Monday, September 21, 2009

Gone Country

My friend Angie over at one of my favorite blogs, Home Grown has asked us her loyal readers (I am so loyal I almost feel the need for medication when she goes a couple days without posting) why we went country. Bahahaha! It's so funny how my life has changed since my teen years. I don't know why it makes me laugh so much, maybe because it's so extreme. Have you ever seen one of those Beverly Hills 90210 or OC shows about the people who live in coastal southern California? Well, that's how I was raised. The wealth (not necessarily in my family) the status and how you looked were the only important things in life. The pressure to be beautiful, have name brand clothes and to drive a nice car were overwhelming, even in High School. I was miserable. I remember longing for my Mom while she was at work. I would cry because I missed her while she was gone. She was a very nurturing, kind, patient woman who was always my safe person. Both my parents grow up poor, so they like most people felt it was important to give their children what they never had. I would have given up the big house in a heartbeat to have my Mom home when I came home from school.

When I had brace face as a 19 year old I was very torn between the pressure to provide for her and wanting to make something of myself and my desire to not be dependent on government aid. I was a single parent and knew it was all up to me to take care of her. As expected many people gave up on my being anything when I had her. I had to prove them wrong. I went to school during the week and worked as a bartender or cocktail waitress on Friday and Saturday nights while she was asleep. I lived with my parents who took a very involved role in raising her with me. She thought she had two moms for the longest time. I met Sarge when she was still in diapers and he has been there for her ever since.

The man cub came a long a year after we were married. School was almost done but put on hold because when I went in for my ultrasound the measurements of his head were conducive with Downs Syndrome and the fluid on his kidneys and brain were very obvious to the naked eye on the screen. I was devastated. They told me everything from there could be a miracle and he could survive to he could die shortly after birth and everything in between. He could need a shunt, a kidney transplant then came the abortion talk. Sarge and I would hear nothing of it. Not an option for us. So I as hooked up to monitors every other day, I felt horrible and I was depressed. We stuck it out, and he was born and came through the ordeal ok. No Down's, no brain or kidney problems. I just tell myself that massive melon holds all the answers. He is the next Steven Spielburg, his imagination is amazing. The only thing he has had to deal with is asthma and really bad allergies. He hates the nebulizer but takes meds without any problems. We do just fine.

When the man cub started school I went to EMT school and finally found my calling in life. I wanted to be a nurse. I thought about it back in the high school but then got distracted with having babies. Once I was on that ambulance dealing with patients I felt content that I had found my calling. I would go to nursing school, make great money, be financially independent. Life would be wonderful. I went back to school to finish my bachelors and do my nursing prerequisites. I hit it hard. Taking 5 classes at a time and pooring my heart and soul into my school work. I was finally calm enough and could focus. I have a tendency to be a very black and white, all or nothing kind of person. I was all school. Sarge was slowly becoming angry that I was gone all the time and the kids were acting up and my house was not functioning. I was determined and I was not going to give up on my dreams. My marriage was falling apart. My kids were acting out. Life was a mess.

One day the man cub looked at me and said I wish I had a mom that was around more. Thinking back to when I was a kid I fell apart. I bawled my eyes out. I cried for days. I was sitting in microbiology, the class from hell and my teacher said if you aren't focused you aren't going to make it through this class. If you don't get the totally involved concept you aren't going to make it. If you can't spend everyday reading this book and doing the work, you need to leave now. Those two sentences (the man cubs and the teachers) collided in my head cause an amazing chain reaction. I picked up my stuff and left, walked out of the class half way through the semester while everyone looked at me shocked. It was a class some tried years to get into, you begged and stood against the wall for weeks hoping someone would drop to get into this class and I just walked out. I cried the whole way home. I cried because I felt like I was giving up on my dream, I cried because I felt so guilty for neglecting my family. I cried for all the times I missed because I was gone. I cried for 3 days. I sat across the dining room table and had a conversation with Sarge for the first time in 2 years. I apologized to my kids and my family for not being there for them. Luckily I only had a few minor requirements to finish my BS.

So now, here I am. My priorities are my family and creating a happy healthy home for my kids and my husband. I don't have the big job, we don't have a lot of money but I know exactly how many pairs of clean underwear are in the man cubs drawer and I know that Brace face got a D on her Geometry test which made her cry. I know that Sarge will eat at the table with us if I make food that doesn't upset his delicate stomach. I know all this because I am home. Since I have been home and in tuned to my family I have quit clothes shopping weekly, I have taken the texting and Internet off my phone and I have adjusted to having less and needing less. In reality I have much more.

Since being home I have really focused on living off less. I raise chickens because they are simple and I feed my family with the eggs and we watch them and enjoy that they are simple creatures who make us laugh. I quilt because it's my way for showing my children I love them and I want to keep them warm. It also makes me work with my hands and lets me be creative. I can because I want my children to eat food that is not bathing in high fructose corn syrup. I make our laundry detergent because it is one thing I can do to keep our expenses down, and keep me home. I dream of a garden, of goats and of a raspberry patch and it will all come in time. I have a lot of reading to, I wasn't born into country-ness! In reality I have gone country to give my family the very best.

PS. I apologize for the novel this post has become :)


  1. You sound just like me! I wasnt born country, but it must have been deep down in my soul... I was made for this life and love it! We give up alot of "stuff" for me to stay home too, we may not have the best of everything BUT WE HAVE SOOO MUCH MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE... we have a great family life and our kids know I'm here for them, even though they are 15, 12, 10 and 16 they dont need me as much as they use too but when they do, I'm here! I love having the chickens, canning, crocheting and I've gotten all the stuff to make our laundry detergent... most of my city friends think I'm crazy, I just think I'm blessed!

  2. You've come a long way, baby! (hopefully you aren't so young that that slogan doesn't make sense LOL)

    Going through the tough stuff and coming out the other side, well my experience has been that just helps us appreciate family and "the little things" even more. Sounds like you are in a good place right now :).


  3. This is beautiful, Debbie! I think you are awesome.

  4. What a great story you have! Walking through the fire and coming out with your head on straight and your priorities in order and being happy takes stamina - moreso than sitting in microbiology and finishing that course. Good on you for finding your true happiness.