It has been five years since my husband and I last smoked. Doing the math, at one pack a day for each of us, mine being Marlboro Reds and his being whatever cheap menthol he could buy, we have now saved approximately $12775.00 -- I'm not sure where it went, though. Probably to junk food and pop which is what we replaced the cigarettes with. Instead of lung cancer and emphysema, we'll get hardened arteries and high blood pressure. Everything ends up being bad for you anyhow, if you enjoy it. Things that are good for you are like... lettuce. And apples. And even then, if you actually like lettuce and apples, I'm sure the surgeon general will put a warning on them in a few years that they cause some random Lettapple Disease which affects your thyroid and liver functions. Can people please stop liking chocolate and nicotine so that it eventually becomes good for us and I can have as much as I want? Forget that rant. There's logic in there somewhere, I just have to go back and read it a few times to find it. The gist is that I'm proud that we're not smoking anymore. Yay us.
I've got to figure out what to make for dinner tonight. It's just the three of us -- Steve and Aria and myself. The boys have Northern Lights practice until 8, I think. (Show choir, for those of you unaware of the overuse of the word "Lights" in the music department at Northridge). I've heard they have a pretty spectacular show lined up this year, so I'm excited to see what they're up to. School starts in two days. I still cannot wrap my brain around the fact that they are a senior, junior, and 8th grader.
For those of you who don't know me personally (if there are any) I'm about to let a big cat out of the online bag. I didn't give birth to my kids. My husband's ex-wife did. Which is the one thing I both appreciate from her and envy her for. When they came into my life, I was 25 years old, and they were 9, 7, and 4. My 'boyfriend' (tee hee) Steve called me up at my apartment and asked if I wanted to meet the kids. They had just gotten McDonald's and were about to go bowling, so they were about ten minutes away. We'd been dating for about a month and he had pretty much moved in with me by that point. A big part of me was afraid. I wasn't yet completely committed to anything, had just gotten a finalization on my divorce, was spiritually a wreck, and this wonderful man had walked into my life... with three kids... which didn't scare me... but... meeting them? Now, that scared me.
He pulled up in his Ford station wagon with all three of them seat-belted into the back and left the front seat open for me. I hopped in and turned around to see three very blond, very round smiling faces, two out of three of which were very excited to meet me and one (Zachary) looked a little wary. I smiled back (though I have to admit I think I felt the biggest kinship with Zachary at that point) and attempted the rest of the night to be 'fun' because that's all I knew how to do with kids.
At some point between the car ride and the last frame at the alley, I fell in love. The rest, to be as cliche as humanly possible, is history.
Now they're almost 18, 16, and almost 13. My love for them, and for their father, has done nothing but grow every single day. There is not a single thing about me that feels that they are not mine. Periodically there's the pesky phone call from 600 miles away that reminds me that they're beholden to someone else out there as well. I won't take her place. I can't. I don't attempt to. But there's nothing wrong with them having someone in their life, with whom they live, that loves them like a mother should love them.
There is so much more for me to say, to express, in this vein -- my hopes and dreams and fears and feelings -- but it's inappropriate for a public forum. God knows how I feel, and, at least for now, I'll leave it at that. Suffice to say that I'm proud of them for, among a myriad of other things, all their accomplishments, for not being judgmental, and for loving God and other people.
I've started a couple of books: "Old Yeller" in paperback (no, I've never read it) and "Summer Crossing" on audio which I picked out for two reasons ... it was short, and it was by Truman Capote whom I've also never read. I'm immersed in the language already. I don't even care what the story is about. The language is so creative, so artistically woven, that I just want to pull the car over and stare at the CD player.
And now I think I will call my husband and have him bring food home for us because I have yet to go grocery shopping this week.
Have a fantastic Tuesday!