- Today was a good day.
- Hope and I enjoyed a great day on the beach. A long time friend of mine who lives abroad is in town visiting her family; I happened to see a picture a few days ago and we were able to connect on the beach for a few hours.
- Then my sister came thru with the kiddos and I played with the little cuties until it was time to come inside.
- Hope jumped waves with her cousin and stepped out for dinner with her older cousin.
- We went to the candy store and to get slushies.
- It was as close to a perfect day as we could get.
- It’s barley 8pm and Hope got in the bed about an hour ago, and was asleep by 7:30.
- You know what that means? It means I’m practically alone!!!! I’m fixing myself a cocktail and heading to the balcony in my pjs to watch the dolphins at dusk. There was a huge pod out this morning and it was wonderful watching them!
- Tomorrow the hurricane remnants are supposed to hit the area. We might get some beach time in the morning, but it will likely be a low key day shopping and hanging out with family.
- I’m hoping the next couple of days are as amazing as today. Hope and I deserve it.
Tag Archives: Family Vacations
Today marks the first day of my 5th pandemic staycation.
It’s downright depressing, especially with FB reminding me that 2 years ago I was in Rome, 3 years ago in Athens, years before that in Montreal. I miss traveling terribly. Oh the places we will go when this pandemic lets up.
Hope has finally come to an age where she’s a bit more fun to travel with. Yes, she still struggles with impulsiveness. Yes, we still have at least one episode of losing my ish and flinging myself on a bed with all dramatic pretense. Hope can still turn on the spoiled princess persona that she’s adopted occasionally when we are traveling. All that said, I love seeing the world through her eyes. I loved taking her to various places, seeing things, hoping some of all this good experiential learning takes hold.
More than anything right now, I wish we could get away. We could both use the change of scenery. I think it would do amazing things to lift our depression. Also, it would be nice to have someone bring me food via room service.
We will be visiting my parents later this week now that they and I am vaccinated. This will definitely be the highlight of my week. We haven’t seen my parents in person since July of 2020 when we scooted down for a day with them. I’m thinking we might actually make it a weekend thing and maybe take in a museum, get some take out, definitely order room service. It will have to do, and I *am* looking forward to it, but the way my wanderlust is set up…
I’m thinking about maybe booking a trip to the Caribbean this summer. I desperately need to get AWAY. I mean, already today, I’ve answered 3 work emails and had one zoom call. This doesn’t happen when I’m traveling.
The only one happy about the current state of affairs is Yappy–who whines if I go to the laundry room without him.
Anyhoo, I’m entertaining myself watching a completely nerdy show on Prime about the Illiad, while looking up some of these 2nd tier Greek gods on Wikipedia. I might actually have to crack open Homer again. Of course, this is also contributing to my need for travel, but for now, it will have to be enough.
Maybe Greece again next year. I have so much more exploring to do.
- I legit didn’t realize yesterday was Wednesday until I woke up this morning. My schedule Monday-Friday, at times, is brutal.
- I adulted this week. Sent in my passport renewal application. Deposited some checks that were nearly a month old. Pulled together the first set of docs necessary for my taxes. Cooked dinner. Tomorrow I might even call my primary care doc back; his office called to get me to make my annual physical appointment since we skipped last year. This regular ish, but I legit had to sit down, make a list and give it to my therapist last week. I am not terribly productive outside of work these days.
- Hope is still experiencing night terrors triggered by recent trauma. The thing is that there’s never a good time to deal with this heavy stuff. Given that Hope’s sleep schedule is wonky, her night terrors usually are happening during my work day. Yesterday, I had to fight to wake her out of one with less than 10 minutes before the start of a seminar I was giving as a consulting gig. I was juggling A LOT before hitting the virtual stage. The terrors have been really bad this week after abating for a week. I’m hoping she has some breakthrus soon so her brain can stop needing to work so hard helping her process some really shitty stuff. It’s heartbreaking.
- I’ve taken on some consulting work because it gives me some freedom to pick and choose gigs with groups outside of my current space . The gigs I’ve got lined up for the next few months are completely unplanned income, and its especially cool because I’m doing it because I enjoy it and not for the extra cash. When I took on the first of a string of gigs last fall, I made a decision that all extra income was going to be saved for my 50th birthday trip in two years. I’m planning to go to Egypt and Turkey. Egypt for Kemet and the pyramids and Turkey to take a religious trek visiting places where Paul journeyed. I want to take a few weeks off and travel, and it’s possible I will do it alone, which also excites me.
- Hope and I had a really amazing conversation about her childhood and our life as a family. Young Adult Hope is really emerging and it’s really cool. She’s totally still a ridiculous goofball, but there are times when I sit and think, wow I was not ready for her to come thru like this! The night terrors have taught me a lot about how the brain will find a way to work through stuff even if you don’t want too. Our chats sometimes reveal how she has processed to date life before me, with her parent and while she was in foster care. Often she just says she doesn’t remember things she used to have on heavy repeat 5 years ago, and I totally believe her. Sometimes it’s hard to hear how she’s put things up on a high shelve in her brain somewhere, but I’m learning that your brain also works hard to protect you.
- My parents got their first vaccine shot this week. I’m really so happy because it means we’re one step closer to hugging them. I miss them so much it hurts.
- I’m still waiting for my county health department to call me. It’s really any day now. Once I’m vaccinated and my parents are vaccinated Hope and I are going for a visit. Hope hardly leaves the house so she’s minimal risk. It’s soooo close.
- I chose a week to take off. I think we might book a room on the harbor in Baltimore for a weekend. Walk around the harbor and then watch movies and order lots of room service. Just need a change of scenery.
- Anyone else feel like weekends are too short as we enter year 2 of the pandemic? I think everyone should only be expected to work 4 days per week during this crapshow. We need an additional trauma processing day.
- I think I’m going to let Hope order in tomorrow night. She so delights in simple things sometimes. Watching her eat something she really loves, especially takeout, is a real joy.
Here are my thoughts: I loathe phobias.
I hate them with the hate of a thousand needles in a cheating ex-boyfriend’s eye. I hate them so viciously that I wish I could stab phobias with my phobic killing sword.
Hope has a bug phobia. It is horrible.
I fucking hate it. Yes, I do not like to use all out curse words in this space, but the reality is that this phobia thing warrants a full on f-bomb.
Everywhere we go, everything we do, somewhere, there is the possibility of there being a bug.
When we got to Paris, Hope acted shocked that there were bugs. But when we got to Switzerland it was like she was furious that I did not warn her that, yes, in fact, the country has bugs.
There seems to be a noticeable amount of ladybugs and bees here. They are not particularly noticeable to me and Grammy. They have largely shaped Hope’s miserable Swiss experience, and thus, they have shaped all of our miserable Swiss experiences.
I must admit that I try desperately to be kind, understanding and sympathetic to my daughter’s phobia but seriously, it has become a major trigger for me because her fear routinely creates dangerous situations for everyone around her.
Wanna know how I discovered she had a phobia?
A couple of years ago, a gnat got in the car and she literally came across the front seat and pushed me out of the drivers side door while the car was moving. Fortunately we were in a parking lot and the car came to rest on a parking block. I wasn’t sure what was happening; I just knew that I had to get away from her and whatever it was she was freaked out about. I’m glad we were in a parking lot; I shudder to think what would have happened had we been on the freeway.
We have tried hypnosis to modest success, but the reality is that this phobia is debilitating.If I don’t kill everything around us, the only legitimate response apparently, I’m a horrible person. Today, I had to keep her from falling in the Rhine River and pull her from the path of an oncoming bus as she spun out of control *running* from a bee minding its own business buzzing by. This evening I nearly dropped my laptop when she pushed me off of the couch from a bug that was across the room under a chair. I just sent her to her sealed off room in tears because she seemed insistent to stay on bug watch and as my grandma would say, you keep looking and you will find what you’re looking for. Magically, a spider appeared on the wall and she freaked the hell out, yelling, screaming and crying. I’m praying the neighbors don’t call the our host to snitch on us.
We could close the windows, but air conditioning is not really a thing here and it’s currently about 71 degrees outside. Screens aren’t a thing either.
I’m sure I handled it all wrong, but I’m like, it’s late, no one is up, stop looking for bugs, go the eff to sleep. #samueljackson I spent the afternoon saving you and trying not to get accidentally killed in the process because a bee flew by minding its own frigging business. I’ve done breathing exercises with her. I encouraged meditation and mindfulness. I’ve sat with her to try to get on top of the anxiety. I’ve drugged her.
Seriously. I. Don’t. Know. What. Else. To. Do.
And I am tapped out. I’m exhausted. This leg of the trip has felt like one miserable disaster after another and I can’t wait to get home. I know she feels the same. Grammy feels the same. We all feel the same. I just want to rest because this trip has been anything but restful.
So, I’m girding myself for one last day in Switzerland and one last day in Paris. I’m hoping for a mini-reset. We need it. Hope needs it. Grammy and I need it.
Phobias suck and they suck for everyone.
In an effort to put some good energy out there, here are some snaps from our time in Switzerland!
Today…Oy vey, why bother rehashing other than I managed to walk 7.5 miles today, so I feel no guilt about the chocolate I plan to consume tomorrow.
I am determined to get this trip back on track tomorrow if it kills me and/or everyone else. As I walked to the convention center earlier today after getting a text from Hope that really, really let me know just how self centered she is, I started thinking about all the things I wished she knew about me, my life and my life with her.
Then I started thinking that I’m sure my mom wishes I knew all the same things about her.
There’s so much about this life that is unknown. There’s so much that you have to live to just know–people can tell you but you can’t really know unless you have the life experience. Lots of adulting is like that. It feels like all of parenting is like that. And parenting a child from a tough place? Forget about it. You can explain it with formulas, diagrams and powerpoint presentations and you won’t even get close to understanding.
Not. Even. Close.
I really started thinking about the things I wish I knew from my mom and things I wish Hope knew about me. I wondered if any of the knowledge would really change anything or if it would just make me feel better–not that those two things have to be mutually exclusive.
Here are just a few things I wish Hope understood about me.
I am not Google. I’m not, really. I am wicked smart but I do not know everything. I am inquisitive by nature. I often will watch a show and look up something mentioned that interested me and then pause the show and spend the next two hours down an information rabbit hole gobbling up information about that tidbit. I know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff, but I also do not know a lot about everything. The reality is very few of Hope’s questions really, genuinely interest me. Very few of them trigger my need to look up something, and with her being 17, I am uninspired to look it up for her. I am not Google. There is an app for that.
I have real grown arse problems. No she doesn’t need to know that work can be challenging or that I wonder whether a new relationship has real potential. But I need her to know I’m human. I screw up; I make problems for myself that could be avoided sometimes. I have steamer trunk baggage that shapes how I view myself, how I view the world, how I navigate through it and how I struggle to parent. I wonder if I’ll have enough to retire or if my parents have taken care of their affairs so that it won’t burden my sisters and me when the time comes. I worry about my weight and whether I’ll breeze through menopause like my mother did or if I’ll be hell on wheels like apparently my grandmother was. Will my health continue to be ok despite a host of hereditary and genetics disasters that seem to loom over my head? I wonder when I”ll be able to afford getting a new fridge with private school tuition and who I’ll get to install the two new AC units I’ve ordered for the house. Will I die with student loans and oh yeah, how will this private school tuition thing really work out? Will I ever manage to train/treat Yappy out of his anxiety before he chews up all of my good shoes and purse straps?
I wish she knew I was human with tender feelings–parenting makes those feelings more tender, not less. I wish she knew that even though I’ve gone to therapy monthly and sometimes much more frequently since I was in college that I’m far from “ok.” I struggle; I have depression and anxiety too, and BOTH have gotten worse since I became a parent, and sometimes as much as I love her and as much as I want her to heal, I just want her to hush so I can have a moment to breathe. The highs are high, as we’ve seen recently, but the lows are also hella low.
That I have impostor syndrome like a mug. I wish she knew that I have way more confidence dealing with school folks, counselors, administrators, doctors than I do parenting her. Parenting her is by far the hardest job I have, and it is mostly thankless. I remember when she was first placed with me, during the rough transition period a doctor suggested that she had RAD. I didn’t accept that, refused to in fact. She’s definitely not RAD, but there’s no question that we have attachment issues that I struggle to acknowledge. All is certainly not golden around these parts. We’ve had a good stretch of late, but the reality is that it’s a struggle.
So I fake/wing it. I think lots of parents of all kinds of kids do this. We just wing it and pray that we don’t eff up our kids up at all or worse than they came to us. I wish she could have a peep behind my parenting veil to get an idea of what I see and experience. It’s funny, as I write that, I know it wouldn’t make a difference for us. Hope has greater empathy for dogs whose collars she believes are too tight than for other humans. I wish seeing me in all my messy realness would make a difference, but this isn’t a neurotypical, normal household with regular run of the mill drama. That expectation is just not even realistic at this point. Still, I wish she could see and I wish she could grasp it.
I heard you, but I’m just ignoring you in hopes that this problem will go away or that you will solve it on your own. Yeah, I said it. I remember asking my parents some ridiculous things. I also remember them not answering me sometimes. I don’t answer Hope sometimes. Yes, it’s purposeful. Yes, I want you to stop. Why? Because it’s annoying; I’m tired, and I’m really in search of quiet. Also, I can’t or don’t want to solve your problem. I’m tapped out, done, finito. Go try to solve it yourself. Sometimes parents are petty and annoyed with dumb kid ish. #facts
I love you, but I don’t like you very much sometimes. This doesn’t affect my commitment to you. It’s just a recognition that sometimes kids (little, middle and grown) can be jerks. When you’re jerky I don’t like it. I don’t really want to be around it. There’s a difference between the trauma and anxiety stuff and jerkiness. Sure sometimes it can overlap, but generally they are distinct. When you use the jerkiness to manipulate based on the trauma and anxiety, it is infuriating and I feel stuck. I’m a contrarian by nature, so I also just rebel against the jerkiness. It makes it hard for me work through these behaviors. I hate them, but I don’t hate you. But I really wish you would stop being a jerk; it’s getting in the way of a lot of your healing and my parenting. Don’t be a jerk.
I’m sure there are countless other things I wish Hope knew and that she will learn about me. Right now, I’m just trying to make it through. I’m committed to getting some rest tonight and to continue working to get us back on track tomorrow.
Today I struggled. And by struggle I mean…wanted to strangle Grammy and Hope at different times and for different reasons.
I love traveling with my mom. It’s easy. She’s easy going, we love on each other and it’s just epic. We sometimes even cry together because the time together is so special. This trip has had all that but Hope is with us and that’s changed our dynamic. Hope is an attention hog, and I tend to dote on my mom when we travel. I’ve tried to mete out the doting, but I rarely get dedicated time with Grammy so I’m sure she’s winning the doting war.
Then, despite showing epic growth this summer and in the last few weeks, in the matter of a few short days Hope has regressed into some of her worst behaviors. She’s annoying with a bit of a smart mouth.
Emotionally demanding, and then, as we arrived in Switzerland, again had to go through the absurd routine of being *shocked* that the country has insects. Why didn’t I warn her?
Yeah, she has a phobia. Yes, I know that there’s components of phobias that are completely unrelated to reason, but Hope has turned the ancillary showmanship around her bug phobia into a high artform.
In the last couple of days her behavior has been quietly grating on my nerves…and I’m not the only one.
So by the time we arrived at the airport today, I’d survived Grammy’s worry that the car service wouldn’t pick us up at the hotel and Hope’s lollygagging in getting ready because she was up until the wee hours watching Kdramas in the dark. By the time we got through security and got Hope something to eat and made her do some of her required school reading, my shoulders were finally starting to relax. Grammy starts talking about how different Hope is from my sisters and me, and I get defensive. This is really the first time she’s seen Hope’s true colors up close and personal. Stuff that I understand now, stuff that I let go, stuff that I think is a parking lot problem when I only die on mountain style problems, just baffles Grammy. I get it, but I also know how to parent this kid (even when I want to strangle her), and I can’t parent her the way I was parented. It’s not better or worse, just radically different.
I briefly raised my voice, and then I lost my four day fight to hold back tears. I didn’t sob, but I did cry. Grammy pulled back and said she got it. I know she doesn’t totally get it, but I appreciated that she does on an intellectual level at least.
Then I felt like a failure for not managing to keep it together and disrupting our trip with this exchange. I ended up apologizing and trying to make it right later.
I get us to our AirBnB. It’s a charming apartment. It’s huge, everyone has their own space (precisely why I chose it). I find us food nearby. I manage Hope’s latest bug phobia drama and hand her a couple of Ativan. I video chat my dad and my sister. During my call with my sister, Hope declares that she’s not having a good time, and she wants to go home. Stunned, I abruptly end the call and began sobbing.
I’m exhausted, the airport meltdown took something out of me and then I was wedged into a seat with a dude who wafted funk with every move. (Bless the French and their apparent hatred for quality deodorants.) Just yesterday we went and saw all the stuff in the Apesh&t video at the Louvre, and it was epic. Today, in typical 13 year old in a 17 year old chronological body, Hope declared her teen angst misery, and I, completely depleted and fed up, skidded into the spin and claimed the dramatic southern woman wailing part in the tableau.
Seriously, the trip of a lifetime and misery abounds. Can’t I just get 10 days drama free? Please?
I adore Hope. There is little I won’t do for her, but don’t get it twisted, parenting her is hard. It’s exhausting. Sometimes it’s downright withering.
And sometimes on days like today, after having given Grammy a lecture on the need to have different kinds of expectations for my daughter, I heap on a serving of hypocrite to my parenting dish because for the life of me, I have no idea why I would think that Hope would really love/appreciate a trip to France and Switzerland. She barely appreciates when I pick up a nail polish that I think she will like or make sure that her special Korean ramen is in the house.
It’s not that she’s not thankful for some stuff, it’s just like…some of the things are so far beyond that she’s not sure how to handle them, so she doesn’t handle them well. It’s like she can’t process it in her operating system She’s not handling this trip well, which means we’re not handling this trip well. And I wish she would step up, because I know she can but just won’t, so I blame myself because I know what her default setting is: chaos. When in doubt, cause chaos, because for her, that’s something she understands.
After I got myself together, I told her that I am sorry that she is not having a good time. I do not regret bringing her, but I got the message that this isn’t her thing so I will be sure to extend an invite, but not assume she’s interested in going on these kinds of trips in the future.
I had hoped that after our Grecian adventure earlier this year that she would have got the travel bug, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. That’s ok. It’s not for everyone. I know that she will have these memories–however she frames them–and I’m glad for it.
As for me, I’m heading to my conference tomorrow and I’m looking forward to interacting with non-relatives for a few hours. I’m looking forward to just getting into a zone where I know I do good work, where I can learn, where I can just feel like I am seen and perceived as successful.
Quiet as kept, I’m looking forward to seeing the city, but I will also look forward to going home, seeing and cuddling Yappy, settling into my empty nest routine and going out with my new bae.
I’ve got 5 days though to get through without killing anyone. Prayers, if you’re into that kind of thing.
I grew up in a very traditional nuclear family. So did my parents. So did my grandparents. And so on, and so on. I remember thinking nothing of it.
Today all the folks we consider kinfolk has expanded dramatically. Adoption, marriage, babies, step kids…I often joke that we have duct taped and stapled folks to our family tree.
And that’s a good thing for all of us.
Over spring break we visited Hope’s side of the family. Previous visits were short,this one had us in the area for 3 days. It was worth all the driving and all the angst.
I’ve always known this but I see and know it more than ever now: There is something about being with your people that is incredibly powerful. Nature means folks look like you and sound like you, act like you. Hope’s biological relationship with her kinfolk is undeniable; she looks just like them.
We learned a lot about Hope’s family on this trip. I better understand why kinship adoption wasn’t the best fit and how that truth has nothing to do with love. I wish that things had been different for Hope and for them, but we can only look forward. On this trip I learned what it feels like to also be grafted into a family tree. I imagine that this isn’t quite what Hope felt, but maybe something along a parallel track.
This is the family visit when it all came together.
Well it did for me anyway. I think Hope is still trying to figure it all out. For us adults, we have life skills and emotional intelligence to make this work more easily. I see their love for my daughter; they see my love for their daughter. There doesn’t need to be any drama; we are a family and we’ll do what we have to in order to make it work for Hope because that’s what sensible grown folks do.
Hope still has some work to do in this area. She has quickly become territorial about aspects of the experience and even the chocolate cake her grandmother made because she knows I love cake. Hope isn’t a big fan of cake. It will likely go uneaten because I decided to just let it be her cake, which I know she will not eat (more on the cake in a separate post).
It is a strange thing for all the adults in a room brought together by the love of a child to get it together only to watch the child struggle.
My daughter was frustrated by the family desire to talk about her parents; she quietly complained that she didn’t want to talk about them unless they came up in conversation, but they did, a lot. My inner monologue also was running and said, “Well why the hell are we here if not to be around your family who will no doubt talk a lot about your parents???” I knew better than to ask that question out loud.
I relished in getting pictures of my daughter as a little girl with her parents, while she alternated between balking and sobbing at the imagery and demanding copies of everything. Mid-trip we talked about what it felt like to sit up at night and intensely study the pictures looking for resemblance and connection.
While I’m happy to have taken this trip, now that we are home I’m realizing the real emotional cost. It is hurts to know that my daughter doesn’t understand that there is enough love and loyalty to go around. There will be more questions, there will be more trips. I feel grafted into the family, but I’ve still got lots of questions and curiosity from my own biological family about “them.” If history is predictive, there will be big emotions. There will be clingyness. There will be pulling away. There will be anger. There will be just a lot of stuff. It exhausts me thinking about it.
But I would do it again. How could I deny Hope her family? How in good conscious could I do that? My emotional output is minimal compared to the opportunity to reconnect with family. To see her family delight in seeing her again, getting reacquainted, to have the chance to share childhood stories of her lost parent, to see themselves in her…it is a beautiful thing to witness. This isn’t just for Hope; it’s for all of them.
We’ll visit again and again. I look forward to inviting them to visit, to graduations, to a wedding, to birthday parties and other events.
We are family.
I so remember fondly the days when I could throw some clothes in a bag, grab my passport and hit the airport for a vacation abroad that I threw together a couple of weeks before.
Those were the days.
Today, I grasp at shreds of vacation dreams.
Now I take trips instead of vacations, and I feel all kinds of ways about that.
On the one hand, I love the idea of vacationing with Hope, and even taking Yappy along. I dream about having the opportunity to have fun with her, to show her lots of amazing sites in the country and world.
On the other hand, I just miss the days of old.
This year, I rented a small condo on the beach in Virginia. Substantially less expensive and much closer to family than last year’s trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Oh and it was a fraction of the cost of our trip last year, which is good since the first payment on Hope’s braces is due next week. And finally, Yappy was welcome to tag along on this journey to the beach, where he would see sand for the very first time.
Since I traded in the Mini Cooper last winter, we would be traveling a lot more comfortably and with nothing strapped to the roof of the car.
I went into the trip feeling guardedly optimistic about all the precautions I had taken to try to make sure that it would be fun time for us all.
And then we headed out.
We traveled nearly all the way to the house when I caught a flat tire. And when I say “all the way” I mean, we were 2.4 miles away from the rental.
When we finally get there, the landlord had not obtained a mini-box for the TV so the cable didn’t work. The landlord also didn’t respond to my 3 phone calls and 2 texts about the WiFi password. And that was day 1.
Day 2, I managed to get in some exercise before I headed out with Hope to go buy a new tire. Of course Wallyworld did not carry my tire size, so then we had to hit a service station where the only tire the right size was the most expensive tire that was about $200. #HappyVacation Hope complained about the wait, pissed off the service station staff because I couldn’t censor her anti-Trump tirade because her ability to self-censor at critical times, like in mixed company, is non-existent. It also underscores her inability to read social reactions. By the time we bought groceries and hit the Starbucks my nerves were shot. When the barista messed up my drink I started to cry. ETA: How do you mess up a venti iced coffee with sugarfree vanilla syrup???
While sobbing on the way back to the car, I began to wonder why I keep trying to take these vacation/trips at all.
I hit another coffee shop, got my fix, got some Yappy snuggles and hit the beach. Managed to burn my feet on the sand. They are still sore and red. Oh and as soon as we got the umbrellas up and I got settled, Hope announced she was hungry and wanted to go inside, but not by herself, to get something to eat.
I said no, as I was still wiping the sweat from my brow from dragging everything to the beach and getting us set up.
Then there was the spider sighting at 9pm that spun night 2 out of control. We’ve been doing so much better with the bug thing so I was able to be a bit more patient and consoling about it.
I relaxed on the couch most of today with Yappy. It was just so hot, that there was little reason to go out. Hope pulled up a chair because I never located the spider, which meant the comfy furniture was contaminated.
After a few hours out and an about, we returned back where she quickly spotted a moth and the freakout started all over again. I killed it, but that hasn’t abated the evening meltdown.
Tomorrow afternoon we head home, and I’m left wondering will we ever have a truly, truly enjoyable time? Should I just plan staycations from now on? Should I just rent a bug free, hermetic bubble? Is there a happy medium?
Sure there were moments of some contentment, but they were fleeting and the crush of anxiety, phobias, and PTSD always seems to outweigh those few moments of relaxation.
Yeah, this was definitely a trip. It’s always a reminder of the hard place my kiddo survived. It’s just hard to enjoy a good life. I hope that she continues to heal and is able to just enjoy the world around her.
Despite all of the drama of this trip, I am optimistic for her healing. She is much more mature than she was last year. The ability to manage the bug phobia is improved. The drive and desire to heal is such much more than it used to be.
There is hope for Hope. I believe that.
But for now, vacations are still trips for us. Yappy seems to have had a blast though. He traveled well, killed bugs and has snoozed like I thought I would while on vacation. I am jealous.
Ahhhh, with some distractions in my life (vacation and the emergence of the bio family), I have neglected to blog about the Add Water and Stir podcast!
Yes, Mimi from ComplicatedMelodi and I made like Kool and the Gang and “got down on it” with our inaugural podcast last week. The description? BAM:
This is the inaugural episode of Add Water and Stir, a new podcast devoted to exploring adoption in communities of color. Hosts AdoptiveBlackMom (ABM) and ComplicatedMelodi (Mimi) share how they came to be adoptive parents, and they delve into how their adoption stories differ from the mainstream adoption conversation. Show highlights include receiving the child’s disclosure records, “passing” in same race adoptive families and the shade associated with parenting children of trauma.
Mimi says a write purty. She’s very kind.
Anyhoo, if you want to kill some time and check us out over the US holiday week/weekend, you can find us in these streets on YouTube:
On the podcast page:
Or at the actual podcast location for Episode 1.
We’re podcasting live every two weeks, be sure to check us out on July 10 at 10pm EST/9pm CST.
In other news…
Hope and I are vacationing in Florida this week, enjoying the joy that is humidity and messy thunderstorms. We visited the Magic Kingdom yesterday which was plagued by a massive deluge as we arrived. After shelling out a couple of hundred bucks to get in, another $20 for obnoxious ponchos I was ready to make the best of the day and make some magic happen.
Hope wanted to wallow in self-pity.
“Woe is me.” “Whenever I want to do something it never works out.” “The world is against me.” “God doesn’t like me.”
Ok, so like Michelle Obama, there’s one thing I don’t do well, and it’s this: wallowing. No ma’am. I allow moments of wallowing self-pity, but they are moments. I collect myself and move on. Hope LIVES at an emotional address called 1234 Self-Pity Street, The Universe Revolves Around Me, VA; USA. It drives me nuts and is a total buzz killer. #icant I know that so much has happened and not happened in her life that it has created this address for her, but I do not live there.
So, I told her she got one pass for wallowing, but that was it because I know the rain was disappointing. But wasn’t the end of the world. We were at Disney, dammit. Pretend to be happy, put some positive energy in the universe and live in the moment. #powerofpositivethinking #thesecret
During the next mini storm, Hope went in hard on the wallowing. And I lost my shiz. What I wasn’t fitting to do was listen to misery all day after spending a grip to get here when we could still have a good time. I read her the riot act about killing the vibe, refusing to have fun and getting on an emotional plane back to Self-Pity Street.
I also threatened to leave. Oh, but I did. I threatened to pull the plug on that giant mouse trap and didn’t blink about it either.
Now if you’ve never been to Disney World, you should know that it’s incredibly hard to stalk off in a huff after threatening to leave when you need to walk a mile to the monorail and then catch a tram to your parking lot. I mean you need a serious, “you pissed me off and we’re leaving” face for at least 40 minutes. But Hope also knows that while I am responsible and serious about money, I don’t fret over money that has already left my wallet, so if we needed to leave after dropping a grip to get up in Disney, then stalk on the monorail and tram I would… with a resting b*tch face I would. And there would be no stopping at any gift shops on the way out. #noearsforyou #herfacetho
Then I made like Elsa and went all Frozen for 30 minutes. I quietly went, with her in tow, to get something to eat, checked the FastPass situation for the cancelled rides, and sat on a bench while I got myself together and gave her time to get herself together to. Then we went on It’s a Small World After All. And all was again right with the world. We had a great time with no more drama. She got her ears and her dog Pluto and had a great, great time.
Negative talk is a big problem for Hope, and one that I’m constantly working on with her. It may sound harsh, but she has a flair for the dramatic so I have to go in hard with her. I’m proud of her for choosing to enjoy Disney.
In Hope’s family news, I checked in with all those family members who contacted her, let them know that their friend requests were denied, messages erased, they’ve been privacy blocked from her page and that they needed to come through me if they want to eventually have contact with Hope. I would determine when and how that would happen. So far the response has been respectful and understanding, but I can’t help not trusting them. We’ll see where things go, and I hope that one day Hope and her family will have a good relationship, but for now I’m going to keep tight reins on this situation.
Well, back to sunning myself with Hope and the friends we’re visiting. Peace out!