Archive for July, 2007

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This morning started with another one of those “Things you never thought you’d say to your kids” situations. 

 Okay, here it is, and please excuse my language even though I didn’t exactly say it like this, I surely was thinking it, “Dwight, how do you NOT realize you are wiping your naked ass all over the kids’ toys and bedding?” 

Yes.  That is what I woke up to.  Actually, I was already awake.  I was in the middle of getting dressed with a clingy baby holding onto my legs while I clumsily tried to pull my jeans up when Joshua came storming into my room. 

“What are you doing!?”  I asked. “Close my door!”  I meant, close my door on your way back out, but he simply apologized as he closed the door with his little body still in my room.  He was completely oblivious to the fact that I was trying to get dressed.  I was about to correct him on it when he told me what Dwight was doing.  And then Kelly stormed in too. 

“Close the door!”  

“Mom!  Dwight wiped his butt on my pink blanket!” 

So here they are, my FOUR YEAR OLD and my SIX YEAR OLD telling me about how my FOURTEEN YEAR OLD was wiping his naked butt on their stuff. 

“DWIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!”  Not the way I wanted to start off my morning.  (And as I’m typing this out, believe it or not, I want to laugh and cry at the same time.  I feel this hysterical laugh boiling up in me…and at the same time, the tears are brimming in my eyes.  Lord help me!)

Get this.  Dwight tells me he doesn’t remember any of it.  He says he must have been asleep and needed to “scratch his butt.”  So he was sleep butt-scratching?  Okay, does he just think I’m completely gullible?  Or maybe he really was.  Or maybe I am completely gullible. 

Here is what I was told: 

He got off the bunkbed by throwing his body down the side (we’ve told him to always climb down the ladder), steps on Joshua, who pulls on his shorts because he’s trying to get Dwight off of him.  So his shorts (and undies) are down, (I’m assuming he was wearing boxers) and he throws his shirt over his head, completely covering it, and starts rubbing his butt on the toys, pillows, and blankets on the bunkbed opposite his.  The kids are throwing a fit and he “doesn’t remember any of it.”  Finally he stops.  Patrick leaves the room, and comes back in, and there’s Dwight, playing with toys.  When Patrick reminded him that he’s grounded, he said, “Grounded?  I am?  No I’m not.”

So now I’m thinking that maybe there is something seriously wrong with this kid.  Either he’s lying to my face (again) or…I don’t know what.  I really don’t.  But after talking to Scott last night about the alcohol situation, he wants to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist right away.  He’s afraid there’s something going on with him.  And before this morning, I thought that maybe this is just normal teenage stuff, but Scott seems to think fourteen is too young to be drinking alcohol without any influences around to pressure him or provide him with it.  He’s afraid he really may be depressed and he might be looking for ways to numb that depression.  I certainly think fourteen is too young to attempt drinking, and fourteen is way too old to be wiping your naked butt on toys!

Scott and I talked about Dwight quite a bit last night and the thought occurred to me that we could be dealing with issues like this for the rest of our lives.  I pray that Dwight grows up to be an independent individual because I know parents who are “still raising” their adult children.  One particular couple comes to mind.  Their son, who is in his mid-twenties, is living at home again, fighting mental issues, addiction, and trying his hardest to allow God to be God in his life. 

While I know that a parent’s job is never done, that I will always be a parent and a mom, I’ve always imagined that once my kids become adults and move out, that life would be more of a vacation of sorts.  I’ve always imagined a bit more freedom.  Scott would be about ready to retire, we could travel and visit our grandkids and enjoy the fruit of our labor.  But what if the labor is never ending and I go to my grave asking my other children to look out for their big brother? 

I know that worrying about “tomorrow” is just a waste of time and I need to take things one day at a time, but today is one day I would really like to escape reality.  Wouldn’t you if your reality is that your teenage son scratches his butt with toys?

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About a year and a half ago, the Lord gave me a word for my oldest.  He told me that Satan was going to tempt him, and that the things he would tempt him with would seem like such little things, but that he would use those “little things” to try to trap him into the same kind of bondage that his biological mom, (We’ll call her Sara), found herself in.  So I shared this word with him, and he didn’t seem to really take it too seriously.  But over time, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to remind Dwight of this word and I think he’s beginning to understand.

Dwight got caught Sunday morning in a big lie.  He snuck downstairs early in the morning and decided to play a game on the Wii that his dad forbade him to play.  The ONLY game he wasn’t allowed to play.  It wasn’t a coincidence that Scott decided to play the Wii that same day.  (He hasn’t played in days!)  And when he turned it on, the game was still in the Wii. 

So Scott called Dwight down and asked him about it.  “It wasn’t me.”  He replied.  And that’s when we spent the next 30 minutes proving to Dwight that we knew it was him.  He even suggested that perhaps it was left there from another day and that Scott might have forgot.  So I pulled up the Menu and showed him that this video game was played that very day for 47 minutes! 

The longer we talked about it, the more angry we got because we knew he was lying to us about it.  Even as we showed him the evidence and talked about how logically he was the only person who could have done this, he still denied it.  That is, until I said something about him never making it into West Point with that kind of integrity.  (Going to West Point like his dad is his dream).  He thought about it for a second and said, “It was me.”  Big surprise. 

So needless to say, he’s grounded.  We try to make being grounded miserable for our kids, because the only time they are ever grounded is when they lie.  (At least as far as I can remember).  Lying is just such a big deal to us we want our kids to know that lying never brings forth any kind of good!  

Since Sunday, I’ve had some opportunities to talk to Dwight about some things.  I let him know that I’m on his side, not against him.  I want him to see his dreams come true and that is why I’m so hard on him.  I push him to go beyond what he thinks he is capable of because I know he’s capable of more and if he does make it into West Point, he’s going to be pushed even harder!  I want him to understand I’m trying to help him, not hinder him.  I guess I’ve said some things that stuck with him (now that IS a big surprise!) because tonight he made a confession I was shocked to hear. 

Tonight he came to me and told me that there have been four occasions where he’s decided to try alcohol.  All four of those occasions have been in our home.  Twice in South Carolina, and twice while living here (so it must be a pretty recent decision to do this!).  He told me it started one morning while he was getting ready for school.  He saw a glass of wine sitting out (probably one Scott or I didn’t finish), and so he decided to try it out.  He wanted to know what it would taste like and what it would do to him, but then, he stopped himself from drinking too much because he was afraid of what it would do. 

I listened as he told me, and calmly asked questions.  I was so shocked to hear that on a couple mornings, he’d gone to school after drinking alcohol!  Probably just a sip or two…maybe, but he drank alcohol!  Everything in me wanted to freak out on him and ask, “What the hell are you thinking!?!?” but I just had a conversation with a friend earlier today where I explained that teenager’s brains aren’t fully matured until they are in their twenties (mid-twenties from what I remember) and since they are still immature, their going to be more likely to make poor choices! 

After he was done telling me about it, he said, “I’ve been thinking about the things you’ve been saying, and when you told me that you know that I would never do the things that Sara (his biological mom) did, that I would never go down that path, it made me think about what I was doing and where I was going.  I was afraid of what you would do when I told you.” 

So I told him that there is a big difference when he confesses these things to me before I find out…and without involving lies.  Yes, I’m upset and disappointed in his choices, but it doesn’t even come close to the anger and betrayal I feel when he lies to my face.  We talked about temptation, how he can choose to resist temptation, and how he will face bigger temptation in his future. 

I told him that I know he loves the Lord, that he has a relationship with the Lord, and knowing that is what comforts me when we are going through these sorts of things with him.  But it amazes me of all the things I’ve said, the one thing that stuck with him is me telling him that I know he won’t make the same choices Sara made, that he’s not that person.  It just goes to show how speaking positively into someone’s life can impact them in their future!  I spoke those words to him in faith, praying and hoping that he really wouldn’t make the same choices she’s made.  I don’t want to see him destroy his life with drugs.

Then we talked about how this choice could have effected our entire family had he gone to school and his teachers could smell the alcohol on him.  I wanted him to understand that his choices don’t always just effect him!

Being the mom of a teenager is hard.  He’s only 14 and I’m hearing things I never thought I’d hear from him.  It’s disappointing, but at least I’m hearing them from him and not someone else.  And I know he’s trying to right the wrongs he’s been making, to earn my trust.  I also know what I need to do to help him avoid certain temptations – like lock up the controls to the Wii and lock up the wine, pour out the glasses, and maybe attach bells to his ankles so he can’t sneak around!  A shock collar might be nice too.  Just kidding, just kidding. 

I haven’t talked to Scott about it yet.  I’m sure he’ll be livid when he hears about it.  It’s been a real wake-up call for me.  Maybe my son isn’t as innocent as I thought he was.  But it will be a good opportunity for Scott to have a heart to heart talk with his son about how his choices will effect his future.  I’ve had a similiar conversation with him, but there’s just something about hearing it from your dad…I think it will do Dwight a world of good.

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I drove my mom to the airport late this morning.  I hate it when she has to leave.  There was a time when I didn’t feel as close to her.  Maybe we both just needed to adjust to our new lives (She and I both got married the same month).  But now I feel that we are closer than ever.  In fact, I’d say we’ve grown closer over the last year than we were the first 20 years I spent at home!  She reads my blog and I feel like I can write about anything without her judging me.  Even when I’m wrong, even when I’m moody or not handling situations with my kids very well, she never ever criticizes me.  I can’t say how nice it is to have that kind of relationship, where I am free to just be me and not have to stop and wonder what she is thinking about me. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood and how hard things were growing up.  Yet I feel blessed to have come out of all of the misery I went through and have such a wonderful woman for a mom.  I mean, my husband is crazy about her.  How many men talk about how much they wish their mother-in-law could move in with them? 

So today while we were driving to the airport, my mom turned to me and said, “You and Scott really do have a good marriage, you know that?”  Now that I’m a mom, I can understand how she can appreciate knowing that her daughter is happy with her husband and that he treats her like a queen.  And to be honest, it’s overwhelming sometimes when I think about how good I have it, especially compared to how hard things were as a child. 

Speaking of my husband, he’s gone too.  He flew out this evening on business.  He won’t be gone long though.  But last night I told him, “You aren’t allowed to do this to me again!”  To leave me the same day my mom leaves!  (and while I’m PMSing!).  Yeah, maybe he was smart to leave!  (I think he planned it out that way!)

Of course, the PMSing has just started but I’m still waiting for things to happen (if you know what I mean).  Waiting is the worst.  So when Faith told me she was thinking about me and thinking that I was pregnant, ha ha, it made me a little bit nervous.  But I’m convinced she got it wrong due to her most recent post.  (Check it).  As long as she doesn’t have any dreams about me being pregnant, I think I’m okay.  Even if a woman approached me at my sister’s wedding and told me she felt that the Lord was going to bless us with another baby.  But Suzy, if you do have a dream, don’t wait to tell me until after it happens, okay?  I need to know!

So the last few days with my mom were a blast.  We went to the zoo, to the River, and had some fun hanging out, eating out, shopping and makng wontons.  Of course, the trip to Maine was a blast too.  I wanted to post some pics but I apparently need to upload them first…so I’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.  Until then…

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Thoughts On Death

I have tons to blog about, tons of pictures to post, but tonight I just have to get this off my chest.  I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately.  It’s like the reality of death is hovering over me.  It seems so unnatural – the idea of saying goodbye to someone I love and never being able to speak to them again, touch them, hear their voice, or smell them, until I myself die too. 

I keep thinking, “This wasn’t God’s original plan.  This – this emptiness, this unnatural feeling – this is the result of Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”  It has to be.  I do not believe we were intended to go through this – to deal with death in this way. 

 I just can’t explain it.  It’s almost like I feel like I am going to have to say goodbye to someone I love very soon.  It’s like I’m just waiting to see who it is.  Maybe I’m just being silly or superstitious.  Maybe I was listening to my grandfather too much when he was talking about having such little time left.  Maybe I’m just PMSing again. 

Whatever it is, I feel vulnerable and am completely aware that I am not in control.  At least I know God hears my voice.  That’s the only thing that makes me feel secure in all of this.  That and knowing that I’m probably just PMSing.

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I really am going to use W@rdpress. I’ve just had problems with my computer…long story. Be sure to watch for some awesome Maine pictures I plan on posting there very soon!

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Vacationing in Maine

So my life has been crazy lately. I really intended to get a post up on my blog before I left for Maine, but it just didn’t happen. Partly because I was too busy, and partly because I have been having problems with my computer!

Anyway, we left for Maine last Friday. Mom flew in on the 4th, joined me for the 18+ hour drive from Ohio to Bar Harbor. It was kind of strange. We started off staying at my dad’s house. I guess he and my grandpa (his dad) aren’t getting along and Dad refuses to come out to the cabin we rented for the week because of him…even if that means not seeing any of us.

But I have this thing in me that feels like I have to do something to keep the peace…and since I didn’t want to waste any of our “cabin days” away at his house (because those cabin days are truly the highlight of our vacation), we decided to leave a bit early and get to my dad’s house over the weekend. (Cabin wasn’t available until Monday).

Scott flew in since he’s limited on vacation days and we made it into Bangor an hour before his flight came in. We didn’t waste any time. We stopped at my grandparent’s house for a short visit until it was time to pick him up. (My dad and his fiance weren’t too keen on the idea of picking him up since he didn’t fly into Bar Harbor where they live). So while I was irritated that they’d allow us to spend another hour and a half in the car with five kids, picking up my husband, it worked out just as well because we got to see my grandparents for about 45 minutes.

So we picked Scott up and drove out to my dad’s and his fiance’s house. It was kind of strange being there with my mom and all. Imagine it. My mom, dad, and his fiance all in the same house and getting along and hanging out. My mom is a better woman than I’ll ever be! But I guess it’s nice that they get along and that she has forgiven and let go of the past.
They did spoil us by getting live Maine lobster, taking us to the shops at Bar Harbor, and taking us on an awesome sea adventure cruise. The time did fly by and my dad and his fiance kept us busy.
By Monday evening, we we were ready to load up and head out to our cabin at Dow Pines. My grandpa and grandma and two uncles were there waiting for us, with a fire going outside and food and drinks waiting. Ahhhhhhhhh. Food, fun, and family all together at the great outdoors.

We have a nice little cabin with a view of the lake. Two bedrooms with full-sized beds and a loft with two twins. (Two air mattresses fit right up there too). We can rent Kayaks and canoes and boats. So much fun!

So here we are…enjoying a much needed vacation and time with family. I have much more to write about, but I don’t want to spend all my time on my computer when I should be spending it with my family…oh yeah…and today is Joshua’s 6th birthday. Where does the time go?

Happy Birthday, little man. I love you. (and you are still technically 5 until 4:33 p.m. CST, so stop saying you are six!)

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