When?

Silence

Silence

When to be a parent?

When to be a friend?

When to speak the truth you feel?

When an ear to lend?

When do Moms and Dads step in?

When Jack or Jill are hurting?

When do Moms and Dads bow out?

When they’d rather you were averting

When is it okay to speak?

When they’re obviously in pain?

When it reaches the point of no return?

When there’s nothing left to gain?

When Moms and Dads knew what to do

When hugs & kisses soothed

When Jill or Jack were little ones

When life’s wrinkles could be smoothed

When two in love be-came one

When the sun set on that day

When is it the time to speak your heart?

When all you’ve done is pray

When confusion, hurt, and anger come

When sorry just won’t do

When their hearts hurt you know it well

When your heart breaks in two

When to be a parent?

When to be a friend?

When to learn it’s not your concern?

When they tell you so

That’s When

 

The Struggle Eternal

With love from Mom…

♥♥♥♥

 

momkid

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

~ C. S. Lewis

 

IMG_8966

If you harbor bitterness happiness will dock elsewhere

 

IMG_0076
Blame destroys your future…your future begins when you own your past
day one
Sometimes, all we need is one thing to create or welcome change.

 

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Alone…
DSC_3577
Together…
♥♥♥♥
Picture of me 1 - Copy
 The second half is up to you. ♥♥I ought to know

 

 

Mommy Dearest

I’ll go out on a limb here and say for most of us, being a parent is, quite literally, the hardest job we’ve ever had or ever will. And, at the same time, it’s the richest, most fulfilling, most rewarding contribution to our own lives and always will be.  alex

One of the most surprising aspects of parenthood’s lifelong journey is finding out that one split second is all it takes for you to come to know the best and worst of being a parent…the span of that second is the distance between loving another being so much it hurts, to wishing you’d gotten a dog instead!  True dat  🙂

angry_baby11

But in looking at this most difficult most rewarding dichotomy, it’s not so hard to understand when you consider first, our tendency to place the highest value on that which was hardest won, and second, our amazing capacity for forgiveness (as parents at least).

But what is it that takes parents to the depths of the difficult to the heights of reward when it comes to loving our children? How do we survive the splintering of our brains in a thousand directions trying to figure them out, yet tarnishes the love in our hearts never?

I don’t question the reward; I think it’s obvious. I do, however, ponder the difficult. Is it because we love too much?  Is it that even possible?

I don’t believe so…

However, could it be that we love too much for too long?  Is that it?  Does parental love need to be doled out in stages or degrees?  Or fit into categories in order to not overload these little overlords once they come into their own?

So what (you ask) are these stages/degrees/categories you ask?

I’m a little cuss who can’t (and don’t want to) function without you so love me, love me more, love me most!

I’m a teenager so love me lots, and with patience, but for God’s sake, don’t let my friends see it!

I’m a young adult now so love me from a distance, but not too far ’cause I may need the car!

I’ve met someone and we’re going to get married.  Can ya help, can ya pay, can we have it there? (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love him/her!)

I’m going to have a baby so love me, love me most, and love me now ’cause we’re going to need babysitters! (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love it!)

Mom? Dad? I’ve never felt this way before…I love this kid so much my heart hurts!
(ps honey…we know!)

And so on…..

The short answer to the too much / too long question is…yes, okay, maybe, a little bit. But we parents come to this conclusion naturally I think. We instinctively know (or learn soon enough if our instincts are not as honed as they will be), which stage or category we’re dealing with or which degree of parental love to douse them with, simply by living it. Organic knowledge.  We just have to choose to go with it.

Does that stop us from loving the same soul-deep way we did when they were newborn?

No.  Perhaps it does in theirs though.  For a time.

I know that they love us the same way we do them…in the beginning.  Outside of themselves, we are their world. Their universe. Their moon and their stars, and they are ours.

Parents and kids grow up together.  That’s a given.  No matter if you’re 18 or 45 when you have your children, you have to grow up with them to be able to give and receive all that these little selves need, and later, need to share.

We may grow up more with our first.  Then again, it may just be that we grow up differently with the next one or two or three.

But…if we’ve played our hands well, we are love.  All of it.  Every stage, every degree, every category is of the love, by the love, for the love.  And they are right there with us.

Completely (in the beginning)

Mostly (in the middle)

Until (still in the middle but getting further towards the…the…well shit…not the end, but you know what I mean right?)

Until…they find out there are more people to love and to be loved by; more stars to shine the light of love on their heads and in their hearts; more room in their world for other loves.

As it has always been.  As it was with our own parents to be sure.  Just another way of experiencing the circle of life.

Consider…

Our children are loved as only a child can be loved and they in turn, love as only a child can love. The universe is secure.

As time goes on, they thrive and grow in that forever, universe-spanning, parental love and love them right back. But as they continue to grow, they s l o w l y  recognize that their world is expanding to include the many, many different kinds of love; each addition a glimmering star to their universe thus far.

But their recognition is as single-minded as their love for us was in the beginning. When they venture out from underneath the love-cloaked expanse of their parental universe, they don’t at once realize that their hearts are big enough to add new loves without setting aside old ones.

Our time will come again (usually around the time the grand-kids show up!), but as parents, it’s only natural that we do feel the initial loss of that connection when our love is no longer the moon and the stars in our child’s heart.

BUT…

Facing this fact head-on is hard, but absolutely necessary.

For our own well-being as well as theirs.

If we don’t, we run the risk of pushing them further out into the expanse by clinging too close, depending too much on their always being there, pining away for their childhood days when they aren’t there, regretting what we didn’t do, or forgetting what we did. Even romanticizing the harder times and not counting our blessings.

We all can probably think of a parent in our experience who has done, or does, this. Think back to the last time you witnessed a parent who cannot let go and re-live what you felt. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.

I’m certainly not completely innocent of it still.  I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being ‘that mother’. The one who always can, always will, never says no, never says can’t. Who wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the perfect mom’?  But that’s not perfection. It’s limiting to both your life and those of your children.

However, even knowing I am not (and never could be) that mother…(nor is their Dad ‘that guy’) it nevertheless hurts (and in the dark of night, makes me wonder if they’ll still love me enough to ask again- I know, just silly ) to know that we are the ones disappointing our children.

But we get over it because we know we are good parents who have raised good people.  We all deal with disappointments in our relationships.  We have difficult conversations followed by deafening silences.  But we’ve loved each other long enough and well enough to know what’s really important.

So there is hope. Once we’ve matured enough in our parenthood to realize this fact of life, we can recapture that sense of oneness, specialness, absolute love not felt anywhere but in your parents’ heart of hearts.  It is, after all, our hearts that need to make preparations for the day when our children learn there is a love flow-chart.  This will fluctuate during their life spans, but it will always show a solid heart-red line for us.  Mom and Dad.  Steady as she goes.  What more could we hope for?

And an added benefit to this stage of parental maturity is…we can (and hopefully do) look back at our own parents with a new appreciation for all they’ve done, all they’ve been through, and all we’ve learned from them without even knowing it.  Score!

Cheers and happy parenting (and I mean that!)

Dearest Mommy

Dedicated to my Mother and Father and to my Sons
I’m proud to be one of your stars

I Was a Toddler-age Tosspot

Yes, I confess.
By the time I was 3, I was hooked on the ol’ brew.
(And, apparently, I passed that on to my eldest. Though, I preferred a bottle)
Observez Vous…

Gee, thanks Mom!

Gee, thanks Mom!

Actually, I was more hooked on Dad…I was his toddlin’ sidekick in mighty whitey tights!  Anything he did, I wanted to do. Anywhere he was, I wanted to be.  Not so unusual for little girls to consider their Dads their first love and first superhero.

Always ready to catch me

Always ready to catch me

Book Two 37 (2)Book Two 75Roy, Grands, Rhonda (2)

 

 

There again too…I guess boys are of the same mind.  Like father like sons?
You betcha!
Good VT Stock

 

 

 

 

oldies 11 - Copy (2) - Copyoldies 11 - Copyoldies 11 - Copy (2)

 

 

 

 


This is how the story goes…

Once upon a time, in a little town far, far away, there was a little girl who lived with her father, mother, and 3 brothers. That’s her below…the twinklin’ toddler in her mighty whities…
rhondaThe budding housewifeMother got to my hair again

Her father was a hard-working man; working 2, sometimes 3 jobs to make ends meet.  And her Mother was not your ‘typical for the times’ housewife either.

Isn't she pretty?

Isn’t she pretty?

Because, busy as she was, having had 4 kids in 5 years, she still held a full-time job outside the home.

But, this was also a time when families lived close together, daycare centers were non-existent, and family was relied upon to pitch in where they could. (Glad it was you, Gram)

Now, seeing as these were hard-working folk, what little free time there was, was catch-up time, family time, friends time. Picnic parties, horseshoes, reunions, celebrations…but all the time, busy!
Picnic at PartlowsBook Four 12Island Pondroy and chickie 35th cake

But…let’s not forget the biggie…working on cars in the yard.

That all-american male’s favorite pastime.  Grease-monkeyin’ in the driveway.
b10Working-Old-Car-onworking-on-car
Am I right?

So anyway, this is how a toddlin’ sidekick to her Daddy’s Superman, gets her tights in a twist…

A typical weekend afternoon, circa 1963…

The boys tinkerin’ in the driveway with the women folk fixin’ victuals and watchin’ babies inside.
A regular tune ‘er up, tink’er up, smoke’em up, drink’em up, Sa’day afternoon.
Rev her up..sounds good!
Close her up…hit the dirt for a test run.
No need for cleanin’up, we’re comin’ right back.

Ya with me?  Good.

To continue…

The boys are gone.
The women are inside with (8 of the usual 9) the kids.
One smarty pants little toddler decided she missed her Daddy and went outside looking for him.
She calls for him.
No answer.
She can’t see him.
But wait…there…in the driveway.
“What’s that?” she wonders in her terrible-three tiny little brain.
“Can it be?” she asks herself
“Why, I think it’s a Daddy bottle and ooooooh, he left it for me!” silently gigglin in delight she was
“I love a good Daddy bottle. It’s so much more yummy than my ucky ol’ boring one.” she hmmphs at the thought.
She looks around.
No one.
She listens keenly for any sound that would suggest Mommy was coming to take her Daddy bottle away.
Nothing.
“Yay” she thinks as she’s already on the move, toddlin’ toward that dark brown delight she knows is filled with liquid gold.
She stretches those short and chubbies just far enough to grab the neck of that father-forgotten treasure, tips it to her lips like the bottle pro she is…and chug-a-lugs.

That was the last thing I remember prior to waking up in the hospital God knows how much time later.

You see, the brew I knew and thought of as Dad’s liquid gold, was what I now call, liquid fire.

As was the custom then…and I’ve seen it again and again in the years since…these man-boys would use beer bottles as containers for gasoline when working on their carburetors. They were always plentiful, usually empty, so why buy a gas can when a beer bottle will do?

Exactly! Logic boys….logic!

The madness that followed can quite easily be imagined…and remember, this was an itsy bitsy town.
I don’t remember much of the ensuing chaos…but have heard the details often.

The boys returned to find my Mother holding me in a panic.
No other vehicle.
No hospital nor ambulance within 8 miles and 13 minutes (rural roads ya know).
And a non-breathing child turning colors no human should be.
Parents and me in the car.
Dad driving hell-bent for leather, Mom holding me.
My head out the window like a dog.
I do remember being told NOT to throw up.
I do remember having zero conscious thoughts at this time.
Arrive at the hospital alive, though I was told I didn’t take a single breath, as well as my Mother being told that it’s a miracle I didn’t vomit, for that would have been the end of my life as I knew it.
I do remember too, waking in a crib-bed with a top (?), like a cage, feeling trapped.
But, when I could, I remember looking out the window and seeing my Memere’s house and it made me feel better.


 Now, all of us that are parents, know this irrefutable fact:

You CANNOT turn you back on a toddler
EVER.
Even for a second.
Because one second is one second TOO LONG!


But…I think we can all agree…it happens.

Shit happens!

beer cap

This Bud’s for Anyone but ME!

“Misogynistic MINI Mechanics” or “WHOA…Them Dudes Make a Shit-ton of Dough!

After 3 weeks, I leave the Great Frozen North (a.k.a. The Northeast Kingdom) Friday, on the journey south to reclaim Mini Me and head home to Virginia on Saturday.

The hotel room near the dealership is booked so I can arrive at the service door bright and early Saturday morning to pick her up.

Speaking of the dealership…I was in contact with them today, as I had asked them to do an ‘extended’ test drive to make sure she was sound, knowing I was leaving for Virginia directly from picking her up.

Word back from the Wrench Wench was…

“The test drive went really well, the Mini’s purring, but one of her high beams is out.”

“Which one?” I ask

“Driver’s side high beam” she replies

“Really? I had that replaced in July” I remind her, since she has all the service records.

“Maybe the other dealership used an aftermarket bulb” suggested she.

“Not sure what you mean by aftermarket bulb Marissa. Last I checked, the bulbs were not MINI specific. As far as I can tell from the receipt, they installed a Sylvania 9008, which seems to be the standard.”

“Do you want us to fix it? If you do, I can order the bulb today and it will be here tomorrow.”

“Order it?  You don’t HAVE one?  What would that cost me Marissa?”

“$78.96”

“To replace a bulb????”

“The cost of the bulb is $13.96 plus tax. Labor to install is $69.13. And, if you had it replaced at a dealership last time, maybe they would offer a warranty on the bulb?”

“Marissa, the cost to replace that same bulb in July was $36 complete. I think charging $69 just to install a bulb is MORE than UNREASONABLE! I’m not sure why your quote is so high, but would appreciate if you could work with me on the price (not to mention, between me and the warranty company, you just got paid 8,600 bucks!”

” I can’t really speak for other dealer’s pricing. All dealerships vary around the country usually because of state differences.”

“Well, I think I’ll pass on your installing a replacement bulb and I’ll take care of it when I get home.”


Sing along with me?

I dream of Mini with the bright gold lights

Yeah, you’d think so wouldn’t you?

I’m really not convinced this entire scenario would have played out the same way had I, been a bloke and not a sheila.

Even a sheila as mouthy as me.

Who’s to know for sure.

All I do know, is that come Saturday morning…I’m back behind the wheel, headed home.

And depending on how fast I dare to drive until I know Mini Me is with me or against me…

14 or so hours later (I’m taking the road less traveled home), I’ll be in my own bed, snugglin’ with my Sadie, and scratching my husband.

Really?

Really?

Oh wait…In my own bed, scratching my Sadie and snugglin’ my husband.

Either way…I’ll be at a Ford dealership the day after.

Depend on it!

I’ll let ya know how it goes.

🙂

Best Beware of Babies dat Wear the Crown of New Year’s Day

Not every diaper clad newborn is all sugar and spice, and everything nice and innocence is their poker face!

You will recall at the end of my Year in Review post, I thumbed my nose at Baby 2015, telling him I was ready for him and to Bring. It. On!

Remember?

DO NOT DO THAT

Since his older brother 14’s demise; having donned the crown and taken the reigns in his chubby little claws, this little peckerwood has let it be known that the contents of his dirty diaper are even more potent than his brothers.

I mean, last year, all his brother managed to accomplish was hooking me up with mover thugs from Hell, break my leg, flood my home, and render Mini Me deaf, dumb, and blind, in heavy traffic traveling 75 mph on Interstate 91.

Maybe more than your average bad luck for one year…then again, I survived.

Right?

Now…little baby butthead ’15 has picked up the gauntlet and raised the stakes.

Oh yeah…this precious bundle of nose-goo, sticky fingers, and stinky britches, has taken his brother’s antics to a whole new level.

[It dawns on me…15’s name is Damien!]

So, Damien decides to Call me on my injured Mini Me and Raise me a dead one.

Yup

Dead – Caput – No-Go-Mini-O

Cause of death – Complete Engine Failure (due to timing chain/tensioner failure)

Odds of Resuscitation – 1 in $8,584

Them’s some pretty shitty odds, wouldn’t you say?

When I asked the service manager if this was a known problem, the answer I got was
“There have been no recalls for your model and model year for this issue”

(Well duh…that’s why BMW is being sued, for the defect and for disallowing the repair under the warranty)

Was I informed that there was, however, a Technical Service Bulletin issued in 2008 about this problem?

Nope

What’s a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) you ask?
Technical Service Bulletins, or TSBs, are recommended procedures for repairing vehicles. Not to be confused with recalls, a TSB is issued by a vehicle manufacturer when there are several occurrences of an unanticipated problem.

Or that since 2008, up to and including 2014, BMW is still receiving complaints about this vehicle and has yet to issue a recall?

Nope

It was intimated, however, that this was a MAINTENANCE issue and not a mechanical one. In easy speak, that means “This was your fault dummy”

Oh yeah? You think so? Seeing as I have all the regular maintenance receipts, I think not. But that’s not for them and me to fight about

The Warranty Service company is sending an “inspector” there, Monday or Tuesday

That’s the lucky duck that I get to ‘discuss’ this with


If you do read any of the comments in the (short) articles I’ve listed below, you’ll note they are current.

Meaning, 2014
For an issue that arose in 2008
(Unanticipated?  Really?)

For anyone considering a Mini Cooper (new or used), here’s a little light reading.
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/mini.html
http://www.law360.com/articles/530596/bmw-sued-over-mini-cooper-engine-defect

For anyone considering a BMW – All I would say is Do Your Research!
Not just on the car, but the company’s willingness to stand behind their cars during and after, the warranty period.

As a matter of course, anyone looking to purchase a new/used vehicle, would be well advised to visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s website.

Here, I’ll give you a couple…
NHTSA.GOV or
Safercar.gov

These sites offer you access to Recall Notices / Complaints / Investigations / Defects

And did you know there was such a thing as an Auto Alliance?
Yeah, made up of 12 Automobile Manufacturers (including BMW) dedicated to, among other things, VEHICLE SAFETY
http://www.autoalliance.org/

They also have a facebook page 🙂
(https://www.facebook.com/autoalliance)

Did I find anything useful or helpful or safety related on the Alliance’s website?
One thing…
Consumer Guide – How to find safety related information (which is what led me to the NHTSA)

I wish I’d been more ‘aware’ before purchasing my vehicle. But we all know what good wishes are.

And…not to sound sexist…or even to suggest that if you have bulging britches instead of bumpy t-shirts, you know any more than I do…but they saw me coming.

So, for you guys, if you’re more nerd than grease monkey…RESEARCH

And gals, if you know a wrench from a socket and can drain an oil pan or change a tire…good on ya!
But if not and you are buying a car on your own…trust me when I say…
DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE and visit these sites

There really are very few (if any) good guys left in the big bad corporate world anymore
Gone are the days of handshakes and standing by your product or your work

I used to be of the mind, that these types of lawsuits were initiated by sleazy lawyers chasing big pockets on a hope and a prayer that one day they’ll catch the big one
I don’t think that anymore

In fact, I wish there were MORE professionals out there looking after the little guy or gal
Not for a huge payoff, but because it’s the right thing to do and if it puts money in their pockets, good for them

But I know how it works, and I also know it’s not going to change

So the least I can do is put out there, information I wish I’d had (or had been smart enough to look for) before I dropped thousands on a car only to be in the position of putting thousands more into it 2 years later…just to make it run.

Damn it…

Damien?
Just………go……oh never mind

No more wagging fingers and spouting off for me

I’ll leave the little pipsqueak, smelly britches alone

From now on, This Cheese Stands Alone
(what DOES that mean anyway?)

Advice from the backseat

With the hiatus over
Feeling my mind’s engine re-tuned and re-charged
Tooling down the back roads of my imagination
Cranking on all cylinders and picking up speed
I listen as the tires kiss the dirt
And the rocks fly up to return the favor
Like tea leaves in the bottom of a teacup
I see signs in the streaks of bug goo on the windshield
And in the contrail of dust following my every turn
And hear, as I often do, whispers of wisdom
Rise over the headrest to tickle my ear
With the hiatus over
Back behind the wheel
Pedal to the metal and bound for anywhere
I let the vehicle take me where it wanted to go

This is where I landed!

Kids in the back seat cause accidents

tell me another

Accidents in the back seat cause kids
kyle oy face

 

LoL
Maybe I could steer just a little
😉