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A Different Kind of Christmas

My son nickel and dimes me to death. Video games, in-app purchases, toys, soda, chips…. It seems like every day there’s a new thing that he needs me to buy for him. Sometimes I say yes, but I often say no. He’s a pretty good kid, and there are never any fits or tears over my not wanting to be a walking wallet.

               A few nights ago, that changed. Not about things though. He misses doing things with me. Simple things like playing 2 square, crafts and playing with his Legos. Little trips going to places we love. “We never do anything fun anymore!” He cried. Not for things, but for me.

               I was a little confused, as we had just been up to Sacramento for a fun filled weekend. Back in September, we went to Monterey, and on the way back stopped at Pea Soup Andersons. We might not do fun things every weekend—but I don’t have him all the time. He spends Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning with his dad.

               We had the conversation. I needed to know before the Black Friday deals disappeared. “Do you want things, or do you want me to buy tickets for us to do stuff through out the year?”

               “I want to do stuff with you,” he told me.

               “Ok. That means you’re not going to be able to be with your dad every weekend.”

               “I miss you, Mom.” Way to break a Mommy’s heart, kiddo. I miss you too, but I wanted you to have that opportunity to build a relationship with your dad. Now, though… Well. Mommy’s back in the driver’s seat and we’re going to do this!

               I still surfed the ads bought him a few things for under the tree (thank you wifi!). But I also started my evil plan.

               Boomers:  This weekend, the year pass is only $39.99 It doesn’t cover the arcade or food, but it is something he loved doing with his dad. It’s also something that I can just as easily take him to, let him go Go Kart racing, climb a wall, all sorts of fun stuff. The pass also works for the remainder of this year. Hmmm…. To give early or not?

               The Exploratorium He loves science and tinkering and there is no better place than the Exploratorium. I’m still debating between a yearly family membership and just buying one time tickets. We travel a lot with my sister and her son, so they would be on the pass as well. One huge thing in favor of the pass is that I don’t have to drive there. We’ve taken Amtrak down to Pier 39 before: it’s an economical, fun way for us to get into the city and back home again. In 2 visits, the pass would be paid for. I almost did it last year and regretted passing.

               The Winchester Mystery House: My son is 11 years old and has been asking to visit “Sara’s House” for at least a year. He’s fascinated by why she would build the way she did, all the little oddities. I’d like for him to experience it in real life, instead of via YouTube.

               In addition to the above, I’m looking at both science and art kits for us to do together. There are a ton of them out there, including some that come as a monthly subscription. I like that more for the science than the art. For art projects (which we’ll start on Sunday when he comes home), I can go to any number of local stores. There are plans for experiments on the Exploratorium website, and I could probably find kits online and just buy one or two. I have time to figure it out, though.

               The sad part about the list above is that coupled with what I snagged online for him, I’m not going to spend a whole lot more money on Christmas by doing this. There will be a lot less Christmas clutter, and I’m going to have to get creative on how to wrap and present these gifts.

               But before that, we’re going to go out back and play 2 square together.

               In the end, I’m giving him the gift he wants. The gift of time. With me. 

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Boys and poetry

The princeling and I often talk about stories. Last weekend, I listened to him try to rewrite all of my stories. Every single one. 

While cleaning up some papers, I came across a poem we had started together. I remembered the first line, but had forgotten he had written the second. And now I know why he and I don’t work poetry much. He’s 11. And a boy. And I shouldn’t have been suprised….

Here goes…..

If I had a robot heart,

Would I be able to fart.

Yup, my son has mad rhyming skills.

Travelling

Today, the princeling and I are going on a trip, in our favorite rocket ship…. it’s time for us to go out and about. On our own. Well, sort of. We’re going to go visit family, but twill just be he and I in the car.

My son can’t remember the times we used to go travelling on our own. Admittedly, it’s only been twice, but still. My child thinks his mommy can’t travel on her own. Which if you knew my travel history is hilarious.

I love travelling with Linda. She’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Somewhere along the way, I’ve allowed myself to rely a bit too much on her. Yes, there are situations where I am uncomfortable. But something she said to me on the firstish trip (she ended up meeting me and a friend and ray in monterey) has been ringing in my head. “Why did you bring Her? You’re fine, you don’t need help with the princeling. You’re a good mom and you’ve got it handled”. 

And then I promptly let her handle the travel. Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling with her and T. It’s fun, and we get to talk answer laugh and share heart to heart moments. 

But my son sees me as weak. I write about kick ass women who save themselves and my son sees me as weak. It’s time to write a different story, one that includes travelling with Linda, but also some solo adventures with the princeling. 

It’s al,osteoporosis time for us to cut loose. Stay well my lovelies! 

Hey you

Hey you. Yes, you. I see you there. I know you’re scared, and I don’t want to tell you not to be afraid…

And yet…

Here I am. Telling you it’s OK to be scared, but you still have to go on. Maybe it’s something you’ve wanted for a long time, something positive even, but it’s such a huge change that you’re scared to death. 

It’s OK. Let’s breath through it. We will make it to the other side, and you might even wonder after all is said and done why you were so scared. You might even feel a bit silly, but that’s OK too. I’ve been there.  You’ve been there too, so remember to just breath. And maybe giggle a little. 

It releases tension.

Truly. 

And even if it’s not ok, I’ll sit with you on the darkest night and light a candle for you. Call me and I’ll just breath on the other end letting you know I’m there. Maybe it won’t be ok again today, or tomorrow….

But things will be ok again. And after they’re ok again, you’ll be able to search for the good days. The awesome days. 

You’re not quite ready to believe in them, but they’re out there. So I will hold the dream for the both of us.

Plans go awry

I have the house to myself.  The Princeling is with his father, and my father is off on a road trip. This almost never happens. I don’t think I’ve been alone in the house for this long of an extended period in…. well. Since becoming a mom.

I had plans. 

Grand plans.

Writing and crafting and this ingredients and thating.

Instead, I’ve been binge watching Say Yes to the Dress on Hulu (nope, no plans to ever get married lol). And sleeping. I fell asleep at 7pm last night. I wake up at 4pm, so that’s not as bad as it sounds.

But I haven’t been writing. I’ve been perking and idea, and I’ll have to start it soon. I have an essay or 2 that I want to write, and a market I want to submit Sins of the Mother to. 

Part of it all is just getting back to it. I know I do better, mental health wise, when I’m busier. I’m OK right now, but I’m trying to keep the darkness at bay. I had a Scentsy party and thought to myself I can do that. But I prefer Partylite Candles. The reasons are a whole other post worth, but they are important to me.

Thankfully, I know a Partylite consultant who has a team (hi Christie!). She is the mother of one of the Princeling’s very best friends. So I’m gonna get myself busy with a product I love, meeting new people and also getting over my fear of public speaking. She tried to get me to sign up right after the holidays, but I was in the middle of my rough patch. It would have helped, but I was too far in to see that.

Yes. I am a walking contradiction. The busier I am, the more I write. With the Princeling going with his father more often… I need something to keep myself busy so my brain will wake up. If I can get a product I love, meet new people and get a little travel money to boot?

Yah. We’re going to try this. 

 

Uncle Mark #wemissyou

You were involved in some many firsts, although not *that* one lol. You were the first grown up friend we made, one outside of family, school or church. 

You called us the Katzenjammer Kids.

We called you Uncle Mark.

Which is utterly ridiculous because you were only 5 years older than us.

But you had a house. We were in our early twenties, and that seemed so far away. That’s the only thing I can think of, because you were wholly and unapologetically there for us. 

We met at Danny’s, of all places. In Milpitas, off Calaveras. It was our non bar hangout, and your dinner stop on your commute home from work. I still order the Super Bird, with a side of ranch. Dipping it makes all the difference,

You weren’t one of my college buddies, but we talked about everything. From motorcycles to midevil knights, books and bars. Your interests were so wide ranging, I think you could talk to anyone about everything. 

You found love, and lost love. Always painfully, and sadly, once, tragically. And yet you still believed, still put yourself out there. And found it again, with Lyn. I could tell when I met her that she was going to be good for you. That twinkle was back in your eye. You, Sir Knight, had found a Lady worthy of your wooing and you enjoyed it.

I didn’t make it to your funeral. Damp, winding roads scared me too much. Instead, I did something I know you’ll approve of. I went and spoiled my great nephew, visiting from afar and sicker than a dog. He napped while I dropped the stuff off, but spoiling doesn’t happen because you need approval. It happens because they need to be spoiled. 

Regina and I will miss you terribly, Uncle Markypoo.But we know that when you see you again, you’ll share all the best spots with us and have some amazing stories for us.

Thank you Terrible Minds

Had a great date night with the boy child, and I owe it to Chuck Wendig.
I get notifications in my email on blog posts by the author, Chuck Wendig. I love his blog, it’s funny, real and NSFW. Yesterday, he posted a flash fiction challenge ( which he does most Fridays) and you can find it here

 When we went in to Strings (one of our favorites…. yummy pasta), I brought in a tablet of paper. We sat down, and for the past month or so, the princeling has been playing on his phone while we eat. This is not ok.

The boy child loves many things, and storytelling is one of them. In the flash fiction challenge mentioned above, you have to create your own monster. Not a rehash of a goblin, orc  or nessie. Your own monster. 

Thursday night, the princeling asked me why I never write his story ideas. I don’t have the heart to tell him that mommy’s writing is not built that way. I’m not a Tolkien, Martin or Hobbs that can weave large complex stories with ease. I’m light and fluffy with a sometimes dark turn, and I’m OK with that.

We sat down, and I handed the book to him. “There’s a writing challenge and we’re going to do it together.”

His little eyes lit up. When I told him about the challenge, he looked at me and said in a very soft voice… “Goblins?”  

“No, it can’t be anything ever written about before. Not in movies, in books or video games. Completely new.”

He grinned at me and said “oh, that’s easy”. 

As he drew and told me about his monster… I got chills. No lie. Some of his descriptions were chillingly beautiful. We discussed the monster over pasta, then went into what’s in the closet that scares him. It’s doll and stuffed animal eyes.

I was thinking we would do a light, kid friendly minster under the bed kind of story. Instead, my son took my hand and led me into the shadows. I can do dark and twisty with beauty intermixed. I can’t live there for a novel, but I can visit.

I’ll have our story posted here before Fridays deadline.

And thank you, Chuck Wendig, for a great night out with the boy child.