The Kool-Aid Questions – How Low Can You Go?

I started thinking. Every time I say that, I hear “Danger. Danger Will Robinson.” I also see in my head the the robot flailing dryer hoses as arms – my mind is a fun place to be. I tried to find a clip on YouTube with waving arms – no luck.

Parenthood is a series of decisions. Some good, some not so good. I frequently wonder (because I am insane, probably) if this is the decision that will send my kid to ruin. If I let her color her hair with Kool-Aid, will she hang out with the wrong kids, do drugs, go to jail and break my heart? If I take away his pacifier too soon, will I cause him to look for oral gratification in other ways, hang out with the wrong kids, do drugs, go to jail and break my heart.  If I let him have a pacifier, am I teaching him to do drugs, smoke, or drink? If I let her go out with that boy I don’t like, will she run away and get pregnant before she graduates high school? If I don’t let her go out with a boy I don’t like….it never ends – I told you my head is a fun place to be.

Seriously, though – I have let go of my expectations of most things, making me more peaceful and content. But, have I let go of too much?

I woke up this morning in a great mood. It is Easter. My kids are with their dad; I have no plans for any holiday celebration as I have to work. But, that got me to thinking and thanking. I am thankful for all the money I saved on a traditional Easter meal, since I do not have to prepare one. I am thankful for not having to spend time when any assholes (yes, there are assholes at work, but I get paid for that shit) that are not related to me (link prior blog). I am thankful I no longer am sad when I wake up on a holiday with no plans. I didn’t have to clean my house or plan or shop. It was about here where I wondered if I should be sad?

Leaving all of the religious, faithful arguments out of it – am I ruining my children as well as contributing to the continual tearing of the fabric of american families? I have let go of the significance of the date and celebrate these events when it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I also have let go of traditions, because some traditions don’t translate when there are only 3 of you. Why would I create an entire traditional holiday meal for 3 when 2 will complain and not want to eat most of that meal? We don’t eat that way (heavy comfort foods) the rest of the time. The meals cost a ton, too many leftovers for me to eat alone, etc. Plus, no cooking, cleaning, etc. When there is a holiday, we talk about options and then we pick one.

At first I worried, that I wasn’t giving my kids enough traditions, but to be honest – I’m a single mom who owns a home, and works 3 jobs. My life is easier because I don’t have to do: X (or my X – ha)  I save hours and $$$ every time we go out to eat when a holiday calls for a traditional meal.

Because this is too much to think about on a Sunday, i called my sister on the way to work – she’s like – well, families are broken, things change. We talked about our childhood. Mom was a “there is always room” kinda mom. You could bring anyone home without a pre-plan. You would only get in trouble if there wasn’t enough food. And, there was always enough food. Some families stick to family on holidays. Not my mom – everyone is welcome. We invited anyone who may be a holiday orphan. I thought that is what everyone did. Yeah – not so much. I’ve spent a lot of lonely holidays (see – it wasn’t always like this). Some of our favorite memories from living at home were spending our holidays with whatever family was around and whatever friends were orphaned – at my moms best friend’s house. We reminisced about that and I had a realization.

All of those holidays as a family with friends – began when my moms bestie got divorced – she was the first in their group. About the same time, my grandparents had stopped coming at holidays and older siblings had married and moved. It was simple, if we had out of towners coming, we stayed home and invited anyone. If we didn’t, we hung out with moms best friend and whomever was orphaned at her house.  From that broken family, joyous and love filled holidays ensued.

One of the hardest things about my divorce was breaking up with my holidays and all of my traditions. Some I redesigned. Some are ever changing. One of my closest friends grew up with no family she says (we disagree, but I digress). It was definitely broken. She has done everything she can to instill traditions into her daughter’s life. She is a great mom. Makes me wonder if I am doing the right thing. 

I personally feel freer, happier, and more content. I don’t have a check list of things we must do in order to have a happy holiday. I take it as it comes. Its been a crazy month or so. My kids and I haven’t even discussed an alternate plan for Easter. I am going to go shop the sales for candy tomorrow and they will get their “basket.” And, that may be all. And this is okay.  It wasn’t easy getting here. I just hope I’m not fucking everything up for my kids.