Monday, September 29, 2008

Shadowboxing

Imagine this.... you reach inside your body and willingly hand your still beating heart to someone.... and then you don't see them for an entire year.

Sounds pretty gruesome, doesn't it?

That's how I've been feeling for the past week or so but its been especially worse these past few days.

Tuesday marks an entire year since I've seen my soldier. I looked at the calendar earlier this year and wrote down the dates of our re-establishing contact. I also wrote down the anniversary of our first date. I didn't see this one coming. Not until I wrote about that day earlier this month.

I could barely speak his name without my eyes brimming with tears. I would imagine the warmth of being in his arms again. I imagined it like the hug we shared the evening of our first date. I could even hear his voice in my ear saying, "Hi baby!"

Its amazing when you wallow in a place other than the present moment. My body became more and more drained and dispirited. I was fighting life, struggling with nothing but the shadows that I created instead of focusing on the light that was still there.

I knew I was stuck and I kept asking God to help me through it. I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want to eat. I barely wanted to get out of bed. I, quite simply, wasn't myself. Or my Self, as it turned out.

All of that wallowing and worry erupted today on the phone with my soldier. I was trying to hold it together as he patiently waited for an answer to his question,

"What's wrong baby?"

I felt bad after crying over seemingly nothing to him. Especially when his response to me was,

"I'm looking forward to seeing you and it makes me happy. Why does it make you sad?"

I think its because I am frightened that I will feel so very lonely when he leaves again.

That feeling of vulnerability was causing my fear. Then since I couldn't handle it any longer, I projected that fear right on to him.

We went on to discuss another sensitive topic: his meeting the ex. My soldier wants to see my kids but I have to hand them over to their dad as well. I'd like them to meet because they are both in my children's lives. We'd talked about it last week and he brought it up again today. He feels uncomfortable with the idea of an ex in the picture. He said he would only meet the ex because he understood that it was important to me. He seemed very irritable with the conversation after that.

So, you can imagine our phone call today. And this is most likely our last phone call until I see him in a couple of weeks. Ugh.

After we hung up, I was left feeling so heavy and lifeless. All evening I was praying,

"God.... I don't know what to do with this. Please take it from me. Apparently I have judged it wrong because I am not feeling peace. Please judge it for me. Help me to see it differently."

Finally, a light bulb went off and I felt it - my spirit began to rise.

He is just as frightened as I am.

He's scared too. He doesn't show it like I do. I cry over seemingly nothing. He acts defensive and irritable about one thing or another. I know this but in that moment, we both were taking it all so personally. I don't know why I couldn't let go of my fear until I saw it in him too. We do need each other after all, don't we?

I felt so much lighter with the realization. Suddenly, it wasn't "me" and "him" it was US again. Instantly, there was no separation between us. We were one. There was nothing to be afraid of. All that I felt was love.

My children must've thought me crazy when I burst into laughter in the kitchen. Surely Mommy has lost her mind. Maybe I have! Maybe that's exactly what I needed to do.

Both of us, we are out of our minds with worry and that makes us the same.

I wanted to sing! I felt all of the blocks of the past few days literally drop from me. I knew it was ok. I knew everything was fine. I felt his love. I know he felt my love. I let go of the past and the future and I was right there... in the perfection of NOW and it was blessedly inspirational. Purely and completely inspirational because I was in spirit! Isn't that the true meaning of 'inspired' anyway?!

Now I get it. I will see him soon and I will exhale. Until then I strive to remain filled with this beauty of God's love and the complete faith that no matter what happens, it will be perfect.

Thank you again God for lifting me up. I couldn't do this without You.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What the hell was I thinking?

The ex never liked when I was right. Its not like I threw it in his face... well, maybe I did but only because he never seemed to respect my opinion on things.

For instance, he is a FAB-U-LOUS gourmet cook and watches Food Network just as much as he watches sports. The guy can cook anything and cook it well. However, we are different in that he will follow a recipe to the letter and I like to deviate. (Call me experimental!) If I suggested adding something or changing something, he would absolutely balk at the idea. Every now and then I would slip something by him (which was rare as it was always his kitchen) and suddenly, he would have to admit that I had a good idea.

It was the same with lots of things. If I made a suggestion on something, he would act like I didn't have a clue. Then a friend would suggest the same idea and he'd jump all over it.

Here's the thing with me: I don't like being ignored. And back then, it only made me talk much louder.

So lately, the ex has been having problems with his knee. He has always been a runner so I suggested cycling. He knew I was getting into it and doing long rides but he kept rolling his eyes at the suggestion. He finally had an MRI and went to see an orthopedic surgeon a few weeks ago. Later that night he was at the house.

I could see something was up by the look on his face. He told me that the surgeon said he may be developing arthritis in his knee. Then he rolled his eyes and reluctantly admitted that the surgeon also suggested he take up cycling. Ooooo... I held back but he just kept laughing and saying, "Whatever!"

Now, he's cycling and occasionally asks my advice on the sport. "Since you're the expert and everything..." he always says with an eye roll.

I think its great and I encourage it. Good for him.

Tonight we were at Rose's soccer game and I told him about a group ride I will be doing this weekend. I told him that I think he'd enjoy riding with other people and he could make more friends.

He looked at me and said blankly, "I don't like groups. That would mean I'd have to talk to people."

What the...?!?!

How the hell was I married to a man who doesn't like to go out and meet new people?!?!

Do you ever look at your ex and wonder... What the hell was I thinking?!?

Heh, it worked out. He's a good man. I have great children from him. But I am a very thankful woman that I've moved on. Whew!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God in a box

The other night when I was at Rose's soccer practice, I overheard a couple of the other soccer moms discussing a book called The Shack. Their discussion went something like this:

Soccer Mom 1:
Oh my goodness I couldn't put it down. And I'm not a reader! (Note: she had a different book in her hand as she was saying this to us. What does "not a reader" mean exactly?)

Soccer Mom 2:
Well what about it was so good?

SM1: Sometimes I was laughing hysterically and sometimes I was just sobbing my head off. Its so cool because it sort of takes God out of the box, you know? I mean I know the God I grew up with and what my church told me. I don't know, this book really helped me to see God differently and not at all like the "God" I knew as a child. It really opened my eyes.


I stood there listening and I smiled to myself. I remember having that experience with a book called Conversations with God probably about 10 years ago. I'd been questioning my church since I was 12, much to the dismay of my priest!! This was the same priest from which I took my first communion and this was the priest who saw me every Sunday with my mom, sister and brother. I still remember our conversation about confession:

T:
I guess I don't understand why I have to come to you to confess because it seems like I can talk to God myself.

Priest: (blank stare, mouth agape) That's just the way we've always done it here.

T: But why? It doesn't make sense to me. During my confirmation retreat, the teacher had us write our sins on a slip of paper and then we threw them into the fire to release ourselves from them. Doesn't that work too?

Priest: (grabbing a pen and paper) What was her name?!?

*sigh*

It was a frustrating time for me because I so longed to understand it. Something in me was insisting that God wasn't this horrible judgmental being to be afraid of and who only talked to priests. I had many conversations with friends who had similar questions. A few of my friends became self-proclaimed atheists as well. Perhaps 'atheism' should be redefined as a 'non belief in organized religion' rather than a 'non belief in God'. It seemed that the God we all knew didn't fit somehow.

I went straight from recovering Catholic into a practicing Bahá'í. Sure it was a huge leap for me but I suppose I needed something completely different before I could decide what was right for me. I went on to study Buddhism and the teachings of the Dalai Lama. I even looked into Kabbalah (thanks Madonna) and Hinduism through yoga. I was still struggling. I still had too many unanswered questions. I took from them what felt like truth and kept up my voracious search for more.

I have a very close friend who always seemed to point me in the right direction spiritually. We had differing paths (he was raised Methodist) and we always had stimulating spiritual conversations. It was through him that I first encountered Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Road Less Traveled and No Man Is An Island. And it was through him that I was introduced to Conversations with God and finally, A Course in Miracles. All of these books have changed my life in some way. Throughout each of them, I have grown and created my own spirituality which fits me just fine.

We all have different paths and ideals that feel like truth to us. If you are in tune with your own truth, you will know what fits and what doesn't.

Still I can't help but remember the moment 10 years ago, in my bed with my husband watching TV, as I held Conversations with God, Book 1 in my shaking hands. I was crying, sobbing uncontrollably and my husband looked at me perplexed.

"I can't help it", I told him, "These are the answers I've been looking for since I was 12 years old!"

I thank GOD everyday for those books that helped me to get Him out of the box and into my life.

Inspiration is everywhere, isn't it?

Time to buy an iPod

I am probably the last person on the planet who doesn't own an iPod but after seeing this commercial for an iPod attachment**.... I may just have to go out and buy one.

Perhaps I should say every single mom needs one of these as well??

**Warning: Not for the faint at heart or to be opened at work. And you can't tell me that girl isn't sizzling hot!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Every single mom needs one... (part 3)

A good health regimen.

Susan over at One Woman Show asked me recently what I did to stay healthy and have lots of energy.

She knows that I am a stickler for natural medicine and exercise. And we all know that single parents don't always get the sleep we need.

Let's start with what we put into our bodies. My advice? Two words....

WHOLE FOODS

Let's face it. We don't always get the chance to sit down to a good healthy meal. I try to get good stuff in my body anyway through high quality vitamins.

There are tons of synthetic vitamins on the market but none will work as well as any made from whole food concentrates. What this means is that they are actually made from food so your body ingests and processes them as such. I noticed a difference when I switched to whole food vitamins and I LOVE them.

I take fish oils and a calcium/magnesium supplement as well. I am very particular and take high quality brands of both. I try to get a good balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 with cod liver oil and flaxseed oil. Here's a quick reference.

I make smoothies at least 3 times per week (a fabulous time saver) and add lots of other great things such as echinacea (10 days on, 10 days off), carrots, fruit, vitamin c, protein powder, flaxseed oil, honey, and other things that help muscles after working out. I also add juices like pomegranate, acai berry, and aloe vera to my smoothies. Or there are juice concentrates in capsule form that you can buy at the natural foods store too.

I try to watch my budget but I don't skimp on vitamins for me or my girls. I shop at a natural health foods store for all my vitamins.

Every one is different so its best to know your body well. I am very aware of certain foods and how my body reacts to them. I can't do caffeine or I will get a headache. I don't do well with too much sugar in my diet so I try to have small portions of it. I drink LOTS of water during the day and I avoid sodas. I try to buy organic when I can. To buy healthy and stretch your dollars, here is a list of fruits that you don't have to buy organic and those that you should. I try to buy meat from our local butcher rather than the grocery store. I prefer higher quality meat (what little meat that we eat) so our bodies are getting the good stuff.

I am also an avid label reader at the grocery store. As stated above, the closer the food is to its natural state or the closer to whole it is, the better your body will process it. I stay away from high fructose corn syrups and trans fats. I shop the perimeter of the grocery stores where the food is less likely to be heavily processed. I could write an entire post about this alone. If you have any more questions about this, email me.

EXERCISE


I think everyone should do yoga. But then again, just as with food, every body responds to certain exercise differently too.

I used to run 3 miles and lift weights for 1 1/2 - 2 hours 5 days a week and I was 40 lbs. heavier than I am now. I couldn't lose the weight for anything. It was when I was gentler on my body with yoga that the weight just began slipping away. I'm fortunate that there's a yoga studio walking distance from my office. I take a yoga class 2-3 times a week during my lunch breaks. Yoga videos are also very helpful.

After watching my soldier in a triathlon before his deployment and then cheering him on in the NYC Marathon, I realized that I should add more cardio into my workout routines. I actually bought myself a bike for my birthday last December and began training. In May, I completed my first major ride, 160 miles, and whew! After that, I was pretty much an expert cyclist. Again, I could devote an entire blog to cycling. I am amazed at how many calories you can burn while feeling like you're 12 years old again!

I have my girls most of the time so I invested in a bike trainer. My bike actually sits next to my bed and I watch TV while riding. It allowed me to get used to the bike seat and I still get a good workout without leaving the house. I usually get on the trainer after the kids go to bed, again about 2-3 times per week. When I have my weekend free, I try to get in a good ride with a cycling group (available usually through a local bike shop) of at least 20-30 miles. Or I will take a 20 mile route that I have mapped out around my town.

I have now added running back into my routine and hope to add swimming within the next 6 months or so. I try to run when the ex has the kids during the week and on the weekends I have free. I have a treadmill in storage and I'm considering putting it in the garage so that I can get in runs when the kids are in bed asleep. I'm still working out the logistics of when to squeeze in some swim time.

I also own a rebounder and try to bounce on it a couple of times per week as well. I learned that I had a sluggish lymphatic system (most Americans do) and that bouncing on a rebounder is really good for you. I love it. And so do my children. I keep it in the living room and they jump on it every day while telling me about school. I like knowing that its keeping them healthy too.

I am actually going to do my first triathlon next June. I was always that person who would say, "Good luck with that" when someone told me they would do a triathlon. I never thought I'd say I was going to do one. The funny thing is, I am constantly amazed at how the human body can be trained. I think yoga helped me to understand that better. I will be 39 in December and I'm more fit and healthy than I have ever been in my life. And I am constantly learning more ways to stay that way.

A BONUS: We may not always get the amount of sleep that we'd like but with the additional exercise, you will definitely get better quality sleep.

A HEALTHY ATTITUDE

Much of how our body feels has more to do with our thoughts than anything else. I do what I can to stay positive. I also allow myself to feel less than positive if I have to. We have to be gentle with ourselves. Just as I had to learn to be gentle on my body with yoga, I have to gentle with myself emotionally as well. Yoga helps me do that. I would also add the support of friends or therapy, faith, writing, meditation and complementary therapies like homeopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture too.

Yeah, ok, vodka helps too! *giggle*

In moderation, my friends. Everything is OK in moderation.

If we can be more pro-active, we will be healthier, stronger and better parents for our children. Think of how you'll inspire them to have their own good health regimen!! Its easy to use the lack-of-time excuse but I'm telling you, if you want to do it, you will make the time for it.

I think a healthy sex life would help too. I'm hoping to add that to my good health regimen real soon!

Chime in: What do you do to stay healthy and keep up with the kids? How do you squeeze in exercise?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Roller coaster... of love (say what?)

Here I am again.... back up on top of the world....

My soldier just called. He was a happy, silly and sweet boy. And I'm a lucky girl.

I don't know what my problem is with all the doubts. Perhaps it is all that was mentioned in the comments of my previous post.

You guys know me so well. Am I that transparent or maybe we're just crazy together? (You get me. You really DO!)

Then as we're getting off the phone he says, "Hey! Get this! We might have just one more phone conversation before I get to see you!!"

Dammit. It can't get here fast enough.



Love Roller Coaster
Red Hot Chili Peppers version

You give me that funny feeling in my tummy.

Roller coaster of Love
Say what?
Roller coaster, yeah (ooh ooh, ooh ooh)
Oh, baby, you know what I'm talkin' about
Roller coaster of Love (love roller coaster, child)
Oh, yeah, it's Roller coaster time
Lovin' you is really wild
Oh, it′s just a love roller coaster
Step right up and get your tickets!

Chorus:
Your love is like a Roller coaster baby, baby I wanna ride, yeah (awawawawawaw)
Your love is like a Roller coaster baby, baby I wanna ride, yeah

Move it over dad 'cause I'm a double-dipper!
Upside down on the zip-zip-zipper
1,2,1,2,3, I′ve got a ticket so ride with me
Mary go down on the merry-go-round
All is fair on the fair ground
Love go slow, love go fast
Licorice twist gonna whip your ass.

Roller coaster of love
Say what?
Roller coaster,
yeah (ooh ooh, ooh ooh)
Roller coaster of love
Can you get off our love roller coaster?

Chorus:
Your love is like a Roller coaster baby, baby I wanna ride, yeah
Your love is like a Roller coaster baby, baby I wanna ride

I will be there for you, I will be your man.

Move over, dad, 'cause I'm a double dipper!
Upside down on the zip-zip-zipper
1,2,1,2,3, I′ve got a ticket so ride with me
Mary go down on the merry-go-round
All is fair on the fair ground
Love go slow, love go fast
Licorice twist gonna whip your ass.

Roller coaster of love
Say what?
Roller coaster,
yeah (ooh ooh, ooh ooh)
Roller coaster
Love roller coaster, child
Lovin' you is really wild
Love love love love love love love love love love
Roller coaster,
uhuh (ooh ooh, ooh ooh)


Your love is like a Roller coaster baby, baby I wanna ride, yeah (yeah, this here joker's the ride)
Your love is like a Roller coaster baby, baby I wanna ride, (yes you do, yes you do, yes you do)
Your love is like (it’s like what?) a Roller coaster baby, baby I wanna ride,
Your love is like a Roller coaster baby, baby I wanna ride

Ya gotta love the Peppers!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Disaster Recovery

As a former IT engineer and currently employed with an IT consulting company, I feel comfortable with the term "Disaster Recovery" or DR as its known in the biz. In my previous life, I helped many companies with their DR plans by setting up fail over systems. What this basically means is that two computer systems would share the same data so that should one become unavailable, computer #2 would "fail over" or take over operations until computer #1 could come back on line.

I know... what am I talking about, right?

Well, today I realized that during my soldier's deployment, I have been subconsciously working out my own disaster recovery plan.

I only realized it tonight after Rose's birthday party. I hate to even admit this but again, this is where I admit things and this is where my support team kicks in to help me. (Thanks for that by the way.)

There's this guy... he's the father of one of Rose's newest best friends from school. I've met him before at an end of the school year party. He's really good looking and in great shape. He's got a great smile and he's funny and sweet. And yes, he's a single dad.

Today we were able to talk more and we get along quite well. On the way home from the party and after he'd helped me to load everything in my car, I thought to myself, "Hey, maybe if things don't work out with my soldier then...."

Now, why would I say that?

When we were physically together, I had no question that I was falling in love with my soldier. We were amazingly falling together and it was breathtaking how perfect it was. And then, things changed. He had to toughen up and become a soldier. He went off to war.

I want things to be as perfect as they were before. I want us to be together. I know that he wants the same things. At least I'm fairly certain...

But what if it doesn't work out? What if we're just made to be good friends? What if he decides to take a move somewhere else and I can't because of my children's father? What if he doesn't want to have a long distance relationship? What if? What if? WHAT IF???

I hate doing this to myself. I wonder if I would've felt this way had he not broken it off before he left or if he expressed his feelings better while he's been deployed. I can't change those things and so, doubt begins to creep in. When the doubt begins to creep in, I start to look for the fail over backup just in case system #1 becomes unavailable. And this isn't the first time I've eyed a good fail over system.

Its not like I don't know what its like to be alone or on my own. I've been doing this for 2 1/2 years already. Maybe I'm growing tired of being alone.

The most ironic part of this is that usually when I'm feeling the most doubt, he will do or say something that has me all starry-eyed and blissfully in love again.

I am terrified of his upcoming leave. Can I admit that? Absolutely freakin' scared out of my mind. I want it to be perfect for him. I have all sorts of wonderful plans and things I want to do to make it the most special weekend for him. But what if its not? What if he is not the same guy who would stare into my eyes and sigh with love? What if...?

I'm what if-ing myself to death over here. But at least I have a plan in case of disaster.

*sigh*

Maybe I should sit and meditate for a while. Or maybe its time for more vodka and a good cry.

I'm usually much better at this staying positive thing....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Rose! - Updated

To my sweet Rose,

Knowing you
has brought to me
the realization of fragility
Like a bud
not yet in bloom
the innocence of humanity

Thank you for being the big-hearted little girl that you are.

Thank you for noticing when I am overwhelmed and for stepping up to be my little helper.

Thank you for being good in school despite the fact that I don't get the chance to sit with you and help you learn.

Your smile glows
and twinkles in your eyes
I love how you lose control
when you laugh
Giggles like ripples
through your small body
I wish I could freeze time
like a photograph

Thank you for your calm demeanor when both your sister and I are losing our minds.

Thank you for your absolute honesty, even in situations that I would least expect it.

Thank you for always being supportive of me, especially the day your daddy moved out, but also every day before and since then.

Still so young
but soaking it all in
Every day an experience brand new
My eyes see
unbelievably
mostly nonsense in the things that we do

Thank you for your beautiful singing voice and sassy attitude.

Thank you for the dimpled smile you throw my direction when you realize I'm not falling for the sassy attitude.

Thank you for your patience... with your sister and with me.

So who's the teacher
and who is the student
Its your wisdom we all should follow
Every day a blessing
My life is fulfilled
I can't wait for our lesson tomorrow.**


Thank you for your wisdom. I am still learning from you.

I love you my bunny,
Mommy

**written by T, Spring 2002, Rose was 6 months old


Update: Can I just say AWWWW?!? My soldier called to wish her a happy birthday too. He figured out the time difference wrong and missed her. He was trying to convince me to drive to her school and take the phone so that he can say hello. What a man!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

May I hold your flute please?

I attended a Kirtan concert tonight with some friends from the yoga studio. I met this guy.

*sigh*

and

Wow.

He is amazing. I wish I could find a recent photo of him. His hair is all shoulder length and curly. (Ok, guys with great hair do it for me too. ) And he has flutes of all different sizes. I like that he has options.

I had to meet him. He won me over the second the breath left his mouth and out of the long carved piece of wood came the most beautiful music.

He greeted me with a hug and held me for quite a while. He also ran his fingers through my hair as we hugged.

Damn.

I'm still vibrating from that man's energy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Your love got me lookin' so crazy right now

Have I said before how much I love talking to my soldier?

He will usually send an email earlier in the day letting me know an approximate time for his call. A few times in the past few months, he's called me without notice. About a month ago, I missed his call and he was unable to call again until the next week!! I was a mess all week long! I've noticed that I can't handle more than 7 days without hearing his voice.

The problem is that when I do know that he will be calling, I am nearly sick with nausea waiting for the phone to ring. And his timing! Oh my goodness!!

Once he called when I was just sitting down to an appointment with my insurance agent. This meeting was planned 2 weeks in advance and the phone rang the second my butt hit the chair.

He's called when I'm in the restroom.

He called once when I was facilitating my study group.

He called once while I was at lunch with co-workers.

He called one day while I was trying to complete an interview with a new employee we were hiring.

I never know what to say or how to act when he calls at inappropriate times. I can't stand people who will answer their cell phones when I'm talking to them. I probably get a deer-in-the-headlights look in my eyes because I know its him and I have to answer. I always find myself saying, "Baghdad calling" and whomever I'm with will insist, "Well...answer the phone!!!"

Yesterday, I carried the phone with me to the grocery store, to the bathroom, to a meeting... its maddening knowing that he will be calling at any moment and I absolutely have to answer the phone no matter what I'm doing! Its not like I can just call him back.

Thank GOD for the guys that I work with and their understanding. One of the guys was at my desk talking to me when my soldier's call finally came through. I nearly fell over with dizziness because all of the blood leaves my brain when I know its him. My co-worker simply said, "Is that your man?" and when I said yes, he left my office.

I think some of my nervousness also is because the past 3 weeks, he has been very emotionless and monotone. I've been worried about him lately. Still I've been doing my best to keep up the light happy attitude that he usually receives from me.

When I finally heard his voice, I could tell he was happier. He knows his vacation is right around the corner. He's already finishing up tasks that he knows he will not be able to get to until late October/early November when he gets back to Iraq. And then, its just the final countdown until he's home for good. Oh my. I can't wait.

I'm actually sick with nausea about his upcoming leave too. Ugh. I'm not sure I can even think straight here lately and I still have a month to go.

I just want to touch him again. I just want to put my hands on his face and feel his warmth again. He's in such dire need for a woman's touch. I look forward to us melting into each other.

I can't remember the last time I felt like this about anyone. Its all I can do to make it through a minute here and there without the thought of him interrupting anything else of importance.

I am definitely a girl gone mad.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Little mirrors

This post will be radically different from the last post but such is my life. I am ever switching gears from 'single' to 'mom' and trying to work out the balance between the two.

The weather here in Texas is phenomenal this week. Today's high was only 81. Just perfect for me.

I decided to forego my usual Monday night A Course in Miracles study group to spend the evening with the kids. I will be attending a spiritual Kirtan music concert on Wednesday night so I thought we'd enjoy the nice weather together tonight.

After dinner we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Grace decided to push her baby stroller with her stuffed flamingo strapped inside. Both she and Rose took turns pushing the stroller down the sidewalk, sometimes running ahead of me and sometimes running over my heels.

"Mommy, it feels good outside. Its not sweaty at all!"

Grace never did enjoy being hot. She is my January baby. Even as an infant, she would break into giggles when the cold wind would blow in her face.

After a while, and as expected, both girls decided they no longer wanted to push the baby stroller. I had given a warning before we left the house that I would not be responsible for their toys. So, they decided to split the responsibility.

Rose folded down the stroller and began carrying it.

Grace carried her stuffed flamingo named Miami.

After a while, Rose says, "Grace, do you want me to show you how to carry your flamingo like a baby?"

"No."

We walked further.

"But Grace, don't you think you should carry Miami like a baby? I mean she was in the stroller and now you're carrying her wrong."

"No, I don't want to!"

I've seen this on numerous occasions so I spoke up.

"Rose, why don't you let her carry it the way she wants to. Why do you always have to correct her?"

As soon as the words left my mouth I realized.... this is exactly what I have done to her.

Ugh. There is no worse feeling than to see your child do something irritating and then realize they are just mirroring you.

I think I did that to her for years. I guess it was my attempts to control. I think I even did the same thing to my ex. I'd like to think I'm better now. I hope so.

*sigh*

I can't break a habit in her that is so well ingrained. I hope my awareness of it, and especially when I see her doing it, will help me. And her.

Wow. I suppose that is yet another dragon on this quest that I have yet to slay. Sometimes the mirror image ain't pretty but it doesn't lie, does it?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday night heat

I went out with some girlfriends on Friday night and met up with some other people I know. I was thrilled and dying for my poison of choice, vodka. Every other weekend is a childless weekend for me. Sometimes, the 12 days in between leave me in such a state that I'm like a kid at Christmas when its my weekend.

I was a bit anxious about the evening because I knew I'd run into someone in particular. This 'someone' and I have a chemistry that's palpable. We try to fight it but... some things cannot be denied. Or they can, but the denial makes it all the more desirable.

I told myself I would be a good girl. And then, my 'someone' came into view. We smiled, greeted and hugged, as normal. I'm not sure others could sense it but I knew, the good girl had just gone bad.

We'd all had a few but the vodka wasn't doing it for me. I switched to water in an attempt to stay sober and control my actions. But this someone was looking at me from across the table. This someone began caressing my hand. At the touch, I could feel parts of me melting. We knew we had to get away from the crowd.

I've talked to my soldier about this someone. He wasn't surprised, but in fact, wanted to hear all the details of the previous times I had been with this someone. My soldier knows that chemistry does not mean love. He knows that my heart belongs to him. Besides, he has something that this someone doesn't have.

I never know how to act around this someone. We try to play it cool. We're just taking a walk to the back of the bar, into a quiet place where no one can see us. I can't ever read if this someone is feeling the same craving as I am. I suppose I don't hide it as well.

Then, in the dimly lit privacy of our quiet place, this someone grabs my face and pulls me in for a passionate kiss. I'm already breathing heavier. I'm already feeling warm and my skin is tingling with energy. I feel hands on my breasts and I am riding the thigh of this someone. We want to tear the clothes off of each other.

"We can't do this here. What are we going to do? What if we get caught?"

It shouldn't be a big deal but we're both desperately trying to stay clothed, hands reaching under shirts, down into the darkness of jeans unfastened. We're panting, shaking, fighting the desire as it builds. Maybe it wouldn't be so intense if we'd never been there before. Maybe it wouldn't be so heated if it wasn't so forbidden.

We were interrupted. We didn't go any further. We smiled, readjusted our clothing and did our best to slow down our breathing.

"Surely we can meet another time. How and when?"

We both have busy schedules. The last time I saw this someone was 3 months ago at this same bar and... the same thing happened. We're never able to connect outside of the one-off chance we'll be out at the same time. This someone is in a relationship as well. And its sort of a complicated situation.

I'm not sure if we'll ever be able to get together and that's ok. Maybe its just something that feels good to both of us at the time. Maybe its just something that we both need as highly sexual individuals. We learned that we're quite alike in that aspect upon our initial meeting. Even then, we knew that something fiery would happen between us.

So, perhaps the next time we're at that little English pub, we'll still sneak off to our quiet place away from the crowd and let the heat build between us. It wouldn't be the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last time that....

I kissed a girl. And I liked it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pap smears and tears?

Yes, it was time for my yearly visit to my gynecologist. Is that TMI?

I've gone to the same ob/gyn for almost 20 years. It shouldn't be a big deal for me to visit his office. But something today was different.

I only saw my doctor once a year until I was pregnant with my first child. Then I remember the visits and how routine they seemed to my doctor. I almost considered changing doctors due to his apathetic responses.... but he'd been delivering babies for 30 years already. Then one day, I saw him after he'd delivered a baby and he was positively glowing. Aha! That's why he continues to do this. He loves birthing the babies. He's had a soft spot in my heart ever since.

Today as I sat in the waiting room, I thought of the hours I'd waited after drinking that horrible sugary drink to test for gestational diabetes during my first pregnancy. I remember storming in the same waiting room a week later after being struck with the horrible PUPPS rash and demanding that someone give me drugs!! I hadn't slept in 4 nights due to the incessant itching and the "it will go away when the baby's born" prognosis wasn't going to work in week 29 of my 40 week pregnancy. Between the itching and pricking my finger to draw blood and test my blood sugar levels every 4 hours, I felt as if my skin was on fire.

I had a sonogram today to check the status of my IUD. I'd told the nurse (who has also known me for years) about my soldier and plans to have lots of sex in October. I want to make sure we won't be making any R&R souvenirs. I also told her of my divorce. She remembered the day that I came in for STD tests after finding out about my husband's affair. Both she and my doctor were very disappointed and sad. They'd seen our seemingly perfect little family through so much.

As I sat in the sonogram room today, I remembered the first time I saw my first baby's heartbeat (Rose).

I also remember the day that I was told my second baby's heart wasn't beating anymore (Baby Nubs passed at 11 weeks gestation). My doctor took me to his office to make the phone call to my husband. I could barely speak.

Then I smiled remembering the day that I was to hear the gender of my third baby (Grace). At age 2, Rose had proudly announced to me that I had "a sister" in my belly. This was before I had even considered taking a pregnancy test. She was right and when I had that ultrasound, she was right again. When the doctor said it was a girl, Rose replied, "Told ya."

I had to catch my breath when I remembered that we were a family then. My husband and daughter sitting in the chair next to me while I lay vulnerable and bulging on the sonogram bed. We became a family of four that day. And then a family of 3 again a little over a year later.

I remember when I had to go in for my D&C after finding out that Baby Nubs had passed. My doctor, the apathetic one, held my hand as they wheeled me into the operating room. The last thing I remember before acquiescing to the anesthesia was my doctor's face close to my face, his eyes looking deep into my tear filled eyes, and his voice saying "It's not your fault."

After all was done today, my doctor made brief small talk and gave me a little more insight on the IUD. He'd commented on how much weight I'd lost, asked how the girls were doing (he still keeps photos of every baby he's ever delivered in photo albums), and asked how were things since the divorce. As he left, he gave me a quick hug and shut the door behind him.

I couldn't hold it in any longer. I started to cry.

I don't regret all that I've experienced there. I suppose I just don't think about it. I can't explain what it was about that fatherly hug he gave me. I don't know. It caused emotions to bubble to the surface.

Maybe its because of the date today. I feel as if I'm teetering on emotional anyway as I see flags hang at half-mast. I wonder about the thoughts of my soldier. How must it feel to be serving in Iraq on the anniversary of a day that causes him to be there?

I guess my ghosts caught up with me today. I'm going to take a deep breath and try to see tomorrow through different eyes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Do you really have a choice?

In my blog reading today, I ran across many posts of people concerned about the person they were falling for or had fallen for, why people come into our lives, etc.

Then tonight, on the drive home from the grocery store with the kids, we listened to Disney princess music and I heard a song from the movie Pocahontas.

I began thinking about it. As I stated many times, I didn't plan on falling for a soldier. I had no idea this was "just around the riverbend". I wonder....

Do we really have a choice who we fall in love with?

I mean think about it - history, fiction and pop culture are all filled with stories of people who shouldn't have fallen in love but they did. From Pocahontas and John Smith to Romeo and Juliet to Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Love, quite frankly, is like some mixed up potion that gets under your skin and sucks out all of your brain cells til all that's left are sighs and synchronized heart beats and twinkling eyes.

It doesn't make much sense, really, and I wonder if we can control it in some way. In thinking about the times I fell in love during my adult life, it seemed as if someone else was in charge. But then I wonder if we were just two people who needed each other at the time. Perhaps our "pain-bodies" were attracted as Eckhart Tolle would say. Or maybe we had life lessons we had to glean from each other. Maybe we were together to learn how to forgive. I do believe that we best learn who we are in relation to another person. Even if that person is 6000 miles away and your only communication is daily emails and weekly phone calls.

I can look back on the men I fell in love with and I can't explain why. Of course, now I can see that certain situations were doomed or that it was obvious what issues would arise later. But in that moment, when I had the butterflies in my stomach and we stared into each others' eyes, it didn't matter. Something greater than us was happening and we were just along for the ride.

Whew. I'd better hang on tight for this one. It looks like a doozy!

**Photo of Fernanda Oliveira and Yosvani Ramos (performing Romeo and Juliet) of the English National Ballet. Photographer: Sasha Gusov**

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can Mommy catch a break?

Do your kids let you go to the restroom in peace?

I'm just sayin'.

My oldest daughter will not even allow us in the room with her when she has to go. Yet she has no problem standing there talking to me when I'm trying to have a little...um.. me time. So imagine my surprise at the turn of events on Saturday afternoon.

After my daughter's first soccer game (yay!!) Saturday morning, I was tired. This new schedule of getting up at the crack-ass of dawn is wearing all of us out. It was a nice cool early afternoon and the kids wanted to play outside.

Sure, I thought, sounds great! And then Mommy can take a nap.

I set up their little play tent in the backyard and went inside. They were playing together very well. After about 20 minutes of checking email and ignoring the huge pile of laundry ever-present on my couch, I went to have some "privacy" before my nap. In walks my always honest first child.

Rose: "Mommy? I have to tell you something."

T: "Ok baby, please make it quick. Mommy's busy."

Rose: "Well, we thought it would be fun to use the watering can in the tool shed as a toilet. I thought I would tell you."

T: "Oh," laughs nervously, "for a pretend toilet, right?"

Rose: "No, as a real toilet. You're not mad, are you? Aren't you glad I told you the truth?"

Sheesh.

I went outside to assess the damages and she proudly announced, "We cleaned it up already."

T: "Cleaned it up? What does that mean exactly? And it was just pee, right?"

Rose: "No, it was poop too. Grace went poop in there."

Ugh. They had even taken toilet paper out to the shed. And where did they empty the mess? Right next to the house.

After really getting it cleaned up, I had the kids come in for a nap as well. Obviously I wouldn't be able to relax unless I knew they couldn't get into more trouble.

I got them inside and in their beds. Finally, I crawled under my covers and snuggled up next to my favorite body pillow. Ah, peace and quiet...

*Knock knock! Ding dong!*

An old friend/neighbor decided to stop by and visit my house. My messy house. For the first time ever. Right then. As I was finally relaxing...

Don'tcha just love the random drop by? Oh and did I mention that she brought a friend?

After giving them a quick tour, they thankfully left. Perhaps they figured since my hair was in disarray, I was braless and barely dressed, the kids were in t-shirts and underwear, that maybe they should've called first.

I bid them farewell and tried it again. Ah... I love my bed.

I wasn't asleep 15 minutes when my children came in... obviously not napping.

"Mommy, are you awake? We're hungry."

*sigh*

Ok, Mommy's up. Again.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Friend, My Love, My Soldier (part 6)

My Love....My Soldier

I had to speak up, "Baby, why are you asking me all of this? You know that my divorce is out of my control for now. I don't know what to tell you. I get the feeling that.... you're pushing me away. Are you?"

"That kiss, honey...." he began, "That kiss by your car this afternoon. I felt so completely raw and emotionally naked. I can't go off to war feeling like that!"

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He was losing it, tears flooding his beautiful face.

"Maybe we should just cool it. Not see each other before I deploy. Maybe if you're still single when I get back, we can try this again."

I was confused. He couldn't stop saying how much he wanted me to wait for him but kept repeating, "15 months is a really long time."

I can still see his face, turned slightly away, his lips pursed tightly, trying to hold it all in. I remember how the tears hung on his long dark eyelashes and made his eyes as clear as the sea. I was holding his face, wiping the tears and trying to console him. My heart was breaking and I was consoling him...

"I'm an asshole! I knew I was deploying before we even reconnected. I should've never come back into your life. After all you've been through this weekend... "

I reassured him that no matter what happened, I held no regrets for all that we experienced in those 3 weeks. I love him beyond any doubt or comprehension.

"I just can't," he kept saying. "15 months, honey. You will surely meet someone else! I have had 9, that's 9, relationships fail because of a deployment. I can't do this again!"

"But baby," I reassured him, "Wouldn't it be nice, at the end of a long day filled with violence, sand and hate, to lie down in your bed and know that someone loved you with every fiber of her being? Wouldn't that be the one thing that would make it all better?!"

"God yes, honey. I would love that."

He was supposed to come over later that night. I had just given him a key to my house. He asked if I wanted the key back.

"Only if you're not coming over."

He reached in his pocket, pulled out the key and sadly slipped it into my purse. In that moment, I heard my heart break into a thousand pieces.

I had to go. It was time for me to pick up my children from the ex's house. I thought I was dying or at least wished I was.

He walked me to my car and didn't let go of me. Both of us held on and kissed like we would never see each other again. It was excruciating. I was torn between wanting to reassure him and being fiercely angry. He kept saying how much he would miss me but he needed to be a soldier. He couldn't face war and worry about me.

I drove away feeling lost. I couldn't even drive straight through the downpour of tears clouding my vision. I have never had anyone say to me, "I love you so much that I can't see you anymore." I wanted him to be ok. I pleaded with him to "let me love you anyway..." I couldn't bear the thought of not being here for him.

And then I was yelling, beating on the steering wheel and screaming uncontrollably! I felt cheated out of our goodbye. I knew he was deploying. I had prepared myself for the horrible long goodbye. I was prepared to cherish our every moment until then. Now those moments wouldn't happen. They were snatched right out of my hand when I wasn't even looking. It was like the universe was playing a cruel joke on me... I was too stunned to laugh.

Later that night, he called and said, "As I watched you drive away, I was completely broken. I miss you so much."

What was I supposed to do? I felt like I had been hit by several trucks at once! Devastated was an understatement!

That night, I called a friend to come over. I needed to vent and try to make sense of all that had happened. I was absolutely hysterical. She kept reassuring me that he knew how he needed to prepare for war and I didn't. Maybe this was something that needed to happen. She recommended that I try to write him a letter to take with him on his deployment.

The next morning after not sleeping at all, I sat down with a sheet of paper.

"Ok God, help me. I don't know what to write but I don't want to be angry. I want him to know that I love him. I can't think of what to say. I don't know what he needs. I need You to give me the words..."

Two words came to my mind: Thank you.

The words flowed out of me as swiftly as my tears had fallen the day before. Seven pages of thank yous later, I actually felt some peace about the situation with him.

When I look back on my blog post from that day, I am happy to see that even in the lowest points in my life, I can still find something to be grateful for.

He was stunned when he received my letter. He said that no one had ever done anything like that for him. "I can't believe," he said, "that you could write such a letter to me the day after I seemingly broke your heart."

I told him that I loved him, I always would and that I would never regret all that I had lived and learned about myself in those few weeks.


Within a few weeks, he wasn't the same open and emotional man anymore. He was as solid as a soldier should be. He has never been cold but I do know that our "mini-breakup" was probably exactly what we both needed - though we didn't know it at the time. He could move forward and face his war with strength and... I could too.

I wasn't the same person anymore. I had to recover from the most emotional weekend of my life. Somehow, over following months, I grew to understand a strength in myself that I was never aware of before. And really, not so much a strength but faith. Somehow I knew that I had to hold "us" together - though the definition of "us" is still to be determined. It was obvious to me that my job, my duty, if you will, was to be a friend to the soldier that I love so deeply.

The day he left
, I was the last phone call he made before boarding his plane. He was holding it together but just barely. He wanted to tell me "aloha" and said that it would definitely not be the last phone call we'd share.

Though we haven't seen each other, we have stayed in touch every week since that weekend in September. Slowly and deliberately, we are learning more about each other. We are learning to trust again. Both of us.

This year has been a road of ups and downs. I've been through selfish times, times where I let life lead me, weeks when I didn't know what to say or do, met other people, sold my old house and bought a new one, and finally completed my divorce. Sometimes I hated the deployment and other times, it was a blessing. I still don't know our future and most of the time, I am at peace with the ambiguity.

I am exactly where I should be. This has been good for me. I have learned more and continue to learn WHO I AM.

He is worth the wait to me. Nearly a year later, I think he's finally realized that I'm not going anywhere.

I look forward to more wonderful moments with my friend, my love and my soldier.




part 5
part 4
part 3
part 2
part 1

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Teach your children well

Children Learn What They Live

By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Evening vent-a-thon

My kids are banging on drums in the other room and I've had some vodka. I feel like spilling beans and this is my blog so hold on to your hats...

I'm feeling lately as if some of my closest and oldest relationships are a little one-sided. I'm not sure if its due to the exhaustion of being a single mom of two, the exhaustion of supporting a soldier overseas or a combination of both. Those relationships alone are understandably one-sided and drain me nonetheless. I feel as if I am always taking care of someone else.

It seems that many of my relationships are that way. Have I simply always been the nurturing listener who rarely needs anything from anyone else? Is that the "secret unwritten contract" I have in my oldest relationships? Now I am growing tired of it and wanting to pull away from these people who seemingly suck the life energy from me. I've noticed that even people that I've always been attracted to are now starting to turn me off. Are they pulling away or am I? Have they completed the roles they were meant to play in my life and now its time to move forward?

I wonder if I am in a transitional phase in my life. Perhaps I do need someone to help me after all.

I was one of those people who refused to ask for help and yes, I still tend to hide away when I am at my lowest points. But I still have low points!

I almost feel more support from my blogging friends than the people who are physically in my life! Even my soldier, in the middle of war(!), is surprisingly more supportive than some of the friends in my life. I'm also enjoying support from others in my life that I least expected, including new friends.

They love me, I do know this. And I love them as well. I also recall a feeling of restlessness when I was first falling in love with the ex. I guess it is to be expected that when you welcome something new in your life, other things may fall away.

So, since I won't speak up (and they don't expect me to), I thought I'd blog the things I would like to say to my friends. Maybe someday, I will. At this point, I feel as if I'm being overdramatic in the buzz of the vodka and I don't wish to deal with the fall out of emotions from either of us.

Ok. Here goes:

Please do not disregard me if I am in pain. I realize it is a helpless feeling to hear me say that I miss my soldier or that my children sometimes make me a little insane and I judge myself as too harsh of a mother. I understand that you don't understand. Can you be there for me anyway?

I realize that you want more from me physically but I have, quite simply, given my heart to someone else. I know that he seems like a fantasy in my head and someone who isn't here for me like you are. He is who I long for. He is who I am waiting for. Please respect that and my wishes to be here for him.

I realize that my future with my soldier is still to be determined. Please allow me this anyway. Let me see for myself what is going to happen. And let me feel what I need to feel without patronizing me.

Please listen to me if I want to cry. I listen to you. I have been here for you through your ups and downs. Its me you call to brag to or cry to. I am your biggest fan and shoulder to cry on. Why do I not feel the same support from you?

Please save all of the pathetic looks and mocking sad faces when I tell you how difficult this deployment is on me and my soldier. I am sorry that you don't understand. If I want to vent about it or tell you what sweet thing he said to me, please don't smile one of those "that's nice" kind of smiles and change the subject. Let me talk about something that looms LARGE in my heart. I want to share it with you because I thought you were my friend.

I am sorry that I have run out of patience with you as of late. I am tired of hearing you say how much you dislike your life. I do realize that the grass always appears greener elsewhere. I do wish to thank you for helping me to be more grateful for all that I see in my own life. I apologize for my selfishness. I know that it seems unlike me.

Yes, I will "get over" whatever I am feeling right now. Yes, I will move back into the Zen state (or mask) that you expect from me. Please allow me to feel however I feel at this moment.

I can't help that I am not the same person that you once knew. I have been through quite a bit in the past few years and I am still learning more about who I am. My mind is not even the same with the low level of irritation that this deployment causes. Please understand that my mind is always wondering about my soldier. Yes, he means THAT much to me. Do you hear me? THAT MUCH.

Forgive me for not being a positive person all the time. I need to forgive myself for the same reason. I am learning to accept myself in the state that I am in at the time. I am simply calling for love. We all do it but for some reason, you don't expect it of me.

Please:
  • Ask how I'm doing.
  • Ask how my soldier is doing.
  • Ask me if I need any help. Ask how you can help me.
  • Ask me how much longer before I will be in my soldier's arms again.
  • Let me, if I need to, gush about how much love I feel in my life. Be genuinely happy for me.
  • Know that I am not Wonder Woman, though I aspire to be. I still get weak, need to cry and could use some help every now and then.
  • Love me anyway.

Be my friend. Really.

Taking Chances

A year ago tonight was my first date with my soldier. Maybe that's why I've felt compelled to tell our story lately. It still such an amazing story to me that I sometimes wonder if I really lived it or just made it up. Life... sometimes you just can't predict it.

This song is on the latest Sexy Soldier mix cd that I sent him back in late July. He said he loved every song on the cd which is rare for him! (Yay!)

Every time I hear this song, I'm reminded of our first date and all the feelings from that night. It was such a leap-and-the-net-will-appear night for me.

Enjoy the song and lyrics.


Taking Chances - Celine Dion

Don't know much about your life.
Don't know much about your world, but
Don't want to be alone tonight,
On this planet they call earth.

You don't know about my past, and
I don't have a future figured out.
And maybe this is going too fast.
And maybe it's not meant to last,

But what do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
What do you say?

I just want to start again,
And maybe you could show me how to try,
And maybe you could take me in,
Somewhere underneath your skin?

What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?

Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
What do you say?

And I had my heart beaten down,
But I always come back for more, yeah.
There’s nothing like love to pull you up,
When you’re laying down on the floor there.
So talk to me, talk to me,
Like lovers do.
Yeah walk with me, walk with me,
Like lovers do,
Like lovers do.

What do you say to taking chances,
What do you say to jumping off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or hand to hold, or hell to pay,
What do you say,
What do you say?

Don’t know much about your life
And I don’t know much about your world.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Friend, My Love, My Soldier (part 5)

My Love, continued...


"Please don't stop touching me."

We couldn't get enough of each other that Friday night. We craved each other. Most of the night, we did nothing but stare into each others' eyes and sigh.

We both enjoy sex and are very sexually attracted to each other. What we found though, in those early dates, was that we simply loved talking and listening to each other.

It happened on one of our earliest dates. I ran a bubble bath in my garden tub. We took off each others' clothes and began kissing. We sat in the bubbles and caressed each other and...

Talked. For two hours.

We always had great conversations and with complete openness and honesty. That Friday night was no different. We spoke of life through tears and raw humility. We held each other and talked more. The energy between the two of us was magnetic. We simply wanted to be skin to skin.

It was during our bath that night that he finally admitted, "This is really freaking me out. I'm feeling things for you that blow me away and its only been 3 weeks!"

He continued, "I want to be with you. I want to marry you. I want your children to call me 'Daddy'. But, I'm scared. You are surrounded by wonderful men. And you were in high school too. I've never had a relationship survive a deployment. I am certain you will meet someone else while I'm gone. 15 months is a very long time."

And before I could help myself, I said it. I looked into those blue green eyes and the words escaped from my heart.... "I love you. I just... really love you."

His face didn't change. He didn't even blink. He held my stare and said, "I love you too honey."

Ok, I will admit. It had happened fast. But we both were so very certain in that moment that I knew nothing could stop us.

I knew I wanted to wait for him. However, I didn't know if I could promise him that I would be here when he returned. I wasn't that naive anymore. Unexpected things happen in life despite our intentions. The very fact that he was in my life was unexpected. I only knew that I loved him and that he was definitely worth waiting for.

"But," he said sadly, "I can't even guarantee that you will love the man who returns..."

I wanted so badly to take his pain away. I wished at that moment that I could take his heart and keep it safe while he was deployed. I only held him even tighter and promised him that I would be here for him, no matter what, as his friend.

The next morning, I let him sleep in as I got showered and prepared myself for the very long day ahead. I needed to get going. He rolled over as I nudged him back into consciousness, smiled at me and began singing to me. The strangest thing was that he began singing a song that my dad always sang when I was a little girl. It completely freaked me out!

I gave him my house key and told him that I had to leave. He begged me to stay and give him 10 minutes. I couldn't wait. I was already running behind and it was a 4 hour drive back to my hometown. I hated to leave him but I promised that I would see him before the weekend was out.

He called me during the long drive. He was being supportive and loving about the fact that I was going to sing at the service. I was nervous I would break down. (and I did on the very last line of Amazing Grace. Whew! That was tougher than any wedding I've ever sang at!)

After my dad's service, I headed back into town. I spent Saturday night sad and thankfully alone in my house. I needed time to be emotional with all that had happened.

Sunday morning, I surprised my love by showing up at his triathlon. I didn't have a clue where to find him but I saw an older man who looked familiar to me. I watched as he stood with his camera near the transition area. We made eye contact but never spoke.

I soon saw my love rolling in with his bike. He was excited to see me and quickly introduced me to the older gentleman I'd made eye contact with. It was his father.

His father, his mother and I talked while awaiting his finish. They had heard quite a bit about me and my girls. After he came through the finish line, we bid them farewell and decided to head over to his younger brother's house (no, not the brother I'd dated) as planned initially.

After loading his bike into his car, he walked me to my car. He was sweaty and wearing nothing but bike shorts and running shoes and yet he looked like the sexiest man I had ever seen. I wanted to devour him. I couldn't help myself and leaned in to kiss him.

"I'm gross, honey." I didn't stop. I wanted to taste the very salt that fell from his brow. "Ok.. apparently you don't care."

That kiss.... Something about that kiss made my stomach flip around like I've never felt before.

At his brother's house, he told them all about me and my children. He even pulled up his email to show them a photo I'd had taken of me and my girls. He was very proud as if it was his very own family.

An hour later, my phone rang. Another friend of mine had passed away the previous day.

I felt like I was in emotional hell. But at least I was with my love.

His brother and sister-in-law had to run an errand and left us in their house alone. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I was drained but blissfully content in his presence as we sat on the couch and watched TV. I felt safe with him and somehow it made everything better.

Something was off. He seemed distant. He began asking questions about my not-yet-filed divorce... saying something about ethics in the Army...

I got the distinct impression that he was trying to push me away.


To be continued....next week, the final post in the series




part 6
part 4
part 3
part 2
part 1

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Double Penetration

After reading over my last post and my mention of the crying orgasm, I thought about it a little deeper. (pun intended)

I think the reason I cry is because during sex with someone I love, its my heart that gets penetrated at the same time.

We've talked about vibrators and sex toys here before. I am a single girl and I have a fair share of friendly adult toys to satisfy a physical need. Still there is something about a man that cannot be duplicated or replaced by anything that runs on Duracells.

Maybe its the sensual part of me or a man that adds so much to the interaction.

For instance, the sound of a man's voice can be such a sexy part of him. On the phone, a woman can tell if she is attracted to a man. I'm not sure that most men know this. (Texting is a good place to start but pick up the phone!!!) Is his voice deep and sexy? Does he speak with confidence? What about his conversational skills? Is he a good listener? How in tune is he with you?

Then there's the look. My soldier's body is strong and healthy, toned and muscular. Evolution says that men were hunters, made to fight and bring home food to nurture his family. Something about a man's body says, "I am here to protect you." With my soldier, I felt soft and ready to give in to the sense that someone else would take care of things. If a man shows that he has taken care of the details of a date, a woman will feel more feminine and nurtured. Feeling nurtured is a great way to turn me on.

I don't even recall that my soldier wore cologne but his scent was heaven to me. Masculine and raw. The right man's scent can drive a woman crazy. He doesn't even need cologne but if it is a cologne that mixes naturally with his pheromones, a girl could go nearly dizzy with lust.

After all the other senses are stimulated, a touch from a man will definitely get the juices flowing. Men are so much warmer than me. I can get near a man and feel his warmth from inches away. Then the touch happens... it could be a simple as a brush on the arm in conversation or a hand on the small of the back when walking into a restaurant. My soldier liked to touch my face. When we would kiss, he held my face in both of his hands. He also did little things like kiss my shoulder when he was near me or ran his fingers through my hair. A man's touch will tingle in the warmest of places.

While lost in the buzz of sensory overload, the kiss will bring a woman to near orgasm. Kissing is so very important. Start slow. Explore. Show her with your mouth what you'd like to do to the rest of her body. This will determine if you even get to see the rest of her body. I can still remember the taste of my soldier. I loved when he was salty from sweat, either from working out or sex. I almost begin salivating at the thought of how he tasted.

With all the senses involved, I begin to feel a natural high. I am the focus of your attention. You have locked into my eyes, listened to me, responded to me, explored me. I am breathing heavier and my heart begins to beat a little stronger in my chest.

Penetration.

Dear God yes.

It always takes my breath away. I never realized I was empty until now. The feeling isn't in one place but every cavern in my entire body feels fulfilled. I can feel the feelings begin to overwhelm me. I can't slow it down. Its like my spirit and his spirit are leaving our bodies and intertwining in some other realm beyond form.

They are dancing, merging, becoming one... and... I can't help it. I explode into emotion. My heart is screaming "YES!" but my mouth can utter no words....I can't breathe, I'm crying, nearly hyperventilating. Its past pleasure. Its an ineffable feeling. Its....

PERFECTION.

That's the only way I can explain it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Friend, My Love, My Soldier (part 4)


My Love, continued...


After the romantic first date, we returned to my house. We talked and kissed for many hours. I had grabbed him for our first kiss after our dinner and stroll through the downtown square. As we sat facing each other on my couch, he caressed my face or twirled my hair with his fingers. He had a gentleness that I've never known with a man before. My heart was nearly leaping from my chest.

I loved that we still had the same that relaxed comfort level that we did in high school. He could still make me laugh out loud. All that night, he referred to me by my maiden name. (He still does.)

He'd say, "T is holding my hand." or "T is sitting next to me." It was so funny because there seemed to be no filter between his thoughts and his mouth. I liked it. The way he was that night was so honest and sweet.

He looked into my eyes and said, "T, I am very proud of the woman you've become. You are absolutely amazing. Your kids are great. Its adorable seeing you with them...."

I felt appreciated, for the first time in a very long time.

There was no way in hell that I was letting him get away.

When we decided that he was staying over, he nearly tore my clothes off of me. He told me how he had fantasized about certain areas of my body for 22 years. Was he trying to make up for lost time?? (Yay me!)

I have something that occurs when I feel deeply for a man. When we have sex, I will experience what I call a crying orgasm. With my love, it happened that night, the very first time we were together. That's never happened the first time with anyone before. I told him then that it happened all the time. I couldn't believe I was already falling...

The next morning I had to go to work. My kids had no idea that I had a man in my bed. I left him on the other side of the bed, propped pillows around him and told him to go back to sleep. My children, who, at 5 & 2, followed me around like baby ducks, only saw pillows on my bed and nothing looked unusual to them.

When we were ready to leave, I loaded up the girls in the car and went back inside to let him know that we were leaving. He kissed me and complimented me on what I was wearing. I told him that I'd cooked some biscuits if he was hungry and that he could leave through the garage door.

I went back into the living room to gather my things and there he was, in his beautiful nakedness, wandering into my kitchen to have a biscuit.

"Do you have any honey?"

Um, yeah. I have honey in the pantry. Seriously? I have to leave and there's a hot naked man standing in my kitchen eating biscuits and honey? Ok, that's not fair at all!

Later in the day while I tried to concentrate at work, he called me. I heard his deep voice say the sexiest two words... "Hey baby."

That's when I first noticed the Pavlovian responses. That boy turns me on.

Because he lived 2 1/2 hours away, we only saw each other on the weekends. His family still lives in the area and he was already making weekend trips to spend time with them. Some of the weekends he was here, I had to drive back to my birthplace to visit with my father, whose health was declining rapidly.

I was frightened about the emotions I was feeling, both for my father and my new love. Still, when we would see each other or talk, everything in my world looked a little brighter. I felt selfish, at times, because I didn't want to be sad anymore. I only wanted to be with my love and escape this world of sadness, where people suffer and die.

My love wanted to escape too. The last thing he wanted was to deploy back to Iraq. He had only just returned from a year long deployment 9 months earlier. The only thing that the two of us looked forward to was that promised weekend at the end of September.

He had planned a romantic getaway at an exclusive hotel downtown. He was excited about bringing me to a family dinner where, once again, I'd get to visit with his parents for the first time since I was 16 years old. I was going to watch him compete in a triathlon on Sunday morning and we would spend the afternoon at his younger brother's house. He couldn't wait to share me with his family. I couldn't wait either.

Over the next few weeks, we saw each other when we could. He could still make me laugh even while I fought off sickness from physical and emotional exhaustion. I drove back home to see my dad quite a bit and it was taking its toll on me. My love was always supportive and nurturing. We talked, probably even more than we made love. I knew that I couldn't see my life without him. He began to talk about the future with me as well; did I see myself marrying again? Did I want more children?

A few times that he came over, my kids were around too. They ADORED him. He would pick them up and spin them around and of course, they would say, "Do it again!!" He even picked me up and spun me around. They loved that! (I didn't. I get dizzy.) When it was their bedtime, they insisted he say goodnight. I stood in their doorway one night as he sat between their beds and read them a bedtime story. It was the most gorgeous he has ever looked to me.

I never questioned whether or not he should be around my children. He was my friend. It felt completely normal for him to know my children as well.

The Tuesday before our weekend, I went out shopping at my favorite lingerie store. I wanted to look absolutely delicious for my love for all that he was doing for me.

Later that night, something told me to call home to check on my dad. My sister and brother were there and put the phone to his ear so that I could say hello. He had been in a near constant state of sedation for a couple of days. It was only a matter of time.

Less than 2 hours later, I received the phone call. My father had died.

One of the many phone calls I made that night included my love. With gentle understanding, he nurtured me with loving words over the phone. I had to break the news to him that our weekend wouldn't happen as planned. I was going back home to attend my father's service on Saturday.

He said that he would cancel the hotel room but asked if he could at least come and stay with me on Friday night. I couldn't wait to see him and be in his arms again.

Thursday night, he called. With longing in his voice, he said, "I am packing. In less than 24 hours, we will be together again."

Friday, I was numb. I couldn't stand it any longer. Nearly every hour, I was talking to my love on the phone. "How much further?" He still had to drive up from his post to get to my house.

When he finally entered my door that Friday night, we held each other as if the entire world was crashing down around us.

And over the next few days, it nearly did.

To be continued....


part 6
part 5
part 3
part 2
part 1

Monday, September 1, 2008

Using gratitude to pull us through

When my soldier has called the past few weeks, I have found that I'm doing my best to keep him upbeat. He is so ready to go on leave, exhausted, restless, hot, irritated and "doing (his) best not to go insane."

Last week, I found myself feeling sorry for him. Commiserating doesn't work. I think both of us were depressed when we hung up the phone. I felt pretty helpless and sad most of the week following.

Today, I was in a great mood when he called. I rattled on and on about my life, new friends, my kids, my running and cycling... I thought surely my enthusiasm would bring a smile to his face, as it usually does.

He reminded me how fortunate I was to have such great friends and fun things to do. He compared my situation to his. He is frustrated with his current position and people that he works with. He will be changing positions and moving to another camp in October and then he will be spending time with loads of family and friends (and me!) during his leave....still a month away.

"See baby?" I reminded him, "Its temporary! You're almost there!"

"Yeah, I know. I'm just having a difficult time getting from day to day right now."

I could worry but worry does neither one of us any good. We've been through this before. I know it will pass. In the meantime, I need to focus on what usually gets me through times like this: gratitude.

Tonight as I sat with my kids as they snuggled in their beds, we took turns saying what we were grateful for:
  • my friends at school
  • water and food
  • my sweet girls
  • my sweet Mommy
  • that we're all healthy
  • that we have comfy beds to sleep in
  • the bear that (my soldier) sent me
  • that Daddy doesn't yell at us anymore
  • Daddy and Uncle Zen (the ex's brother/roomie)
  • our old house
  • our new house
  • our friend's house where we had a party tonight
  • that my girls help me with chores around the house
  • our toys

I'm sending all of that love and gratitude to my sweet soldier across the miles. He is not a victim and he's the first one who'll say that to you. I know and he knows that he has a choice of how he can view his situation. I can't make him change his mind however, I can change my own mind of how I view him and this deployment.

He is ok. He is of sound mind. He is healthy. He is strong. He is loved. He is amazing. He is powerful. He is ok. He is ok. He is ok.

Thank God that he is OK.

And thank you God that I am too!