One happy momma

I GOT A LETTER FROM DUNCAN!

Yes I did!

In it, he admitted that the first two days were hard – very little sleep and lots of travel and work.

Hence the crap photo of him looking all forlorn and unhappy.

That did not sit well with me.

I’ve been wondering how he’s doing and I’m happy to report he’s doing okay.

He’s made friends and it sounds like he’s having fun, even if he is working hard every day.

This from a kid who is used to sleeping until 2 pm. . .

I’ve been advised that the “currency” that is used in boot camp is mint lozenges.

They’re the only thing allowed by leadership.

So guess what I did?

I went out and bought like a BILLION mint lozenges for Duncan.

The problem is, I can’t send them to him yet.

I STILL don’t have an address for the shipment.

But when he gives it to me, for sure I will be packing and sending him a care package with everything he could possible DREAM of needing at Boot Camp – shampoo, body wash, mint lozenges, candy bars, and family pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I’m DYING to see what he looks like now with his head shaved.

And in uniform.

You know us ladies love a man in uniform.

Relief

My son texted me from Arizona, midway on his trip to Missouri.

He looked ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE and as a mother, I wanted to get on a plane and make it all better for him.

Of course, there was nothing I could do.

Then, a few text messages.

One thing was clear, he was NOT HAPPY.

He was EXHAUSTED and BORED, waiting in the airport for his connecting flight to Missouri.

I began to worry about how he would handle boot camp, something clearly challenging for even the most mature of candidates.

Would he get enough sleep?

Food?

Camaraderie?

Would he physically excel or would it prove to be too challenging?

These are the thoughts that raced through my mind.

And not being able to hear from him?

Well, that made it all WORSE and I’m not going to lie.

I had trouble sleeping.

Then yesterday, a phone call from him.

And one that didn’t start with him saying to me, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!”

So I’ve relaxed, a little.

It’s not exactly what this momma bear needs to be happy again, but it provided a little needed relief.

Heaven help military families.

I’m just realizing now how hard it can be.

Lessons

It seems to me LONG BEFORE I started going to Burning Man, I was into costuming.

My birthday being so close to Halloween, I often threw dress up themed birthday parties with my friends.

And they have always been good-natured about dressing up.

When my boys were little, I used to drive them down Highway 1 from Santa Cruz to Monterey.

Along the way, we’d stop at specific places for food and fun.

Marianne’s ice cream.

Gayle’s Bakery.

And of course, Woodworms.

At Woodworms we were allowed to try on costumes and take pictures.

My sons and I had a blast getting all dressed up and posing for pictures:

We never left empty handed.

We always left with costumes in hand.

I just couldn’t resist.

I miss those days when my boys were “hostages” and had to do whatever I wanted to do.

Invariably we’d all pack into my truck and head off on an ADVENTURE.

I hope my sons learned something from those early days.

I hope they learned to exercise their imagination, to be adventurous, and to seek happiness.

Life is short.

Eat cake just because.

Dress up just for the fun of it.

And most of all, spend time with those you love.

The things we do for our kids

I’m not a BIG fan of guns.

TBH, they scare the shit out of me.

I had a boyfriend who collected guns and he made me pick up and handle all his guns in the hopes that I’d get comfortable with handling them.

I never got comfortable.

He took me to gun ranges to shoot hand guns.

We used shot guns to blast skeet apart.

I still never got used to guns.

In fact, when I’m around people who are firing guns, the compression waves I feel in my chest when each bullet is fired, is alarming to me.

This is the preface I give you BEFORE I let you know that I BOUGHT A GROUPON TO LET MY 19-YEAR OLD SON SHOOT A MACHINE GUN IN NEVADA during our summer vacation.

He will absolutely ADORE it.

I will be secretly cringing in a corner.

But what makes the boy happy makes me happy, eventually.

And this is what he likes.

Spying eyes

My oldest son spies on me.

I know this because he called me up on the phone the other day to ask where I was.

Normally, I would have been at work.

But on this particular day I left work early to go to the doctor’s office.

“Where are you?” he asked me.

“On the freeway, heading to the doctor’s office,” I replied.

“You don’t have any doctors in that area. . . “ he told me.

“How do you know where I am?” I asked.

“I’m tracking your phone,” he said.

Sigh.

Why my son has suddenly developed an interest in my life, I will never know.

He used my password to log in to Messenger and THEN tried to blackmail me with information he found there.

“Buy me beer or I’ll tell grandma,” he threatened me.

“Go ahead,” I replied. “Grandma already knows.”

So there you have it.

My 18 year old son is spying on me so that he can blackmail me to buy him beer.

It may be time to change all my passwords.

Mother of girls

My oldest son is going to the prom.

Not his prom, mind you.

He SKIPPED all of those when he was in high school.

It’s only now that he’s graduated, with a girlfriend still in high school that he’s decided to attend one.

Personally, I think she HOUNDED him to get him to go.

My son isn’t really into dancing or dressing up, two things that feature heavily at proms.

I feel like I should make him watch Pretty in Pink or something to prepare him for what proms are like.

Did I mention that this is a prom at my old high school?

Yes, so I know EXACTLY what’s in store for him.

Twinkle lights, tinfoil and tissue paper decorations, a tired DJ, the prom king and queen ceremony, all that stuff.

It’s making me nostalgic just thinking of it.

I kinda wish I could be a fly on the wall and go watch him.

The funny part of this is that I was contacted by his girlfriend, to tell me exactly what he needs to be prepared for the prom:

  • A navy bow tie
  • A navy cummerbund
  • And, of course, a CORSAGE

I went a little crazy ordering the corsage.

Something unique, I said. With a special wristband, not just the plain white elastic.

It MUST compliment the navy dress, I instructed the florist.

I went crazy to the tune of $45.

And we haven’t even shopped for his tuxedo yet!

I’m EXTRAORDINARILY happy he’s finally going to a prom.

It’s something that’s right up my alley and I think given my experience pulling together outfits, that he will be THE BEST LOOKING YOUNG MAN AT THE PROM.

It’s times like this that I realize I should have had a girl in addition to my boys.

I would have made an EXCELLENT mother of girls!

What I love about Valentine’s Day

I don’t 100% HATE Valentine’s Day.

Although I should.

There’s something about a day where you can tell people you love them that just tugs at my heart strings.

After all, I have two teenage boys whom I adore to pieces.

Always my babies.

And since they’re usually adverse to me hugging, kissing, and snuggling them, Valentine’s Day is a good day to GUILT TRIP them into letting me do it.

This year, I got them each a funny card:

And since Duncan’s hobby is gaming, I got him THIS shirt:

Which I think he has more than enough attitude to wear when he’s out and about.

Gavin, on the other hand, is the daddy to two parakeets – Ross and Smokey.

They are his pride and joy, to say the least.

So I got him this colorful parakeet tee shirt, which I think he will like.

As much effort as I put into training the boys to remember to get me cards or presents on holidays, I think that I will be forgotten this year.

I’m not expecting to get anything from them. . .

. . .unless I HOUND them.

And that’s a possibility since I’m doing a piss poor job of teaching them to remember their loved ones on special occasions.

My not so empty nest

On August 12, 2017 I drove down to Paso Robles and got my oldest son situated in a beautiful Mediterranean-style villa.

He was signed up to take three classes – two Criminal Justice classes and one Biology class.

Not too hard, if I do say so myself.

On October 5, 2017 this same son showed up on my doorstep.

He had quit college and wanted to move back home.

In case you didn’t calculate yourself that is 53 days.

My son lasted 53 days at college in luxury accommodations.

Now, you might think I’m disappointed in him.

But you’d be wrong.

My oldest is very young for his age and I’ve always thought that he needed more time to mature before tackling the challenges of being an adult.

I welcomed him home and fed him without reprimanding him or grilling him.

I did however advise him of my expectation that he will find full time employment.

This I do feel strongly about.

As soon as I finished school, I was given three months to find a job in my degree field.

Same thing goes for him.

He has a high school diploma, it’s time for him to find out what jobs are open to people with high school diplomas.

I’m at a little bit of a loss for what he should do.

On the one hand, I want it to encourage him to go back to school and get a degree.

On the other hand, I want it to have potential to become a career for him should he not go back to school.

Suggestions?

Empty nest

This weekend I drove down to Paso Robles with my mom to see my son off to college.

I’ll be honest, I got weepy.

I had to hug him and squeeze him and kiss him before I left.

It’s hard to feel too sad about the change however, because he has landed in a pretty cushy situation.

He is living in a 250+ square foot bedroom in a villa in Paso Robles.

The place had TWO hot tubs – one on the ground floor and one on the second level.

Yup.

The ENTIRE house has vaulted ceilings.

There’s even an ELEVATOR in the house.

And a wine cellar, which is ACTUALLY a wine cellar not just a closet, down in the ground, through a wrought iron door and down a flight of stairs.

Huh.

He’s 18 years old and his bedroom is twice the size of mine.

He’s living in a 3.2 million dollar villa in Paso.

And he’s got sweeping views of the vineyards surrounding the house.

The kid is 1 years old and already he’s more successful than me.

Go figure!

Induction, birth and my “baby”

Eighteen years ago today, I found out that my amniotic fluid was not replenishing itself and my baby was at risk.

I was rushed to the hospital for an induced birth at 8 months gestation.

The induction worked great because 45 minutes later, I’d given birth to a 7 pound 12 ounce baby boy who we named Duncan.

Yeah, it was a WILD ride, let me tell you!

Today, Duncan turns 18 years old and I am THRILLED to see him launch himself into the world.

He’s not only survived low amniotic fluid, he’s also survived snorkeling with speedboats, getting stuck in a banyan tree, and numerous broken bones requiring surgery and pins.

HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY DUNCAN! I LOVE YOU AND AM SO PROUD OF YOU!