Thursday, September 23, 2010

Change, Change Everywhere

I got this e-mail today telling me that my very close relative - oh, please hold while I switch back to my e-mail so that I may copy and paste his name.  Bear with me, you'll understand in a mo' - MR.HATEM KAMIL ABDUL FATAH - yes, can you see how I keep forgetting his name?  But we're very, very close.  Tragically, he was shot dead in Iraq and by some crazy twist of fate I am his next of kin.  All I have to do is send a *small* processing fee and I am entitled to 37.6 million dollars. 

It's come at the right time.  I mean, how do things like this happen just the very time you need them?

For instance, the past two weeks have been near hell for my little guy.  Every morning he has cried, he has begged me to let him stay home from school, "just this once, mommy and I'll never ask again."  I've even been on the verge of saying okay just to put his little mind at ease.  We thought things were looking up when he got moved to a classroom with his best friend and away from the 'bully' teacher.  We were so happy. 

Subsequently, the past two weeks have been near hell for me as well.  It is horrible to have to pry your child's arms from around your waist as he begs you not to leave him.  And then as he chases you down as you're leaving the classroom.  And then you leave him still crying, while of the little brats in his class says, '"Is he crying again?"  You know what, kid?  I'll give you something to cry about and then we'll see how it feels, okay?  And the whole new class was great until I saw the list of kids in his class.  Now I don't think I would have even given it a second thought if I hadn't volunteered so much last year.  I wouldn't have even known.  But as I started to read the list of names, it hit me.  Q was put in the 'slow' class.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I mean, I know he's no genius, but slow?  No.  It couldn't be. 

I'm having huge guilt issues.  HUGE.  And maybe this will give you a little further insight into why...

Me:  Q, I just don't understand it.  Mommy loved school when she was a little girl.  I got to learn new things, I got to play with my friends. 

Q:  Oh.  And did your mom work four to midnight every day too?

Me:, she didn't....

Q:  Well, I guess that's the difference then, isn't it?

Damn, why does this kid have to be so intuitive?  Way to pick up on my weakness and then pick on it. 

I haven't put my baby to bed for the past two and half years.  I haven't made him dinner (and who knows how much dinner I would have actually made were I here)  save for a vacation here or a weekend there.  My child is shuffled from Nana to Uncle to Alice to Roberta and then back again.  Do not get me wrong here, these people love my little guy to pieces.  They're wonderful, wonderful people who we are lucky enough to have in our lives.  And I thank my lucky stars every single day that we have them and that they play such supportive roles when I cannot be there.  The point is, they're not me.  They're not Mommy. 

How does single mommy support her child financially and emotionally?  How do I provide for him?  How do I make sure he'll succeed emotionally and educationally?  How do I make sure he doesn't end up in the 'slow' class?  Which, by the way, I think it's very important to mention that he is not in fact in the slow class.  I flat out asked his non-bully teacher tonight at 'Meet the Teacher' night.  She assured me that he absolutely was not in the 'slow' class, but that children were evenly distributed based on a number of different attributes and no one class is slower.  Well, with the exception of the grade 1/2 split.  But those grade oner's can read and sh#!...they're the geniuses, let me tell ya.  Now that I think of it, I probably totally offended the teacher by my question.  But whatever, I feel way better about my child's education now that it's "out" there, and I know he's not in the slow class.

Wow, that was a tangent, wasn't it?  Back to my rant.  How do I support my child?  I do what every other single (and probably not so single) momma does.  I sacrifice for the greater good.  I just didn't think it would be so hard of me.  I bid on a night shift position at work, and woot woot, I'm the lucky owner of this horrid, horrid midnight to 8 am shift. 

I will be able to pick my boy up every day from school, make him dinner and tuck him into bed at night.  Part of me is super, super excited.  Part of me is terrified of leaving the employees I've come to love and care for.  I've invested so much in them and my job.  It's the middle of the action.  I'm going to the 'behind the scenes' job that doesn't exactly keep you awake in the middle of the night.  I'm afraid of the change.  I'm terrified of change.  In general.  Specifically, it scares the pants right off me.  So many "what if's" and not one answer until you're actually there, in the midst of all the change.  And by then, well by then it might be too late.  I just have to keep reminding myself whom I'm doing it for. 

But c'mon, what parent doesn't sacrifice for their child?   Every parent does it at some time in their life.  I just happen to be the one who talks about how horrible she feels for being so selfish.  I gotta do what I gotta do for my kid, and it was super sweet to pick him up from school and make him dinner tonight.  Bedtime was a lil bit of a battle, but no kid is perfect, right?

I'm going to save his guilt trip for when he's like, thirty.  You know, the whole "how could you do this to your motha.  Do you know what I gave up for you?  Do you?  Do you?  I gave up sleep so you could have your motha at home with you.  And this is how you repay me?"  Oh ya, I've worked it all out in my head. 

Anywho...back to the whole 'won the lotto when my long lost Iraqi relative died and left me $37.6 mill'.  Well, dude it's about effin' time.  I'll be able to afford the nanny and the maid and the chef and the tutor and all the bells and whistles. 

Mostly, though...I'll just be there for my little love. 

It just goes to show that you just never know...yourself, even.  I always thought I was half British, half Newf, with ancestors from Ireland, Scotland, etc.  But Uncle...erm...uh, hang on...MR.HATEM KAMIL ABDUL FATAH, well may he rest in peace.

post blog note:  Don't worry folks.  I'm pretty darn street smart, if I do say so myself and I can see thru a scam from at least a mile away.  I have not sent my life savings to a p.o. box in Iraq while dreams of sugar plams dance in my head...


  1. As a fellow night shift working momma... I can totally relate to this post. I work two days on and then two graveyard shifts... I spend my life trading my shifts and juggling my schedule all in the name of trying to provide some stability for my little peanut. It is draining... and stressful. I sooo hate the night shift... but with five days off in between it is pretty hard to let go.... sacrafice is what we do... I am forever beating myself up when someone else gets to put my little one to bed.... anyhow... now i've rambled... just wanted to say... I feel your stress... the stress of trying to provide financially all the while being there for them... its a fine line... I'm still trying to find a bit of balance and the occassional bubble bath along the way....

  2. ugh, i used to do the two days/two nights. it's a killer on the body. the things we do for our kids and then we beat ourselves up anyways. this single momma thing is one tough gig.

  3. I guess there is something to be said for the way things used to be. Very little, but this might be it.

    Good luck with midnight shift. It will be nice to spend the evenings with Q.