A Heart Full of Love

Sam and Danny have been begging to go to Chuck E Cheese's for the past week. They've both heard of the place, and then last week on one of his camp field trips to the Skagit Children's Museum, Danny saw it. I knew when I picked them up from their other parent's house today they were going to ask me again, beg me to go.

I had convinced myself that it was going to be awful. I haven't been to a Chuck E Cheese's since I was a kid in Michigan, so sometime before I was 10. I expected it to be loud and annoying and expensive and awful. I also knew it would make my kids seriously freaking happy to go there. So, I gave in.

It was the best choice I've made all week. Yes, I have $60 less in my wallet than I did this morning.  But, man, those kids had a blast. And to tell you the truth, I had a pretty good time too. We spent over 100 tokens, and every game only costs one. I sat in the chair with Danny on my lap and pressed the gas pedal so he could play the car chase game, and he caught the bad guy twice. I got to play Skee Ball and Danny climbed the play structure, and Sam and Danny teamed up to shoot giant crabs and bats in some crazy pirate shooting game. Danny won the jackpot on some silly game and the machine blurfed out 60 tickets, and they were both just ecstatic.

They played together, and didn't fight, there was a slight disagreement at the end when we went to cash in their tickets and Sam wanted to spend more than his part, so we went back to the table for a few minutes. In the end, they worked it out themselves, without my help. Sam got the toy he wanted, and Danny was happy with two toys that cost less, and they chattered all the way to the car and then they laughed and played all the way home, and even after we got here.

I was hot, and tired, but the A/C came on and I listened to them being silly in the back seat and my heart was so full of love. This past week has been truly amazing for me. I feel as though I've been working and working and worrying and stressing for so, so long, and I have finally arrived at this place, this place I am supposed to be, that I wasn't sure existed. Not for real.

My kids, they're great. We have one problem with Sam that we're still dealing with, and we're working on it. We have a new doctor at Children's Hospital in Seattle to work with and things are more stable at home. But aside from that, they're good. I finally feel pretty sure that I haven't completely fucked them up forever by them being dealt the hand they've played the last few years. I know in my mind that it's not my fault, but it sure is reassuring to see them doing better, doing well. This week, Danny starts Kindergarten and Sam starts 4th grade. They'll both be together, one school, one after school program.  They go to a great school and I know that Danny is going to love it.

My job is wonderful. I love the place I work, the people I work with. I feel good about working there and what we're doing. I don't think I've had a day in the year plus that I've worked there that I've felt like I didn't want to go to work. I had a good one year review, and we're hiring someone so I can transition from the job I've been doing into a combined Office Manager/HR/Safety Coordinator type job. I'm really excited about the change, and about being even more involved there.

My romantic life is... well, to tell you the truth, it's really gross. Cutesy, gooey, syrupy, sweet, lovey romance. I am dating someone who I have been seeing for over a year, but we took the relationship/dating part slow, and even though it was hard for me sometimes, I am so, so glad that we did it that way. He is... more than I could have hoped for. More than I imagined is possible. He makes my heart sing and my soul feel safe. My kids met him as a friend a while ago, and now they know we're dating, and I feel like I did right by them. They like him too, and knew him as a friend first. He has their trust because he deserves it. He makes me happy.

I am out of debt (well, aside from the IRS, but that's just something to deal with). I have a car that I can get in and drive somewhere and not wonder if today will be its last day like I did with my old car for the past 2+ years. We have a good place to live, a sweet cat (though I could do with less dead birds in my house...), and a wonderful family. I have started volunteering at a place I really believe in, and now am leading the monthly Polyamory/Ethical Non-Monogamy discussion group there. The people I've met there, and the friends I have made fill my heart with belonging and a sense of community. I have a couple of really good girlfriends that I have met/gotten to know better in the last couple of years and they fill me with joy, and I still get to see my long-time friends in Seattle at book club most months.

I have had so much support over the last couple of years from all around me. It took it's sweet time, but Bellingham finally has given me the one thing I had trouble finding, my tribe and my home. My heart is wide open, in a way that it has never been before, and this past week all I can feel is full. I have been through some pretty terrible times, and I think maybe I have come out the other side. I feel strong. I feel like whatever happens, I can manage. Not only that I can manage, but that I'll succeed.

Here I am. I am here.