Kings for a Day

Or at least for a minute or two…

A Revelation About Affection

Affection is very important to me. This evening, I spent a little time soul searching to figure out why. For me, at least, what it boils down to is the fact that I got such mixed messages from my mother on a wide variety of things. However, regardless of what messed up thing was going on growing up or what messed up, the only thing consistent my mother gave me was affection. At times it was the only way I knew that I was loved.

As I ponder this thought more, I think back to the time about 9 years ago when I last saw my mother. She was visiting me and staying in a "guest house" the apartment complex had. It was the last night before she was to go home and she was in my apartment going off about riches that were supposedly buried deep within this piece of property her dad owned many years ago. She had come up with this really elaborate story. This wasn't the first time I had heard this story. I had ran the story by aunt, who knew that the story was not anywhere near true. Even before I ran the story by my aunt, I just had this feeling that my mother was trying to manipulate me somehow using this story.

I don't remember what exactly happened before I basically told her to "shut up and let me live my life." I don't even remember what I told her to be honest. They probably weren't the best words I could have used. I certainly remember what happened after that. My mother demanded I take her to the airport that instant, even though her flight wasn't for another 12 hours or so. The entire car ride from my apartment to the airport was my mother spewing her hate at me in a way that nobody should ever have to hear. I swear that my mother was posessed by Satan himself. At one point, I even threatened to pull over and drop her off and make her walk to the airport if she didn't stop.

When I dropped my mom at the airport, there was no affection. There was a handshake and a "have a good life" (or words to that effect). In that moment, my mother didn't love me. I was dead to her. I have since talked with my mother, but when she started on her rants again, I finally had to tell her I had enough and that I wanted nothing more to do with her. It's been probably 5 years since I last talked to her. My mother may love me still. I have no idea. I've said my peace to her.

I now understand why affection is important and why I give my kids perhaps a little too much affection—I really love 'em. It's one of the few things I know how to do in that regard.

What's the Scoop?

I Forgave and Won't Forget

I have sent an email to my dad basically forgiving him for what happened growing up. I have posted the note in my Vox blog as a Friends and Family posting. I may at some point in the future make that posting public, but I haven't decided yet. I certainly wanted to keep a copy of it. I am very proud of what I wrote. I'm sure it's not perfect, but I believe it said what I needed to say.

I feel I can move on now—with him or without him. There will be questions unanswered either way, but I have said my peace. At the very least I can go to bed because it's late. 🙂

Uploaded Pictures? Good Thing...

The pictures I took of my daughter and uploaded to my blog here? Good thing I did that because I upgraded my phone that I took the pictures on, and that has a nasty habit of wiping the phone's configuration. 🙂

QotD: What was my favorite subject in school?

In the semesters I didn't have a computer class, I'd have to say math was my most favorite subject. Once I got into having regular computer science-type classes, those classes were by far my favorite. Is that any surprise to anyone? ;)

Thinking back, I wish I had stayed awake through my history classes. I find the subject a lot more interesting now than I did back then.

Smoking, Losing Weight, and Making It Matter

I can relate to Daisy's post about getting her significant other to stop smoking. I went through a similar experience with my dad many years ago. I eventually gave up trying to make him quit.

In a similar vein, I have personally struggled with my weight for nearly as long as I can remember. At six, I remember being as skinny as a beanpole. Somewhere along the way, I gained an abnormal amount of weight. The weight kept piling on over the years—all the way up to 300 pounds! For someone who is 5 foot 7 inches tall, this is not a healthy weight to be!

Not too many people have made an issue of my weight to me, though I personally had some bad experiences because of my weight. I also had people like my mom give me all sorts of mixed messages. "You're fat, but here, eat this food that's not so great for you." Is it any wonder I was confused?

I had done nothing about it for many years until I had kids. At some point between Jaden's birth and Gracie's birth I realized that I had a vested interest in losing weight: I wanted to be there for my kids. Not just there, but I wanted to be able to keep up with them. I wanted to be healthy. Heck, I just want to live long enough to see grandchildren, or even great-great grandchildren.

I suddenly had a reason for changing my behavior. I had a reason that matter greatly to me personally: my kids. I then started exercising, eating better, and losing weight. I have made some permanent changes to my diet: caffiene is notregularly imbibed. Same thing with sodas—diet or otherwise. I won'tsay sugar is never consumed by me, but I'm a lot pickier about how whatkind of sugar and how frequently I consume it.

The weight has crept back on as my motivation wanes—mostly in the exercise department. I trying a different diet—one with a bit more variety than Atkins—though exercise has been an on and off thing lately. I am trying to walk at least 30 minutes three times a week right now. I know that I need to do more. I need to rediscover that motivation that got me started in the first place.

At least my own actions I have some control over. However, I realize I cannot control the actions of others. Even my own kids. 🙂 There are three basic things you can do here, based on some advise I heard on Dr Joy Browne:

  • Ignore: This is hard, given we're talking about smoking. The best you can do here is set some boundaries about where it is not acceptable to smoke. I'm sure this will have to be neogitated.
  • Bribe: If he doesn't have the internal motivation to change, give him some external motivation for it. This has to be "positive" and something he really wants. Be careful not to confuse a bribe with a threat here.
  • Leave: If smoking bothers you that much, you can always always threaten to leave until he quits smoking. Of course, do not use that threat lightly. Only use it if you have the intestinal fortitude to actually follow through.

No easy answers here, of course. This stuff is never easy.

Hanging Out at the Gym

Gracie Lounging around At the Gym

You Can't Make Me

My wife took my son in for his annual exam with the pediatrician. Physically he's doing fine. She asked about behavioral problems. The only thing my wife mentioned was "him and his ddaddy are both stubborn and butt heads a lot." That little bit of information was enough to unleash a torrent of this is likely what's happening—she was fairly accurate—and here's what to do about it. The scary part is that if the situation doesn't change, Jaden could very easily become a vengeful, spiteful teenager. No, we don't want that.

Both of my kids are stubborn. It probably doesn't help that my wife and I are both stubborn as well. Our kids can't help but be stubborn squared. ;) It will require us to change our methods of discipline as we really don't want that. There was a local class she suggested—a class taught by a friend of my wife—as well as a book called "You Can't Make Me."

I'll have to get a copy of this book and read it as I need all the help I can get. 🙂

You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded): Strategies for Bringing Out the Best in Your Strong-Will

Cynthia Ulrich Tobias