Tag Archives: teenagers

My Husband is The World’s Most Ridiculous Dad

flashback friday

In 2005, we had the privilege of having four, yes  four, count them, teenagers in our house at one time. We thought it would be cool having  six kids close in age so they’d  be friends.  Even if we’d done the math and calculated we’d have teenagers for almost 20 years in a row, two or more teens the majority of those years, we wouldn’t have changed anything. We just might have prepared ourselves a little more for the changes ahead.

When the girls outgrew wearing  Mommy-chosen clothes and wanted to express their own personalities with clothes that were actually in style, it was painful for both sides of the generation gap. Those years of adorable matching outfits sewn by Mommy were definitely over. They had to  wean Mommy from her expectation that her daughters would love her 80’s high-waisted, put-your-socks-on-first jeans.

Daddy, who loved his lovely daughters, but didn’t want the boys to notice how lovely they were,  squawked like a good Daddy about their clothes.  He would have preferred black garbage bags or burlap sacks, because his daughters were his treasures – treasures he wanted to keep buried.

After several discussions, we came to a family understanding.  We didn’t want set rules, because rules stir up theRomans 7 desire to break the rules. We didn’t demand  denim skirts and tennis shoes, but we didn’t want them to dress like Hollywood starlets.   We came up with guidelines. Their clothes had to pass a few inspectors along the way.

1.  The Lord – were they God-honoring?  We tried to instill in our daughters that as Christians they  belong to Him and their life decisions should reflect that. We gave them to opportunity to make wise decisions based on their own faith and conscience.

2. The parents – could we stand their choices?  We didn’t have to like their clothes, but we couldn’t hate them. We gave them leeway  to choose and relieved them from the expectation of looking like us. However, if their conscience didn’t guide them enough, we had veto power.

Daddy’s wisdom in discussing  until we came up with guidelines that pleased everyone paved the way for an easier transition into those years of raising  teenagers. We were encouraged to see the tasteful, stylish clothes the girls chose in their freedom.  They were so good, they started picking out my clothes and providing guidelines for clothes that are flattering  and appropriate for my age. I dressed them when they were young, now they return the favor. 

In 2005, several years after the monumental Introduction of Modern Styles into our household,  Daddy still wasn’t convinced about  low-rider jeans. Usually a seriously minded Office kinda’ guy, the hubbster is known for having occasional outlandish moments that the kids talk about for years and years.

The kids laugh themselves breathless then exclaim, “Oh, Dad, you’re SO ridiculous!”

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This was one of those moments.

He decided to prove how ridiculous low-riders were by trying on our oldest daughter’s jeans.

In front of the whole family.

On Thanksgiving Day.

Not knowing someday I’d be a blogger and reveal all.

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After tugging and pulling and giggling, he got them up this far. (Maybe hubby was  the style inspiration for  teenage boys?)

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Like today’s teenage boys, he found they had to be peeled off.

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But, he wasn’t young and agile, he was an old man losing his balance.  He  humbly begged for help so he wouldn’t fall and break a hip.

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My early digital camera was poor quality, but the blur proves we were busting a gut.

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Toddler Baby can’t figure out why Daddy needs help.  She doesn’t need help.   She dresses and undresses all. by. herself.

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Maybe Toddler Baby is wondering if she should hide her clothes from daddy.  Maybe she’s wondering if he’s going to try on her clothes when she’s a teenager.
Maybe she’s wondering if she even wants to become a teenager.

This episode only proved one thing  – it wasn’t the jeans that were ridiculous.

My children have always declared they have The World’s Most Ridiculous Dad. 

As they mature,  they peel off the memories of their Dad’s ridiculousness and see his wisdom underneath. It’s then they finally understand how treasured they are.

Making your home sing Mondays

Ten Things This Generation Might Say to Their Kids

Our kids don’t look like us.  We didn’t look like our parents.  Our parents didn’t look like their grandparents. Sometimes we want our kids to look like us, and it takes much…..umm…..conversation…wisdom….patience…for kids and parents to come to a meeting place where the child is allowed to express their generation and the parent is allowed the right to veto extremes. Every family is different and sets their own standards. 

A tongue-in-cheek view into those future potential discussions  about two decades from now…

10.  Pull down those pants right now. If I don’t see at LEAST two inches of underwear, you’re not going to school today. Learn to wear your pants and belt like a man.

9.  I don’t care if nobody else has a tattoo. You’re getting one. That’s final. You might be the only kid  with a tattoo, but you have to learn to stand alone. Be a leader, not a follower.

8.  I’m concerned that you’re not spending enough time online. You’re always outside pretending with sticks and dirt or riding your bike. Can you please do something more productive with your life?

7.  When I was your age, I already had five piercings. I just don’t understand you kids today. Is it because your friends aren’t piercing? Are they putting pressure on you to not pierce?

6.  Clothes with no holes?  I don’t know if I’m comfortable with that style.  Aren’tcha’  kinda’ overdressed  for school?

5.  Comb those bangs over your eyes.  It’s redonkulous to show your whole face.

4.  You call that music? Nobody’s screaming. It’s just a bunch of guys harmonizing.

3.  Your mom and I are worried about you. You’re 18 and you’ve never colored your hair purple, green or even red. Are you sure everything is OK? Is there something you’re not telling us?

2.  Why do you wear such boring colors of nail polish? It’s kinda’ drab. Are you sure you’re not depressed?  Do you wanna’ borrow my orange polish? Black? Lime green?

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1.  No matter where you go, the choices you make, what you look like, I will love you, the way my parents always loved and supported me.

I’m Like Totally A Cool Mom

It’s a joyous milestone when kids grow up and dress themselves.  We watch with parental pride, admiring their independence and finesse as they flounder to put on their socks or put both legs in the same pant leg. As with every stage, we praise and support our very, lovely children.

 

I didn’t mock them when they put a shirt on inside out. I would gently point out the tag is a flag to be waved on their back, inside their shirt,  and help them readjust.

I wouldn’t hurt their feelings and tell them a purple and orange striped shirt didn’t match a green and pink polka-dotted skirt. But, I might carefully praise their choice, ask them to choose which item was their favorite, then direct their decision to pick something that matched.  It was to keep from scarring them for life when they’re showing childhood photos to future spouses.

When they wanted to wear their dress-ups in public, I bore the quizzical stares and the raised eyebrows as a mother martyr would.  I allowed them the freedom to express themselves. I didn’t make fun of their style, not at all.  I didn’t walk really fast and pretend I wasn’t with them, no matter what they wore.  I didn’t roll my eyes at them, or heave patronizing sighs, or change my mind about going out with them in public.   I might release myself from the shame of the moment by saying, “Isn’t it cute what kids wear when they dress themselves?” 

The next milestone isn’t so joyous, the one where they pick out their own clothes, shoes and hair style according to what their peers have deemed cool.  Armed with newly-found discernment and their parents’ cash, they shop and get most rad hairstyle the ‘rents will allow. When fully clothed in cool, their eyes wander to those ‘rents who just funded their makeover and become painfully aware of their lack of style. They cringe at the jeans that don’t have the right width of pant legs or the right depth of the waistband.  Hair color and style are evaluated and gray hairs they caused will be randomly pulled from your head when they dare stick up around the new cool kid.

Imagine my surprise when they hit this milestone and didn’t  offer the same support and the  freedom to express myself I freely bestowed upon them just those few short years ago. The undying love and adoration they always felt for their ‘rents becomes slightly scribbled over with childish embarrassment as they realize their ‘rents are NOT cool.

 

 

WHAT?  Me, not cool? Are you, like, totally, like, out of your mind?

 

My clothes match, I don’t wear anything inside out or upside down, and I quit wearing dress-ups to the grocery store a few months ago.

 

What does it take to be a cool mom?

 

Dress just like her daughters?  No, that’s just wrong.  Moms can dress in style,  that’s ok, but like their daughters? No way. We’ve all seen those women.  We can’t become those women.

Use the hip phrases of time?  DUDE just doesn’t sound right on mom’s lips, even though it is contagious and sometimes we slip.Besides, when you use their words, you stand to be lectured on what those words mean and if you’re using them correctly.  Dude!  It’s just annoying!

Hairstyles?  A mom is supposed to have one? So combing my hair once a day whether it needs it or not doesn’t count as a hairstyle? Does anyone else find it ironic that the very ones who basically refused to comb their hair and brush their teeth for the first 12 years of their lives now find it necessary to monitor their parents’ grooming skills?

 

Who gets to define cool?

Her kids? 

Her kids’ friends?

Her husband? OK, if a husband doesn’t  notice new curtains, a haircut or new shade of lipstick, how can he be able to rank his wife’s coolness factor?  Besides, the kids who spent his hard-earned money to morph into coolness probably have their coolness radar detector out on Pops, too. And it’s probably not bleeping very much.

So, who gets to define cool? 

How about dictionary.com? They should be pretty neutral party, doncha’ think?

Let’s use some of their definitions to see if I rank on the coolness factor.

 

 

 

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Yep, that fits me.  I don’t get excited when the ones I used to dress criticize how I dress.

 

I remain calm when they say, “Mom, you’re not going to wear that, are you?”

 

When they say, “Um, you’re kinda’  old to be wearing that,” I stay composed.

 

I remain cool when they face disaster by saying,  “You would look 20 years younger if you’d flat-iron  your hair.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Apparently, my coolness can even diffuse a situation. When they realize their parents will never measure up to their standards, their intensity will lessen. Their disappointment will cool their earlier zealousness for converting  parents to coolness.

So, that, my friends, proves my point.

 

I am a cool mother.

 

And it’s a good thing my kids don’t read my blog.  It’ll keep them from using my line, “Isn’t it cute when my mother dresses herself?”

Making your home sing Mondays

CHILDREN RAISING PARENTS

I spent years teaching my little brood of six everything they needed to know to succeed in life. Well, I tried.  I’m not responsible if they choose to ignore the fountain of eternal wisdom spewing from my mouth.

But the times they are a-changin’.

The kids who grew up too quickly have now surpassed me.  They range from  10 to 25 years in age and treat me like  the baby of the family.  They worry about me, hover over me and advise me. It’s getting to the point where I’m not sure I can live without them, or if I dare.

I mean, what if I mess up?  What if I never learn to dress myself?  What if I say the wrong thing?

 

From a child’s view, parents mature into incompetence.  At the age you think you’ll be the matriarchal pillar of wisdom for the generations, you realize you’re just a few drools away from a toddler’s capabilities and impact. So, in humble submission to the older, wiser people in my life, I am submitting to their instruction.

~Ten Basic Life Skills I am Relearning~

1.  Walking

Over the holidays, I bought my first pair of real high heels. Ya’ know the real kind with the spikey heel and not the orthopedic chunk heels? I wobbled like a hobbled horse. Between laughs, the girls tried to give me pointers. And no, they weren’t laughing with me, they were laughing AT me. There’s a big difference, or so I tell myself.

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(frantically telling my son “Get the shoes!”  “Make sure the shoes are in the picture!”)

Then, they settled for warnings. “Just don’t fall.”

“Don’t hurt yourself.”

Hey, like I used to laugh at them when they were learning to walk and would run into that corner of the coffee table?

I never laughed when they took off running and their big diaper butts waddled them right over on their little faces?

When they were going through puberty and their feet reached adulthood before their brains, I NEVER teased them about tripping on latitude lines, nor did I call their feet SKIS… more than once or twice. And let’s not even talk about how those SKIS smelled…

Like I laughed when someone was 16 and walked straight into a wall for no reason and got a huge egghead lump? Oh, maybe I did laugh, but thought they were old enough to handle it.

2. Dressing Myself

“Mom, those jeans need to be worn with flats.”

“You’re not going to wear that, are you?”

”Um, that needs to be worn with skinny jeans.  No, I mean skin tight skinny jeans.  You can’t have knee wrinkles.

Even hubby, “Nobody at work dresses like you.”

“It’s OK if all that tummy blubber hangs over your jeans.  It’s called a muffin top.”

3.  Talking

They use their cool words, then turn to me with a smug explanation.

As if I couldn’t figure out what “perfs” or “sup” means.  C’mon, I know I was born a bajilion yesterdays ago, but I can still figure out things in context.  It’s just when they change the meaning of words that I get a little confused.

These words now mean something good: wicked, sick, tight, fat, killer, filthy, gnarly, dope, redunk, and boss. Even though I can’t say it at the airport, if “you du bomb” that’s really good.

When my son says “brah” he isn’t talking about unmentionables he shouldn’t mention.  He’s addressing another male species, usually his father, who isn’t impressed when called unmentionables.

If you’re a “noob” it’s not horrible, but not exactly good, and nobody can define it, but everybody knows what it is.  It’s a noob.

Even if a word was invented and used cleverly by my generation, a patronizing discussion will still follow. “Mom, do you know what this means?”

4. Safety from  sharp objects

They take all my scissors and my paring knives.  Even fingernail clippers and nail files must be dangerous, I’m not allowed to have those, either.  I never have a problem getting through security, my kids take all my dangerous items before the airport officials can.

5. Public Behavior

They now sneak out to shop and have coffee without me, and I assume it’s because of my behavior.

Well, I don’t know what they’re worried about, it’s not like I’m going to throw myself down and have a tantrum or climb the library shelves, like some people I know.  When they take me out,  I’ve never peed in anybody’s front lawn, or picked my nose and wiped it on the wall, like some people I know.  I’ve never stolen suckers from the grocery store, eaten coupons or broke a bottle of cooking oil, like some people I know.

But, I might talk too loud and I might need help with social skills.  See #1, #2 and #3.

6. Eating

“Mom, did you know you should be reading the labels to find out the sugar content of cereals?”

“Did you know iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value and you should be eating dark green leaves?”

“Whoa, Dude, didja’ know too much salt isn’t good for you?”

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na.  I can’t hear you!  Your lips are flapping and the wind is blowing my gray straggly hair all over, but I’m not listening! I’m gunna’ keep buying Fruit Loops and iceberg lettuce.  Wait, I haven’t bought those things in years…..

7. Matching

Apparently, your shoes and purse no longer have to match.  You can accessorize a brown purse with a *gasp* pair of black shoes.  You can wear random single colors today that aren’t in the same color palette. Unmatching is the new matching.

My daughter will wear brown boots, that look like cropped cowboy boots, a black jacket, a turquoise shirt, fishnet stockings and a cream skirt.  She’s adorable, but  I try not to stare, because in my mind, I’m painting those boots black, like they should be.

Now I know how my poor mother felt when I dared to wear white shoes after September 1st.

8. Basic Life Skills

Since I grew up without computers, technology is  a mystery.  Facebook?  Texting?  Instant Messenger?  Skype?  It was all invented to keep parents out of their lives. When I began emailing to keep in touch with my kids, they switched to Facebook.  When I got on Facebook, they moved to Twitter.  I haven’t moved to Twitter yet, but I’m wondering how many new places there are to hide and how long it will take me to find them.

Speaking of Twitter….really?  It musta’ been invented by someone who was sick of listening to their mom.  “Hey, if you can’t say it in 140 characters, don’t say it at all!”

I can keep it to 140 characters.

#Call your mom and tell her you love her.
#Buy your Mom a present.
#Send your mom to Hawaii with all new clothes.

#Maybe I should get on Twitter after all.  #It could come in handy.

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Beka researching scarlet Fever and study her states and capitals on this old cell phone. Silly me.  I didn’t think it was good for anything.

“Wow, Mom, you text slow.”  Ironic that this is coming from the teenager who types 20 words a minute using two fingers and has  100 errors, compared to my nearly 100wpm with two errors using all ten fingers.  Since when did typing lose its place in the world as a necessary skill?  Yes, I’m fully aware they call it “keyboarding” now but you’re still not learning how to use all your fingers and “keyboard” without looking!

9.  Bathroom Habits

“Mom, since we’re going shopping, why don’t you just go potty now so we don’t’ have to find a bathroom as soon as we get there?”

“Mom, you feeling OK? You were in the bathroom for a long time.”

“If you have a tummy ache, you probably have to use the bathroom.”

 

10.  Gaining self-confidence

“Don’t worry, Mom, everybody makes stupid comments.”

“You really look good….for your age and everything.”

  

Kids, I really love you and appreciate your efforts in raising me.   I know it’s a lot of work.  But it’s only fair I warn you.

 

Watch out.

Some day soon I’ll be a teenager…….

Making your home sing Mondays

What Joy Is Mine

The Life Of Faith

got grafitti?

 

the graffiti in Amsterdam enthralled me.
for the first time,
i saw artwork.

i saw colors,
design,
and
heart cries.

 

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young people,
who may never be a Rembrandt,
left marks of their bondage
in the city where people
used to find freedom.

today, they will be featured
in my gallery.

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the irony of this thought?

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this was right beneath.

pretty sure hundreds of years ago 
the artists, residents and architects 
who made the city great
were dreaming of a different legacy.

Telephone – You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

In 1973 I began my addiction with the telephone.

 

We had just moved across town and I had to learn to dial the rotary phone, a wall-mounted beast we rented from Mountain Bell, all by myself so I could call my friends from the old neighborhood.

It was a chore to dial this phone, with my teensy-tiny 9 year old fingers. You stuck your finger in the hole of the number you wanted and had to rotate it all the way around the circle until it touched the metal stopping bar. If you were careless and didn’t dial all the way to the end, you had to start all over. To hang up, you pulled down on the bracket that held the hand receiver. (I know, I am really dating myself!)

 

 

We thought we were so special when our parents upgraded the technology with the extra long twisty cord for the phone. You could actually walk around while you were talking on the phone, as long as you were within twelve feet of that big black thing on the wall.

 
Meanwhile, while I was walking around the kitchen with my 12 foot cord talking about things 9 year old girls find important enough to talk about, this man, Dr. Martin Cooper, general manager of Motorola’s Communications Systems Division, was walking the streets of New York and making a call on this 30 ounce brick-like phone. Who did he call? His rival at AT&T Bell Labs.

By the time Motorola offered their phone to the public in 1983 it went from brick to butter at only 16 ounces, but cost $3,500. A new Dodge RAM 50 Truck was $5665.00 – a phone was over HALF the cost of a truck!!!!!! I wonder if any teenagers had cell phones in 1983?

Today, the technology in phones has blossomed to functions probably never imagined, even by Dr. Cooper. Did he imagine a camera that could take a message, a picture and a video clip? Did he imagine listening to music or playing a game? Did he imagine that teens would use the phone for almost everything BUT actually making a phone call?

 Special Achievement – Rebekah just memorized her home phone number. She is using Daddy’s cell phone to call the home phone. Proud moment in our household.


 

Special Achievement – Bethany gets her first cell phone! She is 18 and waited patiently, almost, for this special privilege. Expensive moment in our household. We aren’t typical Americans, we actually have two teenagers that DON’T have phones. No, it is NOT child abuse.

Texting already? It is considered a national pasttime for today’s teens, but considered a national waste of time for more mature adults. OK, that was a nice way of saying us really old people.


Special Achievement – Scott is learning to program his own cell phone. Stressful moment in our household. Actually, he made Grace do a lot of it, but he figured out how to make a call and answer a call. Good boy!

 

 Special Achievement – Brookelyn made it all the way down the hallway with the cordless phone before we noticed what she was doing. Typical moment in our household when Brookie is around.


Special Achievement – Brookelyn called Gramma and asked for a cell phone of her own.

 
Gramma said yes.