Sunday, January 21, 2007
I just can't say how fast things change. A few weeks ago I was ready to throw myself from the rooftop to avoid seeing my oldest daughter continue a relationship with a guy I was sure would end up ruining her life.
That may sound a bit dramatic, but based on his actions over the 18 months or so they dated, I was certain he would eventually chain her to the house and see to it she washed his clothes, cleaned his home and birthed his babies without ever speaking to another soul again.
That is hard to take as a parent, when you realize you are no longer the "boss" and your kids may actually act on thoughts they have that you might not agree wholeheartedly with.
One of the more odd things about the relationship was that the pair enjoyed attending church together. I kept hoping that one of the Sundays the pastor would speak to something that might wake her up and let her realize what was going on but it never seemed to happen.
On Sunday, two weeks ago, my daughter didn't feel "up" to attending church with her bf. She called to say she wasn't going, and to that, he told her if she didn't go to church, he didn't want to talk to her again.
She was at home at the time, and I heard her reply.
"ok" was all she said.
I thought I was in my dreams. You know, the ones where I get to arrange the pieces and everything comes out okay?
OK must have worked, because he called after church, all friendly and such, and she told him to get lost. She wasn't talking to him anymore. After a few more calls, and a few more terse conversations with him, he figured out he'd pushed one time too many.
There was mental dancing, jumping and general gaiety here, lemme tell ya.
Two weeks out and he is referred to by her as: "The one which we do not speak of"
Dreams do come true, as well as prayer.
I know we're in the clear - at least for a while, as she's already replaced Mussolini with a refreshing friend she introduced us to this week.
They're annoying as hell together because they laugh and talk constantly, often interrupting each other to tell the funniest part first.
Its so nice to hear her laugh again.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The 'eyes' have it
The time had come and gone for new spectacles for Stephanie. Sentenced to them since second grade, I relished the opportunity as a young adult to forego wearing them at the first given opportunity. Back in my day, glasses not only gave you improved vision, but an opportunity to see more clearly the kids making fun of your "four eyes," and allowed you to better dodge broccoli florets tossed at your head during lunch by the cool kids who didn't have to wear them.
Glasses were soooooo uncool in second grade.
By the fourth grade, some kids had cool glasses. Half-shaded lenses with diamond insets of their initial or an outline of a unicorn or ladybug, I recieved no such thing, though it wasn't for a lack of begging. I was assigned the big, round frames that dwarfed my head. I had to be cautious when playing outside, for fear I'd light my face on fire. Astronomers at NASA occasionally utilized the power and sheer size of my lenses to investigate the possibility of galaxies beyond our universe. The only person I knew who's glasses were equally as heinous as mine was my brother Randy. Between the two of us, we kept Foster Grant in business.
Being nearsighted in one eye, farsighted in the other, I was able to dump my heavy glass frames when my parents weren't looking and use only one eye at a time for years. I'd read the books I loved with my left eye, and drive or watch TV with my right. This worked like a charm until some guy named Gates thought every home and business needed a computer and someone to operate it. In order to work at a computer all day, glasses were in store and I wasn't a bit happy.
I made a trip to the eye doctor in 1989. He sent me home with a pair of contacts and glasses to boot. My prescription hadn't changed much, and I was smitten with my smaller, round lenses and proceeded to wear them until this Wednesday when I visited my new doctor.
The cute girl in the office quickly ushered me and my 18 year-old specs, now held together by gorilla glue and paper clips, to the diagnostic room. In almost 20 years, the equipment used to determine the lack of sight has drastically increased. I remember only looking at signs and charts at my last visit. We weren't in the chair more than two minutes when she immediately blinded me with eyedrops and told me to wait a while while I "dilated." The last two times I remember dialating, I left the building with a child. I prayed to God it didn't end that way this time.
By the time I'd passed through four different machines and was seeing spots the size of a Boeing 747, The doctor came in and we played the "better?/worse?" game until I wouldn't have recognized my own children had they paraded in front of me.
The best thing about visiting the eye doctor is being allowed to play dress up with no less than 500 pairs of empty frames once your vision has been temporarily reduced to that of the average gnat. The kind assistant asked to see my old glasses, to get a feel of what I'd been parading about in for the last two decades and stifled a giggle and said, "Oh, those are a little dated,"
Drunk on my choices, I gravitated to the most crazy/fun specs I'd ever seen. "Style be dammed! " I thought, "If I'm going to wear them, then I'm going to enjoy them!
Handing her my selection, she nodded and wrote the numbers down.
"These are a change, that's for sure," she smiled.
By early next week, I'll be able to see clearly for once and for all if indeed glasses are uncool, or just the person who wears them.
Friday, January 05, 2007
As always, it's been a long time!
After reading my last post, and remembering the dire straits I felt then, I have to say that life has improved a good 70 percent. Nothing is ever perfect, but things are much better with the young adult scenario at our house for the most part.
What's incredible, is that as a single soul, you manage, sort, sift and prioritize your own daily challenges, headaches and minutia, without a thought of the next guy. As a parent, for God's sake, you are compelled to manage not only your lost keys, forgotten electric bill and impatient boss, but your children's lunch money, outgrown shoes, medical appointments and broken hearts. It does get taxing after a while.
The fierce struggle between homicidal desires and toleration of my daughter's former boyfriend are in a downward trend right now. I'm sure the rise in the NASDAQ had something to do with it. Either that or the lynching of Saddam. The world can only manage the execution of so many dictators at a time you know.
Slowly, I think she got the vibe her entire family was throwing at her. We (and I mean the WHOLE family, g-ma's, g-pa's, aunts, uncles, sisters and parents) made it perfectly clear that there was NO room in our lives for Professor Dickweed, (lovingly named) and he would not be made welcome under any circumstances.
I tried the whole concept of letting her figure out what an ass he was on her own, as a sort of educational process, but somewhere after the 300th cell phone call and the loud shouting, I lost my dedication to the whole process. His talents as a hypnotist still amaze me because we can be counting the short list (10,000) of his annoying and possibly psychotic traits together and within 30 seconds on the telephone with him, she's all doe eyed again. The guy's a magician.
Anyway, she spent most of her holiday break being herself again, which was a wonderful thing to see. I think he's on the last slow boat to Ex-ville.
Maybe now I'll remember to pay the light bill.
On an up note, we just had our first lamb of the season tonight. Mama did the hard work by herself and I just had to lead the new family to their "hotel room" where they'll stay for the next few days while they get to know each other.
Finally, something that was easy.
On the next wave, my youngest daughter's boyfriend has developed a few short circuits of his own. "They're just friends, can't I have friends that are girls?" I overheard last night.
Anything with testosterone better tread lightly for the next few months. I'm exhausted and it's best not to awaken a sleeping giant.