Never Shout Never – Absolutely Never

Define and Conquer

I’d picked the kids up last week from the roller skating rink and caught a nice break visiting and singing along with them to fun music from the iPod (Never Shout Never, Coffee and Cigarettes. Always fun and inappropriate), when I pull into my driveway and see that black Mercedes parked in front of my house.

In another life, another time, another moment, my heart would have skipped a beat. Everything in my romantic Vampire soul would have cried “Adventure and Romance are MINE”, followed by “Insanity and Trouble” and the urge to RUN, but at this moment, BUSY MOM, just looked and thought “You’ve got to be kidding?”

My kids are already wondering why my mood is gone.

The last time this person was over my husband gave him the “We’re not going to raise our kids in a Vampire Ghetto” talk. Not “Ghetto Talk” but telling this prominent Vampire that we would not be raising our children in a night-time world of Vampires and darkness. We’re modern Vampires. We don’t lurk around shadows. We don’t lurk. We live in a diverse world. And aside from that, my husband used to be a regular human. But that is another blog post up the road somewhere.

He greeted the kids and they ran upstairs with excuses about tons of homework. I greeted Nathaniel Chase with a kiss on his cold cheek. He took my hands in his and told me how lovely I looked. Teddy had already opened a bottle of wine. I headed to the kitchen to get my own glass of wine, with the intention of joining  the men who were deep in discussion about whatever it is men discuss when my brain is full of kids and work and the 50,000 things the average mom has to do each and every single day rain or shine, dark or light.

I was in no hurry to get my own glass. From the corner of my eye, from the kitchen window, I could see the ghost sitting on my back deck reading a large red book. Nathaniel Chase would be too polite to bring up the ghost. Most Vampires are polite to a fault unless provoked (or with their blood relatives). As I poured the wine I wondered what brought Nathaniel here. It was always something that would turn my world upside down. He always wanted something. What would it be this time. Did he still want to know about Jack the Ripper? Did he want to recruit my son into studying with some old musty Vampire in Europe? Did he want to get information about someone? Or did he just plan on bitching about our lifestyle choices?

I glanced out the window at the ghost. He flipped me off and vanished. I thought about Nathaniel, glossy black hair, slate blue eyes and matching sweater and black jeans with a plaid Cashmere scarf hanging around his neck (you know the kind guys wear now). He could have been the front man of a famous band or a CEO of a Fortune 100 company. He could be whatever you wanted him to be. As a Vampire he was that good. Women’s heads would turn but they wouldn’t know if it was because he was dressed so well or if he was handsome or if he was a creature from another realm. All they were really sure of was that they couldn’t resist him. He could work it on men too (we all can). No regular human could resist Nathaniel Chase.

He’d been around for a long time. I suspect at least 400 years but I never asked. I just knew that it was his job, or he thought it his job, to keep track of what other Vampires were doing. I’m a mom, so had too much to deal with right now without being twisted and turned by Nathaniel Chase. And I could resist Nathaniel Chase. I’d been resisting him my entire life.

I’m proud to be whatever I am and have raise my children to do the same but that said…I don’t want my children to grow up feeling as if the world is not theirs. I don’t want them to live in an antique world of darkness, reeking with the smells of dried blood and fear. I don’t want them to feel as if they are monsters or outcasts.

Nathaniel Chase was always watching me since  I was a child. Nothing I ever did was right. Of course girlfriends and I got into all sorts of silly problems but we were just girls. On the other hand my brother Val and I got into some serious trouble on more than one occasion over the years, but we learned from our mistakes. We were serious successful adults now – not the crazy reckless youthful Vampires of old.

I downed my wine, poured another glass, straightened my shoulders and joined my husband Teddy and Nathaniel in the formal living room. I was ready to take whatever crap he wanted to throw at me and I was ready to throw it back. Never again would I let Nathaniel Chase get the best of me.

It took everything I had (and the wine helped) to keep my upper lip from getting a twitch in it. My head was light. I hated confrontation. I didn’t need it right now.

“So what brings you here Nathaniel?” I asked as I pushed a cat off of the chair and sat down. The cat jumped up into Nathaniel’s lap. Traitor.

“My wife and I are moving here in a few months. Our daughter is 3 now and our son just had his first birthday, but you knew that. I wanted to ask you about the schools. I hear you’re the go-to source for all things to do with parenting” Nathaniel answered. My husband just smiled.

As we grow up, no matter how long it takes, there comes a time when we realize that we’ve come into our own. I believe that most people are respected and liked and loved far more than they can ever imagine. I don’t always feel like that, believe me, but all reason tells me to just stop thinking and give myself a pat on my back for doing a good job.

We talked for another couple of hours about kids, schools and the joys and challenges of parenting. And all was well in my world, as the tune to Coffee and Cigarettes ran through my head.

 

coffee

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Note: Never Shout Never – Absolutely Never was first posted in February 2013.

 


Crashing and Burning on the Road Less Traveled

It is never a dull moment around my house. I just received a call that my husband Teddy was in a car accident. He is ok. The other car is totaled. Someone pulled out in front of him on a busy street near his business. We don’t know the damage to his truck yet. The last truck was totaled the same way – someone pulled out in front of him. In fact, just about every car we’ve had in the past twenty years has been totaled in a car accident. It has never been our fault. It kind of makes you wonder. Shit happens, but not once every eighteen months. To be honest shit happens almost every single day, but this is big dog shit.

I’d written the title of this blog post before I got the call from Teddy. I was going to talk about being a parent, and how those tiny babies grow up and, well, grow up and go out into the world. I was going to talk about how that feels, and I will. Right now.

My husband Teddy and I have both crashed and burned so many times during our lives that I’m amazed we’re still even here. I’m amazed that we’ve done so well. Then again, we’ve both learned to learn from our mistakes.

I have to admit that his biggest crash and burn was becoming a Vampire, but like a lot of things it worked out great in the long run.

I might take another road. I can still take another road. In fact I am taking another road right now. The great road trip of life is like anything else. You have to plan, be prepared, sort of know when you are ready, be willing to take side trips, don’t go too far over the speed limit, don’t drive when your tired, and have fun.

Being a parent is sort of like an eighteen year-long road trip. My mom (mother of five) would say it is a road trip that never ends. Ever.

So what is the point of this post. I don’t know.

We all have our adventures, good or bad, we can pass on our experience and knowledge in a positive way to the next generation. Rather than giving young people negative input about what to do, or more often what not to do, we need to give them positive input about their dreams. We need to support them. We need to gently guide them. And when they really screw up and get into dangerous territory we can take action because we’ve earned their trust.

Yes, I’m having an opinionated parenting day, but this is a blog, and blogs are opinions for the most part, and you dropped by for some unknown reason. Glad you did.

A long time ago when I was a teen I was sitting outside on a hot summer night with my brother Val we talked about how one day we’d have telephones in our home. This was 1878. We did end up with telephones in our homes.  Just wanted to share that random memory. But there is a point to random memories.

I kept most of my random memories to myself this summer when my daughter Clara and I took a 3,600 mile road trip from California to Nebraska and back. We talked and listened to music. We met wonderful people (both Vampires and other.) We visited old friends and made new friends. And all the while the thought that she was going to soon start her senior year of high school never left my mind. Then the thought that my son Garrett would turn twenty-one in a few months.

As Clara talked I recalled in my head old adventures, old friends now gone, stupid things I’d done, fashions we’d never wear again, and plots to stories I’d write. Then I’d be back on her. Back listening to talk of politics, music, school, history, and talk of family and friends. It was a road we traveled together.

It was a road I was glad we were traveling. It is a road I think I’ll stay on for… well, I’d like to say forever.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

night drive

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tofu, Vampires and Growing Up

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Yes, they might be in college and living on their own but they are still kids.

My child Garrett, and his roommates Layla, Bailey, Randy and now Austin, are going to have a dinner party this weekend to celebrate the new school year. Yes, there are five of them now. Austin just moved into a space the size of a closet as the fifth roomie.

So what is on the menu I asked? There are three Vampires, a Werewolf, and now Austin who is just a regular guy.

I had to ask, as a concerned parent, about Austin. Garrett said he was cool. His great great Uncle Bill is a Vampire so Austin is ok. Bill used to babysit him when he was a kid. He took Austin to Europe for a month after he graduated from high school. Austin knows Vampires.

Anyway, so what’s for dinner?

Tofu? Maybe. They’ll figure it out.

That is the wonderful thing about being nineteen is that you have to figure out almost everything, even though you think you know everything already.

But it is a good thing Mom is still there to answer any questions.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Art, Cats, and Charming Boys

Oscar and Art

Yesterday I was sorting out old art and reorganizing portfolios. I came across pieces I’d completely forgotten about. Dozens of finely drawn pen and ink drawings filled my brain with memories of another time.

More than anything, the experience brought up memories of another me, back when I was the same age as my children or not much older.

What surprised me the most is how good much of the artwork was. I’d forgotten myself over the years. I’d forgotten who I was. Maybe who I was meant to be.

But we keep moving forward. The key is only to take things of value with us. I don’t just mean physical things, but our passions as well. Those core things that make us who and what we are.

So while I was musing and pondering the cat decided I’d made him a new bed. For it you are a cat the world is your bed. No, not the world, but the entire universe is your bed. Oscar was quite comfortable to explore the artwork, rub his face on it, bat at it with his paw, then take a nap on it. Cats know who they are. No need to muse or ponder or think in any way shape or form.

Later that night I noticed a strange jumble of dishes in the dishwasher. It was as if Picasso had come to the house and loaded it up.

I questioned the loader of dishes. “Garrett you need to learn how to load a dishwasher.”

He smiled, “don’t hate on me Mom.”

Eye roll from Mom.

“Your roommates will hate you next year. You know they will each and every time they have to rearrange the dishes.”

“I’m a Vampire. I don’t eat that much.”

“That was not my point.”

“I’ll do other things so they can clean up the kitchen.”

“You have that all worked out?”

“Of course I do.”

“Charm and good looks will only get you so far dear boy.”

Then the cat came down and Garrett scooped the furry beast into his arms. “I don’t know mom. Charm and good looks seems to work for this guy.”

He had a point.

Have a good weekend everyone and keep cool. Hug your kids. Laugh with them. Talk with them. And hug your cat too. 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Oscar the cat enjoying my art