Sunday Stuff, Twitter Messages

SOC: Nerves of Steel

http://twitter.com/#!/writefromkaren/status/102820484793643008

This is the second time I’ve taught someone how to drive. The first time was my first son, this second time is my second son.

I’m way more nervous with my second son.

Dude, my first born, was, is, a cautious driver. He takes his time. He pays attention to what’s happening around him. He’s probably too cautious, which is a problem by itself, but Jazz, my second son, is reckless, impatient, slams on the breaks, followed by the accelerator and is not detail oriented. In other words, he doesn’t pay attention to the small stuff, or the big stuff, like that cherry red dual-wheel monster truck coming right at us.

One of Jazz’s friends called him up today. He wanted him to come over and hang out for a few hours. Even though I was thrilled that he wanted to get out of the house and hang with an actual human (as opposed to the virtual humans in his computer), it meant that I had to drive him over there.

Or more accurately, that he had to drive himself over there with me hanging on for dear life.

It’s not that he’s a BAD driver, per se, he’s just a NEW driver.

He backed out of the driveway for the first time today. Reverse is always the most challenging; it’s also the most nerve wracking. The car feels different in reverse, it handles different in reverse and it’s much harder to anticipate what could go wrong in reverse.

The biggest lesson I taught Jazz today was that it’s not always necessary to press on the accelerator. There are times that a nice, SLOW, simple coast is all the car requires in order for it to do what you want it to do.

He had a lot more control after I taught him that lesson.

Today was the first time we drove on busier streets. He did fine, though he still has a problem gauging how close to get to a stop sign, or a stop light before coming to a full stop. Often times, we’ve missed our mark.

Still though, I’m a much better teacher than Kevin – I’ve mastered the fine art of hiding my terror.

*ding* Time’s up.

#SOCsunday

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it?

Sunday Stuff

SOC: Saving Baby Clothes

Looking at today’s Silent Sunday picture, I’m left wondering … have I saved any of the boy’s baby clothes? I know, at one time, I did, or at least, I thought I did (or I intended to), but if I did, I have no idea where they might be.

Kevin organizes me. And when he organizes me, I can’t find anything. Ever. In fact, a lot of times he can’t remember where he put stuff so I’m left scratching my head until I finally give up and resign myself to the fact that it probably got thrown away.

Kevin also organizes the boys. Which really makes the boys angry because then they can’t find anything. But to be fair, Kevin gives them plenty of notice and if he DIDN’T organize them (us), there’s no telling what our house would look like.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the most organized person out there. Though I put stuff away, it’s not really out of sight but rather, put aside, so that I know where stuff is, but to look at my “organization” the normal Joe/Jane would be like, “Good grief, doesn’t this woman EVER clean house?”

There’s a method to my organized chaos, thank you very much.

I hope I saved SOMETHING from their baby years. I know my mom is really good about saving stuff and I roll my eyes at all of her “junk”, but honestly? I envy her the foresight. I get sick of seeing things after a while and I have a tendency to just toss it out than look at it for another day.

I’m going to be really sad if my boys ask me if I kept anything from their baby years and I’m going to have to force myself to look into their brown/blue eyes and admit that no, I didn’t.

Just chock it up to one more mom fail.

Tell me readers, have you saved any clothes/items from your children’s baby years?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who hasn’t. 😦

*ding* Time’s up.

#SOCsunday

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it?

Sunday Stuff

SOC: Future Plans

I’ve been making my oldest son drive up to the office after school every day.

He’s supposed to be studying for the ACT test he plans on taking (for the second time) in April June.

He’s also supposed to be scrolling through a few local college sites to get an idea of what he might like to do with his life.

Keywords: Supposed to.

He’s confused. He doesn’t know what he wants to do. He doesn’t know where to start.

I’m confused. I don’t want to tell him what to do with his life; I’m not sure how to direct him, either.

We’re both floundering. I want to help guide the boy, but I don’t want to live his life for him. He knows he will need to do something, but all he wants to do is stay a kid for a while longer.

Did you know what you wanted to do at 18? I didn’t. But then again, when I was 18, I had already been working for two years, too. So I was concentrating on making money and paying my rent. (I moved out shortly after high school graduation into my own apartment).

He hasn’t had a job yet. I’ve sort of discouraged him from getting a job. I wanted him to concentrate on getting through high school and making the best grades he was capable of making. I’m pleased to announce that the boy has done exactly that. He’s a great boy … scratch that, he’s a great man. I’m very proud to be his mother. He will be a great worker, boyfriend, husband, father someday.

Of that, I AM sure.

But for right now the big question is: what does he do with himself after high school?

This question LOOMS over us. Even though we are encouraging him to think about his future now, we don’t want him to think that whatever he chooses he will be stuck with for the rest of his life.

We’re all at a crossroads and none of us know which direction to take.

It’s hard to concentrate on just one direction when there are so many directions he could take. His possibilities are endless at this stage in his life.

But in order to help him, I need to focus on one or two things – the things that need the most attention now – getting him through the ACT test with a better score and prepping him for the working world.

Because regardless of whether he goes on to college or not, he WILL get a job. He must. It’s part of the growing up process.

Pushing him toward his future is harder on me, I think.

*ding* Time’s up.

#SOCsunday

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it?

Band, Sunday Stuff

SOC: Jazz

I’m not a big fan of jazz.

But I’ve learned to be. Our youngest son plays jazz with his classmates at school.

Jazz “lives” for jazz. Hence the reason I call him “Jazz” on this blog.

He loves jazz band class. He has it every second semester and he says he will continue to take it “no matter what. It’s not negotiable, mom.”

Well, alrighty then.

Jazz sounds like a mess of different instruments doing their own thing to me. It sounds disjointed, messy, impromptu. I’ve never been crazy about it, but I can see why Jazz likes it now that I’ve been forced to sit through several of his concerts. There is something beautifully chaotic to jazz.

I’m starting to “get” it, I think.

Jazz played in a festival yesterday. I have a love/hate relationship with his music competitions. On the one hand, I’m extremely nervous for him. I want him, and his classmates, to perform well. I want them to WIN, but I’m not one of those crazy moms who do stupid and outlandish things to make sure that happens.

I just sit in the audience, wring my hands and nearly have a heart attack from the stress.

But on the other hand, I’m so PROUD of him. I’m proud of his musical abilities (he gets that from his dad), and I’m proud of him for having the courage to get up in front of an audience and first perform, and then be judged, first by the judges, then by the audience.

I try not to pay attention to the people around me as they watch my son perform. I can hear their remarks and though most of the comments are positive, there are a few that are not. I try not to get my hackles up when I hear someone give “constructive criticism”, but it’s hard not to morph into a mama bear and tear into the individual for “not understanding my son’s greatness!”

I try not to gush whenever it’s over and Jazz asks how he did. I try to be gentle in my own constructive criticism – it’s so hard to hear anything negative when you put yourself out there creatively. That I know because of the writing I post on this blog.

But I’ll be honest. The kids didn’t sound that great yesterday. They played three songs and two of them sounded decent, but one of them did not. Now granted, the kids haven’t had that much time to prepare – they were out a whole week due to the snow storm that came through, but I also sensed that the kids weren’t trying that hard, either. I don’t know if it was because they are getting burned out or if they’re feeling insecure because they didn’t feel like they were ready for this festival.

It always amazes me that the kids can even play at all – they really don’t have that much time to prepare before competition starts. So I’m keeping a stiff upper lip about this year’s jazz performances – the season is still very young.

*ding* Time’s up.

#SOCsunday

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it?