Thursday, April 11, 2013

I am a genius. Also, I am back

Funny story:
My washing machine is pretty new. (my other one was the same, just an older model, and it had some problems) It has not dispensed Downy like it is supposed to and my clothes do not smell like I like them to smell. I put the Downy in the proper place, some of it drains and the rest turns to a thick slime in the receptacle. I bought the Downy crystals, which I love, but I just missed the softness and smell of my Downy/Tide combo. I called the appliance store where we buy everything and he sent a repairman over today.  

front of machine (I don't use half the features)
cup with Downy residue (after I wipe it out each time) notice the words "Fabric Softener  * Select Fabric Softener Button" that I see ever time I wipe the gunk out

I explained my problem and he calmly pointed something out to me.
I had the button turned to off. I did not know there was a button. (my old machine never had one)

the magic button
When the button is on, the Downy is dispensed through the rinse cycle and then the water shoots through the receptacle to rinse it out. When it is off, the Downy sits in the and slowly drips down throughout the cycle, leaving most of it behind. I never read the manual or even saw the button or noticed the writing on the side of the receptacle. The guy said he never made fun of people who did stupid things but I am guessing there will be a photo on the wall in their breakroom of me titled "Dumbass of the Week"
There actually was a loose washer plate in the washer which the other reason for the call (a funny clicking noise) which is under warranty so the entire visit didn't cost a thing.
And my husband got a good chuckle.
I wonder if he will ever get used to my idiocy?

Moving on.....

Last week I lost my mind.
I realize there was very little left of it at that point but the teensy bit that I had disintegrated.

Let me clarify.
My husband got a phone call from the blue and gold officer assigned to "groom" the little one for the Naval Academy. He said the code next to our son's name indicated that he did not get in to the Academy. The little one had a medical exam with the assigned physicians for the Academy and these doctors had forgotten to fill a few things out so there was a concern that the proper paperwork didn't get submitted on time. Then they ordered a pulmonary test (the little one had some slight asthma issues when he was young, nothing recent though but they don't allow people with asthma into the Academy) and his officer told us that there might be a lag in the acceptance letter. I didn't worry. This was Thursday night.
Friday morning we got the phone call.
He did not get in. 

There would be no waiting, no more tests, no more hoops to jump through. It was over.
A year of exhausting research and exercise and meetings and visits with politicians and people who know politicians. Of paperwork, and exams and letters of recommendation.

To say I was devastated is an understatement. We were having coffee at our cute little bistro table on our bedroom deck. It was a gorgeous sunny day and already almost 75 degrees and I listened to my husband tell me about the phone call he had just received.
I felt like the breath was knocked out of me and my mind went black.

I spread out a towel and layed on the deck in the sun for a couple hours just trying to breathe and absorb this information. 
I never, for one minute, thought he would not be accepted. He is brilliant, witty, funny, athletic, studious, driven and grounded. He always goes after what he wants and is always a success.
He taught himself to read, to speak (with help from a speech therapist when he had hearing loss from too many ear infections and never heard the words correctly), to play many instruments, to excel at music, to drive a 6 speed (when we bought him a car with a standard transmission), he tutors in Calculus and writes for the newspaper and the yearbook (editor in chief) and knows all the elements in the periodic table forward and backward and all of the reactions and the kid knows pretty much everything about everything. He can fly an airplane, shoot a gun, run a mile in no time, do chin-ups and pull-ups and sit-ups that would kill most people. He keeps his car full of gas and spotless, keeps his phone charged, keeps us informed on where he is and will be and works at the restaurant for us cooking and whatever else we need. He can save more money than anyone I have ever seen and he is generous, buying thoughtful gifts for Christmas and birthdays with his own money. He asks for very little and is a quiet addition to our crazy and noisy house.

I dreaded telling him.

The letter came that same day. There were others that were more academically qualified
When he came home, I handed it to him. He read the first 2 lines, tossed it on the bed and got dressed for a district competition he had that night for band. I asked him how he felt and he said very simply, "I don't care".

While I mourned the entire weekend, he had friends over and laughed and ate pizza and acted like a teenager. He left messes and slept late and played video games and watched movies with his best friends and cousin. He sent in the online admission for the college he had as his backup plan and got accepted right away.

I thought that we had it all planned and there wasn't really any other way to do it.

But there is.

I am sure that the little one is disappointed. It sucks not being picked. But unlike his mother, he didn't make it about him. He knows he can be somebody no matter what. A different somebody. Because he is important. Maybe not to the US Naval Academy (their loss) but to his friends, and his family, and his dog, and his teachers and himself. And that kid taught me something. And he teaches me every day. And when I feel like I am a loser and I cannot get it together, I look at what my husband and I created and I know everything is how it should be.
Our kids, even if they aren't doing what was originally intended, will make it in this world. Like we did. And they will make mistakes and make us angry and frustrate themselves and others. Like we did.

So here we are.

I have had some time to think and I am both sad and relieved. I think he is too.
He will not be leaving next month for 5 years of non-stop rigorous training in Officers school.
He will hang out with his friends, drive his new car, pick out a computer for college, go to the lake with friends, play XBOX Live, watch movies, go to graduation celebrations, shop for dorm supplies, get his pilots license and fly all over, walk his dog, grill on the deck with us, turn 18 in June and just finish being a kid. 

He has the option to go to college a year and then re-apply to the Academy. Maybe get another year of Calculus or Physics or another semester of Chemistry under his belt.
He says he won't do it.
He will be at a college an hour from us.
I can live with that.

At some point, I realized that blogging wasn't keeping me from doing the things I needed and wanted to do. 
It was ME.
All the things I had been worrying about came tumbling down and suffocated me and I ran away from my mind and just was still.  I found out that I had made a huge mistake. (Add pms to all of this and WHOA!)
It all became very clear to me.

And I need my blog to help me sort through the things in our lives that cause bumps and bruises and disappointments. And I need my funny stories (which I will bring back) and my life experiences and my fashion and makeup and bad hair days and most of all: my blog friends who care about someone they don't really know.
So you can take me or leave me, I will be what I am.
And I will be here until I cannot do it anymore. 

I heard this song a few months ago and it reminded me of the little one and his brave future in the military. And I listened to it all the time and loved every word of it.
It still stands true, these words.
Whether he is an engineer, a pilot or an officer.
He is a champion.


  1. He is a champion and so are you!!

    This was an amazing insightful post! I loved it and I'm so glad you're back!!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Your son sounds like an exceptional kid. I expect that some of that must of came from you.

    Glad you're back. :)

  3. Sorry about the little one. He seems like an amazing kid, and he WILL go far.
    I'm so happy you're back.

  4. God I love you! For every closed door, new doors are opened. Your son will go on to do awesome thimNgs, just by a different route. So glad you are back.

  5. Beautifully said.
    He will thrive and you will love him even more (if that's even possible.)
    I applaud BOTH of you!

  6. It is amazing the blows one can survive. Some take a bit longer to compute than others. When things like this happen, I think that maybe The Man has plans contrary to mine and take a step back to see what it is. Congrats to little one for his maturity. He is quite the young man. I'm glad you discovered you need your blog, kinda like a washing machine you don't quite understand ;)

  7. I am sorry! That sounds like a rough few days. If I was there we would wear bright colors and drink martinis or margaritas your choice to cheers the great human you gave created. He is going to do something grand, I just know it.

  8. I'm so glad you're back! This makes me very, very happy. :D

    Your son sounds like a wonderful young man. He is amazing, and you are, too. I have no doubt that he will have a lot of success in life. You raised him right!

    Did I tell you I'm happy you're back? ;)

  9. He had a PLAN B in place and reverted to it seamlessly. He's going to rock this world wherever life takes him. Opportunities await. He is a champion, indeed. And remember you had a hand in that.

  10. It is so heartbreaking to us, as moms, when our kids don't get what we think they should or they plan to or we plan for them to? How can others not see the great human beings they are? I know that feeling all too well with raising 5 children (4 boys and a girl) who are grown and living productive lives. They may not have gone the path that I thought they should have but they are happy and productive and have kids of their own now (all but 1 of them) and are having the ride of their lives now! Sometimes Plan B is better than Plan A! By the way, I don't know how your son wasn't accepted into the Naval Academy either! His resume' is amazing! I enjoyed reading your blog post and I'll be back!

  11. My brother in law wanted to fly jets but didn't make it into the academy his first try so he went Army and flew helicopters. When he got out of the Army he joined the Hawaiian Air national Guard to fly F-15's. He is a Standards Captain on the 747 for United Airlines now. I'm sure he wouldn't mind sharing his military experiences with the (not so)little one. I can hook you up with his email if you'd like.

  12. That is one of the greatest things I've ever read. And I've read a LOT. It takes an amazing person and mother to see that in someone else, and to be able to recognize all of those things in yourself and another. And you have me bawling into my coffee at 8:00 on a Friday. I got online this morning and thought, "I wish she would blog. I miss seeing her come up in my scroll." And here you are. N has another path, and no matter what that is, it is not up to any of us, and it will be without interference. Failing sucks but we learn so much from it in the long run. And that song is so HIM I could just cry all over again. Welcome back. Welcome home!

  13. Oh my gosh. I'm glad you're back! Sometimes we become so invested in our kids lives and we worry and fret about something so much that we believe that they are worrying about and it turns out they aren't.

    I have had the same experiences with The Boy and The Girl. I've cried and stewed about things that mean NOTHING to them. My husband told me recently that I have to keep some of my worries to myself because they don't want to think about them. He's right.

    Your boy will go on to succeed somewhere else. He's clearly motivated and capable and their loss will be the gain of someone else.

  14. I am glad you came back - your blog looks refreshing and honest.
    Now I am sorry for your son. My daughter dated her boyfriend all though high school and the Navy Academy. Not a great ending for her or the boy. It is not all it is cracked up to be - trust me. I am sure that God has a better plan. Sandie

  15. I have one sentence.

    You are the best Mom ever.


  16. Your young man is going to have a wonderful life. He is adaptable. He has back-up plans. He's smart. He has spirit. He has parents who love him.

    I always look at things like this as there will be a good reason this happened that I will be able to see later. There will be things I will learn that I never could have learned or experienced any other way than on this altered path. There will be people he will meet that he wouldn't have met. It's all good! What is most important is who he is in this life, not what he does. And he sounds absolutely awesome! :):)

  17. When all else the directions.

    So sorry to hear your son didn't get selected for the Academy, but sounds like you (and he) have a good attitude about it. There is another, better plan for him!

  18. Welcome back!! That is being spoken for you...but mainly selfishly for me...I always enjoy your blog...

    Sorry to hear about the academy...I know how you felt as a is so hard for us to watch them not get something they want...but like you..I have learned so much from my kids. You are right, they will succeed...maybe not at what we had planned...but at what they were meant to do...and they will make us angry, proud and the other emotions mixed in there!

    As for the have one just like my new one (though mine is white)...hey, I know how many buttons it wonder you missed the fabric softner button! It is hard to adjust to a world where the washing machine thinks it is smarter than we are!

    Missed ya girl!! Glad you have returned!

  19. Dang, I hate it for the young fella. Sounds like he put in all the reps. That's a tough one. I know he will excel at whatever path he chooses.

  20. Hey there!! Ok so your washing machine story was hilarious!! :-) And you are such a loving mom. And the Academy missed out on an awesome young man. This only means that he will be on to even bigger and better things. He sounds like a one of a kind teenager and he should be proud of himself and we know how proud you and your husband are of him too.

    Hope you have a great weekend and we are SO glad that you are going to keep on blogging.

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  21. Nice tribute. Isn't it great when parenting slaps you in the face and then hands you a revel?


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