Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fast Forward

Weep for yourself, my man
You'll never be what is in your heart
Weep, little lion man
You're not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself
Take all the courage you have left
Waste it on fixing all the problems
That you made in your own head
But it was not your fault, but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn't I, my dear? Didn't I, my dear?
--Little Lion Man, Mumford and Sons
One of my favorite songs from Mumford and Sons is Little Lion Man.  I distinctly remember E asking me if she could download that song because of the f word usage (it's doesn't come up as an explicit song on itunes).  I looked at her and said, "You know what E?  Sometimes there is really no other word that makes sense and in this case I think it totally matches the mood of the song.  I know you've heard the word before and I trust that you won't use that word."  It was a really special moment between us.  An adult conversation that didn't involve death, accidents, or gay aunts.  It was a parenting moment that didn't involve laundry, food, or her complaining about our messy house.  I think about this moment often.
We tend to listen to my ipod in the car to and from school, practices, games, etc.  I like to put it on shuffle and pop through my eclectic library of tunes.  I swear sometimes that a higher being is controlling my ipod, playing a song that is exactly what I needed, whether it's a good cry or raucous dance tune we all can sing to at the top of our lungs.
So every so often my ipod shuffles onto Little Lion Man.  If I'm all alone the words flow seamlessly from my lips.  If the kids are in the car, however, I have to make sure I'm paying attention to either turn down the volume at the right time, or just go ahead and fast forward.  Sometimes I do this better than others.  M, who usually sits up front with me, is pretty good about reminding me with a giggle and rolling of her eyes that once again I mistimed my volume control or fast forward. 
The tough, soccer player in me wants to simply say, "Fuck it!" to the comments questioning my anonymity.  Unfortunately, the vulnerable, over-tired, stressed Peg took those comments very much to heart and piled them on top of the never ending list of things that I'm failing at these days.  It had been a tough week and those comments were the proverbial cherry.  I also poked the bear a bit by writing a post about it.  Hindsight is twenty twenty and all that.
After a bit of time away and some thought (and good conversation with lovely neighborhood friend and my therapist), I'm not going to embrace the Little Lion Man "I fucked it up this time" mantra, but embrace my fierce soccer self and say, "Fuck it." I am writing a personal blog that reveals some intimate details of our family.  I don't use the real names of our immediate family.  I use Jeanne and Mike's names because I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER want to not acknowledge that they did exist.  If you want to track down our family, you'd have to find out about this blog in the first place, and scroll through years of posts to piece together the clues.  Nobody knows about it in my family.  Examples of blogs were given to me that I should model mine after, and guess what?  I know exactly where that blogger lives and other details of her life because I live in the same area.  So what?  Would I ever use this information?  Of course not.
I started this blog to share my story in a way that helps me, and perhaps connect with other people in similar circumstances.  I understood the risk of exposure enough and respect our privacy enough to superficially hide our identity, and have declined offers to increase the public nature of this blog (guest blogging, writing a memoir, etc.). This blog helps me to write out what's going on in our complicated life. I enjoy the process of writing. It has also helped me not feel so alone when other people simply comment that they are listening or can empathize.  I've gotten great advice.  I've made some lovely friends both by getting comments on my blog, but also by going to their blog and learning about their life.  I refuse to take this medium and let the risk of negative outweigh all the positive.
Let's fast forward to a future where members of my family find this blog.  If the girls eventually read some of my words, I hope they see all my love for them.  I hope they read some of frustration and gain some perspective about how hard this has been on all of us.  If the boys read it, I hope they understand how hard this decision was to take the girls and that we did it out of love.  I hope all of our kids are proud of me and get to know their mother in a more honest, vulnerable manner. If my sisters read this (I actually hope sometimes that they actually are since I write things I wish I had the guts to say in person), I know they love me and will understand the circumstances under which I wrote some of these words.  As for K, there is nothing on here that I don't say to him in person.  We may go through our ups and downs, but he is my ultimate confidant and I never worry about expressing to him my current frustrations with our relationship. 
Continue to read if you'd like.  If you think I'm too open with details of our life, don't read. Be sneaky and track down who we actually are in real life.  I'm willing to take the risk.  Fuck. It.  As my soccer teammates and I used to cheer after each goal, I'm determined to "KEEP GOING!!"


  1. As long as you keep writing I will keep reading. (I'm glad you're still writing.)

  2. I'm glad you sought the input of people who know you in person to have a true back-and-forth about this. Electronic communication is tricky in general because intent can be misconstrued or mistaken, particularly between anonymous, unknown people. So happy to hear that you have come to a decision that you're comfortable with. Selfishly, I'm also glad you're going to keep writing because I've become invested in your family and you! From firsthand experience, it certainly helps to have some kind of an outlet when you find yourself in an unusual, stressful, and permanent situation. For me it's not a blog, but I read plenty :) I only wish I had the guts, discipline, and motivation to write, too. Keep on keeping on!

  3. What Korinthia said!

  4. Good for you!! :) From what I have read I feel your blog is very real and shows a woman who has shouldered an incredible responsibility with grace, compassion, and love. Of course you will be frustrated/upset/angry/whatever at times because what you've chosen to do so selflessly (blend your family while taking care to manage the unique needs of each individual -- all this while grieving) is hard ... so incredibly hard. But it's also beautiful and inspiring. And everything I've seen here gives honor to that. I really do admire your courage, in choosing to continue to blog, too.

  5. Yay Peg! You are brave, graceful, and strong.

  6. We hear you roar. Good for you. If any of your family should some day stumble across your blog, your love for all of them will most certainly shine through. And they would be privileged to be able to see this other side of you where you are able to freely share your thoughts and your love for them, something often hard to do in real life.

  7. I'm with Kory! :o)

    I'm so glad you're going to keep writing--I have found it to be so therapeutic, and can't imagine not doing so. I'm also glad that with distance you're able to put things into perspective. Anon trolls always rattle me for a couple of days and then I'm better.

    I'm more than happy to allow you to keep your anonymity, but maybe someday if I'm up with Jess or you're down here and have time...;o)

    Hugs and hooray!

  8. I have no doubt that God controls my Pandora. There have simply been too many times that the exact right song played at the exact moment I needed it.

  9. Peg, I too have been reading your blog for years and I am so glad you have decided to keep reading. I can't remember if i have commented before though. I find your blog amazing. Your honesty is so refreshing. I find myself cheering you in when things are tough and holding space for you when things are tough. Please know that there is love coming to you from across the world! Keep writing! And you are an amazing woman and an amazing mother, never forget that!
    Sarah in Sydney, Australia