Zeke and Zube

Frankly, I’m not real romantic. I remember when I was a teenager my Dad gave me life advice and he said, “I know how to balance my checkbook and my Mom taught me to sew a button. Always know how to take care of yourself.”

I’m fiercely independent. To a fault.

Zeke and I got into a tiff a couple of months ago, unfortunately right before I was leaving for Texas to see the kids. I spent eight hours driving and imagining how I’d be like that older lady in the movie Twister with long flowy gray hair and weird yard ornaments. I counted the accumulation of cats and potted plants I would mother and wondered if we would be able to share custody of Alfredo in a far more simpatico fashion than my ex and I share our children. I almost cursed myself for asking the Universe to help Zeke, a rather neutral animal dude, fall in love with my cat when I worried about bringing him to Colorado, but then, well, I thought better of it…

Zeke and Gato
(Toe for short)

Somewhere around Lubbock he called to check on me and insisted I get a hotel room and not drive straight through because he’d worry. I told him I would. And then I drove straight through anyway. (He got sorta mad about that, actually, but it wasn’t a measurable tiff.)

I read a meme once that fierce independence is a trauma response and I had never, ever considered that. I nearly fell off my unicorn in resonance.

Sometimes I create fairy tales where I’m all alone in the world and no one loves me enough and those stories serve to undermine me time and again, but I’m actively working on that.

I realize now those thoughts all stem from me and my own journey through finding love for myself.

This weekend is Operation Distract Zube. It’s also going to be Mother’s Day.

There’s this thing I struggle with where I have a hard time sharing my situation with the kids and having that simply be received. It’s not that I want to sob it all over everyone, but I’m aware that it’s not healthy to bottle it all up and keep it to myself either.

And sometimes people outright ask questions with sensical answers that include some facts in my life that I’m not altogether happy about. Can’t that be receivable?

Honestly, that’s probably why I find it easier to write about it.

I’m not an unhappy person. I find joy. It’s damn near my life’s mission to marinate in joy whenever possible these days. I think that’s a tremendously helpful coping strategy.

Vodka was not so much.

Decades ago, I knew without the hint of any discussion when my parents were muddling through court during their own divorce. I remember it broke me inside when I sensed it wasn’t going swimmingly. I was twenty five years old at the time but I was a little kid when it came to my parents and I hated the thought of them fighting and seeing them stressed.

I think often about the story of King Solomon and the two mothers who argued over a single baby. The King suggested slicing the baby in half and the true mother cried out, “No! Let her keep him!”

I don’t know, man. It just is what it is. This is a difficult thing for folks to wrap their heads around.

I’m not indecisive or scared or less loving or anything like that.

My decision not to do anything is a decision. And not doing anything is what I’m doing.

I have a keen sense of what various roads would entail and this seems the most loving and least disruptive and least hateful.

My head is entirely wrapped around all of my situation, and then some. It’s a damn situation burrito in my brain.

That’s not necessarily where I was headed when I started writing this, but it does lead me back to Zeke and I don’t know that I’ve ever been understood more by anyone.

I fucking love this man. We’ve been solidly aligned with one another for nine years now, even through break-ups and long distance and rehab and other relationships. I tell people sometimes I love him like a brother which sounds totally gross but I don’t mean it to, I simply can’t think of another way to describe the depth of my concern and care for him, and it mirrors his for me.

I will cry this weekend. There’s no doubt about that. But Zeke’s taking me away to Crestone, Colorado and we’ll also ride bikes and I’m going to learn to kayak. I’m wondering if he took a CPR class without me knowing and wants to practice his mouth-to-mouth technique or something because kayaking actually sounds mortifying, but I’m a lot more daring than I used to be.

And he’s a saint, to me anyway.

Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers out there. Even, actually, especially to those mothers who for one reason or another wonder if you deserve to commemorate this day at all.

From the bottom of my heart and soul, you do sister.


Zube XO

Cora Jane and Keenan, you are the reasons I’ve learned to be courageous and the reasons I’m a mother, however unique that experience is for us.


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