Is it a miracle

8 Feb

Last night I overheard #1 son, himself the source of much bellyaching by The Mom, instructing #3 son on how to get himself out of the doghouse at home. “Just finish up your grounding and get it over with. You did the crime and you deserve to be punished, she isn’t asking something unreasonable of you. You are only 12 and Mom is responsible for you.”

What? Where did this child come from? I won’t mention that he is himself in some school challenges, but at least he is working toward being an active part of our family.

I hate punishing the boys, I wish our time together was full of adventures. I wish our minuscule free time was free from interrogation and punishment. I feel more like a warden than a mother these days. Overhearing this interaction last night gave me a glimmer of hope that our tides are turning or at least there is an end date in the awful parenting of teenagers.

stealing

20 Jan

I’m not sure what I did wrong with my kids, but each of them has stolen from me at one time. Taken all of the change out of my change dish or even taken a few bills from my wallet. I don’t want to live like I am a warden in a jail, locking up my wallet and money while I am at home. I am grossly overwhelmed and ashamed that my kids would even think to steal from me.

Recently my #3 son used my debit card to purchase some credits on Facebook. I confronted him and then he did it two more times. The boys are all very aware of our precarious financial situation and this little episode resulted in our rent check being returned NSF. I cannot begin to describe my anger, disappointment and stress level.

I don’t even know how to effectively punish this situation and plan to keep said child in his room until I can calmly deal with the matter without killing him with my bare hands.

Boys 3, Mom 0

who knew?

16 Jan

Who knew that life could be really great? I seriously thought that mutually benenficial relationships were for soap operas and for those special few people who meet the three men out there who are really great.

However, I have found someone really great. My kids have settled down, I have settled down. I want to be the best woman for him because he deserves to be loved and honored to the best of my abilities.

I wish more people modeled great relationships to their children so that more of those children grew up with an expectation of greatness. I fully believe happiness for my lifetime awaits me. Yet, I am in no rush to seal the deal. I just want to explore this man fully and learn about him as much as possible so that I might learn to be his mate.

Life is good…

Back to school

29 Nov

Raising children alone is an arduous job. I became pregnant at a young age and decided in the space of a few days to raise my child, a son, and to refrain from the behaviors which stereotype most young, single mothers. My efforts over the last seventeen years, the help and advice of many friends and family as well as a firm belief in God’s power to heal and overcome have produced a valiant young man. However, as I am reminded from time to time, my work isn’t over and it hasn’t gotten any easier.
My son has ADHD, along with countless other young people in our country. Years of chasing a sometimes-out-of-control toddler and puzzling over bizarre impulsive behavior brought me to my knees many times in the privacy of my bathroom. After admitting that he needed medical assistance around the fourth grade, our lives became easier, but not easy. It has taken a steadfast adherence to my belief that children don’t need to fit a cookie cutter mold imposed by overworked educators to keep me from throwing up my hands and letting my son drift away with the herds of delinquents that roam the streets in our town. At times this has meant sitting opposite principals, teachers, school counselors and advocates demanding that the school find classroom options that work for my son. At other times, this has meant working reduced hours to drive my son to and from school and keep him from the bus which seemed to be a breeding ground for behavior issues. The solutions were never permanent and I have been forced to be creative in my efforts to help him find success.
Mostly, I have had to reinvent my own definition of success. I always assumed my kids would be adept academically, superior athletically and motivated socially. Growing up with my son has given me better perspective that people are all unique. Each created for his own purpose. We can set achievable expectations for ourselves and our children, but we cannot force our ideals, motivations and desires onto those around us, even if those around us are the children carried in our bodies for nine months.
In the last year I have seen the fruits of my labor! I have thankfully acknowledged each glimpse of maturity, wisdom and patience in my son. I no longer hope that he will fulfill all of my own unachieved dreams, but I have found the motivation to pursue those long lost dreams myself. So, as my son moves out of his academic season, I move into mine.

Fire Engine Red

25 Aug

Right after I separated from my ex-husband, I died my hair a rather audacious shade of auburn with some striking blonde highlights. I have gone through several editions of this over the summer. I recently put in very chunky blonde highlights which was fun and gave me a very edgy look.

I went to my favorite hair dresser, LiLi. I told her I wanted to get rid of the wild stuff and just go straight red, similar to my natural. I have a wedding to attend with BB on Saturday which involves me meeting his family for the first time. I wanted to look as respectable as possible to make a good impression.

Somehow, my instructions to LiLi didn’t communicate. I left her shop with fire engine red hair. No, I am not exaggerating. I knew it was bad when my son’s 15-year-old girlfriend complemented me on it. Her hair is several outlandish colors on a regular basis. Great.

Because of the hue, LiLi didn’t want to try to repair the color. We were afraid I would get orange or pink. So, I am waiting a few days… sigh. I get mixed reviews from people. Some LOVE it, mostly men who find it exotic I suppose. BB was ambivalent. He loves me so he can’t be objective. It is bright. At times I think it is striking. Other times I look like my hair is on fire especially in the sunlight.

SO, I guess I meet the family with edgy red hair. I think I can pull it off.

Get it together girl

23 Aug

I had tickets to Little Big Town last night. I love these guys and country music in general. So, I was excited as I left work yesterday to meet up with BB for a night on the town with another couple.

It was raining so traffic was bad, I called and spoke to my #1 son and asked him to get a few things done before I got home to expedite things. I arrive home to find him making out with his girlfriend on my couch and NONE of the tasks complete or even started. I was angry.

I yelled for my #3 son to get ready for football, his response? “Today is Sunday, there isn’t football.” Ugh. He was late to practice. I quickly showered, throw my hair in some curlers and pulled on my jeans, boots and a cute top.

My hero BB arrives with his normal patience and calming effect. He has mixed up a batch of his famous margaritas, pours me one and then quietly goes to the kitchen to threaten (in a joking, but serious way) my #1 with bodily harm if I return this evening and the kitchen is still a mess.

I start to calm down until I realize that I have lost my keys in the mayhem of the last hour. We spend precious 15 minutes looking for them (ugh, really? where is my brain?) before grabbing the spare (no key fob) and heading out. I finish applying my make-up in the car and try to get my blood pressure and temperature to return to normal levels. BB instructs me to “suck that down” meaning my margarita. Which I happily do.

After two margaritas in the car, I am feeling a little tipsy and more relaxed. We arrive at the venue and there is a line wrapped around  the outside of the building. Ugh. Thankfully, my dear friends arrived early and have a table waiting for us. God love them. We pull into a parking garage and go to hop out. BB arms the car alarm from the inside and proceeds to shut the door…. UM HELLO we do not have a key fob to disarm that!

We try to gently shut the doors without setting off the alarm. It doesn’t work. Now the alarm is blaring inside the parking garage, echoing off of every last nerve I have left. 10 more minutes of monkeying with the car. BB disconnects the battery. We manually lock the doors and decide to deal with it later.

At the end of the night, the concert was fun. The venue was a bit hot, but a great evening. Do I bring this sort of drama onto myself somehow?

Deciding When To Have A Child, If Ever: The Impacts Later In Life

22 Aug

I got pregnant with my oldest son young: 18. I had two more sons quickly thereafter and found myself a divorced mother of three young men at the age of 24. I loved being pregnant, but my husband acted erractically during the pregnancies and they weren’t emotionally happy times in my life.

We didn’t share the milestones of pregnancy or infants together. I desire this so much. I don’t want to be 50 and wish I had “one more”. I am wrestling with this decision, prayerfully asking God to show me if I am being selfish or if this is a desire of my heart.

Deciding When To Have A Child, If Ever: The Impacts Later In Life.

Smart friends

19 Aug

Just had lunch with a very respected friend. She gave me so much to think about. What am I doing? Am I being silly to think that BB and I can make it through the most recent “episode”. Am I kidding myself that this was an isolated incident with extenuating circumstances? Have I become “that woman”? The one who is so dependent on a man’s attention that she sacrifices her self-respect?

I need some time and space to sort this all out.

If I was famous…

18 Aug

If I was famous I would be able to get away with more things.

  1. I could get as many tattoos as I wanted. It would be expected and I wouldn’t have to be so strategic about their placement.
  2. I could dress like I wanted – even if that meant wearing garish and outlandish outfits to work. It would never be called “unprofessional”
  3. Nobody would think twice about my two divorces.
  4. I could hire someone to keep track of my finances and NEVER have to balance a checkbook or pay a bill again.
  5. I could hire a personal trainer and nutritionist. Maybe drop this 40lbs quickly.
  6. I could stay up until 2:00am and get up at 10:00 and nobody would bat one eyelash.

Sometimes I feel constrained by society’s expectations of me. I know, I know. I have the freedom to do and be whoever and whatever I want. I could do all of these things right now if I truly wished. But, they don’t really fit into my life.

Now, what sort of talents do I have that would help me be famous? I can’t sing. I can dance, sort of. I have no acting ability that I am aware of. I am a chief organizer and communicator. I have no problem speaking my mind. Hmmm. I will have to keep thinking.

The power of boys

16 Aug

Midnight: my #1 son strolls down the stairs with his shoes and socks and jacket on and a Monster drink tucked into his pocket.

“What are you doing?”

“It’s hot in my room and I want to sit in the backyard.”  Right.

Funny. Does he think I am really that stupid?

“Honey, what are you up to? Looks like you are planning a late night sneak out adventure with your buddies.”

Denial. He leaves and doesn’t return until 8:00 the next morning. He’s almost 17. He is bigger than me. I cannot physically make him stay home. I can threaten all I want. Likely he will just continue to do what he wants.

So, the big ugly tree in the backyard? https://justamomtoday.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/tree-trimming/Guess who gets to spend the day (likely a very tired day after being out all night) chopping it down? I came home to the ugly tree now a short stump, which will be removed this weekend and the branches in organized piles for the fire pit. No yelling, no fighting. He knew he was wrong – he didn’t argue. I got a task done.

Honestly, this isn’t the kind of parent I thought I would be. I probably would have scoffed at this story recounted by another parent in my younger years. But now? Raising teenagers is hard. You compromise and do what you can. All the time working to preserve the relationship while instilling values and boundaries with love.

It is exhausting, but I think we are making it.

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