Tag Archives: crudmykidssay

It’s Been a Minute

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It’s been a minute & I officially now have two high school students. In less than three months, The Girl will graduate high school. Soon after that, The Boy will finish his freshman year.

A few years ago I ruminated on The Girl ending her middle school career (To My Daughter as She Finishes Middle School).

Middle school was very different for The Boy. Other than one “spawn of Satan” as The Boy refers to him (I’m looking at you Jack Toohey), my kids had very different middle school experiences. The Girl struggled through it while The Boy seemed to sail – other than his math grades. Case in point: Their texts from their 8th grade class trip to Washington, DC…

The Girl’s: “Can you come get me?”

The Boy’s: “This place is pretty cool. And some girl broke her knee on the Potomac River cruise so we’re all waiting for the ambulance.”

My cocky, sassy, full of spunk (I hate spunk) boy has turned into this amazing young man who is now cast as Narcissus in a new musical written by one of his music teachers. He’s learned to play drums & piano & has a group of friends who are straight up amazing kids. They all congregate at the library for old school Dungeons & Dragons. And when they have to be at their own homes, they’re usually on line together playing TF2 or Fortnite (or as I unfortunately called it, “Frontline.” I may be turning into my mother).

And they’re TEENAGERS. With a capital TEENAGERS. They have opinions & they’re finding their own voice.

And it’s the best.

A coworker is struggling with her two year old… or twouchebag as I recently heard it referred to. And I remember those days. This particular coworker has one just like The Boy who pushed buttons that I didn’t know existed. I just keep nodding & telling her that it gets better. But much like when the doctors used to get annoyed with me worrying about potty training (“No kid has ever gone to college in diapers!” Bitch, please…. I’m trying to get through preschool!) I’m sure she can’t even see that place right now.

But I can.

And my first born is almost grown & flown.

The Girl isn’t sure what she wants to do when she graduates. Maybe biology. Maybe marine biology. Maybe forensics. Maybe chemistry.

So she’s charted a course for community college to help her figure it out. In my panic, I watched other parents post on Facebook about their kids’ college applications. I made her apply in November only to receive a post card in the mail from the local community college that may as well have said, “Slow your roll. We’re working on the January term. We’ll get back to you about next fall.” And here I was all prepared with my FAFSA.

It’s not the road I thought she would choose. Her focus at the technical high school was graphics. But according to her, she loves art & doesn’t want to do it for a living or she would hate it (sort of how I felt about working at Target). That’s pretty mature. I also expected her to choose a small, private, four year college. We toured a couple… okay, one… and I thought it would be a good fit for her. But she is my level-headed one. She knows enough to know that she doesn’t really know what she wants. You know?

I guess my point is that every kid finds their way eventually. I watch my friends post about their kids’ college acceptance letters & cheer them on. And I know that they’re cheering on The Girl as she embarks on her path to figure out what she wants.

The Boy recently had to choose his shop at the same tech high school that The Girl is graduating from. He chose Medical Assisting. And much like his sister, it’s not the road I thought he would choose. But he’s got three more years to figure it out before graduation.

And at the risk of sounding cliche’, it’s not the destination. It’s the journey.

And this is a great journey.

Stay tuned. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

 

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Four Great Years

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“This morning I had two boobs & a boyfriend,” I lamented to KK, my sister extraordinaire. “Tonight… not so much.”

It was October 25, 2012. I woke up with an appointment scheduled to get biopsy results on a lump in my left breast (Head’s up…. it wasn’t good). I also woke up to an email from someone I had been dating for several months telling me that he thought it best if we didn’t see each other anymore. And frankly, once I got the biopsy results, I was glad he said it first because I couldn’t see trying to build a new relationship with someone I had barely gotten to know while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. So I would have broken up with him anyway. (That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.)

“You should come to the Firefighter’s Ball with us!” exclaimed KK. Her husband was an on-call firefighter for their town & while avoiding the obvious jokes about firefighters having balls, I declined, thinking that she wanted me to come on my own & troll for firefighters. Turns out KK’s firefighter husband had a friend who wanted to go to the ball but didn’t have a date. “You can go with him. Worst case, it’s a night out at a winery with music & dancing with me!”

Fine, I figured. Why not?

So there I was… November 9, 2012 – exactly 6 years ago. On a blind date. I still had sutures in my left boob & gauze bandages covering what would become a lovely scar on “Lefty” as this boob that tried to kill me is known.

I worked that morning. It was a Friday & as a manager at Target staring down Black Friday, I was pretty much working every day. I got home at about 5 pm. Threw on a dress & heels & tried to make something out of my newly died red hair. I was supposed to be at KK’s at 6 pm. I was so nervous & so late that I ran a red light. Not just slightly red. Not like the yellow & just barely turned red kind of orange red light. Full on red. As the police officer who pulled me over said, “What was that? You weren’t even close.” I explained that I was on my way to a blind date & was really nervous. He laughed & let me go. (Thanks again, Officer Morgan!)

I forgot lip gloss & really had to pee. I pulled into KK’s driveway at the same time as Him. “F**k!” was my only thought. (Well… not my only thought. I did notice that he had really nice shoes. That’s always a plus for me.) I really wanted to get in the door, pee & borrow lip gloss before this. Instead we literally met in the driveway of my sister’s house. (Years later he would tell me that he introduced himself, shook my hand & immediately thought I was out of his league. How freaking cute is that?!)

The night went on & my new date was super quiet. I couldn’t tell if he wasn’t into me or was just nervous. But frankly, the only food was a mac & cheese & mashed potato bar (News to all of us… we kept waiting for a dinner that never came) & with the wine going strong… well… cue the dancing!

HE DANCED WITH ME!!!!

That’s pretty huge in my book. Having been married to someone who “didn’t dance,” this was new to me. The clincher that night? Everyone started leaving the dance floor as Usher’s “Yeah” came on. “Oh, C’mon!!!” I yelled.

He turned… “This your jam?” he asked.

And we headed back out to the dance floor.

And even though I saw the horror in his eyes as I recited every word of Ludacris’ rap break (“In the club lookin’ so conspicuous!“) he asked me to go out with him again as we stood back in KK’s driveway at the end of the night.

And even though I was in the middle of Black Friday planning & fell asleep at the movie on our first date after the ball….

And even though I think I may have talked to the waiter more than to him at dinner that night….

And even though I ran away… And even though he ran away… we’re figuring it out. And we’re still here. Through cancer. Through radiation. Through new jobs. Through our anchors moving to Arizona. Through parents & kids & sadness & happiness. We’re still here.

Since 2012….

Today he sent me flowers. Because it’s been 6 years. As people saw the flowers on my desk today & asked what they were for I told them, “Four great years!”

“Wow… you’ve been together four years?

“No. Six. Two of them just kind of sucked.”

Happy Anniversary, babes.

We still go to the ball every year!

 

 

MomDay Monday – Aisles of Smiles

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Everyone should have to work in retail for at least 6 months at some point in their lives.

Every. One.

It’s something you can’t possibly understand unless you experience it first hand. And I promise you, you will never shop the same way again.

All of us in retail have seen things that would make your head spin. And then pop off. There are the people who open the curtains & drape them across the towels to see if they match. And the ones who put every rug on the floor to see how they look under their feet, then leave the aisle looking like a U2 concert. And then there are those who wipe their kids’ noses on the clothing (it’s why you should always… ALWAYS… wash what you buy before you wear it. New clothes smell be damned).

Now don’t get me wrong. There are many shoppers who are genuinely kind & who appreciate when you help them. But there is also a daily, random weirdness that makes you scratch your head. So to get through the day, I end up saying things in my head to amuse myself about  each situation because frankly, if I’m amused, it will just go better for everyone.

———-

Customer: “I need a 2×8 runner.”

Me: “Ours are 25×84 inches.”

Customer: “I don’t know what that means.”

Me (in my head): “It means you should be shopping somewhere that doesn’t require basic math skills.”

———-

I’m sorry I directed you to the wrong aisle, ma’am, but your accent made, “Where’s detergents?” sound like “Where’s da Trojans?” and, hey, who am I to judge?

———-

You know people in my area really hate The Yankees’ A Rod when his picture won’t even sell for 75% off.

———-

Would the brass polish you’re looking for be for your hair, ma’am?

———-

If you know each other well enough to have this discussion in the aisle of your friendly neighborhood retailer, then you probably know each other well enough to have this conversation in the privacy of one of your own homes, away from the employee of the friendly neighborhood retailer who just wants to fold the towels. By the way, I’m glad your baby is finally able to latch on & that it made a big difference in how chafed your nipples are.

———-

You can say “buffalump” as many times as you like, ma’am. I’m not ever going to know what it means.

———-

Apparently on your planet it’s called “milk oil.” Here we call it “chocolate syrup.” Welcome to Earth.

———-

This is an actual store, sir. Not a flea market. We don’t haggle.

Sometimes it’s the customers who inject the humor: 

“I see boys clothes & I see toddler clothes. Where are the old fart clothes?”

———-

Me, to a customer with a full cart: “Did you need help finding something?”

Customer: “No, thanks. I think I’ve found enough all on my own.”

———-

Me: “Can I help you find something?”

Customer: “My husband… Wait! What am I saying? I have the car keys. This is my chance!”

And then there are the inspirational:

80-year-old Eileen is going back to college & came to the store to buy a computer desk & chair. “It’s just a number,” she said of her age. “If you stay engaged in life, you won’t grow old.” God speed, Eileen.

The Perfect Parent

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An Open Letter to the Most Perfect Mother of the Most Perfect Child on Earth:

I know that baby of yours is an amazing, talented, genius who will probably cure cancer or, better yet, rid the world of the Kardashians. And all this at the tender age of 6 months. But just so you know… one day that child will do something embarrassing when you take them to a store. Something that will make you question all your parenting skills. Something so horrendous that you may actually consider sending them to live with the Kardashians.

And at that point, I hope another Perfect Parent of another Perfect Child looks at your kid with as much disgust as you were able to muster for my child. I also hope that, at that moment, you don’t shrink from your duty as a mother & are able to look back at her, make your child apologize & then tell her, “Lighten up. Your baby will survive.”

Because when you can forgive your children their childishness… when you can realize that their infractions are not the end of the world… and when you can understand that while you are allowed to be disgusted with your kids, no one else is… THAT’s when you earn the title of Most Perfect Mother, at least to your own kids.