Thanks, Billy Joel.

I probably said this before but, this is a small town.

I wasn’t sure what irked me about it before but I’m realizing it’s the small minds.

I don’t mean brains. My brains are on the smallish side but I think my mind must be on the biggish side because I know I’m not the brightest crayon and I’m cool with it.

Rather be human, frankly.

I was actually born outside of Philly. Never thought I’d be grateful for that but I’m thinking now it might have been what saved me.

Because I do not have a pond named after me. And I’m cool with that too.

I did marry in to a street name though.

And I knew…I knew when I sat in that silent living room in that silent house one day when we were just dating, that I would have to learn to tiptoe.

You can hear my family from around the block. Not exaggerating. I was raised by loud, rude, but honest people.

Hub and I were terrified of each other’s people.

We did it though. It’s weird but now that I think about it, we really did blend.

All those eggshells taught me some tact. And he stands up and calls bullshit all the time now.

We almost did the pendulum thing though. We almost lost it. I’d been told I was crazy or out of line (in the most creative but passive aggressive ways) for so long that I was nearly out of touch with the human stuff.

My first time cruising the Reader here made me lose some sleep. I was…freaked out I guess.

My reaction bugged me for days. If a thing doesn’t go in and out of my attention in five minutes, I know something’s up. Finally, after this messy weekend, it hit me.

Oh shit. Feelings. On the outside! Being a droid is freaky and that’s what I was becoming.

Why are bad habits so much easier to pick up than good ones? Why are good ones so easy to lose?

What did it for me was Rooster.

The thing about Hubs people is Its not just that they’re kinda…waspish. They’re openly judgmental as well. I don’t like that and it’s always made me uncomfortable. We do not live that way in our house. We certainly haven’t raised our kids that way.

But as soon as we walk in my boy jumps on every kid in sight. Verbally I mean. Who knew you could find so many things to dislike in under 30 seconds…

I wanted to grab his arm and run for the car…the state line. Anywhere so long as he didn’t become that person.

I don’t get mom of the year awards. I have made a house much like the one I grew up in. Loud, messy…I’d just been kinda proud of the fact that it was at least stable.

I’d slacked on some human stuff lately without even realizing it. My mother had three jobs, two babies and no husband. She had a lot of problems. But she raised humans.

I didn’t recognize my baby in that moment. Who are you? Who did this…?

We let this happen. Yeah, his people are horrible for doing that. Some of them don’t even realize they’re doing wrong, some don’t actively enjoy causing pain. At least I don’t think so. It’s not my game I don’t know the rules. I’d just learned to keep my head down and avoid the radar.

But it got to Rooster. He’d picked it up.

I was angry before about all the dad stuff but this…murderous.

Yes, some of it was for Hub and I for not catching it sooner. News flash…parents have no idea what they’re doing.

Except, hopefully, for raising humans. That’s the what the how is harder.

Rooster will be ok. I know him. In reality he has so much compassion for living things that he tears up if he even thinks someone’s been hurt. Or if I’m mad at an obese cat for peeing in the closet.

“He got stuck that’s all!”

So I know that he’s just mimicking a behavior he’s seen. For now. I’m glad it happened when it did. The lights weren’t on but at least we were re connected. Rooster just flicked the switch.

Hubs people may have been uncomfortable, and I may have gotten some sternly confused looks, but we brought that boy around during the course of that swim today.

They might have broken us, but they won’t get him or his brother.

People don’t break anyway that’s another thing I’d forgotten. People break in the way that a muscle breaks when it’s exercised. They tear and they get sore but they’re stronger the next time. They go further.

These lessons don’t grow in small towns or small minds. Not without a shit ton of heartache anyway. I’d always kinda hoped that mine had bought them a free pass, had to be for something didn’t it?

So…yeah. We are so gone.

They will tell you you can’t sleep alone
In a strange place
Then they’ll tell you you can’t sleep
With somebody else
Ah, but sooner or later you sleep
In your own space
Either way it’s okay
You wake up with yourself

~ My Life, Billy Joel



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