Washington Island

Today we are in Washington Island. We had a beautiful ferry ride across the lake; it took maybe 15 minutes. Not a breeze in the air — the stillness of the water and the low hum of the motor was hypnotizing. I had only one small moment of child-like self-pity while putting the finishing touches on preparing for this morning’s adventure: Once I had my bike on the car rack and saw how ridiculous it looked, I broke down and cried. The darn thing was crooked, sticking up too high, and incredibly heavy. My hands were dirty, my shirt now stained. Oh how I miss having a partner! This would have been such an easier morning had Matt been here! Oliver caught a glimpse of my breakdown,  unfortunately, and asked me, "Do you miss my daddy?" I smiled. Sitting patiently in the car he asked, "Can we go now? I'm ready." :) I remembered the statement in the header of this blog: accept my defeats with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child, and I took a deep breath and said, "Let's go kiddo!" Yay! he shouted! Yay! I shouted in tandem. Getting a toddler and myself ready for a day's trip is nothing short of a summons to calm the stormy waters! Seemingly impossible!

Seemingly. I love that word. Once on the ferry, I smiled and thought, "I can do this!" Not only can I, I did do it! I can do all this alone! Easy? Not especially. Rewarding? Completely! Do I need him? Not anymore. And we were off! What an incredibly beautiful day!!

Speaking of him, I go back and forth between hating, resenting, fault-finding, and compassion, understanding and love. I also dabble in self-pity on occasion. This morning on the ferry I looked around: couple, couple, couple, family, couple, couple, family... Not one “single-parent-child” except for us. It's hard being the odd-ball and I found myself saying quite loudly to Oliver, "Smile for Daddy! He will LOVE this picture!" just so that others might hear me, so that people I don't know or will never see again will know that my son is not a bastard* fatherless-child, despite the fact that I am not wearing my wedding ring.

Back to disdain vs. forgiveness .... The contempt breeds distance and moving on and it seems that is the only way for me to move forward. The love and compassion breeds calmness and hope. I feel God is in the love / compassion mode, and that makes a lot of this confusing. I see a future with the three of us as a family again when I am in forgiveness mode. The first part of my week up here, I was in distance and moving on mode. Our farewell from Milwaukee didn't bode well. But I was determined not to let that stop me from beginning our trip on a positive note, and I was not going to let any verbal opposition make me think any less of myself! (Yay! Score one for the home team!)

So anyway, Washington Island. Here we are. I'm at a coffee shop while Oliver naps. We have a picnic packed. The trip will cost nothing but the ferry fees... The sun is out and the summer temps have come back for another visit. Hopefully they will stay! It's 76 outside, perfect weather for swimming and biking. We are doing great! Life is still very very good.

I have a few pix from days passed. I will share them now, and the pix from today I will have to share once the day becomes a lovely memory for us.

Last night we got to visit with friends who are up here too! Oliver and Carson had a blast!



Oliver and Mommy had a little beach time....



our shoes



Thanks for joining me!

* @Anonymous: Next time you want to leave a critical comment, please at least have the courage to sign your name and a way for me to respond, such as an email. (Otherwise, it leaves me guessing at who it is...) If people do not like what I write, please feel free to stop reading my blog. To say that I am sometimes out of line is casting a stone. If you read the def of the word that offended you, perhaps you will understand it's meaning. Anyone who knows me, knows well-enough that I love children of all ages and types and never mean any harm by what I write here to anyone, including those who are well-deserving of harsh words. I have always tried to keep my side of the street clean and to be the kind of woman who is kind and respectful, even in the face of difficult situations. And if that is the ONLY thing you are focusing here on today's post, then you completely missed the point of this post.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Andrea...I read your blog regularly...you're a friend of a friend and I find your writing compelling and interesting.

    I can only imagine what the anonymous post said, and I've inferred a bit, so it must have been hurtful...the irony is - that may be someone who doesn't know the world we live in!

    I am the unwed (but with the father) mother of one child, with another on the way...and frankly, there is a social stigma to being the mother of a child out of wedlock. I myself would never have imagined doing this (unwed motherhood)...but life doesn't always work out the way we planned, right?

    The fact is, you're right...in humankind, perception is reality, and the perception of (and definition for) a child with unmarried parents is the term "bastard." I struggle with this label being applied to my child, for the implications for him and for my own reputation, etc.

    Here's the thing, though...I've met children with two married (to each other) parents who can't manage to hold a job, to manage a relationship, to manage themselves. What happened for these people? They had every right to a very "good" label, and blew it!

    What my partner and I - as individuals and as a partnership - owe our children is to teach them how to create their OWN labels, regardless of the technical label.

    Whatever the perception by STRANGERS of you and Oliver, don't you think he's an incredible young man? And you're doing that...so, whatever the stranger's label, please remember that your love, devotion and faith to him, to yourself, to God ... those are the things that will matter. and the labels? They'll exist...but they won't really matter.

    (and just to be a teeny little bit sassy, I'm posting anonymously because I want to offset the jerky anonymous post...) :)

    My thoughts and prayers are with you on your journey...hope this helps!

  3. Firstly, sorry about whatever the anonymous writer wrote...I'm sure it was something hurtful and rude... however what I've learned from reading some HUGELY-read blogs is not to give in to the naysayers... there will ALWAYS be someone there that wants to drag you down and after a few times of explaining yourself like you did here, you'll get sick of it and decide that this blog is for you, and you only; others who choose to read it- that is on them... their perceptions are theirs and theirs alone, don't let them drag you down... YOU ARE WOMAN ;) jk but in all seriousness, I hope you didn't let this rude person's comment offend you too badly :( The term 'bastard' does sem like a harsh term because society doesn't use it the way it is intended to be used; they use it as almost a swear word when in reality, it does simply mean a child is born out of wedlock. Keep your chin up girl!

    Secondly- the new shoes u bought are water shoes? I saw they said something about water on the side but they look almost like regular shoes! And UGG knock offs for $20? mannnnn I'm jealous!

    Thirdly- LOVE those pictures- especiallllly the one of Ollo's cute little naked butt at the beach! oh how fun that will be to look at in 15, 20, 30 years :)

    <3 Megs

  4. Gotta chime in here...

    I happened to read yesterday when the deleted post was still up. There was nothing hurtful or mean about that post, rather the opposite.

    Andrea, perhaps you can shed some light on it?

    The poster said that it is not nice to think of ANY child as a bastard, married parents or not and that Andreas was out of line to even think this way, and I have to agree.

    My Mom had me without being married and I would never, ever call myself a bastard. It is the 21st century, people, get a grip!

    Jana Feltes

  5. Hi all,

    The word bastard was meant in a way that was not calling children bastards, more so that people would think of my child in that old-fashioned way.

    I think the reason I am upset is that the post is about feeling extremely insecure in a place / world where families and couples are the norm. On top of that, my day turned out well, and that is the point of this post: hurt, pity, fear, insecurity and facing all that.... and then triumph over the crapt and having a great day. THAT is what the post is about.

    Being a single parent is a difficult adjustment for me. Yes, lots of people adjust, lots of women are single mothers (of more than one child---of which I give them big time credit). Still, it's my journey. It's my story. And it's pretty hard despite everything I am doing to recover from it.

    I've been criticized more than once on Raising Peanut. I have had Suicide Hotline call me on my cell phone (it was obviously someone who knew my name and number who reported me to them) and it hurts, yes, especially because I am exposing my truth to strangers (and many people I know), including my "ex" who has at times used the blog to hurt me. I've been told that this blog is pure entertainment for some, that they laugh at me, that i am a laughing stock, that I need professional help, on and on and on. Normally, like @Megan said, I do not respond to that crap.

    I will take artistic liberty with the choice of language I use, but just this once, I will defend my choice of words and say that I would never call anyone a bastard. I am saying that my fear is that folks will call my son a bastard, a fear that I know is ridiculous! Yet I acted on that fear yesterday by taking photos of Oliver and saying, "Smile for daddy!" I exposed my insecurity to you all. Many of you support me. Some, I guess, I offended.

    There is no need to put the comment back up since Jana, you basically shared it. I don't mind that, and I'm glad you shared Jana. I appreciate your honesty, and I am glad you had the courage to sign your name.

    Sometimes it really makes me wonder if this darn thing is worth it. I lost sleep over a lot of things yesterday, and this was one of them.


  6. Hey auntie!

    Are you doing alright? Don't worry about those losers what ever they said. I love reading everything you write. And thats coming from a 21 male college student, so you know its good. :)

    Love you and remember you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. And you are awesome!


  7. awwww is this the nephew of yours whom you love so dearly and have posted about here on Raising Peanut?! : )

    Also- I figured you would lose sleep over this- like I said, from a couple blogs who have a huugeee following, this same kind of stuff is the norm, not the exception. It's hard when you expose yourself to the world like this, but always remember that this blog is for you, no one else! And shame on the people who've told you that they read for pure entertainment and that you are the laughing stock, etc... how low of them to speak of you, or anyone, in that manner! Keep ur chin up! <3 ya! *Megs*


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