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 and our son just had his first birthday. 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.

wings

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

This was first posted in February 2013

Evolution – For the moon shines bright on those who love

starsI have to admit there have been times when I’ve stopped in my own tracks, dead still, heart almost stopped, cold and in a panic of remorse and dread thinking of something I did in the past. Then I close my eyes, take a deep breath and wonder who the Hell was that person I was a long time ago. She doesn’t exist, or at least not in that form.

Chocolate starts out as bitter dust but then one adds sugar or spices to become a sweet temptation or a wonderful mole. Then again, that is too easy of an analogy for Vampires, and Regular Humans for that matter.  We’re not  something to be merely spiced up. In fact, sometimes spicing up will only do damage and make something wonderful taste bad (or something bad taste even worse). The same goes for adding too much sugar.

I’ve been helping out some fellow Vampires lately – those who are new at being Vampires and those who are adjusting to the modern world we all share – that is what I do. Long story – but I’m fairly good at it.

My young Vampire friend Cody has done remarkably well. He and his ex-girlfriend became Vampires about two years ago. He made it through the change quite well both physically and emotionally. She, unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, not so well.

But things were not always so easy. Cody has a tremendous support system and has been given all the resources and training a new Vampire could every want or imagine. It saved his life and he can respect that.

Unfortunately not all new Vampires can adjust to the change, especially if it wasn’t their choice.

I wanted Cody to meet Matthew, a very old Vampire who has had to recently come into the Modern Vampire world. As we waited for Cody to arrive Matthew and I talked in quiet tones, close as Vampires do.

One can’t live in old castles and in the dark corners or shadows when one has a teenager.  Matthew was an old fashioned Vampire with a Modern Vampire son. This happens a lot. Not just with Vampires but with all sorts of people. Maybe not as much as in the 1960’s and 70’s (I’m just thinking about recent history you all might remember) but it happens. The world is constantly changing and it is always a challenge to parents.

Today was one of those “stop in your tracks” kind of days for Matthew, the old fashioned Vampire who was trying to be a Modern Vampire. On the surface he could pass for any 30 something guy who dressed better than average and looked a little more appealing than average.  Underneath he was a creature of darkness and cold, who’d lived that past few centuries more or less hiding out, lurking in the shadows, seeing the people who live in the light of day as both prey and predator.

When one who was born with a gentle soul is violently made to change into something that goes against the knowledge of everything they’ve ever known to be true, it takes a while getting used to. Stress and trauma can last for years.

Sometimes we must put aside what happened and move forward. Easier said than done. But we can’t let the trauma define us or enslave us or rule us. We accept it and move on – evolve to something new – something better – something stronger.

Like I just said, it is easier for me to write those words than to snap my fingers and make it happen. One can’t just say, “get over it” to someone and expect it to be a one size fits all answer for everything. That is just mean and often shows a total lack of understanding.

So back to my Vampires, for I do consider them mine, for that is what I do. I help Vampires who need help adjusting to new situations. New Vampires learning the ropes or old Vampires who wish to become more Modern. It isn’t easy – but it can be interesting and rewarding and a chance to discover one’s self. It is a chance to start over. It is an opportunity to clean out the cobwebs that clog one’s brain and heart.

Matthew is doing his best not to brood. Vampires are good at brooding – really good. But brooding isn’t productive or positive especially if one is a parent. Sorry to all of you brooders out there, but in my humble opinion (ok, not so humble) parents should not brood. And easy way to remember that is “don’t brood over your brood.”

But I’m getting off subject and don’t really even remember what I was going to write about much less a subject (so I’ll call it musings). Anyway…

Matthew talked of his son, born a Vampire, now without a mother, in a new town, a new school and 16 years old. Josh was such a typical Modern Vampire teen that I had to congratulate the awkward Matthew for doing such a good job. Matthew was definitely a master at what I call Deliberate Parenting – that is thinking about how you parent and how your child will fare in the world because of that.

The old Vampire Matthew had issues with his own life but he didn’t want to pass those issues on to his son.  He wanted his son to be strong and successful and most of all happy.

We talked quietly, Matthew and I.  It was the little things that he could relate to. He smiled when I told him Cody was getting romantically involved with my Grandmamma Lola (much to my chagrin.) Matthew had known Lola years ago, hundreds of years ago, before the Modern Vampire Movement. Anyway, we spoke of a lot of things and eventually I could see the cobwebs and shadows that covered his eyes start to vanish, especially when we spoke about his son Josh.

“I can sometimes remember before I was a Vampires,” Matthew began. “I wasn’t always the kind of person I want my son to be. I thought this was my punishment until I met Josh’s mother. She was so strong and wanted for both of us to make a new start through our own child. It seemed so unrealistic, but we were determined to be good parents and the kind of parents…” He looked away, unable to finish. I took his cold hand in mine.

“You’re a good father Matthew. You’re one of the best. Josh is a great kid.”

He squeezed my hand, just slightly, I could feel his heart speed up just a bit, from almost stopped to slow and steady.

So when it all comes down to it, our kids live now, and so we need to appreciate their world and help guide them into the future. For our children are the future – not only our future, but more so theirs.

And since the future belongs to all of us, we can put away any ghosts of our personal pasts that haunt us. For the moon shines bright on those who love, and learn and evolve and hope.

So today – go hug your kids, your friends, your parents, your cats…your Vampires.

xoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman