Why Aren’t I Crying?

We are now weeks away from my oldest child’s high school graduation and I’ve watched many a fellow “Senior Mom” shed endless tears over losing their baby. I, on the other hand, have felt very little sadness–and I’m a tad perplexed as to why.

I love my son. LOVE THAT BOY. And I know the tears will come when we drop him off at his dorm and make the return trip without him.

But now?

This is what I want for him–college, independence, freedom. I think I’d be shedding buckets of real tears if he weren’t going away to school and instead staying home with us to live happily ever after in the basement.

There are moments when I get sad, mostly when I think back to his younger years and wonder where the time went. Also, when I read articles like this where I’m the old couple in the story and not the young mother.

This has been one heck of a ride with my baby boy. He was our test case and crash dummy for our first attempt at parenting. He’s a great kid (not perfect), he’s happy, and he’s going to college in the fall. Life is good.

Bring on the tissues!

Technology, Teens, and Trust: The 3 Ts of Parenting

Technology has come a long way, and for better or worse, it’s changed the way we deal with our children. The first time my daughter asked me how old I was when I got a cell phone, she nearly had a coronary when I said mid-twenties—and seemed only mildly pacified when I explained they didn’t exist before then.

Back when cell phones first came out, we called them car phones. The very first models came attached to cars, making conversation mobile. Ingenious! When the first truly mobile phones hit the market, they were huge. I’d have sooner put a brick in my purse than my first cell phone, so I left it in the car. If I was out and needed a phone, I’d locate a pay phone or use a landline. pay phone

During the dark ages of mobile devices, I signed up to take a watercolor painting class at a local college. I remember sitting inside the classroom listening to the rain and hail hit the rooftop and feeling grateful I was inside. Little did I know my new husband, having heard about a tornado warning, was trying fruitlessly to locate and rescue his new wife who WAS NOT ANSWERING HER CELL PHONE! Because it was in the car where it belonged.

That experience taught me two lessons:

1) My new husband was a worrywart, and

2) I needed a bigger purse.

Technology got smaller and a whole lot smarter, but sometimes I wonder if it’s too smart. I have two driving-aged teenagers who disappear faster than the fumes from their exhaust pipes, but fortunately they never go anywhere without their phones. Their phone is the key to my knowledge.

Not only do my kids have to tell me where they’re going to be at every moment, as long as their phones have a battery charge (and they’d sooner lose their pulse than let their phones die), I can track them using Find My iPhone. If he’s struck by lightning or she happens to drop her phone in the toilet (I did this recently and was without my phone for three torturous days), I can call one of their friends—which is what my parents had to do when I was a teenager.

Back in the dark ages of the 1980s, once I left the house, my parents didn’t really know where I was. I’d tell them where I was going, but they had to trust me to tell them the truth. I was generally a good kid in high school because I had my parents trust and I didn’t want to lose it. I trust my kids, but they live under a microscope, and I’m not sure that’s better.

As the oldest will soon head to college, he’s begging us not to track him. And we won’t. But it sure will be hard. It’s like cutting the cord all over again.

Seriously, Mom, how did you do it?

photo credit: Hit Me Back via photopin (license)

Calgon Take Me Away!

They say graduating seniors have “Senioritis,” defined by the Urban Dictionary as

noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation.
Below is what happens to senior moms who are so busy and stressed out they can hardly string a few sentences together or stay awake long enough to get everything done. I hope you enjoy the cuteness of this as much as I did.

I’ll try and be back before graduation, but I’m not making any promises!

Up is Down & Down is Up

I watch the news to stay informed, and I must say it has become an obsession. It could be worse–I could be obsessed with reality TV or Candy Crush or whatever else is out there to undermine the intelligence of the masses.2747539477_cdb896a8e4

While watching the news last week, I saw a segment about how Washington D.C. has  adopted a proposal to pay released prisoners if they do not commit any more crimes. You can read more about the proposal from a Washington Times article here.

This both infuriated and saddened me. Paying offenders not to reoffend? What?? Do law abiding citizens get paid to be law abiding citizens? No they do not. But it’s their money that will be spent to pay past offenders a stipend and to pay for the behavioral modification courses necessary to receive the stipend. It makes no sense to reward those who break the law!

I believe the same behavioral modification is possible by strengthening the family. Not everyone is fortunate enough to come from the ideal two-parent home, but families come in all shapes and sizes. Just look at Ben Carson. He and his brother were raised by a single mother who worked her fingers to the bone. She kept a roof over their heads, food on the table, and helped them excel academically. Their family unit was strong!

I believe we spend so much time trying not to offend others instead of propping up the family unit–whatever it may look like. If we spend our time and resources building up the family, we won’t have to spend it rewarding those who break the law.

What do you think? Am I way off base?

photo credit: mic flags via photopin (license)

Dogs and Love

I had to click on this article about how dogs tell you they love you because I’m totally in love with my dogs. It’s pretty common sense, but the pictures are worth a look.

The article inspired me to post some pictures of my own dogs and the faces they make when they show me and my family how much they love us. I hope you enjoy!

Stares at you: Eyes

Trusts you completely: sand

sand2

Sleeps with you: snuggle

Looks at you quietly: justin

Uses eyes and body language: both

Leans into you: lean

Protects you: lay

Comforts you: love

A New Beginning

Sometimes when one door closes, another door opens. When the ladies of Women Unplugged (me included) decided to stop posting new content to our group blog, I had a decision to make.

Stop blogging or go it alone.

Some weeks I have a lot to say. I’ll see something on the news, hear something controversial, or read articles on the web that get me fired up and ready to write a blog and get the conversation flowing. I love a good debate, and most debates I start end with me learning something about myself, the world, and the other side of an argument. I love that.

While working on the group blog, before I let my fingers do the talking, I had to stop and think how my position on a certain topic would affect the other members. Would I offend someone? Probably. Would my post sound too political (a serious no-no on a group blog)? More than likely. Would the blog be something the others would feel comfortable sharing on social media? Often times, I doubted the others would post my blog to social media because it wouldn’t represent their point of view.

On those occasions the fire would die, and I’d sit staring at a blank screen trying to write something entertaining, engaging, and non-controversial. And most of those blogs were terrible.

My point of view is what makes me me. I don’t like censoring my views for public consumption any more than I like being politically correct. I personally think our PC culture is to blame for a lot of our country’s moral decline.

Having an opinion doesn’t make me right and it doesn’t make me wrong, it just makes me opinionated. And without an opinion, I’d have nothing to say.

Are there topics I don’t feel strongly about? Of course. I feel pretty neutral about women’s fashion, pizza toppings, and cars (other than my husband’s jeep). Those topics probably won’t grace the pages of my blog. But other topics probably will: love, marriage, relationships, writing, books, family, and pets.

I’m going to give myself some leeway as to what I blog about on my personal blog because I never know what’s going to stoke the fire. Some posts may simply link to another article that articulates my views perfectly. Other posts, I may drone on and on. Who knows?

Going it alone is scary because I’m not sure who, if anyone, will follow. But I’m willing to take a risk and take a stance on all kinds of issues. I’d be honored if you’d join me on the ride.