Tag Archives: parenting

At Least He’ll Have an Interesting “How I Eventually Got My Driver’s Permit” Story

The Middle Child has been bugging me to get his driver permit since the day he turned 15 1/2. I kept putting it off because the longer that kid stays off the road, the better for everyone involved.  He recently used the “get all of my friends to bug my mom about letting me get my learner’s permit” tactic.

It worked.

I signed him up for his online driver’s ed course and three weeks ago the certificate came in the mail. The day we received that we made an appointment with the DMV so he could take his test.

His appointment was last Thursday. He was super excited and super annoying about it.

All morning long he was saying things like “Mom, don’t be late!” And “Mom, make sure you’re there to pick me up on time!” And “don’t forget my certificate when you pick me up!”

I was not late and we got there in plenty of time for his appointment.  But we did not anticipate that the line for appointments would be so long nor did we anticipate that ONE employee would be working three lines at once. (Ha ha ha. The Government.)

I began panicking because I was sure we weren’t going to get to our appointment on time. His appointment was at 4:20 and they stop giving written tests at 4:30, so if we were late getting to the window, there was no way he would be able to take the test. Luckily, we were called up at 4:19! Just in time!  CLOSE ONE.

We told the lady at the window why we were there.

“Driver’s Ed certificate and birth certificate please.” She says.

“OH SHIT.” I said (in my head) because I hadn’t brought his birth certificate.

After all of that trouble, we walked out of there without my son getting to take his test. And I couldn’t blame the DMV. It was my fault.

That was a fun car ride home!

Yesterday was the big day! The night before, Ethan asked his dad to get his birth certificate out of the safe. I asked Ethan to put all of the paperwork that he needed next to my purse on the kitchen counter so I wouldn’t forget anything.

We arrived to his appointment over an hour early.  The lady behind the counter was all “Um, no. You’re  TOO early. But, I can give you a number and you can wait with everyone else.”

Luckily, the wait wasn’t very long. They called our number in less than thirty minutes. Everything was going just perfectly. 

Ethan walked up to the window. He was so excited! Finally! He was going to be able to take his permit test! And if he passed, he was going to be able to drive home!  WOO!

The lady behind the counter asked us why we’re there. Ethan answered “I’m going to take my permit test.” He handed her his birth certificate.

“Do you have your driver’s ed certificate?” She asked.

“I didn’t bring it!” I say.

We immediately start arguing and blaming each other.

“MOM! How could you forget it it?!”

“Ethan, I told you to put all of the paperwork on the table. I just grabbed what you left there. You…”

The woman behind the counter interrupted us.

“It wouldn’t have mattered anyway.” She said. “This isn’t Ethan’s birth certificate.”

We both looked confused as she handed us the certificate.

It was Gabby’s birth certificate.

GABBY’S!  WHAT THE HELL? How did my husband NOT look at the name? How did Ethan not notice? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF US IN THIS FAMILY?

He has another appointment on Friday for his third attempt to take his test. I have all of the documents on the fridge ready to go. Wish us luck because OMG WTF ONLY US.

 

 

 

The Time I Inspired My Daughter.

On Friday morning I walked into my daughter’s room to say good morning to her, just like I do every morning.  She was already wide awake, reading a book on her Kindle. I sat down on the edge of her bed, kissed her good morning.

“Mommy, yesterday we ran practice laps for our jog-a-thon today. I ran around the entire field without stopping.” She said.

“That’s great, Gabby! I’m so proud of you!”

“I wanted to stop because it was hard, but I thought about you. I thought about how you run in boot camp and I told myself I’m my mommy’s girl and if SHE can do it, then I can do it!”

I didn’t expect to hear her say that, but boy, did it feel good to hear.

It was a reminder that my daughter is watching me, she’s learning from me.

I’m still far from being “thin.” But that doesn’t matter. It’s not about my weight or size. IT’s about the example that I’m setting for my daughter. She sees me grab my backpack and workout mat every day and go to boot camp. She sees the photos of me doing handstands and running and she’s taking it all in.  She knows that I take time every day to do something for myself that is keeping me healthy and making me strong. I’m happy to be setting a good example to my girl.

Later that morning, I surprised her at school to cheer her on at the jog-a-thon.  I watched her run her little heart out, in the heat. I encouraged her from the sidelines when she got tired.

jogathon2

She ran her little heart on (in her Vans, because she haaaaaaaaaates running shoes. They are like, OMG, so ugly, MOM!)  When it was all said and done, she completed a total of 14 laps. I couldn’t be prouder of that girl.

jogathon

She Just Gives Really Good Advice.

“Can I comb your hair, Daddy?”

“Sure you can.” He replied.

She combed what little hair he has left at the top (I call his hair The Dr.Phil Lite) carefully, trying to get every hair in place.

When she finished, she exclaimed “I combed it exactly the way you like it!”

She took him by the hand and walked him down the hall into the bathroom so he could look in the mirror.

“I love it!” He said. “But I sure do wish I had more hair.”

“Well” she said, all matter of fact like. “Why don’t you choose Bosley then?”

We both laughed until it hurt.

A Simple Request

Andrew recently graduated from Military Combat Training at Camp Pendleton. We were going to drive out for his graduation ceremony and would get to spend a couple of hours with him before he was shipped out to MO to continue his training.

“Would you like for me to bring anything for you, son?” I asked.

I was thinking maybe he’d ask for me to bring food, or his favorite candy.

“Please just bring my guitar so I can play for a little bit before shipping out.” he replied.

I was so moved by his simple request.

I brought his guitar as he requested. After the ceremony was finished and photos with the family had been taken, my son was able to play for a few minutes before shipping out to MO.

I can’t wait until I can hear him play again. Hopefully in time for Christmas.

Another Goodbye. (Goodbyes Suck.)

After seventeen days, Andrew’s leave ended today.

We left the house at 6am and just a few hours later, I was saying goodbye in a parking lot. As I walked around the car to give him a goodbye hug, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, but I fought them back.

“Stay strong. Son.” I said. “Make me proud. I love you so much.”

He hugged me, I hugged him back.

“I will, Mom. I love you too.”

He turned and walked away carrying all of his things. I sat in the car and watched him walk away.

“He’s a man now. My son is a man.”

I wanted to roll down my window and shout out “I love you! I’m going to miss you!” like I used to do when he was just a little guy. But I just sat there, watching him, proud of him. And then, I drove away and left him to do continue his journey.

His time here with us was simply wonderful, but the days flew by too quickly. He’s gone again and his presence here is already missed deeply. I can only hope the next three months pass as quickly as the last seventeen days did.

The Man I’ve Raised.

Our son has been home with us for twelve days. Having him home here with us has been wonderful. We’ve gone out for pizza with friends. We’ve gone out to breakfast. We’ve gone thrift store shopping. We’ve sat on the couch late at night and reminisced about the past. We’ve watched our favorite T.V shows together. We’ve eaten our favorite foods together. We’ve visited with friends and family. We’ve laughed. A LOT.

My son is definitely a changed man, but the core of who he is has remained unchanged. He’s still kind, loving and hilarious. He’s been transformed into a confident, strong, focused individual. He’s also not ashamed to admit that he is proud– proud of what he’s accomplished, proud of who he is. As his mother, this brings me immeasurable joy.

His time here at home is short– there are only five days left until he has to leave us again for another three months. (He has Marine Combat Training for thirty days, followed by his specialty training in Missouri for two months.) When I think of him leaving, my heart aches because I know I’ll miss him like crazy. However, I’m better prepared emotionally this time around. Even though I will miss him, I won’t allow myself to be consumed with fear and worry this time around. My son is no longer a little boy who can’t take care of himself. He’s a strong, capable, brave man. Not to mention, a freaking U.S. Marine.

A Video of Our Journey. We Are so Grateful. We Are So Proud.

Over two months ago, I kissed my son goodbye and left him to begin his journey to become a Marine.

The first few days of his absence were the most difficult days I’ve faced as a parent. I cried too much, I ate too much, I didn’t sleep much and I cried some more.

Luckily, I have an amazing family and support system. So many of you were there for me, sending me emails, texts and comments, letting me know you were thinking of me and praying for my son.

On August 9th, I got to see my son again. On August 10th, he graduated and we brought him home. It was the proudest, most meaningful moment.

I wanted to share this video I created and to say thank you to every single person who was there for me and my family during this amazing journey.

I am so grateful for your kindness.

And I am so proud of my son.

Letters From Our Recruit

Our son has been gone for two weeks. For two weeks, I’ve not heard his voice, or his laughter. There has been no sound of sweet music coming from his bedroom. No hugs, no arguments, no text messages.

The only thing we have are his handwritten letters. They are comforting, they are heartbreaking, they are the greatest joy of my life right now. I’ve only received two so far, but I read them over and over again. Even though he’s going through an intense, difficult experience, he’s managing to keep his sense of humor. I find comfort in that.

He’s not yet received our letters and that hurts my heart a bit. He desperately wants to hear from us. I hope our letters arrive sometime this week.

We’ve written so many letters.

Because that’s all we can do. Write. Wait. Read. Write again.

Hurry up, July 27th.

Operation Letters From Home Has Begun.

Yesterday I received the first letter from my son, Recruit Valtierra.

My daughter was thrilled, I was relieved.

Inside the envelope was a two page letter from his Senior Drill Instructor. Although it’s a standard form letter, I found it to be quite comforting. The portion of the letter from my son was addressed to “mother and father” and basically told me his platoon number and his graduation date.

July 27, 2012.

The letter was typed, but he did sign his name. I cried when I saw his handwriting. Tears of joy, tears of Oh My God, I Miss Him So Much.

My cousin is a Marine and he gave me some really good advice on writing letters to my son. He said that when you’re in boot camp, you’re extremely home sick. He said to keep the letters positive and encouraging. As I wrote my first letter back to him, I resisted the urge to be all “I miss you so much that I cry every and life is so sad without you.” Instead, I spoke of how proud I am of him, reminded him how strong he is and told him to always believe in himself and that HE CAN DO THIS. And then I told him how I cleaned under his bed yesterday and found 4,302 empty water bottles and why you gotta be such a slob, boy?

I just feel so much better about everything knowing that I can finally communicate with my son.

Related: How many letters is too many letters? One a day? Every other day? I don’t want to overwhelm him, but I also want to be sure he knows we’re here thinking of him, supporting him as best we can.