Sunday, September 28, 2008


Last Sunday evening, Dh's grandmother passed away. At the funeral home in the lounge/playroom, I had the following conversation with one of Dh's cousins *Melanie who has a high-functioning form of ASD.

Big and another cousin were playing obnoxiously like boys of that age do and being up in Melanie's personal space. She lashed out at them screaming and I called Aidan over to me and told him that he needed to cool it and just play on the floor and to not be too upset by her outburst.

She comes over to me and lays her hand on my shoulder sighing and says "You don't know how lucky you are to not have cousins to annoy you."

I just laughed and said, "Well, I have my kids to annoy me and that's enough."

"No, it's not as bad as cousins."

"You do know that is my son right?" I ask her.

"No, that is your son." She says pointing to Little.

"Well, yes and so is he." I said pointing to Big.

"No, Angela and Jason had him." Melanie says.

Finally I get it that she has no idea who I am since I got my hair cut. I tell her that I am Angela and she's beside herself. Soon, she plops herslef down in the chair across from me and decides to have a conversation with me.

"So how old were you when you had Big?"

WTF is it with all these questions all the sudden about this stuff!

"I was 17."


I kind of smiled and said "Well, it's just one of those thigs that happens."

"No really, I mean, what happened?!"

What, you want intimate details kid?! Ugh, this is what happens when Dh leaves me alone around his whole family.

I simply repeated myself and looked to the table of food to find something to stuff my face with.

She shakes her head and finally says; "Are we talking. . . are we talking. . . *sex before marriage!?!?!?!*!"

I just smile and shrug trying not to fuel this conversation any further.

She shakes her head again and grabs my hands, her eyes the size of poker chips and says.

"God will forgive you!"

Ummm. . . ok. Thanks. I'm glad I got that cleared up.

She crosses her legs and leans into me still shaking her head like I just told her I'm actually a convicted felon out on parole, and says "Didn't your parents teach you about that. I mean really, didn't they teach you!"

At this point, I almost blurt out that we don't believe in the same values that she does, so no, my mother did not set out to teach me that I was going to hell for having sex before marriage. But I decided not to.

Instead I decided that MIL was in dire need of her wallet that she had left down there and that we needed to find her immediately and give it to her. I excused myself and my spawn of Satan children. I ran upstairs and found my FIL first and told him the story which gave him a nice chuckle so at least some good came of it.

Later on, I was standing with some relatives and Dh and FIL comes up behind me and says "Sinner!!!" in my ear. I told him I needed a red letter or something. I'll never be seen the same I guess.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Drop it Like it's Hot.

I did and it is. . .

I donated 10 inches to Locks of Love yesterday and I'm loving it. It's a drastic change, but I needed to spice it up a bit ;).

For more information on how to donate to Locks of love visit: Locks of Love

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You?

It's the question of the day today.

I was in my anatomy and physiology class. In between classes we had all heard some rumblings from other students "Did you hear? Hear what? Oh that, Mrs. So and so was talking to Mr. So and so in the hallway about something. What's going on?"

We attempted to start class when my teacher, Mr. Gerrard, took out his Blackberry and abruptly left the room. He came back in looking much more pale than when he left and said "Another plane just hit another tower in NYC. Something is going on. I'm going to get a TV." and he left again. My lab partner and I looked at each other and asked if the other knew what was going on. Neither of us did.

He wheeled an old horrid TV in and turned on the first clear channel he could get. There had been plenty of murmuring and small "yes"'s from some when he said he was getting the TV instead of the planned quiz on whatever body system we were supposed to have studied up on.

However, you could have heard a pin drop once the TV was turned on. No one took notes, no one talked- we hardly even looked at each other. Our teacher started to cry. For 40 minutes we all just sat together in a state of shock; unable to make sense of what we were seeing or really to even grasp the depth of the impact this would have on all our lives. The bell rang right as the first tower came down. A chorus of "Oh my God"s rang out as we all looked at each other and I thought "We just watched all those people die.".

When I was pregnant with Big, I would have panic attacks frequently in school. I felt the beginnings of one as I walked to my next class. This time, it was different though. I felt a fear like I'd never felt before. I wanted to leave school and run the 4 miles to Big's home daycare. I wanted to get him and just go home and climb under the blankets and snuggle and pretend nothing outside those blankets existed. I thought of my then boyfriend (now dh). He worked at the 5/3 bank in downtown Cincy. I was scared for him. Terrified actually, but even that didn't come close to the panic that that seized my whole body when I thought about getting to Big.

I made it to my chorus class on time and took a seat off to the side to collect myself. We had a substitute. He informed us that while the news we may or may not have been hearing was disturbing, it was no reason to not rehearse that day and he expected us all to be ready to sing shortly.

I wanted to punch him in the face. I looked around at my classmates. Most were confused and trying to get the story from others and then lamenting the fact that they didn't get to watch TV last period. I started crying. I was so angry. I was angry at my teacher, my classmates and myself. I felt sick and I kept thinking; "What have I done? What kind of world have I brought a child into? I don't know how to deal with this. How do you teach a child about hate and war. They are too innocent for this shit. How am I going to make him feel safe when it's painfully obvious that none of us are ever completely safe." I kept hearing the panic in the newscasters voices and the screams of the people in the streets as the tower came down.

For nearly every problem I'd come across while being a teen mother, I'd managed to find the answer in a book or a friend. I wanted to keep Big safe more than I wanted to breathe, but I didn't know how. Neither would anyone else I knew. I suspected my blanket idea wasn't going to get us very far in real life, despite it's obvious appeal. I tried to think of how I would teach him about love and kindness; helping your fellow man and having respect for all people regardless of where they came from or how they looked. Sitting in that chair that day, it seemed an insurmountable feat.

I don't remember the rest of the day; only that it couldn't have ended soon enough. Most of the rest of the day was spent watching a TV if it was available or having a Q&A session with our teachers. I don't even remember what I did when I got home, but I know that there was plenty of snuggling going on. I remember watching the news for weeks afterward as the stories got less and less about the facts and more about the personal stories of people who had been lost. I remember crying nearly everyday over it. I hated it, but at the same time, I felt like I owed it to them.

This morning I listened to a tribute on the radio which had many of the same clips I heard seven years ago. I sat in the car listening to all of it even though it moved me this morning the same way it did in 2001. And I still felt like I owed it to them. I've done my best to make sure that both of my children feel safe and that they know that love, like hatred, can sometimes come when you least expect it. If I've learned nothing over the last seven years, it's that the philosophy of "an eye for an eye" soothes that burning anger that follows tragedy. However, my heart is more satisfied by Anne Frank's own philosophy that despite everything, people are really good at heart.

I'm struggling with how to end this. I've been at it for over an hour now. I want my children to learn that words are more powerful than any guns and that turning the other cheek doesn't mean having no self respect. I hope that my behavior toward the people in my life will show them how to give and get respect and how to find the good in people.