UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
Few places live up to your memories, but this one never fails Mar 08, 2008
Hindsight is not “2020”. Hindsight it almost always a romanticized version of history. It’s usually a picture far off reality generated by emotion of regret and wishful thinking.
The day I left Bellingham to move back to Texas is as vivid in my romanticized mind as a novel cover. Mr. Flinger and I stood on the train platform in Fairhaven. We hugged. He told me to call when I got back to Kelso before my flight to Houston. I agreed. My eyes were curiously dry as I boarded with the last of my belongings from college. We wave as the train pulls away and I settle for a four hour trip taking me to the place I’d board a plan 24 hours later. To a new life in a very different city than the hippie mountain college town I lived.
And then I spent the next seven years trying to get back.
I visit as often as I can. I speak highly of the town I fell in love with. Most graduates of Western Washington have visions of raising their family in the small family oriented town of hippies and vagrants. Of people with a love of nature and good books. Of free spirits. And water. And sky. But most students move along to another location where jobs are plentiful and life takes a different turn. Mr. Flinger and I are no different.
When I met Sydney online, I could relate to everything she wrote. It’s a story no different than most other bloggers turned-real-life-friends. There’s something wonderful that happens when you meet someone for the first time and they already know you just started your period, your husband needs a vasectomy and your baby boy was born early and growing healthy and your daughter is a diva. So when I met her for the first time in person in my favorite town at my favorite park, it’s only natural I’d blog about it.
I declared myself her new BFF. She laughs. We walk on the new boardwalk discovering things we have in common, which is almost everything from the year we graduated, to when we were at Western and the experiences of being a woman in computer science. She makes a living doing what I do. Her children are nearly the same age. She lives in a city I’ve always wanted to go back to and vowes to help us get there. She buys me coffee. She’s wonderful to my children and LB talks about her for days. “Can we go visit Sydney again?” she asks. Of course! I say.
The thing about blogging is that some days the Internet is crazy mean. Sometimes it’s all traffic and Search Engine Optimization and ad campaigns. But sometimes there’s a real community and a place of commonality. Sometimes it really is about the people behind the text and sometimes you find a gem like Single Super Mama and you can’t help but think, “What if I’d stoped blogging back in February of 07 when I turned off my site for a month. What if…” and hindsight is kind because you didn’t and you kept your hobby and you realized it’s not about anything but community and friendship and sometimes hindsight lives up to your expectations the way Bellingham does for me.
Speaking his language Mar 03, 2008
After knowing Mr. Flinger for nearly twenty years now, seven years of those married, six of those as best friends, and 5 years of dating, you’d think I kinda know the guy a bit. You’d think that. And you’d be right. Mostly.
For some reason I’ve been approaching this whole birth control thing completely wrong. I’ve been approaching it like a women, with logic and emotion. *We* don’t want to have children, so *we* need to find a solution that works for *us*. *We* need to get a cost effective/low impact solution. *We* don’t need the Mommy (hi) to be an emotional wreck from the hormones of Birth Control Pills (also? I can not be counted on to take them thus making their reliability around 2%) or the IUD*. *We* don’t like condoms. *We* don’t want an abortion. *We* don’t want to do this again. We’re happy. With two. A boy and a girl. Remember?
So why is it that The Other Solution isn’t discussed? Because he doesn’t want to discuss it. Because “he’s not ready for that” and “not man enough” and “someblatheringIcan’tunderstand”.
Then it hit me. A chart. I needed a chart.
Lo, I created a chart.
Remember back when we purchased our garbage can? Remember how
he graphed my hormones during my miscarriage? Did you know he once asked me to rate my daily activities on a scale of one to ten before deciding to go back to Graduate School? You know, to quantify the decision?
Graphs. Charts. Engineer. :: Slaps Forehead ::
:: owie ::
So I decided to quantify the decision. And this is what I came up with.
Note in Figure A we have a cost ration per various solutions. Note that in Figure B, all birth control costs pail in comparison to the cost of raising a child as noted on Baby Center.
Here in Figure C we have the joy ratio of various birth control methods:
And here is the link I’m sending via IM to my husband as we speak.
Did I mention the pocket knife? You get a pocket knife. Snip. Snip.
Maybe now I’ve talked his language, he will talk mine. BowChickaBowWow.
*A note about The IUD. I thought about this route. I thought long and hard. I thought I’d go this route but in order to do so, my doctor wants me to call The First Day Of My Cycle, which as you know, is completely unpredictable and irratic (because the ENTIRE internet knows this about me) and thus have been trying to get in for three months now. Three. Long. Sexless. Months.
**I didn’t even take in the anual cost of therapy the third child will bring, the cases of wine consuned before child reaches four, or the pregnancy tests I will continue to pee on until the snip is complete.
**For your further reading enjoyment.
Being a mother changes you Mar 01, 2008
There are a few standard Saturday Morning experiences Mr. Flinger and I tend to dwell on: “Remember when we didn’t wake up at 6am on a weekend?” “Remember when we used to go out on Friday nights?” “Remember spending money on ourselves?” “Did we used to go hiking on the weekends?” “Didn’t we use to have sex /go to dinner / see a movie / shower every weekend?”
Then we usually laugh, “Buhahaha. No, I don’t remember.”
Perspective changes as often as the months of each year. Very few experiences in life truly and profoundly have the impact to change the steadfast ways of your rutted thoughts. Some days come in and out of memory blurred with every other and change is slow and gradual while other days grab you like the baby fist reaching up from your arms.
Reading through Jessica’s account of her flashback, reminded me of something I’ve become a little more aware of lately. I am a mother. I know this should’ve hit me three and a half years ago, with the birth of my first child. I know this should’ve occured to me before her first birthday, before my second and third pregnancy, before the birth of Baby O. But it’s something that occurs to me in bits and pieces. It occurs most to me when I read of tragedy and realize I immediately flock in my mind to protect my children. I identify more with the parents. I picture their loss. I picture my own life without my children and I crumble from a depth of myself that did not exist until I had them.
Perspective shifts through life, it’s true. From knees at eye level to empathy for strangers. From crib bars to the open road. From teenage self perception to forgetting to eat after caring for your children all day.
Now when I go work for a day at the local coffee shop, I pause and take in my atmosphere a little more deeply. The children, their mothers, the bustle, the families. That I’m not alone in my harried constant being. That it’s not just my family wondering what happened to sleeping in, to weekly date nights, to self preservation.
Instead, I take in the world just a little bit more like my children do now. From their perspective. And it’s a powerful shift that I hope never fades.