Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Transit

Growing up, I was always in transit. A few days at my mom's house, then off to my dad's. A few days there, then back to my mom's. Repeat. Repeat. Thirteen years, repeat.

When I left for college, I reveled in the fact that I would be in the same place for the next four years. I'd have to juggle which family to visit when, but "home" would be one address, where I'd always come back to.

As V entered my life in a more and more permanent way, I began to see "home" as the place we were together, regardless of locale. That's a sweet sentiment, for sure--but it doesn't address the fact that there is still a very physical residence, or more than one, in my head.

We've been in this city for two and a half years, and we've loved it. It's been good to us, a place to test the waters of more urban living, a place full of kids and parks and museums and restaurants. But with V graduating in six months, we're starting to talk about our next place. I'm finding, to my great surprise, that I want there to be a next place.

Once I realized how much I loved it here, I decided I'd never move again. Move houses, sure, but as I came to know and love this city, I wanted to stay here. No more transit. No more learning curve. I'd finally feel settled, and know that nothing was going to uproot me in the future.

Except, apparently, now I want to uproot myself. V and I are starting to look for jobs for her, and in the process, we've inadvertently decided where we'd like to live. Still in the midwest, though a larger city, one where we already know people, and one that's always captured our imagination. The strangest thing is, I want this. I want to go.

I wonder if I've been "en route" so much of my life that it's how I function. I wonder if it's possible for me to settle into a place, really settle, and stay. It might be. But right now, that's not what I want. For the first time since I've been making these decisions for myself, I want to say goodbye to the kids and parks and museums and restaurants. I didn't think I'd want to--but I can't wait.

Perhaps it's just that I'm making the choice of my own volition (with V, of course, but she's an equal, not an authority). Perhaps I'm finally growing into myself, as an adult, as someone who directs her own life. Perhaps I will be always in transit, wife and kid(s) in tow, city-hopping. Nothing is inherently wrong with that. Nothing is inherently wrong in staying in this next city for twenty years, or ten, or two.

I don't know how long we'll be there. At this point, we don't even know if V will have a job, so we can't say for certain that we're moving. But wherever we go, I'm okay with the going. It's a strange feeling, though I'm not complaining.

I remember locking myself in my bedroom when I was twelve or thirteen, not wanting to go to my dad's, and my mother having to cajole me out. This time, I feel like I'm throwing myself at the car, eager for new adventures. Much of this comes from my newfound freedom, away from the kids...but more on that later.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New

Tomorrow begins the new normal: me working from home, writing; Trina with the kids.
I already knew this was a good decision, but after coming back from our Thanksgiving trip without the sense of dread I usually have, it's been reaffirmed. I didn't realize how much of my not wanting to come home stress originated with work.

Now I get to stress over making enough between this writing job and odd babysitting, but that's a new stress, and, at the moment, it's not nearly as bad as the old one. I'm more anxious to hear how tomorrow goes with the kids. I just texted Trina telling her she could text me with any questions or concerns; I'm not admitting to myself how much I want to hear from her tomorrow.

As for our Thanksgiving trip, we visited my mom's side of the family. Everyone was there except my mom and stepdad and the kids--which made it perfect. My mom is the sole uber-religious member of that clan, so V and I spent our evenings drinking, playing bullshit, and swapping stories with my uncles, aunt, and older cousins. Add in good food, my grandparents putting us up in a hotel (which I think was their silent acknowledgement that they know, and it is okay), and only having to drive 5 hours each way, and it was pretty much perfect.

Now, I'm starting in on my Christmas card writing, hoping that if I get an early enough head start, when I inevitably burn out, it'll still be far enough out from Christmas that I can write the last few excruciatingly slowly.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Strange

It's strange, to watch someone else with your kids. To hear the different intonations, the patterns of speech, that you know the kids are so unfamiliar with, yet within a month will be as normal as mine.

It's strange, to hear someone say "Lilly, this is my serious face; I need you to listen to me," and watch Lilly stare, uncomprehending, because no one has ever said something like that to her.

It's strange, to explain daily life--here are the cups; here are the toothbrushes--as if it is all new and confusing, because it is.

It's strange, to know you're looking at a picture of the future, a future where you barely exist, a future where you hope the kids are thriving, a future you've inadvertently created.

It's strange, to say goodbye.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New

Today was the beginning of transition, the much-dreaded day when all my anxiety over this mysterious new nanny who captured the twins' mom's heart would hopefully go away.

In short? I love her.
I tried to beat her to the house this morning, but failed; I walked in as she (let's call her Trina) was talking to the kids' dad. About how ridiculous it was that their mother made yet another excel spreadsheet for their care. Oh yes, we are going to get along.

Her daughter, who's a senior at a nearby college, has been with her girlfriend for two years. Naturally, Trina wanted to hear all about my relationship with V, my wedding, the works. She was thrilled. (She also loved the scooter, so more points to her.)

I was on the 80s station in the van, and AC/DC's "Shook Me All Night Long" came on. I muttered, "They don't need to learn this song quite yet," as I changed the station, which got a good laugh out of her. And then she said she needs to take V and I to an 80s/90s dance club the next state over.

She thinks the kids are the cutest things ever. Which they are, though she hasn't seen a tantrum yet. She thinks they're smart, well-mannered, and sweet, and she made it a point to tell me that it's because of me, in large part.

I think I'm going to like her. And it's much easier to leave the kids, knowing I like the hands they're being left in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Feel

Monday, the kids were wonderful. We ran errands, ran around the mall, and had a fun, sweet time. We bought a few things to donate to the local hospital's NICU, per their mom's request, and the kids melted my heart by picking up rattles and teethers and saying "We should get this for the babies too!"

Yesterday, Tuesday, they were awful. I was in a mood, and they were in a mood, and I was so glad to be almost done. Counting down the hours until I left, when it was only three and a half hours to begin with.

Today, I told them I was going to start a new job, writing, and someone new would be taking care of them. They've met her, and she'll spend the next two days working with us; I tried to focus mostly on tomorrow and Friday. They'll have plenty of time to not have me around and adjust, but for now, let's just take it one day at a time, and talk about how we'll introduce her to our music teacher, and our preschool teachers, etc.

I'm not sure how much they got. Patrick leaned over and latched onto me at one point. When I dropped them at school, I filled their teacher in. She knelt down and told the kids, "How exciting, you'll have someone new to take care of you!" and both looked a little shell-shocked still.

It'll be rough. But I got the words out today, and that's a start.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Found

V just turned to me and said "You found your snooze!"

Yes, yes I have. That occurred to me a few days ago, but was brought home when this morning she said something that I misheard as "I wanna have a kid," and my response was "If you want a kid, you're on your own."

Words I never thought I'd say.

I do still want kids in our future. Very much. And probably not even that distant of a future. But for right now? I want to be able to go downtown to a Halloween party at 11pm on a whim. And I want to have carrots and peanut butter for dinner and not think about anyone's long-term nutrition.

The older I get, the younger I am. A friend told me, freshman year of college, that I acted like a forty year old woman. Now, six years later, I think I'm down to my late twenties or early thirties. And I'm enjoying it!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Babysit

I had the twins this evening. I've always said they behave better in the evening...and tonight I realized that evenings are when I'll always have them, now. Seven more work days, and then already two evenings in December, possibly more, and in 2013 too.

I had so much more patience tonight than I've had in weeks. I could redirect the kids, instead of aggravating the situation. I was the babysitter - so I didn't push them to eat all their dinner, or follow all the rules to a T.

And I loved them. Really truly enjoyed my evening with them, and playing memory, and going for a pajama walk with their baby dolls in little strollers, and getting hit by the giant ball they were playing with.

There's hope for the three of us yet. That gladdens me.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Normal

I've never wanted to be gay. I'm not one of those people who knew from childhood; it never crossed my mind. When V and I first decided to be together, I called myself a straight girl with a girlfriend. I didn't identify with the LGBT community, nor did I particularly want to. I felt forced into it - yes, I loved V, and no, it wasn't that I wanted her to be a boy, but...

In many ways, I'm still in that place. Having a friend visit last weekend, a childhood friend, a guy friend, brought all this back, hard. We ran a few errands together, and I couldn't get out of my brain the fact that people probably assumed we were together, had no problems with that, an, well, we looked normal.

Normal. That word is so tantalizing. V said it's why she wants to move: to be around more LGBT people, as well as couples. But for me, that doesn't change anything. I know I'm not normal. (Yes, I realize how that sounds. Bear with me.) My parents will never think I'm normal. The vast majority of people in the world will never think I'm normal.

Here's where I'm about to get even more ridiculous. After spending time with this good friend, it crashed into my head: I could've been normal. I brought this on myself.

Do I love my wife? Yes. But...

A friend wisely told me, "You'd be different. Loving V changed you." She knew me before I knew V, and watched our relationship come into existence. (V's response to that: "Yeah, you might have even voted for Romney.") And it's not that I don't want to love her. It's not even that I don't want to love girls. I just want to be with a boy, right now. Irrationally. Because...then I could be normal.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Replace

The twins' mom called me today, to tell me she thinks she's found my replacement. I'm so glad it's been a fairly easy search for her. The plan is to transition (both of us work together) next Thursday and Friday, perhaps a little on Monday too, and then for me to spend Tuesday the 20th, my last day with the kids, by myself.

My last day with the kids. I know this is the right decision. But...shit just got real.
Commence emotions?

Hooray

I, along with half of America, am breathing a sigh of relief. The problem with our politics is that the other half is furious, and that whole "a nation divided against itself" thing gets tricky.

But that's for another day. For today, I'm proud, and excited, and less stressed than I've been in awhile. I'm beyond happy for Maine and Maryland (and Minnesota too).

Congratulations, Mr. President. You deserve it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Finale

I feel like I have to apologize again for the disturbing level of quietness around these parts. I've been doing more thinking than writing, lately.

I've also decided to end my time with the twins.

I know there hasn't really been any warning; honestly, there wasn't for me, either. They went on vacation for a week, and I felt the least stressed I had in quite possibly years. I had to admit the only factor that had changed was them.

Like I said, lots of thinking went into this. I've already talked to their mom, we've briefly sketched an exit strategy (hopefully just before Thanksgiving, but with the potential for some in the first week of December as needed), she's interviewing people.

I told her to still contact me for evening events and/or when they need backup (new nanny gets sick, etc).

She's been supportive, even as she cried at our meeting. I appreciate that from her so much.

So now what? I've been doing some freelance writing (complicated to explain, but more reliable than it sounds, and with great potential to pay bills), and will continue to watch random children throughout the week.

I'm excited. I'm relieved. I'm still in a bit of shock, but the amount of peace I have over this decision reassures me, whenever I start to doubt.

It's been a crazy almost two and a half years.
(And yes, I will still write here. This isn't going anywhere anytime soon.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Posted

I'm a day late in posting this, but my "Raised Evangelical" story went up over at Love, Joy, Feminism yesterday! Hello to anyone stopping by from there, and the first comment makes my heart happy.

In other news, there's a big announcement coming up, once I can figure out how to break the news.  And no, we're not pregnant. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quiet

I know it's been quiet around here. Forgive me my silence, as I've been trying to help V get her big end-of-month internship assignment together, and find a dress for a 20s party I'm attending tomorrow, and juggle a pretty busy week and another one coming up next week.

I'm still here, and still reading. Just not as talkative as usual!