Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Yea, I Totally Eavesdrop

As most of you know, I have a rare genetic disorder that causes me to have to be on a very specific medical diet. Every couple months I have to get a blood test that measures markers in my blood that tell my doctors if I'm ingesting gluten. Because I don't have any immediate reactions or digestive symptoms to eating gluten, I really have no way of knowing if I'm getting "glutened" by something until a major problem arises (remember how sick The Boy Child suddenly got?), which I would obviously like to avoid.

I've gotten a bunch of emails recently asking me (and Mr. Attorney Man actually asked me the same thing not long ago), "if you eat gluten, does it eventually filter out of your system?"

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Destruction Of Life

As I've talked about before, I used to do a lot of missionary work. For many years I spent part of my summers traveling the country and seeing poverty and human suffering that most people cannot even imagine. As I've also mentioned before, quite a bit of that time I spent in New Orleans. Sure, I walked the French Quarter, had a beignet at Cafe Du Monde, made my way down Bourban street, and tasted Jambalaya so authentic that it came from locals who would make it at their houses and bring it to the mission house (oh my gosh SO spicy send help!!!), but unfortunately my New Orleans experiences were even more authentic than that. I saw what many people never see past the jazz musicians and Voo Doo shops; the hopelessness and crime.

The first trip I went on was to help build a teen center to give kids a place to hang out. The goal was to get kids off the streets and away from gun violence, drugs, gangs, and prostitutes, and prepare them for a future outside of everything that was surrounding them. That trip was a lot of hard labor, but it wasn't too much different than any of the other trips I had been on before, except for one thing.

The big difference between that trip and any of the prior trips I had been on, was how unsafe it was.

On every other trip I'd been on, I had lived among poverty. I worked in towns filled with nothing but hungry, dirty, desperate, people who all needed help, and my heart overflowed with tears for people who couldn't even afford basic needs. But my first New Orleans trip was nothing short of shocking.

I'd seen dirty, I'd seen hungry, but I had never seen so much danger.

Forgive the poor quality, I had to take pictures with my phone of the pictures in my albums because I don't have a scanner. I took this picture standing just outside of the youth center.

There were rules. Women were never to go outside alone must always be accompanied by a man. Men had to travel in pairs. When the sun started to set, everyone must be inside.

Crime was at an all time high and it wasn't hard to see why as we watched strung-out prostitutes turn tricks in a house 50 feet from us and drug dealers with guns in plain view walk up and down the street looking for their next sale. A sign bolted to a light pole read "attention drug dealers and prostitutes, this is a school bus stop so please take your activities elsewhere. You've made your choice as an adult, now please allow our children to become one." The sad reality though is that only 1 out of 7 children who grew up in the neighborhood would ever become anything other than the people that sign was warning them against.

The neighborhood reeked of dying dreams and hopelessness, which was quite evident by the lack of police presence; a haunting symbol that the outside world had given up on the residents of this town.

For the kids whose parents even bothered to send them to school, they were stepping off the bus each day and onto the only street that many of them would ever know; a fact that would claim many of their lives.

I'd walked among poverty before, but this was the first time I'd ever been hell.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Why Living With A 7 Year Old Is Like Living With A Drunk College Student

Living with a 7 year old is like living with a drunk college student because you have absolutely no idea why they do most of what they do, you constantly have to watch them, and then there are moments when even during their stumbling awkwardness, they are able to argue an amazingly valid point.

I know this because I live with one and this is what a week of living with her looks like:


I told The Girl Child to stop running down the hallway of the office building we were in. Looking very annoyed, she informed me “I am not running. I am speed walking and I just happen to be very good at it.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I'm At Least Going To Try

If you remember, in June 2014 I decided to take my Ex back to court for unpaid child support. It was a decision that I had really struggled with because I was nervous to reignite his anger, but the kids and I were really struggling due to his refusal to acknowledge our existence or his court ordered child support payments. 

Eventually I decided that it was in my best interest to take him to court on the issue. I would highly encourage you to go back and read the posts surrounding those dates so that you know what I'm talking about, but for now I'll just put a very large cut and paste here from June of last year: 

Please be aware that the following is a cut and paste from June 2014

"I’m tired of it. I’m tired of him. I’m tired of seeing things always work out for him while the kids and I struggle so much. Decide to hit your wife? Sure, go for it, no one will care. Decide that you don’t want to be a father anymore? Sure, just walk out the door and never look back. Decide to have your wife raped? Sure, the police aren’t going to do anything about it anyway. Shake your baby? No problem, your wife will dedicate her life to healing him while you just go about your merry way. Decide to stalk her for a few months because it’s all fun and games? 

Absolutely, go for it, you’ll never be prosecuted anyways.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

When Love Hurts

She stomped out of the room, turning around just long enough to shout "I wish daddy was here and not you!!"

My heart exploded.

For a kid that is rarely in trouble and raises her voice towards me about as often as I change out my yearly calender, I was shocked.

Shocked, hurt, and shaking with anger.

I walked out of the kitchen, right past her, went upstairs, and climbed into bed. I don't know why I got into my bed, I just knew that I needed to distance myself from her before I started screaming everything that I was thinking; telling her everything about her father that I have tried so hard to protect her from over the last three years.

After laying there for a good 20 minutes and letting my knee-jerk anger subside, I came to the conclusion that what she did was normal.

Not appropriate, not acceptable, but not totally abnormal.

She gave me the equivalent of the "I love daddy/mommy more than you" phrase that at one point or another most young kids have thrown at a parent during an argument.

The Girl Child no longer loves her dad in the way that a child should, because she no longer knows him. But in that moment she was upset with me and having no other adult to turn to for support, she wished away the one the parent that was upsetting her and spoke aloud what she often keeps in silence.

She wants a daddy.

And while it hurt me to the core that she would wish away me and yearn for him, I have to remember that the reason she isn't angry with him, is because she is grieving him. She misses him (or rather the idea of him) and at 7 years old she doesn't understand all the things that I myself, as an adult, don't even understand.

Her dad abandon her and this is going to be a long road where I'm caught trying to navigate the path of allowing her to know enough about him to understand why it's better that he is not here and yet not letting her know more than she should be expected to handle at her age. Up until now I haven't told her the truth about her father because I need to remember that he is half of her DNA. I don't ever want her to feel like she harbors evil inside her because of him and furthermore, every scientific study out there proves that bad mouthing a parent to a child is detrimental to their mental health.

But at some point she obviously needs to know the truth.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Facebook Continues To Remind Me That My Kids Are Weird

(I'm going to apologize ahead of time, for some reason screenshots appear a bit fuzzy when you read them via an email subscription. You may want to click the title link at the top of the email and read it directly from the blog if you are having that problem. Sorry!)

Do you remember the post where I told you that "I Learned My Kids Were Weird From Facebook?"

Well a peek at my most recent facebook statuses has alerted me to the fact that not much has changed! My kids are still just as strange and my Facebook page will continue to be the vault that reminds me of that fact. Now that I'm reading over my status updates, does anyone want to adopt The Boy Child?