Buddha’s Belated Birthday

After being distracted for, uh, a while, it finally dawned on me to check when exactly Buddha’s birthday falls. I’m almost ashamed to admit that it was completely in response to Brianna coming home from daycare (Our Lady of Grace Childcare Centre to be exact) and talking about Jesus and Easter. I suddenly became aware that other people were teaching my child about religion and I wasn’t. This wasn’t a particularly happy feeling. Anywho, I finally looked up the dates and found that Buddha’s birthday was yesterday.

D’oh!

Brianna was at her grandparent’s house with her Dad having Easter dinner at the time.

That was the moment I first realized that single parenthood can truly suck. I doubt it will be the last.

So I did what any desperate parent would do: I decided to celebrate it tonight. For all my years as a Buddhist, I really don’t know what comprises a Buddha’s birthday celebration. I remember offerings of food and tea, and bathing baby Buddha with sweet tea. In short, I remember what we did at the monastery, but that doesn’t really answer the question of how to celebrate it here, at home, with myself and my child.

Fortunately, Markham’s Asian community came through. I found an inkin for $33 (wow!), so Brianna got to ring the bell. She rang it a lot, but that was okay. I offered incense, sweet tea in a lovely offering cup from the same store as provided the inkin, and a still-warm-from-the-oven egg tart. We then bathed a tiny Buddha in sweet tea—I think Bri liked that part. The altar was adorned with fresh tulips.

Then, Brianna got some gifts to open, because it’s Buddha’s birthday and she’s a Buddha, so she gets birthday presents too. Or something like that. She got some hair clips (Cinderella even), a lovely child-size pair of chopsticks, and “Charlotte’s Web” on DVD. I got a Hello Kitty cell phone dongle cuz I’m a Buddha too. We ordered Japanese for dinner and watched the movie. Honestly, I thought she was going to insist on singing Happy Birthday, which would have been alright. Fortunately, she forgot about the balloons that she mentioned when I first picked her up from school. “You have to have balloons and cake for a birthday party Mommy.”

All went well until the movie was over. Then Brianna let loose with lovely temper tantrum. She misses her daddy and his absence is hitting her hard, so she does what any four-year-old does and acts out. Hitting mommy netted her a time out. She took two (including an unpleasant bathroom break) time outs to calm down. Then we had a kiss goodnight, and after I rubbed her back for awhile, she finally went to sleep.

It was a lovely rollercoaster ride of an evening, with love and snuggles and tears and crying. And it was just perfect.

Happy belated birthday Buddha!


Accomplished today: 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer before work. Yay me!

Departure

Well, I dropped B&B off at his parents place. I’ll return Sunday and pick her up; he’ll be staying there for two weeks. At the end of that time, we’ll re-evaluate.

I’m not sure how I feel right now. Sad, lonely, and very, very tired. I have a suspicion that this will be a good weekend for spring cleaning.

Lurking Dick

Wil Wheaton has a brilliant post about this picture here. In short, Dick Cheney is busted lurking about during a Rose Garden press conference held by President Bush.
Here’s my offering for the caption contest:

Lurking Dick

(Photo Credit: Stephen Crowley/ New York Times)

Wow! You can’t even see his lips move!

Of course, my quote works much better with the video than the still picture, but I’ll stick with it nonetheless. I’ll leave you all to ponder the rhyme that is “Dick lips”. Rolls off of the tongue, doesn’t it?

Time out.

Time outs are a wonderful tool for dealing with children who need some space to deal with their emotions. In my case, I’m calling a time out for me on my relationship with Bryan. Otherwise known as a “trial separation”.

No, I’m not going into the nitty gritty details, cuz this is private business. But, from my POV, Bryan has some things he needs to take responsibility for and deal with. I’m at the point where I’m really angry and frustrated and tired of fighting to make my relationship work, so it’s time out time. I need some space so I can work through my feelings before coming back to any kind of “us”.

In one hand, my heart is broken. I love Bryan and desperately would like this relationship to work. On the other hand, I’m feeling a real sense of relief that I can let that bit go and concentrate on other things that are important to me. Today, I joined the gym at work and I’m going to save up to buy a decent bicycle so I can start riding again.

And as my mind ponders everything, I’m making some startling discoveries:

  • I don’t want to give up custody of my kid. Sharing yes, by all means, but I’m not ready or willing to walk away from being a single mom. Somehow, that’s surprising to me.
  • Mostly I feel a sense of relief—I don’t have to make a decision right now, I don’t have to figure things out. I’m dead smack in the middle of “I don’t know” and I’m very okay with that.
  • I have a lot of support from my friends (somehow, I thought people would think that this is “my fault”).
  • I’m enjoying music and writing and sitting again. I think I’ve shied away from any activity that would really cause me to confront the truth of my situation.

Special thanks to some friends who made me see that it really is okay to take care of myself and my needs in this situation. I love you!

Are we breaking up for good? I honestly don’t know. And that’s just where I need to be right now.

(P.S. – Yes, I told Bryan I’d be blogging about this beforehand and he’s cool with it.)