Several Sundays ago, I heard a sermon that struck something inside me. The thoughts it brought up keep repeating over and over in my mind, and you know me. When that happens, it’s a large clue that whatever I am thinking needs saying. As it stands, it has taken me a while to get to the “saying it” point, as is evidenced by the fact that I am posting this several weeks on.
In the ancient Israel of
the prophet Nehemiah’s time, Jerusalem was conquered, razed, the Temple
destroyed, and the Israelites taken off into slavery. After decades in Babylon,
some of them were then allowed to return to Jerusalem. However, the walls of
the city remained broken down and destroyed for a long time. As the pastor
giving the sermon analyzed, broken-down walls meant disgrace, defeat, and judgement, a lack of protection, and were a constant reminder of…
It’s been a year of wonder, amazement, frustration, and not a few tears on both of our parts. Months without a solid even four hours of sleep, late night snuggles, and her smiles when she wakes me up in the morning an hour before my alarm was to sound.
Honestly, I never pictured myself making it to this point. I had been told for so long that there was zero chance I could have a successful pregnancy, I had given up all but the slimmest of hopes.
And then magick baby.
I know that parents always tell the new ones on the block that time passes quickly, treasure these memories because the kids will grow up fast. I believed them then and I believe them to the tips of my toes now.
She is precious. I love her.
And while I have no idea what time will hold, I’m just holding on to get to that one-year mark.
Having attended Gen Con for over ten years, there are so many things I have learned (and unlearned) over the years. Here are my notes from this year:
I run events that I believe people will enjoy. I appreciate those who contact me beforehand with questions. I also appreciate when people are honest and say that it’s not what they are looking for when I don’t give them the answers they were expecting. There is no point in paying money to attend an event you know you won’t enjoy. So, thank you to those that attended and thank you to those that didn’t attend.
Move out of the way in the vendor hall! The walkways are crowded and some of us have mobility issues that make dodging you even more problematic. Need to check your phone? Step to the side. Maybe you’ll see an item you like at a booth that you might have missed otherwise.
Take photos. Every year I promise myself that I’ll take more photos and I end up with fewer each time.
Thank your GMs. I ran two events this year and the players were absolutely the best I’ve ever encountered. Even though we had to cancel one of the games for insufficient numbers (I’ll get to that) the players who did show up were great.
Really it’s 4a. We cancelled a game for the first time this year. It sucked. We felt terrible for having to make that call but we knew it was best for the players to be honest that it wouldn’t be a successful event with so few of them. At first I was depressed but then I heard through others that our event wasn’t the only one cancelled for low attendance which made me feel better. We had over half of our ticket holders show up when there were other events that had no one. I feel bad for those GMs, honestly, as I know how much work they must have put in to prepare for the convention.
Take time for yourself. I’m a gamer. I don’t exercise as much as I should and having a baby cut down on my ‘me time’ significantly in the past six months. So when I walked seven miles on Thursday I was in pain. So much so that when I awoke on Friday I couldn’t walk. Instead of torturing and potentially injuring myself, I took the day off. I drove for Lyft and let my feet heal. Also, pro-tip — Compression Socks will save your life.
Be considerate. Not everyone responds to situation the same as you. I have anxiety. Others have similar conditions. Some have trouble with crowds. Some with loud noises. Some have mobility issues that make things just that much more time-consuming (See note 2). Just because you like something doesn’t mean that I, or others, will respond the same. Be considerate of other attendees and we’ll all have a better time.
Have fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself it’s not worth your time.
Recently I was sitting on the couch with my husband and our four-month-old daughter. Baby was fussy, as babies sometimes are. My husband scooped her right up into snuggles without me asking, without making a scene about it, without anything other than a thought that his baby needed him.
I thanked him.
His response? “It’s what Daddies do.”
You know what? He’s right. Daddies care. Daddies offer snuggles. Daddies show their love by more than paying bills. Sometimes they stay up to help with homework. Sometimes they are the pillow during movie time. Sometimes they hang back and just watch their kid play.
I didn’t have a Dad until I was almost 18. I had a Father up to that point. The man I call my Dad passed away but he will always be who I think of as what a Daddy should be. The man who biologically created me is not my Dad. I may call him that in passing but only due to a lifetime of conditioning.
So, those of you who are true Daddies, true parents who give of yourself to show your kids that they are loved – Thank you.
They say that when you die, in those final moments, your life flashes before your eyes. I see; red of Williams’ wheelbarrow, gold Amontillado of Montresor, white walls of Minas Tirith facing the Pelannor Fields, yellow of Milne’s bonnet, butterfly-enticing purple, and as the world fades completely; I see the octarine of magic, the color of imagination, alive and glowing like the pink charcoals of her cheeks.
The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.
Tonight I was able to check a big item off my bucket list. My Aunt Lois introduced me to the music of The Indigo Girls over twenty years ago and listening to their words, especially their classic, “Closer to Fine,” always brings a tear to my eye. Lois passed away what feels simultaneously like yesterday and forever ago, but in truth it hasn’t been that long in the grand scheme of things. Tonight, thanks to my husband, I was able to sit in a darkened concert hall and know that the seat next to me might have appeared empty to others but not to me. Lois was with me, singing harmony with me and smiling the way she did when it was only her and me.
She never had the chance to see the show but I sang every song and, if I cried a little, I hope she knows they were happy tears.
If, by chance, The Indigo Girls happen to see this, please know that the show tonight was a way for me to say goodbye to one of my best friends in the most fitting way possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
told me you’d pick me up from my mom’s but never showed,
promised that you’d take me with you on your trip to the amusement park with the roller coasters and water slides but instead just never bothered to show up and went with your friends instead,
called me from concerts that you had said you would take me to,
sent texts with pictures of how much fun you were having somewhere else instead of with me doing what we were supposed to be doing together while I did it alone and pretended that it didn’t bother me,
spent weekend mornings wandering aimlessly down the streets of our small town because you were too busy sleeping to spend time with me during our divorce-decree required visitations,
or spent weekends at your mom’s house where you dropped me Friday evening and picked me up Sunday afternoon because you were too busy or too uninterested in showing any interest in your daughter who just needed a dad who gave any level of crap for her,
spent holidays not twenty minutes away from my house but never bothered to call/text/email that you were in town,
posted a photo on Facebook of my sisters and their families and said how proud you are of them but never one of me and my family,
gave me a Christmas card with nothing more than your signature inside while your other kids got cash and the grand-kids waved their money in the air like it was nothing new and I sat there forcing a smile at yet another time of you being an ass,
didn’t show up to birthday parties, school functions, any number of other times that I needed my dad to be there and the chair was empty and my mom tried so damn hard to make excuses for you but we both knew you just didn’t care enough about me to remember.
She stopped making excuses for you when I was ten.
I stopped making excuses for you when I was twenty.
I still love you. I still miss you.
But if I had a dollar for every time you let me down I’d gladly give it all to the kids who wander the streets of their town wondering when their parent is going to wake up and make breakfast or even do more than shuffle them off to someone else because it’s too damn time-consuming to spend time with a kid who can’t do anything for you.
Where I want to stop reliving every conversation we’ve ever had that ended poorly.
Or ended well.
Or just trailed off to us looking at our phones while I pretended that the words left hanging in the air aren’t going to run circles in my mind until I’m left dizzy and spent.
Where I just want to see that you read my chat message and responded.
Where I don’t sit and check my texts a thousand times in a minute to see if you bothered to even send a ‘k’ which you know annoys the crap out of me but at least it’s a response.
Where I don’t want to answer the messages you’ve sent me but I make myself because I don’t want you to worry or spend your time checking and rechecking your texts to see if I sent a simple answer like ‘k’ even though I hate one letter texts.
Let me break this down for you, for some seem to be having difficulty understanding the basic concept of consent.
IF THEY CAN’T/WON’T SAY ‘YES’ TO SEXUAL ACTIVITIES AND YOU KEEP GOING, YOU’RE A CRIMINAL.
Placing myself in the spotlight:
I woke up to my (now ex) boyfriend having sex with me. I blinked and groggily asked him what he was doing. His response? “It’s one of my fantasies.” I was still for all intents and purposes asleep so I just nodded and fell back into dreams. That memory haunts me to this day.
I COULD NOT HAVE GIVEN CONSENT. I WAS STILL ASLEEP WHEN HE STARTED AND WHEN HE FINISHED.
Was I cornered at a party? No. Was I drugged? No. I was simply sleeping in my boyfriend’s bed while he decided that raping me was no big deal.