Monday, April 25, 2016

Frankly Ronda

I leave my Commuter Family blog on April 25, 2016.

We started our Commuter Family in April 2012 and Commuter Husband is still making that weekly trek between Houston and Dallas. We have made it work for us. I am thankful.

I am moving on to a different blog ... hope to see you there!

My New Blog: Frankly Ronda!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Brotherly Love Looks Like ...

Brotherly Love Looks Like ... A Headlock.
It starts as a casual connection.
Notice the arm starting to move in ...
The one armed lock is in place.
A full head lock accomplished. 
Resistance is initiated.  
Brotherly Love right there in that split second. 
A move is made to get out of the headlock.
Getting out will require a tussle of sorts. 
I have learned much as the mother of boys. I will state the obvious: males, in general, have characteristics that differ from females. And I continue to be fascinated by the antics of the other gender.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


I was four years old on April 16, 1969. I have no real memory of this birthday but I have Polaroid pictures. And I have a sense of happiness that was on that day. The pictures show a typical 1960s backyard birthday in Burleson, Texas with cousins, neighbors and friends and a Cinderella cake! I got a bicycle with streamers and a flower covered basket. The family story is that Granny bought me the bicycle against her daughter's (my mother) wishes - probably true. There are no pictures of my mother so I am assuming she was the photographer.
I am perched on the bicycle.
I am smiling and probably glad to have my cousin sitting on my left.
Opening my four year old birthday gifts on a sunny day.

I was five years old on April 16, 1970.
There are pictures from this day at the same house. It was an indoor birthday and some of the same faces appear in photos and new ones too. Real or imagined, I do not think of this day with joy. The photographer on this day was my stepmother. My mother was killed soon after my fourth birthday.
The yellow dress stands out on this fifth birthday.
And there are gifts.

I was 39 years old on April 16, 2004.
Oldest Son was four years old which is the same age I was on that last birthday with Cheryl Virginia (Bills) Henry, my mother. On this day in 2004, I felt gratitude sweep through me like a tidal wave. I realized, as a mother myself, how fortunate I was to have had my own mother and father for the first four years of my life. Four years of unconditional love in the late 1960s in a stable home had laid the foundation for confidence, security and resilience that I would draw on through many more birthdays.
Oldest Son turns four in 2004 with an North Pole themed pool party.

Today I am 51 years old on April 16, 2016.
I am a mother with sons who are 16 and 14 years old now. My husband is by my side and is my biggest fan. Commuter Husband and I are relatively healthy with some of the normal mid-life ailments. We are safe and secure. But I am unsettled. My brain races daily to figure out how the next half of my life should be defined. Hard Stop. There needs to be more, something more in my personal contribution to this world.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hello and Good Bye

One aspect of parenting that often takes me unawares are daily mundane things that Oldest Son and Youngest Son show themselves not to know. This occurs when we make a transition or a new responsibility presents itself.

This week's surprise is associated with Oldest Son driving. He has embraced managing his own logistics seamlessly and responsibly which is a positive outcome and we ARE proud of him. However, we are missing the Hello and Good Bye part of coming and going.

This morning I am at the other end of our ranch house and I hear the door alarm sound that signals that someone has left the house. Oldest Son left without saying anything like "see ya later" or "I'm leaving" or "good bye." This also happened when he arrived home yesterday and went straight to his room. I promise we have modeled greeting pleasantries for his 16 years in our home!

Yes this is normal teenage behavior. Got it. So we will teach this teen considerate behavior norms. I caught him in the driveway today and tried to calmly explain to him that we expect him to show his face to us when he arrives and leaves the house and say a few words. Independent introverts are still expected to be polite; we are old fashioned this way.

So as he rolls up the car window with a ever so slight smile, Oldest Son says "Have a good day" and drives away.
Our New Driver

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Empty Laundry Hamper

A universal teenage mystery is why the laundry hamper remains empty in said teenager's room and bathroom. I have no magic solution. I advise some level of acceptance to my fellow parents of teenagers.

Our approach is twofold. Since Youngest Son does his own laundry weekly, he will eventually gather the piles and wash. And we are fortunate enough to have a Tuesday housekeeper thus he complies with our requirement that his room and bathroom are clean by Monday night at 9pm (and if he does not then he gets to scrub the toilet which has happened.)

The other six days of the week ... well ...
My favorite aspect of Youngest Son's bathroom is the two open drawers - really?!
And why are the hot pink beats Youngest Son bought with his own money on top of the wet towel?
THIS is the EMPTY laundry hamper within inches of the bathroom hurricane including shorts, socks, shirts and underwear.
And we move to the bedroom where Youngest Son is consistent in his approach tidiness.
Another EMPTY laundry hamper in the bedroom and also within inches of discarded clothing.