June 2006


0591114136_arrested.jpg     How can I help him!!! I really don’t know what to do, or if doing nothing is the only thing I can do. Arrested, yet again, and for all the wrong reasons (I think). Bowling was never this dangerous when I was a kid, so what has changed? Is the version of what took place skewed? After all those involved in the incident are most likely minimizing what really transpired.

So Jeff was sticking up for Liz. That much I think is great thing, but the fact that they both put themselves in the position they did shows how much they have yet to learn. I still don’t know what started the incident, or just how it went down. A few beers for both and a few bad attitudes I suppose. When all is said and done, in my eyes, if there had been no alcohol consumed maybe this incident could have been avoided.
Bouncers which flexed their muscles on both of my children; how does a mother wrap her mind around that. Just would could a 100 pound girl do that would require a bouncer to put her to the ground. Ok, so the kissing of the cement done by Liz and Jeff came after a verbal altercation with other bowlers – still Liz has never been in this type of arena.

I have to say my heart felt good to know that Jeff got between Liz and others when he thought Liz was being attacked. Sure, some chick was just yelling words at her, but when someone gets in your sister’s face while you are waiting for a cab what’s a brother to do. I want to scream WALK AWAY but I know no one can hear me and even if I could have told them what does good ol’ mom know.

So, loud voice and some intoxicated male egos and two siblings get their date with the ground. You would think it would pass quickly. Calm everyone down and move everyone on their way, but no, of course not we are talking about my kids. The surrounding area filled with spectators, people yelling and fueling the fire and the bouncers doing everything they were trained not to do. When all was said and done, while Jeff was held with his hands behind his back, a bouncer walked in front of him and YANKED his dog tags off. This was the point where Jeff was crushed; Liz said Jeff really lost it, screaming like he was running up a hill in battle. How disrespectful can someone be? My heart is broken each and every time I think of the very thing Jeff holds so dear being torn off his neck. How can someone be that disrespectful to a person, a state of mind, and our country. Jeff is a Marine and he will always be that, and those who benefit from the people serving our country (in any way) should think twice before they do such horrible things.

By this time the police where there and threatening arrest of Liz as well. Jeff arrested for public intoxication (though Liz said he only had two beers – Jeff has been known to drink 20+ beers so 2 beers are nothing. One must remember he is 20 years old and there is a zero tolerance when it comes to under age drinking).

I don’t know much else other than Jeff was still in jail when Liz finally spilled the beans at 1:30 p.m. She said he was arrested the night before around midnight and each and every time she called the jail they gave her the run around. First they told her they would be holding him longer than 8 hours. Last I heard Liz had been told that they were going to release him later today. I still know nothing, and there’s no one to call. Liz prefaced providing me with any information with “You can’t tell Jeff you know.” I guess he will tell him in his own time, but still I want to reach out and let him know that while I don’t agree with his choices (drinking) I love him and want to be there for him in emotional support.

Liz said she tried to call me last night at 1 a.m. and I didn’t answer. I later found out she called Jake and sobbed for hours. Jake was extremely tired today and I had no idea why until just a little while ago. Apparently Jake talked to his sister via cell phone half the night to calm her down. He made some middle of the night calls to the jail trying to gather information about Jeff. I think the one positive thing I can take away from this (if there is anything positive) is that Jeff, Liz and Jake are there for each other no matter what, and for that I am glad.

No matter what…I ache for my children tonight. I want everyone home and safe, and I am just mad as hell that I can’t make that happen. A mother of adults has no power; the state of powerlessness is a dark and dismal place.

thth17550.gif     Seeing them should make me feel warm and fuzzy; the feeling a mother gets when her children are close. However, I did not get that so desired feeling. Jeff and Liz arrived last night and planned to stay just one night. Jeff walked in, blood shot eyes and slurred speech. Immediately I knew he had been drinking. He gave me a hug and a kiss and within 15 minutes got a ride from a friend and was out for the night. I knew he would not be home that night. A friend here, a party there and he was off and running.

Liz told me he had been drinking on and off all afternoon as they were helping a friend move. Granted, he was not falling down drunk; merely a slight intoxication that bothered every fiber of my being. Liz was friendly but I can tell she is still put off due to my resent "Take a Stand" talk with her. Maybe she thinks if she stays a bit distant I will cave, but I have to say I feel somewhat stronger than I thought I would. She mentioned over the evening/next day of things she needed and I did not respond. I asked about her looking for a job and continued to talk to her about despite her apparent lack of interest in the subject. Finally she told me she is not working at the grocery store and had only worked there for one or two shifts. I did not even ask her what happened. She told me she thought she had a job at a cute little coffee place there. I will believe it when I see it.

Overall I feel used. They said they were coming home for Father's Day. Jeff did not even get home until after 3 p.m. and Liz didn't give Geoff the time of day before 2 p.m. Even grocery shopping Liz almost made me feel like she was doing me a favor by allowing us to buy her groceries. Now, before the "what happened to your tough stand" comes up I will say that as a parent I can not allow her to go hungry. So to ease my mind I bought both her and Jeff some food. No cash, no extras just food, and that is just what we did.

Anyway, I felt Geoff was a bit slighted by Liz and Jeff, but since that is between the kids and Geoff I should not dwell on it. I am not sure if Geoff's feelings were not hurt, but I really hope not.

On a side note: Jake wished Geoff a Happy Father's Day and threw a "I love you " on it for good measure. Even if Liz and Jeff don't say it I know they feel it. I would just think Geoff deserves the parental recognition. He may not be their biological father but he is their parent in every sense of the word. Love sure shows itself in odd ways in this family, but in my heart I know there's love.

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Life Moment Rewind:

As a mother the hardest thing has to be letting go; no matter what age that finds you it is heart wrenching. When Liz was very young, maybe 9 months old, Neil decided she was going to have to learn to fall asleep without being rocked by mommy. I didn’t agree, but in secret I had found bedtime difficult. If we weren’t home; that comfy chair that rocked just right Liz would not find sleep. That first night was hell. I remember Neil taking her from me (at the time I felt it was ripping her from me) and placing her in her room in her crib. A new experience for both Liz and I. Liz cried, rather screamed like she was dying, for hours and hours. There were many moments when I attempted to go in and get her. Neil literally sat on top of me saying this had to be done. We had to wean her off the routine of mommy, rocking and comfy chair. I thought evil things of Neil that night, but after 4 hours Liz cried herself to sleep. It was a drastic move this I would agree, but I can see now how necessary it was. It wasn’t like she was hurting, hungry, or wet; the only loss that was being inflicted was the loss of routine. The next night Liz cried but only for about 45 minutes, and each night after that was less and less. After about a week Liz smiled when we put her down for bed and the only person remembering the difficulty of the week was me. My heart hurt that week. I was losing my quiet time with my baby. I was losing my routine with her; she no longer needed me to feel safe and comforted during those moments between wake and sleep. Finally, she had learned the art of self comfort and my life would forever be different.

Life Moment Forward:

As a mother there comes a time when you must take a stand, and I have never had the strength to do so. I am forever the helper, or a better word is enabler. When the mail came yesterday and Geoff told me Liz got a ticket I was extremely upset. What is a parking ticket – it is nothing more than another parking ticket; in a lifetime of parking tickets from her. Ok, so one small, insignificant parking ticket, that is what I would have said if it didn’t follow the months and months of dependency she has become accustomed to.  In that moment, though no words were spoken to others, I knew it was time for me to stand up and speak; not in anger this time as before, but in love.

I called Liz and of course got her voice mail. When she returned my call Geoff, myself, Jake and DJ were doggie door shopping at Home Depot. I didn’t want to have this conversation there but knew it was now or never. As I write this I don’t even know if I can adhere to my own words. Something in me says I can’t but a higher power says I must. I told Liz we got a parking ticket in the mail. Immediately she said she wasn’t aware of a ticket; as if her not knowing makes it not true. When I told her where the ticket was received she said nothing. I think at that point there was not much to argue and it was true; yet again the child thought “it is just a parking ticket.” There was also a offense sited for no front license plate (which is in the trunk). Liz was quick to point out that part of the ticket was a fix it ticket and she would take care of it; I was quick to point out she already had a ticket for that and didn’t take care of it.

I am still not angry at this point; it is hard to say what I was/am but I know I ache. The decision I must stand by will likely kill me, this I know to be true. I told Liz I loved her very much but could no longer financially help her. I assured her I would pay her rent this month as I said I would, and as I have been doing for the last six months. However, after it was paid I would not be financially assisting her at all. There would be no cell phone bill payment from me, no rent, no electricity and/or food. I told her that she has far exceeded a reasonable amount of time to be out of work and as long as I continued to make it possible for her not to take any job that came her way she would not find a job. I told it was time to do whatever it took to work even if that meant lowering her standards. I reminded her throughout the conversation I loved her and was not angry with her at all. This was not like the last time (a few weeks ago). I needed her to understand that she has to support herself. I needed her to understand that by my giving to her my household and Jake suffers. I reminded her that my assistance is supposed to be for school and emergencies and not for everyday expenses. I pointed out if she or her brother, Jeff, found themselves in a real emergency or sick I would not be in a position to financially help them as they both take every cent they can from me on a monthly basis. I tried to make it about how helping them was affecting me and not about them. I know she was thinking I was upset and angry I could hear it in her voice. She just kept saying “Ok Mom, Ok Mom” over and over again.

I took my stand; not really for me but for her independence. When she first moved out (in town) she was so responsible. She was able to work, attend school, have a social life, and be a young adult. Since her move to
Santa Barbara she seems to have lost her financial independence, and sadly she doesn’t seem to mind. I know she is tired of not doing anything very fun, but when you have good ol’ mom footing the living expenses of your life, and your friends pitching in for some fun stuff why should you work? I told her it was time to look for a job, and work at any job found. I told her that she should be looking for a job 24/7 and if she was home watching a movie or going to the beach she wasn’t doing what is necessary for her life to be successful. Lastly, again I told her I loved her, but I couldn’t give her any money at all; not until after she was working. I do not mind contributing to keeping her afloat, after all she is in college, but I will not be the sole supporter of it. She has to realize that things don’t just come to us and for her to have what she has someone (me and her brother) have to go without. I would gladly go without if she could not work, but laziness will no longer work.

I need to dig my heels in and hold on fast; it is time to help my screaming baby, who didn’t want to lose the comfort and routine of me rocking her to sleep, fly. I only hope I have the strength. Some mom moments are difficult. Some are impossible. Some just are what they are.

Life Moment Present: 

(Secretly, I fear I am too weak to take this stand) 

092-113_large.jpg       Exhaustion has finally found me – the day has been long, but long awaited. Jake took the first step into true adulthood (ok ok a baby step) as he journeyed through the pomp and circumstance procession. The moment I saw the blue gowns with all those white and yellow tassels my heart soared. How long it has been – how long we have all waited for this day.

Tears were surprising absent on this special occasion. When Liz and Jeff graduated the tears flowed – not sure if it was sheer joy or welcomed relief that they had actually graduated. All the ups and downs of high school, all the cutting classes and the missed tests, and finally the triumphant day arrived. But, with Jake there was happiness that he had achieved this moment, but not tears. Maybe the moments with Liz and Jeff paved the way for a calmer mother, or maybe I just finally understand that graduation is just one of many more wondrous occasions to come.

There were a couple of times where the tears welled up in my proud eyes, but no salty moisture fell to my cheeks, there was just too much to smile about.

There are TONS of pictures and I am sure in a day or two I will post a few. However, for now, Jake, in all his cap and gown moments is mine – all mine

Who am I today? Today’s I am nothing more and nothing less than Jacob’s mother.