September 14, 2010

Mountain Mama

Blogging has been light as life has taken over... my life.

Last night I had a core meltdown, or as I told them at work, "A full on nuclear meltdown", which their having seen me in a bad state, but not THAT state, made them shudder. My kids can push my buttons like no other and last night... I'd finally had it.


It's not that I get attitude. I don't. They're good kids, hanging out with other good kids, no drinking, smoking, drugs, no running the streets in fast cars. They are respectful and funny...

... but the part that stresses me out about MY teens is that NOW is when it starts to COUNT. You can't declare a mulligan on an AP History exam or an Honors Chem test. Your grade is your grade and this is the stuff that gets sent to the schools. And all three of them are guilty of this procrastination.

So it makes me a little bat crap crazy, some of the stuff that's been going on here the past week or so. It's better than it was, but it needs to be better than it is.

I have spent more and more time in my mental escape up in the mountains. I have wondered often why it is I am drawn to the mountains and not the desert. Why the mountains and not the ocean?

Don't get me wrong, I love the ocean, the power with the serenity. But the mountains... bring me peace.

And some events have occurred in the last week that made me realize why it may be... some of my fondest memories of my childhood are of living on a mountain. The crisp cool air, the weather... the foliage... all of it.

And I think that's the link, although my adult mental escape has me in the mountains up in the Carolinas living alone in a little one bedroom cottage with a gourmet kitchen with a great garden and a large dog, None of that is anything like my mountain childhood memories. (The garden thing should show you it's all fantasy given I have that great big black thumb...)

My escape now is... for serenity. Books, music, gardens, a place I can cook, sit, listen... I picture it with a white clean gourmet kitchen and the great room with a fire place and overstuffed furniture. No TV. A great stereo system and bookshelves to the ceiling. It smells clean as the windows are always open. I wear over sized dresses, big floppy sun hats and no shoes. And my dog is a retriever of sorts who likes me to throw a tennis ball or lay at my feet when I'm in the yard.

I've spent a lot of time there in that mental state lately... the reality is it probably wouldn't be so groovy.

But this week... its wonderful.

Posted by Boudicca at September 14, 2010 09:56 PM

So, you might want to hang out with Tipi Walter?

Check out his blog and read about the Tipis he has built and lived in.

Is that enough up mountain for you? Its a little too back to nature for me.

Posted by: The Thomas at September 14, 2010 10:41 PM

You're better than I am. I don't have the imagination to have an "escape place". I think I need to have one. My escape was always into books. If I found an author who wrote something I could dive into... that was my escape. Of course before kids I could just tune out the world... that ability went away after the kids came. *sigh*

Posted by: Teresa at September 14, 2010 11:23 PM

At that age it's hard for them to keep still. But the US is the land of multiple 2nd chances. My brother quit high school to take a job making jewelry, if I recall. He got his GED, got a BS degree, then a law degree, and then passed the bar.

And then quit doing law, but that's another story, the point is that the US is the land of 2nd chances; it's important that your children not be damaged during youth, it's always nice to have a career that moves smoothly, but none of my siblings have that and we're doing okay. So don't blow a gasket.

Posted by: Carl Brannen at September 15, 2010 12:20 AM

Come back. They need their mom. I watched this dynamic for a year with my sister and her 3 boys who spent the year out here....surfing, playing computer games, oblivious in one case to the dozens of girls that found one fascinating.... It was wonderful. I'm not exactly sure how my sister did not go totally and completely crazy. It might have helped that she has good boys.... and likes to surf. My little girl loves them like a lot. They let her steal their boogie boards and ride the surf as long as she wanted to.

Posted by: Curtis at September 15, 2010 12:51 AM

Can I come hang out in your cottage? I'll bring my own books and a sleeping bag, and I promise not to talk. :)

Carl - I am banking on second chances, since the oldest son is intent on blowing opportunities!

Posted by: PeggyU at September 15, 2010 01:46 AM

Thomas- Hell no! I didn't say I wanted to ROUGH it in a frickin' tipi! I said I wanted a cottage with a gourmet kitchen! Holy crap. No way. That tipi thing is something to do one weekend for a life experience, just to be able to say, "Hey, I slept in a tipi in the moutains once..." Dang.

Carl- That's a good perspective. Land of second chances. I'd not thought of it that way... but I like it and it makes it seem not so bad.

Curtis- funny story, a couple weeks ago, we were at dinner and the boys were really ragging on me for something I'd done like 5 years ago. I mean, they were being relentless and finally I got pissed and said, "YOU HAVE NO CLUE. You have NO CLUE how many times I felt like I wanted to run away, how DONE I was. And you still do it to me now. You all make me bat crap crazy and I still smile and help with homework, take you places, never say a word." I was pissed. My husband looked at the three of them and said, "I'm putting you on warning. She runs away and you all three have to contend with me. Got it?"

That shut them up.

Peggy- I knew you'd get it. The perpetual noise. The motion. The driving. The homework. The drama. The fatalistic attitude of teenagers. All of it. After awhile I'm like, "Just put a noose around my neck..." I quiet. I crave the quiet.

Posted by: Bou at September 15, 2010 06:02 AM

If it makes you feel ANY better, please know that there exists a mother with three boys who is THIS close to moving to Argentina to perfect the tango. Or to Russia to work on her vodka drinking. Or to Scotland to master her golf swing. Anywhere. Else. But. Here. With. Homework. And. Chauffeuring. And. Laundry. I am told I will miss it all one day. I say, HA! I will miss THEM one day, but not their oops-I-forgot book reports, their football uniforms that they left WET in the bottom of their locker for nine days, their I-know-I-told-you-I-needed-a-ride-at-7 accusations of my incompetence, their eye-rolling, their huge loudness. If they go full-on teenager and stop hugging me and telling me how much they love me, I will be in Buenos Aires (at least mentally) on a permanent basis. But barefoot in the mountains sounds like a sweet alternative...hang in there, mama. We can only do so much. The rest is up to them, right?

Posted by: Leigh at September 15, 2010 07:30 AM

My kids drove me crazy when mine were yours' age.

Right now, I would give anything to have that back.
It would mean I have a second chance to help my daughter.

Kids make mistakes. And yes it counts. It has ALWAYS counted. But as a mom, you can only do so much and then you must let them take their lumps so they can learn their lessons.
Meanwhile, it never occurs to the parent (like me) that I was the one being taught the lesson.

Posted by: Rave at September 15, 2010 10:17 AM

Well Bou, really all they need to do is score well enough to get into the Service as enlisted men. After a hitch as a Seaman or PFC they can then decide whether to use their GI Bill and be serious about studying or accept an entire life of trying to suck hind tit. Perhaps TGOO can, when next they visit, tell them how low ranking enlisted live.

Posted by: Peter at September 15, 2010 08:40 PM

It will help when they start driving (scary in other ways, but it does help out). Need milk? Send the kid. Need another kid picked up? Send the driver.

I'm at that stage now...and it's beautiful sitting at home, sipping a glass of wine while someone else is running errands.

Hang in's coming.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at September 15, 2010 08:51 PM

I was just goading you Bou.

I would never consider going that far "back to nature".

However my traditional vacation place is out where the cell signal doesn't reach, at a camp where the active people leave at 3:00am to fish the big lake (Michigan) and don't come back til afternoon ... so its real quiet.

Camping under the shade of mature Oak trees ... quiet and cool. A good half hour drive to the nearest wifi hotspot to even think about checking my mail.

Real good for recharging.

Posted by: The Thomas at September 15, 2010 09:21 PM

One day mine will be a teen and drive her mom totally crazy. I'm actually looking forward to it. She's analytical. She's going to use logic, memory and preserved cold hatred. She's storing up all the injuries imposed by one. At 7 she is one of those that clearly never forgets and never forgives. She remembers everything.

Posted by: Curtis at September 17, 2010 02:14 AM

Well Bou I don't have kids so I'm not looking for that kind of escape. But I do have a mental escape from the other crap that life loves to throw at me - like yours it is a cottage with a gourmet kitchen and an endless library; sometimes it's in the mountains by a lake and other times it's on a remote beach someplace.

Either way - I think we all need that kind of mental escape from time to time. Life is stressful; to just push thru without acknowledging that we need the break is unhealthy - to ourselves and those around us.

Posted by: Kris, in New England at September 18, 2010 09:55 AM

I suggest you keep using the 'escape'. Mine got me this far. :)

Posted by: _Jon at September 19, 2010 05:53 PM