College Dazed…

“Hey Mom?”

“Hey Garrett?”

“Do you mind if I bring my easel to school?”

“No, not at all. If you don’t have room in your dorm you can drop it off at your Uncle Rod’s.”

I felt a sting in my nose and eyes, trying not to get squishy. Crap. I knew this would happen.

“Mom are you getting squishy?” He came over and put his arms around me.

“I’m sorry. It just seems like it all happened so soon.”

“I love you mom.”

I always believe my parents were more than happy to ship my brother Val and me off to college. No tears, just a lot of stern advice that we had no intention of following. One thing I can can give my parents credit for was allowing me to go to college and not worry about it making me unfit for marriage or motherhood. After all, we were a little different, and I’d like to say more advanced and enlightened than most of the general population. It was the last half of the century, the Nineteenth Century, and times were changing. Anyway, we were all but kicked out of the house and my parents packed up and moved to San Francisco leaving us on our own. But that is another story for another time.

Garrett was packing up when I stopped him and told him to sit with me a bit.

“Honey, Garrett, you’re going to be on your own. I know you think you can handle it but your dad and I won’t be able to get you out of situations, so you need to be smart. Don’t feed off of binge drinkers because you don’t want to be responsible for a medical emergency. The blood loss might make them too sick. Stay away from club drugs because you might get sick and end up throwing up all night. Stay about from anyone on prescription pain killers because they make you loopy. You know how you’re so sensitive to everything. Avoid Vampires who aren’t part of our circle. You don’t need any creepers trying to recruit you. They’re like freaking Scientology weirdos or rabid PETA people or Young Spartans or whatever the Hell all of those mind control folks that go after Regular Humans. They’ll go after you too because they don’t know what you are so you’ll get it in all directions. Believe me, they’ve come after me at one time or another. They do it to everyone. Just smile and walk away. If you have to scare them do it, but don’t let them know you’re a Vampire. You can’t be a Vegan or you’ll die so don’t get on that bandwagon. You’re first and foremost a predator. That isn’t a bad thing. Stay clear of the Vampire weirdos. They might seem interesting or exciting but they’re nothing but trouble and they’ll drag you down. They have their own cults. They will suck you in before you even know it. We went over this before but stay away from them. They’re scum. Stay away from older Vampire women. They look young and beautiful but they’ll suck you dry and try to control you. They just want to use you, especially considering who your family is. I will do serious serious deadly damage to any of them if they try to so much as run a hand through your hair. And watch for Zoe and your other female friends, keep the old Vampire bastards away from them. They come in and charm with their good looks and … just keep them away from the girls. This is your time to be young Vampires, you don’t need a bunch of old shits trying to take advantage of you.

Don’t fall in love with the first girl you meet, even if she is a Vampire. Don’t let your friends fall in love with the first person they meet either. Watch out for each other. Stay away from sugar. I know you’ll be on the coast but even on foggy days wear your sun screen and a hat. Never let anyone know you’re a Vampire. Don’t even hint at it, even if it comes up in conversation. Never show your fangs even when you’ve been drinking. And don’t drink too much. You can drink everyone under the table, sure, but eventually it will even get to you. Get enough sleep. OK. And call me or text me and let me know how you are. You can call me anytime, night or day, about anything, anytime.”

Garrett took put his arms around me and said, “Mom, I’ll be OK. Remember, you’re my mom. You raised me right. I know this stuff. I got it. OK?”

“I know, but…” I started to say.

“I love you mom.”

Even Vampires get choked up when it comes to their kids.

We packed up his car, his friend Randy’s car, their friend Zoe’s car, and two cars for the parents to drive back home in… and off we went for the weekend. We moved them in and then drove home. A few extra days, a visit with Uncle Rod, and a few stops at wineries along the way helped. I’m find, we’re all fine, or kids will be fine. We raised them right. I’m so proud and excited but it went by way too fast.

When you’re a mom you’ll always be a mom. Always. That is what I like about the job – the ultimate job. Sigh.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

1-Pacific-Coast-Highway

Comforts of Darkness

Darkness isn’t necessarily evil.

My 18 year old son Garrett has had an increasing sensitivity to light, mainly sunlight. It is expected but it is difficult.

He has a good attitude. I try to explain that it isn’t a medical problem. It is just something one has to adjust to and work around. Vampires are masters at the work around.

College starts at the end of September at a university on the coast. He requested a dorm room that faces either North or West. Randy, Garrett’s best friend will be sharing a room with him. Randy isn’t as light sensitive but he still has to be more cautious than their warm blooded friends.

I’m not worried about either one of the boys academically. They’re smart and engaged.

Their charm and sense of humor will get them through. As Vampires that guarantees they’ll never go hungry. Hey, that is important to a Vampire parent.

I seem to have spent most of my time here on earth with work-arounds. I am generally a rule follower, but rules don’t work for me. It isn’t exactly rules but more than the laws of physics and time don’t seem to apply to me at all. Electrical things don’t work for me. At the same time I can get odd things to work and nobody can figure it out. I can fix a computer or a car or figure out a mathematical equation and never know how I got there. Don’t ask me to duplicate it. Despite all of that I am good at process. Trial and error. It is like a puzzle.

When I look at most things in life as a puzzle it saves all sorts of frustrations and in the end I can usually figure it out. If not, it wasn’t worth figuring.

Relationships, whether academic, professional, or personal don’t fall into that category. When something works in that area it is more of a sort of magic.

How can one explain that old friend you don’t see for 20 years yet, when you meet again it is like yesterday? That doesn’t happen with just everyone.

Garrett and Randy will make those kinds of connections when they go off to school. There will be others of their kind there – other Vampires. They’ll all be from different backgrounds with different points of view. At all hours of the day and night they’ll talk about everything under the moon and stars. They’ll solve the problems of the world. They’ll argue and debate. They’ll laugh until their sides hurt. And there will be times when they lend a shoulder for each other to cry on. Or they’ll just silently listen.

Garrett will bring his guitar. Randy will bring his mandolin, keyboard. They’ll both bring sketchbooks and a few art supplies. Randy’s mom and I found some beautiful heavy goblets for the boys to bring along with some fireless candles. They’re Vampires, so sometimes they need something nicer than mugs and plastic red beer cups for when they splurge on a bottle of blood or don’t feel like going out and getting it direct from the source.

The college they will be attending has one of the larger Vampire populations so they’ll be in good company.

Tonight as my husband I went for a walk down by the lake we talked about being young and starting out. The sense of discovery and adventure is always grand. The first heartbreaks and disappointments sometimes seem overwhelming. Then there is the in between where it is closer to discovery and wonder, but in a calm way that sometimes even makes sense. There is hope for the future and room for dreams. It isn’t always easy, but I encourage parents not to say that too often. Let them try and feel and learn for themselves. It is scary. And I mean scary for parents.

We walked in the dark. We’re always in the dark in a way. It isn’t a bad thing.

The kids came after us, along with the dog. They told tall tales of another school, a rival school, where the big thing was girl fights. We had a full description of the fights complete with epic hair pulling and nail scratches. Then they talked of surfing at night as the cool night air came up from the bluffs off of the lake. The conversation moved to the girl at their school who does body piercings and the teen tattoo artist (who is getting really good or so we were told.) Then 15 year old Clara told Garrett that she was going to miss him when he goes off to college. He said there would be more Vampires there. She said it was going to be fun to visit him. And so it will be, if they both promise to behave – but they will. They always do.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Deep in the woods

Deep in the woods

 

Only 72 days until Halloween!