This Is Why I Blocked You On Facebook

This post is just too much fun not to reblog on my site!
Enjoy!
Erin Cooper Reed

mylifeiswear.com

It has taken me most of my adult life to get to the point where my three teenage sons have accepted my friend requests on Facebook.

I’m not sure if this is a major victory or a daily reminder of my greatest defeat. Tonight my son Rocky posted a heartfelt message that went something like this:

“Idk how people can just kick friends and family out of there life’s over stupid things. I fear losing the people around me more than I fear death.  I could never do it.”

To which I replied on his Facebook page.

It’s their lives, not there life’s. Just sayin.

Rocky immediately sent me a private message:

“This is why I block you from my Facebook.” 

What can I say? I am a writer and I want my children to learn proper grammar. Is that too much to ask?

Maybe so.

Actually, there are plenty…

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NEVER Go To The Department Of Motor Vehicle When You’re PMSing!

Two days…

Two different Motor Vehicle locations…

And two attempts at getting Kevin his road test for his drivers license.

I can’t even bring myself to relive day one and today’s visit was just a fiasco.

We had a 9 a.m. appointment and arrived early at the DMV.

Our visit required a copy of my registration and insurance so Kevin would be able to drive my car for the road test.

Simple enough.

I grabbed a copy of my registration and most current insurance card from the glove compartment (Where I have never in my life kept any gloves, just sayin…) and we headed inside past the droves of people waiting in a long line, in front of the building.

I could already feel my blood pressure going up.

It was at least 20 minutes before we were able to check in and make our presence known.

Eventually, a DMV employee asked for my registration and insurance card. I handed him the paperwork. He walked away and I sat as my paperwork was passed off to another employee, then to yet another.

We waited…

And waited.

Finally the original DMV employee, who I had handed the paperwork to, returned.

Mr. DMV: “Ma’am, your registration is expired.”

Me: “No, it isn’t. My registration is paid and current.”
Mr. DMV: “The registration that you gave has an expired date. I highlighted it for you.”

Me: “Well, I must have forgotten to put the new one in my car.”

Mr. DMV: “You know you’re supposed to have your current registration in your vehicle.”

Me: “Of course I know that, but life is busy and my registration IS current!”

Mr. DMV: “We’ll have to reschedule.”

Me: “Reschedule? What for? Why can’t you just check the status of my registration in your computer… I mean, this is the DMV!”

Mr. DMV: “You’ll have to stop talking when I’m talking.”

Me: “I’m not. This is just ridiculous!”

Mr. DMV turns to the two other men who hand handled my paperwork. “Did either of you check this registration in the computer?” He asks, as both men shake their head, no.

Finally, Mr. DMV hands my paperwork back to one of the men behind the counter.

The man fumbles at the computer keyboard.

“Her registration is valid!” He shouts over, so we can hear.

Me: “That’s what I told you.”

Mr. DMV: “You need to purchase a copy of the current registration. It’s twenty dollars.”

Me: “Fine.” I sputter, as I pull my check book out of my purse and write a twenty-dollar check. for a single printed copy of my registration.

I hand Kevin my car keys in preparation for him to take his road test.

And we wait…

And wait.

Mr. DMV approaches us and says, “This isn’t the correct copy of your insurance card.”

Me: “What do you mean this isn’t the correct copy of my insurance card? It’s the most recent one that I have! It just came in the mail!”

Mr. DMV: “This says August 2017, its July 2017. I need the card for July.”

Me: “I don’t have the card for July. I have had the same insurance company for five years and I have insurance! Obviously they wouldn’t send me the new insurance card if my insurance wasn’t current. It’s current, just like my registration is current!”

Mr. DMV: “We need the card for July or we’ll have to reschedule.”

Me: “Can I call my insurance company and have a copy of the July card faxed here?”

Mr. DMV: “We don’t accept faxes.”

Me: “Isn’t that accommodating? What if I go to the closest office store and get a faxed copy of my July insurance card and then come back?”

Mr. DMV: “You’d have to do it by your appointment time for the driving test.”

Me: “THE APPOINTMENT TIME FOR THE DRIVING TEST WAS AN HOUR AND TEN MINUTES AGO!”

Mr. DMV: “Then you’ll have to reschedule.”

Me: “This is TOTALLY ridiculous and the reason I hate this place…”

“Ma, ma, ma, ma… let’s just leave.” Kevin interjects.

I apologized to Kevin and after thirty more minutes of waiting, he was called up to get his rescheduled date.

Kevin’s appointment for his driving test is September 22.

I just hope that I won’t be PMSing.

My Life, I Swear…

 

 

 

 

 

The Angel Without A Face

 

Late one night, not too long after my father had passed away, I was driving home while praying and talking to my dad… suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw what I thought were angel wings.

I felt compelled to turn the car around while I questioned my own sanity. Was I just seeing things?

There at the curb sat a large, yet beautiful, faceless angel someone had put out for the trash collection.

I was taken aback by the timing of it all and by the expanse of the angel’s wings that curved in around the front of her knees.

I lifted the heavy angel and placed her lovingly into the passenger seat for the long ride home.

It was dark that night and it wasn’t until the following day, in the sunlight, that I realized just how damaged, and even eerie, the angel’s face was.

Convinced this find was a gift from my dad, I ran to the nearest store to grab some cheap putty and some white spray paint.

I placed the angel on the wooden steps in front of our house and began to use the putty to build up what once had been, eyes, a nose and cheekbones.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “Only God can make a tree.” Let me tell you, I say, only God can make a human face.

The difficulty lies in the expression.

This angel’s face could surely come out strange-looking, creepy or just plain scary… I thought, as my fingers maneuvered the putty.

My son, Rocky had just gotten off the school bus and walked up the driveway.

“Mom, what are you doing?” He asked.

“I’m trying to make a face for this angel I found. I want to put it in our yard as a tribute to Grandpa Ed.” I replied.

The next thing I knew, Rocky had dropped his book bag and had both of his hands on the angel’s face, right next to my hands.

Together both of our fingers built up the cheek bones and smoothed over the lips until she was finished.

I let the angel’s new face dry in the sun, as Rocky and I stood staring at her and our work.

“It looks great mom!” Rocky said.

“It does!” I replied with a tear in my eye.

I sprayed the angel with several coats of spray paint. Then I placed her gently in the yard and sprinkled fresh wood chips at her feet.

My father always loved to feed the birds, so for the finishing touch, I filled the material she was holding with birdseed.

Here’s the photo of our finished angel smiling up toward the heavens

Image may contain: people standing and outdoor

I think my dad would be proud.

I will always cherish the time Rocky and I spent, working in silence, to restore this beautiful angel…

And every time I look at her it reminds me that although my dad is no longer here, he’s always watching over us.

 

Speaking Teenager 2017: The Short Course In 8 Simple Steps

Understanding the teenage mind is tough enough, in and of itself… trying to understand what the hell it is teenagers are saying is a completely different story.

Slang has changed through the years and over decades.

Just to get you up to speed, here are 8 Slang Terms that I’ve learned from my kids: 

  1. Fam – If you over hear your kids talking about their “Fam” and you smile to yourself, thinking they mean you… Know that their “Fam” is their group of close friends. (Sorry if this news comes as a disappointment, remember it’s all about them, not you.)
  2.  Lit, Dope or Legit –  What used to be groovy in the 70’s, became awesome in the 80’s and Phat in the 90’s, is now Lit, Dope or legit in 2017. Note: Lit can also mean drunk, but “That’s dope!” isn’t about drugs.
  3. Turnt – Which brings me to my next point…I’m sure you remember the song, “Teenage Wasteland” and the popular use of the word “Wasted.” Well, wasted has now been replaced with “Turnt.” Are you still following me?
  4. Throwing Shade – What we have often called talking smack, or talking shit, is now refered to as throwing shade or being disrespectful towards someone.
  5. Esketit – Translation, “Let’s Get It.” This phrase was made popular by rapper Lil Pump. Also spelled Esskeetit, means let’s “get money”, “get lit”, or can mean just having fun.
  6. Gwap – In my day you used to “Bring home the bacon” but today it’s all about getting the “Gwap,” otherwise known as money.
  7. Bad Ass – The tough guy isn’t the bad ass. If someone is bad ass they display extreme confidence, ability and disregard for authority. If you’re wearing a bad ass watch, that means your watch is excellent.
  8. Wile Out – We used to say freak out or freaking out. Today, to “wile out” or “to be wilin” means to act rowdy or crazy.

I’ve learned so much and I hope that you have too!

Do you think that it would be cool if I got turnt, as long as I didn’t wile out

I mean, esketit,

Don’t be throwing shade!

All that matters is that I’m legit and I bring home the qwap.

Just sayin…

Signed,

Your cool mom

That was a bad ass post, right?

P.S. – Spellcheck has no idea what I just said, but I’m not sure I do either…

 

Let’s Get It Started!

Here’s my motivation… a little Black Eyed Peas

So… I’ve decide to write a book.

I’m going to compile a series of the stories from my blog into a book adding at least fifty new ones that won’t appear on my blog.

I already have an amazing illustrator who is currently designing the cover. Bob? You’re on this right?

Just putting it out there so I can document today as the day I started and began working on my outline.

I can use a bit of encouragement so I can make this happen.

What do ya think?

Erin

P.S. – The Black Eyed Peas Rock!

 

 

Come on Erin, What REALLY Happened With The Silver Alert?

Last night at work I had a friend ask me, “What REALLY happened with the Silver Alert?” (Thank you Michele for inspiring me to finally write about this)

At the time my son, Marc, was missing, my ex-husband was calling me and telling me not to post about our son, Marc, on my Facebook or my blog. After twenty years of being told what I should and could, or could not do, I cowered and complied.

I am not proud that he still has the ability to shut me down.

After the fact, I ended up writing a post on my blog about Marc being missing and how I wanted to lose weight. Probably the worst post I have ever written… nonetheless, I was in a bad head-space and I posted it anyway, not wanting to reveal any details as my ex-husband had instructed.

Marc loves his dad and is very protective of him. No matter what John and I do for Marc, we will never be able to give enough for Marc to accept John and I as a couple.

Fifteen is a tough age. I remember it all too well. I remember feeling that I was as big in stature as most adults… and also feeling that I knew it all and could do anything that adults do.

This combination leads to some pretty bad decision-making on the part of a fifteen year old.

I know it all too well, yet as a parent it doesn’t make it any easier.

Prior to the actual Silver Alert, Marc was making comments for weeks about going to live in New York.

I called my ex-husband.

“Marc is saying that he’s moving to New York.” I stated.

“Don’t worry about it Erin,” He replied, “Marc has no money to get there. He’s just talking. Let it go.”

And, I did.

Until Marc came in my room to borrow my computer and check the train schedule.

I sent a text to his father, who replied, “Don’t worry. He’s just talking shit.”

I knew that Marc didn’t have the money to leave the state, so I just chalked it up as an attempt to get under my skin and I let it go, as my ex had instructed.

I returned from work on a Friday night and Marc was gone. I questioned his brothers who told me that Marc was in New York with his friend Angel who lived in the Bronx.

I was surprised but comforted that they knew where Marc was.

Angel is my Landlord’s nephew. I knew that Marc was safe and I was ready to ride out the latest chapter in parenting a teen who was irreversibly affected by both domestic violence and divorce.

I worked a double on Saturday, feeling a bit out of sorts. I checked with Rocky and Kevin who both told me that Marc would be home on Sunday night and at school Monday morning.

Saturday night I awoke from a deep sleep in the middle of the night. I walked into Marc’s room. I had no idea why I did, but I have become in tune with my sixth sense.

The room was dark and empty. I glanced at the entertainment center and confirmed the reason that I had gotten up in the first place… both his T.V. and PlayStation were gone.

“John!” I yelled, “Marc hocked his T.V. and PlayStation. They’re gone. He’s not coming home.”

I was petrified and full of fear.

I began to cry.

That turned out to be a long night of tears, worry and no sleep.

On Sunday, Marc texted me saying that he was hungry and wanted some food.

“Where are you Marc?” I texted in reply.

“In the Bronx with Angel.” Marc replied, “Can you send me some pizza?”

Part of me felt like not enabling him and letting he deal with the decisions he made. The mother in me couldn’t stand the thought of eating without knowing that my child had been fed.

“Call me.” I texted, “I need the address where you are so I can send the pizza.

My cell phone rang.

“Mom, I’m almost out of minutes. Here’s the address. Please send me something to eat. I’m starving.”

I dialed the number Marc had given to me and placed an order for wings, two pizzas, cinnamon sticks and a bottle of soda, as I listed off what I thought to be the delivery address.

The woman at Domino’s Pizza put me on hold for a ridiculous amount of time.

Finally she returned to the phone.

“Ma’am, the address that you gave me is our address.” She stated, “”Do you still want me to go through with the order?”
“Yes,” I replied. “My son will come and pick it up. I said realizing that Marc must be in walking distance of this Dominos.

“I ordered the food,” I texted Marc when his order had been placed.

“Thank you, Mom. I’m not coming back home.” He said, “I’m almost out of cell phone minutes and I’m going to live with a friend in Manhattan who used to go to my school. His family owns a restaurant and I’m going to wait tables.”

“Marc, you’re fifteen. What do you know about waiting tables?” I yelled, “You have school tomorrow!”

Marc hung up.

Talk about stress.

I should have never listened to my ex… if this kid runs out of phone minutes, I’ve lost him.

“Okay, we’re going to the police station now!” I yelled, as John hurriedly got his shoes on and grabbed his car keys.

Kevin flew into the room.

“Mom, my girlfriend Anna is on the way here to meet the family for the first time! Please don’t involve the police! We have to pick her up at the train station in forty-five minutes… how long is this going to take at the police station?” He pleaded.

“Kevin, your brother is missing! Anna is just going to have to get used to our crazy lives. I have to go, I’m worried about Marc.” I said, as I rushed out  of the front door.

Once at the police station, I realized that I had to pee.

“I’m going to the bathroom.” I told John.

“Okay.” He said, sitting in a chair in the waiting room, settling in for the long haul.

When I returned a few minutes later, another person was at the window, stating their complaint.

“Seriously John, we are supposed to meet Kevin’s girlfriend for the first time. Couldn’t you have taken the next spot in line while I had to pee?” I asked in desperation.

“I didn’t know what you wanted me to do.” John replied.

I sighed and took a seat in a hard chair in front of the vending machines.

The person next up at the window, (Not us of course) rattled off his name, date of birth and street address for all to hear, as we sat in the lobby.

“Did he just say that he lives on the same street as we do?” I whispered to John.

“Yes.” John whispered in reply.

What are the odds, I mumbled.

“I don’t know why you couldn’t have taken the next place in line while I was in the bathroom.” I said, annoyed and as stressed as I could possibly be, “We have to pick Anna up from the train station in less than forty-five minutes and I’m sick to my stomach about Marc.”

The guy on the same street as us began to file his complaint.

“I believe that someone shot a beebee gun at the siding on my house. There is a dent to prove it.” He said, as if it was the most important crime of the century.

It took all of the strength that I could muster not to yell, “MY CHILD IS MISSING AND ALMOST OUT OF PHONE MINUTES! IF I DON’T ACT FAST I CAN LOSE HIM FOREVER!”

But I sat quietly, rolling my eyes.

Finally it was our turn at the window.

I had the chance to vent and tell my story about my missing fifteen year old son and my emotions began to get the better of me.

The officer told me to please take a seat, and I complied.

I was worried for Marc.

I felt bad that I was ruining Kevin’s girlfriend’s first visit.

I was afraid and I wanted someone, anyone, to tell what to do.

Behind closed doors, I heard the officers talking about who was going to take what case.

I held my head in my hands, tapping my foot as I waited for my name to be called.

“Mrs. Reed.” The officer said as he lead us to a private room.

“So was it a toss-up between who took the dented siding and who took the missing child case?” I asked in jest.

“Actually, it was.” The officer laughed.

“Well I think that you might have drawn the short straw.” I said, as I began to fill him in on all of the details.

Before long, both my strength and my sense of humor began to fall by the wayside as I was overcome with fear and concern.

After I answered all of the questions, I sat and cried.

My fifteen year old son was in a bad section of the Bronx and he was telling me that he wasn’t coming home. He was almost out of phone minutes and I had no idea what I would do if I lost all contact with him.

“Where did you send the pizza?” The officer asked.

I gave him the address of Domino’s Pizza which I knew was in walking distance of where my son was.

“At this point, we have to file a Silver Alert.” He replied, “He’s only fifteen years old.”

“A Silver Alert?” I asked, “Can I call my eighty-two year old mother before she sees it on TV?”

“You can.” He replied, “And you probably should. It’s just procedure, but the alert will be on television, radio and social media, nationwide.”

I called my mother and broke the news.

My mother was so distressed.

And just for the record, that conversation alone broke my heart.

The police contacted my son on the few minutes that he had left on his cell phone and made sure that he was on the next train and on his way home.

My ex-husband retrieved Marc from the train station and the police met them at my house.

Marc was home and safe…

Angry about the police involvement.

Angry with me.

But home (thank God) nonetheless.

Anna embraced the situation for what it was and took it all in stride.

I like that Anna.

I guess if you’ve never been there, you will never know what it’s like to deal with not only your own, but everyone else’s growing pains, confusion, longing for affirmation through love and attention, and the need to heard.

I get it.

Life is hard and beautiful all at the same time.

Face your fears,

Let go of your judgement,

Don’t be afraid to call on your humor,

And live through your heart.

It will never let you down yet.

I have made it this far and for the grace of God, so will my kids.

Keep fighting the good fight… it’s always worth it in the end.

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This Too Shall Pass…”

As I’m trying to write this, Marc has come into my room three times to ask for twenty dollars to go see the new Spiderman movie. I guess that’s better than the usual fight over whose turn it is on xbox live, while I’m trying to write, or (my favorite), the latest annoying rap song on repeat.

In my mind I’m in a cabin in the woods, my house is perfectly clean, I can write whenever I want, in silence, while sipping a cup of tea. When I finish writing, I’ll plant some flowers, take a long shower, then John and I will go out for a leisurely, romantic dinner at a fabulous, expensive restaurant.

In reality, my front door slams relentlessly while my boys and their friends run up and down the stairs yelling and laughing, as both of the dogs bark.

My refrigerator door gets just as much action, as my sink piles with dishes.

The requests never cease, nor does my responsibility to provide for these children.

Can Michael sleep over?

Can I get a ride to the gym? The train station? Over to Shawn’s house? To hockey? To work?

I have to work today, myself. And I have to stop for gas because the gas gauge on my car is broken and way too expensive for me to fix.

“Mom, can I have money for the mall? Taco Bell? New Sneakers? To get a snack at the corner store?”

I’m still making payments to the electric company to try catch up from when I was out of work for three months because of a knee injury.

We’re going to need to fill the oil tank soon, and just for the record, I haven’t had a manicure in months.

I have my own aspirations of things I want to accomplish in life, things I want to experience and places I’d like to visit.

For now I grin and bear it.

Dreaming of a day when there’ll be less working, more writing and more peace and quiet… more time for me.

I tell myself this is just a busy point in my life, raising these three boys. I know time flies and in the blink of an eye…

The house will be quiet.

There’ll be no dishes piled in the sink.

The laundry will be caught up.

And my house will be clean.

And silent.

Someday, there will no longer be the sound of slamming doors or footsteps on my stairs.

There won’t be any requests from my boys or needs to be met.

There will no longer be loud voices in my home, or the sound of their laughter.

I know one day, I will have done my job and my boys will move on to their own lives.

I won’t get to see their handsome faces everyday, or their smiles, or feel their hug.

I know this busy, hectic, loud, crazy time in my life shall pass…

And, I know I don’t really want it to.

Not yet.