Mama Diaries

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bag of Popcorn

"Mama?" my ten-year-old son asked, holding a brown paper lunch bag in his hand. "How long do I have to put this in the microwave?"

I walked over to the kid and took the bag out of his hand. I looked inside. Popcorn kernels. "Dude, you can't microwave these!"

"Why not?" he asked. "It's a  microwave popcorn bag. Just like the ones from the store."

"Not quite," I said. "This brown bag is definitely not microwave-safe. You'll start a fire. The ones from the store are made specifically for microwave use."

He looked sad. "Oh."

"Don't worry, Bubba," I said. "I'll get you a bag of popcorn."

I pulled out the big pot and some oil, and made popcorn the old fashioned way. When I was done, I put it in his brown paper bag and handed it to him. "There you go."

Bubba grinned. "Thanks, Mama. This is the best bag of popcorn ever!"


  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

No Stopping the Mama

A couple of days ago, we had some major thunderstorms roll through the Atlanta area. And what was I doing? Standing outside in the middle of one, at a bus stop, waiting for my son to come home from school.

When I went to pick him up, it was raining and the sky was dark. Naturally, I did not want to let him walk home in a storm. I got my handy dandy umbrella, drove my car to the side street, parked, and walked the rest of the way to the bus stop. Then I stood, and waited. And waited. And waited.

Meanwhile, the winds picked up. The sky got even darker, and balls of quarter-sized hail rained down. Then the storm sirens went off. Great! I thought. This is just lovely!

Pretty soon the wind was blowing so hard, the hail was coming in sideways, under my umbrella. I was nearly knocked off my feet. Did I mention how wet I was? It looked like a had just walked into a lake.

The thought occurred to me that I should probably walk back to my car, but I figured, I'd end up missing my kid, and then he'd be stuck in the storm. That wouldn't be good. Besides, I was already wet, so what difference did it make if I got wetter?

So I stood there. Forty-five minutes! Yeah.  I know. Stupid. Eventually the storm passed, and my son's bus showed up.

The first thing he said when he got off the bus was, "Mama, a tornado touched down!"

I couldn't believe it. "No! Seriously?" I said.

"Yes!" he said. "It was about ten miles away. We had to stay in tornado position in the hall for over an hour!"

"That's nice," I said. "So I stood outside in tornado winds, waiting for you."

His eyes got big. "Mama, you're crazy!"

No kidding!

(In case you want to know, the winds I stood in were blowing at 65 miles an hour! Apparently, I did not get the memo from the school which was sent out about the kids being held there until the storm passed. Too bad for me!)    

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bullying

This is not going to be my usual lighthearted silliness.

One of my daughter's friends committed suicide this past weekend.

We're both still in shock. I guess I'd just like to say a few words about this.

Suicide is a growing problem for middle-school aged kids. It has to do with all the bullying that goes on. I had to deal with it when I was that age. Now my daughter is experiencing it. Kids can be unbelievably mean! It seems to have elevated to a new level with technology.  Bullies create hate accounts, steal Instagram photos of their victims, and bash them with hurtful comments.

It's hard for kids that age to have a thick skin and not let comments like that bother them. Middle school is the time of insecurities. You look at your flaws. I know, because that's what I did. When the haters told me I was ugly, I believed them. It didn't matter what my parents said. I only cared about what my peers thought. I even thought about suicide. Obviously I didn't do it, but I know how dark it can get. You just want it to end.

So what I have to say to the bullies is this:  I don't know why you do what you do, or what kind of sick pleasure you get from making another person's life miserable. But hatred is a poison, and ultimately it's going to poison you. If you are dealing with your own issues, get help. If you think bullying makes you cool and will boost your social status, you're wrong. Being nice gets you more friends than being mean ever will.

To those who are being bullied:  Hang in there. You won't have to endure this forever. I know it seems like you're in a huge thunderstorm, with darkness all around. It's hard to believe there's a sun shining above the clouds. But there is. And you'll see it again. Trust that you have a beautiful life ahead of you!

If you or anyone you know may be contemplating suicide, here's the National Hotline:  1-800-273-8255. The website is www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

    

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Twenty-Six Dollar Burger

My family and I went out to eat at a rather pricey restaurant.  Instead of getting something out of the ordinary, my son opted for a burger.

I looked at the menu. "Twenty-six dollars for a burger?" I said. "This had better be the best burger you've ever  had in your life!"

The burger came. It was quite substantial, but in my opinion, not worth twenty-six dollars. My son ate about half of it. I shook my head. "Are you kidding?" I asked. "You're only going to eat thirteen dollars worth of a twenty-six dollar burger?"

He grinned at me, and picked up the remaining part of the bun. "Well, I could give you a bun in your hair. Then you'll have a thirteen dollar hair-do, which will make up for the part I didn't eat. That's cheap!"

Right. A great deal! Too bad I didn't take it.
   

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jellyfishing

Here's another story from my vacation to Hilton Head:

My son was playing in the ocean near the shore when he felt something soft rub up against his leg.
He ran out of the water yelling, "Mama, an animal touched me!"

I remained calm, because I didn't want him completely freaking out."What do you think it was?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said. "It was soft. Maybe a shark!"

I shook my head. "Sharks aren't soft. I can't think of anything soft that might've touched you. Why don't you just hang out at the edge of the water. I'm sure whatever it was will go away."

He frowned. Then he turned and walked down the shoreline. I watched him. After a moment, he stopped and stooped down. He was clearly examining something. I went over to see what it was.

A transparent blob with  short tentacles had washed up on the shore. A jellyfish. My genius son reached down and touched it.

It was my turn to freak out. "Stop, Bubba!" I said. "Jellyfish can still sting even when they're dead!"

"But I just wanted to see if it was what touched me."

I frowned at him. "Was it?"

"Yes."

Then he grinned.  "Mama, can I go jellyfishing, like Sponge Bob?"

"Absolutely not!" I said.

 Oy!  That's all I needed - a trip to the hospital!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Road Hazard

I'm back from my vacation to Hilton Head (and trip to Kentucky).  And I have quite a few stories to share!

The first involves a little old lady and a Cadillac.

My family and I had just arrived on the island of Hilton Head (South Carolina, for those of you who might not be familiar with American geography).  We were driving down the road, when this big old white Cadillac cut in front of us. Its hazard lights were on.

"What the heck?" I said. Then I looked in the car. In the front seat was a little old lady who literally could not see over the steering wheel.  Her white-haired head came only half way up to the wheel.  There was no way she could see what she was doing!

"We need to give this character a wide berth!" I said.

We watched as she weaved in and out of traffic, speeding her way down the road, tailgating people until they moved out of her way.  I had no idea how she managed not to hit anyone, because most of the time, she was driving right on the line, taking up two lanes.

The scene was so funny, I just started laughing.

"Mama?" my son, Bubba, asked. "Why are her hazard lights on?"

"Because she's warning everyone that she's a hazard on the road!"  

(I wonder if the Little Old Lady from Hilton Head is related to the Little Old Lady from Pasadena?)

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No Rest for the Mama

I've been running around like a maniac.  (Which is why I haven't been in the blogosphere much, lately.)  As a result, my Energizer batteries are wearing down.  I  need a recharge. So, I thought I'd try a ten minute power nap.  I've heard those work pretty well.

This morning, after I took my son to school, and before I had to take my daughter to school, I lay down on the sofa and closed my eyes.  I figured it would be a good time for one of those ten minute power naps.

As soon had I lay down, a rather large, furry creature walked up to me and gave my face a good sniff.

"Schultz!" I complained.  "Go away!"

The giant German Shepherd lumbered off.  I figured he'd leave me alone for the remaining nine minutes.

But no.  He went off, got himself a big drink of water, and came back to me - his jowls dripping with water.  He stood next to me, and dripped all over my arm.  "Schultz!  Just go away!"

He walked off.  That left seven minutes and thirty seconds for my power nap.

About forty-five seconds later, the beast returned.  This time he had his slimy ball on a rope in his mouth.  He was ready to play.  He dropped it on my shoulder.

I knocked it off.

He picked it up.  And dropped it on my shoulder.

"Come on, Schultz.  Give me a break!" I complained.

He nudged the ball against my shoulder.  I threw it.  He chased it and brought it back.

This went on for five minutes.

Finally, the game stopped.

I looked at my watch.  One minute left of my power nap. I lay down and closed my eyes.  Fifty-nine seconds later:  "Mom, it's time to leave!"

So much for the power nap.



(I would like to wish all of you who celebrate Easter or Passover a very happy holiday!  I'm not sure if I'll be around in the next couple of weeks, because I have a lot going on.  I'll be back when I'm back!)