Social Media Narcissists

In my opinion most people on social media are narcissists.  (solely my opinion)

Well the people who over post or post about their perfect lives

If they are so perfect and living the perfect life, how are they finding the time to boast about it. Sure we all boast every now and then. It is social media…so we all like to stay social and share our excitement. . We will boast about a significant date, an anniversary, birthdate or a special event. But I’m talking about the ones that post everything, from what they made for breakfast to how many times they had a bowel movement, and how much in love they are with the perfect person.

I believe most people on social media are covert narcissists. Not your every day full of themselves narcissists but a more deadly  sort. They are more discrete, more shy with a reserved personality. They possess grand delusions of entitlement, of being better than others. They are condescending, insensitive, passive aggressive,defensive, hostile and lack any real emotion.

A covert narcissist believe they are highly intelligent, insightful and more beautiful than their parent or child. They view their children as a threat, a possession, a source of jealousy . They are quick to take praise of their child’s accomplishments and just as quick to place blame  for short comings. They view their parent as a nemesis. It infuriates them when given advise and makes them extremely uncomfortable to receive love and sends them in an enraged state when their parent gives attention to the children.

In a relationship a covert narcissist will first come across as genuine. Then become self-centered, emotionally abusive, stubborn and will place blame for any and all problems. They will never admit wrong doings, in fact they will play the victim. They are constantly in need of attention, admiration and validation. When the other person see’s through this behavior they will be dismissed and blamed. The covert narcissist will lie about the break of a relationship to gain sympathy.

The one thing  your average narcissist and the covert narcissist do have in common is their complete lack of empathy. They know what they are doing and enjoy every second of it. They will spend their down time plotting and manipulating ways to get their fill of narcissistic behavior. When another is low they will kick them lower, when on a high they will take them down for pure pleasure.

Therefore it is my opinion that most people who over post about their perfection on social media are covert narcissists. They have a desperate need to have the social media world  believe their lives are perfect. But are incapable of living that life! The fact that some see right through the desperation is irrelevant.

I mean rely if your busy being the perfect loving, doting, honoring respectful wife/husband . Or the most dutiful child and best friend, Or the best cherishing, helpful, fun-loving parent…..how or when do you find the time to boast about it on social media?

On a twisted note….the mix of narcissists personalities will completely blind side social media and go as far as having another post about them!

In the words of a dear wise friend…“If it’s not on Face Book, It didn’t happen”

Too Quiet to Write…

 

Now that my little guy is in school I am left with too much time and quiet.  I guess I complained enough to anyone who would listen which opened the window to advise!

I’ve been told to relax, enjoy the quiet time. Ya know relax, like go to a salon try a new hairstyle, get my nails done or maybe even a message.  Or join a gym! (umm, does this mean the middle age bulge is showing?)  I was told that with all my free time I should be able to do more writing and even have the opportunity to get a job!

I’ll start with being advised to relax. First off I should have asked why,  do I look stressed? Do I not look rested? Second I would stated how I was relaxed..Yes WAS relaxed!  I was a relaxed home school mom. I did not have to make sure the little guy was somewhere on time in a building full of strangers before the sun even had time to warm the earth. I didn’t see the stress in his eyes of looking for his designated line and hoping that his friends were already there.  I was so very relaxed taking my time in the mornings enjoying multiple cups of coffee before the little guy’s feet hit the floor running. We were both relaxed with the only time we worried about was dinner time. Whatever we studies , learned ,experimented on, and whatever adventure the day laid out for us needed to be complete by dinner time. Not that anyone held us accountable, but dinner time is family time.

As far as the, oh so annoying , advise of get a job,  please allow me to list a few of the jobs I have.

I operate a wake up center. I am a short order breakfast cook. I am a chauffeur and a wardrobe stylist. I am a therapist, although operating illegally as I am not a licensed therapists.  I am  middle management of absorbing  negativity.  I am a personal shopper.   I  am the CEO of stocking the snack shelves with “I don’t know”, “I don’t care” or the all important “whatevers”.   I am even in charge of stocking the refrigerator shelves with the “fine I’ll eat that” and the “if that’s all we have”.

I am a housekeeper, dog walker, cat feeding and animal hair removing specialists. I have become so efficient at be a launderer that the clothes never see the inside of a basket. I pride myself on being an award-winning (actual award given to me by my oldest when he was a little one) comfort food executive chef. I am also an understudy executive sous chef for all gourmet food prep. (my husband wins that award). I am a waitress, busboy/girl and dishwasher. I did earn my master at delegating responsibilities to other members of the house.( but failed at executing the follow through rule)  After years of study I have mastered the art of how not to nag . My studies taught me that the complaint box never gets read and that necessities will always meet a deadline. (so in other words right before I go bat shit crazy).

I’m even thinking of obtaining my detective’s license because I am the only one that can see the jar of mayonnaise on the first shelf in front of the milk. I am the only one who knows where the keys are. I am the only one capable of finding a cell phone that the battery either died or the volume is off.  I am the only one that knows what and where the favorite sock, shoe, shirt and or pants are.

Perhaps I should seek a course in psychic reading as well. One job that I am still trying to master is reading minds. I am struggling with the ‘well you should know” duties.

I am also an amateur magician.  I  say words no one hears, make disappearing lists and pull entertainment out of a hat! My favorite and most secret magic trick is turning everyday simple tap water into delicious aromatic caffeine.

You see; I do have a job.  I am a mother , I am a wife. I will not be so cynical  as to state that I do not get paid for such specialties because there is no amount that could compensate the fulfillment I receive.  I love what I do and who I do it all for!

My actual monetary job is…I am a writer!

As far as the great advise as “use the time to write more”.  I am sure many writers crave the silence. I am not one of those writers! My muse is noisy chaos. My muse sat with me while the dogs were running after the little guy. She cringed  with me as the cat was running from the dogs and all we heard was the  …click….click…click of their nails on the hard wood floors. She whispered to me as the little guy was finishing his learning for the day and getting ready to turn on the T.V, the video games or make his thousandth bottle flipping you tube video. She sang with me to the blaring radio that drowned out the thump…thump…thump of the flipping bottle. She made me see the excitement of finishing a scene before dinner needed to be placed on the table. She helped me enjoy the silliness and love that circled around me as the dark words appeared on the screen.

Now as I sit with nothing but time and quiet, I sit alone. My muse must have thought the quiet was all I needed to write more!

NO…NO…NO Miss Chaotic Muse , I need you. It is too quiet to write!

  • DISCLAIMER: I do not think I do any more or less than any other stay at home mom or dad…

Home

Home, well of course this word has different meanings to  many.

I will tell you what it means to me.

Home is my sanctuary.  Home is where the outside world is not welcome. I live in my home with my husband, my 24 year old and 11 year old son along with our 3 dogs and the queen of the house Bella (the cat). My husband and older boy work and the 11 year old is back in school. (I’m still trying to come to terms with that).

I would like to tell you that the men in my house are woke with the smell of a hot hearty breakfast being cooked and coffee wafting in the air. I would also like to tell you that they are sent out into the world with a homemade bagged lunch made with love.  However the only thing I can tell you that coffee is indeed wafting through the house.

The coffee most often than not is for me! I mean how am I supposed to function at such an early hour? Do they not understand that Bella (the cat) may be the queen but I am the Queen Mom and should be doted on?  All joking aside. The coffee may be for me, but I’ll go as far as offering a cup to my husband and at least a drink for the boys.  I will offer the little guy a bite to eat. He may choose left over dinner, mac n cheese, perhaps a bagel, cereal and most likely just hot chocolate, but it is made with love.  (I’ll even hand him a bag of chips with love…parenting fail 101) The older boy rather make his own meals, he’s a recent vegetarian and don’t trust that I will prepare a meat free meal. (Gees kid, an egg cooked in bacon grease shouldn’t count…oh wait ,is an egg considered eating an animal?)

The point is they all wake to love and calmness. Before they leave the house there may be a rush to find a shoe, a tool, a phone that the volume is off (grrr…) or homework that never made it in the back pack, but when they leave they know they are loved and cherished.  My husband receives and gives a warm embrace and a wish for a great day.  The 11 year old is reassured that school will become the norm (he was homeschooled), assured that all he needs to do is his very best and that he is a great kid. The 24 year old is told to have a great day and not to let his boss (his father, for now)  over work him and receives and gives a peck on the cheek.  (how dare he be a grown up?)

I go about my morning routine of plopping on the couch to have a cup of coffee that is actually hot. Sometimes I stay on the couch longer than I ought to. But the dogs always let me know when my time is up. The queen usually in a no fuss unless there is a morsel missing from her food or a sip taking from the water bowl. I set out to do all the “house work” that every other stay at home mom(or dad) does. (I am having such a hard time embracing being a “house wife”…I mean really who is this person?…I was a homeschool mom!…)  Since I don’t have  toddlers the house chores are not that complicated. I run the errands and pick up whatever was requested for dinner.  In between all this, I am in front of my desk banging out the next #1 best seller novel on the New York Times list, sending magazine articles and my secret political articles, blogging and e-mailing resume’s for more prominent magazine opportunities.

Through all the rejections, re-writes and misspelled words I know this is not my families frustration. I know my husbands customers who want him to re-build or re-tile or simply did not anticipate the wood work to be so dark/ light  is not my frustration. I know that the 24 year old waiting for the e-mail from the employer that he is desperately hoping to hear from is not my frustration. I know that the 11 year olds friend drama and learning how to sit for a 6 hour day and hand in work according to 7 different teachers requirements is not my frustration.  I know I am here to listen and in any way I can be a help with their frustrations and they mine. None of this comes to the dinner table. None of this makes a home.

When I pick up the 11 year old, he is greeted with a smile. He’s allowed to throw his day in my lap, as long as it stays there. I’ll gladly take it off his shoulders but refuse to put it on mine. The 24 year old carry’s his day on his shoulders for a bit but they always end up in his lap and at times mine. (which I love). My husband carry’s his own but leaves them in his work truck.

My home is not a combat zone. Not a place to carry in the worlds problems. Not a place to put problems on others. Not a place to pass blame. Not a place where stress is created over money or things that need fixing. Not a place where anyone worry’s about what they say. Not a place where everything or anyone needs to be perfect. Not a place where if one is smiling the other tries to wipe that smile. Not a place where your voice is not heard. Not a place where dreams are crushed. Not a place where anyone feels less than.

My home is for knowing money can always be made. things will be fixed or can be replaced . My home is where anything can be said.(ummmm..the 11 year old takes this literal).  My home is where dreams are dreamed and nourished. No one in my home is perfect,  we are all perfectly imperfect. In my home a smile is contagious. My home shows and receives (not commands) respect. My home is where we all know each others stress points and we do not press them.  My home is where we can be our flawed selves.

My home is where I know what my family means to me. I know what I mean to them. My home is where we learned to need one another and learn to stand alone.

                                   My home is where my family is. 

Farewell Summer

Here in my neck of the woods school has started. For me and many others that means bidding Summer a bitter-sweet farewell.  In full disclosure I find nothing sweet about it, I am completely bitter!.

For the past few years I was blessed to be able to home school my boy. For many reasons he decided to go back into the system. He started 6th grade, his first year in Junior High school.  I waited for the last-minute (hoping he would change his mind) to allow this fact to sink in. I woke early his first day. I shuffled through the house singing “rise and shine, its morning time”. I prepared a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, and topped it off with hot chocolate for the boy and much-needed coffee for myself. I could not keep my eyes off my growing boy. Who told him he was allowed to grow?  Who told him he was allowed to make his own decisions?   Does he not understand he is my youngest by far of my 3 boys and he has to stay that way?

I know what you are thinking…and your right! His father taught him such nonsense!!! Well, ok in full disclosure we both taught him and his brothers to grow into confident, strong, independent , well-rounded,compassionate men.  Although my little guy is far from a man, he his headed in the right direction, (that does not mean I have to like it).

For the past few years this time of year was a celebration. In fact we would get together with our home school community and have a “Not Back To School” picnic celebration. We celebrated not having to keep a schedule, not having to answer to the man and the fact the our Summer was as long as mother nature provided it to be.  I loved not waking to an alarm clock, having the run of the parks and teaching my boy the basics and focusing on his interests.  We have a diverse home school community with many interests and we gathered often for learning and playing. My boy was well-rounded with learning and socializing but he felt something was missing.  Rather he wanted one aspect of his diverse day to be missing…..ME!!

I sort of understand where he is coming from. He is struggling so hard for his independence and he feels if he remains home with me he will never gain such. Again…how dare he have such thoughts? Where did I go wrong? Does this boy not understand, it’s all about me?!  I do not want him at the tender age of 11 to be so independent. I want him home with me. I want to be the one teaching him. I want to be the one seeing the very moment he understands what is being taught.  I want to watch him interacting with his friends. I do not want him in the care of strangers. I WANT the Summer to last as long as possible! I NEED his childhood to last for as long as possible!

I stood there at the far end of the court-yard with all the other parents. I needed to be there on the line with him assuring him that everything was going to be just fine and that I was just a phone call away. In reality I was the one that needed reassuring.

When I returned to my house, I was devastated.  I was alone. It was too quiet. Who am I? What am I?  I was a home school mom. Now I was just a mom home alone!

I bid Summer a sad,sad farewell!   I will face wherever this new season of my life takes me and thrive in it!!           (but…I DO NOT HAVE TO LIKE IT!)

 

 

 

 

 

Friend or friendship

Friend or friendship…that is the question.  (is there a difference?)

Friend by definition is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. Typically exclusive of sexuality or family relation.

Friendship by definition is the emotions or conduct of friends ; the state of being friends.

It is true that we can not pick and choose our family but we certainly do such with friendships. Of course there are those few friendships that are formed through parents and even a spouse, but still we choose to keep them.

Family is fabulous and most times will always be there for you. (well they ought to be) Family likes to believe no one knows you better than they, but come on we all know that’s not true. The only thing family knows better than anyone else is who, what and why you are the person you are. Only family can fully understand our value wiring because they were wired the same way!  The bond we create with friends are true and deep, friends are the ones we choose to confess what color our wires are.

Having someone to laugh with, cry with , be silly with, be crazy with and just be silent with is essential to the human spirit. Having that bond is as vital as consuming water.

When I was a child (many moons ago) life here in my neck of the woods was what I wish for every child. We didn’t have scheduled play dates. Friendships did not depend on the mothers getting along or having the  time. We didn’t have electronic devices to keep in touch, we actually walked up to front doors and knocked. (and politely asked if Janie or Johnny could come out to play) We didn’t wait for the mother’s to clean the house, send her e-mails and troll Face Book, or for her socks to match her purse before chaffering us to a timed park event.  We woke up did our chores and waved goodbye as mom reminded us that “so and so” from the next block would paddle our behind if we acted up! (paddle …I crack myself up, no I am not talking about Little House on the Prairie time, but it was a safer and less technology driven time where the village had a voice)

I did not dare utter the words “I’m bored”.   To be honest not only would I get smacked upside the head and given enough chores to occupy my time, but I was never bored. During school months I would be sent out the door with a full belly, by the time I got to the end of my block I was joined by 8-10 of my friends on the way to school. We knew enough to go straight home after school to do a few chores and get the homework done in time for a game of man hunt (hide and seek) before dinner. School breaks and Summer was a glorious time. Excitement rose me with the sun. I either  dug out hats, gloves and scarves or shorts, tank tops and flip-flops rushed through the chores and headed out for the day. My stomach dictated when it was time to show my face at my door or a neighbor’s door so they knew we were safe and when our names echoed through the neighborhood  we knew it was dinner time. The street lights coming on informed us that it was time to gather on a stoop until one of the moms gave “the look”.   Summer meant the fun didn’t end at dinner time ; it meant that chore money went on batteries for the flash light man hunt adventures!                                                                                               Now everything has to be scheduled and supervised.   Parents have forgotten the value of  childhood friends.

As adult, married with children and grandchildren , no one can ever come above or before God and my family but I value my friends and friendship so much more.  I hope my boys value their friends and friendships. (I know my older boys never waited for my socks to match but my younger boy waits for other moms to send their e-mails!)

I have friendships, many friendships.  The one that I can laugh for hours with. The one that understands what our crazy aging bodies are going through. The one that understands the mental anguish of the daily routine, The one that tells me the truth about not succeeding at hiding the middle age bulge but compliments me on trying. The one that will join in on my plots against the “20 something know it all’s”. The one that knows the right time to drag me out of the house for a cup of coffee and when to keep me out for a cocktail.  The one that will come pick up my youngest child while secretly turning off my phone so I can recharge my patience . The one that speaks only the truth I need to hear.  That one who is always on the sidelines shaking her pom pom’s cheering me on.  That one who  helps guide my path.  That one who feels no envy but shares my joy.  That one that our lives have taken a different path and when we do find the time to speak we pick up right where we left off.  All of these friendships are vital to my existence, I need love and cherish them.    But only a friend is all of these friendships rolled into one amazing person! 

There is a clear difference between friendships and having a friend!                           By definition a friend is by far the best answer!

 (you know who you are )

It takes a village

It takes a village to raise a family.

Young mothers today seem to feel threatened by the village.  They take away the village , take away the child’s ability to know and show love to anyone other than themselves!  These new mother lack confidence and assurance that their child will and does love them!

Once upon a time when a child was born into a family, the Grandmothers and Aunts were on hand and ready to bathe, cut  nails and show the mother the best way to relieve infant gas. Now they wait  for the golden invitation for the opportunity  to look at the infant in the bassinet from afar. (but not before they are power washed with sanitizer in the front yard and stripped of all thoughts of kissing the precious child)

Grandmothers, Aunts and Cousins would walk throughout the door with trays of fried, sautéed and baked goods as they were announcing (shouting)  they were there to squeeze the little ones cheeks and bit their chubby legs.                                      Grandfathers and Uncles were behind the woman with their tool bags, a few beers and cigars to stand around patting the new dad on his back with pride and scare him a bit with diaper explosion stories as they were putting together all the infant essentials.   Now mothers are out to prove they need no one. They rather no dinner be on the table for the father when he excitingly returns home from work. They rather a hired high school student from the local baby store fumble through tightening each screw of the crib and of course there would be no cigar smoking celebratory pat on the back within 10 miles of the house. (ok…we all know smoking of any kind is terrible for anyone especially an infant, but you get the point here…)  Any talk of “been there done that” is utter nonsense to the new mother. Even though her and the infants father made it to the point in their lives to conceive a child, the parents had nothing to do with it, in fact they did everything wrong and know nothing about raising a child!

Mothers use to carry their bundle of joy with anticipation of one day having their figure back and fitting into their favorite dress and leaving the baby at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the long-awaited date night to celebrate being a parent . (in reality the first sleep over was just so mom and dad could sleep).                                                                     Now the mothers forget all about the fact that they created this beautiful being with the man they love. They want the world to believe being a mother fulfills their every second and the father should be just as fulfilled working all day and coming home to a woman who “is a mother” therefore she has no time to even brush her hair. He should take over child rearing but he of course does nothing right so the mother is “fine” with doing it all.  If the father dare express he is tired from work, or that he would like to go out with just his wife, well then he of course  hates his life and certainly can not love his child!

These new mothers do not look at their child as a member of the family (the village). No..the child is their possession! Their possession is not a grandchild, niece, nephew or cousin, he/she is a possession that requires written notice to be loved. The family is thought of as out of control and disrespectful to dare to want to hold the child, feed the child, spend time with the child or even buy the child unaproved gifts.

What is the threat? What happened to this generation?  When did these new mothers lose the values they were raised with?  Who led them to believe they do not need the village? When will they understand the village is there for them to learn from, lean on, teach to and fill their child’s world with love?  Why would they want to raise a child that will never know the debts of their father’s silliness and capabilities? Why did they have a child with a man who is nothing more than a pay check? How can these new mothers deny their child the joy of the parent that is not stressed with routine, rules and regulations and that can show a different way to  do things. Why would they not want to lean on the man they chose to have a child with? How dare they raise a child that does not know that there are no rules at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and that their every wish will be granted?  Why deny them the fact that “NO” is not in a Grandparents vocabulary? What is the reasoning to deny the child to spend time with an Aunt or Uncle that can share fun stories of their parents? How is the child ever going to learn that an Aunt or Uncles house is always a safe place to complain about mom and dad. How can anyone deny a child a safe place to express a thought that only an Aunt or Uncle would understand?  Will the child ever learn that cousins are  your best friends? (no one will understand the craziness of your family better than a cousin)

I fear there will never be an answer to these questions. I fear generations to come will never know that using the village ensures a healthy, happy, loved,  well adjust adult!

I realize this has been happening with the generations that came after me, and that is why the world is in the sate its in!!!

It will take a strong village to rebuild and show these new mothers…there is nothing new about raising a child. The village needs to show these new mothers that your child is of course “your child” and will love you no matter what, but love is what makes the village work

Parenting Adult Children

No one prepares you, certainly not one person dares to warn you about parenting an adult child.  People say children should come with instructions,  I believe the instruction should pop out when the child becomes an adult! (not exactly sure where they should pop out of, but they should!)

When mothers are pregnant we are dreaming of holding our bundle of love to our breast snuggled in their receiving blankets. Parents are wondering who the little love will look like and who they will take after. Mothers are hoping their sons have their father’s stunning good looks. Fathers are hoping their daughter’s have their mother’s timeless beauty. Of course the parents second guess themselves and read every book on the parenting shelves hoping they have every safety gadget and all the comfort needs for the arrival. Advise has been spoken, written and e-mailed about the proper diapers, weather or not the little loves should sleep on their back or tummy and which bottle will prevent gas. (ummm, that is if one chooses NOT to breast feed….agh! that’s a whole other issue)

During the first precious year we are blessed with mile stones.  That first poop is simply an amazing magical occurrence that we must show one another and call other loved ones to explain the color and quantity! How wonderful it is to see the little loves turn from their back to their tummy! How special of a moment when he/ she holds his/her head up and looks into our eyes.  Watching the little loves fine tuning their motor skills is always a laugh. Oh! and how exciting it is to spot that cute little first tooth. In my family we come at the little loves with a silver spoon and wait to hear the “clank, clank”, whoever finds the tooth is honored to buy the first pair of walking shoes.

The next few years we get to witness their wobbly steps become a stride in search of things to destroy with sticky fingers a. Potty training is such a great reward. Sure at first it’s all trial and error, creating the need for extra laundry detergent and floor cleaner but the end result gives mom the go ahead to use her favorite pocket-book again. The transition to sippy cups is liberating for both mom and baby. The formation of words in place of babbling “momma” and “dadda” gives parents the opportunity to add manners to their vocabulary.  Between toddler and school age parents are able to teach the importance of sharing and the virtue of patience and the excitement of interacting with others. (other than family that is!)

School aged children become a bit of a challenge. By this time that blessed feeling  of holding our bundle of love is desperately missed. We have to remind the little ones daily about manners and work harder at instilling family values. Along with all the other rules the little loves had to master now they need to fit in math, science, social studies, english and study skills.(of course this is all the parents evil plan to make their lives miserable!) The biggest struggle is the dear child understanding parents are not the enemy by requiring them to bath, brush teeth and hair and match their socks with their shirts!

The epic parent child battle is the teen age years!! The little lovely girls mothers know nothing about fashion, friends or boys. The little bouncing baby boys fathers would never understand that if they did not wear the $185 sneakers that they just would not have a friend in the world and no girl would ever look at them. And of course both parents are just plain mean by expecting chores to be done and curfews to be upheld. And heaven forbid we drive them to their destination with “old folk” music playing and have the nerve to drop them in front of the destination…well then we are just about the worst thing that ever happened to their lives!

Sometime while they are depending on us and fighting for their independence and we are fighting to hold on to the tender years, a calm comes over parent and child. The universe in lined up for a brief moment. The parent learns that the child can be trusted and child learns the parent can be counted on!

Then it happens…in a blink of an eye the child is an adult! The child is making their own car payment, FaceBooking through their own data on their own cell phone plan and shopping for their own clothes. The child is kissing mom on the forehead and telling dad not to wait up as he/she is walking out the door with dinner plans. Mom and Dad are left with a table set for two.

Do these adult children realize MOM has carried their precious lives for 9 long months in her womb? Do these adults understand that  Mom and Dad have spent years building traditions! Do they have any compassion for the old folks that sleep with one eye open. Do they understand that mom worries they are not eating a healthy diet and that she knows they are not getting the proper amount of sleep. How could they not comprehend that Dad knows nothing of value is happening past midnight!

How can they walk out of Mom and Dads house and into an apartment with the furniture mom picked out and Dad carried in and put together after his long day of work!? Who is going to do the food shopping, make sure they have clean sheet and underwear?  Dad has all the tools, who is going to fix the leaky faucets and door jams and connect all the cables to the T.V and game systems?

 

The sad reality is that our little bundles do NOT come with instructions and NOTHING pops out from anywhere when they are adults. All we can do is say a prayer and trust that we did the best we could raising them to become well adjust, happy, healthy adults!

As a parent of adult children I am learning that we no longer should expect our children to do as we say!  We can only offer advise and hope they take it.

( I mean really …do they not understand we know a thing or two because we have done a thing or two?)

Summer

I wait out the long months of Fall and Winter anticipating my reward.  Unfortunately in my adult years Spring has not been worth the wait and has certainly not delivered an award. During the latter part of June, I am rewarded with Summer. My reward does not last very long but I am grateful for it.  The long hours of day light is delightful . The smell of the ocean, back yard BBQ , and tanning lotion is tantalizing  and the warmth of the sun is stupendous.  Ever since I was old enough to possess self-awareness I knew I belong to the sand, ocean  and tanned skin. Yet I dwell in the dreary east coast in a suburb that one needs to be diligent towards what lay beneath the sand and dare not venture into the ocean. And sadly tanned skin fades sometime before Halloween.

At this very moment I am mere weeks away from my reward.  The excited preparation has begun. My 3 dogs have enjoyed the run of the yard, now I have the disgusting duty of cleaning their free range toilet privilege. During my rewarded season their privileged area will be restricted to a hose off only zone. (I swear I should have been strictly a cat person) The patio furniture is drug out of storage and laying in wait for the home and  garden store run for cleaner.  The grass seed is spread and lawn edger oiled up and ready to make a perfectly straight line of weed free grass along the patio. The seedlings are already plants and planted in the vegetable garden awaiting to be harvested.

Here in my neck of the woods Mother Nature does not want to cooperate with the “April showers bring May flowers” saying. May came and rain still fell. She graced us with a brief heat wave which confused the flowers, birds and bees. Then dumped more rain and teasing us with spring weather. A day here and there she gave me a reward but took it away soon as night fell. Weeks away from my reward she is still dumping rain and not providing enough warm days to propel the yard preparation forward.

This time of year I start plotting on how I am going to convince my family to uproot their lives just to make my life sunnier.  I know that they know that I know ,I will forever be awaiting my season. I will forever be a New Yorker!

Speaking of seasons…so this menopause thing, some call it a season of a woman’s life. Well ya know what?, I could truly do without this season! I think sometime around October of 2016 the wonderful hot flashes went from occasionally to extremely regular. The flashes did save on the heat bill and my clothing expense all winter long. ( I mean come on the family could bundle up, I could not peel enough off  )

What I did not anticipate while waiting out the misery for my great reward of Summer is  the dreadful feeling of being on the surface of the sun while having a hot flash! I mean in the colder months I could strip down to an  acceptable layer of concealment and stand on my porch. But what do I do now? How can I possibly cool down now? Sure I can put the air conditioner on but by the time it reached a temperature that soothed me the flash would be over and I would have melted from the inside out! I could leave the air on all day in anticipation but that would require me to keep the winter clothing out of storage for the rest of the family. ( which my husband does not see how necessary this is to HIS health,… YET!)

Let me try to explain the feeling of a hot flash. It is a flash!  You have no warning it’s coming. It can come happen any where. In the shower, while your sleeping, while your all dressed up enjoying a cocktail or two, embraced in a tender moment, in the park with your youngest or while your brushing your teeth. Some times the flash starts at the bottom of my feet. Yes my feet! Imagine walking on hot coals, you don’t feel the pain you just feel the intense heat. Then my shins catch fire from within and sweat, ummm yes my friends shins can sweat! Some how the middle of my body is spared the heat, (briefly). My eye lids feel as though someone is washing them with the hottest ,driest rag from the inside. My hair-line begins dripping sweat into my burning eyes. My head, well its in an incinerator and filling with thoughts of pulling my hair out and or breaking everything I could get my sweaty hands on!   Now, …now the middle of my body jumps into the furnace causing rapid heart beating and an ache that forces me to contort in ways I didn’t think were possible. Of course any layer of clothing I didn’t manage to strip away is  soaked!  And in a flash it’s over. I blink and quickly have to answer the dazed and confused questions written all over faces that are in my vicinity. Which at this point the flash is over but the rage is taking a bit longer to subside. Once subsided then the embarrassment sets in and the apologies flow to whom ever I offended with my snark answers. ( warning: Never, never, ever ask a woman of a certain age whose face is flushed and visible sweat is upon her upper lip is “everything is ok”)

I did not anticipate this happening in the midst of the stupendous warmth of the sun! This “season” of my life is ruining the  reward of my beloved Summer season! I did not foresee the prepping of the yard while having a flash. I did not in any way foresee me throwing the stupid patio furniture into the draining pool. No one could foresee me ripping the canopy to shreds instead of ripping out my hair. (which I have learned to keep tightly wrapped in a school marm bun to ensure not a single strand touches my skin) The poor dogs did not foresee that they would be confined to a penned in area and scolded for doing their natural business.  My husband did not foresee having to make multiple trips to the home and garden store after his long day of work to replace the hose pipe that was bent because the hose had the nerve to kink!

Summer…. The season I waited too long for , the season Mother Nature is teasing me with, the season that once brought me such joy.  The season I once had a kindred connection with. The season that sparked the desire to uproot my family has turned to dread!   While this “season” of menopause last it appears as though Winter will be my reward.

Jealousy

I am consumed with jealousy over my 2 main characters. They both happen to be women. (well I guess that did not just happen). They are both mothers and doing whatever they feel necessary to keep their son safe.  Now, I know I would do anything, anything at all to ensure the safety of my 3 sons, and I try my hardest to give them a well-balanced healthy life. However the older I am getting the more anxieties are setting in.

When my older 2 boys were younger I ran in the park with them, pitched the baseball, climbed the trees and dug in the dirt. The bigger the thrill the more fun we had. I could not wait until they were tall enough to ride the big rides at an amusement park. I have always loved roller coasters.  Before they were tall enough I would go to the amusements parks with my brothers or cousin and wait on the long lines for a few seconds of pure adrenaline fun. Well as each grew tall enough, we discovered they just did not like rides. Gees! I couldn’t believe my boys were afraid of rides, I mean really who raised them?

When the little guy came along 18 years after the oldest and 13 years after the now middle boy I found I was not running as fast.  The baseballs were pitched from a machine  and I thought it to dangerous for me to attempt to climb a tree ; but I still dug in the dirt! I still love the rides and hoped the little guy would too.

At an early age he gave me hope. He would get bored with the kiddie rides and beg to go on the bigger ones. We managed to compromise on a few rides that allowed the little ones on as long as they were accompanied by an adult.  We would be forced to sit together, I mean I am the responsible adult taking him on the speeding roller coaster! The older he got the less they forced (allowed) us to sit together! Ummmm, what was happening? Why was my little guy growing up? Why can’t mom sit with her little precious cargo?

Finally he is tall enough! But…I can’t, I could not bear it!

We stood on-line for our first big (really, really big) roller coaster ride. He wanted to do a loopy loop one first, but I explained to him that we should start with a non loop to get the feel of a big roller coaster and to make sure the thought he had of the thrill in his head measured up.  We were next, we were going to be on the next coaster and in the front seats!!  No!, No!…what was happening to me. My mind went dark, then started a horrible picture show of what could go wrong! No….I waited too long for this moment, my little guy waited 11 long years for this very moment!

Without a second to back out and fake a heart attack we were on the ride buckled in and headed up the long haul of doom. My heart was racing so fast I thought for sure I was truly going to have a heart attack. My mind was telling me he was not buckled in, that he was going to slip between the safety bars or that the coaster was going to malfunction.  As we soared down towards the earth and back up to the sky I twisted my body against the G-force trying to hold my little guy.  By the time we pulled back into the station (which felt like a life time, but was probably not even a minute) I was sweating from places I didn’t know I had and my mouth was so dry I couldn’t swallow.  Firmly standing on the exit plat form I hugged my boy as if I had not seen him in years. He hugged me back but with pure excitement and cheering for another go around!

Well I fought against the fake heart attack but orchestrated  diversions of needing to eat and well the food must have not agreed with me because I could not stay out of the restrooms. I insisted he go on the rides without me but the lines were so long he only made it one ride before mom could not bear the pain in her stomach any longer. (and oops! we were leaving for home the next day!) On the long ride back to the hotel he was in the back full of disappointment and I’m sure a little hatred for me. I was consumed with self loath and guilt that I am not as strong as the mothers I write about. The mothers that fight over one little guy and would do anything to put a smile on his face. I was so jealous that they were fearless and the only anxiety they felt was over whether or not they were going to get caught for doing whatever it took for their little guy!

My characters should feel lucky that I have gotten to a point where anxieties control me, because now they have all the fearlessness of my youth!

That mother daughter thing.

So another Mother’s Day! My 45th motherless Mother’s Day.  I envy those who have that mother daughter thing.  I have so many questions unanswered.  I have asked them many times, my wonderful Aunts have given me their version of  how my mother would answer, but the questions still linger.  I try not to dwell in the sadness but it creeps in this time of year.  Just when I thought I was going to dwell, anger arose instead!

As I listen to daughters (and sons) complain about having to spend the day with their mother I wonder how hard I should slap them up side the head!  I mean really, is having to plan, shop, clean or cook really that much of a sacrifice? ( I’m betting your mom didn’t think so)

When daughters and sons are young, mothers are showered with hand-made cards, macaroni necklaces, and hand-picked flowers. A make shift breakfast is presented with glee and the day is spent doting on mom.  When those same sons and daughters become teenagers, mom gets a peck on the cheek and maybe some time at the breakfast table. When those sons and daughters become adults with families of their own suddenly mom don’t matter.

Adult daughters with children of their own feel as though the day is all about them. Any time spent with their mom takes away from their special day.

Of course, it is about you! I mean you are a mother now.  But stop for a moment and realize that your mom is over the moon to have raised you and now watching you raise your own children. Your mom and mother-in-law feel doubly proud and would love nothing more than to spend the day with you and your children.  And when you are in their shoes you will know that mom is perfectly happy to see you have your day in the sun as she is quietly in the back round helping the grandkids shower you with hand-made items, stringing the macaroni and  cooking your favorite breakfast.

Adult son’s with children of their own somehow feel like it is their anniversary or something special just between husband and wife. Of course you ought to show your wife just how special she is to be the mother of your children.  You better be helping the children hand make something and taking them to the store to show their mother just how appreciated she is! And by all means take the load off her, give her the time to just enjoy being a mother. She should not be cooking, cleaning or planning anything, the only thing your wife should do on Mother’s day is enjoy the love and attention from her children.  But when and who decided that Mother’s day is only about your wife and that your mom don’t even deserve to be lurking in the back round?

I never knew my mother, she passed when I was 9 months. I am lucky enough to have my mother-in-law. Of course she could never take the place of what I feel like I missed out on, nor would I want to put that pressure upon her. But because of  the place she has in my children and my heart she sure deserves to be celebrated. My husband, her son has never expected her to be lurking in the back round. She has always been front and center and shown just how much she is loved and cherished. She raised the man who I cherish and love, she is the mother of the man who gave me my children!  There are so many reason and emotions I could convey for celebrating with my mother-in-law but the single most important one is because she is the mother of the man who I married!

To be perfectly honest I would not respect my husband as much as I do if he did not have his mother on the pedestal she deserves to be on. I always held it dear to my heart that my boys would see how their grandmother is treated and show my grandchildren the same.  (parenting fail 101: having expectations)

The urge to slap others upside their head is so real.  As much as I love my mother-in-law, I wish I was planning on taking my mother to her favorite restaurant or cooking her favorite meal, showing up with her favorite flowers, picking out her favorite baked goods and writing her the perfect mother’s day card. I feel cheated that she is not here to spend our special day as mother’s together.  I wonder if like me she would prefer going to the local nursery and picking out the perfect vegetable and vibrant flowers to plant and asking only for “lots of love of hugs”. (in other words T-I-M-E with my boys)  I know for a fact I would not feel as though she were infringing on my special day. I mean it’s not my birthday, not my wedding anniversary …It’s Mother’s day!! A day to celebrate with your Mother, Mother-in-law, Grandmother, God-mother , Aunts, and all the family and friends that are mothers!!!     (even if it means that you will have to plan, shop, clean or cook..suck it up buttercup and count your blessings that you have someone to do it for)