I’ve added a new page to my blog – It’s called “Say What??!,” and it shares the very best of the best things that I’ve heard in my household. Between the kids and the hubby, you never know what you’ll hear next. Some of them are just too good not to share with you all!
Tag Archives: kids
Every little girl’s dream while growing up is to be Daddy’s Little Girl. We strive to be the apple of our daddy’s eye. We idealize them and are completely unaware of any of their faults. In fact, a lot of us, as little girls, even somewhat blamed our mothers whenever our parents would get into arguments. Our dads could do very little wrong.
Personally, my dad was quiet and reserved. He rarely spoke, and I never really heard him yell. My mom wore the pants in our house, without a doubt. I always thought he was a gentle spirit, and I knew I wanted to marry a man just like him someday. A lot of little girls end up looking for men who remind them, perhaps even unknowingly, of their daddies. And in this case, that wasn’t a bad thing.
Sure enough, I did grow up a daddy’s girl. I remember many times throughout my childhood, even into my teens, when he and I would stay up long after my mom and sister went to bed and would watch the NBA Finals, a football game, or even all seven long games of one World Series or another.
Things in my relationship with my dad were great, in my jaded world at least, up until I made a poor decision to date the future father of my children. The bottom line is that my dad hated him. For good reason or not, my 16-year-old inner know-it-all was determined to prove my dad wrong. He said there was no way in heck that I was allowed to go out with this guy. What did that mean to me? That there was no way in heck that I wasn’t going to go out with this guy. As you can imagine, my relationship with my dad quickly spiraled downhill at that point. I was on a mission from that point forward to spite him because he didn’t trust me. Because he wouldn’t let me make my own decisions and mistakes. Because he wouldn’t even listen to my side of things, and he was set in his thoughts that I would fail. Oh… and because I was 16, and did I mention I knew everything?
Anyway, my relationship with my dad struggled over the next couple years as I worked my way through high school. I did my best to stay his little girl, however, by making the honor roll every semester, getting accepted into a good college, and graduating in the top seven percent of my class. He had to be proud of me, right?
Of course. That is, until he found out I was pregnant. That’s right. I found out I was pregnant only a few weeks after graduating. Sure, I was still on track for college and my future plans, but the bottom line is that I was pregnant by the guy my father couldn’t stand and forbid me from seeing. To make a long story short, I moved out of my parents’ house and in with future sperm donor the day after graduation. I started college, had my baby, and we ended up getting married. As you can imagine, my dad did not see me that day. Or for many, many days after, I might add. My mom and sister would drive all the way to Charleston every weekend to see the baby and me. Every once in a while, I would go there, and those are the only times my dad had even seen his first grandson and oldest daughter.
As you all already know, my husband ended up being a monster. Every time I would hear someone say that a lot of women end up marrying men like their dads, I would laugh. Not me, I would say. My dad didn’t drink or scream or abuse my mom. My husband did drink and scream and abuse me. The studies were wrong this time. I ended up with a husband far from a man like my dad.
Or so I thought until recently, as my kids have gotten older.
They don’t see their dad anymore really. Generally, over the last couple years, he would see them for a week around Christmas and maybe for a few days over Spring Break. This past year, though, he didn’t see them for either of those. If I recall correctly, he saw his kids for maybe four days total all year. Four. Out of 365.
When that fact first dawned on me, it made me a little uncomfortable. At first, I thought the uneasiness came from the fact that my kids don’t have a relationship with their dad. But really, when I thought about it, that was actually a good thing. So why the depressing feeling that came with it? Suddenly, it dawned on me.
He was like my dad. He had little desire to see his kids, and unless someone else did all the legwork to make a visit happen, he could go a very long time with no contact with his children. That was my dad, too. He had more important things to do than to see his oldest daughter and had excuse after excuse as to why visits had been so few and far between.
I recall a woman my dad had dated for a few years after he and my mom divorced (which was shortly after I left for college). She would often “nag” him into meeting the kids and me for dinner or in coming to visit us. Sure, she had her share of issues, but my sister and I always agreed that she was great at keeping him connected with his daughters. They eventually broke up, and now that push to see the “apple of his eye” is gone, too, I guess. Other than seeing him at my sister’s wedding a year ago and her housewarming party four months ago, I haven’t seen my dad in years. Nope – not even for Christmas. I can’t recall a time he’s ever seen his grandsons (even the one who’s named after him) play a sport, even though they excel at several.
Sure, he tells me that I’m welcome at his house anytime, that we can come for dinner whenever we want, but that’s the extent of the warm and welcome attempts at spending time with his little girl. Don’t get me wrong – I do get a text on Christmas and my birthday (if my mom reminds him), and in some ways, that’s more than my kids get from their dad, so I guess I should be a little thankful, at least.
No, I don’t want him to beg to spend time with his daughter and her family, but a little indication of forgiveness would be nice. Yes, I was wrong when I was a teenager, and yes, he was right in that my first husband was a jackass. I may have even been wrong to have kids and get married so young. But the fact remains that I am a well-educated, college graduate with two beautiful and intelligent young men, a loving husband, two stepchildren, and a job that I love. I made a ton of mistakes growing up, but I’ve turned out pretty damn well. It is, after all, those mistakes from which we learn, right?
I’ve been praying that my owns kids will eventually learn to let go of their unrealistic and idealistic hopes for a future with their father, when after all this time, I finally see that I should have been letting go of the same myself. Maybe this memory I’ve been holding onto from childhood was nothing more than my wishful thinking all along.
My dream of being Daddy’s Little Girl is over.
Yes, I had my first kid at the age of 19. And yes, I had my second kid at 21. Yes, I was only in college at the time. So what??
You told me I was too young to have kids, that I knew nothing about how to raise children. You also told me that I would never go anywhere in life, wouldn’t finish college, and would never be able to work at a decent job and take care of two children. You said I would never go anywhere in life.
You called me “white trash” since I wasn’t married when I had my first kid and told me I would end up as a single mom because my “baby’s daddy” would leave me – if I even knew who he was. When I had my second baby, you asked me if he had the same dad as the first.
You said I’d end up living with my parents forever and would never be able to afford a place of my own. You assumed that I was on welfare and food stamps and that I had to get my babies vaccinated at the local, trashy health clinic. You asked if I was finally on good birth control and talked about how surprised I must have been when I found out that I was pregnant so young.
You said my future would be ruined if I didn’t get an abortion – that there was no way I could give my babies good, successful lives. You said I would fail school or have to quit because I would never be able to study, maintain good grades, or be able to pay for daycare with two young children on my hands.
You told me how terrible my kids would have it growing up since they were biracial. You said it was my fault that people would call them names and bully them because of their race. You called me an “n*****-lover” and said it wasn’t fair to my kids that they didn’t have two parents who were the same race.
You know what? I finally have something to say about all those things you told me. THEY WERE LIES.
I was a damn good mom to my babies, and I figured it out pretty quickly. I knew how to change diapers and rock my babies to sleep and get them bathed and dressed.
I went to school full-time and worked full-time and still got to wake my boys up in the morning, get them off to daycare, and rock them to sleep at night.
I graduated with honors and even started grad school. I’ve worked hard at jobs that continuously got better. I make a decent living now. I was able to pay for a place to live, a car, my bills, and childcare.
I moved out of my parents’ house the day after high school graduation, before I even had kids, and haven’t lived with them since. I married my sons’ father, and we stayed married for nearly ten years. My kids both had the same dad.
My kids had a real doctor at a real pediatrician’s office, and I paid for their medical bills with real insurance. I also paid for our groceries and utilities with real money.
Abortion was never an issue or option for us. Our kids weren’t mistakes. Our lives weren’t ruined. Believe it or not, some people like having kids early on in life. One day, I’ll be able to enjoy playing with my grandchildren. Hopefully, I’ll make it to see the day my sons graduate from college, get married, and have little blessings of their own.
You may call me all sorts of names, but I’m proud to not be a closed-minded, racist idiot like you. I think my babies are beautiful, and I wouldn’t change a thing about them. It’s quite ironic to me that you spend countless hours and dollars to make your skin look exactly the same as theirs. And your hair? Don’t get me started. You could only wish to have curls like theirs.
I didn’t fail or have to quit school, and my kids sure as hell haven’t suffered for that. In fact, they’ve turned out to be quite remarkable, intelligent young men. They’re amazingly talented and extremely smart. They get good grades, excel in their grade levels, and can play nearly any sport they attempt.
They have dreams of which college they’ll attend and which sports they’ll receive scholarships in, and they have high standards for themselves. Both have admirable career goals and will, no doubt, succeed in everything they put their minds to. They both love God and are growing up to be Godly, respectful men, who will love their own wives and children one day.
So, no, I don’t have any regrets, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Having my sons was the best decision I’ve ever made, regardless of my age. Now stop worrying about me, take a nice long look at yourself, and move on.
All my love,
Finish this sentence: “My closest friend is…”
Photographers, artists, poets: show us FRIENDSHIP.
My closest friend is my little sister.
I was 19 months old when she ruined my title of “only child,” so I spent much of my childhood trying to pay her back.
I cut her Barbie dolls’ hair and ripped their heads off.
I pushed her off her bed, and I scared her by telling her there were ghosts in her room.
I made her take the first bites of mud pie.
I always made her be the dad when we played house.
I ripped her favorite baby doll’s arm off.
We fought, we played, and we fought some more.
I told her that her boyfriends sucked, and she told me that mine did.
I covered for her the first time she got drunk so that Mom wouldn’t kill her.
Then I had babies, and she suddenly turned into the best aunt in the whole world.
During my darkest times, she was the only one who was there for me.
If I needed money, she was there.
If I needed a babysitter, she was there.
If I needed a dance partner, she was there. Well, in the cage, but there nonetheless.
Then the day came that she was no longer mine, but her new husband’s.
And I bawled my eyes out.
She wasn’t a little girl anymore, but a beautiful young woman.
My comfort comes in knowing that there’s never anyone who can take her place.
We’ll always have our inside jokes and silly stories from growing up.
She’ll always have a very special place deep inside my heart.
And my only solace comes from knowing that she’ll always be my closest friend…
And My Little Sister.
“I want to have a bunch of kids so I can open a factory and have free labor. Beat that, China!” ~Jarod Kintz
Saturday’s Be Happy Challenge:
– Something You’re Proud Of. –
Without a doubt, here is what I’m most proud of:
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!
Today’s Be Happy Challenge:
– Three Things You Love About Summertime. –
Summertime and the livin’ is easy…
Ah, summer… my favorite time of year. Yes, even more than Christmastime. Warm weather, long lazy days, sandy toes, cold drinks… I love everything about it.
If I had to pick only three things I love about summer, though, they would be:
I love grilled food – the taste, the smell, and even the aura that comes with cooking out. In the summer, we resort to grilling everything. Chicken, steak, shrimp, burgers, hot dogs, fish, veggies, fruit… We’ve even grilled pound cake and peaches for dessert. In fact, if it can’t be grilled, we don’t cook it. Seriously.
Even as a kid, my very favorite holiday has always been the Fourth of July. There’s something I just love about coming together as proud Americans and watching in awe and reverence as beautiful explosive fireworks light up the night sky. Sometimes in the summer, it doesn’t even need to be July 4th to see a breathtaking fireworks display.
We all love to swim, and it doesn’t matter where. We’ll swim in the pool, the ocean, the lake, or the river. I even love watching the kids play silly pool games while I lie lazily on my beach chair soaking up some rays. “Hey Mom, count how long I can hold my breath.” “Hey Mom, tell us who has the biggest cannonball splash.” “Hey Mom, tell us who can swim to the other side the fastest.” That never gets old to me.
Like I said, these are only a [very] few of the things I love about summer. What do you love about it?
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” ~ Charles Bowden
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ~Karl Lagerfeld
Saturday’s Be Happy Challenge:
– Your Favorite Photo You’ve Taken (or Top
Three Ten). –
Gosh, this one is really difficult. As you know, I love taking photographs, and I have thousands… of my kids, of my family, of the places I’ve visited, of the fun things we’ve done, etc. I have so many photos I love that it’s really hard to pick only
three ten. I was able to narrow the thousands down to ten, which I believe is quite an accomplishment, even though I’m cheating a little bit. Here they are:
I love this photo because I think it really captures the beauty of Charleston, which I’m proud to call home.
Again, Charleston boasts so much natural beauty that I never get tired of taking it all in.
I love this photo because it shows Gerald’s natural athletic ability. Whatever he does, he tries his best at, and he’s his own worst critic. He loves to win, and he’s a natural in every sport he plays.
This photo is priceless to me. Anyone who knows Gerald and Ronald, knows they’re usually at each others’ throats. Instances like this one are rare, and I appreciate them beyond explanation.
Ronald is a natural when it comes to pitching, and I love this photo because it really captures his intensity and concentration. When he concentrates on something, that little tongue comes out, and you know he’s focused!
This is a beautiful photo to me. It shows my two children and two step-children enjoying the beach in a rare moment when they’re all calm and peaceful.
This photo is great because it shows the kids’ silly sides. The giggles that went along with this photo were amazing!
Go Gamecocks! You all know that there’s nothing I love more than an SEC football game. To me, this photo shows the love we Gamecock and SEC fans have for the game.
I love this photo because it captures Ronald’s innocent side and love for the outdoors. He’s usually such a prankster and jokester, that it’s nice to see this side of him once in a while.
This photo shows the beauty of St. Croix. Unfortunately, no photo can capture the true splendor of it, but this one gives a little sneak peak at the gorgeous water, lush landscapes, and beautiful palm trees.
Man, this was really tough. I could go on with my favorites all day, but I’ll spare you…!
Okay, so last night was one of those crazy nights – two baseball games on opposite sides of town. The endless driving-like-a-maniac back and forth between fields already caused my blood pressure to go nuts. On top of that, our last game didn’t end until after 10 – on a school night – which led to us eating a wonderful [insert sarcasm] dinner of McDonald’s at 10:30. Ugh. So we’re sitting at the dinner table eating scarfing down our food when the following conversation causes me to have a full-blown panic attack:
Ronald: Mom, what’s ‘jacking off’ mean? A kid in my class said that today.
Me: [Completely and utterly choking on my french fries] Um, excuse me, what?
Ronald: What’s ‘jacking off’ mean?
Me: Uh, maybe you should ask your brother about that.
Brother: Uh, maybe you should ask your father figure about that.
Me: Uh, uh, uh… Hold on – I’ll be right back! [Frantically dialing “father figure’s” phone number]
Me (upon reaching “father figure”): I need your help. ASAP. [Hand phone to Ronald like it’s a hot potato searing my fingers]
Ronald (to “father figure”): What’s ‘jacking off’ mean?
Father Figure: [Without missing a beat] Well, it’s basically playing with your own winkie dinkie.
Ronald: Eww! Gross!!!
Father Figure: Yep. So next time your classmate talks about jacking off, tell him you don’t want to hear about him playing with his own winkie dinkie. But don’t say jacking off… you’ll get in trouble by your teacher for that.
Ronald: Oh. Okay. Thank you – goodnight. [Still as cool as a cucumber]
Me: [Still hyperventilating] Okay.Timeforbed.Iloveyou.Goodnight. [I then proceed to crawl in my bed, curl up in a ball, and continue to remind myself to breath in and out. In and out.]
Before I had kids, people told me that kids were expensive. I thought that only referred to diapers and stuff like that. I had no idea that it meant room and board for the loony bin I’d end up in from the endless panic attacks they would give me. Am I really cut out for raising two boys? [Sigh.]