Tween Birthday? Whatever, You’ll Always Be My Baby

I’m one of those moms who tends to go overboard with my kids’ birthdays.  Elaborate cakes, carefully planned parties, and that oh-so-perfect gift.  That being said, I had a little epiphany today–today being my son’s 11th birthday.  As the memories came flooding back of the day he was born and the tear drops started forming, my left brain made a striking realization.  Turns out that my “overboard” approach to celebrating these special days, has a lot to do with my own personal fear of my children growing up.  So, to borrow a phrase from my mommy handbook…”you may not understand now, but I have my reasons.”

My little boy came bouncing into this world three weeks early after a healthy pregnancy turned troublesome.  I was so ready following a month of bed rest, a week of being repeatedly induced, and swelling that made me practically unrecognizable.  Our little bundle was gorgeous and perfect in every way.  And despite some post-pregnancy bumps, we finally settled into parenthood and the real fun (work?) began.

Sean was an easy baby except where sleep was concerned.  That kid hated to sleep and when he finally did fall asleep, it was never, EVER for long (a phenomenon that still holds true.)  His saving grace was his sweet little brown eyes that sparkled in the most amazing way.  Excuse my “mom-gush”, but that boy’s eyes “smile.”  Even to this day, he will be as ornery as any boy can be and follow it up with this look that could melt just about anything…especially my heart.  (Let it be noted that while these smiling eyes occasionally get him OUT of trouble, it’s the same smiling eyes that serve as his TELL when he’s trying to put one over on me.)

Like most kids, Sean has inherited qualities from both my husband and myself.  He has a terrific sense of humor like his Dad.  He’s such a funny kid with a quick wit and the ability to turn a phrase…especially when you least expect it!  Fortunately, he’s a good student like his Mom and manages to keep his clownishness at a reasonable level and not get into trouble at school.  Sean is a huge sports fan like his Dad and has enough good sense to choose the Kansas Jayhawks over every other team like his Mom.  Sean loves to build things and has a knack for figuring things out sans instruction booklets…that’s a Dad thing.  At the same time, he likes to watch ridiculous comedies (Kicking & Screaming, Even Stevens Movie or Christmas with the Kranks) over and over like his Mom.

So here’s where it comes full circle.  I don’t just love my son.  I really, truly like him, too…and thus, the overboard birthday parties.  I enjoy baking him extra special chocolate birthday cakes, I like creating and planning parties that reflect his favorite things, and I put a lot of thought into his gifts…all to purposefully mark the day when God blessed me with his precious child, a child who despite my objections, continues to grow up.  Let’s face it, time is ticking.  And while I am perpetually celebrating my 22nd birthday (lol), my little boy is racking up the birthday candles and moving ever closer to birthdays that I won’t be able to plan.  And it’s all coming too quickly.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with a gift more wonderful than anything I could have asked for.  Happy 11th birthday, Sean.  I love you.  You are my sonshine…cheesy, but true.

Son, you outgrew my lap, but never my heart.  ~Author Unknown


They Keep Taking Away All My Fun :(

So, I live in Kansas.  I was born and raised in Kansas.  I have heard ALL of the Dorothy jokes.  I like the movie, so what?  I have been teased about the Wizard of Oz in every other state that I’ve lived in.  And I still get teased whenever we travel.  I’m okay with all of it…really, but it wasn’t until today that I realized that maybe, just maybe, I might be as naive as the girl in the ruby-red slippers.

Where do I begin?  I grew up in a small town.  I’m pretty trusting, but I never considered myself gullible.  I dreamed of living in a big city and most of my wardrobe is black, the standard “big city uniform.”  I enjoy wearing oversized, Hollywood-style sunglasses.  I was under the impression that I talked a pretty good game.  I thought that I could reasonably hang in any city, look the part and everything.  But apparently, you can’t cover naiveté with a trench coat.  Because over the last few months I have been slowly finding out that all of my favorite things aren’t what they seem and it’s starting to take the wind out of my sails.  BTW, Google and metrolyrics are no longer my friends.

First, my husband tells me that “Hotel California” by the Eagles is a song about Satanism.  What?????  I thought it was about an old hotel on the West Coast.  I could picture it in my mind’s eye.  Some weary traveler happens across what he/she thinks is an oasis hotel right on the beach…and sure it isn’t picture perfect (I sort of thought the service there sounded kinda bad), but the person checked in any way and wrote a song about their stay.  Right?  Wrong.  Song ruined.  How can I listen to it without thinking that a horrible evil is slowly penetrating my soul with each guitar chord.  Uuuggghhh!  There’s a whole section of my mp3 player that is no longer usable.

Oh, the bubble-busting didn’t end there.  Next, I find out that one of my favorite songs from the nineties is about being addicted to meth.  What??????  Semi-Charmed Kind of Life (Third Eye Blind) is about drugs!  I let my kids listen to that song!!!!  That was “my song” the year it came out.  I practically wore that single out when I moved two states away to start a new job right after college graduation.  That’s supposed to be a “coming of age” song.  That’s supposed to be an upbeat, positive song about life.  But, no–it’s not.  It’s about drugs and drug addiction.  How is a girl who once yelled at a guy for offering her pot at a party (I believe my exact words were, “Do I look like someone who does drugs to you?”) end up liking a song like that?  Answers, I want answers.

My mother used to tell me to listen carefully to songs that I liked…especially if I planned to sing them aloud at some point.  I thought I had learned my lesson when she about drove our car off the road after I started singing Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Do Me” (I was in high school at the time.)  In fact, I so thought that I had learned that lesson that I frequently read my kid’s the riot act over some of their favorite songs.  So now on top of having all my fun ruined, I’m a hypocrite, too.  Thank you, Pop Culture for making me out to be a complete dork.

My trusting nature isn’t limited to just music.  I couldn’t be that lucky.  Apparently, I am naive in the television and movie arena as well.  One of my all-time favorite movies is Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Yep, I thought it was a sweet, little love story, with a hilarious upstairs neighbor and a super-cool party scene…but, turns out it’s the story of a high-price escort in New York who hooks up with a “kept” man.  I can’t write that under my list of favorite movies at the next church mixer, can I?  Nor can I tell you how often I have come to adore some actor/actress on TV only to find out that they’re VERY good at their job and their real life personas will quickly make your jaw drop.

This morning I read that the Ukraine is banning SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teletubbies.  According to them, SpongeBob is gay (aren’t sponges supposed to be asexual?) and the Teletubbies model a “loser” mentality.  I was beside myself.  I’m a SpongeBob fan.  “Pizza Delivery” is my favorite episode.  Besides, I thought that Sandy Cheeks was SpongeBob’s girlfriend!  To top it all off, my daughter LOVES the Teletubbies…now I have to deal with the guilt of exposing her to “loserness.”  Great.

So this is me, admitting it.  Struggling to become one with my obvious simplemindedness.  I am naive…and no amount of red shoe clicking is going to undo what I now know.  The great and powerful Oz has been revealed.  Look for my picture in the dictionary under

naive:  1.having or showing unaffected simplicity; unsophisticated; ingenuous.2.having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous: She’s so naive she believes everything.