Mean Mom

 

xavier1

 

“Xavier, take your dishes to the kitchen.”
“Xavier, take your dishes to the kitchen.”
“Xavier, take your dishes to the kitchen.”
“Xavier, take your dishes to the kitchen.”
“Xavier, take your dishes to the kitchen.”
“Xavier, take your dishes to the kitchen.”
“Xavier, take your dishes to the kitchen.”
“XAVIER!!! TAKE YOUR DISHES TO THE KITCHEN!!!”

Xavier: “Why do you always yell at me?!”

Advertisements

The Lighter Side of Aging

Featured image

I love being old. No, really.

I’ve never been more comfortable in my skin or less afraid to do things! Well, except eating things that are weird to me. (bugs, slugs, squid. You can have that stuff!)

I’m experienced in so many ways. Less judgemental. more compassionate, determined to live my dreams and help others to achieve theirs. (my dreams have changed many times over the years. Now they’re way more simple and doable).

I’m able to use my sense of humor without fear of embarrassment. My embarrassment, anyhow. My kids are horrified. But, hey, that’s just part of the fun.

By now, I know who my friends are, and I make news ones more easily.

I get the meaning of life. I’m not trying to figure out who I am; I’m trying to give who I am over to whomever God wants me to be, and all he has planned.

I am not afraid to go to a movie or eat at a restaurant alone. I know how to entertain myself. I can be really good company.
I have always had my own sense of style, but now if I want to just be comfortable, I will. I do NOT worry about how others see me. Not much, anyway. Not enough to stop me from wearing baggy sweat pants to the store. Can I tell you??? The sky has never fallen because of it. Or due to my lack of makeup.

I go to the pool with my big belly and cellulite and don’t think a thing of it. I jump in and splash around and just have FUN. I missed so many years of that due to self-consciousness. Bummer. What a waste of time.

There are moments when old-age brain startles me, but, for the most part, it has been the source of high hilarity. Somehow I’ve joined this club with my peers that younger folks can’t get into till they start finding their keys in the freezer, misplace the potatoes they just chopped for soup, or drive around the block a couple times, trying to remember where they were going and why. Or walk up the steps to get the dirty laundry, but, instead, make the bed, wash the windows, empty the trash cans…and leave the laundry alone, only to have to make another trip (or two, or three…) to gather it later.

Drawing this close to the end of Earthly life certainly holds moments of sadness and fear of leaving loved ones behind for a bit. But it always spurs you on to a much deeper, more satisfying life. You cherish all the small moments and huge affairs just that much more.

Why Arranged Marriages Might Just Be a Good Thing

chelsea and me

Ok, not really; but I do wish I had the right to “audition” my daughter’s boyfriends sometimes.  Here’s a conversation we had a few years ago that will tell you why I feel that way:

 

“….yeah, yeah, Chels. Next time you choose a boyfriend, can you please pick someone who’s sane?”

“In the mid-Ohio valley? He’s not my boyfriend, anyhow.”

“Well, maybe you should watch where you meet these guys.”

“I met him on Facebook.  Oh, no, I forgot! I met him in the alley by the Locker Room…” (a bar)

“That shoulda been your first clue.”

“…and my friend said to him, ‘How old do you think she is?’  and he said, ‘Old enough.'”

“OK! There was your second clue!”

“MOM! He couldn’t help it! He was drunk!”

“Clue three.  Sounds like a prince among men.”

“Wasn’t that Jesus?”

“NO. Jesus is the KING.”

“Oh, I thought he was the Prince of Tides or something.”

“No…”

“Didn’t he part the sea or something?”

“Well…that was Moses.”

“Aren’t they all the same? The Father, Ghost, and Jesus?”

“Still not getting Moses out of that…”

Pinball Machine for a Brain

Image

 

My brain can be a trampoline for thoughts that try to land
I cannot find the very thing that’s right here in my hand
My glasses, lost atop my head,
While I search the whole house through
Forgetting what the search was for and have to start anew
Start the dishes, but see a spot
on the table and go get a dusting cloth
While dusting see the floor needs swept
Grab a broom and take a step
But quickly that’s abandoned, too
Cause I must now organize the shoes
But, wait, what’s that? A dirty cup? I snatch it up…
Head for the sink to place it in
and start the dishes once again…
With a little one tugging at my leg,
“Hurry! Juicy!” She does beg
as I hand her the drink and she toddles away
I wonder what I have accomplished today
So many things started, so much left undone…
Ah…it’ll all still be there when I’m long gone.

 

Wait…what was this post about again?

Prayers and Pesticide

Image

Three coupons for free Frosty Floats at Wendy’s. Two quarters and a variety of dimes and nickels, brings the total in change to $2.00. $1.88 left on the child support Mastercard. Three of us go to Wendy’s and have two value fries. The eight year old gets three chicken nuggets and some fries to go with his float. The two year old gets one chicken nugget and some fries to go with hers. Grandma gets some fries and the float and is happy with that.

The eight year old is hungry again at seven p.m. and has a tuna sandwich with pickles. The two year old has a little snack of pretzels and pickles. Grandma is having a bellyache from the ice-cream and can’t even think about eating the veggies she was dreaming about while she was still at Wendy’s earlier. 

Obviously we didn’t have enough cash to afford the luxury of eating out. This how we eat when we’re scared to go into the kitchen for very long because we have Camel Crickets.

Have you ever seen those darn things? They’re like roaches/crickets/spiders with attitude. Unlike spiders, however, they don’t bite or sting or do anything to hurt you. They also won’t run away from you. If they detect you close by, they will bring their hulking gelatinous bodies ’round to greet you, then spring towards you on their strong back legs. 

Yep. That’s their defense mechanism: to scare you witless. I came upon one in our play room the other day and screamed so loud and hard I gave myself a headache. It was true terror. My body turned to mush. I’m getting sweaty typing this right now. One night in the dark, cave-like bathroom in my new house…I hate this house. It all needs renovated. Every single room. The last occupants liked brown. A lot. Brown and dark blue and maroon. And guess who else likes those colors, evidently? Camel Crickets. So…anyhow, I was sitting on the potty, blissfully unaware, when I caught a glimpse of something on the wall. It saw me, too, and began to turn. I stopped in mid-pee and without even taking time to pull up my pants I sprinted from the bathroom and jumped onto the sofa. Why. Why did I do that? The thing can jump, too. But it had remained back in the bathroom. Lying in wait. Probably laughing. Texting his ugly cricket friends pictures of my butt as I fled. 

Shaking, sick to my stomach, I called my daughter and sobbed into the phone, “I am never going into that bathroom again!”My teenaged grandson came over to face the predator all alone with a can of wasp spray and a broom. My hero. But there were more of those little monsters. Many, many more.

My friends took pity on me and hired an exterminator. For months I still avoided the downstairs bathroom. Finally I found my courage to go in there to clean. Used the potty a couple times. Was taking a shower one day (in the UPstairs bathroom) when my daughter, who had been straightening her hair downstairs, came a-knocking. “Mom?” she said, her voice trembling, “They’re back!” And she didn’t even have to explain WHO was back. I knew.

So, yeah, Mr. Exterminator man, you are my favorite person on Earth right now. Please get here quickly. And even then….you wonder when you’ll see those antennas peeking out from beneath the kitchen cabinet. You casually stroll into the kitchen for a drink, and there’s Wyatt Cricket, his six shooter loaded, taking his stance, daring you to draw. “There’s not room enough in this house for the two of us.” he says, a glint in this eye.

You know what? If I had more than some coupons for free Frosty Floats and few nickels to my name, I’d leave this house and he could just have it.

P.S. just now something brushed up against my leg and I almost fainted. It was just a thread hanging off my sock.  Also, I asked my “prayer partners” to pray about the infestation. One of them promised to pray that I have courage to face this. I don’t want courage. I want pesticide.

What Did You Just Call Me?!

Image

Me at 20 with my first two children

The first time it happened, I was only 25. My friends had already ordered their dinner at a local restaurant and it was my turn to go. The teenaged waitress jotted down my choice and then she did it! She called me, “Ma’am.”

My head jerked towards the window without any prompting from me and I sat there, stunned, scrutinizing my face in the glass for any sign that I might, indeed, be a ma’am.  My friends laughed warmly and I tried to play along like it was such a funny thing. But for the rest of the night I felt my eyes wander towards the window to have another look at my 25 year old reflection. I told myself not to fret about what that waitress had said, or I might get worry lines and really give her a reason to call me that ugly name.

At 27 I made the mistake of checking my makeup in my compact mirror as I walked along on a sunny day. Saw a fine line forming between my eyebrows at the bridge of my nose. See, I knew it! Worry had had its way with me. But I learned a great lesson that day: NEVER look at yourself in the mirror in the full light of day.

On my 30th birthday I waited around all day for the sky to cave in. I was no longer in my twenties and I wondered which body part might fall off first or, at least,  stop working. Funny, I still felt young. Would it creep up on me in my sleep, this 30 thing? Would men still find me attractive at that advanced age? I woke up 30 years and one day old a little disappointed at the lack of drama over the whole thing.

It reminded of the anticipation I had experienced over my upcoming 13th birthday. A teenager! Finally. But the day came and went, and as much as I urged the transformation, the fireworks, the awe and applause from others that should’ve come with it, the day was just so ordinary. No one seemed to notice the way it looked on me at all. So it was with 30. Only this time I was glad.

At 35 I had two grandchildren coming along. Talk about feeling ancient! Yet I still had my own wild sense of style. People were genuinely shocked to find out I was so “old” and when I had my grand babies out with me, I completely delighted in the surprised reactions it got me. “No way are you a grandma!”  Oh, I loved it.  Plus nothing on my body had fallen off yet or stopped working properly. Well, except that my mild asthma flared up more often than it used to and I was now using a rescue inhaler a few times a month.

Image

Me around 36 with my first two grand babies and my son, Jesse

 

In my 40s I felt more confident and sexy than I had in my miniskirt-wearing twenties. I had far more attention from men than I ever had. Still wore youthful clothes and hair style. Still got the wide-eyed, drop-jawed look from strangers when they found out I was a grandma. YET, one day I noticed that all the labels on my allergy medication had been written by elves. The script was so small that I had to hold the bottle way out away from me and squint to be able to read the directions. Why had all these medicine companies decided to make it so hard for me?

Image

Me at 46

At 48 there was still such a spring in my step…for someone with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and full-blown asthma. I loved having my grandchildren with me and seeing the still shocked public respond with compliments about my youthful appearance. However, that is also the year I gave up trying to read the smaller and smaller writing on medicine bottles, books, and newspapers, and got myself a pair of reading glasses from the Dollar Store.

At 49 an ultrasound, looking for fibroids in my uterus, revealed that my ovaries were pretty much dried up. How such a thing could occur without any fanfare was beyond me. It was my body and it hadn’t asked for permission to behave that way, nor had it given me notice.

Image

 

 

ImageImageImage

Top: me at 47   Next: Me, playing with the kids at BK play area. Age 47 or 48

Next: At VA Beach in 2004 with my two younger children. Age 45

Next: Outside my massage class. Age 49

 

At 50 my reading glasses started giving me a headache and now things off in a distance were kind of blurry. If I saw someone waving at the grocery store I politely waved back, even if all I could make out was a ghostly figure. I had to buy a magnifying mirror so I could pluck my eyebrows and still wonder to this day if the lines in my face are really that bad or the magnifying mirror is making it look worse than it is. For a real horrifying experience I actually put on the new bifocals my eye doctor prescribed and looked at myself in the magnifying mirror…wait for it…OUT IN THE SUN! Oh, wow. It took me a week to recover after that. Evidently the big lesson I learned at 27 didn’t stick with me.

That was four years ago.

A few weeks ago I had my little ones at the water park with me and some guy asked Xavier, “Is that your grandma?”  I almost fell off my chair! Xavier is eight. I could be his mom. Don’t look at me that way! I could be! People are having babies later and later in life these days. Up till this year everyone assumed I was his mom everywhere we went. Some still do. No one thinks Kynnadi, (the two year old) is mine, however. Duly noted.

I still get told I look young “for my age” or that I look good “for my age.”  Just FYI, no one wants to look good for their age; they just want to look good.

I accept aging as a fact of life. Still feel like the young me on the inside and never get used to the image in my mirror. Photographs are especially hard to bear. I always think I look like the REAL me (the young me) when the camera captures my image…till I see the truth a photo reveals.

The bible says God’s kids can be “green and fruitful” in old age and I am going to hold onto that for dear life. Raising grandchildren has given me a new-found desire to take good care of myself and to remain active. The kids charge me with energy but they also zap it pretty quickly. 

I’m using an everyday asthma medication and, I might not be able to bear children, (barring any miracles), but nothing else has fallen off yet or stopped working. I guess I’m pretty blessed.  If my mom is any indication of how I will age, I’m not going to stress about it. But the next time somebody calls me, “Ma’am…”  sigh.

Image

Me (in bifocals) with Kynnadi 😀

Image

I actually got this in the mail today from Geico. ha ha Perfect timing.