Parenting is a job you never retire from but those little people grow up.

They grow up and, well, they’re grown. You’re still a parent but your children are adults. In theory they’re adults. They’re eighteen or older, but they’re not quite adults yet.

They’re not like the teens still in high school either.

And you’re still a parent.

I’m spending a lot more time with this girl now.


Alice the GSD is two years old now. She is the new family dog. We lost our sweet Jasmine three years ago after twelve years. She was the dog the kids grew up with. She was the dog who grabbed our hearts and souls like no other.

But Alice is the personification of sweetness and love. Now she is my shadow. She is the one who now goes everywhere with me. She is my constant companion.

But back to non-dog creatures…

It is difficult to write about parenting now because everything changes. Some parents tell their kids to move out as soon as they turn eighteen (I think those kind of parents are assholes.) Some kids never leave and are content to live in their childhood bedroom with the single bed and posters on the walls and have mom make grilled cheese for them forever (in that case the kids are assholes.)

Most kids I know are somewhere in the middle. They’re going to college or trade schools, or working, or volunteering. Many are stressing out over how they’re going to pay for school or cars or rent.

A few are stupid and now are finding themselves with minimum wage jobs and babies on the way, but those aren’t the ones I’m writing about today. That is a subject I’m not even going to touch because I’d be mean, judgmental, and make people cry.

But for the most part most kids are growing up, and it is like learning to swim or ride a bicycle. They all do it on their own terms, in their own time, but they know they have to do it. Sink or swim. Fall off and get back on.

They’re having their first serious relationships. They’re falling in love. They’re angry because they are evaluating their childhoods and judging their parents. They’re discovering people who aren’t like them. They’re doing wonderful things and exploring their worlds. They plan trips without us. They working. They’re voting. They’re pulling away. They’re turning around and letting us (parents) know they still need us.

Since the beginning I’ve written about letting your little birds fly. Soon the only ones left in my nest will be a couple of cats, a dog, a husband, and empty bedrooms for when my babies come home for visits.

I miss my children so much. But I rejoice and treasure the adults I’ve raised. I’d never go back if given the choice to have them small again. I have one more year and another one will be miles away on the other end of a very large state.

So where does that leave us as parents?

You have to let go. At the same time you still need to be there 24/7 in case they still need you.

There will also be changes. They’ll pull away. Hopefully they’ll pull away some because that is part of growing up. But hopefully they’ll stay close.

Like I’ve been saying forever – just keep talking with them. Let them know their thoughts are important. Let them know you understand their fears, and if you don’t understand, then listen but don’t judge. Remember when you were young. I swear I don’t want mine to be like I was, but rather than jumping all over their young butts I encourage them, and again talk to them. And it isn’t like they’re never going to do something weird, but you just have to take it one thing at a time.

No matter what they’ll be, and who they want to be. They’ll be who they need to be. Learn from your mistakes when helping them learn not to make those same mistakes.

I’m just talking and musing today. The the best parent you can be so your kids will be the best they can be.

I know this is simplistic but it seems to work.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman












Ghosts and new beginnings




Spring is the time of year for new beginnings or Fall when school starts or even January 1st… so they say. I think it is the beginning of summer. That is when school is out and we all take a deep great and regroup.

It is also the time when kids graduate from high school. Then they aren’t kids anymore. They suddenly become adults.

Last night we gathered for my son Garrett’s graduation from High School. I was so proud and at the same time choked up. I’d known so many of these kids since they were teeny tiny little things. I knew them before they knew how to read or that the world was anything but a wonderful happy place. Now they were moving on to college and other adventures. I was so proud but at the same time uneasy knowing what is ahead for them. I know that sounds weird, but I love so many of those kids so much.

After the celebrations we (our entire family, uncles, grandparents and assorted others plus friends) went out to the farm belonging to the Elders. They’d agreed to host a party for the Vampire kids in their barn. The rest of us “adults” gathered in the house.

In the old days parties might have included some Regular Humans to provide refreshment (come on you know what I’m talking about) but tonight we provided blood from bottles. This was a celebration for our own kids, the 16 of them from the area who graduated this year plus a few friends who’d graduated last year or would graduate in the next few years.

I left my teenage son and his younger sister to their own friends and took my brother Val for a walk in the pear orchard.

We’d run through these orchards as teens, trying to get as far away from our older brothers and parents as possible. Our conversation centered on Garrett and his friends and college. We compared notes on summer plans and what the future would bring for the new graduates. Small bats fluttered around our heads and crickets chirped in the grass, just like when we were young so long ago. So much for musings, Then we started to talk about things we’d done when we were young.

That was in 1877. I was 18 and Val was 19. We were young Vampires ready to take on the world. Our parents found a college that would accept the both of us (not because we were Vampires but because I was female.) It would be a continuation of our childhood adventures. We spent a lot of our time and energy hiding what we did. We smiled at the fact that my kids and our brother Aaron’s kids (now in college and law school) tell us everything. How times have changed.

The girls in the barn at the party were all in shorts. Back then I was in a long dress with a corset and on special occasions a train on that dress. It was all ruffles and bows for me and I loved it. Val laughed at how I’d always be tripping when my heels would get caught in my skirts.

As we laughed and giggled, walking along like two drunks bumping into each other, a figure appeared in front of us. Transparent with a slight glow she stopped in front of us and held out her arms to us as if pleading.

“Holy crap. Damn ghosts,” whispered my brother in an almost harsh growl. His fangs came out.

“Hush,” I hissed. Then I realized this was not just any ghost. It was a childhood friend. Suddenly guilt grabbed me and I froze.

It was Ada, the first girl Val ever kissed. She was also the first girl he bit on the neck. He’d been in love with her as only a teenage boy can fall in love.

Ada was a lovely flirt and a beautiful silly girl. Her dance card was always filled and her future was bright. Later she was seduced by a charming man who married another woman. Then pregnant, she married another man. He was handsome and rich – it was all good on paper. The child died and her marriage turned abusive. Our brother Aaron offered to turn her into a Vampire. He thought it would help her escape. Valentine offered to take her away to start a new life. In the end she sewed rocks into the hem of her skirt and walked into the river.

My parents were livid about what my brothers had done. At the time I didn’t think they did anything wrong, but now I know they shouldn’t have interfered. They should have been a friend but not exposed themselves for what they really were.

Val also realized who this beautiful and sad apparition was. “Ada,” he said to her. “Why are you here?”

She just look at us and said nothing.

“Darling Ada, it is time to move on.”

Ada moved a little closer. We could feel the air get cold, like someone had opened a freezer. “I did everything wrong.”

“No,” I said, “you loved your child. You loved. Ada, please, it is time to move on. Stop torturing yourself.”

She shook her head. “I had the chance to become one of you, the undead. Now I’m in a ghostly Hell of my own making. I’m damned forever.”

We stood, not knowing what to say. Then behind us came a voice. A very familiar voice. It was another ghost – a ghost I know very well. A ghost, dear readers, you know well.

Val and I turned around to find The Ghost, Nigel standing behind us. He wore his black suit as usual but tonight he had a white rose in his lapel. He wasn’t taking to us. Nigel was here for Ada.

For those who don’t know, Nigel is a big pain in the neck. He lives at my house, or more so at my neighbor’s house but hangs out with me most of the time. Between insulting me, flipping me off and hiding my keys, we’ve sort of become friends. When I’ve had to deal with loss he has been there for me. In turn I’ve been there for him, as much as one can be there for a ghost. He died 100 years after Ada and was obviously dealing the ghost thing a lot better than she had been. Anyway…

Nigel spoke to Ada in a calm loving voice. “It is time to move on my love. You are innocent of all wrong. Your time here is done. You’re free to go and be with your child.”

He moved close to the other ghost and embraced her. In a flash of blue and pink light there was only one ghost left.

Nigel turned and looked at us. “Well, well, well, if it isn’t the two most irresponsible Vampires of the 19th Century.”

I could have been insulted but he sort of had a point.

“Is she gone?” My brother asked as he took my hand.

“Yes.” Nigel didn’t elaborate. He just stood there and glared at us.

“Thank you,” said Val.

Then Nigel came close and looked me in the eye. He blasted me with an ice cold wind. “Don’t even think of asking me why I can move poor Ada on and still be stuck here myself. You Vampires think you rule the world but you don’t know the half of it. You don’t know anything.”

We stood eyes locked. My mind went blank. I had no idea what to say.

Then he smiled a wicked smile and said, “I have to congratulate you on what a good job you’ve done raising your own children. Too bad they’re Vampires.” Then he vanished.

Valentine and I walked back to the house. We decided not to tell anyone else, except maybe Aaron, about Ada.

I suppose I could say we’re all haunted by the ghosts of our pasts, but come on, this was weird and sad even for Val and me.

Back at the party everyone was having a good time. I was greeted at the back door by my husband Teddy who had a kiss waiting and a glass of wine. I could hear the music blaring from the barn. Everyone was happy and getting along. Life is good, even if you’re undead. And I plan on keeping it that way.


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman





A Normal Vampire Teen – Love Poems and Letting Go

She stood by the trees

Green leaves glowing in sunlight

Hope and desire glows

From her perfect skin

Her blonde hair like a halo.

My heart breaks

For my fondest desire

Is to grow old and frail

With my springtime girl

She stood by the trees

And smiled back at me

I waved and smiled

Just friends, not lovers or donors,

Friends for a while

And I wish her well

A long and happy life

As I watch and wonder “what if?”



I found that free form verse scrawled on a paper in my 16 year old son’s backpack. I wasn’t snooping, he told me he had a paper in there I had to sign.

But it broke my heart, a little, to see him so grown up, but yet still so young.

His father and I have had “the talk” about the different life spans of regular humans and those of us who are vampires.

I know the girl. Her name is Amber. She always kisses our cats when she comes over with the usual pack of teens for swim parties and study groups. She played Olivia to his Orsino in the school production of The Twelfth Night.

He let her go so she could date another boy, a boy who isn’t him, a boy she won’t fall in love with.

I see him through his bedroom, black skinny jeans, hair in his eyes, skyping with friends, laughing. A normal 16 year old by anyone’s standards.

First published July, 2012

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Don’t haunt yourself (because real ghost are bad enough)

Let me tell you about ghosts.

I hate ghosts.

They’re sneaky dishonest depressed creatures that have neither body nor soul. They covet our lives and our love. When they come into our lives they cause nothing but annoyance like a dripping faucet or an Internet connection that never works right.

Or they can haunt you in the worst ways possible.

Ghosts feed on your fears and insecurities.

So I tell my kids that there are the ghosts that are disembodied unfortunates who covet our lives, but there are other ghosts that we create.

Those are the ghosts of our own lives and deeds.

Those are the events that we can’t let go of until they drive us insane or at least make us depressed and uneasy.

  • There are ghosts of romances and affairs of the past.
  • There are the ghosts of what could have been (one of the most dangerous ghosts we can create.)
  • There are ghosts of guilt.
  • There are ghosts of resentment.
  • There are ghosts of what might be if only…

I won’t expound on all of these points. But you know what they mean and you know how they are made and how they sit heavy on hearts and souls of both regular humans, Vampires and Werewolves.

It is wise that you warn your teens so they’ll be free of these things. Yes, these ghosts can weigh them down worse than any chains worn by Marley’s ghost in A Christmas Carol.  These ghosts will ruin relationships, jobs, school, success in life and happiness. You can’t afford to….

Wait a minute…I’ll be back….what the…what is he doing here?

“Look at you so full of yourself with advice for others. You’re such a know it all,” a voice said from over my shoulder.

“Go away,” I hissed at the Ghost looking over my shoulder. Damn him. I thought the nasty little bastard had gone for good.


“I know a great exorcist. Want to meet him?”

“Be careful Vampire or someone will put a stake through your heart.”

“At least I have a heart.”

“I would have expected more of you, I mean, maybe a little paranormal energy to boot me out of the room or something along those lines. But you just sit there with your laptop writing about bogus crap about parenting and your petty little words of half assed wisdom.”

I gave him the look. “You’re a ghosts with horrible ghosts of your own. I can’t even imagine the burden that must be. You really ought to just let them go.”

“I can’t imagine the regrets you must have Vampire. How old are you? A hundred and sixty?”

“One hundred and fifty-three. But no, I have no regrets. I’ve learned not to have personal ghosts. I’d advise you to do the same.”

“You advise me? There is nothing you can do for me.” He stood there, well sort of hovered.

I spoke to him again in a calm quiet voice. “I can do the scary paranormal stuff to make you go away, or if you want to talk about it I’d be glad to listen. Like you just pointed out I’ve been around for a while and like to think I have a little bit of life experience.”

I took a deep breath and put out my hand expecting it to go right through his heart but instead I touched something solid. He stood before me looking shocked as if unable to move. For the first time I could see his face as if he were alive. My ghost was younger than I thought, fine features, flawless skin, glossy black hair, eyes as blue as a morning sky. I could read him as if I was reading my own thoughts. If only for a few seconds I had him. I had the Ghost.

I’d broken into his mind. If he’d lived he would have been 53 years old now. He was 26 when he died, just a few weeks shy of his 27th birthday, a birthday he shared with me. His heart was full of regrets and anger and grief, too much for a man of his young age. But despite the fact it didn’t show on his face, he was old beyond his years. There was a woman, a betrayal, violence, and the vision of a fresh grave and his own new grave next to it surrounded by white flowers. There was heart-break and anger. Someone loved him very much. A large crowd gathered around. He tried to speak but couldn’t. I had a grip on him and wouldn’t let him go. There was a song playing in the background, at first Master of Puppets by Metallica, it was new that year, 1986, but there was another song. 1983, Duran Duran, Hold Back the Rain. What was going on? I wouldn’t have expected that but it came into my head full blast like from a car stereo on a cold raining night after a funeral and an argument. It was so random.

Yes we’re miles away from nowhere and the wind doesn’t have a name
So call it what you want to call it still blows down the lane
People tell me I haven’t changed at all but I don’t feel the same
And I’ve bet you’ve had that feeling too you can’t laugh all the time

And if the fires burn out there’s only fire to blame (hold back the rain)
No time for worry cause we’re on the roam again (hold back the rain)
The clouds all scatter and we ride the outside lane (hold back the rain)
Not on your own so help me please hold back the rain

“Stop.” he gasped and tried to break loose.

I took my hand away and he stood there looking at me in shock and horror. The temperature dropped at least 40 degrees. Ice crystals formed on the sleeve of my shirt. I took a breath and realized my fangs were out. I could almost taste the fear in him.

“What are you afraid of?” I whispered.

“I’m afraid of you Juliette.” And then he vanished without another word. I wanted to feel angry but the experience left me feeling sad.

Isn’t it always like a ghost to get one off track. Think about it.

Don’t look back unless it is for memories only. Live in the present and make the best of your time there.  Look to the future with hope and excitement.

It still seems so weird the ghost and I have the same birthday – a hundred years apart. Hmmmm.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman (and ghost whisperer extraordinaire)


Credit: Hold back the rain: Songwriters: Taylor, Roger Andrew / Taylor, John / Taylor, Andy / Le Bon, Simon / Rhodes, Nick

For more about the Ghost click here or here or here or here.

Listen to Voltaire

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. 

~Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764


Yes, the old post that was on this link has been replaced by the words of Voltaire.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Live with your children, not through them.

Live with your children, not through them.

The Night, their Night belongs to them.

Share their world, but let it be their world.

The need their own time and space.

And in turn they will always be yours.