Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dude, just shut up. Your words make me dislike you. . . .

I like most people.  In fact, I really don't like not liking people.  There is good in all and even people who others may not like I can usually find something to like about them.  People are people and God put us here to love and support one another.  Then there is Ann Romney. . .

Now, you may wonder why I dislike her so.  I myself have wondered that.  When I first saw her on Mitt's arm so many months ago I saw this blond Michigan born woman who I really had no feelings either way about.  George Romney was actually a friend of my Great Grandfather's.  I had nothing against her.

Then I heard her talk.  Now this was back when some ignorant democrat had stated that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life.  I will say that women who stay at home to raise their children do work hard, it is thankless work that pays nothing.  I am not supporting that democrat that said that, but Ann Romney's response pissed me off.  She went on about how hard she did work, how it was so hard to raise five boys, so how dare this person say she had never worked a day in her life.

OK, this is my issue with that, Ann Romney raised five boys, probably alone for the most part because I am sure Mitt worked long hours, I will give her that, but Ann Romney has no clue what it is like for most American families to raise their children.  Ann Romney was born wealthy, and she married into wealth.  Does Mrs. Romney know what it is like to have to leave her babies at daycare to go off to a job when she would rather be able to stay at home and raise them?  Does she know what it is like to cry the entire way while leaving them there?  Does Mrs. Romney know what it is like to raise four children, work, have a husband who is gone all the time working, have to come home after working and still try to find a way to help kids with homework, cook dinner, do laundry, clean the house, brush kids teeth, and make sure they are clean?  Does she know this?  Her reaction to that "never worked a day in her life" statement showed me she has has no real idea of what it is like to be a woman in America.

I still felt bad for not liking her.  I mean, she is Michigan born and I really like Michigan people.   Tonight I listened to her speech.  I listened to her talk about how wonderful Mitt is because he still makes her laugh.  I listened to her talk about her marriage being real and hard, not a fairy tale.  I listen to her talk about how the reason her husband is successful is because he worked hard.  All I am left with is a feeling that this woman is so out of touch with how real Americans live, and just this horrible taste in my mouth.

I stay home now, it is a privilege to stay home and raise my kids and I know this, but this staying home means there have to be sacrifices - like in many American families where one parent stays home.  I do not have the luxury of staying home and just raising my children, I have to find a way to make one income cover all our bills.  We all go without so we can have a parent be home with our kids.  Along with the stress of raising children, did Mrs. Romney know what it was like to go without?  Did/does she know what it is like to try to make pennies stretch to try to feed your kids, and still try to put something away for retirement or college?  Somehow I think she doesn't.

And her talking about her husbands hard work. . . pisses me off.  I have no doubt that Mitt has worked hard, but they have to realize that they both had advantages that many, probably even most, Americans did not have.  If Mitt's business failed would they have starved and had to be homeless?  No, they had parents with financial means to keep them afloat.  Did they graduate from college with student loan debt?  Somehow I am betting they didn't.  George may have taught Mitt the value of hard work, but Mitt never would have been truly without had things gone to hell.  Heck, I would have loved to be able to spend 36 months in France as a missionary.  LOVED IT!  That was not something that would have ever been an option for me, or most of the people I know.

Finally, don't bring your illnesses up anymore.  Rich and poor both get sick.  I know people with MS.  I know people who have had breast cancer.  You were fortunate enough to be in a position to get the best medical care possible.  My mother in law had breast cancer.  My mother in law had no health insurance when she found her lump.  Guess what, she is DEAD now because she didn't have the heath insurance to take care of that lump early enough to save her life.  DEAD.   I have a friend with MS who works full time, yet her job offers her no health insurance so she is wheel chair bound, and will be for the rest of her life.  Don't throw your illnesses out there to show how hard and real your life as been - because even in that you are so out of touch it makes me ill.

So Ann Romney, please keep your mouth shut and don't talk anymore.  Your words just piss me off.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The long goodbye. . . .

     A dear friend and former co-worker once told me that parenting is the most bittersweet job you will ever have.  From the moment you hear that first cry your entire mission in life is to make them into functioning people so at some point they can pack up their car and head off on their own.  This week that really hit home for me!

     In the day to day functions of parenting I think many of us forget this is only a temporary job.  The wiping of bums, the preparing of meals, washing dishes, doing laundry, wiping fingerprint of the same mirror four times in one day, and the constant picking up the same items time after time. . . . these things can be tedious.  At times you can get angry for picking up that same pillow off your living room floor (the pillow you just put away 20 minutes ago).  At times you forget what a privilege it is to be able to do this.

     I think for us that message has even been more clouded.  From the moment Gable was diagnosed we were told to be prepared to be his primary care giver for the rest of our lives.  At that point our entire purposed turned into making him a functioning person - someone who would someday go off and live on his own (which now we know all those predictions where not founded, Gabe will be fine)

     This week was hard for me.  For the last 12 years I have had a young child with me at all times (except when working).  Everything I do I do with my children.  They are my life.  Then on Tuesday I walked my babies down to the bus stop and sent them off to the next step of their lives, school.

     The first five years of our children's lives are all ours.  We shape them.  We mold them.  The habits and behaviors they get are from us.  We are their biggest influence.  Now that all changes.  Now they look to their peers, they learn things from them, they choose who their friends are from a pool of people I do not know. 

     This week it really hit home that this is nothing but one long goodbye. . . .

Saturday, August 4, 2012

If you don't like me. . .

I don't make friends easily.  I mean - I am a friendly person and I am friendly to everyone, but as far as true friendships there have only been a few people in my life that I would consider my friend - and once my friend that person will always have my love and friendship.  I consider my friends to be family.

I am what I am.  I am known to be dramatic at times.  When I say something I mean it - but I do try hard not to say things that will hurt someone unless it is absolutely needed.  I may not be that person who will go to the bar with you or get drunk with you, but if you need help moving, need a meal cooked for you, or are sick and need help I will be there to help (probably with my 4 kids behind me but I will be there).  And Facebook - to use my Father-In-Laws term, "You put your life on Facebook."  He is right.  If I am feeling something or thinking something it will probably show up on F-book.

So - it has come to my attention that some people don't like the things I post on f-book.  They don't want to hear about the mundane of my life, they don't care to see photos of my kid, they don't want to hear my rants over Floridiots. . . . well you know what, if you you really don't like my f-book posts then unfriend me.  I live 1400 miles away from most of my family and friends, thus I rarely see any of you.  I personally want to know what is going on in your life.  I actually CARE about how you and your family are doing.  No - I am not being fake when I ask how things are going.  I am not being fake when I say I want to see you when I am up, I may not get the chance to see all of you, but I actually do want to see you. 

I know I don't live this exciting life, I am a boring house wife who at time can be somewhat of a downer, and if you have an issue with that you can kiss my a$$.

My Grandma's house

I have moved a lot in my 37 years on this planet – as a child and an adult.  A house is a house – with the exception of the last home we owned in Buckley I was never sad to leave a house.  The last house in Buckley was a little bittersweet – for it was the closest place we lived that actually felt like it was our style – but even that was not our dream home.  It was a modest three bedroom tri-level – not an old Victorian home or an old farm house – but we decorated it more our style so it was harder to leave the house (and the community).  Then there is my Grandma’s home. . . .
Here I sit in her kitchen, typing this.  Her kitchen where 95% of all the holiday meals I have ever had were eaten.  Her kitchen where most of her days were spent either cleaning, cooking, reading the paper, having coffee with a neighbor, or playing cards at her table.  Grandpa wanted to build her a big kitchen so she had room to cook.  Her wooden cupboards with red countertops, the wooden buffet against the wall. . . this kitchen has changed very little in my lifetime.  
My Grandparents built their home in 1949, and they built the addition with the master bedroom, current kitchen, and backroom area’s in the mid 50’s (Grandma always said they built the addition right around the time my mom was born – so that would have been in 1956).  They built this home with their own hands.  They even made a lot of the blocks used to build the home themselves.  They were hardworking people who did their best – and 63 years later this home still stands.
Grandma loved her home.  She would go other places for trips and such – but her home was where she always longed to be.  Her home was her castle – built for her by her prince.  “It is so nice to be home” was what she said most of the time she walked through her back kitchen door.    Her home was where she felt safe, comfortable, and close to those she loved.  My Grandfather passed away after only 28 years of marriage, and she waited another 42 years to join him in the kingdom of God – yet she said many times that she felt close to him here in this house – that he built for her.
As a child I spent a lot of time here – sometimes fully living here and then during every vacation and summer that I could spend here.  Grandma’s house was where most of us grandkids preferred to be.  The white brick home with the gray (or blue depending on how far back you go in my lifetime) trim was the most beautiful home in the world.  When I would hear the news talk about “The White House” I honestly thought they were talking about my Grandma’s house – because I could think of no place as beautiful and spectacular as this little white block home.
Grandma’s house was my oasis, the closest thing I could think to heaven on this planet.  Grandma’s house was always warm and comfortable.  You walked through the door and you were greeted with love and a big sloppy wet kiss.  Your arrival was always a true joy – and most of the Grandkids longed for that.  At Grandma’s house you knew all your physical needs would be met – and you also knew your emotional needs would be met as well.  You were loved and cared for in a home that was always kept very clean and tidy.  You knew life would be full of joy and excitement – from Grandma making the small things exciting to the fun of a cousin you haven’t seen in a while stopping by to stay as well.  As a child – Grandma’s house was the best place on Earth to be.
As time progressed and we became adults, Grandma’s house was still our oasis.  We all knew that no matter what happened we would always a place that was welcoming that we could stay.  If we lost homes, if we lost jobs, if we lost significant others – Grandma would always welcome us with open arms and love.  Grandma would be here with her nutty dunker donuts, a cup of coffee, and she would share with our joys and cry with us during our hardships.  Grandma’s house that never seemed to change much – then we lost Grandma. . .
I will admit – part of me was very worried about staying up here this summer without Grandma.  Grandma had been gone for over a year now – and I know how much I missed just holding her hand and smelling her hair.  Would we be able to stay at her home?  Would I be too sad to allow the kids to have a good summer?  Would we be too creeped out at night to stay here?   Would I be able to figure out her 63 year old septic system, old kitchen stove, and water to be able to function here?  I had to try though – I had to try my best to offer my kids a little of what Grandma offered me – and I know that since April 11, 2011 I haven’t been able to give my children what they needed or deserved.
The arrival of the home was bumpy – for many reasons – but after a week we got the house up and running and figured out our routine and things went well.  We were in her home – trying to clean things up as best we could with four kids roaming around.  We have been in Grandma’s house for 3 ½ weeks now – and it is everything I remember it being.  The relaxation, the love, the joy – it is still here – not as much as when Grandma was here – but the essence of who she was is everywhere here.  The house honestly seems happy that we are here – as crazy as it sounds.  The house of love and joy – the security and stability that we always knew is still here – even the smell of Grandma lingers all around us.  And as crazy as this sounds, I swear at night when all the kids are quite you can hear the echoes of her feet walking across the kitchen floor.
I totally understand why Grandma loved her home so much – I am betting at night she could hear the echoes of my Grandpa walking through the back door and the laughter of young children playing in the yard.  Grandma’s castle. . . .
The future of my Grandma’s house really isn’t certain.  The house needs to be lived in by someone – someone with children to run around the yard and roll in the dirt – someone who will make Sunday dinners for their family and eat them in the kitchen.  Grandma’s house needs life in it to keep it alive – and if there isn’t life in it the home will crumble away. . . In a perfect world I would buy the home – do all the things that need to be done with it to make it last – and my family would spend every summer up here – but it isn’t a perfect world and we have four kids to raise, feed, clothe and put through college – and that is how Grandma would want it – “Your children come first.” 
Staying here at Grandma’s this summer has been a privilege.  I feel I have given my children something priceless.  I have given them a little bit of the legacy of Grandma.  The girls have even said how much they love their “Ghea’s house” and they wish we could live here all the time.  Grandma’s home will always feel like home to me.  As long as the home remains in the family I hope the kids and I will be able to spend summers here – the relaxed beauty of Northern Michigan life.  We are Michiganders – and no matter where we live we always will be Michiganders. . . but I will say this about my Grandma’s house – no matter how sad I would be to see it sold to someone outside the family it would be a sin to see the house sit empty and just crumble apart without the life it so needs in it. . . .   That is just my opinion.