Saturday, June 27, 2009


Last Thursday started out like most mornings....I got to watch a snippet of the Today show before the TV channel would be changed to cartoons. And in that few moments of news a story about Dr. Jerri Nielsen popped up--the woman who found, biopsied herself and diagnosed her own very aggressive breast cancer in 1999 while being stuck at the Antarctica station. Months later she was rescued and successfully beat back her cancer...until last year where is was found to be, well, everywhere. She died on June 23 at the age of 57. After her inital cure she wrote a book and toured the country giving talks of her experiences and perspective on life. One quote really struck me. She said, "It doesn't matter how of when you die. We're all gonna do it. What's really important is: Did you every really live?"

Wow. I found this to be very profound. I told everyone at work. It really got me thinking about my own life. Was I doing everything I could do, or needed to do--to live fully? What more could I do? How can I make a positive impression on the world, that survives me and lives on? So, with all this running around in my head....

I hear Farrah Fawcett dies. And then, seemingly out of the blue, Michael Jackson. Two people that were pretty popular for most of my life. And I started to think about their lives and legacies. I admit, I puddled up quite a bit listening to Michael's music on the radio. Like someone said recently, "His music was the sound track of my life." At least for a few decades it was. Farrah and Michael certainly made an impression on the public and changed lives in some manner or another. I thought they were both a bit peculiar, but they were also brave in putting themselves out there and taking risks to express themselves and also help humanity. Farrah with her choices of dramatic acting roles (I will never forget The Burning Bed) and recently with her documentary on her cancer diagnosis and the road it took her on to the elusive cure that wasn't possible. And Michael with his unique music, style, dancing and humanitarian efforts to help hungry children and heal hearts after 911.

Well, OK. I'll amend that "peculiar" word to down right "weird" at times. Who knows why, but I guess that's part of Hollywood's elite. Maybe weirdness comes with unusual artistic talent.

But I've digressed. (I never really talk this way in real life...don't know why I use it when I write but it seems to fit.)

This week's events have really spurred me to look at myself and try to figure out if there's anything more I can do, that is true to myself, in helping make a positive, lasting imprint after I'm gone. I keep thinking about the song, "Man in the Mirror". And then I hear the song "Gone too soon" and I feel a sense of pressure. Where to start? What to do? I know that what I do for a living is pretty awesome--helping those with arms that ache to hold their own child. Creating families for those that desperately dream of being parents. I was there. I sure know what that feels like. But, I still feel like I could do more.

Now, if I could just get to the point where I would feel less guilt for thoughts on wanting to be more than just a mom. Is this just a 'single mom' thing or do all mothers feel this way to some degree? Is it selfish to want something more? Maybe, I should concentrate solely on raising my child first. Childhood is so fleeting and has SUCH an impact for the rest of a person's life. Plus, to do anything solely for myself makes my chest ache, especially if it takes away from time I would/could spent with T. But still--to be a person that not only he can be proud of, but that I can also be proud of--that's what I wish for.
I think introspection is always good. I'm going to think about this for a while--and we'll see where it brings me and what more I might come up with.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday T!

Yesterday was T's 6th birthday! Already!
I tried to get off work, but it wasn't possible. But during my lunch break I went to the Children's center where he spends part of the week and brought a birthday cake to share with all the kids. He was "a little shy" and stared at his knees while they all sang "Happy Birthday to you, Cha-Cha-Cha..." But I could tell he was enjoying it.
After work I met T and my mom at the Tae Kwon Do place. At the end of the hour the Master lead all the students in another song (this one was punctuated with lots of "He-Aww's!). Again, being shy with all the attention he studied his toes with red cheeks on his cute little face. Then we all went to dinner for his choice--pizza! (and an ice cream for dessert, of course)
After dinner he opened his presents: a new Leapster (his second one died a few months ago), a skate board, and new sneakers. He also received a package in the mail from his Nana and Popa (who live in Australia)--a cool, bright green crocodile T-shirt and a real Boom-A-Rang. I told him how you use it but I can't think of a safe enough place to really let it fly and see if it truly comes back. :) So, for now, it sits on his dresser. It's cool to look at with the Aboriginal art work on it.
This Saturday we're having a pool party/BBQ with lots of his school friends and family. I hope the weather shines on us and it's nice and warm.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Well, over a 3 day period, I've had one of the mini-houses (a well built shed, really) in my backyard dismantled, and all the concrete and raised brick planters broken up and removed (now sitting in the middle of my driveway).
T has now seen the awesome power of a jack hammer in use and has found ways to use that word in several sentences. He was impressed.

This is the first step in making over my backyard into the dream yard that I've had on paper for more than 7 years. My dad and mom have always had a dream that the one shed could be transferred into their backyard but it's just too big to get out in one piece (10 x 14 feet plus an overhanging porch). But by some miracle the two strong men working for me were able to take it apart wall by wall and transfer it over to my parents place. Hopefully they'll be able to put it back together again in their own backyard. It will be a nice addition--both for storage and because it's so darned cute with it's windows, porch and Dutch door. I'm glad it's staying in the family!
But now my backyard looks a MESS! And I'm getting to the end of my savings for purposes other than college and retirement. That means I have to live with it, aside from the small changes I can make with a shovel and some well placed plants/flowers until I can afford for some more work to be done. Really, the next thing is to dig a big hole and create a good drainage system so the house down spouts don't dump water at the foundation anymore. And then a new sprinkler system that will accommodate the new plans. Stuff I can't or don't want to do myself. Maybe I'll take on a few more days of work here and there to collect the funds more quickly. I want to hurry up and enjoy my garden!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More T talk

The other day, T was in the bath, making up games with many, many rules (as is the usual these days). This game was about making my forearms and hands really clean with a 7 step method newly devised by T himself. I just sat on the floor and held my arms out over the tub while he worked his magic with this potion or that soap and washcloth or toy that made the treatment even better. After he was all finished, he asked me, "Well, how clean is that?" and I said, "Very!"
Then after a spit second he said, "Very is lesser than really."
Hmmmm. Let's think about that. Is 'very' less than 'really'? I suppose it could be. So maybe the better answer would have been "Really!!" But I didn't think that fast. And he didn't seem disappointed. His mind was already on to the next game he could conjure up.

Earlier in the day:
T: Mama, what comes first: "almost" or "nearly"?

Me: Gee, ummmm. I think almost and then nearly. (Seemed right and sensible at the time.)

I have to remember what I said about these measurements and their places in how to measure something because he'll remember--and test me. And if I say another answer (like it's "nearly" first and then "almost"), he'll catch me on it and be sure to tell me what's the right answer (according to the first time I told him). He's such a smarty. I wish I had that brain.

I guess this is the way he finds order in life and how things are measured or compared to other things. When he plays with his cars, he never pushes them around and make engine noises. He arranges them in rows or squares (placed bumper to bumper and side to side). He calls it a garage--and it sure looks like one. The kind next to a shopping mall. He puts them in rows of particular colors or places them according to how big they are, going from biggest to smallest and then smallest to medium to biggest.

It's so cool to watch how he puts it all together as he grows and ramps up his IQ day by day, by week, by month.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tid-bit conversation with T

Last week we've had this come up:

T: Mom, did my dad die or something? I mean not my donor-dad or my opa (grandpa) but my real dad--did he die?

Me: You mean the man that should (or could) be living here with us like in other families?

T: Yes, that guy.

Me: No, T. He didn't die. I just haven't found him yet. But I'm trying and one day, I'll find just the right one for us.

T: Good, because I really want a dad. I really, really do.

Ouch. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

He's asked this question twice in the last week. I'm not sure why it's suddenly so important unless he's noticed someone at school with their dad or a kid has spoken of stuff they do with their dad.

I'm trying T. I'll take a risk and date and try to find a great guy that also wants to be a dad. Man, that's tough to do. But I'll do it because you deserve it. And so do I.
It's giving me gas pains already. That's my personal reaction to stress--a bloated belly. Just what you want when you're trying to hold it in to create a better silhouette for a would-be suitor. Excuse my while I run to the bathroom....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Suddenly I remember...

why it is that I don't like dating. Or rather, dating-service-dating. And I've done a handful of different services over the last 10-15 years, so I'm pretty experienced. Dammit.
Now, I admit that in earlier years I really wasn't ready to date or even willing to give a fair chance to any would-be boyfriends. I just did it because that's what my friends and family felt I should have been doing. Getting out there and finding a husband, partner, whatever. But now I feel like I'm ready to take it on and keep an open mind. But it's tough. I know what I want and I'm getting really good at reading the lines on a profile--and what's in between the lines. And a picture really does say a thousand words. But it seems that the guys so far have been at arms length. Only a few are really raring to meet up. Most just send "winks" or tiny email messages that comment on what I said, but no plans for future conversations, in person or otherwise. Weird. Of the few that really wanted to meet, I'm not feeling the same towards them. (There are
only two, so I don't want to mislead you in thinking they're beating my door down.) I don't want to judge too quickly, but I also don't have a lot of time and don't want to waste it on someone that lives too far away or just doesn't appear to click with my interests. I mean, isn't that the advantage of using these services? So you don't date someone who doesn't share your interests, right?
Even weirder, there are more than a few guys that are writing me from FAR away. Like across the country. Even the UK!!! What's up with that? Do they have a private jet where they can hop in and fly to my front door? Are there no girls in their own zip code that make the grade? 'Cause in my opinion lots of those guys are pretty gorgeous, out-going, accomplished, etc, and I WISHED I lived closer to Kentucky or Illinois.
Oh well, the search goes on.
It sure is a time suck, though. Perusing profile after profile and writing back all the ones that wrote me (that I kinda wished hadn't). Always minding the ego, but being clear and friendly all at the same time. But actually it IS a huge compliment that I make SOMEONE'S idea of attractive. I know I just need to make a date with any one of the nice men who are interested and just see how it goes.
That's the next step. Little baby steps. It's been a looooong time since the last date I had.