A gesture of appreciation

Five more days before school starts again. I can’t wait. It has been fun having the kids around all the time, not having to get up early and rush them to get in school on time. But two months is long enough. Not just for me, but for them too.

They are crazy about each other. Sometimes they act like a Siamese twin. My couch is big enough to fit seven adults on it, yet the both of them sit in the same corner to watch tv. Sometimes it’s hard to make out which legs belong to who. They find it hard to share a candybar, but not to share a blanket.

But sometimes, all this extra time together makes them rebel. Against each other. Against me. Against the whole world and the whole universe. All of the sudden an angry look on Kymany’s face will make Badu cry. “She is always angry at me. She doesn’t like me.” And once that storm calms down, Kymany’s world ends in tears because her sister never wants to play with her.
I’m not the best referee. I get annoyed when they cry over small things that really don’t matter much. But it matters to them. A long time ago we agreed on a rule: we only cry when we are hurt. So when they start whining and crying over something small like a tv program that hasn’t been paused because one needed to run to the bathroom, this little nagging feeling bubbles up from inside my stomach and I tell them:” Stop crying! You are not in pain!” Of course more tears: “Yes, I am! My heart is broken and it hurts!” Oh my… Here we go again.

This morning they were playing together and I was on the couch reading a book. I was happy that they were behaving, even though I expected some shouting and crying to erupt at any time now. After a while I’ve noticed that it got quiet. Then Kymany opens the door with a big smile (I still love her dimples so much) and Badu shows up next to her, with possibly an even bigger smile. Kymany puts her left arm around Badu’s shoulder and she responds by putting her arm around Kymany’s hip. I sit there, with my book open on my lap, looking at them.

“Mommy, we want to thank you for everything you do for us and because you are the sweetest mommy in the whole wide world, we are going to do the laundry for you. You just sit there and read your book, we will take care of everything.”

And before I can tell them how sweet they are (or that they shouldn’t put colored with white laundry), they both run – with that same big smile on their pretty little faces – to the washing room and start working as a professional two-little-girls-team to get the laundry, soap and fabric softener in the machine. No arguments, no tears, no fighting. No stress.

And even though they might have poured in just a little bit too much soap and just not enough fabric softener, it’s alright. They poured a lot of love into it. And in the end, that’s all that matters

Did he lie again?

9 p.m. Bedtime for the girls. I tuck them in, kiss and hug them goodnight. “Mommy, I love you” as I go downstairs. “I love you too, girls. Goodnight!”

Ten minutes later and Badu shows up in the living room. “Mommy, why didn’t daddy come back yet? Did he lie again?” All I can do is nod yes. I spread my arms and she runs to me. One single tear rolls down her cheek. And there we sit, hugged up on the couch, both unwillingly thinking about the same person who has hurt us in different ways.

I can’t help but think about the millions of times that I’ve been telling him, asking him, begging him to stop lying to the kids.I don’t mind him lying to me, I’m used to it and it’s honestly the only thing I expect from him. But my daughters are young, and they still believe that people are honest and keep their word. Especially when it comes to their father. A promise is a fact. Hope is truth.

He has put my girls through five years of lies, disappointments, heartache and pain. I’ve decided that it’s enough. His priorities are not in parenthood. I need to protect them from unnecessary pain. It’s not like he’s making a lot of effort to stay in touch with them. This is hard but I know that it’s for the best in the end.

But how do I explain to an 8 year old and a 6 year old that their father can’t handle the responsibility that comes with raising children? How do I tell them the truth without bashing him? How can you tell innocent children that it’s for the best to keep their father out of their lives? What words will help them understand without hurting their feelings?

I don’t really know. And I’m supposed to be good with words. But I wasn’t prepared for this. I never planned on having to deal with my children hurting over their biological father. And honestly, when I see my kids hurting, words seem to hold no weight. So up until now I try to help them make sense out of a senseless situations. By answering any question they might have. And so far hugs and kisses are our main comfort. We are like a bunch of huggy bears haha.

I do realize that I’m forced to be their mother and their father at the same time. I have to be both combined in one. But I’m not complaining. I get all the love back. A million times multiplied. I am truly blessed.

“Mommy,what are condoms?”

“Mommy, what are condoms?” I was caught off guard when my 5 year old asked me this question. She and her sister were watching a kiddie program about surviving in the wild. I sat on the couch with them, but I wasn’t paying attention to the program.

“What did you say?” I asked, trying to disguise my surprise and buying myself more time to find a kids-proof answer to the question. Answering a question with a question always works if you want to postpone a reply.

“What are condoms?” they now both asked at the same time. Still thinking about how to answer while trying to prevent more questions, I asked them what was said about condoms on tv. “Well he puts water in it and then puts it in his pocket”.
“Oh, but I guess he uses them to carry water while he’s in the woods, because they are water proof. He can tie a knot in them and that way he won’t loose any water.”
“And condoms are also used by men who don’t want to make babies” I added as if that was just one of the many things you can use condoms for.

They both said “oh” and luckily for me the next program started and their attention shifted back to tv. A relief.

This is the second time that I got really close to having “the talk”. The first time was when I was talking about the baby in my belly. Badu asked if O. will be the daddy.  I said that he put the baby there so he’s the father. Two seconds of silence. I was just waiting on the question: “How did he put the baby there?” I was bracing myself, but I was ready to explain. They didn’t request more details. They just continued talking amongst themselves about whether the baby would look like O. or like me. It was a close call, but I was safe.

I know, one day I won’t be able to avoid this conversation. They are very curious about everything.  But if possible, I would like for my kids to make an appointment and give me at least a week time to prepare for it. I won’t forget. I promise. I will write it in big red letters in my agenda. I’ll even add a few big fat exclamation marks…

No room for a single mom

The family as a cornerstone of society. A  nice principle. Unfortunally the term ‘family’ seems to be pretty unflexibale when it has to be a cornerstone.

People used to get married young, have kids, and stay together until death did them apart – literally. They might not always been happily married, but there was a time when divorce was taboo.

Things change. Now the term ‘family’ can mean anything from married-with-children to a commune of friends to being just one person. It’s been like that for a while. And it still functions pretty well. Unless  you are a single parent.

Let me explain myself. First of all, nobody (but a few exceptions) chooses to be a single parent. Whatever the reason might be why you end up being a single parent, I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t something you planned for yourself. Raising children isn’t easy (and certain people should think twice before they have kids, but that’s a whole other blog entry). Raising them by yourself is twice as hard. You have to be mom and dad. Good cop and bad cop. Provide for your children and still find time to be there to actually raise them.

Life is expensive. If you just have one paycheck and two children, like I have, with no money coming from the dad whatsoever, you know that you live from paycheck to paycheck. Counting and recounting to see how you’re gonna make it to the end of the month. Which bills can I pay and which will have to wait? If the kids need new shoes or a winterjacket, you will either have to save for it, or let a bill go unpaid. You’re denying your children certain things (trips to amusement parks, going on vacation abroad,…), but you work hard to raise them the best you can and give them all they need. They might not have the luxury that their schoolfriends have, but they are happy nevertheless.

But there’s more to life than the financial part. Have you – as a single parent – ever tried to find a house (without social services helping you out)? I don’t know what it’s like in other areas, but where I live, it’s close to impossible. What if you want to educate yourself so that you can find a better job, have a better income? Going to school full time is pretty much impossible: school is expensive. Plus you will have to find a daycare/babysit for your kids, which adds to the expenses. Sure, there are enough adult schooling opportunities in every city, with all kinds of different subject you can learn. Very interesting and motivating. Until you check both price and class hours. Yup, you’ll  need a babysit.

Well, then let’s try something as simple as picking up a hobby such as swimming. Which is pretty inexpensive, right? So that shouldn’t be a problem…. Think again.
In my city, the swimming pool is only open for the public between 6pm and 8pm. Between those hours I’m cooking, washing, preparing schoolbags, helping with homework and putting kids in bed. Sure I could take my kids with me to the swimming pool in the evening, or during the weekend. But I won’t let them alone in the water, not even in the playing pool for the toddlers. So I won’t be able to get a work out by swimming the amount of lenghts I want. What’s the solution? My family and friends live far away. So I’d end up paying for a babysit. Again.

Oh,why – instead of complaining – don’t I take my babydaddy to court and make him pay child support?
Well, everybody’s situation is different. But for me, there’s nothing to gain there. No financial gain, no emotional gain, no support. It’s just not worth the stress, time and money I’d have to spend. I prefer to make it on my own, rather than to be dependant on a little bit of money that I might – or might not get every month. It’s pointless. Trust me.

Like I stated before, it seems like there’s no room in this society for a single mom. Or a single dad. Even while there should be more to life than the financial part, as a single parent, it seems that the financial part is the only thing that’s being thrown back in your face over and over again.

Luckily it takes more than money to raise children into responsible and respectable adults. So yeah, my kids might not wear the latest fashion, they might not go on vacation to Spain every summer vacation. But my children are smart, well mannered and appreciative. Which can’t always be said about kids that grow up around a lot of money. Just my two cents…

Sunday Mornings

“Mommy?”

I wake up by the voice of my daughter. First thing on my mind is: “What time is it?” I don’t want to open my eyes yet. All I want to do is turn over and doze off again.

“Mommy, here’s your breakfast. Kymany is making coffee for you.” I force myself to open my eyes. The first thing I see is Badu standing besides my bed, with a big bowl of cereals in her hand and a huge, sweet smile on her face. I smile, tell her how sweet she is, and sit up. She gives me the bowl of cereals and I give her a kiss.

Footsteps on the stairs. Kymany walks in. A cup of coffee in her hand and that same smile on her face. I also give her a kiss. They are both standing by the bed, smiling. I sit up in the bed. Smiling. So thoughtful and sweet and caring of them. They seem to understand that it’s the little things that matter. Those caring gestures that make another person smile early in the morning. Sweet as sugar, that’s what they are. And I no longer care about what time it is.

“Mommy, do you want another coffee?”
“Yes, baby”
“No sugar, a lot of milk, right?”
“Exactly”

Damn, I love these girls!

Unconditional Love

Have you ever noticed that –  on a ruff day – the unconditional love of your child is the only magic you need to feel like you’re the most loved person in the whole wide world?

True Divinity

I was baptized in the unhallowed waters of perdition
Raised with fake truths about thruthful lies and I complied
I embraced satisfactional negativities confirming
Personal abilities confirming the lack of creativity
And I gratefully accepted my granted family
Feeling so lonely on the pursuit to find me
Questioning if I would ever find me
Lacking the motivation to engage and refuging to become enraged
By circumstancial obstacles on the backstage of my biography
Which is written all over the walls of my cage as an unfinished memory
Burned by a blaze in the grey stone fortification to be recited for eternity

Freezing in the skin blistering fires of the underworld
I sought refuge in the embrace of demons in disguise
Blinded by salty tears, nourishing on miscomprehended fears
I failed to recognize the hollow eyes because my desperately foolish mind in love
Painted me brilliant images of fields filled with yellow sunflowers
And straight paths filled with bloody red rose peddles
And sincere wishes and heartmeant kisses
And whispered fairytales by the dim candle light
Of us against the world, side by side
And fantasies about us as love driven rebels
And every season would feel like spring
And what we had was more than a fling
And jealous eyes would despise as we would rise
To slow dance under a beautiful sun in sapphire blue skies

And then…

The tears dried…

I could see…

Through the disguise…

And even though demons repeled like they had never repeled before
A smile was carved on my lips because I had been blessed
For the bleeding wounds on my soul I cared no more
My benediction had been answered and caused a contradiction
Angels given to me acknowledged an ancient prediction
I had never been religious but this was a newer kind of religion

And I believed
Oh, how I believed!

Beautiful creatures with hair curling like the clouds on a midsummer eve
Skin so soft and so beautiful that they resemble the great Buddha
Mantled in gold
Eyes as dark as a moonless night
Illuminated by stars of distant galaxies
All knowledge of humanity they behold
Voices as appealing as the deathly sirens of the seas
Singing songs and telling tales
In tongues that belong in the past that they prevail
And they never fail
To make my heart stop and beat faster at the same time
To make me cry as I honor them and realize that
Everything they do and everything they are
Is sublime

They make my laughter feel like complete happiness is all that remains
They make my cries feel like an absolute healing of ancient pains

In their embrace I wanna get lost everlastingly
The depths of their minds beholds omnicient intellligence
Which they apply wisely
They have a proclivity for tremendous creativity
Their empathy enforces their sensitivity towards the anguish of humanity
Their endless ability to reveal to me new paths to happiness
Mystify me
The truly unconditional love in their smiles
Keeps amazing me

Now I have to count my blessings no more
Because a touch of heaven has given me
More of paradise than I could ever hope for
Angels as pure as can be
Have chosen me
And therefor my womb became a holy shrine
And all the creatures in the netherworld and in the promised land allign
To worship my daughters
For they are
Truly divine

Copyright 2007 Poetic Seraph

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