What we’ve been talking about…

What we’re talking about… or What I’m talking about with my kids… or what they’re talking about.

This is aptly named because my teens talk a lot.

From the mouths of babes: Why are there so many school shootings. What will happen to the girl who was shot? Will she be ok? Did you hear about the brat killing four people and not going to jail because he is spoiled rotten? More shootings? Who is Mandela? Have you ever been to Iceland? Why don’t parents trust their kids? Why don’t they raise their kids right because if they did they’d be able to trust them. Why don’t parents talk to their kids? What if I don’t get into any of the colleges I applied for? I’m going to fail math. I’m not going to wear baggy pants EVER but I don’t want to wear super tight or low cut tops all the time either. How about highlights? Why are girls so girl like? It drives me crazy. The cat has been under the wingback chair for the past 12 hours? Is she ok?

Why haven’t any of the bands we like showed up on any of the top 20 of 2013 lists or even the top 100 lists? Because the music is too smart. The artists are against auto-tuned music. Their lyrics don’t degrade women. Their lyrics and music are complex. They write their own songs. They aren’t with big labels. Most music critics have terrible taste in music.

My question is: Why aren’t any of the books we’ve read this year on any of the top lists of 2013? If I could answer that one I’d rule the world.

I can answer all of those questions (but I won’t) except two. The first is about the cat. I have no idea what she does what she does. I opened a new bag of food and she got really excited ran in and out of the house a dozen times and then ate something. Cats are weird.

About girls. At age 17 boys think they have everything figured out. That is everything except girls. Unfortunately for them, they’ll never figure that out. Not ever.

After that they just talked about school and the other kids. A lot of them are selling drugs. One girl is a young Walter White and loves chemistry. She is making and remaking all sorts of drug mixes to sell based on both legal prescription drugs and illegal drugs. As a straight A student she looks forward to going on to college and learning more advanced chemistry. The girl who does piercings in the bathroom is now by appointment only. The kid who does tattoos is getting better at his inking skills. I know it sounds nuts, but at least my children are comfortable enough with me to talk to me about these things.

A friend who has been hanging out with stoners got the ultimatum from his friends (including my kids): If you start smoking pot we’ll tell your mom AND your older siblings. Your life will be over.

Ione, my son’s girlfriend is spending a lot of time talking/skyping/texting another V boy who graduated last year. He is in college. It is a college she applied for. Garrett is worried but at the same time sort of relieved. I think the serious relationship novelty is wearing off and they just want to go back to being friends. Unfortunately the road back to friendship can be a rough back track.

Garrett’s best buddy Randy is still favoring orange pants but has recently acquired a pair of black and purple striped jeans. I’m not even sure if Randy can pull that one off, but if anyone can, it would be him.

They asked me about the Van’s Warped Tour and dates and if I want to go with them. I can get in free as a parent. I can roast in the sun. But I like most of the music so I can get a shirt that says “Best Mom Ever (I took my kid to Van’s Warped Tour). Then the conversation went to more bands that will be in town and if we can get tickets and if I can go with them. Those are indoors at night and in town – more to my liking. And for all of you parents or even aunts, uncles and friends of teens, if you haven’t taken your teen to a concert you should. It is more fun than you can imagine.

What are we doing for Christmas? We aren’t sure yet. Small and quiet I hope, but even the smallest event at my house ends up as a party with many more than we expect.

The Christmas tree fell over twice but it seems to be steady now.

On Sunday afternoon, around dusk, my kids and I took the dog to the bluff overlooking the lake near our home. Ducks skimmed over the water but we didn’t see any other creatures. We talked about school – or more my kids talked and talked and talked telling tales of High School that always sound like something out of a movie. But it isn’t out of a movie. It is their life. Our life.

After a long weekend with so many sights and sounds, I savored the quiet of the oaks and digger pines on the bluffs with my children. I love activity and people and parties and great ceremonies and all the trimmings of the season, but I love most those times when I’m just, well, just savoring the scenery and conversation.

I never know what the news will bring and how the kids will react. They’ll talk about current events in their classes. They’ll talk about it with their parents and try to make sense of it. Then they’ll talk about school and friends and the big wide world.

I’m glad they talk. I’m glad I’m here to listen.

The bluffs near our home.

The bluffs near our home.

~ Have a good week everyone,

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

What we talked about on the way to school with my teens…sad events, road trips and helping others.

What we talked about on the way to school with my teens…sad events, road trips and helping others.

On the way to school/work we always have the news on the radio in the mornings (my choice but if the story is boring or pisses me of I tell them to change to music).

Hawthorne Nevada. The explosion that killed so many Marines was tragic. I didn’t go into it, the young lives, the what if factors. It was too sad to start off the morning with. It is still too sad. My heart goes out to all of the families of those who died and to those injured.

We did discuss where Hawthorne is. We’ve driven though Hawthorne. We’ve stopped for gas. We’ve discussed the high school. What WOULD it be like to go to a high school in such an isolated place? Is it that isolated or does it just seem that way from the highway or Googlemaps?  And yes, that is relatively close to where mom got the ticket for not stopping at the stop sign after driving for 150 miles and only seeing one other car. Mom DID stop but since she had a California plate on her car she was fresh meat to the two law enforcement thugs who ticked me about a mile after the stop. Yes, the kids remember her stopping and talking about where the next highway would lead and we all laughed about the most isolated road in America and how next time we’ll think twice about blindly following directions from Googlemaps. We were all shocked to see those blue lights. Yes, I was in the right but I paid the $76 in blood money.

Had it been a B horror movie I could have gone into full Vampire mode but I had kids with me and I was tired and just wanted to get to Las Vegas before the sun came up.

I avoid going into full Vampire mode – ever. You know, just like out of a B movie. It isn’t pretty or classy. But if you are going to go into full mode the desert is a good place to do it. Don’t tell my kids I said that.

Today the Middle School students (7-8th graders) are going to volunteer at one of the larger food/clothing closets in town. Clara took 2 bags stuffed with old clothes.  Old to her but barely worn and cute and fashionable. She said that the clothes she’d help sort out the year before were ugly. She wanted the girls who came there for help to look good and feel good about themselves.

That made me think about getting girls together (boys too) and giving their old almost new or just slightly used clothing to teens who are in need. All kids need to look good. To teens fitting in means looking good and feeling good. Something to think about.  There are so many foster kids, homeless kids, and in this economy kids who live in homes where things are tight. My kids have 54,000 shirts between them (or so it seems that way) – so do their friends.  Maybe every time they buy a shirt they have to get one for someone who REALLY needs a shirt. Think about it.

I told them that I loved them, they blew me kisses. Everyone got off to school ok.

Don’t forget to talk with your kids. Make the effort and it will be the best investment you’ll ever make.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman


Click here for previous “what we talked about” post.

night drive

Take a deep breath and…just stuff

Time is of the essence around here…something rare and precious…because there are now teens in our lives. Every single moment counts. There is homework, dances, skate parties, school, more homework, sports, college applications, clubs, friends, friends, friends, music, concerts, take a deep breath…and family time.

A lot of family time is just driving around in the car between all of these events, catching up, talking about “stuff”. Stuff is the best stuff to talk with teens about because it is about everything and nothing. We solve the problems of the universe or maybe not. We get serious. We laugh. We say stupid things to make each other laugh. We just talk.

Family time for us is also night walks. Sometimes we do Vampire stuff and sometimes we don’t. And remember this “Musings of A Vampire Mom”. A very very very very busy Vampire mom who has a lot going on aside from teaching her children to be good Vampires, citizens of the world, good students and of course teaching one’s child how to live in a diverse and ever changing and insane world.

So parents and teens:

  • Turn off your phones (or at least put them down)
  • Say something silly
  • Laugh with or even at each other
  • Talk about stuff
  • Pull out your old evening clothes and get your teens to try them on. Just for kicks and grins.
  • And if you’re a Vampire (or not) go on a night walk to see the stars, the bats, maybe find a night biker with a nice neck to bite…

Just spend a few minutes together. It’s important. You’ll thank me later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

pretending with gloves