Thursday, June 16, 2011

E-wee, Daughter Number Three, A Mexican Burglar, and My Grandson

This morning when I woke up, I decided to start my day going to pick up my co-op food. Carrots. Lettuce. Two lemons. Two onions. Six sweet potatoes. Three pears. Five apples. Kale. Two garlic bulbs. Six bananas.

Every other week I buy organic produce through a local health food store. The cost, twenty bucks. It helps the small American farmer and I get pesticide-free food at a low price.

Sometime later, I’ll make up a pot of lentils, some basmati brown rice, roast a range free chicken, and cook up a pot of soup with my co-op items. This will keep Sweetman and I fed for the next week or so.

After, I ventured out for more baby items for my grandson on the way. A hundred-twelve diapers. A box of five hundred wipes. To my surprise the diapers cost nineteen dollars and ninety-eight cents. The amount of formula caught my eye. Fifteen bucks. Holy shit! When my youngest was a baby, I had to fork up three dollars and fifty cents for a can. It made about eight bottles back in the day. A thing of diapers cost me about five dollars, but most the time I used cloth.

At this point, I’m wondering how E-wee-daughter number three-is going to make it on a Wal Mart salary and no high school diploma. You see, she was my wild child. Didn't take good advice. Bad boys were more interesting along with the assorted drugs she tried and got hooked on (before she got pregnant, she dried out in rehab- painful experience for both of us).

Two years ago, she hooked up with a Mexican thug. A couple months ago he was arrested for burglary.

When E-wee asked him, “Why’d you that dumb ass?”

“Well, I needed money for stuff. Since you don’t dance anymore, I ain’t got none,” he said, and shrugged.

“That’s why you need to get a job. That’s what fathers do. They get a job to work and support their family."

Since then E-wee’s packed her bags, and left. She’s renting a house with another single mom of three. So I’m angsting while I wrap presents for my daughter and my grandson. How are they going to make it in an economy that sucks as a slave for Wal Mart? America’s definitely going ass-backwards.

E-wee tells me, “You did it with five by yourself. I can surely do it with one.”

“Yeah. But, I had a high school and college education. I worked for a law firm making decent money with benefits and part time on the weekends cutting hair,” I said. I’ve told her this at least a thousand times by now.

This morning she called to tell me, “My feet are really swollen and can barely get my feet into my shoes.  And, I’ve got to work from one-thirty to eleven-thirty tonight.”

OMG. I never wanted my daughters to experience pain or poverty or have to work to the point of nauseating fatigue. Why can’t our kids follow our advice? Really. We do know what we’re talking about when we tell them to finish high school, go to college, and make sure you’re making enough money to support yourself and one other person.

So, what’s everybody else’s kids up to?


PS This is not what I intended to blog about today.

PSS Didn’t get the rest of what I needed to do my spectacular interview of the fabulous screenwriter on the rise.

PSSS Sir Poops-A-Lot is working on his second book review for Saturday.


  1. I feel for your daughter. It's tough out there, and even tougher being a single mom. My daughter is 15, and my son 11. I preach to them all the time, hoping that what I say sinks in, but I've told them if they ever want kids and can afford it....adopt. I have a college education and it's tough for me with two of them. I can't imagine having a baby now. It's too expensive. I simply wouldn't do it. I hope your daughter can overcome the obstacles. A supportive, loving family is very valuable these days.

  2. Truly sorry for all of the family angst and troubles, Shel. People chose their own paths--they have to. It's painful to watch at times, but without that choice they stop being "them".

    Words can be ignored or distorted, but your actions/example cannot be put aside for as long as your daughter and grandchildren are a part of your life. Be present, show your love, and hope/pray for the best.

    I think the most lasting changes are often the ones that are the slowest to effect. Hang in there, life is nothing if not ever changing.


  3. @Miranda and EJ: Thanks for the words of support.

  4. It's tough sometimes...I made some bad decisions, had a few really rough years. With the help of my family, I got back on track and things have turned out just fine. Sometimes we have to make our own mistakes...and then regret them for the rest of our lives (and my mistakes happened some 30+/- years ago). If someone would have (actually they did) told me that when I was 18, I wouldn't have believed them.

  5. Oh this what I have to look forward to? Jamie is only 8 so, we haven't gotten into any of this yet...but, if I said the sky was pink with purple stripes, she would tell me it was green with red polka dots...everything opposite...

    Oh, I fear it's only going to get worse...LOL

    Sorry for what you're going through...wish I could help out in some way...

  6. So true, America’s definitely going ass-backwards. I'm sorry about your E-wee, that's gotta be tough. I know what you mean about 'this isn't what I was going to blog about.' Sometimes it just happens that way, I hope it helped to write about it.

  7. One of the things as mothers to keep in mind is our children are their own person- its really hard to let go and allow them to make their own mistakes. When I was a kid or even out of highschool I didn't want my mom's advice, its not until they have tried a few things that they realize the advice is good.

    My daughter is ten- my niece is 13- I raised my little brother- ultimately in the end all you can do is be there as a supportive part of her family. I know easier said than done.

  8. You know, sometimes I think its harder for the parent even than the struggling child. I don't have any kids, but I have 7 younger siblings and I know I'd so much rather go through something myself than have to watch them go through the same thing. Thank you for your heartfelt post.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  9. Sorry for the family upheaval, Shelly... it sounds like a nightmare.

  10. @Laura: Guess that's true for everyone at different degrees of rebellion.

    @Beth: If I knew the secret to being a really good parent, I'd tell you. Do and hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. That's the only logical advise I can give.

    @Ms. Langley: Watching it unfold is the hardest thing to do. And yes, it did help to write about it.

    @Summer and Sarah: I known for saying if only I could jump in their bodies and do what needs to be done. I'd do it.

    @Sir Wills: A nightmare it has been. No-No's a piece a cake compared to this one. And then there's Tinkerbell.

  11. Sorry to hear that so much is going on right now.
    Our kids have to make their choices, and even when it's painful for us to stand by and watch a tough consequence work its way out, the best we can do is to be there and keep on encouraging them to find their way on a better path. Nothing is ever hopeless and reassurance that things are going to work out, even when they aren't at the moment, helps. Stay strong, Shelly.

  12. Sorry to hear you and your daughter had and are having a rough time. The worst is when your child is hurting. I know you know that.

    All we can do is encourage our children and try to teach them right from wrong, responsibility, and the list goes on. Whether it sticks for them - only time will tell. That is the scary part!

    My kids are still young and my almost 9 year old says he wants to be a teacher or an ice cream man. Of course I am encouraging the teacher career, but I tell him that an ice cream man is a great job, but you still have to go to college so you can learn how to manage your ice cream man business.
    We will see what sticks. (And if he becomes an ice cream man - Momma better get free stuff!)

  13. @Misty and Halli: Thank you for your kind words.


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