Posted in Life, parenting, Teenager

My Daughter Came Out As Gay At Ten Years Old

In Honor Of My Daughter and Her Courage

It came out of nowhere for me. My daughter had her little, neighborhood friend come over and they asked me to enter her room. She took me into the corner and she was shaking. After a moment she said, “Would you hate me if I liked girls?” And, just like that, my daughter had come out as gay.

Of course I was shocked. At 10, the only thing I liked was dogs and books. Of course, I also hadn’t started my period yet, so I didn’t have the hormones flowing through me that she does. I responded, “There is nothing on the planet that would ever make me hate you. And loving someone is never bad.” I then proceeded to name all the people that I’m friends with that are gay. And then I moved onto athletes and the famous. Then I moved on to people I just speculated might be. Just kidding, I didn’t do that last one.

Photo via Unsplash

I reassured her that no matter what she decided to do regarding her love life, her family will always support her. Beyond that, I really didn’t know what to do. For the millionth time in my career as a parent, I had no idea on the proper way to respond, so I did what I always do. I just continued to wing it as I went.

Tears fell down her cheeks with relief at my response. And she did it did it again and again with her brothers’ support and her sister’s support. One by one, she made the decision to call every family member and everyone was supportive.

So I called upon my best friends mother, who had been like a mother to me my whole life. She actually has been a best friend to me on several occasions and there’s no one I can honestly say I respect more. I remember introducing her to my own husband while we were dating, anxiously awaiting her feedback. She is a lesbian and I knew she would be glad to offer any insight that I could not. And I’ve never been one to feel ashamed if I need to outsource, especially when I’m at a loss. I was right. Even though she lives two hours away, she was in town the next day to handle any questions I couldn’t answer.

Photo Via Unsplash

She spoke with my newly gay daughter and also encouraged her to never be ashamed of what she’s feeling and never to hold back from her family. She reaffirmed that we would all support her no matter what she decided. She also reaffirmed that puberty was a confusing time in someone’s life and that if she changed her mind, then that was fine too.

My daughter vigorously assured me that, although she was not interested in anyone romantically, she knew who she was already. So I told her that I would be leading the gay parade as grand marshal since I am her mother and biggest fan.

No matter what her sexual orientation, people always find a reason to be mean. But as long as I’m alive they’ll have to go through me first. I will continue to look for ways to support her. She will not, as long as I’m alive, think she is any less than anyone else. Love is a beautiful thing. Why it matters to others so much is beyond me.




Posted in Humor, Life, parenting

Is Your Child A Hypochondriac?

Is it a bruise or is it a horrible muscle disease treatable with only the blood from slugs
Is Your Child A Hypochondriac
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He was born dramatic. Any little twinge of pain would cause blood curdling screams to erupt from his tiny newborn lips. It didn’t get better as he got older. Instead, the screams got louder and the fury unfathomable. I clung to the hope that maybe he would be a singer or an actor.

Before the hypochondria set in, he was terrified of external items and situations. Trains were the first terrorizing thing for him and he was sure they were all out to get him. No matter where we were at, if he heard a train, he would absolutely go ballistic. He would alternately panic and run off or just fall down in a heap of dead weight determined to go on no further.

Fall, and October specifically, were a disaster for many years due to his certainty that pumpkins were out to get him.

After the trains, it turned to the weather. Any ominous clouds meant that our deaths were imminent. Any weather at all was a tornado. The beach was not a place to vacation, but a hell on earth where hurricanes murdered people daily.

The weather stage seemed like it had no end in sight. Years passed and then, at eight years old, my son was told about WebMD. As you can imagine, this was my worst nightmare. I would come home from work to his pleading to go to the hospital. He had confirmed his worst fear by diagnosing himself with elbow cancer or sickle cell disease. I spent six months trying to convince him that he did not have AIDS.

This child is number three of my four biological children and holds first place for keeping me green at this mothering thing. Every issue or trial that he puts me through is completely new to me and never to be repeated again. It is also a new scenario for my own mother and any other parent that I have ever asked how to deal with his shenanigans.

Fast forward to now. He is a tall, handsome fourteen year old with a slew of friends and a sharp wit. He is confident and popular and shows no signs outwardly of the social skills I was worried about him having. However, he still wrestles with this hypochondria/paranoia. I try to shield him from as much as I can, but he finds ways to listen or watch the news. He alternates now between worrying about what catastrophe will shortly end all of humanity and what ailment that I am not worrying enough about, which will turn fatal any second.

I wish I could end this article with a statement such as, the extract of hummus ended up curing this! Or, his blood was low on orange juice and a quick infusion fixed him right up.

He is still a ball of nerves, but it has gotten better. However, we are both certain that I am dropping the ball on something. I told him that he has plenty of time to figure out specifically how I’ve failed him. He can tell the therapist when he’s older. For now, I will continue to make him safe and loved. He has learned to laugh at himself when he becomes unreasonable and I think that’s as good a place to start as any.


Posted in Content, Humor, Ideas, Life, parenting

Love Is An Action Word

Beauty doesn’t affect change, love does. — Kylie

I hear that I am loved more now than I ever did as a child, but I feel no more loved. I saw the love given to me by the acts shown or affection felt. My family did not say, “I love you.” I wasn’t hugged daily, told good job for scribbling nonsense, or given a trophy for participating in public activities or sporting events. And guess what? I’ve turned out fine.

I saw the love in my mother’s working and cooking. I saw it with my sister’s extreme jokes on me, my brother’s care of me, and when my stepfather took me to the doctor.

I guess that I’ve turned out fine is debatable, but I definitely could have turned out a lot worse. I am caring, loyal, and a hard worker who is self-sufficient and reliable. I also like to toot my own horn. These days, entitled teens run the streets outfitted with $20,000 starter vehicles and working none for any of it. Their character reflects this.

I have said those three little words thousands of times, but the actions of love that I took for those people meant more than my words did. I still stay in the habit of saying I love you to those that are close to me. However, I want them to look back and say they saw it and felt it also.

Mouth watering picture of slab of meat with brocoli and gravy.
Photo by Alex Munsell on Unsplash

Food

I put my heart and soul into my cooking, along with butter, so every meal I make for my loved ones is an act of love from me. I know who loves what and cook that for their special days, from birthdays to weddings.

I hope they can taste my love. I know they can see it once the weight starts piling on.

Teasing

This one is my main love language. I bully, but ever so gently, the ones I love the most. Sharing jokes, pranks, and humor with each other is definitely the way I receive love the best. Unless, of course, it’s clearly not funny and then I just extremely violent. Strangers don’t always know how to take me, but my loved ones love me for the sarcastic foul-mouthed delight that I am and wouldn’t want it any other way. Except for maybe my Grandma, God rest her soul, who got the whoopee cushion in church when I was seven.

Care

To be considered such a bully, I am actually quite caring. I make sure everyone knows that I am the friend they can call if they need something. I’m not the one just saying that. I will call, bring food, and show up if I know something is going on in your life. I will go to the hospital to see you and call your parents “mom” and “dad”. I only gently bully the ones that I love the most. If I don’t like someone, I am just really over the top polite to them. s


At the end of the day, my point is that so many more need to show love instead of just saying it. They say it almost as an automatic response to getting off the phone or leaving the house. I’m not saying to stop saying it, but show it too!

People never forget how you made them feel. For example, my love is a fire. It will keep you warm, but it will also burn the crap out of you.

Posted in Humor, Ideas, Life, parenting, tips

4 Apps All Parents Of Teens Need

As we all know, with freedom comes great responsibility. The teenage years are when your children will yearn for one of those with no desire for the other. So, unless you are a moron, we have to keep them on a tight but extendable rope. We, ourselves, have to walk a fine balance between giving them freedom and setting boundaries.

I love my children, but I will not be blinded to the fact that they can’t and shouldn’t be trusted. It is our job to question everything they do or say. We have to know what they’re doing and with whom. In the past, that would have meant covert surveillance at the spur of the moment and following them without being caught. Luckily, we are able to monitor them easier than ever now with all the apps that are available.

I suffer a terrible addiction to the app store. Anybody is able to build an app so new ones come out daily. There are even apps you can download to help you build an app. I have a few that are my favorites when it comes to parenting. Also, I am beyond appreciative that my teenage years were before all this technology and camera-based apps. It would not have been pretty.

Life 360

The person that invented this app needs a Nobel peace prize. This app lets you know where your child, or whomever you put on the app, is located at any moment you decide you want to check. It will also tell you what percentage their phone battery is and how fast they are driving! I have actually grounded my son twice due to this app. Once, for going 70 in a 45 and once for being somewhere that he was not supposed to be at.

This app is a 100% must have as a parent of a teen but, please note, it is not foul-proofed. They can leave their phone somewhere and go somewhere else. They can turn it off. I’m always looking for ways around things and this one has it. However, I haven’t seen my children without a phone near them or in their hand in years so, I think I’m okay.

Cozi Family Organizer

Everyone is on the same page, literally, with this app. This is a shared family calendar that anyone can add to or adjust as needed. You can all be kept up to date with one posting. It really is a time saver.

But, be on the lookout for kids erasing any dreaded appointments or un-enjoyable activities such as dental appointments or baby showers. Let my lessons, the ones I have learned the hard way most of the time, help you!

Homey

This is the app that you use to divvy out the chores. If you have a large household like I do, we are constantly rotating chores to reflect changes in the schedules and lives of all of us. You can list items that are to be done by every member of your household, no matter how many you may have. My spouse hates it.

You can make chore lists with just a few items up to literally hundreds. You can create a honey-do list that won’t get thrown away! The possibilities are endless. This app keeps the chores digitally listed and updated so that everyone is kept informed of any changes made and cannot feign ignorance as to why the socks have not been matched.

Greenlight

This is the app I use for my kids’ debit cards. Money gets transferred upon completion of the chores. Mind you, the chores have to be approved as done by me. A thirteen-year-old has far-reaching boundaries as far as what is considered clean or done. It has to be completed according to my satisfaction.

I can also keep an eye on what they spend and how they choose to spend their money. As I do financial counseling, they would be wise to listen to me. But, as I’m also their Mom, I’m considered to be a nerd that doesn’t know about anything. Hopefully, I will have made a difference in their financial habits before I am kicked out of their business permanently.

Posted in Humor, Life, parenting, tips

Memory Making With Daughters

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As a parent of six kids, it is very hard to spend one on one time with each of them. However, it is essential that I make the time. I created a schedule where I try to go on a date night or day with one or two of them every two weeks. It’s as good for me as it is for them.

In this article, I have listed a few ideas that have helped us bond, have fun, make memories and become closer by going on these dates. I have also made this about girls because I tend to do different things with my boys. I will write about that later.

The older my children have gotten, the more they have tried to get out of spending time with me. I may let them get by with this if there’s a special event they want to go to but otherwise it is mandatory.

My daughters are night and day in both looks and personality. What they can agree on is that they love animals so usually both of them will pick the pet store to go to at least once a year.

My oldest daughter loves puppies, kittens, or anything fluffy and cute. She is a lot like me in that respect. She is now 21 and lives on her own with three very large dogs that she calls my grand dogs.

My youngest daughter likes reptiles. She wants to be a veterinarian and specialize in reptiles. I, personally, do not care for them at all. She has a pet lizard and turtle at home and she does a great job of taking care of them. That is a good thing for her because the alternative would be me releasing them into the wild immediately. I don’t do reptiles.

Mini Golf. This is something that my youngest daughter has chosen once or twice. We had a great time playing the mini golf and the arcade located inside

Update: She now despises mini golf which is apparently a new side effect of PMS.

Unlike my boys, who never read unless forced, both of my girls are avid readers like myself. They both are extremely happy to go and get a new book when they get the opportunity. All three of us are able to spend hours in a bookstore to relax, browse, and read.

The local art workshop is also a mainstay. My youngest daughter is my creative child so often do creative activities such as this. The place we go is a local business where you can go pick out a piece to paint. You can take it home or paint it there at the store.You can also sign up for a lesson on how to paint with acrylics on canvas. Either way, it’s a good time for all.

Being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t change a thing. And if I could go back in time, I would not let any precious moment pass me by.

For more of my articles please see my Medium account.https://link.medium.com/spYpLkSTk9

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