My mind has wrapped itself around this concept.  It’s a delicious one.  I tell Amy about it.  I talk to my girls about it.  It is a formulation of all my thoughts to present.  I embody these thoughts and experiences into a mental creation.

I know life and I have been a disappointment to my girls.  We don’t have a Christmas tree.  We didn’t send out any cards.  My reasons for this are numerous.  I don’t want to look at all the reasons right now.  I don’t have to. 

I simply find no joy in putting up decorations–it is clutter and work.  Something to put up and then to shortly take down.  I cannot fake it or go through the motions. 

I find my joy at Thanksgiving, Valentine’s day, St. Patrick’s day, Easter and Halloween.  For me, Christmas has too many negative memories.  

I believe my job is to guide these three children into this world the best way I know how.  I am flawed.  I know at times my compass is off.  My perceptions, experiences, moral code, vices, and virtues are pushed upon these kids without their choice or input.  They know I value intelligence, creativity, hard work, and adventure.  They know I value freedom.  At times I am a horrible parent.  I can be scattered, self-absorbed and unreliable.  I say or do things and do not follow though.  I forget and break simple promises.  I forget important events.  They find themselves reminding the parent.  My cooking and cleaning chores are on that back burner.  I am always late. 

They know I would rather read a book, go to the gym, work at the office, work on my projects, or enjoy an activity with them or my friends.  I don’t find any pleasure in domestic chores anymore.  It has disappeared.  I am not sure if and when this joy will ever come back. My girls miss this motherly attention.  They miss my good cooking and the meals.  They miss my domestic time.  They miss the mother I use to be.  I am not sure where she went. I am not sure when this person will come back.  I picture her sad, still sleeping in her bed, not wanting to get up.  She is spent and tired.  She has gained weight and has dark circles under her eyes.

Like all children they focus on what I don’t provide.  Humans have a tendency to fixate on the negative or what is lacking.  My research tells me negative experiences are filed more readily in our brains. 

I cannot be what they want me to be.  I cannot be what they think I should be.  I know parts of them blame me because their father is no longer in their lives.  Pieces of this fault floats through my veins.  It flows out in the normal course of my digestive system.  It’s last night’s alcoholic drink.

Katie has a melt down. I ask her to take on a task she sees as my own. She tells me I am a horrible mother.  She doesn’t know that this is an insecurity I felt the moment I discovered I was pregnant with her.  A fear that entered my soul and left me unable to sleep for four continuous nights.  Something I so desperately wanted became a horrible fear.  My thoughts went dark and they took me to places a Catholic girl is not supposed to go.

Her words confirmed what I knew after her conception. 
I would evoke my own damage on something I so desperately and innately loved.

On this night I sleep well.  I know for the most part I have given her the best that I have got.  Perhaps I have given her too much.  Her reaction is an ungrateful one.  I suppose we both feel unappreciated and non-important.  There is an empty spot in each of us.  I don’t want to guilt her.  I want her to look at herself and her reactions.  To show but not give lectures.  She can share her hate.  I won’t find her disloyal. 

She is speaking the truth as she sees it. In her negativity I see a presentment of an opportunity.  We don’t know what awaits us around that corner.  My solution is simple: work hard, move forward, be a gift to this world (in thought, looks and deed). 

I acknowledge that I am broken.  If I am part of the problem I cannot be her answer.
I can’t solve equations I myself don’t understand.  She has to begin to try and figure it out.

It is no secret that at times I am very lonely. The girls know I fight off my own demons and depression.  I have made difficult choices.  It appears I don’t like to take the easy way out. 

I am too real.  I cannot close my eyes.  I do not find joy in this type of conquest.  These near kisses (the passing of smooth lips near mine), his phone number thrust and then crumpled into my sweaty hand and suggestions of a breakfast are taunting.  His words do not lure me even when stirred and mixed with alcohol.  I can’t deny that these public moments are not fun.  On the surface they are flirtatious and exciting.  I know how this ends behind closed doors.  I would have nothing to say to him in the morning.  I would be groping for my bra and my boots.  I would be left feeling more distant and alone.  I would hate myself on my car ride home.

As a writer I know the idea of this flirtation is more delicious than an empty reality. Fiction is always more fun than non-fiction.

This is not the road to any opportunity.  These are diversions that take me off course and off of a focused path.  I am not going to chase a shiny ball or waste my time on empty conversation.

My thoughts will become deeds.  These deeds will be successes.  I know this like I know how to breathe.  My wants will be filled because I will keep searching until they are.  

When it is time opportunity will present himself.  I know he will be in some unknown building at some undisclosed hour.  There is no telling when.  Those elevator doors will open. He will be right there.  He will look up and our gazes will lock.  He is rugged and wears faded jeans.  He has that sexy stubble.  His hand grabs mine.  I know there will be morning laughter and conversation.  He won’t need space.  He has more than he needs.  There is no sacrificing of anything.  There is no need  for any forced or ritualistic offerings.  We don’t care what button to push or what floor we get off.  He would miss his plane.  Everyone knows I would pack my bags and get on one.

He is out there.  I just need to be positive and persistent.  It’s all in the timing.

Their eyes roll when I tell my girls this story.  Their messed up mother is telling them a story about opportunity.  I let them know you never know when and where it will be.  You can only work on yourselves and prepare for it.  You will want to be put together.  Focus on being smart and savvy.  Learn that second and third language.  Turn off that T.V.  Go, do and be.  Write, compose, and paint.  Travel, look and see.  Work hard and I don’t want excuses.  Figure out what it is you need to do.  Find what it is you love.  I tell them don’t settle.  Don’t be afraid to learn and fend for yourselves.  If you are unhappy figure out why.  Change it.  Do it.  Be what you have or need to be.

I am not your scapegoat.  I am not your fatted calf.

He will be worth it.  That Australian man is out there.  Go, search and find your elevator.