Thursday, July 25, 2013

Well hello new neighborhood! (and I didn't even move!)

I do not understand my HOA.  The dues are very reasonable.  The neighborhood is nice, not gated, not fancy, just nice.  There are sidewalks, there are 2 frog ponds the boys frequent.  They even find a leech or two.  There are cattails in the frog ponds and lily pads.  There is a small park along the back side of the subdivision backing up to the small woods the boys have airsoft wars in.  We are THE trick or treat neighborhood.  People come from all over and an average night there will be 800+ trick or treaters and 4 horses I get apples for.  There are dogs and kids in wagons trick or treating, I have pup-peroni or sometimes a small box of dog biscuits for them.  My cat eats pup-peroni.  (Shhhhh....We don't tell him it's not for kitties).  Kids play basketball in the street, lacrosse in back yards, football, soccer, ladder ball,  they ride bikes on the sidewalk or in the street.

We are located directly across a 4 lane divided highway from an elementary school, the highschool campus, and a middle school.  We are, as the crow flies and as the kids cut across campuses....less than 1 mile away from 2 elementary schools, the freshman campus, the highschool and one middle school.  This is a very kid-centric neighborhood.

This is the kind of neighborhood that when your child asks you if he can go play basketball at other friend's house, you know that's exactly where they are until they appear inside clutching popsicles swearing they are dying of heat.

Does this sound like utopia?

I almost could be except for a few things.  The people who bought one of the houses that "sort of" have the small subdivision park and a frog pond in their yard, tried to start a neighborhood watch to keep kids from playing together after dark.  There is some "new" rule being whined about stating that portable basketball goals can't be near the street.  They lose their ever loving minds if a trash can is left in view of the street. I've heard they also want all toys out of sight.   They "decide" the best way to spend the HOA dues is to purchase unnecessary flowers to decorate the two entrances and make those entrances look great!  But they also allow vacant homes to start looking derelict, because they don't help maintain the yard or even bother shoveling snow in winter.  We bought our house in Feb.  There was over an inch of ice on the front steps and driveway.  We were moving from CA to MI and the truck was arriving the next day with our furniture.  About 8 or 9 at night I was out with a sledge hammer trying to break up the ice.  When you set of legal fireworks responsibly with 2 adults and 3 children all VERY supervised wearing eye protection, nosy neighbors chastise you and call you "F^&*ing foreigners"  Really confused about that one, I have some ancestors who arrived in 1667 and one helped settle Westmoreland Co. Virginia.  So the whole foreigner's comment was lost on us!

I think the board needs to relax a bit and decide if they would like this subdivision to remain kid friendly and enticing to young families, people who want their kids to grow up together, attend the same school the required time (k-5) then on to middle and highschool.  Do they want people to feel comfortable here or do they want to turn it into an adults only community?  If this is going to become geriatric-land I need to know now so I can start amassing old lady clothes to don while i stand out front and cluck officiously at people having fun.  

I can sort of understand some of the ideas, but really a nice entrance does nothing for me if the house I'm looking at has a jungle out front or worse, I fall and break a bone looking at a house in the winter because it's all iced over.  I am not a connoisseur or devotee of yard and landscaping techniques.  I think weeds are fine...but I should be able to find the front door of a house.   I also feel that HOA's need to put the rules in writing and provide those regulations to the real estate agents so those rules can be considered when the home is being considered.

I am a fine one to talk, we've not made one single HOA meeting.  They have one, once per year, on a Saturday...but we always have a game or some sporting activity for our son so we can't attend.  I have a dream that one day people will get their heads out of their behinds and realize a spotless house and an immaculate lawn with no basketball nearby does not prove that you are a good person.  It proves that you either take pride in your home and yard or that you have some sort of emotional deficit and want to punish yourself with needless work.  A weedy lawn, a basketball goal and dirt on my floor means that my son is awake, he has friends, they do silly things and we don't have time to weed a stupid lawn we don't like anyway.

I am not liking my new neighborhood

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Self worth

My son recently had what I can only describe as a codependent toxic girlfriend.  I'd like to say I have no idea where the toxicity came from, but based on events I have a really good idea.  They were codependent which was bad enough, but add her toxicity to the mix and it was explosive. 

I know my son's propensity for finding people like this comes from his innate need to help others. He needs to be needed, wanted, soothe others, and be a helper in times of need.  In addition to his natural draw toward class clown to mask his perceived inadequacies.  He is not inadequate, he feels asking questions shows weakness or that he doesn't know something.  He understands that all of us require help, we have made him aware that the only stupid question is the one not asked.  This is the stubborn child who would never practice reading.  He held off on even trying until he was 4, we bought him a Dr. Seuss book, on the way home from the book store he picked it up and read it aloud flawlessly cover to cover, never having heard it before.  I was a house mom I know what books he knew.

So back to the girl friend.  When they first started being friends it seemed like a good thing, then he wanted to date her so I encouraged him to ask. She indicated she just wanted to remain friends. day she decided they should date.  He leapt at the chance.  Within a week he was fully embroiled in her drama.  He showed up one night in my room disturbed because she had sent pictures of her arms to him, apparently she's a cutter or was.  Somehow he miraculously reformed her.  Then she started texting him at all hours of the day and night complaining about her parents.  Then we found out she was coming off medication for bipolar disorder.  The noose grew even tighter when she started offering her body up on a sliver platter to him.  These are 13 &14 year olds!!  His grades, never as good as they should be ebbed ever lower, his outbursts of rage at home became more frequent and unpredictable.

He injured two fingers in the weight room one day at school, I had to take him to urgent care.  It was the same night she had a solo at a school concert.  He sent her a photo of his fingers from the urgent care trauma room..she pretended to care.  Then I brought him home and he fell asleep.  Being that he'd just been injured both of us (his parents) decided he should sleep and skip her concert.  He woke up 10 minutes before she was to go on (of course the selfish little dear sent him a text) he came up stairs screaming at us both, demanding that we take him immediately, (no idea where it was held) He and his father got in a fight over his phone, he cussed both of us out and had some screaming crying keening fit.  She hit below the belt with some comment about "I was only singing for you, you know how important this was to me, so thanks for not being here".  

She kept turning the pressure screws on the whole sex thing. She's 13 and apparently her Mom gave her some sort of reverse psychology permission to have sex with my son.  My 14 year old son!!  We discussed this and decided it was not in his best interests, though it would probably feel pretty good at the time.  For various reasons he came to the conclusion that he wasn't ready.  The fights between them are almost daily, the fights at home are at least once daily and one serious fight ending in rocking screaming, keening, and sobbing as we took the phone away.

When the phone was away, the next day was like a cloud lifting and he was almost normal.  He could think critically, read some information on bipolar disorder, codependency, and toxic friendships to see elements off all of those things at work in his life.  I didn't point out similarities.  I had him read them then give me his impression.  He would promise himself that he would be strong and hold the line, yet he caved at every turn.  We were becoming seriously worried for our son's mental health with this kind of relationship, yet we knew if we forced it to end, that he would never learn to make hard decisions, good decisions, and he might even do something incredibly stupid just to prove to us that we had no say over certain areas of his life.  We held on and hoped that gentle and sometimes not so gentle guidance would steer him back around.

Then one glorious day the girl's mother read through the texts.  She sent a break up text to our son on her daughter's behalf.  Our son was supposed to call, he did and the girl broke up with him amid dramatic tears.  My husband and I were elated, our son wasn't even that sad.  Things eased up again at home with the arguments returning to undone chores and shoddily done chores.  Then one day......he got a text.  They had been broken up less than 2 weeks.  In this text he was supposed to call because her mother couldn't know.  She asked him to go back out with her but they couldn't talk for 2 weeks.  This was on speaker phone and our son could hear the mother in the background so he knew that the entire thing was kind of a lie, that the mother was aware.  Texts ensued, he told her he didn't want to go back out with her that he would prefer to take a step back and just resume their friendship.  She suddenly became vile, the mother sent a text calling our son "a little punk who never deserved to spend time with our beautiful daughter"

I hope they do take time with their "beautiful daughter" to teach her that she is worth something.  That she is worth more than cut up arms and offered up sex in the woods.

We took this opportunity to teach our son that it's good to be helpful and kind but not to lose yourself in the process, that he is worth more.  That he is worth more than cheap sex from someone who cares nothing for her body or her worth.  We want him to be a young man of substance and worth, we want him to never lose his loving, caring edge.  We want him to stand up for himself and be the best person he can be.

I think all of us could benefit from a little bit of self worth from time to time.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hello, my name is.......

And I am addicted to Candy Crush Saga.  I am so ashamed to admit this to myself and my family.  I thought I had kept the secret better.  The empty lives, the sobbing little blonde child.  Darn her!  Darn that fat little candy crush brat!! She's ruining my life!!!  Why why why does she make it so hard...ok so I am her.  I'm the little mean girl, why why why why?

Why must I wake the yeti?  Why must I refill lemonade lake? Why must I do all the things I haven't gotten to yet and WHY is there jelly and some frosting looking crap in a candy factory?  IS it a factory or just one of the many levels of Dante's inferno?  I can't decide.  And why do some of the striped candies fly down whereas others just clear out the level that it's on?  I've paid attention to where the flip is and it varies.  It's like what would help you the most rarely happens when you REALLY need it too.

5 more moves!?  5 more moves?!  But I have 10 pieces of candy trapped in this weird clear jelly.  How can I get them all out?  Sometimes something odd happens and I accidentally finish a level with no clue how or why.  I feel a strange sense of pride or success, but it's just a game.  Am I addicted to Candy Crush saga? I've been a few days without playing it.  It wasn't that hard.  The first thing I did the night we got back was sneak out the computer and play Candy Crush.

I've actually spent money on it too!  I feel as sick and twisted as my son with his Xbox games.  I'm like Smeagol with the candy crush thing instead of the ring.  We must clears the jelly precious precious candy level.  We must flips the colors to get the chocolatey bomb thingy yes yes we must, the wrapped candy or striped candy will mix with us yes yes my precious candy.  Then we will clear the jelly and save you.

Now I am sure that I must be nuts....DARN this level has hazel nuts...ah nuts!