motherhood

From Here on Out

The worst part about having teenagers isn’t the unpredictable moods (mainly my own), its the damaged self-esteem having become the shortest member of my household.

I hate being the shortest.

However, this was what I prepared for, this moment in time when I could no longer intimidate them by being bigger.  I did all I could to earn their respect.  I carved rules into stone and quashed revolt to the best of my ability.  It’s all led to this…I genuinely enjoy them as humans.  

This has pushed me into a new precipice of parenting. While I am still a quiet, constant support in their lives, what they do with them is no longer up to me. I will serve them best if I keep my opinions to myself.  I’ve had my shot at being a teenager. I gave it my all and it’s not up to my boys to fulfill any of my unlived dreams.  And, anyway, I feel like I’m just getting started. 

I plan to appreciate wherever my one, wild, and precious life takes me.

The point of all this, and yes, there is actually a point, is that I want to declare that my boys are in charge of their destiny from here on out.

I want Full Speed to choose his college (if college suits him) and career path based on his own criteria.

No limits.

From what I can see, he is thoughtful in his musings about his future. I trust him and I trust life to take him wherever he needs to go. As long as he is following his curiosity, the answers will come.

As for T. Puzzle, who at this stage remains committed to verbalizing the least amount of words possible on any given day, I support this endeavor. Who I am I to know what he needs? Maybe my penchant for feeling-based talks aren’t the answer to everyone’s problems. What works for me may not work for him. I did recently ask him to at least alter the inflection when he says “good” or “ok” just to give me some auditory variance.  If he decides not to, that’s fine by me, too.

The greatest superpower a parent has is their ability to witness the incredible, pure essence of what makes each of their children awesome. This will help see you through the conflict particular to raising teenagers.  

And remember, the best way to get them to listen to you is to say as little as possible.

I think T. Puzzle is really on to something there.

inspiration, motherhood

Maple Syrup Mountain

Somehow, after years of trudging my way through the trenches of motherhood, I have reached the ultimate pinnacle of triumph.  T.Puzzle and Full Speed make me breakfast once a week!  And not a sad, soggy, partially frozen waffle sort of deal, but a glorious, made-from-scratch, giant golden, fills-your-whole-plate kind of waffle situation.

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To be fair, they learned from the best.

Mad Dog used to frequently make us homemade waffles on the weekend.  Then, life got way too busy until everything came to a quarantined halt.  He took this pause in time to resurrect this beloved tradition and managed to teach the boys how to do it from start to finish. T.Puzzle runs point and Full Speed is the technical support (readies supplies, melts butter, perfectly times the bacon preparation).  Whatever they are doing is working.  The waffles turn out amazing and then the whole house smells delicious for hours afterwards.  

And then,…they clean it all up afterwards!  Sure, there are times that the waffle iron gets left on and the batter mix floats over my kitchen in an apocalyptic-sized cloud, but I’ll take it.

Now that I am at the summit of motherhood freedom, I’m sure T.Puzzle will tell you it’s a swift dive downhill for me into creaking old age.  And this may be so, but while I’m here taking in this fabulous view, I plan to party like a rock star and eat as many waffles as humanly possible.

humor, motherhood

Fast Asleep

IMG_8767At a certain point in the day, I am over watching tv.  Especially on days I’ve clocked in a four-hour-plus baseball game. Sometimes I’m over reading, too.  When these moments happen, I just want to call it a day.  Even if I’m not truly tired I’d prefer to have dark and quiet.  Mad Dog isn’t always in agreement, but part of marriage is compromise.

“Are you planning on reading?” said Mad Dog as he finished up brushing his teeth.

“Nope. But I did think we could talk about our feelings,” I said.

“Great!  That will help me fall right to sleep!”

I do what I can, Mad Dog.  I do what I can.

 

motherhood

Coping

This is how I am coping with the pandemic.

I’m not.

Well, that’s not totally true, some days I fake that I am okay better than other days.  So, there’s that, but mostly, I have no idea what I am doing.

Here’s what helps:

1.Taking a million photos of my dogs:

 

2. Cracking jokes with my boys:

 

3. Reading updates on Roho (he’s doing awesome).

4: Watching baseball.  So. Much. Baseball.

5. A gratitude practice.  I particularly love this journal:

Start with Gratitude

It includes unique prompts that make you stop and reflect about your day. This way it’s not a rote listing of the same things over and over.  The only one I struggle with is “Favorite people I saw today.”  The answer is always the same: Full Speed, T.Puzzle, and Mad Dog…it’s the pandemic y’all (I always add that in so if future generations look back at it they won’t be sad that I had no friends).

6. Get outdoors until I remember I live in Texas and it is currently a thousand degrees and I retreat indoors before my face melts off.

7. Question why I live in Texas.

8. Eat chocolate.

9. Eat more chocolate.

10. Allow for bad days, offer myself some kindness, and hug my boys (T.Puzzle LOVES this!).

11. Cardio kickbox my way through some aggression.

12. And last but not least, remind myself that there are awesome people like you in the world.

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humor, motherhood

Any Day Now

There are two important characteristics to look for in friendship.  The first being pool ownership.  The second, and most critical, is this friend allows you full use of their pool if they have to travel.

Let’s just say, I have some of the best friends in all of Texas.

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The key to surviving any competitive endeavor in this family whether pool related or not, is to make sure Mad Dog is always on your team.  He is a natural-born strategist and the king of trash talk.  However, the boys having learned from the best, are now able to verbally spar on his level.

It’s a whole lot of nonsense if you ask me, but apparently the secret ‘man-formula’ to showing respect is hurling insults at one another at a top-rate speed.  Full Speed especially enjoys targeting me.  If you were a betting kind of person, you might guess it’s because I am the most reactive of our bunch. I can’t speak to this specifically but I am crying right now as I type this.

Pool volleyball is no exception. Mad Dog and I happened to win our first round of games versus the boys.  We had to work for it.  As we sat around poolside dissecting various aspects of the game, T.Puzzle remained surprisingly unfazed by the loss.  Normally, he would brood and mope leaving the whole outing in ruins because he did not win.

“That means you are growing up, when you can lose and still say you are had a fun day at the pool,” Mad Dog said.

At what age does this happen you may wonder?

Well, Mad Dog is turning forty-nine this year…

I’ll keep you posted.