Today the kids and I were gone for 12 hours. We went to Sacramento for a field trip. We didn’t really talk to many folks from the charter school but we did enjoy the Crocker Art Museum. The docent we toured with was 71 and super entertaining and had super fun hair and visible neat tattoos and she was just awesome. She was thrilled that my kids already knew terms like impressionism and realism and cubism. She said no kid has ever known about cubism before so I’m doing something right.
Dude, it’s on Khan Academy…
I like talking to my kids about art. It’s the most friendly introduction to art I’ve ever had.
We had an emotional day. Both kids are acting rubbed raw and sensitive and fussy and ugh. Both kids keep pushing the other’s buttons. Both kids are being insensitive and they are shaming one another and it really sucks. We are talking about it but it’s a tough phase. When we talk through, “So you did x. Why? What did you hope to gain? What actually happened?” They always spontaneously realize that they did something shitty and they should apologize… but we had to go through this process like 7 times today and I’m fucking worn out.
I’m really impressed that both kids can have me say, “So what you did was x” and then they can fill in most of the other blanks. “When I said/did x it probably made my sibling feel _____ and that’s not very kind. I wouldn’t want them to do the same thing to me. I should apologize.”
That’s good and all, I’m glad they can do that… BUT I’D LIKE TO GO A DAY WITHOUT HAVING TO GO THROUGH THIS FUCKING PROCESS MORE THAN HALF A DOZEN TIMES. I’M REALLY GOD DAMN TIRED AND EMOTIONALLY SPENT AND BEING FUCKING NICE ABOUT THIS IS HARD.
We need to go back to the museum because we didn’t get through half the exhibits and they were really neat. We have free passes. If only it weren’t in fucking Sacramento.
On the way home we stopped to visit Aunt Candy. She is Noah’s mother’s sister. She’s the entomologist who sends us the cool bug stuff for the kids. She also sends a huge box of candy at every possible holiday occasion because she has no children or grandchildren and she has an incredibly stable/comfortable life.
I like talking to Aunt Candy and Aunt Cookie (Aunt Cookie is the one who sends the boxes of cookies every year from Oregon.) about Noah’s family. Today Candy was telling me about how she and Cookie and Uncle Nod (the brother in the family) spent all of Noah’s childhood talking about how unfairly he was treated and cursing the school system for tormenting him. Apparently Nod spent most of Noah’s childhood a few inches away from going to the school to hit kids. Nod was very angry about how Noah was treated as a kid. He wanted to get involved and did not believe that Noah’s mom would permit it without being nasty to Noah as a result so he stayed out of it.
She reflected that Noah’s siblings (at least the boys) are better at fitting in to the small shitty town dynamic and Noah’s just… different. Candy was saying that she thinks that part of Noah’s problem is that he is too much like his mother and she never fit in there too. Really Noah’s mother’s entire family didn’t fit in that well in the shitty town and Candy speculated that Noah was treated badly in school partially because of the halo of people remembering Candy and Cookie and Nod.
I asked Candy if she felt her family was physically warm. She was adamant that they are not. Only Cookie is a hugger and everyone else feels really bothered by her desire for physical touch. She said that Noah was an incredibly touch starved little kid and he radiated sadness for most of his life. She was glad he got out at 17 and never really came back.
Before we left for the trip this morning I was talking to EC. I don’t remember the exact framing of how this came up but she mentioned that Noah and I wouldn’t care if we had a boy or a girl or another enby. I told her that it is true that we will be thrilled with any child we get… but we do kind of want a boy and that’s complicated. She asked me why a boy would be different.
I told her that having her has been very healing for me because I have been able to see a little girl get the things I desperately needed. That fills a hole in my heart that pretty much nothing else has filled. It’s different for Noah because he felt like he grew up watching little girls get what he couldn’t get so she doesn’t fix the same wound in him. He would probably benefit from watching a little boy grow up getting kisses and hugs and being told that crying is healthy and ok. He would see himself reflected. He would have a way to give what he couldn’t get and that’s a big deal. I also told her that I have issues with men and boys that are hard for me to get over. I believe that if I had a son I would have to confront the fact that I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that this child has never hurt me or any other woman and I would have to learn how to trust and extend gentleness to little boys in a way that is currently really really hard for me. I’d be thrilled to have another daughter or enby… but there’s a hole in my heart that I think a boy would fill in a different way. And that sounds disgusting but I don’t mean it like that.
She kind of thought about that and said “hunh. I guess that makes sense.”
But I have the best damn girl’s name I can imagine lined up so I’m going to be really kind of bummed if I don’t get to use it. So a boy isn’t the be-all-end-all. We talked about the dictionary definition of the middle name we like and she agreed that any little kid would be lucky to carry that name. IT’S SO COOL.
I have a friend’s little sister to thank for the inspiration. I love my friends and their little sisters and the fact that they share their little sisters with me. I’m a lucky bitch.
This weekend the only thing we have scheduled is book club. Nobody finished the book. Ha. So we are going to get together to talk about the first half and I suspect Noah will read us a chapter (he’s so damn good at reading out loud… he can make lists of names of organizations sound interesting). We are definitely going to finish Uninvited Neighbors and I think I will read it a few more times before I internalize more of what it is really saying. It’s super dense and full of facts. It’s about the migration of Black folk to and from the San Jose area and it’s really fascinating. The chapter we were just reading spends a lot of time talking about Warm Springs and that’s… 3 miles from my house. This is real California history. The part that is usually hushed up. It’s wonderful only it’s kind of disgusting to read just how awful people like me act. The book is well researched and documented. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who lives in this valley. This is our story, this is our history.
Random topic shift. If you have not heard the new Kesha album… you should. I only dislike one song on it. My favorites are: Rainbow, Woman, Praying, and Learn to Let Go. I like more of the songs on the album… but those are the ones that I keep hitting repeat on.
There’s big emotional stuff I’m just… not writing about. I don’t know how to frame it. I don’t know what to say. I am not sure I understand what I feel. But I know that I need to find a way to put words to pieces of it or I’m not going to get past this cycle of feeling like a piece of shit who should die. This is going to be really hard because it’s going to involve saying things about my marriage I don’t feel ok about saying.
I’m scared of yet more backlash. I’ve already kind of fucked everything up. If I do more to defend myself what else is going to come crashing down on my head? Shutting up and just continuing to feel like shit will do less to make my life come to an end. I’m really not ready for it to be all my fault I lost everything.