The down side of a good thing

I have an unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach, its been there all day. I cant quite place my finger on what it is, but I have a fairly good idea.

The past few years, I havent been a very big fan of holidays. Ive never really seen the point in celebrating a holiday that was meant to be spent with family, when in all honesty, my family, my heart, is not in it.

People have told me through out the years, to give it time. That time, is a magic cure to all, but the only thing that time has taught me is that it is not. It doesn’t cure everything, doesn’t fix things, and it certainly doesn’t make things how they used to be, by any far stretch of the imagination. With time, you realize more, and the more you realize, the less you know that you thought you knew, and the more you realize you wish you knew.

The plain and simple honest truth is that Im not in it. Not this year, not last year, not the year before, and while I made an effort, a real strong, hard effort to make this year what it hasn’t been before, for the kids…I just wasn’t…getting it. Not the whole celebrating, not the whole being happy when I really wasn’t. To be honest, I did a lot of missing this year.

Missing that I havent done in some time.

Last night I took my mom to the airport. The conversation just hours before went something to the effect of her asking if she could atleast say good-bye to the kids. A question that sent a thousand and one thoughts barreling through my mind at neck breaking speeds. I wont go into details, wont say why she was at the airport “Early.” The details arent important. I will say that I told her it was time for her to go. And that there were a few other words tossed in. I will say that none of this took place in front of the kids, and that she knew what she had done, crossed the line. But that’s all.

The night before last, I sat down and wrote this. It was a somewhat welcome release, and to be honest I was more happy than I was upset. It gave me the inspiration I needed, and the motivation I thought I wanted, to get up and make something happen, something I thought I wanted.

The night before last, after a series of events took place, I told my mom it was time for her to go. I wasn’t trying to be mean, or spiteful, it was just time. She had crossed that line that was drawn, and it was time.

Today I did what I havent done in years. Infact, I don’t know if I have EVER done it. I attempted to put together a thanksgiving, for the kids.

At first, it sounded like a good idea, a wonderful idea. An idea that would…I don’t know, be the turning point in life? But it wasn’t. Infact, it was a bad idea. A really, bad, idea.

I spent the majority of the morning finding mates to lonely socks, and folding the other random items that had found their way onto the couch. Thinking about how wrong everything was. Not in the general sense, but in the sense that today…was happening, continuing, actually being celebrated, when to be honest, its one of those days that I have always thought should be counted off the calendars, for personal, selfish reasons…of course.

Things happened faster than I was hoping, and before I had a chance to even say “Hold on, forget it, I made a screwy choice here…” there were people knocking on the door, because someone (I will give one hint: shes the only girl here) opened her mouth (Surprise there!) and told (more than one) people that we were having “Thanksgiving at our place” and just like that…people were showing up, telling me that it was so good that I was finally accepting the life I was given. Seriously, folks? Seriously?

It took a lot, and for those who really know me, will know just how much it took, for me to keep my cool, in MY HOUSE, about things that I totally disagree on. I am NOT accepting this life, I have been shoved this life, and been FORCED to DEAL. I am in no way, accepting of the way things are.

No one really stuck around that long, I think most of them just more or less showed up because the door had been open, and when it was time to eat, it was just the kids and I crowded around the table…and while it should have been a good time, and I atleast hope the kids had an ok time…I just wasn’t taking it that well.

I smiled, forced the laughs, and tried to find the humor in the jokes the kids were telling. But I couldn’t help but wish…

Wish that I wasn’t the ONLY one here experiencing these things. Wish I wasn’t the one watching Josh figure out how to put olives on his fingers, only to wind up with more than a dozen on the floor around him. Wish I wasn’t here to hear the Dylan crack jokes, that made Josh laugh. Wish I wasn’t the one watching them interact, hearing the silly things that wont last forever. I really, really, wish…that I wasn’t.

All in all, the day was ok. It went ok. It really did. No one had any major freak outs (unless you consider the fact that I almost freaked out upon hearing that Madison had invited ½ the neighbor over). Dinner actually went down without too much trouble, and aside from the mess in the kitchen, a few issues over the turkey, and a few jokes that will keep laughing through out the new year, everything else went fairly smooth.

Except that I couldn’t, and cant, shake the feeling, in the pit of my stomach, that something is wrong. Something is not right. I shouldn’t be here, doing this, watching things, waiting for something. I shouldn’t be raising these kids, shouldn’t be putting them to bed, reading them stories, getting mad at random stupid things. Its not what I should be doing, its what they should be doing, and while the house was packed at moments during the day…it still felt emptier than the day before.

While there were moments of laughter, and a few rare happy minutes…I couldn’t help but wonder, and wish. And really just hope, that this year would have been different. In so many, many ways.

I am, thankful. For them. The kids. The silly, stubborn, crazy kids that are stuck with me…I am thankful for them. Thankful for the opportunities I have been given, thankful for another chance to love, and be scared out of my mind. I really am. I just wish I could give them more. Give them the right people, the right things, make the right choices. I just wish…

That I can honestly say why I hate holidays. I wish I could understand it.

…and maybe sometime soon, I will be able to say the good things about today: The things that really made today great, because there were those moments. But for now, I just need to get this out, and off my mind, so I can go back to enjoying the three things that have given me a reason, a real hope…and you know, get some sleep while I can.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I promise to be back – with something more upbeat.  Atleast, I hope to be. 

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One comment

  1. When I was young I didn’t to get married and I didn’t want kids. Surprise! I have been married for almost 38 years and I am very blessed to have the most awesome kid.

    When I was little my favorite TV show was Leave it to Beaver. Needless to say my parents were not Ward and June Cleaver. Ward would come home at the same time every evening and have one small drink before dinner; my dad was seldom home for dinner and that meant when he did come home he would be drunk. Ward and June had occasionally discrete disagreements about little things; my folks fought loudly over pretty much everything. I didn’t realize that Ward and June were not normal parents, let alone real parents. I also didn’t realize that just because my parents had issues that were too scary, embarrassing and hurtful to talk about didn’t mean I had to grow up the same way.

    My folks (like so many parents) were able to have kids but I don’t think they (like so many parents) ever realized that having kids was different than having things; you know – stuff that doesn’t breathe, think or grow out of shoes. How special can a kid feel when they see themselves as equal in value to the family station wagon (well, not the new wagon but the old one that nobody washes anymore)?

    My solutions when I was a kid – I didn’t want to get married and I didn’t want to have kids. The problem: I fell in love and got married. I soon realized that Ward and June were pretend people. My new solution – be a better adult and be better at marriage than my parents were. Then we had a kid. I already knew that kids were living breathing things that think and have feelings; I learned that lesson the hard way. My new solutions – love my child unconditionally, keep her safe and give her every opportunity to grow up able to be the best person she can be.

    Dave, you know that kids somehow grow up in less than ideal circumstances AND more importantly you know that kids are living breathing things that think and have feelings and the need to be safe and loved so they can grow up to be the best people they can be.

    Maybe the reason you have a hard time feeling like your life is just the way it is supposed to be right now is because you haven’t taken the time to congratulate yourself and feel good about becoming who you are – a adult who sees that 3 kids need what you can give them, unconditional love, safety and the opportunity to grow up to be the best people they can be. And why? Not just because they need you – but also because you love them.

    Dave, you don’t have to give them more. (Well, you do have to feed them and make sure they have shoes that fit.)

    You are doing good Dave, really good.

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