motherhood1-05.jpg     I can not recall the last time we were all together as an entire family. There are times when it is Liz, Geoff and I, or Jeff and Geoff, or Liz and Geoff, and of course Liz, Jeff and Jake, but usually it is just Jake, Geoff and I, as Jake is the only one living at home.

Yesterday, do not ask me how, Geoff, I, and yes, Jacob, went to
Santa Barbara to see Liz and Jeff. I was actually shocked that Jake agreed to go. First off, no 17 year old wants to ride in the back seat listening to their parent’s music. It helps that we listen to a lot of the same stuff, but just the same I was pleasantly surprised Jake agreed to go.

We got a late start, which all the kids had a problem with, but because Geoff needs to catch up on sleep during the weekends a late start is the best we could do. When we arrived in SB we met Liz at Jeff's home. I was shocked, if that is a strong enough word. Jeff's house is a SHIT HOLE (his words). Liz told me it use to be nice but with the constant parties, the people throwing up, and whatever goes on there it has come to look like it did in a few short months. I swear sitting down in there was difficult. At one point I needed to use the bathroom, but since there's no door and you just have to announce "I have to pee" I opted to wait until we left.

We left before Jeff got off work and took Liz grocery shopping. Liz lives about 10 minutes from Jeff and since Jeff had about another hour to work we figured we would get some errands done. While there we went into Supercuts to give Jessica a hug (Jeff's ex girlfriend who moved there to be near him only to end up hating him and he her). Jessica showed me her new tattoo and rambled and laughed with me just like the good old days.

After visiting with Jessica and grocery shopping we went to Liz's house. I guess her house is supposed to be a step up from Jeff's but to me it was almost the same. Yes, it was a bit cleaner, but still, it looks like a dive.

I guess I have never given much thought to the dwelling they lived in. After all, Liz has lived in 5 different places since moving to
Santa Barbara, and Jeff has lived in two. I know it is a college way of living, and for the most part they live in a world of "How many kids can we cram into this apartment to help pay for rent" but my goodness to live in someone else's filth is just beyond me.

Finally, Jeff got off work and we met him at his house. The first thing, after a long, hard hug, was "Yeah Mom, how do you like my shit hole?" I just smiled and said it was dirty. Immediately I noticed he was drinking a beer. I don't understand why he had to drink a beer if he knew he was going to see me. He knows how I feel about alcohol, and he really knows how I feel about alcohol and him. Shit, he is not 21, and he has had so much trouble with alcohol why does he have to drink, and why flaunt it in front of my face. Of course I made a remark, to which he responded that he wasn't getting drunk, he had a hard day at work and he was in his home. I offered no response but he knew how I felt. We talked some about his move, as he and Adam #2 (Liz's ex who is something an ex and sometimes not and lives with Jeff) will be good for him. They found a studio apartment, 950 a month, which will be just theirs. Jeff seems to think that living in one room with Adam will stay cleaner, if for no other reason than there are not a million other kids living there or able to stay there. I hope that is the case and Jeff and Adam have better luck living together, without the masses.

Jeff and I hit one rough patch, of course when we were talking about money. I paid part of his deposit on the new place (again) and will have to pay his rent on the first as he does not get paid until the 8th of the month, and he will be away for his 2 month duty for the Marines. I made a comment about that as he kept spouting how independent he is, to which his response was I do nothing for him as he pays me back everything I give him. I guess when you are a kid (young adult) and you pay back SOME things you take that to mean you always pay back. I did not keep talking about it as he can become hurtful with words, as he did. I just cried when he left the room because I could not hold it in. I know he does no think it is hurtful, and I know he does not want to be hurtful, but what can I say..I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to the kids, how I feel about them, and how they feel about me.

It was nice, for the most part, being with Geoff and all three kids. It doesn't happen very much as the young adults are off living their own lives. Dinner went well, and I felt great joy in my heart watching Liz, Jeff and Jake interact; laughing and joking with each other was a great sight. After dinner Jeff took us to his work; showing us the facility and his desk. He really is doing well in the work arena and I am so proud of him for that. Before we left Jeff showed me the new studio apartment. It is in a better area, and closer to his job; walking distance is a huge plus when you don't have a driver’s license.

We hugged and kissed goodbye and on the road Geoff, Jake and I went.

All in all a heart warming day with all three of my kids; yes, there were a few rough patches, as I think there will always be, but just the same we love each other. We may differ on what is best, but we are there for each other – always. It was just what I needed – a FULL family day – my heart is full.

I love my family.

Jake, Liz, Jeff, Jessica, Adam
The above picture was taken when Jeff was stationed at Pendleton in June 2005