Redemption

I have a disclaimer for those that are extremely conservative: don’t read. (Mrs.Gressman, that would be you)

For those of you that are a little more liberal, you will understand…

Let me set up the situation. I am walking into Wal-Mart with Jason (my significant other) and there are two tables with clip boards. I must add that I NEVER sign anything that people in front of stores are wanting me to sign. NEVER.

“Hi, would you be interested in signing an initiative to get on the ballot…this would help women and children”

That stopped me dead in my tracks. Why wouldn’t I want to help women and children? My first thoughts were: stronger laws against those that abuse children and places to help women after leaving domestic violence relationships. ALL GOOD STUFF, RIGHT?

About the time I grabbed a clipboard to put my information down, an older gentleman in an army uniform comes over to me. Clearly, he’s working for the cause as well. He looks over at me and says “Thank-you for signing. We have to protect the children from the perverts.”

“We sure do” I said. Nodding, proud that I was going to be something good for the women and children of America. Anything to help the women and children.

I look over at Jason and he’s signing. I smiled inside because he NEVER signs these things either. He’s a conservative and doesn’t usually fall for this type of “bleeding heart horse shit.” (His words, not mine)

So, there we were, finally agreeing on something. Making a change for those that have no voice. Women and children were going to be saved because we signed this form.

“Thank-you for signing and here is a pamphlet to give you more information.”

I grabbed the pamphlet and began reading, the smile on my face slowly melted away.

“What the fuck did I just sign?”

I stopped dead in my tracks, again.

“This is an initiative that will not allow transgendered individuals to use the bathroom in which they choose…….”

Do I go back and cross my name off the list??? I look over at Jason and he has a big smile on his face. SHIT. I wadded up the pamphlet and threw it in the cart. I did not go back and scribble my name off the list. Instead, I kept walking, feeling that I had betrayed all the people that deserve to use any damn bathroom they want. I betrayed MY people. You see, I am included in the LGBTQ and therefore, my signature will be used against me.

Lesson learned: NEVER SIGN SOMETHING YOU DON’T READ FIRST!
My very conservative boyfriend thought this was funny as did Jen. I bet he won’t be laughing when he barrels up the driveway this evening as sees my big colorful PRIDE FLAG flapping in the wind in front of our house for all to see, will he?
AND

I will be “liking” everyone’s status on Facebook with the pride flag emoticon.

Redeemed, right!?

Christin.
gaypride

“Here’s To The Night”

 

 

This is one of my personal favorite graduation/end of school songs. Not one of the more traditional ones (“School’s Out For Summer”) (“Another Brick In The Wall”.) This one just speaks to me in ways that the other’s do not.

I do not have fond memories of school. School was one of the hardest times in my life, and that is no exaggeration. I had no friends. None. I was the kid who would eat lunch in the bathroom because I had no one to sit with in the lunchroom.

Finding a seat on the bus was pure torture. No one wanted to ever sit with me. There were a few times where I “accidentally” missed the bus (both to and from school) so I would not have to go through the daily ritual of trying to find a seat. Once the bus driver yelled “WE ARE NOT LEAVING UNTIL EVERYONE SITS DOWN!” (and you knew “EVERYONE” was me) a few kids would reluctantly move their backpacks so I could sit down.

I was constantly called “fat.” I did not look like the other kids, I was shy, closed up, and unlike the sea of blond hair blue-eyed gems that took over the school….there was me. I mean now I can say I was a dark-haired beauty who stuck out in the crowd, but back then, people thought I was everything in-between, and nothing that resembled them,  and it pretty much sucked.

In the 4th grade I was in the restroom and heard some of my fellow classmates make fun of me, again, calling me fat.  I ran out of the restroom crying. My teacher, Mrs. Mayes, took me in her arms and asked what happened. Through tears I told her how I had overheard three of the girls calling me fat in the restroom. Mrs Mayes’ eyes became glossy, a few tears escaped as she quickly wiped them away. She brought the entire class together, and told each and every student that it is unacceptable to name call. Name calling leaves scars that cannot be healed, and if she ever hears of any name calling in her classroom, that will be cause for expulsion.

Now, that incident certainly did not help me make any friends, however,what it did do for me was show me that I had someone in my corner. It showed me that Mrs. Mayes at one point or another in her life understood what I was going through, she understood what I was feeling. For a brief moment I was able to see her pain, the same kind of pain I was feeling. That moment meant the world to me, because my family had no idea how bad school was for me. I was worried if I told them, I would be a disappointment to them.

……

Just like every story that is ever told, life goes on. I would like to say that the remainder of my school years turned out better, but that would be a lie. They just got worse….worse in ways that if something did not change, I would have ended it all, at the expense of my own life.

Over the last 30 years, I went on to have my own family. My oldest two boys, AJ and Vinnie, thrived in school. They were popular, they had friends, and for a good run, they were making descent grades. I did my part, I showed up to the parent/teacher conferences, I made sure all paperwork was turned in a timely manner, but I refused to join the PTA. I just knew without a doubt that I would have those same judgments placed on me that I did 30 years ago. No thank you.

My girls, Gracie and Sofia. Different but the same. Gracie thrives on routine. She is feisty and choses who she wants to be friends with. She is perfectly content doing her own thing, and really does not care what people think of her. She is kind of my hero.

Sofia is probably most like me, yet she still has many more friends than I ever did.

I pride myself on knowing the signs, I know what to watch out for, I know when I need to jump in if I feel there are issues with bullies, fitting in, feeling accepted, ect.

Just like I did with my sons, I did the same with my daughters. I showed up when I needed to. I made sure all paperwork was turned in, I would bring in school supplies if teachers were running low, but I was not ready to become involved in other ways. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

About three years ago, things took an interesting turn.

Gracie had some issues. She had issues from birth, but at this point, 4th grade, I knew there was something more was going on. “Something” was not quite right with her. It was at this time, I decided to become an active parent volunteer in the school. It was time for me to face my demons head on and fight for my daughter. I needed a place where I could watch her from a safe distance, because at this point the doctors were not listening to me.

Seven months later we had her Autism diagnosis.

……

Some may call it an eerie coincidence, but I know the “Big Guy Upstairs” had a hand in this. I was actually enjoying being an active parent volunteer, an active PTA member. I enjoyed seeing my girls in school. I found fulfilment in helping out, in running errands, in making cookies and popcorn. I enjoyed the challenges that came with being an active member of the PTA. Before, I knew it I was now the PTA treasurer.

I am now on my second year of PTA President. Something I never ever thought I would do. I did not have it in me, hell, I did not want to have “it” in me. Along with being the PTA President, I am also a “Room Mom.” Now I know these things may not seem like a whole lot to some people, but to me, it means the world.

I have come to adore these kids. Each one of them has taught me in ways that they will never know.

“S”~ A delightfully challenging little boy. Every time Gracie or Sofia came to this class, he would make a special effort to go up to them and say “Hi!” Of course he always got their names backwards, but my girls got a kick out of that. At his core, he is so so kind.

“G” ~ She would always “Tell it like it is.” “Mrs. Pedro, why are you eating cheese, it will make you go poop.” “Mrs. Pedro, I really think you should get rid of your gum if you are going to read us a story.” “Mrs. Pedro, why are you talking to that Mom, she is mean and her son is a jerk!” I have high hopes for this one, she would be an AMAZING counsellor for at risk youth.

“Z” ~ A pretty bad-ass Samoan kid. He would always tell me “I got you Mrs. P!” So So helpful. I could ask him to do anything and he would do it with no complaints.

“K” ~ He came to the school late in the year, and even though I never told the teacher this, I made sure to keep an extra special eye on him. It’s hard coming to a new school so close to the school year ending. I wanted to make sure he adjusted wonderfully. I know the teacher did too, but for me, I had to make sure “K” would not have the same experiences in school that I did. Turns out “K” and “G” became pretty good friends. I am no longer worried.

“L” ~ This kid is a freaking genius. She is going places. She is an ideal student and I will assume a teachers dream. I loved watching her from a safe distance. She took it all in, Harvard, watch out, you need to keep an eye on this one!

“M” ~ Another genius. Let me tell you about her. She whole heartedly had the idea that our school should do a fundraiser to purchase goats for a family in another country. 3rd grade people!!!!! Because of her, our school was able to purchase 7 goats and a flock of chickens for families in need. Pretty amazing, right??And….for some reason, I am lucky enough to see it all firsthand.

……

Thursday was the last day of school. We only had about two hours before the final bell was rung, and Summer Vacation began. In the classroom I volunteer in, I was able to participate in “What’s the News.” A time where all the kids come together in a circle, they turn to their partner and ask “What is your news?” At the end, the teacher (An amazing 14 year seasoned teacher who has also taught me life lessons along the way.) started talking about “Wonder Woman.” I never knew this, but apparently back in the day when the Wonder Woman comic first came about, a lot of little boys did not want to read it because, well, Wonder Woman is a girl. The teacher went on to say how Wonder Woman is a wonderful role model for little girls….and then, when my defenses were down, gifted me this.
school3

And it gets better, so stick with me.

Backstory……not many people know this about me, but I never ever ever say the word that means “passing gas” and rhymes with “heart.” I never say it, and clearly I never type it. So…..naturally, the class gifted me with this.

 

A story about Walter the dog, who has a “passing gas problem” and in this particular story, kinda gets the “shit end of the stick” (No pun intended)

Naturally, I had to read the story to the class……BUT, because these kids know me SO SO well, they were there to take over every time that “one word” made an appearance. I would be reading…..and when that word would come up, I would look at them, and they knew, in unison they would shout out the word, that for reasons Dr Phil would have a field day with, these kids said it for me.

It gets better.

At the assembly. Many awards are given out. “Best attendance” “Student Council” “Green Team.” I am standing against the wall, talking to the teacher. We are checking our watch, while listening to the awards being awarded. Only 7 minutes left and then SCHOOL”S OUT FOR SUMMER. Another teacher (who is also on the PTA Board) takes a place on the left side of me. We are talking, we are listening, we are clapping for the awards……the Vice Principal…..
“This award goes to a parent who is here every day. She works hard……..

I notice, “my kids” the kids I volunteer with, they look at me, they point at me……I look at “my” teacher, my “boss”

“Oh dear God No.”

“Jennifer Pedro.”

The gym erupts in applause.

I look at my “boss”

“Well go up there!”

I go up there, trying to hold back my tears, because I did not expect this.

She gives me a bouquet of flowers. I give her a hug, and whisper “You have no idea how much this means to me.”

I make my way back….

“PTA helps pay for your field trips.”

A few teachers make eye contact with me, they are smiling…and clapping……the kids, they are all giving me a “high-five.”

I take my place back against the wall, I look at the two teachers who are next to me, “DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS?”

“Yes!”

“And you did not tell me?!”

“NO!”

My tribe.

And that was it, I came full circle. I was no longer that little girl in school who had no friends, who was being made fun of, who had no idea what would become of her. I was no longer that little girl who would do whatever it took to not go back to school. I came full circle.

Again, I know this does not sound like much, especially for those of you that are doing pretty well financially, I know some of you may be thinking “Well, volunteering does not pay the bills.” I know this post may come across as somewhat flakey…and that is okay, because what I have learned, success is not defined by monetary value, success is defined by your character.

Teacher ~ I think you should become a teacher.

Me ~ I am too old.

Teacher ~ If you go to school now, you will still be younger than Mrs. B was in her first year of teaching.

And now…..we are talking about a game changer.

Teacher, Para, my options are open….I just want to work with kids. I want to make sure no one has to feel what I felt in school. I want to be their Mrs. Mayes.

Just like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

“You always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”

And…….I think I did.

“Here’s a toast
To all those who hear me all too well.”

Jennifer.

 

My Dad

In the spirit of Father’s Day 2017, I wanted to dedicate a blog to my very own Dad. I hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I enjoy writing it.

My Dad has always been the absolute best dad. There was never a time, he was not there for us. There was never a time where us siblings doubted we were loved and cared for.

I mean there was that one time over twenty years ago when we had a slight argument on one of my all time favorite bands, “Motley Crue.” For some reason (we will go with he was overworked) he claimed that “Montley Crue” was not “real” music.

I know, right?!?! I am happy to say over the years he has seen the error of his ways. Truly, other than that one incident, he has always and will always be the greatest dad.

……

When I got my first speeding ticket (right around the “Motley Crue” incident) I was so scared to tell him. However…..I had a plan! Right after I got the 40 plus dollar speeding ticket, I went out and found a job. It was a telemarketer job, but hey it was something, and at least he would know how sorry I was and I would work to pay off the ticket myself. I was nervous, but decided to rip the band-aid off.

Me ~ “Dad, I kinda got a speeding ticket, but do not worry, I found a telemarketer job and I will work to pay it off.

Dad~ (he kinda gave that blank stare of his, which I now know to be the “What did you do now” stare. He waited a moment while letting my words process) “Jen, get rid of the job, they are a scam, we will figure it out.”

……

Then there was the time where I kinda helped my younger sister sneak out……then I felt bad, and guilty, so I kinda had to tell him what I did.

Me ~ “Okay…..so I kinda helped Carolyn sneak out and now I feel bad and OH MY GOD I am so sorry!!”

Dad ~ (Again with the blank stare) “WHAT?!?!”

I again, tried to explain the situation. He calmly, grabbed a pen and paper. He penned out a quick note. “I hope it was worth it, you are grounded.” And left the note under my sisters pillow. The very pillow she used a her pretend sleeping body.

Somehow I did not get punished for my role in that one, well, unless you count the 30 minute lecture.

……

Then there was the time where my 7th grade principal called the house. Apparently the principal was under the assumption that I was skipping Science class.

Me ~ “I do not know what he is talking about, I have been going to class!”

Dad ~ “Jen, the principal was in your class and you were not there!”

That was a hard one for me to explain. But…I had no friends. I was the joke of the class, and I think I should get some points for not putting myself in a situation like that.

……

There were MANY times when we were out to dinner as a family. In the middle of our meal, Dad would excuse himself from the table to go give the homeless guy on the corner some money. He never made judgments, he never questioned where the money was going. If he sees someone, whether he is in the middle of a meal, or driving in the middle of traffic, he will stop and give them money.

……

At the age of 19 I found myself pregnant. Funny how that happens right? I told my dad over the phone. There was just no way I could tell him face to face.

“We are here for you.”

Never any judgments. Never telling me what I did wrong (and trust me, there was plenty) All he said, all he wanted me to understand “We are here for you.”

(The same exact conversation happened with baby 2, 3 and 4.)

……

On one of the Seattle visits. Gracie was young. Her medical issues were brand new. Gracie, was sitting on the sofa, rocking back and forth, back and forth. She was almost throwing herself. We would later learn this was her way of comforting herself. Dad had to leave the room. It was a lot for him to take in…because he does wear his heart on his sleeve.

……

I honestly believe my dad is one of the greatest people you will ever meet. Anyone would be lucky to know him….and once you have a conversation with him, you will see what I mean.

My dad has a passion for our Veterans who struggle with PTSD.

My dad has a passion for doing the right thing, and always making someone feel the absolute best they can about themselves.

My dad has a passion for family, loyalty and God.

My dad has a passion for politics (a topic I recommend we stay away from)

My dad has always been there for us kids.

My dad taught me how a lady should be treated…something he learned from his own dad.

I would not be “Me” without my dad….and granted, I may not be “all that” but at the core, at my core, I am everything I am, and everything I will be because of my dad.

So…Dad, if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for not giving up on me, thank you for always believing in me, even when I did not believe in myself, thank you for being the person that I compare everyone else to. Thank you for introducing me to music at such a young age, thank you for seeing the error of your ways regarding Montley Crue (I just cannot let that one go) Thank you for your sacrifices, thank you for your humor, simply put……Thank You.

Happy Father’s Day 2017.

fathersday

A few updates from Vodka Calling…

♥ We suck at Blogging.

♥ Christin currently has family in town. A nice visit to celebrate her GRADUATION tomorrow!!!

♥ I am currently counting down the days untill the last day of school.

♥ Four and a half days left!!

♥ July 1st, I will be ready for my kids to go back to school.

♥ I decided to start selling this amazing, last all day makeup.

♥ Come join my group on Facebook “Lipstick Calling” to learn more about it.

♥ It’s seriously the best makeup ever, and I am not just saying that because I am selling it.

♥ Gracie will be two weeks seizure free tomorrow!

♥ I really want to see the new Wonder Woman movie.

♥ One thousand dollars says I will not be able to see it until it comes on DVD.

♥ Joe says he does not want anything for Father’s Day.

♥ I cannot decide if he is telling me the truth or not.

♥ I should just get him an Eagles jersey and call it good.

♥ I despise the Eagles.

♥ Yeah, yeah, it’s not about me.

♥ The picture below, that’s “Your’s Truly” wearing one of our most popular Reds. “Fly Girl.”

♥ Just putting it out there in case anyone would like to order it.

♥ Although I refuse to be one of those people who is pushy.

♥ I mean I am pushy in general, but I will try very hard to not be push with my new makeup.

♥ I said I would try.

 

The Change?

A few days ago I wrote THIS post. I talked about how my cat accidentally tried to kill me, and I now believe I have some weird cat disease because I am all out of whack. Tired, overly sensitive, no energy, just your basic Hot Mess.

Today, I have a new theory.

My day began with Sofia accidentally letting one of cats out. This was the first time Blink had been outside since our move. Clearly he had no idea where to go.

He ended up on the roof of my complex.

That was fun.

Thank goodness Vinnie decided to try to skip school. I was able to put him on “Blink Rescue” while I got the girls to school on time.

(Blink was rescued from the roof safely and securely.)

The girls are now in school.

I have a normal conversation with someone who I talk to daily, nothing out of sorts…and I just about broke down into tears…..for no reason.

Clearly something is going on.

I knew I needed to give myself a little time out.

I left the school, pulled myself together and continued with my errands.

Afterwards, I came home. Our neighbor whom we have not officially met, was sitting on the steps just hanging out enjoying the hot Spring day.

Me ~ “Hi!”

Neighbor ~ “Hey, how are you doing? Enjoying the sun?”

Me ~ “Wow! You have a very distinct voice, have you ever thought of doing voice overs?”

Neighbor ~ (Laughing) “Nah…..I had throat cancer and now my voice is like this.”

KILL-ME-NOW.

The rest of the day was not much better.

And then, it hit me, like a ton of bricks.

I am not pregnant, nor do I have some weird cat disease…..I am on the verge of menopause!!!!!!!!!!!

The signs are there. Moody, emotional, constantly hot, no period, face is breaking out.

This cannot be happening. Despite popular belief, I am way too young for menopause. Seriously, I am!

……

After my day, I made myself a stiff drink and called Christin. I explained to her that I believe I am approaching menopause. I told her all my symptoms. I told her how crazy emotional I am. I told her how I am dripping in sweat and how my face looks like that of a 15-year-old breaking out in acne….or leprosy. I told her I am all over the place, and there is something going on., and the only logical answer is menopause.

Christin ~ “Well, when was your last period?”

Me ~ “About a month ago.”

(Long Pause)

Christin ~ “Jen, I am wondering if this is one of those times where you may be jumping the gun?”

Me ~ “Oh I wish I was jumping the gun. I thought it all out, I mean I was willing to have some weird cat disease, but my wound is healed, so the next logical scenario is menopause!”

(Long Pause)

Christin ~ “Or…….and hear me out on this one……it could just be PMS.”

(Long Pause)

Me ~ “WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THAT?!”

So there you have it. I am not approaching menopause.

I am just having a very bad few days of PMS.

It HAS to be PMS.

We are going with PMS.

Yes, we are.

This is not up for discussion,

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Perfection only exist on Facebook…

We have all been there before. I think.

Unless it is just me….and Christin.

You know the scenario. You are laying on the sofa, watching some Netflix on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You are still in your pajamas. No makeup and a messy bun. At 1 pm. There may be some sort of food stain on your t-shirt. Perhaps from breakfast, except you did not have pizza for breakfast, you had pizza for dinner last night. You make a mental note to definitely take a shower before episode 12 of  “Desperate Housewives”,  you may as well start a load of laundry too…later. You get comfortable on the sofa. Snuggled in blankets while your children seem to be okay in their room. I mean no noise is good, right? You take out your phone and start to scroll through Facebook, and see that your Facebook friends have been a little more productive than you have been.

“Just got back from Hawaii. I am so blessed.”

Great. Now I know my timeline will be occupied with 120 photos of Hawaii. I was good with the first 20.

“My husband is the best! He spoils me so much, I just love him to pieces.”

Yeah, he is sitting right next to you on the sofa. Come on now!

“Dylan made honor roll for the third time this year!”

Isn’t he in Kindergarten?

“We can do hard things!”

You are preaching to the choir, Sista!

As much as I try to use sarcasm to deflect from every day life, I find myself now questioning everything. Am I seriously the only one who does not live what seems to be this perfect  life? My timeline reads more like a comedy than a fairytale.

“Gracie had another seizure today. Crap!”

“I burnt dinner……again”

“My cat almost tried to kill me, but it was an accident.”

“Does anyone have a sledgehammer I can borrow?”

“The Playstation is not working, I cannot imagine what happened to it?”

I mean if I read my friends post on Facebook and think to myself “What the hell am I doing wrong in this thing called life?” What do you think they think about my post?

“She puts way too much out there.”
“Just read her blog, it’s no wonder she ended up this way.”
“Some people may call this karma, not me, but some people.”

It’s both frustrating and eye-opening, until in a moment of weakness (I was out of chocolate) I realized, “Ya know, it’s not really about me, other people’s opinion of me is really none of my business.”

I don’t know, does that make sense?

Let’s see what Christin has to say about this topic!

……

I can relate to the whole “sitting in the pajamas at 1pm and opening Facebook to see someone’s fabulous life” experience. Unlike Jen, I don’t post a whole lot about my life. You can find pictures of my kids and their events but that’s about it. If I did post more, you may find out how I’m sitting at home on a Friday night finishing a paper or how I had to read a book about rocks for my Geology class. I’ll save everyone the boring details of the life of an almost 40-year-old college student. It lacks any fabulousness and spontaneity.

However, we all have those “Facebook friends” that have these glamorous lives.

1. “The Foodie” This person posts fancy pictures of their food. Not just breakfast but all three meals and dessert. They may even put it in a colorful collage to display everything that went in their mouth today. We don’t care that you ate tuna tar tar with brussels sprouts on top of lettuce. Save the effort of taking the picture and just eat your food.

2. “The Holy Roller” We get it. You love Jesus. I love Jesus too but preaching about how the Lord this and God that every single post is a little too much. Forcing your religious beliefs on everyone isn’t the way to go. Just remember “What Would Jesus Do?” He probably wouldn’t be on Facebook, just saying.

3. “Negative Nancy” My life sucks and all the people in my life hate me. We all have one of those people who looks at the glass half empty. Hell, these people complain about every little thing. You begin to wonder if they just got dealt a bad hand or they look for the bad in everything. I personally can’t have these people on my news feed and am very thankful for the “unfollow” button.

4. “Vague bookers” These are the people that have so much to say but don’t really say anything at all. For example, “I miss you and can’t wait until I see you tomorrow” First, you damn well know that everyone one is going to be asking who this fool is and what you are going to do tomorrow. So is it attention that you desperately need or do you think people give a shit because if I’m being honest, nobody really cares, they are just nosey and want to be all up in the business. Keep your vague booking for your diary, honey, because we don’t care.

5. “Showoffs” Yes, we get it..your life is perfect. You have the perfect spouse, kids, dog and job. Sunshine and butterflies all the time. Your life is but a dream but here’s the truth about you: You put all of your “perfection” all over FB because you are insecure. You have something to prove to somebody. It’s okay dear, you don’t have to hide the fact that your husband is having an affair, your kids are assholes and your dog poops in the neighbor’s yards. Just be honest, real life is more interesting than your fake persona and your pretty little pictures.

6. “Validators” These are people who want you to know everything they’ve ever done..for someone else. Case and point..”I gave a homeless man 10.00 today, I’m such a saint” These people want/need a pat on the back and 100 of their closest FB friends to tell them how great they are and what a wonderful thing they did. I’m all for giving to others but is it necessary to solicit the world to give you an “atta boy/girl”? Do things because you want to, not because you can’t wait until you get home to post it on FB.

7. “The Cleavage girl/ GQ guy” We get it. You are trying to be a Facebook model. Although I’m sure having 1,000 friends is a real ego booster, I’m sure most of those are just men that want to see the little that remains to be seen. For you guys that think that you sexy poses are going to get you into the next “Magic Mike”, I hate to break it to you but you are no Channing Tatum. I don’t care what lighting you use. Ladies, put your assets away and stop attracting those creepy 50-year-old men. Guys, although your six-pack is quite impressive, your cocky attitude is not. Put your shirt on and please for the love of God, go wash that streaky spray tan off.

At the end of the day, we are all real people with real problems. That’s just life. We learn as we go and we do the best we can with what we have, where we are at. There’s no need to put a façade of perfection because that’s all it is, a façade. Be real. Be you. Be transparent. God knows I have made my fair share of mistakes. I’ve written about most of my darkest days and I did that because I know somewhere out there, there is someone else that connect because they are in the midst of their darkest days. Somewhere in the middle of honesty, we find humanity, and that is what is most important.

……

So…clearly Christin had a lot of thoughts on this topic. Facebook is a wonderful means to keep in touch with family, friends who you may not see on a daily basis. Facebook is the perfect avenue to reconnect with childhood friends from your past. With all the complaining I do, Facebook definitely has it perks. I can post about Gracie having a seizure, and automatically the girls’ school knows they will not be in the following day. I have had heart to heart conversations with friends late at night on messenger. I have had a lot of laughs, and a few tears. Bottom line for me, well……I think my Dad summed it up best.

“You know what is truth? We are ALL pretty crappy people,with major issues and problems and insecurities. I know one wouldn’t get this from reading the majority of FB Posts where everyone has the perfect kids, the perfect spouse,the perfect home and the perfect job, etc. Clearly,that is mostly false.
What is beautiful to me are those that can admit their brokenness, their hurt , their insecurities and their pain and then have others that will hold them up; not with platitudes… but with understanding because they have walked the same road. There is plenty of evidence to convict us all of being “shit people”: that’s where Grace and love come in. Of course from God, but also from other transparent people who are not afraid of being honest.”

……

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Another Seizure.

I was at Sofia’s school today, doing what I do best on Friday’s, making cookies. My fellow PTA Moms and I were ahead of the game. We would actually be done at a reasonable hour.

One of my favorite teachers ever, pulled me aside and asked me if she could bring a New Dad in to our room introduce to us, and possibly find him something to do. This Dad is a very hands on Dad and wanted to volunteer. Well look no further, right?!

I introduced myself to the New Dad, we made small talk, and then my phone rang.

“Mrs. Pedro, this is Robyn at Gracie’s school, she is in the middle of a seizure, 911 has been called we need you here now.”

Of course I freak out.

“I have to go, I have to go!”

New Dad looks a little freaked out.

One of the office ladies comes into the PTA room. I am frazzled, because as we all know by now, I pretty much suck under pressure.

“I have to go, Gracie is having a seizure!”

The Office Lady looks at me.

“I know, I just got off the phone with the school leave now, just GO!”

New Dad is probably wondering why it is he chose today of all days to come in and volunteer.

My fellow PTA Moms tell me “Just Go, we have this.”

I try to grab my things, still frazzled. I looked at the Office Lady.

“Sofia, what about Sofia?!”

“Just go, we will figure it out, GO!”

And off I went, driving like a crazy woman.

……

I made it to Gracie’s school in record time. This is Gracie’s fourth time having a seizure at school. I know the shortcuts. I know that I can turn onto the side street that says “Busses Only” and be at the back of the school, right next to the fire truck in mere seconds. I know that two people will be waiting for me. One directing me where to park, and the other ushering me in to the school.

I know the scene that awaits me. Gracie, on the floor lying on her side. A team of three firemen surround her on the floor. Her teacher is also there, holding her hair back. They are checking Gracie’s vitals, while a 4th fireman is asking me Gracie’s health history. Another one of Gracie’s teachers takes her place by my side and goes over the events.

It was lunch time, Gracie’s arm started to shake. Gracie knew what was coming. The teacher knew what was coming. They brought Gracie to the floor, and the seizure happened.

Can we just give some KUDOS to Gracie for letting her teacher know that a seizure was coming, and a KUDOS to the teacher for getting Gracie to the floor in time before the seizure hits.

I suppose this is a good time to mention to anyone who may be reading this and has interaction with Gracie, if she tells you her arm is shaking, get her to the floor on her left side, and be prepared because in a matter of seconds, you will be a witness to her seizure. If you are anything like me, you will freak out. Don’t. Just wait it out. Anywhere between 2-5 minutes. It will be longest 2-5 minutes of your life, especially if this is your first time dealing with a seizure. Call 911. There is always the chance Gracie will not come out of the seizure, and if she does not, we need medics there.

It took Gracie a little bit longer than usual to come out of this one…but she did. Her vitals were good, blood sugar was fine. As soon as she was able to walk on her own, I was allowed to take her home, with strict orders to call Neuro. The fireman helped me get Gracie to the car, for some reason, even though Joe now has a cell phone, he missed all 15 of my calls. As did Aj and Vinnie.

Gracie was now home, and out of it. I have said this before but I need to keep saying it. Mainly for myself, but also in the rare chance Gracie has a seizure and I am not with her. A seizure takes so much out of a person. All they want to do, all they need to do is sleep. Joe and The Boys had everything under control, so now I had to go get Sofia from her school, hoping that word did not get back to her about Gracie having a seizure.

I made it to her school just in time for recess, and to see her arguing with her number one nemesis.

Lovely.

Sofia’s teacher intervened.

I pulled Sofia’s teacher aside, explained that Gracie had another seizure, Sofia does not know yet, and as soon as recess is over, I am taking Sofia home.

“Mom, why are you picking me up early?”

“Well, everything is fine, but….Gracie had a seizure at school and we need to get home and call the Doctor.”

“It’s the pizza Mom, I just know it is the pizza.”

Sofia may be right. That’s the thing about epilepsy, we really do not know “what” causes a seizure. The goal is to try to keep them under control.

It’s hard. So so hard.

But, as I was reminded of tonight, “You are strong, this will make you stronger.”

and……it will.

I mean of course I will have a moment or two, I will freak out, I will have doubts, but I am strong, because I have to be strong, and one way or another, we will, I will, get to the bottom of this.

I have too much to lose if I don’t.

Jennifer.

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