Tag Archives: Mother

One Year

sunflower

My mom died a year ago today.

 

I’ve written – briefly — about some of that journey but have mostly focused on all the beautiful friends   that buoyed me afloat during that time.  But to write about the experience as it affected my core?  No.  To quote a colleague who went through a similar ordeal just a few years before me, “Nope, can’t even go there yet.  Cannot go there.”  I understood it completely and still do.  There are no words yet.

 

A lot can happen in a year’s time.  Hell, a lot can happen in half a year’s time, as witnessed by the soul splintering timeline of my mom’s final six months.

 

To honor this subdued – yet utterly important and significant – anniversary I can reveal what I’ve learned about calendar years.

 

In one whole year you can witness your 17-year-old son become 18 by making a conscious and physical decision to leave behind the poor choices that saddened his mother so.  You can watch him become a responsible man right before your very eyes and question why you ever doubted him.

 

In a year’s time you can watch your 16-year-old daughter become 17 by navigating relationships (relationships that seem to desperately define adolescence) with the grace and maturity of a woman far beyond her years.  You can think that she couldn’t possibly become any more beautiful with each passing month.  But you would be wrong.

 

In 365 days you would believe it is a devilish trick of the eye that has caused your 12-year-old’s shoe size to surpass that of his father as he reaches 13 years old.  To share this fact with him, you could look up to tell him, for he now leans down to kiss you.  This will make you amused.  And melancholy.

 

In a calendar year you can observe your baby – for he will always be your baby – blossom from 10-years-old into an even more likable, adored, and sought-after pain in the butt 11-year-old (have I mentioned he’s the youngest?).  You will realize that his personality is emblazoned from seeing – and hearing – more than his siblings did at this age.  For this, you will continue to shield him from their merciless taunts, so that forever they will think you are favoring him.

 

Throughout the 52 weeks you can ascertain that life most definitely is NOT fair, nor is it supposed to be.  My sister and I now shoulder the responsibility of caring for our 90-year-old step-father.  That he has survived four strokes, emphysema, open heart surgery, a pig valve AND was 20 years senior to my mom will only bolster this concept.

 

In twelve months you can gain immeasurable wisdom about what is important in life.  You can evaluate friendships with a keen eye:  assess which ones are fulfilling, which are frivolous, and which are insufficient.

 

You can – and will – enjoy simpler things, and quiet moments,

 

You can – and will – laugh (please see above mentioned reference to 90-year-old man).

 

I used to pray.  Now I just speak directly to my mom and I know she hears me.  I am convinced that last month, before my little leaguer hit his very first home run of his life, it was my incessant and silent pleas to her that helped this ball over the fence.  “Come-on-mom, come-on-mom, help-him-out-mom, come-on-mom, help-him-do-this mom …”

 

She did.  And I think she’s done a lot for us this year.  Jobs, health, happiness, you name it.  I’ve named it:  mom.

 

I miss her.

I miss just talking to her.

And she missed some pretty great things this year.

 

Of course she really didn’t miss them.  We just missed her joyful reaction to them.

 

 

So as we’ve gotten through our calendar year of firsts — her birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, her anniversary, and – the worst — her 10 grandchildren’s birthdays, when their customary $25 arrived with only one signature on the card – we’ve always toasted her.

 

And we will today, too.

 

Because no one is laughing more than her right now at the three-ring circus she’s left behind (please see above reference to 90-year-old man).  Without a doubt in my mind, she is laughing her ass off right now.

 

Love you, Mom.

 

Look Away Kids, Grandma’s Naked on the Internet. On Purpose.

hipster

 

I own four children between the ages of 13 and 20.  Two college age and two teenagers (good times at that supermarket checkout, eh?) so I consider myself a bit well, seasoned.  While little sends me into a complete tailspin, I have to admit, keeping up the façade of a hipster mom is tough work.  There are some things I just do not get.

 

Crazy, controversial pop stars?  I totally get them.  Hard as she tries, little Miley and her rebel tongue can’t hold a candle to my generation’s Sinead O’Connor and her moment of blasphemy … or our Michael Jackson and his evolution of weird … even the evil Madonna and her hairy armpits (and hey! those unruly pits are back – and she’s like,  60!  You go gurl!). So I get the nutty need for spotlight and notoriety.  Twerk away, you silly, silly children.

 

But what I don’t get is Chris Brown.  Specifically that he takes a stage and is greeted by tens of thousands of adoring fans and is publicly embraced by his famous colleagues. For real?  I don’t get that. At all.  Never will.

 

I get the craze of do-it-yourself projects (says the – cough – reality TV has-been) … but I don’t get Pinterest.  I see it as a junk drawer of activities and recipes that will never see the light of day, kinda like a failure cupcake frosted with optimism.

 

I get helicopter parents (because I personally know a boatload of teenagers that couldn’t place a coffee order correctly let alone apply to college without help) … but I don’t get “affluenza” as a legitimate means of defense for murder.  Popular theory says entitlement is a pretty big problem with generation x, y and zzzz-ers but – good God –if parents are raising children without any modicum of remorse or accountability, perhaps then the parents should do some time.

 

I get that the internet has become this gigantic billboard for personal achievement and in-your-face braggadocio and (shrug) I think that’s fine.  I’ve been known to post some good fortune — or better, the elusive I-don’t-look-fatin-this photo once or twice (cue in collective eyeroll from spouse).  Over the top bragging isn’t a crime  (and some days it’s downright hilarious, thanks to all the folks who haven’t yet realized their kids aren’t as cute as they imagine) so I’m a fan.

 

But.

 

And this is a might big but.

 

I do not – and can not – and will not – ever understand the act of average people using the internet to post unbelievably awful and (wait for it …) NAKED pictures of themselves.

 

Funny story about how I might know this:

 

Being of a certain age, I’ll be the first to admit social media is a herculean task.  The tweets, the shares, the posts, the blog, the tumbles, the hashtags, the pictures, the OhMyFreakingGod, staying visible and relevant on the damn inter-web is a full-time freaking job.  For a generation that wasn’t born sucking on an I-Pad, mastering all this crap is really the pits.

 

Still, I trudge on, every month or so tackling another little tidbit of cyber success.  I get myself on Twitter or set up a Tumblr account, whatever I can learn on my own (because hello, there’s only so much once can ask her kids before losing massive amounts of street cred).  So yay me.

 

But the problem is, I’ll do all this techno trailblazing and then sorta forget about it all for awhile.  So I basically have no idea what’s going on with any of this stuff.  My hipster-O-meter drops into the danger zone during these times.

 

But every now and then I’ll become inspired and will check on all my accounts.  At first I’d simply chuckle at my X-rated Twitter followers.  Why HotCumDelight would want to follow Eyerollingmom is a mystery to me, but hey, a follower’s a follower.  Why should I care?  Woo Hoo, my 49 fans just jumped to 50!  Yay me AGAIN!

 

One day (out of boredom?  curiosity?  a bathroom break?  can’t remember) I actually clicked on a follower from one of my accounts and was shocked to the point of revulsion.  Porn site, you ask?   Nope.   Worse.

 

It was a place where average women posted naked selfies of themselves.  I’m talking naked and knowing – as in smiling at the camera – in all states of lewd poses.  Women of all ages (shudder, Golden Girls included) happily allowing another person to take their nasty naked picture.  Then posting it onto the world wide web.

 

It was sickening.  I kept expecting to look over my shoulder and spy Rod Serling.

 

It scarred me so deeply I had to stay off my laptop for almost 30 minutes.

 

If seeing granny’s gems or Aunt Sylvia’s stretch marks is going to keep me hip, sorry folks, it’s back to Nerdville I go.

Ick, ick, ick.

 

 

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. –

When it Comes to this Mothering Thing, Who’s Better at it: You or Your Mom?

okay mom

I never talked back to my parents.  Yet my own kids talk back to me. A lot.

 

My children also raise their voices to me when they’re angry. Think back: would you ever?

 

Worse still, I often have to tell my spawn to do something multiple times — multiple times —because my continuous requests are repeatedly ignored.  Can you even imagine?

 

As another Mother’s Day approaches I can’t help but reflect on how remarkably different I parent than my mother did.  When I dig deep I have to admit:  there are times I feel completely overrun by the people in my home that are less than half my age.  I don’t think my own mother ever felt that way one day of her life.  In fact, she wouldn’t put up with one minute of what I tolerate from my children.

 

Does that make me a worse mom than her?

 

In all fairness I should throw it out there that my kids are not rotten.  Not in the least.  And never have been.  They were never the tantrum-throwing toddlers in the restaurant, or the give-a-pinch-when-a-grown-up’s-not-looking schoolyard brat or the current topic of conversation in the teachers’ lunchroom (didn’t know about that? oops, spillin’ secrets here).  They happen to be the epitome of respectful individuals when out in the real world and are quite well liked.  Actually, if I’m being completely honest I’d have to say they are, in fact, fairly boast-worthy children.

 

So why do they shit on me?

 

Usually after a particularly bad display of disrespect from one (or two, or three, or all four) of our kids, my husband and I will have conversations about this, scratching our heads (okay, maybe while downing beers).  We question how in the world we got to be parents of children who easily display behavior that would’ve resulted in a swift backhand from any – and all – of our own parents.

 

We think back and remember the fear in our homes and the physical repercussions of any type of conduct unbecoming.  It certainly wasn’t unusual back then.  Actually, it was very, very typical.  We all did what we were told – the first time – because it far surpassed the alternative of NOT doing so.

 

But there is no fear in my own home today.  There is no apprehension for questioning or stating opinion or disagreeing.  It gets loud, sure, and at times inappropriate, but no one’s ever hesitant about speaking up.

 

There are other blatant differences in my home now that speak volumes to how very different my parenting style is from my mom’s.

 

For instance, my kids talk to me way more than I ever talked to my mother at their ages – about cringe-worthy topics that would zap the frost straight out of my mom’s bouffant.  Eighth grade girls doing decidedly un-eighth grade things in the way back of a bus on a school trip?  Sixth grade classmates experimenting with drugs?  You name it.  Details are anted up without pause, over nightly bowls of pasta or during car rides to practice.  Like, nothing.  No big deal.

 

Also, my kids tell me they love me – all the time and for no particular reason.  My first distinct memory of saying “I love you”— out loud — to my mom was from a payphone in the middle of a dormitory hallway during my freshman year in college.  As I am forced to go through my third Mother’s Day without her, my heart still gets heavy when I think of this and my regret pains me.  It was way, way too late in life to have started that.

 

No doubt about it, my kids are being raised in a different world entirely.  My mother didn’t socialize with my friends’ parents. I would venture she didn’t know most of their names at all.  She didn’t come to many school events and never checked to see if I was doing homework.

 

If I had to make a list, I’m pretty sure I’m involved in a gazillion more things with my four than my mom ever was for me.

 

Yet the loves of my loins – all of them – have moments of intolerable selfishness, insufferable self-absorption, whininess, rudeness and petulance.  And – why hold back now — they occasionally swear.

 

So I do wonder:  Who’s done a better job at this mothering thing, me or mine?

 

What do you think?

 

With all her failings, my mother’s love for me was ferocious and I knew that every day of my life.  She raised kind, smart and capable children.

 

With my own failings, my love for my children is ferocious and they, too, know it every day of their lives..  I am raising kind, smart and capable children.

 

I’d say we both win this one.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of us – the successful ones, the failing ones and the holding-on-for-dear-life ones.   We got this.

 

 

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” She takes on the cyberspace @Eyerollingmom  and Eyerollingmom.

Eyerollingmom’s Top Ten Truths of Motherhood

mothersday

 

Eyerollingmom’s Top Ten Truths of Motherhood

10)        Every child – not just yours – picks his nose and smears the contents on the wall near their bed.  A brilliant Mom will allow them to harden, then hand over a scraper, then say, “Get to work.”

 

9)         No matter how stinking cute your toddler looks in his feetie pajamas … you will want to be rid of him approximately twelve years later. Keep photos of this stage handy.  You will need reminders when he travels to the un-cute side of adolescence.

 

8)         The first few times you sit in the passenger seat of a newly-permitted teen driver, you will believe you might eat a roadside mailbox.

 

7)         When a child wets the bed … flipping him over to the opposite side of the mattress is intelligence, not laziness.

 

6)         Adolescent girls like no one.  Not their mothers.  Not their friends.  Not themselves.  Zip yourself snug into that thick skin and hold on tight.  For this tsunami of time I say, “Got girls?  Get wine.”

 

5)         No one – at any time – ever – cares to hear your labor and delivery stories.  Why?  Because everyone else’s are way funnier, far more dramatic and significantly gorier.  Really.  Just ask them.

 

4)         If your child ever has the utter misfortune of eating poop … and his siblings have the serendipitous good fortune of witnessing it … there will never again be a more riot-inducing laugh fest at your dinner table.  Forever.

 

3)         Don’t act all smart and self-righteous for banning your ‘tween son from Facebook … or limiting his computer time … or taking away his Xbox … when you’ve already (naively) provided him with a smartphone.  For middle schoolers, these are merely handheld portals to porn.  Shazam.

 

2)         If you’ve skipped pages of bedtime stories … or driven past the library only to hear a small voice in the backseat say in wonder, “Hey, I think I remember that place …” … or signed homework pages you’ve not actually looked at … then rest assured, you are far from alone.

1)         Every once in a while your kid is going to do something incredibly stupid.  Or sorrowfully bad.  Or dishearteningly immoral.  Or fretfully embarrassing.  Or uncharacteristically out of character.  Without question, it will be the darkest days you’ve ever encountered as a Mom.  You will be overcome with sadness and will wistfully recall the good times, the fun moments, and the sweetness of happier days.  Keep the faith.  SOmetimes kids are just dumb for a little while.  One day when you least expect it, when you stop paying attention, and stop longing and praying, the clouds will suddenly lift.  And your awesome and funny and beautiful and charming and loving child will be back.

 

And you will feel the Mom joy once again.

 

Happens every time.

Happy Mother’s Day to All of us!

 

 

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. 

 

Missed the start of A Momoir?  Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here:   https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

 Chapter 5, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

 

The Good, The Bad & the “Girls”

Girls_HBO_Poster

 

In my perpetual quest to remain hip I try to keep my eyes and ears open.  I sniff out emerging trends (Red jeans?  Of course!  Tucked into black boots? Hell no – Santa Alert) and admittedly, jump on a lot of late bandwagons (thank you, HBO OnDemand, for the perfection that is True Detective).

That said, after hearing my 17-year-old daughter gush over the HBO series “Girls,” a show about modern-day 20-something female friends trying to make their way in the world after college, I decided to give it a whirl.

I really didn’t care for it but she nudged me on.

I tried a few more episodes yet still got a weird, uneasy feeling in my stomach.  I told her I just wasn’t that into it.

“Maybe you’re just too old” she shrugged.

What?  Pffffft.  I think not.

Bolstered by a slew of Golden Globe nominations, I gave it yet another shot.  Still nothing.  Nary a chuckle.

I got through all 10 episodes of the entire first season and numbly thought of all the miles I could’ve clocked on my treadmill had I just gotten off the couch once in those five hours…

But I believe I’ve figured out why an undeniably hip show is eluding my undeniably hip sense of humor.

The female characters are crude.  Not in the Sex-and-the-City-Samantha-Jones cheeky kind of way but in a crass, Good-God-I-hope-my-daughter-doesn’t-do-that kind of way.

I get it.  It’s a comedy.  And I love comedy.  But the whole desensitization of really (really) private things seriously gives me the heebie jeebies.

Also, I’m not entirely convinced college educated young women are so  … I don’t know … self-loathing.  Their flippant banter about oral sex and office harassment left me wondering if young women really do talk like this. (I’m kinda hoping to hear from a few after this …   and I’m really hoping to be told I’m out to lunch.  If you’re young and hip and reading this – please check in!)

I remember feeling the exact same way when my oldest son (now a semi-grown man at 19) used to watch those man-cave scratching movies like “Knocked Up” and “Pineapple Express.”  Those movies made masturbation and getting stoned look like the epitome of hilarity.  And (worse) normalcy.  Poor, poor Seth Rogen’s mother …..

It finally dawned on me why these types of movies grate on my nerves and polarize me:  seeing these “characters” puts a face on my very vision of parental failing.  These larger than life portrayals of such flawed and unfazed youth are the stuff of my nightmares:  kids with no direction, no money, no motivation, and the worst:  no apartment of their own – Jesus Christ, they’re the scarlet letter symbolizing my utter failure as a mom.

No, no, NO!

I don’t want my kid spending his meager paycheck on weed.

And I’d rather die a thousand deaths than know my daughter was tolerating her boss’ hand on her skirt.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do – in real life – if these situations in these comedies were playing out in real time in my kids’ lives.   What I do know is that I would find it decidedly Unfunny.  (Quick aside:  for an EXTREMELY funny look at flawed — yet SUCCESSFUL — Generation X, Y, whatevers ….  check out “The Mindy Project” on FOX.  She just rocks, is all.)

So yeah, maybe I’m not as hip as I used to be.

Maybe I’m simply more scared.

Damn this parenting thing.

Signed,

Stifler’s Mother

 

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When Bad Kids Happen to Good Parents

NJ Teen

 

 

This NJ parent-suing-cheerleader case is making me see red.

Because it totally could have been me a few years ago.

I wouldn’t consider myself a mean mom, but I have been known to hand my kids a scraper and say “Get to work,” after finding dried boogers on the wall next to their beds.

 

Some days, parenting is easy.

 

Honor Roll allows a kid to keep a cell phone.

A clean bathroom gets another out the door on Friday night.

 

Clearly my parenting philosophy doesn’t involve much head-scratching so I have to admit, I was ready for the adolescence of my children.  Growing up on Long Island in the unsupervised 80s, my friends and I had mastered the art of outsmarting authority and evading evidence of typical teen shenanigans.

 

I had this, I thought.   Bring on the acne.

 

I never imagined it would culminate with a composed call to the police, asking them to come get my child.

 

It was especially trying — and surprising — when my second born, a daughter, went through her head-spinning-Linda-Blair stage first, at fourteen.  While she was screaming and carrying on about calling Child Protective Services and attempting to bore holes into our foreheads with her fury, my oldest son just flew under the radar.  A junior in high school, he was a typical, well, boy.  Immature, uninterested in school and willing to eke by with the minimum of work exerted.  By most standards, the textbook teen.

 

He was always a bit young for his age but rather than dwell on his mediocre grades we tried to focus on his charm, and magnetism.  Extremely good looking, he was similarly well-liked, mainly due to his good nature.  He was —  mother’s pride aside —  a delight and I just loved the stuffing outta him.  Always have.

 

Turns out, this extreme love came in handy when I began to hate him.

 

I don’t recall exactly when the metamorphosis of my good-boy-gone-bad began but I do remember every detail of warning, every red-flag.

 

With each incident I tried to keep perspective.  I even rationalized.  I did this, too.  The drinking.  The pot.  The skipped school.  The scummy friends.  Wasn’t this typical teen territory?  I even admitted, at times sheepishly, I did far worse (thank you, 1988).  So I tried to keep a cool head and held firm with consequences.  Even though much of the time I felt like I was swimming against a tide (a tide of parents who unfathomably presented cars for sixteenth birthdays and provided smartphones through school suspensions) I did what I was supposed to do.  My litany of repercussions included (but were not limited to):  grounding, taking phones, taking plates off cars, paying for NOTHING (yearbook, class trips, clothing, toiletries, prom, car insurance) ….. Good God, we took away everything.  We joked with friends that my son lived an Amish lifestyle.

 

He Just.  Didn’t.  Care.   About anything, it seemed.

 

When enough was enough, we finally took his four-year-college off the table.  We had done our part:  attended freshman orientation, bought the sweatshirts and travel mugs, kept our hopes high for some show of maturity.   It didn’t come.  As senior year came to an end, he still hadn’t gotten it.

 

No way, we said.  There was no chance we were going to strap ourselves paying for a university when he wasn’t even getting himself to high school – for free. We told him he needed to get his act together, prove himself responsible and start with a junior college.  It was all we had left.  We privately envisioned that kid – that headline-storied kid each year – that ends up dead in a dorm room from alcohol before classes have even started.

 

Nothing seemed to work.  So we told him to rethink his plans for the future.

 

Turns out, our Great American Parenting Plan backfired because well, he left.

 

He just left.

 

He called it moving out.  But conventional wisdom would argue that throwing some clothes in a duffle bag and heading out the door without an inkling of what’s happening the next day is no such thing.  He had run away.

 

He had had it with our outrageous rules, our absurd expectations and our irrational belief that teens should be responsible and respectful on their journey to adulthood.  So — without any angry fanfare or slamming doors —  my oldest child left our home six days before his high school graduation.

 

The situation, as an understatement, was hard.  Devastating, in fact.  It was the ultimate in rejection for a mother:  a child that doesn’t want her.

 

And I didn’t pretend to understand it.

 

But he was a good kid and we were good parents.

 

And I guess I knew deep down that he’d be back one day.

 

He was.  After a long and fretful 47 days.

 

When he returned we spent what was left of the summer reconnecting as a family and licking our wounds.  Damage had been done and both sides were duly cautious about a recurring Groundhog Day of past occurrences.

 

But things were far from perfect.  In time, familiar nagging doubts started creeping in.  There was a level of distrust that I just couldn’t shake.  At times I seemed sadder now that he was home than when he’d been gone.  Things didn’t seem much better and I wondered if I would ever again feel joy when my son walked into a room.

 

Disrespect is a mighty deal breaker in my home and I do not believe a refrain of “This is my home and these are my rules” should be up for interpretation. When my beloved son’s behavior started down the slippery slope of insolence once again, I felt stronger and wiser when I addressed it.

 

Not long after he returned, he decided once again that our curfew was unreasonable and didn’t come home.

 

When he did…  his room was packed up, our locks were changed and we were waiting.

 

I told him since he wasn’t ready to resume living in MY home with MY rules, he needed to leave. He refused.   I showed him all his things.   He still refused to leave.  I then called the police.

 

I wasn’t afraid of the neighbors seeing, or knowing, or talking.

 

I wasn’t afraid of him actually leaving either.  I realized I’d survived the last time he left, and would this time, too.  And this time, it was going to be on MY terms.

 

I realized I wasn’t afraid of anything. And that the absence of fear was indescribably empowering.

 

We sat together calmly, in silence, and waited for the police to arrive.

 

I have to say, when they walked in they seemed surprised to encounter a domestic disturbance that wasn’t terribly disturbing at all.

 

The officer in charge kindly – but sternly – let my teenager know the deal:  It was 48 hours before my son’s eighteenth birthday, therefore by law, we were required to care for him.  But only for two more days.  After that, should they get called again, they would have to take him out of the home.

It is my honest belief that a couple of changed locks and a few police cars will do wonders for a teen’s psyche.   It changed everything for us.

 

My son learned a lot of things that day.  He learned we were absolutely done. And he learned (thank you, officer) that if you expect to live in your parents’ home, you should expect to follow their rules.  Period.

 

I believe – no, I know – that once this became clear to him, it may have been his personal epiphany.  It was as if his rebellion started to break away and let some clarity emerge.  Hell, maybe it was simply a badge … or a look of “Really, kid?” coming from someone other than his own parents.

 

I have absolutely no idea why it never sank in before that moment.  I likely never will.

 

It was a dark and rocky couple of years and – no joke – at times paled in comparison to my daughter’s fright fest at age fourteen – but we got through it.  Good parents raising good kids usually do.

 

It was excruciating and difficult to do what most parents don’t seem to have the strength to do:  follow through with consequences and demand respect.  But we did.  Even though it damn well felt as if our family was in tatters, we held strong.

 

The joy of my firstborn, while on hiatus for a heartbreaking while, eventually returned.

These days as he’s careening into manhood – an Air Force Reservist and college student —  I still love the stuffing outta him and my face lights up again whenever he enters the room.

 

But I am keenly aware there are still a couple of house rules that make him squawk.

 

Ah well.

 

Too bad, right?

 

 

I so hope this story gets to those sad parents in New Jersey because their beautiful cheerleader needs a reality check.  And soon.

 

 

Follow Eyerollingmom on Facebook  and Twitter and catch all her blogs at www.tinadrakakis.com

 

 

Calling All Moms: The Mother of all Celebrations

ltym cover

I’m breaking a bit of news here.

Fair warning:  It’s the kind of news that I will likely sneak into countless conversations for the next twenty years or so (because, well, the statute of limitations has run out on my Reality TV fame and my kids and spouse and friends and family and strangers say I’m not allowed to talk about that anymore).

Lucky for me I get another chance to become the Norma Desmond of the Suburban Sunset Boulevard.

You say insufferable …

I say …

(cue in visual of a victorious Mary Katherine Gallagher)

SUPERSTAAAAAAAAAAR!

(hey now, if one is repeatedly called lame by their children on a daily basis, this is not bragging.  Just wishful thinking.)

Honestly, we all know I have been (pitifully) regaling in my fifteen minutes of television notoriety for more than a (gulp) decade.  It turns out I now have something different to go on and on (and on and on) about for the next ten years.

While not exactly Eyerollingmom: The Musical, a most humbling of honors has come my way.

One of the obvious pitfalls of being a writer/blogger is the unavoidable consequence of personal exposure.  You put yourself out there with every written word and – if successful – you can incite genuine feelings in your readers.

If you’re me – and have made the conscious decision to divulge personal parenting truths AND at the same time raise literate children  – you know at some point these kids might actually read some of your stuff one day.

And likely … they’ll be pissed.

Eventually, though, your kids might mature (might) and perhaps if you’re lucky, one day think you’re kinda sorta (a lil bit) cool.  Fingers crossed, this will become one of those times.

A while back I wrote about my daughter, who was thirteen at the time.  When the piece, “The Thinking Girl’s Thong,” was published, it duly enraged her once she caught wind of it.  Naturally since that time I’ve found countless and creative other ways of ruining her life so really, we’re good now.

Still, it was – and is – one of my favorite pieces of writing I’ve ever produced.

Here’s why she can’t be mad about it ever again:  The essay has been selected to be a part of the “Listen to Your Mother” series of shows that have been staged throughout the country for the past few years.  “LTYM” is coming to Boston for the first time later this spring and I have been invited to be one of the inaugural “performers” and read my adored ode to my favorite teen queen.

I will be joined by fourteen other inspirational writers shining a deserved spotlight on all that is good and real and true about the phenomenon of being moms.  The good, the bad (the wine?) and the lessons needed to be shared.

So … if you are a friend …

Or a (blog) follower …

Or a (Reality TV) fan … (I kid, I kid)

I cordially invite you to “Listen to Your Mother, Boston,” a show devoted to “Giving Motherhood a Microphone,” on Saturday, April 26.

Get gussied up …

and grab your guy …

or grab a girlfriend (or seven) …

or better still (if you are so, so damn lucky) grab your mom

And come commemorate Mother’s Day the way it should be:  with moms, praising moms, celebrating moms.  Truth:  Nobody rocks the way we do.

At the very least, check out the event (in 32 cities!) and raise a glass to tales of motherhood, warts and all:

http://listentoyourmothershow.com/boston/

(…and, a promise:  if I do not faint on stage, I will be graciously accepting celebratory beverages after the show — at which time you may absolutely hand down a cease and desist order of when I must stop talking about this)

Spread this awesome news, share my Facebook page and treat yourself to a mighty mom time!

www.facebook.com/eyerollingmom     www.tinadrakakis.com     www.twitter.com/eyerollingmom

WooooooooHooooooooo!!!!!!!!