Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dear Sons, I've Been Meaning To Get To That, You Know - My Life

Dear Kids,

I had this idea, ohhh last week, and it was a really great idea! I can't wait to tell you about it! As a matter of fact, it's so great I should have called each of you and told you at that moment but I was distracted, at first by work. I wa at work and so I told myself that I would tell you all about it that evening when I got home.

I forgot to write it down to remind myself, I am closing in on fifty you know, I really should write down a daily list of things I'd like to accomplish like I used to when I was younger, like last year. So I forgot to write it down and as soon as I got home I had to unwind. The day's stresses all over me like slime, you know that I need a good hour where everyone must beware and not try to approach me with THEIR stuff or I'll bite their heads off.

Actually, about that, I've gotten better. No, I'm not on new medication, smart alecks. I've been researching stress relief options so that when I'm driving home I don't want to run down any of the idiots I come across every day. Goodness but why does it feel as if I've entered into a world of morons? Did they all just get dumped on this planet all of a sudden or were we in a bunker when the dumbass rays came beaming down? I swear everyone is just six degrees of being permanent residents of Bellevue Hospital, no offense to the Hospital.

Oh yeah, where was I, I had something to tell you all but wait, I put down my things, I picked up my mail and I'm just in disbelief to the tons of GARBAGE I'm receiving. It's election time and we're a month away from elections. Now I'm a pretty active participant in my community (I call 311 every single time I have an idea with a city agency!) and oh YES, let me tell you why you should call 311 every single time you see an issue you are unhappy with.

Well, it seems that things only get done in this city when there is a trail of complaints. For example, potholes. They're not going to fill themselves up of course and this city isn't exactly resident-friendly (I blame the Mayor but that's a whole other encyclopedia on politics) and the city's excuse is "if we don't know about it, it doesn't exist". Oh really? You know my mantra, the one about "learn all of the rules and then beat the bastards at their own game". Well, if they need to know ti exists to fix it then I'm going to CALL 311 (their online website is atrocious and NOT meant to be helpful but waste people's time!) and sit through the ridiculous labyrinth of options they offer before we get to a live person and BE SPECIFIC. There is a pothole on such and such a street, in between this avenue and that avenue and the pothole is directly across from the Piggly Wiggly or whatever landmark you record. Have them repeat it to you. Then ask them to repeat their name, possible an ID number and yes, you will leave your name and number and yes you do want a confirmation number as YES, you will be looking for an update.

Now all this may seem like a waste of time but truthfully, the waste of time is in doing nothing.

After you've done ALL that, here is the trick. They may make note of it but it won't be fixed unless there are an ABUNDANT NUMBER (a number THEY seem to pick out of the sky apparently) of complaints before the incident or complaint goes up that ladder of priority for them. So now you call every time you pass by that pothole. Personally, twice a day for three days is the most I've had to call. Once in the morning, going to work, and once in the evening coming home. Now of course you will get those people who say, why don't you just go another route. My loves, tell them to mind their own business. You don't answer to anyone but yourselves (and me until you're 21, oops, that means only the baby is still trapped huh, LOL)

You can change route if you like or if you find this inconvenient you can take it upon yourself to be a good citizen and let the city know, hey, you have an issue here that can be dangerous for people, can you please fix it. Ok, next!
Oh yeah, so I'm getting all these ridiculous placards and posters and flyers for people who apparently think the only time they need to show up is the month before the election. SMH. Remember to recycle. It's good for the environment and yes your neighbors may not, which sucks but as long as you do your share and they are not encroaching on your property, thereby having you call 311 yet again and again until they are fined to the point of - oh look! THEY GOT THE POINT!

Coming home, unwinding, trying to relax and enjoy what few hours of the day are left until you have to get to bed and rest so that your day can start over again, it's a lot. Sometimes I'm not in the mood to hear about everyone's day and I do recognize when we all get a little to withdrawn in ourselves because we'll go through days where everyone is home, I come in and we each murmur hello and go our separate ways into our own rooms. Sometimes that is just what we need but I do try to get us all together at least once a week so that too much time doesn't get away from us and we don't become strangers in the same house.

I've finally unwinded, sitting down, was just about to turn on the Roku to catch my favorite shows when I realized that if I did that I'd never get a chance to really sit with you all and tell you my idea! So I yell out to you, no I am not going to spend money on an intercom when I can still get each of your attention by yelling "COME DOWN, MOM WANTS YOU". Ok, so we're all here and it's now that it dawns on me just how much I love and adore each of you. I see the faces of my babies staring back at me, with nothing but your full attention and then you become the young men that you are and I can see life and its experiences started to get etched on your beautiful faces adding marvelous detail and character. I am so ready to share with you and be in that moment and I can't even remember the stress of my day anymore.

"Let's go on a family vacation."

Yes my loves, that was my great idea. It has been over eight years now. Since I purchased the house and every dime has been on just keeping us all afloat and we are blessed to be healthy and alive and even if it turns out being a "family staycation" I don't care. Time together, even for a weekend is what we need. Next year each of you will be in your own respective colleges and it will be my first year on my own, ever.

Mom wants to be mom to all of you in one place just one last time before you go off into the world and begin your own individual journeys. No, I am not taking everyone to Vegas and I think Disney has been done besides apparently Florida is sinking so let's look into something more manageable.

Yes life gets to become so full of distractions that we find we put it off or forget to live. Well, I won't forget if you won't forget. Live my darlings, stop and enjoy your moments. Do your duty, produce at work, but remember to relax and take note of your experiences.

I love you.


Carmen M. Colon is a mother, an engineer, an education and childrens advocate, an author and a workshop facilitator on the topics of leadership, womens empowerment, career advancement and now on parenting. She is writing a series of "Dear Kids" letters to her three sons on a series of topics and issues.
Her website is
Her books can be found online:

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