Friday, April 27, 2012


Today is our oldest daughter Samantha's 24th birthday.   I was approximately her age when I had her.   One of the most fulfilling things for me is to see Sam being a mom to Taylor.  I get such a sense of pride that Sam really knows what's important. This wild child, whom I thought would marry a wanna be rock star with tattoos, piercings and greasy long hair or even worse..a circus clown.... grew up to know and understand what is important.

Let's talk about her long journey shall we?  First, when I looked at my children who were 5, 7 and 8 I felt there was NO WAY these kids weren't going to be anything but good.  They were very well behaved children.  However, let me warn those with young children please NEVER SAY NEVER...As a parent,  I felt like that frog that you put in cold water and ever so slightly keep increasing the temperature.  The frog doesn't really notice his goose is being cooked until it's too late.  The age of thirteen came and about half way through the year I breathed a sigh of relief...shew... we are getting through this pretty easy.......fourteen?  Not too bad, oh I noticed, as I was reading her journal, that she had stuff on her mind and maybe used a few bad words now and then, but nothing I would consider delinquent.  (yep, I read journals and text messages.  This is how I found out she got a tattoo ) Crap really didn't hit the fan until she was sixteen.

At sixteen there is a bit of freedom.  This is the point where we should be putting them in that drum and slapping the lid on not to see them again until 19 or so.  John and I both put our seat belts on and declared our only goal is to get everyone through this alive.  We were strict, we really were.  I believe there are some parents that think JR wouldn't do anything bad.  Well, don't be fooled.  We told Sam that she could not go to a concert in Cleveland on a school night.  Guess what?  She shimmied out a window and went anyway.  Now had I just told her yes, she wouldn't have committed the crime and I would have had a good kid.  Wow....I guess I could have saved myself the fight and just said yes at the start.    However, we did have boundaries and she was one tough kid to stay one step ahead of.  I was either an awesome private investigator or my kids were idiots and didn't cover their tracks very well. This was my mantra:

lol so true

One night She missed her curfew by a long shot.  We knew where she was and we went to get her.  When we got to the house I pounded on the door...I didn't care if I was going to wake someone up.  She came out and her dad said, who do you want to ride with me or your mom? (John was going to drive her car) Sam chose me.....John shook his head said "oh boy, mistake number two"  Yes I screamed all the way home.   I guess she picked the wrong car.  John would have given her the silent treatment.  I know I'm making us sound like white trash, but I want to believe this goes on inside a lot of homes with teens.  These stories are only about one child......imagine what I have on the other two!  They flippin' wore me out.  Never pray for patience because this, my friends, is what you get.

I believe the last time I actually screamed at Samantha was her first trip home from college.  One stinking week away from the asylum of home and she walks in with white hair (not blond, but white) I believe there was a black streak in it,( I recall screaming something about looking like a skunk) and a piercing right above her lip.  I absolutely flipped out.  She hated me for weeks and I was not too fond of her.  How dare she keep doing things that would make me look bad as a parent.  Guess I wouldn't care.  I would tell myself....this too shall pass. (easy to say now that it has passed)

I'm the one who always says pick your battles......I hope I did.  With the exception of the hair and piercing, I think we focused on the right things.  I'm sure I had other failings.  In spite of all our mistakes as parents somehow someway they come out on the other end and make wonderful adults.

 Today, I'm so proud of our Sam.  She now knows the worries of being a mother.  She is teaching Taylor all the right things and is just a really good mom.  What I love most, is even though I am her mom, I can also now be her friend.  I love that. I really like knowing I've done my job and even with my mistakes as a parent I  have three really awesome kids.  Do I still worry?  Heck ya!  But I am able to let go a bit more.  They are their own people.  They have assumed the responsibility of their own life.  They don't have to be the same person I am.  Everyone does not have to fit the same mold.  If one of these kids wanted to join the Peace Corps, I would be all for it.  I admire people who have the guts to stray from the norm. 

Happy Birthday Sam.....I love the person that you have become!  (Actually I loved you all along, but now I also like you a lot)

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