Zits & Tits – Junior High

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Posted by jamielentzner | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 05-09-2010

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Being a parent is hard.  As a mother, I really don’t know anything at all, there is no map, no directions, I just go with my gut.  I try hard not to bring my past experiences out, I try to let them live their lives.  I swear, like most I am just doing the best I can.  I know it will always get better and that everything they go through is just part of life.  Like I said, I try to just be there. 

This past week was the first week of school for my children.  My daughter sailed through third grade, my son not so much.  I tried (unsuccessfully) to juggle life, work, and parenting as we marched towards another milestone.  It was not easy, and I am pretty sure I did not breeze through it as I had wished.  The reason this week was tough was that our end of summer vacation ended with a trip to the after hours clinic, and then a few days later my son was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.  He got the bill of NOT Clean health the day before school started, sixth grade that is. 

He was lucky that he was able to attend the first day of school, he was not lucky that he missed the two following days. I watched my son dip his too large for his body feet into junior high this past week.  I tried to stay positive and keep my past experiences to myself.  I forced myself (for once) to keep my mouth shut and my ears open as he ventured into new unchartered waters.

Junior High was awful for me.  I did not fit in.  I had the right clothes, my mother understood the importance of a good pair of vans, chemin de fer jeans and the coveted Ti sweats.  Yet she could not save me from myself.  My grades were not good – they were great and this did not work well for me.  I was small, tiny actually, awkward too – oh and did I mention the braces?  Those 3 years were miserable and I hated every minute of it.  Looking like everyone else does not cut it in junior high.  My peers could smell a fake very easily.  My “look” did not mean anything, I was out of my element.

So, you can imagine how I felt when my son was forced to miss his first few days of school.   As sick as he was, his main concern was who he sat next to in class and who he would eat lunch with.   Worse was, if anyone would remember him.  His fears became my fears.  His insecurities, even as he took medicine and did breathing treatments, became my worries.  I started to think the worst and worry how all of this would affect his time in junior high.

I spent the last week doing damage control and doing the job of 12 nurses.  As sick as my son has been, and trust me he has and is sick, he is still concerned with school/social aspect of junior high.  And really, isn’t that all junior high is?  I mean I know his test scores and his grades can get him into a good high school and all, but that is not what I remember about those formative years.  Those were the awful, miserable days of Zits and Tits.  I had the acne down, the other not so much. 

Sometimes things work out, and life just clicks and makes sense.   Every once in awhile all my worries are just wasted.  This was one of those times.  My son is not me, um first he has no zits and the other thing – well, I am pretty sure he won’t have to worry about those.   My son (after much coaxing) texted a friend about lunch and where everyone was sitting.  He asked if his friend would save him a seat (gumption he has).  I was shocked, I would never have asked, but my son he had no problem with it.  And you know what – the answer was yes.  It may have been a “hell yes” but I was not privy to his text, and that is fine.  His worries were for not, he was fine concentrating on getting better.  I am pretty sure even when he gets zits, he will be fine.

Everyone keeps asking

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Posted by Olivia Adams, Mommie-to-be | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 28-08-2010

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I don’t mind telling some people about our situation but sometimes, the topic just comes up, “So when are you two having kids?”

My husband and I have been together for a very long time and it seems like everyone around us is getting pregnant. Every function that I go to, there is at least one person pregnant or one person that just gave birth. Some of them are the same folks that we see every month and some are folks that we see a few times a year.

It’s always either, “we’re trying” or “we plan to.” I feel like we’ve been saying this forever and all the time. I don’t want to get too deep with everyone, but what do I say? For some, I’ve been warning them, like asking if they are on the pill, how long have they been, and to encourage them to get off of it and to use other alternative methods.

When the topic of babies come up, some of the folks that have heard us say that we want to or trying, are wondering what’s going on. I don’t mind telling some people our situation, but sometimes, I don’t even want to talk about it. I am trying so hard to not stress about it, which was an advice from some folks, and to just let it be. I was told that when you stress, it makes it harder, so I just want to forget about it and let it come, but I can’t help but to feel stressed out again or discouraged when the topic comes up. We’re supposed to be at an event with happy vibes and positive energies, but when we come back to this subject, I try so hard to keep a happy face. I laugh it off and switch the question on them or bring something else up, but I get very down.

I feel so broken. It’s already been like what, almost a year! My family keeps asking, which adds onto the pressure. Every time we go out and see babies, they always comment on them and have this look like when are we going to have one. Believe me, if I could, I would get twins now. I am sure you all recall my “twins diet” that I was on, which was a total bogus. The only thing that I got from that stupid diet was 11 pounds! It was pretty easy though, since I love food. I love cereal, desserts, peanut butter, and bread.

At least I am closer towards the time my period should be coming.  That means, after my period, I hope to see some better results from my ovulation kit.  I am trying to stay positive, but I just have this wierd feeling that something is going to go wrong.  After 3 months of my taking those pills and then getting excited toward the end, only to find out that the ovulation kit keeps giving me a negative result, I don’t know what to do.  I am really praying to see my period.   My doctor says to give it a month afterwards.  Geez! Another month.

Remembering

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Posted by webmaster | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 31-07-2010

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Remembering.  Everybody knows what it is.  The fact is you have remembered what remembering is.  It sounds simple enough.  We do it for work.  We remember what tasks we need to accomplish for the day, for the week, for the month.  We remember what time it is each year that we start praying for that pay increase.  At home, we remember when to eat, when to shower, when to clean the house.  Well, we remember we need to clean, but we don’t always get it done on time…

And so it seems that something we do every day on a routine and non-routine basis should be simple enough to do when it comes to our children.  So why do we find it so easy to forget what it was like to be them?  What it was like to be told to clean our rooms and as we are putting away those toys we played with two weeks ago, we begin to play with them again – only to be yelled at to ‘stop playing’ around.

If there’s one thing I know about high school, it’s that I’ve heard so many teens tell me they wish their lives could be simple again.  Like when they were kids.

The pressures of high school are nothing like they were when we went to school.  The game is different and played with much higher stakes.  And every year, those stakes keep rising.  The pressures to take drugs and drink alcohol are kids play compared to the pressures to join gangs, to perform absurd sexual acts you can’t imagine, and even to commit acts of violent crime to ‘prove your worthy’.  Some of these are actions you can never come back from without years of therapy.

Each year, everything seems to just keep escalating.  Reality television and teen programming just continues to push the limits and it seems nothing is really sacred anymore.  My teens are aware of everything going on around them.  They have given in to some and asserted themselves against some of them.  And they have all said to me at one time or another that they wish their lives could be simple again.

Getting away together - camping at Memorial Park.

There are a lot of things you can do to slow the escalation down.  I had a talk with my daughters when they were younger that they could play with Barbies for as long as they wanted to – even if it was in the privacy of their own bedroom.  I had a talk with my son about the value of respect when it came to dating and that he didn’t have to control his girlfriend just because the other guys were doing it.

Megan licks frosting while her bestie Barney looks on.

All you have to do is reach back into your memory banks and remember.  Remember what it was like for you when you were a child.  Remember those things that you cherished doing, even to this day.  Allow your children to get dirty, to mimic the things that you do, to share what makes them happy with you.  Sit down and play with them.  They’ll never forget it and neither will you.

And maybe, just maybe, we can put the brakes on the escalation that exists in our culture today.  It’s not too late and you just may enjoy being a kid again with them.  You just have to remember – it’s the simple things.

Total Teen Dad and the Sex Talk

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Posted by webmaster | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 16-07-2010

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When I grew up, I kind of found out about sex all by myself.  I learned things as I went along, friends shared their thoughts with each other, and you walked a long road trying things out and eventually everyone around you seemed to get wiser to the pluses and minuses of sex.

Most kids didn’t really know a whole lot or even try things until they got older.  Whenever kids were ‘caught’ doing various things, all the other kids were shocked and made a big deal out of it.  And rightfully, some of it needed to be made a big deal out of.

Times started changing, diseases came into play, some could be fatal like HIV, and it’s become much more serious business today than before because of the consequences that exist now.  I felt that when death is a possibility, the game changes.

Do we really have an option to let our kids learn on their own?  And can we really wait until they get older to educate them?  I remember I didn’t want to have to expose my kids to the facts at such an early age, but I felt that by not doing so, I was responsible for putting them at risk.  And as a single parent, you can’t really push it off on your spouse or partner to do it.

Kids these days are very educated and there is a lot of manipulation and mind control going on out there.  I’ll save that for another blog.  My point is I felt I needed to have the talk at an early enough age so they would be armed with the information needed to protect themselves out there.

Kids want to hear the truth about sex.

As a single father, I’ve always been pretty involved with my kids and listened to them whenever they wanted to talk to me about difficult subjects.  The good news is I learned that just talking about all the facts with them was not as difficult as I thought it would be.  Not only did I learn that at 10 years old they already knew quite a bit (unfortunately), but I was also able to fill in quite a few gaps they had no idea about.

This didn’t shut down the conversation by embarassment or humility, it actually opened it up.  They asked questions.  I gave them answers.  And because we were to the point, it didn’t have to last forever.

Don’t be afraid to talk to them.  It’s about protecting your children, not sheltering them.  By having the information, you’ve removed so many possibilities for errors in judgement and decisions made from fear or peer pressure.  I felt I was giving them their independence and removing my fear  for them by talking about it with them.

And then, I finished up by telling them they could always talk to me or ask me questions about any of it, ‘because that’s how I roll’.  Sometimes a little humor goes a long way.