Category Archives: mom

Focus 52: "May Flowers"

No.  Really.  No “May Flowers.” 

Did you all truly think I was kidding last week?

Here’s your “May Flower.”  Deal with it. 

I am too delirious right now to comprise a post.   Do you want suckage…or would you rather have me back, fully rested and raring to go? 

Yes, that’s what I thought.  So um, in the meantime…hope all you Momsicles out there had a Happy Mother’s Day.  I personally got $100 in DSW gift certificates which is the retail equivalent of 5 orgasms.  So, happy shoe shopping for me.  Got PJ’s.  Got jewelry.  Got candles.  Got flowers. (yes, I could have taken a photo of those for “May Flowers” and been perfectly safe in doing so.  So what?  I just thought of that just now…and NOW, I am pressed for time.  Fuck it.)  Got Glee CD’s and DVD’s.  Got gift certificates for Ross.  Got a big damn fat assed cake. 

Most of all, I got laid.  Awesomely, supremely laid.  The Hotband busted out some moves, circa us…1999.  Threw down the PIPE, dudes.  Rocked it out.  Word!  And that is what got me into this whole “Mother’s Day” mess in the first place…so I suppose there is some poetic justice in that. 

Just would have been nice to have had some new shoes up on his shoulders.

Ah well, that’s what next weekend is for.

Overall, a nice weekend that included my baby boy, my big girl, my son in law, and my grandbabies.  Truthfully, what more could a girl want?

Well, shoes…but again, that’s what next weekend is for.  Oh, and another Israeli missile lodged in my bunker of love.  And THAT, is what right now is for…which is why you got this lame ass post.

I do have priorities you know.

Peace, Bitches.  xoxo

Focus 52: "Aged"

The sultry redheaded, Raquel Welch lookalike you see in that yellow car next to the little girl…is my mother.  Well, it is my mother circa 1975.  The chubby kid with the stringy hair flying all over the place?  That’s me.

This photograph was taken at Disney World in 1975 by some guy who was dating my mother at the time.  I know he who was, I just don’t care to talk about him.  Any way, the reason for this photo is to remind myself that, once upon a time, my mother was a very vibrant and alive person.  She used to have fun.  She used to allow herself to let her hair down and enjoy herself. 

It was very difficult being her daughter once upon a time.  She was a traffic stopping beauty.  Literally.  Men would get out of their cars in Midtown Manhattan just to watch her walk by.  And of course there would be chubby me, braces, glasses, stringy hair and the occasional zit huffing and puffing alongside her, trying to keep up with her long-legged stride.  I remember distinctly the catcalls.  Men would hoot and holler at her as she would walk by.  She would just toss a playful glance over her shoulder, wave in a coy fashion and then, look down at me. 

“Men are very silly creatures, CP,” she would say.  “You will find out just how ridiculous they can be, once your boobs fill in.”

Then, she would laugh which in turn, would make me laugh.  I was always in awe of her though.  She was incredibly beautiful, very smart, a savvy businesswoman and never lacking for a boyfriend who would wine her and dine her.   She always made them pay for a babysitter.  (“If he wants to take you out, CP…you make sure he takes care of your kids, too.  If he wants to see you that badly, he will have no issue with that.”)  She would make them pick up a pizza or some Burger King for me and my brother. (“If I am going to go out with you tonight, I don’t have time to cook for my kids.  Bring them over some take out.”)  And, very rarely did she let these guys into our apartment after they would drop her off from a date. (“Don’t give away the milk, CP.  Always let them buy the cow.”) 

I never really got what that last one meant, because she said it all ass backwards all the time.

Anyway, watching her grow up as a single woman in the 70’s helped me to grow up somewhat cool, confident and self assured.  My mother was far from the best mom on the planet.  She had her issues, for sure.  But, what she did do was give me little life lessons all the way through, reminding me that while I may not look a certain way now, at 9 years old, I would have the rest of my life to grow into the woman I want to be.  Don’t rush it.  Don’t push it.  Stay a kid as long as you can…because you get to be a woman for the rest of your life.

She made me a very confident woman.  While my friends were struggling with their self-esteem, mine was large enough to require me to sleep in a double bed just to accommodate my ego.  While my girlfriends were always worried about being too fat, too thin, too short, too tall…those things never entered my universe.  I was always very confident, very self assured and well, perhaps a little full of myself.  I think my personality came from trying to emulate that woman that I would walk alongside in Midtown Manhattan.  She always looked like she was on stage, performing for the masses.  She walked like a supermodel–chin lifted, eyes up, that red mane of her blowing in the breeze.  She would toss her hair around now and then, raise her face up to the sun and smile.  She was brimming with self assurance and I was dying to play that role. 

I played it so well…that I became it. And now, it is who I am.  Self assured, confident, loving myself, my body and my life despite its flaws. 

So, why this picture for the Focus 52: “Aged” prompt? 

Because, I am now the age my mother was then.  I have aged.  She has aged.  The memory has aged.  This photograph has aged. 

This past weekend, we were all on a cruise ship together.  She scarcely wanted to do anything or go anywhere.  She was so tired all the time.  Worn out.  Her confident strut turned into a little more than a limp and a shuffle when she walked.  During the trip, she took notice of my 5 inch high heels and shook her head.  She said to me, “You are so funny, the way you strut instead of walk.  You look like a supermodel when you walk…like you are running the show.”

And I couldn’t help but laugh to myself…and wonder, if she only knew that my training in life came from running with short little legs alongside my beautiful red haired mother on the hard concrete streets of Midtown Manhattan, all those years ago. 

Update on the Nick thing…

Read Part One here.

As of this writing, the Principal still had not read my letter. “Too many emails”, he said to my husband via phone. He assured my husband that our concerns were already addressed.

Excuse me?

Apparently, and bless this child, one of Nick’s friends went to the Principal himself. He told him the story, how Nick was berated in front of the team and that he felt “scared” not only for Nick, but for the potential that someday, he too might be on the receiving end of this ridicule.

As relayed to my husband, the Coach was called into the Principal’s office. He was, in fact, reprimanded for not only chastising my son and encouraging the team to do likewise, but for leaving the school grounds…abandoning my son from any adult supervision while still on campus.

And yet, despite the fact that it was “handled” and my husband happily reported this to me, I still felt like it wasn’t quite enough. At 3:30 today, I went to pick my son up from school. In some sort of kismet, the Principal happened by. I felt this overwhelming urge to talk with him, knowing full well I would only be reiterating what my husband had already said. Still, it was necessary for me to have this man look into the eyes of this mother, this mother of a very precious child and have him tell ME that this matter has been taken care of.

I approached him and said, “I am Nick *****’s mother.” Nothing more needed to be said. He invited me to sit alongside him on a bench in the garden area as opposed to pulling me into his cold and uninviting office where he would be behind a desk. He patted my hand and said, “Mrs. CP, I am so terribly, terribly sorry that this happened to your son.” He paused. He allowed me to process the sincerity of this statement. My eyes never wavered from his. It was not an awkward silence, but rather, a deep commiseration between two parents. He then said, “I was absolutely livid to hear that the Coach decided to make a spectacle of your son. I called him into my office earlier in the day and told him that while Nick may have the appearance of a man, he is still a child. He is a confused adolescent who made an error in judgment. He was already punished for his actions. What you did was reprehensible. Instead of berating that boy, you should have gotten the team to support him with words like ‘we’re here for you, Nick’ and ‘hey man, everyone messes up. We’ve got your back. It’s going to be okay.'”

And then, Dear Readers, I cried. Not outward sobbing, because my son was standing a few feet away and I refuse to let him see his mother break. Rather, the tears rimmed my eyes and then slid slowly down my heated cheeks.

“He was broken yesterday,” I muttered almost inaudibly. “You didn’t see him. You didn’t see the look on his face and the pain in his eyes.”

“No,” he replied. “I didn’t. But I know your boy. He’s a good, honest and loyal child. I told him that if I were ever in trouble, I would want him on my team. Your son is not mean. He is not a liar. He is a good person and I am so sorry that a member of my faculty hurt your boy in this way.”

We chatted for a few moments more. When we stood up to leave, he walked over to my son and placed an arm around him.

“I promise you, it will be okay from now on.”

“Um, alright,” said Nick, trying to maintain his teenage cool level and likely, hoping to God that no one just bore witness to the Principal giving him a hug.

When the Principal left, I sat down with my son on the same bench.

“You know I love you, right?”

“Yeah, Mom. I know.”

“And you know that I only want you to have three things in your world. To be safe. To be happy and to always feel loved. Do you have those things, Nick?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t care if you play ball, Nick. That is not what makes me proud of you. What makes me proud of you is that you are a good person. Your artwork? That makes me proud. Your guitar playing? That makes me proud. Hell, even when you level up on your video game, that makes me proud too.”

“Uh huh.”

“Want to go shopping for some new shorts and stuff?”

“Nah. I think I’m just gonna go to Dad’s house tonight. Is that okay with you?”

“Of course it is.”

“Cool.”

“Nick?”

“Yeah?”

“I really do love you.”

“I know, Mom. I know.”

And with that, I watched him get into his Dad’s car and drive off the campus. I sat on that bench for a long time, just staring off into the distance. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the emotions in me at that moment, only that love was the prevailing one. I would die for my kids. I would take a bullet to the brain for both of them. I would cut off my own arm using a butter knife if it meant them never feeling another ounce of pain in their lives.

Of course, that will never happen. He’s going to feel pain again someday. Someday, some kid will harass him. He will get his heart broken by the love of his life. He will lose a friend. Down the road, he will lose a parent. He will know heartbreak no differently than any of us do. But for now, in this little bubble of time, I am here with him to make sure that the pain assuages easily and quickly.

It’s all any of us can ever do for our babies.

When Mother Bears attack…

I am absolutely livid right now. If you read my earlier post, you will see that I am trying, VERY HARD, to reach a state of zen in my life. Yet, as life has it, that is not always possible. Things happen that pull me out of my happy place and make me have to get on the defensive. Nothing will do that more than the need to protect and defend my children.

Recently, my son was suspended from school. Mind you, he has NEVER been in trouble before. My son is a good kid for all intent and purpose. He is a class clown, certainly (he gets that from mom) and has definitely had his share of disciplining at the hands of his teachers, but never before has he done something like he did last week.

Apparently, one of his moronic friends made a Facebook page about hating a certain teacher and encouraging people to become “fans” of the page. My son got involved with the discussions about the aforementioned teacher and said some pretty heinous and vulgar things about this woman. While I was definitely taken aback by what he said…I also know that children say and do things around their friends that they would not normally say or do. They also tend to say and do these things on Facebook feeling like they have a protected outlet in which to speak their minds. A few kids printed out the page and showed it to the principal of the school. My son and a couple of other boys were suspended. Now, I don’t necessarily feel it is the school’s job to suspend my son for saying these things on Facebook any more than I feel it would be appropriate for me to get fired from a job for saying hateful things about my boss. However, they wanted to teach him a lesson…and I felt the punishment fit the crime. He missed “Grad Night”, a trip to Busch Gardens that all the kids moving up to the high school got to participate in. My son was hurt and saddened by that. It was a harsh thing to lose…but, you play, you pay. However, something took place at his school today that absolutely INCENSED me and prompted me to write the following letter to his principal:

Dear Mr. [Principal’s Name],

I am writing this letter to you to express my utter dismay and disgust at an incident that took place yesterday prior to football practice.

Apparently, my son was placed front and center in a semi-circle of his teammates and was allowed, by his coaches prompting, to be abused and ridiculed with regard to his recent suspension.

Now, I do know that sometimes stories are exaggerated, but it is my understanding that Coach O. (name omitted) asked the team if anyone had “anything to say” to Nicholas. In that little meeting, Nicholas was called “malicious” and “disgusting” by a young man named S. (name omitted). He was told that he “speaks without thinking first” by someone named N. (name omitted) and various other taunts were hurled in his direction throughout practice by other boys as well. All this while the coach looked on and dare I say, encouraged it by asking if anyone had anything to say.

Well, Sir…I have something to say. My husband and I were ASSURED by you that after this incident that led to Nick’s suspension, Wednesday would bring a “clean slate” and that everything would be just as it was before. To have these boys ridicule and hurl insults at my son for his mistake makes these children AND the Coach NO BETTER than my son for the terrible thing he said online. What kind of lesson is that to teach a young boy? He was already kept out of school and away from what would have been the greatest night of his eighth grade career. He was hurt and upset about it and believe me, full of remorse for his actions. He received several phone calls from “friends” during Grad Night…all taunting him with “hey man, you should see what you’re missing…ha ha ha!” Needless to say, he was forced to learn a very hard lesson. However, I think he has endured QUITE ENOUGH.

I have kept my mouth shut about some of the inappropriate things I hear Coach saying. I figure, alright…he’s just being a pal with a group of teenage boys. However, I now think he has taken this just a little too far. This is no better than hazing or bullying or for that matter, any better than the infraction that my son committed. He refused to come home yesterday after practice, excusing himself to the bathroom. I actually had to search the campus to find him at 7:45 pm. I called Coach O. in a panic because I had not heard from my son and it is not like him to not call me when he is done with practice. Nick told me that he excused himself to the bathroom after practice and was physically sick, vomiting from the embarrassment and the stress. He went to bed last night near tears and wanting to quit the team because they keep telling him he’s a “bad kid” and “no good”.

Nicholas is NOT a bad kid. He is a 14 year old child that made a stupid mistake. This was something that was very out of character for my son. It was a one time incident. He has NEVER spoken to an adult with disrespect or disdain before. I am NOT going to have him go to school everyday with the threat of being bullied and ridiculed. That is NOT acceptable to me on ANY level, Sir. You assured my husband on Friday that, after this punishment, no further repercussions will be put upon Nicholas. Then, may I suggest you reign your Coach in and get him on board with your plan. My son is feeling hurt and ashamed. He could barely look me in the eye last night. He said this was the “worst day of (his) life”. He is usually an open and outgoing, loving and fun child…and last night he was sullen, somber and barely a fraction of the kid he usually is. He ate dinner and went straight to bed and that is not like my son.

Do you realize that children cause themselves physical and emotional harm over things like this? That sometimes the taunting and teasing gets so overwhelming that they feel like there is only one way out? Surely you read the papers as I do. You’re a long time educator. I don’t think I need to draw you a picture of the horror stories that come out of things like this.

I heard a LOT of chest thumping at the football meeting a few weeks back…things along the lines of “I own your son, I will make him a warrior”. Newsflash. “I” OWN my son and I will not have him brow beaten and ridiculed into submission. These are children. This is football. It is a GAME…not a punishment. He is sad, hurt and dare I say a little afraid of what tomorrow is going to bring. He even implied that he had a fever…and that his asthma was bothering him, likely with the hope that I would keep him home from school today.

That said, if I hear one more time that my son has been bullied or ridiculed at the prompting of ANY of your staff members, rest assured that I will take this to the highest possible authority that I can and see to it that it is rectified once and for all.

You assured my husband that my son would be safe and nothing further would come of this. I expect you to be a man of your word.

Please call my husband to discuss this matter further as I just don’t feel I can have a civil conversation with the staff of {School Name} right now.

You can reach him at ***-***-**** after 11 am as he is on the Pacific Coast.

Thank you,
CP.[name omitted]

I did the very best I could to be civil. My son asked me not to say anything about this incident to the Principal or the Coach. However, I feel in my heart that to stay silent would be akin to condoning the behavior of the coach. I am so damn angry right now that I am actually pacing the floors. Livid. Certainly, what my son did was wrong. I get that. However, standing him up before his teammates and allowing them to take pot shots at him for what he has already been punished for is WAY out of the scope of acceptable to me. WAY out.

I have read so many horror stories in the past year of children killing themselves because they have fallen prey to bullying. While we grown ups are able to say “this was just a bad day. Tomorrow will be better…” it is a little harder for children to put that into perspective. School and their friends are their world. They can’t see beyond that to the bigger picture. I will not lose my son to the statistics of teenage bullying. I will not let this damage his normally wonderful self-esteem. I could not, in good conscience, let this go in silence.

Right or wrong, it had to be said.

All I know is that I have my little boy, sleeping in the next room, trying desperately to be a good kid and thinking that he is failing miserably. And that, my friends, is simply unacceptable.

And it breaks this mother’s heart.

Just when you think it’s safe to smile…

something happens that just knocks the wind out of your sails.

Four hours ago, I was the happiest woman alive. My husband is home from California. My son is here. My daughter stopped by to visit with my two beautiful grandchildren. We laughed, had dinner together as a family; something we haven’t been able to do much of since my daughter moved to her own home a few months ago.

I remember the absolute angst that I felt the day she moved out of my home with her husband and her daughter. Sure, they were only moving one town away, but never in 22 years have my daughter and I not lived under the same roof. When she left, the house dynamic changed. It lost a lot of life. My daughter is my shining star and that beautiful little girl she brought into my life only made my daughter that much more of an indelible force in my world. Now we are both mothers, together. Just another bond that keeps us close. Yes, I have an amazing son. He’s bright, funny and a really good kid. I love him like mad. But, ask most mothers and usually they can all agree on one thing:

The bond you have with your daughter is like no other.

So, imagine my surprise, when after dinner my daughter informs me that her husband is getting a promotion. A big promotion. One that means they are going to have to relocate.

To New York. New York. 1200 miles away.

It might as well be another planet.

I drew in a breath as though I had been kicked in the gut. Things in my body that I never knew existed started to ache. Pain. Pain that I have not felt before in my life literally surged through me. My baby girl is leaving me in Florida while she and her family move to New York. Her family. MY family. My grandbabies. My precious, beautiful grandbabies are no longer a fifteen minute drive away. There will be no more cuddling on demand. No more kisses goodnight. No more picking up my granddaughter from daycare, watching with absolute joy as she runs towards me with her arms outstretched, reaching for me.

And my grandson. Dear God, my grandson. Not even two weeks old yet. He will never know me from anything other than a photograph. I will be a stranger to him when I go to visit. I’ll miss Liam’s first words. His first steps. His first everything.

I won’t be there for Sadie’s first day of pre-school. Dance recitals.

My head is absolutely reeling right now. I feel numb, dead inside. I am walking around like a zombie. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that my children are going to be in New York while I am in Florida. I can’t fathom it.

And there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. Nothing.

I thought that in my 42 years on this planet, that I have experienced heartbreak. I was wrong. Nothing has felt like this. Not even the loss of my son 14 years ago felt like this. Does that sound melodramatic? Perhaps to some, it might. But right now, I feel like I am losing my daughter. Losing her. Losing Sadie. Losing Liam. They won’t be here for holidays. For birthdays. She will not just “drop by” after work anymore. Our entire mother/daughter experience will rely on phone calls and emails. They will probably come rapid fire at first…and then, with time, they will probably whittle down to weekly. She will be busy with her babies and her husband making their new life in New York. She won’t have time for dear old mom anymore.

My grandchildren won’t know me. I’ll be a photograph hanging from a refrigerator magnet, just like my mother is on mine.

My first knee jerk reaction was to tell her how selfish this was. How can you take my babies away from me? How can you just leave like that after living in my home with your husband for three years? I felt betrayed. I felt used. And then, I felt the anger turn to pain. Then, pain into sorrow.

I want the best for my daughter and her husband. I want them to have opportunities that my husband and I have not had. What parent doesn’t want better for their children? I apologized to her for my initial reaction. I told her it came from a place of fear, not anger. The fear that I was being left behind. They don’t need me anymore. They are branching out on their own, leaving the proverbial nest. I should feel some joy knowing that I have prepared her well for this…but all I can feel is sadness.

Watching my granddaughter playing in my living room tonight was painful. I won’t have this anymore. Liam was curled up in his baby bouncer. Sadie came over to him and patted his head gently. She gave him a kiss. She said “Hi Baby” and then threw her arms around me for a big hug.

And I just broke down in hysterics. Literally heaving sobs.

My babies are leaving me and I don’t know what to do. I simply don’t know what to do. How can I just stand here and watch them leave?

My daughter. My first born. My heart and soul.

I don’t even have the words to tie this post up into a neat little package. My world completely flipped upside down in the course of an hour.

How do you say goodbye to the very thing that makes you want to live?