Seeing Beyond Yourself

When your children go out into the world there are traits they’ll need to be successful, even if they’re Vampires.

Compassion and seeing beyond your own single mindedness is something that our world lacks. It is also something our children can make up for, and make their future brighter.

You can be the smartest person in the world but if you can’t see traits and qualities in other that you don’t have then you aren’t that smart.

You can be rich but if you don’t give back then you’re morally poor.

You can think you know what you like, but if you’re closed minded you’ll never really know what you like.

As our children become adults they must move from the sheltered world of their childhood, that of high school and their parent’s home, and see beyond themselves.

Your assignment for today, as a parent, grandparent, or anyone with a young person in your life: Talk with your young person about the big wide world. Talk to them about compassion and making a difference. It is a big world, but even a small bit of compassion will go a long way and make a big difference. How have you seen beyond your world? Share that. And with any luck, your young person, in the infinite wisdom of youth will share their visions with you.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Parenting in the Land of Monsters

As parents we all have those moments that we can’t get out of our minds. Now that my children are in college I’m cautiously walking down the memory lane of their childhood.

I was driving down the freeway this morning and saw some interesting things. The first was that Stormy Daniels is going to be performing at a local strip club. This is one of those large “Gentlemen’s Clubs” that is in an industrial area far away from homes or schools. I hear the place is popular with a certain groups in the local high tech companies but that is another blog post. That has nothing to do with this post except I thought it was interesting. Read on.

I also passed the sign to the Curragh Downs subdivision in Fair Oaks, California. This is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in my neck of the woods. The houses are large and often with a view. The community is exclusive and gated. But I pass no judgement. A lot of nice people live there.

Yes, this has to do with parenting and children.

In November 2016 ago my daughter and I volunteered to be Election Clerks for Sacramento County. The polling place was at the Curragh Downs club house. Everything went well with the polling, as it always does. Other than the crazy old guy with dementia who always yells at the poll workers, it was a positive day.

But at the end of the night, later at night after the polls had closed, when we were counting ballots, and putting away equipment, the woman who was responsible for the club house came by to lock up. As we, the six poll workers finished our work this woman started to spew her opinions.

She gladly spewed out racial slurs and political opinions. Most of the comments were racial. All of us poll workers were clearly uncomfortable but as poll workers we could not express our opinions. For about twenty minutes this woman reveled in her personal stand-up act of self congratulatory bigotry. She was white. Then she said what she was saying was ok because her husband was Asian. WTF?

I don’t have to words to describe how upset I was. This was one time I was with my child and I could not be my best Vampire Mom. At the car I was livid. My lovely child told me that the woman was wrong and a bad person but that I should have been so upset. But I was upset. I was extremely upset.

That woman was a monster in the body of a smug middle aged woman. I don’t care that our political opinions did not match. It was the fact that she gleefully was able to share her open hate and blind ignorance.

No parent wants a positive experience about how our society works to be tarnished by some flaming asshole jerk-off entitled nasty ignorant hateful bitch. That is why I’m calling her out here and now. I don’t know her name, but I can still tell my story.

There are other childhood stories in my folder today. There was time when another mom called me to say she thought my 8th grader was cutting herself (cat scratches.) There were a few girls I thought were Satan’s spawn. Yes, there are children who act that badly (and so do their parents.) There were other things so bizarre that I wasn’t sure what to think. I’ve posted a lot of those here. Do a search – you’ll find them.

My children have returned to college. One is far away. One is still at home. They are excited about life. They are excited about being part of the big wide world.

Their father and I have taught them that there is no room for hate, racism, or other bigotry in our world. They have learned to accept those who are different. They’ve also learned, in a lot of cases, to celebrate and appreciate those differences.

Like I’ve always told them, “The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.”

You can’t protect your children from everything, but you can talk to them about it. You can support them. You can teach them to stand up for their opinions and rights. You can teach them to defend those who cannot defend themselves.

I just wanted to call out that bitch.

That’s all.

Hug your kids. Talk with them. Love them. And if they’re 18 or older make sure they vote.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Friday the 13th: A Cosmic Adventure

And YES I run this post almost every Friday the 13th but I’ll have something new later today. In the meantime read this. It was first run about four years ago. Read it again. Share it. Learn something. Have fun!

Universe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wake with a cool hand stroking my hair. He kisses my neck and then covers my mouth with his. I pull the handsome man beside me in my bed closer. “You’re naked.”

He smiles. “I know.” And we both know the kids won’t be up for at least another 30 minutes.

Friday the 13th isn’t all that unlucky after all.

I was thinking about our conversations last night with the kids.

Voyager 1 has left the solar system. About a year ago but the signal is slow getting back to us.

My dad got his first telescope in the late 1850’s and we’ve been watching the night skies with close-up wonder ever since. There is something about being a small dot in a large universe that brings on such a sense of awe and wonder that can’t be explained away by reason or logic. And it is great fun! FUN.

And the speculation continues on what is out there, if anything. I’ve always thought it would be very sad indeed if we were the only planet with intelligent life. I’d like to think there would be more advanced places where every single day didn’t seem like Friday the 13th and ignorance wasn’t King.

So now we just wait for someone from another planet to find the Voyager. I’m hoping it will be sooner or later. I can imagine one of them saying “Hey, they have Chuck Barry too!” How cool would that be. And don’t say it couldn’t be because we have so much to learn – there is so much we don’t know about our neighborhood and the universe we live in.

There was a long discussion about space with my husband and kids. That is one thing the Voyager has done – made people think and talk about stuff. Space, the universe, our roles in it, the idea that someone else is out there… good stuff.

I have to say there is nothing sexier than a man who spends a couple of hours talking with his kids about stuff like space and life and imagination and wonder – or anything.

Finding real life in Space, life we could communicate with would be literally earth shattering, or more human shattering.

I’ve imagined if they knew Vampires and Werewolves were real. Just imagine if someone from another planet dropped by for a visit. It is mind-boggling. It is exciting beyond belief.

Then one of the kids brought up the proposed Mars trip. Those who went would volunteer to never come back.

That would be difficult to leave our home forever. There is an attachment we have that tugs us and keeps us here, like an emotional gravity.

If you die in space will your body rot? Not unless there is bacteria. But I could be wrong.

We can’t breathe the little atmosphere on Mars. It is colder than cold. It is a harsh planet, but then again so is ours – thanks to humans.

But imagine going to live on Mars. How cool is that? It is the stuff of dreams – the ultimate dream. The dreams the cumulate in the reality of great science fiction books and films.

We talked about Vampires in space. That might be a logistical nightmare considering our unique dietary needs. It certainly would be a nightmare for our fellow space travelers.

Is there life on Mars? You can Count on it!

Is there life on Mars? You can Count on it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need to keep our dreams and work on making them a reality. Dreams of home and dreams of places far away in space.

After the kids went to bed my husband Teddy said “I sometimes feel as if I’m an alien on my own planet.”

“You’re completely normal, for a Vampire. That’s why I fell in love with you.”

“There is nothing normal about us my love.”

Well, I thought, nothing is normal except our kids, thank goodness, but they’re our kind of normal which isn’t a bad thing.

Some random thoughts on Friday the 13th:

  • It is Friday the 13th of September, 2013. 9-13-13 an odd string of numbers. This blog is an odd bit of postings. Something to think about.
  • Hold out your hand and the palm reader will tell you to kiss a black cat, fall in love with a mysterious Vampire and dream of your heart’s desire tonight with 13 wishes and 13 candles blazing on the mantle and 13 kisses.
  • There is no bad luck – only good luck missed.
  • Imagine a literary cat with 13 toes and 13 lives and 13 stories to tell.
  • Yesterday was the 12th, tomorrow is the 14th, today is an odd day indeed.
  • Let us ponder the unlucky. A Werewolf with fleas. A Vampire without passion. A Ghost in an empty house. A teenager without friends. But it is Friday so the Werewolf takes a flea bath and goes on an art show. The Vampire tastes the warm blood of a passionate human. A ghost gets a house full of children. A teen meets kids who think he is really cool.

 

Favorite movies (of mine) about meeting someone from another planet:

  • Another Earth (2011)
  • Star Trek – First Contact (1996)
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth (1996)
  • District 9 (2009)
  • And every Spielberg film ever made even if it isn’t about space.
  • And just read any Ann McCaffrey book. I recommend “The Ship Who Sang” and “The Crystal Singer”.

Then anything by H.G. Wells, Issac Asimov, Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein. And of course Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat (because it is Friday the 13th) and Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

This is just a short list (since I have only spent about 20 minutes writing this post and haven’t thought it out too much). Feel free to share your favorites!

Happy Friday the 13th! Reach for the Stars! And don’t forget, even if you have to force them, talk with your kids! It’s fun – and FREE!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Proof of Life on Mars!

Proof of Life on Mars!

Letters from Juliette – tales of young love and high school

I was going to write a post on love letters tonight but my kids, especially my daughter, started to talk about kids at school and relationships and making friends, so we’re still on track, just a slightly different track.

High School has started an already the teens (Garrett age 17 and Clara age 14) are already in the full swing of things. No slow starts here – they jump right into the fire.

Their both in their rooms doing homework, with friends via iPhone and Skype.

School has always been easy for Garrett. He is charming and sweet and smart. And being as good looking as his father (the most handsome man who ever lived) he has it made more or less. My son makes straight A’s, has a huge circle of friends and has flirted with every girl he has ever met. A girl who meets Garrett will think she is beautiful for the rest of her life – because he knows that all girls are beautiful. ALL girls.

Garrett’s circle of friends, includea a somewhat large group of V-Teens. That is Vampire Teens, and yes, for those of you who might be new here I cover parenting topics with special notes on Vampire Teens (for after all this is Vampiremaman.com)

But Garrett is my romantic. I find love poems he has scrawled in the laundry, underneath couch cousins, tucked away in books and binders. Right now he is dating Ione, another Vampire Teen, but who knows how long that will last. I hope through the senior year or at least until they leave for college next fall.

Clara on the other hand only has a few Vampire kids at school her age, but that doesn’t bother her. She is quickly making a lot of friends. New names come up in every conversations. They get to know each other through what band shirts they wear, by their classes and where they sit at lunch.

And that brings us to relationships. Tonight Clara told me about a boy she can’t talk to anymore, or he can’t talk to her. His girlfriend told him not to talk to any girls she hasn’t approved. This has been going on for a year. When he tries to break up with her she lies and gets him into trouble. This poor boy is in an abusive situation and he can’t see it. I hope he tells his parents he need help, but he won’t. They rarely do.

This girl is what I call a predator. More than any Vampire ever was. She has her minions who do her bidding. She threatens and kills to get to the top of the popularity charts with all the mean girl tactics in the book. And end the end, after high school, she might stay at the top, but…

Anyway, PLEASE talk to your teen about relationships. The sooner the better. And don’t pretend you were some lily white virgin until you got married at age 36, because you were not a lily white virgin. Just like you had your heart broken, you smoked pot, you drank until you threw up, you did all sorts of things your parents didn’t know about. And most of all you had your heart broken and you were in bad relationships. You don’t have to tell your kids everything, but use your experiences to teach your own kids not to make the same mistakes.

One of the best books out there on bad relationships, a book I feel most teens should read is The Jealously Game by Mandy White. It is short, under 100 pages, and Ms White has made it available for FREE download FOREVER. She feels like it is that important, and it is. Click here for the link.

Homework is boring, it is confusing, most kids are nice, teachers are weird and stressed, and the kids are doing fine. They’re in High School. Clara was smiling, that knowing smile that girls have, when she got off of the phone with her “friend”, a boy she just met, who is good at math and helped her get through her homework. She could have asked her brother or dad or me. But she had another offer from someone else.

This afternoon traveling home from a business meeting with Nathaniel Chase.

I’ve known Nathaniel my entire life.

He is like that “Most Interesting Man in the World” character from the Dos Equis ads.  A man (in Nathaniel’s case a Vampire) who has done it all and done it with style, class and perfection. Except he is much much older but looks much much younger. And he drives me absolutely nuts.

I spoke to him of the adventures of my teens when of course he threw it back at me, way back to when I was young.

“I used to see you looking at the women who seemed to float with beauty. You wished you could be like them. You turned more heads than you thought.” He said this in his perfect voice, for all things, of course, are perfect with Nathaniel.

“That isn’t true and I had my charms.”

“You have more than your share of charm, you still do. But you wanted to be one of them.”

“For about five minutes.”

“You still want to be one of them.”

“I wrote all of their love letters for them.”

“Like Cyrano,” he said flatly, trying to be cool, but I know he was amused and surprised.

“Without the big nose. I even wrote letters to you, under a different name of course.”

“Who?”

“I’ll never tell. Oh, right, she did break your heart, if only for maybe a week or two. And there was more than one. All the girls loved you. I have no idea why.”

I was just giving him a bad time, but at least it made me smile.

Anyway, that is a story for another post, but the point is that school has started and no matter how old they get we need to keep the lines of communication open for our kids. We need to listen. We need to laugh with them. We need to talk with them about anything. More than ever now is a time to give them that sounding board for safe discussion about things that might make us uncomfortable – like love and relationships and homework.

I’ll have more on the subject of love letters later this week.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

keep-calm-we-re-teens-3