English: Christmas post card Česky: Pohlednice “Kladenský Betlém” (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Not the actual card.
I got my first Christmas card yesterday. I rarely get snail mail and when it isn’t related to my disability it is usually from one of a list of people I can count on one hand. It was from Oz (the only person in my family who calls him John is my grandma which I find mildly confusing because both my Uncle and Great Uncle, her oldest son and her brother are John also,) and it is beautiful. It is now taped on my wall above my computer.
Inside the card was a photo of his three year son, the kind that you put in a nice frame and sit on your desk. I don’t have a frame to fit it yet but you can bet I’ll get one, because I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. I have referred to my myself as a step parent or step mom before but this somehow makes it even more Blood or not I love our boy dearly and that is all that matters.
An icon illustrating a parent and child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don’t have children yet but since I now plan on it some day I have started to pay attention to parent bloggers and how they write about their kids. The cyberspace revolution didn’t even start until I was mime or ten so I did not grow up with my baby pictures uploaded to Facebook as a matter of course or the milestones of my childhood recorded in a blog. My girlfriend wrote to her firstborn in a blog during her pregnancy and I liked the idea so much I plan on writing an individual for any children I am blessed with. I also know that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry but I will try anyway. I will do my best not to post stories about them on my personal blog which might them cringe in embarrassment when they old enough to realize that Mommy or Stepmom as the case maybe has a blog and they are mentioned it.
I promise to always ask permission of a child’s parent(s) (both whenever possible( before I write about them or post a picture I may have them on the net. Yes,the world is a lot safer than it used to be and I am not one to jump at shadows but as parenting blogs continue to evolve we as the adults should remember that we are responsible for their safety as well as the outside world’s perception of them and that is a fragile trust indeed. To my partners and the parents of their children: thank for allowing me to share in the blessing that is you child(ren’s) lives and know that I will love and protect them like my own.
I can’t help thinking that the children in the photograph have been newly orphaned and the adult a distant relative with very little idea of how to take care of children who has suddenly found himself their guardian. I can’t be sure what year the photo was taken in having the general look of the building and the style of their clothing to go by,obviously the man has a housekeeper or at the very least a motherly neighbor to make sure the children are clean and well dressed. Perhaps it is Easter Sunday but if it is the photo has got to be one of the most somber Easter pictures I have ever seen.
I almost wondered of the man in the picture was my grandfather standing with my father but my dad grew up with older brothers, the only girl born to my Kestner grandparents was stillborn, I’m not even sure she had a name, the last version of our family tree I saw she was called only Baby Girl Kestner. I didn’t realize that I might have had an Aunt if fate hadn’t seen fit to intervene until a few years ago. Since finding that out however I have mourned her absence from my life. Maybe it was for the best though, I think my grandfather would have been at loss over how to raise a girl in a houseful of boys without my grandmother who died when my dad was ten years old. I have some my uncles stories about my grandma Eileen and a few from my dad, but would have nice to have a girl who remembered her at least a little bit.
Image via Wikipedia
I think this whole trip/relocation is the scariest thing I’ve ever done with my life to date.It’s also the single best thing I ever done I know it probably sounds cliche as heck but I finally feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be in my life. It’s not your average life….four adults a cat dog and a bird and all the stuff involved with one of us being disabled. I’m starting to learn bus schedules….something I’ve never really done because of the hit or miss nature of Tennessee public transit. I love the fact that there are sidewalks here…..they aren’t everywhere this is true but they’ve got Tennessee beat without trying very hard at all.
The thing I love most though is kisses when I wake up and before he leaves for work and when he comes home. Those and all of the small things in between are the things that make me smile every day. The unicorn I wear originally belonged to John’s mom which is what still has me stunned…..that is one thing that isn’t given lightly and the fact that I’m somehow that special is absolutely amazing to me.
On May 20, 1985 I came into the world for better, worse, or somewhere in between I don’t think the Universe has decided yet. I read something today that struck a chord. In the past I have been known to edit myself in my writing afraid that people I knew would see it and feel like they had earned the right to critique what I said. I’m not saying you aren’t allowed to have an opinion but remember your opinion is YOUR opinion only. I will listen but your opinion may or may not effect how I make the decisions I make in my life. A lot of things have happened between 1985 and now. One of the better things is tlot more confidant in myself. If other people’s belief in me is slow catching up it’s not my issue.
Image via Wikipedia
It should be stated for that I have no biological brothers, just one younger sister who I am ridiculously proud of. That having been said I have told people I have had brothers for years, and I never lie about family at least. Most of my brothers are significantly older than me but that there is very little to do with anything. They have always been there for the important things and whenever I needed them come running (sometimes literally). I was there to hold one’s firstborn, I will see two married in the reasonably near future and unfortunately I recently said goodbye to one. I love my siblings with all my heart and this Christmas, when everything is still leaner than anybody likes, all I want for Christmas is a group hug.
Image via Wikipedia
I wish I were anyways. I need a vacation preferably away from the majority of my family. For obvious reasons I would probably take mom but that’s okay I can live with that. I really wish I had the option of driving because even though I’m not generally claustrophobic is starting to feel like the walls of my house will eventually crush me with malicious intent even. You know you need a vacation when you start to suspect the walls are out to get you. Of course I realize they’re not but that just goes to show you how my brain functions when it’s backed into a corner, that is to say strangely. They are coming to take me away… They’re coming to take me away…
My great grandpa Prophet died when I was 13 so my grandmother (his eldest child) and my great aunt (his youngest child) drove with all of us kids to Arkansas for the funeral. When we got there about seven hours later I was the only one of the kids awake and the first thing I remember after getting into the house was one of my adult cousins asking me if the kids were actually going to be at the funeral, to which my answer was of course yes. I should mention that the great-grandmother I knew growing up was actually my great grandfather’s second wife, she had on adult daughter from a previous marriage when she met my grandfather. Apparently Gail was terribly jealous of his blood related kin. I was told this on the drive there but was not prepared for the extent of the truth. For one Gail proceeded to chastise my grandmother for bringing us to the funeral even though the youngest of us was eight so it wasn’t like we would unknowingly disrupt the proceedings. Gail spent the few days before the funeral tidying up invisible dirt in any room any of us were in as though we were dirty and soiling her mother’s house. This stuff began to get on everyone’s nerves. As if that were not enough she added insult to injury on the day of the funeral when we were getting dressed for the services she took one look at my aunt’s beautiful turquoise dress that she had brought to wear and made a snide remark about its appropriateness presumably because of the color. My aunt doesn’t wear dresses and her father’s only request of her was that she wear a dress to his funeral, He was never a fan of the color black at funerals so the color choice was completely up to her. Gail’s comment had my aunt about spit nails and unfortunately for Gail my cousin Bobby walked in the room just in time to hear it. That was the beginning of the end. That evening, after the funeral after most of the house was asleep I woke up to see a person who might have been my cousin outside of the bedroom which I and the rest of the girls (my sister and my cousin Autumn) unfortunately shared with Gail. Also outside were shadowy figures which might’ve been my mother’s brothers and my great uncle Charlie. I was closest to the window but because of my disability wasn’t able to open it and so my cousin Autumn might have done it instead of me. The person who looked vaguely like my cousin appeared to climb in the window and opened Gail’s suitcase which held all of her wigs and was unwisely in plain sight. What happened after that? Well, let’s just say that sometimes a suitcase might inexplicably become a man-made lake overnight. There was much shrieking the next morning and watching grandma and aunt Mary try for disproving faces was very funny. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that as far as the “official record” goes the blame lies with my great-grandmothers very house broke miniature poodle, to whom I for one apologized profusely to until we left for home.
this story while true has been edited in deference to a readers time. If I were to catalog all of the horrible treatment it would certainly qualify as the longest post I’ve ever written and quite probably the longest post anybody has read.
Image via Wikipedia
Some people cringe away from telling stories about themselves as small children, I try not to. The way I see it it will be much more embarrassing for me if my parents actually get around to telling the stories that if I don’t let myself, with that introduction on to the story.
When I was 18 months old decided to show me the first photograph I had ever seen, it was a Kodak Polaroid of my dad when he was stationed in Korea for the Army years before I was born. I apparently took one look at the picture and began to cry and wail with the force of a small banshee. My mother tried to the next 45 min. to calm me down, to no avail. My 18 month old brain had somehow seized upon the logical fallacy that my dad had been literally shrunk into the photograph and was now two dimensional and therefore I would never see him again, hence why my mother’s frantic pleadings did not help. She finally called my dad at work (he was a manager at Burger King at the time) and explained (with me still shrieking in the background) that he had to talk to me and reassure me that he was not stuck forever in a photograph and that he would be coming home from work. I think she had to explain it twice before it actually sank in how upset I was. I seem to remember being totally relieved at hearing his voice and I’m told that when you finally did come home you couldn’t have pried me out of his lap if you had used the Jaws Of Lifel
Image via Wikipedia
Recently I have discovered that there is something of a debate about whether businesses have the right to set a minimum age for children within their establishment. I believe I should first say that I’m 26 and have no children of my own nor do I plan on having them in the extremely near future at least.In spite of that I do like children very much I am the last person you will find making purposefully discriminatory statements. However I believe that adults with and without children are entitled to “child free” areas. I have heard from several parents of young children in my acquaintance that there are times when a completely adult conversation is paramount to their continued sanity. Completely adult in this instance encompasses a time frame in which the eyes that seem to attach themselves to the back of your head at the onset of parenthood can sleep, and your superhero cape can be left at home underneath your socks in the bottom drawer of your dresser. I applaud parents for their sometimes superhuman efforts in raising their children but to all the parent bloggers out there who are muttering about “child discrimination” don’t you think you deserve a small increment of time in which to remember that you were a person long before your children came around? I think sometimes parents have the tendency to forget that they were functioning beings before their infant/toddler/preschooler was here. My suggestion: get a babysitter for the night and at least once a month enjoy a conversation which is comprised wholly of words and not punctuated with high-pitched emotional sound half the time. If your favorite restaurant happens to have a minimum age and you foresee giving up your absolute favorite dish forever take heart, it’s not forever. Personally I might consider letting my child believe that the nice restaurant dinner on their sixth or seventh birthday was my present to them when actually it would be a present to myself.
Now a note to anyone who has a mind to or is currently following this blog about the next few weeks: I have just updated my speech recognition software and until we get used to each other there might be some really bizarre phrases that accidentally get put in print. I beg your indulgence for about the next month.