Monday, August 22, 2011

Will my nest be half empty soon?

The contractions started just after midnight. I was already three weeks late so I’d been eager to just “have this baby already!” But the pain was unlike anything I’d ever felt. Then a wave of panic hit me like a brick. Suddenly, it became harder and harder to breathe. I guess this is what they teach you in Lamaze. Too bad I blew off the class…

Last week, my baby, now in her early 20s, made it hard for me to breathe yet again. There were no contractions, just an aching mommy heart.

She says she’s in love and is somewhat engaged. I say "somewhat in engaged” because she and her boyfriend do not believe in marriage (don’t blame them) and neither want kids (whew!), but he gave her a ring. She said something about the ring representing his commitment, but I have to admit I got a little light-headed at this point. But nothing could have prepared me for what she said next…

"He’s asked me to move in with him."

I can’t breathe! The room is spinning, my heart is pounding and I can’t breathe!

I can’t let her know that I’m freaking out inside. I can’t ask her to bring me a paper bag while I hyperventilate. I can’t crawl under my desk, cover my ears, chant, "La la la la la la," and pretend like this conversation never happened.

I played it cool. Thanks to my boy Deepak and the meditation I've been doing over the last several months, I was able to get my breathing in check and remain calm. Fast forward 24 hours and I'm freaking the hell out. I can't focus. I can’t breathe. My heart is pounding. 

I want to call my mom, aunts, cousins, sisters-in-law, friends, mailman -- anyone who will listen, really -- and freak out all over them with this news. But I don't. I don't because this is a sacred conversation that took place between a mother and her daughter. And daughter hasn't made a decision. And mother is still freaking out.

*Disclaimer: Daughter has since talked to my mom about this which lessens the sacredness and allows me the clear conscience to write about this now.

I wanted to scream, "Don't do it! Don't go! Don't leave me!" but that would only send her packing. Instead, I listened. I asked questions. I presented her with various "living together" scenarios. I gave her a lot to think about.  

Is she ready to handle a household? Can she cook? Can she clean? Rephrasing… Is she willing to clean? Rephrasing again… Is she willing to clean up after him? 

Is she ready and willing to answer to another person? Can she compromise?

Those of us who have been around the block know that moving in together ain’t all fun and games. Eventually, the romance and newness wear off just like a new toy.

A funny moment (hilarious, actually) in all of this came when she asked if I would continue to pay her car note and insurance if she moved in with him. Excuse me while I compose myself…  Bahahahahaha!

I explained that moving in with him means "her bills” become “his bills” or "their bills.”

Speaking of bills, I asked if he was willing to pay her bills until she finished school. And who would pay what once she got a job?

Who pays the rent? Who pays the electricity? Who pays for groceries? Who GOES to the store to GET the groceries?

Of my two kids, she’s witnessed and endured the most during the tumultuous years of my marriage. If you ask me (and her), she’s still messed up over it. Do I want to keep her from true love? Absolutely not! But she still has a lot of healing to do…

We’ve been in our new life for just over a year, and I feel like I just got her back. My baby, my first born… ready or not, she may be leaving my nest soon.

I can’t breathe… 

My baby...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two Kids and a Fish featured in Blogger Space series

The following is an excerpt from one of my favorite bloggers, Perils of Divorced Paulinewho is featuring yours truly in her Blogger Space series:

"Two Kids and a Fish is an inspirational blog written by a single mom reinventing her life post-divorce. Two Fish’s upbeat, lovely, down-to-earth personality shines through her engaging prose. Check out her Blogger Space..."

To see photos and to learn more about my blogger space, click here >> 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Unforgettable vacation moments: Police cars, flying objects and unibrows

The following are quick hits about some things that happened during our vacation. I’m still shaking my head at a lot of this stuff, but I survived and I can laugh about it now.

“Flattered but no thanks” moment: Where are you frrrrrrum?
I pick up the rental car with my two kids and my cousin (we’re giving him a ride to L.A. then picking him up on the way back). The guy at the counter, with the keys to my vehicle and access to all my personal information, is flirting with me. He looks to be about 21 and of Middle Eastern descent. (Note: I’m Latina but for whatever reason I’m a favorite among Middle Eastern men.) He’s staring straight into my eyes as if no one else is around. The fact that I’m traveling with a man and two kids doesn’t deter the kid. He’s keeps asking, “Where are you frrrrrrrum? I want to know where you’re frrrrrrrum.” He keeps telling me how cute I am. (“You’re too cute. You’re just too cute.”) My oldest daughter is getting a bit peeved and says, “Hello, I’m standing right here and that’s my mom!” My cousin walks over and whispers, “Girl, he’s looking at you like he wants to take you home.”  Awkward… More on this later.

“What the hell was that!” moment: Flying object on L.A. freeway
What looked like a white pole barreling straight for our windshield turned out to be a piece of a side molding used on mobile homes. Where did it come from? I have no idea, but it hit the hood of our rental car and wedged itself under the hood while we dragged it from the carpool lane to the far right of the freeway. It took three of us to pull it out from under the hood and that’s with the hood open. But we dislodge it, inspect the vehicle (just a few scratches) and everyone’s OK. We hit the road…

This is the flying object that hit our car on the freeway.

Pissed off moment: No food for you!
We arrive to our hotel after seven, eight or nine hours on the road. I honestly don’t remember anymore and the kids are tired and hungry. We wash up and head for the hotel restaurant. Several minutes go by and we still have no menus and no one has brought so much as a glass of water. Finally, someone takes our order. Forty minutes later, everyone around us is eating, drinking and leaving. When someone finally checks on our food, they discover our order was NEVER put in! We head for the door as we Google the closest McDonald’s on my phone. But wait… I’m pissed and my kids are hungry. I complain to the front desk who calls the restaurant manager. I give him a mix of “Oh no you did-ent” with a little bit of “I’m a single mom just trying to treat my kids to a nice vacation.” Within 20 minutes we’re having dinner and dessert in our room (and in our PJ’s), compliments of the hotel.

Dessert tastes so much better when it's free...

“How did we get here?” moment: It’s Saturday night and we’re in the back of a police car
It’s our first night in Santa Monica and we quickly discover that parking sucks. How? Our rental car gets towed. Thanks to the douche-bag, slime bag, valet parking dude who was a total jerk to me and my kids. Thankfully, there’s a Santa Monica police officer in his car questioning a guy and his underage girlfriend. They’re both drunk. I quickly stick my head in between the two idiots (Seriously, the cop says you can leave but you don’t’ stop talking and you don’t leave!). I tell the police officer what happened, point to the mean valet dude and even he calls the guy a jerk. He then asks, “Is it just you and your kids?” When I say yes, with a very worried mom look on my face, he says, “Get in the back of the car. I’ll drive you down to the police station. It’s not that far, but you shouldn’t be walking there at night alone.” As we're sitting in the back seat of a Santa Monica police car, the youngest turns to me and says, "So this is probably something I shouldn't tell dad, right?" I'm on the brink of tears so I just nod my head. Meanwhile, I catch my oldest taking frickin' pictures of the police car with her cell phone. My tears quickly disappear as I reach across the back seat and smack her. Yes, I smacked my kid while sitting in the back of a police car. Arrest me! Long story short, the parking fee was $120 and the towing fee was $205. @#$%!!!
*Side note: My daughters would like me to mention that the police officer was very cute. (He was!)
**Shout out: Officer Martinez, if you're reading this... Call me!

My kid's cell phone pic from the back seat of the police car. Ah, memories...

“OMG, I’m screwed!” moment: And gas is $4.89 a gallon!
Downtown L.A. and the gas light is on. It takes about 10 minutes to find a gas station and gas is $4.89 a gallon. @#$%!!! But whattaya gonna do, right? So I fill ‘er up and head inside to pay the cashier. I give my credit card to the cashier and she swipes it. “Maam, it says declined.” I tell her it must be a mistake and ask her to try it again. She swipes my card three more times and each time it’s declined. By the way, I only have about forty bucks on me. At the same this is happening, my cell phone is going off, but I keep hitting ignore to deal with the situation at hand. My phone rings again and this time I notice it’s a 1-877 number. It’s my bank telling me there’s been suspicious activity on my account and they need to verify some questionable transactions that have taken place in California. @#$%!!! So we review each “questionable transaction” and confirm each one is indeed mine because I’m standing in downtown L.A. trying to pay an $80 gas bill while my kids are waiting for their mother in the car. Eventually, the issue is resolved, the cashier swipes my card for the umpth-teenth time and it finally goes through. Time to head home…

“Seriously, dude, I’m not interested” moment: And please trim your eyebrows!
I take the rental car back and guess who’s there? Yup, “Where are you frrrrrrrrrum?” dude is there again. As I walk up to the counter, he immediately lights up and is suddenly grinning from ear to ear with the cheesiest smile. I’ll admit this much: being able to make a guy smile with my presence was kind of cute. However, his unibrow was not. This time he quickly goes from “Where are you frrrrrrrrrum?” to “You’re so, so cute” to “Can I call you?” Our time together was prolonged when I had to explain the whole debris on the freeway incident. He handed me a claim form and highlighted the fields for address and phone number. This concerns me. So I use my mom’s address and her home number. By the way, she’s standing to the side, laughing her ass off while she watches her daughter get hit on by the Unibrow Kid. I was then approached by Unibrow’s boss who asked me to recount the freeway debris incident. He explained that since I had opted to pay extra for the insurance that I wouldn’t be charged anything for the damage. Whew! Then he asked if I was single and if he could hit me up on Facebook. @#$%!!!