It was just a thing.

this guy

Pleasant Van Dusen.

For no reason at all I was thinking about a part of my life that I don’t share with my children or husband – my past life – my very distant past life.

Nobody needs to know my entire history with Pleasant. He was in and out of my life for years in a whirl of passion and adventure that didn’t involve my husband or anyone I associate with now.

It wasn’t a good thing or a bad thing, being with Pleasant. There was some of both. It was just a thing.

I think of dark nights with the sound of silk against silk, back in the day of corsets and hair piled high with jeweled combs. A time of secrets and hunts until the sun came up, then sleep with dreams of doing it all again.

He swept me up in a wave of passion that neither one of us could handle. What started with the stupid ignorance of youth turned bad, then it turned to dust.

I was snapped out of my thoughts with sounds from downstairs of my family. More memories of a different kind of passion with my husband Teddy. What I have with him is something based on reality, but not without that fire that never seems to burn out, fueled with both passion and trust and a bond of partnership that lasts forever. And what I have with Teddy is love. Real love.

But we all have our past lives and our different selves. The scary thing is that I know my children will also start to create their pasts and different selves. They’ll invent and reinvent themselves over and over and over before they settle down on who they really are.

I hope their choices are smart and that their voices stay loud and clear and true. Change isn’t a bad thing. Neither is exploration or odd dark paths without a obvious light at the end. But I don’t want them to ever flounder or drift in an out of control boat only to crash somewhere and have to drag themselves out of the mud. It will happen. That is the nature of life.

I’ve spent the past 18 years teaching my children to make wise choices. So far so good.

I thought of the was Pleasant would run his fangs across my wrists and then look up at me and… well, that is not a story for today or any other day. We all have our secrets to keep to ourselves.

No regrets because memories are just that – moments of the past. Remember but stay in the present, because as all Vampires know, the present can last for a very long time.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Right now I’m in Southern California with my daughter who is visiting the big university she’ll be going to in September. She is signing up for classes, etc, and because of this I’m reposting from August 2015. Enjoy. Have fun. Think. And stay cool in the summer heat. I’m off to the beach.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse

A story I’ve told before. I will tell it again tonight.

1880

He’d been found in the ocean, wearing a formal jacket with tails and clinging to the top of a grand piano. Underneath the man was a large gray wolfhound.

The captain of the ship that had picked him up said that he didn’t seem to remember much, or maybe did not want to remember. The dog, named Delilah, wouldn’t leave the side of her master.

At first they thought it was a ship wreck but it ended up being a complicated and strange mystery. The ship, a 200 ton brigantine had left Port of Talcahuano, in Chile three months before the mysterious man had been found in the Pacific Ocean north of San Francisco. Not a soul was on the ship, except the Captain who’d been found with a gun in his hand and what looked like a fatal self-inflicted bullet wound in his head. The life boats were still on the ship, as well as a cargo of wine and explosives, and the personal belongings of the few passengers and crew.

A break in an unusually strong and violent series of storms allowed them to dock and drop the man on the piano lid and his wolfhound off at the home of the lighthouse keeper’s family.

The lighthouse keeper checked in on the man who was sleeping in his guest room, dog curled by the bed. He could tell the stranger was wealthy by the quality of his clothing, the expensive watch and ring, and the formal refined way he’d spoken. His locked trunk had been recovered from the abandoned ship and now was at the foot of the bed.

The stranger said his name was Maxwell. He told them to call him Max. The first night there he’d drawn exquisite pictures for the light keeper’s wife of palm trees, and of beautiful women in fashionable dresses, and native women of South America with unusual hats and full colorful skirts. Over brandy he told them that he was 31 years old, born in 1849 when his pregnant mother had come out with his father for the California Gold Rush. Now he resided in San Francisco.

“What is your occupation? “The lighthouse keeper’s daughter Jayne asked the stranger,  fully well expecting him to say he was involved in a rich family business, or lived off of the wealth of his forebears.

He looked at her with hazel eyes, that she would have sworn were dark brown earlier that evening. “I am in law enforcement of a sorts, like detective, or a marshal. I seek out those who are particularly evil. I had apprehended a ruthless and violent fiend in South America and was on my way home. Unfortunately on the ship…” he paused and glanced up for a second, then back at the family of the lighthouse keeper. “On the ship I found myself taken by surprise and overwhelmed. It is a story I will tell you later, but now I must sleep, or I’ll end up under the table here.”

So he retired for the night. That was two days ago. He still slept as quiet and cold as death, but not dead. The dog lay by the foot of the bed thumping her tail whenever anyone came near.

A storm raged outside. The weather didn’t allow anyone to go get a doctor. His wife assured him that the man called Max just needed to rest. It made sense considering the man had been clinging to a piano lid and floating in the freezing ocean for days before he was picked up.

Despite the storm Lighthouse Keeper’s wife climbed up a ladder to fix a shutter that was almost ready to fly away with the wind. As she reached the window the ladder fell and she crashed to the ground below. All went black except the feeling of being carried inside.

Max put her down in a large chair by the fire and took her broken arm in his icy hands. “Close your eyes,” he whispered. She could feel his hands heat up and warm her wrist. The pain turned to numbness. She opened her eyes and could see a look of pain on his face, then he smiled and kissed her forehead.

“You’re arm is still broken, but the bones have started to mend enough for you not to need a splint.”

“You? You healed me,” she said.

“Yes. It is a gift. Keep the knowledge to yourself or people will think we are both insane.” He then touched a forming bruise on her forehead, making that pain, along with the bruise go away as well.

During the night the storm broke up. Sunshine came out between the clouds. Jayne convinced Max to walk down to the docks to pick up some fish for the night’s dinner.

She held his arm as they strolled along the road.

“Your glasses are so dark. I noticed your eyes turned from hazel to brown when we went outside,” said Jayne.

“My eyes are sensitive to the sun. I have three younger brothers, and a younger sister. Two of them have eyes that do the same as mine, that is change color,” he said, then changed the subject. “Do you like living here Jayne.”

“I love my family. I love the ocean. I don’t being in a small town with nothing but fish and lumber. I’d like to see more of the world before I’m expected to find a husband.”

“Do you want to be married Jayne?”

“Maybe,” said Jayne, “I can move to Utah and take two husbands. Women can vote in Utah and Wyoming. Why not here?”

“Because men are ignorant and barbaric my dear Jayne. They’re afraid that if you vote you’ll be smarter and more just than they are. The don’t want to give up their power to someone who might do a better job. By the way, men of a certain faith may have more than one wife but I do not believe a woman is allowed two husbands in Utah. You would have to go to Tibet for that.”

Jayne laughed. “To be truthful, even one husband would be too many for me right now. I don’t need anyone to own me right now.” She tugged on his arm. “You’re so different.”

“How am I different? I’m just like any other man.”

“You healed my mother’s arm. You survived almost a week in the icy ocean’s water hanging onto a piano top with nothing but the clothes on your back and a dog. Your eyes change color. Your skin feels like ice. You are unbelievably attractive. I am stating a fact about your looks. But I only want your friendship. Even with the oddness I like you. I feel as if we have been friends for a long long time. Where are you really from Maxwell? Who are your people?”

He smiled and took off his glasses. His eyes were hazel again. “Where I come from men and women are equal. We live quietly. We live honestly among each other. What I am about to tell you will sound strange, but we live on the edge between life and death. We walk in the world of sunlight, but also walk in the land of the shadows and do not fear death or God.”

“I would like to go there with you. I would earn my way. I could be a lady detective.”

“It is not easy to live in my world Jayne.”

“No world is easy Max,” she said then smiled and pulled the comb out of her hair letting it blow in the wind. “Do you have a sweetheart at home?”

Max hesitated then spoke. “There is a woman I have a strong connection with, but I will never love her.”

“Is she married?”

“No. It isn’t like that. We met when I was at the University. So was she, which is odd unto itself. She knows my thoughts. She knows my desires. But she is not the one. What about you Jayne?”

“I was engaged to a man who knew neither my thoughts or desires, and had no intention on learning either. He thought I belonged to him body and soul, not in the way of love, but as property to be owned and controlled. He was jealous to the point of rage if I would speak with another man. He was even jealous of the boys I teach at the school and demanded I quit my teaching job. I would rather die than live a life where someone else controlled my body, my thoughts, my job, and my every whim. That is why I am no longer engaged to him.” Then laughed and ran to the end of the pier and let the wind blow through her hair and laughed some more.

Max marveled at the way she was so free thinking and full of life. He saw so much death and sorrow in his line of work that now with Jayne he felt renewed. She was sunshine in his dark world of shadows and night.

Hours later in the quiet of the night, the wind died own, and the moon hung in a thin crescent in the sky. Max walked along the beach with his dog Delilah. The taste of fresh blood and wine was in his mouth and the cold comfort of the night had settled into his soul. Delilah ran ahead, then the dog started to bark. Ahead of him Max saw a bloody figure crumpled on the rocks. His heart sank. It was Jayne.

Max picked her up and carried her home. He knew what had happened. She’d gone out to look at the stars and was attacked by a man she’d jilted. She’d spoken briefly about it when they’d walked earlier in the day. She had turned away the advances of a hot headed man who wanted her as his own. In the afternoon the man had walked past them, giving Jayne a look like a mad dog when he saw her holding Max’s arm.

He put her on her bed as her parents and brothers gathered around. As still as death, and as cold as the sea, they watched life drained out of her.

Jayne’s mother put her hand on Max’s arm. “Can you heal her, like you healed me?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “If I do she will never be the same, not like she was before. She won’t be crippled or lose herself, she will be… she will be like me.”

“Save her, then find the man who did this to her,” said the Lighthouse Keeper.

“You do not know what you ask,” said Max.

“You put a spark back in her eyes I have not seen in ages. Please save her if you can.”

“Let me be alone with her and she will not die.”

In the morning a man’s body washed up on the beach. It looked as if dogs had torn out his throat. His face was a mask of fear.

Two weeks later Jayne kissed her family good-by and went with Max on the next ship to San Francisco.

2017

Max stood in his living room with a glass of wine in his hand as he looked at the view of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. He couldn’t imagine getting tired of it. He glanced over to see Jayne, wearing a short black dress and looking gorgeous as always, coming towards him. He kissed her cool cheek. She smiled with just a touch of fang showing.

“Are you staying with Pierce tonight?” Max asked.

“Of course I am. I take it Mehitabel is staying here,” said Jayne.

Max glanced at a small pretty woman across the room. He suddenly thought of what he’d told Jayne about her so many years ago on the walk to the docks. Odd that when he was out in the ocean, clinging onto a piano top of all things, he had thought of Mehitabel. He might ask but he was never sure what she would say. No, he wouldn’t ask, he’d just wait to see what would happen, but he was sure she’d stay.

“I’m sure she’ll stay,” he told Jayne.

They talked for a while longer, about work, about friends, and about how the sunset sparkled on the ocean. Max wasn’t always one for words, but he knew that Jayne knew that they’d always be friends. Maybe even before they had ever met.

Then Jayne laughed. “I still can’t believe you were clinging to a piano lid.”

And Max had to laugh along.

~ End

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: I’ll Return to You

They’d numbered many – the qualities needed to do the job. Passions and desires for secrets and more. So was the life of a spy. You give and in return you receive and take and steal away like a ghost in the night, leaving an empty safe and a broken heart behind. It was a good gig if you could get it. It was her life and passion.

In the dark of night she left him drugged in a deep sleep of happy dreams. She’d made sure of that. Still feeling his touch on her skin she dressed in absolute silence. In her bag were the documents she needed, along with photographs and other mementos, including a packet of love letters that she would keep for herself.

She might never find a love like his again. It was one of those loves that was once in a lifetime. It was the kind of love that would last forever.

He was the most well ordered and controlled man she’d ever met. His soul as full of adventure. He valued perfection. Best of all, he could exquisitely heat up the night unlike any other man she’d ever met. He was someone who’d never settle or compromise.

When he awoke hours later he reached for her, but that side of the bed was empty and cold.

Later that morning he was told she was dead. It had been an accident. That day he thought his life would end. He wanted to die. It was almost unbearable, but he made it through.

Ten years later he married a lovely, kind woman with a wicked sense of humor. They had two children. It was a lot of work and crazy living with a family and kids. Life was good, as it should be. In fact it was more than good. It was amazing.

Still, every time his wife was late or one of the kids didn’t call on time he had that feeling of dread and panic come up in his soul. He never told them, but it was always there. He couldn’t lose them. He couldn’t go through that again.

One afternoon he reached into the pocket of an old coat and found a note. It was in the script of his long lost love.

I’ll return to you.

He was beyond that. He was beyond dreams of seeing her again. He was beyond hope she was alive. He was beyond stupid thoughts. He was beyond the anger he had towards her. He was beyond the grief and the love and the memories so sweet of their time together. But something triggered his heart and he could feel a tear falling down his cheek. It was alright to mourn. It was normal. It was natural to feel and love and remember. There was no crime in that. It took nothing away from his life now.

Yet how many times had he caught himself asking “What if?”

He took the dog for a walk by the river, like he did each day.

On the bank, near where the geese always rested, stood a stunning woman with flowing gold curls and sky blue eyes. It was her. It was a his past and his dreams and his sorrow.

She turned towards him. “Hello Rob.”

The dog ran up to her wagging it’s tail. He froze.

“I was told you were dead,” he said barely able to get the words out.

“You were told wrong. I had to go. I know, I know, I know you must be angry but let me explain…”

He stood listening as she told him about adventures in a world he couldn’t imagine anymore. It sounded like more of a movie script or a spy novel than anything in his current life. It sounded like his old life.

Then she said, “I know everything about you. I’ve been keeping track the past twenty years.”

“That’s sort of creepy. I’m sure it was plenty boring compared to the life we used to have.” He watched his dog run down the beach then looked back to her. “Why did you come back?”

“For you of course. We can continue our adventure. You can get your life back. I still love you.”

He stood there thinking of all the times he would have given anything for one last chance to talk to her. Just one last chance to hold her. One last chance to start over with her and change the past.

Then he stuck his hand in his pocket and found a sticky mess of peanut butter and jelly. His daughter would always chew and lick the darned things a few times and end up with a mess over everything.

“I’m not that guy anymore. I’m different.” he said.

“How?” She stood with her hands on her hips. He thought she was still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. “How are you different?”

“I have a wet gooey half eaten peanut butter sandwich in my pocket, and it doesn’t bother me.” Then he smiled and gave her a kiss on the cheek and started up the trail back home.

 

~ end

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Throwing It ALL Away – Teens and Consequences

Parenting 101

I consider myself a serious parenting blogger, because I believe parenting is the most important job you can ever do.

So please let me rant a bit…

Parents PLEASE take the time and talk to your children, the younger the better, about consequences of their actions. Tell them: Something stupid you do NOW can have consequences that will last your entire life. It can RUIN your life.

As soon as we started the whole elementary school adventure we realized that it is never too early to screw up the next 5, 10, 20 years – or even screw up an entire life based on bad and impulsive choices.

I often wonder why parents don’t talk to their kids about life, consequences, and taking personal responsibility for their actions. And it is like training a dog. You have to start early. Seriously.

You might be asking, What brings this on Juliette? 

Yesterday I was told about a seriously icky event at the High School. One of the boys in my daughters AP English class (these kids are all seniors) was talking about how he had to get a new car because someone had crapped in his car.

The boy accidentally left a couple of the windows in his car cracked. He parked it in the school lot. While he was at sports practice that afternoon someone (it was assumed two individuals) broke into his car and pooped on the seats. Then the poppers spread the shit ALL OVER ALL of the seats. The poor kids could smell it as he approached the car. He said if it had just been a bag of poop it wouldn’t have been that bad but it was spread all over the car. A tow truck had to be called to haul the car away because there was no way he was going to drive the car home. His parents said they were going to have to get a new car because the cloth seats couldn’t be cleaned. It was an old car, used by every kid in the family already. But still, this should not have happened. The poor kid wonders who could have hated him so much to do such an awful thing. What kind of sick mind would do this? It could have been someone he knew. It could have been someone from another school. It could have been some sick fucks walking by and seeing the open windows.

Here is where my advice to parents comes in:

If the persons who pooped in the car are caught there will be consequences. They will be caught because every kid in the school now knows about the shit-and-run event. Security cameras recorded it. They can see who it was, their car if it was involved, or what building they came out of.

If it was students there will be consequences that will screw up their entire future. If it is a senior he will not graduate (or will not be allowed to walk on graduation day), if it was a younger student he will be expelled and made to go to a continuation school. There might be criminal charges. If the perpetrator is 18 he will be charged as an adult. Even a 17-year-old might be charged as an adult. If caught these kids can kiss all of their college applications good-bye. They’ll be kicked out of a good school, and maybe have a criminal record. Not to mention that NO GIRL will ever want to date these guys – and the list goes on. Did I mention lawsuits and damage charges?

One disgusting event, that was no doubt spur of the moment, and done on an impulse will ruin the lives of these kids if they are caught.

Was it worth it? Hell no.

That is just one example. Teens and young adults are impulsive. It is how their brains work. But they can control those impulses. You NEED to talk to them about it.

It all comes down to what parents always tell their kids. If your friend jumps off a bridge that doesn’t mean that YOU have to jump off of the bridge too.

Kids need to know that they don’t have to jump off of that bridge. They can say NO. If the friend gets pissy then it isn’t a friend they want to have.

At our high school parents and students are told over and over and over, that if they pull pranks they will not graduate. This includes the famous senior pranks that usually include creative ways of vandalizing the school (oiled hallways, interesting pain, pictures of body parts burned into the grass on the Quad, etc.)

If you act like an asshole, if you hurt others, if you blindly follow, if you do things out of spite,  if you DON’T THINK before you act – there will be consequences.

Need help? Here is a list of stupid things teens can and will do.

Unprotected sex: A baby will change the life of any teen. So long college. So long friends. So long exploring the world before you choose if and when you’ll have a child. Don’t give me some happy story of a teen who had a baby and the fairy tale that ensued. That is the rare exception, not the rule. Unprotected sex can also welcome HIV and other nasty things to your child’s life.

Making decisions based on friends: How many kids have rejected once in a lifetime college, trade show, job, internship, and other opportunities because a boyfriend or girlfriend begged them not to go. How many have turned down fantastic opportunities because they did not want to leave their friends. You know what? Those friends are going to leave and do what they want and not think twice about it. Or the friends will be losers who don’t care. If they are REAL friends they will encourage your child to fly and be successful. Real friends will keep in touch no matter how far away they live.

Dropping out: Dropping out of school, be it high school, college, a trade school or a great opportunity isn’t anything to be taken lightly. I can’t tell you how many people I know who dropped out of college the second or even third year in – then found out later how hard it is to go back. Usually is isn’t financial reasons – it is because they can’t look into their own futures and see how hard it will be. Just finish. You’re young. Finish now or when you’re thirty-five you’ll be kicking yourself.

Relationships: If it is indeed true love it can wait. If someone loves you they will never ask you to put aside your dreams. Someone who love you will encourage you to follow your dreams. Only selfish, and controlling people will ask you to turn down your school, job, or any endeavor that is your passion.

Cults (religious and political) and other abusive relationships: These are the people who prey on young individuals. They break kids down, then make them feel good and wanted. They look for kids who are lonely. They look for kids who are needy. They want to turn your child against against everything they know. If ANYONE tells your child to turn against their family and friends then it is time to RUN. RUN FAST.

Doing shit out of spite: If you do anything out of spite to get back at parents, teachers, friends, siblings, school – it will only come back and HURT YOU. That is what is usually called coming back and biting you on the ass. I’ve seen people marry someone for spite because they were mad at their parents – believe me THAT never ends well. So impulsive, and the only one hurt is the one who wanted to get revenge.

And most of all CRAPPY FRIENDS: You can help friends but you can never bring someone up who doesn’t want to be brought up. Crap friends will only bring you down. If someone wants to move up they have to want to move up and do it on their own. Some kids are rescuers. Some are followers. I encourage all parents to PLEASE discourage your kids from being rescuers or followers. It will only lead to things like kids shitting in cars. It can also lead to smaller things that can also get them kicked out of school, ostracized by other kids, and even arrested.

Yes, you are the parent – you CAN have control over who your child hangs out with. From an early age you have to teach them about how valuable their reputation is. It takes a second to lose one’s reputation but years to get it back.

One more thing. If your child wants ink as soon as he or she turns eighteen please guide them. Shitty tattoos last forever and remind one of how stupid they were. Good ones, by good artists, with good placement can be a joy. Remember, tattoos, like herpes, are there forever. Be smart (or start saving for a good cover up or laser treatments.)

I’m just ranting right now, but whenever I think of anyone doing stupid mindless and impulsive things that ruin their lives and the lives of others I wonder why they do it.

We’ve all heard of teachers who sleep with students then go to jail and never teach again. Was it worth it to be out of a job. Was it worth it to have years of education go down the drain? Was it worth it to be considered a pervert for the rest of your life?

Then there are the Brock Turners of the world. Turner was obviously smart (click here if you don’t know about the case). He had everything. He was good looking. He was attending Stanford University. He was a swimmer who might have been good enough to make it to the Olympics. But rather than being nice, and normal, he decided to be a violent, vile, and horrible the night he brutally sexually assaulted a girl at a party. One has to wonder if it was worth throwing all of that away to be the biggest asshole in the universe and harm another person?

How many kids would have given ANYTHING to go to Stanford, let alone have the other opportunities Turner had. And he threw it all away, and harmed an innocent person along the way.

What makes it worse is that his parents defended him. There is no defense for that kind of behavior. So was it worth it Brock? Why did you do it? Why where you such an asshole?

So talk to your kids. Tell them all of those cautionary tales of others who have fucked up their lives because of stupid impulsive acts.

That is it. And don’t tell me that it is hard. If I could do it then so can you.

I fucked up enough on my own – but, by my choice, I don’t fuck up when it comes to parenting.

It isn’t easy but you can do it. You’re a parent. That is YOUR JOB.

Now go hug your kids and talk to them. Don’t preach. Discuss. Share. Love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman