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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.

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.

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.

Bad news bears

10 Aug

Last night was the first night of football practice for #3. This season there are an abnormal number of kids in my son’s age group. So, the program chose to make three teams instead of the normal two. This meant that my son and some others were put onto a team with coaches they do not know.

My #3 tends to be very uncomfortable with change. I have been praying that this new coach was as positive and soft-spoken as his old coach. My first impression was not good. Of course, I didn’t share that with my son. After watching practice for two hours and keeping a careful eye on my kiddo – my impression began to change.

I watched my son be given the opportunity to play running back – he was beaming. He got to interact with his old coach and teammates during some conditioning and that made it OK. At the end of practice the coaches held an impromptu parent meeting. They shared their vision for the season – One Team, One Family, One Ship. I felt better.

I judged a book by its cover. The coach was older and had a lip full of chew. I immediately thought he would lack the passion and care of previous coaches. I just might be wrong.

Taking the high road

8 Aug

So, the boys were supposed to return home on Saturday morning. Their dad informs me that he cannot meet up halfway because he is having car trouble. My options are: driving the entire way (6 hours RT) to get them or to purchase train tickets for them myself. Of course, he cannot contribute to train tickets.

I take a deep breath and a few moments to think about the high road in this situation. I purchase the tickets for Saturday evening at 6:00pm. No problem. Gives me some extra time with BB and the boys don’t have to sit in the car for 3 hours.

Saturday at 5:00pm I receive a phone call informing me that they aren’t going to make the train because they are out on the river and could I call and change the tickets. I make a phone call and find out there is an add collect. I contact their dad say it is fine, but he will have to pay for the add cost.

At least the boys got to do something fun with their dad besides sit around and play video games. I get another evening with BB and not a big deal. Irritating, but not a big deal. Turns out that their dad simply had the Amtrak people put the add collect on my card. Cute. But, he will send cash with the boys. Right.

The high road. I have taken it so many times since our divorce. I never want the boys to feel the stress of having parents that can’t be civil and friendly to one another. I grow tired of being the parent and always footing the bill and doing the right thing. However, the greater issue is the boys, not me.

Lucky for me, they returned home. Ready to be at home. Grateful for the normalcy I provide, a clean house and an actual parent. This season won’t last forever, thank God. I will get through it. I am glad the boys are home.

Just be a dad

4 Aug

My children will tell you that they have never (maybe once) heard me disparage their father. We parted ways when the boys were 4, 2 and infant. Very sad, we were young. A second marriage for each of us has died as well. Over the last 6 months I have allowed myself to consider trying to reconcile with this man for the sake of my children. Then, there are times like last night that firmly reassure me of my decision so many years ago.

The boys landed in Oregon to visit their dad for a week on Tuesday. They are to return home to me on Saturday. Last night (WED) the dad called to ask if they could come home on Friday because that would be more convenient for him. Really? Hmmm, there must be a new girlfriend.

Issues stemming from my childhood make me fly into mamma bear mode when I feel like my children are in a situation where they are not wanted. I don’t want them to feel like they are a pain in the ass to the adults who are supposed to love them. So, of course, my first instinct is to hop into my car and run down there to rescue them from the situation.

A dear, very honest and tough friend of mine counseled me otherwise. Her sharp words left me stinging and teary. Afterward, I spoke with BB about the whole situation. Shockingly, his counsel was exactly the same without the stinging words. I love both of these people dearly and thank God regularly for placing each in my life.

After some tears, I allowed myself to read and fall asleep. Not changing my plans to rescue my children. But allowing them to cope with the situation – no danger is involved after all. So, I am headed out to celebrate my last few nights of freedom summer before the boys return to an excited momma.

Movie and good company

3 Aug

I went to a movie last night with my son’s girlfriend. The boys are finally due home Saturday. She and I are missing them. In an effort to distract ourselves and commiserate, we went to a comedy. It was enjoyable. I like her. She was good company.

I am ready for my life to return to normal. Too long for our family to be uprooted.

 

last weekend

1 Aug

I had an eventful weekend. I feel like I am getting stronger, gaining self-control and self-awareness.

Friday night out with a girlfriend. Love her. She is in an interesting spot in her life. Struggling to find herself and make peace with her decisions. Painful to watch, actually. But, I love her and I am not leaving.

Saturday morning car show at work. Great fun, great people. I love my job.

Saturday afternoon headed to San Juan islands with my Big Bear. Seeing him in his element made me love him more. Such a great weekend full of sweet moments, laughs, beautiful scenery and affirmation of my love for this man.

As the day was ending on Sunday, the realization that this life I have been living with BB is a fairy tale hit me square in the face. The boys return this Saturday. Football season starts right away. My ability to take off for a weekend in the islands is rare.

Do I risk introducing the boys to BB? If I do, how soon? What if it doesn’t work out? I cannot put the boys in that spot again. Honestly, I am not worried that the boys won’t like BB. I am more worried that they will love him as much as I do and then it will end.

The men in my life

27 Jul

The boys are still in CO. I miss them. Each has been sick of late (we don’t get sick). I imagine they hate being away from home (and their momma) when they are sick. And I hate being away from them when they are sick too.

I also feel the need to protect them from my mom. She can be so great, but gets resentful and tries to inflict guilt. I remember growing up and feeling like I was such a pain in the ass. I don’t want my kids to feel like that. This is the last year I do this. I am grateful for the break and the opportunity for my kids to know their family. Not worth it in the long run.

I can’t seem to let go of this guy in my life. He is afraid of me and the potential to be hurt. I think being in love with him is worth the potential future pain. Gonna take it much slower and guard my heart a little bit better.

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