A memoir of musings, allegories and adventures covering my inspired life...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Night Terrors

A few days ago I attended a funeral for a young man in town who was killed in a robbery. I didn’t know the guy, but went in support of the family who was suffering a tragic loss. After the funeral, I had so many appointments and errands that I did not return home until after Steele (now 15 years old) had gone to bed.


First let me say that I make it a habit of kissing and hugging my son regularly throughout the day, especially before he goes to sleep. What can I say? I’m an affectionate person. But this particular night, the events of the day were weighing heavily on my heart. I had watched a mother openly mourn the tragic loss of her only baby boy. Regardless of the fact that he was 25 years old, it had me thinking of how blessed and grateful I was to have a happy, healthy child who was safe from harm.

Overwhelmed by my emotions, I tiptoed into his darkened room and bent over him and kissed his forehead. Quietly I whispered, “I love you Baby Bear.”

Okay, not so quietly apparently because suddenly his eyes flew open like retracting window shades and they were flooded with instant terror. You see, at that very moment as he was jolted awake from his deep slumber, my face could’ve only been maybe 4 inches from his. In the seconds that it took his brain to process the situation, his fear involuntarily escalated his movements and he bounced back with mouth wide open and eyes bugged out searching for answers. My instant reaction was to also jump back in reflex…mainly to avoid getting punched in the face. And then he was like, “Who…what are you doing?!?!” And I’m all, “Aww babe, I just came in to tuck you in and kiss you goodnight because I’m so lucky to have you.” His response? “You scared the crap outta me! I’m tryin’ to sleep, ugh!”

So much for tender loving moments. He laid his head back down and instantly returned to his sleep. I walked out of the room, annoyed as usual.

P.S. Kinda weird how I flipped the script on you and went from such a heart-wrenching post to a “reality bites” one, huh? Well, sometimes I think we over-romanticize how certain aspects of our lives should be. These fantasies sometimes come to fruition, but a lot of the time they just leave us feeling slighted or short-changed. I guess the main thing to remember is to count your blessings. Be happy with all that you DO have, even with its flaws. Because there ARE those out there who would give anything to have what you do…an opportunity to show love to someone special, and receive it in return…eventually.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Attitude...It's What's For Dinner

As the old saying goes, “Mothers of teenagers know why some species eat their young.”

Steele: All we have to do is walk by the Starbucks counter and they start making your drink before you even order it!  That’s pretty bad.  You should probably consider getting help for your caffeine addiction. Oooooo banana bread, can I have one of those?

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Me: What are all those stains on your white hoodie?
Steele: DARN those hot Cheetos!

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Me: (getting ready for a business party) How does this look?
Steele: Well, you kinda have a little muffin top goin’ on.
Me: Yeah I need to change to a looser top.
Steele: Or you could do some crunches.

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Steele: (around 8pm) Oh yeah, I need a poster board for an in-class assignment tomorrow.
Me: Why am I just hearing about it now?!  You really need to let me know these things ahead of time.
Steele: But then we wouldn’t get to enjoy the element of surprise.

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Steele: Uh oh.  That awkward moment when mom realizes she’s just like maw maw.

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Me: (belting out a tune at the top of my lungs) It’s time to tryyyyy defyyyyying graaavity, I think I’ll tryyyy, defyyyyiiing graaavity, and you can’t pull me doooown
Steele: Maybe you should stick to singing songs more in your range


Remember back when they were babies and you would say things like, "Oh...he's just so cute and adorable!  I could just eat him up!"  Well, same concept...different context and tone.  Welcome to the teenage years.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

Recently a friend of mine posted a comment on Facebook regarding her young daughter’s gratitude for magically turning last night’s leftover tortillas into corn chips so she could enjoy a second day snack. It got me reminiscing on the good ole days when Steele was young and gullible innocent…the days of being the wizard BEHIND the curtain. I could do no wrong in those days. My motives were never questioned, my answers to life’s questions carried more weight than Wikipedia, and I had magical powers of healing and insight unmatched by those of even the likes of Superman. I can’t exactly pinpoint for you when and where the reality exposure actually occurred, but something tells me the following incidents played a small part in the demise of my superhero identity.

Sometime in 2001 (Age 4) – The day he discovered I can’t really cook.  He used to always brag about my cooking. He would tell people all the time how I made the best cookies ever.

Steele: Mom, Ms. Jane made the best cookies and I told her they were just like yours and she said that’s because you buy the same kind from the store

Summer 2004 (Age 7) - The day he found out I really DIDN’T have eyes in the back of my head.
Driving home after school one day, I glance in my rearview mirror to find my son digging for treasures deep within the vast cavern of where his brain SHOULD reside

Me: Get that finger out of your nose! It’s disgusting!
I glance back into my rearview mirror to find him rolling his eyes in response

Me: And don’t roll those eyes at me!
His eyes accidentally meet mine in the rearview mirror and my heart stops…I’ve been busted.

Steele: Heeeeeeeeyyy! I just saw you look at me in that mirror! So all this time I thought you were like a circus freak with an invisible third eye and it turns out you were just lying to me? That’s just wrong, mom. So wrong.

December 2006 (Age 9) – The day he discovered that Santa was a fraud…or in the least, the day he revealed that fact to me.

Me: If you don’t clean your room Santa is gonna put you on his naughty list.

Steele: Mom, I guess I should go ahead and let you know. I’ve known Santa wasn’t real for a couple of years now. I just didn’t say anything because I wanted to get all of the extra presents at Christmas.

August 2008 (Age 11) – The day he realized he doesn’t ACTUALLY need to hold my hand when walking through a parking lot or crossing the street

I always explained to Steele that it’s important for him to hold my hand when crossing the street because he was small and the drivers around us may not be able to see him walking, but if he held my hand, they could see me and he would be safe.

Me: Wait for me so I can hold your hand! How many times do I have to tell you it’s unsafe for you to walk ahead of me?

Steele: Really Mom? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m taller than you now.

March 2010 (Age 13) – The day he realized he was better at doing mathmatical calculations in his head
At a restaurant as I signed the bill
Steele – Uh, mom? Do you ALWAYS tip the waitress 25%? I wouldn’t say her service was THAT good.

Me: That’s not 20%, it’s 15%.

Steele: Maybe you should just base the tip on the old “two-times-the-tax-rule” from now on. It may be easier than calculating it in your head.

Friday, January 20, 2012

An Easy Mystery to Unravel

I don’t know HOW many times I’ve told Steele, “We have a new puppy in the house. Please remember that while he is being trained, we need to take extra precautions and not provide opportunity for him to create mischief.”

“I KNOW, Mom, I know.” This is usually the reply I get, accompanied by an ever-so-obvious-eye roll. “It’s not just a matter of KNOWING…you have to FOLLOW THROUGH.”

I rarely chastise him about his hurricane aftermath inspired choice of bedroom and bathroom décor. Nor do I nag him on a daily basis about tidying up his bathroom. ALL I ASK is that he make it a point to CLOSE THE DOORS to those rooms before leaving the house, ensuring that Benny "the Jet" does not have access to the temptation that exists within them. Simple, right? So why do I come home on my lunch break to find THIS?!


The older dog, Maggie, just sits there on her perch, with that clueless look on her face. I know she egged him on. She likes to see him get in trouble. And he provides ample opportunity to oblige her, believe me.  He has also discovered that people think he's adorable when he carries around stuffed toys in his mouth.  His get-out-of-jail-free-cuteness-toy-of-choice for this incident was his dinosaur.  Well played again Benny, well played.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Easily ENTertained

Yesterday was Steele’s first appointment with a local ENT specialist. Our goal is to find the source of his chronic sinus problems and resolve the problem once and for all. We rarely visit doctors, mainly because I’m too impatient and I would rather be sick than lose my religion during the grueling waiting room process we are rarely sick.
I walked through the doors with a positive attitude, despite the 30 or so patients who had arrived before me, meeting my gaze with looks of defeat and gloom. I took my place in the waiting room and so it began...

30 minutes in… I decided to distract myself with some light reading. Steele and I flipped through a local magazine and poked fun at all the advertisements by local businesses. One of the ads we came across was this one.

Steele says, “I find it ironic that the addiction recovery center has weed for its logo.”

I must say, I sort of enjoy the fact that my nearly 15 year old son couldn’t identify marijuana even if it were labeled. Good sign…moving on.

1 hour in to waiting time and my left leg began to tingle. I must’ve switched positions 20 times with no success in preventing my butt from falling asleep. I tried to focus on something else to get my mind off of the current situation…not a good idea.

One lady was jamming out to Lady Gaga on her iPhone while her litter of unkempt children ran wild ripping up newspaper and snotting all over the furniture. Another sat snoring next to her over-grown child as he picked his nose and examined his findings (save it for the ENT buddy cause I didn’t need the show). An elderly man muttered complaints under his breath as his wife copied recipes from the Better Homes and Gardens magazine…

Dear God, please deliver me from waiting room hell…thank you.

1.5 hours in and the magic words rang out from the restricted area, “The doctor is ready to see you!” Yay! Our turn! Our turn! We were promptly escorted to a smaller room where we knew the wait would continue. Determined not to lose my mind or my temper, I began looking for things to entertain us. Steele began wildly spinning in his chair as I rifled through cabinets and drawers. Alcohol prep pads? Well don’t mind if I do! Those things are GREAT for cleaning surfaces and they’re sooo portable. Next drawer…
Steele: What in the WORLD is all that?!

Me: Those are the tools the doctor uses I guess

Steele: I don’t know where he thinks he’s gonna stick THAT thing, but wherever it is, I object.

Next drawer…Oh My Gosh…JACKPOT! It was a brand new, sleek and shiny temple touch thermometer! Oh how times have changed since I was a child and your temp was taken *ahem* elsewhere. Immediately we began playing with the device and I registered my very first tech savvy temp reading…

Me: 86.4 degrees…WHAT?! That can’t be right! I would be a cold stiff corpse. Try it again.

Steele: That’s not bad. It IS cold in this room

Me: I’m pretty sure you aren’t supposed to have a body temp below 97 or something

Steele: Here, let’s retry

Me: 86.4, 86.7, 84.5. Oh Lord it’s getting worse!

Steele: And that was the day mom discovered she was a zombie

A quick knock and the door began to open. I quickly tossed the defective gadget on the table next to me and greeted the doctor. During his exam, he asked if I had any questions…and for some reason only one thing came to mind.

Me: Well, what is the lowest body temperature you can have without your major organs shutting down and death occurring?

Stunned look from the nurse

Doctor: Without what? Are you planning on freezing yourself later?

Me: No, I was just curious. (Obviously I couldn’t explain the source of my curiosity without disclosing the fact that I had played with his broken toys)

Doctor: (laughing nervously now) Well, I’m not really sure to be honest.

Steele: Yeah mom, he’s just the ear, nose and throat doctor not a coroner.

Me: Oh well, I just thought it might be a common knowledge thing among doctors.

Doctor: Okay, do you have any questions regarding the treatment options?

Me: Yes. What were they again?

After discussing treatment plans with the doctor, I rose to shake his hand and our attention was drawn to the 3 alcohol prep packets that fell on the floor between us. I was all, “Umm, they’re really handy for cleaning surfaces.” And he’s all, “No big deal, everyone likes to take some home after visits.” And I’m all, “Like a good patient reward or something!” And he says, “Well in that case I’ll have to ask you to return yours.”

Ha ha Dr. Witty. Keep laughing at your own little jokes. We’re all VERY amused. I’m thinking about finding another ENT for future visits. I’m not sure we made the best impression on this one.