Savor the Summer. They’re growing up but they still need us.

Summer is officially here. It isn’t June 21 yet, but it is hot, summer school starts today, and I’m juggling a new season of activities. Yes, all of you parents out there, parenting does not end when your kids turn 18. It just goes into a different universe. For me that has been a nice mellow universe.

My son’s best friend Randy came over this morning. He has grown up since I started this blog from a funny skinny kid with long blonde hair and a fondness for orange plaid, to a gown man with broad shoulders, a man bun, and still a unique sense of style.

Being an adult Vampire is easy in college. Students live in close quarters. There are parties every night. The bar scene is big for the over 21 crowd. But unlike creepy Vampires in a lot of fiction, one can’t stay in college forever, even if you still look like a college student.

You never want someone to tell you “Bruce Springsteen’s song Glory Days was written about you.” Never. Believe me, you NEVER want anyone to say or even think that. Even if you’re not a Vampire you never want anyone to say that.

Randy sad down with me over coffee and we talked about his life. He is working for my brother Aaron this summer to see if he might like to work in a law office.

“I’m excited about my last year of college, but being a Vampire. Like, we’re supposed to be on top of things, but going out there in the big world, maybe to a place where there might not be a lot of us is kind of scary.”

“It can be scary,” I said. “But you won’t be alone. You’re family, you’re community, all of us are here for you.”

“I know. The worst part is not knowing if I’ll always look like I do not, or if I’ll end up aging out to my 30’s.”

“Don’t worry about it. Your parents aged out in their late twenties. I bet you will to.”

“I don’t want to look twenty-one forever. Well, twenty-two in August.”

We talked for a bit more when my son Garrett showed up with new hiking boots and a bag full of hair products. Ah, my well-rounded son.

 

I love the fact that no matter how old my children’s friends get, they will always be welcome in my home. I will always be there for them to talk, and for a hug when needed.

Nobody at any stage of life, be it Middle School, or the seasoned 457 year old Vampire knows what the future will bring. We all need support from teacher other at all stages of life. Like I’ve said before, our kids learn from us, and we can learn from them.

The key is just to be there for each other. And rather than rush to judgment, and throw them in the pool before they learn to swim, we need to let them go their own pace and test the waters, and know we’re here if they need a rope.

Summer is here. We’ll be taking some short trips to the beach and the woods. We’ll be going to the book stores and taking the dog out more. We’ll be talking a lot, and laughing, and learning, and savoring our time together until the boys have to go back for their last year of college.

Have a great week everyone, and savor your time with those you love.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

The “P” and the “V” Words. Six years of Vampire Maman.

A life with a blog and children is a life of continuous interruptions. Add in a spouse and, well, good luck with any train of thought you might ever have forever.

I just realized, today that the first post on vampiremaman.com went live on April 12, 2012.

In the beginning I didn’t know the “P” word, and the “V” word carried so much emotional weight with readers. OK I’ll admit I knew the “P” word would. That is parenting. That is something I am firmly and completely dedicated to.

The “V” word, that is “Vampires” is something completely different. At first I had readers show disbelief. There were also Vampire “experts” who felt the need to tell me that I was wrong. Excuse me? As a mom there were only two words I wished to express to those yahoos and that was “fuck you.” But like a good mom, and even a better Vampire I refrained. Several folks told me that I was going to go to Hell without so much as a Do Not Pass Go. It makes one sort of think what motivates people to search out others and tell them that? Parenting 101 will tell you to teach your kids NOT to behave like that. Since then those kinds of assholes have ceased their yammering. I know all of you who blog know the type.

But enough of that. I have been so surrounded by love and support and community that it completely warms my cold Vampire heart. Completely!

Six years ago I started the musings of a modern Vampire mom. Six years. Wow.

My blog has grown from what I thought would be a few parenting posts, and maybe a bad poem or two.

My first guest posts in May 2012 were from Marie Williams the Half Pint Historian, and Mandy White, author of The Jealousy Game (a book about relationships that I recommend to everyone.)

In the summer of 2012 I started to blog about the TV show “America’s Got Talent and Cocktails.” The comments from the Vampire peanut gallery, plus cocktail recipes from my husband Teddy proved to be fun and popular with readers. I’ve continued the series every summer since then.

It was then that I also posted “Love Poems and Letting Go”, my first post about love letters and the teenage heart.

September 2012 brought the first appearance of The Ghost. Yes, that would be Nigel. Yes, he is still around, making snarky remarks and flipping me off every single chance he gets.

In October 2012 you were introduced to Tellias and Eleora the ancient Vampires. Like a lot of my readers I was raising children and taking care of elders. It is both frustrating and rewarding to be in the middle like that.

Soon after that came the most popular post on this blog, “How to Write a Response to a Love Letter (which is more fun if it isn’t addressed to you.) On some days over half the traffic on this blog comes from that post. Since then I’ve written quite a few posts about love letters. I’ve become the Queen of Love Letters.

On August 4, 2013 I first posted the story about my brother Andy called, “Dancing on the Beach.” I need to write a book about Andy and his crazy adventures.

Sometime around then I started the regular feature “Short Story Sunday”. Every Sunday you get a new story, or a good rerun.

2014 brought “The Hunter,” and the introduction of the Austin and Elizabeth series. He is a Vampire Hunter. She is a Vampire. Yes, it is complicated.

And in December 2014 I posted the first installment of Vlad’s “Vampire Diary.”

That is just a few of the regular features. I’ve written about taking your kids to rock concerts, school, a lot about bullies, helping your kids get through rough patches, and all of those things our kids go through until they reach adulthood and leave.

Now that my kids have reached adulthood they still need me. And I still need them. You never stop being a parent.

I continue to write about Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, and others who are different.

A long running occasional feature is “What we talked about this morning on the way to school.” Today I write about this feature with a heavy heart. Too often we talked about school shootings. Since 2013 there have been over 300 school shootings in the United States. There have been at least 43 in 2018 including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida where 17 were killed, and today in Texas. I cried when I told my kids about the Sandy Hook School shooting. I still cry. It has to stop. It is happening in elementary schools, high school, and colleges. It is happening at concerts, in clubs, and you name it. The insanity needs to stop and you need to talk about it with your kids. You also need to VOTE and tell your 18+ year old kids to VOTE.

My main message here for parents always has been, and always will be TALK WITH YOUR KIDS. Don’t talk at them. Don’t lecture. Share and listen. Listen to your kids. There is a lot you can learn. Don’t shelter them. Don’t judge them. Be honest. Be firm. Be loving. Let them know that they can trust you and come to you with anything. They’re your children. There is NOTHING you need to be uncomfortable about. And even if you don’t agree with them, the least you can do is hear them out. Let them know that their opinions count. Let them also know that your opinions also count. Guide them, love them, hug them, treasure them.

And on a lighter note, this year I started the NEW feature “50 Burning Questions.” For fifty weeks, always on Saturday, I will be asking a BURNING QUESTION. On each post is a simple poll where you can check your answer. Comments and theories are encouraged. Check it out!

With almost 2,000 blog posts here there is a lot to read and something for everyone. I hope that in the next six years I’ll have another 2,000 posts to share.

Thanks for helping me make Vampiremaman.com a success.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Juliette’s List of Watch a Million Times Somewhat Romantic Movies

On one especially shitty day in 2012 when the kids and husband were busy I sat alone in the dark and watched The Hangover for the third time. I laughed out loud alone in the dark. Then I felt better. At the time it was a movie I would not let my kids watch, but boy did I feel better.

This is not a list of the most romantic, or the best romance movies. This is a list of the movies that I can see again and again and again because all of them touch something romantic and comforting inside of me. I can relate to all of them.

These are the films I can watch when I’m in a slump, or alone, or just have to get my mind out of a funk. These are movies I love that I can watch over and over and over. Of course all of these have a bit of romance in them. Most have humor as well.

Juliette’s List of Watch a Million Times Romantic Movies

  • The Hangover (2009)
  • Bridesmaids (2011)
  • Made of Honor (2008)
  • Leap Year (2010)
  • The Proposal (2009)
  • 27 Dresses (2008)
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
  • Pride & Prejudice (2005)
  • Shrek (2001)
  • Rebecca (1940)
  • Notorious (1946)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • A Walk in The Clouds (1995)

So what are your Watch A Million Times Romantic movies? Please share. Maybe there is one I haven’t seen yet.

Of course there is a list of movies that aren’t really romances, but that is another post, for another time.

But please – share your favorites. And go ahead and add The Lake House (2006) to my list while you’re at it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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Mom mom mom mom mom

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Even when your kids move out, when they’re adults, when they’re feeling independent, even when they know everything, and even when they think you’re old…they still need you. That’s a good thing. Be cool. Be in touch. Be a parent.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Real Monsters – Adults Behaving Badly

Yes, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, I’m the one with the logo that states My Mom Blogs about Vampires. 

But the key word today is MOM. 

I blog about parenting. I blog about talking to kids and communications. I blog about uncomfortable situations with kids, and difficult subjects. Today is one of those days.

I’d like to say I’m not an expert in sexual harassment, or other horrible rude things that adults do but I am. Personal experience. Decades of personal experience. I look back in disgust at too many stories from my own life.

As a mother I have told my stories to the children in my life so that they might know how to react if it happened to them.

No child should have to put up with relatives or friends who say rude things to them.

So what do you do if you have to go to a family even and you know Aunt Teetee will be telling your kids stories about your past (true or not, usually not,) or Uncle Puss telling your kids that their chosen college path will only lead to a life of low paying jobs? TALK TO YOUR KIDS before you go. In fact let your kids know that if ANYONE says anything rude or weird to them, no matter what, that they can come to you about it. Not so much to go beat the crap out of the offending adult, but in the weirdest scenarios teach your kid to laugh about it (because we all know Teetee and Puss are fucking crazy anyway) or, in the worst case you, as the parent, can do something about it.

It seems that so much has come out lately in the news, from our own elected officials saying rude things to kids about their parents (for example the children of journalists), to sexual harassment and assault accusations/charges against oh so many in the entertainment industry. To ALL working people. To all students. To people who have been SILENT about horrible things they’ve known about and never spoken up because of fear, or worse because it was not their problem.

Now is the time to have that conversation with your kids. You should have had that conversation years ago.

Need a place to start? I’ve made a handy bulleted list of things you can tell your children (and yourself.)

  • Nobody has the right to touch you unless you want them to touch you.
  • Nobody has the right to say unwanted comments about your body.
  • Nobody has the right to fat shame you.
  • Nobody has the right to sexualize you in a work situation (or any other time it is unwanted.)
  • Nobody has the right to rape you and use the excuse that it was the way you dressed.
  • You have the right to call anyone out who says things that make you uncomfortable, or makes you feel as if you are in danger.
  • Nobody has the right to bully you into sex.
  • Nobody has the right to bully you.
  • Nobody has the right to say bad things to you about your parents.
  • You have the right to say NO.
  • You have the right to tell another adult if someone makes you uncomfortable.
  • You have the right to tell someone if anyone makes unwanted sexual advances or talks dirty to you.
  • You have the right to let your voice be heard.
  • You have the right to speak up for others.

And the list goes on and on and on.

Don’t be afraid or uncomfortable. As a parent it is YOUR JOB and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to talk to your kids about these thing – open and honestly.

My hope is that the generation of young people today will say STOP the bull shit.

I look at all of the women and even men I’ve known who have been mollested, raped, sexually harassed at work. I think of all of the people who think they can be rude to children. I think about all of the bull shit we’ve had to put up with at the hands of these monsters – for indeed these people are monsters.

It is early, pre-coffee dawn. I am just venting here. But it is a vent that needs to remain open. It is something we should ALL vent about. It is something that we MUST talk to our children, male and female, about. Yes, this isn’t just an issue for women. It is an issue for everyone.

You need to teach your children from an early age what is and what is not acceptable behavior. Using sex as a weapon, or power to get sex, is not an option. It is NEVER an option.

This is the 21st Century. We should have evolved beyond this.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS. I can’t tell you this enough. 

LISTEN TO YOUR KIDS.

LOVE YOUR KIDS.

PROTECT YOUR KIDS.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

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Things that go bump…on Halloween Morning (or Life of a Modern Vampire Mom.)

In the wee hours of the morning, before the sun came up, before I’d finished my first cup of coffee my phone made that little annoying ping noise that indicates a text message.

It was my brother Aaron, the middle child, of my Vampire Family. I’m the youngest, but who’s counting. I just had my 158th birthday. Aaron is 164. Anyway, we’re young as far as Vampires go, but we’re established. We’re cool.

So I get this text.

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Aaron is an attorney with a twenty person law office housed in a 4,000 square foot downtown home he purchased in 1898.  He stood on the front porch in jeans and a flannel shirt. No suit yet. It is Halloween anyway so he could put on a beard and be a lumberjack for the rest of the day for all I knew.

He gave me a hug and a kiss on my cheek, then thanked me profusely for coming.

“Where is your Vampire Hunter?” I asked him. He has a guy named Austin he works with on occasion for removing unwanted soulless Vampires (who are not like us because as you know we have two souls and we’re not dead yet.)

“He has an early class this morning. I didn’t want to wake him. You know how they need their sleep,” said Aaron. Aside from hunting dried up Vampires, Austin teaches history at the local University. He isn’t a Vampire so I guess he needs his beauty sleep more than I do.

“You know you would have called me anyway,” I said.

“You’re so good with them Sis,” said my brother with a sparkle in his cold blue Vampire eyes.

I looked at my brother with squinty hazel eyes. “You’re afraid of them. Admit it.”

“You’re better with them than I am.”

“You’re an alpha male Vampire. I’ve seen what you can do.”

“You’re a mom.”

I give him the look. You know that look that all wives and mothers instinctively give the men in their lives. But he had a good point.

“Alright,” I said. “Show me where they are.”

As we walked inside I immediately heard the scratching and sounds of, I don’t know, snorting and just weird obnoxious noises, like when you have someone annoying in a cubicle next to you and they’re eating loudly, sucking snot, and tapping ALL DAY LONG (I have friends with that problem, not me thank goodness.”

“In my office,” said Aaron.

I walked up the stairs to his office. It was a beautiful space in a room with a round turret in the corner and original stained glass windows. Sitting at Aaron’s desk was a haggard looking Vampire with oatmeal colored skin stretched over a narrow skull, oily black hair, and red eyes. He wore a long black coat and a black baseball cap. A woman stood behind him. She was wearing some sort of weird red lace dress and a nasty looking old monkey fur coat. There was no beauty left in her sunken in face. Greenish blonde hair was piled in a sloppy bun on top of her head. Another man, with gray skin that looked like cracked leather leaned against the window sill. He wore red jeans and a tight black tee. His orange hair hung in dreadlocks down to his shoulders. Round black lensed glasses sat on his nose.

The all flashed their fangs at me and hissed. I could smell their breath. Rotted meat and cat pee. They were so nasty.

“Good morning to you too,” I said to them. “Looks like you’re all ready for Halloween.”

They hissed again.

“Get the Hell out of here or very bad things are going to happen to you.”

“Money first,” said the one sitting at Aaron’s desk.

“NOW,” I said in my strongest mom voice. “OUT.”

They all sat up with wide eyes.

Yes, they were terrifying, but hey, they are also disgusting and stupid and have no business asking for money or anything else. I knew who these three where.

“I know where you live. I know who you hang with. Come around here again and I’ll call the REAL Vampire Hunters. They’ll put stakes in your dead hearts and cut your heads off. So get the fuck out NOW.”

They stood up and slowly crept out hissing at me as they passed. I barred my own fangs, which were longer and whiter than theirs will ever be. They jumped aside. I could feel their fear.

I never understood the whole scary horror movie Vampire thing. Sure they can scare teenagers and children, but they can’t scare a mom. Nobody can scare a mom.

“And clean up,” I yelled at them. “You look like a bunch of meth heads. No self respecting Vampire would look like you. You’re a disgrace. All three of you. You should be ashamed of yourselves. It is Vampires like you that give us a bad name.”

Then I pulled the female aside. “Get yourself some nice clothes. See what I’m wearing. It was easy to put together and you’ll be more comfortable. I know today is Halloween, but just today. And get some moisturizer for that face. You don’t HAVE to look like crap. And you’ll eat better and feel better if you look better.”

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Vampires don’t have to dress like ghouls. It is ok to dress like girls. 

She looked at my clothes then reached out an touched my sweater. I pushed her bony hand away. “You need to go.”

I watched them file out past my brother, get on their bicycles and ride off.

“Wow. I tried for an hour to get them to leave,” said Aaron, obviously impressed. “They’re such assholes. I was afraid they’d trash the place. I don’t know how I’m going to get the stench out.”

“They’re so dead they don’t even think like adults anymore. It is like dealing with a bunch of middle school kids.”

“Wanna get coffee?”

“Sure,” I said. By then it was 5:30 a.m. and we both knew the little coffee shop around the corner would be open.

So now the only monsters I might see are the neighborhood children who are going to knock on my door tonight. I’ll pour a goblet of spiced blood, dress up the dog, and hand out candy. Oh, I have to carve my pumpkins too! I’ll post photos.

Happy Halloween.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman