The other day on my Facebook page, I commented something about having a bad day. A reader replied, saying she was relieved I was having a bad day because it seemed like I always knew what to do…or something like that. I laughed out loud…shook my head…and started to type.
It’s so easy to appear, in the world of the internet, as if we’ve got it all together. But the reality is, there’s much, much, much more to my life of dysfunction that I don’t share. Not because I want to come across as some super-parent who knows all the answers…but because my kids deserve SOME privacy. And honestly, so do I.
And so I don’t tell you every time I screw things up. I don’t sign on here and say, “Hey, I just lost it on my kid and I feel like shit now.” But trust me…every…single…day…I screw up. Just like you. I’m here to entertain…not to depress, and so I keep much of my life to myself and only share what I think will either A. be helpful or B. entertain.
Here is a list of some of the things I don’t tell you:
I cuss. Not a little. A lot. Like when I stub my toe for the sixteenth time, or bite my tongue. Watch out. Sometimes, ‘Oh Fudge’ just doesn’t cut it.
I’m a yeller. Ask my kids.
I don’t like to cook. I have no idea how my family is still alive.
Anthony is one of 9. One died from abuse and one died of bone cancer. Three of those remaining have severe mental health issues resulting in long term residential hospitalization…as children. His odds of ‘normalcy’ are not good.
I don’t tell you when my kids do really, really, really stupid things. Which happens OFTEN. They deserve SOME privacy.
One of my kids will live with me well into adulthood, if not forever. I’m terrified of that commitment.
We almost didn’t adopt Robin because her voice was so high pitched; it was painful to listen to her. Only dogs knew what she was saying. Adenoid removal saved her. Plus, she’s cute.
I have a double chin I hide in all photographs.
The things I can’t tell you…are really the most entertaining.
People who don’t know me think I’m patient and kind with my children. People who know me are laughing right now as they read this.
I wish I could get a do-over with my first couple of foster kids…I had no idea what I was doing and probably did more damage than good.
I hardly ever cry over anything. My kids say I’m dead inside. This morning I lost it, like heaving, sobbing, lost it.
I left high school half way through my junior year because I was pregnant. That sucked.
I’m afraid of the water. But I love to boat. Go figure.
My whole family is sarcastic and sometimes people think we are rude…but really we are just hilarious. To us.
My relationship with my oldest, Heather, has been weak for about five years. We share fault in that. I don’t talk about that here. We are rebuilding and I’m so relieved.
One of my kids, on their first day in my home said, “I don’t let nobody under my blankets anymore…” I will never forget that sentence.
Mya’s mom was my foster daughter. She was fourteen when she had Mya and left us at eighteen. I don’t talk about that either. Someday, with her permission, I will. It will be a best-seller.
When people tell me they understand my life, because they have kids too…I secretly want to smack them down. They have no clue.People raising adopted fosters are nodding their heads…those who are not may be offended by that statement. That’s okay. I don’t know what it’s like to be you, either.
Billy is my favorite even though he makes me crazy. I think it’s because he needed me the most. Don’t tell the other seven.
Sometimes I wish I had never adopted any children.
Sometimes I want ten more.
I sleep with multiple stuffed moose and my husband has individual voices for each one…they wake me up in the morning.
I would love to live completely remote. I don’t really like people.
I had an abortion when I was young. I live with that. Maybe that’s why I take in kids…to right the wrong. I don’t know…
If I could never step into a mall, department or grocery store again in my life, I would be immensely happy.
I know every detail of every episode of ‘Friends’.
Destini and I have non-stop witty banter. We never stop. We crack ourselves up. The rest of the kids just stare at us.
I parent my kids with a sort of military commander style. I have to…if I don’t they’ll take over.
The year I was eighteen, I went a little crazy. Divorced, two year old daughter…I went into party mode and my mom raised my kid for a while. I’m not ready to talk about that yet.
Statistically, three out of four foster children have been sexually abused. I don’t talk about that here.
I cautiously believe in the phenomena of psychic ability. I’ve had some experiences that leave me wondering.
I smoked enough pot when I was eighteen to medicate the state of Colorado.
I graduated from a top private college at 34 years old and wish I could go back and do it all again. I’m proud of that.
I rarely put my laundry away. It travels directly to my bed, to the floor, to my bed, to the floor….
I wear contacts and am pretty much legally blind without them. My vision is like 20/525. I want surgery.
Luke speaks so quietly that nobody can hear him. Like that girl on Pitch Perfect.
Mya and Anthony have the same RAD diagnosis.
My older brother is awesome at everything he has ever done and I hate that he’s so nice I can’t even hate him.
Destini’s name came from the Eagles song, The Last Resort. “In the name of Destiny, and in the name of God…”
I have played, and completed, every Zelda game since the first Nintendo came out.
I provide birth control for my kids because I was a mother at sixteen and I don’t wish that on them.
Adopted kids and biological kids do not evoke the exact same emotion. It’s not the same. You don’t love them less…you’d still throw yourself in front of a bus for them. It’s just different. That sounds bad. But true.
I am obsessed with old books. Any old book. It doesn’t have to be valuable…just old. (Keri Riley, PO Box 39288 Ninilchik, Alaska 99639 for those feeling the urge to send me old books. Or money…)
I was married from sixteen to eighteen to Heather’s dad. I have some really good memories mixed in with that horror of a marriage.
When I was seventeen years old, I attended ten weeks of Nail Technology School and learned to do acrylic nails. I barely passed. I don’t know who that girl was…
Heather, Destini and I sound exactly the same when we speak.
I can’t write on command. This is why I rarely blog. When it comes to me it pours out of my fingers and I don’t care if I’m using proper grammar. I write, how I think. And I rarely edit. That’s what makes my words real. Like this.