Happy 100th Post!

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I can’t believe that I have published 100 posts! And that people are still reading what I have to say… amazing! Woo-hoo!

What I really wanted to write about was Elijah’s new basketball hoop. I know, super exciting material, right? Try to keep your excitement down just a bit, mmkay? Elijah has been obsessed with basketball since he played last Fall. He asks me almost everyday if he can go across the street to my neighbors hoop and shoot. Seriously- every. day. Well, this Tuesday after school Elijah asked if he could go to my mom’s house when he got home from school (he’s a little bit in love with his gramma). Went I went over to pick him up later my dad said that he was going to give Elijah the old broken, hoop they had in his driveway. He had fixed it (yay!) and was going to bring it over to our house that night.

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What’s in a name?

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The other day I took Elijah to get his haircut. There was only one person there working, and we had about 3 people in front of us. In total we waited about an hour and fifteen minutes, which was the longest I had ever waited. If his hair wasn’t totally out of control and that wasn’t the only day we could do it, I would have left. But look how handsome he looks now:

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Always a silly grin…

So anyways while we were waiting, a mother and her son came in. For the first 20 minutes or so, they were quiet, much like everyone else there. And then the waiting got to them I guess. At first they were talking in hushed tones. Then they got louder. First the kid was talking and making all sorts of weird statements, that I wish I could remember. Basically I’m lucky to remember what I had for dinner last night, and this portion of their conversation was not the part that stuck with me. First she told him to just stop talking to her….

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Here comes the ‘Mom Guilt’

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Mom Guilt. Every mother has it at some point and time. The first time I felt it was when I worked for the airlines and worked some seriously wonky hours. I was upset I was harming Elijah permanently. That was silly for two reasons

A.) He doesn’t remember me working crazy hours
B.) Majority of the time I was working he spent with my parents- who better to be with your child if you can’t than Gramma and Papa???

Then I started going to school. Part-time schooling changed into full-time schooling, and I could feel that guilt come creeping in again. The school work was taking away from my spare time with him. Weekends, nights, holidays were all filled with homework. Reading, or writing or labs- it was always something to be done it seemed. Stealing away minutes turned into hours away from my son. The longer this went on, the more I started to resent going to school. I knew going was the right decision, and taking time away from him now was going to benefit us later, but I still resented it.

I graduated and found the perfect job. I mean seriously, the perfect one. Love my bosses, and most of the people I work with. I have the best hours, and I’m off on major Holidays. I’ve had to miss a gazillion days since I started because of various Elijah related things, and they haven’t fired me 🙂 When I go home from work, there is no homework waiting for me. The only books I read now are non-fiction. And the only tests I take are in the back of Cosmo. Yet, that guilt hasn’t gone away. It’s still nagging at me in the back of my mind, always there, flaring up when I least expect it. And this time? It’s not because of lack of time I have, its lack of funds.

Realistically I know that I shouldn’t let these things bother me. So what, we’re aren’t rich. Not even close. The number one thought in the forefront of my brain is always “How much is THAT going to cost?’. Elijah is active is sports now (thank God, but holy cow are they expensive) but sign ups are always on top of each other it seems. Baseball just started, and it’s already time to sign up for football again. Church camp is THE thing Elijah is most excited for this summer, and that’s going to be due soon as well. I have to buy sports equipment every time I turn around, and let’s not forget the everyday bills and necessities like gas and groceries.

Honestly there are times (like right now) that I think I am just being a big whiny baby about things. I shouldn’t complain. I have an amazing family, with parents who help me out more often than I like. Not that I am not appreciative (because I really really am), I just feel like I shouldn’t have to rely on them for so. much. help. at my age. I have a good car, and a roof over my head. Great friends, and a job I love. I’ve even been getting small amounts of child support on a regular-ish basis, thank God. See, absolutely NO reason to complain, or feel guilty for anything. I know this way deep down. But, I fail to listen to myself (or my parents- just ask my dad ;)) Yet I do. I feel guilty when Elijah wants to go to the batting cages, and I’m out of ‘extra money’ for the pay period. Or a friend wants to go out and ‘grab a quick dinner’ and I can’t go. Or, or, or… the list could really go on and on.

The more I think about it, the more it’s not really about the money (Although I really wouldn’t mind paying all my bills on time, each and every month for all the rest of my days). I think it’s because I’m trying to over compensate for the fact Elijah doesn’t have a dad who is apart of his life. He does have some pretty amazing male role models, but even they can’t replace the fact his dad isn’t around. He does know that God is his Father, and that makes me happy. But I think he loves sports as much as he does because of all the positive male’s that are there; he is surrounded by boys and men, and he loves it. He never had a dad to play catch with growing up, or to teach how to throw a football. He doesn’t have one now to go and practice with. So sometimes I feel like I need to do twice as much with him to make up for his dad not being there. Not that it’s totally my fault his dad isn’t around, that was his choice to walk away. But I did pick him initially, so there’s that I guess.

So what’s my problem you ask? I have no idea. I’m blessed beyond belief and sometimes I just need to see it in writing I guess to realize all the things I DO have, instead of the things I don’t. No amount of anything I do is going to replace the fact that Elijah has a dad that is choosing NOT to be an active part of his life. So I’m not even sure why I try. Or why I continue to convince myself that I’m failing.

What about you other moms- are you plagued by the ‘mom guilt’ too??

The Easter Alligator…

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Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligator...

(Photo credit: Arthur Chapman)

Ok, you got me. There is no such thing as an Easter Alligator. But there is someone out there who thinks there is, or is at least spreading the message that there is. While I was talking to my sister over the weekend, I found out a few things that were new to me (yet I’m not sure why I was so surprised). There is someone who used to be close to the family, who no longer is, and I didn’t realize was like really prejudiced. And by really prejudice I mean used to tell my nephew that he shouldn’t take baths with Elijah because he would ‘get dirty’. Or took someone out hunting for the ‘Easter Alligator’. Who eats black people. Or told my nephew that I was a ‘mud-shark’, which apparently is a white girl who likes black men. Being called names doesn’t really upset me, because frankly I’ve been called worse, and I’m sure I’ll be called worse again. What upsets me is this is what’s wrong with the world today. Kids are innocent and generally like everybody. When an influential person starts telling kids they will ‘get dirty’ if they share bath water with a black kid, or sharing names and stories with him about black people and ‘the white girls who love them’, all they are doing is spreading the hate. While my mom (not my step) was more racist then not, I believe she was because my grandfather was. Thankfully, I was more pliable by my dads thoughts and feelings, and he always said “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” My dad loves everyone, no matter who or what they have done in the past. He gives everyone a fair chance, and only discounts them based on how they treat those he loves. And he would never talk poorly of someone, no matter what they may have done. I wish that more people would be like him and have his mind-set. And though I didn’t know my grandparents since they passed before I was born, I can only assume that they were much the same way. Kids learn what they know, whether it’s positive or negative. And when an influential adult is telling a young child stories about an Easter Alligator, or ‘Mud-Sharks’ they are molding minds to continue the hate and spread the negativity. There are more than a few people that I am not very fond of. Not because they are black, or white, or have bad hair, or blue eyes. I mean they may have those attributes, but that’s not the underlying reason. I don’t like them because of what they have done, or how they treat others, not because of physical appearance, and especially not based solely on skin color. Ignorance, maybe, but not skin color.

When Elijah was playing football, I remember him telling me a few different times about some kids at school he heard making comments about some of the coaches, or some of the teams. My first initial thoughts were “What kind of punk kids are these…?” But then I realized that these ‘punk kids’ are more than likely only repeating what they hear their parents, or coaches, talk about. And we all know that kids repeat everything, therefore spreading the hate a little bit more. Not knowing it’s wrong, just saying what you know must be true, because your parents (or coaches, or teachers, or aunts, or uncles, or who ever) said it. By no means am I saying I am innocent here- we all say things we wish we hadn’t in front of our kids. When I hear Elijah giving his opinion of Obama for all the world to hear- that’s me. That’s my opinion, not his. He’s not old enough to really know what going on, and I don’t want him to feel the way he does because I feel the way I do. That makes me no better than anyone else here. Not that I think I am better than anyone else, but that’s not something I want to pass along.

This is NOT the Easter Alligator

This is NOT the Easter Alligator

I think it’s really important to remember a few things here. I’m pretty sure I am not a mud-shark. I could not survive in a puddle of mud. Eww. Plus, I can not breathe under water. Also, if you are going to go hunting for the Easter Alligator, please learn how to run in a zig-zag type fashion. It’s really important. Not because alligators eat black people, but because if they can catch you, they will, and they don’t care WHAT color you are. And if you can’t run in a zig-zag, then find a small child you can throw at them. At least it’ll get the alligator off your back…

When You Treat Your Child as a “Slave and Such”…

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I had another bout of insomnia last night. It’d been a while since I’ve had an issue, so at least I am grateful for that. I woke up at 1 am, after barely being asleep at all, and I knew I was going to be awake for the long haul. So I did what any normal person would do and trolled Facebook. I’m not sure what the rules are on showing screenshots on other people’s Facebook comments and statuses, so I just have to hope for the best in this situation I guess. I took out the names of the people who made them (except my own). And let’s be honest here- I don’t really have a HUGE following, so… I’m pretty sure I’ll be OK.

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After reading that, I was even more awake since I was now worked up. I’m not saying that I am a perfect mom, or that I have the right to be doling out advice here, but seriously are you kidding me?!? Personally I don’t know many people who would agree with little Missy about only having your child go to school and nothing else. Not allowing your child to do anything isn’t going to teach him anything except relying on others for the rest of his life. My son is 11- he is the sole trash-taker-outer (gasp!). He has chores he must do everyday after school, including putting dishes away, dusting, and picking up after himself, among other things. Oh my gosh- someone please call the authorities, because obviously I’m slave-driving Elijah all over the place. I know that I am too lax on him at times, and don’t always enforce the rules, which don’t do him any favors. I let him get away with too much at times, and sometimes don’t let him get away with enough. NO parent is perfect. But raising your kids and teaching them that they don’t have to do anything so as not to be treated as “slaves and such” is only going to teach them to depend on everyone else for everything. What’s going to happen when they get their first job, and don’t want to do something? Are they going to ask the boss to do it because it’s their job?

Saying things I normally wouldn’t say is something new to me. Normally I don’t like to say anything that could potentially rock the boat and make waves. I’m a Pisces you know 😉 I’m quiet, and I’d rather just let things go than possibly make someone upset at me. In the last few months I’ve noticed that I have begun speaking up, and making comments on things I normally would just let slide. I think I have finally reached the point in my life when I am tired of allowing people to walk all over me. I have allowed it because I think that I don’t deserve to be treated any better than that, I suppose. And finally after 34 years of letting people treat me poorly, I’m starting to stand up for myself a little bit. For instance, I’m pretty sure I just ended a 9 year friendship last night, for saying what was on  my mind. I’ve tortured myself for the last several weeks over this dude. We’ve been friends for a long time, we tried dating, and it obviously didn’t work. He handled the situation in the worst way possible, and I was trying to make something that wasn’t there, there. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt over and over and over, and in turn I was allowing him to treat me like crap. After a very short conversation last night I left him with a snarky comment, and didn’t hear back from him. At this point, I don’t even care. Friendship be damned- I deserve much better than I allow people to treat me, and no one else is sticking up for me, so I better do it. I get that everyone goes through issues, and everyone goes through some selfish times in their life, but at some point enough is enough.

I’m not really sure what got me going on that little tangent there, but there you have it. Don’t treat your child like a slave, and speak up for yourself. My advice for the day 🙂