November 5, 2009

The Meandering Bohemian

The Meandering Bohmeian was kind enough to do a guest post as well. This funny and kind fella and I go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back! You may remember me mentioning that he was an old high school crush, I mean friend. ;o) Well this boho is now a successful married man who does some fantastic writing on the side. His site, Meandering Bohemian, is full of great insight shown with his words, famous quotes & phrases, and showcases fantastic photography from photogs around the globe. His latest post, My Journey with Jack Kerouac, is my favorite yet - maybe because I can connect with what he's saying or maybe because I love a good Kerouac read and anyone else who enjoys him. Anyway check out what he has to say about his mama. It's hilarious but mostly sweet. Don't forget to add his blog to your Google Reader.
Thanks for doing this James!

The Restless Mama and I have known each other closely and from afar for many a year. A fun fact about the two of us is that we share a birthday. We are both Gemini/Cancer cusp people! If you get the two of us in the same room its like having four jealous, protective, spastic people who have been locked in an elevator for six hours. So this should be fun for everyone. Now you can see what she would be like if she was an alcoholic, chain smoking, obsessive cusser… and male! Yeah you’re right, probably a stretch. When I was asked to guest post on the Restless Mama blog my first question was what does a boozing, childless, late twenties male have to say on a motherhood centric blog! But I was honored and here I am.

I figured since I don’t have any kids myself, have a hard time relating to people with children my age and generally am one of those people you’d probably prefer to keep your kids away from. I could only resort to the one thing that was left: talking about my mother.

My mother is and has been, since I was very young,my hero. Those 100 question internet surveys almost always ask “who is your hero” and I always list my mother. I just never understood people who listed sport, cultural, or political figures. I can’t relate to those people. I don’t know them. And it would be my luck that I’d list Michael Jordan or Al Gore or Big Bird and hold onto that for 20 odd years, only to read some post mortem biography about how they were really doped up, sex crazed, assholes.

It’s totally true, Big Bird probably boozes it up with Oscar the Grouch when the cameras are off and lord only knows how much tickling is going on with Elmo when the curtains go down. His friend the Count “1 ah ah ah… 2 ah ah ah…" yeah he' probably Big Birds drug dealer. If my years have taught me anything it's that drug dealers are good at math. Probably all those cash transactions and weighing of product.

I’d be crushed if I had to endure finding that out about my hero. So it always just made more sense to have a hero that a) I personally knew and b) I could defend if ever challenged. Plus girls do that head tilt thing like curious birds, hands held to their hearts, eyes gloss over, long winded “Ah’s” and “that’s so cute” when I reveal who is my hero. Chicks dig sensitive dudes.

But why you ask is my mother my hero? Well I admire her for her hard work. . Plus she’s lived a real rags to riches life. Raised with her two sisters and two brothers, her father left her mother penniless, alone and with five adolescent children. They were poor and at times had to live in condemned houses with no heat and very few luxuries. Her mother, my grandmother, raised the family with an iron fist, probably out of sheer necessity. My grandmother did eventually remarry the man whom I know as my grandfather. But life for the family was never easy.

My mother has a long list of amazing accomplishments in my book. She graduated high school almost two years early. She was kicked out of the house at 18 and survived. She is at the top of her career field and is highly respected despite not having any higher education. She’s not afraid to try new things, places, or people. And perhaps her greatest accomplishment, she raised two healthy, smart and successful young men; myself and my younger brother.

A little about that last accomplishment. I’ve always said that I was raised perfectly. How many kids this day can say that. My mother was always stern but fair raising me. She told me at 13 that everything I needed to know about right and wrong was instilled in me by the age of 10 and I was just going to have to face the consequences of my actions from that point forward. It held true the rest of my life. When I did wrong I had to handle it. Not like so many parents I see today who mop up there children’s problems for them. I was by no means a golden child either. I had my brushes with danger, booze, drugs, crazy girlfriends, and less than ideal choices. But I came out alright on the other side. I’m successful, deeply in love with my wife and happy today. I think her style allowed me to experience life without going overboard because I always new if I went too far there was no one to blame but myself and no one to fix the problems I had created for myself. She was stern but fair. I was spoiled to the point of comfort but not to the point of excess.

My mom was a bit old school raising me. I had nice cloths, good shoes, and nice toys. But that all had to last. Tore a hole in my shoes, “tough shit those shoes have to last you the whole school year". Thought it was a good idea to play with my G.I Joe’s realistically and sacrificially burn them in the yard, “Well you’re not getting new ones”. Crashed my truck at 16 driving like an idiot, “guess you’ll be the only senior riding the bus to school until you can save enough money for a new car”. Had a brush with Mr. officer in college because I was underage drinking, “have fun paying your court fees”. These things while giving my mother gray hairs also gave me life lessons. I think had my mother mopped up my messes I’d be weaker as a person and less of person in general. I do know right from wrong. I understand every action has a consequence, and I’m able to face life’s challenges. Not to mention to this day I can make a pair of shoes last me years, obsessively take care of my most prized possession, and drive an old 94 Nissan Altima. Because it’s mine, I paid for it, and it’s got character. Oh and I haven’t talked to a cop in years… Knock on wood!

So Mom… This Bud’s for you! I think this day and age it’s amazing to have a mother who has a son who claims “he was raised perfectly!” But that’s what I always say when asked about my childhood. So for what its worth the boozing, childless, late twenties male has some advice for all those mothers out there:

Allow your children to experience life, handle their choices and learn the ropes of life. Protect them from harm but allow them to grow! This thing called life is selfish, brutish and harsh. Fixing your children's mistakes does nothing to help them learn, grow and know what it is to be ALIVE!

Many thanks to the Restless Mama for letting me share some words with you all. I think I only cussed twice. When I asked under what conditions I had to post she said, “I couldn’t drop the F bomb”. It was almost a deal breaker :o)

-Meandering Bohemian

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