The Road More Or Less Traveled

I often hear the expression “the road less traveled.”

I’ve taken that road. I’ve taken side roads off of that road. I’ve wondered in the woods off of what look like animal paths, or the steps of long-lost tribes. I’ve come to dead ends in box canyons and watched the flash floods come in.

Behind me are things that I choose not to think of because they are things that no longer concern me, or need my emotional energy.

With me I have taken the good things that are near and dear to me. I have taken the things that bring me joy, or make me laugh, or that are actually useful. I have taken the love. I have left the hate behind. Forgiveness? Not so much but since I don’t think about it I don’t care.

When we have kids we need to look hard at our own experiences. Yes, we want our kids to explore and learn that life isn’t always easy, but we don’t want to send them off floundering in a stormy sea without a life jacket.

Sometimes we’re all alone, and sometimes we are with those we love. Sometimes we’re with people we don’t love. And with any luck we’ll be on that road with dogs, and others who aren’t exactly like us, but help us keep our calm and sense of meaning.

Over protecting them will only make life more difficult for them. On the other hand, throwing them out to the wolves as soon as they turn eighteen won’t make the strong. It will make them resentful and abandoned.

From the time they are born, until the day you die, you need to learn from your mistakes, so that you might teach them not to make the same mistakes. Don’t let them believe that what was good enough for you is good enough for them.

They are your children. They are your future. They are the future of all of us.

Let them take the road they choose, but at least give them a car that runs, and tell them to change the oil occasionally. They might drive fast, but hopefully not recklessly.

Learn from your own mistakes. Don’t dwell on those mistakes, but teach your children so that they don’t do the same. It isn’t that difficult. All you have to do is talk to them. All you have to do is teach them to be smart. Teach them caution. Teach them to be skeptics. Teach them to do research. And even if your child is not a born leader, teach your child not to be a follower.

The road less traveled is filled with pot holes, but so are all roads. Nothing is smooth. Everyone who has fallen on asphalt knows that.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

The Devil You Know…Lucky Visits

Sometimes it is as if life becomes a morality play…

The week has started and the triple digit summer heat is still in full force. Against my better judgment I’d agreed on a breakfast meeting with a client, which turned out fine (it was a little early for fresh blood, but oh well.)

I went back to my office, alone, in the old Victorian house where the shutters were drawn against the light and lay down on the couch to sleep off the heat of the day.

I closed my eyes and fell into a dream. Strong masculine hands caressed my tired shoulders. I melted and the tensions of the past week vanished. Then lips were on my neck first as a sensuous kiss, then  fangs sank into my flesh and started to rip my throat. I bolted in pain, awake to find another Vampire on me. I pushed him away; my own fangs now out, ready to fight. A low hiss escaped my throat.

“You.” I spat out. I didn’t even want to say his name. It was a Vampire from my distant past. A onetime lover who’d…whatever had happened it had ended badly but I have to admit that for years he had crossed my mind in an unhealthy way. Everything about my association with him had been wrong. The words “bad” and “evil” also crossed my mind. But it had been years since I’d thought about him.

“Juliette, my love, still so sweet.”

I looked up to find we were not alone. Standing next to him was a strikingly handsome man dressed in black. My blood turned to ice.

The Vampire stepped away with a smile as the man stepped forward.

It was the man we call “Lucky”. It was a creature most humans call The Devil or Satan (among other names.)

Lucky smiled at me and said, “I offer you everything you have ever wanted. Every dream. Every “what if”. Every road not taken. Every crush turned into a passionate love affair. Every parenting issue resolved. Every problem solved. You’d have no more annoyances. No more stress. No more complications. Life would be perfect.”

As someone who is chronically annoyed, stressed –  and as someone with a boxcar full of emotional baggage I had to think. For about half a second.

OK the emotional baggage is for the most part long gone. I learned from my mistakes. And if I had not made those mistakes and taken the long, twisted and sometimes painful life I have had, I wouldn’t have my husband or my children or my wonderful friends.

I wouldn’t be the parent I am today, and THAT is what I am most proud of. That is what I live for. That is who I am.

But what if?

Lucky  pulled me up by my hands and stood close, too much for my personal space. But it was overwhelming in such a seductive way that I could hardly move away. He put a hand on my cheek and smiled. Then he put his face close to mine and whispered in my ear “I can give you anything you want. Anything you desire.”

Then his lips brushed mine and my head filled with images too enticing, too personal and dangerous to imagine.  Despite what my mind said my body ached with want for his. “Beautiful Juliette. You’re one of mine, a creature of the dark, a creature of carnal pleasures and power. You are a hunter. You’re an alpha. You are belong to me.” A hand went around my waist and pulled me close.

“No.” I growled and pushed back, clearing my brain and my very heart and soul of his filth and decay. “Leave me alone Lucky.”

He put out both his hands as if I would take them. “I offer you the world and you refuse?”

“Your price will always be too high. I refuse you and everything you represent.”

He gave me a grim all-knowing smile. “Then you refuse your own nature.”

The desire for him once more swept over me and once again I stepped back, a growl in my throat, fangs barred, feeling slightly out of control, but in more control than I’d ever been in my life.

“You can never have what I have and I will never let you take it from me,” I told him, clear and steady.

“I made your kind what you are. I made you. I own you Juliette.”

“Screw you asshole. You don’t own anything in my world. Not my family, not my friends, not me. Not now, not ever. So get the fuck out of my face and go back to your cesspool and rot.” Actually I didn’t say that to him. I just thought it. I always think things like that but I don’t say them.

This is what I did say. “You might have fooled yourself into thinking you had a hand in our evolution but you are wrong.  I am a creature of nature and of the earth. I am the light of the moon and a child of the night. All hours are the hours of the earth. All hours are the hours of love. You cannot tempt me, for you know not MY true nature. My heart and souls are my own.”

Lucky smirked at me in a nasty sort of snarky way. “What if I told you your husband made an agreement with me?”

I glared at him. “I’d say you were a liar. My husband is the most self-righteous morally superior Vampire that ever existed, not to mention he has the lowest tolerance for your kind of bullshit I’ve ever seen.”

He stepped closer to me again. I could feel him trying to draw me in again. He tried again to wrap my very being up in a knot of want and desire. “Juliette I could give your children charmed lives. They’d never have to fear. They’d never suffer from loss or broken hearts. You’d never had to deal with issues of teen depression or self-harm, be it through cuts or sex or drugs or hunting for the wrong types. They’d be safe and secure at the top of the food chain for eternity.”

“No. The answer will always be NO. Go back to Hell and leave me and all of those I love alone.”

He stepped back and ran a hand through his hair. “Well then. I believe we’re done for today, since you only want to throw insults at my offers of friendship.”

And he vanished with a blazing burst of hot air that almost singed my hair. The Vampire lover I had once known had vanished as well.

It took me a full 45 minutes to catch my breath and stop shaking.

What if? That is a loaded question. But what if you had “what iffed?”

We’re not time travelers so we can’t go back. Only forward, staying true to who we are and what we are. We don’t regret the lessons we learn from.

The lessons we can teach ourselves and are children are many, but the most important for now, at least for me are:

  • Stay true to yourself
  • Do no harm to yourself or others
  • Take the high road
  • Don’t let others drag you down
  • Believe in yourself
  • Protect those you love
  • If it sounds too good to be true walk away
  • Don’t make deals with the Devil
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Have no regrets

Talk to your kids and listen to them, but also teach them well, that there are those who seem good and things that will seduce and harm. Life can be scary, be prepared and be smart.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

strangereyes

Life gives us options (and it’s not just about you)

I received a weird email from someone asking if I’d re-post a blog article called “Seven Reasons not to Have Kids.” OK folks, this IS first and foremost a parenting blog (I’m a little different, but I’m a mom and that is my blogging viewpoint).  It is none of my business whether you want kids or not. I don’t care – I just care that you are happy with your choices and live a well-adjusted responsible life.

But that said, it got me thinking about how rabid and opinionated people can be when it comes to viewing the life choices others make. I’m amazed at how threatened others can be about the life choices of others.

If someone writes a blog about having only one child,  insecure mother’s with multiple kids (I’m talking 6 or more) get rabid and start posting hate mail. I just want to say “This isn’t about you. It is about families with only one child.” I use this as an example because I recently read an article called “What NOT to say to a parent with one child.” I thought it was a very well written article about how rude people can be to parents with only one child or only children –  but oh the mean-spirited comments. What is wrong with people? Like I said “It isn’t about YOU.”

Same goes with large families – don’t go after good mom’s with lots of kids. Big families are fun. Little families are fun. All good parents have fun families. It doesn’t matter how many kids you have (or don’t have) as long as it works for you. Now cats are another matter…but that’s another blog posting.

Then there are the young vs old moms. Give me a f***ing break, it doesn’t matter how old you were when you gave birth. Nobody cares as long as you’re a good parent. Just shut the F up about it. Our kids don’t need to hear it. Of course being a Vampire, most of us ARE MUCH older when we start our families (I was 135). But this all applies to ALL parents not just those of us who are a little different (and don’t get me started on the Werewolf mom’s – they need all the support they can get).

Just like articles about being happy and single. I was happy when I was single and remember people who worried about my state of singleness. Now I’m married and happy. But I have friends who are single and happy and I’m happy for them. Don’t marry some ill suited bore or someone you don’t connect with because society says you have to be married. Screw society. I’m happy for you – so you be happy for you too!

Nobody should ever give in to the pressures of society to be something they ARE NOT.

 

Don’t have kids because your mother-in-law demands a grandchild. Don’t have children because your friends are pressuring you. Don’t have them because you think he’ll stay with you (the worst reason of all). Have children because you want to be a parent (with all the good and bad that involves). If you don’t want them – don’t have them and don’t let anyone pressure you into it.

  • Not everyone wants to have kids or should have kids
  • Not everyone wants to be married.
  • Not everyone wants to be single.
  • Not everyone wants to do what everyone else is doing.

I have the attention span of a gnat (ask my husband and close friends) but I will always try to see differing opinions and know that ALL FAMILIES ARE DIFFERENT.

When my children were small and starting school that was something I told them over and over and over. ALL FAMILIES ARE DIFFERENT.

A family can be people related to each other. It can be a mom and a dad and a child, it can be two moms or two dads, it can be a group of single friends with no children, it can be grandparents living with their children and grandchildren and aunts and uncles. It can be anything you want it to be. Family is a group of people who love each other and care for each other. It can be a group of two or a group of twenty. It’s your family. We’re all different.

Let’s say it again…all together…ALL FAMILIES ARE DIFFERENT. As long as there is love and caring and joy it’s all good and reason to celebrate.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Oh that I could write something deep and meaningful …

Oh that I could write something deep and meaningful and literary that would end up on the best seller list or on college reading lists, but most people wouldn’t read any of it because it would be too deep and meaningful and literary…

Read Martha Grimes’ Foul Matter – one of the most brilliant books every written.

I have deep things and deeper stories but it is so much easier to just write of every day life. Besides, deep meanings and angst are written by those much younger than I am.

I appreciate the humor of teens. I appreciate the way dogs don’t understand time and make me laugh. I appreciate the way my husband holds his hand out to take mine when I walk by him. I appreciate the way my kids do new things every single day.

What ifs are always looming in the background like werewolves, vampire hunters and ghosts. No wonder A Christmas Carol was so popular. We are all haunted by our own ghosts – even vampires (who do not live forever).

We make our choices with the tools we have. Sometimes we have crappy tools, but you know, we make it work.

If I knew back then what I know today I could have changed the course of time, but sometimes wisdom comes too later, but more often than not it comes exactly at the right time.