Life Changing Events

Some people use their blogs as a space to rant, some to boast about their kids (ahem) and some to just make the world a more sun-shiny place. But then we fall into niches. Our blogs aren’t just for ourselves anymore. We don’t necessarily know who’ll read. And sometimes, we need to vent about someone we know reads us. I’ve offered up my bit o’blogosphere for one such person.
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Thank you to HBM for hosting this event.

Five years ago my daughter then 20 and a junior in college announced she was pregnant. The plan at the time was she and her boyfriend were going to get married after the baby was born. Something I didn’t understand.

She and the boyfriend broke up and got back together several times before they finally called it quits. Before they broke up for the final time they had moved out of my house. The baby stayed with them for one night. Then he was brought back to me because they had a fight and needed to work a few things out. He has been with me ever since.

My daughter has a good job lives in a nice apartment and there is no reason she cannot raise this child herself. She chooses not too. She loves her son but she doesn’t want to give up her lifestyle. She loves to party and spend time with her sorority sisters. She has managed to portray to them that she is a struggling single Mom and I’m just a babysitter.

Five months ago my 22 year old son passed away. He had a degenerative brain disorder and lived longer than we expected but it still has been hard.

Since then I have had a harder time dealing with my daughter. I cannot understand why she does not want to spend time with her son. She kept him last night and called me and told me that his speech is getting worse. He is in speech therapy and everyone else thinks it is getting better. There have been several instances where she has tried to find something wrong with him.

He is very healthy. I cannot understand why you would borrow trouble. She says that she wants him to live with her but makes no effort. Since Jan she has only kept him 26 times overnight. She rarely spends the weekends with him because she has plans with her friends. For instance I asked her to keep him tonight. She said yes but has canceled because her friends want to go out.

I love this boy with all my heart and will be devastated if he ever goes back to her but I know that she is his mother and that may be best for him. He is now 4 and he does fight staying with her which I hate because I want them to have a strong relationship no matter where he lives.

Thank you for listening to me.

DMV, The Saga

So, for those keeping score I threatened to go to the DMV last week with my entire identity in one hand and a latte in the other. I did! Twice!

I went to the one in Boulder first. You might know Boulder more commonly as home to University of Colorado the fighting Buffaloes. You know, the school with its largest incoming freshman class ever. I took a number. It was crowded, but whatever – these are highly skilled government workers here. I overheard the numbered-ticket-giver guy tell someone it would be “at least an hour, school’s back in session.” So, I left. The next day I attempted the one in my smallish bedroom community. I drove up 10 minutes before it opened and there were 15 people in line. I left.

So, in the end. My name is still wrong. I am not properly registered to vote. This must be remedied soon. If Obama loses Colorado it’ll be ALL MY FAULT.

DMV Again, Maybe

I’ve fixin to get ready to go back to the DMV. Which is to say, I’m considering the possibility. In my arsenal I have

  • driver’s license with wrong name
  • current passport with correct name
  • social security card with correct name
  • certified birth certificate
  • certified marriage license, although it only has my maiden name because I wasn’t married when it was issued
  • my water bill with my current address

What’s the likelihood I walk out of the DMV with a new license? 60%, 80%?

Real Fears

I worry. I am a worrier. It is my hobby. If it were an Olympic sport I would dominate. I worry in my own head. I worry out loud.

I worry about a third Bush Term. And it’s not my garden-variety worry. It’s real anxiety, panic-inducing worry.

Hat tip: MOMocrats

DMV, How I Dislike Thee

Things I learned at the DMV today:

I have the same phone as an 11 year-old girl.

They don’t give two shits.

I wanted a new driver’s license. We’ve moved and when writing my new address on the back in Sharpie it smudged. And my name isn’t quite right. My passport, my water bill, Audrey and I headed to the DMV. I took ticket #255. We’re on #239. Okay. I can breathe through this.

I get my turn and begin to explain to the worker that legally, as one can see in my US issued, valid passport my name is (let’s pretend because my maiden name is crazy uncommon) Catherine Louise Smith Williams. My maiden name is Smith. My married name is Williams. It’s not hyphenated. It’s not two last names. Actually, it’s two middle names. The IRS likes to call me Catherine L. Williams. My payroll calls me Catherine L. S. Williams. I commonly go by Catherine Williams. My driver’s license says Catherine L. Smith Williams. And herein lies the problem. Seven years ago after getting married I still had a tie to my maiden name, Smith, and wanted it reflected on my driver’s license. At the time, at that office, rather than making my entire middle name show up on my license (there’s plenty of physical space) someone chose to put my maiden name (my legal middle name) in the last name field to get it to display.

Now? I don’t care so much about my maiden name. I care more that my voter registration is incorrect. My county pulls its records from the DMV. The DMV says my last name is Smith Williams. It is not. Nor has it ever been.

Worker tells me I need a certified document stating that my last name is Smith and not Smith Williams like in her system. I point to my US issued, valid passport. No, she needs something else. I ask what could that be? My birth certificate surely doesn’t have my married name. My social security card looks exactly like my passport. And my marriage license doesn’t have my married name because in Alabama you sign the license at application time and therefore sign with your current legal name. So, my marriage license says Catherine Louise Smith.

To which she replies, “I cannot help you if you’re going to get upset.”

And I said, “You cannot help me because you’re not interested in helping me.”

And we left.

In hindsight, I’m sure she has lots of 9/11 rules governing her life. But my name change on my passport was post-9/11 and they managed to muddle through somehow.

Now I am bound & determined to get a new license. What forms, other than my US issued, valid passport should I take? According to their site, a passport is a stand-alone document and proves identity, name, age and lawful presence.

… and some time passed …

egads! Now I worry that I’m not really a Williams at all. What if I did the marriage certificate wrong? And only convinced the guy at the social security admin that I could change my name because he had never seen an AL marriage license before?

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