Topics Chosen by My Sons: The Economy, Difficult Friends & Crazy Mom in the Snow

My Family

Me: “Hey Eli will you give me a topic?”

Eli: “How about the Economy?”

[we all break into laughter and Eli and his friend run off.]

Me: “Now that is broad.”

I wait a few minutes. Kyle is playing Blokus with his friend. I think I will try this again.

Me: “Hey Kyle what should I write about?”

Kyle: “I know. How about dealing with your friends? You know, Difficult ones?”

Me: “Really? Another complicated subject.” And then I think to myself, “Way too complex and anything I say about friends will surely offend someone out there.”

[I pause.]

Me: “Come on. Seriously. I need your help. Give me another suggestion, please?”

Kyle: “Mom, I know. Write about dealing with claustrophobia — because you live in the snow?”

Me: “hmmmm?”

[contemplative pause]

Kyle: “Mom, really you know the snow! The snow. Because you do not like it. Yes, I am talking about you and how you do not like living in the snow.”

[Again we all laugh. Kyle and his friend put their game away and walk off.]

I am left here thinking, By golly, “I think these boys know their mom.”

Yes, Eli is quite astute suggesting I write about the state of the economy, either Salad Days or Tap-Water-Only days, I am always worried about money and I see that my boy knows it. Maybe I am worried because this is how I roll. Maybe I am worried because I did not grow up with much and I have seen how quickly it can all slip away. And maybe even I think a lot about the state of our finances because I have a super-coupon-using husband, a husband who does not let me walk out the door without one of his Happenings Coupons, Groupons, Living Social or any various specific store or restaurant coupons. Online he is a PRO at quadrupling his discounts. He seriously could have his very own TLC show called something like, BIG DADDY DOES COUPONS. I have learned early to love and be grateful (come on, he saves us money) for this fact about Dave. And if Kyle and Eli absorb anything besides my will-you-please-pick-your-coat-up-off-the-floor-and-hang-it-up-and-stop-wiping-your-boogers-on-everything motherly requests, well maybe, if they have absorbed anything, they will absorbed our crazy, yet measured frugality.

The topic of  friends and friendships go is a dicy one. I know Kyle has no grasp of  internet wrath, or better, Kyle does not understand the intense horror when one encounters a pissed off woman! I am kind of relieved that he has been spared such as dealing with the wrath of an angry friend. It’s a gamble. Even when I think I am writing something nice or measured, I have learned that my nice or my measured may not convey.  So to address the topic of friends and friendships, the only way I could write about friendship difficulties is to go all Fight Club on this post. You know what I mean?  What I say on this post stays on this post [wink wink].  I say most of this in jest because I, myself, have learned in the hardest of ways online and offline that you should just keep your mouth shut. As a vocal woman, shutting my mouth can be difficult. Thank God for Dave, my personal sounding board. Were it not for him, my head would surely explode.

What I can HONESTLY say to my sons is that all friendship is an opportunity. If things do not go the way you want them to, then reframe, maybe move on and look at what that friendship has taught you. I know I learn every single day from my boys and from the very happy and extremely heartbreaking moments they have experienced as they learn how to be a friend. Healthy friendships are something to be mastered. What I can give my boys is my example. If I make a mistake, I own it. This morning, for instance, I completely lost my shit when I saw that my son (who shall rename nameless, but you have a 50% chance of getting it right), well, my son covered a nice custom-made ladder with stickers. Sure, the ladder was in his room. And sure, he thought it was his. Yet, we he and I have talked many many times about how he cannot cover furniture in his “cool” stickers.  Further, if he thinks he would like to cover the furniture in stickers, he should ASK me first! As he and I scraped and scratched the gooey, sticky mess off the ladder, we talked about owning it.

“Hey, you know how when I do something wrong to you (like yell too much), I tell you I was wrong, say I am sorry and try to make it right. You know that, right?”

“Yes.” He said and then I continued, “That is the best we can do.”

Most definitely I would say friendships, actually any relationship, is never a piece of cake. He is smart and he gets it; the power of owning it, dealing with it and moving on. We did not have an school moment such as a hug. Instead, moments later he told me a joke, which let me know that all is well.

I have covered their two topics (friends and coupons). Now I need to address my S.A.D., which I like to call. “Crazy-Mama-in-The-Snow.” How I am dealing with the snow now (it took me long enough) is is to pretend that the SNOW is is not there. Picture a landscape absent of white, glistening snow is easier to do this year. Why? Because we have not had a lot of snow. Here is how I do it. When I look out the window or step out of doors, I simply look up and over the white stuff covering the ground. The darkness, well, it is just an excuse to take a much needed nap. I know my Snow-Hate has been hard on my family. Believe me my seasonal depression is something I am working on. And if I am working to make peace with the crappy snow, what more can they ask for, right? Ok, I know. They can ask for a mom who will ski with them as much as their dad does. I will, however, go to the beach with them any time they want.

The Economy, friends and Crazy-Snow-Mom, have been discussed and I hope the boys approve of what I say. I do not think it matters because now they are off shooting their Nerf Guns (hopefully not at anyone’s eyes) and looking for Zombies in the basement.