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!

Mom to the rescue

So there I am, relaxing on Waikiki Beach, getting my sun on when all of a sudden my sister hollers for me.

“MICHELLE!”

I turn to look at her.

She’s reclining in the shade of a banyan tree, avoiding the sun, which is exactly what I SHOULD be doing but AM NOT.

“WHAT?” I yell back.

She points to the banyan tree.

Standing in the banyan tree, about 15 feet up in the air, is my son Duncan.

He’s gone and gotten himself STUCK UP A TREE IN HAWAII.

I snickered.

Time to rescue my almost-18-year-old son who thinks he’s so grown up.

This is not the first time I’ve saved his butt.

There was that time he went snorkeling among speedboats in Tahoe.

And pretty much his ENTIRE childhood I spent keeping him on a leash because he liked to walk into traffic.

So this was nothing new to me.

“Please don’t break anything,” I said to him when I got close.

We walked over to the side of the tree he had climbed up and he proceeded to jump down and. . .well, see for yourself.

Just so you know, no matter how grown up they are, they still need a mother.

Speedboats and oblivious teenagers

Duncan

The thing is you can be on vacation with your 15 and 17 year old sons in Reno, Nevada visiting your sister.

And maybe you decide to go to Donner Lake for a little R & R.

So you get set up on the beach – towels, sunblock, food, 48 oz can of PBR. . .

And everyone rushes into the water to play while you sun yourself on the beach.

And lo and behold, an hour passes and everyone is still out in the water.

So you look, and your sister is waving her hands frantically.

BECAUSE YOUR 17 YEAR OLD SON IS SNORKELING OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SPEEDBOATS.

And the current is too strong for her to reach him.

INSTANT ANXIETY ATTACK!

But there’s no time to freak out.

So you get yourself up and swim out to your sister, who is floating in an inflatable inner tube with another empty inner tube attached to it.

EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD NO INTENTION OF GETTING WET!

And you slip into the empty inner tube and DRAG your sister, who is tired from swimming for the last hour, out INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE SPEED BOATS WHERE YOUR SON IS OBLIVIOUSLY LOOKING FOR GO PRO CAMERAS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE WITH A SNORKEL AND MASK.

Maybe you asked him to come in with you.

Maybe you begged.

Maybe you even BRIBED HIM BY OFFERING TO BUY HIM HIS OWN GO PRO.

Then you started yelling.

After all, you’re floating IN THE MIDDLE OF SPEEDBOATS trying to convince your son what he’s doing is dangerous – head down in the water, no flotation device, a tiny body in a sea of water and waves. Practically invisible to drunk, vacationing boaters.

And that’s when he says it.

“When I’m 18 I can do whatever I want and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

And that’s when you realize that he’s still very young for his age. Physically 17, mentally 6.

This just goes to show. . . you NEVER stop parenting your kids, no matter how old they get.Duncan

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