Thursday, July 28, 2016

Stopping time

We were on our last night of vacation, and I was going to take pictures of my children being silly in the ocean as the sun was setting.  But then I stopped.

I stopped looking through the screen of my phone and I just watched.  I listened. Because in that moment, I knew I was watching something that would never be the same again.  This was likely our last family vacation with all of us living under one roof.  This was the beginning of the end of my nuclear family as it exists.  I wanted to soak it in through a lens that was more powerful than my camera.

I watched my children play together and laugh like I've watched them for the last seventeen years. But this time was different.  And tears streamed down my face.  

"Are you okay, Mama?"

No, no, I'm not okay.  But at the same time, everything is perfect.  This will be the year of tears that are both happy and sad tears all at the same time. 


When Sarge and I first married, it was part of the negotiations that I would never live in a house with wheels and that he wouldn't tolerate a cat as a pet.  One of us has gone back on our word.

Just before Christmas, we got the teenage girl a kitten of her own.  Well, it was supposed to be hers.  After the bad dog finally realized that the cat wasn't a snack and had sharp claws that he wasn't afraid to use, the cat was allowed to roam freely about the house.

Quickly, I discovered that Sarge loved that cat. If he was missing for any period of time, wewould find him in Olivia's room playing with that stupid cat.  He takes the cat out with him to get the newspaper.  He tolerates the sharp claws and loves it when the cat purrs.

I used to joke that he would leave me if I ever came home with a cat.  Now I think he would take the cat with him if he ever left me.  You know, to go live in that house on wheels.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


I remember when my children were younger and I would tell myself to let them talk, even though I wanted to claw my eyes out because I simply didn't care about every make and model of every car made, thankyouverymuch.

I'm reaping the rewards for keeping my eyes and pretending to listen now.  Except now I have to pretend in a different way.  I have to pretend not to be horrified by what their classmates are doing when they show me the tweets.  I have to pretend that the Vine they show me isn't awful to me.  I have to pretend that it doesn't panic me when they go off with their friends driving.  I have to pretend that the stories they tell me don't make me want to die inside and instead just respond, "what do you think of that?"  I have to pretend, again, or they will stop sharing.  And now the stakes are higher if they don't share.

Share with me when you are struggling in a relationship. Share with me when you are insecure and are trying to work your way through it. Share with me when you're thinking of doing something and you're seeking advice.   Share when you have a question about something embarrassing.  I will listen.  I will let you come to the answer you need, not give the answers I think you need.  I will not judge.  I might want to die inside, but the silence would kill me faster.


The conversation went like this.

"Do girls ever send you nudes?"

Boy: "Ew, mom, no."

Girl: "Mom, that's not the way that works.  Boys ask for them, then girls send them."




Just wondering how to casually bring up pornography in a conversation with a teenager without condemning or condoning.  I mean, you want to find out their thoughts and depth of knowledge while at the same time not screaming, "DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP THAT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE TO REAL LIFE"

I mean, keeping it casual.