Conversations on Trout and Life with Vampires

Conversations on Trout and Life with Vampires

One morning in August of 2015 morning Garrett (then age 19) and I stopped by to see Great Great Great Grandmama Lola. Even as Vampires go she is old (born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer), but she looks all of twenty-six.

In her living room was a large fish tank. Garrett immediately went over to check it out. “When did you get this Grams?”

“Last week. I caught the fish myself. Aren’t they lovely.”

In the tank were two rainbow trout, fresh from the river. I could have given her flack about catching wild fish but I didn’t. It would have been a waste of my breath.

Garrett held out his arm and an African Gray parrot landed on his wrist. Lola claims the parrot is over 200 years old but I never know what to think. She has had the bird for over 80 years so she could very well be right. But then I never know with Lola.

I noticed a pair of boots on the floor, tucked halfway under the coffee table.

“Company?” I asked.

“Upstairs sleeping. He’ll sleep for the rest of the day so you don’t have to worry about any awkward moments.”

“So he is just a Regular Human and not a Vampire?”

“Of course,” said Lola. “He works nights for the Highway Patrol. I think it was the boots that did it for me, well that and everything after he took the boots off. Anyway, I’ve made sure he won’t wake up for another six hours at least.”

Then she looked at me and smiled. “Remember the time, when we sat on the wall on the boardwalk watching the ocean and smoking cigarettes for hours. There must have been a thousand shooting stars that night. Then we went dancing with the two brothers from San Francisco.  I could taste the whiskey in their blood. Oh God, I can smell the salt air thinking about it. Do you remember? They were so funny. We couldn’t stop laughing.”

“They both died in the trenches,” I said.

“Trenches? World War One?” Garret asked.

“Yes,” said Lola. “You’ll learn that…” she paused. Then she twisted her long curls into a knot on top of her head, then took a deep breath. “I know you’ve thought about this Garrett. Over the years you’ll meet a lot of people and you won’t forget any of them. Some will go to the back of your mind of course. But what I’m trying to say is you need to respect the memories of those you come across and respect their lives. Respect those you entertain for blood, as well as those you entertain for company. They are more than prey. Respect that.”

“I do respect them. Believe me Grams, I do.”

“Good,” said Lola. “You’ve raised him right Juliette.”

On the way home I thought about those young men, Albert and Hubert. Al and Bert. I thought that war would be the last. We all had that sort of wishful stupid thinking. But no such luck. People are still as stupid and evil as ever. Thank God I was born a Vampire.

Garrett said he wanted to invite Lola down to see him at college. I thought it was a good idea. It is always nice when grandparents visit their college aged grand children, even is the grandparent looks more like a sister.

Lola still suffers from nightmares of things that happened long ago. She has shakes from bouts with Vampire Hunters and scars that have never quiet healed on her body and spirit. She won’t admit it. She lies and says she is alright. I have to admit that we all do that to some extent.

So I excuse her for keeping trout in her living room, and a parrot who sings dirty songs in French and Italian. I excuse her for having men with six pack abs in her bed sleeping off blood loss from the night before. I really don’t need to excuse her, because I accept her. There isn’t anything wrong with her.

I find myself wondering if the mom in me has made me think in ways that are too prim and proper for my own good.

A few days  later I was laughing at this (look below at the funny from Classical Art Memes.)

11892026_10206008891440486_355424747510924402_n

And my daughter (then 16) said, “Most parents would have no idea what this means, and you’re laughing out loud at it. That is what makes you the cool mom.”

I don’t always feel cool, but I can out hip any hipster. What was that song? Make “Em Laugh. You know, Donald O’Connor. Look it up on YouTube. I can Make Em’ Laugh. And I can out hip. Yes I can and without looking stupid. Vampires invented hip.

I doubt if my grandkids (when I have them in the far future) will find a 32-year-old CHP officer in my bed, but I’ll be relevant. I’ll be more than relevant. Even now my kids aren’t embarrassed to be with me. Granted we’re Vampires, but teens are teens. Holy crap, I wouldn’t want to be a Werewolf parent. Their kids are weird.

So anyway, just keep laughing, and loving, and don’t bring wild game home, or CHP officers if you can help it (I don’t care how good looking he is.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Lola

Lola

A Vampire Muses on Youth

You can live forever. You can look like you’re 26 forever. You can know everything. But you are only young once, just for a few short years then you can never get it back again – even if you live for 1,000 years.

I try to teach my children to grow and fly, but at the same time I want them to enjoy and savor this time. I want my teens to still be kids and not grow up too fast. That doesn’t mean I want them to be immature babies. It means I want them to enjoy and savor this wonderful time of growth and discovery.

There are many quotes about youth being squandered on the young.

I made so many stupid mistakes – things that I can never undo or take back but at least I learned from those mistakes. Yes, remember that point… LEARNED FROM MY MISTAKES. That said, I’ve used that knowledge to be a good parent.

I’ve told my kids to learn from their mistakes. And to learn from their triumphs as well.

I want my kids to spend long nights talking with friends about ideas and solving the problems of the world. I want them to laugh until their sides hurt. I want them to be excited about life and the future.

I want them to fall in love but come to me when their hearts break so I can tell them it will be alright. I want them to fly but I want them to know I’ll catch them if the wind dies from underneath their wings.

I want them to experience college. Not night classes or working for a few years or waiting. I want them to live the dorms and make friends and connections and have that experience of COLLEGE. I didn’t get all of that and I wish, I wish, I wish I could have done that.

My friends of my youth are still my best friends in the universe. I have let my kids know that one of the most important things they can do is to choose their friends wisely.

Things they do will have consequences good and bad. When one is young without experience, philosophically or morally or emotionally they can make bad choices. I have raised my children not to be followers, but to be skeptics. If they’re leaders that is a plus, but never be a follower. You can be blind in your eyes but not in your brain or in your heart.

I tell my teens, “respect yourself and don’t get lost in the feeling that you’re alone. When you grow older you’ll understand that you do have value and that you are someone. Never forget that.”

They’ll know what it is to be different. They know that they’ll move on and their friends will grow old. But like their friends, they’ll have been young once. We can all say we were young once.

I want them to remember it well and have no regrets. Isn’t that what every parent wishes for? And it is what I work for, because I’m their mom.

So dance until the sun comes up, sing out loud, discover the music that makes your soul sing, dare to have ideas, imagine the impossible and love, laugh and learn with abandon.

Be young. And if you’re old, then keep doing everything I mentioned above.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

dancing

 

 

Unfortunate Business Note: Due to a large influx of SPAM and weird SPAM-like comments I’ve changed the settings for comments -you have to be logged into your WP account. Please be patient. This is temporary.

Night Music

Last night my kids and I took a walk in the woods. It was bitterly cold but our breath isn’t warm enough to fog up like the dog’s did. We walked quietly, except for our laughing.

We had been watching that silly show Hostages. It was so confusing and I’m getting lost, but my husband records it and the rest of the family is hooked. My daughter asked “What kind of name is Duncan? If that is his first name then what is his last name?” I said “Donuts.”

Then we started to laugh and we couldn’t stop. My kids both said “I love it when you laugh.”

Far ahead of us we could see the ghosts walking along hand in hand. On the edge of the lake more ghosts of long past days of the gold rush times walked along then vanished in the mists.

Birds rustled in the trees. Glowing eyes of night creatures stared at us through the tall grass and branches.

This is where my spirit lies with the quiet of the night and those who dwell in the cathedral we call life.

church of the night

So hug your kids (and those near and dear to you) and remember to laugh. And talk and walk and love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Be Wilde! Happy Birthday Oscar!

  A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

~ Oscar Wilde

September 16 is the birthday of Oscar Wilde. In honor of Oscar…read, write a poem, be witty, be sharp, dress well, kiss someone, live with passion, laugh, love and do something wild.