Monday, January 15, 2018

Hell Hath No Fury

Having written about raising my son now has me thinking about raising my daughter. Now, while my son was into everything and saw child safety-locks as a fun but simple challenge, my daughter, on the other hand, never got into things like that. She never touched things she wasn't supposed to, even as a baby. Case in point, I had two porcelain dolls that were so big they stood on either side of our mantle. She would crawl up and look at them. Yep, she’d just sit and stare at them, but she never touched them-not once!

She never got into poisons or medicines. The closest approximation to nearing my son was once, she wanted to help me clean the bathroom. I gave her a spray bottle of diluted Mr. Clean and water and a clean rag and showed her how to squirt the bathtub and rub it with the cloth. She liked the idea and got to “work”. Meanwhile I was cleaning the sink and I looked up often to check on her. Alas, she was still a child. The next time I looked to check, she was gone. I turned, only to find her squirting her baby brother’s bald head with the Mr. Clean and wiping it off, just as I had shown her with the bathtub. She said she was cleaning bubba. My heart stopped! I had to call Poison Control naturally, only to be reassured it was probably okay and had me check his breath and eyes and he turned out just fine. She really thought she was doing something helpful, and at this point, Poison Control had become very familiar with my son.

No, my daughter never got into things she wasn’t supposed to. She didn’t rebel, she didn't smoke or slack off in school. She never made bad friends. Oh no, those things were not her downfall. The only thing I ever wanted to strangle my own darling offspring over was - her temper. Oh, that girl has a temper! Imbued in that tiny little body of hers is a fiery, spirited temperament that Satan himself wouldn't cross. And it's all the worse because she normally looks like a little person-sized kitten. She’s all of five and a half feet tall, and weighs a hundred pounds soaking wet. She has big, soft green eyes, pixie features, high cheekbones, a heart shaped face, perfect little ears and a delicate nose. It looks like the angels themselves built her. Until you Piss! Her! Off!  At that point you begin to remember that the Devil was said to have started off as an angel too.

There is this scene in The Avengers when Hulk yanks Loki up by the ankles and smashes him over and over into the floor before discarding Loki and walking away mumbling “Puny god”.  This is my daughter.  A god would need all of its deific powers to stand against the anger in this child. Us mere mortals who had to raise her and be within arms-reach of her as she grew up into the delightful person she is now, stood no chance against the fire that brewed within my precious baby girl.  Fortunately she was never  sulky, she’d get pissed off at times only to let you know in no uncertain terms how she felt about you and the horse you rode in on, then she’d cool off and apologize if she was in the wrong. Indeed, raising the Keeper of The Gates of Hell makes you find the silver lining where you can.

Now that the teenage hormones have worked their way out of her system and she has grown up some, she has calmed down quite a bit; otherwise I'm sure she she would have honed her powers by now and taken over the world in a fiery rage.
I have to say though that no one has ever gotten away with trying to push this child around. She will take a certain amount of nonsense and usually she will take more than I would deal with.  She isn't a very confrontational person, but once you push her past her tolerance point, watch out. One can see it in her face. The steely metamorphosis begins: A calm, serene look settles over her features. It truly is a piercing countenance that can be scarier than any angry, yelling, screaming psychopath you'd ever encounter. A stillness settles over her that is downright unnerving. My only advice to anyone at that point is summed up in one word: Run. If you have chocolate on you try throwing it in one direction while you run in the opposite direction, but no matter what - RUN!

In all truthfulness though, I am crazy proud of my kids. They are really great people. Raising them may have aged me prematurely, but it also gave me the best laugh lines, the happiest memories, grey hairs of worry and ultimate reassurance. I wouldn't trade one stretch mark, one ounce of fat, one wrinkle or sag for the joy I got from having and raising my guys. Whether they were being daredevils or just plain devils, they are my life and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Have a great day, hug your kid, and remember this fun fact: A three year old boy’s voice is louder than two hundred adults in a crowded restaurant. True story.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Riding in (Flaming Race Cars) With Boys

While on Facebook today, I was reminded what a joy it was to raise a teenage boy. By joy I mean absolute terror filled, unbuckled ride in a flaming race car ride through life. It was by far the scariest thing I've ever done.

A mom was sharing pictures of her 14 year old male offspring who had managed to burn himself rather severely by taking a pot of boiling water and flinging the contents into the air to see if it would freeze mid-air in the cold weather.  Conclusion, it did not freeze and still came back down at the same temperature as it was when it went up.  Genius 14 year old spawn ended up scalded.  
This poor mother was begging someone to tell her that her son would in fact grow some brain cells and make better decisions than this one day.  I couldn't give her the comfort she so desperately sought - for I have raised a small penis-bearer from birth to adulthood and there is little hope.  I tried to soften the blow by telling her that when they turn 18 they at least become their own problem, legally.  There will still be those “Hold my beer” moments.

All I could tell her in my answer to her “When will he grow up” question was this:
“He won't... Ever! The good news is, they eventually turn 18 and become their own problem. Things my son did.
1. Arrow roulette - group of boys stand in a circle and one idiot stands in the middle with a bow and arrow. Said idiot shoots arrow straight up into the air and the other members of the idiot group watch it go waaaaayy up and try not to get hit when it comes plummeting back to earth. Idiots. Yes, we stopped them once we realized what they were doing.
2. Skateboarded off a chicken coop roof and gashed his arm open to the muscle and tendon. Required stitches.
3. Fell skateboarding, lost consciousness and had a seizure. Came home and told me a day later when he and his friends were laughing about it.
4. Purposely put 1 inch holes in his ears in the form of "gauges".
5. Punched a wall and crushed three hand bones when he hit a stud. Idiot needed surgery and pins in his hand for 8 weeks.
6. Went skateboarding down a steeply inclined paved road. Picked up so much speed that the board fishtailed and got away from him. That landed us in the ER with road rash on one half of his body, scalp stitches and a broken wrist. I learned two things that day.
A. My son is really bad at skateboarding and risk assessment and;
B. Idiots heal.”

Bless her heart, I didn't have the heart to tell her that this was all in his last few years before he turned 18. I didn't mention having to call the Poison Control Center on him five times as a baby because he got into EVERYTHING. I didn't mention him falling off the bunk-bed. I certainly did not mention him taking a boat into the middle of a lake even though he couldn't swim; and yes, he TOOK - as in stole some person’s canoe - AND went into the middle of a lake where he could have easily drowned. I found out about that one a couple of weeks later when he told on himself. I didn't tell her about seeing him walk out of the woods at me with a head-wound pouring blood down his face. He looked like an extra from The Walking Dead. My heart stopped! That was the day I found out how profusely tiny head-wounds and scratches can bleed. He thought it was funny. I immediately became an advocate to legalize pot for mothers.

Some things are just better left unsaid.

So, I have spent the day reminiscing over raising my kids, and especially raising my son.  He has absolutely been the joy of my life and the terror of my soul.  Im sure any grey hairs or wrinkles I acquire in my life will be 90% due to raising my son.  Sure, my daughter gave me 5-10% of them, but my son made me earn my stripes.  While I can laugh over the chaos he put me through over the years, I have to smile at all the love he gave me too. I could be ready to strangle that little pain-in-the-ass and he’d hug me and say “Mom, I love you” and my heart would just melt. And the thing I’m most proud of is that he turned out to be a good person. He may still scare me to death, you know, getting in a car wreck, flipping his car, and not telling his mother until after I saw him because he said he knew I’d freak out. Yes, this happened around Thanksgiving. And while I may have unleashed another goofball, man-cave dwelling, testosterone-driven Dude on the world, I have also unleashed a good man, a kind person, a beautiful heart.  I’m pretty proud of that. So, hold my beer and watch this...

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Auld Lang Syne or The Ugly Cry

It’s time to bid adieu to 2017. Looking back, it's been a year of change for me. I suppose if I had to sum up the year in one word, “Change” would be it. Most of it has been for the best and led to a lot of happiness. Some of it,however, was out of my hands and I simply had to learn to adapt. No matter what it was though, it has led me to growth and I’m thankful to have had that opportunity.

The first and most impactful change came at the very beginning of the year, January 23rd. That was when I Ieft my home in Virginia and moved back to Tennessee.  I didn't just leave my home, I left my son in Virginia - that broke this mama's heart! It didn't matter that he's an adult with his own apartment, I was still leaving my baby. I don’t care that he is a 6`5” sasquatch, he’s still my baby. I was leaving him all alone even though he has his grandmother and all of his friends and his job, to fend for himself - though he makes more money than I do - in a cold, cruel, foreign place  (he's lived in nearly all his life). Honestly, I really didn't handle that well at all; okay, Im still not handling it well, but it’s better. I think I did okay hugging him goodbye and locking the apartment door one last time. I did just fine outside on the lawn hugging him and giving him a kiss on the cheek and telling him goodbye again.  But honey, once I got in that moving truck I  watched in the rearview mirror as he got in his car. He was going to go to his new apartment while I would be going 4 hours away, it might as well have been 4000 hours away--this mama Lost. Her. Mind!

And now, The Ugly Cry.

The Ugly Cry. Quite suddenly your breath catches in your throat and you gasp as all the air in your lungs comes surging out of your body and that knot forms in your stomach like someone has just hit you. And you suddenly make this… sound.  It isn't crying, not yet, its that sound that Emma Thompson’s character, Elinor Dashwood, makes in Sense and Sensibility during the scene in which she discovers Edward is in fact, not married. It's a guttural moan, this emotional vapor- lock, and then the water works start. Your eyes immediately pour out more tears than you thought possible, like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon where the character’s eyes just turn into a water fountain. Your nose starts to leak, your face turns red, your eyes swell up, and your nostrils become so clogged that you just have to adapt to mouth-breathing for a while or give up oxygen entirely.  You finally inhale enough air to fill your lungs back up only to have it rush out again in another unholy sob.  This is not a dainty cry.  This is not a delicate moment. This is the Ugly Cry!

That is what happened when I saw my son drive off. Richy tried his best not to look startled and never once said out loud that he was pretty sure I had just lost my damn mind. It had to have been funny; I think it's funny now, but yeah, I was a wreck that day.

Another change that has made this year really wonderful is being able to live near my brother and his family.  Since neither my brother nor I managed to kill the other as children we have grown up and decided to get along just to spite our mother. I love having him close because that also means I get to see my nephew Gabe, and my nieces, Delia, Paisley, and Hensley.  I get to babysit the youngest of the girls pretty often which makes me remember things like birth control, but still, its all so much fun! Those kids have my heart and I know they know it.  

Adding to the list of changes, my Comcast bill went from $56 to $99 in less than a year. Really. From the end of January after the above mentioned move, when I had it installed, to December, (now), less than twelve months later it has increased over $40. There is no non-dish competition for them in my location, so god bless them, they saw a golden opportunity and bent us right over.  We have now cancelled our service and are sticking it to the man by splitting service with a neighbor.  Personally, I think neighbors should all do this.  Fit as many people as you can onto one modem and everyone splits the bill. I also like to believe racism doesn’t exist and unicorns are real. Let me live in my fantasy world.

No matter what changes this year has brought about, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am very grateful for the direction my life is headed in and for the people that surround me and participate in my world. I have so much love in my life that it would be selfish of me to complain of anything that happened this year, and that is the truth. Nothing was so bad that I couldn't make it through without Richy, or my parents, or my friends!

So, here's to you 2017! Thank you for giving me such love and heart. Thank you for letting the world know that #MeToo proved we were not alone. Thank you for a voice. Thank you for friends who never judge and love me no matter what. Thank you for weird art and the beginnings of self confidence. Thank you for teaching me lessons. Thank you for finding me. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It's Time for the New Year, New Me Lies

Well, a new year is upon us, and I am ready to start blogging again. I have healed and moved on so now it’s time to make irresponsible jokes and sexual innuendos once again.
Thank the gods, with the year in Hollywood and the Blob of Marmalade in the White House, I have plenty of material.  As you will read, most of my ideas though, come straight out of my absurd life.

For example, just the other day, my boyfriend, Richy, and I were leaning out of the upstairs bedroom window whistling at and talking to two adorable doggos down in the neighbor’s yard next door.  Richy started talking about how he wished he hadn’t missed out on buying that house. He really liked it and he wished had bought it when he had had the chance. Meanwhile, I’m still baby talking to the puppies (yes, even eighty pound dogs are puppies. I have no shame). He started talking about having met them once and he thought maybe his name was Tim, but he can’t remember her name.  Having only paid sportatic attention to my dear Richy, I leaned out the window and whistled at the adorable doggos and yelled down “Here Tim, here boy, come here”!  Richy just stared open mouthed at me for a moment before shaking his head and informing me he was talking about the people. Not the dogs. The dog is NOT, in fact, named Tim.  We assume so anyway.

Do I still love Shemar Moore you may ask? Absolutely as always. I have just decided to add another piece of bread in the form of Jason Mamoa and make myself a beefy man-sandwich.  I became aware of this Hawaiian god while watching Stargate: Atlantis with Richy.  Well, now he is Aqua-Man who I know nothing about except he has muscles twice the size of Atlantis Mamoa and he has this sexy eyebrow scar (yes, some idiot tried to pick a bar fight with this 6’3” moose) not to mention he’s dark and delicious. Oh, and he was Kahl Drago on Game of Thrones.  So yeah… I’m pretty excited about my new man-candy while remaining ever faithful to my original true love.

My offspring, Thing 1 and Thing 2, are now grown and out on their own.  My oldest is married and observing her discover her “life as a married woman” is both sweet and hysterically funny.  My youngest, however, is discovering things like paying bills, which he says, and I quote “Sucks”. This shows he has a firm grip on reality, and as a parent, you can’t really ask for more, so I’m pleased.  

Richy is my long suffering partner and significant other. He and I met through a mutual friend.  I often tell her I owe her one… and various other threats.  No, in all actuality, I’m really lucky to have this man in my life. We have been together a little over a year and he has made me so happy and apparently I make him happy, but I think he’s just drunk.  This last month I got sicker than I have ever been.  I got sicker than anyone has ever been and was basically bed bound for 19 days and I’m still so weak most of my day is spent on the sofa. This man has been such a great caregiver and so kind.  He works all day, comes home, cleans, makes a homemade dinner, makes sure im drinking plenty and have my medicines. He has helped me shower and wash my hair while I've been too weak to raise my arms.  He's done all this and only said out loud one time that he hates dishes. He really hates dishes.  He has been a trooper.  
Myself? I’d have strangled me a couple of weeks ago, honestly.  

I suppose that’s about it for today.  Nothing much, I know, just getting back in the habit of writing.  Maybe I will post this one, and maybe I won’t, we will see. If I do, thanks for reading. Tomorrow’s should be better, I hope so anyway.

And remember, banging your head against a wall burns 100 calories an hour. Really.

Monday, September 8, 2014

If you love someone, let them go. If they come back, they are yours. If they don't, they never were.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

This is a real downer

Writing this blog used to make me feel brilliant. Not that anything I had to say was particularly smart or witty, but because people chose to read it. I mean, when you think about it, the idea that I had any views at all was spectacular considering there are about 7 billion people on this planet, and many write books and many write blogs and I believe a lot of people write a little bit of something every now and then, and out of all of the things in the world to read a person would choose to take five minutes out of his or her day and read what I had to say. How amazing is that? There are tons of smart, funny, sophisticated writers in the world, but some people thought “Hey, I'm going to see what Theresa has to say today”. The idea of that always astounded me. When I started getting a few thousand page views, I felt like a total celebrity! It's silly, I know, but it always made me feel good. Also, I have met some wonderful people online and have very much enjoyed reading their thoughts and views and recipes and stories. So, why can't I get my act together and write like I used to?
Sometimes, there are things in life that happen, that are so bad, one begins to doubt their own soul. One major catastrophe in my personal life led to another which led to another, which led to yet another. So many bad things happened to my family in a span of about six months that it has made me question my judgment, my sanity, my heart and whether or not I am fit to be around other human beings. I am writing about this because I find it easier to write than to talk.
Talking is exhausting. Friends and family are so eager to talk about everything and every little detail. I don't enjoy talking anyway. I have begun to learn that from childhood on, when I talk, no one listens. I am either considered too stupid to know what I'm talking about or too unsophisticated to have anything worth listening to. It isn't anyone's fault, it's just the way I have always been perceived and probably always will. I'm not a person that jumps into a conversation feet first. I usually sit and listen for a long time before making any remarks, just so I am certain that I know what I'm talking about. I like to get a feel for the tone of the conversation and decide whether or not the group is receptive to new ideas or not. There are many times I have will be challenged in a view or a memory or an opinion. I like this very much unless I know that the person or persons I am speaking with are so firm in their beliefs that it will do me no good to share a different viewpoint. In those conversations I just have to say “Okay, you're right” and let it go at that. I have no idea why I have veered off onto this rabbit trail, I apologize.
My original point was, that talking can be tiresome and frankly, lately, I've been too lazy to put much effort into talking or anything else. Including this blog. I am so sorry to any person who has picked this to read today. I am writing on a Sunday, so I am hoping not very many people will be around to read this self indulgent entry.
I do want to get back to writing this on a daily, or maybe every other day basis to start with. It has brought me so much joy over the time I had faithfully worked on it. I got to laugh at my own ridiculous situations and it gave me something to be proud of.
Maybe that's what the matter is. I just don't feel proud of anything anymore. I feel like I let my family down and especially let my daughter down. I let myself down and I let down people I love more than I love myself. I have taken a positive step and gotten a therapist, and I'm hoping to get better soon. It's odd, I've even stopped looking in mirrors because I don't like what I see. That sounds terribly dramatic like something out of a Victorian novel, and my brain knows it's an absurd behavior, but when I try and look up for a second, I'm repulsed by what I see and I look down again. I plan on covering this in my next therapy session as I can't imagine people will be willing to be seen with me in public much longer, at least not without expecting a bribe.
What I mean to say is this: my next several posts are likely to be soppy and self absorbed and whiny and even angry. I have avoided writing because I wanted to avoid any posts like that. It's too hard for me to pop up with a cute post as if nothing were the matter and try to make myself laugh when I really am not laughing at all right now. I wrote on this blog everyday for so long, I feel like I was sharing my life with whoever reads this. I know I don't have to share everything in a public forum, but this blog has been a natural extenuation of my thoughts. So instead of stuffing my thoughts, I am going to write them out-loud, and share them and not worry about whether anyone is reading this or not. Eventually, I will get better and I'll find funny things again once I start leaving the house so that funny things can happen to me, and I'll share those things. And eventually I'll remember that life is really just a bunch of weird random snapshots that are generally silly and fun if you look at it the right way. I'll remember that and I'll laugh until I do that horrid snort that sometimes pops out. That will feel so good. I haven't snorty-laughed in so long that I don't remember the last time I did it. Until then, bear with me and if you continue to read, thank you for sharing this journey with me.

-T

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Grand Re-Opening!

Hello everyone! I have been out since February, because the heart had been burned out of me for a while by someone who I'd trusted for a decade of my life and my children's lives. I won't go into detail. I have been thinking so much about writing this blog lately though, and realized it brought me so much joy. I will not let that joy be removed from my life, so I am coming out of my half year of depression and anger to begin again. I have removed this Tiberius (see Suetonius' Life of Tiberius, in his Lives of the Caesars) from my life and it's high time I remove him from my brain. So, that being said, I hope you will bear with me through a few messy blogs until I get back in the habit of writing the less messy blogs you all seemed to like!
One thing I am excited to report is my not so new now, but new, apartment! I really love this place! It has beautiful nine foot ceilings, hard wood floors throughout except the hallway and is so much bigger than my old house! It's one of those giant homes they built in the early 1920's (I think) and it was converted into 4 apartments. I don't know that it would have qualified as a mansion back then, but if it was still one home, I have no idea what I would do with the other ¾ of the house. I suppose though, if I could afford this as one home, I could afford to fill it with all sorts of lovely antiques and stuff from Restoration Hardware. I know the bathroom is a funny thing to really like in a house, but I do love my bathroom! It still has the tiles from the '20's tiling the floor. It is that really small tile, maybe 1” x1” in white and bright blue, laid tile by tiny tile in there. It has 9 rooms and I have had a lot of fun decorating just as I please in it.
Yesterday I bought an older Crown Vic car from a taxi stand that is going out of business. I kind of hope they leave the taxi light on. I feel like Phoebe from Friends, driving around in a big taxi. Unfortunately it isn't yellow, but with the decals and the light, it should still be fun! I suppose if they take the light off, I'll have to remove the decals and go with the undercover cop car look. It'll be fun to freak out people on the interstate! Either way, it works great and I'm very happy to have paid cash for it and not have a car payment.
As a bonus, my wonderful best friend, Kandi, came in last night and gave me an impromptu early birthday party! I got balloons, cheese cake with candles, the strangest assortment of gifts ever, and she brought the best props! We put on fake mustaches and took pictures (she looks like Charlie Chaplin)! We had chalkboard signs and wrote weird messages on them and took pictures of each other; at one point we smeared our eye makeup down our faces and wrote Why Me in a thought bubble above our heads. We watched the Betty White show, the old black and white one, about a day in the life of Elizabeth! That was just genius! We had a lovely dinner from a place called Fatz, and I think the waitress was the best part of it, really. We stayed up until 5:30 this morning doing this stuff, acting like we were 15 years old again! It was great, though I realized I am getting too old for this all night party stuff!

Think of Waldo's parent's, they must be worried sick.