Immature Parenting Isn’t about Your Age

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I am confessing to being an immature parent.

I’ll clarify: my boys are 15 and 12. They aren’t tiny any more (in shoes they are both taller than I am).   I swear in front of them. (We made a poor attempt at a Swear Jar: a converted pickle jar with a slit in the lid for quarters. But we kept forgetting to put them in.)

When they were little it was my older son, at the age of three, interrupting my precious nap, a month post partum with his brother) to ask, his face RIGHT IN FRONT OF MINE:

“Mommy what does FOE FAR FA SIS MEAN?”

I was so tired, so sleepy, so spent, I couldn’t grasp what he was saying.

Me: “What?”

Him, impatient: “FOE FAR FA SIS.”

I started to giggle uncontrollably.  “I don’t know what you’re saying.”

He said it louder. “FOE FAR FA SIS.”

I laughed harder. “I don’t know.”

He disappeared from the bedroom. I continued to giggle on the bed.   He reappeared with a cereal box and clutching it, with some difficulty, climbed up on the bed with me.  I sat up and he pointed to a word listed in the ingredients. “FOE FAR FA SIS” he said loudly and slowly.

I looked at where his chubby finger was pointing:  Phosphorus.   “Phosphorus.”  I said to him.  He smiled at me. “Thanks.” he slid off the bed and ran the box back into the kitchen.

Eleven years later, the laughter hasn’t stopped.

Today’s email subject lines

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I have enough self help books in my garage in boxes, under my bed, and on my beside table, to program a robotic therapist.

These came in into my normal email this morning.

Subject lines…..

For Women: The keys to love, success & authentic happiness!

Nothing Changes Until You Do

Crazy Question

Free meditation gift inside!

Digestion aids

Free access to everything on this page

Extended replays – 72 hours

Three money myths

Open immediately

The Secret story of Money

Go with it don’t find it

You WILL be Excluded

Free access to EVERYTHING

Step into the INNER CIRCLE

How to find your lucky numbers

This information could save your life

Doesn’t a reward sound nice?

The #1 Way to Eliminate Self Doubt

Attract money fast

I average 500 emails a day into a mailbox I have had since 1993. Yes, I am that old.  I used a dial up modem.

Some are from family, friends, job searching sites, legit stuff.

But then, I never read them all. Most of them have a $29 solution to my life. Usually it is the same “fix” in every email, just a different sender and different subject line.

I write things like this for a living, and I am finding them amusing.  All they succeed in doing is making me feel overwhelmed.

It’s so much fun to select each one and click on delete.

I envision myself unsubscribing from most of this.

1963-2015 Ten States

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The hardest thing about moving to another state is being in a place where only one person had any memory of me. It was like putting myself back together in little pieces. When I first moved out west, I was so out of my element and lost. I found it so hard and now I realize why: it wasn’t just me moving 2500 mile away from the place I lived for ten years. It was also uprooting my kids: one of whom was born in FL.  New schools. New friends (hopefully).  They suddenly had to share a room, and it was a small one at that. The house was half the size and we had to blend a family <—- this is a big fat lie. The blending they speak of doesn’t exist. My oldest boy became a middle child at the age of 11, three years behind his stepbrother to be and five behind a stepsister he never would have a prayer of getting to know. My youngest stayed the youngest at seven. They all shared one bathroom. One TV. No yard to speak of. Harder schools.  There was no blending. It was more of a mutual accommodating that I can only hope helps them in the future with impossible roommates. 
 
I don’t know if this move is permanent for them. I joke and say I’d move to Idaho for the right $ and the right job. But now it’s been nearly four years and their summers in FL have not changed that this is home to them. 
 
People ask me where I am from. I can’t answer. I have friends who live close by the house they grew up in. They have friends from elementary school.  I can’t say I wish I had that because I don’t know what I missed. 
 
What states?  Here they are with my short impressions.
 
MA – too young to remember anything here but a great ice cream place
IL – I remember a pretty powerful tornado
NJ – Ah Yes. Nice house. Pool. Four friends on the block. Riding bike to school. 
TX – YUCK. (HOUSTON)
VA – I was fat. I had a few friends. Drama club. Finished High School here. Went back in my 20’s. Favorite place. Close to DC
MI – College. Waitressing. First boyfriend. 
ME – Too. Much. Snow. Expensive place to live. Gorgeous. Would live there again. 
NH – Married. Bought a house. Gorgeous. No garage. Great job. Cheap liquor.
FL –  Great friends. Hurricanes. Cheap houses. Divorce. Great job.
CA – Married. Dry climate. Earthquake! Amazing weather. EXPENSIVE. Love. Adjustments. 

There you have it. 

 

Female Friends

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I lived in FL for nine years, almost to the day.  When I moved there from NH I worked from home for a company in Santa Clara, CA.  As a result of being a remote worker, I found it very hard to make friends in my new state. Houses around me were owned by mostly retirees. There were few kids.

After three years in the state, I finally made my first friend.  By then I had a five year old and a nearly two year old. And I met C because her house was in front of the school bus stop, so every morning, with my younger in a stroller or walking, and my older son packed for school, we walked to meet the bus.  She had a controversial political sign in her front lawn.  And I agreed with it. I got up enough introvert courage to say something to her about it and I was delighted to find out we had a lot in common.  After a few weeks she invited me to join her monthly women’s group called the YaYas and it was the best thing I ever did. This group saw me through childrearing, and a very difficult divorce, and some major surgery.  I’ve kept them even with the distance now (I am on the West Coast).  I miss them terribly: the chance to just be me and laugh with a group that’s accepting and fun.

So here I am. With friends mostly out of state. And I’m finding it so hard to make friends here. I work from home, again, which certainly does not  help. And now I have new physical limitations that prevent me from volunteering, exercising, and meeting new friends.

I spoke with a friend today on the phone. She and I met in Michigan in our early twenties and sporadically found each other when we both lived in the DC area and then lost touch. I found her last year on LinkedIn first, I think, and then Facebook. She, like many of my friends, is an extrovert. She’s living in NH (funny, as she moved there when I was leaving to move to FL).  She spoke about living there and finding it hard to make friends. She’s very active in local politics. “I KNOW people,” she said, “but all my friends are out of state.”   I was struck by this: I had another friend, who lives in Virginia say to me on the phone, “Thanks for talking today. I actually feel like I have friends!”

What is this about?  I am not alone, after all, in this “lack of social life.” Is it that we are so deeply entrenched in our small worlds of kids, school, jobs, etc, that we just don’t have the time?   There has to be “a way” to meet people and not feel like I inserting myself into an existing group.  I didn’t feel that way in FL.

I long to contribute more somehow. Instead I work in the same rooms day to day, do the laundry and exist.

Well so much for resolutions

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I told myself I would write every day here. Without fail. Even if I had nothing to say.

Sigh.  I can use all the excuses. None matter. If it were important I would continue, right?

It’s important. Yet. What?  Why is it so hard for me to commit to writing a sentence a day?

I need a phone app that lets me write that: a sentence a day to be elaborated on when I have a bigger visual platform.

I realized the other day what I boring person I am.  I have lived here four years next month.  I have maybe one or two local friends. And when I say that I say they are local but I mostly only see or talk to them on facebook.

Pathetic.

I am not a joiner. No clubs. I am an introvert. I cannot INSERT myself into an established circle. Not my style. Add to this my stupid back pain and you have a boring, non joiner who works, reads books. cooks, caters to her kids. End of my boring story.  I want so much to give more of my time to others to help, to nurture. And I have no outlet for it. I stress over work deadlines, worry about job security.  CONSTANTLY worry about money.  It’s exhausting.  I can’t go for a whale watch (back), ride a horse (back), swim (back), stand up or sit too long (back).  And I am FRUSTRATED.

Here comes my oldest.  Home from school.  Frustrated with a paper he has to write.

Next is my youngest. He’s 11 and louder than his 18 year old stepbrother. Our three cats run from them both.

Okay. I did more than a sentence today.