“Do you want to go to the Van Halen Concert?” my husband asks me over the phone a couple of weeks ago.
I am thinking about where I will be at mentally Saturday with the three boys and the never ending “hillbilly hand-fishing” swamp clothing I have been washing and and say quickly, “YES!”
Then I scramble, as I have to act like I know something about Van Halen. I need to be worthy of a big night out. Like, I know that I have listened to a lot of Van Halen and that they were a hair band from the 90’s. The music all kind of runs together for me. It’s the music we listened to while drinking crappy beer, down a country road with a make shift bonfire during my teen years. It doesn’t matter! Mamma needs to get the heck out of the house.
“Valerie Bertanelli! Valerie Bertanelli! Wasn’t one of them married to Valerie Bertanelli?” I shout this as if I have Tourettes to Jim over the phone.
“Oh yeah, your right.” Jim sounds impressed that I could rustle something up to say. He knows me so well.
“Well you better be careful he doesn’t try and scoop me up because I am totally his type!”
I am already thinking about getting “The Pants” out to wear.
I have these pants my sister bought me somewhere on clearance as a joke. I showed her. I wore them to her bachelorette party ten years ago. They are awesome. They are python and plastic and PERFECT for a Van Halen concert.
And they are lucky. Not in a “get lucky” way but in an even better way.
They are my Lucky Brush with a Rockstar Pants.”
They are the pants I had on when I could have thrown caution to the wind and run away forever with a famous rock band. I even tell my kids the story. It is good they know I have options. They even know I was married at the time AND they were already born.
These kids have to hear it every time one of their songs come on the radio and my kids friends moms have to hear my kids tell the story when it comes on in their SUV.
These pants have made me a legend among sixth graders, in my community, on my street and living in my house. That is why they are better than a “get lucky” anything.
You usually don’t get to tell a sex story on a mom blog but my lucky pants are giving me, yet another, chance to tell the story about how I almost ran away with…
“The Barenaked Ladies”
Don’t be a hater. You know your just jealous and I am pretty sure at least one of them has “A Millions Dollars” by now.
It was Toledo, Ohio and I had orchestrated my sisters “Princess Barbie Bachelorette Party Bus.” We were club hopping in the “Glass City.”
We ended up at a Banana Joe’s. It is the kind of fine establishment that ENCOURAGES dancing on the bar.
I don’t know about you but I was sick of people telling me to “get down” off of bars.
So there I was rocking my python print pants and bronze high heels on the bar and the DJ starts playing, “If I had a Million Dollars.” by “The Ladies.” It was a different version than the song you hear on the radio. I was the only one who knew the words. I knew the words because I had recently walked in a walk-a-thon and won a radio station copy of one of their CD‘s with live cuts on it. The same live cut of “Million Dollars” that they were playing.
During the song a guy called me down off the bar, (here we go again, I thought I could dance on the bar here) and asks me how I know the words to this version and he asks me to come and hang out with him and his friends. He points over to a table in a corner off to itself by the bar and the group of guys waved me over.
Just then I realized the bachelorette party needed to book it out of there. I had an entire night of bar hopping and the next club was holding parking in front for us to pull up in the “Barbie Bus!”
I told the guy he was too cute and his friends looked really nice and that normally it would be fun but I had to go with my group.
They yelled, “No stay.”
I said, “I’m soooo married and I have twin babies at home and y’all are too sweet.” Then I hear someone yell, “Oh my God it’s the Bare Naked Ladies!!!!” and everyone looks and points at the table of the “too cute, super sweet guys.”
Then I realize…
HE IS A LADY AND THE REST OF THE GUYS WERE LADIES TOO!
I walked towards the piano bar at the entrance where the “Barbie Bus” is waiting out front for us. But first…
I hopped up on the dueling pianos by the front window and
danced to one last song!
These pants are legendary! I dug them out and tried them on.
Have you saved an article of clothing just because of fond memories. What luck has it brought you?
If you want to hear more click the “Follow Me” button above. You may even enjoy one of my former stories like…
Unicorn Horn or Extra Finger? https://allthatmakesyou.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/unicorn-horn-or-an-extra-finger/
One of the downfalls of trying to be good parent is perhaps you have helped them TOO MUCH.
One of the older boys was voicing great frustration while replacing his shoes laces after I washed them. When I told him to just try again, (I have shown him how to do it right) his reply was, “I have tried it three times!”
I cannot help but laugh. I could make a tiered red velvet cake at his age, alone. I remember my mom handing me the keys to her Mazda when I was eleven and her saying, “Go get some bread and milk.” And I did. Doesn’t mean that it was right, but I could do it. He genuinely could not get his shoes laced up. He was mad and he was mad at me for not doing it for him.
Here I am at a much younger age than my son and I guarantee you I laced all of those shoes. I mean if I was going to go to school with THREE PAIRS OF SHOES, I had to know how to lace them. Why did I need THREE pairs of shoes for one day of first grade?
So am I a good mom or am I the dreaded, “helicopter parent?”
I show him, again, how to start the laces.
Has anyone else found boys around twelve to be completely exhausting? I try so hard to make them try and use their brains and figure things out and to learn to look for what they feel inside is the right thing to do. They are such a funny mix of little boys and big kid. They seem to have no common sense. Is it me or does it seem like we had more commons sense when we were our kids age?
For instance at Christmas they were mad we wouldn’t get them an iPhone, (what planet are they on and if they are telling the truth what planet are ALL of their friends parents on?) When we explained why and data fees and that twelve year-old kids don’t need one their reaction was, “Fine, then I will ask Santa for one!”
Let me know how that turns out.
Is it because so many things are easier and simple to do that our kids are lacking the daily drive to “make something work?” What do you think?
– Abbie allthatmakesyou.com
It is way too nice to be inside today so I’m heading out with the kids. I have told them if they run the vacuum I will let them set up the water slide. Yes, it is THAT nice out!
I also told the boys they have to pick up all the dog poo in the yard before we blow up the water slide. I know! I am sooooo smart vacuuming and poo removal!!!
I will snap some pictures to share of them out today because this is the kind of Sunday we are going to have…
I have four stories to share with you I’m currently working on. See…
Then Lilly started asking me to stop and take her out by the pond. There are so many baby ducks and geese to see.
Don’t worry, she is terrified by them and wont hurt them. Have a great Sunday and see you tomorrow!
I had a mother once, but not a real mother. She gave birth to me, but almost anyone can do that. I know deep, deep down, under and inside and probably wrapped up inside of something else and hidden in a corner of her, there was love for me.
I believe in childbirth we give up the body of the child, but left behind is this powerful seed. Some people tend to it and embrace it as a gift. Not everyone does. Not everyone has a mom who paid attention to that burning in their chests and aching in their stomachs and inability to get your mind to rest at night. Not every new mother understands that this tiny baby is theirs and you are going to give up anything you have to just to keep it safe and to let it know it is loved. Perhaps they are too young. Perhaps they are so distracted with their own problems, they wrap it up to silence it and hide it deep inside.
I know it is planted in my flesh because from the moment I laid eyes on my children, it hurt. Something is in you that wasn’t in you before. It burns as it germinates and tickles as it spreads roots throughout your being and every cell in your body knows your entire purpose has changed. You don’t sleep because you worry about your child. You are to protect this person you made and brought into the world. You are responsible for them and you have to teach responsibility to them. You already love them and you have to teach them to love. That is… unless you were my mother.
I was already mad at my mom before I had my own children. It isn’t fair because she is dead. She died when I was 19, unexpectedly, but I always expected it. When a mom dies at the end of a girl’s teenage years, you don’t get to “make up” and be best friends. You don’t get to shop for wedding dresses and have lunch together when you are in your twenties and thirties. You don’t get to laugh about the hard times you gave your parents and tell them you’re sorry you were such a rotten teenager, because you are a parent of teenagers yourself now… and you see the error of your ways.
Those things would have never happened anyway. She had forgotten she had that seed wrapped up and tucked away inside of her.
I loved her with all of me the way little girls love. The way little girls love with an open heart but with an extra helping of, “Please don’t kill yourself tonight mom. Please stop saying goodbye I promise I will be good. Dad does love you.” It was our normal. On the really bad nights, dad would take us to the drive-in movie for a double feature. We brought pillows and blankets and slept in the quiet.
As an older girl, I loved her by keeping her out of jail. I hid the knives in the wood burner when my dad went to work. Sometimes he would forget and call me from the office and tell me just to wrap them up in a towel and he will get them out when he gets home. We weren’t worried about her hurting herself anymore. She wanted to hurt us. I loved her with a protective heart while trying to keep myself and my little sister safe.
The teenage daughter was tired. Tired of trying to keep it all a secret, trying to pretend we had a normal family at school. Tired from sitting up all night while my dad was gone. I started sleeping up against the inside of my bedroom door after I woke up and found her pushing lit cigarettes into my mattress. She stood behind a door to pour hair dye on me on my high school graduation day. I was wearing a short white summer dress and I had black dye all over me. There are some things you cannot tell people until years later, because when they ask, “why?” you cannot answer. I don’t know why.
I was leaving for college and I was never coming back.
Then she died.
Sometimes, when women have children they don’t know they have to tend to that seed. Their souls and minds and flesh are hostile environments to grow anything but their own seeds of destruction. I know somewhere deep inside of my mother she had my mothering seed wrapped up and tucked away like she did with things in life. You would find pills wrapped up in tissues and tucked in the toes of her dress shoes. This was before Prozac or Paxil — before people talked about “baby blues” or “postpartum depression.” That wasn’t what was wrong with her though; there was a lot wrong.
She was probably bi-polar and it was probably because of some trauma she had inflicted upon her as a child. She didn’t get help and when she was grown she didn’t want any.
I went to a therapist for a year once. I thought that was the right thing to do before I started a family of my own. After a year of telling stories to my therapist, I asked him what he thought and how much “more” I needed. He replied that I never really needed a therapist. He told me he was waiting for me to ask how much longer. He told me I was “well-adjusted” and I had a “tremendous understanding” of how wrong and ridiculous my childhood had been. He said that the fact I can laugh about it speaks volumes that I am NORMAL. I am normal. That is why I did, indeed, need to go. As a child of a parent that was fatally flawed, you have so much worry that you are as well.
I turned 39 this year. I am now older than my Mother was when she died. I have always had a firm grasp on who I am, even thankful for all of my experiences. If you have had a challenging childhood you understand. There are a lot of us out there. I don’t mean the kind of childhood where you’re mad at your parents because they loved your sister more than you because she got to go to horse camp and you didn’t. I mean the kind of childhood that you’re happy you aren’t a crack-head or a topic for Dateline.
Turning 39 churned something up in me. I felt so much pity for my mom. She never had a chance to change. She didn’t live long enough to see the sympathy people now have for mental illness. I certainly don’t feel like I have anything figured out and am still continually finding out who I am. She didn’t get to try the medications that may have lessened her mood swings or calmed her anxieties. Some people talk about the moment they turned their lives around. Lying on the bathroom floor and the moment the drunk swears off the bottle forever or the wealthy man realizes that it is just money in the bank, but if given to others it could mean a warm blanket or an education for a fresh start.
My mom started her family at nineteen. She died as she turned 39. She never had a chance to go and find that seed and unwrap it. It wasn’t too late. Children love their parents — and they even love them when their parents hurt them. Perhaps one day she would have apologized for being rotten Mother and seen the error of her ways. Perhaps.
This Mother’s Day, I will spend the day with my beautiful boys, thinking a little about this one extra Mother’s Day that I have lived that my own Mother didn’t get. I will wonder if this would have been the year in her life that just the two of us went to lunch — for the first time. That extra year may have been the one that she noticed me instead of hurt me. Would this have been the year in her life I would have forgiven her?
I don’t know if I will ever forgive her. I know that isn’t how I am supposed to feel. But it is how I feel. I have that mothering seed growing inside of me and I pity her for not. Some days mine grows like kudzu and others it’s a little wilted from neglect. I am far from being a perfect Mother. I am far from being my own Mother and for that contrast, I am thankful. I don’t have those days where I am doubting all of my abilities to parent. I don’t have the mornings where I am crying to a girlfriend that I failed my kids the day before when I lost my temper. I know they will be okay. My mom taught me to love my kids with every cell of my body and to let them know — and mine do. I may not forgive her but I am thankful for her teaching me this lesson about mothering.
Not everyone has a Hallmark commercial memory playing above their heads when they think of Mother’s Day. That doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate my Mother and being a mother. Is Mother’s Day a day you focus on your own mom or do you relish in being a mom or both?