It isn’t all about the blood. Parenting and Vampires.

It isn’t all about the blood. I’m not a food blogger.

I do blog about parenting and Vampires. That is exactly what I do.

I explain the basics in my “about me” page. Click here to read it.

Why it works. Vampires and Parenting. Because I’m both. You might be both. You might not be either. But I have learned from my years on earth, and learned from my mistakes, and from making deliberate decisions about how I raised my children.

Being a parent, of any kind, required attention. It requires ALL of one’s attention. It requires thought. It requires compassion. It requires courage. It definitely requires humor.  The same goes with being a Vampire.

I don’t read parenting books. Most are smug perfect self-serving. I never use the term “mommy blogger.” Just put a wooden stake through my heart. Seriously, there are some good books, and funny books about parenting. Just be careful. There is a lot of crap out there. It is better to find a blogger you can relate to (not just me, there are plenty of other great parenting bloggers out there.)

Parenting books assume that we all live in some flavorless world where all rules apply to all children and all parents. Every child is different. Every family is different. We can relate through Werewolves, Zombies, Ghosts, and Selkies. Each has their own set of issues they have to deal with. Each parent has their own set of issues to deal with – believe me, things get real when you have children, but it isn’t as if they weren’t already real, and difficult, and challenging.

What IS the same is the need for a kid is to be loved and understood. Talk to your children, even about uncomfortable things like sex, drugs, and being an asshole. Talk to them about school and their friends. Don’t take a grunt for an answer. Let me repeat that: DO NOT TAKE A GRUNT or a one word answer. Engage your child and make them talk to you. Start early, but if you didn’t it is never too late to start (even if your child is an adult.)

It doesn’t have to be all serious. It is your moral obligation to bring humor into your child’s life. That includes the worst puns and word play you can come up with – as if your life depended on it. It makes you fast. Fast is good.

And about that blood… I can tell you where the sales are. But sometimes it is really nice to go out to eat. Even a kid will tell you that. As Vampires we have to teach our children how to be responsible when it comes to obtaining blood. We teach them to respect and protect their donors. We teach them discretion. And no, I’m not spilling the beans on this in such a public forum and going into lurid details.

Being a Vampire isn’t all about blood and converting other people into Vampires. Well, no it isn’t but it is a huge part of who we are.

Converting someone, changing them, switching them over, or whatever you want to call it, isn’t something to be taken lightly. It isn’t like religion where you have an option to have a change of heart later. It isn’t like a superficial body modification like a tattoo or hair style. It isn’t a lifestyle. It is a drastic physiological change. Only about 10% of people who undergo the conversion are going to die – right away. Of course that depends on who  is converting and who is being converted. My track record is 100% and I’ve never lost a soul (literally lost someone’s soul and ended up with one of those dark soulless beings that none of us like to be around.) I don’t do this unless I’m 100% sure, and even then, not  very often.

Bringing a new Vampire into the world carries with it a tremendous responsibility that must be taken seriously by all of our kind.

And if the one who turned you into a Vampire is a dick that doesn’t mean that you have to be a dick. Break the cycle. Remove the dicks from your life. The same goes for parents: you don’t have to be around dicks or expose your kids to dicks. There is no place for them in your life.

Ask yourself:

Why do I want to convert this person? Is it for personal gain? Will they be good at it. Do they want it? Are they an asshole? Will they freak out? Do they understand what they are going to risk? Do they understand what they will gain. Do they understand what they will lose?

What does that have to do with being a parent?

Bringing a child into the world is also a tremendous responsibility that unfortunately many “parents” take lightly. Maybe lightly is the wrong word. They bring a child into the world with no thoughts whatsoever about how they’ll raise it. Not a thought. You have seven or eight months to think about it before the big day comes. You’d better get busy.

Having a child is never an accident (yes, there are those rare cases but that is RARE.) Yes, one can become pregnant by not using birth control (a choice.) One can keep a child they have no love for (a choice.) There is always a choice. Do I sound harsh? Of course I do. I am harsh. We’re talking about a new child and a life here, who doesn’t deserve to be an afterthought, or worse. So buck it up cupcake and be an adult and be a real parent. That goes for fathers too. Don’t be a dick – be a dad.

Your parenting style is up to you, not a book. It isn’t up to me. I just ask that you take it seriously. You have the life of another person in your hands. Take it seriously.

Learn from your mistakes. Teach your kids so they won’t make the same mistakes you did. It is ok to break a cycle of disfunction.

If you want to be a parent look to people who have great kids. Don’t take advice from people who have rotten kids or people who constantly complain about their kids. This aren’t the good parents.

Yes, I’m feeling harsh. In a world where politicians are saying it is ok for men to molest teenagers, harassed and rape, and all the while claim that they are religious. Yes, the Church of Assholes is alive and well.

I’m proud to say that my husband, the father of my children, refuses to watch any movie directed by Roman Polanski or Woody Allen. This isn’t anything new. If you want to protect your children teach them about people who have no respect for children or anyone else. Warn them that predators aren’t always things that lurk in the deep dark woods, or under floor boards. They might not drink your blood but they sure as hell will try to steal your innocence and your soul.

Talk with your kids. Not to them, but with them. And listen to them. Don’t judge until you’ve listened. Don’t judge them – period. Even Vampires don’t do that.

Love your children unconditionally. Protect them. Teach them. Hug them. Be present. Be THERE.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

mother daughter discovery

 

pepper2017

NanoPoblano 2017 #NanoPoblano #NanoPoblano2017

 

 

 

Musings on Parenting and Vampires

Love is in the air. I know because by 4:00 am the turkeys are already out making their gobbling love calls all over the neighborhood. They’re in the park, in front yards, in side yards, in driveways, on the sidewalks, and in the streets.

Sleep is also still in the air for teens who have nearly an impossible time getting up in the morning. Bribes of coffee and blood & berry smoothies goes on sleepy deaf ears.

But now I’m fast forwarding to school where the child texts me and says she needs $200 for AP tests (Advanced Placement.) If a Junior or Senior pass an AP test then they might be able to skip a college class. And why yes, the fees are cheaper in states I don’t live in.

So while I get texts from the kids, and listen to the turkeys, rain, and leaf blowers from the gardeners next door, I’m trying to think of a plot twists over coffee.

I explained what I was trying to do with the plot twists to my 17-year-old daughter.

“Don’t do something stupid with it. It has to be realistic, but not stupid,” she told me.

Thanks for the advice honey. I’ll be driving back to school in an hour to drop off the AP test fees.

I think about all of those Vampires who spend their days doing lofty things like fighting off rival Werewolf gangs, or lurking around in formal wear with blood dripping down their chins, or discussing with a far off Vampire council the paranormal forces and fuck it, that just isn’t the world I exist in.

This afternoon I’m meeting with an attorney. I’ll be getting about a pint of blood from him, and as usual I’ll leave cookies and juice (just like at the blood bank.)

Other than that things are pretty normal, not just for me but for most of us. By normal, I mean we’re not living some Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee movie script. Sure there are those assholes and misfits who lurk under floorboards, and graveyards. There are those without souls who haunt dark places in the cities. But who needs that? Seriously, WHO needs THAT.

We tell our kids, and other young Vampires that they have a choice. This goes for any kid.

There are choices. They don’t have to do what is expected by media or public opinion. They don’t have to be like everyone before them. If you’re different you can still be with everyone else. You know why? Because even if you’re different, you’re probably more like everyone else than you think. You’ll fit right in and be happy and nobody will know the difference. As long as they don’t know you’re a Vampire (or whatever) then do what you want.

So put away that red lined cape, and put on some jeans. Believe me, it will make dinner a lot easier. Then again, a little black dress is never a bad thing (but that is another story.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting Choices: Allowing your children to have their dreams

 

Strange but true: I trust my children. I raised them that way.

It all goes by so fast… way too fast. That is the hardest thing about being a parent.

When I’m asked where my children go to college, or plan to go to college I expect to get a good response, but half of the time I get negative responses. Now, they’re not going to Monster University or Ghoul Tech. The schools in question are part of the well respected University of California system. Yes, schools like UCLA, UCD, UCSB, UCSC, and of course UC Berkeley. Those schools aren’t scary. Those schools are FANTASTIC.

The comments I get are always about the school being a party school, or a drug school, or a crazy radical school, or a stoner school, or a hairy armpit school. You know, I’ve heard it all. The reality of the situation is that unless you send your child to some backwoods religious school that ALL colleges are party schools. That is what college students do.

When I became a parent I knew that it was a huge responsibility. I was responsible for not only having a child but for raising a child who would one day be an adult and go out into the world without me. I didn’t let crap just happen by chance. I parented with deliberation. 

That doesn’t mean I kept my kids under my thumb. I didn’t do that at all. I let them freely explore, create and THINK. At an early age they “got the big picture” on the world. And I explored with them, as their guide through the jungle of childhood.

From the beginning they were looking at books (Clara’s third word was book, after baby and kitty), learning how to navigate and use the Internet, learning to explore nature, questioning the world outside of their own family, and discussing ideas. All questions were answered. All opinions were respected and discussed.

My husband Teddy and I also discussed hard lessons with them like the importance of one’s reputation, drugs, sex, relationships, friendships, responsibilities as a citizen, and the consequences of actions. Reputation was a huge issue, and it wasn’t an easy one but we dealt with it.

Their father and I told them cautionary tales of our own youth and of others we knew. As a parent you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable talking to your child about anything. You’re the parent. Your children WANT to learn from you.

So when someone questions my choices, or the choices of my children, I don’t give them the stink eye and tell them we’re Vampires. I don’t tell anyone that we’re Vampires for obvious reasons.

There is enough negativity in the world without imparting it upon our youth. I’ve made a list of a few of the worst things one can say to a young person.

  1. You can’t make any money doing that.
  2. It is really hard.
  3. Everyone with that major is unemployed.
  4. Everyone at that school is on drugs.
  5. You’re not smart enough to do that.
  6. Be happy with the way things are.
  7. Why can’t you be like ______? (fill in the blank)
  8. People in our family don’t do that.
  9. The chances of that working out are a zillion to one.
  10. You’ll fail.

 

I’ve come to the frightening point where I realize that my children are almost grown. For the most part they are grown. One will be twenty in a few weeks. The other is almost seventeen. As I write that I can almost feel my heart beating fast (but, you know, I’m a Vampire so that is a relative term, but still…)

While I doubt myself every single day, I never doubt my children. Even if I’ve failed at everything else, I know I haven’t failed my children, or failed at being a mother.

Even when I feel as if I’ve failed myself I look at the years and years of amazing and interesting things I’ve done, and my amazing and interesting friends. Yes, one can measure success by those we surround ourselves with. Each and every single one of those amazing things, good or bad, have become lessons for my children. In turn, those things also become lessons for me.

As I write there is a small puppy, all of eleven weeks old, curled up on my feet. Her little furry warm face is resting on my bare foot. She won’t be the dog my children grew up with. That dog, Jasmine, would sit with the children in their car seats, and sing (as sled dogs of unknown parentage do) in the car when I’d pick the kids up from school. She was always there for them until last year when she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Now, as my kids become adults, there is a new pup, who won’t grow up with children. And in a year, tiny Alice will be a 60-70 pound dog, who will look like a beautiful dark hound from some paranormal romance novel. Yes, the paranormal romance novel would be my life some years back, but now I’m writing a parenting blog. It all goes by so fast – a fleeting moment.

So enough about me, and back to kids.

You only have so long with them. Take time with your children – real time. Good time. Or that time will be gone before you know it.

I know life happens. Parents DO have lives outside of their kids. They have jobs. They have relationships. They have tragedies and loss. Your own dreams and hopes sometimes die. And all of this intertwines with being a parent.

But kids aren’t stupid unless you raise them to be that way. They know when something isn’t right. They’re sensitive. They’re smarter than you give them credit for. They may not know everything but that doesn’t mean they’re not thinking about everything and trying to figure it all out.

So when they’re on the brink of adulthood and someone tries to squish their dreams be there for them. Because it is THEIR dream. It should be your dream to make their dream happen. I’m not talking fairy tale crap, but real dreams. Don’t tell your kid that biochemistry is too hard of a major, or that history is a stupid major, or that artists starve. Let them try, because if they have the passion they’ll find their way. Let your child surprise you with his/her success. Let them learn by their failures and be there for them. Because it is now their time and that window is so small, so fleeting, so precious.

My children are smart and happy about who they are. Sure they aren’t perfect, but they’re mine and I’m proud of them.

So if you get anything from this post/blog it should be to talk with your kids, listen to them, discuss with them, share with them, trust them, and love them. Always.

Savor your time with your children. It is your time and their time – something precious, rare, and to be treasured. It is a gift you can’t afford to squander.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Keep Calm We're Teens

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fleeting/

Pick and Poll

I was talking to my son Garrett today. He is off at college.

Big sigh.

Anyway, always the flirt, he said he doesn’t have a girlfriend right now. I told him that at his age (19 almost 20) he doesn’t need a girlfriend. He said he’d like a girlfriend. I told him that I’d like my just finished novel to be on the NYT best seller list too. OK I didn’t tell him that. I told him just to have fun. I mean, isn’t that what being a young Vampire is all about?

Both of my kids are “single.” They’re teens. They don’t need the complications of steady relationships. Garrett had high school girlfriends, but nobody serious in college.

He said he liked a girl but their politics were so different that no matter how pretty she was he had a difficult time listening to her. Plus he just doesn’t want to talk about politics. Can you blame him right now?

When it comes to love you don’t always have to pick someone. Sometimes you can just let things play out and let the choice be made by the fates. Especially if you’re only nineteen.

Pick and Poll. Back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s I had a Fiat 124 Sport Coupe. When it ran it was a blast. Unfortunately it rarely ran. Fiat stands for Fix It Again Tomorrow. Anyway, I used to go down to the Pick-and-Pull auto wreckers for cheap parts. I found that if I wore a cute fuzzy baby blue or peach colored sweater with a low neckline and low back the guys would give me parts for free. No, I’m not going to advise that kind of behavior to my kids.

Oh, on that thought,  you have a choice. Vote and vote often.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Why yes, this is exactly what I wear when I pick the kids up from school.

Why yes, this is exactly what I wear when I pick the kids up from school.

Rejection and Choices

gloria

I imagine myself on a beach, then feel the tug of my heart and soul because I’m not there. I hear wind but no waves.

Instead I force myself to go outside and walk the oak forest in the cold wind. There is snow on the mountains. That is good news in a world that seems to be in a never ending drought.

The calm and beauty of the trees and dry grasses means home. Even the gold hills meet the Pacific Ocean eventually.

Back in the old days one only had to worry about the next hunt. Hunt and sleep, then do it again. Find a dark castle or crypt if  you can’t afford a castle. It was easy, but sad, and cold, and dark, and nothing I’d want to do.

I was in a dark mood this morning. Too many door slammed in my face and windows painted shut. I can’t seem to stop it. I don’t know how to stop it.

What am I doing? Why didn’t I __________ fill in the blank?

Then I look at the wall of books on art, literature, history, poetry and all subjects under the moon and I feel a sense of comfort. My home is my haven, and my shelter from the rejections and failures that haunt like unruly ghosts. The panic and unease slide off. Those ghosts are not allowed in my library or in the oak forest.

The one thing I have excelled at is parenting. My heart, soul and endless passion are there.

Over the years I have learned from my mistakes and failures. I have learned from my triumphs. I’ve learned from my experiences. I’ve learned from the joy and wonder I’ve witnessed. I pass all of that knowledge and experience on to my children.

I let them talk. I listen. I guide them. I am gentle and firm. I don’t make excuses. We discuss the world inside of our home and far away. We love. We laugh. We cry.

I want them to be like me, but I pray that they are not like me. I want them to be better than I’ve ever been – and they are. They are much better than I will ever be.

The most difficult thing and most rewarding thing to teach your child is the lessons of rejection. Whether it be a bad grade on an assignment, a failed friendship, a romance gone wrong, a sports even lost, not getting a job, or a thousand other things, it is a lesson we must all learn and a lesson all parents need to teach their children.

Rejection hits over and over and over. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming. That is hard, especially for teens.

My husband has a good expression, “Screw them. Their loss.”

Words of wisdom if you ask me.

That said, rejection is like people. It is different every time. Sometimes it is a good thing, sometimes not. But shit happens. Rejection happens. Good things happen.

A lot of good things happen, and sometimes they happen out of rejection of something else.

With rejection comes the traps of what ifs and I should haves.Move on. Teach your kids to move on. Their value is somewhere else. And they have value, far more value than they can comprehend.

Ships that pass in the night. What you should have said. What you should not have said. What you should have done. It is all just experience to learn by. And LEARN by it.

If you don’t do anything else, learn by your experiences. Learn by the rejections of life.

And learn by the joys.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

212

Talking about high school and whatever…

Yesterday in Sophomore English.

Emily: Excuse me, what are Ack-Ra-Tees?

Teacher: Do you mean atrocities?

You have to remember that Emily was the one who once, when a teacher was lecturing about The Black Plague in the 1300’s, said, “Excuse me, shouldn’t you be saying The African American Plague.”

And yes, the child was sent out of the classroom. Mind you this is a girl dresses like a slut (but never puts out) and gets straight A’s (according to my 15 year old sources.) I’m sure I’ve posted that one before but it is too good to keep stored away.

It has gotten to the point where everyday I ask my teen, “What did Emily say today?” Really, there is enough to fill a book.

Of course just after I tell everyone she loves her teachers I hear how they are making life miserable with lost assignments, late grade postings and dull confusing assignments. Several students are going to talk to the counselor. No, I will not call the school until the child asks me. I am not one of THOSE parents. I care but at this age the teens are old enough to fight their own battles – and I believe they can win some if they go about it right. I’m here to help and advise, not to go up to school and be known forever as “that pain in the ass mom.” Dad is another matter. Heaven help anyone who gets on his bad side or seems unreasonable.

I told Clara to start taking pictures of her assignments on her cell phone. There will be a date stamp and a time – right before class.

Clara told me about one of her best friends, a kid like us, a kid named Zac. He received a message on one of the social networking sites asking “Are you gay. You sure act gay.” I kid you not.

Zac replied saying, “The only reason you sent this was to try to hurt me. I don’t know your motivation but you failed. I’m not going to answer your question or respond to any of your future messages.”

Good for Zac. It made me angry that kids taunted him. It is an ongoing thing at the school. I’ve posted about it before. You’ve seen the posts. If not I’m going to create a page soon on school posts and you can look them up there.

I recently answered survey questions from the principal of the high school about behavior. There was an open box. I told her all about the sexual harassment. I told her about kids being rude to teachers because of their religion. I told her how bad the behavior can get. I mean, this is high school so behavior is bound to be bad, but within limits, within reason. Yes, you can have reason in high school. Delusional as I am, I do believe that.

Calling kids out because of religion or perceived religious beliefs. Race and religion. General rudeness. Kids making fun of teachers.

This week Clara talked about Jewish kids being the target of nasty remarks. I never understood people persecuting Jews. Tonight Clara was researching it in school and she was surprised how far back it went. WTF? It doesn’t make sense.

Then there are the kids who continue to rag on Mormons all day. Why does that even matter? They make up about a quarter of the schools population. I swear they do. So get over it kids. They’re nice people. You don’t have to join their church and you don’t have to be rude to them either. You don’t need to be rude to anyone who isn’t like you. You know what teens, you will change. Your views will change, especially your views on religion and race and social class and just about everything else. So get over it now. Life will be easier if you do.

On a good note… when I picked Clara up the other day I saw a couple of fashionable teen girls with pretty long hair getting into what I assumed was the family SUV (I’m the only parent at the school who does not drive a mini van or an SUV.) One of the girls has Downs Syndrome. I told my daughter that not so long ago girls like her wouldn’t go to school. They wouldn’t have pretty clothing or pretty hair. They wouldn’t be treated like “normal” kids. They wouldn’t have gone out in public because other people would have said it was shameful. Shameful why? I never got that one.

For all the shit I gripe about there is a lot of good going on with those kids in that school. The Homecoming King was in a wheel chair. Not because he was in a chair but because he was a great kid with a strong will and a “screw adversity” attitude. The school is full of great kids.

Unfortunately there are a lot of jerks, just like in the grown up world.

I asked Garrett (my son who is a freshman in college this year) about it. He said that in college he sees it with sex and relationships. Girls get called sluts for putting out. They get called sluts for not putting out. Boys get labeled as being so dull they might as well be dead because they’re not out banging every girl on campus. Nothing new there. You can make someone a friend with benefits but make it clear you’ll never fall in love with them because of their race, religion, social standing or GPA. Then you string your FWB on forever. But THEN you get all butt hurt because the FWB becomes involved with somebody else. I almost told him that it sounded like his Uncle Max (one of my 4 brothers) but I kept quiet.

In college people tend to keep ugly racial and cultural comments to themselves, or at least Garrett hasn’t heard much. He said he heard all sorts of crap in high school but he brushed it off. His sister, on the other hand, seems to be hearing a lot more of it. Her high school circle isn’t so exclusive (small) as his was.

So now what? Maybe schools should hold the same standards as the workplace. Better yet, maybe parents should talk to their kids about these issues. Maybe parents should raise their sons to be more like Zac. Maybe they should raise their daughters to be more like Zac. Maybe they should put talking with their teens as a number one priority. Not just talking but listening and discussing everything that goes on in their child’s life. Not be shy. Don’t try to protect them. Don’t keep them in a bubble. Adulthood is almost here. They need to be informed and ready. They need to be morally strong. That is where being a parent comes in – so do your job. Be a strong parent.

So why do I even send my kids to school? You know the Vampire/paranormal thing and all. Because we live in a diverse world. We all need to hear the opinions of others. We all need to learn new views. Our kids need to learn things that we don’t know. Our kids need to learn how to deal with difficult people. They need to make life long friends. They need to laugh with those friends. They need to compare notes, solve problems and learn … they need to learn everything they can.

We can’t let our children become backwards and isolated like shadow creepers or end up like Vlad – heartless in a world that needs love (wow I out did myself on that one.)

So we’ll talk more tomorrow, my kids and me. We’ll always talk.

In the meantime, talk to your kids. Listen and learn and teach.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman