Monthly Archives: November 2012

Teenagers

Ugh, teenagers. It’s all I really have to say. But at the same time it really says it all. I am trying to keep my head, but today I lost it with my 16 year old. Yes, she’s 16 already. When I started this blog I would write about the crazy tween years. And I erroneously believed that we were going to sail through the teen years. I guess because this kid has never been easy, I thought it would be okay. I thought we could handle it, cause after all we’ve been parents for 16 years now and we’ve handled it before.

And she’s given us some doozies. There was the birthday party, was it 5th grade? or 4th grade where they all got naked and compared body parts. I had to spend the next day calling parents and apologizing and explaining that apparently I was in the next room. And it might have just been considered some pre-adolescent…I think it was 3rd grade….curiosity, but there were girls who were extremely uncomfortable and felt pressured. I still cringe thinking about it.

There was the time that she gave someone the finger, because she was showing someone how long the nail on her middle finger was. It was kindergarten and the teacher wanted to know how come she didn’t know what that meant. I guess I’m out of touch because I just kept wondering how many kindergartners knew what giving someone the finger means. BTW, the teacher didn’t see it, some little girl told on her. So, really who was the weird kid here?

There’s the fact that people give her clothes and create jobs for her because somehow she has led everyone to believe that we’re dirt poor and can’t provide for her. That one is still raw and we’re still dealing with it. One person even bought her a plane ticket so she could visit her grandmother in Chicago. Cringe, again.

So the fact that I want to rip my hair out this morning because this child who I raised to be polite and considerate, compassionate and sweet is anything but when it comes to me and I’m at the end of my rope. She is the perfect child around everyone else, but around me she’s a holy terror. And her jabs hurt a lot more than one would think.

So, today I’m fed up, I’m tired and I’m frustrated. I’m sick of every morning in the car being a battle of wills or sullen silence. I’m tired of starting my day with that energy. I’m tired of how it affects my youngest who IS still sweet and loving and compassionate. Oh, yeah LOVING. I raised her to be loving, but I think I’ve given up on that one until she has kids of her own.

BUT, having said all this I have learned a lot from my elders. I know that this is a phase, because all of my friends who have grown-up kids say it is. I know that she’ll come back because all of my friends’ kids did. I know that when she figures out who she is and what this world holds for her she will have to battle against me less. She’ll just battle in life less.

I have to believe these things. And I have to remember that is far worse to be her than to be me right now. I have to learn to take it all less personally.

So, I don’t have a lot of words of wisdom, I just have a lot of ranting and venting. I don’t have energy for pictures or other cool media. I’m out of energy. It’s 9:22am.

Between the two blogs I’m writing everyday for NaBloPoMo and some days I think it’s just going to be a little less spectacular than others. This is today. It’s only Tuesday and I want to sell my kids.

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

The Best Halloween

This year we did Halloween right. It’s been quite a few years since I really felt/ believed/had the right to say that. It wasn’t the biggest most extravagant holiday ever. It wasn’t the fake, store bought costume that G begged for. We did have three weeks of baking/decorating/parties. But it was the best for a long time. Now, Halloween is my favorite holiday. As a kid I used it as an excuse to do the things my parents didn’t want me to do….wear fake red nails, don high heels, etc. When I got to college I was suddenly shy and didn’t really do much but use it as an excuse to drink, but when I had kids? All bets were off. And sometimes we didn’t do as well. L  remembers the year she was a kitty for Halloween. Fondly. It was the year my husband and I broke up and I was completely distracted and bought her a headband with ears and a tail and she wore a black turtleneck and black leggings. But it was the one time I caved and bought her a store bought Halloween costume-or at least parts. So the lesson there was clear, but I didn’t learn it. I didn’t realize that you want what you want and despite all my best efforts other years all this perfection-oriented kid wanted was to fit in and have store bought pieces parts. I also didn’t realize till right now that it was the last holiday that we lied to her. We all went trick or treating together and acted like everything was fine. Even thought it wasn’t. This year was good for all of us for totally other reason. My ex and I got along and when I was distracted this year and told him that we needed a costume he came through. It was a rush job, but he sewed a Jedi costume that was beautiful. (Okay I should probably stop here and explain that we didn’t actually break up then. Well, we did. We ended up, three years later, getting back together. And that’s how G calls my ex Daddy even though it would seem we broke up years before he was born. Because we did.) But back to the story….It was ASAP because G’s school told the parents last minute that the kids could wear costumes to Fall Fest TWO weeks before Halloween and only ONE week before Fall Fest. We were in a scramble. It was last minute because the principle hates Halloween, but the PTO and the teachers finally convinced her to let the kids wear them to Fall Fest. Not the actual day, but it’s a start. So I was in a mean place when I complained and yelled that he never helps, but he came through and I’m completely grateful because G got to be what he really really wanted to be and he felt great and he looked great and that’s half the battle of Halloween. The other factor that made Halloween great was  that thanks to the bitchy-Halloween-hating principle G had his costume two weeks early and got to wear it everywhere. He wore it to the hippie neighborhood preschool’s annual Halloween Fundraiser where I ate gluten and sugar and left with a headache, but it was a happy headache. And then when Halloween finally arrived he wore it downtown for the march up Mass St for the merchant sponsored Halloween Trick or Treating extravaganza. We got to see faces we hadn’t seen in months and wave at a few everyday faces. Then he wore it to Pet World’s Haunted House. Let me just say, if you’re a Lawrencian and you’ve never done it, it’s awesome! It’s a fundraiser for The Humane Society earlier in the week, but we didn’t know about it then. We went on Halloween night and it was free and not at the pet store, but at someone’s house. I don’t have great night vision so I didn’t go in. In hindsight I should have because while I’m the bitchy/strict/screeching parent most times, during any holiday I’m the fun parent. We got there before 7, which was when it was supposed to be the age appropriate time, but both G and the ex came out very quiet and looking a little white. He wore it later in the evening for neighborhood Trick or Treating.  I live in an older part of town with big old houses and towering trees. It was the perfect night for Halloween. Our first block was dead and because it’s Lawrence it’s full of old hippies who were dressed as Jimi Hendrix and were drinking wine on the porch. I’m new, but I heard once they know you they hand out beers to the adults. And if we missed a house someone would chase us down with their bowl of Twix, Kit Kat and Snickers. Good candy. Not the cheapo stuff and sometimes there were full sized bars and sometimes they made him take two or three. After two or three blocks I walked back home to put the pizzas in the oven. I almost burned the house down, but that’s a different story. I made pizza and the boys showed up and we ate and we laughed and we told G about the candy, cause he’s a yogi’s kid and doesn’t know a lot about candy and he’s only six so he hasn’t experienced a lot in the world yet. He ate a full-sized Snickers and thought it was pretty good. G crashed pretty hard that night. But, then so did I. I don’t remember our bedtime stories or the songs we sang. It’s hard work being on your best behavior. There were so many times any one of us could have been catty or decided we didn’t want to go along with the group or any number of things could have come up from our past. But it was a peaceful and fun night. And the lesson we all learned that mid-week Halloween night is that our good behavior pays off. By remembering to bite my tongue, even from the little jabs that are so often conversation in our family we had a great/meaningful/fun time. We learned that being together is better than not, even if there’s no longer a marriage that binds some of us. Together we are a family. We may be a funny looking family. I have a new love. And my ex was my first love. Those two thing are true together. I’ve had another love in between. My kids have learned to look at many sources to find guidance/role models/love. There are others that parent our kids, many that care about them and lots that love them. It’s a blessing. And that’s what made it the best Halloween ever