Thursday, May 29, 2014

This Kid

Lately I have been seeing stories on TV, the internet and in blogs about kids dying. Kids dying from cancer, getting hit by cars, being killed by strangers and family members, school shootings, accidental shootings etc. To be perfectly honest, this scares the living shit out of me.

For instance, I recently read 2 stories about 2 families that both lost one of their children to cancer at age 5;  a Grandmother that killed her 5 month old grandchild with a sledgehammer and carving knife; a 3 year old that shot his 18 month old sibling with a neighbors gun; a 3 year old boy who ran into the street for his Frisbee and got hit by a truck; and on Saturday one of my sister's 7th grade students was found with a self inflicted gunshot wound, it was ruled an accident.

I can only protect my child so much without being paranoid. I still have to let him be a kid. I still have to let him go out in public, go to school, participate in park district activities, go to other people's homes and trust he's in a safe environment. But will he be? How will I know that when he's at someone's house that they have their gun safely locked away? How will I know that a car won't drive by and randomly shoot him? How will I know that he won't just cross a street without looking? How do I know he won't be a victim in a tragic event?

After finding out my sisters student's death was ruled an accident, the first thought that crossed my mind was, "Wow, I can't believe his parents didn't have their gun locked away so this wouldn't have happened." Then my second thought was, "Is my gun even safely locked away?" The second I got home I asked my husband this question, and yes, the gun is locked away where my son could never find it. Whew! At least he's protected from guns in MY home. But there's so much more.

I think I am additionally paranoid because of the fact that he's my only child. I'm sure it's no easier losing a child if you have more than one child, but if you have more than one, you can shift your focus and you are still a parent. If I ever lost my child, that's it, game over. I will NEVER be a parent again. Is this enough of a reason to have another child? I think not. I am not going to have another kid as back up. That just makes no sense to me. Besides, I am getting too old to have more children now anyway.

I hate to sound like a negative nelly, but I also don't want to be naïve and think my child is invincible. I will do my best to keep him safe, but I will also do my best to make sure he lives life to the fullest.

This kid..... is my everything.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

This is MY Life

Something is bothering me so of course I feel the need to blog about it. First things first, things in general are going great. My new job is good, much stress has been lifted and overall I have a new attitude. The only remaining source of stress is now derived by my in laws.

The past several months have been awkward with the in laws. We have attempted to get together with them, but we get denied. We never heard from them about Easter plans, so we did our own thing. Paul saw his brother the night before Easter and no plans were brought up but it was mentioned that there was a family issue. Paul's brother would not go into detail about said issue(s). Then Mother's Day rolled around. We made our own plans because again, no family plans were mentioned to us. Jesse made his Grandmother a gift and a card so we decided to stop by and drop these off. We showed up. It was obvious plans were made with Paul's parents and Paul's sister and her family. Yet again, nothing was mentioned to us. Upon our arrival, my in laws appeared to be in shock that we showed up. They scrambled. Paul's mother said something about not having enough food prepared to serve us dinner, but Paul told her we wouldn't be staying for dinner. Then she pulled a box of chocolates out of her fridge and acted like they were for me, which they clearly were not. She just had nothing else to give me because she was not expecting us to come by. Honestly, this amused me a little.

Since we made other plans for Jesse's birthday and did not see family, we decided to have a BBQ over Memorial Day weekend. I sent my in laws a save the date several weeks ago and email invitations about a week and a half before the party. It was like pulling teeth to get answers on if they were coming. I finally got rsvp's from them. Paul's brother replied yes, then changed his reply to a maybe. My MIL said yes and that she was bringing an appetizer and Jill said no because her furniture was being delivered and her children were out of town.

Paul's parents did come, it didn't seem like they were there very long, she didn't bring an appetizer like she said she would, she brought a small container of potato salad. What I really needed and planned on was an appetizer. She also brought her dog. I would have appreciated a heads up because my dog isn't social with other dogs and it appeared my dog could have and would have attacked her dog at any given moment in time. Luckily, that did not happen.

Paul's brother arrived late, all of our guests had left (and most left early, might I add). He opened up more about the family issues. Apparently, the family does not like that we do not initiate family get-togethers. Yes, I agree that this is something we do not do, but why are we being criticized for something the rest of the family is doing also (or lack thereof). We don't get invites and apparently we are expected to either invite ourselves or just show up.

On Mother's Day we saw what happened when we just showed up. Paul and I aren't the kind of people that invite ourselves over. If you want us around, call and invite us. If you want to see my kid, call me and plan something. If you have an issue with how we do things, talk to us. Something that was said was that we only take Jesse to my in laws house when we need someone to watch him. This in fact, is true. Well, let me correct that and say this WAS true. It's no longer the case. I stopped calling my MIL to watch my son when she told my husband she doesn't babysit children who are 3 and not potty trained. Sorry I didn't have my kid on her potty training timeline. According to her, my husband was potty trained by 18 months so of course my son is expected to do the same (despite the fact that he's had 2 surgeries that delayed his development). She has watched my son since he's been potty trained (once, maybe twice) and apparently it's an issue that he still wets the bed. So again, I stopped calling the in laws for a babysitter. The reason I don't dump my kid off on her when I don't need a babysitter is because I want to spend my time with him. I work full time, why would I give him to someone else when I can spend my time with him, hence why I call her only when I need a babysitter. I thought she/they would enjoy watching my son, apparently I was wrong. I guess they only want to see him when I don't need them to and only when I initiate it.

What strikes me funny is that my in laws bend over backwards to help Paul's sister. I do believe that Paul's Dad babysits the girls 3 times a week. This is just here-say, I do not know this as a fact. I also believe that they take the girls over weekends as well. Why is it ok for Paul's sister and her husband to have Nana and Papa take the kids when they need babysitters, but it's not ok for Paul and I?

I guess I don't know how the Grandparent dynamic should work. I only know what I have experienced in my own life. When I was very young, I lost my Grandfather on my Mom's side and my Grandmother on my Dad's side. Due to the loss of my Grandfather, my Grandmother moved in with my family. She had an in-law apartment that was part of the house I grew up in. My Grandfather on my Dad's side was ill most of my life. My parents spent their time with my sister and I. They rarely got a babysitter. If they did need a babysitter, my Grandmother was there. In my life, there was no such thing as going to Grandma's for the day, night or weekend. My husband has shred with me his Grandparent experiences. It seems as though he went to his Grandparents houses quite often, quite possibly even every weekend. I am not sure why. His parents were young parents, maybe they needed that time to themselves or for a break from kids? I honestly don't know. I am not sure Paul knows either. He does know that he spent a lot of time with them.

I had my son at 34. I had done all I felt I needed to do in my 20's and early 30's before I had a child (which is partially why I waited until my 30's to become a Mother). Now is my time to be a Mother and being a Mother is what I am doing. I also work full time. I am out of the house 12 hours a day, so when I arrive home, I like to spend time with my child and my husband, same goes for weekends. I value the time I get with my child. When both our parents were raising their children, times were much different. Fathers worked and supplied income for the home, Mothers took care of the children and the home. Not only is society much different now, but so is the family dynamic, especially for us. I am the parent working full time to provide income. I also come home and I am a Mother until I leave the next morning for work again. This is a decision I made based on the fact that this is what's best for my family. If I don't offer my son to come to your house, don't be upset with me, just know that I am spending as much time with my son and husband as I can. It's not anything personal against anyone else. I don't take advantage of life, I live each day as if I may not have another day. So pardon me if I am not doing this the way anyone else wants it done. This is MY life and I will live it as I wish.