Monday, August 21, 2017

The One With The Eclipse, The Special Olive & Junior The Second

I should explain a little background before sharing the enlightened and educational texts between me and my brilliant progeny.

1.  Last week Lexi brought home paperwork to fill out for school. It looked like this:

See where it asks for "generation (i.e. JR, II)?" When Lexi filled it out, she wrote "JR II" in that box, thinking it meant she was a junior (in high school) and in the 11th grade. Since then we've been calling her Lexington Anne Meehan Junior the Second because we're kind and supportive that way.

2.  The reference to "my special Olive" is from the movie Ella Enchanted where the mom introduces her daughters as "My precious Hattie and my um, special Olive," indicating her more stupid daughter. Because we're an affectionate and encouraging bunch, we refer to each other as special Olive whenever someone is acting stupid.

3. Yaya is my mom who has a habit of warning me and my sister of impending doom because we (mostly me) can be kind of stupid at times.

For your reading enjoyment - (Yes, I fully expect you guys to cringe at the magnitude of stupidity and nonsense as you read.)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thanks For The Memories!

On Friday, June 29, 2007 I wrote my first blog post. It's been ten years. TEN YEARS of blogging! I've written 1692 blog posts. A lot has changed in that time. When I first started, I was a stay-at-home mom to 6 young kids who liked to paint the TV with yogurt, color the dog with markers, smear diaper cream on the carpet, give each other impromptu haircuts, and make messes of epic proportions. I was married and lived in a nice town on the outskirts of Chicago. I blogged almost every day and had nearly 10,000 daily readers. My kids were the following ages:

Austin - 12
Savannah - 11
Jackson - 8
Lexington - 6
Clayton - 3
Brooklyn - 1

Now my kids are:

Austin - 22 and expecting his first child in October
Savannah - 21 and in her third year of college
Jackson - 19 working and trying to find a good direction
Lexington - 16 and driving, a junior in high school
Clayton - 13 and in 8th grade
Brooklyn - 11 and in 6th grade

Here are pictures of the kids from when I first started blogging, right before we moved to Florida in 2011, and now.

Little did I know, when I first started blogging, that the silliness I shared online would garner me interviews on TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines, would open opportunities to work with companies on sponsored posts and product giveaways, and would award me a 2 book deal with Simon & Schuster.

But most importantly, little did I know that the every-day, mundane stuff of life that I shared online would inspire others. That has been the greatest gift to come of this little venture.

And of course, now I have an online journal of the past ten years. I wrote about birthdays and holidays, vacations and camping trips, broken bones, stitches, and surgeries. I wrote about the nice things my kids have done, and I wrote about the naughty things too. I've chronicled the messes. Oh dear Lord, the messes. (But here's a pro tip for you moms of young kids. Don't worry about the messes. Embrace the messes. I would give anything to go back in time and have to deal with spilled milk, crayon on the walls, and names scratched into the side of my van as opposed to peer pressure, drugs, sex, driving lessons, part time jobs, and geometry homework!) I've written about my attempts at home maintenance, being a single mom, and trying to date. I've written about hard times like losing my house and struggling financially, and mental health hospitalizations and addiction issues. I've written about happy times. And I've written about funny things like, well, most of the things I've written about have been funny if you look at them through the right lenses (they don't need to be ISO certified either.)

Thanks to you, my readers, for an amazing 10 years! And here's to 10 more!

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Heaping Helping Of Spam

I love getting comments on my blog. Wait, let me rephrase that. I love getting comments from actual people who actually read my blog, and who leave comments that pertain to said blog. I'm less fond of the spam comments I receive. And the spam comments are plentiful! For every legit comment, I probably get 10+ spam ones. In the midst of mindlessly deleting them yesterday, I thought I'd share a few here. You know, just to spread the joy. You're welcome.

Hello.This article was extremely fascinating, particularly since I was investigating for thoughts on this issue last Saturday. on The "My Air Conditioning is Broken and it's 90 Degrees" Sale

So you're telling me you were investigating how to buy a copy of my book to help me pay for repairs to my broken air conditioner? What an oddly specific investigation on your part, and how fortuitous for me.

In my mind not fairly when it comes to pace and fit however I even have high hopes Adidas will address this quickly. on Save the Monopoly Dog!

Yes, yes, I think I speak for us all when I say I hope Adidas will address the issue of which Monopoly piece to save when the game is redesigned. Years ago.

Asking questions are truly nice thing if you are not understanding something entirely, however this article gives pleasant understanding yet. on You Are Not Alone

I am not understanding. I am definitely not understanding.

I read this piece of writing fully regarding the comparison of latest and earlier technologies, it's amazing article. on Save the Monopoly Dog!

I don't think you did indeed "read this piece of writing fully" as it is not comparing technologies, but informing readers that Monopoly was retiring a token, and urging readers to vote for the token they wanted to save.

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You're going to be back incessantly? Oh happy day!

Hi, just wanted to mention, I liked this post. It was funny. Keep on posting! on You Are Not Alone

Yes, yes, I was aiming for humor while talking about the horrors of drug addiction.

What i do not realize is actually how you are now not really a lot more smartly-liked than you might be right now. You're so intelligent. You realize therefore significantly with regards to this subject, made me personally imagine it from a lot of various angles. Its like women and men aren't involved until it's something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. Always handle it up! on The "My Air Conditioning is Broken and it's 90 Degrees" Sale

I don't know whether to be insulted that I'm not really a lot more smartly-liked, or to be flattered that my personal stuffs is outstanding. 

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Although that does sound tempting, I've met my quota of hyperlink exchange contracts this month.

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Google translate fails for $400, Alex.

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I'm so glad I could help you realize your goal of getting a good night's sleep despite your bedwetting issues.

Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group? There's a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks on You Are Not Alone

Wait what? They still have Myspace???

Yes! Finally something about Child Obesity. on You Are Not Alone

Or, you know, drug addiction. Close. Very close.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

You Are Not Alone

Startled out of sleep by a loud noise, I sat up in bed, my heart pounding. A persistent knocking at my front door had thoughts racing through my head. Everyone was home asleep. Who could be knocking in the middle of the night? What's going on? I climbed out of bed and crept toward the stairs where I peeked around the corner, trying to glimpse who was outside my front door so late at night. Through the window I saw a police officer standing there. A million scenarios that would elicit a visit from a police officer in the wee hours flipped through my mind. None of them were good. Adrenaline coursed through my veins as I quickly grabbed a robe and descended the stairs, dread pounding through me with every step.

"Ms. Meehan?" the officer asked.

"Yes," I answered hesitantly.

"We have Jackson." He quickly added, "Don't worry, he's okay; he isn't hurt or anything. But we need you to come get him." 

Wait what? My sleep-fogged brain tried to process what he was saying. They have Jackson? But Jackson's in his room asleep. 

"He and another boy were caught at the park in possession of marijuana."

My brain still hadn't caught up to what he was saying, but I was sure he was making a mistake. My son doesn't do drugs. My son is in bed sleeping. Isn't he?

In a daze, I retreated to my room, threw on some clothes and met the police officer back outside. I hopped in my car and followed him to the park where I found my son sitting on the curb in the parking lot. I honestly don't remember what I said to him or what he said to me. Everything is a bit of a blur. I recall the police officers telling me that Jackson was completely respectful and compliant, and I remember thinking - So what? He's supposed to be respectful and cooperative. That doesn't change the fact that he has drugs. And I didn't even know he had sneaked out of the house.

The police officers didn't arrest him. They issued a civil citation instead. I remember thinking that Jackson was lucky to be given this chance. The officers explained that Jackson would need to complete some tasks like community service and drug tests, and if he successfully completed each job assigned to him, and didn't get in any other trouble for anything else then this infraction wouldn't go on his record. 

This happened almost 2 years ago. Not coincidentally, it was about the same time I stopped blogging. Jackson is incarcerated right now. For the third time since then. And I'm done being silent about it. There's such a stigma attached to addiction. You can't talk about it without being judged. Strangers form opinions without understanding the problem. Well-meaning friends say insensitive things. Acquaintances feign concern simply to get the latest gossip. I wanted to avoid all of that as much as possible.

BUT for every person who says something ignorant because they don't understand, there's someone else out there going through the same thing, and thinking they're all alone. Addiction is isolating. It shouldn't be. You're not alone. I know how much addiction sucks. I know how much if affects not only the addict, but everyone around him. I know how addiction looks to an outsider who believes - All he has to do is stop. It's as simple as that. I know how as a parent of someone struggling with addiction you are consumed by guilt, uncertainty, anger, helplessness, compassion, and frustration. I know how it feels to be at war with yourself about how far to go in helping your child. I know what it's like to build up walls and the need to detach for your own self-preservation. I know what it's like to beat yourself up with What ifs - What if I hadn't gotten divorced? What if I hadn't moved? I know what it's like to field ignorant comments from people. I know what it's like to cry through Al-Anon meetings. I know what it's like to pretend like everything's okay while inside your heart is shattering, and I know what it's like to shove all your emotions down deep so you can appear strong for your other kids. I know what it's like to wonder where your kid is, if he's still sleeping outside somewhere, if he's alive. I know what it's like to see him being taken away in an ambulance, barely coherent because of an overdose. I know what it's like to be threatened by him while he's under the influence. I know what it's like to see him being lead into a courtroom, dressed in a jumpsuit stamped with Orange County Corrections, his hands cuffed and chained around his waist.

And I know I don't want to be silent about it anymore. Because if I'm going through this and feeling isolated, I know there are others out there dealing with the same struggles and feeling the same way. And you are NOT alone.

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