Tag Archives: divorce

Peter Pan and Pixie Dust!

10 Apr
Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods

Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are days I love being a single mom.  This past Easter Sunday was one of them.  My son has been into Peter Pan since we returned from Disney in October.  He saw Peter Pan during one of the productions and at Magic Kingdom he just related to this character so much!  We’ve read the original story of Peter Pan before bedtime and  watched the guest appearance of  Peter Pan on Jake and the Neverland Pirates last month. 

The Easter bunny left some chocolate for him in his Easter basket but the highlight this year for my little guy was not the chocolate bunny from Lindt or the Peanut Butter Easter eggs – it was a Peter Pan costume.  He immediately decided to put it on and act in full character for me.

Later that day we had dinner with family near the beach and my son and I went for a walk on the beach (with Mid-Western Boy, as well).  My little guy was dressed in his Peter Pan costume and was an amazing sight to see as he searched for treasure on the beach and threatened to fight Captain Hook (aka. Mid-Western Boy) with “one hand behind his back!” 

It’s his imagination and creativity that I love!  I try my best to nurture this part of him because I know at some point I lost my imagination and find it hard to create – I want my son to know the importance of being creative and thinking freely.  I know that it is as a single parent that I am able to do this…the man I was married to, whom I conceived this beautiful child with , also known as DB, would never permit this in his home.  In fact, his father has repeatedly asked  me why I allow my son to run around outside the  home in costume.  My son has also confided in me many times that when he is at his father’s house he cannot choose what to wear on his own – his father choose his clothes for him….

Allowing my son to dress himself and wear his costumes and act out his favorite characters, I believe, allows for the full development of this little person — without interference from me or anyone else (except for maybe correcting on manners and other social skills) and allows him to be free from judgement, negativity and helps develop his confidence.  Something, that I think an overbearing father, like DB, would not allow to have happened.

My only regret is that I didn’t bring my camera along to capture this very special afternoon!

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The Request for Some Digits

4 Feb
PHONE

Image via Wikipedia

I have a secret stress weapon that lives in my building.  Her name is M.  She is 14 years old and charges $8 an hour to babysit.  She is the  best deal I found in Manhattan.  My son adores her.  She is almost always available when I ask her to babysit.  If it wasn’t for her, I probably would not have been able to develop my relationship with Mid-Western Boy.  She stayed with my son on almost all of our dates in the early part of our relationship and she even watched him last weekend so we can go out on a Friday night. 

I responded to her advertisement  in the laundry room of our building and we have been developing a nice relationship.  I learned recently that her parents are divorced and that her dad lives 4 blocks away.  She understands my need for help.  She is the oldest child and her mom has three girls. 

There is a very friendly neighbor in my building who always offers to help me (although I haven’t asked her to).  She has two sons and one of them is my son’s age.  She and her husband have been incredibly kind and even invited my son to their son’s birthday party.   We went “trick or treating” together on Halloween.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her when my son joins her son at the local elementary school.  I’m sure the boys will get along well.  It will be great as the boys get older and can spend time together.  It will be nice for me to have a friend in the building – if a relationship develops between us.

Earlier this week she asked me if I had babysitter. I said “yes”.  She asked me who? I said she is 14 and lives in the building.  She said I can’t believe “”you” already have a babysitter in the building!  You have to give me her number!”

I paused.  It was as if she asked for my boyfriend’s number.  I don’t want to share it.  I became really quiet.  My friendly neighbor is a psychiatric nurse practioner, she sensed my closing up.  She said “I’ll run my dates that I need her by you first if you give me her number.”

I didn’t respond.  I just don’t want to share this secret weapon with anyone.  She is the only outside help I have.

My friendly neighbor has a lovely full time Nanny that even comes on Saturdays.  Her parents and her husband’s parents live within walking distance of the building and fill in gaps when her Nanny isn’t available.  She has ALOT of help.   She makes her own hours for her business.  She works 4 days a week (my other fantasy),

She asked me how the heck I found a babysitter in the building – “I told her I do my own laundry.”  It was her turn to be quiet.  It proved my point, I need the help and I can’t share this little help that I engage.   I know my friendly neighbor’s Nanny better than I actually know her because we spend time together in the laundry room with the kids.

This is the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  I need to fend for myself.

Persistence of Time

1 Feb
Old Post Office Pavillion clock tower

Image via Wikipedia

It has been a very long time since I’ve had a few minutes of time all to myself.  A few moments of time to gather my thoughts and write about city life and my son.  Time  to be creative and passionate.

I never realized how important this time to  myself was until I didn’t have a whole minute alone.  I always knew I was a person that liked to be by myself but I never realized how much I would crave solitude as I have over the past several months.

My son’s father hasn’t taken my son for an overnight visit for over one month now.  My days have been exclusively dedicated to spending time with my precious four year old son, who demands my attention, with screams and constant yells of “mommeeee!”  All of this time together has brought us closer together.  I wake up to my son calling out to me, we spend the morning commuting  to the office on the city bus doing puzzles or reading books.  I spend the day at my office working, negotiating and thinking about various issues that each day brings.  At the end of the day, I pick up my son from school and we spend the evening talking, eating dinner nd getting ready for bed.  All of My time is either spent at the office or doing something with my son.    If my son is cooperative in the evening and gets to bed at a decent hour, I can have a few minutes to myself to clean up the kitchen and pack up our food for lunch.  However, this is not my time.  this is what i call Family Time.  Just like cooking is Family Time.  It is an activity that is meant for the family to enjoy.

What I really want is a break – some time to myself; so I’m not rushing from work to the bus to the connecting bus and then home.

I have no one to blame but myself.  I wished for my son’s dad to fade out of our life.   And now it appears he is fading out.  I feared that the fading out would have a negative impact on my son because he was losing this male figure in his life.  His Dad. 

What I instead observe is that my son is better adjusted.  He listens to me, is not as aggressive and is very affectionate with me.  I don’t sense that underlying anger that my son seemed to have exhibited during the summer and early fall when he was seeing more of his father. 

Yes, I feel a sense of justice.  I feel that maybe my son will have a fighting chance at growing into a well balanced man if his father fades away into the background.  My son won’t have to learn to deal with the lies and manipulating thoughts he was infecting my son with during the latter part of last year.  Yes, I feel a sense of victory.  I only hope this fade away is consistent because the only thing consistent about DB is that he is inconsistent.

While I do feel a sense of victory, I feel that the battle has been devastating to the warrior (me).  I’m exhausted, I’m spent and I’m searching for time, time to be by myself, time for solitude and time for “being” instead of “doing.”   Maybe this is how all mothers feel at one point or another.  Even if it is how all mothers feel. . . I just don’t think it is acceptable. 

Last night I worked on building in time for solitude in my schedule.  I’m decided o begin with 15 minutes twice a week.  I’m going to deliberately unchain myself from my desk at the office and sit on the benches outside my office building. I’m not going to bring my blackberry or my iphone.  I’m not going to bring documents to review with me. 

I’m going to sit for 15 minutes and do nothing – twice a week.  The idea of it just relaxes me already.  Today will be my first day.  Wish me luck!

A New Year

4 Jan

HappinessI survived the race to the end of the year.  It was a very busy month for me at the office and at home.  I didn’t have much time for creative writing or even getting my thoughts together clearly because I was consumed by work, parenting and my new relationship.  I forgot how consuming a relationship can be – and I don’t mind it at all. 

In addition, it was the first holiday season where I was happy in a long, long time.  I believe part of my happiness was that I had set my intention on becoming happy as my 2011 goal – my goal was to be fulfilled in mind, body, and soul.  I felt like I was achieving the goal by around September/October of 2011.  I was running again, I started to explore my spiritual side and I was finally feeling content with my life.  At some point in the fall almost at the exact time all of these things were coming together I met Mid-Western Boy.  As a result, I know I must attribute my happiness during this holiday season to him as well.  The final – most wondering reason I was happy this holiday season  was that I had my son for the holidays this year and I was able to enjoy spending time with him .  

I love that 2011 began with the setting of my intention to be fulfilled in mind, body and soul and that I actually achieved that by the conclusion of the year.  It was the first time in my life that I set an intention for the year and actually worked on it all year. 

What I am proudest of is that I have finally found some sort of spirituality.  I’ve become a person who trusts in the universe, a person who believes in synchronicity.  A person who looks at the choices life presents and does not judge them but follows what she thinks must be some divine plan for her.  A person who tries to look at life and life’s events in a more positive way.  This positive outlook and trust in a divine plan has made life a bit easier.

Now as I look towards 2012, I am focusing on setting my intention on how I plan to further grow as a person.   My intention is  to  improve upon the growth in my spirituality and to continue to increase my faith in a divine plan.  It is also my intention to focus on continuing to develop my relationship with Mid-Western Boy and to ensure that it remains a healthy relationship where I continue to have my emotional needs met (and of course, hopefully provide him the same). 

I’m excited for this new year and of course the focus on these new beginnings, I will trust in my faith in the universe that wherever life takes me over the course of the next 12 months it is ensure that I evolve into the best me possible.

Would you like Some Cheese with that Whine?

7 Dec

I don’t usually rant about being a single mother.  I know I have a great situation with a great kid.  I like being able to make decisions for the both of us with little involvement by his father.  However, lately, I’m feeling like my son is exhausting me and I wish I had someone else to help, to intervene.   I don’t know if it is him being a normal developing four year old or if I’m just literally exhausted from doing this on my own for his entire life.

ISSUE #1.  He has begun whining – a lot.  It is driving me crazy.  I don’t know how to deal with the whine.  He whines about anything of whiche he doesn’t get his way- his result.  He wants water when we are walking home from school, he wants to watch television while we are eating dinner, he wants to play with puzzles when it is time to go to bed.  He has never whined before and now it is incessant.  I give in. I think every parenting book probably says don’t give into this behavior but at the end of a long work day, I just don’t want to hear it!  I am not a saint.  I am exhausted too!  I sometimes feel like I had somebody to whine to after a long day.

 At the end of the day, I need quiet time to decompress.  This time of year, I need that quiet time even more than ever because of how busy I am at the office with end of the year projects.  In addition to the end of the year projects, we have Christmas and holiday stuff to prepare for – so when I’m not thinking about work, I’m thinking about Christmas presents and how I’m going to fit it all in (although most of my shopping is completed online).

ISSUE $2. He doesn’t listen.  I need to repeat myself several times for him to do something. Pick up your toys from the floor, put your coat on, we are leaving for school.  He deliberately ignores me and has already developed selective hearing.  I have bcome a nag to my four year old son and I can’t take hearing myself.  I just wonder if other parents have this same issue with their children?  I feel so alone in it and I don’t share much about it to anyone. 

ISSUE #3. Beating himself up or Manipulation? The other thing that is driving me nuts is that when I do lose my temper or raise my voice to discipline him, he throws a total crying fit.  His words are hurtful.  He says to me – “you don’ t love me mommy”, “you are not proude of me”, “I think I’m a bad guy” and “Someone should kill me I’m so destructive.”  Upon hearing this language, I immediately run to him and start holding him and kissing him telling him that Mommy loves him very much and thinks he is a good boy but just would like for him to listen to me better and control himself.  I kiss him and hold him and wait for him to stop crying.  I even start to tear up when he articulates these thoughts outloud.  I just wonder if he is trying to manipulate me and distract me from his behavior that I am trying to correct?

Last night I just wished I had someone else to tell him to listen to me.  I wish I had someone in the house to defend me – to help me – to be the bad guy for once.  I feel like I’m always the bad guy because I am the only one that disciplines him on a regular basis. He even told me I’m a bad guy because I yell at him!

What other choice do we have as a single mom?  I guess we just have to hope and pray that our kids turn out alright and they look back on their life and think about how lucky they were to have a mom  that sacrificed so much to give him the best possible life she could.

I think that’s a long time to wait for a return on this investment.  So, instead, last night I did what any frazzled mom would do, I turned on the television, went into the bathroom, lit a candle and took a warm bath by myself while he was occupied with Go, Diego, Go.  I did feel a bit better before our bedtime story.

The Thanksgiving Five: Family, Friends, Fun, Food and Football + Thankful for Opportunities

24 Nov

Today is my favorite day of the entire year!  It is a holiday that requires us to share my favorite thing in the whole world – food – and to be with the people we love most watching football! It doesn’t require buying any presents and trying to figure out if someone is going to like something  – all it requires is for us  to spend time with family doing my favorite thing – eating – and taking a moment to be thankful for all the wonderful things in life.  It is the most special of all of the holidays on our calendar because we get two days off from school and work!  No  other holiday has this type of street credit!

I am truly thankful for so many things in my life.  My journey began three years ago today when DB decided to stay out all night long and come home in a drunken/drugged stupor while I prepared a Thanksgiving feast for his family.  As a result, I canceled Thanksgiving dinner and went to my family’s home.  That day was a gift, although I didn’t know it at the time, a gift for a new life.

I have come so far since that day.  Thanksgiving  is a day that will always have so much meaning to me not only because it is the food event of the year but also because it was the first day I became alive after so many years of being emotionally numb at the hands of DB.  I will never forget that day and I will be ever grateful for the support of my family that I received when I showed up crying at their home at 11:00am with my infant son.

That day was a gift, an answer to my prayers.  That day gave me opportunity to make a choice.  A choice to leave an old life for a new life.   And as I reflect on that new life I have been living, I know that  I may not have had that opportunity to do all of it on my own if it wasn’t for  the most courageous people I know – my grandparents.  My grandparents brought their families to the United States seeking opportunity for a better life, a new life.  They left the only home they knew (their small towns) with their large families in tow and only a few personal belongings with a hope and a dream that they will find opportunity in the United States.  I am living proof of that dream of opportunity.  Like the original pilgrims my grandparents came to the United States seeking opportunity and on Thanksgiving day more than 40 years later I too sought a new opportunity for a better life that only the United States could provide a soon to be single mother – a mother with a dream.

 I have been granted opportunities that I am forever grateful for – namely my higher education and my profession.  I am thankful everyday for those opportunities because they allow me to pave the way for my son to have opportunities, I hope, that my grandparents may never have dreamed of the day they began their pilgrimage to the New World filled with hope.

Today I reflect on their pilgrimage and their hope and I am thankful for their dreams which in turn turned into opportunities and a life filled with hope, happiness and love for my son and I.

F-A-M-I-L-Y – “When you are in my heart, you’re in my family”

14 Nov
Family Photos 1999-2002

Image by IvanWalsh.com via Flickr

My son and I love Laurie Berkner.   The Laurie Berkner Band is like a rock band for pre-schoolers.  Her tunes are catchy and fun for parents and children.  She even has cute videos which you can watch on YouTube.  She sings a song called Family.  When I first separated from my husband the song always brought tears to my eyes.  I was sad because Family is the most important thing in life and here I was initiating a divorce when my son was an infant breaking up a new family.  I couldn’t get it out of my head that my son  would never know the meaning of this song.

Yesterday we celebrated my niece’s christening and I realized yesterday that my fears were just nonsense.  I watched as my son had the same life I had with my cousin’s children.  I was raised with my seeing my cousins and my grandparents on a weekly basis.   Although we don’t see my extended family anymore on a weekly basis, we do get together at holiday time and for family events and catch-up with each other.  We remain in each other’s life – not because we have to – because we want to.

It was beautiful for me to see my son run around with my cousin’s children.  They had so much fun together and spent the day playing – just like I did when I was his age with my cousins.   In my life, Family is not just mother, father, sister,  and brother.  It is all the people  that have come and remained in our life to support us as we evolve on this great journey.

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