Thank You

 

To my Kiddos on Mother’s Day,

Thank you for showing me that while I may consider it a weed, to you it is a beautiful flower that you picked just for me.Thank You

Thank you for showing me that it isn’t just a mud pit, it’s a restaurant that only serves the finest of cuisine.

Thank you for showing me that it doesn’t hurt a thing if your pants don’t match your shirt.  As long as you are comfortable, that is all that matters.

Thank you for showing me that sometimes it’s better to spend a Friday night playing a game of baseball in the yard than it is to sit on the couch and watch TV.

Thank you for showing me that some days you just prefer to sit and watch TV all day long.  That you won’t get any dumber because of it, you just need it from time to time, and you are OK with it.

Thank you for showing me that bubble beards are hilarious.

Thank you for showing me that your little hand fits perfectly into mine.

Thank you for showing me that if you just lay and watch the clouds long enough, amazing things can be found.

Thank you for showing me that your pitch doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s the singing a song together that makes it sound just right.

Thank you for showing me that it is okay to fold that laundry later, you have a joke to tell me right. now.

Thank you for showing me that ladybugs still tickle when they climb up your arm.

Thank you for showing me that cookies for breakfast are awesome.

Thank you for showing me that laughter is indeed contagious.

Thank you for showing me that some days you just have to stop whatever it is you are doing and go to the park.

Thank you for showing me that no matter how badly I have to pee, those snuggles on the couch are much more important.

Thank you for showing me that a drawer full of crayon drawings is worth more than a drawer full of precious jewels.

Thank you for showing me that ‘mommy I wuv you, can I have just one more hug’ is the best thing I could ever hear.

Thank you for showing me that true love can always be found in the eyes of your children.

Thank you for showing me the true meaning of unconditional love.

Thank you for giving me a purpose.

Thank you for giving my life meaning.

Thank you for making me a mother.

Thank you for being my children.

 

 

I Forget

Mom, you forgot the cheese on my sandwich!

Mom, why didn’t you pack my water bottle?

Mom, I needed that permission slip today and you didn’t send it.

Mom, you promised you’d do laundry today so my shorts would be clean.

I’m not perfect.  I’m not organized.  In all honesty, I’m barely staying afloat.  I forget cheese and I forget to send snacks.  I forget who has practice on Monday and who has it on Thursday.

Things like water bottles and buying birthday gifts for that party on Saturday (that we just got the invite to on Thursday) often slip under my radar.  Permission slips get lost in the sea of papers that come home from school every Friday.  Laundry?  I’ll get around to it when all the uniforms are dirty and underwear needs to be recycled.

Your heart sinks when the kiddos remind you of something you have forgotten.  You kick yourself every time you get that email from a teacher asking if you signed that math test or if you saw that permission slip.  Your blood boils a bit when you are making that late night run to the grocery store because you completely missed that you have snack duty the next day.

You tell yourself that one of these days you will get your shit together.  You buy calendars and you make message boards.  You download the right apps for your smart phone.  This is the week you say I won’t forget anymore.

But you do.

You still forget.

After a few days you forget to use the message boards that you hung in your kitchen.  You forget you even have the apps on your phone and tablet.  You find yourself still forgetting the little things.

The little things that seem huge in the moment, but once you move on you realize that those small moments aren’t the things that really matter.

You start to think about all the things that you don’t forget. Things like:

Birthdays and concerts.

Ball games and spelling bees and art shows.

Those three really long nights in the hospital with a cranky baby.

Who likes green beans and who prefers corn.

When each baby took their first steps and uttered their first words.

Broken legs and the number of stitches on their chins.

The look of excitement in their eyes as they experienced their first fireworks display.

The time they painted the basement.  With poo.

The pride in their eyes when they told you that they aced that big test.

The overwhelming joy you felt when you watched them earn that first purple ribbon at the county fair.

The tears you cried as you listened to them sing at their first (and second, and third, and fourth…) school program because you realized that the time is passing way too fast.

All the hugs and kisses and the millionth time you heard “I love you, Mom”.

The snuggles when they are sick and the times they streaked naked across the yard.

The time you healed that broken heart with some hugs and maybe a little bit of retail therapy.

So while I forget the little things from time to time, I now realize that I am remembering what is really important.

And I wouldn’t trade those moments for a slice of sandwich cheese.

 

You Know it Happens at Your House Too: I Forget

 

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You Might Be a Parent IF…

When we become parents we seem to make an instant transformation.   It is a transformation similar to Superman going into the phone booth;  Average Joe going in, superhero coming out.  Minus the capes and the super powers.  Hold the phone, we do have powers.  Amazing powers that allow us to do amazing things.

You Might  Be a Parent IF...

You might be a parent if….

You can brush your teeth and hold your 3 year olds wiener while he pees.

You can brown up some hamburger, fix someone a drink, and cut up some veggies all with a baby on your hip and a toddler or two flailing on the floor because you aren’t fast enough with the milk.

You can stop mid-bite to go wipe someone’s ass only to come right back and resume business as usual.

You can whip up six dozen cookies at the last-minute when your kid tells you they forgot that they needed to take snacks for the school program….which happens to be tomorrow.

You aren’t afraid to catch vomit in your bare hands.

You can lay down on the couch and still know exactly what your kids are doing. With your eyes closed.

You take your kids out to dinner and you spend more time in the bathroom than you do at your table.

You can answer all their questions with movie quotes.

Big boogers no long scare you.  You will pick it and you will wipe it on your pants and you just won’t give a shit.

You schedule all well child checks months in advance so that you are guaranteed an on-time appointment but you can’t remember to schedule your yearly hoo-ha check.

You can’t remember to take your grocery list when you go shopping but you know exactly where Sally’s red sparkly headband is that she wore three weeks ago.

Laundry.  So much laundry you actually consider turning your home into a nudist colony.

You can play two different board games at the same time while catching up on your Words With Friends matches, and you manage to win them all.

Your most popular phrases are “get your finger out of your butt”, “we don’t eat boogers for lunch”, and “no, I don’t want to smell your fart”.

Your living room decor no longer consists of beer can pyramids and wine bottle trees.  Instead you discover non-commissioned works of art using mediums that you are certain should be removed by men in hazmat suits.

Your bathroom always smells like pee, no matter how often you clean it.

You can change a diaper in the dark and not leave any residue behind. Except for that shitty smell on your hands that can only be removed by amputation.

You can tiptoe through a bedroom at three in the morning and not step on a single Lego, but attempt it in the daylight and you are damning them all to the depths of hell.

You aren’t against taking a glass of wine and your tablet or smart phone or even Goodnight Moon into the bathroom and locking the door, whether you have to poop or not,  just for a few minutes of alone time.

You do laundry because hampers are full, not because you have a shirt that is dirty that you want to wear to the bar tonight.

You can discuss the contents of your child’s vomit over dinner and continue eating as if you are talking about rainbows and unicorns.

You do math homework.  Or at least you try.

You use glitter.

Most of your conversations are centered around poop, farts, burps, butts and boogers.

While we may not be huge fans of some of the things we do now (I for one am not a lover of vomit), we wouldn’t change any of it.  Except maybe the poo on the walls.

 

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Make the Change, BE the Change

Retard (noun):  a contemptuous term used to refer to a person who cognitively impaired, or a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way

At some point in our lives, we have all said it.  We may have been young and dumb, maybe we were at a party with friends, maybe it was yesterday and it just came out in casual conversation.

Instead of saying something along the lines of ‘that is so DUMB’.  We said it.

When our friend did something incredibly stupid.  We said it.

Maybe we saw someone in a public venue that was acting out of sorts and our first reaction was to say that they must be it.

Like many words throughout history (the N-word, the B-word) this word has morphed.  It has changed in meaning from a common term used by many without offense, to a word that is no longer considered socially acceptable.  Yet for some reason, it is still widely used.

It’s time to make a change in the way we talk about others.

This is Cody.

YKIHAYHT: Take the Pledge, Show Respect

At first glance you probably see a boy in a wheelchair. A boy who can’t do many things for himself. A boy who some would say is retarded.

I see a boy who has endured more in his seventeen years of life than I have in my thirty-eight. He has a steel rod in his back and he takes a pharmacy worth of medications every single day just to make his body work.  A boy with the strength of Hercules and a heart of pure gold.

A boy who loves going to the pool in the summer and for strolls around the neighborhood to feel the sunshine on his face.

A boy who loves to watch Spongebob or the Minions in Despicable Me as he receives his life-saving infusions once a month.

A teenager who can eat you under the table if it involves pizza, hot dogs, or cheeze-its.

A boy who knows how to get your attention by giving you a pinch on the arm and will certainly laugh at you when a scream comes out of your mouth.

I see a boy whose laugh is contagious and loves being the center of attention.

I see a boy that is caring, funny, intelligent, and strong.

I see love and a smile that can light up a room.

I see my nephew.

Meet Kathryn and her brother Evan.

Siblings that love to talk to Katherine’s guinea pigs named Leo and Georgie.  Evan loves to feed Georgie carrots and it bothers him that Leo likes to climb up the walls of the cage.

Siblings that love to listen and dance to Dynamite by Taio Cruz and Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 together.

Siblings that love to perfect the art of the selfie with a little help from the PhotoBooth app on Katherine’s Macbook.

Siblings that love to laugh together.  Play together.  Love together.

You see Katherine wanted to do something important. She wanted to make a difference.  She wanted to initiate change in her community.  She wanted to step up and show her classmates that when they use the r-word in conversation, it hurts.  It hurts not only her, but it hurts Evan and it hurts their entire family.  Take two minutes and thirty seconds to watch her video.  Please. I’ll wait:

Today I ask you to take the pledge.  It only takes a few seconds to visit R-Word.org and sign your name.  Promise to make that conscience effort to show respect to everyone and stop using the r-word.  Then share.  Share it on Facebook.  Share it on Twitter.  Share it with everyone that you know.  Change your cover photo.  Place a badge on your site.  MAKE THE PLEDGE.

The only way to make the change, is to BE the change.  I did it and I hope you will join me.

Take the time and make the pledge.

Take the time and make the pledge.

A huge thank you to Katherine for being a shining light.  Your future is bright my friend.  xoxo

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Easy-Peasy Crock Pot French Dip Sammies

French Dip Sammies

They say to write about what you love.  If you do that, the words will spill out of you and you will write wonderful words.  Well, besides my kids and my husband,  I love food.  I love to cook food, I love to eat food, I love everything about food.  So here I am, writing about food.

Food has the ability to stir up memories in us that we may have forgotten.  Sometimes they may not be pleasant, like rotisserie chicken makes me want to barf now just like it did when I was pregnant.  Sometimes though, they are the most magnificent of memories.  Memories that bring a smile to your face every time you think about it.  These sammies do that for me.  I always think about coming home from school on a really terrible day and coming home full of piss and vinegar.  Angry because I failed a test, or dropped my lunch, or fell down in the hallway.  Then I would walk in the house and the smell of these delights cooking in the Crock Pot would smack me square in the face and I instantly forgot about the craptastic day I suffered through and counted the minutes until I could sit at the table with my family and stuff my face with sammies and salad.

Now I get to pass them on to my kids.  It’s one of the very few meals in which I don’t have to listen to cries of ‘I don’t liiiiiiike that’ or ‘ewwwwwwwwww, that’s grossssssssss’ or ‘I’m not eating thaaaaat’.  When they wake up in the morning and their noses are filled with that same smell (because the sammies have been cooking all night long) I hear ‘I can’t wait to get home for dinner’ or ‘Mom made our favorite’ or ‘YEEEEE HAWWWWWW’.   When we all reconvene after a long day apart and we finally sit down around the table, just like I did as a kid, the only complaints I hear are when the roll bowl is empty before their bellies are full and when there aren’t enough leftovers for everyone to have a sandwich for lunch the next day.

They don’t even ask for dessert.  That alone should tell you something.

Enjoy.

Parenting is…

Last night I read this post on Slate.  Then I laid in bed thinking about it, foregoing sleep and wondering if  I was responsible for someone’s life choice of  never having kids.  Maybe even one of you, who knows.   A redonkulous thought, I know.  One with absolutely no proof to back it up, yet if I had read the post correctly (which after a glass of wine it was possible to misconstrue a few things) it was plausible to believe that I could be responsible for someone’s life-changing decision to refrain from procreating.  Oh boy <cue mom guilt>.

I wanted to use my space here to tell Ms. Graham that while I understand where she is coming from, I think she is missing something very important.  Parenting is so much more than what you read in a few blog posts full of inappropriate parenting humor and foul language.  Something that you can’t fathom just from reading the words from a few exhausted parents just trying to survive with a sense of humor and a small space on the interwebz.

Parenting Is So Many Things

Motherhood  Fatherhood  Parenting is:

Sleepless nights.

Smelling the vomit before you even enter the bedroom at two o’clock in the morning.

Stepping on Legos and being impaled by Polly Pockets as you venture to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Asking them five hundred times to pick up their dirty socks.

Wiping asses and sucking snot.

Digging an entire roll of toilet paper out of a poop-filled toilet.

Foot stomping, eye-rolling, door-slamming.

A filthy house.

Finding a years supply of Goldfish crackers and Cheerios in your couches and in your car.

Reminders at ten o’clock at night that they need two dozen cupcakes to take to school….tomorrow.

Rarely having a moment to use the crapper by yourself.

A shit filled diaper that overflows onto your white pants.

Trips to the emergency room for stitches, broken limbs, or worse….

Expensive. Painful.  Heartbreaking.

Parenting is not glamorous.  Not even remotely.  Anyone that disagrees with that is full of shit.  It’s frustrating  and anger-inducing. It is stressful and terrible and some days you just want to quit.

But you don’t.

You don’t quit because despite all the shit (pun totally intended), parenting is also:

Morning snuggles on the couch breathing in their delicious aromas.

Seeing them come back up the sidewalk for just one more hug before they head off to school.

Toothless smiles.

Baseball games in the front yard.

That first giggle and the first time you hear ‘mama’ or ‘dada’.

The endless string of I love yous as you tuck them into bed.

A note of thanks on your pillow when you go to bed.

Celebrating victories and comforting broken hearts after a defeat.

The joy in their eyes as they blow out their birthday candles.

The giggles as they tiptoe up behind you in an effort to scare the bejeezus out of you.

The screams of delight on Christmas morning, or the excitement over four shiny quarters under their pillow.

That moment in which they voluntarily help you fold the laundry or pick up their toys.

The clean bill of health from the doctor.

Dance parties in the living room on a snowy day.

Seeing your daughter watch you in the mirror and tell you how beautiful you are and how much she loves you.

Watching a movie with your son and he reaches over and holds your hand.

Valentines found taped to your bedroom door.

Crazy and chaotic and hilarious.

Parenting is love.

A love so deep it hurts.

A love you don’t want to miss out on.

 

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I’m Not a Bitch and Neither are You

I will never forget that moment.

The moment in which I sat in my bedroom, phone cord stretched through the kitchen, across the hallway and into my bedroom.  Stretching just far enough to allow me to close my door, and sit just inside the sanctity of my room in order to scheme with my friend in private.  The exact plans are moot today, but I am willing to bet the farm on the fact that they included alcohol, boys, and post-curfew plans of sneaking out through my bedroom window. As we plotted and solidified our teenage debauchery, the knock came and I heard the words that no teenager wants to hear on a Saturday night.

You have to stay home.

I remember flinging that door open so fast that the phone shot across the kitchen like a bullet from a gun.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO STAY HOME?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  WE HAVE PLANS! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!!!!!

She wouldn’t budge.  There would be no gallivanting for me on that delightful evening and I was beside myself with  a weeks worth of pent-up teenage angst.

Didn’t she realize how difficult it was to secure an evenings worth of alcohol when you are sixteen?  Didn’t she know how tedious it was to plan out an all night drink-a-thon complete with a post-curfew pick-up schedule?  She was ruining my life.

I mourned the loss of our illegal evening with my partner in crime, trying to hide in the corner of the room so that my mother couldn’t hear what I was saying about her.  There was no way I was going to show her how much she had fucked up my evening.  I was going to play it cool.

She taunted me:  If you have something you want to say to me, just say it.

I bit my tongue and continued to whisper into the handset.

Why don’t you just say something? Tell me how you feel?

It came out of my mouth before I could stop it:  YOU.  ARE BEING.  A BITCH!

At that very moment time stood still.  I had just called my mother a bitch.  To her face.  I saw my life flash before my eyes.

I had absent mindedly dropped an f-bomb in front of her before, but I had never said such vile things about her where she could hear me.  Sure I had said it behind her back, hello…..teenager.  Never to her face.  NEVER.

I think of the fear I felt.  Not only for my quickly diminishing social life, but for what I had just done to our amazing relationship. I had crossed that line and  the disappointment I felt in myself for calling the woman who gave me life such an incredibly disrespectful name sickens me to my core even after all these years.

If you use a dictionary, you will find that a bitch is defined as a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, especially a woman.  If you prefer to use Urban Dictionary, you will find that a bitch is defined as a modern-day servant; A person who performs tasks for another, usually degrading in status. 

Sure I am unpleasant at times, I am always a woman, and at times I am selfish.  I suppose if you put that all together, there are days in which the term bitch would define me perfectly. A few days each month, I wouldn’t even argue with you if you placed the term ‘raging’ in front of it.   We all have our moments in which we are being an actual bitch.   Days that we are deserving of the term,  it fits us to a T.

Degrading in status, that is the part that gets me.

Why do we, as women, feel the need to continue to use this word as a term of endearment?  Not just the term bitch, but words like hooker, hoe, slut, and whore.  Do we not think enough of ourselves and the company that we keep?

Some will argue that those words are slang and the definition has changed.  That those words, when used in the proper context, are meant to show other women that we enjoy spending time with them.  That they are our friends.

Maybe in my old age I have lost a bit of my sense of humor and I need to relax a bit.  Maybe I need to grow with the times and get hip with the slang.  Maybe…..no.

I have never enjoyed being called a bitch, and I’ve been called one (and acted like one) many times.  For me it is a reminder to take a look in the mirror and examine my behavior.  That I am acting in a way that is not becoming and that there is a good chance that I have hurt someone in a way that I should be embarrassed about.  That I am in no way, shape or form acting like a friend.

As women, it is up to us to lift each other up.  To encourage and support, to demonstrate to our children how to treat each other.  Not to knock each other down and demean each other with derogatory names, no matter how entertaining we think we are being.  Just like text-speak and poor grammar, the use of words like bitch, hooker, and whore become acceptable terms of endearment only if we let them.  I may be old-school, but I refuse to bend.

Like a tree in the Kansas wind, when we bend our core weakens and before we know it we are broken beyond repair.

I think about that night.   The look of disappointment and the hurt in my mother’s eyes.  Knowing that my use of that one word had cut into her heart like a knife.

Her ability to forgive me only proved that she wasn’t the one being a bitch.  I was.

You Know it Happens at Your House Too: Bitch Please

 

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Anniversary Gifts for That Special Someone

We have now reached the point in our lives in which Bob has put up with my shit for over half of his life.  It’s like he truly does love me.  I should give him a medal or something.  Or at least a gift.  Sonofa….

I didn’t get him a gift.

Our anniversary passed on by and I didn’t buy him a gift.

In my defense, we never give each other anniversary gifts. We have a trifecta (Christmas, his birthday, and anniversary) all in a two-week period.  Who in the hell does that?  The queen of poor planning does, that’s who.

We have a tradition that we started way back in the “holy crap we are broke” days.  This tradition has never been broken.  Until now.

This year he broke the no-gift tradition.  He broke the damn tradition and he bought me an amazing gift.

I didn’t get him a gift.

I am an asshole.

I need to fix this.  I mean, he bought me jewelry.  JEWELRY.

This is very serious.  I need a gift.  Maybe a gift basket.

I took my problem to Amazon (because Prime has saved my life) and here are some of the items I’ve been debating.  I present to you, my dear readers, my first ever horrible anniversary gift guide.

Anniversary Gifts for That Special Someone

1. Subtle Butt: disposable gas neutralizers (5 saving graces):

  • In a nutshell…Subtle Butt absorbs and neutralizes odor from flatulence. Yes, our fart filters really work! Does your loved one have smelly gas? Is the passenger in 12C stinking up the plane with his altitooties? Is the dog getting a lot of blame?
  • Take the bad part out of the fart with Subtle Butt fart pads. We combined activated carbon, fabric, and adhesive to create the most effective fart pad on the market.
  • Each pack of 5 Subtle Butt fart pads effectively filters the odor caused by flatulence.
  • Simply stick one in the right place and you’re ready for a chili cook-off or an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet. Giving Subtle Butt as a stocking stuffer is a great gift idea for your spouse, boyfriend or co-worker with smelly farts.

This is number one on my list for a reason.

Subtle Butt

2.  Undies For Two

Because who doesn’t need underwear with FOUR leg holes?  Sharing underwear, especially the same pair at the same time, is truly a sign of a strong marriage.  Getting in them is half the fun!

Undies for Two

3. Willy Warmer

It gets cold when you are working outside in the Kansas winter.  Avoiding significant shrinkage is imperative.

The Willy Warmer

4. Accoutrements Emergency Underpants Dispenser

There comes a time when a man is too far from home during desperate times.  Always be prepared.

Spare Underpants

5. What’s Your Poo Telling You?

Because we take our health seriously.

With universal appeal (everyone poops, after all), this witty, illustrated description of over two dozen dookies (each with a medical explanation written by a doctor) details what one can learn about health and well-being by studying what’s in the bowl.

What's Your Poo Telling You?

6. The Good Wife Guide: 19 Rules for Keeping a Happy Husband

When he returns home from his demanding job, a man rightfully deserves a bit of pampering. A happy smile, a warm kiss, and a pair of cozy slippers are just the start. Here are all the secrets for helping him feel comfortable and content: advice on cooking from scratch, the lowdown on why a clean home makes hubby feel better, and valuable hints on making yourself more attractive to him.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.   I don’t think so.  No need to give them unrealistic expectations that are destined to end in massive disappointment.

The Good Wife Guide

7. Ring for Sex Handbell

Please refer to my description for The Good Wife Guide.

Sex Bell

8. Weener Kleener Soap

Personal hygiene is always important, and like the package (I said package) says:  Large or small or inbetweener, nothing beats a cleaner Weener!

Weener Kleener Soap

9. EZ DRINKER 6 Pack Redneck Beer and Soda Can Holster Belt, Camo Camouflage Design

You never know when you might get stranded somewhere, always be prepared.  *Beer sold separately*

Beer Holster

10. The Bobcat Headband with Hair Mullet

  • Get your life back
  • Full time lady gettin’ mullet headband to wear on a part time basis

Bow-chicka-wow-wow.  For increased odds for a little action, wear with the EZ Drinker.

^^^NOT Farmer Bob

Maybe I should keep shopping????

 

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Are We Going to Be Okay?

Parenting is the hardest job we will ever have.  We’ve been told that time and time again.  None of us are perfect, and those that pretend to be are full of shit.  We all screw up, we all make mistakes, we all pray that we haven’t fucked something up so badly that it can never be repaired.  We all have those days in which we just want to throw up our hands and scream to the heavens “I QUIT!!!”.  

How do we handle this difficult journey of parenthood without completely losing our minds?  We reach out to friends.  We ask them for a kind ear and for some sort of guidance.  All else fails, we hope that they bring over a big ass bottle that we can finish off together.  Sometimes our friends don’t live close enough to share a bottle with, but knowing that a kind ear is awaiting you on the other end of the line (or in this case on the other side of your computer) is just what we need to keep moving on.  To keep fighting.  To reassure ourselves that we are surviving this parenting gig and that it will all turn out OK.

When a very dear friend sent me this story, I knew I needed to share it because she needs to know that she isn’t alone.  That we all have lost our shit at one point (or more) on this journey.  That she isn’t a terrible monster of a mother.  That she will be OK.  She gave me permission to share it here with the hopes that she will be offered support and love.  That she may be offered suggestions that will help her during this hard time.  That we can help build her up, not tear her down.  

Please read her story, and feel free to leave encouraging comments below.  Thank you all for your support and for being a part of this amazing village.

Yes you will!

Yes you will!

I am at a loss. I don’t know what has happened. I don’t know where I went wrong. I’ve tried to be an involved parent. I’ve tried to be a loving parent. I have been stern when I needed to be. I have given things that weren’t needed, but were wanted….when I felt that rewards were warranted.

I felt blessed with wonderful children. I felt loved. It all felt right. Then, things changed.

My son became a teenager and within a few months, I no longer recognized my child. What happened? I’ve gone nowhere. I’ve changed nothing. And yet, one night, after encouraging him to change his clothes because he was going to the movies with friends, I was treated to the most unbelievable behavior that I have ever seen from him. An explosion of anger that I would dare tell him what to wear. And it escalated to the point to me finally saying, “wear whatever you want. I don’t care. I was just trying to help. See if I give a shit anymore.”, leaving his room and taking a seat in the living room.

The next thing that happened forever changed me.

My son walked into the living room, with a large knife in his hand and said, “you know what, since you don’t give a shit, I will just slit my throat right here and you won’t ever have to worry about me again.” How did it go from me encouraging him to change clothes to him threatening suicide? He then turned around and went into his room. I was so terrified that I was unable to move….for 30 seconds. And then I jumped up, ran into his room, took the knife from his hand and we both sat down in the floor and cried.

I cried because I was terrified and relieved and confused and angry and everythingallatonce. He cried because he knew he upset me and that he was just so mad, he knew that was the best way to get my attention. He knew that I had a dear friend whose 13 year old son had shot himself in the head (details as to what/why and how are few and far between because it was a good kid, he was alone in the room and no one knows what happened) and how that had a profound effect on me, watching my friend go through that. My son knew of my reaction to that news, so he had a pretty good idea of how I would react to his threat.

We talked about suicide and how it was not something that you threaten people with. We talked about did he really feel like doing that? The answer was no, but that he just wanted to get my attention.

We talked about how so many kids just “wanted to get someone’s attention” with that and that the consequences were that they were dead and may not have really meant to be, but that they were. And that they left behind people with so many questions and such confusion as to what happened. I played out a scenario for him. He wanted my attention after arguing. He threatens to slit his own throat. He attempts it. He succeeds. I couldn’t save him. He dies in my arms. I am crying uncontrollably. His sister walks in the room to find me covered in his blood, him lying in my arms. And all I could do was cry that we just fussed over him having to change clothes. I didn’t know this would happen. That is how that scene would have played out. And I would never have been able to get over that I caused my son to do this, simply by having an argument with him…an argument, this time, over clothes. We talked about how nothing….NOTHING….is worth suicide. Especially not getting into argument over clothes.

We talked about how things, when we are teenagers, seem SO MUCH BIGGER than they actually are and that when you have feelings like it would be better to end it all, you need to talk to someone. He told me that he just sees so much on tv, about teenagers committing suicide over bullying and that suicide for teenagers just seems to be everywhere and that when he or his friends get upset that is what a lot of them think of first, because they hear of so many kids doing that. I couldn’t believe that this was something that he and his friends talk about, but dang if I wasn’t glad that he was sharing that with me.

We got past that point, but not without me worrying about every little fuss we had, whether or not he was thinking of suicide. I’m telling you, when your kid threatens something like that, it stays with you, permanently.

Then right around Thanksgiving, he had approached his dad and I about allowing him to have his cell phone past 9:00 PM. He pleaded his case. He felt that he should be able to keep it all night, as he was now a teenager and was responsible. We listened. After discussing it, we told him that we would extend it by one hour, but that wasn’t good enough for him. And instead of accepting what we offered, it turned into another huge argument. There was never any yelling or screaming during the negotiation of his phone, but it wasn’t going his way and he had such a defiant attitude and refused to listen to our reasoning, because it wasn’t what he wanted to hear and so it kept going on to where he looked at his dad and said, “I don’t know how you put up with that crazy, fucking bitch.” Now, let me tell you….my son has never seen me be a crazy, fucking bitch before and neither has my husband, really….until that night. I come up off my chair and got up in his face, pointing my finger and spitting while trying to coherently scream at him and I lost control.

The smirk on his face caused me to lose it and I slapped him.

And then I couldn’t stop hitting him.

Until my husband had to literally pick me up and pull me away. I have never, ever had that happen to me before, but I knew that it was there inside of me, because it was how my father was with me and I have worked so fucking hard to not be him and in a matter of seconds, I turned into him. Only it wasn’t my father…it was me. And I was devastated, because I just gave my children a memory of me, that I never wanted them to have. Ever.

My son ran into his room, I ran outside, my daughter was crying, my husband didn’t know who to go to first.

I did this to all of them.

I did.

What the hell happened? Now, I know there will be some people who say that I was 100% in the wrong. I accept that. I make no excuses for what I did. I am the adult. I should have had more control of myself. Then there are some people who will say that he deserved it because he never should have said that. Do you know what my kid said when I went into his room to apologize profusely, after calming way down, yet still crying? “Mom, I deserved that. It wasn’t your fault. Please don’t cry. You weren’t wrong. I hit you first, but in a different way.” Then I cried even harder, because, yes, he hit first, verbally, but I still had no right to that reaction. No right. And here we are, two months later…well, almost….and we still fuss and I still feel like I have no idea where my sweet, young, loving boy went.

I wonder will I ever get him back.

I wonder how much damage I have done from that one night.

I wonder how I got here with him.

I see news reports about a local 17-year-old boy, killing his dad and sister, because he felt like he was abused and although, I don’t know the background of that story, I wonder, Oh god….could that happen to me? Every parent thinks that they are doing a good job raising their kids. No parent thinks that they are raising one that does stuff like that. And yet, they did. And I wonder is that a possibility with mine? Or is it all just hormones and normal teenage angst?

Are we going to be okay?

And I pray that we are.

 

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One Little Toy

She opened all her gifts with a smile upon her face. She was truly grateful and excited to wear the new clothes, and try on the new boots. To model the new earrings and slip into those new jammies. The pile at her feet consisted of most of the items on her list, yet I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was disappointed.

Why on earth would a child be disappointed on Christmas?  What did I do wrong?

Oh. My. God. It hit me like a ton of bricks and took the air from my lungs.

No toys. Not one. single. toy. Nothing for her to play with that came bearing her name.

Who doesn’t buy their child a toy for Christmas?

As I looked at her face, the one that appears to be older than its actual age, I held back the tears as I realized that I am the one that failed to buy their child a toy for Christmas. I am the one that forgot that my oldest child is still exactly that. A child.

In my defense, her list was limited.  In my defense, she didn’t express too much interest in toys.  In my defense…..nope.  Not this time. No excuses.

I dropped the ball.  Screwed the proverbial pooch.  I failed.

While I often look at her and see a girl who wants the responsibility of an adult, I forgot that she’s still a little girl.  A child.

While she struggles with asking to do “grown up” things, she still enjoys playing with Barbies and assembling Legos.

While I struggle with her asking to do “grown up” things, I forgot that she still enjoys playing with Barbies and assembling Legos.

I frequently catch myself wondering when these kids are going to grow up a bit.  Wishing they would stop acting so childish.  Hoping for a little bit of maturity.

What in the hell am I doing that for?

The time is coming, sooner rather than later, for grown-up behavior.  Before long there will be dances and dates, tears over a broken heart and requests for gas money.  There will be jobs (oh yes, there will be jobs) and there will be bills and there will be adult responsibilities.  There will be too many activities and not enough hours in a day.

Who looks forward to that?

Now is the time to bathe in their innocence.

To drink from their fountain of youth.

To live vicariously through their young eyes.

To savor the carefree lifestyle of being a child.

To play with all the toys.

To truly LIVE.

Because we all know that being a grown-up is severely overrated.

You Know it Happens at Your House Too: One Little Toy

 

 

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