I Know That I’m A Handful…That’s Why You Have Two Hands…

As a small child, I remember waiting in anticipation as my mother tried to undo the child proof cap on my bottle of Flintstones vitamins. I can still picture myself spinning and hopping up and down on one foot as my mother struggled with the child proof lid. Eventually, she resorted to trying to pry a spoon underneath the cap.

I still remember being shocked as I watched my mother chuck the entire jar of Flintstone vitamins into the kitchen trash can and ask the universe, “Why am I even giving this kid vitamins anyway?”

Maybe it was at that moment that I realized that I was a handful, but let me tell you that it didn’t deter me from my active behavior.

My mouth and my honesty were just another thing that added to my hyper, extroverted personality. From the time that I could speak, I was speaking my mind.

When my sister, eight years my senior, had for some reason mentioned in front of me, that my future brother in law was an atheist, not only did I remember it… I announced it at a family dinner in front of both of my devout Catholic parents. My father almost choked to death on his food and my brother-in-law was as white as a ghost.

I’m sure you can image how smoothly that dinner went.

Fast forward to my current style of parenting and my relationship with John… I think you’ll be able to draw your own conclusions about the “lack of boredom” that exists in our lives.

But here’s the catch, you reap what you sow.

I am now the mother of three outgoing, opinionated boys that have propelled my entire existence into a tailspin.

Touche’.

Since my boys were small, strangers would approach me and say, “I see that you have your hands full.”

It was true.

It was even funny…until it became a theme that I just wanted to avoid.

I  have seriously often thought about making myself up a t-shirt that read;

“Yes, I know that I have my hands full. Please don’t bother to approach me and tell me. I’m completely aware.”

I guess that I never acted on it and had the shirt made because the sentiment was just too damned long, or maybe I was too afraid that it wouldn’t deter the large amount of the population that took pleasure in pointing this fact out to me on an almost daily basis.

Nevertheless, I am totally okay with who I am today. I also admire so many things about all of my son’s directness and sense of humor.

I’m the mother that has been called to school because my son Marc apparently is, “a chick magnet.”

I’m the mom that has been threatened with a lawsuit because my son Kevin made a video in detention that has taken on a force of it’s own and had the support of the entire school staff.

And yes, I’m the mom that had to go to Rocky’s defense when he wouldn’t remove his Penguin’s hockey hat at school because he was in dire need of a haircut and refused to take his hat off in class.

I’m a handful.

My kids are a handful.

I am well aware of where all of that stems from.

I guess that I’m just glad that God gave me two hands.

But for now, we’ll all forgo the vitamins, just to be on the safe side.

 

 

 

 

 

When I say, “We”

Life is busy, in fact, busier than I ever expected.

It isn’t humanly possible for one person to get everything done.

Factor in some teenage boys and their common responses:

“In a minute.”

“I’ll do it later.”

And the tried and true,

“Mom, I know. I’m getting to it.”

I remember it like it was yesterday, hours of Barney videos that taught things like, recycling and “please and thank you are the magic words.”

I endured it all only to find that I would spend my son’s teenage years reiterating every single thing that Barney drilled into their heads.

I will never understand it, for the life of me, but this is where I am.

All three of my son’s continue to struggle with what actually goes into the recycling bin that sits in our kitchen.

They stare at me as if I’m insane, while I state, “Egg shells may be biodegradable, but they are not recyclable!”

They look at me as if I’ve lost my mind.

If I have to add, please, to one more of their requests or ask, did you tell Grandma thank you?, I just might totally lose my shit.

Nonetheless, my new favorite line has become, “We should…”

“We should clean up this yard.”

“We should take out this trash and recycling.”

“We should straighten out this basement.”

Just know, That when I say “We”…

I mean

Image result for images of you

For all intents & purposes, of course…

“Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, You’ll Never Be Bored” Part 5: The Grand Finale

Was the moving experience just a prelude of things to come?

I’d love to say, “And we all lived happily every after…”, but truth be told it was only the beginning of the kind of events that left me asking, “Is this really my life?”

Well, it is and here I am ready to disclose it all or at least some of it.

I’m struggling with where to even begin…

We returned from North Carolina a day late. My boss at my new job was not happy, to say the least.

I ended up with only two shifts a week at my restaurant job…not enough to support the rent I signed up for.

John couldn’t find a place to live and I couldn’t afford the apartment that I rented. We talked about how nice it would be to live together. We also talked about our parents reaction to the news and our Catholic upbringing. In the end, we decide that we wanted to live together, not only to be together but also for all of the practical purposes…but how would we break the news to our religious parents and our teenage boys?

The only logical explanation was to hang the duck.

What???

John and I both lost almost all of our worldly possessions in our respective divorces. Whenever we contemplated the things we had, in a situation where we needed a certain gadget, or the right knife, or the proper screwdriver, we always joked “I had one but I lost it in the fire.” (Our metaphor for the loss of all of the things we once collectively owned)

Just let me note here that John Lennon has it right.

“Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can?”

Well, I can because I’ve been there and it was the most freeing experience of my life.

When I first left an abusive 20 year marriage, all I had in the world was half a trash bag of clothes and two pairs of shoes. I was never a materialistic person, but that experience has changed me in a way that most people couldn’t even imagine.

And, it’s all good.

I’m smart, savvy, and completely disconnected from the material world.

Sorry, Madonna, but I am not a material girl.

Image result for images of madonna material girl

Owning nothing for that short period of time in my life was actually an amazing life lesson that has shaped who I am today.

Anyway, about the duck…

One of the few possessions that John got to keep from his divorce was a ceramic duck that he loved. It had hung on the wall of his family’s home when he was a child.

Somehow we decided to hang the duck, (over our front door entryway), invite our parents over for lunch and hope that they would notice, get the message, and surmise that John and I had decided to live together.

It seemed like an obvious, great plan.

Just for the record, it was a total bust.

Our parents never noticed the duck and we never had the guts to tell them about our living arrangement during lunch. In retrospect, the entire scenario seems ridiculous, especially seeing that John and I were respectively 46, and 45 years old at the time and well beyond needing our parents approval.

And yet, that wasn’t our biggest hurdle, by a landslide.

In December 2012, my boys spent their Christmas vacation with their father. John and I spent that vacation in an immaculately clean house relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

When my boys returned, everything was different, but seemly okay.

Well, except for my son Marc.

We were surprisingly functioning as a household, then left for a business trip to Pennsylvania.

Upon John’s return all hell broke loose.

John came through the door exhausted from traveling and he was running a fever.

“All I want to do is get into bed,” he stated.

It was l:00 AM and I was concerned about John’s weak condition. I suspected that he had the flu.

John made his way upstairs to find Marc lying diagonally across our queen size bed, with a death grip on the corner.

“I’m not moving!” Marc yelled, “There is no way that John is sleeping in this bed!”

“Marc, John is sick,” I pleaded, “Please just let him go to bed.”

Marc is a strong and willful kid. We tried everything that we could think of, but there was no compromising and no moving Marc.

Finally around 4:20 AM, I said, “This is ridiculous. Let’s go to a hotel.” I grabbed a bag and started throwing some clothing in it. Leaving was a just ploy to get Marc out of our bed and a long shot, but it was worth a try.

We got in the car.

“Where are we going?” John asked.

“No idea. Just drive around the corner.” I said.

My phone rang. It was my ex-husband. (Apparently Marc had called his father)

“So, you’ve abandon the kids?” My ex-husband asked.

“I haven’t. We’re just having a problem.” I said with disdain.

“The police and an ambulance are on the way,” my ex replied, then hung up.

We were only up the street. “John, turn around,” I said.

We headed back to the house. The police and the ambulance never came but Marc did finally relent and made his way to his own bedroom.

This was just the beginning of the power struggle between Marc and John but not the end of our challenging circumstances.

That summer, John decided to send a friend who was in a domestic violence situation some money so she could leave her husband who was in the military. She even came to stay with us for a short time until she got on her feet.

Once she had found her own place and was in the midst of her divorce, we received a phone call.

“Hi, may I speak with John please?”

“May I ask who’s calling?” I inquired.

The voice on the other end of the line rattled off his name, rank and informed me that he was an investigator with the military, the United States Government.

He set up an appointment to drive out from Washington D.C. to get sworn statements from us for the investigation that was underway during our friend’s divorce proceeding.

When Marc returned from school that day, he walked in the door and found John and I seated with the two investigators.

“This is my son Marc.” I said.

Each of the investigators shook Marc’s hand and explained that they were from the United States Government performing an investigation.

“Did I do something wrong?” Marc asked nervously. “Are you here because my brothers and I were ding-dong-ditching houses? I promise we won’t do it again.”

“No, we’re not.” one of the investigators replied, “We are not allowed to disclose why we’re here and neither are your mother or John.”

Rocky had just gotten off the school bus. As he climbed the front porch stairs Marc flew open the door.

“Rocky, the government is here for an investigation but they can’t tell us why.” he yelled.

“What’s going on mom?” Rocky sighed as he entered the living room, “Am I in trouble?”

“No Rocky,” I replied, “You’re not in trouble but we’re not allowed to tell you why they’re here.”

“Let’s call Kevin!” Marc piped in as he ran to the phone.

The investigators spent hours asking us questions.

Then my phone rang. It was Kevin. “Mom, what’s going on? Is the government really investigating our house. Is it something we did? Just tell me…”

“Kevin, I can’t tell you and it’s nothing that any of you did,” I stated.

“Well, is it something that dad did? Is it?” Kevin pleaded.

“No, Kevin” I replied, “It’s not about any of you.”

The investigators gave John and I each three sheets of paper and had us sit in separate rooms. We were instructed to write our sworn statements detailing anything that our friend had confided in us regarding her suffering any kind domestic abuse.

John was done in half an hour and barely had one written page, in the same time I had filled three sheets of paper and asked for more. (What can I say? I’m a writer!) John was asked to go back upstairs and fill the three sheets of paper that he was given. I laughed to myself.

When we were done writing and I thought that it was finally over, we sat while the investigators read and initialed every page and asked that we do the same.

My phone rang again. It was my ex-husband.

“Hello.” I chuckled.

“Um Erin, please tell me that this has nothing to do with me.” He said.

“This is unbelievable!” I replied, “This has nothing to do with any of you!”

“Well, I hope that you’re telling me the truth.” He said, before hanging up the phone.

Before leaving, the investigator thanked me and handed me his card…in case we could think of anything else…

Exhausted, I said to John, “Can you believe that took three hours?”

Before John could answer, Marc piped in, “They were here for three hours? Did you leave them alone at all? What if they bugged our house or put some cameras in?”

“They didn’t Marc but you better behave just in case,” I said jokingly.

Marc began picking up knickknacks and looking under tables. “Mom, what’s that flashing red light?” Marc asked in a panic, pointing towards the ceiling.

“That’s the smoke detector Marc.” I said.

It wasn’t long before Rocky joined in and began helping Marc search for cameras and other devices.

“Okay, guys. That’s enough.” I demanded, but I did not calm their fears and the search continued.

Luckily, I had the investigators business card…and I wasn’t afraid to use it.

I picked up the phone and dialed the number.

“Hi, it’s Erin. Sorry to bother you.” I said.

“No, bother Erin. Did you think of something else that you’d forgotten to tell us?”

“Actually no, I didn’t but my boys are flipping the house looking for cameras and bugs that they believe you may have planted.”

The investigator laughed a deep hearty laugh and said, “Put Marc on the phone.”

“Marc, the investigator wants to talk to you.” I yelled.

“Me? He wants to talk to me?” Marc asked looking bewildered.

I handed Marc the phone.

I’m not sure what he said to Marc but he seemed to put off the camera search…at least for a while.

Eventually, things went back to normal, whatever that means in our house.

The following spring, there was a rash of signs being stolen from Cumberland Farms Stores.

I guess it became a sort of dare among teenagers and college students to pull into a Cumberland Farms and try to steal the life-size cardboard David Hasselhoff signs in the parking lot.

Image result for image david hasselhoff cumberland farms sign

I’m not sure if the appeal was in scoring a sign on a dare, or in the fact that David Hasselhoff was sporting white linen capris that made the entire idea so inviting but it became a trend across the country.

One night the Cumberland Farms down the street from our house became the source of such a prank. Unfortunately, the prank went a bit too far and the outcome was tragic.

A teenager that was attempting to steal a David Hasselhoff sign was approached by the clerk from Cumberland Farms. The clerk tried to retrieve the sign and somehow his clothes got caught in the perpetrator’s car door. The clerk was dragged by the vehicle, resulting in severe injures and trauma to his head.

I was so upset when I heard the news. We frequented Cumberland Farms and I knew this clerk. His wife was pregnant and she, as well as his mother, both worked at the same Cumberland Farms as he did.

I knew that this meant that there were now three people in their family that were out of work with no income. The clerk was in a coma and his wife and mother were sitting vigil at his bedside.

I fired up the computer and began to type.

“What are you doing?” John asked.

“Figuring out how to get on twitter.” I replied.

(I had never sent a tweet in my life, but trust me I was about to)

“Twitter. What for?” John inquired.

“I’m going to tweet David Hasselhoff.” I confidently replied.

“Whatever you want to do, babe,” John said with a smirk. He had become accustomed to my harebrained ideas.

“And say what?” John asked.

“I’m going to tell him what happened. I’m going to say that this family needs his financial help and his support in their time of need. I mean, come on, David Hasselhoff is wealthy. In my opinion with wealth comes the responsibility to do good and help others… so I’m going to figure out how to get in touch with him.”

I followed the steps and set up my first twitter account. I composed my thoughts, wrote what I wanted to say and sent my tweet to David Hassselhoff.

John was supportive but I’m sure he was secretly questioning if I had lost my ever lovin’ mind.

Just for the record, I hadn’t. I’m just passionate and not afraid to act on my feelings. Strange to some… normal to me.

To my surprise David Hasselhoff responded to my tweet and we had a conversation on twitter. He thanked me for letting him know what happened and promised he would look into it.

The next day the Connecticut Post newspaper reported the story and even  mentioned my tweet and the David Hasselhoff response.

John and I spent the morning doing some gardening and planting flowers before our lunch date with my parents.

It was a warm day and I lifted my gloved hand in an attempt to brush a dangling lock of blonde hair away from my face as I smudged a streak of dirt across my cheek.

“John, the garden looks beautiful.” I stated, as a NBC Connecticut newsvan parked in front of our house. “He’s probably here about my David Hasselhoff tweet,” I joked.

The driver got out followed by a cameraman.

“Excuse me. Are you Erin Cooper Reed?” The reporter asked.

“I certainly am.” I replied.

“It took me forever to find you. Is it okay if we interview you on camera?” The reporter asked.

“Sure, can you give me a minute to get cleaned up? I’ve been gardening all morning.” I said.

“Uh, we really need to do this now,” he said with a smile. I insisted that I needed to clean up so he said, “We’re going to get the camera set up out here. It will take about five minutes. Can you be back by then?” I dashed upstairs.

On the way up the stairs and into the bathroom to wash my face, my cell phone rang. It was my dad.

“Hi honey! Mom and I are on our way over to pick you and John up for lunch. Are you guys ready?” he asked.

“Dad, NBC news is here to interview me. Could you hold off a bit before you come over?”

“No problem honey. How much time do you need?”

“About a half an hour.” I said.

“Okay, see you then.” My dad replied, “Love you.”

“Love you too dad.” I said, then hung up the phone.

Now, you know that your life is truly crazy when your dad calls to pick you up for a lunch date and you tell him that NBC news is there and he isn’t at all surprised… I mean not in the least.

My interview with NBC news went well and aired that night.

As far as I know, David Hasselhoff never sent the family of the injured man any money like I had hoped.

We haven’t heard from John’s friend lately but I hope that she is doing well.

Marc still finds way to torture John on an almost daily basis but I know that someday when he’s older he will come to realize and appreciate all that John does for him.

As for me, I continue to live with my heart on the outside of my body, speak my mind, challenge the perspective in any situation and find the humor that gets me by.

In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And just for the record…there’s more, there’s always more…so much that I may decide to continue this series down the road.

Stay tuned!

My life, I swear!

Much love,

Erin Cooper Reed

Through A Series of Unfortunate Events…

Through a series of unfortunate events, that went something like this…

My ex-husband leaves his dog Jax, with his ex-sister-in-law who is now no longer able to care for the dog… (long story that I won’t disclose because it’s not my business)…

And even though I am struggling to provide for my own family (that’s 5 of us), plus our dog, Max, and our cat, Mitzi…

After being out of work for six weeks with no income, due to an injury to my knee…(another long story)

I am now the proud owner of yet another dog, Jax, who is also male…

And our dog Max is feeling slighted and territorial with another male dog in the house. Our cat Mitzi is completely freaked out…

During the worst tick season ever…(You know what this means if you read my post, “I’d Like to Check You For Ticks”)

And did I mention that Jax tried to mark his territory, as did Max, which ended in a territory marking stalemate…

And everyone seems oblivious to the fact that this is not my responsibility and the last thing that I need to add to the mix right now.

Yet, in the end it is always me that comes through.

Even in the case of:

Image result for images of unfortunate events

My Life I SWEAR!

End of rant.

Ode to Taylor Swift

It started out as a joke.

“Mom could I just stay home from school today?” Rocky asked.

“No.” I replied.

“Why not? Just this once?” Rocky begged.

And this is what came out of my mouth, “In the words of Taylor Swift, cuz you don’t know what you don’t know!”

“What?” Rocky bellowed, “Don’t quote Taylor Swift.”

I laughed.

I have also found that there are plenty of situations that I could bestow some of Taylor Swift’s powerful insights into life onto my growing boys…ya know, seeing that it was so well received.

Like the time that Kevin was teasing Marc…

“Mom tell Kevin to cut it out!” Marc demanded.

I quickly replied

Lyric Quotes From Songs | Ours | Quotes and Song lyrics:

Kevin stopped harassing Marc and said, “Mom, stop quoting Taylor Swift.”

“Yeah mom, it’s so annoying.” Marc chimed in.

Through the years it has become a joke in our house. The boys say something. I reply with a quote from Taylor Swift, met with an eye roll, a sigh, some laughter and an in unison demand…

“MOM, STOP QUOTING TAYLOR SWIFT!” 

I mean, I would but there are so many song lyrics that seem to fit any occasion.

I would boys, I really would, but…

Image result for images taylor swift song lyrics quotes darling I'm a nightmare

Love you,

Mom

Where Are You? It’s Late.

I spent the last six weeks in bed recovering from a torn, ACL, MCL, meniscus and a stress fracture down my right shin. In that time, I have finagled my bills, worried a lot and took myself to the depths of despair.

I  am yet to have surgery, but went back to work to bring an income into my household. After returning from work tonight, John and I decided to just get in the car and grab a little alone time.

Ten missed calls later, on each of our phones, I received a text from my teenage son that read, “Where are you, it’s late?”

Are you flipping kidding me? Do you understand how many nights I cried in my pillow worrying about your safety and your whereabouts until the sun came up?

I have spent six weeks in bed, and just for the record, I haven’t had a vacation in 5 years and it is blatantly obvious that I never go anywhere.

Where in the world do you get off telling me that I’m late?

I appreciate the concern, but my teenagers have led me to the total brink of destruction and have no idea the heartache their actions caused.

Wasn’t it only last week that I added a Silver Alert to my unknown bucket list which included:

A visit to my home, from:

The DCF

Channel News 12

A Military Investigation

The local police

And, well can I say…It’s never boring here…by any means.

So, before any of my son’s put out the Silver Alert on me, just know that I am home safely and I just wanted a little breathing space.

And, just for the record….

Sorry I’m late.

 

 

 

 

This Is Why I Blocked You On Facebook

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 of reasons to block people on Facebook.

Here Are The Top Ten Reasons To Block Someone From Facebook:

Related image

1. The Selfie King or Queen – Okay, I get it. You love you. I just really don’t want to see a picture of you at home, in the car, at the mall, trying on shoes, having a drink, smiling, making a resting bitch face, fluffing your hair, straightening your hair, wearing your sunglasses, not wearing your sunglasses, etc. Document your entire day for yourself so you can see how great you looked in every moment. Personally I don’t care.

Image result for taking food photos

2. The Relentless Foodie –  I’m pretty sure that I like to eat just as much as you do. I just don’t have the need to share it with the world. Your breakfast looks fine, as does your lunch, mid-afternoon snack and your dinner. I get it. You love food. Did I mention that there are children starving not only in Africa but right here in the good old USA?

Image result for hypochondriac images

3. The Hypochondriac – You’re tired. You’re crampy. You have the flu. Your sinuses ache. Your doctor hasn’t called, just called, wants to see you. You feel like shit and you can’t stop talking about it. I’m not heartless but there really isn’t anything that I can do. Update your status when you’re feeling well for once. That would be a welcomed change of pace.

Image result for images fitness fanatics

4. The Work Out Nut –  Thank you for recording your every footstep you take on your Fitbit and posting it on Facebook. If I ever need to find you I’ll know every moment that you spend at the gym. I’m so happy that I didn’t miss the selfie on the treadmill and the photo of you covered in sweat.

Image result for images politics

5. The Democrat/Republican/Liberal/Independent Looking For A Fight – Unbeknownst to you, I am really okay with whatever opinion you have. That is what makes you an individual, that is also what makes the world go round. The truth is that you just like to stir things up and your goal is to get under someone’s skin and really have it out. Facebook wasn’t created to be a political platform. Sorry to disappoint you. To each his own. I’m seriously okay with that. Just respect that other people feel as passionately about their stance as you do, and that’s okay. Please just let everyone be.

Image result for images trouble maker6. The Trouble Maker – Facebook is not a venue to destroy people’s lives. It is not the place to out your sister-in law about having an abortion, to bully someone, embarrass them or try to destroy their lives. I have seen it all. ENOUGH SAID.

Related image

 7. The Stalker –  Just because you knew someone in high school, worked with them 15 years ago or ran into them at the grocery store last week, doesn’t mean that they want to interact with you everyday on Facebook. If you keep private messaging someone and they don’t respond, they probably don’t want to talk to you. This would be obvious to most people. For those of you that don’t get it, reread #7.

Image result for IMAGES of bragger

 8. The Bragger –  We get it. You have been there, done that, achieved it, purchased it, traveled there and you just happen to have the most accomplished brilliant children in the world. If we ever need to experience ultimate perfection we can certainly visit your page.

Image result for pessimism images

9. The Total Pessimist –  No matter what anyone says you are right there to spread the doom and gloom. You are easily offended by anything that is meant as a joke and you can instantly destroy a funny post or meme by taking it too literally. Lighten up. Life is just too damn short.

Image result for images dumb teenagers

10. The Teenager –  Let’s face it, you know it ALL. You post things that I find so offensive that I frequently check your page to spare my extended family the embarrassment. You just don’t get it, but I live in hope of the day when you finally do and we can interact and share ideas as adults. In the meantime, I’ll continue to police your page, correct your spelling and love you nonetheless.

Rant over.

Carry on.

Sleep’s Overrated, Anyway…

When Marc was a toddler his older brothers used to call him the “Night Crawler.” I knew I was in for it from that point on. Marc always had trouble falling and even staying asleep. Having three boys, I innately understood that if I had enough children, I would experience one of everything, the picky eater, the biter, the crier, the spitter and yes, even the night crawler. I never imagined that Marc’s sleeping problems would continue throughout his life and worsen in his teenage years, ultimately contributing to my lifelong exhaustion.

One Sunday night, before I had the opportunity to begin my usual “because it’s a school night” lecture, Marc came into my bedroom at 9 PM announcing that he was going to bed. As he walked out of my bedroom door and into his own room I was elated. Should I read or go to sleep, I thought…this was too good to be true.

The house was finally quiet, for once. I decided to slide under the covers and spend some much-needed “me time” engrossed in a good book. I was joyous!  It was hard to believe that two hours had passed when I heard Marc’s bedroom door open.

“Mom, I’m uncomfortable in my bed. I’m going to sleep on the couch.” Marc stated.

I replied, “Okay, but get to sleep. You have school tomorrow.”

I went back to reading my book but my mother’s intuition kept nudging me. It was then I realized that I hadn’t told Marc good night. Maybe I’ll just go downstairs and give him a kiss on the head. I quietly walked down the dark staircase from my bedroom to the living room. I approached the couch and leaned over to kiss Marc on the head…wait where was his head…it was covered in blankets.I felt for Marc’s shoulders then down his back. I yelled for my fiance’ John.

“John, come down here!”

John made his way down the stairs and into the dark living room.

“Where is Marc?” I asked.

“Right here.” John replied as he reached for Marc’s body on the couch “I can feel his legs.”

“Can you?” I asked John as I turned on the living room light and pulled back the covers.

Image may contain: indoor

There on the couch were Marc’s joggers stuffed with clean folded and rolled bathroom towels.

“He isn’t even home!” I shouted as I ran back upstairs to grab my cell phone.

I was both upset and concerned as I dialed Marc’s cell phone number. No answer. What parent doesn’t love to call their teenager’s cell phone (which they pay for) and get sent straight to voicemail, especially at a time like this and on a school night.

Time to go to plan B, I thought. I sent Marc a text stating that the cops were looking for him. Now I just had to wait.

Five minutes later Marc flew into the house.

“Mom, mom, mom, I’m sorry. You didn’t call the cops did you? I couldn’t sleep. I was only at my friend’s house across the street.” Marc stated with fear in his eyes.

“You are lucky that I didn’t…this time. Don’t you ever do that again! Now go to your room and go to bed. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.” I replied.

I had to chuckle to myself a bit as Marc walked up the staircase to his bedroom. I always thought that as a parent, I would be one step ahead of my kids at all times. I guess I was wrong.  Maybe I could be…if I could just get some more sleep.

 

 

 

Rise to Criticize

Rise to Criticize

via Daily Prompt: Criticize

Never in my life did I fathom that the three adorable little babies that I brought into this world would grow into three handsome teenagers that now, apparently, know more than I do.

Okay, so I was a teenager once too and I do remember snickering when my dad imparted his unwarranted, fatherly advice which usually started with sentences like…”You know, life isn’t a bowl of cherries…” and “This isn’t a place just to hang your hat…” Each sentence was followed by what I took as criticism.

Fast forward to 2017 and from the moment my sons rise in the morning it’s an ongoing life lesson orchestrated by the sound of my own voice. I stare at their blank faces while I try to explain the reason they should see, or act on situations in life a certain way. (Cue deep sighs and eyerolls)

My points, no matter how eloquently expressed, are met with statements like, “Maybe that worked back in the olden days.”(Note: Which was the 80’s, by the way) or “Mom, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” (Note: Of course I do.)

Yet we all know that the age-old struggle between parents and teenagers will never cease to exist.

I was well into my adulthood the day that I called my dad and said, “Hi dad. I get it now… Life isn’t easy and when I think about all the advice you gave me growing up, I wish I had listened. You were right about everything.”

I could hear the smile in my dad’s voice as he replied.

“That’s nice to hear! I love you honey.”

I replied, ” I Love you too dad.”

I’m not fortunate enough to have my dad anymore…but I hope one day my sons will each wake up to the same realization that I came to and that I will receive the same beautiful phone call, three times over.

The other thing that will never cease to exist is the realization that what teenagers see as constant harping and criticism, is actually the deepest form of love.