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MY LIFE AS I LIVE IT

I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Choices

I use to be, and surely some would argue that I still am, a freak. Although now, I suppose, I am a more presentable freak. However, on the inside...definitely still freak. What's hard to come to terms with is how you tame that part of you as you grow older.

I'm thinking about this today because of my son, Charlie. To look at him, he doesn't seem like he'd be a part of the crowd that he hangs with. All of his friends tend to dress like, what I'd call, preppies. They all wear the preppy brand clothes and they sport the new styled 'do's'. Charlie, well, not so much. Charlie wears the black band tee's, baggy and ripped jeans, and long hair. What's really funny is that the kids who dress like Charlie, Charlie doesn't want to hang around with because he says that they are into things that he wants to stay away from. You can fill in the blanks there. Occasionally when Charlie talks about a new friend, my mind immediately pictures someone like Charlie and every time I meet them, it just always amazes me at how 'clean cut' they are. All of Charlie's friends are A and B students...again, Charlie, not so much. I wonder, if when the parents of Charlie's friends meet Charlie, they're as surprised with how he looks as I am when I meet his friends...and if when they meet Charlie if warning bells go off because of how he looks.

You see, Charlie reminds me of, well...me. The poor kid looks just like me. I know he has to get tired of everyone telling him that. What young man wants to be told he looks like his mother. But, he does. He's also got my sense of humor, which is a mark against him. My humor in a kid's body just gets him in trouble. Trust me, I know this first hand. He's also got my 'dreams'. He's not a logical thinker like his brother, but a dreamer. Being a dreamer is a great thing, unless the dreams get in the way of focusing on what's important now. Sometimes we believe (we dreamers) that everything will turn out the way we want and we don't need to plan today for tomorrow. It's really hard to persuade a young dreamer that you need to start building your tomorrows today, because they see all their tomorrows turning out like they do in their dreams. Reality is hard to accept for a dreamer.

When I was young I was into punk rock, cut my hair off and dyed it purple, wore the rag torn clothes, and safety pins in my ears. Not when I was Charlies age, but early 20's...about 5 years older than Charlie. I didn't hang around with anyone who looked like me, my friends were fairly conservative people that somehow found something in me worth befriending.

The one thing that Charlie and all of his friends have in common; strict parents. All of Charlie's friends have parents who want to know where they are and who they are with. Every one of his friends parents have came in to meet me when they bring their son over or I've gone in to meet them if I've taken Charlie there. I've talked on the phone with parents making sure who will be with whom and where and at what times. If this sounds normal for you, take my word on this, it isn't. It should be, but it isn't. I've come to realize that this is what Charlie has in common with his friends, their foundations are the same.
And I've come to realize that the thing that differs Charlie from the kids that look like him but he chooses to stay away from, is the lack of similarities in their 'foundation'. These kids hang out on the corners and in the parking lots way into the night. They fight. Their language is foul. They smoke and that's as far as I'm taking it because this is all I've seen first hand.
Parents; even a plant will not survive without attention and nurturing.

So, I started out talking about 'freaks'. I'm coming into the realization that Charlie's choosing to be his own person, though he may appear to be a 'freak' compared to his friends appearances, is a bold move. It's as much a choice for him to choose to look like HIMSELF as it is for him to choose to not hang around with kids who look like him but are making poor choices. He must be very confident in himself to choose to stand out in his crowd rather than to fit in with the wrong crowd.

I'm really proud of my kid.

13 Comments:

Blogger 3carnations said...

I guess that's a really good example of not judging a book by its cover.

I'm glad that you are involved with your son and who his friends and their parents are. That's exactly how I plan to be when my son is older, and I can't believe that not everyone is. People who aren't concerned with what goes on when their kids are at a friend's house...Well that kind of makes me wonder what goes on at THEIR house.

9:26 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

I think some are just glad to have them out of the house. Seriously, I see kids not much older than yours playing out in the front yards dangerously close to the streets without parents outside anywhere. It is really sad.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Wes said...

Rock on, Sir Charles!

Such a good freak of an offspring is he ;-)

8:44 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

I love this entire post. I love it because you know your son and loves him enough to take notice of who he is, who he spends his time with and to understand that he is confident. I even love the line even plants need nurturing.

1:07 AM  
Blogger DaBich said...

You know, this reminds me of something MY daughter told me while she was still in high school (she's 24 now and out on her own in the "big city"). I was a parent who cared where she was, just like you do with Charlie. She had curfew and had to be accountable. One day I remarked on how some of her classmates looked and dressed (grungy clothes and long hair, even eye make up on the guys). She looked me right in the eye and said, "Mom, THOSE kids are fine. It's the preppie ones you have to look out for around here!"
Yes, the clean cut ones were the ones doing drugs. The ones who looked like trouble, most of them were actually the "good kids", just wanting to be themselves.
I learned a lesson from her.
Never judge a kid by their clothes!

You're a good mother Kathi, and it shows in your boys. Keep up the good work!

4:23 AM  
Blogger Margie said...

You must be proud to have such a confident son!
When we take the time to always be there for our kids with our support and guidance and love....I do believe that in most cases they will turn out just fine!
You are a great mom Kathi...you really are!
And Charlie is a great kid!

I'm sending good thoughts and wishes your way....
for the most lovely and beautiful day!!!!

5:48 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

rose ~ you know exactly how I feel and why. You've got a daughter to be proud of.

dabich ~ thank you. Teaching I've come to learn, too, that the kids making the A's and putting effort into what they do are not always the one's you'd pick out. We all like to think we're non-judgemental, but at one time or another, we all are. The difference is those of us who can accept and grow from what we learn. "big city" gave me chills, I've GOT to get use to the idea of Casey leaving in a few months.

margie ~ thanks so much. I am really proud of my kids, but sometimes I think they turned out great 'in spite of me', lol... They're a lot more confident than I am, apparently.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Very cool! Don't we all wish more kids had that same wherewithal and mentality to stand on their own and not be pressure to behave poorly just to blend in the crowd.

8:23 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

It really takes a lot to ‘not follow the crowd’, and Charlie’s doing just that. He doesn’t want to mimic anyone else’s appearance but his own. To me, this tells me that he’s going to be his own person, with his own mind, with unique traits that people will fall in love with – or have. He sounds amazing and it definitely stems from having a wonderful mother like you!

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Johnny T... said...

Yes Sandy, he is an original. As am I. Click my link to see how to really dress cool.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Garrett said...

You sound just like my Mom...."sniff"

7:04 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

shawn ~ I didn't have it much when I was Charlies age, so I'm sure glad he does. I've seen where my behavior travels.

deb ~ it's going to be interesting watching the road his travels...thanks for the kind words.

grease boy ~ yeah, I want him to grow up just like you. LOL.

garrett ~ spent a few minutes reading the two entries at your blog and guy, I've got to tell you, you've got quite the sarcastic wit. You've got a story to tell and I hope you keep up the writing. Thanks for finding me.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

He is such a cool kid!

1:17 PM  

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