Imagine this with a layer of Orange on the bottom.
I feel so Mormon.
One child lost his Social Security benefits (but didn’t lose his disability) and the appeal has been going on for 6 months. We need to plan his future and get him a driver’s license and teach him how to balance a checkbook.
The next one, the off-the-charts brilliant one, is putting in minimal effort, getting mediocre grades and now his teachers are calling me in to discuss behavioral problems in the classroom. I got word this morning that he threw up in his friend’s bunk bed after too much to drink at the Homecoming party.
The third is apparently not having the football season that he needs to have if he’s going to get recruited and can’t afford college without some scholarship money. He’s got a mom flirting with him and potentially sending him boobie-photos.
Get me the fuck out of here.
I want to think about me. I want to read my book, write my memoir, get a massage, and run away to the desert, ALL. BY. MYSELF.
I want to not think about anyone else. I want to paint my nails and think about having another cup of coffee and where I will run.
I don’t want to worry about anyone else. I don’t want to be constantly trying to fix, help, or encourage. I don’t want to brainstorm for another.
Sick of teacher meetings, coach meetings, guidance counselor meetings.
Last night I had to make the choice: Write another letter to the Federal Government, rage against my oh so underachieving child, or find out if there is a sexual predator pursuing my handsome child.
Child being the operative word here.
I chose that one – seemed like the most urgent.
Looks like it was nothing.
So relieved that I completely blew off the others. Figured there was so much shit going on that one more day wouldn’t matter.
Especially when I have no interest in dealing with any of it.
Is there anyone out there who wants to take over for a little while?
A discussion at work today, who can and who can’t (work vs personal):
1 totally can
1 mostly can
1 sometimes can
2 never can
That would be me.
I ooze all over everywhere
Which is why I am writing this on the clock.
I guess I’m pretty dang lucky that the other one is my supervisor.
“Mom, you’re not Christian or Mexican, why are you so into Jesus candles?”
“You know Buddy, just in case.”
Who knows if it does me any good, but I figure it can’t do us any harm, and last night felt like a Guardian Angel was looking over my family so, I’m going to keep on lighting them…
…just in case.
It was the night of the Homecoming Dance, and hand in hand, the Homecoming after-party.
Back story here:
My boys are teenagers. We live in a small redneck town where kids drink Coors Light, chew Copenhagen, and go mudding in the mountains in their big trucks. I was a teenager once and made a LOT of really stupid choices. My children have made a lot of stupid choices. So have their friends. Their father, a recovering alcoholic, thinks that a “talk” here and there about the dangers of drinking, especially with their genetics, is keeping them from imbibing in said alcohol.
So the way I look at parenting them during these years, given the above factors, I have 3 choices; tell them not to drink and think that they won’t, thus having them lying and sneaking all over the county with a beer in hand; cruelly forbid them to ever leave the house just so I feel safe; or be totally realistic and hope that a policy of transparency will keep them honest and maybe a bit more careful if they’re not having to lurk around behind my back.
Since Dad has gone for number 1, and number 2 just isn’t fair since they haven’t done enough to warrant its implementation, I’ve opted for number 3.
Number 3 is great when sitting around the dining room table, me being the cool mom. It’s a whole other story on a Saturday night when they are making plans to go to the mountains with 235 of their closest stupid friends to drink beer and Fireball, at two o’clock in the morning.
Which was last night’s post-homecoming plan.
So many things were freaking me out about it, yet I chose to let them go: with stipulations.
No drinking to vomiting status.
No taking advantage of drunken girls.
No drinking and driving.
First one, I just had to keep my fingers crossed that they too believe that Vomiting Isn’t Fun.
Second – I just trust them. Should I? I certainly hope so.
Third – I offered, as I always do, to do the driving for them. I always agree to drive up to the mountains at extremely-early-in-the-morning (like 2) to pick them up to guarantee that they won’t get in a car with a “sober” driver.
I remember one night that I was the “sober” driver – I was chosen because I was the one in the group who’d only eaten one hit of acid instead of two.
Curfew – Of course they don’t want one. Of course they’re going to get one.
“Can we just spend the night up there?”
So they asked if they could spend the night at a friends’.
“Is this your way of getting out of having a curfew?”
Remember, I have asked for total transparency.
And, I said “Sure.”
Crazy, right? It just seemed so much easier having another parent involved, even if it was one who was going to let them stay out all night. It gave me the opportunity to turn a blind eye.
And I took it.
God I love denial.
It didn’t mean that I wouldn’t stress, freak out, lose sleep, etc. But in saying “yes” I hoped that they would be able to say “no” if necessary.
Another part of the equation was this:
Friend wouldn’t be drinking or driving like an idiot because he’ on probation and has to take a pee test tomorrow and the truck is his dad’s and if he messed it up, we’d all be running for the hills to avoid the wrath.
“I wish I felt okay about this because I trust Friend to make smart choices, not because he’s made so many dumb choices that he can longer afford to make more. But I’ll take what I can get.”
And then, I received this text: No one wants to go to the mountains, it’s too cold and too much driving. So just a few of us are going to go to Friend’s to hang out.
No stupid driving on stupid mountain roads with stupid drunk teenagers. No wondering if the cops (who always know when there is party in the mountains) will show up and issue my children MIP’s (minor in possession).
They go one place, where they will stay, with parental supervision, right in town.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Have fun. Have a great night.
And there is proof that a Guardian Angel does exist and thank the heavens above that I lit that Jesus candle yesterday.
I know I am not the first person to ask this question and most likely, not the last.
Thing is, we’re not talking small children here; the situations where the answers are to lock the door and “Mommy and Daddy are just wrestling.”
These are teenagers – sexually aware teenagers – teenagers who are very clear on what goes on behind closed doors.
It makes for feeling awkward.
If they knock on the bedroom door and it’s locked?
If they catch us in bed mid afternoon?
If I run downstairs to talk to them with my shirt on inside out?
And God forbid they should hear anything.
Besides feeling a little bit self-conscious about it, the sneaking around and worrying about them “finding out,” leads to feeling like we’re doing something wrong.
Which, I am very clear, we are not.
I even wondered if I would feel more relaxed about it if I was married to MCB.
(Do I somehow feel like that would make it okay?)
Nope. Not at all.
I’m not that gal.
So for now, until we figure out a way to feel more at ease with this, I guess it’s going to be Nooners.
They (boys) needed shampoo so when I went to the grocery store the other night I bought the biggest bottle I could find. I also picked up some toothpaste for them.
Came home and unpacked. Toothpaste and shampoo were placed, along with some wayward socks, on the end of the kitchen table closest to their bathroom – a range of, maybe, six feet.
Two days later, the toothpaste box is empty but not in the trash, the socks lead a trail to their bedrooms and the pump is open on the shampoo bottle.
Are they actually coming out of the bathroom to get a squirt of shampoo then returning to lather, rinse, and repeat?
There are many of each and they all rattle around in my brain confusing the shit out of me.
Some days it seems like I could never leave here, others, it would be a piece of cake.
When I got off the plane 2 days ago, I was slightly let down; I didn’t feel that same sense of relief that normally accompanies my arrival here on The Plateau.
I missed my curls, 50 shades of green, and my mommy and daddy.
The hours back here have been riddled with uncertainty and confusion, longing and ungroundedness.
My life feels perfect.
In the South, I could see my folks every single day. I could swim with Manatees whenever I wanted. I could become a SUP-er and have killer abs. I could run at sea level on the sand and my back would feel brand new. I could hang out with gals I knew in my childhood days. My kids could gain residency and go to one of the really good state colleges.
Round and round. So badly that I haven’t even been able to talk about it with anyone. Hearing others’ advice at the moment is just plain irritating to me because then I feel like whatever they think, they’re not seeing “the other side.”
I really like the idea of no more winters, no more cold, no more falling down on the ice.
But I pulled this killer orange sweater out of the closet today to wear to work and thought, “Where could I shop down there?”
I could try to start a new sparkle-beanie trend?
Or I could shop at Lilly Pulitzer.
And I don’t know how to do mainstream.
And I don’t want to learn.
But, now that I am thinking about it, I bet I could score some outrageous vintage librarian sweaters and gingham golf pants.