I feel so much sadness for all the parents out there that don’t get child support when they REALLY need it. I am so lucky that even without Ben I’d be able to support Cassidy and that Ben taken up the responsibility of her deadbeat “father” to support her financially.
For the record, since her “father” doesn’t think it’s necessary to support her, he now owes me $92,927.81 in child support. The state of California has basically done nothing to make him pay. The last time I was able to get them to make him come to court he lied so much, and he’s so bad at it that I was easily able to point them all out WITH ACTUAL PROOF and all they did was… nothing.
I basically begged them for MONTHS to suspend his license and they never would. Eventually he got a arrested for drunk driving, didn’t go to court, then didn’t pay the fine, then didn’t go to the class he was supposed to go to so they gave him jail time. When he turned himself in for his mandatory time he tried to sneak meth into the jail (YAY FELONY!) so he got more time for that. Served 100 days and is still on probation. Then in July of last year he got pulled over again and arrested for possession of meth, meth paraphernalia and “driving while license suspended for driving while under the influence”. Of course, he didn’t go to that court date and is currently listed with as a “fugitive” on the San Bernadino Superior Court website.
I honestly look back 12 years ago and I don’t even know how that guy turned into this loser. A lot of time goes by without me ever even thinking about it and then I’ll see something that will bring up this feeling of absolute gut turning rage at the utter lack of caring that exists for Cassidy’s well being both emotionally and financially.
About 4 times in the last year I’ve had this nightmare where I am back together with him. In my mind I know that I’m there for Cassidy so I’m trying to “fake it till I make it” and then something in me snaps and I start to panic because he and his step-mom won’t let me leave. So I start screaming and fighting to get away. Twice now Ben has had to wake me up because I’m having an actual night terror. I know I’m asleep and that if I just wake up it will be over so I try and scream but I can’t get anything more than a squeak out. It’s actually really terrifying.
Anyway, I’m not exactly sure where I was going with all this but today was one of those days where it came up and rather than hold it all in like I normally do I wanted to just pound the keys to get it out of my system.
A lot of counseling has taught me that I am not responsible for his failures as a father and to look at how great a kid Cassidy is. She’s funny and makes me laugh every single day, she’s so much smarter than she realizes, she has an ever growing passion for music and fashion. She HAS a dad. An amazing one. One that didn’t just give up when things got hard. One that took the bumpy and unforgiving path to better himself along with the rest of us to get to where we are today. She is so lucky. We are so lucky.
Today I could hear a pretty steady thumping coming from upstairs so I ventured up to see what it was. I listened in as Cassidy was dancing in her bathroom to some music.
Me: Hey, whatcha doin’ in there?
She threw open the door and this happened:
Cassidy: I’M DANCING I HAVE TO PRACTICE FOR COLORGUARD OMG MOOOOOOOM. SERIOUSLY!
She threw that last word in there as she ran into her room and slammed the door closed. The high pitched squeeling continued as I fought her to get her door open. By this time I had made it into a joke.
Me: OMG CAAAAASSSIDY LET ME SEE YOUR AWESOME DANCE MOVES THAT YOU WERE PRACTICING.
Cassidy: MOM SERIOUSLY GO AWAY.
Me: I CAN’T GO AWAY I NEEEEEED TO SEE YOU DAAAAAAAANCE.
Cassidy: OMG I HATE YOU SERIOUSLY!
Me: So I guess you DON’T need to go to the grocery store today then?
At which point I was suddenly able to open her door and proceed to tease her to her face. Sometimes parenting a teenager is a lot of fun.
We are redoing the flooring throughout the bottom of the house. You all know that because you follow me on social media and you are probably all, “Shut up about the flooring already, SHEESH!” So instead we will discuss a funny related story.
We are going to need approximately 498,000 boxes of tiles to do the entire floor and I can get exactly 9 boxes at a time in the Prius before it starts to rub so it’s going to take a few trips to get as many as we need. Last Monday Cassidy and I went to Lowes to get the first 9 boxes and as we got out of the car I realized that my purse seemed really light and that I had forgotten my wallet! Because Blonde.
So we drive back home and I wait in the car while Cassidy runs in to grab my wallet out of my work bag. She was in there FOREVER and came out and held up her hands and shrugged because she couldn’t find what she was looking for. I told her I must have left my wallet at work and I couldn’t believe that because I NEVER do that and she was all, “OH WALLET! I was looking for the keys HAHAHAHAHAAHH!”
Proving that, in fact, two blondes do not make a right.
We decided not to go back to Lowes that day and instead took a nap.
The story of Leelah Alcorn hit me pretty hard this week. I saw the story on Facebook and spent a good hour on her tumblr viewing post after post of this poor child’s pain. I am not a perfect parent. I have made a lot of mistakes, every parent has, but I think that one thing that Ben and I have done right is teach our daughter that something as silly as her gender or who she chooses to love will never have an impact on how WE love her.
There are so many things I want to say about this but nothing seems strong enough.
Parents, love your children. Love them if they are male or female or transgender or straight or gay or bi or… Just love them. You only have them for a short time and that short time will build the foundation for the rest of their lives. Whether your child chooses to be a girl or a boy or who they choose to bring home for Christmas dinner really doesn’t have any effect on you. Your neighbor’s opinion of who your child dates should not matter. Your friend’s opinion of whether your child has a penis or a vagina and whether they choose to wear pants or a skirt should not matter. Your child’s chosen gender is not your decision at birth any more than it is when they are a teenager.
One of Cassidy’s best friends at school is a gay boy. He is such a nice kid. When I first read this story I thought about him. His quick wit, his overly intelligent sense of humor, the way he smiles kind of crooked when he laughs at one of Cassidy’s ridiculously cheesy jokes. It breaks my heart that this kid could possibly ever feel the way that Leelah felt.
I don’t understand how any parent could react the way Leelah’s parents did. I wish I could ask them. How is it that nobody stepped into this girl’s life and explained that this was temporary? That there is a whole life out there outside her parent’s house. There are entire communities that are fighting for her rights to be accepted. To be loved. To be herself. How did we let this child fall through the cracks? How did we let it get to the point that she felt death was the better alternative?
Just love your kids. Accept them. That is all.
If you follow me anywhere in the internet lately then you’ll have noticed that I’ve been running a lot more.
DO NOT WORRY! This will never be a running blog. I am the very LAST person you should ever turn to for running advice because my plan failed at step 1 which was: Go outside and put one foot in front of the other in a fast motion till you want to throw up then stop.
I made pretty much every single rookie mistake there is to make even though I have a living Running Dictionary sleeping in bed next to me every night. This is a pretty big difference between Ben and I. He decides he’s going to do Something then sets about reading every single piece of information that he can get about Something. As a result, he learns from the mistakes of others before he makes them. I generally decided that I am going to do Something then I do it and make ALL THE MISTAKES along the way and then Ben tells me how he warned me about those mistakes before I made them and I nod and agree then jump head first into my next big Something.
Some people are readers, some are jumpers. Admittedly, the jumpers end up learning in more painful ways but we also give the readers something to read about. The world needs both but there have been a LOT of situations where I wish I was a reader!
So if you are a reader and not a jumper I’m going to list my mistakes here and if you choose to, you can avoid the painful landing by taking some of my VERY AMATEUR advice.
Mistake 1: I started out on a pair of shoes that felt comfortable in the store and were pretty and on sale.
Result: Shin splints so bad I had trouble walking for three days after running less than a mile total and soles that felt like they were bruised after every run.
Learn From My Mistake: Go get professionally fitted for a pair of running shoes and be okay spending the bulk of your gear money on them. Fleet Feet is a really great place to start. Or find a locally owned and operated running store in your area. Not only will you get great shoes but many of them offer running groups of all levels and can tell you all the best trails in your area.
Mistake 2: Thinking that since I’ve decided I’m a runner, I can go run a ridiculous distance without any build up.
Result: Extreme soreness that made running again anytime soon absolutely impossible and burn out before I’d ever really started.
Learn From My Mistake: COUCH TO 5K! GET IT! FOLLOW IT! DON’T SKIP AHEAD! I’ve seen SO MANY PEOPLE say that they started the C25K program and think that first week was too easy so they skip ahead and soon after give up because it seems too hard. The program is specifically built to ease you into running. I started and failed it THREE TIMES before finally reading a thread about it on MyFitnessPal that said what I am saying now. Those first few weeks were hard for me because I wanted to run more. I wanted to BE A RUNNER ALREADY but then around week 5 I had to actually repeat a week because it started to be tough. Repeating a week is okay, they even say that when you start but DON’T skip ahead! I told Ben that I look back at week 5-6 when I honestly thought there was NO WAY I’d ever be able to run for 8 minutes at a time now I’m running for 45 minutes straight.
Mistake 3: Thinking gym workout clothes and “running clothes” were interchangeable.
Result: Raw skin in very unfortunate areas and overheating to the point of nearly passing out.
Learn From My Mistake: Not all gym clothes are built the same. Cotton tanks work for me on cooler days but on hot days you will really want a light weight and breathable material. Also, I’ve found that for me tighter fitting shorts keep my inner thighs from rubbing. I always assumed all those tight fitting running bottoms were for show but they aren’t. They REALLY are more comfortable when you get into longer distances. If you are uncomfortable in something tighter fitting, look into running skirts. They cover more but still have the shorts built in.
Mistake 4: Thinking that every blog post and person and magazine article and book was wrong about the nutrition needed to maintain the body during a run.
Result: Some really unfortunate and silly looking HIGH SPEED runs to get home as soon as humanly possible because of runner’s trots. They exist and they suck. Also, bonking is a thing and there is no bigger buzz kill on a run than suddenly running out of energy to finish.
Learn From My Mistake: EAT! Eat before, eat during, eat after. Every body is different and it will take some time to learn the best time for fuel ingestion and exactly what that fuel is but don’t starve your body. EAT! For me a banana no less than an hour before and a Gu gel 15 minutes before start is golden. I run in the early evening so I’ve already had breakfast, snack and lunch then the banana and Gu. I usually have a recovery drink when I finish and then dinner within two hours. If I don’t get enough food in me before that early evening run, if I skip lunch for instance, it makes me feel like I’m running through a foot of mud. I’ve never actually run through a foot of mud but I can’t imagine it would suck any less than bonking from lack of food. EAT!
Mistake 5: Stretching is stupid, I’m already flexible.
Result: OMG WHY DO I HURT IN ALL THE PLACES?!
Learn From My Mistake: STRETCH! MAKE the time. When you plan for a run, include time to stretch before and after. Give yourself at LEAST 15 minutes after you run to stretch out those warm muscles. There are about 76,184,615,464 videos on YouTube for post run stretching. I also incorporate one day a week to do Christine Felstead’s Runner’s Yoga. I want to punch her in the face through most of it but it really has made a difference in my calves, hips and hamstrings. It makes sore muscle recovery time faster and has even made it easier to run since I realized how important the hips are when you run.
That’s enough for now. I am by no means any kind of expert. I am still very much an amateur runner so all I can do is give you all the opportunity to learn from my silly mistakes. Through all that though, I have to say, I REALLY LOVE TO RUN. Four-months-ago-me used to read runner’s blog posts about how much they love to run and I wanted to reach through the screen and punch them square in the jaw for being asshole liars because nobody could ever love this torture! I’ve never been so happy to admit how wrong I was.