Maybe I am doing something right…

A little over a week ago, on a Friday, when I got home, I decided I would take the dog out for a walk/run.  It would be the first time since I got the dreaded boot off about 3 weeks earlier.  I am really not supposed to be exercising yet, but I cannot stand the extra weight I have put on.  I am flabbier than I have been in years, and while I try to pretend that I don’t give a shit, I do.  I changed into workout clothes and tried to get enthusiastic.  I set out with my bluetooth over-the-ear headphones on, and was holding my giant iPhone 6+ in one hand, and had the dog’s leash in the other.  It did actually cross my mind that this was a recipe for disaster prior to leaving the house, yet I trudged on.  The dog is not really accustomed to walking or running on a regular basis.  I was struggling early on.  I should have just walked.  Par for the course, my phone started blowing up with text messages.  One was from Mini Me.  It said, “Hypothetically, if I were in Athens, could Clint get me a discount at Amici?” Mini Me lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is a student at Belmont University.  Just what the hell would he be doing in Athens, Georgia? Never mind that. I texted back, “Hypothetically, you cannot afford to go to Athens, or eat at Amici. And, I can’t talk right now.”  I finally got up to Evans Road, which is the flat part of my route, and I started a slow run. I ignored the texts that came in afterward.  I was surprised that I was able to run at all.  It had literally been months.  It was going well!  The dog was on my left.  We were running up the sidewalk, and apparently I had my music up too loud to hear the truck that was coming up behind me.  The dog moved quickly moved over in front of me and stopped dead.  I tripped over her and face planted into the sidewalk.  My phone bounced and landed about three feet in front of me, along with my bluetooth over-the-ear headphones.  I think I actually bounced on impact.  Luckily, I had wrapped the leash around my arm.  I just laid there on the pavement–I was seeing stars.  I had hit my chin and the left side of my left hand first.  Both arms and both knees were also skinned up badly.  I finally sat up, for fear of who might be driving by.  Then, I realized that if anyone who knew me was actually driving by and did not stop to see if I was okay, that was really shitty on their part.  I finally picked myself up and dusted myself off.  Damn, that hurt a lot worse than it used to when I was a kid!  It took me a minute to get moving.  I picked up my phone off the pavement.  The day before, I had peeled off the nasty, broken screen cover.  Like an idiot.  Now, the screen itself was shattered.  Served me right, I decided.  I picked up my headphones and put them around my neck.  I damn sure wasn’t going to run anymore and wished there was somebody I could call to come pick my ass up and drive me the half mile home.  I decided to call Mini Me.  I need some sympathy–not that he is the one that I regularly call for that! 🙂  He surprised me, though. Mom! Are you okay? Are you sure? I assured him I was fine and thanked him for his concern.  “I need to know something and please be honest,” I said, “are you in Athens?” He did not hesitate. “Yes, ma’am. I came to see Oteil play. I have a good grade in French and my math class was canceled.”  There was no way I could argue with that.  Do you know how many times I went on road trips from Athens, Georgia??? And I can guarandamntee you I did NOT call my Mothah and ask her if could.  AND…I don’t think I would have been honest if she had asked me.  Then…he says this to me….”I called Dad and asked him about it…” I said, “Oh really? And what did Dad say?”… Thinking that Dad had no room to say a word about it just like I didn’t.  “Dad said that I couldn’t call home and ask stuff like that. He said I had to make those decisions for myself.  So since I have a good grade in French and my math class was canceled, I decided to go.”  Damn. I would have gone if I was failing French and Math and neither were canceled, and I would never have called and asked Mothah or Daddy, because I knew what they would both say, and that was this: HELL TO THE NO!  So. In that moment, I was proud.  I was proud of Mini Me, and dammit, I was proud of ME! I must be doing something right!, Right? I mean, he could have been lying his ass off.  I get that. We won’t really know until grades come out.  But, I can have this teeny weeny little time of satisfaction in a job well done, can’t I? Can’t I????

*Epilogue

Let me say that I am not stupid. I know that Mini Me is definitely not sitting up in Nashville, reading a Bible and going to bed at 8pm. Please. Why do you think I call him Mini Me? 🤪 Also, notice that the title says “Maybe I am doing something right” not “Maybe I am doing everything right” because GOD KNOWS and I know I certainly am not doing and have definitely not done everything right! Who has? Show me that person so I can beat their ass. Finally, a couple of days after he got home from his little trip to Athens, MM texted me this pic. He said, “Look! I was featured on UGA’s Instagram!” I had to laugh. My kid. I do love him so.

No Mo.

 

griswold-house-christmas-vacation-dining-room-decor

 

I am old enough that I no longer feel the need to do everything that everyone else wants me to do.  In fact, I will no longer do everything that everyone else wants me to do.  I figure that at 47, with the way I have lived, my life is more than half over.  I am just being realistic here.  I have lived far too long driven by guilt. I am letting some of that shit go now.  I can no longer be responsible for everybody’s feelings 100% of the time.  Y’all are gonna have to take some responsibility for your own shit.  It’s not all my fault.  I realized not too long ago, that I am one of the only people that I know who never put her foot down when she had kids–over the holidays!  Most of my friends started having babies and told their families that they were no longer going anywhere–their family could come to them. Not me.  No ma’am. I was never allowed to do that.  God forbid!  I have never been in charge of my own holidays!   I have always done what everyone else wanted me to and expected me to. My divorced parents quadrupled my family and expected me to make myself available for everybody-on Christmas Day.  It has never been a question of me not wanting to see any of them, so please don’t misunderstand me.  I love my family—every single last crazy-ass one of them/us.  In the beginning, when I was 25 and a newlywed, we made the rounds-no sweat. When I was 27 and Mini Me was a baby, it was a little more of a challenge.   All of the grandparents wanted to see him-and rightly so! I understood! He was a sight to behold! I never even considered telling any of the grandparents that they  must come to us. When The Middle Child was born, as much of a task as it was to pack all of us up, I was so proud of my family, I wanted to show us off–so I happily packed 50 bags of shit.  By the time The Baby was born, I was 37.  The newness of showing these masterpieces off was waning and I longed for a Christmas at home-with no traveling.  I was exhausted.  The birth of this latest masterpiece had nearly left me for dead.  I had been somewhat psychotic for 6-8 months.   The last thing I wanted to do was pack our asses up and travel over two fucking states for Christmas.  Damn Christmas.  Seriously. Who needed it? I was done.  I could have been perfectly happy at my rental house on Harbour Oaks Lane, cooking a turkey in a bag (my specialty), for my family of five, and not given anyone else a second thought.  Except I couldn’t.  Because that’s not my M.O. It wouldn’t have mattered if The Baby had been a week old.  I would have packed our asses up and taken us wherever we needed to go.  I would have bitched about it behind the scenes-like I do-because that’s who I am-and it would have been perfect.  It’s always perfect.  It doesn’t matter how we do it anymore.  Traditions have changed since  I was a child.  I didn’t think I would survive those changes, but lo and behold, I did !  Christmas and Life are always there.  They may be a little different, but they are always there. All we have to do is show up.

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