The Little Match Girl

I had a stocking hung up on the wall, waiting for his arrival, hanging empty in anticipation of being added to – waiting to be filled with joy and the presents of the season.

My daughter took it down yesterday, carefully rearranging the hooks on the wall to look as though there was nothing missing, no void, waiting for its fulfillment.

She didn’t want me to have to do it.


Goddess, I love that girl.

I had thought about removing that stocking…I was trying to avoid it, actually, and hadn’t quite decided what I was going to do. Leave it, and have to explain to everyone why it hangs empty? Or take it down, and get the “looks”? 

Either way, I know my parents will be full of questions, ones I don’t really want to answer just yet, and some I don’t know the answer to just yet.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, and I really don’t feel like talking about it, out loud, not right now. It hurts, and like an animal with a wound, I’d like to go off into a hidden place, by myself, and bleed quietly, thank you.

What makes it more bitter to swallow is the holidays… lonely enough as is, now?

I’m nothing more than the Little Match Girl…sitting out in the cold, lighting matches (what a metaphor for a dating site, Hunh?),  trying to stay warm for a little while, & seeing hope in the flames. Hope that never blooms into reality and warmth. Each and every time I strike a match, I end up getting burned, but can’t stop from lighting the next as the previous one gutters out. Soon, my heart will give out, tired from the exertion, it will lay down to rest, and freeze, not to get back up again.

Goodnight, dear friends, for a little while.

Until the holiday is over, at least, I don’t think I can be here.

Shock and Awe

Last Monday, YoungerDaughter turned 21.

Oof.  Right to the gut.

It’s definitely been harder to wrap my head around this fact than it was when EldestDaughter hit that milestone.  Why? *shrug*  No clue.

Well, maybe 1 or 2 clues.

EldestDaughter turned 21 just 3 days before giving birth to the Toddler Tornado.  There wasn’t any drunken bar crawl fanfare done, since she was hugely preggers on her actual birthday, & couldn’t drink for a long time afterward, due to nursing an infant & recovering from labor.  So, turning 21 for her was both happy & sad.  She got the best birthday present ever, but couldn’t hoist a frosty one in celebration.  Oh well…

YoungerDaughter,  on the other hand, has always been called “The Innocent One” by her friends & family alike.  She maintains a child – like wonder & awe that stuns people when they realize she has actually held on to her innocence, and prefers it that way, stubbornly.  She is very mature for her age, intellectually & logically, but she still states that she’d “rather be 6”.  She totally still enjoys her beloved things from her childhood, like tiaras, Pooh Bear anything & a passionate obsession with Sailor Moon.

I’ve been in awe of her for years, living in the times we do, she has solidly refused to become jaded.  She, somehow, has become a mature innocent.

A contradiction, that child… no, I have to say it.


So it’s difficult,  with all these contradictions, to reconcile her complete autonomy from me.

It’s definitely a shock to realize that I only have a handful of years left before I won’t have any actual children left in my brood.

They’ll all be grownups in a heartbeat.



Happy Birthday, Toodles. May your heart be ever-young.

I Must To Get ALL The Things!~

I – have gone a little bug-nuts.

I'm not crazy...I always look a little bug-eyed!

Ok, so I’m already a little nuts.  I’ve just amped up the speed of spin a little, lately, I guess.

I had a good bit of luck this year, in that I got a decent refund from my taxes.  And it’s going to enable me to take care of a few things that have been on hold for a long time.  My ex was awful at saving money, and in fact used to have the refund already spent long before we ever got it.  And it was never on the practical things, like a new window to replace the living room one that had been cracked almost since the year we moved in (2000).  Or to repaint, which the house has desperately needed.  Or to get new eaves troughs, again, kinda desperately required.  Instead, the money was always spent on “toys”.  Things he wanted, or thought we “needed”, which ended up being things he would then expect me to figure out and run, and take care of, because he was about as handy as a sack full of broken hammers.

(Gah, I’ve gotta stop talking about the ex, I’m getting tired of re-hashing all that old crap, and need to stop carrying his weight on my back)


I’ve been going a little mad, with some of the extra spending money lying around.  I’m still taking care of the bills and everything, so I’ve been indulging in a little bit of long-needed refurbishing.

I love you Marvin, but I don't LOVE you. Stop possessing my TV.

I got myself a new TV, since the old one was about 40 million pounds of Martian TV, always green, all the time.

I was able to get a second-hand couch in really great shape, to replace one of the old, crappy ones, and got the old one out of the house. 

I bought some new large area rugs to cover the floor in the basement bedroom that ED and FSIL are going to be taking over for their own when they move in, since the floor down there is cement.  I don’t want to carpet, just in case we end up with ground water seeping in again.

And last night – I bought myself a new rocker-recliner.  Brand new, chocolate brown suede.  Plush and comfy, it’s yet another symbol to me that I’m regaining my independence and self-confidence.  I took YD with me to look and compare, but when it came down to the choice of chairs, it was all me.  There was no “discussion” to be had with someone who negatively shot down every reason why I should get what I wanted.  There was no mocking of my decision-making process, which basically amounts to “sit in ALL the chairs twice, and pick one” (rather Goldilocks of me, I know, but hey, it’s the only way to get the one that I’m comfortable in!).  And once I made my choice, I paid, picked it up, and brought it home.

After a lovely dinner with A, YoungerDaughter and OnlySon, we went back to the house, where A helped get the chair set up just where I wanted it.  And, after everybody had a chance to check out the cushyness of the new throne, A bogartted the chair for most of the rest of the night!  (It’s alright, if I’d sat in the chair… I’d have been snoring in about 5 minutes – I was ti-red.  Better to remain upright on the couch and stay awake!)

So, there have been a few “big-ticket” items, couch, chair, area rugs (more medium-ticket there)… but for the most part, the purchases have been small.  Touches and flourishes here and there, to subtly change the feel and “Zen” of the house. Maybe it’s not so “spend-crazy” as I think, when I contemplate the changes.  It’s not so much about the Must-to-get-ALL-the-things, but it is more about FINALLY, I get to get the things I want.

I’m taking back my space – by inches, maybe, but each one is mine when I’m done.



Thoughtful Moment:  Having someone trust you with something that’s precious to them, is humbling.  They trust you not to break it, not to hurt it, and to treat it with the respect that they hold for it.  The same goes for that person introducing you to the important people in their life. 

This weekend, I was invited to meet A’s 2 children.  “A” is the man I’ve been seeing for about the last 6 months.  He’s met my kids, almost right from the start, but then my kids are older, teenagers and young adults, and it’s a little different then.  A’s kids are younger than OnlySon, and so I understood the wait. 

Not only that, but A’s kids live with their mom, almost 2 hours away, so he doesn’t get to see them as often as he’d like.  I know how badly I miss my own when they’re gone, even though they live with me, primarily, so I don’t want to intrude on time that should be special for him and them.

This weekend, however, he called and asked if I wanted to come over and meet them.  And yes, I was nervous.

(And yes, A, I know you’re reading this and laughing!)

I was nervous that they wouldn’t like me, I know it’s hard for kids to accept someone else in their parent’s life, sharing time and affection.  YoungerDaughter and OnlySon had their individual issues when I started dating again after the divorce, and, for the most part, we’ve worked through them.  I know there will probably be more in the future, it’s the nature of dating when you have kids.  Jealousies pop up in the strangest ways, sometimes, but as long as the kids know that I’m still there for them, and love them (well, DUH), then any little issues can be resolved with minor fuss.

So, when I went over to A’s house, I was nervous.  I felt a little like I’d been handed a Faberge’ egg, and asked not to drop it, while walking on marbles…

Well, of course, once I got there, I relaxed.  A’s kids are a lot like him, and that’s just fine with me.  I laughed quite a lot with his daughter, and his son was a quieter, peeking presence, keeping just enough distance to maintain his shyness. 

We watched Bee Movie. 

His daughter, “E”, and I bonded over fart jokes and talking about some of the weird things boys do.  I told her that her brother wasn’t so different from OnlySon, even though there’s 6 years’ difference between the 2 of them.  (OnlySon is 13, and A’s son is 7). 

And later, E told me she liked me… mainly because she thought I was funny and had soft hair… but hey!  It’s a start! 

It means a lot to me that I was trusted with the two people he holds most precious.  I’ll do my best not to break it.


It’s Tuesday, and I’m in Hell

Well, not literally, since I don’t believe in Hell.

Not that there isn’t one.

Because obviously, from the looks of this sign?  There is, and it’s frozen there too.

No, what I’m talking about is the fact that NOT ONLY did I have the inevitability of my EldestDaughter’s impending birthday shifting her from one demographic to another (teen to 20-something), forcing me to deal with the fact that I am a parent to an *gasp* adult, but

YoungerDaughter is going to start dating.

There is a young man that she’s known for a long time, who recently asked her out.

Asked her out on a real, actual, date. 

Not with a group.

Just two people.

And one of them is supposed to be her.

You would think, after going through this once before… with EldestDaughter, that I’d be prepared for this moment.

Yeah……. no.

This, my YoungerDaughter, is not so much like her sister.  This child, is, at heart, very sheltered, of her own volition.  She chooses not to swear, like so many of her peers do on a regular basis.  In fact, her friends call her “the innocent one”.  She is pretty much without guile, without malice, and without a doubt, one of the nicest, sweetest, most child-at-heart people I’ve ever met.  She has a spirit that has resisted becoming jaded, as so many kids are these days.  By her own choice.

And now, a boy has asked her out. 

Now, I don’t have anything against this kid.  I’ve met him, and he seemed nice enough.  Plus, he has her stamp of approval from years gone by, as they’ve known each other since they were in elementary school.  She doesn’t give her loyalty easily, and once she does, it’s pretty much for life.  So he must be alright.

But he wants to take my baby girl on a “big people” date!


I know, I know, I need to get used to the idea.

But I’ll be fried if I have to like it.  So there.