Boundbytheword Blog

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Be a parent, or be a buddy…choose April 17, 2011

Being a parent tops the list for tough jobs. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, your kids will end up with issues and it will be on your hands. You may not make the same mistakes your own parents did, but you’ll make other ones. It’s undeniable – parenting is hard.

When your new baby comes, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing. And just when we get the hang of how to manage a completely dependent little being, things change. The little person starts to move on their own, crawl, walk, run. But as parents we still guide them, help them take little steps, and have our arms there to catch them if they fall.

Years pass too quickly. Toddlers turn into children who have a life separate from you. They have their own world at school and with friends, and they want to step just far enough away to be independent, but close enough to grab your hand if they need it. And so they inch away, little by little, from your grasp.

Once they become teenagers, new rules apply. Parents are not cool – and trust me on this – not even the coolest people are cool parents. Because dear readers, teenagers need parents to suck. Otherwise they don’t fit in with other teenagers. Having cool parents means they are different than everyone else whose parents suck. In terms of being a teenager, having cool parents isn’t cool.

So – here’s the thing. I’ve done the teenager thing once, and I am coming up on a new round of the experience again soon enough with my younger two. As far as round one went, I can tell you – if anyone was going to be a cool parent, it was me. After all, I was only 17 when I had my daughter, so I was still young once she hit high school. I still had cool oozing from my pores.

And though I was fair, I was fun, and I was involved and engaged in her life – I was not her friend. I was her PARENT. I might have been up on the music and fashions, and I might have been able to converse with her friends without making her cringe (most times), but I did not fool myself into thinking I was one of them.

So based on my strong stance on these issues, I was stirred to rant on my blog after hearing about yet another parent of a teenager we know who smokes up with their kid. Never mind that the boy is 15 years old and probably has been doing it for a few years. Never mind that he would have done it regardless. The fact that this dolt of a parent sits around and shares a reefer with his child makes my blood boil. A big raging kind of boil.

I don’t want to hear the stupid excuses for being a lame parent. And for those out there inclined to give them, let me give you my rebuttals.

“He’ll do it anyway, at least this way he’s safe in our house.” News flash – your kid smokes up with you AND without you. So the fact that he is blotto sitting around the kitchen table at 8pm, doesn’t mean he won’t be in some very unsafe place at 11pm, or mid-afternoon for that matter.

“At least if he smokes what I give him, I know he isn’t getting into some cheap toxic crap that he got from some whack dealer.” News flash: Yes he is, he’s just not sharing that toxic crap with you. He’s smoking your stash with you, and his stash with the cute blond he is hoping to have sex with later.

“I want my kid to be able to come to me with anything.” News flash – Your kid isn’t going to come to you with anything because you are a drug buddy, not a parent who can help them handle the crap that life hands them. They won’t come to you, because even they know how screwed up you are.

What is going on out there? I’m not going to get into rants about using drugs, because you make your choices, and I guess we all deal with stress, or bring on pleasure different ways. I’m not going to act the innocent, I’d like to say I remember how great it feels to be high, but quite honestly, I can’t recall. It was either too many decades ago, or I was always too wasted back then to store it into the memory bank. But I will say using drugs is very different than using with your kids. Like, different planet kind of different.

You are not cool. You are not a rock star, even if you do play a mean guitar solo or have lips like Mick Jagger. Don’t use drugs with your kids. Go get a bunch of friends who use instead. Or use alone. Or get into therapy (there’s an idea!). But give me a break – sharing a joint with the child you raised puts you on some cool level? Or makes you a concerned parent watching out for your kid? Not a chance.

I don’t know if its laziness – not willing to get your sorry ass into the basement or back shed to get your fix away from the family – or if it is a pathetic need to feel accepted and loved. Or maybe your addiction has fried so many brain cells that you just run on stupid-level most days. I don’t understand it, and based on my outward fury on the subject, I don’t expect you to lay your answer out here, but I do know that the parents that fit in this category need an earful of logic, and I am more than willing to give it to them.

A good parent isn’t ever cool enough, and a great parent gives up trying in exchange for being seen as loving, caring and wise. Trust me when I say if you are past 25 years old, you are ancient and lame in the eyes of a teenager. The best you can hope for is being seen as “pretty okay, most of the time”.

Deal with it.


Sweeter Than Sugar April 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 11:46 PM

Hurray! I got a WCDR grant!

What’s better than candy? That would be sex.

What’s better than sex? That would be getting free money!

Okay, well maybe not BETTER than sex, but it runs a pretty close second or third. And getting free money and then having candy and sex? We’ll that’s a day made in heaven, or at least a day in my heaven.

So went my weekend. Free money – thanks to the Writers Community of Durham Region. I received a grant scholarship towards a five-day intensive course I’ll be taking this coming fall that will prepare me to lead workshops for the general population and for traditionally silenced people. I give a big shout out to my favourite community and biggest support group – the WCDR for the opportunity to apply for this grant, and for encouraging me to forge ahead with ongoing training. Thank you WCDR!

The rest of the day rounded out nicely with sugary sex thanks to my own doing, and great candy courtesy of my husband. Scratch that – great sex courtesy of my husband and sugary candy of my own doing.

All in all, there is no better day than one that involves free sex, great candy and sugary money.


The Prestige of Being a Writer April 6, 2011

As a writer, my inner critic tells me on an ongoing basis that I’m sludge and my work stinks. Life as an emerging writer can be tough. But, it’s not the ongoing and expected rejection, the incredible amount of talented (and untalented) competition, or the ever-changing publishing industry that brings the biggest challenge.

It’s the neigh-sayers.

Dealing with the judgement and negativity of everyday people – those ingrained in my life, or those just passing by – that’s what takes the wind out of my sails.

Seeing your novel published, like any dream, doesn’t often fall into the lap of a writer. It’s work. Hard work. Incredibly hard work. And not that I’m looking for sympathy, or even support, but the belittling and snide remarks about my success as a writer get under the skin, no matter how tough the hide. I hope that after all the blood, sweat and tears, I achieve my goal and can take pleasure in rubbing it in the neigh-sayers face just a little bit. A smidge. Or at least blow them a big raspberry inside my own head.

Until then, I just keep plugging along, and occasionally make fun of the Debbie-Downers in life. You have to laugh to keep from crying I suppose. Speaking of poking fun, my friend Michelle turned me onto this neat movie making tool, and I’ve put together a little re-enactment, so you too can understand the prestige of being a writer.


Another marriage ends…thanks facebook April 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 8:29 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

A friend’s marriage broke up recently, her husband left her. I was shocked. On the surface the couple had it all. At the very least they were kind, caring, normal people who seemed so happy.

“He must have cheated.” I announced to my husband.

“You’re so bitter,” he said, “You always think the worst of the husband.”

“I’m not bitter, I’m realistic.” I assured him.

I don’t want to think that way. I want to believe that sometimes normal, loving couples just grow apart. But, the thing is, deep down I don’t believe it. I believe women get sick of it all and leave to finally be alone, and men leave for other women.

Okay, maybe I am bitter. I don’t want to have such little faith in men. I have wonderful, loving influences in my life: my father, my husband, my brother-in-law law, my son. They’re the reason I can write male characters in my novels that have some redeeming qualities. I have male friends who are decent, loyal men, and I have relatives who are wonderful husbands and partners as well. Many of my closest female friends have great husbands too.

So what’s with the man-hating theory that men only leave for other women? I don’t really know. After all, women cheat too. Men don’t own the market on being cheating horn-dogs. But I don’t think it’s the cheating in question, it’s the leaving. I just haven’t met a man who left a marriage or long-term relationship without another woman lurking on the horizon, or already in his bed.

I guess I need to be proven wrong. Like perhaps if I had run into this friend and she’d said that she’d met someone else, or that it had ended just because they decided they were better off as friends than lovers. But of course, that isn’t what she told me when I ran into her this weekend.

She told me he’d been conversing with an old high school sweetheart for the last year on Facebook. He left after she gave him the ultimatum to stop all correspondence with her, and he refused. I guess you can’t blame him, he’d already booked the trip out west to meet up with her and his ticket was probably non-refundable. And of course, the woman had likely already arranged childcare for her kids, so what is a cheating couple to do other than move ahead with the deceitful fornication?

I felt terrible for this friend. Her family life was abruptly altered based on the man she trusted for 15 years getting a friend request over Facebook that spiralled into a life altering relationship. Years ago, a spouse would have to get out of the house to cheat. Leave the family at home to go out for drinks, or away on business and happen to run into an old flame, or meet a new one.

But in the world of social media, we have instant reconnection powers at our fingertips. He was able to forge that relationship while he was at work, while his wife was reading in the next room, and while his daughter was watching her favourite show. The problem with this wonderful technology is that it’s so easy – his ass doesn’t even need to leave the chair, and the next thing you know he’s got a plane ticket in his hand and on his way to extramarital sex. Casual banter and reminiscing can move into intimate conversation, which can lead to a warped sense of thinking you know a person you really don’t know anymore. To leave your family for a Facebook friend, no matter how many virtual “pokes” you’ve shared, is pathetic and sad for everyone involved.

So thanks to the ease and accessibility of social networking creeping into marriages….another one bites the dust. Women leave to be alone, men leave for other women. I hate that I always seem to be right on this one.

My dear male blog readers: feel free to try to bring me into the light on this, but you better make it good. I’m a hard nut to crack, and bitter too, apparently.