Thursday, July 26, 2012

Downstream (from some Filth)


Two women were playing at the park with their combined nine children, all under the age of six it looked like. I was surprised and gathered that maybe they were a day care or babysitters but wasn't entirely certain of this.

I have four children and I'm the oldest of five so it shouldn't be surprising to me that other people have large families, but these women seemed potentially younger than me and there were no cars other than ours in the parking lot, this park being a little further out than most people would walk to and being they would be walking past two other parks in the interim. Magic women with their many children and their little red wagons.

They were an odd pair as well, the younger of the two had a giant belly and huge arms but tiny little legs and was wearing a very well worn lavender tank top and baggy black sweat-shorts. She had very blond hair pulled back in a little bitsy pony tail that stuck out like a bundle of straw on the back of her head. She had fairly nice features, a broad mouth and light eyes that turned up at the outside corners and I could see her being very pretty if she was took better care of herself.

The older of the two or at least it seemed that way, had a baby on one hip and was so thin it looked as though she might collapse under the infant's weight at any moment. She had a short severe bob which was dyed a very shiny black and wore one of those hemp necklaces I never liked and never understood being that number one, they're ugly as hell and number two, they seem like they would actually hurt your neck wearing them. The one thing I kept noticing about this woman was that her elbows jutted out at such an impossible angle it made me stare, look away and stare again. I came away from literally staring at this woman being sure she suffered from some kind of bone disease or something of that sort to induce those odd elbows.

As is my nature I stayed back a distance from the odd couple and their many children, walking Blueberry around the perimeter of the park while I kept an eye on my children with their buckets wading in the stream.

After a while the women brought their monster of a group to the stream and my children retreated away from the chaos in order to better catch crayfish. But inexplicably I stayed down stream for a wee bit after starting to pick up snippets of the women's conversation.

They spoke loudly and laughed often but the topic of their conversation was more for hushed tones and embarrassed glances in my opinion. They were talking about how the heavier blonde woman was "fucking her neighbor" who, and this gets much, much more interesting and horrible, is "like Danny's age, 10th grade!"

They continued to laugh and the thin woman is not as shocked as she should be and the children are uninterested but are completely able to hear the women's conversations. Oblivious they start to disperse towards the muddier bank across the shallow stream.

"I made him go down on me for a half hour, I didn't even feel anything. He wasn't very good at it." the blonde said unabashadly, her hefty breasts and arms shaking with laughter.

No shit he wasn't good at it you giant disgusting oaf! He's 15 years old.

I have a 15 year old sister and two younger brothers who were 15 not so long ago. I have four children who I wouldn't want assaulted by an older neighbor woman and then treated so entirely callously. I was starting to get so mad but instead of saying something or doubling around the park and meeting my own children upstream I instead wandered around the area where the two continued their cacophonous carrying on about this boy.

"Did he come really fast? Like in his pants?" The thin woman's eyes were greedy with interest. She did to her credit drop her voice slightly when saying this.

"Not really, no. Actually he didn't come at all, I didn't let him screw me." The blonde woman said with pride, "I've got enough kids already to deadbeat baby daddy's!"

It's called contraceptives you pig. So this poor boy had to force himself between this beast's legs and he doesn't even get to get off?

I was tempted to called Child Protection Services or the police or my mom or Jeremiah but I don't. For some reason I came closer to the women and the children, reigning in Blueberry's leash a little tighter. I can't think of any excuse to talk to the women, so I just stand there and wait till they notice me. Blueberry barks finally at the children splashing wildly now and the women turn and look at me.

The thinner one takes me in and smirks, then bounces the baby on her hip and stares me down. The blonde woman is not so bold and with increasing awareness of my appearance and her own, her behavior and my own and how I had obviously heard their entire conversation and that's why I was now staring at the two in disbelief she turns her back and actually hangs her head. She moves into the stream with the children and sits on the muddy bank and begins to play with the youngest toddler, now covered almost entirely in mud.

The sight of the muddy child makes me remember my own children suddenly who were still in sight but further away than I was comfortable with. I turn my back on the woman and the thin woman, still staring at me says under her breath to the blonde woman, "Some people have more money than sense."

Which makes no sense whatsoever.

I didn't counter this nonsense laden remark, I did however chuckle mightily when I wrote it just now.

MORE MONEY THAN SENSE! How about more morals than filthiness? More integrity than slimeballishness? 

More sense than senselessness.

When we left the park and made our way past them I didn't glance their way but Rosey said to me in hushed tones, "Momma those ladies scare me, I feel bad for those kids!"

I do too Rosey.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Re-Introduction of Me

In order to get back on the blogging train (woo woo) (did I really just say woo woo?) (this isn't really going exactly as planned) I thought it might be a good idea to reintroduce myself.

But then I considered the fact that most of my 'good ideas' generally turn out to be bad ones and thus...

I decided to reintroduce myself anyways.

My name is Erin, I am older than previously imagined and I have been maintaining this blog, a bastion of sanity and often sole pillar of my sense of community for four years. I started the blog to keep in touch with my extended family and friends instead of constantly emailing them photos and stories about my children and then it became a window to share first my side handmade crocheted gifts business, then my very part time freelance editing and writing, then my more full time freelancing, fiction writing and warehouse of writing samples for my resume.

AND THEN I got my first full time job ever a few months before I turned 30. I work at home as a German to English translator and transcriptionist. It's hard.

I have four children. I share custody of my daughters Rosey, Olive and Maxine Jane with my ex husband.

My son Elijah lives with my partner Jeremiah and myself full time and recently we added a puppy to our family and the children named her Blueberry. 

She pees when she's excited, which is often.

This is me and that puppy who's luckily not peeing on me in the photo:

My oldest daughter Rose is 12. She's sporty and lovely and most of the time she's uptight and more uptight and yes, uptight. She's a perfectionist and easily stressed. I encourage her to drink more water and take deep breaths which stresses her out even more. She also happens to be incredibly kind and empathetic, I find myself in awe of her sweetness on a day to day basis.

Her sister Olive at 9 couldn't be any more different. She's artistic and generally laid back, sometimes too much so and likes to relax, sing, relax, draw, write stories, lay around and not pay attention to anything anybody else is saying ever, especially when it concerns her chores. She's a flighty and wonderful human being.

My seven year old daughter Maxine Jane is as I often call her, 'the love of my life, bane of my existence'. She has always been a sensitive, generally difficult little thing and because of this I've spent most of my life the last seven years caring for her and helping her overcome a lot of her issues. She's now a much more well rounded little girl, happier, healthier and yes, unfortunately still prone to incredibly horrifying fits. Despite or maybe because of all of this I adore her and so would you. 

My baby boy one is four years old and was a wee babe when I started writing this blog. I love that I have this little journal online recounting his existence on this earth. He is a happy, funny and delightful little boy with a creative mind and a quick tongue (albeit sometimes he is impossible to understand, a product of infant hearing loss that is now repairing). He's the joy of my every day.

My life partner Jeremiah is a mercurial and deeply talented man who I absolutely adore. We were teenage sweethearts that broke up and in a fit of madness rekindled our romance years later. Let's just say it was much, much, much better at 26 and 29 than at 16 and 19.

So was reintroducing myself a good thing or a bad thing? I feel so-so about it. And I think I need a nap.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summertime Blues

Turning 30 didn't work out too well for me. I had usually been of a pretty bright, optimistic and generally rosy disposition until then and that is when a creeping malaise set in to my skull.

Or maybe it began directly after my birthday when my beloved grandmother died? 

Or maybe it began soon after my grandmother died when I went through the most incredibly difficult and heartbreaking (and achingly personal) experience of my whole entire life?

Who knows. All I am sure of is that my energy is sapped from time to time, I wallow in buckets of self pity more often than I ever have and worst of all, I can be bombarded with waves of body drenching sadness that although it is usually easy to overcome still depresses me because of it's blasted existence.

I have a ukulele and before I started making dinner last night I began learning a new song, "I Can't Make You Love Me" originally done by Bonnie Raitt and recently redone by Bon Iver, either way I've always loved that song. And of course it makes me cry. Then I became overwhelmed while making dinner because the puppy and the boy child were directly underfoot in our tiny kitchen and would follow me in and out of the house as I went back and forth to the grill and then back to the kitchen. So I was frustrated, already tender from the dumb song playing and then every time I would pass the game room where Jeremiah was blissfully napping on the way out to the grill, boy and puppy in tow I would get angry.

Then the combination of sadness, frustration and anger starting boiling around in my head for the rest of the night while I thought over and over again, 'I like my job, it's fulfilling, I adore my children and am proud to care for them, I share custody and it's a wonderful thing, and although I share custody I handle all my daughters' school work, medical needs/insurance and all of their clothes and shoes purchases/cleaning and that's just fine, I am happy to take care of my home and it's occupants, budget our finances and take the blame when absolutely anything goes wrong in the confines of my increasingly burdened responsibilities, but this boat is taking on too much water and if someone doesn't bail me out I will surely go under. Say that ten times fast.

By the end of writing this short and whiny bit on my long neglected blog I have already started to feel better. Maybe this whole process of catharsis via blogging is more important than I had recently assumed.