Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sometimes It's Lonely at the Top

Surrounded by lackeys, family, and friends Don Corleone still had to sit alone at his desk and make the final call. He still has to weigh decisions on his own, comfort himself, live with his choices, and in the end, like all of us will, he died alone. Oneness with another is a myth, but I can't help but want it sometimes. Lonely is just the wants hiding in a different color ache.

Thanksgiving came and went. I love, love, love being with my delicious family. Brother, sister, mother, in-laws, out-laws, partners, grand dame, children, children, children. There is a lot of laughing and intense talking and cooking, yet I always leave with the wants. Everyone in my family is coupled and happily so. My brother is celebrating his 15th year of marriage this year. My sister her 10th. My mom found an amazing man two years after my dad died. They have been together seven years.

Watching the men with their children, watching knowing looks pass between couples, watching the gentle touch between two people who rely on each other for comfort, it creates the wants in me. I have no illusions that their lives are perfect. Life is life, and human beings are so painfully human. Still, to me, while everyone is together wearing their visiting manners, couples are like shiny displays in shop windows. Out of reach and beautiful, to be looked at and enjoyed but for someone else who has more resources.

I always leave family gatherings aching and sore in my soul. It takes me a few days to return to center. Center being a place of peace with my wonderful life. My friends, my freedom, my man, my sweet job, and best of all my beasties. If I had a partner he would not feed the wants in me. He could not cure my lonely because the lonely wants are not about a person. They are about a myth.

I think one of reasons my husband left (besides being a total and complete jackass) was that I thought we were 1/2's of the same whole and that he could fill my wants. That is a tall order for one person, no one can do it, especially someone who is damaged beyond hope. I loved being married. Loved the rootedness of it. Loved the cocoon of it. Being single again is a lesson for me in self-confidence, self-care, and growing up. Learning to stand on my own and root myself. Sometimes it fucking sucks.

I woke today planning on meditating and yoga-ing myself back to center, but what I have done is read my book, smoke, and now write this. None of which will cure the wants. I have heard some people refer to the wants as a God shaped hole. The only way I'm gonna fill this baby is to fill it with spiritual food. Meditation, joy, being in the moment, gratitude.

I'm getting up, friends, shutting this computer off, and going to set up the Christmas tree. I'm gonna be in the moment, dance to Christmas music with my kids, and heal myself. Don Corleone give me strength, Buddha give me joy, Queenpin root thyself, because ain't nobody else gonna do it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Unanswerable Question

I am again at the point where I am wondering how to tell my kids their dad is broken. I do not talk bad about their dad in front of them. They know I get angry at him, but not because I rant and rave, but because of the tension in the room when we have to be near each other.

The wusband hasn't seen the kids in a week, hasn't called in five days. This morning my sweet four year old girl woke up crying "Daddy, daddy, daddy..." What do you say to those sweet tears? If the books are right, there's no way my kids aren't going to take his behavior personally. There's no way they aren't going to think it's their fault he's such a fuck up. How does a Queenpin do damage control?

I know how Don Corleone would do it, but I don't want to hurt the man...physically. I also don't want him to disappear. I just want him to be who he can't be, a dad. A person that understands what truly loving another being is. I want to teach my kids acceptance. That this is the way he is and its okay to love him as he is, but he will not change. It's not you, it's him. Really, beasties, it is. Look how freaking lovable you are. You'd have to be broken and damaged to walk away from two jewels like you.

I offer him up to the Buddhas, I offer his girlfriend up to the Buddhas. I imagine them being wrapped in loving arms and healed. That works for me (for a few minutes at least). What about my little ones, how do I let them know that this is not about them?

My daddy loved me. Sometimes I had to figure out his code for telling me he loved me, "Change your oil!" he would bellow about my car. In my daddy speak that was, "I love you". He hugged and kissed us too. He said the words, but most of all he was also THERE. Even when he didn't want to be. He stayed, and more than anything that was proof that he loved me, us. Anyone can say the words, but the actions show the truth. No one had to explain to me about Daddy love, so I've got no script to go from here.

I know the times without their dad are going to get longer. He is has been in and out of his other kids lives for years. Conveniently parenting when it suits him. I'm slowly coming up with the words to say to my sweet little ones, but when you're explaining about a dad who doesn't know how to love there are no words that will be right.

Maybe my lesson is acceptance too. There will be scars on my beasties from this. The Queenpin's job is to not make the wounds larger, and to be their healing salve. But there is no way to make their dad put them first. I will never be able to make it all right. Damn.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Buddha Comes In Mysterious Ways

The other night I went into the kitchen and screamed! A full blown, I'm being stabbed scream. I was being stabbed by motherhood. The Queenpin was having a moment of FREAK OUT. If I had had a good rubberband gun I would have lined up all the baby dolls and Transformers and shot them in their beady eyes just to take someone else down. Just to watch someone else feel beaten.

Friday nights I am so tired, but this Friday no one would sleep. I would get one down and another would pop up. My son was up at this moment. Whimpering. And then crying. And then squealing. And then I screamed. And then I went to the porch for a smoke.

I was furiously puffing away, leaving some crazy mom vent for my sister on her voicemail when my kid came out and said, "Mom, I know what will make you feel better."

"What?" I growled like some rabid wolf.

"Om Tara Tu Tara Ture Soha"

My heart broke, my shoulders sagged and I said, "I'll be in in a minute and lay down with you, baby."

That mantra is to the female Buddha Tara. She is the protector of animals and children and she is my guru. It is the mantra I sing to my children when I put them to bed. It is the mantra I have taught them to say to themselves when they need soothing. It is the prayer we say when when we want to send blessings to someone.

That kid. He knows how to melt my heart. May be this is working. May be I'm teaching them about prayer and Buddhism, even when I'm screaming, smoking, and being rabid. Buddha teaches in the most mysterious ways. It's a super dirty trick to use a kid, but very effective.

Smoking is My Frenemy

Smoking is my frenemy. I hate it and I love it. The first time I smoked a cigarette I was 10 years old walking back from a trip to the ice cream shop with friends. One of the girls picked up a lit cigarette off the ground that someone had thrown down and we smoked it. Ee-gads the thought of that now makes me shudder.

I have quit countless times since that moment. Four years once, a year and a 1/2 once, months here and there, weeks, and then we get to the days mark. Sometimes I quit for hours and then find myself at 7-11 at the counter feeling like a loser passing over my cash to buy some sweet relief.

The wusband smokes too. Having two parents who smoke raise my kids chances of smoking. I get the lung cancer threat too. Really I do. But I cannot seem to stay done.

Many times I wonder what it is that keeps my going back. I have lots of reasons. I have smoked so long I define myself as a smoker. In movies I always related to the biggest baddest smoker. I was always Rizzo from Grease, the bad girl characters. But is that really it? I have redefined my life so many times you would think I would be able to redefine that out of it, but I can't let it go. Even the badass bitches in movies don't smoke anymore yet here I go puffing away. All women who were smoking in the old movies are probably on oxygen tanks now. That is so not sexy.

One thing I hold onto with smoking is that it gives me a break. I walk outside and have 5 kid free moments. It is a true quick break from the chaos that is my life. Is it worth lung cancer? The stink of it? The shame of it? Nope, but I can't seem to give it up. It beats me down it makes me feel weak physically and emotionally, yet it also builds me up and makes me feel sexy and badass. It gives me a few moments of peace, yet also has me always chasing it. I'm never really satisfied until I have that smoke in my lungs.

I have done it all; the gum, some tapping therapy thing, meditation, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, cold turkey, cutting back. I'm not sure what its going to take so I wait for the next moment of quitting to come and then I'll ride it. I'll quit again. Swear it is the last time and pray to the Buddhas that this time it really is. Joe Camel you are one dirty motherfucker, I love you.