The Power Of 'Leftovers'
By Andrea • September 15, 2018
I blew up my old bosses sons phone. I know what you're thinking, ummmm boundaries lady? But honestly I did it happily (a little crazy happy too im not afraid to admit it) even knowing I was leaping over walls set to keep folks comfortable. He's not comfortable with my extremely long texts. Or the pictures. I knew he wouldn't be when I sent them but I did it anyways. You uncomfortable yet? I sound like a stalker huh. It gets better, so buckle up buttercup. You know why he's not called me out on it? Because the texts told him the stories of my kids and the kids in the pics are waaay too cute to NOT like.
No I'm not a Facebook kinda girl anymore, so no I'm not used to pushing their photos on strangers. At least not on mass. I did it because I want him to know, I NEED him to know. I need someone to know that we don't want the world, just a friend to the family.
We need his help, and we can make him feel happy about a pastime he loves. Hes a hunter, and he gifted us with leftovers.
Life has been sucky but man o man do I love what I have. I sacrifice for my 6 boys every day. Only 5 love with me and their papa under this craptastic doublewide roof but I suffer in my own ways. Im not alone in that. My devoted hubby bubby does too in his 50 hour work weeks with about an hour and a half worth of transit time one way.
We suffer for them, and their bright love tells us we're on the right track. We keep at it day after day. For us. For them. Because we believe this is a phase in our lives as long as we work hard 110%, really Go For Broke.
Here's the skinny: my 9 year old was tortured and abused by his birth father for many a year before he resurfaced and gave me my son back. My 7 year old is struggling with we think adhd. It runs in the family... *squirrel!* my 6 year old is autistic and an incredibly loving little boy, my 5 year old is short a kidney and losing his sight. My youngest is an adorable intelligent 3 year old with killer good looks- and his biggest problem is that he knows it! My eldest at 14 lives with his dad out of state and he's finding his voice in a life that's been guarded against me. We talk and text. Its not enough but im working on that.
I've no history of dependency or violence but I am a non offending parent in previous cps cases. Yeah that's plural. I must be pretty awful huh, you should start hating me now and isolate away from me. And my family. In this double wide that we own. Focus on the first half of that last sentence, ignore the work that got us the second half. Don't help, just judge. Assume the worst and write me off because nice folks, good folks, don't have unsavory anything associated with them. Read the sarcasm, and feel my bitterness.
We sacrifice and try so hard- and we're making it! -but man this path gets looooong....
So, when I talk to new people, like say... the bosses son... I tend to hold back. I don't share. Doing so gets me into trouble because opinions are what they are and you don't get to explain.
No one cares to listen, and you shouldn't get hung up on what everyone else thinks. You can't control it. Just let it go. People and their opinions, lol.
So this guy is nice. Not overly so and not in a slimy imma-sancho-out-in-just-a-few-days-chica but in a polite im-just-working kinda way. Does he have another side? I'll never know because as soon as he mentioned hunting I threw out the comment "well if you ever have leftovers im game man no joke I'll take anything you got."
Eyebrows up he studies me briefly.
"Really? I'm not kidding I have leftovers from last year and I'm ready for this next season."
"Really man. I've got 5 boys. I don't care I'll take it all whatever you wanna give. 5. Growing. BOYS."
I know now he's in a weird place. I've been canned since that conversation, lack of work they say, and it happened before the texts I sent.
But it happened after I reported to child support and turned in my garnishment orders. A LOT of paperwork for just a temp girl.
They're nice folks so im feeling its legit-it really was temp anyways just to help with a back log....
...but it wouldn't be the first time those orders pushed me out a door.
Like I said... opinions.
I can only work one day a week. My guys are in school so it's only my youngest at home on my hubby's day off. I made plans with a neighbor to take my youngest during half the day in exchange for once weekly babysitting (lol her 2 kids are ADORBS, like it's work when I'm used to 5) so that leaves hubby with baby duty for half a day and dinner patrol with patient reffing from 4 to 8pm with all 5. Its hard on him, special needs is no picnic, but he can keep it together for that much at least. He has Sunday off too but I volunteer to muck stalls in the ams and put up horses in the pms (with time between to come home, do chores, make food, and stabilize everyone) in order to ensure even if we can't pay my 4 guys get therapy sessions there. Does one day pay for all that? Pfft no, but at Divine Equine in Sherman Texas (shameless plug go Donate NOW!!) need can be covered by effort if the effort is true and honest. And it helps if the cute is disgustingly palpable.
My 9 year old's ptsd symptoms are manageable now. My 7 year old can focus better on a horse. My 6 year old connects to a living thing. My 5 year old isn't so afraid of what he can't see.
They NEED to be there.
Like I said, I can only work one day for pay. If she needs me out there and I have the gas I go. No complaints.
Btw im born and raised in the California beach cities. I don't know horses but I told them early on im from the city, ignorant not dumb. Ignorance is totally curable and im game as long as they are.
They're really good to me but thankfully it doesn't take a lot of horse sense to shovel poop.
So back to this man.
He begins to realize polite decent folk don't say here take my leftovers you need a hand out. He never said that but you know texas sensability... I feel him start to backtrack.
I think about our milk. Its labeled whole but its half water. I know this job won't last.
I know Divine Equine needs my insurance to pay SOMETHING. I know our deductible is 900. I know my kids don't have mattresses, just cots I work HARD to ensure are clean and comfortable. I know my hubby grinds his teeth in his sleep after a night when I ask for more money to cover what I couldn't find at the food bank. I know the holes in the vents are almost as bad as the cracks in the roof. I know the cheap plug-in chain saw I have isn't going to chop all the wood we need to get through a winter within what we can afford in electric. I know if I could just find a little money I could fix something. I know it's an elephant and the only way you can eat it is one bite at a time. I know the elephant will keep so while I can eat all the trouble with time im definitely not gonna get a break from it.
I know in Texas married women don't make friends with men married or not without risks. I know I've sometimes got the overly friendly ghetto rat vibe that makes people throw me away without any guilt because they can feel that I survive. Always.
I know hes gonna back out.
I know I know I know I know.
So I start to text his personal number. I start with "hey is this so and so im MRS so and so (Andrea new hire)" so he has something to defend himself with in his private life. I don't know his business and I don't want to, I don't like jerry springer. I tell him about each child, each gets a summary of barely concealed but super true woe, each comes with the pictures of our every day. There are no pics of me. Its all them.
I don't start to feel desperately overwhelmed until I get to the low vision 5 year old. Hes got the glasses he just lost in that pic, and I don't know how to tell hubby we can't get another pair covered. By the time im done I know I've blown up his phone (its in the middle of the night too because go big or go home HAHAHA I don't get private time until everyone's asleep and I know he doesn't understand-no kids) and ive lept fully over- heck I danced a merry jig all over- his perfectly sane personal professional and super healthy boundary line. Probably lines, plural.
Every time I hit send I can feel him squirm in polite discomfort.
I know. I can't care. I hate that about my life, but this is us and its on me. Im the mother here and im wearing my big girl panties and imma get this stuff done. They're all depending on whatever I can make happen. And they'll all lovingly forgive me when I fail because that's family.
I can't care.
I don't care.
I hit send and I throw my pain and joy and hope into the wind.
And I don't apologize.
I just, move on.
Two days later he texts its all on its way home with my neighbor, their full time worker.
That night I get his "leftovers". My guys and I were just pulling in from weekday church service. They're rowdy, but im happy to see my friend. I don't get a lot of girl time.
The night I blew up his phone was the night of the day I finally had to tell hubby about the vents. And that I could fix it. And I had to use our monthly grocery allowance. I didn't want to tell him until I had a fix. He doesn't need all that too. Fyi people im just a reformed valley girl. I don't know JACK about home repair but I do know how to you-tube.
Im google certified! STAND BACK IMMA SCIENCE IT FIXED!
I think he apologized again. Leftovers you know? I can almost hear his thoughts. Im so rude, kinda embarrassing I didn't even think about what I was saying to her, but she's just so CRAZY with pushing that now im so trapped!
40 bucks was my grocery budget. The last of the supplies to patch things safely to last until I can afford to replace stuff was 35ish.
He gave me more meat for the remainder of this month than I work with spread over two months.
So far hubby tells me our electric bill is down by just under 300 with the repairs.
I use the ac when the house temp hits 84. That's when the little one gets a bit too pink for comfort. Today I fired up that big ole machine at 80, and started my Amazon shopping cart with these nifty little plastic combs you can buy to straighten out the fan screen on the outside of the ac unit. According to the hvac website that should really make a difference in our bill, as will the can of cleaning foam I stuck in the cart to help with how it runs. Im using what I've saved us in electric as a budget.
Well, like 40 bucks of it.
Our attorney for my 9 year old just got a payment on the 3k we still owe him for the temp protective order extention and the fight we had on changing jurisdiction.
It was only 100, but he knows how hard we try.
I think he feels bad for how our first conversations went. Hes an ex cps investigator and a dedicated father and well you know...
Brutal wouldn't be an exaggeration.
He shouldn't tho, feel bad I mean. He rescued my son from having to return to his dad after a year here recovering and growing from a 4t at 8 years old to a lanky boys 8 at 9yrs.
Big ole stinky feet too, and I love every toe on em.
I don't mind, but I felt bad. That attorneys worth far more than what he charged and not being able to pay the charity price feels so wrong- but we just couldnt find the money...
"Its not much"
This is what the bosses son said to me.
It must be nice to be so ignorant.
I wish he could know, I wish he could feel it. I wish he could understand how sorry I want to be for making him wildly uncomfortable, and how much I forgive him for privately cursing the moment he handed me his number.
I wish I could tell him its SO ok if he never gives us "leftovers" again, because what he has done has given me that seemingly tiny drop in the proverbial bucket I needed to push a boulder off my chest.
The witch is on my toes now but at least I can breath. My guys ate more meat than rice or spuds or breadcrumbs tonight. They wouldn't even talk other than to ask for seconds.
Hubby was so so tired, but he smiled at me from across the table. "Nothing tastes better than free" was what he said when we plugged our empty deep freeze back in the night before.
"Its not much"
I can't get over it.
Hes right, its only an average sized cooler half filled with my restored pain and joy and hope I threw into the wind a few nights ago because I just wasnt allowed to care. I had a moment and I jumped the sanity ship in Social Interaction Sea I guess.
Its alright now man, I can hold it all so don't feel bad about having to deal with it being thrown past you.
Thanks for the break Chase, I really REALLY needed that.
God bless you and yours tonight, because the Lord has surely blessed me.
Everyone out there on the interwebs- Go love what you have and know it's all going to be ok.
Its not much but at least its yours and good golly its fantastic because of that.
And go hug your parental unit(s) asap if you can.
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