Short Story Sunday: The Changeling (my favorite Mother’s Day story)

The Changeling

I’ll always remember what my preschool teacher said at lunch and snack times. “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” My parents lived by that. I’m surprised they didn’t both tattoo it on their foreheads.

Sometimes parents will notice their lovely happy babies will suddenly seem to change. Well they have changed. Your baby has been replaced by a crying, unhappy, grouchy, nasty, Goblin Changeling. Congratulations.

Sometimes the horrible Changelings are left to die on the doorsteps of churches, or locked in attics. Usually the real babies are brought back. Fairies and others help out. More often or not ransoms are paid. A mother might pay with her beauty. A father might pay with his strength. It could be anything depending on the mood of the Goblins.

In my case the Goblins dropped me into the home of someone who seemed oblivious to my nastiness.

I spend my entire childhood treating my parents like crap and tormenting my little brother Trevor. My brother hated me but he should have loved me. Without me Trevor would have been one of those sensitive pantywaist boys who lets people walk all over him. I made him tough. I made him stand up for himself. He should have thanked me for it.

I have no idea why my parents put up with me. The only reason I wasn’t expelled from every school I attended is because I always made straight A’s. Sure I caused a lot of tears but I kept the schoolyard in line. My minions kept close while I doled out punishments fitting crimes of weakness. As for lies… I was the number one princess of lies, and adults never knew what was going on. They alwaysbelieved me.

Sure there were more times I could count that I had my mom in tears, but hey, that is what you get for accepting a Goblin Changeling. She could have dumped me in foster care or sent me off to some farm of a distant relative. People suggested boarding schools, drugs and shock treatments. She just told them that they could never understand that I was different and unique in ways that nobody could ever understand.

At one time my parents sent me to counseling. I told Dr. Cray everything she wanted to hear. The good doctor said I was a well-adjusted and brilliant child. She said I was mature for my age hence others not understanding me. Boy did I have it pulled over her eyes.

Anyway, Trevor and I grew up and went out on our own. I met a few other Changelings and even married one.

We’re one of those successful power couples. He’s the CEO of a billion dollar software company. I’m an attorney and the biggest asshole out there, and proud of it. Beauty and brains and no morals what so ever. Justice for all.

As soon as I found out my future husband Blake was an over the top arrogant, self-centered SOB I fell in love with him. He loved me back as only a Goblin Changeling can love another Goblin Changeling.

I remember a day when a woman approached me. This should have been one of those turning points where I changed my heart and became a good person. I recognized her because I’d gone to school with her.

She said, “You were a bully. A mean horrible bully. You ruined lives.”

I just glared at her and said, “You should have learned from your bad experience. Instead you made the choice to be a loser.”

I’m like that. I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I don’t care if they said I mean to my parents and twice as horrible to my brother. Tell me something I don’t know.

So on Mother’s Day I showed up at my parents with my husband. The hubby joined my dad in the back at the grill. Trevor and his wife Emily were in the kitchen with my mom. I put the vase of yellow roses I’d brought for my mom down on breakfast nook table and gave my mother a rare kiss.

Trevor glared at me. Emily looked uncomfortable.

“I have good news Katie,” said my mom. “Trevor and Emily are going to have a baby.”

“How about that Trevor, you aren’t dickless after all. Well congratulations.”

“Why did you have to say that Katie. Why are you so horrible all the time,” said the lovely Emily.

“I’m just like that Em. Well, I also have news. I’m pregnant too,” I said.

Trevor got right into my face. “You always have to try to upstage me Katie. I don’t care if you are having a baby. Your child will NEVER be allowed to be with mine. NEVER.”

“You know baby brother, if it wasn’t for me you’d never be with Emily. Why do you think all of those other bitch girlfriends of yours dumped you before you ended up with her? I was looking out for you asshole. I was also the reason you have your dream job. So screw you Trevor. I hope your kid is ugly and stupid.”

My mom should have looked shocked but she was used to me telling off Trevor. I was pissed and went into the living room. Mom followed.

She put her hand on my arm, then took it off as I tensed up. “Are you happy about your baby Katie?”

“Sure. It will be fun.” Then I looked into her blue eyes and suddenly I wanted to cry. I mean, like, my eyes started to sting and water up. “You’re amazing mom. Why did you put up with me all these years?”

“Because I knew nobody else would take you. My own baby had passed on. My little angel had never been right. The Goblins had scheduled a drop off not knowing there was no baby for them to take home. They just left you. Even Goblins don’t want their Changelings. What was your dad and I to do?”

“But mom, you knew?”

“Always.”

“So why’d you keep me?”

“Remember that horrible cat Billy we used to have.”

I remembered Billy. He was worse than I was. He’d hiss at everyone. He’d growl when you’d feed him. No act of kindness was rewarded. Billy was nuts. Damn, he was the Devil’s own cat.

My mom continued. “We kept Billy because if we’d given him up he would have died. Nobody else would have understood. He would have been put down. It was the same with you.”

“I loved that cat,” I told my mom.

“I know you did Katie,” said my mom.

She put her arm around me. “Let’s go back to the others Katie. And do me a favor. Try to be nice to Trevor. Just for today.”

“Sure. I love you mom.”

“Love you too Katie. More than you’ll ever know.”

“When I’m a mom I want to be just like you.”

We joined the rest of the family around the grill, all smiles and making nice. All the while I was thinking of ways to torture my brother and get even on the rest of the universe.

Life is good. Well, at least it is for me.

 

~ end

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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

 

 

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2013 New Year’s Resolutions for Parents

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I’m ending the year with resolutions, not just for my family but resolutions I hope all parents try to follow.

There are three words we should say to our kids every single day: I love you.

Three additional words we should always keep in mind: Love, Listen, Learn.

So with that note, here are my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions for Parents

Resolutions for ALL Parents:

  • Listen to your children with an open mind and an open heart.
  • Guide your children with wisdom and respect rather than force.
  • Talk to your kids. I’ll say it again TALK to your kids. Not AT your kids but TO your kids. This means conversations – yes, actual conversations. Talk WITH them.
  • Every single day ask your child/teen “How was your day?” and don’t take “OK”, “Fine” or any sort of grunt for an answer. Make your kid answer you in at least 25 words.
  • Don’t use your child as a tool to hurt your former spouse or other family member. If you need to CONTROL your situation or hurt someone keep CHILDREN out of it. Get professional help for your control and anger issues. No child deserves to be used as a tool of hurt.
  • Laugh with your child.
  • Know who your child is hanging out with. Start this early so by the time your kid is a teen he’ll know who is a good friend and who is not.
  • Teach your child that it is an honor to care about others.
  • Teach your child to love animals. That doesn’t mean you have to have 347 cats, a rabbit, a pony and 34 dogs. It means that creatures (even those we eat) should be respected and cared for.
  • Don’t dress your kid funny.

Resolutions for YOU:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Don’t worry about those “super moms” who volunteer 60 hours every week at school, make organic gluten free cupcakes that would put Martha Stewart to shame, go to all the latest parenting classes, are into all the latest health and nutrition trends, have kids who are perfect etc etc etc. What to know a secret? They aren’t perfect. They might be control freaks, or bored or just plain annoying to the rest of us who ARE GOOD PARENTS. Every family is different and we all have different parenting styles. Don’t compare yourself to anybody else.
  • Get your nails done (HA HA HA. Maybe twice a year for me if I’m lucky. I wish but it keeps slipping off of my radar).

Resolutions for Vampire Parents:

  • Teach your children to accept themselves for what they are.
  • Teach your children to be responsible for what they are.
  • Teach them the history and lore.
  • Teach them the difference between popular culture and reality.
  • Tell them NOT to try to read their teacher’s mind. Come on now kids, school is for learning and learning to learn. Don’t use your Vampire abilities to get into the minds of others to get good grades. You need to get those grades on your own.

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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.