Growing Up is Hard to Do

growing up is hard to do

Adulting is a real pain in my neck. Really, a pain in my ass, but neck works too because you use your neck for so much more. I digress. Growing up and evolving into an adult, learning the hard knocks of life, understanding who I am as a human, person, and being in this world and then learning the ways of the world has been a struggle. If memory serves I was very anxious to grow up when I was a child, as if growing up was my spiteful way of getting back at my parents. Boy, did I get that idea all wrong. What I wish I knew then is that growing up is hard to do; if I could tell my younger self anything, the one tidbit that is gold is that becoming an adult was a real son of a gun. Continue reading “Growing Up is Hard to Do”

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 wasn’t ready to be a parent

boys at airport

Saturday morning was shaping up to be like any normal weekend. Sleeping in, The Chad and I enjoying coffee and a bit of indulgence in our favorite MMORPG. We whipped up some breakfast for the three footers, retreated for some more quiet time at which time G and his sibling entourage asked for their 30 minutes of play time on their tablets. The Chad and I see the importance of practicing with technology as we found their standardized tests include capturing these skills, so we obliged to their request. Little did we know that G would take advantage of this play time and he would be exposed to material beyond his years. He wound up on adult sites and when we discovered his transgressions, at that moment I wasn’t ready to be a parent, I wasn’t ready for my 11 year old son to be exposed, I wasn’t ready to accept my son was growing up way too fast.

When The Chad found G fumbling with his tablet and his face stark with surprise, almost ghastly, we knew something was wrong. The Chad snagged the tablet and we began to review the history. What we saw was something no parent is ever prepared to digest.

We immediately addressed the discontinued use of the tablets and any other technology until further notice. Our daftness was slapping us squarely in the face. Assumptions that we made that our children were too young to seek out these urges were piercing us. We needed to take corrective action post haste, while too late, we had to prevent future damages.

I stood in my kitchen, gazing lovingly at my little boy, sick to my stomach. My doe eyed, chubby baby who was always happy was now exposed to something way beyond his young years. When did he start to grow up? I was choking down tears as my jaw was clenched in pain to hide my fear, my sadness, my immense concern. Reeling over what to say next. His fear pained me the most. G was more concerned about our upset, thinking that he was in trouble and not that his search yielded results that were inappropriate for him, his age. I reached out to him to tell him we are only concerned, we are not mad; we asked him what he was feeling, what he was thinking. At that moment he is what mattered, his experience, and how we explain the experience in an intelligent, objective manner.

I hunched over my sink as I continued to fight any urge to vomit and prayed. I prayed to God for wisdom, strength, clarity, on how to address our conversation with G. I prayed for understanding as to why my son was seeking out adult material on the internet. I prayed just to tell my Father of our experience and that I was so uncertain of what came next but that I trusted he had a plan.

The Chad and I ducked into our room with G to talk about the events. I wasn’t prepared for this. The Chad wasn’t ready for this.

We started off with the basics. Anatomy. In order for him to understand the gravity of the information we were about to share with him he needed to be able to hear the science. He is a science kid, we knew he would get the science. I’m rambling, much like I was that day…at moments.

After we covered anatomy we discussed the mechanics of how the anatomy operates. We paused and asked him if he had questions, we knew he was soaking in all we were telling him like a sponge. We continued down Alice’s rabbit hole as we tripped along, maintaining our diplomacy.

G explained to us that he had urges, thoughts, he was curious. Curious about what exactly. “Undressed women” he said. Composing my laughter was a struggle so I maintained a stone face at his proper choice of words in his answer. Digging more into this we found he was curious about the opposite sex, nude, as boys would be, the desire and curiosity were natural. His comfort level began to increase and he detailed how, while inappropriate for his age, he was curious and interested in “naked ladies.” So much of me was relieved at his naivety and sweetness. I appreciated his candor, his honesty, his ability to speak boldly to us at a time where we felt uneasy, knowing he was uneasy.

Explaining sex to a young boy, I thought might be easier. What was easy was explaining how none of this was wrong. His feelings weren’t wrong. His urges weren’t wrong. His curiosity wasn’t, isn’t wrong. Sex is not wrong. False expectations is wrong. False hopes, those are wrong. The expectation that sex is perfect the first time is wrong. We wanted him to be prepared for reality.

Discussing sexual intercourse with my son was not a highlight for our weekend. Discussing pornography was not what I thought would be the catalyst for our conversation into sexual intercourse. Having this discussion with my [too young] son was not what I was prepared for as a parent. I knew the day would come but I was hopeful, fairy tale hopeful, I had more time. As The Chad and I talked to him about everything we finally got into the details of what led us to this conversation. Our assumptions were that he was seeking pornography at some level, our assumptions were awful, maybe a coping mechanism. When G began to unravel the details and we were more level headed we were greeted with relief.

Comedic relief came when we digressed a bit from the topic of his searches. Pausing to allow him to ask questions, the most memorable question arose and still makes me laugh is, “why does it pop up?” As adults, we automatically go dark on our humor, but his question was in relation to pop up advertisements when he improperly clicked during his search.

My heart swelled with love and joy for his innocence and grasping for understanding at this strange new world I wish he had not yet been exposed. While at that moment I wasn’t ready to be a parent with the sobering experience of detailing sexual intercourse and the entrails that accompany, I thanked God for my son. I felt blessed in that moment that he still had some innocence, that he had such an amazing spirit and outlook. He asked questions, listened with intent. Most of all, I was [am] grateful he had both of his parents to discuss such a difficult, intimate, and sometimes precarious conversation. We both spoke to him with love, facts, and understanding of sex from each of our points of view as a man and a woman. We precluded assumptions, expectations, falsities. His father and I reassured him that there is no shame and he could continue to be open with us as he evolves and matures during this difficult time in life where everything seems to be spiraling out of control. When we felt life as a parent was spiraling out of control.

Using the word STUPID

How to address the word in a child’s vocabulary today? Many kids reach to this word as an easy grasp to define an item, action, state of mind in their daily interaction. However, seems many parents and teachers are a bit too sensitive in the application of the word; almost as if it correlates to the use of the word “retarded” which is highly frowned upon in today’s conversations.

Continue reading “Using the word STUPID”

To My Oldest Son

My dearest boy. My ultimate lesson. My pure display of life. You grew within me, as me, a part of me for nine hearty months. I could not grasp that you were mine to have. That I had earned something so wonderful, so selfless, so magical. You came into this world with wonder and curiosity. You showed me patience where I thought I had none.

Each day you showed me how I was a good woman to you, I was a good mother to you. But I saw even more how you were such a wonderful, god-send of a gift to me. I had my days and you had yours. I did what I needed as a new mom out of love, out of a so-called duty, working by some manual I had not received. We figured the job out as we went along.

Days were new learning experiences and each passing week still seemed so new. Again such a wonderment of life. Our first child. Our first lesson. My first lesson of life, of undying, unwavering, unconditional love. To give of myself to you in all that you needed. Just a pure awe of what two people can create. Your dad still could not believe who and what you were. Your looks in relation to one another were and still are uncanny. If not for my pregnancy photos no one would know you were mine. Except for my adoration for you.

You showed me how to love and live with each passing day, week, month, year. The joy of living in each moment as if it were all new to me again. Learning all the new details and curiosities and magical wonders of the smallest and largest things in life. All these moments were moments not to be missed. You fought sleep for this simple fact.

My dear boy your smile and laugh were and are contagious. People gravitate towards your giving, loving, and sincere light and energy. Such a unique soul that your dad and I claimed aliens would arrive to take you back home one day.

Your will and spirit can never be broken but with time you have tamed to become a little man. All grown up with your boyish charm. I cannot believe to this day that you are mine. My gift. My gift of life, my new life. I never thought the day would come where I could be a mother, let alone your mother. Your rock in our home, your point of origin to know you are always home wherever we went.. My ease at night after a long day, just to see your face, hear your laugh, and smell your hair.

I yearn for the times where I was the one you always wanted to protet you and tuck you in at night. To fight off all the “bad guys” with my super powers, but I find that I am only your second line of defense. Now you have your own powers, you can do so much on your own. Was it not just yesterday we were fighting diapers and bottles and sippies and underoos? Now I try to fight to keep you forever young. As forever in my heart you will not age, you are my smudge on an ultrasound, my scream in the night, the one who told me I was indefinitely a “mama.” Where has my short time gone with you? Stop growing so fast.

I remember the day I took you to daycare and cried the day I had to leave you. Leave you without me to be there to answer for you and care for you in each and every need. Now I leave you to learn, to become more of the one-of-a-kind you are. Doing things your way. You now leave me to go off on adventures, to grow your self, to gather your identity more and more, and yet I still cry as I watch you grow. I so badly want to experience that with you. To carry your sadness, pain, hurt and fear, but all I can experience is my love to you in those moments where you need me for comfort.

I have never met someone who loved everyone and everything in life the way you do. No mean bone in your body, only a hug to share with all. I have watched you grow into an amazing young man and can only be amazed more and more at how truly wonderful of a person you are. To share all that you do, to love without boundaries, to give when you think someone has nothing, to never expect when your father and I have such higher expectations of what you should have. My simple boy who thinks the world of even the smallest, meager, gifts, never knowing any different.

Who could ask for anything more of a first child. I love you Grant-baby. I am so glad you had the best sixth birthday as I cannot believe I have been so lucky to share these years with you and so many more to come. A mother and father could not be more proud at your patience, your love, your giving, your selflessness, you my boy amaze me more and more. I love you. Happy Birthday!

Anatomy 101 for Little Boys

Thursday night was definitely entertaining.
The whole day was entertaining to say the least.

I had lunch, well frozen yogurt, with my dear gal pal who I have not seen in ages. Last time she and I gossiped over food about men, their penis’, and sex she recently had a biopsy done on her breast. Needless to say she is free of her sickness so that made for some happy news. We gabbed about her latest conquests, her financial woes, and then we got to the kids.

Her Spud is all grown up. Sad that I knew when her daughter was a tween and a pain in the ass and now she is a teen and still a pain in the ass but we love her just the same.

So my pal and I are gabbing all sorts. Have to say quite entertaining, made for a great afternoon.

Come home, normal stuff as usual.

My O.G. BFF Brittany, a.k.a my sister, drops in to pick up her spawn and we gab. She is always good for some gossip. She catches me up on all the “behind the scenes” of the blogosphere (*Yawn) and of course some juicy bits about this bar fly who is stalker-esque to an acquaintance of ours….again interesting conversations.

The day and night rolls on. Sister heads home, we have dinner, time for baths. I finally get around to throwing Big G in the shower. He is really good about handling himself in the shower.

He is a boy though so he putzes to no end. I mean I can hear super hero sound effects until he runs out of hot water. So I mosey on in the bathroom and help him wash his hair, I lather up his wash cloth and tell him to get totally clean. If DH and I are not in there….he “says” he got clean. Yeah, which means we made a soapy mess and none touched his body.

I hand him his wash cloth and tell him to wash these parts in this order….leaving his derriere for last. He complies. Fantastic. But then the boy thinks thrusting his hips at me is funny trying to flick soap onto me while I observe outside the shower curtain…….yeah….not so much. I tell him he needs to get washed up. Here is what the boy tells me:

Big G: Momma I really need to get in this junk right? (Pointing and scrubbing his crack and his crotch)
Me: *holding my breath. Try. To. Contain. Uncontrollable. Laughter.
Me: Yup buddy, get clean.
Big G: Yup I gotta really clean all this junk.

Thank you DH for teaching our boy that his penis and rear end is his junk because I found the comment so utterly amusing. But the fun doesn’t stop there!

I help the boy wash all the soap off and help him out of the shower. He is a bit of a spaz. Last time he didn’t have help he has a bruise the size of Delaware on one ass cheek. Yeah, it hurt.

I am drying his hair off and his arms when he stops and this conversation takes place:

Big G: Momma I need to tell you something, stop drying me.
Me: Okay buddy what is it?
Big G: Mom what are these things?
Me: Buddy they are buttons on my shirt. (assuming that is what he is asking since he is staring at the girls)
Big G: No mom, these….what are these? (As he begins to pull down my shirt)
Me: Buddy, what are you doing?
Big G: Mom I am asking you a questions! (very demanding) What are these?
Me: Bud, those are moms boobies….
Big G: No Momma, whats on your boobies?
Me: (assuming he is talking about how my skin was splotchy fron the heat and cold water of the shower) Buddy its just my skin discolored.
Big G: (he’s getting annoyed now, I can tell in his voice) *pulling my shirt a but again NO Mom, what are those, the things ON your boobies. The things that the babies suck on?
Me: (TRY. TO. KEEP. IT. TOGETHER!) Buddy, those are called nipples. You have some too…see? (as I pinch him)
Big G: So Mom, are those like bottles for the babies? They can drink milk from?
Me: (KEEP. IT. TOGETHER. I am flushed at this point) Yes buddy, the babies used to drink milk from them and now they drink from a bottle.

The End.

No more questions, he was totally satisfied once he asked that.
Never a dull moment and we are only one week into the summer…….this is going to be a LOOONNNGGGG summer.

Sing Us A Song….

The lyrics are ones that pretty much everyone knows. At least I hope you know the lyrics and tune to the ever famous Billy Joel song “Piano Man”. Billy Joel is by far one of my favorite artists, as I have so many.

Seems my youngest son has joined me in my love for Billy Joel. The soothing sounds of the ivory keys on the piano seem to set him at ease……or maybe the sound of Billy’s voice touches his soul, I am not quite sure.

One day while driving on the freeway with Pickles Magoo fussing I tried everything from the Binky, a blanket, a bottle, you name it I tried it and the poor boy wouldn’t quit. So I couldn’t handle the screaming and thought I would turn on the music and turn the volume up a little louder to help drown the crying. (I know…bad mommy….but we have all been there at least once) Little did I know that the musical genius permeating from my speakers would put the boy in a DEAD SILENCE!

“Scenes from an Italian restaurant” came through the speakers and the Pickles Magoo was hypnotized! No one believed me….and I mean no one! Until one day when my mother was riding in the car with me on our way home from Sun City that she became a believer. (Cue Monkeez music…HA HA) Since those moments I have been trying to capture the elusive actions of Pickles Magoo as he is a fuss budget and then suddenly is in the trance of the Piano Man himself. The best I could do was the other day on our way home from our trip to Costco. Unfortunately the picture from my cell phone is less than desirable, but from my perspective you can see Pickles Magoo fighting the inevitable sleep creeping in and just seconds before I turned on the camera and the radio he was screaming as if someone was pulling him limb from limb. Enjoy what you can see…and hear of the Piano Man.