Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This Crazy Game Called Life

Last night, I took my three kids out to dinner. Let's forget for a moment that in a completely empty restaurant they gave us the table closest to the bar. I'm chalking that one up to me looking worn out and them assuming I might need a drink or ten. (FYI I only drank water).



We were in one of those restaurants that had a game console on the table. Normally, I say no to that sort of thing, but despite my haggard look, I was in a particularly good mood. I was with all three of my children … a rare occasion these days … and I was in air-conditioning. Did I mention my AC broke? Did I mention we were in the middle of a heat wave and it was a holiday weekend? Again, I would like to say that I did in fact only drink water.

The kids decided to play The Game of Life. It seemed like a fun and harmless game. More importantly, they all agreed on it without any arguments. It started out innocent enough. Two of my children chose college paths, one became a professional athlete. They each got married and bought houses. But then talk of babies started. Everyone wanted one.

"How do you get a baby?" I asked, followed quickly by, "Don't answer that." Okay, so my nine year old and I have already had talks, but I wasn't in the mood to re-hash it all around the dinner table in a restaurant. Although, we were in air-conditioning.

My fifteen year old, not missing a beat, responded with, "You have to land on a space … just like in real life." She smirked. Oy.

My youngest, nodded and added, "I'm going to name my first child Peter Parker. Then I'm going make him get bit by a radioactive spider."  Seemed like a reasonable response.

Also heard around the table was:

"'Can I buy your children off of you?" ... from my fifteen year old and

"I keep having kids! I'm getting a vasectomy." ... from my eighteen year old.

Seriously, where was that waitress with our food?

Finally, the topic moved away from baby making and baby preventing. You see because in this version of Life, you can sue people. Oh yes, my kids thought that was awesome!

The new conversation went like this:

"If I can sue someone I will!"

"Sue! Sue! Sue!"

"I will not hesitate to take all your money!"

When finally I made a comment about how complicated this game was compared to the version I had when I was a kid, my youngest replied with:

"You need Life to be easier, you're old."

And that my friends pretty much sums it up, don't you think?

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Conversation With My Nine Year Old: The Evil Dudes

It's been a while since I've posted a conversation with my youngest - we have some great ones. They usually take place while walking to and from the school bus stop. What I love about our conversations is that no matter what I ask, he has a response. It's often hard to keep a straight face, and I usually lose it somewhere by the end. That's the point where I rush to scribble it all down...

C: [Friend] and I started a club called the Evil Dudes. We're going to build a house then build the most powerful machine in the world.

Me: That sounds expensive.

photo credit: piles-o-cash money via photopin (license)
C: Yes, but we're going to raise a trillion dollars to make it happen.

Me: How? I could use some good fundraising tips.

C: Through recruits. That's why we need the house. So they can live there.

Me: Listen, do you think once you raise all this money, you can maybe loan your mom some? Maybe just a little, like $10,000 or so?

C: Nope.We're going to need it all.

Me: How about if you raise your fundraising effort? I mean a trillion dollars is kind of a lot. A trillion ten thousand is just a tiny bit more at that point.

C: No can do. This thing is going global and will be going on for generations to come.

Me: That's a lot of Evil Dudes. Why so evil?

C: We're not really evil. Our machine will save the planet. We just needed a cool sounding name.

Me: Why not Cool Dudes?

C: That's already taken ... Some guys in Antarctica.

photo credit: El verdadero Kowalsky via photopin (license)

Well  … okay. At that point we were home. I quickly jotted down the conversation,  knowing I just had to blog about it. We started homework and got into our usual after school routine. The next morning, I added "blog post about Evil Dudes" to my to-do list. However, I wasn't expecting this added gem when it was time to leave for school.

Me: What's that? (Pointing to a rolled up piece of paper in my son's hand)

C: Evil Dude plans for an underground bunker. Sorry, I can't disclose the location. It's a secret. We'll need $500 mil to start. We have to eat you know.

Kid's got a point.

*******

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ramblings of a Sentimental Mom

Can I get sentimental for a moment?

It's been that kind of week so far. It all started with the emails. There was the one reminding parents that cap and gown orders were due for my high school senior (done), the one that said there were mandatory religious school confirmation rehearsals for my fifteen year old (noted), and the one that said fourth grade graduation would be starting at 9:15 (got it).

Within the course of one week, all three of my children will be hitting milestones. It is a week that will involve a LOT of tissues.

photo credit: Graduation Cake Guy via photopin (license)
The thing is, that emotional week is still several weeks away, and the waterworks have already started. Like yesterday. I went to Walgreens to buy cards. As soon as I saw the first graduation card, I knew I was going to lose it. I quickly put it down and decided it was a task for another day.

Maybe my sentimental craziness is because I've been reading a lot of my old blog posts lately. Last week, I listened to a podcast about social media. One of the things discussed was recycling older entries that readers might still enjoy/find relevant. Since I have over 400 posts, I thought why not? So I started at the beginning and started reading. There were so many about my three children. Memories came flooding back as if the events I wrote about happened yesterday. Except they didn't. Years have passed, and the tweens I wrote about are now teens. One is eighteen, works, has his own car, and is getting ready to graduate high school. The other will be sixteen this summer and is already thinking about colleges. And that toddler who I wrote about? The one who was worried that the Tooth Fairy didn't get help the way Santa did and wondered if maybe she could borrow an elf or two? Well, he's almost ten and getting ready to enter the tween years himself. Like most parents, I had a "wait, what? when?" moment trying to figure out how they aged when I didn't (snicker). Of course, there were tears thinking about it all, but there were also laughs … because so many of the memories made me smile.

So if you see me on social media being more social with old posts, it's just me being a sentimental (older) mom.


********

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I Blame It On The Carpet

I was listening to a podcast the other day about social media, and a thought occurred to me. Lately I haven't been very social. There was a time when I was blogging two or three times a week. Looking back, I realized it's been about two years since that all stopped, which was just around the time of my divorce. Did you know that happened? Yeah.

It was a crazy, hectic, stressful, depressing time. To add to the stress, our marital home, which was too large and expensive to keep, sold in two days, and the buyers wanted a quick settlement. I had five weeks to pack up and find a new home for myself and my three children.

In the housing market, it was a time of low inventory and high demand … at least in my price range. I was getting outbid on everything and had visions of us living out of my minivan. But then in a very "Sex in the City" sort of way, I got a phone call from my best friend: "A guy on my street died. They're hammering in the For Sale sign as I speak. Call your realtor NOW."

So I did. And I got the house before anyone else had a chance to see it. I had already been through two other houses in the neighborhood. They were all built in the 1950's and all basically the same. In fact, the one across the street was one I'd bid on and lost. So I knew what it could look like which was a good thing. Because … WOW.



"It's just carpet, it's just carpet," I told myself as I walked through. My realtor tried to convince me I could live with it for a while. I told her to stop … that she already had the sale. I knew from looking at the other houses on the street that these homes had hardwood on the first floor and just prayed I would find something in decent, usable condition underneath this craziness.

I settled on the house a few days before the movers arrived in order to have some time to work on the house. My best friend and our teenage sons couldn't rip the carpet out fast enough. I wish I could say pulling out the remaining 10,000 staples was therapeutic, but it wasn't. Underneath, the floors weren't in the best shape, and in the dining room (Oh yes, this carpet was EVERYWHERE), the prior owner had removed the hardwood and put down linoleum. Surprise! But at least it was neutral. More importantly, it wasn't this carpet. With scratched up hardwood floors and unexpected linoleum, my furniture and other belongings began to arrive. Suddenly, this strange place started looking and feeling like home. Ready or not, I was entering a new chapter of my life.

Now two years later, I've since had the hardwood refinished and the linoleum removed. The dust has settled on our unexpected life, and all is good…We are happy and loved. I'm extremely grateful for everything that we have. And I still don't miss that carpet.

*****

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