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Declaration of Independence
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Years ago, long before I met my current boyfriend, I vowed to myself I would never allow any man to get in the way of my time and relationships with my kids and grandkids. Maybe that’s partly why I was single for so many years, because even after all of my kids grew up, we remained close and still do. And now I have those beautiful grandkids, Jeremiah, Charlotte and Isaak (aka Scrunch) who remind me of my own kids and even of myself when I was young.

I won’t say my life has been easy. It hasn’t been. It’s been filled with struggles and obstacles, wonderful times and not so great times, heartbreak and joy. It’s been all of it. And the only people in my life who went through all these ups and downs with me were my kids. I often felt as if we were on a ship at sea, floating alone with tie-dye sales on our boat because nothing was ever “normal” or what people perceived as “normal” about us. We were all independent, my kids and me. We helped each other out though the rough spots, the waves, the times I became seasick, the times we were all happy and well and flying a kite on the beach in San Francisco.

Now that I can travel again, I’ve taken a road trip to California to visit my grandkids where they’re staying with their dad at the beach beyond Santa Cruz. I spent a fantastic week with all three of them and also fit in a fabulous visit with my older daughter who is 38 and still lectures me about how to live my life and what kind of lotion I should use on my face to prevent aging. Gotta love Melissa! It’s like the kids have changed, and Jeremy is now the best dad ever. But in some ways, they haven’t. Their personalities still shine through even after all these years. My oldest grandson, Jeremiah, looks and acts exactly like his Uncle Stevie, my oldest child. It’s mind blowing, and others have noticed besides me, including his dad. Didn’t see it when I was younger, but yep. So I accidentally call him Stevie sometimes and must correct myself. It’s like I have to remember which time zone I’m in. My mind is always in three time zones. In the 1960’s when I was growing up in Sa Francisco. The 1980s and 90s, and beyond when my kids were growing up. And of course in the present.

Sometimes I have to check myself and remember exactly where I am. In many ways, I love where I am now. I have an awesome family and extended family, a wonderful boyfriend who loves me whom I live with. Seems like I have it all.

But now, there’s a snag in my groovy world. My groovy “old hippie” boyfriend sometimes is not as compassionate and understanding as I want him to be. He has never had kids or grandkids, and he has always traveled whenever he wants to on his terms. Well, I do pretty much the same thing, except I haven’t traveled the world, but mostly I’ve taken road trips back and forth from Oregon to California. And I love my life this way. I wouldn’t mind visiting Hawaii or attending the Kauai Writer’s conference though. But actually LIVING in Jamaica for a few months, no. Too far from my family.

That said, I went over my summer schedule with my boyfriend Savoy last night. I only work two nights a week now, so I always have five days free, which is A LOT to me considering I’ve always juggled a full-time job and then some. I mentioned, just a tiny mention, that I’d go back down to California in August before my oldest grandson Jeremiah started school again and to attend my good friend Margaret’s 70th birthday party.

What? Another trip to California? You just returned from California. And you’re supposed to be free to spend time with me in July and August, prime camping weather!!!

Here it comes. The most difficult parts of relationships. In the past, I’ve blown it by yelling, “I’ll do whatever the hell I want!” I didn’t do that. I tried to be more “adult” about it, whatever that is, but to me, he sounded needy and self-centered and a bit immature. He did go camping while I was in California a couple of weeks ago, and had a good time. He could go camping without me when I’m in California, but no! I’m not supposed to go in August. In his mind, I should only go once or twice a year! Not gonna happen. So I’ve had to declare my independence once again, hoping it all works out.

Ain’t gonna happen, sorry dude.

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