Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blessed be the pies that bind....

It's that time of year again. I kind of love and hate this holiday madness that leads up to Christmas. I appreciate the significance of the holiday. God gave us His Son. GAVE us His son so that we might be able to spend eternity with Him in heaven. People talk about "Baby Jesus" as just a blip in history, but He's not a blip. He IS everything. That baby grew up to die for us. And His Father knew when time began that it would happen. It's mind boggling - especially when I look at my three SugarBabies and know that I won't even let the boys play in the front yard without supervision. Much less save mankind....

Anyway, the spiritual part of Christmas I cherish....the madness of the "Holiday Season?" Not so much. I don't like the pressure. I don't like the hurriedness. I don't like the anxiety. And this year, since my whole world has been turned upside down and shaken like a bottle of hot Dr. Pepper, I really was dreading it. In addition to the normal holiday stress, I am adding in a move, a MAJOR paper due for my grad school class, my Maw Maw not being with us, and various and sundry other emotional grenades that I am choosing not to blog about. It's a recipe for disaster, that's what it is.

Instead, I am choosing to forgo the crazy and appreciate this for what it is: the gift of time with my kids. The opportunity to carry on traditions an create new ones. We will put up the tree like we always do and decorate as soon as we are in the new house. Those decorations will NOT be shoved in the garage - they will be clearly marked and put in the living room where they belong and the tree will go up right after the beds are put together (priorities, people: sleep always wins). These sweet SugarBabies aren't going to be mine for much longer (when you look at the big picture). As fast as time has been moving, I know that if I blink twice, they will be off to college and then married with families of their own. So I am going to hold tight while I can and create memories.

Since an entire generation of our family has essentially passed on without our permission, I am now, finally, one of the grown-ups. Until now, we would go to my mom's house and then travel to my grandparents' or my Uncle's house for Thanksgiving. All I had to do was show up. Oh, sometimes, I would run to the store the night before to get an extra pan of dressing or some rolls, but I was never responsible for the BIG stuff. But this year, we are going to my Uncle Todd's house as usual - except my Maw Maw won't be there - and that will be weird and all kinds of wrong. There will be a hole. A huge gap where hugs and kisses and unconditional love and encouragement used to be. Oh, and no corn relish. She made it like nobody else can.

So, I've decided to take over pies. Maw Maw hadn't really done pies for years - my aunt did that. But since my Aunt is having everyone at her house and she and my mom are doing the lion's share of the food for dinner, I am taking over part of the pie making. Partly because I love making (and eating!) pies. And what's Thanksgiving without pie?! Also, and more importantly, because my kids like making the pies with me. And that is what I treasure most.

There's no cheating** either. We don't get the cans of apple or cherry or pumpkin pie filling. (Okay I guess we cheat a little, because we DO buy the canned pumpkin and the tart cherries in water. But only because there's no place to get fresh cherries here in Candyland like when we had our cherry tree in Ohio. And gutting a pumpkin? Ugh. No thanks.) But we DO peel and chop the apples. And we DO stir in the ingredients that turn the canned fruit into pie once it's baked. It's somehow magical to watch something as yucky as pumpkin guts turn into something as yummy as pumpkin pie. Same with the cherries. Every. time we make a cherry pie, one of the kids asks to eat one of the cherries before they go into the pan. And every time it's followed by an AWESOME pucker-face that I must get a photo of before it's too late.

But a few hours later, once it's all cooled, those concoctions are suddenly the yummiest thing in the house. And the waiting becomes AGONY. Already, I am hearing cries of "We have to wait till THURSDAY to eat them?" Yes. Yes we do. But it's our reward for patience.

Then? The look of pride on the SugarBabies faces as family gushes about how amazing the pies are and what a great job they did making them. I wouldn't trade it for the world. And I know with out a doubt that my MawMaw and my Nada Jane and my Grandma are looking down with pride as I pass on the tradition of good food and family ties. Because the rest of it just doesn't matter.

So we are off to finish the pies. Oh, and FUDGE. SugarPlum makes the most amazing fudge. It's magical. I have no idea how she does it, but it is HER signature. Her tradition to pass down to future generations. <-------See there? I just blinked again. Gotta go make memories.

**Exemption to the cheating clause: Pie crust. Pillsbury makes a much better crust than I (read: edible) and the mess is then kept to a minimum. This way we all win.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear Maw Maw

Dear Maw Maw,

You've been gone six months now. Some days - most days - I miss you so much that there aren't words that can describe how sad I feel or how much it hurts. I think back and regret so much the number of times I told myself that I would call you "tomorrow" only then I would forget. I even forgot to call on your birthday last year. And I know that you didn't mind. You always told me that you were just glad to hear from me. Once, when I called a WEEK late for your birthday, you said that any time you heard from me & the kids was like your birthday. But remembering that only makes me feel more sad. Because I could have & should have given you more "birthdays" than I did.

I found you a Christmas present tonight while I was shopping. This neat set of angels. They were kind of rustic and funky. I even had them in my cart before I realized that we wouldn't be opening presents with you this year. And I nearly lost it right there in the store.

I still have your number programmed into my phone. I can't bear the thought of deleting it. It would be like you never existed or something. Only, I can look in the mirror most days and see your face. God blessed me with your face and your voice and your mannerisms. I surprise myself some days when I hear your voice talking to my children. I know that you are the only reason that Bug is still alive. You are the reason I am able to laugh at most of the crazy things those boys do and appreciate them for the smart, funny, stubborn little men they are. You remind me all the time that the qualities that make me crazy right now are the very ones that will serve them well in the future. And you were right about SugarPlum from the first time you laid eyes on her and told me that she is a wise old soul. She is that indeed! You tell me constantly to let the little things go. To laugh when they have rolled in the mud. To appreciate the art in the "circus" they have drawn on the wall. In Sharpie. I know from you that what matters the absolute most is that they know that they are loved more than anything in the whole wide world and that nothing they could ever do will negate that love. That I have unfailing faith in their ability to achieve whatever they want in life.

So much has happened in the past six months. My whole life has turned upside down and I have laid in bed so many times and sobbed because all I want is to talk to you about it. Am I doing the right thing? Am I screwing up my kids? Am I strong enough to get through this? Because, sometimes the doubt eats at my very soul. You were always so soothing and wise and funny and knew just what to say to ease my worries. You also knew when to just be quiet and hold me and listen & not try to solve my problems. Your arms around me made me know that the world couldn't hurt me. I wish I could just lay in your lap and cry until I feel better. You always let me sob until there were no more tears. And you always had plenty of Kleenexes to clean up the snot.

But in those moments when I feel like I might just be ripped in two from missing you, I hear your voice in my head telling me, "You can do this, Buffi. You MUST do this. You can do what I never could for so many reasons. Be the mom and the woman I always wanted to be. Who I taught you to be. Stand up for yourself. Be the example those babies need. You are smart and strong and capable. And I love you and I am right here." So I am going to do the right thing for you, Maw Maw. And for me. And for those SugarBabies that we love so much. I promise I will make you proud. You spent nearly 40 years convincing me that I am everything you knew I was. You did that for all of your grandbabies. I can't speak for all of us, But I know that Bek and Tell and I wouldn't be who we are without your love and confidence in us.

But tonight, can you find a way to come in my dreams and hold me and let me cry until I know it'll be okay? Because missing you hurts almost as much as anything in the world. I know that I will see you some day soon. You and Paw Paw will come and get me in that ice cream truck we all heard in March (because really, why on EARTH was there an ice cream truck at a cemetery in March, if it wasn't you two?) and we will all be home together soon. But that seems like a long way away. And I have a lot to do before then. Even if it is just the blink of an eye up there in Heaven.

I love you so much Maw Maw. I'm glad that you aren't sad or in pain any more. And I am so thankful that God helped me find comfort in your memory. Kiss Paw Paw for me. And know that we miss you two more than we ever knew it was possible to miss anyone.


Monday, September 06, 2010

My Quarterly Post

A friend of mine who shall remain nameless *cough*Pam*cough* has requested that I post the silly Facebook "10 Second Interview" because she wants her mom to see it. Or something like that...I don't totally undertand. I think she's just bullying me into posting. BUT, since I haven't posted since MAY, I thought I'd comply and share. Enjoy.

In a zombie attack, will you hide, fight back, or just blend in?
This happens every morning. I just tell them to eat their breakfast already & get dressed for school.

Fork, spork, or chopsticks?
I prefer to be fed by my cabana boys.

No matter how badly I needed the money, I'd never...
Oh, never say never...that doesn't work out well for me

What question should they ask Miss America or Miss Universe contestants?
What is it that happened in your childhood that makes you seek the approval of millions of strangers rather than simply being confident in who you are?

What are the odds that this interview never ends and is just a psych experiment?
Oh, I thought that was a given...

Who do you take after? Mom or Dad?
depends on who takes first

You can see my place, but don't look in my...
I know you're trying to find where I hid the body, but you won't trick me THAT easily...

My friends would shocked if they knew...
nice try

I'd be the happiest person in the whole world if...
everyone would just do what I tell them to.

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall?
...all you have to do is call/ and I'll be there yeah yeah yeah/ You've got a friend. (What?)

Toilet Paper - Over the top, or under the roll?
Over the top - I have very strong feelings about this...

What memory would you rather forget?
I can't remember

What celebrity do people say you look like?
Tom Selleck

I will dedicate my life to the invention of...
a mute button that will work on children

The sitcom about my life would be named...
you mean my life ISN'T a sitcom? DAMN. Does that mean that people are *actually* laughing at me?

Jessica Alba or Jessica Simpson?
Jessica Rabbit

We should criminalize...
Justin Beiber

Do you typically bring da noise, da funk, or da jell-o salad?
I always bring da Xanax

What should you really be doing right now?
folding laundry, duh

Where is Waldo?
He's with Hoffa

Luke Skywalker or Han Solo?
Han Solo - always Han Solo...mmmmm

What are three ways you're making the world a better place?
SugarPlum, SugarBear and SugarBug (okay - once he makes parole)

Why did Jack and Jill really go up the hill?
Well, you what they SAY, but we all know what REALLY happened right? Jill is such a ho.

Which of the following describe you? Teenage? Mutant? Ninja? Turtle?
Ninja, totally (okay...Mutant...we all know it)

Ever broken a bone?
Mine or someone else's?

Do you sleep on your side, back, or stomach?
I usually sleep in my bed

Fame or Fortune?
Fortune...I want everyone to leave me alone

Where was sexy before Justin Timberlake brought it back?
I heard it was in Topeka...who knew?!

What would your olympic event be?

Thongs are...

Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin?

I wish my cell phone had an...
app that would clean my house

What will spend your lotto winnings on?
shoes...and maybe some purses...

I collect...

How many hours of sleep do you need?
far more than I actually get

I wish my boyfriend/girlfriend would...
my attorney has advised me to NOT answer this question at this time

What's your favorite comfort when you're ill?
my bed

Quick! Name a book you've recently finished reading!
Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson

My philosophy is...
God said it, I believe it, end of discussion.

What's your favorite type of cheese?

What's your favorite Jelly Belly flavor?

Nothing beats...
like a nice sturdy leather belt.

Do you like thick milkshakes or runny milkshakes? Or are you one of those weirdos who calls them 'frappes'?
For some reason this whole question sounds vaguely pervy to me.

What color underwear are you currently wearing?
wouldn't you like to know?

What music should they play at your funeral? (example: Get On Up)
Why? Have you heard something I should know about?

What does the tooth fairy do with all those teeth?
Well, for the past several years, she has put them in my nightstand...

When I'm bored, I...
do stupid, time sucking apps on Facebook

What would be an appropriate name for your car?
I call her Odie.

Politics are...
something that raises my blood pressure

Naked food fights are...
When is food NOT naked?

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no...

How many traffic tickets have you received?
So now, USAA is asking the questions?

How many days past expiration are you willing to drink milk?
Milk never makes it to the expiration date in my house.

Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate?
Yes, please.

Is there anything you'd like to add before we continue?
Yes, $5million to my checking acct. Can you make that happen?

If I lived in the year 2100, my profession would be...
professional old lady

What's your favorite charity?
"Get Buffi to a tropical island resort ASAP, Internat'l." Won't you give to this worthy cause??

Waffles are...
yes, they are.

I am the eggman. They are the eggmen. I am...
On your way to a padded room?

If everyone would leave me alone, I could...

What's your ideal climate?
Lows in the upper-60's, highs in the mid-80's, about 30% humidity....all the time. Oh, and pollen free. If there is a place like this I am totally moving there.

Why does paper beat rock?
I have ALWAYS wondered about that

I squeeze my toothpaste from the...

If at first you don't succeed...
do it the way your wife told you to, you dork.

What's the fastest you've ever driven?
Oh, no. You're not gonna trick me THAT easily officer.

What would your clown name be?
my name is already Buffi, what more do you want?

Which side is your good side?
the side where you don't piss me off

On a scale from 1 to crazy, I'm about a:

I miss...

How many times have you broken your cell phone?
I have NEVER broken my cell phone. The toilet once tried to drown it, though.

My hourly rate is...
WAY more than you can afford

What's the most embarassing song you've done Karaoke to?
I don't do Karaoke...for that very reason

When I was little, I used to believe that...
my Daddy was Superman (actually, I still think that)

If I were pregnant, I'd probably crave...

Quiet drinks in a lounge or loud rockin' party?
Quiet ALWAYS wins

Batman or Superman?
I'd settle for an HONEST man

Are you a glass half full or glass half empty person?
depends on what's in the glass

Have you ever fallen asleep at work?
I live at work. So, yes.

Which sport is the best to watch?
SugarPlum playing soccer

I'll wait until nobody is looking, then I'll...
take a nap

Do you have an innie or an outie?
wouldn't you like to know?!

Where do you go when you want to be alone?
I have three kids, I am never, ever alone. EVER.

What is/was your imaginary friend's name?
I had two: Suzy & Jennifer

What's your favorite song lyric?
He lives! He lives!

Fill in the blank: I'm a member of "Generation _________"
that's paying for all of the other generations, evidently

Have you ever been on TV?
yes, I was a total dork. I know you're stunned

What's your nickname?

I love the scent of...
clean laundry

I feel naked without my...

If you had an extra toe, what would you do with it?
uh...give to someone who was lacking a toe???

I will never tell anyone...

What was the first thing you bought when you got your first credit card?
probably clothes

Righty or lefty?
Right...on so many levels

Quick! Make up a sport! (example: Awesomeball)
Ultimate Naptime

I believed in Santa Claus until I was...
what do you mean "believED?"

What's your favorite book?
To Kill a Mockingbird

I'd like to teach the world to...
stop whining

I think Global Warming is...
a load of crap

I have a pierced...

What's the best compliment you've ever received?
SugarPlum told me that one of her favorite things about her best friend was that B reminded her of me.

People think that I'm...
far more stupid than I actually am, evidently

The 80's were a decade of...
BIG HAIR & Aquanet

Quick! Write the last sentence of your autobiography.
...and in my will, I'll be leaving trillions of dollars the charities I have supported all these years.

What's the weirdest topping you've ever had on a pizza?
corn & peas (it was England....I had no idea)

Make up a new word right now:

I'm the best at...

I knew I was an adult when...
crap. I'm an adult?!

Everything is negotiable in a relationship, except...

I'd be totally screwed without...

What's the worst that could happen?
Never EVER ask that.....

The key to success is...
on that keychain I lost in the last move

If I had a DeLorean, I'd...
be kinda pathetic

Complete this sentence: Life is like a box of...
spark plugs

Do you like your peanut butter crunchy or smooth?

When the world ends, I will be...
Home already!

Boxers or briefs?
what kind of dog is a brief??

How many people have you dated?
why, what have you heard?

Metric or Imperial units?

Would you rather own a dog named Growler or a parrot named Captain?
no, thanks

I wouldn't mind being stuck in a closet with...
a box of Girl Scout cookies

The best ride at Disneyland is...
That would require my going to Disneyland and dealing with the crowds and that never ends well for anyone

In retrospect, do you wish you had studied harder or had more fun?

I'm afraid of...
facebook apps

I'd be nothing if it weren't for...

Propose a new toothpaste flavor:

Beauty or Brains?
Aww...you're so sweet

Bikini, Tankini, or Linguini?

When do you normally go to bed?
never before the third date

I can't believe I lost my...
don't even go there

What's your favorite restaurant?
Wherever you want to take me

I don't get mad. I get...
a martini.

I wish my ex would...
again, my attorney.....

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010


It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm a Berry Punny Girl!

I think that I may have single-handedly pissed off all the birds in Candyland. That's quite a feat, when you think about it. But the avian population is all atwitter right now over my actions. <----- (See what I did there? Birds? Atwitter? Hahaha! Just me then?)

Remember a few years back when I was so pleased and happy with the abundance of butterflies on my driveway who were attracted by the strange little berries? Well, I have yet to identify the berries, but now I HATE the little buggers. My driveway is pretty much covered with those berries, only they aren't attracting butterflies any more. They are attracting birds. All kinds of birds: robins, grackles, wrens, pigeons, and I don't know what else. But what I do know is that well fed birds crap all over my driveway. Yes, the driveway attached to this house that I am trying to sell.

I have been at a loss as to what to do about the berries. They really do look like little albino blackberries. According to the birds, they are quite delish. Being that they are freshly fallen berries - full of juicy goodness - I knew that if I tried to sweep them up, it would only lead to a big, mushy mess and a ruined broom (I know this because of the time one of the SugarBabies - not naming names, but it rhymes with "Rug") accidently spilled a huge container of fresh blackberries onto my beige tiled kitchen floor. So much for that broom (for the record, however, Clorox spray bleach + Sonic Scrubber = clean floor!). When I was on the phone with SD, he suggested the leaf blower, but I really don't have anywhere to blow them to, plus when I tried to scoop them up, we're back to the big-old-mushy-mess problem.

Then, in a stroke of genius, I realized the solution to my problem. Two words: Shop. Vac. (Okay, technically, that may just be one and a half words). I unraveled the superty-duper long extension cord and hooked that Shop Vac and went to town sucking up those berries from my drive way.

And the birds? Are none too pleased with me. Even over the giant sucking sound (paging Ross Perot...) I could hear them berating me.Shaking their little birdy fists at me. They were practically SHOUTING, "No, don't suck up the berries! That's our schmorgasboad. (even spell checker is stumped by that word)! How will we feed our babies?!" I felt a little like the mean Homeowners' Assn lady in "Over the Hedge."

Then I realized that my life is not created by Pixar or Dreamworks. (Because if it were, I would totally have a nanny & a maid.) (And a live-in masseur.) (And Mark Harmon would be my husband). AAAaannyyways, I stayed firmly grounded and continued sucking up berries - which almost completely filled up the Shop Vac -until the boys who are doing my yard while SD is gone - offered to blow what little was left them into a pile and haul them off for me. Teenage boys are so great...at least to me. Until MINE are teenage boys and then I'll probably have a different opinion.

So, right now, I firmly believe that the ShopVac is one of the greatest inventions in the history of the world. Right up there with the microwave oven and TiVo (seriously, I can pause live television!). Sadly, the berries will probably be back tomorrow. But I will prevail. I WILL PREVAIL!

(Okay, you know that I have just tempted Mother Nature and now she is going to totally kick my ass)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Maw Maw

I know that I one of the lucky few, but up until about two years ago, all of my grandparents were still alive. I grew up 30 miles from both sets of grandparents and I have wonderful memories of all of them. In their own ways, they were each remarkable people who overcame so much to even grow up, much less have successful lives. They are each such a blessing to me.

Over the last two years, both of my grandfathers died. And last night, I found out that my Maw Maw died. Her husband (my Paw Paw, naturally) had a stroke about a year ago and died in October. I think that she finally just couldn't take living without him any more.

My Maw Maw (sorry, that sounds so childish, but that's who she is and I can't just call her "my grandmother) is probably who I was closest to. She grew up the youngest of four girls, born in the midst of the Great Depression in the middle of the dust bowl. They lived in a half-dugout house in West Texas. Her daddy died when she was 10. I know that it was a terrible, terrible death and that it influenced the rest of her life. How could it not? Eventually, they moved to Oklahoma and she met my very handsome (her words) Paw Paw. They got married when she was 16 and she became a mom at 18.

When I was little I thought that my Maw Maw was the most perfect person on the whole planet (and she likely was!). Her house always smelled like heaven to me. And anything that came from her house smelled like it - my brother & I would even say, "This smells like Maw Maw!" Clothes, toys, blankets...whatever, if it came from Maw Maw's house, I didn't want it washed until the smell had completely worn off. I can't even describe the mixture of Downy, potpourri, perfume, good food and grease from Paw Paw's machine shop. But all together, it was just perfect.

Maw Maw always made me feel like I was the smartest, most talented, prettiest girl in the world. If I was sad, being in her lap made things so much better. Or even the sound of her voice. I knew that I could tell her anything and my secret would be safe.

And as I grew up, she never wavered in her support. She told me more than once that I was the best mother that she had ever known. Which was HUGE because, evidently, she had never told MY mom that. Up until I had kids, Maw Maw was the best mom she ever seen. And you know that when you are in the middle of raising kids, hearing you are a good mom means the world. Especially when you hear it from the most perfect person on the planet.

Maw Maw also managed to make my kids feel so special and loved and appreciated. When she was going through chemo a couple of years ago, Bear made her paper hat to wear. And not only did she wear it, she made sure that my mom took a picture so that Bear could see her wearing it. And she would make a point to ask the kids to sing "Amazing Grace" or, really, any other song for her & followed it with lavish praise that would make the singer feel so proud and talented. Every picture they drew was beautiful and every poem or story they wrote was Pulitzer-worthy. Plus they were the smartest, most beautiful children on the planet. Just like their Mommy & Daddy (her words).

Maw Maw really loved nothing more than to sit and listen to her grandkids and great-grandkids play and laugh. My boys, of course, kept her in stitches. When my babies were born, she just wanted to hear them cry or laugh or make noise or just breathe.

I always thought that the phrase "a hole in my heart" was kind of trite and goofy. But really, I understand now. My Maw Maw made me who I am today. My confidence and self-esteem (and my deep, abiding appreciation for cute shoes) are in large part due her influence - her unfailing support and truly unconditional love - in my life. I'm having a very had time imagining this world without my Maw Maw. But, I know without a doubt that she is in heaven with my Paw Paw and she is happy and finally at peace.

I love you so much Maw Maw. Thank you for all you have been for me. Give Paw Paw a big hug and a kiss for me. I'll see you in heaven. Save a place for me.

Monday, March 01, 2010

So, who's the [insert horrifying name here] now?

Here is something I forgot about the internet - nothing is a secret. Especially when you are stupid enough to link to your blog on your Facebook for the world to see. And when you do that, eventually, SOMEONE is going to find out that you called their kid an asshole. To the world. On the internet.

And probably, that person is going to be someone you consider a friend - a friend who is far more courageous than you are and who will call you and let you know that now ALL the moms know that you called their kids names. And THOSE moms? Those moms are really wonderful people who you like and respect and now you horrified to learn that they know you are a total moron. And probably think you are a total bitch. For good reason.

Here's the thing....for all these years, this blog has been my place to vent. Few people from my "real world" knew about this blog so I was free to go on about the things in my life - good and bad and funny and mundane. This was my safe place to get that out and get support from my "blog friends" who have gotten me through more than you can even imagine.

But, the internet is a funny beast. And as I spent more and more time on Facebook, my worlds started to inter-mingle and I went a step too far. I can't even fathom how your heart fell into your stomach and your anger rose when you read my words. And I apologize profusely. I know that the Mama Bear in you must be as furious about what I did as I was last week. Probably more so, because I am an adult who knows better. And, honestly, each of your boys is a sweet kid. I know that. And I am ashamed and mortified and heart-broken at how I have behaved and made you all feel.I know that there is no way that I can "undo" what I wrote and put out there, but I have taken it down and am so, so sorry. I hope that one day you can forgive me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Feeling a little "Mama-Bear-ish"

Dear Parents of Certain Third Grade Boys,

I get it. I really do. All you moms and dads grew up here together in Candyland, Texas and have been friends your whole lives. As a result, your kids have been friends since they day they were born. They spend weekends together and see each other over the summers and play on the same sports teams. I think that's fantastic. I am also almost a little envious because it's obvious your particular children are and will likely be the "cool kids" all the way up through high school. They are smart and good looking and have loads of self-confidence. But, and I hate to be the one to break it to you, they are little [jerks].

I will be the first to admit that Bear is kind of nerdy and awkward. He is very naive and probably a little less mature than your boys. But he is also sweet and innocent and one of the most loving, empathetic children I have ever known. Yes, he tries too hard. He will do almost anything to get to play with "his friends." He has been friends with your boys since Kindergarten and he really doesn't get why they don't want to hang out with him any more. And there isn't anything wrong with the fact that they don't want to hang out with him - the differences between him and your boys becomes more and more obvious every month. I am encouraging his friendships with other kids who are more like him.

But I wish that there was a way that I could actually communicate with all of you to PLEASE explain to your boys that there is no reason at all for them to be mean to Bear. They don't have to sit next to him at lunch. But they also don't have to make a big show of not letting him sit near them in the cafeteria - and THEN taunt him during recess about how he didn't GET to sit with them at lunch. They don't have to pick him to be their sit-up partner in PE, but they also don't have to say, "I pick Joey - NOT BEAR!" Please explain to your boys that just because it's easy to make my Bear cry, they shouldn't make that their daily goal.

I know most of you well enough to know that if you could see how they treat Bear, that you would be horrified. But I don't want to be "that mom" who calls and tattles on your kids for being mean to mine. I am doing my part by trying to explain to my son that if he cries when the boys say things that it will only get him labeled a "crybaby" and they will keep trying to make him cry. But there's a fine line there that I'm having trouble discerning at times. I don't want to make my kids think it's not okay to feel their feelings, but I am also trying to let them know that they don't have to express every feeling they have every moment they feel it. My heart hurts for my little boy. And his teacher even encouraged me to take him home early for some extra snuggle time yesterday because even SHE saw that your sons were really giving him a hard time.

I know that Bear only has to get through the end of the school year and then we are moving. It's kind of a relief because at least he'll be getting a fresh start. I feel like he has been labeled now and has a big target on him. If we were staying here, I would probably move him to a different school, which breaks my heart because I LOVE our school. But my boy is feeling beat down more and more. I hope that he recovers. Hell, I hope that I recover.

In the end, though, I have decided that I would much rather have a slightly dorky kid who is smart and empathetic and so full of love than an uber-athletic, popular [jerk]. ANY DAY.

Sugar Mommy

**edited** This post has put back in drafts for quite a long time since I originally posted it. I called these boys a name that was entirely inappropriate. It was not okay for me to do that. However....the rest of the sentiment and the facts behind this post remain. I've decided that since it is part of what really happened in our lives, I am going to post the edited version of it because I don't want to forget.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grammar Nazi strikes again....

Yes, I know it's been a loooonnggg time, and now I'm just posting a picture again, but this makes me laugh & I need to share.