Monthly Archives: August 2012

Holy Crap! (aka First Day of School 2012)

From this (2000):

Vampire Boy’s first day of kindergarten (2000)

To this (2005):

Social Diva heading off to Kindergarten and Vampire Boy heading off to Fifth Grade (2005)

To this (2012):

Middle year of middle school/grade 7 for Social Diva and ::sniffle, sniffle:: Senior year for Vampire Boy (2012)

Holy crap, where have the years gone?!?!

If you need me, I’ll be in the corner whimpering and rocking myself! Does anyone have one of those white coats with the long sleeves that I could borrow?

Why I Love My “Staycations”

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the beach. Back in my married years and before the grandkids hit school age, my former in-laws used to treat their family to a week at Hilton Head. These trips typically required clearing up work responsibilities, cleaning house, packing for two adults and one child (no Social Diva at this time), coordinating dog care, and then driving for a long period of time.  We used to leave on Friday, drive to Rock Hill, stay overnight, then finish the trip to the Island on Saturday. We would spend the week with the in-laws and the sister with her husband and child. I was usually ready to head home by Thursday. The return trip home would start by 5 AM Saturday morning, putting us back in town between 5 and 6 PM, depending on the number of potty breaks. I usually came back more exhausted than when I left, and it used up so many vacation days!

Since my separation/divorce, I haven’t had the funds to take the kids away to the beach for a week. Instead, I typically take off the week bordering my birthday in July and the week prior to the start of the school year. During these “staycations,” we have taken day trips to Erie, visited Kennywood, worked on projects around the house (well, I did; not so much the kids), shopped for back to school supplies, and have just enjoyed a relaxed, no itinerary type week.

There are a few reasons I love my staycations:

* I can wake up on my own (still as early as 6:30), but not be in a rush to be anywhere. I can enjoy my coffee while catching up on the news of the world and my Facebook and Twitter timelines.

* Live with Kelly! I watch this show anytime I am able to be home at 9 AM.

* The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Same as above. Regardless of whether it is a fresh run episode or a repeat, I still try to watch.

* I get a little slice of being a “stay at home mom.” I can run errands with the kids (otherwise known as #MomShuttle). I can keep up on household chores.

* This last week, I was able to do some serious cleaning/purging in my basement. I have boxes that haven’t been touched in the five years I’ve been here! I threw out so much crap, and I have a large stack of items going to the Vietnam Veterans of America on Monday.

* I was able to spend two days with Flawed Memory, who was released early of his two weeks’ notice. We hung out at the pool and saw a Blackberry Smoke show.

So I’m at the end of my last summer staycation week. The kids go back to school on Monday, and I go back to work. I love hanging at the pool over the summer, but I am looking forward to the cool temps of my favorite season. The Fall has much in store for me as well. Vampire Boy is a senior in high school. Two friends have their weddings scheduled in October and December. Then there’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. This year seems to have flown by so quickly. And, of course, I’m looking forward to my grown up vacation on The Rock Boat at the end of February.

I guess I should now seriously start that diet / eating more healthy / working out regularly. Now where’s that post I wrote about resolutions?

It’s Not My Parenting Style

So Vampire Boy and the Ex conspired behind my back.

I picked up Vampire Boy to drive him to work last Friday. As we’re sitting in morning traffic, chatting about nothing, I notice a piece of paper hanging out of his shorts pocket. I asked him what it was and he paused, not wanting to answer.

I pulled out the piece of paper and unfolded it. It was a letter resigning him from his position at the zoo, using the excuse that it was his senior year of high school and he was going to be busy with school and soccer responsibilities.

L.A.M.E. E.X.C.U.S.E.

I didn’t say anything at first, because of the shock of their behavior doing this behind my back. But the more I drove towards the zoo, the more pissed off I got, the more I didn’t say, and the more my eyes filled with tears at the “lesson” the Ex was teaching my son. The “lesson” I don’t approve of!

* I don’t approve of him giving up before even attempting to manage his senior year schedule of responsibilities.
* I don’t approve of sneaking behind someone’s back.
* I don’t approve of neither of them trying to talk about their plan.

Instead of encouraging him to give school work, soccer responsibilities, and the zoo schedule a chance and to TEACH him how to organize his life, Dad just gave him the go-ahead, and actually helped him write/print the letter to turn in. Now Dad has not been worried about scheduling the boy for his ACT exam, hasn’t been worried about senior pictures, hasn’t been worried about soccer schedule, etc. But he can worry BEFORE SCHOOL EVEN STARTS about how he should be able to enjoy his senior year.

So in (immature) retaliation, I sent over a copy of all of the paperwork that was just received in the mail regarding the start of the school year, including the registration information for the ACT exam, as well as the thick stack of advertisements I’ve been saving for senior pictures. If he’s so worried about his son’s “senior year,” he can now worry about all of the IMPORTANT senior year things.

I have resigned myself to the fact that if he doesn’t register him for the ACT exam, that they will have to figure out what he’s going to do about college.

I have resigned myself to the fact that if they drop the ball regarding senior pictures, there is a chance my son will not be in his senior yearbook.

Being a slight bit of a control freak, it certainly won’t be easy for me to not take make sure these things are taken care of.

But it will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few months.

I Wish …


That instead of being “worrying” about Vampire Boy and his work schedule at the zoo that you ENCOURAGED him.

That you encouraged him to be a good employee with a good work ethic.

That you encouraged him to think ahead to manage and organize his time with work, soccer, and school responsibilities.

That you encouraged him to keep his first real paying job.


You complain about the road closures and the drive.

When you drive him only ONE trip, ONE WAY, per week.

And encourage him to give up this first job.

Instead of teaching him to a good work ethic.

And how to hang in for both the good AND the bad.

I guess that’s why I have had only two jobs in 26 years … and he’s had numerous jobs and periods of unemployment.

I guess that’s why I didn’t give up on our marriage and I wasn’t the one who walked away.

Instead of worrying about the job at the zoo,

How about encouraging him to study for the ACT?

How about worrying about if he’s scheduled for his senior pictures?

How about worrying what he’s wearing for senior pictures?

It’s hard to co-parent when one parent thinks a kid should do more, yet the other parent doesn’t.