Posted in Life

How I Spent the Winter

It may seem as though I abandoned my blog. It does look that way. Though appearances are often deceiving

As much as I wanted to write, I had a series of catastrophes to deal with. First, my failing marriage– no surprise there. Second, health issues and testing– stalemate. Third, my children (my teenager and his issues) — and dun dun dun home-school.

Situations aren’t as bad as they look on your computer screen.

With many prayers and compromises from both parties, my marriage is improving. Health issues are.. meh. It seems my situation stays the same, which is disheartening. I am hoping my last specialist appointment will help uncover part of the mystery. And home-school.. I know! Wow!

So why did I decide on home-school?

Having a teenager is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life! They can be so complicated. I feel bad for EVERYTHING I put my mother through!!

My son isn’t a troublemaker. He wasn’t expelled. The school wasn’t helping him. In some ways, they held him back. In other ways, he fell behind with his school work.

So our decision was partially because of the school. The other part was the crowd he associated with. I am not labeling these kids as “bad” kids.  They were guilty by their assocation with my son. I knew how he acted was strange. He started becoming very distracted and unfocused until he started acting different at home, and losing his focus. He never fell behind before. He always made the honor roll.

So, he may not have made the honor roll. Big deal. But I knew, I couldn’t have him around people who were effecting the way he was acting, and could possiblty cause trouble. If he started having trouble in his last year of middle school, what would high school be like?

He already started having trouble with bullying in middle school. What would high school be like? What would peer pressure look like? Would he cave?

Would I have to worry about my son and his ADHD? My son whose impulses are sometimes out of control because of his ADHD? I didn’t want to find out.

So yeah. Call me an overprotective mom, if you would like to. I did what I thought was best.

My daughter experienced some trouble in elementary school. Not in the same ways my son did. However, it seemed beneficial to look for alternatives.

I  did a ton of research for online schools vs. traditional homeschooling, and found an exceptional online school. After a month of deciding, as it wasn’t a decision made lightly, they were enrolled. We needed something different!

Starting school at home was not without its challenges. It took some time adapting to a routine. However, they are doing excellent. I am proud of them. Although it does consume my time, I love how rewarding it is to watch them grow and learn.

People look at us differently because of our decision to home-school. We feel like social pariahs because we stepped outside the accepted norm of society. Though our instructors are as qualitied and capable as the ones in public school, they are also certified by the state.  Our school gives more freedom to your schedule of when you want to do school. Or if you want to work ahead. It allows for more creativity and free-thinking.

And again– the instructors are awesome. They don’t judge your children based on their appearance. Or go by favoritism. My children worked hard to earn the grades they have without worrying about if their teacher was having a good day, and was going to yell at them. Or complain about their job. Because they love teaching.

My daughter was so far behind in math when we came because she struggled. She was being ignored in public school, and not getting the help she needed. She is all caught up with math, and doesn’t mind the class with her instructors. If she learns at a faster rate, they will teach her at that rate.

So school is something good we have going for us..

Over the winter, I went through a major depression. I didn’t feel like doing anything aside from my normal routine, and hanging out with family. Family was great. Forget going outside. Seeing anyone. Talking to anyone. Writing anything. Why write anything? It’s going to sound dumb.

Anything I loved doing– I didn’t have the energy or willpower to do.

I hated how I looked in the mirror. I hated my reflection. Eat. Don’t eat. Sleep. Can’t sleep. Hurt. Hurt. Hurt. 

Depression is awful. It makes you think things that aren’t true. Feel things you shouldn’t feel. What am I supposed to remember again? Crap! Grumble. Grumble. Grumble. 

I didn’t have any thoughts of suicide, but some who battle depression do have those thoughts. If you have depression and have these thoughts please talk to someone– a counselor or the suicide hotline–  1-800-273-8255

More than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. So if you are one of the ones who suffer like I do, you are not alone. May is Mental Health Awareness month!

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Posted in Poetry

Our Secret

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Our Secret. ©  LC 2016

A hot summer’s night.
Two shivering bodies hide
cloaked in the shadows.
Water. Drip-Drip-Dripping. From
swimming. Hearts do somersaults
as foreheads collide.
Warm tongues dance as mine
scrape metal braces– we smile.
As he runs home, late.

Photo Credit

Posted in Poetry

Innocence

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Innocence. © LC 2016

Countless hours in
my room spent–tied up in knots–
lost in innocence.
Trails we blazed like those before–
spent laughing at the dumb boys.
Flirting as we walked.
“I’ll never date him.” Though I
remember our first
kiss. Awkward. Silly. Just friends.

Posted in Life, Music

My Son’s Band Concert

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to the high school and middle school band play. We gathered into a crowded auditorium for the Spring concert. Where hormones were raging, babies were crying, and parents watched the stage with a mix of joy, and anxious frustration.

My son is a percussionist. He plays the drums. I am not bragging, but I think he plays good.

Because he is impulsive and always has to be moving, (A.D.D.) he makes a great drummer. Though he did not win an award on our band trip last year, I thought he did an excellent job.

If we had different judges, he may have won. He said he may have missed one beat the entire time. Cut the kid a break. He was awesome! (A mother can be bias.)

His favorite thing to play is the trap set. What is a trap set you might wonder? It’s okay. I did, too. A trap set is the really big set of drums you have to sit down to play.

All the kids love to play them, and almost fight over them.

I am not a percussionist. I am clueless between them. The ones I know– cowbell and triangle. Bongos? I could rock those!

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When we arrived one of the “PTA Yentas” had no idea we would be there. Her son also plays drums, and is a year below my son.

[Yenta-a woman who is a gossip or busybody.]

When I went to say hello before I could open my mouth I received–“Oh, you aren’t supposed to be here!?!”

“Huh? Well it’s nice to see you too!” I thought to myself. “And you were one of the nicer ones! Guess I was wrong!” 

She was super chatty with me last week helping with the book fair. Telling me about drum lessons, and the band trip.

Apparently, my son told her son we weren’t coming. Because of this confusion, her son would cover his parts. Thus, playing the trap set.

She hoped he would share his music. Because her son didn’t have any? That left me clueless.

One– Why wouldn’t they have enough music? Two–  Why wouldn’t he share? Three– Why cranky with me?? Geez.

In our band, they have “section leaders” telling them what to do. Who plays what. It isn’t a fair deal with who plays what part, and the band director doesn’t get involved. He lets them handle it.

The children in the band the longest have seniority. They know more. So they have less sucky parts.

They don’t cowbell as often. Triangle. Or Tambourine.

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I know it’s not fair being the small guy. No one likes it. Everyone should have a turn.

It is kinda the same way in sports. The suckier players don’t get to play. They are benched. It isn’t fair either.

At least in band they get to do something, I guess?

My kid was that sucky kid playing baseball. He didn’t make the cut. He liked it, but wasn’t good at it. He knows how it feels to be the lowest on the totem pole.

So, he helps the younger kids in his section. He doesn’t mind. He helped her son when they were going on the band trip, as he considers him one of his friends.

Maybe the reason she was so nice to me last week is because she wanted to know why we didn’t go on the band trip. People do that. Pretend to be nice so they can gather information.

“We missed him! We could have used him!” She crooned.

Well, he was supposed to go on a band trip this year. He didn’t go. Why didn’t he go? Oh, because he has his head too far up his ass. I don’t know what his problem is this year.

No, I didn’t use those exact words, but I was honest. His slipping grades. Video games. Teenager stuff. Because we are dealing with real problems here. My son will overcome them, and be better for it.

So- no, he didn’t earn the trip this year. 

Instead, he helped her son learn the parts to go. When it was the weekend for the band to go on the trip, he sulked. He disrespected his father, and ended up grounded.

I didn’t tell her everything. The grounded part. Because I didn’t feel like I had to tell her everything.

I am sure they are talking anyway. I wore my dad’s jean jacket to school that morning. I am sure it was a fashion faux pas. Care, I do not.

I tried not to let her attitude stick with me during the concert. It was an excellent show! My daughter moving in her seat. I couldn’t keep still myself.

My son playing the trap set made me proud. I could tell when he messed up a couple of times playing other percussion parts by the look on his face. Even though it wasn’t apparent in the song.

He made it obvious to me putting his hand over his face, and whispering about it. Then, laughing. A mother knows her son.

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It was a long show with both middle and high school band, but I prefer it when they present their concert together. Sometimes they do chorus with the band. I would rather hear the band together.

It makes more sense to me. Band with the band. Rocking out.

Young talented musicians. On the rise. Full of hope. It reminded me of my time in high school.

Not that I was a talented musician, but I was full of hope…

I felt like the walls confined me, and I couldn’t wait to bust out. Couldn’t wait to make my mark.

I hope they succeed with whatever their plans are after high school, and never give up. Life may become rough sometimes, but it’s how we learn and grow into who we are. Who we are meant to be.

My favorite songs they performed– “The Voodoo Dance” by Elliott Del Borgo with my son on the trap set, “Uma Thurman” Arranged by Michael Brown, and “Star Wars the Force Awakens” by John Williams.

By the end of the night, any weird feelings I had from earlier were gone. Her feelings are her problem. What my kid says and what we do are two separate things. We were going, and he had no say. I wanted to hear him play, and see what he did all year in band.

My husband hates going to school functions. He becomes frustrated with people, and how they act. He appears grumpy. Even if he actually isn’t. Because he is on edge.

He deals with rude people during the day. I guess he expects them, and has a low-tolerance for them. I ask him why he can’t appear professional? I have a different outlook.

I can understand how he feels. The way people act can discourage a person from attending a school function. Raise your anxiety level. Second guess being there. If you are “worthy enough” to attend.

The “yentas” have made me NOT want to help with school functions despite trying. Like whatever you do isn’t good enough. Like you don’t belong there.

I know I felt that way!

In the end, I had just as much of a reason to be there as she did. People don’t realize how much their words can sting another person, and often they don’t care. They don’t know YOU or YOUR story. They ASSume. It is sad.

I walked out of there prouder than ever of my boy.

He may be struggling a little now, but it won’t always be so. It all just needs to click, and once it does he will realize he had what it takes all along. He will quit doubting himself.

He will realize what I know to be true. That he has the intelligence and potential to be something great. He is the only one who is holding himself back.

He doesn’t realize how important he is.

How the world needs someone like him, and until he realizes it he won’t shine. He will blend in like the others. Do as they do. Walk like they walk. Speak as they do.

He will continue to bedazzle me with his drumming skills. Until one day I am watching teary-eyed as he is on stage as a senior– at the trap set. With hopes and dreams to make the world a better place because somewhere along the line it happened to click…

I am just praying it clicks sometime soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Poetry

Grounded– Teen Perspective.

Grounded– Teen Perspective.
©2016 LC

Finishing his chores–
slamming doors.
Life’s unfair.
He doesn’t care.
To be grounded is to be bored.
He thinks he is grown.
He can do this alone.
What does he need school for?
Our advice he ignores.
like we were never young once before.

 

 

Posted in Life, Writing

From The War Zone

Having a hard time today with writing. I am not going to try to force it anymore. Staring at this white blank screen is making my left eye twitch. Ever had that happen?

So I will tell you what is happening in my end of the realm.

My son is grounded. It seems like grounding doesn’t bother him anymore. “Oh, I am grounded from my stuff. Oh well, I don’t give a shit!”

And he is bored! So my mopey teenager’s mug has been in my face the majority of the day. He wants to make his grounding as unpleasant for me as it is for him.

And it is working!

My husband tends to lean toward a “no mercy” ruling. He can be harsh. Then, we end up letting him off early because he is good. I feel like this balances out how the harsh ruling.

In the end I know letting him off early he is less likely to earn his lesson, and become a repeat offender with the same behaviors. So we will have to adjust our ways, and he will have to adjust his.

When he is grounded– I know he is going to be “good.” He wants his things he “doesn’t care” about back. He is bored.

No electronics has made his world dull. The walls are starting to talk. He has read four books. What else can he do?

I can help with that!

I have found a list of things he can do to make himself useful around the house. Points he can earn for each chore to become “ungrounded.” That lasted for about an hour.

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My A.D.H.D. kiddo became bored easy. On the plus side, he did learn some life skills today. He did an awesome job with the laundry, folding towels, and taking out the trash. While remaining on my last nerve.

Our main problem is the video games. His therapist he sees for his A.D.H.D finally agrees they are an addiction. I considered this as an option months ago.

Because of his A.D.H.D, he has a greater risk of picking up addictive behaviors. This leaves him vulnerable later in life to drug and alcohol addiction. This makes me worry because his biological father had such a strong addiction to drugs and alcohol.

We talked about this when we visited his doctor this past week. He said I probably witnessed the same behaviors in my first husband. I did. He would say anything to make me believe his lies. Anything to feed the hunger inside of him.

It’s the same with my son. He comes home after school completes all of his chores– just to play video games. Has dinner hurries through the dishes (sometime before bed) — back to video games. Takes his shower to run back to video games. Then, the game shuts off. We do devotionals. It’s bedtime.

He will talk to me when he comes home from school, and at dinner. In the morning before school, and at night before bed. Otherwise, he has his door shut.

He tells me,“All my friends are like this.” 

It is perfectly normal for him to interrupt me when I am busy writing. Or watching TV. He will blurt something out fast, and rush to his room leaving no chance for a reply because I’m yelling it.

I hate it. He is in such a hurry to talk to me because he is otherwise occupied in the virtual world, and only talks to me when it is convenient for him.

However, it’s getting to be too much. He comes home from school. I find him sitting on his bed with an X-box remote AND his kindle playing games.

“You have an electronic device to play another electronic device. Why do you need two?” I scratch my head. I don’t understand.

When is enough– enough? I’ve had enough! I want my son back!

We let him play games because his grades have been wonderful, so I think–
“Let’s cut him some slack.”  His teachers praise his work. He completes his work on time, and works ahead in class.

Until recently. His grades have plummeted. Especially in two of his best classes.

So we sought advice from his therapist, she suggested limiting video games until his grades came back up, and taking them away if the incomplete work is not turned in. My son’s problem is organization, and he is forgetful. Unfortunately, he won’t let me help with it.

She isn’t aware of the severity of the issue. She doesn’t know what transpired here last weekend. When all hell broke loose.

My son agreed to cut my mother’s grass. My husband offered to help him as he isn’t handy with the lawnmower yet. He knew the day was approaching, but he didn’t know when…

It’s always a big deal if he doesn’t know when because he has to mentally prepare himself to lose video game time, hence, video game addiction. He doesn’t care if he is helping out his grandmother who can’t find anyone to cut her grass. It is taking up his precious time.

So, my husband went over my mother’s to get a head start on mowing and the weather. The clouds looked heavy with rain like it would pour at any minute. When school let out and I picked my son up to cut grass, he had other plans for the day.

After a fifteen minute argument, we were in the car. I was upset he didn’t want to keep his word. He knows how important it is to be man of his word. I am not raising him to act this way.

He was mad he couldn’t play video games and we didn’t “clear it with his schedule.”

“Are you kidding me! You are the child! I am the parent!”

When we arrived at my mother’s, he refused to cut the grass. He sat in the car with the windows down, and helped my husband when he needed things.

He sulked the whole time thinking he won the argument. Not realizing everyone loses.

He lost the money he would earn that day. My husband refused to take any. He lost all electronics. And a pair of drum sticks he threatened to hit my husband with.

It was also the weekend he would be at the band competition– but his grades held him back. I believe he didn’t want to go because he rather play video games. Part of him wanted to go, but the other part– the hunger for video games won.

Making him angrier still– when his plan to play them was taken away.

This is the second time an argument about video games has turned physical, and it has only been this way recently. The physical violence further proving he would do anything to play. Just like an addict would do anything for drugs. 

He argues, “All my friends play video games like I do.”

Maybe they do. But he has a problem. How many of them have A.D.H.D? Are their grades suffering?

They aren’t my kid!

I know he could be doing worse things than playing video games. He could be down the street doing drugs. He could be dealing them. He could be drinking alcohol, running around, and partying. But he doesn’t do any of those things.

However, video game addiction can be as bad as any of those things. It can destroy his relationships with his family. Prevent him from learning how to socialize with people. Further decimate his academic career.

I try my best to get him talking to me. I know who his friends are. Around his birthday he made a new one, and he doesn’t do that well in school. He sits beside him in the two classes he isn’t doing well in currently. I am not pleased about it.

I know it is normal for teens to want to be alone. I try to give him his “space.” I know he wants to brood because he and a girl he dated for a couple of months broke up. He still likes her, and she annoys him. I remember what that feels like.

My gripe is I have no idea what is going on at school. He never brings home homework. Studies for a test. Projects are last minute. Or late. How can I help him become organized if I don’t know any of those things?

Things will continue to move at a faster pace. He isn’t ready. If he is stuck in his “gamer world” and I cannot get him unglued he will fail at life.

I worry about that a lot. I am stuck with him today– at my side.

So, he is grounded and we are not giving in easy this time. Being bored is good for him. He has time to slow down, and think. Which he doesn’t always DO.

He can spend time with his family. Oh no! A teenager’s worst nightmare! Hopefully, he will realize a balance must be found between too much video game time, and “none.” His therapist will have ideas.

I hope this time goes by fast for him, and me!

From Behind Enemy Lines,

Lynne

 

Posted in Blogging

And it is the Weekend!

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It has been a difficult week for writing. I couldn’t be happier to greet a Friday morning. I was a surge of energy as I completed my morning routine, grabbed some coffee, my comfy clothes, and sat down to write!

All I wanted to do all week! Didn’t have time. Bummer!

I have been making an extreme effort to keep things going. I planned out a schedule, and thought of other ideas a couple of nights ago. Things I might add in the future. I think it’s trial and error. Learning what works, and what doesn’t.

My mind is split in so many directions this week. Three out of five days I  had appointments. Certain issues to deal with for the children. Bills to pay. Oh, and a new medication to try. Side effects are lovely. Not! 

Let me just say briefly taking Cymbalta for joint pain was not a good experience. I felt wired. Not in a good way. I felt all kinds of weird things. Extremely happy. Then, sad. I couldn’t sit still. Couldn’t think. Couldn’t sleep.

If I woke up in the night, then tried to resume sleeping I couldn’t. My husband the lumberjack was a chainsaw cutting logs– the snoring kept me up. 

When I can’t sleep, I can’t think to write very well.

My son is having issues at school. He promised he would do better. Even with modifications at home, he isn’t. We are attending counseling. Still not breaking through. It is breaking my heart. 

He tells my mother on me. It is like she is going to save him. Tell me I am unfair and he should have video games all the time. They aren’t good for him. How do I know who he is talking to on there?  I don’t.

So he won’t have free rein. I know what he is doing, and when.

We had a conversation last night about his circle of friends. I think they are a bad influence. Maybe not all of them. However, since hanging out with some of them he is losing interest in things once important to him.

For instance: He LOVED taking a yearly trip with the band for their competition. This year, he had NO interest in going. It was almost like he did poorly in class so he didn’t go. Slacked off.

This bothers me because he is smart. He didn’t do this the first two semesters. He loves band. He is an EXCELLENT drummer. Gets along so well with his band director. Didn’t even bother to tell him we weren’t going on this trip. I don’t know why.

Another instance: Out of the blue yesterday, he says he doesn’t want to be a video game designer/developer. This has been his life long dream since I can remember. He went to school bragging about it. How he was going to be so good at it. He knew he had to work hard, and he didn’t care. He had the grades to do it. He only had to work at Math.

I told him I would support him no matter what he wanted to do. I believe, as a parent, it is what we have to do. Be supportive. Though he doesn’t even know what that IS now. I don’t know what would cause him to give up his dream?

So last night, I told him he needed to evaluate the people closest to him. Maybe they are jealous of him because he does so well, and they are trying to drag him down? Friends can be fake behind your back? It can be rare to find a genuine friend. (In my experiences.)

One of his friends wasn’t taking gym. So he decided he wasn’t going to either. This was affecting his gym grade dramatically. They will fail him– eventually. He would “accidentally” forget his clothes. We spoke to him about his lack of effort, and how it is lazy not to change. Gym is an easy grade.

Last night, he told me he “at least his friend was changing for gym” because he helped him. I chuckled. Still not sinking in– I said,” Yeah, you may be helping him, but he isn’t helping you! You are still sinking!” 

His answer to everything– “Yeah, I’m gonna fix that!”

You shouldn’t lose yourself in a friendship. You need to be yourself, too. Not who your friends are. He doesn’t understand that.

He doesn’t understand while his grades are plummeting, and he isn’t putting in the effort that they are affecting who he is becoming. He is letting them.

He isn’t understanding the natural progression of school. It’s going to get harder and faster, and he isn’t prepared. He needs to separate himself from these people. He needs organization, but he’s lazy.

He thinks it is okay to act like a 20-something year-old stoner, who sits around all day playing video games, and has no other care in the world. I don’t know how he is going to learn how to establish healthy relationships if we can’t pry him away from the virtual world.

Which his doctor and therapist agree is okay in limited forms. It helps his depression. Depression from middle-school because it is awful there.

This week, he told me he has a sixteen dollar tab because mysteriously his lunch keeps getting taken. He doesn’t know by whom. I called his father asking if he would call the school. But at this point, we aren’t sure if he is making an excuse to eat at school.

We told him to be more alert when he is eating so when we call the school we have a name. How can we call if we don’t have a name? If he is talking and not paying attention, he needs to pay more attention to his lunch, and eating.

He agrees to stuff, but then he complains about it later. So typical.  

I am so glad my daughter isn’t a teenager, yet.

So yeah, that is this week in a nutshell. I made it! 

Hopefully this weekend is a nice relaxing one. With some time to write, and plan.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Lynne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Poetry

You Matter

You Matter!

© LC 2016

Wake up!

Fight for your life!

While you still have time–

to make it right.

Stand up!

Don’t let life pass you by!

Life is full of possibilities–

You are young! Reach for the sky!

You can make a difference– if only you try.

You matter!

You don’t want a heaping world of regret instead.

Go where your heart leads. Do something with your life!

Use the brains in your head.

This poem is inspired by my son. He is going through some teenager issues, and they are weighing on my heart a lot this week. I thought if I could say anything to him what would it be? After I read it, I thought– “I could have applied this to my teenage years!”

Hope you enjoyed it!

Lynne

 

 

 

Posted in Poetry

Clouded Perception

Clouded Perception.

© LC 2016

Underneath that smile

Is the little boy I once knew.

Now he is too big for his britches!

Once so happy and carefree–

Fast as a weed he grew!

Playing matchbox cars in ditches.

Lost in the world of gaming,

as if nothing matters to you.

Your dreams—waning.

You flirt with Deception.

The lies cloud your view.

Dreaming of easy riches.

What happened to the boy I once knew?

I wish you could see yourself through my eyes

Potential wasted. You believing your own lies!