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Saturday, December 28, 2013

One of the Many Reasons I'm Glad I'm Not a Teenage Boy

Apparently nothing is the same for a teenage boy. Even going to Walmart.

As usual, my whole family exchanged names this December for the annual Christmas Angel thing we do. For the most part it's just an opportunity to be extra nice to someone/everyone. The most important goal is to be extra nice to whoever you drew. The over-achiever's goal is to be so nice to everyone that they all think you have their name. On Christmas morning when we tell who we had, the person who fooled the most people into thinking he/she was their angel gets to play Santa. C wins every year.

Anyhow, back to teenage boys and Walmart. This year, since all the kids are older and (most) have their own money, I decided we'd also purchase gifts for our special person. The logistics of taking four kids shopping with only one parent around to help while trying to maintain secrecy gets a little sticky, so I decided to take the kids on two separate trips. First I'd take my fourteen-year-old son and my sever-year-old daughter, then the two in the middle.

So last night L, M and I get to Walmart. I look at my mature teenage son and have no qualms at all about sending him off on his own. (Well, other than the fact that he has no watch or cell phone, and absolutely no sense of time. But at least I knew we'd meet up again eventually...) I told him to do his shopping, check out, and go to the benches at the front of the store. We'd either be there before him, or he could just sit there and wait for us.

Good plan, right? Did I mention that he's six feet tall and weighs 190 pounds? This is no helpless little adolescent here - I was not worried. (Which says a lot if you know me.)

I'd told him we'd plan on meeting back up in about forty minutes from when we separated, but my daughter and I got bogged down in electronics, and when I checked my phone for the time it was dead. But I wasn't worried. It wouldn't hurt him to wait for me. He'd be fine...

When I came out of the electronics section, I saw a wide-eyed L coming at me. Here's how our conversation went:

L: Mom! Where have you been!

Me: Shopping. Why?

L: I have been waiting and waiting for you!

Me: Why? Is something wrong?

L (Looking at me as if I am an errant child who has just asked a very stupid question as he lists off the following on his fingers): I have been sworn at, flipped off, threatened, and offered drugs. Get me out of here!

All of which happened while he was sitting on that bench, minding his own business and waiting for his mother.

Can I just say that nothing like this has ever happened to me anywhere? Let alone Walmart! I've sat on that bench and waited for people lots of times, and no one has ever done more than nod at me as they walked past. My poor little giant son. Sitting there with his crew cut hair and big dimpled smile, just minding his own business and bothering no one. I mean, maybe if he were decked out in chains with huge gauges in his ears (like the drug salesman's), or had missing teeth (like the girl who called him a naughty word and flipped him off - I guess she was rather threatening looking) I could understand, but L just has the look of a nice person!

Suffice it to say that when I took C and N (10 and 12, respectively) shopping tonight, we did not split up. The secret of the Christmas Angels was pretty much sacrificed, but better that than my children, right? So glad I am not a teenage boy!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

About My "Other" Blog...

So I've been blogging over on my author blog, like a good authoress should, but...

I feel boring over there.

I can't help it. I mean, I'm interested in the kind of stuff I'm writing, but is anyone else? I'm not exactly a famous (or even established) writer, who has loads of writing wisdom to share with poor little beginning authors like me, so what are the chances there are lots (or any) author-y type people being edified or even entertained by my musings on writing and the pains - uh, I mean the joys - of self-publishing? Unfortunately, although people stop by semi-regularly, no one leaves me comments so I don't know that any of them really care a whit for anything that's going on in my author brain.

Somewhere in the midst of sighing over this I made a grave tactical error. I found the place on my blogger dashboard that let me read all my comments from this blog. Like all of them, as in Every. Single. One.

It was so fun. I stayed up till after one in the morning (even though I had to get up at 5:15) laughing over all my old (and long since gone-from-blogland) friends. They were so funny! I had so much fun blogging with them, and trading comments, and caring about what was happening in their far off lives. There is no doubt that my blogging year was a great little chapter in my life.

Apparently, however, I wasn't the only one who needed to tune in to other things in my life, because almost all of the people on my sidebar have been off the radar for two years or more. They probably all facebook and twitter now, but let's face it - it isn't the same. Catching little snippets of a person's life is something, but it's not the same as the quality of entertainment and interaction we all found in blogland.

And those women could write! And they were funny! Now that I've been editing for the last six years, I have a much better appreciation for all of those (supposedly) non-writing women who could sit down at their computer for twenty minutes and dash off a hilarious, or thoughtful post. Reading all of them was like an education in how to get someone to care about what you write. I didn't realize it at the time, but blogging was like an great big, super fun writing workshop for me, and I am so grateful for all the things they taught me about writing - and marriage, motherhood, tragedy, laughter, hard times, good times, and all the times in between. If even half of them were still around to trade stories with, there is no doubt in my mind that I would go back to writing regular posts on this blog just for the chance to associate with others who are interested in sharing life's noteworthy moments.

Even without anyone around, I admit that blogs have once again been popping into my brain. I soooo almost wrote one the night I made my fourteen-year-old son give my twelve-year-old son The Talk - and eavesdropped in on the whole thing (like any good mother would). (And by the way, can I just say that it was possibly the greatest bit of inspiration I have EVER had as a mother?) Once I managed to extricate the need-to-blog bug in my brain, I got to the point where I hardly ever had those blog-writing moments. Now that I'm writing on the other blog, I find myself noticing all the noteworthy things again, and drafting blogs in my head... I do miss capturing those moments, and I have no doubt that someday when my kids discover this blog they will all want to know why I ever stopped recording the history of our lives.

Great. Now I have guilt.

But enough of this. I either need to forget it, or write it for me, and it's time I made up my mind about it. So even if no one is out there anymore, I just may begin popping in here every now and then to let off some steam and entertain myself. And at least I know about the magical comment place that will now let me know if random people stop by and comment on old posts. (The other night I had to go leave a comment for a girl who'd admitted to lurking on my blog in a comment she left two years ago. So sad that I missed her! I love lurkers!) So if anyone does stop by, I just want to say thanks. Thanks for taking the time, and thanks for sharing in a few moments of my life. And in the meantime (and just for old time's sake) in honor of Thanksgiving, check out this old post. It's my Thanksgiving Dinner limerick contest, and the entries are fabulous. All the entries are in the comment box, so scroll on down and enjoy!

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Have a Confession...

I've been writing a book.

I'd been working on a novel before I started blogging, but the sad truth is that all my friends in blogland were just way too interesting, and before long my book project was pretty much shelved. When I finally did get another computer I had a choice to make: give back in to my blogging addiction, or focus on my writing.

And so I wrote.

I have to admit that it was very difficult to stay away from blogland and all the fabulous friends I have here, but it was worth it because MY BOOK IS OUT!!! The title is Laryn Rising, the pitch is here, you can buy it here, and here's the amazing cover created by my good friend Olivia:

Can I just say that I am so excited?!? I also have a new 'author blog', but I have to admit that it isn't nearly as much fun to write over there, because I don't have very many friends in the writing world yet.

But enough of my book and on to a more entertaining subject - my children. Specifically, my oldest son, who is now a freshman in high school. For homecoming this year we made a deal that he could ask a girl to the dance as long as he went with a group of three or more couples. So, he picked a good friend of his (not the girl in the picture)and got all set to go.

Enter 'Shopping For Homecoming Clothes'.

We go to Ross. I select five pairs of slacks for him to try on. I send him into the dressing room with VERY clear instructions that he is to show me every single pair of pants he tries on. And then I wait.

And wait.

AND WAIT.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I waited for at least ten (TEN) minutes before he finally came staggering out of the dressing room in his first pair. The following conversation ensued:

Me: What took you so long! Did you try them all on without coming out to show me?

Liam: No. I fell asleep.

Me: You did not, you're joking.

Liam: I'm not joking, Mom. I sat down to take off my shoes, and I just kind of leaned back, and then...

I have never heard of this falling-asleep-in-the-dressing-room syndrome before, but if anyone has I'd love to know that my son is not the first to have this serious condition. The dance was a success, however, and he had a blast with his good friend Maddie. Here they are in all their homecoming finery!