Tag Archives: adolescence

Young Love: View From the Back Seat

blog

When I was in high school I remember doing whatever I could to get my boyfriend’s mother to like me.  I tried everything.  But despite my always cheerful and ever valiant attempts she always remained, I’ll say, cool towards me.  When I finally reached the brink of my adolescent insecurities I unloaded on my beau with a frustrated, what the hell?

He just shrugged.  “She likes you,” he offered lamely, “but she knows it’s not like we’re gonna get married or anything.”

Um, say what? You can imagine: at seventeen, that stung.  She knew.  Heck, deep down we both probably knew, too.  But she put it out there and there it stayed.  And I’ve never forgotten.

I can’t be certain, but maybe because of my early experience, I’ve grown into a mom lacking enthusiasm for adolescent romance.   For me, it’s always been a great source of curiosity when anyone else did.

Like my sister, for instance.  I’ve forever marveled at her unaffected exuberance of really, truly basking in teenage love.  She’d fawn over her kids’ boyfriends and girlfriends, buy them super nice presents at Christmas, happily accept their friend requests on Facebook and exude genuine excitement over anything about them.  Every high school relationship was treated as The One and it was utterly fascinating to me. Consequently (and alas, one by one), every high school break-up consumed her with incredible sadness — for a really long time.  It all seemed crazy to me.

I guess I never bought into the hype because well, adolescence is (pick one) silly, volatile, melodramatic and (most of all) fickle.  Let’s be real.  Is there a more ridiculous time in any life cycle?  When my daughter was in middle school (before it was the norm for third graders to carry cell phones) a young boy called our house and left a very detailed message on our home answering machine asking her to go on a date to the movies.  I listened to it, rolled my eyes towards the heavens, promptly deleted it and told my daughter about it – many, many years later at the Thanksgiving dinner table.  Why?  Because it made for a great family laugh and — like Carrie Bradshaw being broken up via Post-it note — there are some dating behaviors that are beyond reproach.  Rest assured:  no daughter of mine was ever going to the movies with any kid without a clue.

That was all well and good (and, okay, somewhat controllable) in middle school, but it seems before I could throw in another load of laundry – and despite my inclination to ignore them — I’ve acquired a slew of significant others in my life.   And it’s become harder to remain, I’ll say, cool towards them.

My eldest son, a young adult so not-sharing of information I couldn’t tell you his favorite color, suddenly started showing up with a stunning girlfriend.  Turns out they’ve been together for months.  She is well-spoken and personable and bright and — dayum! —  pre-med.  She possesses such exceptional attributes it  is impossible not to enjoy her.  She’s a darling.  Dang.

My high school senior has been with his girlfriend for quite some time, too.  As much as I tried to remain aloof and indifferent towards them, her ability to get him to do homework and come in before his curfew has broken down my tough demeanor.  She is an absolute delight to be around and I completely adore them together so of course it worries me. Again, 17.  Double dang.

My youngest, teetering on 16, might trouble me the most.  He’s been spending his time with such a sweet and charming young lady I find myself lamenting, this – they — would be perfect …. in about ten years….

Good grief, what is happening here?  Of late I’ve been wondering which is worse:  that these kids’ impeccable choices are turning me soft, or that maybe my sister was onto something.

It’s a tough seat to sit in for sure.  And because moms were once teenagers too, we know with assured wisdom that as much as young love blossoms with ferocity, it will also (more often than not) fade with some sadness.  Being invested in our kids’ relationships carries weighty fallout when a happily ever after doesn’t happen.

My little girl, now an extraordinary and beautiful young woman, is experiencing her first real break-up and – I have to be honest – my whole family is feeling the strain of her sorrow.  (Truth:  her grace and reflection while deep within heartache far surpasses her mother’s 1980s coping method of Diet Coke and cigarettes.  Geeze.  I thank God those DNA strands didn’t swim too strongly.)

We liked him.  We Sally-Field-really-REALLY liked him.  They shared a lengthy time together and we were all a part of it in some small way.  But it just wasn’t meant to be.  So now we’re all sad.

And my heart is hurting having to watch her go through this tough time.

 

I knew I shouldn’t have gotten him that bathrobe for Christmas.

I should’ve known better than to think my sister was smarter than me.

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

 

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Why I’m Saying Fkkk That Sh*t To My Milestone Birthday

BadGrannyS

I don’t believe it’s my looming milestone birthday but for whatever reason, I’ve been in a bit of a rut.

 

It’s not that I’m concerned about being chronologically on par with Cindy Crawford or the remaining members of the Brat Pack (that’s right, Emilio, suck it: still younger than you).   I’ve just been stymied on how to keep this blog going.

 

You see, for years I’ve made a grand ol’ spectacle of using my kids as fodder.  But now that they’re older, it’s getting harder to navigate the fine line between respectful-young-person-privacy and must-tell-all-about-their-colossal-stupidity.   I spend so much time wondering, Wait, can I say that? the dueling voices in my head are in a constant smack down.  It’s certainly not cool to bring up the angst and eyerolls of budding romances, right?  And it’s downright inappropriate to reveal what’s been going on in their bathroom, no?  And, sure, as universally head-shaking as they may be, I imagine it’s not helping their future college/employment/parole endeavors to bring to light any questionable behaviors.  Gaaaaah.     Damn kids, always sucking the fun out of things, amiright?

 

So it’s gotten me a little stuck.

 

I love to write and I want to keep writing so in an effort to get the creative juices flowing again I’ve decided to bite the proverbial bullet (annnnnnnnd fine, perhaps reveal my true narcissism) and shine the spotlight on myself for a change of pace (cue in sighs of relief from spouse and spawn).

 

As I mentioned, yes, it’s a pretty big year coming up.   While I don’t feel any different than I did ten (sometimes even twenty) years ago (hellllllllllo happy hours!), I have changed some of my thinking for how this next phase of my life will go.  I’m finding I’m shrugging and saying Fkkk that sh*t to a few things I used to care about but no longer do.

 

In my mind, I was going to reach my milestone looking better than ever.  Not unrealistically — as in, allow me to reveal the height of bridal fashion circa 1991 as I spin around in my wedding gown — but rather maybe showing up for any birthday fete in a cute little dress.  I even gave up drinking alcohol for a month to kick start my transformation but if I’m being honest, that lifestyle change wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.  I sipped seltzer for thirty days and didn’t lose a single pound.  Enough said.  I may still wear a cute birthday dress when it’s time but if it’s not as tiny as say, JLo’s, so be it.  I refuse to stress about it.  To my healthier new me I say:  Fkkk that sh*t.

 

I’d also wanted to hit my Big One with long luscious hair that rivaled my glory days so I simply stopped cutting it for almost a year.  I thought, if Sandra Bullock can hold onto her tresses on the 50+ train, why not me?  Turns out, without a personal stylist and hundreds of dollars in products, it’s nearly impossible.  Still, I martyred on for months – curling and straightening my split ends into a damn near fire hazard.   When I couldn’t stand the sight of myself another minute, the hair was chopped into a medium, yet manageable mane that is – naturally — oh so age appropriate.  To my long locks of long ago I also say, Fkkk that sh*t.

 

Then there’s my car.  Good grief, I’ve spent the better portion of my adult life eschewing minivans and everything they stand for and I’ve kicked and screamed against ever driving one.   Now with learners’ permits gaining and passengers dwindling faster than I care to admit, it’s dawned on me how much I love filling up my car with lots of bodies and enjoying the conversations that go along with that.  On the eve of my milestone, I realize I don’t give a rat’s ass about the car I drive.  So I got a minivan – and a really, really basic one to boot.  Actually, it’s pretty ugly.  But it fits all the large, smelly bodies that I’ve got precious fleeting time with.  And the way lower car payment makes me happier than trendy.  So, to the unsexiest set of wheels I’ve ever known, I say, too:  Fkkk that sh*t.

What better way to hit a milestone than to do so screaming irony, eh?

 

I’m sure as I inch closer to The Date I’ll come up with more things deserving of my Fkkk that sh*t mantra.

 

But I’ll have to save them up so I’ve got some things to write about.

 

Unless of course one of my kids becomes needy for attention and I’m given permission to tell you all about his time in the principal’s office … or the girlfriend’s house … or a squad car.

 

Just kidding.

 

For now.

 

What say we get this Milestone Blog Year going?  Tune in, comment, share, repost and join me in saying Fkkk that sh*t to all the silly things that really don’t matter at all.

 

Hashtag, Bring on 50.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

Kids & Cell Phone Obsession: 5 Ways You’re Making it Worse

cell phone

I am no different than most moms. I make a boatload of mistakes in my parenting but sometimes – way down the line when my missteps don’t seem so embarrassing – I make sure I let other moms know them (strength in numbers, gals). So I won’t mince words when I admit that when it comes to kids and cellphones, I was kind of an idiot. Past tense, for really, I feel a fool no more.

I have four kids. The older two are college age (cue in a plethora of OTHER worries, thankyouverymuch) but my younger two are teens. And boys. I know, groan, right? Teenage boys are dumb enough to begin with, let alone with access to handheld porn, but this constant connectedness before the onset of acne brings a whole new freak show to parenting. Sure there were cell phone fights with my first two but these smartphone smack-downs are ridiculously worse. These monsters we have created kids are obsessive – and it is getting completely out of hand.

It’s a huge, festering problem and most parents know it … yet can’t seem to get a handle on it. So listen, exasperated parents, and calmly repeat after me: Take back the phone, take back the kid.

A quick story: Last summer my ninth grader did a pretty stupid (alas, typical) teenage thing at the beginning of the summer. We were furious and immediately shot that parental arrow smack dab into his Achilles Heel: we took away his phone until the first day of school. That’s right. The entire summer.

Now, we fully expected a miserable 10 weeks of epic hormonal proportion and duly braced ourselves. But a funny thing happened during that time. Our kid returned.   I don’t even think we were entirely aware he’d been missing so long but for certain his pleasant personality and funny disposition had been hibernating for some time. It turned into an enjoyable summer, full of conversation (remember conversation?) and eye contact (remember eye contact?) and it was nice. Really, really nice. I had an epiphany at that time and have since changed the way I parent my teens with their cell phones. So by all means, do learn from my mistakes and take heed:

Steadfast Rule # 1: Limit the phone. Every. Single. Day.

A few years ago, parents everywhere welcomed the teen cell phone. No apologies – of course we did!  We could reach our beloveds at our will, know exactly when to pick them up, and ease their mortification of being the last kid standing at the movie theater. (Pretty amazing any generation ever survived that, right?) The truth is, somewhere between those dinosaur days and the present, parents have somehow forgotten that cell phones aren’t life-saving devices all the time – especially when our kids are nestled safely in our homes.   It may be an adolescent way of life nowadays but cell phones are certainly NOT a necessity. What started as a means of communication to ease guilt-ridden parents has morphed into this absurd entitlement of round-the-clock entertainment. We created this beast. We need to reel it back in. Start taking phones when teens walk in the door. Bonus: You’re bound to hear more about their day if you do.

Rule # 2: Keep the Phone Nearby

Don’t have the kahunas to follow through with Rule # 1? Then take a smaller step: Don’t allow teen phones off your main floor. Especially if bedrooms are located upstairs, make sure phones are used, charged, and visible where most people congregate at all times (this holds true with computers, too). Bonus: This reduces the inevitable Mole Syndrome, where your teenager stays behind a closed door for hours, only exiting to eat.

 

Rule # 3: Take the phones with you when you go to bed at night.

Not-so-shocking news flash here: Kids who sleep with cell phones in their rooms aren’t really sleeping much at all. They’re sending and receiving text messages (and other nonsense) with all the other kids who also retired for the night with their phones. Mine tried to tell me he needed it for the alarm. Bull dinkies. I showed him how to set an actual alarm clock (oooh, mom’s a magician). Good grief, parents:  kids behind closed doors socializing all night long?  Such a ludicrous and completely unnecessary concept if you really think about it.  Just say no. Bonus: Believing they’ve missed twelve hours of breaking social news, they’ll surely get up faster in the morning, too.

Rule # 4:   Use a smartphone like a dangled carrot every chance you get.

Sad but true: most kids get their first cell phone before their first job, which basically means their parents are stuck working longer and harder to pay for it. I make sure my kids know that since they may be too young to be legally employed, their only “job” is to do well in school, pitch in around the house, and be an upstanding citizen. Come on now, isn’t that the very least they should be doing for the privilege of using such expensive equipment?  But they’re kids – and there’s always going to be a thing or two they need to work on. To save my own life, I could not get either of my boys to bring wet towels out of their room. I’d  scream and squawk about it every day of every week. Now every morning before they leave for school, in order to get their phones (which naturally are with me) I’m shown the towels they’re hanging up. Viola! An exchange of goods is made and bam, my mornings are a lot less cranky. By all means, use the force — of the phone bill you pay – to get back control: stop chasing down missing school  assignments, incomplete homeworks or baskets of laundry that need to be put away.   You pay for it. The privilege of using it should be earned. Period. Bonus:  Easy.  Life lesson of what’s expected in the real world.

Rule # 5: Know the password to get into the phone.

This might seem like a no-brainer but remember, I’m a former idiot about this.   The cold hard truth is (and don’t kill the messenger here) eighth grade girls are sending pictures of their boobies to boys and boys younger than eighth grade are looking at all sorts of things worse than boobies on their phones. Honestly, (and I know I’ll get some slack for this) I don’t make it a habit of checking my kids’ texts or photos or anything really. I do allow for some degree of adolescent privacy because I am acutely aware: If my own mother ever knew some of the things I wrote (ON PAPER) to friends (AND BOYFRIENDS) there’s a good chance my internal organs would’ve melted from heated shame. But.  And here’s the big but:  I can  check my kids’ phones at any given time. They know this, and they also know that when I put my hand out to do a random check, that phone is mine, with no questions asked.   I’m not saying they’re not doing stupid thing with their smartphones (again, boys: it’s pretty much a given they are). I’m just saying that if the constant possibility of Mommy seeing it makes them think twice about doing it in the first place, I’ll take it.  Bonus:  Always smart to keep ’em on their toes.  Always.

Listen, nothing is guaranteed here.

But kids – teens especially, crave boundaries.

We’ve got to give them some.

This is an easy fix, parents.

Take back the phone, take back the kid.

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. –

Eyerollingmom’s Christmas Letter: Nothing But Ho Ho Honesty

grinch

 

I don’t send out Christmas cards anymore and if I’m being completely honest, I kinda sorta question why some people still do.

I’m not a Grinch.  Hell no.  I still partake in holiday cheer (ahhh, too much, some may say) but I guess I just feel that a lot of old traditions are rather redundant in today’s all-knowing-all-the-time existence.

I never planned to stop.  It just sort of happened the year my mom passed away.  Three months after she was gone I struggled to put up a Christmas tree, let alone send out a photo of my kids who weren’t looking much different than all the pictures I’d been throwing up on Facebook throughout the year.  And of course anything good or eventful that went down in my life had already made it into a post, or text or blog.  Really now, is anyone in need of a recap?

But I’ve always thought that if I did send out a Christmas letter it really wouldn’t be like everyone else’s.  Here’s what I mean:

If I sent out a Christmas letter I’d say for sure, my year was just likes yours:  full of happiness and thanks and blessings and joys and laughter and (hello, four perfect kids?) plenty of proud and boastful accomplishments.  But then I’d feel compelled to add it was also a year filled with a whole bunch o’ family crap,  a shitload of sadness, some bitter disappointments and (hello, four slightly imperfect kids?) too much embarrassment to mention.

I’d start by bragging about my oldest, my newly minted 21-year-old.  He is my unchallenged sweetheart — mainly because he is hands down the most respectful of the tribe.  To this day, he’d do anything I ask without so much as a sigh.  I’d say how my heart swells with pride that he is a USAF Reservist and I am duly delighted that he’s going to school to become an EMT and paramedic.  But then I’d have to admit that his lack of motivation to work at anything — ANY thing — full time makes my blood pressure surge.  And worse, that when I see him playing video games for hours at a time I want to scream like a crazy person on a NYC street corner.  Don’t even get me started on the beer cans in his room.

I’d then go on to gush about my daughter, who’s rocking her sophomore year at college and blossoming into a beautiful and engaging young woman right before my eyes.  She’s really something else.  I’m genuinely in awe of her compassion for the environment and her conviction to make it a better place.  Though I’ll miss her like mad, I know one day soon her dreams and plans will take her away to some exotic place far, far away from me.  Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit her staunch insistence that humanity is failing … troubles me greatly.  Quite honestly, her woe is the world philosophy is a complete and total buzz kill at the dinner table and (sigh) an argument typically ensues when she really gets going.  Truth be told, if I must nitpick, the toxic fumes festering in her room from the mess seem to be a blatant contradiction of the green earth she’s desperately seeking to save. (Apple cores:  best placed in a compost heap rather than under that bra on the rug, no?)

I’d continue and blather on and on about my middle son, a high school sophomore, who is incredibly handsome and intelligent and easy going and popular and athletic and …  and … so incredibly lazy I feel I should start researching boarding schools.  Or wigs — since I’m dropping fistfuls of my own hair as I chase him around screaming about missing homeworks and vanishing assignments.  I am convinced the sound of my voice is like a dog whistle to his immune ears and I fear he may fall out of bed one night and suffocate in the pile of wet towels next to his bed.

I’d then be forced to boast about his sidekick — my youngest — the king of the eighth grade and future president of the United States of America.  Here is a fellow so incredibly beloved and kind and charming and funny … that his teachers and friends’ parents would be aghast at the shrill volume of his disrespectful back-talk to me.   If he was heard by the masses on a particularly bad day he’d find himself one lonely little boy indeed — because parents wouldn’t let this Talented Mr. Ripley within earshot of their own children.  If they only knew…

I’d tell about our loss this year of our infamous Grandpa Eggo, my stepdad, and only remaining grandparent on my side of the family tree.   Just shy of his 92 birthday, he was one hell of a hot ticket – and  — a bonus — had Carl Fredericksen from the movie UP as his celebrity doppelganger.  Looked JUST like him and THAT was hilarious.  We got a lot of laughs out of his couple of years without my mom as a buffer but man, I’d have to admit that the old guy drove us batshit crazy much of the time.  What’s worse:  his death leaves a distinct hole in the lives of my siblings, for we are now forced to reconcile our simmering differences without a neutral zone of connection.  Being a grown-up becomes acutely harder when you’re left to deal with the messy family stuff without parental referees.

I’d close my Christmas letter with the unthinkable confession that some of my happiest moments are the rare occasions when I pull into my driveway after work and the house is completely – silently – empty.  For a short time until the chaos begins again, I am blissful.

But then, then … as my final admission,  I’d confess there are unexpected moments that catch me off guard … when the house is quiet and — to the contrary — I am consumed by a wordless panic.  My thoughts drift to a time soon to come when I’ll finally be without the video games and the wet towels and the beer cans and the fighting and the back-talk.

And my dread is paralyzing.

Funny how life knows when to give you a swift kick in the ass when you need it.

In those minutes of solitude and fear I somehow understand my personal charade.  Perhaps I bitch and squawk so much … only to mask how crazy I may become without them?

And that’s the truth.

So anywho, even though I don’t send out Christmas letters … or Christmas photos (please.  No-shave November is killing any chance of that; who wants multiple Wolverines in their family photo?) I do always reflect on my passing year, only in a warts-and-all kind of way.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if more people did the same?

 

Merry Christmas, dear friends and readers!

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. –

 

 

“… ‘cuz when you’re fifteen …”

mean girls

My little girl turns 15 today and I am (weirdly? surprisingly? vaklempt-ly?) emotional about it.  I didn’t get this way with my firstborn (a son) and I imagine I won’t get this way with the younger boys either (because naturally I have confidence they will both reach every year of adolescence with a Nerf sword in hand).  And my feelings have little to do with my daughter’s incessant request for a belly button ring.  (An aside:  I really don’t have an issue with this – call it admirable jealousy:  I clearly didn’t have her cute figure when I was a freshman.  Nope, she’s battling her dear ol’ dad on this one.)  Yet I’m strangely flooded with pensive memories of the significance of this milestone.

Fifteen was a good year for me.  My two closest girlfriends at that age are still in my life today and hugely important to me.  I make my daughter aware of this often.  Fifteen was also the year my tender heart was broken for the very first time (oy vey, Adam Boyar), cementing my lifelong attraction to funny, Jewish guys (which clearly explains my utter enjoyment in Ben Stiller and Jon Stewart but curiously casts a light on my eventual choice in soul mate – a Greek/Puerto Rican/Catholic charmer…). Hmmm….

Still, everybody knows: fifteen today is waaaaay different than fifteen of then.

I feel for her.

I fear for her.

And I forever wish that her good sense remains unclouded when the rains fall and heartache beckons.

For her birthday, along with the designer sneakers and other items (that WILL be returned, I am sure of it) I got her something special.   I commissioned a handmade pen and ink calligraphy of her favorite song, “Fifteen” by Taylor Swift.   It is a song I am unable to listen to in its entirety without tearing up (“…..and Abigail gave everything she had to a boy…who changed his mind…”).   It was meticulously crafted onto pale pink parchment paper and was framed to match her bedroom.  It is beautiful.

And taped to the back of it is a card from the artist – my best friend at fifteen – who devilishly inserted a photo of the two of us, arms entwined, from 1981.

Proof that true friendships last.

Proof that strong beautiful teenaged girls survive fifteen.

Proof that even though tempers flare and hatred is hurled, our moms are always, always, always going to love us.  And cry at songs that remind us of being a girl.

Happy Birthday, my sassy, sharp, and stunning Carson.  You are the light in my life (and one day you’re going to laugh when you find out your dad has nicknamed you “The Fury” during this oh-so-fun time in your life).

2014 Update:  Fours years later, my lady, my love, is a college sophomore today.  She survived fifteen with grace and wisdom that carried her through sixteen, then seventeen, and eighteen and finally nineteen years old.  She surprised me with an impromptu visit from college tonight — her first time home since August.   I am happy beyond words and — apparently — feeling a little nostalgic. xoxo

cklove

Forever & Always: an 80s Kinda Gal

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I have to admit (though if my kids were to miraculously start reading my blog I’d feign dementia) that as hip as I am (that’s right) I am, at times, well, a little lame. In fact, I’m actually all sorts of lame for a variety of reasons.

 

For starters, I totally fake my way through the French words in “Lady Marmalade.”  I know….seriously.   (Hypocrite lame?)

 

I am vain to a fault, having worn lipstick through four childbirths (a subtle mauve) and also popped every blood vessel in my eyes because I made sure my contacts were in, too. (Insecure lame?)

 

I have never seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”   (Uncool lame?)

 

I think tattoos are a really bad idea on most body parts (unless you’re planning on being perpetually nineteen and skinny … then I stand corrected).   (Judgemental — or jealous — lame?)

 

I can’t text without using proper punctuation (naturally it takes me five times longer because finding the apostrophes is always troublesome).  (Grammar Nazi lame?)

 

I loathe baking.  The only reason I even own a rolling pin is because one holiday season a neighbor creatively attached one to an invitation to a cookie swap and stuck it in my mailbox (of course prompting my immediate response What the hell is a cookie swap?)  (Lazy lame?)

 

But perhaps my lamest admission is that I really (really) heart the 80s. (Aqua Net lame?)  I spent my adolescence, my college years and my Melanie-Griffith-Working-Girl stage in that decade so who can blame me?  John Hughes movies, white zinfandel pinkish-pretend wine,  grocery shopping in track suits … (oh wait, maybe that last thing was just Long Island …).  It was just a funny time – so big and brash and booming.   The best.

 

Lately my friend Theresa and I have been debating the Worst. Song. Ever.  Whenever we think of one we text it to each other (properly punctuated on my end).  So, while I’m sitting at the Macaroni Grill and my phone beeps, I’ll look down and all I’ll see is “Raspberry Beret.”

 

I crack up.

 

And when she’s waiting at a practice field, her phone lights up and displays “99 Luftballoons.”

 

It’s been going on for a couple of months now and I’ve just realized that all of the songs we’ve been using are 80s tunes.

 

“Eye of the Tiger”

 

“China Girl”

 

“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (my God, I think I just threw up a little in mouth just typing that one)

 

“(I’m Only) Human” (man, I hate that one)

 

“Shy, Shy” (funny:  just texting the name Kajagoogoo alone is worth sending…)

 

Still good stuff.

 

Just some really (really) lame music.

 

And it was all played a couple of weeks ago at my high school reunion (I can’t even begin to go there yet because I’m still processing the visuals from it).

 

Maybe soon though.

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. –

 

About A(nother) Boy

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What?   You want to know about my kid — your student?  Pffft.   You don’t have to ask twice.

I’ve been waiting for this homework assignment.  And — since I already bared all about the other kid in a previous post — parenting rule #16 dictates I must now provide equal billing here.

When asked to “Tell About My Scholar” in a million words or less, here’s what I said to enlighten my son’s seventh grade math teacher:

 

Now that we’re a couple of weeks into the school year, it is likely Trevor has already charmed you.  I am here to explain why.

Sure, there are the usual reasons:  Affable?  Compassionate?  Kind?  Check, check, check.  But his natural tendency to be an all-around nice kid comes from a darker place.  He’s actually making up for lost time.  The truth is, he spent the first two years of his life crying miserably and awoke from every slumber angry and screaming and ready to rumble.  No one ever knew why.   It was almost as if he knew from the start he’d have an uphill battle for attention as the youngest of four children and wanted to make sure we all knew he was around.  He’s been working that playbook ever since.

Even today when he fights with his siblings, he is the loudest. It’s actually kind of amusing.  For certain you will witness none of this ridiculous behavior in your classroom, because he is the middle school Clark Kent of secret personas.

So yes, he’s a super awesome kid but he carries around this deep dark secret.  It’s true; we have proof (ask him to tell you about  “the picture” that one of his teachers kept on her desk for a while last year).  I just felt you should know.   If you ever have a student in need of a friend, Trevor’s your man.  If there’s a task you need help with, he’ll be the first to offer.  And unlike his brothers that came before him, he actually tells us about his school day.  We’ll hear all the good, the bad, and the ugly algebraic equations that are kicking his tail (again, this constant chatter at home is  simply a constant reminder that he is, well, around.  Nothing more).

According to his stats, he is presently the only breathing middle schooler without a smartphone.   If he doesn’t do well in your class , he knows this sad, sad statistic will not change for him.  I imagine because of this he’ll work extremely hard in your class.   (Fun fact:   he did get a perfect score on his third grade Math MCAS … this keeps him on the Scholastic Leaderboard of Competition we keep on our kids but  hello, third grade? — this star is losing its luster and he knows it).

I hope you enjoy Trevor as much as we do (you know, on his good days).  He’s got a great sense of humor and a winning disposition.  He’s one of our favorites but we’ll never, ever tell.

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook.