The handsome gentleman above is my husband, Joe - my Muse! In case you're wondering ~ I’m the one without the mustache. Joe and I are both retired now. While Joe was an auto industry executive (poor baby), I was a Certified Jill Of All Trades ~ but I like to think I was more.
Because Joe and I met late in life ~ the More part of me was a single parent raising three sons. I won’t have to tell some of you that being a single parent is a tough call, and one that sometimes requires you to go beyond what you thought were your capabilities to survive.
Beyond terrifying ~ being a single parent is an "Experiment in Terror" ~ and a real learning experience, that doesn't come with instructions, that oftentimes, requires you to do things you never imagined you'd do, like: cleaning houses, cleaning toilets, scavenging for cans along the roadside, AND yes, even getting up at 2 A.M., seven days a week, 365 days a year, in rain, sleet, hail and snow - to deliver newspapers. Oh, dear, does that bring back memories. Ask me someday about "tire whiskers ".
Just being a parent ~ requires you to make those ever unpopular, and oh, so hard executive decisions. But those decisions come from a different place when you're a single parent, because you're both mother and father, judge, jury, and jailer. You are the epitome of that unyielding space between a rock and a hard place!
Of course, kids being kids, they sometimes think that you're making these executive decisions just to make their lives miserable; so you take their disapproval and criticism in stride, because you know that helping them learn life's hard lessons now, will better equip them to cope with the real world once they've left the nest. The world needs good and decent, responsible people. Lord knows. And there is no better place to get those qualities than from a parent. While we do have help from schools, churches and civic organizations - the buck stops with us.
And let me say, before I write another word, that I absolutely disagree with pro- fessionals who tout the belief that you can't be a parent and a friend too. Hogwash! I'm of the opinion that ugly, and damaging bit of parental advice, was started by individuals who couldn't pat their tummies, chew bubblegum, and hop on one foot at the same time!
Let's face it - it's much harder to parent/friend, than it is to just parent a child. Now, before you string me up by my toenails over a bed of hungry crabs, think about what I just wrote. Really think about it.
To me, being your child's friend is so important, because when they need a friend to talk to ~ if you're not it ~ they're going elsewhere. God only knows who they'll turn to. Maybe that's what's wrong with the world now ~ too much parenting . . . not enough true friendship.
But before you go jumping off the parental bridge, with friendship in tow ~ let's define what a friend is. A friend never lies to you, never exploits you . . . and they never sell you short! A real friend ~ helps you find the courage to do the right thing ~ especially when the right thing is the hardest thing to do. I find that too often, parents tend to let inappropriate behavior slide, because it's either easier to ignore OR they are misguidedly trying to pro tect their child from an inconvenient hardship. It can't be done! Life comes at you hard ~ you have to know how to stand on your own two feet, and you learn that by trial and error. Life has rules. Children need to learn this as early as possible. Life has boundaries. Human's need boundaries ~ otherwise we run-a-muck! If we run-a-muck and cannot stop ourselves ~ then society will! Sooner or later. Prisons (and politics) are full of people who just don't get it!
For example, you realize the heavy burden of being a Parent/Friend when trying to con vince your ten-year old, that the reason you've locked up his bike because he rode it on icy streets and broke his collarbone, (after you told him not to do it) ~ is for his own good. I mean, really, what kind of heartless person takes an injured child's bike away? A friend, that's who. A friend who just happens to be a parent, too. It goes like this, start by asking your child if he or she would want their best friend to risk their safety ~ like they are wanting you to allow them to risk theirs? This is the beginning of a loving, and lasting friendship with your child.
But, the dynamics of this situation goes far beyond merely locking up a bike. They are profound, and far-reaching; and when applied over and over again to different situations, these dynamics change lives! They are the basics of understanding the importance of consistency ~ and the consequences of our actions. Two of the most important bits of information an individual will every learn!
I sound like I've got it all together, don't I? Let me say this about that ... hindsight!
It took me forever to learn that we aren't wired to remember, say, the broken bones of life, with any relevance. But you reach into our "Greed Zone" - where the "Gotta Have It Now" lives, and we'll remember every second of it, throughout adulthood ~ at every family gathering ~ until the end of time. Thankfully, in time, as the Parent/Child/Friend relationship develops into a more adult relationship - we stop telling everyone that our parents fed us dog food, in an effort to get back at them. lol!
As hard as single-parenting was ~ I wouldn't trade that life for anything, because being a single parent afforded me a rare opportunity to understand relationships - from an entirely different and unique perspective. But I had an edge that some may not have ~ my children were exceptionally gracious. They taught me how to love, and what being a true friend really means. And they taught me the meaning of dedication ~ because they were always there! They put family first. If I live to be 150, I will never meet finer people! They literally saved our lives. They are my heroes!
What memories I have. They define me as a person. Through the hard times of being a single parent, my kids and I became a family, and every single one of us worked toward a common goal. And we survived! We lived on hard work, love and laughter; and awaited with breathless anticipation the "Once-a-month fruiting" where we'd pig-out in front of our little T.V., with bags and bags of our favorite fruit, that took us an entire month to save up for. That's living! It doesn't get better than that. And I believe that God was right there with us ~ celebrating every bite we took.
"The National Bird",
is coming out the Sumner of 2011 in:
While we lived ~ and better than many families in or out of our situation, more often than not, it meant that in order for our little family to survive ~ our individual, and collective Dreams ~ had to be put on hold.
Dreams were an essential part of our lives ~ because whether or not those dreams came true ~ they helped us focus, and gave us hope. HOPE is priceless ~ you can't buy it at the grocers. But without God ~ hope becomes hopeless. So, we were never hopeless! No matter what came our way ~ no matter how bad things got ~ we held onto hope, and looked forward to the day when some ( if not all ) of our dreams might come true.
For me ~ a prayer was answered when I got the boys raised, and they turned out to be the wonderful men they are today. And then, a dream came true when we paid off our home; and again, when after twenty years of being the reigning queen of home-study courses ~ I finally got a degree in Psychology. Too long, really, to be much more than a token of achievement. That's why I bear the title ~ Intuitive Life Coach ~ because that's where and how it all started.
. . . . But, tell me I don't have tenacity!
While I love the whole counseling concept, and believe with all my heart that, hashing and rehashing out your problems is the only way to resolve them. Counseling was never my first love. Writing and drawing were.
Even before I began school I was writing stories and illustrating them. But because my family came from humble beginnings (just one step away from settlers
really), it was believed that a girl’s place was in the home, and that she should learn skills that would benefit her once she became a wife and mother. So that's what I did. And, like so many girls ~ then ~ my gifts were pushed aside for more practical endeavors: like cooking and sewing ~ which never took root! But I can microwave anything! Just ask me about hard-boiled eggs. I dare ya'! But, always inside my heart ~ with the help of my boys, my dreams survived, as I hoped for the day that I might fulfill my destiny:
The Dream of becoming a published writer!
Which brings me to my new children's book:
But what is ...
Just that ~ it’s a little book of memories from my life. Memories both ex-
perienced, and learned from others. Memories that forged my beliefs, and made me who I am.
~ God and His infinite wisdom ~
Without these experiences - now memories, I would have had nothing of worth to write about! So maybe that hateful publisher unknowingly did me a favor. Here's "food for thought", the next jerk that stomps on your dreams ~ take it in stride ~ and expect a Miracle somewhere up the road!
Anyway, I've come full circle ~ and found my dreams waiting for me.
Is the first in a series; and while it is a work of fiction, the stories are based upon real people, and real life situations. Each story is a celebration of our indomitable
human spirit, that in love, and laughter ~ and sometimes sorrow (against over- whelming odds) proves that, with God’s help ~ we can survive anything!
I hope you like
I lived and loved every single minute of it!
How honored I will be to have it become a keepsake
~ in your home library ~
for generations to come.
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God Bless you and yours,
~ thanks for stopping by ~
and taking this moment to get acquainted!
I hope to see you at one of my book signings!
Mention this website ~
and receive a Special Gift!
Joe at 16 Lyn at 16
Sweet Sixteen - full of hope and dreams!