Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The people who know me in real life & know what's going will know what & who this is about, the rest of you probably don't need to know.

I have a friend that I love dearly. He's like a brother to me & definitely in my "best friends" category. He recently got a girlfriend & I accepted her & welcomed her into the group the fist time I met her. Not so much because I adored her or anything, but because she really seemed to like him & I was so flipping happy that he finally had someone, I'd have accepted anyone at that point.

It quickly became apparent that she really didn't like me. At all. She started telling me how I could talk around other people's kids, making snide comments about my parenting, about my kids and sarcastic comments about how much she had "missed" me. More recently, she's started in on how I speak to her "precious little angels" & slamming my parenting behind my back (to my best friend's daughter).

I've played nice. I've kept my mouth shut. I've even tried desperately to watch my mouth in front of her brats. I kept the peace because I love my friend & want him to be happy, even though I see & feel bad things coming for him as a result of her.

I think what infuriates me the most is that she claims to be a better parent than Troy & I are. Why? I'm not sure, since she's only met one of my three children & really knows nothing about how they were raised. She knows that I have no problems with Rhi swearing or speaking her mind. She knows that Erin was in foster care, but not why.

She doesn't know that my children never bossed adults around when they were toddlers, that they weren't allowed to throw tantrums (and didn't, for the most part), that they weren't allowed to swear, they weren't allowed hit, bite or push each other or other children, that they had to pick up the toys they played with at other peoples' houses before we left, that they were taught to respect adults, and to respect other peoples' property, that they were taught to share & to be gentle & to accept people for who they are.

All she knows is that I have never censored myself around my kids or expected other people to. I have never looked at another adult & said "If you ever say that to my kids I'm going to..." or lectured one about their choice of words or timing. If I didn't want my kids near something, I kept them away from it. If I caught them swearing as young children, I told them they weren't allowed to use adult language until they were old enough to use it correctly. There was never any subject that was forbidden to talk about in my home & there still isn't - they all feel free to talk to me about anything they need to & they know I'll listen to them & not be offended or shocked.

Erin was in foster care because his sperm donor beat the shit out of me & threatened to kill him when he was a month old & I did what I thought was the right thing & called the police. He was in there for 15 months because the sperm donor didn't care enough about him to finish the treatment plan that I finished twice in that time.

I didn't raise Garrett because he wasn't safe living in my home, because Erin's sperm donor wanted to kill him & told me the only reason he hadn't yet was because he didn't know what to do with the body or what to tell me. I knew it was only a matter of time until he figured those things out & sent Garrett to live with his father. I made the choice that was best for him - not the one that was best for me.

Apparently, all of these things make me a bad parent. Wait a minute - don't bad parents raise bad kids? Let me tell you about my "bad kids" for a few minutes:

Garrett was raised without a mom & without his dad half the time (because his dad was trying to make a living & had to take jobs where he could, so G got left with other family members at times), and out of the three, had the most potential to get into trouble. I'm sure he had his share of bad judgements, that's a part of growing up. He dropped out of high school, got his GED & started college at 17. He failed his drivers' test, so he paid someone to teach him to drive & passed his test. His grandma got sick, so he moved in with her to take care of her. He cares deeply for all of friends& family, me included. He's engaged to a woman he's been in love with for 3 years & loves her little girl, too. He's applied to a film school & I firmly believe that he WILL be a successful film-maker one of these days.

Erin, in spite of his rough start & hard early childhood years (he was diagnosed with ADD at 8) is an awesome young man. By the time he finished high school, everyone knew who he was & most of them spoke fondly of him. As soon as he was old enough to, he went out & got a job, paid all of his school fees his Senior year, paid for half of his Senior portait package & bought all of his own school clothes. He spent the last quarter of his Senior year working his ass off to get all of his credits in so he could graduate & that was a lot of work, since he had zero credit for his Freshman year (we homeschooled that year & they didn't give him credit - its a long story). It was frustrating & took all of his free time, but he did & his graduation day was one of his proudest. He's a wonderfully talented musician, a funny person, a caring, smart & tolerant man. He doesn't smoke, do drugs or drink

Rhi for a long time hated the world & didn't hesitate to show it, but that didn't ever change her loyalty to people she loves or her caring ways towards her family. Recently, she has stopped hating the world & smiles a lot more. She has a lot of friends. She has her drivers' license. She will very likely have a job by tomorrow. She's an honors student, she takes college courses & AP classes. She never misses school unless I make her stay home because she's too sick to move. Yes, she got into some trouble, because she's hard-headed. Being in trouble & being made to pay the consequences made her into a much better, more mature & responsible person, and she rarely complained about any of it. Oh, and she's still a virgin, doesn't smoke, do drugs or drink.

If bad parenting made children like that, I plan to be a bad grandparent, too.

Just as an aside, if the woman in question is reading this: I am exactly who I am, all the time. I'm not a different person for my kids or for my friends. They know this. I don't have a double standard for my own behavior, because I'm not ashamed of who I am. I don't have anything to hide from my children or from my friends. I don't care if you don't like me, don't approve of me & don't want me around. You don't get to decide. I'll keep being around as long as the majority of people in that house want me there. So, my thought is, if you are so scared that I'm a bad influence on your hellions, realize that I'm there every Friday & any Saturday that we have a party planned, if you don't want to be around me, don't be. (hey, sorry, its hard reality, but more of the people in that house want to be around me than want to be around you) If you choose to put yourself & your kids in that situation, then you're losing the right to bitch. Get over yourself. You're not the world's best mom. None of us are. You can live your life in fear or you can live free. Sometimes you have to decide what's more important, your kids or getting laid. You've lost any respect Rhi gave you in the past, so don't be shocked when she's rude to you - you talked shit about her parents. You've never met Erin, he's an adult & doesn't have to respect you, so don't expect it from him either - they're both very loyal to us.

And to that friend: Be pissed off at me if you want, but I didn't start this. If you think about it & put yourself in my shoes, you'll see that. I accepted her, I played nice, I have never told her what to do or say, I haven't publicly questioned her parenting skills, or her judgement. Until now. Until I found out what's been said by her, behind my back. I personally think you need to have a long conversation with your room-mates, because there are things they aren't happy about, too. Pussy is nice, and having a girlfriend probably rocks your world - but what is the final cost going to be? Think back on a few of the readings you've had in the past couple of years & that one card that kept popping up.. its here, man. I'm not going anywhere, I wouldn't be a friend if I did, but something has to change.

My Mood: Pissed Off
My Weather: Sunny

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