My Son Is Officially As Tall As I Am

Granted, I’m not exactly tall at 5’4″, but that’s still something of a milestone. Any day now, he’ll be taller. He may already be stronger, but I’m still meaner so it works out. And I still out weigh him, but we don’t have to talk about that.

Just 14 short years from being a tiny 5lbs 12oz baby boy to a strapping young man that speaks in a baritone. This child that I would protect with every fiber of my being can now lift  me off the ground. It’s kind of a sobering thought. He has now reached a point in his development where I must trust that we’ve taught him well. I couldn’t restrain him physically if I wanted to (well maybe, but I’d have to employ some dirty tricks. Not that there has been a need to do so.). His dad still can, but I can’t.

Now, I know my son and trust him to continue on the track he’s been on.  I’m very proud of the man he is growing up to be. He is sweet and gentle and fun to be around. It’s pretty awesome to look eye to eye with this boy that is rapidly becoming a man.

It’s an interesting process, parenting.  When they are small, you are everything to your children. Provider, protector, teacher, enforcer, etc. As they get older, they take on more and more of those responsibilities for themselves.  If we are doing our jobs right as parents, our children will leave our homes holding all their own reigns. Hopefully able to to find their own way with the guidance we’ve given them. One day, it’s sink or swim. As a parent, I pray I’ve taught him the right strokes. I don’t just want him to stay afloat either; I want him to fly.

And one day, I’ll have to let him loose to do it. That day isn’t here yet, but it gets closer every day.

 

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

We’ve all had that moment when your kid outs you.  Maybe they told your mother-in-law that you cleaned up cat vomit with the decorative hand towels she bought you (towels are tools, not decorations IMHO). Maybe they spoiled the surprise of the awesome one-of-a-kind whatchamadoodle you were hoping to make Grandma’s birthday extra special. And that moment that must never be spoken of again? Well, if your kid heard it, it will be spoken of.

They’ve told your secrets. Repeated all the things you’d like to pretend you don’t really say. They are like tiny parrots with no concept of time and place. One day, you look over and there is your facial expression, your mannerisms, and your words spilling out of a smaller mouth shaped not entirely unlike yours.

Thankfully, this usually just ends in embarrassment. Unless you’re this guy. I’d love to make it my quote of the day, but you will enjoy it far more in the context of the article.

Free Does Not Mean Without Cost

I have been attempting to eliminate this particular usage of the word free from my vocabulary because it just isn’t true.  It’s an over simplification which far too many people have accepted as fact. People have ceased to understand that although there are things that they can obtain at no cost to themselves, they do not exist without cost.

It’s not an easy transition.  It would be simple to state that you can ride the bus in my city for free, but it’s not exactly true.  As a taxpayer in my city, I’ve already paid for the use of the city bus.  So instead I refer to it as already paid for.

Many of us refer to the content on our sites as ‘free ice cream.’ And indeed, I provide my content to you without charge.  But it certainly not without cost.  I pay money for my domain name and my hosting.  I spend my valuable time reading and thinking up things to put out here for your consumption.  It’s not without value, instead it is something of value that I provide to you for no charge. You have the option to throw coin my way, but it is far from required.  And yes, those ads hanging out over on the side bar do help to offset my monetary investment in my little corner of the internet.  They wouldn’t if you didn’t visit. And truly, the return on my investment is far greater than any dollars earned.  I started a blog as a pressure release valve.  I got that. The value of the community/family was unexpected and immeasurable in dollars. Really, I am indebted to all of you for that.

The free part of this blog is the freedom I have to say what I want.  To put it out there to be consumed. I am free to speak (type) my mind. I am free to share my opinions.  I feel I owe it to my son to clarify the definitions. Hopefully, he will still have these freedoms when he is an adult.  He won’t if people continue to believe that anything of value exists without cost.

I know it’s a little thing, but I cringe when I hear people talking about ‘free’ healthcare, ‘free’ phones, ‘free’ lunches.  When a community comes together to help out one of their own, it is a beautiful thing to be celebrated.  Handouts so generously provided on the backs of taxpayers are just polished up slavery.

Refocused

In an attempt to help the TeenBot improve both his writing skills and intellectual curiosity, we assigned him a project for the summer. He was to research and put together an essay (ish) on the history of the Soviet Union.  We’ve spent countless hours talking through some high points and adjusting the assignment.

And he digs in his heels and does nothing.  It’s frustrating to say the least.

But at least my son is here to be frustrated with. He can confound and irritate and then shock and amaze. Sometimes all in one breath. Each of those shiny silver strands that have started to appear on my head are a treasure, purified in the fire that is parenthood.

My friend is shaving her head this weekend. She’ll never find that article that finally sparks an interest and have in depth discussions with her teenager about the worldwide implications of the Chernobyl disaster. No, because Madison’s life was all too short. Her light so bright it couldn’t be contained in one little girl.

Her mom is continuing to carry Madison’s light.  If you feel so inclined, you can help her lift it.  She is shy of her goal.

There’s a challenge going around the office for us to shave our heads in support. Am I as brave as Amy? I don’t know. Bald would certainly be a new look…

Madison’s story has graced these pages before here, here, and here. It was in her name that I donated hair last year.

I Was Going To…

pull pictures off my camera, edit, and get you some content.  And oh what pictures I have! I have yet to finish writing up the after action report for Central Oklahoma Gunblogger Schutenfest and Phlegmfest and National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day and…

I was going to try and make a dent in the backlog when I got home yesterday.

But I didn’t. As soon as I pulled into the driveway, the adorable girl from down the street rode up on her bike.  She was just so excited that she had to talk to someone.  She was waiting for another neighbor to get home so she could see the puppies. I could certainly spare a minute to share in her excitement.
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Well then it came up that she hadn’t met Heidi.  What kind of person would I be if I hadn’t indulged the cute little girl with a visit with a cute little dog? Barely human, that’s what kind. So out came the dog. Who promptly pooped in the neighbor’s yard.  As they do.

Once girl and dog were properly acquainted, the other neighbor got home so she dashed off to see puppies. I called Heidi, and we headed to the door.

And that’s when a Nerf wielding TeenBot wandered into the yard tailed by a neighbor boy. Heidi went all ZOMGKIDS! Which attracted the attention of yet another neighbor boy. I think  Heidi’s belly was raw from all the scratches.  She was in heaven.

And then I blinked and all three boys were in the tree. You know the tree.  The one shedding limbs.

So I parked myself on the front porch and watched them climb. I did instruct them not to plummet to their death/brokenness in my front yard. That’s not a fun conversation to have with their parents and would leave such a mess.

They challenged each other to see who could climb the highest until their parents called them home for dinner. They may have been sporting a couple of new bruises and scrapes but nothing serious. Those are just proof your doing that childhood thing right.

Oh my! Dinner time. How’d that happen? Not to worry, the Evylrobot had dinner under control.

And I bathed over 50 pounds of feline. The neighbors probably assumed I was filleting them for dinner with all the noise they made.  Siamese.  Need I say more? Yes, there is video.

There was no blood lost, but the t-shirt is a goner.

Teach Your Children

Safe storage is no substitute for a lack of education. That is not to say that it doesn’t have its place.

Like any good parent, before my son was born, I installed those annoying cabinet and drawer locks.  I put all the dangerous chemicals up high and out of reach. Prescription meds were locked away in the medicine cabinet.

And one summer day, my toddler son drank flea shampoo and had to go to the emergency room where they force fed him activated charcoal*. Dinner was ruined. We certainly didn’t have any nefarious intentions in leaving the flea shampoo out after bathing the cat. It was an accident, possibly due to blood loss from aforementioned feline bathing.

Was it negligent of me to leave out the shampoo? Yep. At the time, my son was too young to be taught not to drink that.  And it smelled pretty darn yummy. Thankfully, everything turned out fine.

By the time he was able to overcome the child locks, he knew better than to drink the bleach. At this point, there are no cabinet/drawer locks in my house and there are dangerous chemicals stored at ground level. No, my house is not safe for your toddler.

He didn’t magically gain the understanding of what was and was not safe to eat and drink. We taught him.  There are firearms in my house and yet I have no fear that my son getting a hold of one will result in another trip to the emergency room (or worse). Why? Because he knows.  He’s been educated about them.  He knows how to properly unload every firearm we own.  He also understands that gun lying at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by another force.  Even if it is fully loaded with the safety off. And he knows you don’t point a gun at your friend and pull the trigger even if you did just unload it.

Thankfully, those children did know to call 911 and were able to follow instructions.  The girl is expected to recover.

 

Just Might Not Be Asian

That’s what my son heard when we played this

We are apparently failing in his musical education.

 

Your Mother Named You What?

Seriously?

The fleeing subject remains in stable condition at a local hospital.  He is identified as 20-year old Demontrail Lavon Smith (B/M, 08/01/1991).  Smith is charged with Pointing a Firearm and Possession of Marijuana.[emphasis mine]

Some of us struggle with living up to the expectations of our parents.  This guy?

His mother named him Demon Trail.

I suppose it’s a huge disappointment that he’s a petty criminal instead of the Anti-Christ.