Sunday, May 12, 2013

For Mom

I think every lucky person says the same thing about their mom.  She's the best in the whole world, blah, blah, blah.  I guess it's a good thing that these children found these specific mothers or there would be a lot of confused and unhappy people.  I mean, every mother can't be the best right?  Well sure we can!  We're the best in the eyes of certain, individual people (our kids) and frankly those are the only people whose opinions matter to each of us (mothers), no?

So I'll be the millionth person today to sing the graces of the woman who is my mother.  I have been relatively blessed with a decent relationship overall with the woman who gave me life.  I won't lie, I gave her a run for her money as thanks for housing me in her womb for nine months.  It even started at my actual birth (probably should have been a good indicator of things to come)!  I think we had a little love/hate relationship through my teen years, but I like to think my behavior kept her on her toes and her wits about her.  Besides, my brother was too easy to raise, someone had to come along and screw up that harmony.  Yin and yang of sorts.  And I was really looking out for my sister, paving the way to easier teen years for her.  Must be the middle child syndrome at its finest.  

Anyway, back to my mom (cause it's her day).  My mother wasn't a pushover (that was more my dad's role) and sometimes that burned my butt.  However, she really has been there for me, even at the most inconvenient of times.   She's had my back, challenged me, encouraged me, questioned my motives, kept me honest, supported me, cheered me on, came to my aid when I called, cried with me, laughed with me, leaned on me, and stood strong for me.  Most importantly as much as she is a pretty rad Mother, the best part about her has to be how awesome she has been as a Grandma.   I'm so lucky my kids have a great relationship with her as well.

So to my mom, who has been away on vacation this week and wasn't home today for me to wish her a Happy Mother's Dad vocally, thank you.   Thank you for all you have done for our family and for the newer additions to our family.  You have been a wonderful role model, imperfections and all!  We are a group of well rounded adults because of the lessons and life skills you have taught us.  I'll even forgive you for the not so nice stuff I've inherited from you like IBS, soft and peeling nails, stretch marks, and visible cellulite.  But an extra special thanks for the freckles and red undertones in my hair!

You're the best (to me)!  Love you so very much.      

A Typical Holly Mother's Day

A mother's job is thankless.   I've learned that over the past 17 years, but sometimes, beyond my control, it gets to me and my feelings get hurt.   I guess I just assumed that as they got older they wouldn't have to be reminded to go out of their way to do something nice for me (no money needs to be spent).  I would have been content with a post on my Facebook wall or a phone call that didn't consist of, "Happy Mother's Day!  Did I ever tell you you were the best mom ever?  Can you pick me up at Benji's?"

Sigh...I suppose it's pretty typical of boys.  They're less emotional and sentimental.  Less inclined to think of other's feelings without being prompted or reminded.  I know it stands true when it comes to Father's Day as well, but I guess I just assumed it would be different with me because,'s mainly been me and them.  I'm the one foundation in their lives that's been constant.  I'm not sure why I think I'm any different and I guess that's what bothers me about getting upset about it.  I know, with every fibre of my being, that my boys love me so very much.  I know they count on me and take me for granted because they know I will always be there when they need me and even when they don't.  They know they can count on me.  I don't let them down, I don't put things before them, I follow through.

I hope one day they'll surprise me with something special or nice on Mother's Day, without being prompted or reminded.  One maybe in 10 years?  Mid-twenties?  Is that about right?  Is that when children start to appreciate the parent(s) that was ever consistent in their lives?  Or do I really need to wait until they have their own children for an ounce of appreciation?

I'll wait, quietly, because that's what mothers do.  I'll remind myself to relish in the moments when they do profess their love for me, even if they are looking for a ride or 10 bucks.  Sometimes they do just surprise me with random comments or hugs.  I guess I'll take those little gifts when I get them instead of wishing for them all on a Hallmark created holiday.   I shouldn't need a specific day to re-affirm the relationship I have with these two boys, but I'll secretly look forward to the day they knock my socks off!

If It Can, It Will.

Despite the entire negative connotation, I cannot think of another way to describe this happenstance than to suggest it is a pretty decent example of Murphy's Law. 

In January, Eric was laid off.  Since late February he has been collecting Unemployment Insurance.  While we all know how piddly that payout is, we are grateful for even that little bit as it truly does help.  While he's been off he's been getting more done in Gage's new digs, he's been getting up each morning and cooking us breakfast and heavily bonding with the pooch.  Every week I would take a gander through the available job sites and occasionally fire off a resume if something stood out as appropriate for him.  Last week there were about a dozen job postings that he had the relevant experience for so I fired off 12 resumes and 12 cover letters (it was a relatively quiet work day). 

Now in the meantime, I've been gearing up for 10 days off starting today.  But more importantly since the weather has been so nice, I've just been looking forward to hanging out with Eric for my time off.  Nothing major planned, just puttering around the house and enjoying the patio and sun.  You can see where this is going right?  So of COURSE, he gets two call backs from the applications I sent out.  Of course.  One he scored an interview for and the other he was actually offered the job following a phone conversation (ended up cancelling the interview).  Good, right?  For sure.  Just impeccable timing.  Now I get to hang out alone for 10 days.  Whomp whomp!

Lets be clear though, had we waited until his EI was getting ready to run out there would have been ZERO job opportunities for him to apply for.  He would be scrambling and stressing, or even worse had nothing in the horizons upon the demise of his piddly cheques and well...that would suck balls.   So he we are very grateful that this proved to be a fruitful endeavour, it just would have been awesome had it happened a week later, for our own selfish reasons. 

So starting tomorrow, Eric will be working for a landscaping company here in the Niagara Region.  He's genuinely looking forward to working outside, in the dirt.  So for his sake, I hope it's a great fit.  Out of the two call backs, this was the one he thought he'd be more content with.  He's going to be kept busy, busy with 10 - 11 hour work days but he should be home in the evenings.  Last summer sucked huge with him on afternoons and midnights all season.  I feel like I barely enjoyed our patio and we rarely saw each other. 

But, on another note, while I was sending out resumes for Eric I stumbled across an ideal job position for Gage.  I know he already has a job, but he's not keen on it.  So I told him I'd found a potential position he might like but since he's 16 and lazy he said he already had a job and didn't feel like going through the process of finding another one (typical).  Until I explained what this new prospect was and then his ears immediately perked up.  Needless to say, he has an interview on Tuesday night.  Fingers and toes are crossed he gets it.  It's not too often you get a job you'll actually love to do thrown at you when you're 16.  No, it's not a life long position but it's perfect for a 16 year old boy!  Good luck buddy, I'll be rooting for you. 

Evil Don't!

  A few weeks ago, Eric and I went to Toronto to see the live production of the Night of the Living Dead.  Having seen Evil Dead Live and loving it Eric thought it would be fun to get tickets to this production.  So we bought ourselves a viewing at $140.00 for the pair.  I know pretty damn steep right??  But this was going to a fun night away, a great rendition of an epic movie, high quality production, etc, etc.  It would be worth it. 

Oh sweet baby Jesus, how wrong, utterly wrong, we were.  I've tried really hard to refrain from commenting on the show and I'm going to be as diplomatic as possible here.  But, first and foremost I'm completely disgusted with how much the tickets were, now having seen the production. 

Here are the highlights.  The actors (excluding the girl who played Barbara) were pretty decent.  They were fluent with the dialogue, their delivery didn't seem hokey or forced and they remembered all their lines.  "Barbara" however, was completely exaggerated and over-acted.  I also think the role itself was terribly re-written.  The other positive was the stage and props.  For a small venue, they did pretty well with what space they had to use.  The theatre itself was cozy with not a bad seat in the house.

The downside?  The entire premise of the movie was wrapped up in the first half of the production.  And it didn't portray anywhere near the tone or feelings of the actual movie.  This production seemed to take on a comedic undertone with nothing startling or 'scary' happening.  I guess it would have been decent had I been under the impression that this was the route they were going.  But nowhere in the advertisements did it suggest that it was more of a comedy than horror or thriller.  The jokes were hokey at best and while it seemed to try to come off as campy it fell a little short.   

By the 1/2 way mark Eric and I were questioning what the hell we had subjected ourselves to and were (and frankly, still are) shocked that George Romero would even have attached his name to this production.  We wondered if he signed off without seeing the script... But more importantly we were struggling to figure out what in hell we were going to see for the second have since the first half ended with everyone dying. 

Well, we were so, SO lucky (are you sensing my sarcasm)! The second half was made up of 10-12 alternate endings.  Some examples:  What would have happened IF a 'white man' was the leader?  Another, What would have happened if the ladies were left in charge?  What might have transpired if one of the survivors sacrificed himself to the hoards of zombies so the others could get away? There were others I assure you, but the last one was a take on what might have happened had they all learned to work together which just broke out into a song and dance number.  Groan.  It went from "meh" to bad to worse! 

The hardest part after trying to swallow how much we paid for this atrocity was trying to keep Eric in his seat long enough for the cast to take their bows and the staff to open the doors to let us out. 

I apologize to anyone who is going to see this play because of the spoilers I included here (not for how shitty it was, I didn't have anything to do with that!) but for those of you that were sitting on the fence about going, you can thank me for helping save you some hard earned money and a couple hours of time you would never have gotten back.  If you think for one second it's on the same caliber as Evil Dead Live you'd be dead wrong.  No pun intended. 

For those of you who saw it and liked it, well a huge props.  I guess my expectations were slightly different (I mean why would I assume it would be similar to the movie?).  The steep price of the tickets didn't help to diminish that belief either.  For that price I was assuming a high quality production.  Sound the gong!

Despite the hard work that I'm sure went into making this whole thing, consider this a thumbs down.  But of course, these are merely MY opinions, since it is MY blog and all.  *winky face*

Friday, May 3, 2013

I Have a 16 Year Old Baby!

So yesterday was Gage's  16th birthday!  I can't even wrap my head around the fact that 16 years have passed since the first time I laid eyes on him.  It's so cliche, but it really does go by so quickly.  He's given me the odd disappointing moment in those 16 years but overall I've been blessed with a genuinely great kid.

A couple of weeks before his birthday he reminded me that his "sweet 16" was a milestone and thus he should be getting extra presents and probably a car.  I needed to remind him that he wasn't living in Hollywood or in a Hollywood movie, but just Holly's house.  Oh and I told him he wasn't a girl, so the whole "sweet 16" thing was just kind of weird when associated with a boy.

But Eric did make him a music play list of songs about "Sweet 16" from the 1950's and 1960's to listen to while we had birthday breakfast together before our days got started.  Gage was thoroughly creeped out at the thought of a 30-ish man singing about a 16 year old girl, but we educated his ass and told him that's pretty much how it was back then (like we would know - being so young ourselves)!

He got to open his present from us; two concert tickets to see City and Colour (ya, we're letting him take a friend, not one of us), a bunch of clothes from his favourite store in Toronto and a blown glass zombie finger (which he thoroughly enjoys).  I think he was pleased overall with his gifts even if they didn't require an ignition key.  Gage's former step mother (but still actively involved in his life) popped over with a gift from her and her parents and then my mom, sister, sister in law, niece and nephew stopped by to have some cake with us after dinner; all bearing monetary gifts.  So now the kid has a wallet full of bills and is trying to decide what to spend his hundreds of dollars on.  Overall, I think he had a decent birthday despite the actions or lack thereof of his father.  (I had a long blurb about that, but I thought better of it and deleted it.  It was therapeutic to type it all out though!!)

So best wishes to my #1 son (in birth order only people, relax...I already have enough reasons to have Roan in therapy) as he surpasses yet another milestone.  And don't worry, locally situated readers, I'll make sure I do another blog post when he has secured his beginner's driver's license so you are readily prepared.  May the next 16 years and beyond as his mother be as fulfilling, rewarding and wonderful as the first 16.

Happy Birthday Gage!! 

He really does LOVE me.  Even if he pretends he's too cool.