Manners – The Greek Language

kids without manners, spoiled kids, asshole kids

This past weekend my G celebrated his 13th birthday. I am still in denial that my baby faced boy is slowly becoming a man-child. With his celebration came his ideas to celebrate, he handled the planning while The Chad and I executed on his behalf. So we rallied the food, the cake, the custom invitations and we managed the RSVP. The intention of his party was to be very low-key. Pokemon Go, pizza, swimming and movie by the pool were his itinerary. We couldn’t be more happy for our man-child. What we weren’t expecting were unhappy attendees with manners of a farm hog. Apparently manners are like the Greek language to one child who attended. Or manners were a dead language or one that evolved into entitled demands and not a single thank you. Continue reading “Manners – The Greek Language”

Living in a Mad World

Hollowing lyrics play through my ears, a familiar song.

“Their tears are filling up their glasses, No expression, no expression. Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow; No tomorrow, no tomorrow.”

boys at airportListening to these words I am reminded of the craziness of our today, even the smallest craziness of today, parent teacher conferences. Still the melody plays through my mind as I rush through the pouring rain to arrive on time to my meetings at the school. I try to put myself together with my disheveled appearance of being a bit soggy and somber still humming the music in my head. The teacher greets me ever so sweetly and energetically, discussing how hurdles and challenges were overcome for my tenderhearted young man, his genius progress. She goes on to tell me how he has an old soul, so sweet, caring, feeling every experience in life, he is full of emotion. Carrying on she tells me “We need more people like “G” in this world, we are living in a mad world.” The song stops playing in my head. Continue reading “Living in a Mad World”

I’m Sorry Forgive Me

im sorry, forgive me, forgiveness

Just the other day I received an email out of the blue from a former colleague. A bit bewildered as to the reason for the email and yet giddy with curiosity, I opened with eager anticipation. The email was a simple asking for coffee and to enlighten her how she had wronged me with the opportunity to right any wrong. My jaw stiffened and I felt a scowl roll across my face. Then I saw the words “I’m sorry” in the body and I was even more disgusted. Lately I found that the words “I’m sorry” are just a form of lip service and not a request for forgiveness as the statement or question of “Forgive me” would suggest. Continue reading “I’m Sorry Forgive Me”

Leaving Jesus because of Christians

For the last six months I have been suffering in a very painful silence. My suffering is something I was not even sure if I should discuss because of deep wounds and reopened scars. As I shared some months ago I was given the opportunity to work in ministry. Over the moon excited to share my gifts, talents; the opportunity to share my love and faith with others. Allowing God to use me as his tool to share the Kingdom and do His work in this world. What I wasn’t prepared for was how damaging Christians can be to one another. What I wasn’t prepared for was the desire to leave Jesus because of Christians.

Do you recall the day your parents told you that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and even that the Easter Bunny were not real? Such a magical let down to have your whole world shattered in an instant. The magician revealed his tricks. The mysticism, the heightened feeling of wonder that something so great and marvelous existed beyond out wildest dreams and imagination. Continue reading “Leaving Jesus because of Christians”

Playing the Good Wife

On the twilight of a day where I completed a fifth and successful interview with the organization that will be bringing me on board I wanted to share my joys, triumphs and excitement for where my life and career are taking me next. Truly this moment is divine, not because I have been struggling in embracing unemployment the last eight months, but because this job is in and of itself Heaven sent. Instead I find myself seeking prayer around each emotional turn, celebrating in quiet as my small triumph has been shadowed by my husband’s tremendous news. I suppose as a good wife it’s our job to put aside our girlish desires and superficial wins in order to celebrate the men in our lives. But today I want a win, I just want my humbling moment to be celebrated by my equal half, I want to celebrate the awesomeness together.

Instead I am playing the doting wife. Ecstatic for the opportunity that presents itself  for my husband in his career, not mine. Selfish all the same because of how dramatic his opportunity will adversely affect our family.

Would our behavior as women behoove us to fall into medieval roles as token matriarchs that lack authority? True figureheads to the men we stand beside, trophies of their accomplishments. Today I feel like that moment. I feel as if all my accolades as a person and woman were somehow dwarfed by the crowning moment of a husband’s career defining job offer. Suddenly, my university studies, self made career as a financial guru and gift to put emotions to words are as belittling as housework. Somehow I have never felt so inferior.

Part of me is wallowing in my own self pity and anger to not speak up to my husband. Somehow I don’t know this woman who is suffering in silence. I have never held my tongue and cannot for the life of me grasp the reason for silence at a time that should be carried out in joy, for both of us. All the while I know I should say something to him in regard to my feelings. I should be exerting my feminine prowess, but I sit in front of my monitor struggling to find the words for the emptiness at such a joyous moment.

Another part of my mute moment would be due to the fact that I fear his resentment. Job of CIO is not to be taken lightly as an offer. Job as CIO that would uproot my children from their home, estranged from our family, friends, community; the comfort and solace, which is like a warming in the heart that we feel when we are at home, the warming replaced with the frigid unknown. Would I be so selfish to ask him to cast aside this offer that would take us to the other end of the nation in the name of money? With no friends. No family. No community. So part of me begs that question of what really matters? Sadly my heart breaks and tears burn in my eyes because I know what matters and none of the aforementioned feel like a factor. His decision is made regardless of my feelings.

The plan is to have the offer maker visit and speak with me about this grand opportunity. Ensure I am on the boat, arm-in-arm with my husband as the quiet supportive spouse, to be there as he needs me as I maintain a stoic appearance of strength and resolve in an unsettling time. All of which makes me want to vomit and scream. A deep desire to share my feelings, fears, triumphant challenges that I eagerly accept but resent all the same for lack of ardent qualities. If only they knew of the big picture in my small offer.

Maybe this is my own faults being played out. Falling too far into humility to never boast of my own accord as this is truly God’s work of the accomplishment, his and my own. Excited to be fulfilling the job in The Kingdom, as I seem to have this higher calling, aside from the desires of the flesh with money. Or silently I sit in jealousy for the dream I formerly had for myself to climb the imaginary ladder…to what end.

So I sit at my couch listening to the silent whir of traffic, the cool scent of the desert’s musk in the air of my open window, reminding me that spring is in the air, all thoughts pulling me away from reeling moments of frustration. Quiet contemplation of whether I should speak up or hold my tongue. Personally at an impasse. He clicks away at his keyboard unassuming of my intentions, feelings, frustrations. I chew on my thoughts like a clod of rawhide, never breaking through but continually foaming into thoughts which lead into more prayers for answers, comfort, guidance. Cursing all the while.

Our relationship has never been so uneven. Never have we chartered these waters. When did I become subservient to him? When did my needs become any less important than his? When did my dreams and aspirations become any less fruitful? When did we no longer become equals. The conflagration of emotions stirring inside my abdomen, indifference, anger, frustration, hurt, jealousy, love and hate. How can one event create such unrest.

Sober with my emotions. Drunk in my thoughts. Ever hopeful that I will find the moment to speak life into my husband and into our marriage for how life will play out next in these earthly theatrics. Ever hopeful to celebrate in my joy with my new career on the horizon, while his causes our lives to teeter off balance. For tonight I am playing the good wife for him.

Heathens on the Playground

Lately an alarming incident has been taking place at Big G’s school. Not your typical playground Mom and Dad gossip of “Did you know that Jenny is sleeping with Dan while Mary is gone on business?” alarming business but that with our children.

Big G attends a very affluent school. The school is 20 years young in a largely middle to upper-middle class neighborhood. We had him transfered in and a boundary exception because the teachers are of a caliber I have not seen. The students are your typical suburbanites with their Hurley attire and boutique fashion, with the exception of some children who exhibit behavior unlike their outwardly appearances.

I am hoping you know of the children I am speaking. The ones who are the bully, the pusher, the one that makes you scratch your head wondering where the parent’s influence may be in the child. Well these children have been terrorizing my son as well as countless other children of KINDERGARTEN.

bulliesImage Courtesy of SafeNetwork

Yes folks, these children start early. Probably much earlier than kindergarten, however, since this is the first time they are released from the captivity of their own homes the behavior is probably assumed to be normal depending on the home life.

The children start small with pushing, maybe pulling on a backpack, scaling chain link fences as if in some training session, and then the behavior begins to escalate into full body pushing resulting in a child scrambling to catch their footing as the ground quickly approaches their backside. And then….the worst of all fears is when the full assault begins. I also do mean assault. I understand children will play and play fight, but when a child, A CHILD, comes at another child that resembles the actions of a full aggressive punch or attack more than just concern is raised about the children who are the victims and the children who are the attackers. This is what a scene looked like the other day when DH took Big G to school:

right hook, boxing

Now this would make me wonder how the HELL a five, maybe six, year old child knows how to throw a PERFECT right hook into another child’s face! The victim grabbed his nose and face as anyone would who was truly in pain. Tears and then crying. While the attacker stood there….watching as if he were an artist in awe of his work. Truly disgusting! DH ran in between the scuffle to break things up. Waited for the teachers to assemble and grab their students to hurry off to class. DH came home shortly after to explain to me the happenings and how this is the same child that was bullying our son. We talked and agreed that he should talk to the principal. Especially because this behavior should NOT be condoned nor ignored as “child’s play.” I also urged him to use our clout with the school, which was noted by the principal and makes for stronger ground when you as a parent are more than active in your child’s education and school functions.

The situation was addressed, our fears and concerns put to some ease. Until yesterday.

Yesterday when DH took Big G to school again the heathens were at it again. Only this time, LUDE! Not just mean, offensive, assaulting, the typical M.O. for these creatures, no, now as KINDERGARTENERS they have upgraded to lude behavior. These heathens happen to be siblings, twins to be exact, and one twin happened to decide to grab a classmate and HUMP….yes folks….HUMP her with growlings sounds. Need I say more. I heard this and as a MOTHER and a mother to a daughter I was BOILING! If my boys did such an act I would have them by their balls crying for mercy, begging and pleading like choir boys on Sunday for the all merciful to save them from the hell I would put them through.

So as a mother to a daughter I was even more irate. Who let’s their children act like this? Where did these children learn this behavior?  Then the next question was….when will it stop? Will these actions only escalate until these boys are a menace to society? Leeches of our justice system? How the hell can these children go on like this and NO ONE other than the parents do anything to stop them?

Luckily other parents saw this behavior, saw the actions, saw the fighting.
Luckily they had the cajones to say something as well. To take the appropriate actions for these children to be wrangled, parented, taught the fine art of civility.

Now I ask you, how many of you have seen bullies? How many of you take action against bullies? Do you tell your children to ignore them? Walk away? Tell the teacher? How many of you have taken action against your children for being the bully? I truly want to know.

Raising Arizona

For some reason Mommy Guilt exists in the hearts of moms. I for one have no Mommy Guilt. I am sure you are yelling out, “hogwash,” “LIAR,” “Fraud,” “BULLSHIT!” But really why the guilt? Why do you feel guilty as a mom? What have you done to feel so much guilt? What haven’t you done to instill your feelings of guilt?

The critics and so called “know-it all” authors of parenting put out books every year telling moms and dads alike how to raise better children. More productive children. Overachievers. Perfect children.

Um, who the fuck wants perfect kids?

I know I don’t. Life would be boring. Dull. My children’s lives would lack luster, uniquity, entertainment, thrill, joy, pleasure, and pain. I also would not be challenged as a person to grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally to deal with the day-to-day challenges of being a parent. (Especially a parent of multiples!)

The TODAY show yielded an interesting segment yesterday that caught my attention. A segment on raising kids. My segue into this was yielded in part by my spinning about a post I read about raising kids and how this post referred to an article about an experiment. I should have said to myself…”who cares really about what some quack says in an experiment…..the endless possibilities and outcomes in an “experiment” will possess tons of variables” but unfortunately the underlying theme was the “Mommy Guilt.” Being that I am a glutton I watched the segment.

So this TODAY show segement that I briefly entertained with my shortened attention mentioned parenting items and how to fix parenting problems. Such as praising children. That praising children does not assist in the self-esteem of children.

Now I am not feeling this. While Michelle Borba quickly quoted a Columbia University study that praise is excellent in adults not in children made me think WTF? Children are little adults in my mind. Your mind acts much the same in the way it processes information, however, an adult will be able to synthesize the information a little bit more in depth and to a certain difficulty than a child. Which would suggest to me that children need the same as adults, with the age appropriate spin. She does also say that if a child is praised based on smarts you are NOT suppose to….but to praise based on effort. I for one see this as CRAP. I think a child, especially children who are young and unsure do like to hear both! I for one can speak from experience. I was urged as a child to work harder and praised on my EFFORTS when I was yielding B’s and A’s in school. I personally felt inadequate and not smart enough because of my less than stellar grades. While I may have invested effort, this did not antiquate to smarts. Although the flip side may be that I was told I was smart and then slacked off in school.
My other problem I have with this segment is kids with the very mention of depression. I understand that kids have feelings and those feelings and needs should be acknowledged by the parents. But running your kid to your local psychologist for a diagnosis of depression as young as age THREE BOGGLES. MY. MIND.
If you honestly feel that your child is depressed did you ever stop to talk to them? No wonder you have guilt. You failed to acknowledge your child, to reach out to them and say, “What do you need from me?” “What can I do for you?” And then SHUT the eff up and listen to them. Don’t parent. Don’t judge. Just listen. Most kids will tell you what they need. If you cannot stop to listen to those needs and assist your child in a healthy manner to assist in the productive, emotional, and spiritual growth, then Xanax sure as hell WON’T!!
I am not saying that kids do not get depressed, I am saying that their depression at the RIPE age of three is probably induced by his or her environment which could quite possibly be alleviated by talk therapy, not drug therapy, also by mom or dad not allowing their children to feed on the environment they create. So Mom or Dad…get help first, for yourselves, before you deem that your child needs help. I am also saying as well that parents should talk to their kids, listening to them is HUGE. I am not sure how many times I will say it but listening is amazing. That is all our kids do…is listen. They listen to and pick up on everything we say and do. If you want to know how bad your life is….LOOK AT YOUR KIDS. They will reflect your home-life, your views, your feelings.

Addition to home-life issues is the issue of your child as a person. The mention of a child being materialistic is based on a learned behavior most likely from the parents. This can be solved. How? Quit worrying about brands, material things, the best. If you have to shop at Macy’s for image then that is your perogative, but do  not expect your child to not demand stuff from Macy’s again if you mention clothes shopping. Giving your child everything like toys, nice clothes, the best shoes, does not show them you love them. This will not alleviate your guilt. This does not boost self esteem in your child. This spoils them. If you want to spoil them fine, but do not defend your child when you later learn of behavioral problems, do not deny the capabilities of your child to wreak havoc.

I guess I am lost on the whole guilt thing with raising children. I go to bed every night knowing that my kids are FABULOUS. Not because they are mine, but because they really are great kids. I have come across some real turds of children and really they are good kids, with AWFUL behavior that is not corrected…by the PARENTS. You know them and this is the short list:

  • No manners
  • Expect everything
  • No respect for anyone or authority figures
  • Materialistic because that is all they know from their parents (the more stuff = higher status, when really this just means you are a bigger douche compensating if you ask me)
  • Throw a fit if they do not get what they want, make demands
  • Ignore the rules, pretend the rules do not apply to them.

I also happened across The View. Man, talk about gluttonous jackpot of parenting segments this week for me to watch and read. This was on spanking. I had a problem with this topic. Not about the “to spank or not to spank” issue but the fact that we as a society are truly so wrapped up in judging ourselves and others based on parenting. I mean really, those who are out there writing the parenting books are the ones who probably had the worst parenting.

Whether you spank or not is based on you and your child, not whether or not your parents spanked you. My parents spanked me, but I do not like to spank. My kids do not respond to a quick swat on the tush. Big G used to get swats, he did not respond well and began hitting back. We corrected the whole situation with no hitting and not spanking so he did not correlate the two. His hitting was in part to feeling inadequate about correctly expressing his feelings. We got him a pound a peg and a stuffed toy to take out his anger and frustration. But I think again our society is so judgmental on whether or not we spank, whether or not to “praise” for the right things at the right time, so many rules.

Parenting comes down to the brass tax of common sense. If you cannot common sense parent then you need a license to breed. I cannot tell anyone how they should or should not raise their children but really folks, do we need to read all of these books that contradict or elaborate further on our day-to-day efforts as a parent?

I have a therapist and a lovely one at that. She taught me how to be a better person, to be better, to not react but to act. With her guidance I have learned to be a better parent and better guide to my children. With that they are happy, level, easy going, unexpecting. Because I am a level person and I do the best I can I carry no mommy guilt. None, nada. I have had one moment of guilt as a parent…..on Wednesday when Big G has his early release day….I forgot it was early release.

The school is no more than five minutes away and he was released at 2:25 I got to the school at 2:40. I felt awful only because I thought he might be afraid. But he was not. He laughed at me and said “Mom, you’re late!” I felt guilty for being late that day, however, my guilt was put at ease by the smile on my son’s face and the fact that he knew I was coming, the day itself slipped my mind for early release.

I guess I feel no guilt about raising my children because of the simple fact that they are not like a car. My best analogy….plus many years in the business you can use the analogy A. LOT! But seriously, kids are not like cars with brand new stickers, they may smell new, that lovely smell each has when you bring them home. Your total lust for each, although the car lust for sure fades while the lust and love of children is eternal. They both operate extremely well with no bumps or dings and you protect each one so gingerly until they get a little older and you know, things happen. But the difference with a car and your child, besides the blatanly obvious, is that Handy Dandy Owner’s Manual.

Children are not sent home with an owner’s manual tucked into their diapers. Just your common sense as a person, your comparative knowledge of how your parent’s raised you, how you think you ought to have been raised or your ideals of raising children. THAT’S IT! So each day we do the best we can. We love with every inch of our mortal selves. At the end of the day, we look forward to tomorrow and the new lessons we learn as parents and say to HELL with the guilt. To hell with the whacks and their books. There is nothing more true than a mother’s intuition. Follow it, embrace it, let your soul  be your guide to raising your children and most of all, no guilt. Parenthood is by FAR the most stressful, full-time, hands-on, kiss my ass I am doing the best I can do job out there! Do not feel guilty for doing the best you can, but be sure to give them your best. Give your kids all you have got, because you only have this one life with them.