Tag Archives: children

Invasion of the Body Snatchers


I wrote a post over a year ago on losing my identity as a mom as my kids grow to the ages where they won’t need me anymore.  Unfortunately, and little did I know at the time, that at a certain age, they stop caring, too.  About everything.  I can only hope that what everyone else is telling me – not to worry because it’s temporary – is true.
Nothing in this world drives me more crazy, and breaks my heart more, than seeing your intelligent, talented, beautiful child stop caring about the things that were once so important to him.
 
In this case, it’s school and his grades.  He just doesn’t care.  I’ve tried everything to motivate and encourage him…
“Your grades need to be good to play sports.”
“You need to play sports to afford your first choice in colleges.”
“You need to go to college to get a good job or make it to the NFL.”
“You need to get a good job to afford to live as you dream of living.”
The responses I get make me cringe…
“Well, you make me play too many sports anyway.  I never get a break.”
“I’ll just skip college and get a job like fill-in-the-blank did.”
“I will live with it if I don’t make it into the NFL.”
“I’ll just get a regular job and work my way up to make a lot of money like fill-in-the-blank does.”
I swear, people – Someone snatched my sweet, loving child and replaced him with a 14-year-old teenager who doesn’t care about crap.  Eugene’s had the adult, dude-to-dude conversation with him.  His teachers have had the caring adult conversation with him.  I’ve had the loving mom conversation with him.  Heck – I’ve even had the coming to Jesus talk with him.
 
Nothing.  Works.
 
His teachers continue to tell me that he’s a great kid with a brilliant mind, but he just doesn’t turn in his homework.  They assure me that they’re going through this with most of their male students, and that it’s just a phase.  They promise me my kid is normal and is just being lazy.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a normal kid.  I want an exceptional kid.  An above-average kid.  A kid who gives a damn.  I know Eugene wants and expects the same.  We have gone above and beyond to ensure we’ve given this child everything he needs to be an exceptional, amazing young man.  Are we abnormal parents to hold our kids to high expectations?  I’m curious to know if we’re the crazy ones, maybe. 
 
I’ve seen a slight change in the “normal teenager’s” attitude the last couple weeks, but unfortunately, with report cards coming out next week, it’s a little too late for that at this juncture.  I guess we can only try to start fresh next semester and hope whoever stole my sweet kid will drop him back off at our front door. 
 
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  On boys, on kids, on teenagers, on school, on your expectations, and on your experiences in parenting.  Please, please someone tell me we’re not alone in this invasion of the body snatchers.

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Losing My Identity


At one time, I was Teen Mom to a beautiful, brown-eyed, curly haired little boy.  He changed my whole world and showed me a love that I didn’t know existed inside my young, calloused heart.  He constantly wanted to be in my arms, which was quite okay with me.

Then, I was New Mom to a second precious, brown-eyed little boy.  How my heart didn’t explode from an overflowing love, I’ll never know.  He, too, wanted nothing more than to snuggle on my chest and would cry when I put him down.

I soon became Mommy to these two rambunctious balls of energy.  In fact, that was every other word out of their mouths.  Oh, how they needed me for everything – pouring cereal, tying shoes, reaching the top shelf in their closets to pull down their favorite teddy bears.

Then, as they started school, I was Momma.  But even with my change of title, they still needed me.  At this point, they were impressed with my knowledge of times tables and the water cycle.  They were both so proud to show me off to their friends as they held my hand tightly down the hallway to their classrooms.

Only a few years later, I got another title change to Mom.  I may have still been able to help with homework, but other than that, my knowledge base started to decrease.  I became much like a banker, wherein I was really only needed to fund whatever outing was planned without me.  At least I still got hugs and kisses after our bedtime prayers.

Now, as my youngest brown-eyed baby enters middle school, my label has been shortened to only Ma.  I’m not allowed in the school anymore, except for awards ceremonies and conferences.  I know that tomorrow, as I drop them off outside the school doors for the start of another school year, I’ll be lucky to even get a sideways glance, much less that hug or kiss that keeps me going.

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Who will I be now?  Who am I if I’m not needed anymore?  What is left of me?

As I slowly lose my boys to life, I realize that I’m also losing myself.

 


Days With Daddy


This post was written for The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge, based on this image:

Mom pulls up to the rusty yellow carousel outside the convenience store and lets her get out of the car to wait.  She leaves her backpack in the trunk for now.  Today is her favorite day of the week, but not only because it’s Friday – because she gets to see her daddy today.  She always knows when it’s Friday because she gets to ride the frog with the silly hat and the giraffe and the tiger with the pointy tail while she waits for him.

But today she doesn’t really feel like spinning on the funny circus animals.  She just wants to see her dad.  She wishes he would hurry up and get there already.  She always has to wait for him.  He works too much, she thinks, as she waits eagerly on the edge of the carousel.  Her hands grip the peeling paint of the ride as she begins to count.

Counting the seconds becomes more difficult for her once she reaches fifty, so she starts to hum her favorite song instead.  Maybe he’ll get there before she finishes the song.  Not quite.  As she finishes her second time through, she finally gives in and climbs on the frog with the silly hat.

As the animals begin to turn, she allows herself to get lost in the memories of her mom and daddy when they still loved each other.  Every Saturday, they would walk, swinging her between them, to the park, where she would ride a carousel almost just like this one.  She would giggle and giggle as daddy pushed her around and around, all the blues and yellows and reds mixing into a single swoosh of purple.

During these last several Saturdays, though, mommy hasn’t been there to watch daddy push her.  Instead, daddy meets them at the rusty yellow carousel at the convenience store and picks her up to spend the weekend with him at his new house.  The little one with the old shaggy green carpet.  Her room there doesn’t have her pretty pink pillows with the yellow lace around the outside.  She misses her pillows.

She continues to spin, now on the bunny with the big red ears, as she thinks about all the things she misses when she is at daddy’s.  She misses her teddy bears and her doll babies and her mommy.  She misses her mommy the most when she is at daddy’s on the weekends.

Her memories blur, mixing with her tears and the spinning landscape around her, as she hears his car pull up.  She hears her mom open the trunk to get her purple backpack out.  She knows it’s time to get off the carousel and start her weekend with daddy.  She starts to cry harder, but she can’t figure out why.  She loves her daddy more than anyone in the world.

Why in the world is she crying when it’s finally time to go have fun with him for the weekend?  For two whole days, she would get to stay up late, eat as much ice cream as her tummy can handle, and spin around and around on the carousel at the park.  Why was she so sad?

That’s when she looks up and sees mommy with her arms out, ready for a hug.  Mommy!  She would miss her mom!  She wishes and wishes she could come, too.  She wants so badly for mommy and daddy to walk her to the park again and to put her on the pink elephant and push her into complete dizziness.

Why don’t they love each other anymore?  Is it her fault?  Was she a bad girl?  Was it something she did?  As mommy buckles her in daddy’s car and gives her a big kiss on her cheek, she is afraid she may never know.


“I want to have a bunch of kids so I can open a factory and have free labor. Beat that, China!” ~Jarod Kintz


Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Saturday’s Be Happy Challenge:

– Something You’re Proud Of. –

Without a doubt, here is what I’m most proud of:

Our Kids

Gerald, like me, is a perfectionist who is his own worst enemy.  He’s a great student, an amazing athlete, and a massively loyal friend.  He got incredible dimples, and the girls are texting constantly already.  [Groan…]  He wants to attend LSU and become an attorney.

Ronald is a comedian who has a great sense of humor.  He gets great grades, has a great attitude in school, and he’s a natural athlete.  His friends love him, and everyone wishes they had his wit.  He has dreams of going off to college and becoming a firefighter.  My hero!

Jeremy has a wealth of knowledge and can tell you all kinds of random facts about nature and science.  He’s consistently on the honor roll, and his sense of humor is much like Ronald’s.  He loves to laugh, and his giggle makes everyone around him laugh, too.

Emma is extremely well-rounded, especially for a girl.  She’s taken dance, played baseball, cheered, and played soccer and softball.  She hasn’t met a stranger, and she’ll strike up a conversation with anyone.  She loves her friends and is always happy to have another girl around.

I’m so proud of who these little monsters guys are growing up to become.  It’s so much fun to see their personalities develop.  They all work extremely hard in school and in sports.  They’re all incredibly talented and intelligent.  They make us proud to be parents!


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