car time

When Bill’s father was alive, the two of them spent practically every weekend together working on cars…his car, his wife’s car, our cars, Bill’s sisters’ cars. An extended family our size, there was pretty much always a car that needed at least a little minor attention at any given time. Bill learned a lot about cars back then, especially Pintos.

He might have complained about all the time spent working on family cars, especially the ones that seemed to be used and abused the most. I doubt, though that he complained about the time spent with his Dad. I would imagine his Dad  felt the same…about the some of the cars they worked on and the time spent with his adult son virtually every weekend.

And now, years later, it’s the same kids…no matter how much he grouses in front of you.

That would be why I jumped ahead of him to spend an afternoon with one of our adult kids in a Jiffy Lube, watching some of yet another Harry Potter Marathon Weekend (when is there ever NOT a Harry Potter Movie Marathon Weekend???) and talking about life, work, Kanye, school and the importance of having a clean air filter.

Good times!

Truly, because hanging out with your grown-up kids is like visiting the best parts of yourself.

 

tell me again raising teen boys is so much easier

Because Mommy needed a lot of cheering up tonight because the furnace currently doesn’t work and it’s COLD here under The Big Top and she is mourning the end of what she thought was a wonderful friendship over the stupid of the last week and the stubborn rage of the offended party and aggravating bullshit of an afternoon conference call today…and this ridiculously stupid run-on sentence, my darling husband and favorite son took me out tonight for margaritas and Mexican food…good, authentic Mexican food. And just as I was finishing the first margarita, Daniel started to choke on the massive, huge, big-as-his-head burrito…like really choking.

OMG, he’s choking!

Always scary. Even scarier when the person choking has a paralyzed vocal cord

As Bill reaches over to help, Daniel is able to cough up the offending piece of food blocking his airway.

I’m okay! I’m okay!

Holding up his hand towards both of us, he makes it clear that he is okay.

He is okay…except for the fear in his eyes as he fights back crying.

Are you sure you’re okay, son?, I implore with the Mom-is-worried-and-scared-and-wants-to-hug-right-now tone.

He tries to look up as he barely whispers that he is okay but he can’t because then he really will lose his shit here in the restaurant.

Come on, Son. Let’s go shoot some pool. Bill pats him on the shoulder as they rise to head to the bar side of the restaurant where the pool table is. Mom can order another margarita while we play a game.

And today’s lesson: Sometimes Mom being concerned mom can only make it worse when you are a teenaged boy. Just let Dad  be dad and shoot some pool…as guys do…I guess.

So noted. I’ve got so much more to learn, I imagine.

teach them well

You know when you have those conversations with your child about respect for authority, for those who are called to Protect and Serve their community…and those who protect and serve this community 70 or more miles from their own homes because the pay scale and benefits are better? Every opportunity you have, you teach them that they are our helpers and they are here to protect and help us when we are in trouble and all we really need to remember is to always follow their instructions doing exactly what they tell us to do and we have nothing ever to worry about (as long as we have done nothing wrong) because they are here to protect us and serve us. They deserve our honor, our respect, our trust as they bravely serve us and protect us and we talk about this with our kids, all the time…

I know, Mom. What about my friends J and A and my friend R?

What about them?

Well, J and A are Mexican and R is Black and…well, on the news…

:::sigh:::

On the news…

So…

What then do you say?

I mean, you remind your son not all Cops and not all Brown people and not all Black people…

And you see your White Privilege right there  glaring at you because you are not having the same conversation with your teenaged son as J’s mom, or A’s mom or R’s mom is having right now.

Of course you are not.

But right now what we really need to worry about are professional athletes expressing their First Amendment Rights as American citizens in a way that in our humble opinion is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Teach them.

Teach them well.

They will teach you too.

I’m not going to answer any questions today and it’s no offense to you guys. I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting. I think you have players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issue and try to make a stand an increase people’s awareness and put a spotlight on it and they’re being ignored. Whether they’re taking a knee or whether they’re locking arms, they’re trying to bring people together and unite them for a cause. I think the last couple days a couple more guys have gotten shot and killed in the middle of the street. More videos have come out of guys getting killed, and I think people are still missing the point. The reason these guys are kneeling, the reason we’re locking arms is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right. It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.

I do a lot of community service. I go out there and try to help kids and try to encourage them to be better and to aspire to more. And when you tell a kid, “When you’re dealing with police, just put your hands up and comply with everything,” and there’s still a chance of them getting shot and no repercussions for anyone, that’s an unfortunate time to be living. It’s an unfortunate place to be in. There’s not a lot you can tell a kid. There’s not a lot you can try to inspire… a person when you say, “We need black fathers to be in the community to stay their for your kids,” but they’re getting killed in the street for nothing, for putting their hands on their cars. And I think that’s the unfortunate part, that’s the unfortunate place that we’re living in. And something needs to be done. And so when a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it. You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag. I’m doing none of those things. I’m saying, straight up, this is wrong and we need to do something. So thank you guys, have a blessed day.

~ Richard Sherman, cornerback, Seattle Seahawks

everything I might have ever learned about parenting I learned while potty training

Is that even possible? There is, after all, so much more to raising these humans we call our children so that they will be successful adults…with jobs…responsibilities…the ability to hang their own pictures in their own first apartment. Of course there is so much more that we learn as we grow and these babies of our grow but a social media conversation today struck me that there is much to learn while potty training each of our children…and observing others…observing, comparing, contrasting and maybe judging as we do because, for some, parenting is a competitive sport…maybe an Olympic event worthy competitive sport.

No not really.

Still we often do compare and contrast…and pat ourselves on the back because we are doing a great job…or wallow in self-doubt and lots of mommy-guilt.

One thing I might have learned or appreciated potty training five unique individuals is that they were uniquely five very different individuals…and I was no more an expert in how to potty train a human after the first, second, third, fourth or fifth. I did learn was to appreciate the big picture in that when physically ready, the kids are capably continent and there is much, much, much more that is a better measure of their success years and years later…like when they are parents themselves.

And then I come back to the conversation today. Watching our own children as parents we must recognize and acknowledge our successes (and definitely major fails) as parents. Watching them, as we do in every major event and milestone of their lives, we must trust that we did good…and that they are doing even better because of,  or perhaps in spite of us. Our children will not be the mothers and fathers that we are; and for some of us that is a very good thing. They are not us  even if they came out from our own bodies. They are uniquely their own selves just as their own children, our grandchildren are too.

For me, for my daughter, I recognize that we are so different as mothers…even if I joke that she is raising herself times two because my curses are that good. Lucky for her daughters too. Literally one of the joys of being a grandparent, a Mima, is witnessing and celebrating what a great job my child is doing as a mommy…because of me, or more likely, in spite of me. She might do things differently than I did or would as a mother but she is her own mother making this motherhood gig her own bitch. I could critique, whether privately or for all on Facebook-land to see under the guise of well-meaning advice…or I could just enjoy the adventure…her adventure…her adventure as my grand babies’ Mommy.

And of course I continue to enjoy the sweetness that is my grand babies, her children.

And, in my daughter’s own words, I get to enjoy the truth that she is (today) winning at the mom-game, because she is.

Dear friend, when it comes to crowdsourcing for parenting wisdom and critique to pass on to our grand babies’ parents…don’t, just don’t. They’ll potty train your grand baby when your grand baby is truly ready. Just enjoy your grand baby buying all the big kid underpants and practicing going potty with them when they are at your house because what happens at Mima’s house stays at Mima’s house. And when your adult child picks up THEIR child from your house, tell them how glad that you are that they are your grand baby’s parent.

Yeah, I learned so much of this and more in the adventure that is potty training my five children with all the well-meaning wisdom, observations and advice.

 

missing

Daniel has been away this week having his own adventures with one of his most favorite aunts and uncles…and cousin too.

Jealous we are because triple digit heat and smoky, stagnant air thanks to triple digit heat and wild fires here in California. But, hey what a perfect way to complete his summer vacation because school starts next week. Still I am missing him because he is missing here under The Big Top.

And as I am missing my favorite son, I am enjoying seeing his once teeny, tiny feet inked on my body that is shared over at Cool Mom Picks this week. Yes, I know, literally EVERY mom get’s their baby’s feet inked onto their bodies nowadays. But 11 years ago… Those impossibly small feet, which are actually, really HIS footprints, naturally represent just how small he once was; but inked over my heart there is so much more representing our beginnings as mother and son. Moving on I have to tell you there are 11 other tattoo ideas that are so much more kick-ass and more original than mine. I imagine Kristen included mine because, after all, I did send her a picture of my boob…because I do love her. Nevertheless, go. Go now and check out some pretty kick-ass parental tattoo ideas to inspire your own ways to permanently honor your own kids.