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Yadda, Yadda the Past. Yadda, Yadda Eff’em.

Every man I’ve ever dated has had a woman or twelve, in his past who lingered in the shadows of whatever incarnation his present is currently in. A former lover, girlfriend, friend, teacher…someone who made an impact and simply never faded or stopped stalking him, no matter how far away those moments were from the day we met.

The worst experience came with the men who I fell in love with. The men who I gave the power to crush my itty bitty heart to smithereens like Wile E. Coyote’s whole being at the relentless smarts of the RoadRunner. It wasn’t the men who held those memories close to their hearts, it was the families. Mom’s who kept prom photos up from the high school sweetheart that got away, grandpa’s with shrines to a former life of the most “amazing little lady”. Or the sister’s who constantly reminded me that they were still friends with the former lady love. Like little tiny pinpricks at my young and yet-to-be-jaded heart. These moments were awful and gut wrenching, especially when the men in my life found it to be no biggie. Ladies, I’m certain you’ve gotten that look of sheer shock because well their families could do no wrong, and how dare you crazy person dare have feelings about anything!

Sorry, I digress.

Trust me eating Sunday dinner with the entire family next to a wall of photos of the woman your current flame describes as “what it must be like in purgatory” is not a cheerful time and makes it much more difficult to ingest ones less than appetizing TV dinner montage. Oh, especially when someone randomly brings up that unnamed former girlfriend came by and yadda, yadda she’s still really pretty and successful and going to Grad school and is getting the Nobel Peace Prize simply for how amazing she dresses when volunteering at the local senior center. *breath*

The only man who never made me feel like that past was anything more than the past was of course, Future Husband.

The odd thing is that with all the hard work and tireless effort, that was put into trying to be a part of families, I simply didn’t see that these families not wanting me wasn’t that big a deal. My desperation to craft the undeniably perfect meshing of two families was a farce in many ways. I’m a “all my ducks in a row” kinda dame and used to have a much harder time dealing with the aftermath if one stepped out of line. I put so much value into the approval of family then I needed to. What I needed to face was that these men were raised in families that not only wouldn’t accept me but also didn’t raise a man worth the two pennies I had to rub together at that age.

As I grew up, got older and I came to see that the only thing that mattered was the family I chose to build – and of course the one I was born into.

When I first starting dating Future Husband, he wanted me to meet his Bro after I believe only a couple weeks and I flat out declined. At that point I had a strict policy…no family until I knew that I liked the person beyond the blue eyes and fracking adorable smirk. My goal for my next long-term relationship was to have it be about us and not me having to impress a group of people into liking me over the other women of his past.

And that’s exactly what we have, a relationship that is based on not killing each other  being good to each other, raising a wicked cool Monkey and working hard to fulfill our dreams.

It’s funny that I almost got that nagging flicker of insecurity last week but then I was reminded that I cannot change the past and I will not let infect my heart in anyway. Heck if it wasn’t for the past choices of both me and Future Husband, I wouldn’t have all the things I have in my life right now, including the ultimate in chosen family.

I’m proud of who I am today, the man I chose to love and the Monkey who calls me Mama. So there.

 

 

 

 

Make it a Mead!

A couple of weeks ago, Future Husband and I went to Newhall Refinery for some day tripping. We love Refinery.

I love how they always have new food items and great beer selection – both on tap and bottle. Truly, their adventurous beer choices give us the opportunity to try stuff that’s from all over without having the leave the comfort of our little ‘burb.

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Watch the Shadows.

Lately, I’ve been exploring my camera work and started stumbling around with Future Husband’s DSLR yesterday. While those aren’t posed yet and I will post them soon. This picture I took last week while watching Monkey play has quickly become one of my favorites.

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Relationship Reboot.

Kinda feels like this blog needs a reboot.

I’ve been struggling with writing. There have been the tiny dashes of product reviews here and there, the piece about The Boyfriend’s injustice this summer and well nothing terribly interesting.

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Monkey Weight.

I never struggled with body image issues as a little girl. It wasn’t until I was a woman that those ugly things started popping up in my head. Yesterday, my son experienced a tiny meltdown about his weight thanks to his Bio. He’s seven years old.

A typical trip to the Pediatrician led to a Bio-induced conversation about the Monkey’s weight. Where was he? Is he too heavy? Should he diet? I sat there in shock watching the look on Monkey’s face drop from elation to sheer sadness. I listened as the Bio and the Pediatrician discussed this very sensitive matter in front of a very sensitive little boy with a giant heart. Pushing tears back, I very plainly said to my Monkey, “Don’t worry honey, you’re fine just the way you are”.

Is that just Mama sticking her head in the sand? No, it really is not. Monkey is ridiculously active. He swims daily. Runs with me when we can. Rides his bike all over the place. Plays street hockey with me and the Boyfriend. We eat like crazy healthy people, only making exceptions once-in-awhile for food adventures. My entire goal with food and exercise was to avoid the issues his Bio has with his own body and food. He’s never been happy with who he is physically, and I’ve known him for over twenty years now. My greatest fear as a co-parent with this man-child was that he would eventually put the same stressors on Monkey, and sadly it has begun.

After the doctor, my Mom and I took Monkey to lunch. He was wary of eating anything at Fuddruckers, a wicked family favorite whenever we travel to my hometown. He had announced he wanted a cheeseburger with apples and then back-peddled to a chicken sandwich and then after I looked him in the eyes and told him this was a food adventure restaurant, he settled on food items that made him happy. Ear-to-ear grin. I love that kid. Serious.

On the drive home, he asked questions. The sound of the words resonated in my heart and head.

“Why doesn’t my Dad like how I look?”

“How come he says such not nice things about me?”

In the short drive home from my parents house it was clear to me that I had so much more work to do. Battling the Mean Boys at school and now having to defend my Monkey against the man who helped bring him into this world. The Boyfriend and I work daily to ensure that Monkey has a positive sense of self, mixed in with a good dose of humility and integrity. And as we chatted about his feelings, I had flashback to being 105lbs. because I feared him seeing me as imperfect. I ran 6 miles a day, smoked two packs a day and drank more coffee than anyone should consume – all while barely consuming a ounce of food. Tears streamed down my face as we talked about being confident in yourself no matter what anyone else says, and that it’s okay to tell his Bio how this attitude makes him feel. I punish myself by thinking of how I did this to my own flesh and blood. I sentenced this poor little Monkey to a life with a man who finds nothing satisfying. While I know there are those who will disagree with me and maybe I’m wrong, but it’s really hard to swallow today.

My Monkey is not overweight. He is not obese. He is not unhealthy. I will do everything I can to make sure he knows that he is amazing and loved.

My heart is breaking today. Hug your kiddos.

 

 

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