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Posts Tagged ‘grandchildren’

We have taken on a roll that many adults now hold, and that is grandparents who become parents to their grandchildren, as well as taking care of their own parent.  It is one thing to raise a child from birth, or a young age, and it is another thing to take on a teenager.  I mean, come on guys, the world is WAY different now than it was when I was a teen. 

 

The deal with these guys is their previous upbringing, or lack thereof.  There was a big focus on being obedient and saying “Yes, Sir” and “No, Ma’am.”   While, we feel it is more important to have respect and give respect than it is to say meaningless words that you are beat for, if you do not say them. 

 

The boys did have varying degrees of influence from us.  They were with us, for their first: nine years, six years, and three years respectively.  The youngest does not remember living with us at all.  The oldest made a fluid transition to our home.  He did not make a fluid transition to school.  He once did a whole semester of homework, without ever turning it in to the teacher.  This is something only a homeschooled boy would do; or an idiot.  And, he is not an idiot.  We found out about it because we had four teachers tell us, at his first public school conference, that he was a genius.  I could only look down at the F’s across the page and ask “Why this, then?”  Not turning in homework will make even a genius fail. 

 

What worries me is the lack of “love of knowledge and education.”   It was more important in their stepfather’s home, to fear than to love.  Fear Stepfather’s belt and retribution, fear (for girls) of not wearing prairie dresses and head coverings.  Fear of the word “Foolishness.”  That last one is because it means the “rod of correction” is going to beat it out of you when your grandparent’s leave. 

 

These three are safe now and have varying degrees of success.  They do not know how to judge people, as their past experiences consisted only in friends like themselves.  Which consisted of other ultra conservative Christian home schooled children who are protected from the world out there by paranoid parents.  So, we are now locking our doors and covering our windows so the Bi-Polar ex-girlfriend of EMT will leave us alone, perhaps proving that it is not so bad to be paranoid.  But, it is not a good way to live.  He trusts everyone and is friends to everyone, even someone who is in need of commitment (even her mother says so at this point). 

 

I do not understand why these parents, who isolate their children from modern society, do not realize that their children must go out and live in the world we all live in and if you do not provide a child with the tools to recognize and understand that world, that they will have a hard time getting along in it.

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As a continuation to my sleeping problem:

 

Sometimes the problem is really bad, like after we took the boys in and I literally did not sleep more than two hours a night for three months. I missed the rest of my grandchildren so much and the fight with my daughter of eleven ran through my mind, over and over and over. You know those; What could I have said? Where did it all go so horribly wrong? Why didn’t I just call out DFS at the time? (Answer to that was, I had no idea how bad it was until I got the boys home and listened to them talking among themselves and about their lives in their mother’s home.)

 

The worse thing that was replaying in my mind was worrying that the children we left behind felt abandoned. It is a restrictive extremist home and abusive. I have written DFS and our school system here has reported it, but I will likely not see my grandchildren again until they are old enough to seek me out. I just hope they are safe. If you live in Glenrock, Wyoming and know, please email me.

 

But, I digress, and that’s the problem with my sleeping too. I digress all night. I found out that listening to books on tape helps. But, not knew books that I have never read, so I am the major person who checks out the Harry Potter, Books on CD, at our library. Hence, the computer light is on all night for my laptop. I have not figure out why I do not have Harry Potter dreams though.

 

I always had problems sleeping, but now, it’s a major problem. On the nights I get to sleep, if anything wakes me up before I am deep in sleep, I cannot go back to sleep, so the voice in my headphones helps to blot sound out too.

 

So when, a few weeks ago, the doctor told youngest boy to take Melatonin. He does not sleep well either, in fact he and Gaffer (oldest boy) never get to sleep before 2 or 3am, even on school nights. They are, obviously, not morning people.

 

The Melatonin worked so well for youngest boy that I decided to try it. Whoww!! Dream/nightmare time. Two nights in a row, I had the same vivid dream.

 

Now, I usually remember my dreams and I dream a lot. I can even remember a few I had repeatedly when I was a kid. When I had measles I had a recurring dream about a human size chocolate chip cookie, which rolled around on the streets. It wasn’t a nightmare. I’m thinking maybe I should go into advertising because it’s a lot like the cookie in the commercial that sings and get’s eaten. I also tend to dream about cake a lot. I mean I taste it in my sleep even. I have a major frosting issue. I go to weddings for the cake.

 

A Melatonin dream, I am finding, is a bloody dream. In the dream, my hands and arms, up to my elbows, are covered with blood: Chrome smelling, thick, sticky blood. I think I was going around looking for the source of the blood, if I remember and not thinking about the Melatonin causing it, I took one the next night and had the exact same dream.

 

I didn’t take Melatonin for a while, after that, and then I took half a pill for a while. My memory being the length of a gnat, I forgot all about the bloody dream. Then, I hadn’t slept for three nights and was getting desperate and actually took two pills one night. 

 

The nightmare came back. This time the blood was on boxes. That’s all I remember at this point. Chrome smell, sticky, thick blood on boxes. 

 

Vivid dreams and nightmares is listed as a side-effect of Melatonin. Blood is not mentioned. You are warned.

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The other day, our middle boy/grandson/soldier, arrived home from yet another stay at someone else’s house. When you are raising your children’s children, you lose out on some of the progressions of society. It’s much easier to understand a child’s foibles, when you see the progress in the world, and you were a teenager in just the last generation; not the one before.

Suddenly, okay not so suddenly, but I’m still amazed, we are immersed in the age of the teenager, again; this time in the age of the boy teenager. Last time I knew teenagers, it was girls, and girls had sleepovers and boys would not be caught dead at one, unless it was a girl’s sleepover and they were able to harass the girls. Now, guys spend the night at one another’s houses. I fully suspect it has something to do with doing things that you can’t get away with at home, but I’m not sure.

Friends come here too, for the night. Perhaps it is just the age of the PS2/XBox, where they sit up all night, drink pop from liters and see who can dominate the world first.

Anyway, Middle brother and oldest brother, were picked up late from work. Middle son walks in the house in full camouflage, Well, not full – he had not painted his face. While I do not care for his head shaved close, it sure beats the Mohawk he was sporting last month. I reminded him all last month, that he is a pasty white kid, with a pasty very white bald head on each side of a died black Mohawk; unlike his friends who gave it to him at 4am, who are Native American.  I personally like it about an inch and a half long and spiked up, but it’s his head and, as I told myself all last month, it will grow out–Please grow out.

He really likes military clothing and weapons. I asked if he was getting ready to enlist. I do have one grandson who is in the Army. Middle son seemed a bit offended that I did not recognize his uniform as Viet Nam War era wear. Is it the color? He was in green and perhaps Iraq fighting is the tans. Personally, I have not seen a big fashion statement growth in military uniforms, but then again, I don’t follow that too closely.

Whatever the case, he insists he has no interest in the military; although he has been seen out at Camp Atterbury showing up military personnel in feats of endurance and strength. He also outdid everyone, in the school gym, for a push-up challenge to win a “cool” Army poster. And, he wonders why they keep calling him to talk about joining?

Middle boy plans on being an RN. He likes the excitement of Emergency Room work.  I wonder if they make scrubs in army camouflage.

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My mother joined our household, of four, for a family Easter. One grandson, who is only home in the summers now, is working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our oldest daughter and family (with three grandsons) had their own celebration in So Bend. Eight other grandchildren, who live in Wyoming, have long been missing from our embrace. It was a comfortable and enjoyable day, with the two grandsons who live with us.

 Dinner was ham, mashed potatoes, corn, deviled eggs, guacamole and chips, baked beans and Easter Bread. We remembered the salad on Monday. No one was about to forget the blackberry pie, nor the two pineapple pies. We try to make sure that everyone has something that is their favorite.

 I am not a game person, feeling that I should, and would rather, be painting or writing or sculpting, rather than playing with cards. Sometimes the noise of it is just too much. But, I even joined them for a game of Tryce. The fifteen year old took over after that. They continued to play games until it was time to take my mother home.

 Sunday evening, I started thinking about what I would consider my most memorable things in life to be.

 My family would have to top the list. Moments I have spent rocking a child, having one come to me with problems or happy events, or just to show me a flower or rock they have found. This makes me incredibly sad that I have never even met my youngest granddaughter.

 Other memories are:  

 

My mother serving me tomato soup and grilled cheese when I was ill and home from school. That’s traditional mid-western comfort food.

 

Dad always bringing me a treat in his lunch box is another great series of moments. One, where the child, me, never really realizes that it’s food right from our own cupboard/refrigerator. It always tastes better out of his black metal lunchbox. Do I sense a pattern of food developing?

 

My oldest daughter remembers things from when she was two. She remembers odd things. Not those things you remind them about every holiday. She remembers moments you just would not believe someone that young would remember; just plain, ordinary, everyday moments.

 

My first memories involve my paternal grandfather. He had familial palsy or Parkinson. We are not sure which really, but by the time he was in a wheel chair and visibly shaking, I was around two years old. I remember bringing him a glass of water. The next memory is from his funeral. My dad was crying. This is a family thing I have inherited. I could write a whole blog on the things that make me cry, (not blubber cry, just a few tears down the cheek) but should tv tell me about someone doing something nice for someone else. Or, should the time be when I am sitting and watching a parade. (Don’t even ask.) Anyway, my aunt took me for a walk during my grandfather’s service and I remember the patterns of the sun shining through the trees on the sidewalk and how beautiful they were.

 

To this day, I still love shadows: venetian blind shadows or trees on the wall, or just a glass sitting on the window sill.

 

Here is a list of other moments I remember:

 

A whale breaching off the eastern coast. They are so right when they say, “If you have to ask. It’s not a whale.”

 

Petting a lion.

 

Feeling the skin of an elephant. I monopolized my spot, in amongst a row of children at the zoo, but it was just soooo cool. It felt like a balloon full of water.

 

A Harrier jet stopped in mid air over Chicago skyscrapers. I have never heard the streets of the city so deadly quiet. Then slowly it’s nose pointed toward the sky and BAM! It disappeared skyward, in an instant.

 

Sitting on the porch, when I was maybe five, watching a storm come in over the field behind our house.

 

Wrapped in a blanket, I sat and watched a full lunar eclipse, in the quiet wintery night, in Wyoming. Sometimes I just have to experience the world alone, with no talking going on.

 

Another night, I went out alone and the house was surrouned 360 degrees by lightening storms.

 

Wyoming skies are great. One day after a storm, I saw three rainbows in the sky at once.

 

Coming home and getting out of the car every night for “x” days and seeing Haley’s comet.

 

Laying in a sleeping bag, in the sand, watching a meteor shower.

 

Sitting in a hot tub, after skiing, and sort of seeing the aurora borealis. I didn’t have my glasses or contact on, so it was rather blurry.

 

The sound of a bagpiper in a quiet campground in Nova Scotia.

 

The sound of a bagpiper in the college quad after the death of a friend.

 

 

 

The feeling of immersion in the music, and being in sync, when playing a violin duet with, my teacher, Rainer Schwartzkopf. The one thing I miss more than just about anything in the world is studying with Rainer. He is in Wyoming and I am in Indiana.

 

Watching the sun set within sight of Indian cave homes from my van and not getting ejected from sleeping in a National park where I shouldn’t have been, sleeping in my van. Thank you to whomever I owe a thanks. Karma, I hope. It was a sight I will always remember.

 

They all are.

Hope you have dozens too.

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