Last night, I found myself sitting in the middle of my bed, propped up on several pillows, tangled in my favorite maroon colored blanket, while watching a rerun of Married With Children. It’s not my favorite “back in the day” show to watch, but there I was….watching. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve scrolled right pass that show while searching through the guide channel, for one of my own preferred reality shows. But, last night was different. It wasn’t about me.
Saturday marked the one year anniversary of Big Pat’s death. Hard to wrap my head around that ugly fact. “It’s been a whole year that the Littlest Boy has been without his father.”
Big Pat loved our son, his only child, more than anything in this world. Our son was (and remains) equally fond of his dad. The fact that neither one of them will have each other any longer (in this life) sends my emotions into an automatic whirlwind, whenever I think about it.
One moment, I’m hurt and the tears fall endlessly. The next moment, I’m pissed and angry and screaming at the top of my lungs.Trying (always unsuccessfully) to get God to understand how unfair it is to have taken Big Pat away from us. It’s not long before I find myself right back to being numb all over again. In the end, no matter how I feel or what I do, nothing’s going to change. So I tuck the tragedy in the back of mind and try very hard to pretend that it’s not an issue and that it’s not a part of our reality.
Not only was Saturday the anniversary of his death, but Friday was his birthday. I call that a DOUBLE DAMN WHAMMY! One day it’s your birthday, a day of celebration, immediately followed by a day of mourning that same existence. I wouldn’t force my worse enemy to swallow such an oblong pill.
He would’ve turned forty this year. Big Pat always loved his birthday. He would start celebrating it at the very beginning of the month and then he’d throw himself a party on his actual birthdate. He loved his birthday so much that he made me fall in love with it, too. I looked forward to seeing him happy and excited about his special day.
This was the second year that there wasn’t a big birthday party to honor his birth. The Littlest Boy and I just hung out at the pool and reminisced about the good times that we had with our Big Pat. The Boy and I also discussed his future and again he swore that he was going to make his dad proud. I fought hard not to be sad in front of him. He still refuses to let me cry or be sad about the hand we’ve been dealt. I admire his strength.
I finished up the weekend just as I started it, with Big Pat on my mind. I thought over the plans that we’d made and decided to see most of them through. I relived the last two conversations that we had. From beginning to end, our entire relationship ran through my head. Most importantly, I thought about all the times that he’d force me to lay next to him, in our bed, with our limbs intertwined and laughing for the duration of his favorite television show…….Married With Children.
If only I could have just a single hour to experience that last thought all over again.
My eyes grew heavy and faced extreme exhaustion in the middle of the second episode. I wanted to watch both shows in their entirety, but sleep won that battle. I fell victim to the sandman as Al sat in the middle of that floral sofa, with his hand tucked in his pants and firmly planted on his crotch.
Last I remember, Al was sarcastically telling Peg how good of a cook she was, as his stomach growled from hunger. With one last chuckle, I drifted off to sleep. Sad, but glad that my first weekend of mourning had finally concluded.
Year One Down
I don’t even know why I’m shocked at the racist backlash that General Mills received over their Cheerios commercial featuring the interracial couple and their biracial daughter. I dilly and dally in this world enough, to know that it still contains a substantial number of racist boneheads. At this point, nothing really should surprise me anymore, but still I find myself surprised more often than not. I really want to believe that this country, that this world is getting better with each passing day. When something as ridiculous as this happens, I realize then, that there’s still a long way to go before we smother the voices of those who want to stagnate our world.
When I first seen the Cheerios commercial, do you know that I didn’t even think, “Oh! It’s a white wife with a black husband and biracial daughter” that thought didn’t even cross my mind once!
I was completely captured by the cuteness and the love and the whole point of the commercial, from start to finish. To be honest, I didn’t realize the interracial-ness until the backlash broke out.
It’s a sad day in America and across the world when we have a problem accepting our fellow human beings for who they are and for their personal preferences. It’s even sadder to think that human beings are supposed to be the smartest and most intelligent mammals in this world, yet we can’t advance ourselves pass the hate, that has defined our nation for way too long. The mindsets and integrity of some people are still lodged somewhere back in the late 1700′s and there’s nothing intelligent about that.
Everyday we have the opportunity to distance ourselves from the disgusting and horrific past that our ancestors built this nation upon and so many boneheads would rather let the opportunity to pass them by. As a mother and as an American, that’s disturbing.
However, I am happy to report that us, sensible, open-minded, gonna change the world for the better, individuals outnumber the boneheads. Yesterday, I seen a poll where 84% of those surveyed had absolutely no problem with the fact that the couple in the Cheerios commercial was interracial, while only 12% of the participants found it offensive.
Not only that, General Mills has decided to stand their ground and not buckle to the pressure from the minority. They will continue running the adorable commercial, while disabling all the comments. Count that as a victory for our side!
Those of us who want to move forward, from the dark past, are making meaningful strides. Thank you General Mills for being part of the progress!
I’m optimistic that our children’s children will get the opportunity to live in a world where racism, bigotry and hate will be a thing of the past.
I’m still hopeful!
Photo Credit: Karen2754
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a phone call from a teen? If so, then you have likely engaged in the ”extended greeting swap”.
What is an “extended greeting swap” you ask?
It’s when you answer the phone with a single hello, like most normal people tend to do. In return you get a hello followed by silence. After a few silent seconds, you again say, “Hello?” Only this time it’s more in the form of a question. Your second hello is once again followed by an echo hello, and it’s also in the form of question. This is exchange is what I’ve come to define as the extended greeting swap. If you have teens at home, if teens call your home, or if you communicate via telephone with a teen, then I’m sure you’ve experienced the extended greeting swap…..at least once.
The extended greeting swap has become my newest pet peeve. In fact, it’s now my biggest pet peeve of all. I’ve placed it right at the top of my long list of pet peeves.
Nearly every teen that I’ve come across in recent years, does the extended greeting swap, including my own! If my children call me, or if I answer our home phone when one of their friends call, as soon as any of them do that irritating extended greeting thingy, I simply hang up. That’s how annoying it has become.
I say hello once, and if I get the hello echoed back to me along with silence…..CLICK!
They usually call right back, instead of initiating the hello fiasco, I silently hold the phone and they’ll ask with a shocked and confused, “Hello?”
I keep calm, “Yes. May I help you?” At this point, they’re likely to have caught on, give a chuckle before properly asking for the party who they’re calling for.
I don’t remember my parents having to give me an etiquette lesson when it came to placing a telephone call or when answering the telephone. I’ve always thought it fell under the category of common sense….which is why I failed to give my own children such a lesson (which I’m now regretting). When YOU call someone’s house/phone, you greet them with a proper hello and speak your business, am I right?
Have we really reached the day and age where we have to hold our teens hands, and walk them through every single facet of life?
I was scared before, but not knowing how to properly greet someone on the phone really scares the bejesus out of me. I know that I have a lot of making up to do, what about you?
Is there something that teenagers do that have you nervous about the future?
Photo Credit: Images Money
Spirit of Detroit
One of my travel destinations this summer is Detroit, Michigan. The plan is to go there for two weeks, but I’m having mixed feelings. It’s my hometown and, in my heart, it’ll always be my home. In spite of the sentimental connection that I have to Detroit, I’m leery about going there for a visit.
The leeriness that I’m having is a result of all the bad news and reports that I’m constantly hearing about, i.e. the break-ins, the home invasions, the robberies, the shootings, the murders. The level of crime that’s taking place in the city, which I hold near and dear to my heart, is unfathomable. The senseless destruction (of the city and the citizens) is bewildering to me. It’s too reminiscent of a war zone.
It’s been close to two years since I relinquished my Michigander status for a new life in Texas. I remember being so happy when the time finally arrived for my children and I to pull out and head to a whole new world. Leaving Detroit meant saving my children. It meant they were no longer bound to those horrific Detroit statistics that plague most of the youth there. It meant they weren’t going to be measured up against the stereotypes that a lot of Detroiters are branded with. Like every mother, I want my children to live long, happy and successful lives. To give them a better shot at obtaining those things, moving was necessary.
You’re probably wondering, “Well, if it’s still that bad, why visit?”
My family is there. I miss my family. Both of my parents are in Detroit; my only sibling is there; all of my nieces and nephews are there. Since we’ve moved, my brother had another child. I have yet to meet my newest nephew. I’m really big on family and I have none in Texas. I want to see my old block, all of my neighbors and the few friends that I had. For all of those reasons, going home for a quick vacay is a no-brainer!
But when I weigh out the bad, and compare it to all of my good, I’m still trying to figure out if going for a visit is really worth it.
If only I could have the old Detroit back, then this wouldn’t even be an issue.
Photo Credit: Laughlin Elkind
This is a throwback post that I’m linking up with Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party.
It was exciting to go back and through my old blog posts. There’s nothing better than to see how much you’ve grown as a blogger, writer, author and, most importantly, as a mother. Admittedly, I cringed at most of my posts and wondered, “what was I thinking” when I penned a lot of them. Growing is what it’s all about, right? I’m progressing and I couldn’t be more proud of that accomplishment in itself.
Oh, yes I did! I called the local county sheriff on my teens. After weeks and weeks of constant and consistent bickering back and forth, it came to a head Thursday night.
My fifteen year old son and thirteen year old daughter got into a pushing match and that was the final straw! I separated them and when they decided to continue with the fussing, cussing, trying to get at each other, my last button had been pushed.
That was it! They’d clearly drawn the line in the sand, crossed it and the disrespect just blew by all boundaries!
Being newly moved to Texas, I don’t know the laws when it comes to disciplining children and I didn’t want to “catch a case” which is exactly why I called the LAW!
Need I say, they both were completely shocked and flabbergasted when they heard me on the phone with the 911 operator? I must admit, that move was quite surprising to me also. I never thought that I’d actually call the police on my own children. I’d threatened to do it many times before, when they’ve gotten into physical altercations with each other. I guess this time I finally followed through on my threat, huh?
Well, the oldest boy ran over to the clubhouse to call my mother (back in Detroit) while the oldest gal strutted around the place without a worry in the world. She only started panicking when I informed her that I’d called on BOTH of them, not just on the boy. I also told her, if I could have my way, they both were getting taken the hell out of here. Imagine her surprise!
By the time the officer arrived, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield had tucked themselves into their beds (as if that was going to keep the police from coming). The officer made both of them get up, had each of them explain what’d happened, he then went on to inform them that the State of Texas allows parents to discipline their children and I wouldn’t be breaking any laws if I knocked the hell out of them (my words). The cop looked around the room and pointed out that they didn’t need flat screen TVs, Xbox or Play station systems with the way that they were behaving. He gave them a stern warning and some great advice (about being brother and sister and sticking together). He declined to arrest either of them (unbeknownst to them he wasn’t going to anyway) on domestic abuse charges, but told them that he was going to keep record of the incident.
In the end, I’m glad that I called the police. By getting them involved, the teens see that I’m serious and am no longer bluffing. I also learned my rights as a parent in this state.
Bottom line is this: I’m not a referee. I’m not about to waste energy on trying to negotiate peace between these two any longer. I’m not doing it anymore! It’s too exhausting!
I’m hoping that the sibling rivalry has finally come to a head and that I won’t have to take such extreme measures again. I am keeping my trump card in my back pocket though, just in case I’m forced to use it again.
One way or another there will be peace in my home. They can do it the easy way or the hard way. The choice is absolutely theirs!
I’m happy to report that the teens have been getting along ever since this incident, nearly two years ago. It’s almost as if the sibling rivalry never even existed. Yeah, they still have little disagreements, but they never get so out of hand that I have to consider using my handy trump card.
Someone always takes the high road and will just walk away if it starts to get to out-of-hand. I’m so proud of them for learning from that embarrassing incident.
My plate of life is full. Better yet! My plate of life is BEYOND full!
It’s completely overloaded and I’m the only one pulled up to the table to consume the daily smorgasbord.
There are four children in my home. I have a hard head, girl crazed teen boy; a day dreaming nonchalant teen girl; a home schooling nine year who only wants to play all day; then there’s a firecracker, whining, gotta-have-my-way toddler. Oh! Lest I forget, we also have Dooney, the dog. Any logical person would agree that I have a lot going on, especially as the lone adult. Right?
Well, can someone please explain to me what in the heck would possess the hard head, girl crazed teen boy of mines to bring a puppy home, without my knowledge and definitely without my permission?
The puppy came over for a visit with the Biggest Boy’s friend and it’s been here ever since. The Biggest Boy gave me some long song and dance story about the puppy having no other place to go and yada yada.
It took some time, but he was finally able to appeal to my dog-loving side. I allowed the dog to stay the night, but told him that the dog has to go by mid-week.
Having a puppy here is like bringing a new baby home from the hospital. He’s not housebroken, so I’m constantly watching his every move to ensure he doesn’t potty on the carpets or floor.
I’m waking up in the middle of the night to take (or have the Biggest Boy take) him out to relieve himself.
Midday the Littlest Boy and I are taking lots of breaks so that this puppy can eat or go for a quick walk around outside.
Since Sunday I’ve come to adopt the lines, “This is NOT your room! This is NOT your room! This is NOT your home! You know this is not your home, right? Hey kids! You do know that this is not his home, right?” Similar to the infamous words of Tom Hanks’ character, Detective Turner in Tuner and Hooch.
Hmmm….he does put you in the mind of a young puppy Hooch, huh?
Nonetheless this is NOT his home!
Still trying to get my life back into the swing of things since the houseguests…..now this! Sheesh!
Remember when endless dreams and innumerable goals swirled around in your head, way back when you were the center of your own thoughts? Remember when you could put yourself first and not feel guilty about it? Remember when your life was carefree and you could come and go as you pleased? Do you remember…..
Like most mothers when I became a parent, my wants, dreams and desires were placed on the back burner. I’d transitioned into the devoted mother.
If there was something that I hadn’t accomplished by the onset of parenthood, I’d pretty much chalked it up to “it has to wait”, unless it was able to “get in, where it could fit in.”
No longer was it all about me and what I wanted, instead it became all about my little person/people. I completely lost myself and sight of the things that I wanted to accomplish, which is typical of most mothers. Parenting became my full-time job and my main focus. I didn’t have a single ounce of energy to spend on any of my wants. All of my energy had to go to my children.
I love my children no differently, I’ve just found a way to thoroughly raise them while having a life of my own and that I can enjoy.
Fact is, my two older children are teenagers and they demand less of my attention. Since they don’t need my being so hands on any longer, a significant amount of my time has been freed up. Instead of taking my newfound free time and investing it in my Little’s, I’ve decided to keep it for myself.
I know that probably comes across as selfish sounding, but I think it’s more like necessary.
I refuse to add anything new to my plate concerning children.
I’m not sure how I going to use my newly available free time. I do know that it’s reserved solely for me. Just knowing that I have my own open slot of time makes me happy.
It’s not required that we, as mothers, indulge all that we have and all that we are into raising our children, yet we do it. It’s been embedded in us that, unless we adopt this faux way of mothering then we’re somehow cheating our children out of a good childhood.
In my opinion, we’re during our children an injustice when we aren’t engaged in our own lives and when we aren’t pursuing our own dreams, while being their mother.
I came to this realization a long time ago and knew that I soon as I got the opportunity I’d take advantage of it! Truth is, I believe that we can have it all. What about you?
Have you found yourself drowned in motherhood and losing sight of yourself?
Today is the first day that my life is getting back into the normal routine and swing of things, after being on a five day hiatus. So much has been happening since Friday of last week that I’ve been unable to update my blog posts, reply to comments, pen anything to my novel or socialize much.
First, there’s this pressing issue that’s going on with the bus driver bullying my Biggest Gal. Turns out I’m not getting any help or cooperation from Katy ISD. Instead of being treated like the victim, we’re being disregarded, and that means I have to take further action. It’s something else for me to spend energy and time pursing, but it has to be done. Right is always right!
Saturday, I started searching for new themes for my blog. I need one that’s responsive and ”search friendly”. I think I may have finally plugged one in (after 4 days and I don’t know how many hours of searching). I want to get into Google Ad Sense or some other ad advertising and they require those two things. Hopefully after all of my hard work I’ll FINALLY meet the standards.
Moving on to Sunday, my neighbor, whom I’ve recently become semi-friendly with because my Littlest Boy plays with her son, had a fire breakout in her apartment. Like me, she’s from out-of-state and has no family here. I extended my home to her and her family for that night.
Well, see sent her two sons over, while her, her two daughters and boyfriend went to a hotel. Having two additional people in my quarters, is far better than six additional, so I was cool with that arrangement. There’s nothing wrong with being uncomfortable and out of element for one night, right?
Monday morning I woke The Big’s up and the neighbors two sons for school. Three got off to school perfectly, the younger boy (the playmate of my son)purposely missed the school bus, therefore I was forced to deviate further from my morning ritual to take him to school.
After school, instead of the mom picking her boys up from the bus, she called and asked if they could stay an additional night.
I sighed deeply before agreeing to another night.
To make a long story short, Tuesday morning I was successful at getting four kids out the door on time, but I was unable to locate the mom after doing so. I wanted to know what time she was coming to retrieve her children, post-school.
I texted her, call her, texted her again with no response!
I immediately started panicking. I had no idea what to do with two additional children. It wasn’t long before school ended. Before I knew it, night-time was upon us and there had been correspondence with the mom.
FINALLY, I reached the mom. She came and got her children (unapologetically) and she left.
Last night was my first night of getting back to normal, as was this morning and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I’m sure there’ll be many more times when I’ll have to extend myself, and when my daily routine will get interrupted and outsiders will invade my sacred sanctuary, but I’ll be there to welcome whomever with open arms. Doing what’s right will always trump my selfish side, but it won’t keep me from taking to this blog to rant all about it!
Today I am guest posting on Mrs. Mommy HH6 and I’m so honored. These days it’s all about easy breezy convenient crockpot meals, which is why I’m sharing a recipe that I found as a pin on Pinterest. This cheesy hamburger and potato meal is one of my kids top 5 crockpot meals! I hope that your family will enjoy this recipe as much as mines does. Crockpot: Cheesy Hamburger and Potato
Every second Thursday I will be featured on Ms.MommyHH6.com
Approximately a year and a half ago we discovered that my Biggest Gal has a natural gift of drawing. I’m still in awe of what she’s able to draw free hand and just from looking at a picture. Happy Wordless Wednesday!
The Creator Blesses us all with a Gift. What’s yours?