Seventeen days…

I can’t believe we move in seventeen days… well, at least we hope to. The movers we are most likely to go with (yes, seventeen days and we don’t officially have movers, though we have a backup booked) can’t give you a definite date. If they have other moves happening in the same general time frame, then you can book them. Otherwise you have to work on their schedule. This sucks, but the upside to this is, since they do all moves directly and don’t resell, it means we will get a 2 day delivery window for our stuff to arrive… shouldn’t be any further out that say Wednesday if we move on a Thursday. Whereas our backup company does resell and it might take as long as 14 days for the stuff to arrive for moving in!!! That’s just unacceptable. We won’t have anywhere to sleep, so we’re going to be looking at hotel rooms for several days longer. Which sucks ass, and is not an option for seven to fourteen days!

So… the more expensive company that can’t necessarily guarantee our move date is likely to be the one who gets our move.

Missy is coming to New York after school Friday. I really hoped my mother would keep her out of school for the day… she was the one who suggested she might. Then, however, my mother reneged because Missy stayed home to “catch up” one day last week. Why she let her do that when she knows I wanted her to spend a day here with us, I don’t know. We can’t bring her on a Saturday because we have stuff the next two in a row. First we have my grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary party this weekend, which Missy needs to be at also. Before we go there, we’re stopping at my father’s (further away). I’ve decided that I have to do this. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’d rather do something I don’t really want to do than regret not having done it later. Does that even make sense? Well, if not it’s apropos. Nothing makes sense where my father is concerned. I was going through stuff yesterday while packing, and I found a letter he’d written me back in early 1995 - when I was in college for the first time, just before I flunked out. The letter had included a check for a whopping $10… and a repeated message of “do well in school so you can provide for me” - which I think sucks ass and shows how selfish the man is. I have no idea why I even saved it for all these years, but I have it no longer. At any rate, I know if I leave without seeing him and something happens, I’ll regret it. Even if my leaving without saying bye won’t hurt him for the right reasons, he’ll still be hurt… and I just don’t have it in me to intentionally hurt someone that way. So, I’ve planned the visit for a time when I won’t be able to stay for very long - and that part is totally intentional. I also figured if we have Missy with us, my hub will have someone to talk to that he likes (besides me, of course). We’ll also have our Pup… should be an interesting hour or so. Ugh. Oh well, then it’s done and I can feel good knowing I did what was right for me… even if it’s not something I like to do. Sorta like the dentist, I guess. Or getting a haircut when it’s been a year…

I am starting to get really emotional about leaving my mom and Missy. I worry about them, for different reasons. I worry about my mother because she’s becoming more and more like her mother - which is really just not a good thing. My grandmother did a lot for me, and I’m grateful for that… and yet there’s almost no way in which it is good to be like that woman. Her life is just consumed by fear… for example, she broke a cap on a front top tooth probably four summers ago… and she still hasn’t gotten it fixed. Why? Well, to fix it, they need to pull other teeth and just give her a bridge… and she’s terrified of having that done (gee, and ya wonder where I get it?). So, although she’s embarrassed, she won’t get the tooth fixed. She keeps talking about it… but if it ever happens I’ll be amazed. It’s part of why she didn’t want a real anniversary party - though she’d say it isn’t, really. I know better. We threw her a 70th Surprise Party last year, and though she was happy, she was still mortified. She’s trying not to smile with her mouth open in all of the pictures, and since she’s an open mouth smiler, she looks like she is grimacing… it’s really very sad, but at almost 71, I don’t see her changing. However, my mother, since moving next door to them several years ago (after my great-grandmother’s death), has changed a lot. Between the proximity to her mother and September 11, my mother has become quite afraid of things she never worried about before. It’s frustrating to see, and impossible to stop… so I worry about her. She’s still nowhere near as bad… but it’s progressing regularly, and I fear it will get worse.

With Missy, there are many concerns I have. No one is interested in her education, for example. My mother’s attitude is one of “well, I won’t be able to pay for her to go to college” - as though that means Missy shouldn’t even try to get into a good school… or any damn school other than community college. Look, I’m a realist. If Missy doesn’t want to go to college, she shouldn’t. There’s no point. She’ll just flunk out… but maybe if my mother took a little interest in her educational development, Missy might have more interest. Part of the problem is that she’s in a crappy school. I went to that school, and it was crappy then and it’s still crappy. The teachers just don’t push or challenge… and Missy, while smart, is not one who is self-motivated (much as was the case for me). She needs pushing. She’s not really any less bright than I was - but she is less interested in learning, less interested in discovering. I think what she needs is a good school with teachers who give a shit. And so I told my mother to talk to the child study team to consider my high school for Missy. It’s an alternative placement, and I think she’d do great there. My mother freaked out. She was totally against the idea. Well, Missy’s failed math two out of three marking periods and has gotten a D this most recent one. There’s some danger she won’t even graduate. On top of that, Missy is in the band and various other extras… and she missed nearly a week of math classes recently for practices. What the hell is wrong with her school that they let that happen? She should’ve been yanked out of those extras - or else at least not allowed to miss four days of math for them. My mother might not be aware that it happened - and that is another problem in and of itself. If she were my daughter, well… first off, I assure you, she’d never have failed math. My husband would tutor her. My mother could tutor Missy, but won’t because they use a different method of getting the problems solved than she knows. My feeling is, who the fuck gives a damn??? If she knows how to solve the problem, I don’t care what steps she uses to get the right answers. I had to learn in different ways than were being taught where math was concerned. My mother’s fears were that she’d only further confuse my sister… so the answer then is to let her fucking fail for two marking periods in a row??? Grrr… my mother is a much better mother now, in the sense that, well, for starters, she’s sober. That helps. However, though I love her dearly, she is very lacking in many areas - and education is the biggest one. Missy had expressed an interest in going to vo-tech… and I didn’t think she should be pigeonholed into a career she might not want - when I was 14 I wanted to be a beautician, too. I grew out of it. Now, I’m not saying Missy won’t want to do that - or that there’s anything wrong with doing that. It’s an awesome job… I just want her to have every possible option when she graduates… and my mother doesn’t seem to get that sometimes. It’s like, since she went to college later, and I also ended up going later, that means it’s the solution for everyone… but it’s not! Maybe it will be for Missy, but she deserves the chance to figure out for herself what she can do. If she flunks all of her classes, her options are taken away from her.

So, this is why I worry about Missy… among other things, like how much time she spends chatting to internet people when she’s so young. I’m one to talk… I was meeting guys from telephone lines by the time I was her age. I was stupid and got lucky… but it’s also somewhat easier to get a vibe for a person from the phone. I never met guys via the internet. I was too freaked out to do it. I know plenty of happy couples meet that way, and more power to ‘em… it just wasn’t for me.

Anyway… maybe it’s good that I’m going further away. I can’t be Missy’s mother. I might do a better job of it, but it’s not my job to do… all I can do is try to help guide her. If she does as badly as I fear she will in high school, or worse, if she stays back this year, I will push my mother again to consider my high school. Missy liked the idea of it (my mother isn’t aware I talked to her about it - but I did that before my mother spazzed). I think she’d do great in that environment. He has a lot of emotional issues. Her therapist apparently thinks she could be bi-polar (I don’t see it and he’s not a shrink). She was a cutter (seems to have stopped for now). She’s got serious father figure issues that could manifest in some ugly ways if not carefully watched… and she has all of the same sort of issues with schoolwork that I had. My high school saved my life… I’d never have finished without the people there. I just want Missy to get the best education possible, while having her emotional needs met, too. If she stays back, I think my mother would be fairly easy to persuade. Going where I went would give her the chance to make up the year without staying back… and they do take 8th graders. It wouldn’t have to be for her entire high school career, either. She could go back to the public school if she wanted to, once things improved for her. I think she’d want to stay, though.

Well, that’s all the worrying I can do about Missy for one morning. She’s a good kid, and she’s pretty true to herself. I have to hope that with my limited guidance she’ll pull through it all okay, no matter what. It’s really the most I can do. I know that, as hard as it is for me to leave her behind, I have to do what is right for my future, too - for our future… and I believe 100% that this move is right for us, that it will be good for us.

I’m excited, if also a bit scared and uncertain. I’ll be with my best friend, though… knowing that really helps.