My son is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He is my angel. He saved my life… literally. Ages before “scandalous” existed… well, things were a bit way more scandalous. I was a dumb kid. Fresh to California from the midwest. I came out here originally to pursue an acting career (which still hasn’t happened). I have a background in Drama and performing ever since I was a toddler.
I met Ethan’s father in a Yahoo chat room, back in the days where it was still fresh to be dating off this vast space we call “the internet.” He was my age. Tall. Nerdy. He loved Monty Python, soccer, and video games. He was a barista for a local coffee shop in Larkspur, CA. We dated briefly before I decided to take the visit up there.
“My family wants to know the address of where I’m going when I see you.”
“Sure its [redacted] would you like to call and make sure I work at the coffee shop too? Here’s that info [redacted]“
“You’re being silly now… “
“Would you like my social security number? I’ll give you that too..”
I should have gotten that. I found out later he lied about nearly everything he’d told me. While yes, he did work at that little coffee shop, he lied about his birthday. He lied about stupid things for reasons unknown.. that I will never know. He also never told me that he was married…
There are two reminders of him. A little stuffed Cheshire cat he got at Disney when he picked me up to go, and.. Ethan.
I found out shortly after that trip that I was pregnant. I remember the day vividly. My friend Tino brought me to a clinic to get a test. I was trying to keep it a secret. I was going to get some cigarretes after, providing the test came back negative. Tino ended up crushing the pack of smokes I had at the time.
Upon informing him that I was indeed pregnant with Ethan, his father poofed. He was never present in Ethan’s life in any form or fashion. I found out a year ago that his father died of cancer. He was 22. I was destined to be a single mother.
They say it takes a village to raise a child.
My family encouraged me to keep the baby, and told me that they would help me. I am forever thankful for the people that are in my life… especially them. Despite my tribulations with them, they have been there when it comes to Ethan.
My oldest son is one of the easiest children to care for and love. I am very “blessed.” After my marriage failed, I knew that it was in his best interest to go with my dad- a more 9-5 “normal” lifestyle- while I started on my journey to really get on my own two feet and really dive into the entertainment industry full force. My other children are living with their father- my ex husband- currently.
I go on visits once a week down to Claremont (a little town 45 minutes east of LA) to see my 6 year old. He lives with my dad in suburbia. The schools are better, and it’s the best situation for him.
My grandmother- one person whom is the foundation of much of my interests artistically, is the most important person in his life. She is the exact opposite of dad. Dad is black and white. She’s full of color.
My grandmothers traditional and old fashioned values attributed to her time and where she grew up- the country areas outside of Chicago and her Roman Catholic background shaped my father to be this very conservative corporate man. Dad understands business. He wanted more than that country lifestyle. He loves numbers. He loves the things that are clear cut. He’s great with other people’s money. He’s horrible with his own.
Grandma is an artist. She paints and gardens. She loves all things whimsical. She’s a packrat of awesome treasures. She throws away nothing. She’s eccentric. She’s wonderful with young children. I remember the days of growing up and spending summers on the screened in porch painting side by side in pigtails.
My dad, whom I used to think was the coolest person ever growing up, has slowly but surely become… well, a scorn old man. I represent much of what he has always feared and loathed growing up. I represent the never growing older aspect of things imaginary and artistic. The same man who raised me on baseball, comic books, rock music, movies, and Nintendo, despises any interests that I have of becoming part of the machine to make any of those things realities.
Years later… we are far away from home. His “out there” daughter wanted to pursue the arts, and her first trip to the bay area resulted in her getting knocked up. I have worked in entertainment and various writing gigs. I’m… everything that he doesn’t understand. However, I’m also my dad’s favorite because strangely enough, I’m most like him in personality. My dad will always see the little girl in pigtails. But now, he sees her on a motorcycle with “dangerous boys” and knows that I will partake in all that dad tells me not to because, well it’s fun.
This weekend was supposed to be something wholesome. He picked me up and brought me to my first Dodger’s baseball game. They were playing San Diego. Sorry LA, I had to root for my real “home” team.
The day was very well. Despite the fact that I was melting from under the sun, and the Padres lost horribly, we had a really good time. I went back to dad’s afterwards to spend the remainder of the day with my son, playing baseball and watching Spongebob.
My dad has new neighbors. They’re a group of young musicians about my age. They were playing basketball when we initially got to dad’s place. I wanted to go say hello but held back. And then they started playing Green Day.
My son started dancing. A smile crept up on my face… which was immediately shattered as if a magnetic force was in play- my dad came out to ruin it.
I’m sure in his mind he was thinking something along the lines of:
“I do not want to come home one day and hear someone screaming next door and it to be my daughter..”
Dad shooed my son and I into the house and closed all of the windows.
“You are not to talk to them at all or go near there.”
Suddenly I’m 15 again. I don’t think my dad honestly thought this would work. In reality, he just told me to do it. I’ve found that everything that my dad has told me not to do, has generally been the best thing for me to do and vice versa.
For example (and I hold myself accountable inevitably for all of this):
Love & Marriage
My dad told me that getting married was the best decision to make. I was pressured by my family’s old fashioned values to get married. I could not possibly be happy with living with someone and having a family with said person without a piece of paper giving me a tax writeoff. To me, I knew that this piece of paper to say “this is who I’m with” was not only relatively unnecessarry, but it was giving someone the tools to “not only fuck you in the bedroom, but also in a courtroom.” This is coming from a man who is also divorced and married my mother because he got her pregant. Pot calling the kettle black? Yes the divorce was worth it.
Moving to LA
I moved a few times since my marriage broke up in San Diego. I knew that ultimately, I wanted a career in the entertainment industry. It was the first and foremost point of why I moved to California in the first place. My dad saw the opportunities here as well, which is why he works in downtown Los Angeles. However, when I expressed interest in moving out of suburbia to the greener pastures of a city filled with more opportunities within my preferred industry of choice, dad said no. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Getting a motorcycle
Ok, so it’s only a scooter. When I told my dad about the multiple problems I was having with the beast and the potential offer to get my bike, dad immediately freaked (and bought me a car).
“You will die on a bike. I give up. “
I decided to keep it under wraps that I did end up getting the bike until after my uncle was on the way out with the car dad had bought for me. I felt like a kid hiding that damn bike. It was peculiar because, well… I’d told other family about it (including my grandparents that drove the car out from IL.)
I’d gotten spoiled with it… I elected not to go anywhere where it required me to take the freeway- and thus take the beast. I’m not freeway legally as of yet, and well.. gas in a car is expensive, especially that car.
That bike has been the saving grace for the multiple instances I’ve gotten lost or when I’ve been frustrated. There was even a really really phenomenal date that’s associated with that bike. Whenever something is bothering me, it seems to be cured near instantly upon getting on that bike.
Even after driving home in a sportscar Monday, I still was a bit bummed. Why? Because I missed my damn bike. Go figure.
But back to the rocker neighbors…
Instinctively, I knew that I was going to go over there. I wanted to make sure that those guys were not intentionally messing with my dads yard like he was roaring about. I stepped outside to have a smoke… my stepmother saw me and knew exactly what was going on. She raised a finger to her mouth as if it were her little secret and opened the garage door.
My dad must have known. He came outside 5 minutes later and proceeded to bitch at me like I was a child.
“I specifically told you not to go over there…”
“Yes you did. I’m also [redacted] years old and you are not going to tell me who I can and cannot talk to. You are embarrassing by doing this”
I went back inside and tucked my son into bed.
“Mom did you go over there because they were playing music?”
“Yes I did.”
“Mom do guys that play the drums or the guitar get the girls?”
“Yes son they do.”
“Mom I want to play the drums or guitar when I get bigger then..”
That a boy. That’s definately my kid right there. Take that one daddy.