and no benefits. I have never understood this lack of ambition. Not that I am ambitious in the traditional sense. I don’t want to be Donald Trump. Nevertheless, I just don’t understand why anyone would choose to live on the ragged edge of poverty if they didn’t have to. Although it’s his life and his choice, it still affects me (and Liam). Kind of like the soccer thing. They make choices and I have to live with them. Mind you, this goes both ways. If I make a choice, like I did moving out to the West Valley further away from where his dad lives, it affects him too. Which means, it’s probably the nature of the beast and I should stop sweating it.
Anyway, the holidays are coming up, which is it’s own large can of worms. Shopping, how I despise it. I am not your typical woman. If I can get away with it, I will avoid the mall madness that seizes America at this time of year and order everything online. No plans, as of yet, for Turkey Day. It would be nice to cook, because I actually love to cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. However, who would eat it besides me? Meghan sure wouldn’t (she still holds the world record for “Pickiest Eater” and the one for “Longest time going without eating to avoid consuming some fairly innocuous and good for you kind of food”) and Liam is growing pickier by the day. Christmas plans? Haven’t even thought about it.
How about you? Are you already buried in planning for the holidays? Or are you like me, rushing headlong into a string of events and what part of the rabbit hole you come out of is, as of yet, undetermined? I do know some things for certain. In spite of all my “bumming and bitching” this is the happiest time of my life. My kids are healthy, strong and smart. My health is good and getting better. I have a good job and a nice place. I have a new car that runs well. And I met someone that I really like who seems very nice. So far, I like where the rabbit hole has taken me and I actually can handle the other kinds of adventure that comes with it. I heard someone say once that these are “Problems of Abundance”. It could be much, much worse. No kids, no job, no food, bad health and no date. Truly, I am grateful for my “Problems of Abundance”. How about you?
PS: Coming soon….another post about why I am voting for Obama, some thoughts on a book that I have wanted to write my entire adult life and may now get a chance to, and other mental cast offs.