Drug Overdose and Over Parenting…A Mother’s Point of View

As a parent of a college student where’s the line of being a parent or butting out?

The hardest part of being a parent of a college student is that you always worry.  You worry that they may drink too much, drugs, unprotected sex, if they are safe transiting around campus, date rape, serial killers, etc.

Recently, my neighbors 27 year old son had a drug over dose and stopped breathing in their living room.  There were plenty of police, fire trucks, an ambulance, and plenty of spectators popping outside to see what all the ruckus was.

Now me being the ever so nosey neighbor of course, it was just the right time for a smoke break.  After the events of the day, I had a moment to really think about what happened and how as a parent I would deal with the the situation should it ever happen to my family.  I do have three other kids to raise, get through college, and then out of the nest completely.

Me and a co-worker actually got into a heated debate over drugs, my philosophy, and a few key issues affecting our young adult kids.

My oldest daughter and I have a pretty good relationship and I feel like we can talk about pretty much everything.  I say pretty much but I think that she maybe hesitant to discuss my sex life.  She has gotten a little uneasy when I’ve told her stories about things I may or may have not done.  We discuss topics frankly because my mom was not an approachable women when it came to certain topics.  Sex was one of them.  We basically got the one threat, “If you get pregnant you better find your own place, cause I ain’t raising no babies.”  That was our sex talk.

MMF and I talk about everything.  I want her to know that she doesn’t have to be alone in her decision making process unless she really wants too.  Sex, money, school, boyfriends, pregnancy, suicide, giving her friends advice or answering their medical questions about female stuff.  I’m all the way game for helping.  Where I’m not open for or even discussion is drug usage.

If she wanted to be a man…cool…
If she’s a lesbian…cool…
If she goes both ways…cool…
If she had a baby…cool…
If she’s confused…cool…
If she got drunk and danced topless on a table…cool…

Those are just examples of what some parents face today…

I/we can get over all of that.  We can keep moving with out missing a beat.  Drugs are a different animal.  You roll the dice in an unpredictable way.  Simple marijuana could be laced with all kinds of bad stuff.  Then there you are…addicted and doing whatever it takes to get that next high.  I’ve seen first hand what drugs can do to a person and families.  I only give the lecture at least once a week about her not doing drugs and that she doesnt need to experiment in this lane at all.  Just stay away from it.  She did tell me that she tried marijuana once and I think I took it well.  I think that her respect for me was apparent because we had a honest conversation about it.  The good thing is that her heart didn’t really agree with marijuana so she didn’t get that good feeling that everyone else did.  She almost got herself a one way ticket to the emergency room.  Lucky for her she survived and it was a bad enough experience that she won’t do it again.

Getting back to my co-worker, she said that I didn’t have the right to tell my daughter not to do drugs.  That she was a grown woman and that if she wanted to drugs that who was I, her mother to stop her.  I think my face turned red as a stop sign.  I went into labor with my child a full 25 or so hours before she was born.  She’s mine.  Her dad’s too but she’s mine.  I gave birth to her.  If she was 45, I would still tell her not to be doing drugs and that she should stay away from them.

The look on the mother who’s son who had just over dosed and died in her living room was just too much.  Luckily for her, he was able to be revived and they can try again for recovery but there are so many parents that aren’t as lucky.

So I ask you, my loyal readers, is there ever a time that a parent stops being a parent?  Does it end at 18?  Am I wrong for imposing on my 20 year old daughter because I want her to be safe?

Please give me your thoughts.

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Animal Cruelty

So there’s big fish…little fish
There’s the three girls
Then the one young man
There’s the feisty puppy
Then there’s my favorite favorite child…

Dixie Doodles is my favorite child out of all my children.  She’s the most resilient old lady in the world to me.  On a random day in my boring existence I walked into a Petsmart to get some replacement fish and there she was.  I tried to walk past and she jumped up and licked me as I walked by.  It was love at first sight.image image image image image

Dixie has a very interesting story and it began before she and I ever met.  She’s a boxer pit mix who is believed to have been a victim of doggy rape and used to breed pit bulls.  Someone grew tired of her and tried to put her in a plastic bag and drown her.  Someone found her with a collar embedded in her neck and a plastic bag over her head.  She was nursed back to health and I was the lucky person who adopted her.

She’s a survivor on so many levels.  Dixie was heart worm positive when we got her.  She had this awful cough and had to be taken to the vet within the first week of us getting her home.  They had to do some pretty rough procedures but she survived.  There was the almost run in with cancer, she had a large mass growing in her mouth, which resulted in her having to get most of the teeth in her mouth taken out.

I love this dog.  She’s my best cuddler, my best protector, and my fierce feet warmer.  When ever I’ve gone away and come back my baby girl shows me that she misses me.

I usually try to keep my big opinions to myself but I can’t today.  I saw some ignorant person on Facebook beating a dog and it made the hairs on the back of neck stand up. Instead of liking or sharing these posts we need to start reporting these people.

Animal cruelty is wrong.

My animals are a big part of my family and I don’t or won’t let anyone mistreat them.

There’s a special place in hell for people who harm animals, children, and old people.

Animal Cruelty- http://www.aspca.org

Let’s put an end to animal cruelty!!!

Stuff My Three a Year Old Says #3

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My three year old’s preschool teacher is pregnant and of course him and his little class mates love talking about her round little belly and how big it’s getting.   I’m sure you can already tell where this is going… Me and the boy were laying on the couch watching tv.  He lifted up the blanket, poked me in the belly and said,

Son:  “Mommy, is there a baby in there?”

Me:  “No”

My son pokes me again…

Son:  “Mommy, if there’s no baby in your stomach, why is your belly so big?”

Me:  “Cause, I’m fat!”

Son:  “Well Ms. C has a baby in her stomach and her shirt doesn’t fit.  Your shirt fits mommy so you’re not disgustating (not a typo).”

Thank you son for pointing out the obvious.

Late NYR/Goal List…

I said that I wouldn’t make any New Year resolutions because I already have a long list of goals that I haven’t accomplished yet.  There are a few things in my life that have become non-existent these days.

Here are my four new additions to my goals list:

Shave

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Now you maybe wondering why I would add something as petty as shaving and waxing to a list but here’s the deal.  My son will be four soon and my excuses are well…expired.  Actually, it’s not because I’m lazy, my problem is that I can never get in and out of the shower without interruption.  My son can be down stairs playing or engrossed in something displayed on his iPad or dead asleep in a coma, whenever he hears the shower turn on he makes his way to the bathroom.  My relaxing shower turns into a peep show or better yet, a reason to be mischievous.  It’s amazing what a three year old can find. (Note to self…next time you lose something, turn on the shower…the boy is certain to find it).  I, shave my legs when time allows probably every three months or so.
I will use my duty days on the ship to shave my legs.  Problem solved!

Schedule a Quarterly Spa Day

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I would love a spa day and before I had my son I would sneak away every month for a little mommy time.  A massage, a facial, and a little waxing would all be so nice but everyone else’s schedule gets in the way of scheduling it.  I can barely make my hair appointments but with a little juggling I manage to get it done.  I will have to use the same creativity with planning a spa day.  I don’t need to go every single month but I do need a little bit more me time.
Since I’m determined,  I’m going to splurge and hire a sitter for a couple of hours.  Now I really don’t have any more excuses.

Wear Real People Clothes

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Every momma knows how it is.  I have a closet full of clothes that I never wear.  I’ve resorted to my PT clothes as my wardrobe of choice.  When the baby was little, it was just easy.  Then somewhere in transition I got lazy.  It’s easier to just slip on some sweats.  I went from fab to drab in three years.  Before, it was always a fashion show whenever I left the house now I’m lucky if I even match.  I have clothes with tags on them just collecting dust.
I NEED to wear them.  Period.

Wear my Shoes

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This one is a little tricky.  Do you know how hard it is to wear five inch heels while pushing a baby stroller?  I’m not Beyoncé.  I’m not pushing a stroller or carrying a baby in heels.  I do however have to wear my girls at some point.  My girls miss me and I miss them.  They are carefully lined up in my closet in alphabetical order, collecting dust.
I am wearing my babies, period.

Hit the driving range

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I love golfing.  I live on a golf course yet I haven’t been to the driving range in a LONG time (we are talking once in a four year period).  I have got to do more things that I enjoy and not let my kids dictate my schedule so much.  I may sound selfish but I’m turning into one of those women that goes to work and then home, I only take part in my kids interests.  I think I have knocked the balance off in my household anyway.  Everyone expects me to do everything.  Dad is living on easy street, the kids have me car pooling, and the boy and I are attached at the hip.

A trip to the driving range every two weeks will do for now. Next year, I will attempt 18 holes.

My little list of New Years resolutions may sound silly when I explain them. Yet mom’s have a tendency to get wrapped up in the kids and forget to live a little.  If I make a list, nine times out of ten, I will make sure the list is complete.  So yes, this year, I vow to be a little bit more into me for my own well-being.

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The Magic Lady Bug

My little lady bug...

My little lady bug…

When I first joined the Navy and moved to Virginia, I would drive home to Cincinnati on the weekends to see my oldest daughter and my mother.  One weekend my mother gave me a stuffed lady bug.  I’m not sure what the significance of the lady bug was.  I just took the lady bug because she wanted me to have it and when I left to go back to Virginia, I threw the lady bug in the back of my car and brought it home.  I didn’t give the lady bug much thought.  I just took care of it because my mother gave it to me.

On one of the very rare occasions that my mother came to Virginia, she saw the lady bug in my room and was shocked that I still had it.  I did.  I wasn’t sure why I was holding on to it but I knew I couldn’t throw it away.

This little lady bug has seen a lot of action, traveled various places, and been on a deployment or two.  The lady bug lived with me in Korea and when I was a little sad, I slept with it.  When I came back from Korea my mother had a heart attack, as I laid on the floor crying trying to figure out what to do, my trusty lady bug was with me. Helping me sort through my thoughts and providing comfort.

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Before I was to leave on Friday, my son was very wound up and he didn’t want to go to sleep because he knew when he woke up in the morning that I would be gone.  After several hours of him fighting sleep, I asked him, if he wanted to borrow my lady bug while I was gone.  He immediately wanted the lady bug.  He hugged it and as he was hugging the lady bug I told him to take really good care of the lady bug because my mommy had given it to me.  He said, “I know”, “I will”, and then he squeezed it tighter.  He laid down with the lady bug and he seemed a lot calmer and was okay.  He said he would take the lady bug for show and tell.  Then he kept rubbing the lady bug and saying, I love you mommy.  On Friday, I got an email with a picture of my son and his lady bug sleep.

Somehow, the lady bug was making him brave.  He wasn’t so upset and it’s like the lady bug is whispering to him that he’s okay.  Your not alone!  I’m with you!  After I saw the picture, I decided it was finally time to find out if there was a meaning to my mother giving me the lady bug.  I went to google and typed “lady bug” and I was kind of shocked what I learned.

Lady bugs are linked to luck, protection, the fulfillment of dreams, and joy.

In my mind the lady bug is magical and I know that my little lady bug is being a good friend to my son just like it was for me and that’s all that matters.

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Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence,

You did good today!  I was especially proud of you when you tried hard not to cry when your baby boy was upset because he thought you had already left and got underway.  No one knows how you cried at the daycare yesterday when the teacher asked when you were leaving.  No one knows that you had to fight tears in the car, at your desk, or any place that you were alone.  No one knows your secrets but me.

I’m glad that when your held back tears became anger because you honestly and truly didn’t want to hear another person tell you, that you joined the Navy and why are you surprised to be going to sea.  I’m just glad that you held your ground and didn’t let your anger overcome you.  The last thing you need at this point is to start pissing people off with that smart ass mouth of yours.

Trust me, I understand that you want to fall to pieces and that your heart is tearing up inside with the thought of being away.  Put your shell on, no one is going to judge you and if they do, FUCK them.  No one walks in your shoes but you.  No one can tell you how to feel, what to feel, or even how you respond to how you feel.

I know, I know…they say kids are very resilient.  That’s cool when it pertains to other people’s children.  You know that you can’t shield your children from pain in life and it’s hard when you, yourself are the one inflicting pain on them.

I do have a bit of advice for you…remember that the kids are going through something right now also.  They have to say goodbye too.  They also have to endure a separation, not just you.  No matter how hard it is for you, don’t forget to give them their moment to express themselves.  It’s easier to push them away, however, in the next few weeks you are going to have to do better at giving them comfort.  Your a badass, I know it but no more leaving them out in the cold emotionally.

You can’t stop now…17 years is a long time.  Your almost at the finish line.  Don’t be sad, you won’t be gone for long.  You can get through this, you once loved the life of a Sailor, enjoy it while you can because once 20 gets here you will look back and wonder where the time went so fast.

As always, I love you…
Sailor, Wife, Mom
Me

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep???

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Beauty is a bad word that should be categorized to be as bad as saying “fuck”.  Every where you look there’s some kind of advertising to make you look younger, feel sexier, look thinner, etc.  The women on these reality shows on TV have had so much plastic surgery that their faces will not turn to dust when they leave this earth.  The thought of cosmetic surgery has crossed my mind more and more lately.  Especially when I realize that the peak of my cuteness has passed. Ok, I’m lying.  I’m still cute.  I’m just having a hard time with my breasts.  I needed a boob job when I was 16 and now that I’m 29+, I really need some assistance.  Okay, fuck it…I’m 38 and cosmetic surgery scares the hell out of me, honestly.  My boobs aren’t the point.

As I was being selfish thinking about my ever changing body I started to realize how much beauty plays a role on my girls and it’s quite disturbing to me.  Where my daughters go to school, they are probably the only little black girls in their classroom and when they were younger, they always wanted their hair to be flat. “Mommy, can you make my hair flat?” It didn’t resonate with me why they always wanted to get a relaxer and have straight hair until one of the girls said that the kids would make fun of their pony tails or braids (w/beads) that I would put into their hair.  When I wouldn’t concede to their requests, they started changing the hairstyles once I left for work.  Not realizing how much damage they were doing to their hair each day.

About a month ago, my daughter decided to use a razor to cut her eyebrows.  I didn’t notice it at first until I really got a chance to get a good look at her.  I think honestly, I was the last person to notice it.  She had mascara on and her eyes were definitely looking different and that’s what made me realize what she had done.  I didn’t even argue with her about telling me “no” that she didn’t have make up on when I know definitely that she did.  I wear make up and make up is my side business so I already knew.  I was more concerned with the why?  Why did she harm herself by cutting her eyebrows with a razor?  I know it had to hurt and yet she continued.  I’m trying to comprehend the thought process.  I know that it hurts like hell if you cut yourself shaving your legs or arm pits.  Even as I write this, I feel sad for her because she felt she had no other choice.

She said that her friends told her that her eyebrows were bushy.  I mean, she’s only 12 and yes she has thick eyebrows and more than likely we wouldn’t have let her get her eyebrows waxed yet but she didn’t give us any choices.  She cut her eyes up pretty bad but yet the pain she went through was worth it to her.

I realize that I have been a 12 year old girl before and I think that my two biggest issues in junior high school was my period and when was I getting boobs.  I just learned about a “sympathy bra” from my oldest.  I had to go pick up a few in order to get a grade back up in gym class.  I love beauty.  I’m all for it.  I considered myself an ugly duckling in high school and there were even a few times when I may have stuffed my bra a time or two but I wonder.

As a parent, I have to wonder how do I convey:

She’s a beautiful girl just the way she is.
Her personality can literally light up a room.
She’s very intelligent.
She shouldn’t care what other people think about her, it only matters what she thinks about her.

Are the kids today too far gone for them to realize their own self worth?  Our values that we have taught her aren’t just values that we taught her today.  This is what we’ve discussed since they were young enough to understand.  I just have to figure out how I can get her to remember that beauty is only skin deep when she’s knee deep in being judged and ridiculed.

Will it get better or will she want cosmetic surgery before she’s 18?  As much as I think I would want some work done on my body, I can’t.  What kind of example would I set for her?