Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
Sometimes as a parent, you want to surprise your child. When my daughter turned 5 years old. I surprised her with a birthday party. It was a princess themed party. I told her friends’ mothers to have their daughters at my apartment at a certain time, and to have them dressed in their princess dresses. I hired a princess for the party and made lots of food. Miraculously, the secret never got out. My daughter was genuinely surprised when she came home from her father’s and saw all her friends. You should have seen the look on her face when her friends yelled, “Surprise!”. She didn’t know what was going on. She was so stunned, she ran to her bedroom. There, she found a new princess dress and crown laid out on her bed. All her excited little friends ran after her, hugged her, and then eagerly helped her into her dress. We all had a great time.
Fast forward 11 years later. That little 5-year-old girl turned 16 this past Tuesday. I asked her repeatedly if she wanted a Sweet 16 party, and she consistently said no. So, I along with one of my friends planned a surprise for her. For months, this kid has been blasting the songs in the musical Hamilton. I swear I have heard that music so much that I should know all the words to every single song. I decided that it would be a nice surprise to take her to see the actual musical. However, when I looked online at the prices, I quickly realized that the price of 2 tickets is way too much for this government worker. I was telling one of my friends that it’s a damn shame that we live in New York and can’t even afford to go to a Broadway show without taking out a small loan, when she mentioned that she had wanted to see Hamilton too. She offered to take buy her own ticket to the show and take my daughter with her. That, sounded good to me. I gave my friend the money for my daughter’s ticket, and she bought them for the day after her birthday, which was perfect since it turned out that she had a half day of school that day. She could go home, change, and do her homework before the 8pm show. We decided not to tell her so that it would be a surprise for her.
We had it all planned out. My daughter would meet me at my office at 4pm. We would go to her brother’s basketball game, get a bite to eat, and then head off to Times Square. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when we got to theater. I was surprised that I kept it a secret for so long. Well, I didn’t really keep it a secret. I told a few people, people that I thought I could trust.
So, imagine my surprise when I got home from choir rehearsal Tuesday night, and my daughter says to me, “Mommy, I spoke to XX today” (I’m purposely not telling you who she to. That person may read this blog. I don’t want him/her to feel outed.) “XX asked me how did I like the play. Am I going to see Hamilton?” You know I was pissed, right? I have kept her in the dark for months. Since the beginning of November, my daughter has been asking me what she was getting for her birthday. Here I am, one day away from surprising her, and XX spilled the beans! When I later spoke to XX, he/she told me that she didn’t state the name of the musical. I had to remind him/her that there was only one play my daughter was interested in seeing. She’s a smart girl. She can figure things out.
Needless to say, if you are going to plan anything for your kids as surprise, DON’T TELL ANYONE! Not even the people you think can keep it to themselves. Just keep it between you and the people helping you with the planning, and try to limit that to one person. If you don’t, the surprise will be on you when you find realize that your kid knows what’s going on.
So there. Now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, have you ever planned a surprise for your child only to have it ruined? What was it and what happened?
I don’t know what the weather is like where you live, but in Brooklyn, it is cold. In fact, as I am writing this blog, according to my weather channel app, it is 39 degrees outside. The low today is supposed to be 29 degrees. That may not be cold to you, but it is cold to me. And, its not the “Let me put on a sweater before I leave” kind of cold. Its more like the, “Go get your sweater, hoodie, winter coat, scarves, gloves, and put your boots on” kind of cold! Well, at least it is until the hot flashes kick in. Once they kick in, it feels like summertime. Anyway, that’s a different blog. All this to say, its cold outside. That is why for the life of me, I don’t understand why cross country is a winter sport.
My daughter is on her school’s cross country team. I love to go cheer and support her and her teammates. Almost every time she runs, we make the hike all the way up to the Bronx so that she can run a 2.5 mile race (Side bar, with all the space in Brooklyn and Manhattan, I don’t understand why we have to trek all the way to the Bronx. I have nothing against the Bronx, but it is far from where we live, Yes, I’m spoiled. I know). Earlier in the season, the weather wasn’t so bad. It was coolish. But last Saturday, it was just downright cold! It was so cold that it actually snowed for a few minutes! I’m not exaggerating. It. Snowed.
I know that I tend to get cold easily, but I knew it wasn’t just me when I saw other mothers walking around, all bundled up in their down winter coats. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t check the weather forecast the night before. All I had on was a thin shirt and a fleeced lined hoodie. No scarf. No gloves. No hat. No winter boots. Needless to say, I was cold. But as cold as I was, I just couldn’t understand these teenagers. They were dressed like it was summertime. My daughter included! When I picked my daughter up from school (her school had Saturday academy and she wanted to attend that first), she had already changed into her running uniform. She didn’t want to waste time getting changed. She wanted to be able to just warm up and run when she got to the park. I was fine with that. After all, that made sense. However, what didn’t make sense was what she changed into. This kid had on shorts and a tank top … in what felt like the middle of winter! I asked her why she wasn’t wearing her running pants, to which she replied, “I don’t like running in those Mommy.” Can you believe that? I was in shock. They make the running pants to be worn when its cold outside! Anyway, we get to the park, only to see damn near every kid dressed the same way. I mean, these kids were running around in shorts and tank tops like it was the middle of July in Florida. I was amazed! Of course, my daughter was sure to point out how everyone was dressed.
Finally, after waiting for about an hour for my daughter’s race to begin, I grew tired of watching her shivering. I finally asked her if she wanted me to get the blanket out of the car (it was still in the trunk from the “spring” track meets. I learned to keep it in the car because it gets cold at Randall’s Island). Believe you me, she was happy when I brought out that blanket.
So, this is what I learned … always make sure the blanket is in the car, make sure that I bring winter appropriate clothes to cross country meets since I can’t depend upon my daughter to bring them for herself, and always check the weather the night before to make sure I’m appropriately dressed. Basketball season starts in two weeks. I am soooo glad that’s an inside sport.
So, for those of you who don’t have teenagers yet, once you get rid of the diaper bag, you may as well go out a buy a gym bag. You are going to need it to carry around extra stuff.
So, now you know, and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
If you have teenagers, what extra things do you carry around?
When my son was first born, I remember sitting on the hospital bed holding him in my arms. He was so tiny and precious. I couldn’t believe how much love I felt for that little baby. I kissed him. I hugged him. I told him how much I loved him. Then, I laid out my expectations for him. I told him that it was expected that he would do well in school. It was expected that he would go to college. As he and his younger sister grew older, I added to my list of expectations. I told them that not only was it expected that they would do well in school and finish both high school and college, but that it was expected that they would attend and finish graduate school. After that, it was expected that they would get a good job. It was only after they completed all of that, that they could think about getting married and having kids. I know that it may have been early to tell them those things, but I figured that as a mother, I needed to set some clear expectations of them.
Well, this week my son reached a milestone in his life … he submitted his first set of college applications! While he has applied to four colleges so far, he has told me that he intends on applying to more. Who knows where he will eventually end up? The list of colleges that he is applying to ranges from as far north as Boston to as far south as North Carolina. His list ranges from state schools to private colleges. Even though I have told him since he was little that this is what I expect of him, I must tell you, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’m happy for him. He’s a smart boy and will do well in college. He’s also very handsome (if I do say so myself), so I know he will enjoy an active social life. He will have fun and experience all that college has to offer. I have no doubt about that. On the other hand, I don’t want to see my baby boy grow up and leave me. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those overbearing mothers who wants to control her kids. And, I am not trying to raise a Mama’s Boy (I don’t want my future daughter-in-law complaining about me). No, I understand that he has to go out and live his own life. I just hate that it is happening so fast!
So, the countdown has begun. I very much doubt that he will stay in the Big Apple for college. Even if he does, most colleges require freshmen to live on campus. So, no matter which college he attends, in August, he will be leaving me. August. I can’t believe that it is so close. I only have about ten more months to enjoy my son as a teenager. When he comes back home from school the following December, he will be coming home as a young adult. Wow!
If you have little kids, enjoy each day that you have with them. The time goes by faster than you’ll ever know!
So, now you know, and you can …. Consider Yourself Warned!
If you have kids that have already left home, what did you do to prepare yourself for it?
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.