Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
This past Sunday, I became the proud parent of a 16 year old! It’s hard for me to believe that my son is now 16 years old. I still remember the day I brought him home from the hospital. He was so tiny, so cute, and so precious. He depended upon me for everything. My how the time has changed!
I have watched this little boy grow into a teenager. He has a wonderful sense of humor and he is my sweet son with a big loving heart. I am amazed at how independent he is at his age. But then again, he is a product of Brooklyn … kids here are born independent. It just a New York thing.
Anyway, now that he is 16, you know what he wants to do … drive! HE wants ME to teach him how to drive. This kid really thinks that I am going to teach him how to drive! Can you believe it? When he asked me to teach him, I was confused. In my mind I was thinking, “Dude, you take the train to school every day. Even if you were to get your driver’s license, you’re still taking the train to school. You would have to leave an hour and a half earlier if you drove just to find a parking space near school. And really, its not like there’s a free parking lot next to the school. And not only that, would you even remember where you parked the car?” In my mind, I saw him trying to impress some pretty girl and/or his friends. I could see that kid wasting the gas that he didn’t pay for, driving his friends all around Brooklyn. Did he really think I was going to teach him how to drive? I don’t think so!
Now, I will admit, sometimes, when I come home from work, I don’t feel like moving the minivan and the thought does cross my mind of how nice it would be if my son could just move this van for me when he gets home from school. Then I wouldn’t have to do it. But shortly after that, another thought pops into my head, “Would he really just move the van to the other side of the street, or would he go for a ride? After all, its not like I would be at home to see it if he did.” I can just see it now, my son driving the minivan … blasting Drake, or some other rapper as loud as the speakers will let him. I can only imagine what my poor retired neighbors would think once they heard the unedited version of the rap music my son likes to listen to. But then again, you never know. Maybe they like Drake too.
So, when he asked about lessons, what I said out loud was, “You can’t even remember what I told you to do 5 minutes ago. How are you going to drive a car?” He just laughed and told me that it wasn’t the same thing. No, you're right. Its not exactly the same thing, but they both have to do with your attention span. Now I appreciate his eagerness. After all, I remember turning 16 and wanting to learn how to drive too. But I was different. I was much more mature than he is at this stage in his life. And besides, I grew up in Connecticut. We didn’t have a subway system and my mother was ready for me to get my license because she wanted me to drive my younger brother around. I honed my driving skills taking my brother to baseball practice, football practice, games, and by driving him on his paper route in the winter because my mother thought it was too cold for him to walk.
Anyway, I am not ready for this kid to drive. And if you knew him, you wouldn’t be ready for him to drive either.
If you have kids, they will be teenagers soon. Get ready! One day they’re going to want to drive.
Until then … Consider Yourself Warned!
A few weeks ago, I was sick. I was so sick that I got into bed after work Tuesday and didn’t get out again until Thursday evening. Luckily, I had cooked a big meal on Sunday, and had gone to BJ’s, so there was enough food in the house for the kids to eat. While I was laying in bed, I was thinking to myself, “Thank God these kids can take care of themselves. I don’t know what I would do if they were toddlers or preschoolers.” Then it hit me, I know what I would have done! I had been there before.
I remembered when I gave birth to my daughter. The hospital sent me home after three days. I was hoping that they would keep me longer because I knew that once I got home, there would be no rest, especially since I had a seventeen month old active toddler waiting for me. Well, I got home and after a few hours, I was exhausted. My then husband was laying on the bed moaning and groaning because he has a cold (my daughter is a November baby). So I’m taking care of the kids … alone! Now, I want you to picture this, I’m carrying a newborn baby in my arms, a toddler is following me around wanting attention, and their father, is laying on the bed allegedly with a cold (he claims he had a fever, I don’t think so). At some point, this man has the nerve to say to me, “I thought you were tired?” You can only imagine what thoughts went through my mind! Since this a family blog, I won’t repeat them. Instead, I just said, “I am, I just don’t have the luxury of laying in bed. Someone has to take care of these kids!” He just laughed and told me that I was a strong woman. Can you imagine that?
I also remember one day I came home from work with a blinding migraine. Somehow, I managed to drive from Queens to Brooklyn to pick these two up from preschool. With a migraine, I managed to drive them home, feed them dinner, and give them a bath. I remember my head hurting so badly that all I could do was lay down. When their father came home, he found me laying on the bed with a child on either side of me rubbing my head.
Now, I’m not telling you this to put their father down, or to make myself sound like the super parent. Truth be told, all parents have their moments when we have to forget about ourselves and care for the kids because we really have no other choice. Parents don’t get a sick day. However, this time, it was different. This time, the kids were able to heat up their own food, bathe themselves, take themselves to school, and bring me diner and tea in bed! They actually came in and checked in on me to make sure I was fine. They even told me that I needed to stay home from work. What a welcomed change! It was nice to be taken cared of for once.
So, if you still have young kids, just know this, one day they will be teenagers and you will be able to take a sick day. Until then, Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, what have you done when you felt too sick to take care of the kids?
Today, I had a totally different blog that I was going to post. However, I’m just getting home from Connecticut, and this post was placed on my heart.
Today, we buried my cousin. She was blessed to have lived for 91 years. What a blessing! She was married to her husband for 57 years (until he died in 2003), had four children, eleven grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren. Isn’t that something? First of all, I can’t imagine being married to someone for 10 years, never mind 57! My cousin lived a good life. It wasn’t always easy, but all in all, it was a good life. I hate to say it, but sometimes I don’t see some of my cousins except at funerals. But when we are together, its like we were all just together yesterday. At the repass, some of my cousins and I sat back, shared memories, laughed, and marveled with amazement as we watched the next generation just starting their journey here on earth.
Funerals are a reminder that we live on through our children and through their children. As we go through this life, we don’t know how our actions or our words touch another’s life. One of my cousins shared how when she was little, she always wanted to be around me. I remember that period of time. I was probably around sixteen and she may have been three. Luckily for her, I’ve always loved little kids! She was so young at the time that I’m surprised that she even remembered me. But I’m glad she did.
We need to remember that even though our lives are busy … everyone is busy working, raising kids, or have moved away from home, or moved out of state, … we still need our family. Our children need to know their family. More importantly, our children need to know that their family loves and cares about them.
I am happy and blessed to have such a family. We may not see each other often, but that doesn’t matter. We love one another. I love my family.
As we all move along our life journey, let’s not forget our family. Let’s not just see each other at funerals, or at weddings, or at family reunions. Let’s make the effort to really spend quality family time together. And just so you know, checking your cousin’s Facebook status doesn’t count. In the end, our children will be better for it.
Until next time … Consider Yourself Warned!
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.