it’s the end of the world as we know it…

That’s great it starts with an earthquake, birds, snakes and airplanes…lenny bruce is not afraid…(REM is so genius)

tomorrow, my baby boy leaves the single digit life.  I’m trying to keep it together by focusing on other things, but the truth is- this one stings a little.

As he would tell it, he’s waited his whole life to be 10.  Yet, with every determined step he takes towards those awful ‘een’ years, the more I long to hold him tightly.  I miss those days of lisps and ‘wubs’, of innocence and wonder.

He’s far older than his size or years suggest. He’s the wise one in the family.  wise ass.  I haven’t a clue where he gets it but he mastered the eyeroll at age 7. He perfected the heavy sigh at 8. And during 9, he managed to ascertain, with the correct amount of hanging sarcasm, the end of every sentence spoken to his brother, so that the ‘dumbass’ is almost always implied.

He’s my dreamer, my builder, my snuggler, my thief. He’s my skimboarder, my rocker, my swagger, my son.

He’s directing the most amazing masterpiece just by being himself every day.

I’ll let REM play us out, but I guess the point is: I feel fine….

TIPS FOR TEENAGERS

my song of the week: Simple Minds (Don’t you) Forget About Me

It’s the eve of a momentous event here at casa kimrey- one that has me in knots.

T1 will be a TEENAGER tomorrow.

I would love to interject here and mention that I’m NOT OLD ENOUGH TO BE A TEEN’S PARENT, but we all know that’s not realistic. I could gnash my teeth, black out the windows, and turn off the clocks, but it’s still gonna happen TOMORROW.

On the eve of this dawning, I don’t have a lot to say other than these helpful tips for being a teenager.  I remember somebody giving me these back in the 80’s when I was a junior or senior and I have them in a box somewhere. I thought these tips were very smart and that I was too for following them. They may have even been typed on AN IBM SELECTRIC TYPEWRITER.

Thanks to the power of the google, I have them for my son.

Tips for Teenagers on How to Get Along With Your Parents (circa April 1985)

  1. When parents are unreasonable, don’t try to reason with them. Smile and agree. It makes them think and feel embarrassed – maybe even guilty. Never walk away when they are talking. That makes them crazy.
  2. When parents are reasonable – that is, when they give all kinds of reasons for a rule or decision – listen to them until they finish. Stay calm and then take each reason one at a time and tell them why you disagree. They won’t know how to deal with this because they expect you to interrupt, get angry, or be disrespectful.
  3. If your parent denies your request or won’t allow you more freedom, don’t ask, “Why?” This will only get you another reason that supports the “no.” Rather than “Why?” it is better to ask, “What can I do to get the privilege, request, or freedom?” The “What can I do?” question will give you some idea of what you have to do to get a “yes.”
  4. When parents get angry, it isn’t the time to get angry back. A lot of times they’re not upset with you, but with their boss, the neighbor, or the price of groceries. You just happen to be there at the wrong time. They need some time and space. Go outside, to a friend’s house, or to your room. Eventually they will settle down and miss you.
  5. Parents are unfair at times and this may make you angry. Don’t discuss your complaints when either of you is angry or upset. Calm down and wait until they’re in a good mood. Discuss your feelings later that day or in a few days.
  6. When discussing your complaints, opinions, or requests, do not act sassy and flippant. Do not raise your voice; instead, discuss the matter in a normal tone. If you holler or appear flippant, they will hear only this. If you stay calm and talk, they may hear what you say.
  7. Do not create situations where there is a winner and a loser. You’re the child and will probably lose most of the time. How many times have you grounded your mother or taken away the phone privileges from your dad? Try to compromise and work out a situation where both of you win.
  8. If you have trouble talking to your parents, or if they get angry every time you try to discuss something, write a note. Put it on their pillow. Parents are pushovers for notes like this and will probably keep them forever.
  9. Take your mom or dad out alone occasionally. Tell them you want just the two of you to go on a walk or out to eat. They’ll be worried at first, because they’ll think you’re going to tell them something terrible. Don’t – just tell them you like having them all to yourself once in a while. They will probably cry or hug you. Put up with it.
  10. Spend some time in the same room with your parents while they are watching TV or reading. Sit down and talk to them about school, your friends, or something else that interests you. At first they may think you’re on some type of drug because of the change in your behavior. They’ll get over this feeling and will love the “new you.”
  11. You do not do favors for people who argue with you or are uncooperative. If you act like this with your parents, there is a chance that they will not cooperate when you ask for favors: Can I sleep at Jason’s house? Can I go to the football game? Can I use the car? Try to cooperate and minimize conflict, because this will certainly work in your favor.
  12. Ask your parents once a day, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Most of the time they will probably say no, or give you something that will take a few minutes to complete. Your parents will love this and see you as a very cooperative person. When this occurs they will probably be more cooperative with you. You could also surprise them by doing something they don’t make you do. They’ll tell everyone you are the best possible son or daughter and, what’s more, they will believe it.
  13. When your parents are fighting, go away, even though you want to listen to them. Sooner or later they will get mad at you for listening, if for nothing else.
  14. Sometimes following stupid rules like turning off lights, cleaning up your room, or hanging up the towel after you shower may allow you to get some important concessions like staying out later, using the car, or getting more phone time.
  15. Be patient with your parents. Remember, they’re going through a rough time in their lives and are trying to grow up, too. Help them to do it smoothly and with love and cooperation. Someday they will thank you.

refer to and remember #15 a lot, Cole. I’m trying to grow up too.

Happy 13th Birthday son.

time, flowing like a river…

first of all, if you don’t know alan parsons project, then i’m sad for you.  please take a moment to acquaint yourself with them- at least the song time.  i’ll have this played at my funeral, along with u2’s where the streets have no name.

time fell back this week and with it, it seems my mind.  i don’t adjust to this time change well- maybe it’s because i know that it will be getting colder. and darker. and rainier.

and damp.

i hate damp.  i would never be able to thrive in seattle or london- where damp is seemingly a way of life.

but this post is really about marking passages of time. i’m reflective because so many people throughout my life have been affected by something this week.

  • sunday, a co-worker suddenly, unexpectedly lost her husband.   he leaves behind a devastated family.
  • sunday was my best friend’s 48th birthday.
  • sunday marked a month since my papaw was buried.
  • monday i found out that a friend from high school is fighting an infectious disease.
  • tuesday was my best friend’s son’s 18th birthday.
  • tuesday it started raining.
  • tuesday the country voted.
  • wednesday it was still raining.
  • wednesday my friend’s health is in sharp decline.
  • wednesday the leaves started falling in full force at my house.
  • thursday the sun was shining.
  • thursday is another darling friend’s birthday.
  • thursday night, i’m taking half a dozen teen boys to a football game and they’re sleeping over at my house.
  • friday, the kids are out of school.
  • friday morning, i’m going to cook all of those rowdy boys breakfast.
  • friday is another friend’s birthday.
  • saturday is the funeral for my co-worker’s husband.
  • saturday marks two birthdays for friends.
  • sunday marks a day of rest.
  • sunday also brings 2 more birthdays.
  • next week, we’ll mark a milestone birthday for thing1- who will pass into teens.

there are a hundred more- friends dealing with health issues, failed marriages, personal triumphs, work woes. lots of the folks mentioned above, i don’t interact with on a daily basis. we keep in touch, but it’s mostly through social media and technology. it’s a blessing to have the privilege to pray for those hurting, send birthday greetings of love, and remark on the beauty of fall pictures.

in trying to parse out all this stuff and their appropriate feelings and reactions in my head and heart this week, the only thing i can come up with is the alan parsons project song time.  its been stuck for a week- so its better to share that with you than not.

hug someone today.

baby steps

no folks, I’m not pregnant. but there’s definitely been a pregnant pause out here in my wasteland of a blog. I’m trying to think of a great excuse why to explain my total abandonment of this site. and instead of excuses, we’ll just try the truth.

I’ve been uninspired. and overwhelmed. and mentally taxed. and physically exhausted.

now I know a lot of you just rolled your eyes and sighed.  that’s fine. your reaction belongs to you and not me.

truthfully, for quite a while now, I’ve struggled with writing- more because I wanted to be that great sensation that you all long for.  but in chasing that, I forgot the passion of why I write. I write for me. I write for what I believe in. and most of all, I write as a release of passion and pent up ideas/values/beliefs and love.

so I’m going to commit to once a week right now. because I seem to have so much to say- whether anyone reads or comments. and it may happen that I really don’t need a full scale blog but a Medium account to post my rantings.

but right now, let’s just take baby steps.

Happy 9th birthday dSwag!

dMoney,

Today you are 9.  NINE!  It’s the last year of single digits and I plan on living each of them fully with you.

I remember when you were born, born asleep- not quite ready for our hustle and bustle world.  You slept through delivery. That’s right. Slept clear through the next 2 days as well.  Then you woke up and partied so hard that they kicked you out of the hospital nursery that last night for being TOO LOUD. Not crying LOUD, just making noise LOUD.

At 3 months, you refused to roll and we took you to the doctor.  They told us nothing was wrong.  At six months, you refused to sit up and again, back to the doctor fearing the worst. They told us you were lazy. At nine months, you drug yourself around like a sniper and again, the doctor said “he’ll get up and run when he’s good and ready”.  You started running, not walking, at 13 months and you haven’t stopped yet. But when you do, you fall down fast asleep- and I’ll admit, that’s when I always have a camera ready.

when he sleeps its awesome...

when he sleeps its awesome… left to right: book sleeper, during the middle of mardi gras sleeper, in the middle of a fit sleeper and snuggler

You’ve always been that kid who is random. Random as in: no one can predict your next move or thought. Unlike your brother, you would say and do the most unexpected things.   It used to freak me out when you would do or say something extraordinary.  I would spend hours trying to decide exactly what you meant or what was happening inside your little head. Your dark eyes and inch long eyelashes make such pretty pictures.  

You’re a little guy- and you get that from my daddy and me. We aren’t a tall people. But you’re tough and scrappy and you don’t back down from anything. You laugh and you’re so very quick with a thought that it blows my mind- how street savvy and cool you truly are at such a young age.

You’re still my snuggler upon occasion. And although I know you’re way old enough to cross a street, I still reach for your hand every single time. Maybe it’s because letting you grow makes me grow- and I’ve been pretty alright where you’ve been for the last 5 years.  You have more personality in the tiny tip of your little pinkie finger- more than I’ll have in a lifetime.

You’re growing into such an amazing young man- it’s hard to let that happen.  You open my door for me and always check on me- when I’m sad or angry- you comfort me. I see you running rings around others in our household and wish I could bottle up all the love and energy you give, but I’d never sell it to anyone else.  I’m too selfish for that.

so much swagger, so little time...

so much swagger, so little time…

Happy birthday my little swagger-king, my d-money, my ninjadork. I’m going to try to live each and every single day of your nine’s with grace, dignity and reflection- keeping the best part of your snuggles for myself. You’ve created dozens of nicknames and personas and I plan on hugging each of them this next year.

All my love,

mom