Birthday Shoes

Monday..I turn 37. Ten years ago, when I was 27, I became a single mom.

I remember 27 very vividly, there was alot of hardship there..and I guess this birthday marks sort of a ten year anniversary, and my soul is on the floor.

My children were small. I would drop them off at 5 am at daycare so I could get to work as a waitresss for the breakfast crowd. This job was extremly physical, and exausting, and Im sure lead to my three back surgeries six years later.
After one of the wait staff slipped and broke her arm we were told that we had to get "Skid resistant shoes" by Saturday or we could not work the weekend shift.

To finacially survive I had to work the weekend shift.

Friday night I went to get the shoes..I wear size 9, and all they had left was 8 and below. I got the eight lf...I had to work. I did not have the gas money after paying for forty dollar shoes to go some place else..so this..is what I got.

Saturday was a brutal 12 hour shift..brutal. When I finally was cut off the floor, right after I got out the front door I had to take my shoes off. I peeled them off as the flesh on the back of my heels from the blisters wanted to tear off..and I had bruises all over.

I was in tears. My feet hurt so bad. What was worse was the next day, when I had to put them on again...and work 8 hours in agony.

When I went home that evening both of my front toenails were black from being compressed in a space to small. I soaked my feet in cold water all night.

My son wanted to see if his cars would float in the bucket with my feet. My daughter was hungry, and my other son was having a tantrum..so I just sat there silently and cried. Later I lost my toenails..it was gross.

That same year I got mono and tore my rotator cuff. I continued to lift trays, and I would come home and sleep with ice around my shoulder. Looking back I dont know how I did it.

This...this is what single moms do.We wake up in the mornings with 102 fever and get the kids off to school when they are little..because that is what you have to do. You miss feild trips and forgo soccer team..because there is no money, and going to a feild trip would mean missing time off work.

Now it is ten years later..the kids dad has dissappeared out of their lives,when he was present here and there it meant the world to them. It's left a big hole in their heart and has done some emotional damage that I cannot undo.

I am 37 the kids are no longer small.

My daughter was in an accident last year, and she has to go to a special school now because she missed so much time and could not graduate..or go to prom. The friends she had abandoned her, which can be a lonely place as a teen.

My middle son struggles with anger, ocd...mostly just an angry teen boy who breaks my heart on a daily basis...and whom I struggle to get to go to his therapist. He is too big to just put in the back seat and buckle up and make him go.

My youngest son is screwing up in school...and grades are a joke.

I miss the days of the floating cars in the bucket. I miss the day when my children filled the bathtub with tadpoles and made me scream as they were laughing so hard they cried....and when my son picked up a dead squirrel and brought it home..because it was cool. I miss knowing that when I put them in bed at night..they were safe and sound, and where they belonged, instead of out in the scary world. Where I could just kiss the boo boo and make it all better.

I am today as I was ten years ago..walking in shoes that are too small, and it is painful.

So for my birthday I have been served a peice of "Feel sorry for myself pie" with a side of defeat, and try and peel my soul off the floor even though it is blistered and bruised.

~Not so Almighty Heidi


AkasaWolfSong said...

Oh Heidi...This too shall pass...you have to hang on to that and just find one thing to be grateful for...like the roof over your head or the bed you have to sleep on. I know we can't refuse to look at the other things but sometimes if we just step back a bit and look at life from a different perspective it will allow us to see things with different eyes. I know because I have been in your shoes that didn't fit, on all levels...and now that my kids are grown and one of them has children of her own, the problems have changed some but they are still there...they are life lessons...and it is up to us to awaken to the beautiful possibility that life has to offer. I know you know this too.
But today...I want you to know that I am lovingly giving you a hug..because you are worthy of it, you deserve it, and just because I want to. I think you are beautiful and brave...and your children are too. It may not look like it right at this moment but I think on down the road you will look back and say Wow! I made it! And look how far we've come!
Breathe, Beautiful Woman...

Anonymous said...

I have a slice of "Feel sorry for myself pie" every other week Heidi. Often served with some "self pity fries".

And anyway!!

You're still young! I'm 41 soon and keep myself going by thinking that the good times will always come.
They will....

Cat said...

You talk of times gone by too fast, in your struggle to survive. I know about surviving and making it to the next day with food on the table, no lights for a week because I had to choose between that bill and food.

My children are teenagers now as well and I know I have done things - unintentionally that have helped to mold who they are becoming, and I know as my oldest now almost 18 years old pushes against my resolve to hold on a little bit longer that , when it really counts, when he really needs me, he knows he can come and ask. Because Mothers like you and I - are always there. Waiting in the wings, to help teach them how to be strong and to get through another day.

Survival skills are learned best from the mother, dont you think?

Many wishes for a wonderfully happy 37th birthday to you.

foam said...

aww , if i could kiss it and make it go away, i would..
you've come a long long way, heidi ..

Shadow said...

we do what we have to do to survive. you deserve a huge pat on the back for what you've been through. and the darkness now will fade eventually too. dawn is always stronger than the night... happy birthday and lots of love to you!

Merry ME said...

Yours is indeed a universal story that many moms (and dads) can relate to. My son is 37 years old and I still hold my breath when he ventures too far from MY comfort zone. I'm learning he's strong and capable. Doesn't mean I don't get scared!

If I could I'd send you a pair of bright red, sequined shoes, or paisley birkenstocks, or Nike Airs - not because you especially need a new pair of shoes but to symbolize you deserve to care for those feet that have carried you so far.

X. Dell said...

(1) I wondered about all the back problems you have had since the blog began. Figures it was something like that kind of gruelling labor that exploits everyone it touches. And, of course, you really couldn't leave it because you had kids to think about.

(2) Um, happy, um, 37th, friend. You've done Jack Benny two better.

(3) There's nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself. It would be worse if we felt sorry for you, wouldn't it? Besides, if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.

AkasaWolfSong said...

Just wanted to stop back in and wish you the Best Birthday Ever...

May your coming year be one that is truly fruitful and abundantly prosperous in all areas of your life!

Happy Birthday Heidi...

Qn Dani said...

I don’t believe one day is nearly enough to celebrate our bodacious awesomeness, so I created a “birth month” instead of a birth day. This is day one of Almighty Heidi month – the first day of 31 days to honor and yes, celebrate you!

The sacrifices you have made, the struggles you have faced and overcome, the places you have been and the places you have yet to go.

Thank you for sharing yourself with the world – openly, honestly, eloquently, beautifully and most especially almightily!!

AlmightyHeidi said...

Thank you all. I do appreciate the well wishes, hope, and thoughtfulness, I do.


MaQuade said...

How did I not know this story? This is enlightening in terms of how you felt that weekend...