Children

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Friday afternoon I answered a call. From a number I didn’t recognize.

It was a man whose name I neither knew or recognized.

He asked my name. I said yes, I was she.

He asked if my daughter’s name was Miss A. I said yes, it was.

He began to speak.

My heart stopped.

My breath caught in my throat.

The earth stood still.

I listened carefully.

Then I began to move.

I gathered my things and ran for the door and my car. Phone still pressed to my ear.

Listening to the man I didn’t know and will never meet describe my second-worst nightmare.

Miss A had been in an accident. She was being transported to the hospital.

The extent of her injuries was unknown.

And she was 2&1/2 hours away.

I called TWH. When he answered, I yelled “I’m going to Jackson!!”

He didn’t even need to ask. He told me to come to his office.

I told him to meet me at the house, I was already on the interstate.

Then I went into crisis mode.

I work well there.

I plan. I organize.

I think.

20 minutes later, I’d pulled into my driveway and I had a plan of action.

Pack clothes. TB with friends. Dogs to groomers.

30 minutes later, we were on the road and my phone was busy.

I spoke with police officers.

I spoke with EMT’s.

I spoke with my child.

We both cried.

I finally get to Jackson.

I walk in to the trauma room and see Miss A.

On a gurney with an oxygen mask, a cervical collar, and covered in blood.

Worse than I thought.

So much worse.

The earth paused again.

I take it all in.

Then I move.

I kiss my child.

I hold her hand.

I ask questions.

I start to clean off the blood.

It’s not as bad as it looks.

But it’s bad enough.

She is bruised and broken.

But she is alive.

And she needs me.

She asks me not to leave her.

I promise I won’t.

And she sleeps.

Just for a minute.

She wakes up and calls for me.

“I’m here Baby. I’ll always be here.”

She is alive. She is whole. She will heal.

I see pictures of the car later.

I realize what a miracle this is.

And I weep.

I weep because she is alive.

I weep because she is whole.

I weep because she will heal.

I weep because she came so very close to not.

I weep because my world will continue as it was.

With both my children to hold and love.

But I will ALWAYS remember the day the earth stood still.

And I will pray it never happens again.

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Aaaaahhh Springtime. We meet again.

Okay, so. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a love/hate relationship with the Spring. It makes me simultaneously joyful and sad for a multitude of reasons. But I try every day to chose the joy. Some days I fake it. Some days I find it. Every day I try.

 

This year has already surpassed last year in the joy category. I’ve surrounded myself with an absolutely amazing group of people who make my heart sing. I’ve deepened relationships that already meant a lot to me. I’ve created new ones that bring me laughter and joy.

 

I should, by all accounts, have no complaints. But then things happen like my trip to SAMS yesterday.

 

Yesterday I realized that Miss A is really and truly going off to college in the fall.  I realized it when I saw an ottoman and looked closer to see if it had storage in it because it had a cute pattern on it and I was going to snap it up to put in Miss A’s dorm room.

 

OMIGAWD MY KID IS GOING TO COLLEGE!!!  When in the fuck did this happen!?!?  Cue the funk.  Cue the tears.  Cue the wallowing and the worry.

 

She’ll be 18 in a little over two weeks.  In a few months, she’ll leave her Dad’s house and go on to carve out her own space in the world.

 

I worry that she’s not ready.

 

I worry that she’s enough like me that she’ll be too stubborn or proud to ask for help when she needs it.

 

I worry that she still leaves wet towels on her bed.

 

And wears mis-matched socks on the regular.

 

I worry because she’s my Baby Girl.

 

And I want the world to be kind to her. Even though I know some days it won’t be.

 

I worry, and I hope.  The world is a big, scary, wonderful, amazing place.

 

I hope she experiences it all and comes out all the better for it.

 

Some days this Momma gig kicks you right in the ass.

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I’m Scarring TB For Life (Episode # Eleventy-Seven)

Okay, so. Now that TB is firmly in the throes of Teenager-dom, I have begun knocking on his door before entering. Mostly to avoid seeing something that can’t be un-seen and that would probably initially horrify me even though I would make no end of fun of him later for it.

 

Anyway, this afternoon, I knock on his door and wait for him to let me know I have gained entry. When I walk into his room, instead of remaining seated at his computer desk as is customary, he has leaped from his computer chair and is standing at the door with his guilty face on.  I know it’s his guilty face because neither one of us can lie for shit and we have no kind of poker face.

 

I told him whatever I needed to tell him, then I almost walked out of his room.   the key word here being almost.

 

I had to ask about the guilty face.

 

Me: Why do you look guilty??  Are you looking at porn??

 

TB: What?!?!  NO..

 

Me: You know your Dad can check your browser history & shit so if you’re looking at porn or something else we wouldn’t approve of, you’d be better off saying so now.

 

TB: I’m NOT DOING ANYTHING!!

 

Me: Then why do you have your guilty face on?? I know it’s your guilty face because I have the same guilty face. What the hell were you doing??  WHERE’S THE POO!?!?! (That’s a HIMYM reference BTW)

 

TB: THERE. IS. NO. POO!!!!

 

Me: I don’t believe you. I can’t prove otherwise, but I KNOW you’re up to something in here…

 

TB: Whatever…

 

 

Later, in a slightly sarcastic/slightly heartfelt attempt at busting him, I burst into his room without first announcing myself.

 

Me: HA!!!  You weren’t expecting me, WERE YOU!?!?!

 

TB: What are you DOING!?!?!

 

Me: Nothing. Here’s your backpack.

 

 

I’m keeping my eye on that kid for a few days….

 

He didn’t have his guilty face on for nothing.

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The Darkness

Okay, so.  This is a story I thought would be a MUCH longer time coming. As in maybe NEVER.  Recent events, however, have prompted me to write this and I don’t know that I’m really ready.  I may never be ready. My stomach is in knots and I think I’m gonna cry. Here goes nothin’.

A maniac walked into a movie theater & shot 47 people. Twelve of whom died.
This has sparked quite a lot of commentary in the social media.  The Twitterverse, Facebook, and Blog-world have been abuzz with shock, condolences, theories & opinions.
This is in response to one of the Blogs I saw in my FB news feed  last night. I can’t find the damned thing today & I’m sick of looking so please don’t ask me who.
 This particular Blogger blamed the parents of the Aurora, CO shooter for his murderous rampage.

I disagree with this on SO many levels and for SO many reasons.

I have a 19 year old daughter. Her name is Chelsea. This is the first and ONLY time you will ever hear about her. EVER.  I won’t be answering any questions. I won’t reply to comments. this is hard enough with out having to re-hash the gory details multiple times. Quite frankly, it hurts too damned much.

Chelsea is a diagnosed Sociopath.  Ted Bundy (the serial killer) was a Sociopath.
Chelsea is also a drug addict & a runaway.
Chelsea is my Darkness.

There were signs that something was “Off”.  So many, many signs.
She was manipulative.
She was abusive.
She was unusually moody.

When she was a toddler, I rationalized these things away.
“Oh. She’s just jealous of her baby sister.”
“Oh. She’s just playing sides to get her way.”
and the Perennial Favorite of Parents Everywhere
“Oh. It’s just a phase.”
Never underestimate a parents power for denial and rationalization. It’s powerful Ju-Ju people.

We took her to her first therapist when she was 4.  She saw 4 subsequent therapists.
None of them had any answers. Except the last one. He diagnosed her with “Borderline Personality Disorder” and told us that when she was re-evaluated at 18 he’d diagnose her as a Sociopath.
That was the scariest thing I’d ever heard.

Here’s an overview of Sosiopathic behavior. I can put tic marks next to just about everything on the list. She was a habitual runaway. She hurt herself & others. She never felt remorse. She was sexually promiscuous & exhibited criminal behavior. By the time everything was said & done, she had a file that had nearly 30 pages of runaway & criminal charges.  Our house was a psychological battlefield and her Dad & I were losing.  We were terrified.

This is what I brought into the world. The pain of that haunts me every day. I DO NOT talk about it.

For someone to say they blame the parents of the CO shooter hurts and enrages me to no end. We did  everything, EVERYTHING to try and help our daughter.The child lost to the Dark. The child who embraced the Dark so fully. Who seemed to revel in it. That it was terrifying to behold.
We tried medication. Stays in THREE different mental health facilities. Group homes. Rehab. She was kicked out of them all..We exhausted every avenue open to us as well as ourselves and our financial resources. We snooped, pried, questioned, double checked, gave space, took away everything, gave everything. Anything we could think of to try and make this child happy and whole again. All to no avail. Her Darkness had consumed her. Swallowed her up whole. There was absolutely no room for us, our worries, our attempts to help. There was only the next thrill. The next high. The next person to screw. The next…whatever.  We’d lost. We didn’t give up, but we’d lost all the same.

One weekend, I faced the Darkness alone.  TWH & TB were away for the weekend at a Scout Camp-out. I’d gone and collected Chelsea that Thursday morning from the Sheriff’s Department after she’d been picked up after her latest disappearing act.  She’d been back home for a little over 24 hours.  I was in the kitchen when she came out of her room and asked to go to a friends house for the evening. like it was the most natural thing in the world. When I told her “No” she flew into a rage the likes of which we’d never seen.  She attacked me.  She flew at me screaming like a banshee and began punching me anywhere she could land a blow.  I tried to hold her off. I would not defend myself. I would not strike this child because I was afraid. I was afraid all the anger & frustration I’d felt at her behavior would coma out and I’d HURT her. I held her at arms length as best I could until she bit me. She bit me the way a caged animal bites. She bit me with all the hatred she could muster. She bit until she drew blood. I let go.  I let go & she ran off into the rainy March night.

She was gone for five days. We knew she’d been found when we got a call from Child Services telling us they were filing charges against us for abuse because Chelsea had shown up in their offices with two black eyes. She said I did it.  She’d finally come up with a way to get out of our house and punish us for our “Transgressions” against her.  Abuse charges.

What followed were months of  “Supervised” visits with her & her “Foster” mother, interrogations by detectives, & endless court dates. She managed to keep herself in check for roughly a month before her pattern resumed with her “new” family.  She ran away after she attacked her foster “sister”.  She was found and placed in a group home. (Her second at this point).  She attacked another girl there, was charged with assault, and ran away a week later.

She was 16 years old.
We haven’t seen her since.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that some people do truly come into this world “Broken”.  Some vital piece of their very Soul seems to be missing.  I have no better way to say it.  There is nothing anyone can/could say or do to fix that.

Don’t blame the parents of this madman.  Blame the madman.  He made the choice to commit the atrocious crime he did.  HIS choices. HIS atrocity.  HIS Darkness.

His parents may have done all they could and lost the battle anyway.

We did.

And we have to live with that.

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TB Is a Colossal Smartass

Okay, so. I may (or may not) have said before that my general approach to child rearing is “Raising My Kids With Love & Sarcasm”.  My children, obviously, have learned their lessons well.
Take for example THIS conversation I had in the car earlier. Part of it was me on the phone with TWH. Part of it was TB, who was in the car with me.
*Phone rings*
Me: Hey Baby!!  Are you almost home??
(TWH has been away on business for a few days)
TWH: Leaving the airport now. What’re you doing??
Me: Just dropped off the Dawgs at the groomers for the weekend. You’re coming home to a Dawg-free house.
TB: So what?? You’re leaving too??
Me: What the hell?? No. You. Didn’t!! (To TWH on phone) Your son just called me a DOG!!
TB: No I didn’t!! I… Uh… Just meant… I Love You?? (As he leans over to try to hug my arm)
Me: Get. Off. Me.
TWH: Let me let you go. You and TB obviously have some things to discuss.
Me: You just don’t want to be a witness.
TWH: And THAT

Yeah. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted all gushy-like about my Little Boy growing up and becoming a Young Man??

Forget that.

He’s a Cretin.

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I Had to Go Back To My Roots (And NOT In a Good Way)

Okay, so.  I’m originally from this small town in north Louisiana. There weren’t a lot of things to do there. Mostly Drink, Fight, or Have Sex.  I had my share of throw downs in my day. One of my favorite sayings is “Don’t make me go back to my roots!!”. This means “Don’t piss me off to the point that Imma hafta drag you around by your HAIR!!”.
Anyway, we’re on out way home this afternoon from running errands. We turn onto our street to find it’s blocked by some teen girls in their FINEST skank-wear who were walking SLOWLY down the block to their house.  We slowed down and rolled along behind them until they noticed we were there & SLOWLY got the hell out of the way.  We’re starting to pass them when one of them began yelling at our car.  Oh no she di-in’t!! I yelled to TWH “Stop the car!!”. He did & I got out and sweetly asked her if she’d mind repeating what she’d just said. Now this little bitch Angel had obviously seen one too many episodes of Jersey Shore and just thought she was The Shit. She sneers “I SAID there wasn’t any call for yo att-i-tude”. At this point I’m having to remind myself she is but a product of her environment Teen and say “The only one here with ATTITUDE seems to be you. The next time you walk down the street, be a little more considerate and GET OUT OF THE WAY of the traffic M’kay.”  I’m getting back in my car when I hear it “Dumbass!!”. This little Bitch just called ME a dumbass!! I jump out of the car AGAIN, go down to the house where this fucking heiffer was attending a “Party” and demand to see the adult in charge.  Someone finally comes out and I, in no uncertain terms, told her if that I did NOT appreciate the kids in HER care blocking the road, mouthing off to me, and then calling me a dumbass. I also mentioned to this “lady” that perhaps her kid needed a better class of friend and if the best her kid could befriend was that kind of classless, ghetto trash then maybe she needed to look at how SHE was raising HER kid.  Yep, once again, I’m out there making friends!! THIS is why I’m Not Down With OPC. The fact that these kids are our future makes me shudder in fear!!

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I’m NOT down with O.P.C.

Okay, so. Here’s my (probably not so) dirty little secret. I’m not a fan of Other Peoples Children. Hell, there are days when I’m not that fond of my OWN children. Why in the hell would I like other peoples??  I’m sorry, but I find nothing endearing about the little shit who felt compelled to inform me that what was on the television in the shop was “inappropriate”. I, of course, felt compelled to tell him that he wouldn’t know if he weren’t WATCHING. I could have gleefully tripped the kid who told me my son’s Origami Yoda “Doesn’t even LOOK like Yoda”.  This was after he asked if it WAS a Yoda. Some of the kids I see are entitled. Some are mouthy, others are just downright spoiled assed rotten. And not in the good way.

This is not to say I dislike ALL O.P.C.  There are some I find absolutely delightful that I DIDN’T give birth to. However, they are rare.

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Raising Kids With Love & Sarcasm

Okay, so.  We’re in the car discussing what we want for dinner.  I’m dying for a burger but I don’t want a fast food burger. TWH says “If we don’t want fast…” and trails off because he’s thinking. TB picks up with “Then we want FURIOUS”.  We ignore him. Mainly because we’re trying to have a serious conversation.  After a few more minutes of discussion, I hear TB muttering under his breath “Seriously?”. This is the conversation that followed:
Me: What son??
TB: No. Nothing…
Me: No, really. If you have an opinion on dinner, let us know.
TB: It’s not that…
Me: Well then what is it??
TB: Did you even hear what I said??
Me: Yeah. We heard. Why??  Did you make a suggestion for dinner & we missed it??
TB: NO. The OTHER thing.
Me: Oh. The furious thing??
TB: Yeah. THAT
Me: So you expect me to respond to your Jackassery??
TB:…
Me: If you insist on a response to your Jackassery, I will happily respond with one of the following comments:
       1) Wil Wheaton says “Don’t be a Dick!!”
       2) Don’t be a Jackass
       3) You’re being a Jerkface. Stop it.
       Do You find these responses agreeable son??
TB: …..   Uuuuuhhhhhh….  I guess.
Me: Then it’s agreed. I’m glad we’ve come to an understanding.

I don’t think TB really appreciates everything we do to accommodate him.  We’re bending over backward here people. Bending. Over. Backward.

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Lazy Parenting Fail

Okay, so.  THIS conversation is happening in my living room RIGHT NOW.

TB: Mom, why do we have to smell good??  (An obvious ploy to skip a shower)
Me: So girls will want to kiss on you.  (An obvious slackass parenting answer)
TB: No really. Why do we all have to smell good??  Why can’t we all just smell bad??
ME: You mean why can’t we all smell like ass??
TB: NO… Just… what if we all smelled bad?? Like, everybody. Then nobody would notice if you stunk.
ME: Because it would be nasty. And we would notice. There would be someone who smelled worse than everybody else. It would be asspocalypse. It would be cat-ass-trophic. It would be awful beyond imagining.
TWH: (Tiring of my slackass answers) It has almost NOTHING to do with whether or not you smell nice and EVERYTHING to do with health. If you’re a disgusting, filthy, smelly pig and you get a cut, it will get INFECTED. You could DIE. THAT’S why we bathe. Now go finish folding your clothes & go get a shower.

TWH is always so damn reasonable.

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