to my sons,
sometimes i can’t fall asleep because there are too many words in my head. they won’t stop coming until i write them down. i don’t know what’s motivating me to write this particular piece to you now when you’re 4 years old, but in case it’s because i’m destined to die tomorrow i’m just gonna go for it.
i don’t have plans for you. i don’t have a right to. your path is up to you and whatever higher power you may choose to believe in. having said that, be on alert that while you make your way down that path you may come upon some very tempting short cuts. i’m telling you from experience that they all likely lead to hell. so in an attempt to save your souls and ensure my sanity i am absolutely refusing to raise assholes.
to avoid becoming said assholes i need your commitment regarding the following:
be honest. the truth is all there is. no version will do. the more afraid you are to tell the truth the more you can be certain you need to tell it. cowards lie. and you two are the bravest bad ass ninjas i know. trust yourself to do the right thing and you will. follow through with what you promise and be someone people can count on. take pride in that. don’t just let yourself be the truth in your own story. be the truth in everyone’s story. stand up for what you believe is right but be open to accepting that sometimes you may be wrong.
BE A SUPER MAN.
find and believe in your power. the superheroes have nothing on you. remember, without Clark Kent “Superman” is just a costume. get what i’m saying? it’s the guy inside the suit who achieves the greatness. you won’t find your greatness by becoming someTHING. you’ll find it by being someONE. you were both blessed with beauty, charisma, humor, energy and a flame inside of you that ignites with passion, joy and love. Colt and Jett, my “Jolt”, perfectly named. you bring a jolt of electricity to everyone you touch. don’t use these gifts to manipulate, deceive, or destroy. use them to become super men.
BULLIES ARE BULLSHITTERS
they are not worth your time and certainly not worth your thoughts. there will always be people who find pleasure in trying to knock you down. but remember the saying,
don’t dare become one of these people. stay happy. happy people don’t feel the need to hurt someone. they feel good for others who succeed. and feel confident in their own potential for greatness. the only thing worth knowing about bullies is whatever they say or do to you has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. and you have 100% power over how much or how little they affect you. no one can make you feel anything. no one can hurt you unless you choose to feel hurt. no one can convince you of something unless you choose to believe it. you have control over how you feel. understand that all words are just sounds that came out of someones mouth one day and somebody decided they would mean something. those sounds can be so deafening they end your world or they can be completely muted. the choice is yours. if you believe in yourself and know how worthy of love you are you will be immune to such poison .
HATE & CRIMINAL ACTIVITY THAT WILL PUT YOU IN JAIL AND ME IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION
the choices you make do not just effect you. they will have an effect on other people most of the time and will always have an effect on me. try to understand the magnitude of the love i feel for both of you. i lay with you at night and the reality of the power of this love chokes me. i’m barely able to breathe and then i suddenly notice i’m crying. and this intense, pretty crazy, emotional reaction happens when i see you SLEEP. in our most peaceful moments. when we are wrapped in joy. now, imagine what the fuck it would do to me to see you in jail?
the only bars i can survive seeing you behind were the ones from your cribs. i know my limitations. i know i am nowhere near strong enough to endure pain when it comes to you two. if i ever have to visit you in jail all i will see is my baby staring back at me and then i’ll go home and tie a noose around my neck.
i know the love you have for me goes as deeply as mine for you. i can feel it. so if you should experience lows in your life where you don’t love yourselves enough to stay out of harms way and are tempted towards destructive choices, please keep the imagine of me hanging from a noose in the very front of your mind.
don’t you dare steal anything. ever. earn everything you have otherwise it won’t matter to you. i guess i should probably stop spoiling you to make sure this sinks in easier. if you are tempted to take something that doesn’t belong to you, take a quick look inside yourself. there you will find riches far greater than anything you are planning to steal. don’t get caught up in what someone else has and make that more important than who you are. i am grateful to have never known jealousy and i pray you never do either. it seems terribly poisonous and unnecessary.
now that i’ve established i don’t want you stealing, i also don’t want you using the hands i made you to evoke pain and suffering. unless your life or your families lives are being threatened there’s really no need for you to be hitting or hurting anyone. Ever. use the hands i made you to please, to create. not to inflict harm on the skin and soul. don’t waste your energy on anger. it’s useless and only distracts.
i realize there are a lot of scary ass crazy bitches out there who are sent here from hell to fuck up your lives. and for a time many can hide their crazy well and you may not see it coming. if you are unfortunate enough to find yourselves engaging with one of these types it may seem only fitting to haul off and throw her face into a wall. but please, allow me. I DO NOT WANT MY SONS HITTING ANY GIRLS!
now boys, so far you haven’t handled the word “NO” with much grace, so i feel it’s important to add a section on rape just in case you continue to struggle with this concept. every time in the past 4 years when i’ve told you NO and then went back on my word and gave in, or let you get away with something after i told you not to do it, i realize i may be fostering the rapists within. NO needs to mean NO. NO MATTER WHAT. i think it’s probably supposed to be my job to drill this into your heads and my failure to do so only means that i suck as a parent. it does not mean you’ve been given a justifiable excuse to go rape crazy. when a woman tells you “No”, let a vision of me in a straight jacket screaming in a tiny windowless room be the very first thing that pops into your mind should you even think about proceeding.
hate and discrimination will suck the very life out of you. it is not for you to judge someone else’s life or choices. if you’re on the correct path you will have your hands full with your own.
if you must look up to someone choose that person wisely and carefully. don’t be followers blindly following the herd. SEE EVERYTHING FOR WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS especially when someone is holding a blindfold over your eyes. you can get into trouble if you fail to do this.
i am a very strong person and i can handle a great deal before i break. i can recover from a lot with minimal battle scars. except when it comes to you two. i have no defense against my love for you, i have no prayer of controlling or minimizing it and i’d never want to. and while it’s not your responsibility to take care of me, you sure as shit should want to do your part to avoid bringing me to a place i can’t come back from. things will happen to us all during our lives that we can not control, but as your mother, i am begging you to avoid putting me through hell by choices you willingly make. i could not survive an hour on this planet without either one of you. that’s not me being dramatic, that’s me admitting i am not strong enough to survive you. i can’t stomach seeing either of you in pain. so please make careful choices! and i will not be able to cope with either of you contributing to the evil in this world. so don’t.
as i type these things to you now i can’t even imagine you ever needing to read them. you are both made up entirely of love and light. colt, you’re the most generous person I’ve ever met. you will give your friends anything no matter how important it is to you in order to see them happy. sometimes i worry you’ll be giving out your organs even though you’ll need them to survive! you are so free and you already know fear is a lie. you are inspiring. and jett, my bite sized CEO. you are right when you insist “it’s my wowd(world)! i decide!” the world you are creating is a spectacular one and we will all benefit from living in it. you both always insist on being the ‘good guys’ when we play dress up. i have every faith in you that you will remain as such. you both love with every piece of you. and you will do great things. so long as you can avoid becoming assholes.
DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND OTHER DESTRUCTIVE WAYS TO NOT GIVE A SHIT
i’m praying genetics helps you out here. you don’t come from a family of substance abusers. there’s hardly one of us who even drinks more than twice a year. one of my favorite things about our family is we are always having way more fun than every one else and we are doing it stone cold sober. well, minus some occasions once upon a time when i was drunk out of my mind and made every wrong choice possible. and i know you guys probably will too. but don’t make a habit out of it.
if you’re only going to take after me in one area let it be this; find fun and comfort in things you can’t eat, drink, smoke, snort or shoot. i find so much enjoyment in board games it’s ridiculous and i hope you always do too. relying on drugs and alcohol will ruin everything that is you. it will mask your uniqueness, and extinguish your spark. it will make you numb and vacant and terrified. it will make you an asshole. fear, boredom, insecurity and a host of other lies people tell themselves prompts the need to let a liquid or a pill make their choices for them. don’t fall prey to such lies. don’t destroy what i created.
there is no such thing as boredom. if you think you’re bored a substance won’t rid yourself of it but your imagination will. think of how dull a blank piece of paper is and yet what you create on it can change an entire life, even the world. it all depends on how big your imagination is. treat the “boring” days as blank sheets of paper and get to work!
if you find yourselves stuck in some lows that are a struggle to climb out of, before you start popping antidepressants like candy, check in with yourself. are you absolutely certain a chemical imbalance is causing your unhappiness? or could it be the choices you are making and the thoughts you are letting yourself believe about your life and who you are? try changing those before you resort to medication.
WHORES HAVE HEARTS TOO
okay, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume, given your disturbing obsessions with my lady parts, that both of you will most likely be attracted to women. if this turns out to not be the case, i will write another letter regarding men when the time comes. although much of the same applies to both.
i make a very important promise to you. i promise to never put up with a man disrespecting me. i promise to value myself so that you do not grow up watching a woman back down, or let herself be treated as anything less than an equal to a man. i promise to never give you any reason to believe you should get away with devaluing women.
if you’re anything like your father, the girls you will be interested in probably won’t be born for another 15 years or so but when you do meet someone of interest it truly doesn’t matter whether she’s younger, older or your same age. it only matters that it’s legal and that she is your equal and treated as such. when you decide to engage in dating and sex, keep these things at the very front of your mind: even if a girl does not respect herself that does NOT give you the right not to respect her. we all have our own journeys through this life, we all have our highs and lows, don’t you dare use another’s low to your advantage. remember, whores have hearts too.
if a girl chooses to send you naked pictures of herself do not make her feel as stupid as she is for doing so by sharing them with your friends or posting them all over the internet. doing so looks far worse on you than it does on her. if this isn’t enough incentive than maybe this will help you avoid such gross disrespect; if you exploit a woman’s trust in you, you can bet your asses i WILL find out about it. i will come into your bedrooms while you sleep and bring a camera. i will take photos of your penises and i will tag you in them all over Facebook. i am not at all above being creepy as hell for the greater good. try me.
do not make sex videos without the woman’s knowledge and do not share them without the woman’s permission. in fact, do not share them at all. this shit makes you an absolute fucking asshole and i REFUSE TO RAISE ASSHOLES. if i ever find out your penis is starring in a sex tape all over the internet you can kiss that thing goodbye along with your life as you know it.
imagine how you would feel and what you would think about a guy who did the above to me? i don’t want you to ever feel that way about yourselves and i don’t want you to be the reason a woman can’t trust the next guy. if you can find me somewhere in the eyes of the women you are with i am confident you will always choose right over wrong.
even more importantly than having respect for the person you are sleeping with, have respect for YOURSELVES my loves. if you do you won’t put your bodies in dangerous and destructive positions with dangerous and destructive people.
don’t sleep with whores just because you can. i’m sure they are fun as hell, but a girl with self-respect can be a helluva lot more fun and she’s not gonna want you when you are covered in genital warts and there’s green shit oozing from your dicks. i promise you. the whorey ones will let you proceed without caution and i am gonna be pissed as hell if there’s a bunch of girls running around aborting my grandchildren or making me become a grandmother before i feel like one.
someone who doesn’t respect herself will not be able to respect you. she won’t know how. someone who does not love herself will not be able to love you. not in the way you deserve to be loved. she won’t know how.
**this must be said: do not use your identical DNA to trick each others girlfriends into sleeping with you. i hear identicals do this and however hilarious i happen to think it is, it’s just going to cause fights between you guys so probably best to avoid.
choose to give your heart and everything that goes with it to a woman who truly deserves it. do not be blinded by a woman. SEE HER CLEARLY. because i guarantee you i will and good luck getting her through the door if i don’t believe she has my sons’ best interests at heart. she doesn’t have to be perfect. in fact, i strongly recommend against that. you’ll have a terribly dull life with a “perfect” woman.
choose someone who will take pride in her body but will also polish off a cheeseburger without puking afterwards. and don’t you dare make douchebag cruel comments about anyones weight or body. not everyone is as perfect as you are your majesties. and she may be in a low in her life where she’s not strong enough to tune out your words. contributing to an eating disorder is an asshole move. your mommy suffered through one for a portion of her life. know that. i could have died from such self-destructive bullshit. if so, you would not be here. the three of us would have missed out on far too much AMAZINGNESS. what a tragic waste it could have been. don’t stand in the way of the world’s future with cruel remarks. if despite my words you decide to tease someone for their weight i’ll withhold food from you for a week. let’s see how much you enjoy starving.
choose a woman who challenges you to grow. don’t pick someone who obeys your every command. sure that personality trait can be fun in the bedroom but be sure it stays there. pick someone who makes you think and enlightens you and who is not intimidated to disagree with you. pick someone who is Strong. who doesn’t rely on you for her self-worth. unless you become a firefighter or a cop it’s probably not gonna be your job to save anyone. pick someone you can spend your life loving, not rescuing. i realize we are all works in progress and the chances of any of us finding someone who has ALL their shit together are incredibly slim if not impossible. expect to work through issues together but choose someone who has worked through most of them already so you can enjoy the ride together instead of being wiped out by it. remember a relationship will only ever be as healthy as the least healthy person in it. don’t rely on someone to “complete you”. that is not only completely backwards but is completely unnecessary. i still can’t understand why everyone sobs and “awwwws” during that scene in “Jerry Maguire”. when i saw that part i wanted to throw my raisinets at the fucking screen. you are already complete. you are already whole. you were born that way. we all were. too many of us let the bullshit of life break us apart until we talk ourselves into believing we need other people, or substances to put us back together.
what i know of love i’m learning from you guys. you are the teachers. the older i get the more i learn from those younger than me. you have far more of the answers at four years old than i do at thirty-four. don’t let anyones age fool you into believing they are wiser than you.
if you choose to marry, make her your queen. princesses are for daughters. make your wife your equal. nothing less nothing more. let your wife wear the crown in your life even though i better be wearing it in your hearts.
and should you wonder when the “right” time for you to become a daddy is, i suggest it be at the first sign of life turning stale for you. when you’ve stopped being surprised by experiences, people. stopped being awed by things you see, places you visit and music you hear. when you begin taking things and love for granted and stop finding joy in EVUHRYTHING. when you’ve stopped PLAYING make a kid STAT!!! you will experience everything all over again through your child’s eyes and believe me, everything is even more exciting this time around. my advice to you as fathers is to take time, a lot of time, to be silent. to listen. to look. to really SEE and really HEAR your children. i know you both catch me doing this all the time. i just stop what i’m doing and stare at you. i do this because i’m memorizing the moment. memorizing your faces before they change again. i’m simultaneously grieving over the child you were yesterday that i’ll never get back, while celebrating the one you became today. you will do this too as a father. and always hold your kids a little longer than they think they want you to.
if some day THE ONE should turn into someone you don’t know or don’t particularly want to know, then you must choose your happiness first. don’t stay in a relationship that makes you unhappy for the ‘sake of the kids’. that does them no favors. if your children grow up with a miserable marriage as their primary example of love, then they will likely seek that out for themselves one day. if they grow up with an example of two people who had the maturity to value their own happiness enough to divorce that will teach them not to waste their life staying in something that doesn’t make them happy. anybody can be miserable, it’s terribly easy. but happiness is reserved for the truly brave.
don’t put your father and i on a pedestal. its dangerous for you to do so. we don’t deserve to be there. we are human. we are flawed. know who we are, love us endlessly anyway but be careful not to put us higher than we deserve to be. the pain we’ll cause you as we hit you on our inevitable fall down will be too great. we are figuring our way through life just as you will be. you will see things we can not. the hardest words to mute are the ones from our parents. as your parents the things we say to each of you and do will have the potential to affect the men you become. if you let us. don’t give us the power to affect your life negatively. we don’t have that right. take in our good and toss out our bad and be smart enough to determine the difference. every day i am working on being the best mother i can be for you but i will never achieve parental perfection. we will never intentionally hurt you, but as you have already learned; accidents can hurt just as much.
LAUGH OR DIE. IT’S THAT SIMPLE.
how anyone survives this life without a sense of humor I’m sure i don’t know. find the funny in everything guys. it’s the most fun way through this.
your life will be everything you believe it can be. it can be as enjoyable and fulfilling as you decide to make it.
curse a lot. sometimes there’s a word you’re looking for and nothing else will do.
don’t do something with your life, do EVERYTHING with your life. explore every interest you have. have many!
have drive that stems from the inside out. from wanting to be the best you that you can be instead of being driven by rage to prove someone wrong or to prove anything to anyone.
have passion. have intensity. have goals and do some work towards reaching them every day. don’t let money decide what you are worth and be careful not to make it the ultimate goal that drives you. doing so will likely destroy you in the process.
thrive on talents and exploration and always look towards the light.
let yourselves be vulnerable enough to ask for help, but aware enough to know you possess all the tools you need to climb out of even the darkest of holes.
look out for one another. you compliment each other beautifully. use a strength of yours to help your brother through a weakness of his.
choose an outlet to share your stories and do so without censorship or fear.
say yes, almost always.
and never. never.stop.playing.
you are my gifts to the world. my works of art. turn my work into a masterpiece; become men.
the world’s reached its asshole quota.
well, today is our fifth and likely final wedding anniversary. as nostalgia sets in and i reflect on our years together, i can’t help but wonder exactly what caused our marriage to take a turn straight into the flames of hell.
after careful thought and a great deal of chocolate eating, I’ve come up with a number of possible contributing factors. right out of the gate we had challenges that even the cast of “SURVIVOR” wouldn’t have made it through. a twenty-one year age gap, three kids who didn’t want a stepmother, and my husband’s decision to move us a mile down the road from his first family (in what i can only assume was an attempt to play out some disturbing mormon fantasy), just to name a few. we probably have to factor in that our wedding day itself was a volatile disaster. it began with no one knowing whether or not the groom was even gonna show and ended with us almost getting kicked off the island for disturbing the peace when i screamed several obscenities during our wedding reception for four and stormed off to our bungalow without getting to eat a bite of my damn wedding cake. or perhaps it was deciding to get pregnant five minutes into the marriage and gaining fifty-two pounds as a newlywed that doomed things from the start. i don’t think I’ve ever been able to forgive him for leaving me at home during most of my pregnancy unsupervised with all the ice cream.
clearly we didn’t think much through. i mean, i married a successful man TWENTY-ONE years my senior and never even got to experience my rightful reign as a Trophy Wife for christ’s sake. surely i was entitled to at least a year or two of parading a new pair of boobs around town and doing nothing of any substance.
however, instead of living in superficial bliss, by our first anniversary our twins were over 2 months old, i was still wearing my maternity pants and we were too freaking tired to celebrate surviving the year so we went to Duffy’s Sports Grill with my stepson for an hour and called it a night. i was hardly anyones trophy wife constantly covered in vomit, piss and stretch marks. instead i crowned myself Queen Frumpty Dumpty and scheduled a tummy tuck STAT.
whatever the reasons may be, we’ve found ourselves in the ‘one of us has to change or one of us has to die’ predicament that so many married couples face. though i fear we’ve reached this milestone at a much faster rate than is healthy. technically we’ve been together for ten years but the first five were by choice so we really shouldn’t be at this point just yet should we? we recently had one of THOSE talks where nobody cried and nobody yelled. i think the adults call them “mature discussions”. we decided to give our marriage some serious effort and agreed to make a list of what changes we needed the other person to make in order for us to be happily married. to each other. we would meet the following night to read our lists and the rule was that we were not allowed to say ANYTHING until the person reading had finished. then we would each decide what we were realistically willing to sacrifice or change and go from there.
the next night i sat myself on the couch with my “why i can’t fucking stand you” list handwritten about a page long. he hadn’t even walked in the room yet but i knew exactly what was gonna be on his list. the same three wifely “shortcomings” he’s been complaining about our whole marriage; i don’t cook, i don’t clean, i spend too much money. each time he brings these up i remind him that he’s always known i was a reckless spender and have zero skills or interest in anything to do with a stove or sponge. I made very clear to him i would be his wife, not his chef or his maid and he chose to marry me anyway. so as far as i’m concerned he forfeited his right to bitch. i wonder how he would feel if i woke up one morning suddenly resentful that he is older than me and was shocked and disappointed he hasn’t gotten younger every year. to make his argument lose even more validity we have a full time housekeeper. what does he want me to do? follow her around the house with another broom? since i knew we’d have to go through this same tired argument yet again, earlier that day i told him he could go first with his list. i wanted to get his out of the way so we could focus on the real issues i wanted to bring up.
he entered the room shortly after me armed with a laptop. sat down, and opened up a microsoft word document containing his “why i can’t fucking stand you” list. typed. THREE PAGES. SINGLE. SPACED.
just as i was about to let out a gigantic “WHAT THE FUCK?!” and break the no talking rule, he began:
- “You’re incredibly high maintenance.”
- “You don’t let me parent our children the way I want to.”
- “You became a private investigator.”
- “You keep adopting pets.”
oh thank God! although i was relieved, i really did wish he would stop complimenting me and move on to the areas of concern. after all, it was already 9pm, my bedtime was an hour ago and we had a shitload to cover. as if he read my mind, without warning, his list took a turn for the infuriating.
- “You spend a zillion dollars on these pets you insist on having only to hate them an hour after they move in. And then we all suffer through the havoc they wreck on our lives until their inevitable mysterious disappearances. Remember the pig?!”
heeere we go. again with the FUCKING PIG! in our marriage this pig is the equivalent to an affair. you know when someone cheats and their spouse decides to forgive them and stay with them but EVERY time they get pissed about anything they bring up the affair? it ALWAYS goes back to the affair. well in our case, it ALWAYS goes back to the fucking pig. i bought a piglet that was supposed to stay adorably small. i had it flown here from some farm. during this time we were renovating our home so we had moved into a condo with minimal living space, five kids and three huge dogs with no yard. i didn’t even know if pigs were legally allowed there but who would notice the tiny thing? well in a few short months it was gigantic, repulsive and the fifth worst mistake I’d ever made. that hideous disaster tried to eat EVERYONE it came in contact with and destroyed everything we owned in its constant obsessive quest for food. our nanny had a nervous breakdown and threatened to quit over the beast. my husband drop kicked it every time it blocked the TV and it screeched like a demon from the pits of hell if you tried to touch it. it almost ended our marriage so i gave it to a friend by telling her it was a darling little thing and then it almost ended her marriage. shortly after that it boarded a plane never to be seen or heard again. and i’ve yet to get any appreciation from gil for removing it from our lives or for naming the damn thing after him…
- “Most women will attend their husbands work related events even when they happen to be pissed at him for something. They will put their feelings aside and support their spouse for the evening. I would like it if you would do the same.”
if i do not like you in the house
i will not like you with a mouse
i will not like you here or there
i will not go with you anywhere
then came an oldie but goodie:
- “Would you PLEASE agree to take a cooking class? I’ll even go with you. It will be fun!”
He sounded like a parent trying to convince a toddler how great it would feel to put on a shirt that itches the shit out of him.
WE HAVE A CHEF! i silently screamed. i’m not sure whether he read my mind or my expression when he added,
“Having a personal chef is costing us money we shouldn’t have to spend.”
- ” I value my privacy. I would REALLY appreciate it if you kept our private life private.”
“I mean, you even air our dirty laundry in our family christmas cards!”
- “I don’t think it’s fair that I should have to get the kids ready and drive them to school every morning when I’m in town. “
you don’t think that’s fair? you know what i don’t think is fair? that i am going to be spending the prime of my life changing your diapers, carting you around to doctor’s appointments, making sure you get your medications and checking you in and out of hospitals. so forgive me if i am less than sensitive to your great inconvenience of driving 3 miles to the school so i can sleep an extra hour.
just as i was about to say GAME OVER he went where no man should ever go:
- “And honey… PLEASE…Once in a while would it kill you to wear something sexy to bed? I mean, if I have to look at those fluffy socks one more time…..You dress for bed like you’re about to go sled riding during a blizzard.”
FUCK THIS! i have a thyroid condition! THAT’S IT! your ass is gonna be in a nursing home before breakfast tomorrow.
i started to drift off to sleep at 1AM somewhere around the beginning of page two. my final thoughts before i welcomed unconsciousness was how i could have ignored all of gil’s attempts to get me to recognize that i’m the world’s WORST wife. there’s hardly a week that goes by when he doesn’t tell me that living me with is like being trapped in an “I Love Lucy” episode you can’t turn off. i always thought it was a compliment. and looking back, maybe he was trying to get my attention through instagram. the pseudonym he chose for his account that’s filled with photos of our family is ‘slowpainfuldeath’ and still i had seen no cause for concern.
after what seemed like a week it was finally my turn to read my list which took considerably less time. we had an eerily peaceful 48 hours after that when we didn’t piss each other off. while i still refused to change really anything about myself i did try my hand at something new called ‘compromising’. for example, although there was no way i would ever turn on the stove, i promised that i would stop ordering take out when he pays someone to cook for us. that’s the best i could do. everybody’s got their limitations. imagine my gratitude when three days in gil fucked up on one of his promises to me so i got to use it as an excuse to call off the whole experiment and return to my argumentative, inconsiderate, happy self.
i am proud to say that we didn’t give up on each other even though our efforts failed miserably. instead we decided to try to rescue our marriage another way. couples therapy. turns out i’m a huge fan! it truly DOES work! after just one session i already feel incredibly motivated to strengthen some of my wifely weaknesses that gil repeatedly felt inclined to mention during the hour. for instance, i am FINALLY going to start cooking!
Dinner is served Your Majesty! Enjoy your side of arsenic! if my husband and marriage survive the day (and this blog post) we’ll be
mourning celebrating our five year miracle tonight at and who knows, we may even renew our vows while we’re there…..
in closing: while i’m certainly not a good wife, and i never got to be a trophy wife, i’m sure all would agree i’m the World’s Worst Wife and to achieve that status with only five years under my belt is accomplishment enough for me. it’s empowering to know the reason our marriage exists is so everyone else can feel better about theirs.
*I’m Lauren Anastasi-Peter and my husband approves this message.
may 18th, 2014
now do you know what today is? it’s interesting because even the people who are supposed to be recognized today most likely have no idea it exists. there actually is such a thing as National Stepmother’s Day. the third sunday in may. there are no advertisements for it, no spouses and stepchildren scrambling through stores searching for the perfect gift to say “thank you”. this day will go by as every day does for most stepmothers; with no recognition. no appreciation. in short; no one gives a shit. this is surprising to me given the growing number of stepfamilies in our country. divorce and remarriage are everywhere. stepmothers are spreading around the globe like cancer. and treated as such. you either are a stepparent, have a stepparent or know a stepparent. and yet still the world is trying to ignore our existence. we aren’t asking to be recognized on mother’s day anymore, we got the shit beat out of us over that one. now we have our very own holiday, one day out of 365 when the stepmother is to be, dare I say, honored. appreciated. loved? well now i’ve gone way too far.
perhaps we have walt disney to blame for the bitter taste in ones mouth when we say “stepmother”. but at least he gave us a role in the family. can’t say the same for the mothers. he killed those poor bitches off in the first scene. but not all stepmothers are wicked. most of us are pretty freakin fantastic. i choose to honor all the courageous souls who have been CHOSEN to take on this challenge. God is too smart to make mistakes. he elects only the strongest, most resilient, most empathic, and those with the greatest capacity to love for this gig. he knows how extrafreakinordinary you are. he made you this way on purpose. because even though they don’t know it, and you probably don’t either, those kids need you. and so does your spouse.
think of what goes into the decision to marry someone who doesn’t have kids. there’s a helluva lot of contemplating, probably years of auditioning for one another (unless you’re one of those vegas brides). a whole lot of pros and cons and that’s just to decide whether to share your life with ONE person. now think of what goes into the decision to marry a person with kids. all the above times the amount of children he has plus there’s your ability and willingness to deal with the kids mom to factor in. you’ll have to agree to give up the honeymoon period, the newlywed year when you’re supposed to have sex all over the kitchen 8 times a day without having to worry about children around to get grossed out and traumatized. you’ll have to give up your social life and weekend date nights because you’ll have the kids on weekends even when you two have worked so hard all week that you barely got to speak to one another. you will always be married with kids, there will never be a time when it will just be the two of you. the exciting milestones in your life that you have waited for FOREVER that will make you so freaking happy you’ll want to explode -your wedding, the birth of your own children, etc. you’ll celebrate quietly because they’ll bring pain and mixed emotions to his children which will bring stress and worry to your husband. the child in you will resent them for that. the adult in you will try hard not to. the marital challenges you two will have he never had to face the first time around because there wasn’t a divorce, or hurt children. and even after ALL that thinking and determining, after you’ve made the decision to love everyone he comes with, to sacrifice, to open your home, life and heart to all of them, you STILL had no freaking idea what you were getting into and you’ll want to punch the people who insist you must have.
your marriage begins when everyone else in the family has reached their wit’s end. so basically your marriage has all the makings for a nuclear disaster and you’d be lying if you said you didn’t want to bolt out of it at least once a week. and yet you stay. we stay. because there will never be anything we do that is more challenging therefore nothing could ever be as rewarding. even when no one acknowledges the things you have given up, changed, done YOU know how far you’ve come. how much you’ve grown. how great you feel during a bonding moment with your stepchild. YOU are proud of yourself. and you damn well should be.
i always say the ingredients to make a stepmom are:
1. marry a man with kids
2. have 1000 layers of skin
3. possess the ability to bite a hole through your tongue.
the ingredients to survive being one:
1. expect NOTHING. then instead of being disappointed, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
2. keep on doing the next right thing.
the ingredients to make a successful stepmom:
i have no fucking idea. i’m not that good a cook.
so HAPPY STEPMOTHER’S DAY to all my soul sisters out there!!!! and if you have a stepmother in your life choose today to not be an asshole to her. she is not your mother which is all the more reason to thank her for what she does for you. just in case i’m the only person to appreciate you today you could always pretend you got these cards in the mail: and to the three gifts in my life i am eternally grateful i chose; Casey, Cameron and Christian- being your stepmother is my greatest challenge and greatest reward. you are free to hate me, like me, tolerate me or love me. i have and will continue to make many mistakes as your stepmom. i have done and will continue to do many good things as your stepmother as well. remember we are all navigating through unfamiliar, uncomfortable territory together as a stepfamily. trying to draw lines within boundaries and love is like creating a piece of artwork. it can be as beautiful or as disastrous as we choose to make it. i promise to try to be a grown up even though you know it goes against everything i am! and no matter how tumultuous things may get between us over the years ahead know that you will always be my Princess Buttercup, my Teeny and my Tiny. but don’t let things get too tumultuous cause karma’s a bitch and you never know, one day you may become a stepparent! lastly, to my husband who made me a stepmother-i’m getting you back one pet at a time…….
once upon a time in the very near future a mommy named Me will open the most important school in all the land. a school that will save all the parents like Me from being total fucking failures. this school will be named ‘forget me not’. it’s logo will be a naked child with an empty lunchbox. the logo will read: “you supply the kid, we supply everything else.” okay, maybe the logo kid should be wearing undies since the school doesn’t plan on supplying the pedophiles…
it matters not what district you’re zoned for and there is no tuition so cost won’t be an issue. the only criteria you have to meet in order to be admitted is that each and every student must have parents who can’t get their shit together. every parent needs to be just like the mommy named Me.
below is the checklist to determine whether you are a candidate for the school of ‘forget me not’. if you meet at least six of the ten qualifications you are eligible:
1. You send your child to school more than 3 days a week without brushing their teeth.
2. Someone comes to the school at least twice between drop off and pick up to bring your kids shit you forgot.
3. You haven’t signed up for classroom snack in at least four weeks or you’ve signed up for snack in the past month but forgot to bring it.
4. Your child comes to school in shorts and a t-shirt because you’re apparently the only parent that doesn’t check the hourly weather forecast each morning to know that between the 10:30-11:30 playground hour the temp will drop from 74 to 70 and you didn’t pack a sweater or snow suit. You also wonder how everyone else knows when playground time is. Did they email a schedule???
5. Your kids are sent to school in something that hasn’t been washed yet (bodies and/or hair counts).
6. You believe pajama day, bring your favorite bear to school day, striped shirt day, halloween parade day, pizza fridays, graduations, lunch in general, paying tuitions on time or at all, creative projects the kids are too young to do on their own, getting to school by 830am, homework and all the other school related things you have to remember and prepare for are purposely designed to reveal the failure that you are and that the only “good” parents HAVE to be functioning on some serious stimulants or NEVER thinking about ANYTHING else.
7. You can’t ever remember which days you signed up for school lunch and which days you are supposed to pack it. Or you leave for school without their lunches that were sitting in the fridge, completely packed, staring at you when you reached for the milk ten minutes ago. This results in frequent trips back to the school or very hungry kids.
8. Your kids grew out of all their school clothes six months ago and you keep forgetting to buy bigger sizes even though the uniform store is INSIDE their school. you actually have to walk right by it EVERY day in order to get to their classroom.
9. You’re ashamed to admit you have been woken up at 9:15am by your fully dressed toddler standing beside your bed pulling on your arms while wearing a backwards t-shirt and shoes on the wrong feet with a breakfast of airheads sticking out of his pockets demanding that you “stand up mom! we need to get to school. we need to see our fwends!”
10. You’ve driven your kids to school without realizing it was Saturday.
* You are only required to meet one of the above criteria if you are a stay at home parent who makes your kids take the bus to school so you can sleep in. You are then considered a bonus round winner and will be guaranteed admission into the ‘forget me not school’. Congratulations!
* * *
before my twins could crawl i had my shit T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R. my diaper bag was so famous around town that it named this blog. i was carrying around a super target in that thing. prepared for anything those babies threw my way. usually vomit. i had everything needed in that bag to survive for a month on a mountain in the freezing cold without any limbs -just in case, ya know, that ever happened…which it could have…you never know….
and then something happened that dramatically and instantly changed the mother i was. the babies started moving. began crawling, then they stood up and W A L K E D. slowly at first, then picking up speed. they got faster, and faster and stronger and stronger and climb-ier. and what could i do but RUN (usually towards a bar). we haven’t stopped running, the three of us, four on the days my husband is in town. every day of our lives has been a chinese fuckin fire-drill since the moment they stood up. thank god they are out of diapers because there’s no time to even think about what to put in the diaper bag, let alone actually be able to pack it. there’s no telling how much scotch tape they could wrap around the cat in that minute and a half.
so when is there time to have actual thoughts needed to remember things? i have a vague memory of reading a letter from the school fairly recently that said: “REMINDER: PAJAMA DAY IS TUESDAY!” how was i supposed to remember something that seemed like a lifetime away? there was no telling how many disasters and travesties we would have to survive before then, after all it was only monday! and yet no matter how many ways i tried to justify my forgetfulness, the ache i felt in my heart for having made my sons left out bystanders forced to watch their excited friends show off their favorite pjs was unbearable. i had forgotten something more than just pajama day. i’d forgotten that the things that seem so trivial as an adult and barely worth your attention to remember are THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE WORLD to a child. perhaps my shortcomings are why god made them twins; so they’ll have someone to lean on and bitch to while they suffer through the humiliations and frustrations of growing up with a disorganized mother.
on a good note the more chaotic and demanding life becomes the more i find myself grateful for the little things. like how fridays at school are show and share days instead of show and tell days. because if they were show and tell days the twins could tell their class how mommy forgets to send them to school with a toy to show every week and so one week she frantically ran back out to her car in hopes of finding a toy hiding under the seats. when she found no toy she decided to give us some gauze from the first aid kit that came with the car. and it wasn’t even G week….
anyway, back to the pajama rescue:
i sped through every school zone to get their pjs to them as quickly as possible all the while seething with irrational displaced anger at the excellent school my children go to:
who has special dress days on a tuesday anyway?! why do schools even do these “special” things? don’t the kids have enough fun with all the toys and computers and the playground? is this just to torture the parents? as if we need ONE MORE THING to remember to do??? these people make toddlers their profession so how can they not understand that every day is fucking survival mode! every day we are dodging lacrosse balls and nerf pellets and just trying to make it to bedtime without a casualty. can’t the schools help make this a bit easier by giving us less to think about? less to do? less to remember?
that’s it! i‘m gonna build a school! a school where no child will know their parents think about other things more often than what days to pack their lunches. a school that will have a supply room bigger than any classroom filled with extra striped t-shirts, extra pajamas and an abundance of halloween costumes. a gigantic refrigerator to hold all the would be forgotten lunches. clothes that actually fit. soap for the kids whose parents haven’t made time to bathe them in the past week. show and share items for every letter of the alphabet. this school will have transportation that will pick the children up at their doors. all the parents have to do is give them a door to walk out of and the rest is up to the administrators. the school will be built right next-door to social services so when the time is right they can supply each kid with a brand new mommy and daddy.
then, when the crazy wore off, i sobbed the rest of the way. i cried for every moment my babies felt left out and less special. knowing your children feel badly about themselves is hard enough to endure, knowing you are the reason is impossible to forgive. i cried with frustration over how in the hell i can memorize hundreds of pages of scripts or every word from every conversation between my husband and i that pissed me off throughout the past decade but i can’t remember the letter of the week is V? i cried not just for my irresponsibility and inability to prioritize this time but every time i’d made it more important to be on top of assignments for work than on top of what i needed for my children. nothing has ever or will ever be more important to me than them and yet i’d forgotten their lunches twice that week, forgotten their pajamas and as i pulled back into the school remembered i was supposed to bring their favorite stuffed animal too.
after a sound proof cursing explosion inside my car in the parking lot, i decided it more important to get them in their pjs instead of spending more time going back for the stuffed animals. when my sons saw me walk in the room their faces made me want to cry all over again. they were beaming ear to ear as if a ninja turtle had just walked into their school. they instantly started to show me off as if their friends hadn’t met me before. “look we mommys here!” “this is my mom!” they looked SO PROUD to have their mom there. me. the forgetful, disorganized mess who was crying and cursing in the parking lot for ‘screwing them up for life’.
they were happier than i’d maybe ever seen them. they didn’t care why i was there- that it was because i’d let them down that day. they didn’t even ask for the pajamas. didn’t mention them. it was as if they’d forgotten all about it. all that mattered to them was that i was there. with them. sharing in part of their day. THAT is what made them feel special. more special than any pair of pajamas ever could. no matter how horribly i thought of myself that day i had the ability to make these two precious people feel so special. just because i was me.
as i write this i am reminded of a few months earlier when i had again forgotten to bring their lunch. i was so late getting it to their school that i saw them sitting at the lunch table watching their friends open their lunch boxes while they sat there with nothing. not sad. smiling and asking what their friends had for lunch. it was as if they knew i’d come through for them. i would probably be late, but i’d come through. as soon as i picked them up from school that day they ran up to me hugged me and said “thank you mommy for bringing us we lunches!”
when i finally had them all dressed in their pajamas (an hour late and 2 sizes too small), just before they went running back into class shouting “look at me spongebob bejamas” jett kissed my cheek and colt said to me (with a playful smile as if he knew i was in the midst of a breakdown) “you weally late mom.” then he threw his arms around my neck and whispered into my ear “thank you mama” and then he was gone. running off with his brother to their next exciting moment in toddlerhood.
* * *
so while it’d be helpful if the mommy named Me opened a school one day to prevent all the mommies like her from being total failures, maybe she doesn’t really need to…..
since we last met (forever and a month ago) there have been some changes. the twins are out of diapers (hallelujah) which briefly made me consider renaming this blog but then i figured before we know it my husband will be wearing them so it’ll make sense again soon enough. we are currently in a terrifying phase of parenting as we now have three full-fledged teenagers and two 3-year-old rock em sock em robots. by the time the youngest turn 18 i’ll feel like i earned a phd in psychology along with a black belt in jujitsu. having a teenager is
maddening challenging, having three at the same time is downright torture and having them be your step kids is well…. there are two necessary ingredients to be able to successfully parent teenagers. unfortunately this formula requires us stepmomsters be sacrificed. i’d like to share these secret ingredients with you as a way to thank you for still reading this blog after a hiatus longer than the ones the writers of “mad men” take. the two ingredients you need in order to survive raising teenagers with your sanity intact are: 1. a stepmother in the anastasi-peter-webster’s dictionary ‘stepmother’ by definition means SCAPEGOAT. teenagers need someone to blame. for their failed tests, their bad hair days, their breakups, their hangovers, why the world is round….their irrational blame and hormone driven rages are usually directed towards mom or dad unless they have a step parent. the step parent’s role is crucial because when is a scapegoat needed more in our lives than during adolescence? up until our kids turn 13 all the damage of our, just face it, piss poor parenting through the years has been hidden under the disguise of that adorable, precocious, funny, sweet, sensitive little love of our lives. brace yourself because d-day is quickly coming when it will be impossible to hide from the monsters we’ve built from scratch since the hormones have unleashed the beast within. ladies, TRUST ME on this. it matters not if any of you are still in love with your husbands, DIVORCE HIS ASS when your oldest kid turns 12. give him the cars, the house, and the family dog if he agrees to remarry immediately. enjoy single life, sow your wildest oats, comfort your preteen through the divorce adjustment period and then enjoy the get- out- of- hell- free card while you sit back and watch your kid unleash his teenanger on their stepmother for the next 6 years. feel free to add your two cents as often as possible, it will only help your cause. if you don’t want your teens turning on you, you’d better make damn sure they’re turning on her. remember, it’s much easier to hate a stepparent than it is to hate a parent so you really can’t lose. who cares if the poor woman feels like this at the end of each day: she’s serving a higher purpose and don’t all of us stepmoms “know what we’re getting into” before we marry a man with kids anyway? can you tell i’m trying not to scream? husbands, please don’t object to this plan. it works in your favor too. your teens will let you off the hook for every time you miss their school plays and baseball games as long as you remarry before they turn 13. use that adorable 12 year old you made to suck that unsuspecting victim right in. and let’s not leave out how fun it will be to get to boink somebody new for a few years (until she blows her brains out or divorces you). that reminds me, you should probably get a prenup before embarking on this experiment. oh, and make sure she doesn’t have kids of her own cause i shudder to think what happens to stepfathers…. 2. a spy. gone are the days the mother could open her daughters top drawer and snoop through her diary by opening the lock that never even locked. now, if kids journal they do it on their laptops protected by a special journal passcode as well as a computer passcode. they now have cell phones allowing them to sext, bully, snapchat their boobies, and there’s probably an app to buy weed. many of them have cars and tell you they are going here when really they are going there. in short, we have no fucking idea what our kids are doing. i was a high school drama teacher for a total of two years too many and i can’t tell you how many parents would brag about their kids to me and i didn’t even recognize who the hell they were talking about. “my daughter deserves the lead in the play because she’s worked so hard the last few years and i’ve never seen a 16-year-old with so much focus and discipline.” meanwhile on this planet i’d never seen her daughter NOT stoned and she hadn’t completed an assignment for me in a year and half. let me be super duper clear-i am judging no parent. i am blaming no parent. i am in the same sinking ship with the rest of you. so i’ve decided to do something about it. i became a detective. i am a private investigator which makes me a licensed bullshit detector. with 5 kids most of my cases will likely be within my own family so i’ve basically gone from a ‘stay at home’ mom to a ‘working from home’ one. the verdicts still out over whose more disturbed by my career- the kids or the husband…. i just can’t stand feeling powerless against what’s to come armed only with a stack of parenting books that all contradict each other. i hear there are people out there who have this parenting thing DOWN. who have a wonderful relationship with their teenagers, whose kids are happy, well-adjusted, and don’t have a single STD. so it made me wonder, are these families immune to dysfunction? are their teenagers missing the self-destructive gene? or could it be that while everybody else has been hoping against hope this “friend trend” approach to parenting works, these better parents quickly saw where that was heading and opted to give “creepy as hell” a shot instead? perhaps they adopted a drug sniffing german shepherd because whoever keeps electing labs as the most family friend dog clearly has never had a teenager. if you wanna be moms best friend you better be able to find the pot stashed throughout the house. think of how many crises, therapy bills and wrinkles we could prevent if we started TAPPING THEIR SHIT. put spyware on their phones. gps trackers on their cars, cameras in their rooms and all around the house. and as soon as it becomes legal, MICROCHIP the shit outta them. tag those limbs up. by 13 they’ve totally forgotten all the “good choices” we encouraged them to make as toddlers, so it’s our job to do the right thing to prevent them from doing the wrong one. protect our teens. spy on their asses. they deserve it. after all they really can’t help that nothing they say will be anywhere near true for 5-6 years….right? imagine these scenarios: the next time your son tells you he absolutely DID NOT shoot up in his room last night you could take the doubt, gut feeling and parental denial right out of it and rooooooollllllllll the tape! when your daughter tells you she’s working on a project at a girlfriends house and you check in with your trusty gps tracker to discover she’s at her parent-less boyfriends house, you waltz right in with your weapons of mass destruction rip her out by her hair and sleep peacefully that night knowing you’re another day farther away from being a grandparent. while your reading your sons deleted text messages (thanks to spyware) and see he hasn’t told you he has been threatened by a group of punks, you raise holy hell until the bastards are suspended or arrested. than bask in the parental high of knowing thanks to your super sleuthing instead of having to use your husband’s hard-earned money to pay the plastic surgeon to fix your boys mangled mug, you can use it to have your very own cosmetic surgery of choice. if you’re one of the parents whose offspring have made it to 18 without getting pregnant or arrested, sure that’s something you’ll have over all your friends, but don’t get too cocky, college is right around the corner…. the point is this, we gotta be 3 steps ahead of these teens, folks, or they’re going to destroy us all one wrinkle at a time. we’re not allowed to beat em anymore so if we can’t beat em, creep em. they are younger, better looking and better at technology than us. we are fucked if we don’t get creepy. be warned they’ll despise you for a decade for spying on them so in case you’re not comfortable with that get yourself in therapy until you realize that letting your children hate you is a gift, letting them lie to you is irresponsible parenting. then when they flip their shit and scream: “DID YOU REALLY BUG THE HOUSE AND TAP MY PHONE?!” you’ll feel perfectly justified in saying (click below): http://www.tubechop.com/watch/2255640 or you could just tell them their creepy stepmoms the one who’s been spying…… what do you think? leave me a comment and let me know. should teenagers have a right to privacy? to what extent? did you deserve the privacy you had when you were a teen? who’s out shopping for a stepmom right about now?
colt and jett’s first youtube video:
a bit has changed while i was on writing hiatus. my little chicken nuggets finally turned one, learned to walk, and ARE SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT! i finally chilled the fuck out, got confident as a mother, and got some freakin sleep. when i woke up on their birthday i realized we had all made it through the first year with very few battle scars and that i’d done a pretty great job for someone whose first experience with an infant came with an exact replica.
i had protected them from all of the first year Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad potential disasters and was feeling pretty good about myself until they started to walk and i quickly learned i hadn’t seen nothin’ yet! our days are filled with a whole lot of jumping, sliding and leaping and that’s just me trying to prevent them from grabbing the 400,000 deadly objects that they somehow find wherever we are. if they were any older i’d have them evaluated for suicidal tendencies.
aside from the necessary prevention acrobatics, i’ve found our days pretty damn boring since they’ve started walking. if they want their cup, they walk over and get it. if they want to play with their toy car they climb in and steer it around the room. so what’s a mother to do? i began to fear i’d be laid off. i decided i’d better step up my game and start to teach these puppies some new tricks before they declared me pretty dang useless. i asked sami (who is now called mimi) to buy a bunch of age appropriate learning cards and puzzles while i brushed up on my rusty teaching skills and came up with a weekly curriculum that even she was impressed with. colt and jett are super duper active so we do one activity indoors and one outdoors each day. for example, a day may be filled with story time at the library and water parks, or gymborees and a visit to the animal farm. we have learning time and nap time at home in between. the boys are stimulated and i am out of house arrest so it’s a win-win. my husband is happy with our new routine and encourages all our activities. well, all except for one.
i enrolled the boys in dance class. it’s a one hour tap and yes, ballet class, once a week. the class will help them develop their muscles, be exposed to classical music, and most importantly, will teach them to keep the open, non judgemental minds they were born with.
i posted adorable pictures of my sons in their white onesies, black leggings, and ballet slippers on my facebook wall. the startling number of text messages, comments, emails and phone calls i have gotten over how upset the photos made them, their husbands, wives, or kids has prompted me to write this entry.
“Why are you trying to make your kids gay?”
“If my wife did this to my son I would divorce her!”
“How could you do that to them?”
“My husband saw the pictures and I’ve never in ten years of marriage seen him more upset or…or….confused!”
“Take them out of that class NOW. It is NOT FUNNY!” -my very upset 11 year old stepson.
“They are going to grow up and punch you in the face.” – the only words my husband could muster when he saw the pictures.
the most fascinating part of all the responses was not the passion with which they were given, but the hypocritical way most prefaced their comments: “Look, I have nothing against gay people BUT….” or “I’m not homophobic or anything BUT…” and then went on to tell me the reason ballet class for boys is so horrific is that it’s going to make them gay.
one comment by a male relative was particularly interesting and was the only one i gave enough credit to to contemplate. “Look, I have no problem with dancing boys. If boys want to dance that’s great, but I just think they should be given a choice.”
hmmm. point digested and taken.
maybe he is right. maybe i don’t have a right making a decision like this for them and forcing them to be involved in something before they have an understanding of what it is. then he continued: “Why don’t you get them involved in some pee wee sports camps instead?”
and there it went. all his credibility.
it’s okay to enroll them in sports before they are old enough to choose for themselves, before they have an understanding of what sports are but not okay for dance? and why is that? perhaps it’s because it’s not about waiting until the boys have an understanding of what ballet is, it’s about waiting until their understanding of ballet is what society has decided it should be.
the brain washing happens early on. my friends 7 year old daughter laughed at the pictures and said “that’s for girls!”
i am not conducting some experiment in which i put my children through ridicule and torment in order to make a point. and i know that a blog entry and some photos of young boys in ballet shoes are not going to convince the world to change. my goals aren’t that big. but i have a goal and a responsibility to protect the minds of my sons. their minds deserve to be their own. free. and their hearts free to love. whatever and whoever they choose to. if i give the world two more neanderthals who actually believe that ballet slippers on a one year old determines his sexual orientation, or that their sexual orientation matters in the least, my mission as a mother will have failed.
i pray our sons try many different things to find what feels right for them and makes them most happy (drugs and illegal activity excluded). they play with soccer and footballs most of the day and i can already see they will be athletic. my husband doesn’t believe me but i swear i will encourage sports as much as i do anything they are passionate about. (hopefully they’ll choose the indoor air conditioned ones…)
so far the boys don’t seem to be fans of the dance class. they are too young to understand how to participate and they throw a fit when i put their tap shoes on. i’m told it takes about 4 classes before they want to get involved so we’ll stay a few more weeks but may be in the market for a new activity soon. if they don’t enjoy it they will have decided that on their own without having been affected by generations of bullshit trying to convince them what it is to be a real “man”. ironically, most of the REAL men i know ARE gay!
moral of the story: even if the ridiculous theory that ballet and tap dancing toddlers buy one way tickets to the Rainbow Train were true, then i’ll be incredibly proud to have two absolutely Fagtastic boys!
the final details of the twins birthday party are completed. they will be one on saturday.
one. jesus. feels like they should be turning four…..
over the last twelve months what used to be motionless porcelain dolls have morphed into walking, talking, wrestling creatures. and they did it on 5 hours of sleep a week. all right so they are not entirely walking and talking. they each take three steps and fall down and the only words they say are ‘apple’, ‘up’ , ‘ball’ and call everything else ‘fish’. the way i see it as soon as i get them consistently on their feet my job is done. i will be officially retired. i brought them into this world healthy by not eating any sushi during the pregnancy. i taught them how to chew, swallow, sit, stand, say a few words and take a few steps. not really sure what i’m supposed to do with them from this point on. they’ve got the fundamentals down. we have gone as far as we could together and now it is time to release them into the world of daycare where it’s every toddler for himself.
the closer we get to august 13th i am surprised at how nostalgic i am feeling. WARNING: following quickly behind this blog entry will be a very sappy one. for now i will spare you.
Jett was feeling kind of cranky this afternoon. he didn’t want to eat his dinner, didn’t want to share his toys, he only wanted to fling his body onto the floor and reach up for me with a pissed off look on his face shouting “MOMMMMMMMMMM!” instead of thinking about how i wish it was still legal to beat your child, i found myself getting a little lump in my throat. he calls me “mom”. a year ago no one could do that. hell, a few months ago no one could do that! i wonder if i’ll feel as touched the day he calls me a bitch………
anyway, their birthday party has gone slightly overboard and i wouldn’t have it any other way. there’s not a party big enough to thank these two for what they have brought into our lives. i suggest the ridiculous people who say ‘why are you throwing a party like this for one year olds? they aren’t even going to remember it!’ learn to live in the moment. if you knew you were going to get alzheimer’s would you never want your birthdays celebrated? would you want to stay home all alone during the holidays? it’s all about TODAY people! and if today happens to be the day my kids were born then you can expect an over the top celebration.
we chose a pajama party theme since all they do in their pajamas is want to party. the invitations came in a box full of feathers and the details were ironed onto a miniature pillow hand sewn by my incredibly talented friend Trina who is a party planning genius! the responses we have gotten over these invites are pretty hilarious. the hands down winner was a friend of mine who had to cut the box open because it was stuck in her mailbox. the feathers went flying everywhere. her dog went wild barking at the feathers. and a neighbor watching nearby reported her for ‘trying to stuff a bird into her mailbox’!
hopefully she’ll be out of prison in time for the party.
if opposites really do attract, then gil and i will be married for the next thousand life times.
we couldn’t be more different. he is conservative, traditional, and extremely private. i am wildly liberal, believe most traditions need to be replaced, and think living your life as secretive as batman makes for a very boring conversationalist.
there is no topic we have yet to disagree on more than how to raise our kids. i’m in a unique situation because i had stepkids before having my own which is sort of a cheat sheet for parenting. most step-parents have little decision making powers so i just listened and watched and took mental notes every time my husband made a parenting decision i didn’t agree with. i have a whole drawer in my brain so jammed it can hardly close with notes entitled “he’s never doing it that way when we have kids”.
problem is he stands by his decisions and sees no fault in them. but he’s quietly stubborn and i’m loudly bitchy which means he’ll have to give in if he ever wants peace around here. and besides, i have the wild card i get to throw in when i’m fighting for public instead of private school, organic food instead of mac n cheese, and tap dancing instead of lacrosse:
“You got to do it your way three times already! I get to decide for these two!”
they’ll be one in four weeks (hallefreakinlujah) and i’ve already started an argument that we won’t be up against for ten years.
SUMMER CAMP. hell no. not ever.
my stepsons left for their first summer of camp two weeks ago. they won’t be back till mid august. they are eleven. the first week we got letters from them detailing the new skills they are learning, what activities they have been keeping busy with and how much they are loving the camp experience.
then this past week gil gets a sad phone call from one of his little boys wanting to come home at the half way point. he told him every camper goes through this and once he gets past the homesickness he will make friendships that will last a lifetime and how he’ll be a stronger person for having stuck it out and yada yada yada. what he is saying has proven true for several members of our family. our nephew went to camp for eight summers, was terribly homesick at first but his parents insisted he stick it out and he has grown into one of the most committed, responsible, and successful young men we know. my stepdaughter also had a very difficult time adjusting her first summer but now sobs every year on the way home and keeps in touch with her camp friends all throughout the school year. while i understand all this i still say ‘let the poor kid come home!’ he’s sweating his ass off in the middle of the woods with no electricity, no internet, and access to a phone only once a week. i’ve never been to camp, but they sure sound more like concentration camps than the home away from home camper alumni make them out to be. the thought of my little youtube-less skid laying his tear streaked face down on his pillow made of bark at night and not even being able to call home makes my stomach sick. i say commend the kid for lasting this long, which is longer than i ever would, and bring his mosquito eaten body back to civilization.
another problem i see with this whole camp thing is that the only way to communicate with the campers is through letters which i’m learning are impossible to write. i was in the middle of typing them a one-way-email when my husband slammed the computer screen down on my hands to stop me. i was in the middle of telling them how much we were all missing them during our vacation at the jersey shore last week. how their cousins all say hello etc etc. apparently you are not supposed to tell new campers anything about your summer. you have to write as if you haven’t left your couch since they have been away because hearing about what their family is doing without them could make them homesick. understandable, but then what are you supposed to write? its pointless to even ask them questions about their day because they can’t reply to our emails and once their hand written letters full of answers finally arrive it’s been so long that i’ve forgotten all my questions. i’m terribly afraid of writing anything that could trigger homesickness, so after a few drafts of something along these lines:
‘Hi honey, I hope you are having the time of your life at camp! The rest of us are just sitting on the sofa with our thumbs up our asses until you return’ i decided to stop writing letters and start sending them pictures of their baby brothers instead.
in an attempt to persuade me to agree our sons will be future campers, gil keeps trying to put a positive twist on the whole thing. he keeps reminding me what an incredible experience camp has been for his daughter and for his nephews, how life changing and character building it is. he even suggested a compromise that when the time comes i should go to camp with them as a counselor so they get to go to camp and i still get to spend the summer with them. i can’t imagine what in the seven years of knowing me could have led him to believe that i would ever spend the summer at a camp site. i told him there was no way i was suffering through that and there was no way i was suffering without them for a summer. he asked if i was really that selfish that i would deny them of the experience because i refuse to go and i refuse to let them go without me.
his family insists by the time our boys are eleven i will be counting the days till i send them off to camp. not likely. i’ve already cried myself to sleep twice thinking of the day they will move out for college and they aren’t even one yet. i am an italian mother of sons. my husband better get a court order and a bodyguard if he thinks he’s ever sending my sons away from me for six weeks.
so honey, how about you agree to send this camp fantasy off into The Land of Never Gonna Happen and end this issue today so it’s one less thing we need to fight about in 2021.