4 in one….

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Pushing the boy into adulthood has not been the pleasure cruise one might believe, primarily because the boy, has a not so fun habit of getting in his own way. So when cracks in his resolve begin to form, we take advantage as quickly as we can, before he realizes what has happened. Such was the case this weekend, when the boy and I took a trip to the BMV to acquire his temporary driver’s license to drive. Though his New Years resolution was to learn how to drive this summer, I pushed for an earlier entrance and for once, he didn’t fight with me.

On most weekends you’ll recall, the boy spends his time living with his Grandmother; helping her around the house and playing video games without his mother’s scrutiny. But this past Saturday, we made plans for me to pick him up mid morning and drive across town- so he could take the written drivers test. “Just let me know when you’re coming back,” His Grandmother began, “I’ve got errands to run. “Considering we’re going to the BMV on a Saturday, you may want to get your errands done while we’re out. I’m also going to get his hair cut…” I replied before we left.

“We really should stop to get your hair cut before we get your license underway…” I said as we entered the car. “Mom, isn’t the license supposed to resemble how you look most of the time?” the boy asked. Giving him a hard look–greasy hair with a shaggy beard, I nodded and said, “You’re right,” and proceeded on. “You know, learning to drive really isn’t all that difficult…” I began as we drove across town, “The hardest part about driving is not getting distracted while you’re driving…” I finished. The boy looked over at me and asked, “Then what in the hell am I doing getting a driver’s license?” Smiling I replied, “Because learning to drive is a great way to learn how to pay attention…” He shook his head and said, “That’s putting a lot of pressure on me…” “The pressure is on all of us bay, to keep our eyes on the road and not looking at our devices while driving,” I added.

When we arrived at the BMV, we stood in one line to tell us where to stand in another line. When we met a clerk, the boy took an eye test and proved once and for all, he needs his glasses. Then he was told to stand in a line, until a computer became available while I sat in a waiting area with the hundreds of other folks who chose to spend their day there too. “Mom!” I heard the boy say some time  later and there he was, back in another line, where I joined him, “I passed the written test and sent to this line,” He said. “How did you do?” I wondered. “I missed seven out of forty-five questions, but still passed,” He said. “Did it show you which ones you missed?” I asked. “Yeah, they were dumb mistakes by me,” He explained. When we reached the clerk, she took a look at his paperwork and then sent us to wait in another area until his number was called. “They’re on number 43…” He said looking down at the piece of paper he was handed, with the number 68 printed on it. “Yeah, but maybe they’ll move by quickly…” I said with hopeful reassurance.

Finally, his number was called and we approached the clerk, who looked at his paperwork, pulled up his test results and then asked him some important questions, “Since you’re eighteen, you’re required by law to file for the draft, would you like to do this now?” “I may have already done this online, but I’m not sure…” He replied. “Would you like to file here, just in case?” She asked. “Yes,” He agreed. “Since you’re eighteen, would you like to register to vote in the next election?” Standing up straight and looking somewhat surprised, he replied, “Oh yes!” and she smiled back at him, in reply. “Since you’re eighteen, in the case of an accident, would you be interested in being an organ donor for transplants?” “Uh, sure,” He replied and the clerk thanked him-which I found very sweet. “Okay, please read over your material, to make sure everything is correct,” The clerk instructed, before handing me the driving materials needed to ensure he receives proper training, along with the bill for the license. Then the boy was instructed to go stand in yet another line, to have his picture taken.

“You know, I didn’t plan on spending this much time with you today…” He said as we waited. “Well at least they’ve all been quality minutes…” I replied and we both smirked. “We’ve been here over two hours,” He remarked. “Yep,” I replied. “Do you think, before we get my hair cut, we can get something to eat?” I smiled and agreed, knowing he always thinks with his stomach above all else. When we finally exited the BMV I said, “Wow bay, you’re now a legal adult–filed for the draft, organ donor, registered to vote and have a temporary permit to drive. Not bad for two hours of work…” “I’m especially happy I can vote in the next election,” He returned. When we reached the car I jokingly asked, “So, would you like to drive?” Without even looking at me he replied, ‘NO!” which made me laugh. No was the right answer–at least until we find a quiet cemetery for him to practice in.

 

 

 

 

 

A mean mommy memoir…

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The month of February is always a bit stressful for me, not because it’s the shortest month of the year, but rather because the year really gets kicked off that month. January, for me, is more like catch up and recovery from the holidays, month. Whereas February, always marks the start of tax season and finding all the paperwork that goes with them…which isn’t always easy when you’ve decided to redo the inside of your house. Then there is making sure the doll’s registration and class schedules are set as well as celebrating my growing children’s birthdays… and the boy turning 18 has been hard for me to grasp.

When I began writing this blog seven years ag0 (coincidentally in February), I had no idea how writing would become a life line for me. A place where I could vent-yet see the humor in their actions or inaction’s; as the case may be. I remember someone asking me how much of what I write about is true and I replied, 97% plus or minus 5 because there are days when I shouldn’t use my poor word choice (or theirs) while in the throws of an argument. But on average, the “stories” substance or essence, has been accurate. Lately, I’ve cut back on my writing for two reasons of which you’re familiar, “My kids are in a boring phase” and “I’ve had a bit of writers block”.  In all honesty, my kids are moving away from the stories that made this so fun to write. Next year the boy, will be a freshman at some university and I will no longer have oversight into what he’s up to–other than the morsel or two he’ll drop (which judging from his recent conversations with me will be meager at best ). My doll will continue to lend fuel to the flame, but how much?

I guess what I’m driving at is if I continue writing this blog, my storytelling will change. I’m sure my doll is happy to hear she won’t be the center of all the attention… though, you never know. While I plan to continue to write about my kids and family, you might see me try my hand at writing other stuff… or not, please stay tuned.

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Yesterday, while flipping around on Facebook, I came across an advertisement to update my old family video tapes to a digital format and began to wonder, where were all my old videotapes? After rooting around in a basement file cabinet, I found the old camcorder, the necessary cords and about fifteen mini DV tapes. Once I made sure the old camera was in fine working order, I sat down and began reliving old memories. The very first image that came through was of my deceased father in law Charlie, rocking a very young boy on his shoulder. “Honey, get down here!!” I yelled up the stairs to my hubby, so we could both enjoy seeing his father, full of life and love with our newborn baby. A minute later I yelled out, “Doll, c’mere, look at this…” Then held up the little screen for her to see. “I told you, you were a scooter and faster than any kid crawling,” I said as the image of baby dolly scooted across the screen. “Well that was a perfectly good waste of my knees,” She sarcastically replied. A minute later, the boy entered the room and I said, “Hey, check out your dance moves…” and he knelt down to watch he and the doll have a dance contest to Irish music from 2005. “Jeez, I was a little skinny kid back then…” He said and I nodded in agreement.

Tape after tape revealed a gold mine of memories and smiles, some tears and plenty of laughter. “Oh she’s saying she’s tired…” I said when I watched a moment of the doll in her high chair, rubbing her eyes, squirming and fighting to stay awake. The funny part being, I said the same thing as I said on the tape–at the same time. I guess some things do not change. After viewing all the tapes I have to say, I wish I had captured more screen time with my mom holding my babies or even have glimpses of her standing in the background or foreground–to reinforce to my kids (who barely remember her) what a beautiful woman she was.  Though I have to say when her voice did permeate through all the noise, my heart sang at the pure joy of hearing her again.

But all in all,  I miss having babies and being such an important part of their lives… but I wouldn’t trade one second from watching them grow into who they are. What an adventure, what a treat, what a gift and blessing.

What a Mean Mommy Memoir.

 

 

 

 

effing wednesday…

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“Mom, there was this girl who came into the nurses office this morning, who evidently is a bit of a hypochondriac, because I overheard the nurse tell her “Your grades will be impacted if you go home,” and then the nurse asked her, what seemed to bet problem and the girl replied, “I know, but I just don’t feel good…”  “Yeah?” I replied. “I was like dude, I used that excuse like in first grade…” She explained and laughed. We were driving home from school early-on the recommendation of the nurse.

“So, tell me what happened?” I requested, adding, “I mean, could you feel this coming on or did it just hit you?” “I felt nauseous and really warm, but we were at the ‘Our Father’ part and I thought I could last a little longer… NOPE!”  She said and then added, “Poor Mr. R, I kind of startled him. “I bet. Did your brother come over to check on you?” I asked. “Yes. He said his friend A made him…” She replied with a deadpan tone. “Of course he did,” I replied and smiled.

Can you tell what the doll did at school today? When the school nurse called me earlier in the day, I had hopes she would make a swift recovery, but knew fool well, she would need me to pick her up. “I told her that maybe fasting isn’t for her today,” The nurse informed.  Thankfully, Mr. L was cooperative and remained in my car listening to Patsy Cline, while I went in and released her from the school’s care.

“Just think, you’ll be famous now….Oh you’re the girl who fainted…” I said as we pulled into our home’s driveway. “Uh, I’d rather not…” She demurred. I can’t say as I blame ya doll…”

 

With the best intentions…

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We are a family of procrastinators, regardless our best intentions. This explains why my husband and I met with the school college guidance counselor early, to find help navigating college waters, so we wouldn’t miss the boat entirely. Though we are still wading through that process, I’ll have to let you know how well that worked out later.

Today I find myself seated next to my Bay, on his 18th birthday at the BMV, hoping to get his temporary driving permit. Have I mentioned we’re procrastinators?  “I have a real fear of dying in a fiery crash,” he told me the last time we broached the subject to get his temps. “Bay, we all have that fear…” I offered though, he was not amused. On New Year’s Day he announced his plans to get his license before leaving for college. “How about as part of your birthday?” I suggested and he seemed nonplussed by the idea.

“Now bay, do you think you could skip rehearsals after school to take the test?” I asked this morning. “Moment of truth, I haven’t studied…” he replied. “Baaayy…” “In my defense, I couldn’t find the information pamphlets in my room…”He replied. “And you never thought of asking your father where they might be (When my husband removed the carpeting in his room, he came across the driving pamphlets)? “Mom, it’s my birthday, must you interrogate me?” He asked and I smiled.

“Can we come back when there aren’t so many people waiting?” He asked, before resting his head upon my shoulder when I said “No”. For the briefest of moments, I was transported back in time to when he last  drooled on my shoulder or emptied the contents of his tummy on my shoulder, or the first time he fell asleep…or… you get the point. But then he lifted his head when our number was called and smiled, “Eh, that didn’t take long. All I had to do was doze off…” While leaving the BMV, the boy stopped, “I’ll be right there…” He said to me, and approached another person waiting for their number to be called. “What did you do?” I asked as he exited the building and replied, “I had to tell the man what a cool Deadpool shirt he was wearing,” he said with a smile.

“Yes we are a family of procrastinators, because looking  up the necessary items needed to bring with us, not to mention going to the correct BMV might have been of help to us today. So what’s one more day to push back that fiery crash scenario right…?

I guess he could have blamed this all on me, for walking around much of today in a daze.  God help me, Dylan Edward, my baby boy has turned eighteen and then after school registered for the draft (while I tried my best not to cry). On the drive home from our misshapen adventure he asked, “Do you think I’m ready to go away to college?” “I think your ready school wise, yes. But living on your own has me…” “Worried.” He interrupted. “Concerned”. I replied. “It’s okay to be worried about me, in fact I love when people are–shows they care,” he explained. “I’m concerned something bad will happen and it will take me three and a half hours to get to you. That time frame concerns me,” I explained. “I’ll be alright you know,” he answered. “So long as you stop procrastinating…” I replied. “You first…” He replied.

I sighed.

 

Trying to fly while mom’s clipping your wings…

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The other night, after my hubby had gone to bed, the doll and I went into different rooms so as not to bother the other. I turned on Netflix and began searching for something to watch, while she disappeared into the kitchen (aka her art studio), to continue working on a sketch.  Around 1 am, I stepped into the kitchen to remind her that bed time was coming soon and was interrupted by, “Mom, I’m on a conversation…” “Oh, Hi Natalia, Hi Ally…I began before adding, “Doll, tell your friends it’s time to start winding down,” I said. “Mom, they’re not here. You don’t know any of these girls…” She said. Giving her an odd look, I said, “Okay,” and then reiterated my previous statement, “Time to wind down…”

When the program I was watching came to an end, I loudly said toward the kitchen door, “Doll, it’s time to call it quits…” “Okay, Mom,” She replied and I could hear “Awwws” of disappointment come through he iPhone before she disconnected the call. When she entered the living room I asked, “Who were you talking to?” “One girl’s named Forest, the other’s name is Juniper–that’s not their real names mind you,” She smiled. “Who are they?” I asked. “You know that one artist I like?” She asked and I nodded, “Whenever she does live drawings, she opens a chat room so her fans can talk with one another. There are like four of us, who always complemented each other on their opinions and we decided to hold a Skype chat with one another…” She explained. “So, you’re talking with them over Skype?” I replied incredulously.”Mom, the camera is turned off as are my location services. But I can tell you one of the girls is in Australia, the other in California…” ‘And where do you say you’re from?” I asked. “They know I’m from Ohio… but I don’t use my real name–none of us do. We simply talk, no big deal”.

“I’m not so sure about that…” I muttered. “Honestly, Mom, I don’t see the harm. I mean you talk to people online all the time from all over the world and have had Skype chats with them…” “Yes, that’s true. The main difference being, I’m 52 and you’re 15,” I replied as she rolled her eyes. “I just keep thinking back to that time three year ago when you got so invested with a group of girls via PicCollage that when one said they were committing suicide, you…” I tried to explain but was interrupted, “I don’t want to talk about that. I mean seriously mom, I’m not as gullible now…” “I don’t know doll… fifteen is a vulnerable age and I’m not comfortable with this. It’s not that I don’t trust you, I don’t trust those I cannot see…” I tried. “But we keep the camera’s turned off for a reason…. try to think of this as I have a digital pen pal…” She suggested.

Thinking for a moment I said, “Okay, but, writing on a message board and getting to know someone over a long period of time, versus talking on Youtube for ten minutes before creating a Skype call is different…” I replied. “Mom, it didn’t happen quickly. I’ve been talking with them for about a month, before I joined the Skype call and like I said before, I don’t have the camera turned on and I don’t use my real name. Plus,  all we’re doing is talking about art,” She said. “How often have you talked to them via Skype before?” I asked. “Once or twice before…” She replied. “I’d like a moratorium on Skype calls until I can figure out if they are indeed safe…” I replied. “I’ll still talk to them via the chat room…” She replied, a little defiance in her tone.

Taking a deep breath to clear my thoughts before answering, so my reply made sense to both of us, she stood there arms crossed about her chest, waiting for my reply. “Baby, you know when you’re my age and you have a fifteen year old, this stuff will look tame by comparison. You’re daughter will say, I’m going to talk with Forest or Juniper, then hop in the transporter and disappear for a few hours…”  She smiled at the absurdity of my reply and relaxed. “Let me be a parent here? I trust you have a level head and you’re smart. But others aren’t trustworthy–which I hate to say, until you get to know them better. How about this….we compromise. The next time a Skype call comes up, you let me talk to the girls first…” She looked horrified for the briefest of moments before saying, “If this will make you feel better…?” I nodded in reply. “I’ll ask them next time we’re in the chat room together”. “Good… Goodnight, I love you…” I replied before she replied in kind, gave me a hug and we both disappeared into our bedrooms.

Being a parent in the digital age is not fun.

sarcasm font…

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The film club spent the past two weeks watching the Dead Poets Society, which I have not seen since the movie came out oh so many years ago. When I picked the kids up after they had watched the first half I said, “Carpe Diem! What did you think of them standing on the desks? Can you see yourselves doing the same?” The doll gave me a quizzical look and asked, “What are you talking about?” “Oh, I guess you you haven’t…” I began, before changing tact and saying, “Nothing…” “Oh My Gawd mom, did you just ruin the movie for me?” She asked loudly. “No,” I sheepishly replied before adding, “Besides, when do you ever pay attention to anything I say?” “Nice,” She replied, shaking her head in disgust. After a minute of brooding, she thankfully changed the subject, allowing the movie to talk to fade to dark.

Yesterday, when I picked up the kids, I asked, “What movie did you watch?” “The second half of the Dead Poets Society,” She replied. “Oh yeah, Carpe Diem; Seize the day and all that stuff. How did you like the movie?” I asked. “I did not not cry at the end of that film,” She said. “See I didn’t ruin the movie for you last week…” I offered. “How did you like them standing on the desks at the end saying Carpe diem?” I asked. The boy, who climbed into the car just then replied, “Mom, when they stood on the desks they said, Captain, my Captain…” “Whatever,” I replied before looking at the doll and asking, “So you didn’t cry huh?”

Looking back at me she asked, “Can you not read me when I’m using sarcasm? Because I’m getting the feeling you either are not paying attention to me, or something is wrong with you that you cannot read my sarcasm…” “Perhaps, like you with me, I’m not paying close enough attention to what you’re saying…” I said with a smile. “Nice,” She said, lifting her finger to the corner of her eye and assimilating a tear falling from her eye. “Ah, so you did cry…” I laughed. “Only at your lack of understanding,” She replied which made me laugh harder.

“CARPE DIEM or whatever floats your boat doll…” I shouted, before turning up the radio to effectively change the subject.

 

the old song and dance…

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One of the more fun times I get to experience in the mornings are the doll’s and bay’s quest to sit in the shotgun seat. “Doll, I’m the senior…!” The boy has argued. “Too bad, so sad, if you’re slow, you’re going to lose the seat,” She made her  argument clear on the second day of school. “I’ve been riding in the front seat the last three years. By virtue of age, the seat belongs to me,” The boy tried. “If you learn how to drive, you could have the front seat all you like. Until then, every person for themselves,” His sister countered and boy, he does not like playing by her rules.

Today he beat her to the car winning the front seat, while she acted nonchalant. “Ah ha, I’ve got shotgun!” he declared. “I’ve got a headache from your voice, please stop,” She replied and all I could think about was how in a few short months this argument will be gone and our morning drives into school will be boring.

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This morning on the way to school, the boy connected his iPod to the car stereo and blasted out the tunes he wanted to listen to, while his sister lamented in between sips of cold coffee, “Mom my alarm clock has somehow become a part of my dream, but not enough to wake me from my slumber. It’s like a dumb noise is going off, but not enough to annoy me to action”.

“Maybe it’s time you employ two alarms…” I suggested, knowing full well that probably won’t help her either.

Teenagers…

“You should listen to Genesis’ Home by the Sea,” I said to the boy, having awaken in the mood to listen to that song myself. “What do you know…” He said as the song sprung to life through the car speakers. “This is one of your dad’s favorite songs along with Second Home by the Sea, from that album. I remember when we saw them in con…” “Ma…Mom!” The boy interrupted. “What?” I replied. “I’m not taking Ancient History at the moment,” He said with a laugh. Shaking my head back and forth I mumbled, “I’ll give you something to remember…” Which only made him laugh more.

Ah yes, we had a nice drive to school this morning… no doubt the drive home will be just as interesting too.

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