Is it normal?

I imagined the way it would be in my mind. Thick heavy intricate snowflakes dropped with a plop on the cold empty ground. There were horses with jingling bells pulling a sleigh behind it. Hot chocolate stirred with a candy cane. It’s a picture of us trying to find that perfect tree. Even the boy with the face tattoo is there. He is the one taking the family picture of us finding that perfect tree. A ray of radiant light shines through the snow on the right one. We are all smiling and happy.

It wasn’t that way at all. It was raining and the kids had other plans. Paul ran out to the closest tree lot by himself and picked out the tree. But it was that way once. The problem is that I still expect it to be that way now. I spent some time that afternoon crying curled up in my bed playing lullabies that I once played for my babies. Is that normal?? I am off my rocker, literally and figuratively this time.

Is any of this normal?? Paul and I have been struggling lately with this very concept. This will be the last Christmas break that our whole family will be together. Angel is not planning on coming home after college this year. Alex will be graduating (hopefully) this spring and moving on. Arabella is still seriously interested in becoming a foreign exchange student.

I put a lot of time into this whole motherhood thing, and now my kids don’t need me anymore. Who am I now? I am excited to have time to myself to do the things I always wanted to do. But I never thought that the letting go process would be so painful.

Our son is really struggling right now. Although he is 18, we still have boundaries and rules because he is living in our house. We have been asking ourselves if his behavior is within the realm of normal. It was hard to let go of our firstborn, but she was heading off to college and we knew that she would be okay. We feel unsure about the future of our son.

There are really only two scenarios. Our son is completely normal. Then the problem is with us. We need to let him go even if he has to fall on his face a few times. He has to figure things out for himself. We need to let him go even if his future isn’t what we planned on it being.

The second scenario is a bit more troubling. What if he has mental health issues? Then I think it is our job as his parents to make sure that he gets the help he needs. But he is an adult. Is it our job to try to fix him?

Would you try to save someone from drowning if you knew that they knew how to swim??

I think that our son is normal. But what is normal? People have been asking us if he is depressed. I don’t think so. But I’m not sure. I want answers. I want to be guaranteed that he will be okay.

Letting go of a kid to go to college is normal. It is painful, but you are also happy that they somehow became fully functional adults with you as their parents.

But what happens if you think they are not ready yet?

This has been my struggle lately. I probably won’t get all the answers I’m searching for. Plus it doesn’t help that I have unrealistic expectations in my head of how I expect things to be…the way they once were, but no longer are.

Is any of this normal?

Taking the long way home

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Last night Angel and I got back home from the Lana Del Rey concert. We ended up taking the long way home…

We headed out to Minneapolis early Friday afternoon and got to our downtown Minneapolis hotel by late afternoon. It was still cold outside with wind chills below zero. Even though we were only a couple blocks away, I was concerned about walking outside on a cold frigid night.

The hotel had an indoor walkway that we could walk to the concert in, but it closed at 8 PM. Although we had a map, we got turned around several times in the walkway. There weren’t as many signs as we thought there would be. Someone stopped us and gave us the wrong directions. We met up with another couple that was just as lost as we were. The girl was wearing a mini skirt and a jean jacket. I told her that she would have to walk back outside on the way back.

Surprisingly, despite getting lost, we made it to the concert a little early which gave us time to go through security, find the bathroom, and get a drink before the show. I spent $15 on a 4 oz old-fashioned that tasted like utter crap. I watered it down with Angel’s soda but it was still undrinkable. Gross!

Angel’s friend was going to meet us there and sit by us, but she came down with the stomach flu. The show itself was phenomenal. It was the biggest concert I ever went to. Before that the biggest concert I was at was back in the early 90’s seeing Reo Speedwagon at the county fair. This was Lana’s first concert of her new tour, so being the first show and being an inexperienced concert goer, I really didn’t know what to expect.

I was thinking about bringing ear plugs, but Angel said that would make me look way too old. I was already instructed not to look like a mother. Some of the young girls barely wore any clothes which concerned the mother within me a whole lot on such a cold night. There were a few other middle aged concert goers. Most were in their early twenties. The whole row behind us seemed to be in their early 20’s and were all smoking pot. The young couple next to me was making out the whole time. Seriously, I could have used a better drink.

Afterwards, I was satisfied that my ears did not ring. The acoustics were great. Lana played a lot of songs that we knew and she had a great performance. We walked back to the hotel in the cold. I had a hard time pulling up the hotel on my phone’s map. I was a little afraid that we would walk around the city in circles until we froze to death. Although my daughter is an adult, I felt responsible for her safety. We were very cold, but we were able to find our way back before we froze to death.

The next day we had lunch plans with an old college friend that lives near the city. She hadn’t seen my daughter since she was a toddler. It has been over 8 years since we last saw each other. We had a really nice visit, but had a long drive home.

I fell asleep on the way home which hardly ever happens. In my defense, I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night and felt rested. I was the only one that knew how to get home and since I was sleeping, we missed the exit. I woke up to different scenery. We drove a few more miles before I had the nagging suspicion that something wasn’t right. Sure enough, my little siesta cost us an extra hour of driving.

What good is knowing the way if I couldn’t show the way to go?? Seems like another whole philosophical blog topic, but I am much too tired to form a thought. I would like to think that we circumvented a crash on the interstate. But the truth is that I am getting old and tired..I fell asleep and wasn’t paying attention.

However,the long way home was a more scenic route with its rolling hills, cranberry bogs, marshes, reeds, and woods. I wanted to stop several times to take pictures, but I also wanted to get home and felt bad for making our trip a lot longer than necessary. So I snapped a few pictures when we stopped for a stop sign.

Angel and I did a lot of talking on our long trip home. It was nice having some uninterrupted time to visit. Next weekend she will be leaving to go back to college. It will probably be a couple more months until we see each other again. Despite taking the long way home, we had a lot of fun together..

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In the cold dark light of the full moon

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It only takes a little light to reflect the cold barren emptiness of a winter tree on the snow.

It has been cold in Wisconsin. The wind chills haven’t been above zero since who knows when..probably a couple of weeks. We haven’t noticed that much. We have been busy with the holidays.

We know the drill. It happens every year. It doesn’t snow when it is bitterly cold. The cars make strange noises when attempting to start. You don’t want to get a car wash or your car doors will freeze shut. Everything creaks, crackles, and moans under the heavy weight of the bitter cold. People die.

People die! I knew it would happen on New Year’s Eve especially. The reports of the deaths. I live in the drunkest state next to one of the drunkest cities in the United States. I predicted that if the Packers were having a better year, the death toll would be higher. The bitter cold usually starts this time of year, but this year it hit us a little early. It started over Christmas…the home Packer game…Christmas weekend and New Year’s Eve…the drunkest time of the year near the drunkest city in the drunkest state. The roads are hazardous not just for the cold, ice, and snow ya know.

Drinking is our culture. It just is. I am a big proponent of designated drivers, but sometimes you can’t trust that will even work. People get carried away. Blame it on the cold harsh climate.

I worried the weekend of New Year’s Eve. My daughter Angel drove to Madison to go to a party with friends. My son was who knows where. Every day I would be in touch asking where he was and what he was doing. Every day my son stopped home and my heart rejoiced that he was alive. It’s not always them I worry about…it is the others on the road. How do I keep them safe? It is surprising that I am letting go at all.

I worry about the drunks on the road. I worry about car trouble in the bitter cold remote areas with no cell reception. Or what if I am sleeping and don’t hear the phone? I worry about car accidents on slippery heavily wooded winding roads.

My deepest fear is that my children will die if I am not in control. If I don’t pay attention, they will be gone. If I don’t notice a problem, they will slip through my fingers forever. It is really rather horrifying since I am not in control. I never was in control even when they were babies. I couldn’t control if they got sick. I couldn’t even control if they decided to sleep through the night. As they got older, the feeling of being out of control grew and festered in my soul.

I try to let go and let God, but then grab the reigns back again chaffing my hands not able to get a grip. This worry, this anxiety, has been a constant thorn in my side. I feel if I let go of my little iota of control, then my children will die and I am responsible. It is completely illogical and irrational as most fears are.

Do all mothers of teenagers feel this way? Or do I just take it to the extreme since I am anxious to begin with? Or maybe having 3 teenagers is enough to set the sanest person over the edge?

Storms of Christmas past

This year my youngest daughter had her first high school choir concert on the day that my grandma died.

Let’s take a trip back in time to 1967. I wasn’t born yet. My mom was 19. My dad went off to Vietnam.

It was Christmastime. My grandparents were in the process of moving to a new town for my grandpa’s new job. My grandma was 43 and pregnant. Her oldest child, my aunt, was out of the house, married, and expecting her first child. My mom was in college. There were five children left at home and a new baby on the way.

My grandma wasn’t feeling well with her eighth pregnancy. She was on bed rest at the hospital but wrote letters to her family at the new house where no one knew them.

There was a snowstorm the night that she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. After the little baby girl took her first breath, my grandma took her last breath.

This month the baby girl turned 50. She had a big weight to carry the day she was born. She took the last breath of a mother of 8 when she took her first. I think she always felt guilty about it although no one could logically blame her for something not of her choosing. Then she took the life that her mother sacrificed to give her and made a big mess of it.

This month Uncle Rick threw my aunt a 50th birthday party before the choir concert. It was both a joyous and solemn occasion. Before the party, the siblings tearfully read the last letter that their mother wrote the night before she died. It wasn’t carefree and happy like the rest. It was as if she knew it would be her last.

At the choir concert that night, I sat with my mom on the 50th anniversary of her mother’s death. She told me that her mother was my age when she died and she was the same age as my oldest daughter. I felt sorrow for my mother. She really needed to have a mother in her life as the path she beat down was always rocky.

That night, I watched others perform my daughter’s songs from when she was in high school. My oldest daughter was not able to be there. It was hard to hear someone else sing ‘her’ songs. It hurt. Time was slipping by way too fast. It was also difficult to sit next to my mother on the anniversary of her mother’s death. I could feel the loss, the sadness, the nostalgia, the longing for something that was no longer there envelop me.

When did it happen?

A couple weeks back on my way into the gym, I saw an elderly lady with two little kids. The little ones outran their grandma and entered the building with me. I got quite a few smiles and happy looks from strangers. People thought the children were mine and were giving me the ‘your kids are sooooo cute’ face.

When did my kids stop being cute?

I felt a little sad for awhile. I hadn’t realized that I haven’t gotten that mother of little kids look for a long time.

When did my kids grow up?

This past weekend, my nieces who are 8 and 10 stayed overnight at my house last minute. Angel was babysitting for another little girl at our house that was 8. We had a girl party. We played Just Dance and painted nails. Even my ‘baby’ was a big help entertaining the girls.

When did my daughters transition from girls to young women?

When it was bedtime, I put a show on to try to get the girls to settle down and fall asleep. But I was the only one that fell asleep. I really don’t know how kid movies can captivate children, they are soooo stupid. Who writes those shows??

When did we stop watching cartoons and kid shows?

The girls had a hard time sleeping at night. Little Gracie complained about the bass pouring out of my son’s room. It wasn’t that loud or maybe I’ve grown used to the noise of having teenagers in my house.

When did my kids stop being little kids?

The next day we had the family over for Christmas. The little girls were bursting with excitement over the presents under the tree. Gracie got this bird that cracked its way out of a shell minutes after she opened the gift. Then she was supposed to raise it as a baby, toddler, and then finally a kid. But not as a teenager nor adult. It glowed different colors to communicate based on some color code on the box or something. Seemed like a big waste of money to me. But boy was that the rage.

When did our kids stop waking us up on Christmas day?

My kids got mainly clothes. Clothes! Arabella got a waffle iron. Adult stuff! No more toys. The teens mainly looked bored. The kids squealed with delight. The adults sat around acting excited about the gifts of the little kids, but it really wasn’t all that exciting anymore…the transition from child to adult.

When did my kids stop playing with toys??

I was able to find some excellent gifts for my teenagers though..

For Angel, I bought her tickets to see Lana Del Rey in concert next week. We will be traveling quite a ways, so I got a hotel room. I also bought her a Lana Del Rey t-shirt. I am excited to go with her, but was instructed not to dress like a ‘mom’.

For Alex, I got him an Ancestry DNA kit to find his heritage. It was something that he mentioned over a year ago and was very excited to receive. Rumor has it that he might have Native American roots (my husband never knew his father). Now we will know for sure. There is some mystery in what will be found.

For Arabella, I took her in today for a makeover. She got blonde highlights and black low lights. She looks very pretty and grown up.

I do miss the wonder and excitement of the younger years, but there is a certain joy to be found in letting go…

Thanksgiving break..

This morning as I was leaving for church, I noticed a letter on the ground in my driveway. I drove back towards my house to grab the letter. But it was just a receipt for glue. Glue?? Next to the receipt, there were pills strewn across the ground. What were the pills??

I started my cycle of worry for the day. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time worrying over the holiday.

Since we last talked, Angel came home from college. I’m amazed we made it this long living in a small house. Angel’s things cluttered the family room. We ran out of hot water one morning from showers. The girls bickered about sharing a room…one liked it quiet and dark to sleep…the other liked to go to sleep with light and noise…

I worried about Thanksgiving. I was afraid of how Matt would respond to Luke’s kids…but Luke and his family didn’t show up. They stayed home sick. The day was relatively uneventful except for a clogged kitchen sink.

Over the weekend, we found out that Alex’s ex-girlfriend Baylee started going out with Alex’s good friend Jake. This has caused a social media war. Horrible things were said online that shouldn’t have been said. People are choosing sides. Jake was the drummer in the garage band Alex was in. The band has been disbanded. I am terribly afraid that there will be a fight in school tomorrow. I have been really stressing about it and am trying to let it go. I tried to talk to Alex about it but he wants me to leave him alone.

I am struggling with the desire to let my kids go yet at the same time still wanting to hold on to them tight. Although I get along great with my son normally, he causes me so much stress that I want him to go to school far away.

This weekend we had a school choir tree lighting ceremony that Arabella sang for. As I watched the choir sing, I was reminded of the times that it was Angel performing. It was like time fast forwarded. I was reminded of other things that we did together when she was young and felt sad that those times went by so fast. I want to grab on to those moments while they last for all of my kids, but can’t.

Paul and I took a walk around to look at the lit trees. We were surrounded by young parents with small children fascinated by the wonder of the Christmas season starting. How did we get so old? I felt happy and sad at the same time. We are coming to the end of a long season of our life and soon will be starting another..

We did enjoy our time with Angel. Paul brought home a Christmas tree that Angel did most of the work decorating. Our cat found his warm snugly spot under the tree. It is very calming.

Angel is on her way back to school as I type these words. She is driving my car back. While she was here, the brakes started going out on her car. We didn’t feel that it was safe for her to drive it back. Alex’s car broke down this past week as well. What are the odds that two cars break down in the same week?? My kids are driving around cars that are as old as they are…At least they have cars to drive.

As soon as I got home from church, I googled the pills that I found in my yard. They were extra strength Tylenol…Whew! I also checked the receipt for the glue. It was purchased at a time when my kids were home..There were so many people in and out of the driveway the past few days…probably more cars than we had all summer. It could belong to anybody. The receipt could have blown over from the neighbors yard. Why do I waste my time in worry?

 

Narcissistic worry

Last week I read a wonderful post about narcissism. Then I got to worrying…Oh my, am I a narcissist??

Growing up my life revolved around my autistic brother Matt. It was all about Matt…Matt…MATT all of the time. I wanted it to be all about me. ME! ME! ME!
Aren’t I great??

I was on my own for a very short period of time. I graduated from college, got married 2 months later, and got pregnant 2 months after that. I have been a mother since my mid-20’s.

Right after I was out of my parents house (taking care of my brother)…I ended up having three children. Since then it has been pregnancy, having C-sections, breastfeeding, diapers, sick kids, lost teeth, sibling warfare, birthday parties, braces…to today where I have 3 teenagers. My life involves taxiing my kids around, dealing with difficult issues such as sex, drugs, and lets throw rock and roll in there too. Why not?? I have to deal with underage drinking, bad grades, messy rooms, rebellious attitudes…all the normal issues of dealing with teenagers…plus cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

I secretly fantasize about being an empty nester. I want it to be all about me. I don’t want to have to worry about anyone else…I don’t even want to have to take care of pets anymore. I am sick of having to get a pet sitter every time we want to leave. I hate it when the pets bring fleas into my house…or when the dog gets into the garbage…or puke on the carpet…the constant crying for food the minute I wake up in the morning or right when I get home from work…the poop on the floor right outside of the litter box.

Last month my brother Luke and his family lost their family dog. The were heartbroken at the death of a member of their family. Last week they got a new puppy. I feel guilty for not wanting any responsibilities. I will gladly take care of the pets I have until they are gone…but after that…I don’t even want a fish!

I am also a completely vain person. I envision myself always looking great in a bikini while I gaze at my reflection in the pool. I want to tell my classmates that I was carded this year. I am getting younger while my classmates are so old and weathered that I don’t recognize them anymore. I couldn’t possibly look as old as they do, right??

I also have Mary Poppins syndrome. I think that I am practically perfect in every way. I never admit to having any faults. I strive for perfection.

On a side note**I wouldn’t recommend making deviled eggs for Thanksgiving if you are a perfectionist! Grrrr..

As a child I was punished for making mistakes. One bad grade in elementary school and all of my dolls were taken away for a semester. I was so afraid of making mistakes and not being good enough.

Sometimes I think that harshest judges have been most harshly judged.

I’m working on it, okay?

Yesterday I just realized that my criticism and annoyance with others could be viewed as annoying..

As I sit here gazing in self reflection…I realize that I am probably not a narcissist. I just need a little responsibility free time to myself. I love my family and pets, but sometimes taking care of them all the time can be overwhelming. In a few years I probably won’t know what to do with all of the ‘me’ time.

I figure if I am so worried about being a narcissist, that I am probably not one. Narcissists don’t worry that they are narcissists…Do they?? No, just anxious people worry…Boy, do I feel better..

To think…for a few minutes I thought it was all about me!

Cloudy with a chance of stalking

I will be leaving shortly. As you are reading this, I am probably on the road. I will be driving 2 hours to meet up with my daughter Angel who will also be driving 2 hours to meet me. Tomorrow she has a vocal competition at the midway point’s college.

We weren’t even sure she would be competing. She was sick with a fever off and on the last couple of weeks. She has been to the doctor 3 times in the past month and is currently getting over tonsillitis…which isn’t the best for a singer. In the meantime, my husband will be staying at home taking care of the business and kids.

On Friday, Paul is taking our son and his girlfriend to meet up with the family of the people whose cabin they had a party at this past summer. Quick recap, the daughter offered her family cabin for an underage drinking party, ended up getting busted by her parents, didn’t go but told the others to go without her. Twenty kids showed up and trashed the place. They want to talk to our son because we were one of the few parents that made their kid apologize and offered to help pay for damages. I have a bad feeling that the meeting is not going to go very well.

Meanwhile, I will be out of town with Angel. We will be at the college of her ex-boyfriend Mitch. This is problematic. A few years back, Angel befriended a guy named Jeremy while she was on a school music department trip. Angel liked the guy as a friend and Jeremy liked her more than that. At the time, Mitch and Angel were dating.

Jeremy started stalking Angel. He hacked into Mitch’s facebook account. He sent her threatening messages from random numbers on her phone…one of them said that he would rape her. Then Jeremy punched Mitch on the campus we will be visiting this weekend.

Wait, there is more…After Mitch and Angel broke up, Angel confided in me that she thought that Mitch could have been posing as Jeremy all along. Either way, it doesn’t matter…they both go to the college we will be at tomorrow. Chances are we might run into one of them and things could get dicey. We have no idea who the guilty party is…that makes it really hard to know what could happen.

I am going to the college to support my daughter and also as a bodyguard so to say. I don’t think that either guy would be willing to give her grief in front of her mother. In my mind, I think I could take them on. A karate chop to certain body parts. Hiyyyaaahhh! Realistically, an athletic woman in her 40’s probably doesn’t stand a chance fighting a couch potato 20 year old male. But it would be very entertaining.

I am happy to have some time to spend alone with Angel. I haven’t seen her for a month. She hasn’t been home since August and is starting to feel homesick for the first time. It is hard to be sick away from home without a mother to give you chicken noodle soup. Not to mention not having a doctor and having no clue what to even do.

AAAAGGHHHH!!

Then after all this is all said and done, I will be turning around and heading back to the same college campus for a college tour with my son next week…

Will the insanity ever end?????

Enlistment?

Last night my son told me that he was planning on enlisting in the military after high school.

He has been talking about it for the last couple of weeks ever since we started watching a Vietnam War series on public TV.

My dad was in the Vietnam War.

Times have changed a lot since the 1960’s.

But really have times changed that much?? After watching several episodes about the Vietnam War, it really hit me for the first time how hard the 60’s were. A president assassinated, political unrest throughout the country, violent war protests, young men drafted…

Times were tough for my family then…My dad went off to war while my mother went off to college..While her then boyfriend was at war, her mother died. She had to tell my dad in a letter…he missed the funeral. My mom’s college finals were cancelled because of bomb scares and there were violent war protests out in the streets. My dad saw his buddies die next to him. I can’t even imagine.

My grandparents had to send their only child off to war…My great-grandparents sent their only grandchild off to war…several decades before that all of their children were in the military for WWII.

Today was my grandpa’s birthday. He passed away the year my son was born. Even though they did not have the opportunity to get to know each other, they are a lot alike. My grandpa was full of piss and vinegar. Before I was born, he was a bit of a bad ass. He rode around on his Harley with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. Although he was a small man, people didn’t mess with him. He wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believed in. My grandma was the only one that could tame him.

I see my grandpa in my son.

My grandparents were wonderful people. They are a big part of the reason why I am sitting here typing this today. They insulated me. I would be a huge mess of a person if they weren’t a big part of my life growing up.

I feel proud of my son. I think this is the right move for him. He would thrive with the structure and discipline the military would offer him. It’s just the mom in me that feels worried.

 

Oh look, a squirrel!

I had an idea that the teenage years might be hard when my oldest daughter turned 13. We were on the road…my mom was driving and Angel was in the backseat. Angel asked us, “Did either of you have sex before you got married”? I choked on my spit while my mom almost drove off the road.

Oh look, a squirrel!

Awkward silence filled the air..You see, my mom and I never really talked about those kind of things..Growing up, my friends never had those conversations with their parents either.

I remember my mom sitting me down for ‘the talk’ when I was 12. I learned about sex from a friend when I was in kindergarten..I laughed uncomfortably and walked away…it was too late, I already knew..

Paul and I decided to be open with our kids about difficult topics and they have been particularly candid with us. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worthwhile..

When my kids were young, I thought they would always stay that way. I didn’t understand why parents of teens seemed to forget how much work it was to go anywhere with a toddler or how tiring it was to stay up half the night with a fussy baby..They always said things like…enjoy it while it lasts, soon they will be teenagers…I thought their comments were cold and callous…didn’t they remember how hard it was?

Now I have teenagers and I understand. I feel like I will be the parent of teens forever. I still don’t sleep at night..

I hear empty nesters say…enjoy it while it lasts, soon you will return to a silent empty house..

It was homecoming not too long ago..I took pictures of Alex and his girlfriend Baylee. It felt strange because not too long ago I was at the same location taking pictures of Angel and Mitch…They broke up this year after dating 3 1/2 years. Mitch is now a junior in college..It did go by fast, didn’t it?

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Homecoming

It seems like I was running around the whole homecoming weekend…I sold tickets for the football game and watched my son play for pep band during halftime. Afterwards, I received a call from my son telling me that he appreciated that I was there. Was something wrong? Did he need money?? No, he was just showing that he cares.

I have been upset with him about going to the party in the cabin for so long now that you are all probably sick of the story. Seriously, what teen would give up a weekend at a cabin without adults and with a seemingly endless supply of liquor??

I was angry at the girl that decided to throw a party that trashed her grandma’s cabin until recently. I found out that her parents divorced in June but are still ‘together’. Her grandpa died in June…it was a hard time and her daddy didn’t leave. Her mom got into a bad accident in July and needed help…her daddy didn’t leave..Her mom got better, then the girl threw a big underage drinking party creating so much stress that…you guessed it…her daddy didn’t leave..Maybe I understand her motives now…

My son didn’t have a party at our house nor at his grandparents cabin. He helps my parents with their yard work and turns down the money they offer him.

The other day my son said that he didn’t really care about his grades because this is the only time that he has to be young and have fun without responsibilities. Besides, he said, the most successful people in his life screwed up in high school.

My brother Luke has a wildly successful career. He was a complete screw off in high school, a million times worse than my son..My husband is another, he flunked out of high school Chemistry and had to take summer school. His grades were so bad in college that he had to take a semester off. Then he turned his life around. Now he is a successful business owner…But son, I could’ve been so much more if I applied myself  just doesn’t seem to cut it.

His role models of success showed him that what he does at this time of his life really doesn’t matter in the long run. I can almost understand his logic. But what he doesn’t know is how difficult their home lives were and the obstacles that they had to overcome.

This summer my son worked for a flooring company full-time. He had to get up in the morning at the time when many of his friends were going to bed. It was physically hard dirty work. He wanted to quit many times, but kept going.. He is a hard worker and that will get him far in life.

He is also a loyal guy…he has had the same girlfriend for almost a year and a half. Baylee is absolutely wonderful and we love her. A couple of months back I overheard a boy talking about a girl he was planning on hooking up with to his seemingly disgusted mother…Since when did previously taboo subjects become public conversation?? I was mortified. Hello, I am right here!

I had another opportunity to feel thankful for my teens’ fondness for long term relationships.

We have had struggles with our son over the years..I was talking to a friend lately commiserating about our teens like they probably do about us. She said something that stuck…Has he improved over the last few years? I felt better because he has improved immensely. Look at how far he has come.

A few months ago, I had to give that same friend a call about her daughter. My youngest daughter opened up to me and told me that her friend was very depressed. Please call her mom and ask her to get help..

I have not found one person that told me the teenage years have been a breeze. If you do tell me that then a) you are lying, b) you need to write a book on how you did it because obviously you have everything figured out, or c) you weren’t there.

Yesterday my 14 year old daughter asked while I was driving…Would you be mad at me if I decide to have sex in high school or would you put me on the pill?

Oh look, a squirrel!

I have to remember that soon I will be returning to an empty house.