Monday, December 28, 2009

What I've Learned this Year

"Put love where there is no love and you will find love."
I came across this quote recently from St. John of the Cross. It so captures all that I have learned over the past year and hope to put into practice moreso in this coming year.

There are a few people in my life who have made it so hard for me to love them. And yet. And yet I've seen miracles happen in my relationships with them that I have prayed for over the years. This year seemed to be my year of answered prayers. And if I learned one thing, it is this: Sometimes you just have to love someone where they are. They may not be where you want them to be. They may be selfish, or narcissistic, or just plain mean. But sometimes, even when someone is incapable of appreciating unconditional love, you can still love them. And this doesn't mean that you should go back for more abuse, or go out of your way to please them, or include them in your inner circle of Important People. This doesn't mean letting those boundaries down around the toxic people in your life. What this means is that you can offer kindness in every encounter, regardless of the other person's spiritual/emotional condition. You can go home knowing you did the right thing, knowing that you didn't add to the problem, that someday maybe they'll even recognize and appreciate the fact that you didn't aggravate the situation even when you had the chance.

This weekend, one of my closest family members visited. He hasn't come to see me or my son in over two years. We talk on the phone regularly, but I rarely see him, and his life has been one self-destructive decision after another. He's lost, and not always capable of loving me the way I love him, but I know that in his heart, he wants to love and be loved. I can't change his decisions, I can't change his lifestyle, and I can't change the fact that he hasn't always prioritized me the way I feel he should. But I can put love where there's been no love, and ever so slowly, I'm finding love.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Recession: it's a Good Thing

Okay, I'm tired of hearing all of the economists and TV pundits bemoaning what has become of our economy. I'm tired of reading all of the headlines that speculate about when exactly our nation's shopping obsession is going to start up again and when we can all take a collective sigh of relief and go back to being the spenders that got us here in the first place. Seriously, people.

Here's the deal. It was great that we had an economy and all, and I would love to see people employed again. I think it sucks that there aren't enough jobs and that people are struggling to get by. However. I've never known a time in my thirty-four years on this earth when people have been so thrifty, so fiscally responsible, so cool with the fact that they're not going on a shopping spree this Christmas season. According to some random news reports I've read lately, there are more handmade craft gifts this year than ever before. More families opting out of the gift-giving rat race and agreeing to exchange homemade gifts, single ornaments, or, gasp! nothing at all. Am I the only one who thinks that this recession might actually be good for us? If people are learning to scale back their spending, to turn in their SUV for a gas-efficient sedan, to give up the obnoxious 5,000sq ft McMansion, isn't this good for the soul? I think it's disgusting that the American economy was so damn reliant on all the average Joes out there shopping themselves into debt.

Years ago, I read the book Affluenza, which stated that our addiction to big spending was burning us out and that we needed to downshift our wants and reconsider what "the good life" was really all about. Isn't the good life about contentment? About wanting what you have and having what you want? Maybe I'm the only one who sees the good in this situation, but damn. Cutting up the credit cards and focusing your energy on simple pleasures instead of what model car your neighbors drive seems like a pretty good life to me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So I've Been Thinking...

About a Book Drive. Like, putting one together. I'm not sure how I'm going to go about it, but a few things happened last week to put this in my head.

1--I saw a KRON news report about a rich dude from the South Bay who donated dozens of dictionaries to high school students recently. He just said that he felt it was important and he realized that not enough students had dictionaries. So cool.

2--There is a woman in my area named Anna, who goes by the nickname "the Lemon Lady." She has single-handedly collected 13,000 pounds of fruit from people's yards (with permission) that were otherwise going to waste, and donated them to our local food pantries and shelters. Also so cool.

3--I was sitting there the other day reading to my two year old. He was enjoying it so much, and bringing me book after book to read to him, and I thought to myself about all the kids out there who have no books and no one to read to them. That really saddened me, and I realized that books are something that I am beyond passionate about. I've made my living around books. I grew up devouring them. They are a huge part of my life and I believe wholeheartedly that books have the power to change lives. Reading is what builds vocabularies, what opens minds, and what can transform a person's outlook. I also happen to think that people who read are just plain classier, but I guess I that makes me sound like a snob. Oh well.

So somehow, I'm going to get my hands on a ton of kid's books. And I'm going to find a shelter, or a school, or maybe even my local Crisis Nursery (yes, we have one, sad isn't it?), and I'm going to bring them those books. This is all still just a crude outline and I'd appreciate any ideas. I just feel this incredible need to bring.children.books. And soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Welcome back, Mama

I can't believe how long it's been since last I wrote. Six months, a new baby, and a multitude of computer issues later, here I am!

The holidays are upon us and I find myself burrowing into a new season, my favorite. What I'm realizing much more than in years past is how much my mom passed on to me. I never really saw it before, but I really sense her spirit when I bake for my loved ones, put out the holiday decorations that my son so enjoys, even just doing the laundry--it is all an act of love. I see that now. Realizing that fact is what got me through those early days of grief, and instead of dreading and avoiding the holidays, I chose to embrace them and throw myself totally into them. Call it sublimation, or redirecting of energy or whatever, it works.

As a mother, I'm seeing now for the first time how much of my mother is in me, especially when noticing how differently people "mother." I've been blessed with a multitude of awesome moms around me (aunts, cousins, relatives, and friends), and I've had the opportunity to see how much joy a mother can bring to her family when she chooses happiness and gratitude. I can't help but to compare the kind of mom I grew up with as opposed to, say, my MIL, who practices a *whole* different kind of 'love,' one of conditions, guilt, resentment, and seething, thinly veiled anger. How difficult it must be to live in a world like that. That said, I am incredibly grateful to have been born my mother's daughter. I am more committed than ever to be the kind of emotionally stable, honest, supportive mom that my mama raised me to be.

Later, gator.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Now That I Got *That* Out...

Okay, I'm done ranting. Promise. I'm hot tempered as it is, and these hormones are not helping.

In other news: One of my favorite people is coming home today! My husband's cousin (actually more like a sister) is returning after two months overseas. I've always been grateful to have her in my life, but I didn't realize how much I depended on those daily emails, phone calls, texts and general feeling that she was close by. She's like the sister I never had, and boy will it be great to have some tea and catch up! And what a relief that she'll be there for the birth of our second son just like she was for the first. Welcome home, duggy duggy!

Other than that, t.i.r.e.d. I can make it until about 3:00 before my dogs are barkin'. I was so glad that I was able to make it to a birthday party yesterday that started in the late morning...anything later than that and I would have had to stay home and nap. Although the birthday-hosts are good peeps and would have totally understood if I needed to stay home or lay down. And Kiran got to spend time with his favorite little people--his didi's. I'm so glad he has them and I want him to have the same kind of relationship with them as I've had with my cousins over the years--supportive, loving, and joyful.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Keep Your Pitocin to Yourself!

Allow me to vent a little about the medical community. Here are the stats: I'm 38 weeks pregnant, no complications. At my check up today, the nurse practitioner suggested that I start considering induction--because, you know, it would be easier to schedule labor around my 2 year old's routine. I call bullshit. Inductions are almost standard practice these days, not because the baby is in distress or because the mama is at risk or anything like that, but because the doctor needs to keep her appointment schedule running on time. This is also why most inductions are scheduled in the early evening--so that the doctor can deliver the babies in the off-hours, thus freeing up her daytime hours to attend to her overbooked office patient load. Going into natural labor just isn't time-efficient.

Secondly, inductions require pitocin, which leads to very painful contractions, and very often, higher C-section rates. It's a vicious cycle, and one that I want nothing to do with. I told my last doctor that I didn't want to induce, and I didn't. Thank goodness, I went into labor by 41 weeks. Anything past that and they'll practically force you to do it.

Here is my issue: I didn't go the midwife/home birth route because a) I like the idea of having an epidural available upon request, b) my insurance covers standard hospital births and I don't have cash to spare for a midwife, which is pricey. So for the moms like me, who want a hospital birth with the least amount of interventions, we're at the mercy of the medical community. If we go the home birth route, we're looking at a totally natural, drug-free birth, which while it's awesome, is not the route I'm looking to take. Why no middle road, people?

I resent today's appointment and the fear mongering that the professionals impose on us while we're hugely pregnant and in stirrups. Unless there is a clear medical reason for induction/C-section/pitocin, fuck off! Let me pre-labor and labor in peace and allow the female body to do what it is designed to do!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Getting my Craft On--and Fighting the Gender Machine

Alright, I've been in nesting overdrive lately. And I'm exhausted, which is not a good combination at all. So I decided that I could be productive and crafty all while sitting at my sewing machine. You can't beat that. So here are a few things that I've made over the last several days, mostly for the baby. (Some cool Dia de los Muertos oven mitts will be posted once I finish those.)

I've been feeling way too guilty for not making anything personal for Kiran before he was born, but hey--I had a lot going on. Plus, I'm sick of all the baseballs and trucks that the baby stores offer. I cruised the baby aisle at TJ Maxx yesterday and realized that one side of the aisle was completely pink, while the other side was totally blue. *big sigh* Really, people? So I guess since I can't afford the hip Rockridge boutiques with all their cool gender-neutral stuff, I'm making my own. Who says boy things can't be pretty? Craft on.

My first attempt at taggie blankets, said to be a hit with the newborns. We shall see.

Cheap diaper cloth sewn into burp cloth size and be-ribboned. Everything is better with ribbon, no?

A closer view

Love me some koi fish.

Rock on, little one. I guess we're naming him Naveen after all, or I've got some ripping out to do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The More you Have, the More you Have to Lose

Today's headlines included yet another story of financial ruin and suicide, as seen in this story.* Haven't there been something like 5 or 6 of these suicides in the past year? They all have the same things in common: they were all men, high up in the ranks of major financial institutions, and either lost everything, were accused of making other people lose everything, or lost enough to send them from being billionaires to 'mere' millionaires.

What saddens me is that this man, for example, felt badly enough about his financial loss that he preferred death to bankruptcy. That living like the rest of us was such a terrifying thought that he'd rather hang than have to downsize from a 10,000 square foot house to a 5,000 square foot house. He would rather leave his daughter without a father than lose out on his Freddie Mac shares. Oh the shame of it.

And it is easy to assume that he had issues with depression or anxiety prior to this, but it doesn't seem like these stories have anything to do with that. These guys are throwing themselves out of windows for one reason only: the recession. It amazes me that their spiritual lives and their sense of self are so fragile or nonexistent that losing money on stocks would send them over the edge. Not to mention an obvious lack of any kind of support network of family or friends. It makes me realize how blessed I am to have the friends and family that I have--I know that if I were penniless, I could show up on my friends' doorsteps and they'd take me in without judgment, and I would do the same for my friends. I can't imagine living a life devoid of human connection, of an inner life that takes a backseat to career or money misfortunes. I mean, seriously--this is the worst life has dealt them?

Not to downplay financial loss and how stressful that can be, but millions of average Americans have lost their homes, their jobs, their cars, or simply their annual vacations, and what do they do? They go on unemployment, they stay with family, they tell their kids that everything is going to be alright, even when they're terrified and unsure. Because being jobless is terrifying, and having a few dollars left in the bank at month's end is extremely stressful--but these men were in neither situation. When you're making billions a year, and get $300,000 bonuses, you'd think you'd have a little left over in the bank for a rainy day. How do they manage to piss away that much money? And what a wonderful life lesson to teach your children--fly them home from their boarding schools, explain to them that mommy and daddy won't be wintering in the Alps this year, that the nannies and kitchen staff are being let go, and that there is more to life.

There is something to be said for living simply.

*I figured out how to make pretty URLs!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Poor, poor Tracy.

While not my official hometown, it's close enough. And it seems that Tracy is having a rough time of it these days. First there was the Sandra Cantu story, which has been horrifying to hear. Then, gets wise to the Tracy theme and suddenly decides to report on this atrocity (,* which was reported months ago by the Stockton Record but suddenly has new appeal to Bay Area news sources no doubt because of the Tracy link. Something tells me that if anything untoward happens over the next several weeks in this unfortunate town, it will be all over the news. And no, it doesn't mean that Tracy is going to hell in a handbasket, it's just how the media works. They love their 'themes'.

The scariest thing about the Tracy doctor is that this is my mom's former employer--and was for several years. I mean, seriously, WTF? Sexual harassment is bad enough, but sexual battery? It would creep me out enough just having a doctor look at me sideways, but to have to worry about sexual battery is just insane!

Lastly, what cracks me up about this whole thing is that I'd love to hear what my mom's co-workers would have to say about all the recent news. I remember her telling me that the women in her office that were Tracy natives just loved to trash talk Stockton and point out all the reasons why they wouldn't go to Stockton after dark (how utterly ridiculous!), and how they would rather drive to Lodi than to Stockton to do their shopping. What made it even more ridiculous is that they would brag (!) about spending their weekends shopping "over the hill," meaning Dublin/Pleasanton. Somehow this was the ultimate in classy? This deserves another WTF, and I really don't use bad language anymore now that I'm a mom. But seriously, I'd love to hear what these women have to say about their town now. And I also love the fact that while Stockton gets trash talked aplenty, I can't think of any high profile crime cases that have taken place in Stockton like I can for Modesto, and now Tracy. At least the crime in Stockton is contained. Oh, my poor Central Valley.

*sorry, I can't do pretty URL links.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

rainy thoughts.

What a great break from the encroaching heat...and just when I had reconciled myself to the fact that the summer season is nearly here. It's 8am and I'm loving the water that drips off the ivy hanging outside my window...the storm clouds that hover overhead...the feel that I'm somehow closer to the ocean...If you're reading this, you know me, and if you know me you know that I detest the sun. I know it is the weirdest thing in the world and that most people absolutely live for the sun, but let's just say I won't be taking a tropical vacation any time soon. In fact, I'd much rather vacation in Harry Potter land. I love the feel of cool ocean air on my skin, the smell of the rain hitting the sidewalk, sitting at my window sipping English Breakfast while I read a one hundred year old trashy novel. This is probably our last rain of the season, so I'm relishing it before my summer blues hit again and I can no longer indulge my obsession with all things cozy. (And no, I'm not goth. Just a sympathizer.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Still Agonizing over a Name...

You know what I realized just now? That no matter what name we choose, we're going to get beef about it. If we go with an Indian name (leaning toward Naveen), most Americans are going to think it's wierd/exotic/unpronounceable. If we go with a typical American name, we're going to get lip from other people in our lives, who pretty much think everything other people do is weird. I'm already tired of explaining to people what we're naming him and why. I had this problem the first time around with Kiran, and here we go again. I guess we should only be making ourselves happy, but a little positive support would be good.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This Time will be Different.

Things will be so different this time around. As much as having Kiran was the best thing to ever happen to me, the circumstances were so difficult to overcome that I feel like I'm getting a second chance this time. Bringing Kiran home and beginning our lives together was exhilarating, but I can't help to look back on all the ways in which his birth was the hardest time of my life.

For one thing, I was still in the middle of tremendous grief, having lost my mom just six months prior. I mean, preggo hormones are bad enough without dealing with the shock of losing a mother and becoming a mother in such a short time. What compounded the loss was the fact that I was left in charge of cleaning out her house (my childhood home), settling her financial affairs (pain in the arse), and driving back and forth to Stockton by myself with a five-week-old to meet with estate lawyers--all in the first sweltering days of Stockton's early summer. Needless to say, I did a lot of nursing in parking lots along I-5, in law offices and any air-conditioned lobby I could find. Looking back, I realize how strong I had to be, not only to be dealing with the fourth trimester without a mom to guide me through, but to handle so much of the legal aftermath of her death just after giving birth. As long as I'm on this rant, I was also living in a 900 sq ft apartment with no air conditioning and no laundry machine. Suffice it to say, hearing other new moms actually complain about how hard the fourth trimester was, while their moms were doing their laundry and making them meals, made me want to punch something. I honestly don't know how I got through the summer of 2007.

Alright, enough of the pity pot. This time things are going to be Completely Different. Although the grief is still strangely fresh, I can handle it given the fact that I'm not actually faxing death certificates and canceling my mom's bank accounts. I'm in an actual house with a laundry machine, a/c, and a yard, for one. How great is that? I know what I'm doing this time and won't struggle through breastfeeding like I did with Kiran. I'm emotionally capable of telling my mother-in-law where the door is, and I actually know other moms that I can talk to if things are getting tough. I feel so much more capable of being a better mom this time than the last. While so many people say that their relationship was more relaxed with their second child, I feel like I'm getting a second chance at having a first.

My plan is simple. I'm going to spend the entire summer gazing into this little boy's eyes and leisurely nursing him in the comfort of my home instead of frantically driving to my hometown to settle paperwork or deal with probate crap. I'm not doing anything that my extended family is capable of doing themselves, and I'm not going to over-extend myself in any way. In other words, I'm going to burrow into my little nest for the summer and pamper my new little family, including myself. I am so grateful that this little boy will have my full attention, my groundedness, my sanity. This time will be different.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's in a Name?

The answer: I don't know, since we still haven't picked one out.

We had just as hard a time picking out Kiran's name, which means 'ray of light' in Hindi. Given that I had just had a very dark year, he was indeed my ray of light. This time around, I'm still stumped. I've looked at lists of Spanish names to represent my side of his heritage, but I hate all the Spanish names I've seen. I mean, there are about ten male Spanish names that are used over and over again, and does the world really need another Miguel?
American names are okay, but the naming websites are ridiculously full of Aidens, Braedens, and Jadens. So. We are back to considering Indian names, which we weren't going to do a second time, but there you have it.

We have a list going, and although I know that most parents are pretty tight-lipped about their naming choices prior to the birth, I'm putting ours out there and asking--no, begging--for advice and suggestions. So...In order of preference (the top names R and I have both agreed to liking), here is the name roll....I will even post a poll for you to vote on which you like best! Because my brain is overloaded with names and I have no sense left to make a good decision.

Naveen (means 'new' in Hindi. Also reminds most people of Naveen Andrews, but I'm not complaining.)
Ashwin (means 'first star at twilight' in Hindi, as well as being the name of Sarah McLauchlin's ex-husband. We would probably call him Ash, which sounds like a cool rocker name, a plus in R's book.)
Kai (vaguely ethnic, which is what our kid would be. My reservation is that it would be a bit too matchy with Kiran)
Avi or Ravi (Avi would probably be short for Avinash, a popular Indian boy's name)
Rohan (means 'to attain great heights' in Sanskrit; also a Lord of the Rings reference)

Okay, that's all we've got. And I've got about twelve weeks to decide.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bad Mama

So I've gone against the grain and decided not to have a big traditional birthday party for my 2 year old son. Well, make that any party. We will be instead taking him to a kid's discovery museum with one of his best little toddler friends, which I personally think he'll get more out of. Several things factored into my decision: that I'm hauling around an extra 30 pounds that make me feel achy, tired, and out of breath, that he's 2 and doesn't even know it is his birthday, that I have no energy to clean the house before and after a party, and that kids' birthday parties always somehow fascinated and repelled me. I guess this makes me the worst mother of the year. Or ever. Next year, when he's writing his own guest list, I'm sure I'll do the suburban mom thing and order personalized plates and napkins. But never a jumpy house--never, ever a jumpy house. Someone please stop me if I start considering one of those things. We don't have a big enough yard anyway. Perhaps I'm just new to all of this. When I was growing up, my family's idea of a birthday party was about 75 people at Victory Park (that's in Stockton, y'all) with some barbecued something-or-other, a pinata from El Dorado market, a bunch of kids with fruit punch stains on their faces, and a large amount of beer--Budweiser and a cheap Mexican label. I'm just not on board yet with the personalized decorations, the hand-packaged party favors, and all the stress involved.
*Sigh* I am the worst mother of the year. My poor son.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Visions of Evenweave Dance in my Head...

After visiting a needlepoint shop with some crafty friends this weekend, I am all fired up to start making something, but what? I really like the idea of re-purposing, so if it can involve a trip to my local Salvation army that would be a plus. Also, it should involve yummy fabric. The possibilities are endless and I want to start something that I've never done before: I'm currently obsessed with the idea of making a penny rug, as I'm going through a New England/American Primitive stage right now, but I've always wanted to learn Hardanger, or maybe a blackwork sampler, perhaps a Bargello seat cover, or oh! Assisi work...What's a girl to do? I guess I should attack my stash closet and see what I've already got.
Here are some pictures for those not familiar with these lovely arts.

(a wool penny rug)

Hardanger work, in which individual strands of the linen are pulled out to create the openwork.)

(Elizabethan Blackwork--this would take me, like a year.)

(Assisi work--like Ukrainian embroidery. Good for tablecloths, frame borders, and other piecework and pretty simple.)

A Bargello pillow, also comes in 'flamework' style which is very cool. I'm thinking of making chair covers or some kind of upholstery in this style. Super easy to stitch up.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of things I've actually sold through my etsy shop. I look at them to remind myself that yes, I am capable of finishing a project.

(Pennsylvania Dutch style piece commissioned by my friend R! I'm currently working on the next one she ordered)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

They're Everywhere!

I'm revisiting this topic, of which I wrote about in an old blog I used to keep, because it still bewilders me. Tip jars, that is. I suddenly noticed that *every single* cafe countertop in the Bay Area has one of the ubiquitous tip jars. And with plenty of stickers and witty signages, of course, to draw your attention.

It used to be less common and because of that I would actually tip the person if they were unusually kind. But now *everyone* has a tip jar, even the indifferent donut shop owner on the corner. And some of those jars have $5 bills in them!!! Why would I tip someone who has rendered as simple a service as ringing up the bill? Especially when *that's their job*?!?!? And why would I essentially spend $5 for a cup of coffee each morning?

Is it just me, or is everyone looking for a handout these days, and not even trying to earn it? I mean, I realize stuff is expensive these days and we're all struggling to get by, but I'd love to see what my library patrons would have said if I had plunked a tip jar on the check-out desk. That's right, I'd like a tip--just for doing my job.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I always knew...

About a year ago, I had a dream that someone (angel? spirit guide?) whispered to me that there was a little boy waiting for me, and that as soon as I was ready for him, he was ready to come to me. We were still a good six months from deciding that we were ready for number two yet, so I hastily shelved the idea to the netherregions of my mind.

However, as crazy as this may sound, I always knew I would be the mom of two boys. It was a feeling I had deep inside, and when the ultrasound tech told me that there would be another little boy coming home with us, I couldn't stop the tears. Maybe it is because I grew up with so many women, perhaps it is because I just lost my mom and with her, a very complex mother-daughter relationship and am not sure I want to transfer over any of my issues to a daughter, perhaps it is because I am burned out on all the princess stuff out there, but whatever it is, it just feels right. It is strange, because so many of my acquaintances (not so much my friends, who know me well), assume that we'd want a girl, since we hadn't had one yet. But to be honest, a part of me breathed a big fat sigh of relief to hear the word "boy." I realized in that moment that I was actually afraid of having a girl, afraid of re-living so much of what I went through with my mom and afraid that a relationship with a daughter would never be able to compare to the love my mom and I shared. Whatever it was, I didn't realize it was there until we found out that we were safe with another boy. And for me, it is more about this particular soul and his place in our lives than it is about his gender. Kiran is so much more than just a male baby--he is a nurturing, compassionate, loving little boy--which is more than I can say for some women I've met! Seriously, though, I feel such a sense of sureness and rightness about this second son that I can't imagine wanting anyone else but him.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Message to Divorced Baby Boomers

I was watching Dr. Phil this afternoon and he featured a woman who is showcasing all the classic elements of a mid-life crisis: she recently left her overbearing husband and is now enjoying life while living in a camper tent with her younger boyfriend. She claims she is happy because she is living her own dream and no longer tied to all the material things that supposedly bogged her down. Her daughters, all in their 30s, are very concerned and thus appearing on Dr. Phil.

This is something that has been bugging the shit out of me for some time now, as I have parents who divorced once the kids were "out of the house." This seems to be a pattern with baby boomers, and it needs to stop. Message to divorced parents of grown children: Just because your kids are out of the house and living on their own does not give you the license to stop being parents. It kills me to see how many people of my parent's generation pat themselves on the back for enduring a marriage until their children became adults, then jump off the deep end, all the while congratulating themselves on 'waiting' until their kids were grown. Children, no matter what age, need stability and guidance from their parents!!! You cannot throw away your marriage, hook up with a new boyfriend or girlfriend and go on road trips like you're 20 again, you cannot move to a trailer park for the novelty of it, you cannot sell your children's childhood home and not expect it to pain them. I mean, WTF??? You made the decision to become a parent, and even if it was 30 years ago, you are still held to that decision. You are still a parent, and it is your responsibility to create a stable, loving, safe home for your children, where ever they happen to be living.

I understand the need to re-discover yourself after 30 years of marriage--so take a watercolors class, go on a cruise with your old friends, or pick up yoga. But do not abandon your life, because you are abandoning everything that your children have grown to expect from you, and YES, they still need you to be their parent. In other words, grow the hell up and do the job you decided you wanted to do decades ago. It is still your job, no matter how much you think you've outgrown it. You are not 20 years old and free to live life only for yourself! You had your chance, and you chose marriage and children. No matter how old a child gets, they still need their parents to be solid and sure, not running around making a fool out of themselves. Seriously.

/end of rant.