Who Brings out the Best in You?

One of the most unique questions I’ve thought about in a while.

Well, my first mind would challenge me to think about what the ‘best’ me actually is. The best me is the me that is comfortable in her own skin. The me that is okay with being the naturally loud person I am. The me that is all accepting of everyone around me. The me that is comfortable saying how I feel. She’s the me that I hate to suppress because strangers are around and she needs to be the professional me. She’s the me that likes to meet and talk to new people. While I am outgoing and sociable, I have often been very snide and apathetic. Its weird.  I can cut people off, very easily and quickly, I am not a romantic, but a realist and I don’t believe in feelings. I don’t give hugs and I don’t clean unless I feel like it.

So, the question is…. Who Brings out the Best in Me?

It certainly isn’t my mother. Lol. Or my children. Or significant other.

Bringing out the best in a person is sooooo different from being a good friend. Right? A good friend listens to you when you are down and out, the person who brings out the best in you affects you so that you can get back up and running. A good friend allows you to be you. The person who brings out the best in you encourages you to be a better you. Its different!

The person who brings out the best in me is someone who, before answering this question, I didn’t give much thought to the impact they had on me.

The award goes to…..(drum roll please)…. Tramela Cummings (no homo). She is always challenging some theory, notion or institution. Never lives her life IN the box, always outside the box. An advocate of all things midwife, childbirth, healing, love, peace, world, grass, LIFE! She’s the person that you want to talk with before you embark on a spiritual journey through some cave in India, she makes those types of things seem absolutely normal. But aside from her quirkiness, her being different and her outside the box beliefs, Tramela is friend that Ive had since college who, for some STRANGE, WEIRD reason, always brings out the best in me.

Like I stated earlier, I don’t believe in feelings. Even that picture of those two teddies hugging makes me want to scream ‘so gay’. But when she went through a bad breakup and cried at my apartment for a week, I found myself empathizing! Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t empathize or sympathize well– if ever. She never judges others or gossips about people and when we talk I find myself accepting others a little better because of her ‘tramela rationalizations’. She recently came to town and I cleaned my daughter’s filthy room so she could sleep in there. Once again, these are things that I don’t jump to do until I am good and ready. (Don’t judge me). I cleaned the room so well, that my significant other was JEALOUS! The next day he asked me how come he couldn’t get that type of treatment. Lol. She’s a good friend, yeah. She has always encouraged me in my endeavors. Has always listened to my rants. And has ALWAYS ALWAYS challenged me to think outside the box…. to increase my consciousness.

But, being a good friend is different from bringing out the best in people around you.

She, appropriately, has re-named herself ‘Sunshine’ and in our friendship she is definitely a beacon of light.

Who Brings out the Best In You?

I am the Perfect Parent. All Hail Me.

You have found me. The perfect parent who is far above all others. I am the parent who does no wrong. The parent who children refer to when they envision the ultimate parent. I am the parent that other parents want to be.
I am the parent who struggles to talk to my own kid, but can talk to others freely. I am the parent without patience for her 9 year old, but loads of patience for 60 children who range in age from 5-14. I am the parent who has read all the child psychology books and memoirs, who can quote the saying of great children philosophers. I am the parent who spanks her kids and is sure that her children will leave her in a nursing home at the end of her day. I’m the parent who frowns when others curse in front of my children, but fails to notice that her children already know all the curse words. I’m the perfect parent…. to others. All Hail Me.
Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

That Gotdamned Santa!!!

I don’t really remember dealing with many Santa related issues where my oldest was concerned. Yeah, she watched the movies, sang the songs and heard the stories, but it was never that serious to her. She just wasn’t really into that dude. It could be because she was born on Christmas and somehow born with this innate knowledge that he didn’t exist, I don’t know. But, it saved me from that ‘special conversation’ nonetheless.
I was listening to the Steve Harvey radio show yesterday morning and a caller was asking his home depot guy for help with making her Christmas lights spectacular. She noted that her daughter believes that Santa will miss their house if their house is not appropriately lighted. Steve Harvey went off on this lady on to ask how old her daughter was, to which she replied “Ten”.
At this point, his entire listening audience was thinking the same thing: You need to break it to the delusional, overgrown fifth grader that this dude is just as real as the hogwarts school we see on Harry Potter.
While my first child didn’t stress me about toys and Santa, this second kid is WORKING me. He has recently started a new school which I am sure has launched a campaign to bring me financial hardship. My sweet four year old has started coming home every day and starts a daily conversation about how many toys he expects Santa to bring him. And it has gotten out of control!!!

If I DARE to gently tell him that Christmas is about family and love and not toys and Santa, my little sweet baby cutest four year old turns into a baby exorcist! Literally! Puke flies out of his mouth and his head spins uncontrollably!  It is unseen of!

I don’t know why they (The Man) thought this was ok, introducing the young and innocent to this plus size hippie man, who doesn’t believe in touching up that beard or getting a haircut, period, with blushed out cheeks and imaginary venison breaking into the homes of innocent hardworking parents all over the world. Its a crime against humanity!

For now, I’m not exactly sure what to do with my son. Should I wait until someone else tells him? Like a peer? Or do I have a sit down with him and just bring out the truth. I mean, c’mon what age is too early to be hipped to REALITY. Right?
That Gotdamned Santa, I swear……

I remember When….

I am the mother of two beautiful children: 1 girl and 1 boy. My daughter is 9 and my son is 3 years old, soon to turn 4 in about 20 days. I wouldn’t consider myself the traditionalist memory parent. I don’t remember a lot of those details that other parents remember that incur warm memories. I do not remember the first time my daughter walked, or the first time my son walked. I don’t remember the first time my son got a tooth or the first time my daughter rode her bike. I do not even remember my daughter’s first day of school.

However, I do remember the bitter beginnings of my becoming a single parent. I was in high school when I got pregnant, I was a senior headed to college. As the oldest child in my small family, my mom who was a single mom had high hopes for my future. Hopes that came to a crashing halt when she found out from my teacher that I was pregnant. I had confided in a teacher at my school, Vaughn Shores, only for him to tell my mother the following day. My mother was crushed, I didn’t understand it then, but I do now.

I can imagine the hurt I would feel if my daughter with so much potential had thrown a wrench in her future by having a baby with a loser. And indeed, my daughter’s father was a bonafide loser lol. I knew that at 17. He had already tried to talk to half the girls at my school, with no avail. He had no job, insisted that he wouldn’t go to college and instead insisted that he wanted to become a rapper. O, I had the ultimate Loser. Lol.

However, as naive as I was about him getting me pregnant, I wasn’t naive about who/what I was dealing with. And yes, I say him getting me pregnant because during the time of conception he ejaculated in me, never told me this and when I asked about the amount of fluid he told me bluntly, ‘thats not me, thats you’. Only to find out later, he was lying through his teeth. But I knew that he didn’t have potential in my life. I knew he wouldn’t be the type of father my daughter needed. I knew not to get my hopes up on expecting him to do the right thing. This was the sole reason that I refused to give my kid his last name.

I already thought it was disgusting when I ran into women who had 2 kids and everyone in the family had a different last name. The mother would be a Jones, one child would be a Williams and another Danes. It was disgusting to me. I didn’t want that in my family. I knew I wasn’t going to marry him.

When I got pregnant, my dad asked me what my plans were. I told him I was going to college. He replied : “So your not going to have a baby?” I told him yea, I was having a baby. He told me that I couldn’t have a baby AND go to school. I had to choose one or the either.

I then got a call from the guy’s mother asking me who was the father of my baby. She asked me what I planned to do. At that time I told her that I was going to put the baby up for adoption. She asked me a string of other questions that didn’t make any sense…. like when did this happen, how did it happen. Lol.

By the time graduation rolled around, my mother was not speaking to me. She had told the world I was pregnant. I had calls coming in from all of her friends expressing concern and sympathy about my situation. It was really over the top.

After I had the baby, just as I predicted, my daughter’s dad= bonafide deadbeat. But his mother was ridiculous. She would constantly be defending him and his non-existant role in my daughter’s life. When I told them I was going to file for child support she went ballistic saying that I was ungrateful that I had gotten myself pregnant. She said that I should have kept my legs shut and that the pregnancy was my fault.

All of the bitterness from my experience with coming into motherhood is still fresh in my mind. However, as opposed to sitting around being just bitter, I’ve used that energy as fuel to push myself through life. I have a point to prove. I will never forget what my experience was like coming into motherhood.

If you were given a chance to know what happens in your future, would you take it?

Absolutely.

Funny enough, I would take it so I could see what kind of future my daughter would have. She is honestly the child I worry about the most. Well, my son is only 3 years old so I don’t have a real basis for worrying so much. My daughter is a cool kid. She has a sporadic sense of interest in taking care of others, is a big fan of crunchy cheetos and hates her new exercise regiment. I love her with all my heart.

She also wears her emotion on her sleeve, which worries me. So I, as a mom, spend a lot of time wondering what type of adult she will be. Of course, smart, beautiful and opinionated. But then, uhhhh still emotional? I’m hoping that she will be strong, emotional when needed and compassionate. Not too much to ask for…. right?

Preparing for Middle School.

Did you hear the organ play when you read that title. Dun dun dun duuuuun. Dun dun dun duuuuuuuun.

The real question is: IS there any way to really prepare for middle school? And I’m not talking about the kid- I’m talking about YOU, the parent!

Middle School is just a ridiculous, crazy, unorthodox time in life that most parents would be happy to fast forward through if the movie “Click” could become a real life possibility. Do you remember when YOU were in middle school and what that was like? Whew, put on a helmet and take a seat because I’m sure your head is spinning.

Bottom line folks, we all know that middle school is rough. The best way to prepare for middle school is START EARLY. Find a school that will be a good fit for your child. If she/he is quiet yet artistic, try out a school for the arts. If your child is a natural born athlete, let them go for the gold at a larger middle school that has a variety of options and a history of sports success. Taking you rising middle schooler to open house and letting them meet teachers can be a really effective way to make middle school seem less threatening. Finally, its time to shelve away those baby communication wires in hopes of some brand new ‘big kid’ upgrades. Learn how to talk to your child about real issues and things that may take place at school. Start now, so it won’t be too awkward later! No, really do it RIGHT NOW! Go ask them who they have a crush on at school or if they know what puberty really means. The earlier the better. Trust me.

If all else fails there is always homeschool?

Describe your ideal Saturday night.

My Saturday nights have been pretty low key for quite some time, I must admit. But, there is one thing that does keep me entertained, even if for a limited amount of time.

Now its pretty strange and a little bad, but hey its something I have come to enjoy so try to just accept me for who I am. But, I have gotten into the fashion of looking at personal ads on craigslist for fun! Yes, yes I know its weird, but it definitely is extremely entertaining.

Looking from ad to ad of people who refuse to send pictures of themselves, but wont answer an email without ___ amount of pictures. (Enter a randomn number) Or the guys who are so frustrated at not being able to find a date, but wont date a women with 3 kids, only 2? Anyone with kids knows, once you have 2 kids that extra 1 is really not going to make or break ya. Or even better, the guy who is a serial craigslist poster! He posts about 6 ads a day with different taglines and you have to wonder to yourself, really? Is it really that bad out here?

I must admit, I am QUITE entertained by the ads that I read on Craigslist. It could be because it is an absolute free form of entertainment. That helps. OR, it could be the amount of variety that exists from one poster to another! However, thanks to me, there is a better way for parents with kids to find that special someone. Check out the single parent websites! Dont be like me, sitting at home reading CL ads, get out, meet someone new and enjoy life! Love ya!