Happy Holidays! So why not me?

A couple of years ago I wrote about how the holidays depress me.

Well, this year this still seems to be the case. Last year I did much better, but I have relapsed. I am having such a hard time getting into the “holiday spirit”. What brings joy and laughter to most, brings tears and sorrow to me. My list of reasons is long, but I am trying hard not to turn into a woman version of Ebenezer Scrooge. Perhaps I should pull out my copy of Charlie Brown’s Christmas and sit down with a box of tissues. For some reason, lil’ Linus always has a way of helping me remember what the season is supposed to be about. Do you struggle with the holiday blues? If so, how do you deal with them? Have you found any traditions that help you get over the hump? I need suggestions people, or my family is going to vote me out of the house. I don’t want my foul mood to spoil everyone else’s holiday.

Published in: on December 15, 2008 at 6:06 am  Comments (1)  

A Happy Mother’s Day!

Things haven’t been the best in the ol’ motherhood department lately. Whether out of guilt, or out of just plain old love, my children gave me the best Mother’s Day of my life! I came home after hearing a sermon about Hannah, and the dining room table was filled with goodies! There was a purse I had been eyeing at the Eddie Bauer outlet. There was a vase full of flowers from my daughter’s best friend Jessica whom I’ve sort of adopted. Inside the purse were goodies from Bath and Body Works, a huge card made out of poster board from Maddie and Jessica, a card from Noah and a sweet letter from Maddie. While I was out doing a little shopping with the kids, Chris grilled out rib eye steaks (my favorite!), shrimp, and baked some potatoes. He even baked brownies and served them hot on top of a bowl of ice cream. Yum!! Yeah, I’d say overall it was a good Mother’s Day!

My birthday is later this week. I wonder what they’ve got planned so that they can outdo today:) O.K. O.K. I’ll stop being greedy!!

Published in: on May 12, 2008 at 4:16 am  Comments (2)  

The Unexplainable Teens…

I have noticed that there are no good books that give good, practical parenting advice on the teen years. Like, what do you do when you catch your child cursing? What is the appropriate punishment for that? What do you do when your child acts as if he/she hates you? How do you react? Do you ignore or reach out to them more? So many things pop up during this trying stage of life, and I notice the gray hairs on my head are quickly multiplying. When my kids were little, every thing came to me so naturally. Now that they are independent thinkers my hands are full and I’m at a loss on what to do. Why do kids not come with handbooks? I need a handbook, darn it!!

And we want to have a second batch of youngsters. Can I raise them for the first 9 or so years and then send them to a camp for the next 9? Now that’s an idea…

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  

“The Tweenager Years”

Maddie will be 12 this Sunday. For some reason, this has felt like a milestone. She will celebrate the last of her “tweenager” years.

In an attempt to understand the “New Maddie” that’s been developing the last year or so, I’ve tried to remember back to when I was her age. Oddly enough, I don’t even remember turning 12. The only way I can remember being her age is by reflecting to the sixth grade and seventh grades. What thoughts did I have then? Who were my friends? Where did my interests lie?

Basically, my memories sum up to this: Friends were a big thing to me. The more hip they were, the better. Although I don’t know where any of them live now or what they do for a living, at the time my world revolved around them.

We didn’t have razor phones, ipods, Hollister hoodies, Abercrombie jeans, or Nike Shox, but there were Swatch watches, Coca-Cola shirts, Guess blue jeans, and Converse high-tops. Countless morning bus rides were spent oooohing and aaaahing over each other’s new items.

And of course there were boys. We were just beginning to notice that the male species wasn’t created just for aggravating the snot out of us. We had crushes on many, and the comments we would make about them make me blush as an adult. We were beginning to experiment with sexual jargon and profanity even though the meanings were unclear.

As I monitor my daughter’s internet usage and try my best to stay connected with what’s going on in her life, things are really not that much different. We didn’t have computers and the internet, so we were a bit more “sheltered” to the outside world, but the dangers were still out there. Kids were having sex and getting in trouble for things like vandalism and drug usage. These are not new issues. Perhaps they’re just more publicized today.

So, the next time you’re tempted to say, “When I was a kid, we didn’t…”, stop and think about it. Are you for certain that things really were all that different? Or is it just our memory that’s changed? 

Sitcom Parenting…

I had one of those “t.v.” mornings while getting the kids to school this morning. Maddie beginning middle school has complicated our mornings, especially now that she has to catch the bus.  When I say it’s time to leave “right now”, she automatically assumes it’s O.K. to add five or so minutes.  The problem? Her bus has never been late. Early, yes, but late, no.

 As the school year progresses, so does the number of times she has missed the bus. She has been relying on a friend as her back-up plan. If she is cutting it close, she calls her to pick her up. 

As the bus pulls off, her friend calls because she can’t pick her up. Maddie is usually in charge of finding her own way to school in these situations. However, she has learned the right people to call when she is in a bind.  This is preventing me from successfully enforcing the “leave right now” concept.  

So, I pulled my own strings. I arranged for her to ride to school with the person of my choice. You should of seen the  look on her face as she left!

The drama didn’t begin or end with her. Noah decided as we were pulling in to the parking lot that he needed to stay home. He informed me the previous evening at bedtime that he felt as if he were dying and would probably be unable to go to school. He was curious if I could find a sub at the last minute. I informed him that he could go to the nurse if he felt that bad. He went into the spill about how that wasn’t going to do him any good because he didn’t have a fever, wasn’t throwing up, and didn’t have diarrhea. (Aren’t these the requirements for staying home?)

 I appeased him by telling him I would write his teacher a note informing her of his condition. When he came back to my room to get his bookbag, I told him there was no need for me to do so because I ran into her in the mailroom. I updated her of his condition and stated out loud to him (in front of all my students) that she would allow him to go to the bathroom anytime he needed to go. He darted out of my room, head ducked, cheeks red as a beet mumbling, “That’s gross!”

Satisfaction rendered as I watched both go on their way. I felt I had provided each with just enough humiliation for lessons to be learned. And who said parenting wasn’t fun?

P.S. Noah made it through the day without having to go to the nurse or bathroom…

Published in: on September 25, 2006 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment