A New Year, A New Beginning

Today is the first day of 2018. Wow. We made it through another year.

We always seem to say things like, “To hell with [the previous year], it was so bad! On to the next one! Let’s just get this done already. This new year will be so much better.”

I don’t say that anymore, because inevitably, the next year is even worse. I feel as though I presented the Universe with a challenge, and the Universe replied by saying, “Oh, really? Watch this.”

2017 truly sucked for a lot of people I know. It wasn’t the best year for me, either. We’re all glad to see it done. But as for me? I’m just happy I got through it. I survived every piece of crap 2017 had to offer, and every painful moment, and I’m stronger for it. We may be a little shaken, but we got through. Hey, that says something.

Fuck you, 2017. You thought you could take me down? HA! I’m tough. I’m a kid from East Dallas.

Happy New Year, everyone.

— Peace.

 

 

New Alexa Feature: Wake the Dead

I got Alexa when Amazon first put her on the market, and I’ve watched her grow and develop new features. I never knew Alexa could wake the dead until yesterday morning. She really can do anything.

Let me give you some background on this one.

The husband goes fishing every now and then. Alas, he leaves at a gawdawful hour of the morning. Three o’clock should only come once a day, IMHO, and that’s PM. But this time he was going to the beach, and I do so love to see the sunrise at the beach. So I decided to go.

Of course, that’s much too early to feed our dogs and cats before we leave.

So around 11:00am I remember to call The Dude (no longer “the boy”, as he will be 20 in January). No answer. Three times, I get voicemail. The Dude is asleep.

“What can I do,” I ask myself. Then I’m struck with the most mischievous idea. And it just might work!!

I pull up my Amazon music through the Alexa app, and remotely start playing “Sister Mary Elephant”, by Cheech and Chong… at full volume. Now, for those of you too young to know this reference, here’s a sample:

I watched the track go by on my phone and let it go just long enough, then I stopped it. I gave The Dude a call. LO! HE WAS ALIVE!! And I was much amused at his adrenaline rush and confusion.

Yes, I have my evil moments.

Yes, that was one of many.

Yes, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Father’s Day

To all the good fathers out there, I wish you a happy Father’s Day and I hope today was a good day for you.

:: sigh ::

It took years of therapy, a good conversation with my sister today, and still, I have a hard time writing that opening sentence.

I hope you didn’t have to deal with a dysfunctional family when you were growing up. I doubt anyone has the traditional “nuclear family”, but surely, there is some example of normal out there somewhere. I hope you had it in your childhood. I figure, if you did, you probably enjoy things like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

My sister and I, we didn’t. We like to believe that the crazy environment we grew up in made us the strong people we are today. It’s true. If you survive something like that, you are stronger.

But you remember your parents. Days like Mother’s Day. may be easier to handle if you are a mother. You strive to be a better parent, and you love your children. I can handle Mother’s Day.

Still, I hate Father’s Day.

He was never around. Or, if he was, he was so drunk he wasn’t present. He never made the effort to be a part of our lives. What kind of father was that? Please….

I’ve always had this mental block on Father’s Day. I just don’t remember when it’s coming around. Unfortunately, this means I need to set a reminder now…. My husband adopted my kid, and my husband isn’t such a bad guy. I have to make myself say the words now…

Happy …

:: closes eyes and swallows ::

Father’s Day.

:: deep breath ::

Gods above, can’t I call it something else????

Rites of Passage

We all have them at different points of our lives. As parents, we watch our children go through them as they grow.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Graduation.
The First Day of School.
Puberty.
High School.

Yesterday, we celebrated another rite of passage with our son:

The Big Day

 

High School Graduation

I don’t know who’s happier for school to be over – the boy, or me. But at the same time, I got all weepy yesterday. Gods! My kid is a high school graduate now! I’m not ready for this; how on earth can he be ready??? It’s not time yet. He can’t be 18.

Don’t get me wrong; I know this has to happen. But where does the time go? You mothers out there know exactly what I’m talking about. I still remember that little boy who graduated Pre-K, back in 2003. And look at him now!

 

Then and Now

 

For those who haven’t reached this milestone yet, here’s my unsolicited perspective from my experience. There are times you share the joy of your kid’s experiences, and there are times you may butt heads over grades, and perhaps late homework. Keep going to bat for your kid. STAY INVOLVED and talk to the teachers. Fight for your kid’s education, because the teachers are so busy they can’t fight for everyone. They are so relieved when the parents get involved, even when they disagree.

Is your kid not doing well in class? Is this sudden or a trend? Talk to your kid and find out why. Grounding and restrictions isn’t the way to resolve this problem, as it usually stems from external problems, physiological issues, depression, or in some cases, undiagnosed learning disorders. Work with your kid on study habits. Help them find alternatives that work if the standard skills don’t. Different people have different learning styles.

When things aren’t working, find a good friend (or two), who can stand in as a tutor for your kid. Your kid knows this person and relates to them well, and you know them. They’re friends of the family, so the relationship is already there. We couldn’t have done this without some of our close friends that we consider family. 🙂

 

Rite Of Passage

 

When it’s all said and done, your kid(s) will graduate, too, and you’ll feel as though you’ve gone through your own rite of passage as a parent. Perhaps we do. Because it’s the beginning of another phase of our kids lives, and we know they’re going to fly the nest. We have to let them go, and thus, begin the next phase of our own.

 

 

Eighteen

I’ve been trying to make the annual birthday post all day today but it just won’t flow. Maybe because I just don’t want to come to terms with the fact that my kid is 18.

HOLY FUCK!!! MY KID IS 18!!!!

No flowery, motherly poetry here. He’s 18!!!

Did you know… my kid is going to vote in the next election??? Oh holy christ, someone hand me a beer.

This is for you, dude. Happy Birthday.

 

Love,

Mom

Miss you already, my Goober boy….

My son made a gruesome discovery today while I was away from the house. Bagheera, one of our kitties, was hit by a car. We are heartbroken at the sudden loss of our Bagheera, whom we affectionately called our “Goober Kitty”. He was with us for over 11 years, and lived a long and happy life, but that doesn’t make this any easier.

Goober was the only cat I ever had who talked to his reflection in the water dish. He was so worried about that cat, and he tried to set it free on more than one occasion.

He would sit outside my office window and wonder why I couldn’t pet him.

PetMeMom

But he was such a love… He wouldn’t just rub up against you; he would push his head up to you and hold it there. I never had a cat that would “headbutt” for pettins’ rather than rub his head to the side like other cats do.

When he purred, he “chuffed” like big cats do.

He was a talkative cat. I could ask him, “Who’s my goober kitty,” and he’d answer me.

He called me, “Mooommm”; quite loudly, I might add, especially when he would get lost inside the house. Not that our house was large enough to get lost in… he would love on you in one room, walk to another room, and forget where you were.

He was a beautiful Bengal boy… and his family tree had no branches. If I could have made him a kitty banjo I would have.

And I loved him with all my heart.

Bagheera Kitty   March 2004 – June 2015

From the Mouths of Babes

My niece recently posted a list of questions she asked her young son, and shared his loving, adorable answers. I wish I’d done something similar when my son was his age. However, I firmly believe that it is never too late!

Behold, the 17-year-old perspective on the same questions. And, yes, I enjoyed going through these questions with my son. I hope he had just as much fun as I did.

  1. What is something mom always says to you?

Boy!

  1. What makes mom happy?

Coffee

  1. What makes mom sad?

When you don’t get anything for Mother’s Day from your favorite, most beloved son.

  1. How does your mom make you laugh?

When you get confused by memes.

  1. What was your mom like as a child?

Low-key “problem child”.

  1. How old is your mom?

Hmmm…. 29.

  1. How tall is your mom?

smol

  1. What is her favorite thing to do?

Drink coffee.

  1. What does your mom do when you’re not around?

I don’t want to know.

  1. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

Can’t decide between loudest scream, weirdest dance, or “used up the entire worlds supply of coffee beans”. On second thought, all three of those.

  1. What is your mom really good at?

Making incense. Your incense is the bomb.

  1. What is your mom not very good at?

Chess. “You’re not good at chess, mom. I would totally kick your ass.”

  1. What does your mom do for a job?

You make incense and other aromatherapy products. And probably sell them as drugs. Hard core drugs. Don’t put that, though.

  1. What is your mom’s favorite food?

The souls of the damned.

  1. What makes you proud of your mom?

Do I have to choose one thing here? I mean, somehow I didn’t wind up dead. Good job! … I’ve honestly never thought about specific things. I’m just proud of you because you’re the bomb, in general, pretty much.

  1. If your mom were a character, who would she be?

Probably Kanayamaryam, from Homestuck.

  1. What do you and your mom do together?

Make a lot of tasteless jokes in the car.

  1. How are you and your mom the same?

We finish each other’s … sandwiches.

  1. How are you and your mom different?

I crave change a lot more than you do.

  1. How do you know your mom loves you?

You’re very understanding about my stance on controversial issues.

  1. What does your mom like most about your dad?

I have no idea.

  1. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?

There are a few places. The garage, to work on her incense; Neesi’s house; Starbucks…

  1. How old was your Mom when you were born?

Hang on… ok… you were … ?? Thirty…two?? No… Thirty, right? No! You were 29.