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The Old Gentleman At Walmart February 26, 2013

There are few things that Kameron hates more than to going to Walmart with me after school, but not many. He would like nothing more than to have me just pick him up and taxi him straight home. After a long, hard day of middle school a teenager just wants to go home and relax.

To tell you the truth I don’t like going with him. It’s a pain. All I want to do is zip through, pick up the things that I need, and get out of there. When we do go together inevitably Kameron will get distracted by someone or something and it will prolong our stay. And Walmart, ugh..Walmart is pure hell. It doesn’t seem to matter which Walmart we go to something always happens there.

When I saw Kameron coming towards my car today he already looked dishevelled. He spent the weekend at his fathers house which means lack of sleep. He went to bed late last night. Got up early this morning, and has been in school all day (poor kid.) I knew he was tired and I knew he wouldn’t like hearing we were going to Walmart. I told him that we had to stop by there, he said “REALLY??” “Mom, I just want to go home.” I told him I understood and we were just going really quick. He heaved a heavy sigh as to say why are you doing this to me?? I got it, loud and clear kiddo.

Just for good measure I grabbed one of the hand held baskets instead of getting a shopping cart. He looked at me like I was serious – I was serious – Dr. Phil comes on at four o’clock.

We walked past the deli which was busy, I told him we would come back to that.  Cruising through the bread and coffee aisle I was feeling pretty good. I grabbed the coffee that Mr. D likes and we were on our way to the pasta aisle. I had almost rounded the corner when I noticed that Kameron was stopped in the middle of the aisle (distracted by the dreaded snack cake.) I also noticed an elderly gentleman with a Walmart vest on pushing a large broom down the left side of the aisle. I touched Kameron’s arm and said “excuse us” to the worker. He smiled at us and said “it’s ok.” Kameron grabbed his snack cakes and we started to walk away.

Then the gentleman said “he’s almost as tall as you now.”sed kad standing Which made me turn to look and see if I knew him,  I didn’t. I smiled and said jokingly “I didn’t need to hear that today.” He winked at Kameron and said “sorry mom, he’s almost got you beat, but you knew he was going to be taller than you anyway.” Kameron and I found ourselves walking with this old gentleman while he continued to talk to us. “How old are you now 12, 13?” I said “he’s almost 14.” “Fourteen” he said, “you look very smart.” Kameron was just standing there, I nudged him and he said “thank you.” We all stopped together in the middle of the store. The man propped his broom at his side and said “stay in school, it’s very important for a smart young man like you to stay in school.” Kameron nodded a yes, and I said “you’re getting pretty good advise here bud.” I smiled at the man and told him to have a good day and went on about our shopping.

There was something very familiar about that man. When I heard “he’s almost as tall as you now” it made the hair on my arms stand up.

sed kad2

 It’s exactly like something my Dad would have said.

I guess it’s time to face the facts (for real this time.) Kameron is getting older, and yes more than likely he will be taller than me.sed kad1

But he’s not taller yet.

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“You Don’t Know What It’s Like To Be A Teenager” August 20, 2012

That’s the new catch phrase in my house. It usually is said with some type of eye roll, sigh, foot stomping, or a combination of all three – which is my favorite.

The problem of course is me and Mr. D. Apparently we’re unreasonable in the eyes of this 13 year old.

Let me give you an example of the madness. Last Wednesday as Mr. D. was dropping off Kameron at school Kameron decided to TELL Mr. D. that he was going to the library with a friend after school. Mr. D. is much more patient than I am, he calmly asked if Kameron had asked me about going to the library. The sigh came and then he said “no.” I don’t know why Kameron thinks he can manipulate this situation. Perhaps he’s testing Mr. D. to see how far he can push to get a yes out of him. Kameron isn’t stupid, he has learned that timing is everything. He figures that if he asks when he’s getting out of the car that Mr. D. will be distracted and won’t think of asking “have you talked to your mom about this?” Don’t let the sexy grey hair fool you, Mr. D. is pretty quick on his feet at 7:30 in the morning. Kameron quickly got out of the van. I’m pretty sure Mr. D. didn’t get “have a good day at school” out before Kameron slammed the door and stomped into school.

A few minutes later I got a phone call from school saying Kameron would like to talk to me. A last ditch effort before class starts. “Mom, can I go to the library after school?” Ugh. “I don’t recall you asking permission to go to the library last night, did you?” “No” he said, sounding disappointed. “Well Kameron when you want to do things you have to ask for permission before you just assume you can do them right?” “Yes” he said sounding very irritated by my speech that I’ve given him a hundred thousand times. “So no Kameron you can’t go to the library today, I’ll see you at three o’clock.” “Ok” sounding so defeated, and hung up the phone. So it goes, I’ve ruined his life yet again. I suspect he’ll live.

So I go back to the statement “You Don’t Know What It’s Like To Be A Teenager” yum, yeah I do. However my teenage years look very different than yours Kambo. I’ll admit it, Kameron leads a very charmed life. It’s my fault, well, mine and my parents fault. I overcompensated a lot after I divorced his father. Where I lacked, my parents filled in the gaps.

Just in the last year my poor, can’t go to the library kid, has done the following: Gone to Florida, Holiday World (twice), CYO camp (twice), Roncalli Theater Camp (twice), and WWE Wrestling matches (twice – maybe three times.) Countless number of games to play, having friends over, plays, theater, extreme Christmases. He’s been to California three times (I’ve been once.) He’s going to Washington D.C. in a month through a trip that his school has coordinated. I could go on and on, but frankly, it’s embarrassing.

So when I hear his tale of woe, I roll my eyes and heave a sigh. Teenager? Let me tell you kid, you don’t get it. As I’m writing this I have a feeling that he’s going to “get it” very soon.

My teenage years were full of responsibility. A lot of responsibility. When I was Kameron’s age my days while I was in school were filled with school, homework, and taking care of my sisters. When I was thirteen my sister Marcia was ten, my sister Ashley was a newborn.  My mom would pick me and Marcia up from school with Ashley in the backseat. We would go home and start on homework. Ashley was about seven months old, so she was mobile. While we were studying we had to keep a watchful eye on our infant sister. The weekends were filled with chores (that you didn’t get paid for), and “babysitting” (babysitting you didn’t get paid for.) If the chores didn’t get done, we were grounded. That’s it, that was the way it was.

My sympathy meter for Kameron’s “teenage life” is low, very low right now. I am going to start some new rules, with some new responsibilities. It’s time, and way overdue.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Kids At Risk August 7, 2012

I pulled into CVS the other day. I had one thing to pick up, I knew it was going to be an in and out type of trip. My son on his iPod rolled his eyes at me when I told him to get out of the car and come inside with me.

Those of you born in the 70’s or earlier can probably relate to this situation. Parents going into the store for five to ten minutes (maybe longer) to pick up a few things. Sometimes we were told to lock the door, sometimes the car was running. This scenario would definitely be frowned upon these days. Times they have changed. We don’t live in that world anymore. Today unfortunately, a running car with children in it could be a prime kidnapping opportunity for some wack job just walking by. Leaving your children in a hot car can cause dire circumstances, even death as we’ve learned this summer.

It pisses me off.

Just the other day a Greenfield couple decided it would be a really good idea to leave their four children (ages three months to five years old) in their car while they grocery shopped. I don’t know what the temperature was that day, but on average we’ve been running in the 90’s. Temperatures in the 90’s can cause heat in cars to raise as high as 110 degrees. That’s hot! The parents have been charged with neglect of a child which is a class D Felony.

“At least five other central Indiana parents have been arrested in the past month for leaving children unattended in hot vehicles. In one case, a four-month old Greenfield girl died.” www.indystar.com

I noticed myself yesterday getting out of my car and looking around. It just so happened that I was parked next to a van that had a car seat in the back seat. I’ll admit it, I peered into the window to make sure there wasn’t a child inside. I’ve been a single mother. I know what it’s like to get a sleeping child out of a car and take it into a grocery store when it’s hot outside. I know what it’s like to have to pick up diapers at midnight in the bitter cold dragging a heavy car seat along with you.

There is no excuse for this.

The next time my teenager rolls his eyes at me because I’m making him get out of the car I won’t think twice about it. For those that decide to put their children’s life in jeopardy, I have an iPhone, and I know how to use it. I will try to get your children out of the car so they are safe. I will call the police, and wait until they get there to arrest you.

I would like to know what you think. Has this situation made you more aware of your surroundings? What would you do if you saw a child unattended in a vehicle? Would you do something or ignore it?