Monday, August 27, 2007


so the days have been full and getting more and more wonderful; more and more balanced. i feel the universe opening up for me, rather than swallowing me whole. life is progressing and that is a blessing. i am grateful.

and for my children, i am grateful. really. all of you, dear readers, know that i LOVE my children. i do. but summer feels endless (and not in the best way) for all parties involved when it's too hot to do anything but swim or stay in the air-conditioned house all day. (and ain't enuff love in the world to cure suffocating-cabin fever.) that's what the last few weeks of summer felt like for me and my sweeties in the lethargy of texas in august. what i wouldn't do for a bay breeze or a snow bubble. but school started today and we are all the better for it. after hunting for what was left of the school supplies in 3 stores (i know, i know... the early bird and all of that), we made it home sunday night just in time for baths, a good dinner, the teen choice awards (which is no longer for the early teenagers), nubian knots and twists for my daughter and our nightly meditation before bed. they were antsy and excited about the first day so there were no qualms about teeth brushing and early bedtime. they actually woke up on their own alarm and dressed according to their pre-determined list (wake up: 6:00... brush teeth: 6:01... get dressed: 6:02... put on "deoterint": 6:03... they obviously have no real concept of time, but it was so cute...). they checked off their list and were ready to go to school by 6:40, even though school doesn't begin until 7:45am. when i picked them up from after-school care, they both reported that their days were GREAT and they looked forward to the next. like i said... i LOVE my children...

i trained at a jobby job today (excuse me while i vomit) where i will work, through a temp agency for the next few days. the job itself is actually pretty cool. for those who have seen "the devil wears prada"... well... the woman i am working for came into my area and said in a hauntingly familiar voice, "so you will be the new emily?" yes, yes... the irony is that the woman i am filling in for is named emily and her boss is quite persnickety, hardly the devil, though i've only experienced her for a half of a day. but i will say that i am glad to be in the company of adults and missing my children long enough to look forward to seeing them and sharing the gems of our day with each other. the great thing is that we each look into the summer days (in hindsight) like we had the best summer ever.

onward and upward...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

but you have the right to remain optimistic!

so i am sitting in my favorite coffee spot clicking away at the keys of my laptop, terrance blanchard on iTunes in the moment (Diana Krall coaxing me to "Get Lost") with my fellow WI-FIers, nibbling what's left of the flakiest cinnamon roll in town and drowning my blues in iced coffee. what blues you ask? where do i start.

upon our return from cali, and subsequently hearing of sekou's passing, i felt this urgency for living. like transforming life beyond my mere existence of late and actually blazing a new trail. as my long-distance relationship moves into it's 3rd year and my longing to be with my aging grand/parents intensifies, i made the decision that there was no time like the present to make the move. furthermore, my ex and his significant other are newly expecting, my mother has finally found her groove in austin and the kids are mature enough to understand that there is more to this world than this little piece of life we've managed in on the outskirts of anything with a pulse. (that's not to call where we live "dead," it's just never quite felt full of life we haven't breathed into it. i digress.) we are all ready to experience "more." so why not make the move, right?

well, apparently, though i have the right to determine where the primary residence for my children will be, i/we are "geographically restricted to williamson and contiguous counties." what the hell???? what that means, dear laypersons, is that until my youngest (who is currently 8) turns 18, his father and i must live in central texas. had i known texas would become my life sentence, i would never have agreed to moving here. (though i BEGGED for us to move before now, and, well...) but c'mon y'all... how many things do we agree to in youth that end up fucking us up as adults?

since this discovery, i realized my membership into the sorority of miserable women inhabiting the hill country against their greater dreams, wishes and wills. in the blur of fairytales, they married some prince (or frog) and moved to the lone star state because of a husband's job/career/leadership/family/controlling ways/dreams, only to realize--post divorce--that they will be stuck with in the fires of this hell (and all that that implies) for what feels like an eternity. and it's not REALLY the "Law." the actual law allows for modifications of the decree "if the circumstances into which the parties are moving are better than those in the current living situation." but the interpretation of the law is left to the considerably conservative judges of the--in this case williamson county--courthouse. so, despite the fact that i have gotten TWO (MUCH BETTER PAYING) job opportunities in california, that i am currently receiving no support and that my familial support is entirely based in california, i have been warned more times than i care to mention that unless my ex agrees to allow his children to move out of state, a judge will likely rule against it because their father is present in their lives. (and he's made it clear that it will be a cold day in texas before he'll let them go.) you'd be amazed at the ridiculousness and fear that lives in our legal system.

the activist in me is writing this for your insight and support. while i understand the state's desire to create a cohesive co-parenting relationship for the children, it also leaves women unsupported and vulnerable to the well-meaning but often disabling or disruptive antics/ill-support/dysfunction/flagrant foulage of ex-spouses. (there is a reason the divorces happened, eh-hem!) under terms like these, men can marry and remarry and divorce and support their children--or not (because there is no real enforcement system)--and restrict maternal rights all together. repeatedly, i hear cases like mine where the mothers are the primary caregivers (who are responsible for the daily well-being of their children; through sickness and health; to the doctors, through co-pays and prescriptions; managers of all in and out of school activities) and they are living with more struggle than they should have to because they are not allowed to move to places, spaces and people that could help them better provide for their children.

not a word of this is to imply that my ex is a bad guy or that i am some kind of saintly martyr. we both have our faults. but i think our selfish needs get in the way of what is really best for our children. we should both be allowed to move on with our lives in whatever directions we are taken to create better lives for our children, so long as we continue to make efforts and take responsibility for staying connected.

i miss california too much to give up on the idea of being there. the dream of the day when we can return to seeing all of my parents, my aunts and uncles on a regular basis; spending our days in a family support situation with sweetie bubu and Q; being sweat-drenched and pretzeled at funky door yoga; and slurping snow bubbles. i wish for my children to grow up with their "Papa," uncles and cousins the way i did. (isn't extended family important?) with pause and apprehension, when i told my children of the possible move, they actually lit up at the thought of the adventure, these brilliant children of ours. they were more excited than i'd ever seen them. but i guess none of that matters in this moment because we are here until further notice.

i am spending this day like i spend many other "free" weekends in austin. praying that my children are having a good time with their dad while curled up with a book or online looking for work that might actually pay all of my bills. but more often than not, like today, i am alone with my coffee, my music, my memories and my hope that better is coming soon.

i'm getting a headache. it could be the caffeine and all the sugar. it could be the bright sky flooding the room around me. it could be that my eyes are aging and i should stop refusing to wear my glasses. it could be this issue. this exhale helps. as will a nap, i am certain.

prayers and positive energy, y'all. that's what we need. (and sound legal advice or options to explore if there are any offerings.)

i am grateful for my coffee and my music and my memories and my hope. and for you, dear reader.
in search of freedom...