Loving Another Woman’s Child

Looking back, I see how apparent the reasons of why I became a teacher.  Not only am I a “BIG kid”  (not a baby goat) at heart, but I have this desire to positively contribute to a child’s self worth based solely on his/her unique person, the child as gift philosophy.  This undoubtedly springs from my own dysfunctional upbringing where I was placed on the metaphorical back burner.

As a mother, I am blessed to be given the opportunity to express daily to each of my children her importance and ability to impact others through kindness, generosity, and love

In addition, I have been blessed to have been given the opportunity to love and learn from other women’s children. . .  as a teacher, coach, neighbor, group leader, and mother.  

My children bring home some of the most intelligent, hilarious, thoughtful friends who will undoubtedly improve this world as adults and who do so already as children.

What is difficult, though, is having to say, “I’ll see ya later!” to these kiddos when they move away.  Unfortunately for us, we have now had to do this two years in a row.  As seen in my daughter’s second-grade journal, the impact is lasting as the girls mentioned in the journal moved at the end of the previous school year.  

Our whole family full of tears said goodbye to Miss C., my eldest’s tow-haired, blue eyed, classmate, fellow Girl Scout, and neighbor.  In fact, I think we hoped right until we saw the moving truck that perhaps plans would change, and this girl’s move would be aborted.  This young lady brought much joy to our lives through her gentle manner, helpful ways, and unending smile.

This year, we are having to say goodbye to Miss E.  My eldest daughter met her in kindergarten as they were both seated at the “Rainbow Pegasus” table.  Miss E., a young beautiful lady with the most distinct voice- low and raspy- also touched the life of my youngest daughter as a reading mentor this past year in school.  With much anticipation, Colette readied herself (minus any of the usual urgings) for school on “Reading Buddy Day.”  In fact, those two are so much alike, I can look into the future and see what my youngest squirt will be like in two years.  In return, Miss E. always looked out for my youngest on the playground at school and otherwise as I often heard her say, “Where is Colette?”

Although Miss E. and her family’s moving truck is full and headed for the East Coast, I can only hope one day these belongings will find their way back to this area.

How has loving another woman’s child impacted you?

You Will Never Forget, but You Can Always Forgive

p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; direction: ltr; line-height: 120%; text-align: left; widows: 2; orphans: 2; }a:link { color: rgbAlcohol is one of the biggest problems society faces. It is a problem among all age groups from college students to high school students and adults. From experience I know drinking can be hard to stop. It is considered a depressant, which is why many people become addicted to it because they think it makes them forget about their problems. My mom has alcoholism; I will never forget what she has done to me. But I always have and always will forgive her when she makes mistakes because no one is perfect.
There are many dangerous effects on the body caused from drinking too much alcohol such as anemia because it makes blood cell count low. Cancer can be caused from drinking too much and is known to affect the liver. One other dangerous long term effect is cirrhosis. When this happens the liver cannot function; it can also cause epilepsy which can trigger seizures. There is also a disease called fatty liver disease, and that is currently what my mom has right now.
It is more harmful to the body if drinking is started earlier in life. A young person’s body cannot cope with alcohol the same way an adult’s body can. Drinking is more harmful to teens than adults because their brains are still developing throughout adolescence and well into young adulthood. As long as I can remember, my mom has drunk alcohol. She told me she started drinking whenever she was in middle school. She has not stopped since then.
Binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol usein the United States. Whenever I used to see my mother drink, she would start when she woke up and drink all day long. Sometimes she would not be able to pick me up from school because she was so wasted she would forget. So I had teachers or the principal take me home every once in a while.
My mother’s drinking has always caused issues in my life; some things I remember well was the time the police had to come for me because she was having sexual intercourse with other men that were not my dad so I called the cops on her. After this happened the child protective services were involved because my mom was drunk and on drugs whenever the cops came. Another incident caused her to hit my dad in a hotel because she was drunk and wanted to have sex, and I was lying in bed with them. He ended up pulling the phone socket out of the wall and throwing it across the room because he was angry. He did not want to hurt her; he was bleeding from his nose where my mother’s wedding ring took a chunk off of his nose. This all happened when I was about five.
Alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, and continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems. After everything that happened when I was a child and after multiple attempts to send her to the best rehabilitation centers all over the country and having an intervention, she still left me and my dad. She left us because she was not allowed to drink anymore, or child protective services were going to take me away.
Most alcoholics are afraid to admit or see that they are addicted to drinking so they never think they have a problem. My mother, still to this day, says she never was an alcoholic, and it does not hurt her to drink even though she is killing herself. People cannot change for other people; they have to change for themselves, or they will never become any better. I learned that my mom did not want to change for herself. She wanted to change for my dad and me, and she tried over and over but she kept failing over and over. I could not imagine having a disease like alcoholism and not being able to fix it and letting people down over and over.
Counseling and therapy will not always work when people are alcoholics. It is one of the worst addictions someone can have, and one of the hardest to overcome. They might fail at it many times until it finally hits them, and they change for themselves because they know it is what is best for them. Sometimes it is easier for alcoholics to change if they have something to motivate them, but even then it might not help. Like my dad always told me, alcoholics have to hit rock bottom, and once they hit that point they will want to change. Rock bottom to me is where the person has nothing left; that person lost their loved ones and are going nowhere in life anymore and that person finally decides she wants to change for the better.
I do not understand how people can put their loved ones through so much pain and how they can handle watching their families go through heartbreak. Sometimes people can really fuck up and ruin everything they have going on. And after they mess up, it is really hard to forgive them. And sometimes when you do not want to forgive them you have to; someone has to be the bigger person. Especially if that someone brought someone else into the world. I did not talk to my mom for a few years until she brought my brother into this world, and once she did, I slowly started to talk to her so I could see my brother.
I have a beautiful five-year-old brother that I would do anything for in this world. He means more to me than anyone; I think about him all the time because I know he does not have a dad like I have. So it must be really hard for him because he is at the same age I was when I started realizing everything that was going on.
My mom left me when I was in second grade; we did not talk for about a year after I went to counseling and therapy because I was so upset. And in therapy children draw pictures about how they feel, about memories they remember, about what happened, and about what makes them upset. They also say to forgive and try and move on from the past, but that is the hardest thing in the world, especially when that person and yourself were so close. Drinking can lead to many things. While my mom was drunk, she overdosed once on some pills and ended up in the hospital. It can make your mind do bad things especially when blacking out and having no remembrance of what happened. But I do not agree that blacking out is an excuse to mess up because knowing how drunk you are could stop that, and you know your tolerance level; you should never acquire to that point. And she did almost every day before it was even twelve o’ clock.
Alcohol overall is not good in any way shape or form. Never can one win with it; no good comes out of it. People use it as an escape from their feelings or to have a good time, but people can have a good time without drinking and can escape their feelings other ways like through seeing a counselor and talking about your feelings. Instead people drink to feel numb and to run away from their feelings, but when drunk it makes people even more upset at first. It takes many times of drinking to be able to block things out, and even when you do, they can sometime slip through.
Because of everything my mother put me through and still does now, I learned a key quality to have that most people do not have, and that quality is forgiveness. I would forgive almost anyone for anything. Because holding something against someone will not do anything for you but hold you back from happiness. When life becomes rough and people mess up, there is a choice to forgive them and be happy, but still know that they did wrong and not hold it against them. Or one may not forgive them, but that will not help anything because undoing what that person has done is not an option. You cannot unsing a song that is sung. They cannot forgive themselves, and you will never forget, but can always forgive.
By Tayler Resuriz
Tay, Wrestler, Texas > Illinois
Forgive, but never forget.

Margaret

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Yet another unfortunate consequence of my parents divorcing was the introduction of Margaret into my young life. Margaret, the mother of the man considered my stepfather, became my mother’s mother-in-law shortly after she divorced my father. 
 

A woman in her eighties and me a single digit, I remember the first meeting as if it was yesterday. My mother, her husband, Margaret, and I all crammed around a metal table awkwardly placed between the refrigerator and back door of this stuffy worn house. Margaret had thinning grey hair which she repeatedly patted with gnarled fingers, thick glasses which magnified her shifty eyes, and teeth which periodically sought escape from her mouth before she somehow lassoed them back in with her tongue. My mother told me not to stare, but I found it difficult not to glance her way during a breakfast of fried eggs, salty bacon, and toast with unevenly spread butter. Not having much of anything to say to anyone, I ate silently while listening to my mother agree with everything the man said and to the clicking of Margaret’s teeth on their perpetual journey from inside her mouth to outside her mouth and back again. Finished with my plate, my mother asked if I cared for more bacon. Before I had a chance to nod my head in agreement, Margaret shoved the paper towel lined porcelain plate of bacon in my direction with the remark, “Go ahead, Piggy! Eat it all!” Surprised by the sudden clanking of plates, I sat perfectly still frightened by this old woman’s outburst. 
 

In the months and years to follow, more Margaret tantrums ensued when least expected. One time while on leave from her nursing home, the man bathed Margaret in the only tub in the house. She somehow escaped the bathroom half dressed yelling someone or so and so was after her. Too engrossed in my television program in the next bedroom, this was usually the time I increased the volume.

My mother and this man liked to what I refer to as “dump” Margaret on me for extended periods of time. With the one television in the house being in the guest bedroom upstairs, one could sit on the hard bed or in the wooden rocking chair. With Margaret with me, I had no choice but to sit on the side of the bed with the maroon bedspread. While watching Hee Haw or whatever happened to be on these Saturday evenings, Margaret would rock and mumble horrible sentiments about me and my mother under her breath. Since I knew it would be hours before my mother would take a break from her smoking and listening to country music with the man in order to climb the creaky stairs to check on me, I decided one night to simply gaze at Margaret. I could sense Margaret knew I was doing it, but I did not care because I knew no one would believe her if she told. To me, this man and his mother were nutty, and I despised every minute I had to spend with them in this twenty-four-hour-shades-drawn house. 
 

When the man was at work, my mother’s solution to her mother-in-law situation was to jump on Margaret’s furniture. This was the same furniture in the same arrangement as when Margaret lived in the house and raised her two sons, one being the man. Finally, though, my mother’s sofa assaults came to a conclusion with Margaret’s passing as well as my being called by names eponymous with farm animals.

‘Twas the Night before Forty


‘Twas the night before forty, when all through the house
My three-year-old was stirring, much like a mouse;
The Spanx were hung by the shower rod with care,
In hopes that one day the tummy’s not there;

The hub and I were nestled all snug in our bed,
Until I started snoring right next to his head;
He whispered, he shook me, and finally a hard tap
Before solace in the Princess Lounge for a much-needed nap,

When out in the Big Room there arose such a clatter,
I stumbled from bed to see what was the matter.
My life until now was before me in a flash,
Giggling and crying, I prayed this streaming video wouldn’t crash.

Through the window, the moon shone on my pajama tank top
Reminding me that my “girls” have yet to drop,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a memory of when growing boobies equaled fear,

Laughter emerged, so lively and quick,
Until the next moment I saw my dad in bed sick.
More rapid than eagles an adult you become,
At the passing of a parent, certain trauma in life’s album.

“Now, chin hairs! now, age spots! now, menopause and pimples!
On, wrinkles! on scars! on, stretch marks and dimples!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
Someone approaching; panic set in; I was no longer aloof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney my present self came with a bound.

I was dressed all in sweats, from my head to my toes,
My clothes covered with finger paint, glue stick, and “who knows!”
A bundle of laundry I had flung on my back,
And I looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

My contact-colored eyes — how they twinkled with glee!
At the sight of my children and the man who loves me!
My Burt’s Bee pink mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the joyous tears from my eyes did flow;

I sprang to my bed, to the night’s events blew a whistle,
And away my youth flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard myself exclaim, beckoning middle age into sight,
HAPPY FORTIETH TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!