I Am An Enabler When It Comes to My Kids

enablerAfter giving two out of four of my children money last week a friend jokingly (I think) called me an “enabler.”  Driving home I thought about that and then realized she was right.

I am an enabler and will continue to send cash when needed… as long as my kids are moving forward on the right track. Here’s the tricky part. As a parent we have to decide if we think our children are “on the right track” and if “enabling their behavior is what we really want to do.  At nineteen Lex isn’t self sufficient but she’s doing everything right and she’s moving down the tracks toward her life.  She’s go a full ride to college and hasn’t lost it, she works fifteen hours a week at for a non profit. She wanted to get a second job but I said “don’t’ do that please focus on grades and finals”.   She needed money for food and gas. I think, if she wanted money for new speakers in her car and another tattoo I would have said no and laughed at her.

Mary and her boyfriend Andy are doing really well in their new city of Indianapolis but her just barely making enough money right now. That will change but for now things are tight. We all desperately want Mary home for Thanksgiving. Mary want’s to come home for Thanks giving, so I’m helping a little.

I remember when I was sixteen and needed money to upgrade my dark room equipment.  I didn’t want to ask my parents for the cash, even though I was actually making money taking pictures. A couple of weeks before my brother Jack died at the age of 22 or 23 he sat down on the edge of my twin bed with a can of Bush beer in his hand and said, “Ask Mom, that’s what parents are for, they live for shit like this.  It’ll make her happy.”

I did not know exactly what my big brother was talking about that night but I took his advice. And he was absolutely right. I never had the chance to talk to my brother Jack again about his advice. But I’ve thought about it every time I needed to “enable” one of my kids, or one of their friends.

I can’t tell you how happy Alex is when he needs to buy tires for your car. It’s his way of saying he loves you. Sometimes he even buys them for one of your Hampoland friend’s cars and that’s a good thing too.  I promise this is true.

Sometime in the near future you will all be grown, self sufficient and our help won’t be necessary.  Jack doesn’t need us financially at all anymore. And it actually makes us a little sad.

But until that day arrives, Alex and I are here for you always, as long as you’re moving in the right direction. And my brother  Jack was right, nothing makes us happier. So thank you for asking.

Bi-Polar Dictator at The Breakfast Table

A good mom (or dad, I don’t want to be sexist) in the morning has to be both bi-polar and zen to get kids to school on time. you gotta be be exquisitely irrational, brutal and daring. One person, with just one personality, doesn’t stand a chance . Every morning I’m the wheeling dealing gambler, dictator, stand up comedian, dancing diva, chef, dj.

Daughter, “Mom what’s it like today?”

“Warm and rainy, almost 80 degrees,” Meteorologist Mom

“What shoes with this?” It’s a short fluffy skirt and Chuck Norris tee-shirt.

“Cowboy boots, not the suede ones, because of the rain, maybe a belt or  something shiny with that shirt.” Fashion designer mom says.

I open the lap top and daughter says sweetly, “Lil Wayne, please?”

DJ/ Censor Mom yells, “Are you out of your mind? He can’t listen to that. Next request?”


We all laugh our way through ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It.” I do my little hootchie coochie dance.

Then boy asks for Weird Al. Nothing better in the morning. Pop Scholar Mom has everything on the lap top or can find it on YouTube.

But boy is still just staring at his scrambled eggs.  He’s not a morning eatter, but I have to get a few calories in the kid. The Wheeler Dealer mom says, “What’s it gonna take to get you to eat?”

“I could do a donut.”

“Ok, you eat half the eggs  and you can have a donut. But you have to drink milk, not juice.”

“Ok,” he says and crams exactly half the pile of eggs in his mouth, it’s grotesque. He swallows it all, as though taking a dose of cod liver oil.  Nutritionist Mom hands him a donut and a glass of milk.

Daughter appears, looking really cute, in the boots and skirt. “So Mom, Roy is acting like such a punk to Heather since they broke up. He’s hanging all over other girls, big time. He gave Jessica a full back rub at lunch just to bug her.  I swear I want to punch him in the face.”

“No face punching.”

She makes a face. “Then I’m going to talk to him and tell him to cut it out.”

“That won’t work,” Says Relationship Counselor Mom.  “That’ll just give him the satisfaction of knowing he’s upsetting her. Just make sure she’s no where near him. If she can’t see him doing stupid stuff it won’t bug her.  And make sure you keep her busy. Do something fun Friday night.”

“I still want to punch him. Stupid mean boys.”

“Yeah, stupid boys.” I say and she laughs.

“Hey, stop talking about stupid boys,” son says. He has a huge milk mustache.

“Oh my lord, boy! You don’t have any pants on yet. You have to wear pants to school, I’m pretty sure that’s a rule.  Go get dressed. We leave in seven minutes.”

It doesn’t take a village to raise a child, it takes an entire staff of  schizophrenic forward thinking professionals.

*What’s your morning like Write to me at hampoland@gmail.com or leave a message. They make me happy.