Things That Make Me Feel Old

This post is loaded with TMI. I am just letting you know up front. But I have to get it out. Now that it's been two weeks and the shame has subsided. I have to come clean.

I wet the bed. I did. The horror of it took several days to wear off, but when I finally admitted it to my sister, she reassured me that everybody does, so I came here, to find affirmation that I am not the only one. Tell me, please, even if you have to lie.

My sister also guessed the weird thing about this particular bed-wetting. "were you dreaming about peeing?" "um, actually, yes." "yeah, I've totally done that." "Thank God." Really, my dream was a bizarrely real visitation of my triumphant return to stage in a reprise of The Music Man, except this time I was playing the lead, and I really did dream that I was in that tiny ladies restroom in The Woodland Theater that we painted periwinkle blue in 1993. I told my sister that since the heinous event, I have decided to never take Tylenol PM again, which I had tried in lieu of a half of a hydrocodone to keep the pain at bay long enough to fall asleep. Turns out it also keeps bladder urges at bay, and then you go and dream about actually sitting on a toilet, and you wet the bed. Yes, I will forgo the sleep aids so that I can lie awake in paranoia of my newly acquired bed-wetting skill. In my own defense, I will tell you that I was so completely shocked, that I actually woke up mid stream and caught myself. I know, TMI, but I warned you! The trick was hiding the evidence from my husband, who of course woke up to me changing clothes (THE SHAME!!!) and wanted to cuddle. Gross. Who cuddles with bed wetters? Seriously. I had to endure at least 5 days of self-flagellation, which also involved investing in $50 in cranberry juice and capsules so I could blame an imaginary bladder infection on the incident if anyone (namely Josh) found out about it, even though I washed my wet pants First Thing the next morning. It seems like after being married for almost two years, a little bed wetting wouldn't be a big deal. Kind of like the time you threw up on his shoes, or when you had a really unfortunate case of diarrhea after a trip to Mexico (also a closely guarded secret)... just one of those things, right? The problem is, I married Mr. Clean. To my knowledge, in the two years since I have known Josh, he has never taken a crap. On the toilet or otherwise. God bless my Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Diarrhea, my pooping habits have become a mystery long discovered. I blew any fantasies he had of a crapless wife right out of the (toilet) water. I feel bad about this, but have to live with the shame. Having a husband who doesn't even break wind is a very far cry from the boyfriends of old who could win a county wide farting contest with a single bowl of chili. The last man I lived with taught my girls to compliment each other on the tone of their passing gas, and the push behind manly belches. Fast forward to the immaculate Mr. Weston, and nary a toilet seat is left up. In fact, Josh puts the lid down, on every toilet in the house, compulsively. This has become a marital issue between us (interesting switch up on the toilet seat debate, no?) due to an incident when I was about 7 years old and in a Very Big Hurry to use the toilet and somebody had put the lid down. All I remember is my Great Grandmother on her hands and knees mopping it up. There is a good chance my Great Grandmother had actually passed away long before that, and all I can assume is that her ghost returned to shame me from the grave. So toilet lids remain UP in my house. Now and For All of Time. Considering he doesn't even use toilets, I don't know why he has to go around closing them all for the rest of us.

While I am making confession, I would feel bereft to leave out the culmination of All Embarrassments (at least up until two weeks ago), when our family was staying at a Pastor's house and I got to sleep in the bedroom of the slightly older and reverently idolized daughter, just so I could wake up with a frantic need to pee in the wee hours and wet my pants all. over. the. floor. with my hand on the door knob of her room, standing parallel to her once slumbering head. She moaned and rolled over. I have hated her ever since. Interestingly enough, this same girl became my arch nemesis later on when I lived in the cult. But that's another story.

Now that I have gotten all of that off of my chest and on to your victimized mind, I almost feel better. I hope the rest of you get the chance to wet the bed and feel as human as I did. And as old. And as ashamed. I spent the entire next morning texting friends about bladder incontinence and whether I should rush to the ER or buy stock in Depends first. I even checked into reserving a grave plot, now that the inevitable is rushing up at me and I'd like to spare my kids that worry. Alas, now you know my deepest, darkest shame. If you keep reading, I hope to never trouble you with my bladder troubles again. (But you can bet if Josh ever cuts the cheese you're gonna hear about it!)

Things That Don't Get Enough Attention

Recently, through the grapevine, I heard the jealous murmur of a child who was bemoaning the lack of mention in her mother's blog. While I am sure that Natalee was elated to have her anger issues showcased on a public forum, and Aspen never gets tired of having her cuteness promoted, and Halle is just weird enough to be mentioned at least monthly, poor MacKenzie, the upper middle child, is all but lost and forgotten. So Kizzie, this is for you:

Dear MacKenzie:

I was 15 once. When I was 15, I was aware of two things: boys, and how painfully unfashionable I was. At 15, I began an evolution of personality. Before I discovered the important things in life like The Avett Brothers and Frye Boots, I decided that I liked daisies and sunflowers and hippies that didn't smoke pot (because I didn't really know what pot was then). I liked poems, Shakespeare, beautiful language. I loved the stage, mostly because for a few brief minutes, the whole world was looking at me (including boys), and I was beautiful (or at least OK). I liked iced mochas with lots of whipped cream and rope licorice. I liked shopping at Goodwill for brand names I gleaned from my stylish cousin (BTW, Katey - I don't think The Limited was ever cool for 15 year olds). I liked my one brand new pair of Gap Jeans that Grandma Schiffman bought me for my birthday. I liked my big dog Frankie who looked like a black and tan Truck and was my best friend. I liked Jessa and Aimee and Muriel and Andy and Misti and Melissa, and pretty much every boy I knew. When I was 15, I thought I was fat. What I would give to be that fat now. When I was 15, my parents didn't understand the first thing about being 15, being in love, or being cool. How can a sophisticated 15 year old ever listen to parents who clearly had no clue, and no interest in getting a clue. At 15, I was grounded pretty much every other week. I was grounded for bad attitudes, for being unkind (hateful, mom always said) to my sister. I was grounded for writing notes to boys, for wearing clothes that were outside of the rules my parents had set (and for the record, their rules were IMMEASURABLY more strict that mine are for you, ask them). I was grounded for not taking care of my chores at home (which again, where IMMEASURABLY more than yours, but don't ask my parents about that one.), and for mouthing off, sort of like a certain 15 year old I know now does to her parents. When I was 15, I was in love with at least 4 different boys. There was Jake, there was Peter, there was Jim Miller, and oh my gosh - Forrest Greenough. All of these passionate love affairs occurred after I had experienced the wisening of love gone wrong with Jason Dotson, and Nate, and probably a few others that I can't remember now. None of these passionate love affairs included kissing. My first kiss was a few days after I turned 17. Lack of opportunity? I guess so. I guess I didn't have the opportunistic setting of an unsupervised school hallway, and truthfully, I am very thankful for that. I wish I could tell you that if I had the same opportunities that you have, I would have made only the best and wisest choices, but to be perfectly honest, I am not sure what I would have done in some of those settings. 

I know what I wanted. I remember fantasies of being swept off my feet and having my heart stolen by a dark haired class clown... I wanted to be the girl that every boy wanted but only one boy had. In many ways, I still do. Doesn't every girl want to be wanted like that? I guess what I am trying to tell you is that I understand. I  know you think I don't, that I am just a frumpy mom who doesn't Even Know How It Feels, but I do. I remember wishing with EVERY OUNCE OF WISH in me that a certain boy would happen to be downtown when I rode my bike there. We didn't have cell phones and Facebook then; just wishful telepathy and parents who liked to hang out at Goodwill. I know it feels hard to deal with sisters and parents and all of the pressures at school - I can only imagine the school part, except that I remember how it feels to be so very different and wish desperately to be The Same. Now I value being different. Being different is the only thing that makes me the girl that every boy wants (they totally do) but only Josh has. Being different is what makes it possible for me to say I have never been fired from a job and every boss I have had would still love to take me back. Being different means that I can CHOOSE what I do with my life, whom I share it with, and how I want it to look. Being different means that I can listen to The Avett Brothers and Eminem and Frank Sinatra all on the same playlist and Halle's friends think I am cool (ok, that's a little risky). I know right now the most important thing for you seems to be survival, but what survival means to you now will be vastly different from survival when you are 22, or 32, and beyond that, I can only imagine (since I am not that old yet). It wasn't until after Natalee was born that I truly gained an appreciation for my parents, and the fact that they did their absolute best to raise me the right way. There are no perfect parents, but I will give mine an A for effort, even if I choose to do some things differently. I trust, and hope, and pray that someday you will look at me with the same eyes. If you feel about me someday the way that I feel about my mom and dad, then I will feel like I did ok. I don't expect you to like me now. I don't expect to be your buddy, even when you steal my clothes and make me cookies. I expect to be your mom, imperfectly, and often very badly. I am an awkward mom. I don't hug well. If you need a hug, you might have to steal it from me. If you need a pat on the back, you might have to remind me. But if you need a kick in the butt bottom, I will probably remind you. It's ok if you hate me now. It's ok if you keep throwing fits for a few more years, or decades. I have faith that you will be just fine. You are beautiful, and talented and intelligent. You are different, and it will serve you well. I hope you will learn to place a high value on your heart and your love, because there are many unworthy people out there, and Josh and I can't stand to see you wasted, so you can plan on a fight until YOU see your worth. I remember 15, Kizzie. Like it was yesterday. I remember the clothes and the smells, the music and the hair and the boys. I remember looking for my space, my self, my soul. I remember how strong the feelings are, how intense the problems seem, and how alone you can feel. But there is another side to 15, and I know that you will arrive there beautiful and ready for 16. Because you are my girl. 

I love you.


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