Monthly Archives: January 2016

going forward….

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About two weeks ago, I posted my 1500th blog and didn’t even notice until the following week. I thought about going back and reposting the blog with a huge sign that read, “1500th blog!! Wow am I good or what?” but then thought better of the project. Instead, another milestone had passed and some of you, with nothing better to do, continue to read, even the horribly written, writer’s blocked, pushed through blogs. Thank you. The first week of March, I celebrate 6 years of writing and will revisit some of my favorite blogs–mostly because they wrote themselves. My kids are brilliant, insane geniuses and they have an obnoxious mother. I hope you’ll once again take the time to read them…again.

Speaking of writer’s block…

The boy this morning lamented he did not have a chance to finish his review of Star Wars, this morning for the school paper. “Is the review due today?” I asked. “Yes. I just feel off, not with it at all, this morning,” He offered as an excuse. “How long have you had to submit your piece?” I asked. “Four weeks”. He replied. “Four weeks!?!” I replied a bit surprised. “Well, I wanted to wait until I had seen the movie for a second time (which he did last Sunday), before submitting my final draft,” He explained.

“Time management bay,” I offered. “That’s not it…” He tried. “No?” “No, I just didn’t finish it this morning…” He tried again. “Bay, let’s look at this week alone… there was the two-hour delay you sat in a classroom listening to NPR—ample time for you to write a review. Then last night when you came home, you played video games for an hour and a half…” I said. “I needed to unwind from school…” He said. “I’m not discounting that argument bay, however, you knew you had something to finish and you chose play time over writing. In addition, after I kicked you off the television last night, what did you do with your time?” “I listened to some podcasts…” He replied. “Time management bay…not everything is about pleasuring yourself with games, videos, and podcasts”.

He grumbled aloud though I’m not sure if the grumble was meant for me and the lecture or the realization that he let himself down. Regardless, hopefully, he’ll (finally) learn the importance of not waiting for the last possible second to get a job done right.

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all about the boy…

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My son is one of the sweetest, more loveable kids on the planet–and that includes his sister, to whom she wishes he didn’t know. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t offer to give me a hug, pat my head (which I’ll admit is trying), tell me he “luuuvvssss meeee,” or share some interesting tidbit he’s come across, just to engage me in conversation. I truly love this kid.

I truly love this kid.

But for all the sweetness and lovey-dovey words that come out of his mouth, he is also quite infuriating when common sense stuff comes into play. Take, for instance, Wednesday, when we arrived at his school for morning drop off and something felt off. “Why does it feel like I’m arriving early?” He asked glancing at the car’s clock which showed we definitely were not early. “Um, are you by chance on a two-hour delay today?” I asked, knowing on occasion, his school schedules late starts for teacher meetings every now and again. Thinking for a moment, he replied, “Ohhh shi__” oddly enough stopping from himself from saying the full word in front of me. Closing his eyes he took a breath and said, “Yes, we are on a delay today”. “How did you not remember the delay?” I asked perplexed. “I don’t know. I guess I forgot!” He replied annoyed. “FORGOT?” I asked trying to get him to tell me the truth. “Fine. I failed to pay attention to today’s date…” He replied.

DING, DING, DING, DING!!! WE HAVE A WINNER!!

Feeling bad for a minute, I said, “Sorry for your luck bay, but you need to get out of the car…” “But Mommm…” He tried. “Bay, we’re here and I have to work and won’t be able to bring you at the later time. Sorry dude, get out of the car,” I informed. He grunted in reply while gathering his gear. “Try to use this time constructively, say, for maybe studying French…” I said, which brought about another grunt from him. “Are you sure you can’t…” He tried again. “I will be in an adoration hour with Mrs. K and we can’t leave until after ten. So no, I can’t,” I explained. “Fine, love you…” He said, exiting the car. For my part, I did wait to see that he could get into the building, just in case the doors were locked. I’m not that heartless, well at least not yesterday.

When he arrived home from school yesterday I asked him, “So how did you spend your extra two hours?” The doll, who happened to be seated next to me, interrupted and asked, “Wait, what extra two hours?” “Your brother had a two-hour delay he didn’t remember this morning,” I explained. Incredulous she looked pointed at him and said, “What is wrong with you?” and laughed. “Mom, did you have to ask me in front of her?” Bay complained, not answering my original question. “Alright, doll…” I said, trying to squelch her laughter. “Bay…what did you study French?” I asked again. “No, I went to my creative writing class and waited. My teacher has a radio in her class, so I listened to NPR and heard some very interesting stories,” he explained. “So, no studying at all?” I said, already knowing the answer. “No. I enjoyed myself instead,” He said as he exited the room.

“Of course, you did…” I replied, my words falling on deaf ears.

daily jinx…

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Yesterday, lost in thought, I caught myself staring out the window. Well actually, the doll caught me looking out the window, which made her in turn look out the window, wondering what could be mesmerizing me at that moment. “I was thinking about something…” I said to her, drawing myself back into the room. “Yeah, I kind of thought so…” the doll said, turning to look out the window again before she added, “I wondered what outside was holding your attention.” “As opposed to you?” I asked. “Jeez mom, of course, it’s all about me,” She laughed. My husband who was also seated at the table quipped, “Don’t I know it!” “You should,” the doll and I said at the same time, which made us both begin to yell “Jinx! Jinx! Double Jinx!”

“You owe me a pop mom!” the doll said having won the Jinx game. “Do you still enjoy pop?” I asked. Thinking for a moment she replied, “I amend my request, you owe me a hot chocolate”. “What about me?” My husband asked. “For someone sitting there lurking on my facebook page, you’re awfully needy today,” I replied. “Doll, do you hear how your mother talks to me?” He asked which made prompted us both to smile. “Dad, don’t even try…” She said, setting down a hot chocolate in front of him.  “Oh,” He responded in surprise, before thanking her and going back to lurking.

 

reading the doll…

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Yesterday, the doll walked over and stood in front of me for a moment, then began to raise both arms (along her side) beginning at her waist, up a little bit with her palms facing out, and then dropped them back down. I looked at her nonplussed face and tried to read what she was trying to convey to me. In other words, I stood still and blinked back at her.

In other words, I stood still and blinked back at her.

Realizing her lame mom did not understand, she tried again. Lifting her arms slowly (perhaps trying not to lose me), out from her side, palms facing out half-way up and then lowered them quickly. Again, her facial expression remained neutral, leaving me wondering what the heck she wanted.

Standing still I blinked back at her, stupidly lost trying to decipher her…

“Did she just tell me something about school that I blanked out on?”

“Does she need instructions on how to make dinner?” (I’ll admit this was more of a pipe dream than actual wonderment)

“Does she want a cookie?”

“She’s freaking me out here! What the heck does she want???”

I thought to myself in the whole fifteen seconds I stood there looking perplexed.

Then…

On a whim, I decided

To.Go.For.

BROKE…

and leaned forward to envelop her into a hug.

Much to my surprise, she was not repulsed by my hug initiation, but rather achieved the goal she had all along…

“Mom, I don’t think I’ll ever stop giving you little pats on the back,” she said as she made tiny little pats on my shoulder with her fingers.

“Please don’t,” I replied, soaking in the hug for all it was worth.

Rescued by love…

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Over the weekend, I faced one of my fears and went to see a movie by myself. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but usually, when I want to see a film that my husband does not, I wait for the DVD to rent. But after reading and listening to different people talk about this film, I felt the urgency to see the movie, regardless whether I could find someone to go with me or not. “Mom, I’ll go with you…” my doll offered. “Doll it’s rated R and well, you can wait to see it when you’re a bit older,” I explained. “Sex…huh? I’ve watched R rated movies before that had sex scenes in them…” She replied. “Doll, the movie deals with adult themes; nothing you need to think about right now,” I said, squashing her argument.

Afterward, when I arrived home my husband asked, “Well? Was it good?” “I’m not telling you…coward,” I said and smiled. “I’m not a coward if I don’t want to get depressed at a movie,” He replied. “No, who said anything about being depressed. You missed a well acted, very good movie. The best part is, I don’t know how long it will take for this movie to leave me. I bet I’ll be thinking about this one next week. That’s how good the movie was. That’s what you chose not to see.” I said. “Yep, sounds depressing to me…” He quipped and I let the subject drop.

*****

How often do we look at our children and think, “You saved my life?” The boy saved my life, 17 and a half years ago when his pregnancy forced me after twenty years of smoking, to quit. Nevermind the steroids I took for Bronchial asthma to breathe–yet still took “drags” everytime the drugs opened my lungs to breathe. Nevermind the genuine attempts at trying, yet failing to quit, nevermind the shortness of breath I experienced when I walked small distances. The only willpower I found to quit came from the boy and the desire to deliver a healthy baby. The boy saved my life and rescued me from a future with more difficult medical issues–and I make sure he’s aware of this frequently.

I mention this because, in the film Room, the audience is given many illustrations of how love rescues. Without giving too much away, a brief synopsis is the story revolves around “Ma” and her five-year-old  son “Jack”. Ma was kidnapped and has been held captive for 7 years inside a small shed, which for better or worse, she’s raised her son believing the room is the sum total of their universe. Shortly after his fifth birthday, she decides the time has come to tell him the truth, so they may possibly escape their captivity and hatch a plan to do so. Without giving anything away, they do escape their prison only to walk into a new one, filled with prying eyes, media attention, along with their own identity issues.

On paper, this film does sound depressing and I won’t lie, there are moments that are very tough to watch, especially for parents of teenage girls. The heartbreak of losing a child in such a manner-believing they are dead, I don’t wish on my worst enemy. But the acting is superb and worthy of every accolade they receive–especially Jacob Trembly, who portrays “Jack” and Brie Larson, who portrays “Ma”.

I strongly recommend seeing this powerful movie about the power love has to rescue us all, even in direst of circumstances.

 

intelligent doll….

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“Mom, you know there are times when….” The doll began to tell me about something happening at school. I sat and listened and then laughed. We exchanged a few ideas and then generally agreed on which idea worked best. At the same time, the television show Lip Sinc Battle played in the background. Every once and a while we both would get caught by what was being “sung” and pause mid-sentence to watch. “I’ve never heard of this “song,” I said, making sure she understood I didn’t really consider it much of a song either. “Me either,” She replied.

We watched for a minute longer and then I said, “See, if they were really clever, they’d have come up with a better way to say all that without using curse words”. As if appalled by my statement she looked at me and said, “Isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black?” and I laughed. “I have a potty mouth, I know…” I didn’t argue. “What I don’t get is the boy drops F-bombs all the time and you hardly ever correct him, but I barely utter one colorful word and boom, you’re all over me,” She said.

“Doll, I’m a girl with a potty mouth, so you can take this with a grain of salt if you want, but, your brother is simply behaving like every other sixteen-year-old boy, on the planet, so his use profanity doesn’t bother me, really. But, let me ask you, have you ever watched a video where a girl your age or maybe in her late teens/early twenty’s comes on and every other word coming out of her mouth is F this F that?” She nodded her head. “Does she sound intelligent to you? Because she doesn’t sound very intelligent to me. In fact, she comes across to me as being ignorant…like maybe she dropped out of school when they taught English and etiquette “. “Yeah, they do kind of look dumb when they do that,” she agreed. “Dumb and ignorant,” I added and then continued, “So, if you’re smart enough to use intelligent sounding words, why not use them instead of falling back on profanity. Believe me, more people will notice the intelligent people than the ignorant ones”.

“Yet you have a potty mouth…” She said and smiled. “And yet I do… but I try…every Lent to give up swearing and some nice charity gets a good donation. So in my book, it’s all good.” “Keep telling yourself that mom…” She laughed drawing the conversation to a close.

cemetery road…

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Two weeks ago, while out running errands with the boy, I struck up a conversation with him about the possibility of maybe getting his temporary license in the very near future. “Dude, I know you’re concerned about learning how to drive and your dad and I aren’t trying to rush you (though we really would like him to drive soon), so why not get your temporary license? You can take up to a year to learn how to drive and we can go slow,” I tried. “Mom, I’m just not comfortable with the idea of driving,” He said. “Not comfortable or lazy?” I asked. Smiling at me he replied, “Perhaps both”.

“Okay, but dude, honestly, we can take our time teaching you. In fact, here, let me show you where some of your lessons will take place…” I said and purposely drove past where I should have turned. “Where are we going?” He asked. “Wouldn’t you like to know,” I replied and drove a bit further until we arrived at the destination. “A cemetery?” He asked. “Yeah, this is an excellent place to learn how to drive, because you have to go slow, work on turns–both left and right and well…” “You can’t kill anyone because they’re already dead?” He said with a deadpan voice. “Well, technically you could kill the car running into the headstones, but as far as humans are concerned, basically, yes,” I said. “Huh,” He grunted in return.

We sat parked for a moment or two when I finally said, “Hey, let me show you something,” and then began to drive around the cemetery until I found the right section, pulled over and parked again. “What are we doing?” He asked. “C’mere, let me show you something,” I said getting out of the car. He joined me and a moment later we were standing before my paternal grandparents headstone.”Say hello to your great grandparents…” He stood there and absorbed the information, but didn’t say much more that that. “Look this is your Aunt Dell…she lived to be 105,” I pointed out. “Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Dell, may I introduce your great grandson/nephew, the boy,” I said and smiled at him. He grunted again before we both said a quick Hail Mary and walked back to the car.

Pulling back onto the cemetery road, we meandered around until we came to where my dad’s sister Margie was buried. “This is your Great Aunt Margie. She died from a brain tumor when she was eleven and see John and Mary? Thos are your Great-great grandparents,” I pointed out. “What’s cool is that she had the same color hair as your sister…” I explained. “Um, how would you know that?” He began to ask when I cut him off. “Considering she was long dead before I was born?” I began, “Well, my dad has a lock of her hair somewhere,” I explained.  After saying a brief prayer at the graveside, we then drove to the opposite side of the cemetery where I introduced him to my maternal grandparents. “Oh and this is my beloved Aunt Nonie…” I said before realizing there were clumps of dirt blocking out her name. Turning and walking back to the car, I pulled out my windshield scraper/brush and two half-drunk bottles of water and then worked to clean off the headstone. “You’re a good niece,” the boy remarked after we said some prayers and then turned back toward the car.

“You’re a good sport too,” I said before returning to the original conversation. “So you see, we can teach you how to drive in here and we can take our time.” Looking back at me he said, “Boy mom, you really know how to sell something…” Which made us both laugh as we turned and drove toward home.