Out with the old, in more ways than one.

I sit, typing to you with barf in my hair and a very unhappy kiddo. Bean girl is sickly. Fever, puking, the whole messy awful no fun 9 yards. Her dad brought her home this morning and the first thing she did was lay down on my shoulder and say "Mama I throw up" which in sick-kid language is just a total crap sandwich. Poor little thing.

Also, kids thermometers? What a joke. I bought this Spongebob $10 jobber at Wal-Mart a while back, and short of sticking it in her tush can't get an accurate reading ever. Its unfortunate too, because there's no way I'm gonna add insult to injury- if she's sick, I'll take her to the doctor hoping she's got a fever before I pull down that diaper. For that reason, I shelled out a bit more for one of those ear-mometers, the more reliable kind.

Unfortunately, I can't find it. The last time I remembered, it lived in my closet in my room at my (now former) friend's house. We had a pretty nasty friend breakup recently and I've tried not to air too much of my dirty laundry in those regards on the interwebz, but I am hot.

Here's the dialogue:

Me (11:34 AM):
I don't want any drama, just have a question. Was there a kids ear thermometer in the closet near the sippy cup? I can't find it & thought it was there.
Me (11:35 AM):
MP is really sick, I just need to find the good thermometer

Her (11:47 AM):
No. Everything of yours that was in my house was packed and given to you. I have nothing else of yours.

Me (11:51 AM):
What I am asking is when you packed everything up did you see it? I have a very sick baby and just need to know if its in there somewhere.

Her (11:57 AM):
What I am telling you is NO! You would have it if it was anywhere in your room. Don't text me anymore! I have NOTHING of yours in my house. Take her to the DR.

There's just no sense in that. To lose our entire friendship so suddenly and dramatically came as a shock to say the very least, but this is just uncalled for. I've fought the urge to write about how I feel in regards to our breakup, to complain that I feel sad, disappointed, pissed off...

I've resisted simply out of respect for her privacy, because as Ms. Single Mama said this morning "single mom or not - I’ve never been one to censor myself for fear of judgment."

I'm still not going to go to the lengths of reporting all of the things that were said and done which were irreparably damaging to our friendship. I don't need to smear her name at all. I feel like I'm doing a good job of mourning that relationship, and come to terms with the hard fact that she won't ever be a part of our lives again.

The hardest thought is that she'll never get to see the bean as she grows and experience her love and light, but there's no way I can allow anyone to dim that light with anger & jealousy... She simply deserves more than that. Honestly, we both do.

Its so very hard, but days like today make it so much easier. I'm very blessed to have many good friends that genuinely and deeply love us. Only moments after tweeting that Bean was sick, I received a text from a new, yet very close friend offering to run to the store and get that thermometer we were missing. Having people that benefit and enrich our lives with support, love, and real compassion is so necessary for parents. It is absolutely vital for single moms & dads.

I'm still sad to have lost that friendship, and It'll take a very long time for the hurt to subside, but its truly made me realize just how lucky I am to have so many people that care about us. A huge thank you to all of my friends, and to this beautiful little girl who just keeps providing me with wonderful life lessons. The same little girl, actually, whose fever has come down (according to my trusty mama-hand-mometer) and who is officially holding down crackers & Pedialyte. Yay for well babies, good friends, and cutting out the negative.

Words eaten

Keep your words sweet -- you may have to eat them. -Stephan Grellet

Sometimes we all say a bit too much. At times, with burning cheeks and butterflies in one's tummy, we realize we've said things best left unsaid.

When love is not madness, it is not love.
-Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Fully Involved

I changed my "relationship status" on Facebook this week. A simple action, but lordy be! what a response! I had emails, comments, text messages... all wondering who, when, what!? I laughed, amazed at how curious everyone was... but one email struck me. A good friend asked "Seriously? YOU are in a relationship, and you're admitting it for all of Facebook to see? This guy must be something special, that's a big step for you!" For me- What did she mean!? I talk about my vagina on Twitter, its not like I'm a private person at all! And was it really a big step? I mean, its just the internet for christ sakes... but the more I thought about it, the bigger it seemed. I had officially taken myself off the market. Whoa. Maybe I hadn't thought this through...

You see, its all quite complicated. I started dating following my separation, completely opposed to the idea of a serious relationship. I was determined to date and enjoy the single life completely. There were a few boys I spent more time with, but all ended up being rather disappointing. There was the "your only problem is that you're a mom" dude, the flaky artsy boy who drank, the total liar, then the highly motivated yet indecisive boy who I regrettably got in over my head with, (at which point he promptly skeedaddled) who left me wondering wtf I was doing to myself. After that, I had to stop... I quit dating and started focusing on figuring out what I wanted.

I'd previously said "single moms just want to have fun" which I still think is reasonable, but its a temporary thing. Single moms, just like all ladies, get to a point where they're ready and I was there. I was tired of crying over guys who weren't even thinking about me, and I decided it wouldn't happen anymore. I started focusing on changing: on being a more confident, beautiful, well-mannered lady, someone any guy would want to be with. Then I realized that was a giant crock of shit. I am confident, very beautiful, and well... my manners are intact but honesty and frankness have gotten me this far.

I was ready, I was worthy, and I was downright lonely. Take Your Kids to Dickson came along, and I spent a month working insane hours preparing for the most successful thing I've ever done. I was humbled, looking out over the crowds... seeing so many families there enjoying everything we'd planned. I knew I'd accomplished something incredible, and I was so proud. Thousands of people, but as I walked up the street with my daughter I couldn't have felt more alone. She and I were there together, watching the families... moms, dads, kids, and my eyes welled up with tears. I wasn't giving her the life I wanted for her... for us. I was trying, but it all seemed farther away than I was comfortable with.

I found myself a little freaked out, knowing what I wanted gave everything a different feel. I knew I couldn't settle, something I'd been doing every time since I started dating. I knew I wanted to be in love, I was tired of worrying about whether I was coming on too strong, counting rings before I could answer my phone, none of that made sense to me anyhow. As a grown woman with a child, I simply couldn't play games like a normal 25 year old. I was so disappointed with my dating experiences, but when considering who I'd been seeing was it any wonder? I wasn't dating a man because I wanted to fall in love and build a lasting relationship, I was dating because I wanted to be appreciated for more than my sidewalk chalk, project management, design and diaper changing skills. As a hard-working single mom, I just wanted to not have to figure out what I wanted.

Luckily, that worked out pretty well. I met the boy professionally a while back, a simple meeting to discuss a potential project. We wound up sitting around talking about divorce, kids, dating, our families, side projects... we both remarked later about how strangely comfortable we were talking to each other, though he teased me for being so nervous. I didn't bid on the project, and we continued talking often. Neither of us intended for things to develop and when they did, the timing couldn't have been more wrong. They say though that when you stop looking it finds you... and that's definitely the case here.

I sat watching TV after bean girl had gone to bed last night, and Jerry Maguire came on. I never understood why my mom always cried when she watched that movie until now. As a single mom, everything is different. I realized just what I'd been doing wrong: the silly games that go along with dating just don't fly with us. We expect more, we want and need love in a way that non-mamas just don't, and I didn't fully understand that when I was trying to force relationships with boys with no desire to actually get involved. Single mamas fall hard, when we realize its there we are fully involved. I realized that what I've been feeling is a very different kind of lonely than I'd ever known, and I was wearing my Brave-Little-Toaster-pants hoping not to get hurt but failing at it. I wanted a boy to understand and appreciate all of me, and I wanted to feel comfortable sharing that.

I'm fully involved, and I'm thrilled about it. Taking myself off the market wasn't as difficult as I'd imagined when I met someone who caught my attention and kept it. A dad himself, he understood from the start what I wanted and needed (even when I didn't). In not trying to say the right things, he won me over completely with an honesty and frankness I'd craved without realizing. It comes as no surprise to any of you that I'm an open book. I put everything on the line, take it or leave it there I am. I opened myself up and for the first time didn't fight the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach saying "this isn't a good idea, mama" I wanted this, and he did too. With that comes a certain air of caution, for ourselves, our hearts, our kids... was it safe to give into the excitement of something that seemed so... genuine? Its a strange time for both of us, so we initially resisted the idea of starting a relationship, but things have developed naturally despite our hesitation, and here we are.

So here I am, admitting that I'm nuts about a boy and for once, I am so fully appreciated, just as I am. Imperfect and impulsive, bossy and idealistic, he looks at me with a sense of wonder.

Thank you for that, mister.

Also, a huge thank you to Ms. Single Mama who works so hard to provide support and insight. Reading about your love with John Bear is inspiring and exciting. Congratulations, lady. Thank you for helping us sort out all of this crazy dating stuff and allowing us to peek in on your life, you are incredible.
You want to see what the boy is doing right? Here's a good list from Ms. Single Mama herself:
How to Date a Single Mom