So What's This All About?

Who am I, really?  That little "About Me" blurb in my profile doesn't say the half of it.  I don't really think I'm a Wonder Mom, for one thing.  It's more like a "fake it till you make it" kind of thing; I just tell myself that if I pretend to be a Wonder Mom, maybe sometimes it will actually be true.

So, who am I?  It's true that I'm a 40-something mom.  In my "former life," I worked as a paralegal for a small civil litigation firm for 11 years.  I've been a stay-home-mom since a month before Joey, my second-born, came along.  In all my working years, I never dreamed I'd ever be a stay-home mom, but here I am, up to my elbows in diapers, laundry, crayons, and park days.  I'm really, really grateful to have this opportunity to watch firsthand, and even orchestrate to some degree, my kids growing up.  But I'll tell ya, sometimes they drive me to drink (and for the record, I use that as an expression; I don't really use drinking to cope.  Usually).

I have six kids, among them two gifted, a pair of twins, a precocious (almost) pre-schooler, and a toddler who has Down syndrome.  But this, of course, doesn't tell the whole story about each of them, either.  There's so much more to every one of them, which is, in large part, what I blog about.

Having this many kids, people tend to assume I must be very religious.  I'm not; I'm atheist.  I never set out to have this many kids (and am certainly not doing it for God, who doesn't exist), and it's not anything I ever imagined for myself.  But we took it one at a time (or, in the case of the twins, two at a time), and realized after each that we didn't feel done, so we kept going.  We're done now.  I'm pretty sure.

In my "former life," I was a high school drop-out and a teenage runaway.  I was also married for twelve bitterly unhappy years to my high-school sweetheart.  He was very abusive, and also an alcoholic and a drug addict.  He died of a drug overdose two weeks after I finally filed for divorce.  Kevin, my oldest, was two years old at the time.

I have no extended family that I'm close to.  My dad died in December, 1998 very suddenly.  We were close.  I've severed ties with the rest of my family because life is too short to settle for shitty relationships, even if they're blood.

I mention those things here just as a brief background, because I do write about it from time to time.  Although I've made a conscious decision not to define myself by what I come from, but rather, what and where I am now in my life.

Now, I'm married to Michael.  We've been married for almost nine years.  He's the only dad Kevin has ever really known.  We had a beautiful, simple wedding on July 20, 2001 (during which Michael made vows he had written himself, not only to me, but to Kevin as well).  We got married barefoot on the beach, with the waves lapping at our toes, at sunset, surrounded by about twenty of our closest loved ones.  Although Michael and I have certainly had our ups and downs, I can say in all honesty that he is the best friend I have in the whole world.  He's a brilliant attorney, talented musician, doting father, and devoted husband.  And he cooks.  And he makes me laugh until I have tears running down my face.  I know!  Sounds corny and cliche, and too good to be true.  I agree.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself just to make sure it's all real.  He spent the better part of 2009 battling cancer, and is now in remission.  I was faced with the possibility of losing the best thing that's ever happened to me; I am even more grateful now than I was before.

So, I write as an outlet.  As therapy.  And a lot of the time, just to share (I have discovered that I like an audience; I'm not sure if this is exactly admirable).  I don't write all about sunshine and rainbows and how joyful motherhood and life are.  I try to look for the silver linings, but the truth is, I complain, and I rant.  And I swear quite a bit - sometimes there's nothing so satisfying as a well-placed F-word.  I'd like to write for real - you know, get published (!!).  It feels so arrogant to even imply that I have the potential to get something published, but that's my dream, to be a published writer.  So, in a way, blogging is also kind of practice, or exercise, or . . . something.

And there you have it.  Me in a nutshell.