Articles

You Matter…

Picture if you will…

It was a beautiful Saturday evening… sitting in the courtyard of the local shopping plaza on plush out door furniture… and fake green grass being cartwheeled across by a handful of rambunctious children.

The fountain is spraying in a choreographed multihued performance to the music playing from the well placed speakers… out of sight in flower boxes as if the flowers themselves were singing to us…

Happily seated between Mr. Amazing and Small Child… waiting for our XD 3D center row seating to the latest magic Marvel has put before us.

Perfection … halted by the alert of a text on my phone…

The following image was received from my  best friend… She explains that she was cleaning her teenage daughters room while she is off at camp when she climbed into her bed which is in a nook and saw something that could only been seen by someone laying there… that is was not visible from any other angle… and she sent me this image as she lay there as her daughter does daily…

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A lump formed in my throat and dread settled around my heart like a cloak… and I can only imagine this is a sliver of what my friend is going through… I try to imagine how she must be feeling… and try to say the right thing…

I do not need to imagine how the girl is feeling… I do not need to imagine the depth of shame and self loathing that drives someone to write such things… to punish oneself so brutally. No Imagination required… I have an infinite pool of experience to swim in to know exactly what she must feel like… and what it must feel like to wake daily and look at those words. I run my fingers along the scars on my arms… they are 23 years old… I touch the deep gouge of a scar on my thigh… I can still feel it even through my jeans… I remember carving the word “Worthless” on myself… I remember my journal entries filled with too many feelings… filled with hate and pain.

It is wrong how we sometimes treat ourselves… If someone on the street… or in the children’s school spoke to our children that way we would beat their asses… we would intervene… we would get them help and support them and make sure they knew they were not alone…

But what do you do… when the bully… the abuser… the hate is being spewed by the person you love… in the case of our offspring more than we love anything else on the planet… People are left speechless… afraid and confused in these situations… They say horrible things… “They just want attention”… “Its the media… the marketing… the music… their friends”

So we did what anyone in my situation would do… We awoke early this morning… and I went to the craft store… I took small with me… not only to talk about the situation… but because we all love this girl so very much…  Her amazing mother and older brother hauled the bed in pieces to the carport and covered the words that beautiful girl… whose only vice is feeling maybe a little too much… and they painted over them in her favorite colors… Small Child and I went to work with stickers, stencils, acrylic paints and sharpies… 3 hours later…

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She may be angry with us when she discovers it upon climbing into her bed… and finds we paid little attention to her want of privacy… and space…she may be embarrassed… she may be revolted by the cheerful affirmations.. and flowers… and butterflies… but the message is loud and clear… “You Matter”… “You are loved” and if anyone had seen two teenage boys painting her bed pink and moving it around so that us mothers could tell her to “Shine” they would understand how very true those words we adhered onto her bed… with nothing less than gorilla glue…. were.

They were true for this young woman… they were true for the young men taking the time to make sure she heard them… without judgement… they were true for the mothers so concerned as we worked so hard to give her a different perspective…

They are true for everyone…

So if you needed to be reminded… as we all do from time to time… You are Loved… and You Matter!

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Dear Son…

It’s so fucking hard to believe you’re turning 16 today.

Apparently… when I blinked, your little blond mancub self… who used to spend hours catching grasshoppers and swimming and music has grown into a tall…kind.. thoughtful…  smart teenager who loves games and girls…

I know this journey hasn’t been easy.

I know your dad and I (especially I!) have made mistakes… but we have done our best… I promise to continue to do so.

It’s not easy figuring out what should be said and done and those words that should remain unsaid and the actions that should remain undone.

Because sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to stay back and let the lesson teach itself… I am so sorry about your dad not being here.

There have been a couple of close calls–a few times I felt my heart in my throat.

When you chased your sister and her friends around the block… with myself and some neighbor lady trying to catch you… when you got past the dead bolt for the first time… when the lump formed on your neck… and later when they wheeled you away to surgery to remove it….when you broke your leg… when the scuba gear sank you like a lead weight…. when your dad died…

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell you what I want you to know. Many times… we don’t see eye-to-eye. Sometimes…  I don’t do well when I’m put on the spot. Sometimes (most times),  I do better in writing. So here goes.

I know you think you have it figured out. Life, I mean.

And in many ways, you do. You get good grades, you get along with your peers, you love music and your viola,. You feel things deeply… and injustice bothers you.

These are all attributes that make me proud of you.

Please–never fail to listen when somebody older and wiser tries to give you advice… Let the BFG offer to help with math…  You don’t always have to take it (many times you shouldn’t!), but listen to those who care enough to try to help.

In just a few years, you’ll be going off to college– Now you are driving without me… making decisions on your own.

I’m not worried about that. Well shit…  I do worry a little, but I think you’ll be fine.

Your moral standards will hold. I know it may sound cliché but I’m going to say it anyway…  follow your heart. Follow your conscience. It’s kept you kind and compassionate.

One thing I do worry about: I want you to make time for friends. I know you are introverted and it’s easier to stay by yourself … but you have so much to offer others: your sense of humor…  your knowledge of current events… your integrity…  your wit. You’re so funny!

Please, don’t sell yourself short. Shoot for the stars! Set high goals. It’s okay to not always succeed — sometimes falling is part of the process. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Sometimes, you’ll get told “No.” Even though it stings, it’s not the end of the world. If it’s important to you, keep trying…don’t let one person (or opportunity) hold you back. Never let YOU be the one to hold yourself back.

When you do win…know you deserved it. Nobody can say you didn’t.

I’m your mom, and I love you more than I can say… more than there are words to write…and I can’t wait to see how you’re going to shake up this world of ours.

It’s going to be beautiful.

You are My Sunshine...

You are My Sunshine…

 

 

How to completely change your life in one week…. Wordless Wednesday!

Everyone Can Marry!

Everyone Can Marry!

The Kid Small Enough to still do this...

The Kid Small Enough to still do this…

Is 17 days away from doing this alone... and paid for his own car

Is 17 days away from doing this alone… and paid for his own car

I did some soul searching

I did some soul searching

Kind of lost my mind and started sending my boss texts like this...

Kind of lost my mind and started sending my boss texts like this…

Then quit my job

Then quit my job

I Double Dog Dare You…. then Link Up!

Writing Prompt :A Time I Was TrickedDescribe a time you made things…awkward.

 

 

 

There is SOOOOO much material to choose from!!! I decided to go to my very oldest Cohort… Mind you … we have been cohorting since we were 12… there is a history here (see how she got here nickname)…  I dare you to ask your best friend! or child… or S/O… I hope you have as many good stories as I do. If you do it… share it… post the link in my comments!

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Click the image to see the time she and I put on the Blogess’s Dress… I love this woman!

Me: Sooo I need an example of a time I made things awkward…
Cookie Wife:In a crowd or just a personal experience?
Me: I guess there is a large selection? either… for a blog post
Cookie Wife: The several years you hinted towards a threesome in mixed company;
Me: Rotflmao!!! Oh That… That is simply to get a reaction
Cookie Wife: ummmm.. setting me up with <Name removed for obvious reasons> (the other dates weren’t awkward, just disastrous, Or just good stories to tell later on!)
Me: Too Funny!!! like the time I was Drunk and trying out <Name removed for obvious reasons> waterbed with you guys… Yes… that is awkward <I feel it is important to notate I was divorced and ALL clothing was on and it was a giggle fest not some sex pot>
Cookie Wife: I’ve blocked that out. How about… Every party that your parents are there…That’s awkward.
Me: Rotflmao!!! why???
Cookie Wife: Oh you know, we vent about our parents and the crap they do… then we have to smile and pretend we don’t know anything.
Me: bahahahahaha
Cookie Wife: Ummm.. being in the room when you’re cheeky with Mr Amazing
Me: BAHAHAH! When am I cheeky?
Cookie Wife: ALL THE TIME!!
Me: Well… he is cute… I try to make out with him in public as often as possible
Cookie Wife: And I’m over here like: A guy smiled at me today.
Me: I smile at you everyday!
Cookie Wife:  So the guy is really cute! And he didn’t have a ring! … incentive to get to the gym every morning!
Me: Want me to come make it awkward for you?
Cookie Wife: Noooooooooooooo!!!! That reminds me… Ice Skating!! That was awkward
Me: OMG! Seriously… I had a crush on that guy and I was married <insert note here about being married at 19 to someone no where near my age…> I needed you to take him off my hands… Its your JOB!
Cookie Wife: Typical you pawning them off on me…
Me: Ice Skating Guy was hot!
Cookie Wife: That one time you sent me a Jesus pic… that was awkward.
Me: That was AWESOME! Cause you always sent me coffee and wine pictures!
Cookie Wife : Because I can’t use them anymore! :( <Insert note here about how I recently was SO supportive about her becoming all religious like>
Me: Well… I can’t use Jesus
I need a section on my blog titled “I Couldn’t Make This Shit Up”

Layer 2

The Light and Shade Challenge

The Light and Shade Challenge

An Epiphany has happened! I am about to tell you about it without the use of an adverb. Thanks to the Light & Shade Challenge! So if this is a hard read… Well… be grateful you did not have to write it.

As I spoke with Small Child last night (Small Child is a nick name, he turns 16 next month) he expressed his dislike of my Nicotine addiction. No, No, I am not a smoker… I used to be… I also used to carry 100 pounds more body fat than I do now… I used to smoke a pack a day…

I need to lose another 100 pounds (I say that with such a casual tone) I need to get off the Nicotine Gum.

Yes… the gum… I have chewed it for years… I feel a little embarrassed by it.

I am half way there. I have done half of what needs to be done.

We set a date… August 10th… to be weened off the stuff…

I hate that anything has a hold on me… I hate being dependent on anything… and as Small Child put it… What if…

What if the Zombie Apocalypse came… He said he would use me as a Nicotine withdrawn weapon… as it would not be available to me.

But I think at this moment, I could face any challenge ahead… Other than writing one more horribly boring … incredibly un-descriptive line of dribble about my mundane physical addictions… I would gladly write a million things other than that… but I needed to get it put in writing… and what better way to do it and aggressively make the point!

Small Child and I!

Small Child and I!

The Leprechauns have landed!

 

Well the year had finally come that St. Patricks Day fell on a day that smallest child was at her Mom’s for the holiday… I knew last year it was coming so I put in a little extra effort into the prank until the St. Patricks Day eve was upon us and we got a tearful call from that co-parent… She hadn’t realized how much smallest child was looking forward to it… smallest child could be heard in the background screaming “If there is no Leprechauns, then there is no Santa, no Easter Bunny, no Tooth Fairy… ” and so on… we thought she had reached the age of not believing and treated her accordingly… only to realize at the last moment that she might still need/want to believe… we figured it out when she was berating her Mom with lines such as “You are ruining my childhood!” … Soooo what is any stepmother supposed to do that has created this monster? I put in a quick call on the Leprechaun line… they managed to pull off a miracle… and her childhood was saved!

They tiptoed outside her Moms apartment... sneaking up to her car... as it was too late to get into the abode.

They tiptoed outside her Moms apartment… sneaking up to her car… as it was too late to get into the abode.

They busted into the car in a flurry of green glitter and shamrock confetti!

They busted into the car in a flurry of green glitter and shamrock confetti!

They left their wisely worded note...

They left their wisely worded note…

And goodies for the wee lass... including her half sister... the wee-er lass

And goodies for the wee lass… including her half sister… the wee-er lass

And that is the story of how we saved St. Patricks Day

And that is the story of how St. Patricks Day was saved!

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Tall Child was not forgotten in all of this… he was rewarded with gold coins of his own for his help in the Leprechaun Miracle

 

(You may want to visit our Leprechauns past visits… they are quite evil)

I have had people bemoan my Leprechaun Loyalty in the past… there was the one year a wee lass at school didn’t believe in my smalls Leprechauns

So we helped her build a trap (actually a house because she was afraid of hurting them)

So we helped her build a trap (actually a house because she was afraid of hurting them) The Leprechauns broke into her house (They may have known where the key was hidden and played… quite messily in their kitchen and left some treats!)

And if that is a bit of the stretch from the original prompt I apologize … But you can’t talk about being tricked without a little Leprechaun story!

Writing Prompt :A Time I Was Tricked

Writing Prompt :A Time I Was Tricked

No Loitering…

Image from WikiCommons, taken by Elia Biraschi and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

Image from WikiCommons, taken by Elia Biraschi and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of the night without thinking that the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, just as our memory does. ~Jorge Luis Borges

After finding refuge under a tree… though it’s roots make my lawned mattress a lumpy bed… where I slept away the daylight hours… with one eye open… and my wrist twists through the handles of my satchel to avoid it being lifted… to the sound of someones small children playing on the playground littered with broken glass and sharps of all variety… Knowing that people stared… pitied… loathed me… crossed the way to avoid me… patrol cars counting the hours before they can tell me to move… I did move finally.

I pass the homes… still some windows lit even at this late hour… my mouth is dry… I have no water… my stomach is angry that I have no food… my skin crusted with a salty layer of dried perspiration… the summer heat is not too far off… but here in the night it has not found me yet… Soon it will hunt me and haunt me even in the night… though I just barely have recovered from the last attack… a bitter winter war hunt that many of my tribe elders did not survive…

My shoes are so thin that I feel each crevice in the walk way… each piece of gravel beneath the parchment thin sole between my foot and the road.

My legs ache and knees stiffen giving my walk a quirky swing that will soon cause my hips and lower back to beg me to rest…

There is no rest for me… No where to sit… So I continue to shuffle along both longing and fearing the suns return

At every bench… and every bowery… there is the mark against me… the unwelcome sign.

“No Loitering”

and so I walk.

This is a work of fiction.

I see this each night in my city.

Do not cross the street from them.

Do not lend to their belief that they do not matter.

They are not invisible.

Every Life Matters.

 

Brought to you by…

The Light and Shade Challenge

The Light and Shade Challenge

My office view for the day

I am lucky enough to be spending the day writing… granted I am writing from a waiting room… but I am the only one here.. and wow… the view is AWESOME!

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10 years is a decade!

Damn… first off… let me say… I’m looking mighty fine today…. no really… it’s just a good hair day and that is why I chose this prompt! “Find a photo of yourself taken 10 years ago and display it on your blog along with a current photo. How have you changed since the day that photo was taken?

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I remember that day 10 years ago pictured below… on the beach… helping small child fly a kite for the first time… he was so small… and I just wanted to do whatever I could to help him feel like he could do anything, accomplish anything, be anything he wanted… here I am 10 years later… he is a pimply 15.5 year old… I am spending my day sitting outside of the Neurological Learning and Behavior Center while he goes through 5 hours of IQ and Learning testing… because not that much has changed in 10 year… I am still determined to do whatever it takes to let him know there is not a single thing he can not do… You see… my small (or not so small) is not an A student… never has been…. he is a C and D student… and he has had to work as hard for those C’s as so many kids do for an A… High School is burying him alive… and he is just a drop in the ocean of kids there… no one is helping… so we are going to get that help here… He is SO SMART and BRIGHT… he just learns differently than the school district is teaching him… and I will get this kiddo to college… if he wants it… even if it kills me… So in regards to that nothing has changed in the last ten years… other than my hair got FABULOUS! In 3 weeks this center will provide me a road map to help with his educational future and we will know the right steps to take to reach his goals and dreams… whatever they may be… currently it is to be an element bender… or spiderman….  Im not sure they have a class for that shit. Looking down at that picture besides the obvious observation I also have great skin now… I see a good Mom… a mom sitting out here in the waiting area blogging her anxiety away… taking selfies like a teenager just for you! Seriously- 10 years-

A Year in Review….

mama kats

The prompt was compile a list of best posts and photos from the last year… So instead I compiled a list of posts about my favorite pictures! Check them out!

12 Reasons I Love My Life

January 2014 – From the Front Porch

February 2014 – Sometimes being me is pretty damn cool

March 2014 – I found the Tardis!

April 2014 – Holi Festival of Colors

May 2014 – and once again… Painted Angels

June 2014 – This Day

July 2014 – Wishing for a more relaxing time

August 2014 – I raised these...

September 2014 – Star Lord… Maybe you’ve heard of me

October 2014 – The Toy Room Collection

November 2014 – Short People Got No Reason!

December 2014 – His first date