Thought so…

I was my mail box and overheard two men walking by.

Guy 1: Look at all those chickens.

About a second passes.

Guy 2: Did I hear you say chickens?

Guy 1: Oh. I meant turkeys.

Guy 2: Thought so.

Laughing.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

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College Life – What I learn from my child

One thing I LOVE about having a child in college is that I learn almost everything my child learns (except the math.)

Ever since Clara, was a preschooler she has always told her dad and I all about what she learned in school. Even when she went on field trips she’d repeat to us what the park rangers, or museum docent said.

Yesterday afternoon she told me about her new political science class (second semester of college started this week.) I learned about the instructor (he used to be a spy, and has two kids.) I learned about how he runs a classroom (no immaturity allowed – he will drop kids who don’t act mature.) I learned what the students will be learning. My child and I talked for about an hour about the two-hour class she’d just finished.

Like I said, this isn’t something new. During the fall semester I learned all about religion, our environment, weird fellow students, art, history, philosophy, and everything except math and Spanish. I did learn all about the math and Spanish classes – the teachers and the fellow students.

I learned who put out tables on campus – mostly political and religious groups. I learned about blood drives, especially after the Las Vegas shooting.

Now the second semester is starting. I’m looking forward to learning about the US Government and Marine Biology.

I’m looking forward to hearing my child’s nightly observations and insights.

I’m looking forward to hearing the passion in her voice.

She knows her parents will actively listen too.

Clara told me that if she tells someone else what she learns it will help her retain the information. True.

My child isn’t one of those brainiacs who always got straight A’s and was wooed by Stanford University or Ivy League schools. But she is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.

It isn’t advanced math that will make her go far. She has passion. She has communication skills. Yes, people skills. She listens. She observes. She evaluates. She relates. She sees learning as an active life long skill.

She is my child and I am amazed every single day.

She is also hilariously funny.

Over the years I’ve posted “What we talked about this morning on the way to school” posts. I’ll have to start doing that again. She has her own car now, but we still talk before and after school.

When she leaves for the big university we’ll still talk.

If you get one thing out of this parenting blog THIS is it: Talk with your kids. Listen to your kids. LISTEN. Encourage them to talk to you and with you. Hear their thoughts and ideas. The more you listen the more they’ll want to talk to you.

And you’ll say, “Life is good.”

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

By the way we also talk about pets, music, people we know, fashion, beauty products, the weather, movies, Netflix, cat and possum memes, and other daily stuff… but that is another blog post.

 

 

 

 

Rosemary and Lemon…and Vampires

A lot of Vampires love the smell of rosemary and lemons because it reminds them of being warm and in the light.

In fits of melancholy they are drawn to the past. Alone they fill bowls with herbs and fruit, then sleep until someone texts them or until the night calls.

I bet you didn’t know that.

Just like with regular humans the people of the shadows have days where they can’t seem to bring it all together.

Then the stars come out, it starts to rain, a song comes on the radio that brings up the spirit. A friend reaches out a cold long fingered hand and pulls you into an embrace and you know you aren’t alone.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Conversations on art, love and little things…

Last night I had the surprise of having three of my four brothers over for a visit. It was one of those unexpected pleasures that I never seem to get enough of. We sat on the deck in the cool night air and talked all night, as siblings do. Mostly about little things – for it is the little things that make up most of our lives.

In the cool evenings I don’t want to talk of issues or strife or try to solve the problems of the World. My brain is full and my head will explode. I’m tired and just don’t want to put in the effort.

The working part of my brain has turned off all work and now are only concentrating on family and fun. Of course art. My brain is always working on art.

I think of art I will never create or I think about just art and how everything looks. I think of shapes and colors and patterns. I think of shadows. I think of the path of the eye and proportions of nature.  I don’t think hard on it because it is always there.

Art is always there like my brothers.

They, my brothers are like different paintings, collaborative efforts from my parents but while they all have the same style they are all very different. The tone and subject are different. The tone is definitely different.

Over the years we’ve lived close and far apart, both physically and emotionally. Now four of us have migrated close both physically and emotionally. Within a hundred miles physically and within understanding range emotionally.

Our brother Andrew (the 2nd of 5 siblings) is in Patagonia right now, brooding over yet another woman and trying to sort out his heart with endless nights listening to the relentless howling of the wind and writing music that will never be heard. Andy is like that. Brooding. I miss him and so do my kids.

Men like my brothers (Vampires), tend to brood, except for Val. Valentine, the youngest of my brothers is almost completely devoid of the brooding gene.  He is like the moon that shines bright and glows in our nocturnal world.

In 10 years our parents produced a good sized brood of 4 boys and a girl. Max, Andrew, Aaron, Valentine and Juliette. We thrived in ways my parents could never imagine, children of the first generation of the Modern Vampire Movement. We blended into several worlds happily and naturally.

So now, like any other modern family, we sit in the evening on my deck, enjoying our time together.

I looked at Max and Aaron as they spoke of what they were reading, both with their dark hair and eyes rimmed with lashes that would make any woman swoon (and feel envy).

Val and I, who have slightly lighter brown hair and hazel eyes (unfortunately not the lashes) talked about mutual friends and made plans for our next night out hunting.

My husband Teddy, who is Max’s best friend since childhood, was off on a field trip with our daughter Clara (almost 14). Our 17 year old son Garrett was inside with Verity (Aaron’s wife) doing something on the computer.

Aaron and I wondered if Max or Andrew or Val would ever find true love. My brothers wondered how I’d turned out at all. And of course we always joke with Aaron for being the most conservative and human-like of the bunch.  And so we talked into the night with bottles of wine and shots of blood and a nice place of cheese and oranges.  We spoke of things old and new. We talked about our parents and others we love.

We always wonder about our parents to never faltered and seemed to take on the universe for us. They still would if we needed them to.

Tiny bats flew above us and we could hear the raccoons and coyotes walking the fields behind the house. A cool delta breeze kept us cool. Tonight there would be no hunts, at least for us.

And like art, the love is always there as well.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

My brothers