Tag Archives: boys!

Not so little, plenty to go

I’m kinda bummed with my lack of creativity anymore.

I used to make a real point to write on the old blog a few times a month. Then once a month. Maybe. Give it a shot.

Not it’s like, twice a year.

It’s not like I gave up writing. Frankly, it’s all I ever do. If I’m not writing an actual story for an actual newspaper, I’m writing notes and lists and texts and emails and thoughts and ideas and facepage posts. I’m telling the kids when I’ll be home and telling old Jimmer what’s for dinner and telling myself not to freaking forget to take in the taxes yet there they sit… on the counter… I still have 15 days, don’t judge me.

I’m busy.

Not crazy busy.

But busy.

Enough that it took me a solid 10 minutes to figure out how to make a new post because all my neat-o wordpress options have changed.

So it’s no surprise that the passage of time has prompted me to have a good hard think about the passage of time.

“Are you going to be sad when I go to high school next year?”

Actual words from my actual child’s mouth. He’s going to be a freshman in the fall.

Bring on the woe is me, the “oh noes my baby boy,” the fear upon the realization that he’ll be legally behind the wheel in just over two years.

But then I saw some mommy blog crap, and my fears of “cannot believe my baby is growing up” came to a screeching halt.

Now, just a disclaimer. I really dislike mommy blogs. Like. A lot.

Probably the biggest reason that mommy blogs grind my gears is that they always appear to be written by women between the ages of 25 and 35 with only toddlers underfoot. They want to share their sage wisdom or hilarious stories of failures now that they are experienced moms with all the answers.

Even though they don’t yet know the horror of the 45 minute shower. Or wondering where all the hand towels went. Sippy cup problems are pretty ridiculous when your teenaged son morphs into a Disney princess sprawled across the bed shrieking “YOU DON’T KNOW!”

And I haven’t even hit real dating and high school dramz yet.

I often see mommy bloggers as embellishing storytellers with tales so ridiculous and way too long that sound like they come from jackasses who changed their email addresses to DylanandXandersMommy@Ihavenoidentity.com

Scary Mommy is the worst. If you Google “Scary Mommy Truth” you get 420,000 results, with hits including “the truth about divorce,” “the truth about having a third child,” “the truth about snow days” and my very favorite, “the universal truth of motherhood.” Spoiler alert – according to that post, the universal truth of being a mom is that we never again get to use the bathroom alone. Which is a hella lot of bullshit, get some god damn control over your home and your children and piss like a civilized human with the door closed, it literally takes a few seconds. My lord.

There’s also a “confessional” which rivals the Penthouse forum. It’s really weird.

So Scary Mommy and her sister blog sites share those DOWN TO EARTH truths about motherhood that I don’t identify with at all. But at the same time, these things have  something like a bijillion readers so obviously people like it and whatever, it’s just me. Others relate so that’s cool.

But yesterday I spotted this one – NOT Scary Mommy – and it irked me off more than usual:

“Lies I Refuse To Tell Myself Now That I’m A 30-Something Mom”

Featured on the “Message with a Bottle” blog, I have to admit, I didn’t get too far into this one. Because the very first lie that this 30-something mom refuses to tell herself is this:

I will no longer pretend that I’m young

Age really is relative, isn’t it? No matter how many 80-year-olds point a finger at me and proclaim, “YOUTH,” there need only be one 20-something to remind me that I’m pretty much ancient. Go hang out with someone fresh out of college if you doubt me. They’ll be like, “Let’s do shots!” and you’ll be all, “Ugh, just a half a glass of wine, please, that’s all I can handle tonight.”

I throw the bullshit flag on that so hard that I throw out my shoulder and dent the ground with the thing.

First.

Moms.

ENOUGH WITH THE WINE. What is this nonsense where moms are like “oooohhhhh lookey at MEEEEE I love wine!!” We get it, your kids drive you to drink. Newsflash, this started about 16 generations ago. Get with the times.

But second, and far more important, is this crap:

“I’m pretty much ancient.”

I get it. Hyperbole. Hilarious!!!

Now stop it.

For one thing, I didn’t go around in my 20s taking shots every night of the week, and I happen to know a lot of 20-somethings, and they don’t either. I had a job. Then later, I had a KID. Those  shot-takers who you cannot keep up with? They aren’t 20-somehtings, they are drunks. No one likes a drunk, not even a recent college grad.

But more importantly, it actually puts true sadness in my (apparently ancient since I’m not even a 30-something mom, I’m a fragile 42-year-old) heart to hear young people lament the loss of their youth, even in jest.

If your age is 30-something… you’re not old

Also not old — 40-somethings and 50-somethings. If you’re 60-somethings, you’re on the threshold. Maybe.

Why do people do this to themselves, this “I’m so old” nonsense. Of all the ways I love to poke at myself, age is not one of them. If you’re already doing the “oh my *deep sigh* I’m soooooo old” and you’re just in your 30s, how the hell do you expect to chase around your teenager. Because trust me — you NEED to chase them around.

You’re too old in your 30s? Aw, honey, middle school moms are going to EAT YOU ALIVE.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the passage of time, realizing that my little ones are not so little anymore.

But I’m reminded daily that while I’m 20 years out of college, I’m young as all get out. I don’t need to be 20-something to be young. I just need to be alive to be young.

My kid is going to high school next year. I look forward to him trying to keep up with his young mom.

And her glass of wine.

*cheers*

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The real problem with Elf on a Shelf

Hint – it’s not the elf.

It’s Christmas.

Christmas!

CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS!!!

Let’s be clear.

There is nothing worse than winter.

It’s cold. It’s full of salt and dirty snow. It’s perpetual chilly nips no matter how many layers you are wearing. It’s heavy boots that still don’t stop your feet from getting wet and frozen boogers in your nose and car windows that are 100 percent clean except right in front of your eyes.

Winter blows.

Its one redeeming quality – when in comes old man winter, so follows Christmas.

Jim is not exactly into, like, God. He thinks it’s adorable that people think a baby was born in a stable surrounded by farm animals and none of them ate him and he didn’t get dysentery. He loves his pagan tree. He calls a nativity a “shrine” (is it? I don’t know!).

But you know what he really loves?

This:

Merry_Christmas_Mariah_Carey

Oh my lord, how he LOVES THIS ALBUM. All he wants for Christmas is you, Mariah. It’s all he wants.

When you talk about Jesus being the reason for the season, you are not talking about people like Jim. He’s not rude about it, I don’t mean it like that. He just isn’t much for organized religion.

But what he does love – what I do love – is some capitalism Christmas. The kind that tells you that Santa Claus drinking a Coca Cola while hanging out with a Polar Bear in line for the Black Friday sale at Walmart is the reason for the season!

Which means in this house, Christmas is about magic.

Enter Steve.

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Steve is our Elf on a Shelf. He arrived one year IN SHELVES. No really.

George had started to ask about the elf, some of his friends had one. So we went to Target (like good suburban parents) and picked up one of the 49739591357893493 dolls on display, and brought it home. That same day, the shelves that we ordered for the family room arrived. So Jim pulled the box opening back a little and shoved in the yet-unnamed Steve, and when he opened up the shelves – boom – out popped the elf.

It was adorable.

If you don’t think it was adorable, you are an asshole have a heart of stone.

George quickly named him Steve, clearly after his favorite Minecrafter. Steve.

Then he went to work moving about from place to place, until Christmas morning.

This is our third year with Steve, and it’s possible it’s the last year that this trick will work like magic. The child is 9 years old, I don’t know how much longer until he’s ready to tell us that he knows.

But for now, it’s just more Christmas magic, and it’s as much fun for Jim as it is for George.

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Steve will fight you if you take his candy.

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Steve loves to play Minecraft with his friends, Frog and Lucky Banana.

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There was that time that he did MTV Unplugged. Beautiful.

It wasn’t until I had an elf that I knew that elf-hate is a real thing. And now that it’s December, it’s plastered all over the internet.

A blogger on the Huffington Post proudly slapped out “8 Simple Ways to Exile the Elf” where she explains how you can use the elf to scare the shit out of your kids, ha ha! So hilarious, then they won’t like it. She ends the post with “you’re welcome.”

Another contributor writes about how we’re LYING to our children, when her daughter realizes the doll is a doll.

“Made in China?” A. asks dubiously. She fingers a white tag on Shelf Elf’s rump. “I thought he was from the North Pole.”

First of all lady. For real? She fingers his rump? What are you, 50 Shades of Elf?

I don’t know why you let your kid finger a doll, but ahem:

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There ain’t no tag on his ass. Unless you bought yours at the “here are some dolls for asshole parents” store. And let’s not forget the obvious – SANTA. If you’ll lie about Santa, the elf is RIGHT THERE WITH THAT LIE.

Of course we lie to our kids.

“I totally want to hear about that video game.”

“Your hair looks great!”

“Sure, that matches.”

“That picture is really good! You could be an artist!”

“We’ll see…”

All lies.

(Especially that last one, everyone knows that “we’ll see” is fancy talk for “no way in hell.”)

Then there’s this year’s top idea, floating around the facepage like a real life internet piece of downright genius:

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Hey kids. I’m here, but I’m not going to move around. Because I have a potentially deadly disease.

I just have one question to the parents who bitch and moan every year over the elf on a shelf:

Why are you assholes?

No really.

It’s not a competition. It’s not mandatory.

Every year, without fail, the whining, the moaning, the CRYING.

“Who has time to do that??”

Well, I don’t know, other people manage to binge watch TV shows and stand in line at Starbucks every day, somehow moving a doll is a commitment as time consuming as getting your PhD?

“Why would you use a doll to make sure your kids are good??”

I use discipline to make sure my kids are good. I use a doll to play a game.

“It’s creepy!”

No more creepy than a guy who rose from the dead after three days and started talking. You know… the reason for the season.

“That must be for stay at home moms!”

Yeah, we aren’t even going to go there…

Look, I get it. You don’t like the doll.

So don’t do it.

And don’t complain that you HAVE to do it because your kids are asking about the elves of their friends. You don’t have to do shit. Tell them the same thing you would tell them if the neighbor got a toy they couldn’t have, or went on a trip you can’t afford, or has things you just don’t have. Tell them – wait for it – NO.

Why is this suddenly too hard when it comes to the elf?

If you really think that the elf pictures on another person’s social media account make you look bad, you have a serious problem with narcissism. You are literally making the family fun of other people somehow about you. Dude. Put down the mirror, there are other people in the world.

Enough blog posts about how to rid yourself of the elf. Look, moms of the suburbs, if you can remember to pour yourself a glass of wine every night, you can remember to move a doll. It’s not about forgetting it, or not being creative.

It’s about that fact that you don’t wanna.

You don’t have to. It’s all good.

But no one is harassing you. Stop being so bound and determined to wag your finger at the elf.

The problem with the elf on a shelf isn’t the other parents who enjoy it every year, or the other kids who talk about it.

It’s you. You and your crappy attitude and incessant need to complain about something that you choose to do or can choose not to do.

It’s just you.

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Because this kid’s happiness is not there for you to shit on.

Merry Christmas!!

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The fall ball

He followed behind me through the Target, trudging ever so slowly, his small feet stomp-stomp-stomping on the linoleum, something obviously amiss.

“What is it,” I crabbed through a yawn.

“I just… I thought I’d get a prize,” he said, stone cold serious.

“A prize????” I said, shocked. “For what?”

“For dancing with you,” he said, looking down at his slow, stomping, untied shoes on his slow, stomping, little boy feet.

But he was serious as a heart attack. Eight years old, that tear in the corner of his eye threatening to escape right on out and down his cheek. We’d spent 90 minutes at the annual Mother-Son Fall Ball, you see. There had been line dancing former woo girls recapturing their college days with eyes closed while they forgot for three minutes that they were in the cafetorium of the elementary school. There were at least three moms who didn’t realize that it wasn’t a full on formal event. There were banana clips. We had to hear what the damn fox said.

But for a brief minute, Stevie Wonder sang some mellow, comfortable, soothing Stevie Wonder song, and that boy came and grabbed me by the hand, and let me swing and sway right in the center of that makeshift dance floor, where at one point I even dipped him low and smothered him with wet kisses right there in front of his friends. Surely that’s worth a prize. Say, a Lego, retail price, $25. Why else would he have asked to stop at Target under the guise of “I’m hungry, can I get a snack.” We needed milk anyway.

Should have seen it coming.

A prize.

*scoff*

He looked up at me. Pitiful.

“Please,” he whimpered. “You’re just so awesome.”

Call me a sucker. Call me a fool. Slap my ass and call me Lloyd Christmas. Because he’s right. I’m awesome.

It’s getting away from me, this childhood thing. Just like my Mama said it would. I won’t say that it’s blink-of-an-eye fast, but the things that I thought were just NEVER. GONNA. END….

  • …middle of the night wake-ups
  • …toddler sized clothes
  • …believing in magical creatures
  • …cuddles
  • …wanting me
  • …needing me

It’s fading. It’s fading fast.

There was no “mother” in the Mother-Son Fall Ball. I joked with one of the other moms that they should sell alcohol. And we both went, “ha ha… ha ha ha….. a ha ha.. ha…”

*sigh*

*throat clear*

*look around*

*sip lemonade*

*look at it disgusted because it’s not spiked*

*wish the alcohol fairy would appear*

*smile at one another*

*look at the air*

We really were just there to drop our kids off, and watch them run around the cafetorium for 90 minutes, and occasionally hand them a dollar bill to go and buy another glow stick like some learning curve into the raves of tomorrow. I suppose whatever it is that the fox says would be hilarious if I had some mind altering medications in me…

I digress.

My fun and free party days gave in to these days of motherhood, of poopy diapers and midnight wake-ups and sore boobs and screw it I’m bottle feeding I’ll just lie to the breast-feeding Nazis because FOR THE LOVE my nipples are bleeding and carry on and carry through and first steps and first words. My fellow women-folk and I read the books and did the work on our relationships and made MORE babies (because of the alcohol) and did it again and took on more than we should because as it turned out we could and dammit we were good at it.

But the funny thing is, while we were busy preparing for babies — leaning to install car seats and to put them to sleep on their backs and testing nipples (for our filthy bottle feeding habits!!) and becoming oblivious to the vomity smell of the boppy wondering if we’d ruin them for life with an exersaucer versus the walker — no one even ONE time told us that we’d need to prepare for things like the Mother-Son Fall Ball. Or MAP testing. Or weekly spelling tests. Or parent teacher conferences. Or the extended phone call you’d have to have with an English teacher who’d marked on your seventh grader’s paper that the event he’d written about – the 1989 San Francisco earthquake – had never happened (totally true story).

One day they went off to pre-K, and it was so adorable, you pretty much wet yourself. You fail to realize how quickly it stops being so cute. That the 100-day project and Flat Stanley only go so far into a kid’s academic career.

Suddenly you’re left still with these little kids. But they sure aren’t your babies any more. They’re youngsters who want a prize for dancing with you.

“Isn’t he so amazing, he’ll be all grown before you know it,” my mother would say, her annoying words carving like a scratching bug right into my earhole.

mom and hank 2002

Seriously, lady, why are you rushing him?

00george

Why are you rushing along the mop top toddler-hood like I’ll forget all about it?

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See. Still as little as always. Only not so much. Now, they want prizes for dancing with me.

I hate it when my mother was right.

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So we made a deal. First, the selfie. The proof that there was in fact the Mother-Son Fall Ball. He wore a tie. I bought him glow sticks. I was his date. He lost a tooth just for the occasion. We danced. It wasn’t the longest dance, but it was a magical one. I sang when Stevie Wonder sang. He rolled his eyes at me. He let me kiss him in front of his friends.

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He got his prize. One messy pre-packaged, terrible for you salty snack pack, and one (not $25, more like $3.99) Lego. He did, after all, dance with me.

And there is still this:

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The little one and the big one, the big one almost there. The tips of my fingers just ever so slightly reach over the tippy tops of his. For now, this week, for the moment, my hands, these hands that once could hold both theirs inside the palm of my own, are still bigger.

They are still my baby boys.

They always will be.

You can have a prize.

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Into the fall

Man, have I mentioned this before?

Hate Autumn

All that happens in fall is white girls squee at their adorbs new trench and they just can’t even over this never ending pumpkin. There are jackets to be worn and blisters to be sprouted from the boots we have to be having but apparently these days we call them booties and we wear them with our ankle pants.

Are those really a thing?

"Ankle" pants

Ankle pants. For real, that’s what they are called. Ankle pants.

These pants claim to be worth $110. And they are also called ankle pants.

Versus the pants that don’t go to your ankles. I assume they are called ankle pants as if to say, hey look, there are my ankles.

My mother had a word for those.

Floods.

$110 for floods. Probably double for those hooker shoes there.

I digress. Do you SEE what fall does to me??

Desperate to hold on to summer, Jim and I planned a weekend getaway for his birthday. Then some fool set fire to an FAA facility and grounded half the flights in the nation.

sadface

sadface

So we did this instead.

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If that’s not clear, we had a bunch of booze, posed outside ugly sculptures, and sucked in our guts while we gleefully smiled in front of a fancy boat.

See that?

Summer.

It held on for the celebration of Jim.

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Thank you summer!

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Fall may begin.

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Schooled

Anyone who knows me knows that I love summer.

In summer I’m all like:

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Check out these flowers!

And:

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Beers on the patio at BWW!!

And:

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Walk with Marney!

And:

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Mud race!

And:

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Swimming!

And:

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‘Sconsin!

And:

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Did you SEE my new tattoo??

And:

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HELL YEAH, SUMMER!!!!!!!

But I ain’t gonna lie. There’s a lot of this going on:

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Seriously, yo.

When does school start again?

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In my expert opinion

And…… nothing.

That’s right, I have nothing to add in my expert opinion, because I am not an expert. Not in anything that I can mention on a blog that my mother reads, anyway.

So, here I am, looking at 40. This is an interesting age, and I think it is especially interesting for me as the youngest in my own family, where hitting 40 is once again just the thing that everyone else got to do first.

Do I feel old? No. Maybe? Just a tad sometimes? But while maybe I can look back on 26 or 31 with fond “oh, to be young again” bemoaning, I also know a few 50, 60, 70+ year olds who think the same of 40. So maybe I should stop mourning the loss of my youth and embrace the fact that I am still, in fact, young.

But as I age, there is one thing that I STOP doing, slowly. And that, my friends, is thinking that I know it all.

I saw a “trending” article on the facepage about a mom named Stephanie Metz, who posted on her blog last month a diatribe aimed at the agents of “modern parenting” and how “the mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating” to her. Stephanie is a mother of two young boys, and as a mother of two boys myself, you’d think I relate to this lady. And I suppose I probably could. If I could see past her arrogance of presuming to know how the world works for ALL other parents from her perch behind a computer screen somewhere in South Dakota.

I’ll avoid my bitchy instinct to comment on her annoying habit of writing her blog in centered text.

Seriously, this is annoying

as hell to read. Why the hell are you

centering the text. Who taught you this

nonsense? Stop it. Stop it right

this very minute.

But I do want to take just a moment to address the substance of her post from October 25, entitled, Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of My World.

I assumed I would agree with this post, based on that title. Jim and I try really hard not to let the kids think that they are sun around which our world revolves. They have their shining moments, but they have their backstage ones too. We try not to spoil, or to let them have expectations that we’ll just do something for them.

But then I started reading it, and it was downright comical at parts.

A small sample:

In completely selfish terms, bringing my boys into this world was such a great decision – for me.  They bring me so much joy, they fill my heart, they make me happy.  But I often question whether or not it was the right decision for them.  My boys are typical little boys.  They love to play guns.  They love to play good guy versus bad guy.  They love to wrestle and be rowdy.  That’s the nature of little boys, as it has been since the beginning of time.

How long will it be before their typical boy-ish behavior gets them suspended from school?  How long before they get suspended from daycare???  How long will it be before one of them gets upset with a friend, tells that friend to go away and leave them alone, and subsequently gets labeled as a bully?

The mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating to me, friends.

Do you see what I mean about the center text? That’s annoying.

Once I realized she was starting off on a “let my kids have their guns” stance, I realized maybe we’d have issues. I get it, you want your kids to play with their toy guns. Newsflash, mine have them too. But also, newsflash AGAIN, not all little boys play with fake guns. And newsflash times three, guns in school are an actual documented real threat, and schools have to do SOMETHING. They set anti-gun rules and regulations. If you hate it, home school your kids. But is it really that big of a deal that your kid can’t bring his Nerf gun to school? Is this such a necessary part of his childhood?

I digress.

She carries on about how modern parents are too protective. They answer to their children too quickly, they don’t let them feel agony of defeat. They will not be prepared for society, she notes, because their folks aren’t letting them learn to be disappointed.

While I don’t disagree that parents like this exist, the idea that it is new or modern or the plight of the Mom and Dad of 2013 is downright laughable. There have always been parents who hovered over their children and protected them from the big bad, and there have always been children who received a rude awakening when finally dropped into the real world. Where do you think the term “Mama’s Boy” came from, anyway?

Stephanie goes on about how we overreact to bullying, and how her boys will be prepared for the real world, because SHE is clearly winning at motherhood as she preps them for the fight by letting them know that they can’t always be the most important person in the room.

Take that, modern parents. Schooled!

For the most part, however, I find her post naive and uninformed. At best, she is being disingenuous in parts, although, if she is not, then she is clueless.

At one point, on her anti- anti-bulling rant, she writes: “…if Sally calls Susie a bitch (please excuse my language if that offends you), Susie’s whole world crumbles around her, she contemplates suicide, and this society encourages her to feel like her world truly has ended, and she should feel entitled to a world-wide pity party. And Sally – phew! She should be jailed! She should be thrown in juvenile detention for acting like – gasp – a teenage girl acts.”

That’s fine and all, except that there’s nothing accurate about it.

Girls call each other bitches all the time in school. Still happens. And they really do still just deal with it, just like we all did when we were younger.

Stephanie is equating every instance of name calling with every instance of true bullying. The latest incident of a girl who killed herself in relation to being bullied, it wasn’t because of one little comment, and no one was jailed for just acting like a teenager. It was documented systematic abuse of a girl who was subsequently failed by everyone, from her school to her own parents. It was far more serious than a single instance of name calling.

I felt my skin crawl a little reading Stephanie’s rant, as she cheapened the true struggles of those who ARE bullied, by suggesting that it’s all in their heads. It’s not. That’s great when so many of us can look back and say, meh, it wasn’t so bad, I dealt with it. But to suggest that our experience then MUST be the one everyone else feels, that’s just ignorant. Did you know that suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24. It’s not a punchline. Should we really brush these people off like they just weren’t tough enough to take it?

I say this to Stephanie and those who nod their heads along with her:  My world does not revolve around my children completely either. That said, I can teach them to function in society while simultaneously protecting them from the truly bad things of the world, just like my own mother and father did for us. I can teach them not to put up with being crapped on by others, without telling them that it’s just a part of life, and toughen up.

Because it’s not.

Most people aren’t shoved into lockers by their employers. Co-workers actually are NOT allowed to walk around calling each other bitches. It’s okay to teach them that they don’t have to accept being pushed around, figuratively and literally. It doesn’t mean I am tuning them into losers with no critical thinking skills. Quite the opposite, I am trying to teach them conflict resolution. Who knows if it will stick. But it’s my job to try.

I can also teach them to come to me with their problems, big and small, and, lacking the ability to reach a solution on their own, I will come to their aid. Not because they are the center of my world, but because I am their mother, and that is my job.

They don’t have to just sit and take it. Sometimes they can come to me. Sometimes they can come to their father. Sometimes they can go to each other. And other times, yes, they will be told to figure it out. But I won’t teach them that figuring out solutions to all their problems MUST be done on their own. That dealing with problems in the silence of their own thoughts will somehow magically make them better adults.

And I won’t assume that their experiences will mirror my own. That’s just, well, dense.

Stephanie does not seem to understand that there are more than two kinds of parents out there. It’s not just her kind, and the wrong kind.

But it was her end notes that really got me: “I know of two gentlemen that are going to be able to accept failure and move on having learned something from it…  I know of two gentleman who will be hurt emotionally, but who will be able to work through the hurt and carry on with life.”

I find this hilarious.

Try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back there, lady. No one knows exactly how their children will turn out as adults. Especially in light of the fact that the two gentlemen who Stephanie is raising are pretty much still babies.

Stephanie is not an idiot, and I suspect she is not at all ignorant or dense or naive. But she certainly is presumptuous. Stephanie clearly thinks she knows that which she cannot possibly know. I imagine, as I wind my way through understanding junior high, my brother and sisters with grown children are laughing at the things I have yet to figure out.

My mother is enjoying this the most.

You can’t possibly be an expert on what other parents do, or how they do it, or how your brand of parenting teens is the right way to parent teens, when your children are more than a decade away from that milestone.

Stephanie mentions she is 29.

I’m 39.

Talk to me in ten years, honey. You’re not quite the expert on raising hormone-filled boys and navigating middle and high school behavior that you seem to think you are. Nor are you all that knowledgeable on how to navigate the world of bullying just because you once faced a bully or two yourself.

This isn’t your story. It’s theirs. And you have yet to see a glimpse.

In my expert opinion, I say, you’ll learn.

And you’ll realize how ridiculous you sound.

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UB40, Jimmy, UB40

That’s right. He be 40.

Y’all, I am married to an OLD MAN!

You know how every once in a while, you start a story with “20 years ago…” Well, when Jim does that,  HE’S TALKING ABOUT HIS 20’s!!!!!!!!!!!

ahhh

I couldn’t come up with any new or crafty 40-year-old sayings.

Over the hill? Lame.

Good Lordy, Jim’s 40? That just reminds me of the couple down the street growing up, and he put a giant sign reading that in the yard, expecting to surprise her with the best birthday ever, and she handed him divorce papers. No.

Life begins at 40? Okay, thanks for spitting on our past time together, sorry it wasn’t really “living.”

The 40-Year-Old Virgin? Dude. No. We have kids. Don’t mean to spoil the illusion, but we totally have done it.

See what I mean?

Now, y’all know I have been known, once or twice, to poke a little fun at the man. The reason I do it is because he is a good sport. He poses for pictures knowing I am going to share them here or with SOme other online location. He does it, because he’s awesome.

Let’s take a look:

Young awesome Jim

Young awesome Jim

I love 'Merica Jim

I love ‘Merica Jim

Fashion forward Jim

Fashion forward Jim

Fatherly, teach the boys how to use this iPhone so they stop bothering us with all their talking Jim

Fatherly, teach the boys how to use this iPhone so they stop bothering us with all their talking Jim

Athletic Jim

Athletic Jim

Musical Jim

Musical Jim

I believe I can fly Jim

I believe I can fly Jim

Pink eye Jim

Pink eye Jim

White Sox fan Jim

White Sox fan Jim

Dark Side Jim

Dark Side Jim

Susie Homemaker Jim

Susie Homemaker Jim

Check out my hose Jim

Check out my hose Jim

Blackhawks win the Cup Jim (and Lucky Banana)

Blackhawks win the Cup Jim (and Lucky Banana)

40 year old Jim

40-year-old Jim

See? What’s not to love, yo?

But in the interest of embarrassing my husband further, can I just say, I’m the luckiest damn girl alive.

This man. This man who puts up with my endless arguing. This man who has never once even considered using the word “stepson.” This man who works his ass off to give us what we need. This man who spoils us because he likes to. This man who puts others first. This man who tells me he loves me every day.

This man chose me.

To quote Jimmy, “Suck it, Bitches.”

He’s 40. He’s pretty awesome. And he’s mine.

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Happy Birthday, Pookie Bear. Here’s to 40 more, and then some!

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