Tuesday, January 27, 2015

cats are enablers...and other thoughts i had while wishing to the stars that noah would fall asleep)

I got this dog, Charlie, for Emma and Noah. Mostly Emma, i told myself. Turns out, my soul has needed him the most. And apparently my subconscious likes a good challenge. Ugh, way to go, subconscious. ;-)

Things I have learned about dogs and cats (and myself) in the last few days:

1. Dogs need to be let out a lot. I need slippers and a hat by the door at all times.

2. It is f%*king cold outside.

3. The constant fresh air is invigorating.

4. My arms & legs are getting stronger from being pulled around by a dog AND me pulling him another direction. ;-)

5. Cats are enablers. They encourage depression. Think about it: my cats are living for the days when all I want to do is burrow under blankets, eat ranch dip, and cry while binge-watching Netflix.

6. Dogs are a super good reason to be more diligent about emptying the trashcans and taking it outside.

7. I now have company on my walks. Company that never says a word, but makes me work harder, never slowing down.

8. Young cats are stinkers who like to tease a dog.

9. Cats appreciate us more as life begins to resume some normality. The purring is louder.

10. I have less time to dwell on negativity when there's a dog who requires my attention.

11. 40 pound dogs can magically fit through a door intended for cats. I seriously hope he doesn't break it.

12. Sometimes our dog needs me to sit with him while he falls asleep. Because he's never had love before now. But I love him. And the kids love him. And even though I am often exhausted, I have lain down with the kids many, Many, MANY nights. So now I have a furry baby too.

13. This dog tells on Emma when she's up in the night digging around in the kitchen. Charlie would like everyone to be sleeping.

I would like to be sleeping. I should be. ...goodnight.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

a Charlie for Emma

So... for quite some time now, the kids have wanted a dog. I personally have not been ready for one. I told them we would wait until this year, doing lots of research until now. I knew we can't handle a puppy. Not a big dog that knocks kids over. Not a tiny dog that barks incessantly. A dog for both of my children but one who can especially bond with Emma.

We have cats, and cats are cats --bossy and nitpick-y. And they tend to shy away from Emma because of her sometimes impulsive movements and loud breathing and noises.

I finally came upon this adorably handsome guy on a dog rescue site. He's approximately 6 years old and medium size, weighing in at 40 pounds. He was rescued from people who had him chained in filth for years. His fur was matted and had to be shaved. It is growing back nicely and so soft! The rescue lady thought he would be a good match for Emma. He's quiet. His description reads, "... is a gentle soul, and he carries a bit of sadness." Well, that melted me.

My biggest concern are these cats, who rule this house. I hope everyone can adjust okay.

He comes with a name: Bullet. We think that's a silly name for such a small, shy guy. He looks just like a Charlie. So Charlie it shall be. *thank goodness he wasn't answering to 'Bullet' anyway!

Here we are, January 2015, learning how to care for a dog. Lordy, you have to let them out to pee and poop and play! ;-( we do have a big fenced in yard and live super close to the nature trail.

I wrote some of this while Emma slept on me *rarer than rare. She hasn't done this since she was 3,* and Charlie slept on Emma's carpet.

Wish us luck. Peanut attacked him once. And he peed on the carpet once.

I know we have a lot of love to give him. He's so sweet.

Monday, January 19, 2015

a devoted daughter? -- a look into mental illness and caring for one's parent

I don't write these to feel sorry for myself or for anyone to take pity on me or my family. I keep writing so I can work through these things that are in my head and sometimes weigh heavy on my heart. Please take what you want from it. Most of all, be well.

When I was a little girl, you drank, snorted coke, shot up crank, gambled, stole money from my piggy bank and smashed open our collector's coins, beat mom, held a gun to us, killed our dog, trashed our house, drove 70 miles an hour drunk with us in the backseat, had many affairs, contracted std's, contracted hepatitis c, stole our birthday presents from the truck stop (if you remembered our birthdays.)

when I was a teenager I didn't know you, when you were homeless, shacked up in the old barn at mamaw's. you did crank and coke with teenagers, runaways, pole dancers.

when I was 18, I thought you were dying. you were as white as this computer screen I'm looking at and I could see all the bones in your body.

when I was 21, your ex-wife died. our mother. and you said you would quit drinking. and you did. the years passed, and you've learned to become a father, and you've become a grandfather 5, going on 6, times. i don't hold grudges. i don't think.? i try not to. i forgave you a thousand times over for our childhoods, for making a royal mess of it.

your mental illness has made you a child in some ways.

here I am, with your checkbook in hand, as your legal financial representative, doling out your disability and social security, trying to find a way to make your money last. sometimes I scream. sometimes I cry. have a little pity party for myself. because I don't want to take care of you. I love you. you are my daddeo. but I don't want to take care of you. your manic episodes leave me so angry, hot tears stream down my cheeks after you are gone. I can't stand the talking, talking, TALKING. please stop. I have children to tend to. my sanity. oh, where's my sanity? your depressive downfalls... well, they pull me down too. I cannot look at you. I weep and shout in the car on the drive home. I stop at the cemetery and say, "HEY, MOM. I get it. oh, lord. oh god. how were you married to him? how did you live?" and then I remember that when we were little, there was a time when she didn't want to live. but she did. for us.

good things:

when I was a little girl, you taught me how to dig up earthworms and how to fish. I remember catching my first blue gill with you.

when I was a teenager, you gave me a puppy on my 17th birthday. she was beautiful.

when I was pregnant with Emma, you made sure to get me that antique wood rocker you had had your eye on.

when I moved far away, you came to visit me. on a plane. and you hate planes. and you don't even know how much those visits saved me. because I had my own depression. I was in deep.

when I divorced AGAIN, you helped me with the kids when you could.

sometimes you buy me lunch after the first of the month. even though I hate that you're spending your money on me, I let you because I know what it means to you.

I worry about your health, both physical and mental.

I try not to be too self-concerned here, to think of you. I'm no saint though. I'd give the world for anyone I love. but I have to take care of me.