And…That’s A Wrap

In early 2012, I, quite by accident, created this blog.

 

What began as a way of communicating to my friends and family the lightning speed with which my son George was becoming my daughter, Jessie, morphed, over the years, into something that was less about her and more about me.

 

At first, I was little more than the-parent-of-a-transgender-child-trying-to-navigate-unchartered-territory-who-needed-tons-of-support.

 

Then, as time progressed and because a new (sort of/kind of) normal emerged, my experiences as a person, a wife, a mother, a woman, a daughter, a sister, an ex-wife and step-mother were more urgent than those of the no-longer-newly-indoctrinated-parent-of-a-transgender-child.

 

Thank you for allowing me to share, shift and share some more.

 

As parents, we try to do right by our children by making – and helping them to make – good decisions, by guiding them as best we can, but mostly by supporting them.

 

We work hard to achieve that elusive balance between being authoritative and being cool.

 

We convince them – and ourselves -we know what we are doing, even when, much of the time, we don’t. (Okay, maybe you do, but I don’t.  Truth.)

 

Most of us put on a good act, but, in reality, we are just winging it much of the time, hoping that our life experiences have provided the tools we need to support, guide and cherish our children – no matter who they are, what they need or where they might be – physically, emotionally, spiritually.

 

Which brings me to the point of this post:

 

Jess is nearly 18 years-old now (talk about crazy!  How is that even possible?!?!), a rising high school senior (say what?!?)  and, out of respect for her, it is time to retire georgejessielove.

 

cinema-154392_960_720

As a ten-year old kid, she was down with it.  Over the years, she’s been a bit more reticent in her support.  And, if we are being honest, there have been times that it has made her life more complicated than it already was, is, and will continue to be.  My intent was never to make things harder for her, but sometimes it did. See above: just winging it.

Also see above: trying to make good decisions.

 

Thank you all for your incredible support over the years.  It has gotten me through some really rough spots.  Don’t think for one second that every kind word, every “you got this”, and every virtual hug didn’t make a difference.  It did.

 

Thank you for, if not appreciating, at least allowing my candor, my sarcasm, my sense of humor in the face of some tricky stuff.

 

Thank you for encouraging me, for holding me up, going along for the ride.  It’s definitely been a little bumpy.

 

I suspect I will blog again some day.  I hope that we find one another when I do.

 

Advertisements

PTE

Confession: I’ve been known to suffer from what I refer to as a PTE – Pop Tart Emergency.  (This is not to be confused with a MFFE – McDonald’s french fries emergency – during which I go through the drive-thru but do not pull away before tasting one to ensure it is hot.  If it is not, it goes back. Duh.)

The two  -PTE and MFFE – are generally interchangeable, a surefire cure  for whatever ails me: headache, heartache, bellyache, you name it. The primary difference is that I have to travel to satisfy the MFFE, while the PTE is easily remedied from the comfort of my own home.  Except, that is, when one of the teenagers who happens to live with me not only finds my hidden stash (don’t judge me – you wish you’d thought of it) but eats them.  As in: the whole box. Not proud to admit, but this might have infuriated me a little.

Upon discovering that my Pops were AWOL,  I inquired – via text so as to prevent myself from yelling at someone about, um, Pop Tarts – as to the whereabouts of my contraband Pop Tarts. I was met with utter and genuine dismay as to why I was annoyed.

Here’s how it went:

Me: Did you take the Pop Tarts out of “the hiding place?!?!?!

(Note: I named the hiding place – but not going to mention it here because, well, then you would all know my hiding place.  That being said, apparently it wasn’t such a crack hiding place…)

Teenager: Yea

Me: Did it occur to you that they were in “the hiding place” for a reason?!?!?!

Teenager: No

Teenagers should be publicly flogged.

pop

 

Oh, I know: their brains aren’t fully developed, they are selfish creatures, they are clueless about the needs of menopausal women, blah blah blah, but seriously – WTF?  Is nothing sacred? Get a job and buy your own damn Pop Tarts! Better yet, replace mine. AmIright?

This all happened about an hour ago.  I feel (a little) badly about losing my shit over missing Pops, but have stopped short of apologizing for my completely (un)reasonable outburst.  I mean, I have to maintain some power, right?

So, off I go to replenish my PTE stash.  Or, perhaps, I will give into the MFFE. Clearly I need to do something.

 

Born In The 2000s…

A friend recently posted an article she had written about how &*%$ing hard it is to parent teenagers. (Okay, she was classier than I am and opted for the word freaking as opposed to what I know she was thinking:  &*%$ing). I shared the post on my Facebook page (1) and a friend commented, “We were just talking about this” to which I responded, “Yep.  But then again, I am always &*%$ing talking about this!”

And there we have it.

Over the past few weeks, I have received several texts and private messages asking me if I am okay, noting that I have been “quiet” lately.  “Quiet”, to be clear, is code for curiosity over why I have neither blogged -at all – or posted much on social media. This, I have learned, is a sign to my followers that something is amiss.  And they are not all together wrong.

So here’s the thing: I have a lot to write about, a lot to say, and a lot on my mind.  As in a shit ton. Remember: I have two kids and two step kids. One (thank the Lord) is a successfully launched, self-sufficient and kind adult. The other three are smack dab in the throes of being teenagers – a job they are taking very seriously.  And, as has been established, raising teenagers is really fucking hard. Oh, sorry, I forgot to pretty-up my expletives. The gloves are off.

Panthera_onca_at_the_Toronto_Zoo_2

In addition to my own bedroom, my house has three others, each belonging to one of the kids: ages 12, 14 and 17.  And, if it weren’t enough that there are bedrooms for them…they are inhabiting them. And, to make matters worse, they have all read – and epically mastered – the manual:  How to be the “Perfect” Teenager.  Following me?

They are all good kids (at least I like to think so) (no, they are)(really) and I love each, but none of them – not one – are what anyone would consider, well, easy.  Not. One. Of. Them.  I am actually kind of okay with not easy, though.  I mean, who wants a go with the flow, fall in line, no-issue kid? That would be boring. And, if we are being honest, I myself have been accused of being “complicated” which, we all know, loosely translates to “not easy,”…but I am ONE person. There are THREE of them.  All at once.  Couldn’t one, just ONE, be easy?  I’d be down with being a little bored.

Complicating matters is the fact that of the THREE teenagers who hold the keys to my house, only ONE of them came from my body – which, incidentally, has never been the same.  With only ONE am I allowed to lose my shit without repercussions beyond the crappy feeling you get after calling your kid a shithead. (2) With only ONE do I have not just power (oh, who am I kidding? I have no power) but huge responsibility to ensure that, whether they be a boy, a girl, a dog or a Martian, that they not be an asshole.(3)  With only ONE can I bellow, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!”  It’s a burden, folks.

So, yeah, parenting teenagers is really fucking hard.  Step-parenting them: nearly impossible. That being said, I have lived through it once.  I am (fairly) certain I will manage to live through it three more times.  And, while I would love to go into (graphic and brutally honest) detail as to what life looks like on the daily – I simply cannot.  Unless, of course, I am hell bent on ensuring that things definitely get worse before they get better. Ya gots me?

Consider this a little insight into why I’ve been quiet.  Rest assured, however, I am not so quiet here on the homefront.

Oh, and to all my friends who are relishing life on the other side – aka EMPTY NEST – please, for the love of God, don’t even think about telling me I am going to miss this all some day.

(1) I shared for a few reasons.  I. It was spot on. 2. I want more people to read my friends Abby’s stuff – she’s a good writer. 3. I have come to consider Abby a great friend. 4. Abby and I have never met in person, but we are basically the same person – so that makes her awesome.

(2) So maybe you’ve never called your kid a shithead.  Props to you. But, if you have never even considered calling your kid a shithead, you should just stop reading now.  We clearly have a very different parenting experience.

(3) Been using that line for nearly 8 years.  Still believe it. Still pray for it to be.