November 2004

Well once again the kids didn’t surprise me. I was hoping they would because the surprise would have been expressed by displaying appreciation, respect, helpfulness, and all those other nice emotions, acts and state of being.Going back a few days because I have been very bad at recording our history lately; Nov 22 was Liz’s birthday. It was all I could do not to go all out and by her a great present. I enjoy doing that so much and sometimes I think I do it more for my own enjoyment and not the kid’s pleasure. But anyway – I got a card and a Target gift certificate so she can afford to get shampoo, razors, etc. Her living on her own is going to break my wallet. It was hard not to buy her something more, but since I have paid all her bills this last month I figured that was her present. The most recent bill was her gas and electric. She is still so young minded. Walking in the day they are going to turn the power off and expecting me to save the day; the day was saved but it is not something that is a do-able thing every day of the week. So although I paid her 100+ bills, and got her a card and gift card we still went to dinner; nothing too good for my girl even if we (meaning I) are financially drowning.

So, day before Thanksgiving Liz goes to Los Angeles, downtown Disney to be exact, to do what – basically nothing just wanted to get away with a few friends. I bit my tongue when she told me she was going. After all she is 20 – and her version of an adult so I didn’t throw in my two cents. Personally, I don’t think spending money, any money on such things is appropriate when you just had your bills paid by another. She could have offered the money back to me, or simply just kept it to ensure she would have enough to pay her up and coming bills. But that is thinking like a “real” adult.

Liz was supposed to come over when she arrived back in town. The day before Thanksgiving and a lot of cooking needed to be done. Some of it was her job, well one thing, the ambrosia. She is the only one that eats it and “really really really really” wants to have it at dinner. At midnight I call her.

“Where are you?”

“Mom I am sleeping” she replied.

“Liz you were supposed to come over when you got back to town.”

I heard some ruffling sounds like she was getting positioned in bed, ” MOM!!! it’s not a big deal I will do it in the morning.”

What was there to say, “What time will you be here to help?” “In the morning Mom, geeez.”

We ended the lovely phone call on that note.

So Thanksgiving Day arrived and back into the kitchen I go. I called Liz about 11:00 – by no means early.

“What time are you coming over?”

“Mom, I am tired.”

“Liz are you planning on helping?”

*growl*” Mom, it is just ambrosia I don’t need it, but why can’t you make it?”




“Ok, Liz I will make it. So what time are you coming over to help?”

“Mom I am really tired I will be over later to help.”

End of call.

Needless to say I was irritated. She’s a good kid but she resides in that selfish state. I know kids are selfish during their growing up process it is just always so difficult when you are faced with it day after day.

So here I am in the kitchen slaving away. Jake comes in does a few little things to help and then asks if he could go to his friend’s house for a bit. Of course I say yes. Jeff comes in and is in a foul mood because Thanksgiving dinner will come and go without him home. He has to work and how unfair it is that we do not wait for him. Jeff is in that state of “no one really loves me”- I know he thinks that with very intense feelings. It is hard to feel loved when you drink, drink and drink some more so much so that the only interaction we have is “STOP DRINKING”. Anyway, Jeff goes off to work – Jakes goes to his friends – and Liz is sleeping. Does this sound like a family togetherness moment?

Geoff comes in to help with the peeling of vegetables, but I am so annoyed there is no great fun in doing that together. In fact the days leading up to Thanksgiving were horrid and it truly showed in all my actions and words.

So, now it is about 2:30 p.m. and Liz wanders in. I am annoyed she has an attitude and I ask her to do something in the kitchen. Oh my god you would have thought I asked her for her first born child (when she has one). Her attitude worsened and that is just about the entire day in a nut shell.

I told myself before Thanksgiving arrived that I didn’t want to cook this year. I told all of them as well. But oh no – Mom has to cook. It’s mom’s job. It isn’t Thanksgiving if Mom doesn’t cook. What is thanksgiving if Mom is in the kitchen pretty much alone? What is thanksgiving if everyone just stops over to eat and then leaves? What is thanksgiving when no one is thankful for anything but expecting everything?

I swear next year I am not cooking! (Ok I might take that back because *I* love the dinner and I cook it wonderfully).

I love my kids – I do….I just believe they are the most spoiled creatures on the face of the earth and I think they have pushed me to the breaking point. They will now learn what it is to go without. I don’t care if that is going without on holidays or everyday things. They are old enough at 20, 18, and 16 to make it without the world being handed to them. Aren’t they?

So pardon my fugly state of mind – Sometimes there is no dodging the fug!!

fug·ly ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fgl)

adj. fug·li·er, fug·li·est

Vulgar Slang. Very ugly.


It’s heart wrenching to see your children (adult children) at odds. Jeff and Jake came home from Basslake yesterday. I wasn’t pleased as I wanted Jeff away from the entire New Years party scene. Jeff stated he came home to take care of the physical, hair cut, etc that the P.O. indicated he had to complete before January 5th.Everything was going fine until Liz opened her mouth. Jeff was talking about what he needed to get done (mind you he’s been home for three hours and he is still sober!!); actually appearing in a decent and friendly mood as well. Liz made a commented to the effect, ” Well when you go into the Marines you can pay Mom all that money you owe her for being stupid – DUI *stupid look*” Jeff immediately went off stating it was not Liz’ concern. THey started trading digs, “You are never going to be anything.” Back and forth and all I could think to myself was “What does this have to with the two of them.”- I told Liz to mind her own business and there was no need to upset Jeff over things that were already discussed between Jeff and the person involed; that being Geoff. Of couse they never let anything go and continued with – you – no you – you- no you. It is almost sad to see two young adults acting like they are three and four years old.

Ulitimately I told Liz to go home as she was not able to let go of making Jeff feel bad. I agree with Liz to an extent. Jeff needs to know what he does and has done effected all of us. Jeff needs to know that his fuck ups are costly and when I come to the rescue someone else goes without. However, Liz is not the person that should do that. Especially when Jeff’s on the right road; at least at the moment. Jeff is home to take care of what he needs to for the court to terminate his probation. He left the lake and the activity so enjoyed of laying around to be responsible. I think that counts for something even if it is a little something.

I think the hardest part of last night for me was when Jeff said, “Liz, I know you think I am not going to go anywhere in my life, and you are probably right. I know I am a fuck-up but I am trying to change that.” He had tears in his eyes as he was saying this. I didn’t interject as this was something between them. It was so difficult. Jeff went on to say, ” I know you are doing something with your life and I am glad. I love you and all but….” then he cried and went to his room.

When Liz left Jeff came out all pissed off. He stated that he hated her and she lives to make him feel like crap. I didn’t try to defend either of them. I just listened. I told Jeff I would talk to Liz about not butting in. Jeff was upset. He continued to say he hated her but loved her. He went on to say that there have been lots of times that he knew something about her boyfriend; what he was doing; lies around her, etc but didn’t tell her because he didn’t want to hurt her. Right before he left the room he said, “Mom, does she hate me that much she has to remind me that I am nothing.”

Isn’t this just heart breaking? *sigh*

Since Jeff’s been off work I notice his drinking as picked up again. I just cringe when he walks in the house in the wee hours of the morning. Granted he isn’t falling down drunk like he use to be, but does that really make a difference? Drinking is drinking and with all that has happened already – the DUI, the citation for minor purchasing alcohol – you would think he would just be done with that stuff.I asked him when he is going back to work and he indicated he needed to get a doctor’s note to release him. A simple foot injury has set him back. He had been drinking less, and some days not at all. I can’t say he was more responsible, but I think he was more disciplined, at least in regard to work, schedule, etc.I guess time will tell what will happen next. I know I can’t change it. I know from experience with Jeff’s father, Neil, that all the crying, ranting and raving, screaming, begging and pleading will not end this cycle of drunk, sober, drunk sober, etc.I have decided not to assist Jeff should he find himself in trouble with law enforcement. That doesn’t mean I won’t be a supportive mother; of course I will. However, I won’t bail him out, or hire an attorney, or anything that makes the legal matter easier for him. If he does get in trouble due to alcohol or something related to alcohol he is just going to have to weather the storm.

I do believe tough love is more difficult on the parent administering it than the child receiving it – or is it?

It’s an odd and very scary feeling when you have to think of your youngest, the baby so to speak, asking to drive out of town. It’s strange to be more worried this time, with this kid, more so than I was with the other two. Maybe because he is “the baby.” – I really don’t know why it is different; an internal difference at least to me.I was worried when the oldest wanted to drive out of town. I remember telling Liz when she first asked she had to be driving at least a year until she would be given the privilege of driving out of town. I stuck to that.

I was worried when the middle child wanted to drive out of town. I remember telling Jeff when he first asked he had to be driving at least a year until he would be given that privilege. I lasted about 8 or 9 months.

I am worried now that my baby wants to drive out of town. I remember telling Jake when he first asked he had to be driving at least a year. He got his license late July/early August (my memory isn’t the greatest) – and already he wants to drive out of town. I told him I would think about it but don’t count on it.

I talked to Geoff about it last weekend and asked what he thought. He said if the car is mechanically sound (it was going in for the routine oil change) we would talk about it. So the car is sound so now what? What’s there to talk about – my baby wants to drive out of town!!!!

I talked to Liz today just asking what she thought. The oldest child doesn’t have the authority to make this decision, but she has driven with him much more than I have, and has allowed him to drive on trips they went on together “out of town” – Liz said Jake was a good driver – she went so far as to say, “Mom, he might even be a better driver than me – not like Jeff all crazy. You shouldn’t worry.”

But worry I do. Worry about the fog, if there will be snow, what if it rains, what if he tries to pass a car on the highway and it goes bad, what about this, think about that, etc ..etc..

You would think I would just say NO – but here I sit wondering if I should let Jake drive out of town; 3 hour drive to the lake to spend the weekend with his father and grandparents.

Maybe I am just a worry type of person. Maybe I just don’t want to give this last one, my baby, that much freedom.

I just don’t know

Today in conversation Geoff stated that Jeff discussed a few issues with him last night. I need to digress or I will forget why Geoff and Jeff had the opportunity to be alone and actually talk without Jeff trying to upset me.Seems that Jeff enjoys getting under my skin; he’s a very very wicked 18 yr old. I say wicked and I don’t mean evil. I mean he just likes to instigate problems, but in a kidding way. Mostly just with good ol’ mom.So, Jeff called last night at almost 1 a.m., and yes, you guessed it he was intoxicated, not plastered but feeling good (well according to him). So Geoff offered to go get him. Was nice of him as I would have gone out, but he has very much stepped up to the plate and taken on all the father responsibilities. Anyway, Geoff picked up an intoxicated Jeff and I thought that was all.

Today, Geoff told me that Jeff asked if Geoff would take off December 8 as Jeff has to go to court for a ticket. Normally I would say “It’s just a ticket” but this isn’t an ordinary ticket. Jeff attempted to purchase alcohol and was caught as the liquor store was under surveillance for selling alcohol to minors. In any case, Jeff’s a minor and **boom** he was busted. Of course what makes this worse is that it comes on the skirt tail of his DUI. He is on 3 years probation and this citation places him in violation of probation.

Geoff of course said he would go with him. Jeff went on to tell Geoff that he is understands that Geoff isn’t his father but understands he has taken on teh father role. Further, Jeff stated “I need to get out of this town.” I guess Jeff said that this place is not good for him and he really wants to get his probation terminated to follow through with his plans of enlisting into the Marines.

Jeff made reference to me and indicated he knew I would worry about him in the Marines but needed to go. I guess what I got from that conversation between Geoff and Jeff is that Jeff opens up to Geoff more so when I am not around. Yes, he was intoxicated so it might have been more like “I love you man” but it wasn’t. It was just a fatherly figure having (maybe just listening) to a son.

Jeff’s doing better with drinking but by no means have I fooled myself into believing he has learned his lesson. I know he will continue to drink until such time as he realizes it isn’t the best thing since sliced bread.

It’s nice to feel that the kids really know that Geoff is there for them. I know in my heart they know it, but it is nice to see it occasionally as well.

For Geoff – thank you for being a very good fatherly figure for the kids. It’s difficult as you came into my life at a time most difficult for the kids. Years later they finally express their feelings for you and acknowledge you as part of OUR family.

Difficult times for us – yes, but we have each other and that is more than some have.