Wednesday, May 20, 2009

*singing* PRO-CRAST-IN-A-TION!!!!

Remember that Carly Simon song, "Anticipation??" And then it was used for the sound track to the ketchup commercial?? (don't remember, del monte, heinz,or hunts...whichever...I just remember it was ketchup!)

Well, that's what I'm humming today as once again Jared Takes A Wife gets put on the back burner as far as quilting goes! But it's only noon-thirty, so there is still hope!

A box came from Anna, and inside of it were pieces and parts and scraps and chunks of stuff she didn't want in HER sewing room any more, so they came to mine :c)

In a midst all the cute kid flannels and brights and Christmas fabrics and lots of other fabric "stuff"...there were these 16 Yellow Brick Road blocks that just needed to be put together! It niggled at me and it niggled at me, and I finally convinced myself that in about 1.5 hours I could slap those puppies together, and put a couple borders around them and call them done. Anna....thanks for the gift of the blocks! It gave me a quick surge of piecing pleasure, and I am so thrilled with this! It's helping me work through some very stressful emotional times.

I'm not sure if it's going to be an autumn table topper at my house, or be gifted to someone (I have someone in mind...but not sure of the colors she likes yet) but this really lifted my spirits today. What a way to pay it forward!

And all this....really IS helping me deal with a 19 yr old high school drop out son who wants to blame us for everything that is "wrong" in his life without taking any responsibility for the fact that HE is the one who quit school, quit the GED program, quit his job, finds EVERY job beneath him. We offered to pay him for painting the deck, but he did half a job and quit..so no money until he finishes...and now he wants to go live somewhere else.

(yes, this is my rant and I need to get it off my chest or die)

He forgets we pay the insurance on his car..and his cell phone..and he is going to find himself without BOTH very soon. He has a way of twisting things....of saying he is going to QUIT the electrical courses we paid for at the community college that just started this week, as a way to get back at us. Geeze, tough love is hard. Is it really best for my son to go live in a gutter to figure it out that he isn't entitled to everything he has, he needs to WORK for it?

Do I want my son to go live in his CAR? It's put a torture on my heart and I am hating this so much. We have all been WORKERS in this family. To have one who isn't..who just wants to slide by...is driving me nuts.


  1. Bonnie, Quilting is great therapy. Love what you did with the Yellow Brick Road blocks.

    I have a special needs son and another 11 months younger. My husband works 12-14 hours days. Quilting gets me through rough days (and good ones.)

    Know that all of us who admire you and your contribution to the quilt world will keep you in our prayers and good thoughts as you go through this trying time with your child. Maybe he needs a hug and several hours of your undivided attention with no agenda. I know that when I was a senior in high school, I resented the amount of time my mom spent in her garden. (It was her therapy, but I longed for her attention.)

    A friend in Cumming, GA where you were Feb, 2008.

  2. Oh, your post made me tear up! We have three "boys", the youngest just turned 30. There have been some bumps in the road along the way, but I think you're doing the right things. Some have a tough time connecting their actions (or lack thereof) with the consequences. You're in my thoughts and prayers today. And YAY for the finished topper!

  3. Bonnie Keep your head up! Kids can be challenging at times. You are right tough love is hard! but I think you are on the right track. It is amazing what kids take for granted these days. Maybe having to use transit/friends for rides, no phone etc will smarten him up a bit. Our kids have a project at school they have to do,hypothetically go through the newspaper find a job, then list expenses as if they were on their own ie rent, food, insurance, phone, medical etc etc. Can they pay for all that with the job they chose?...not usually. but good excercise in why to stay in school! there are lots of families out there going through the same life changes and challenges. good luck

  4. Hey Bonnie,
    What a fun box to get in the mail! I am afraid it would have caused me major Procrastination also! Glad you got your piecing fix and without cutting...BONUS!

    My heart is sad that you are having to deal with such hard things with your son. It really just tears at a mom's heartstrings when they do such dumb things without seeming to understand the consequences. I will keep you in my prayers that your heart will be soft and healed and that your mind enlightened to what to do...I hope and pray your will be strengthened also, to get through this time.
    You are such an awesome lady and I admire all that you accomplish in a day. I hope to be more like you. Thanks for all you do
    Keep your face towards the sun and you will not see shadows!
    quilt hugs

  5. (((((((((( hugs )))))))

  6. What a beautiful quilt! What a great way to pay it forward. Wrap that quilt around you and think of all of the love that went into it and let it give you a hug from everyone who thinks so highly of you.

    Our children know how to push our buttons and make us feel less than we are. Don't let that happen. Remember the definition of insanity-it is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Your son knows what buttons to push to make you feel you have done a bad job of parenting. You have done the best of your ability to make him into a contributing member of society. It is now time that he takes responsibility. You and your husband have some tough decisions to make, but they do need to be made, it not the parents responsibility to provide for an ADULT child.

    It is so hard to be a parent especially a mother because we want to fix everything. Sometimes we need to step back and say it is your life you need to make the decisions. That also means we remove some of the priveledges that you are providing. Life sometimes comes from the school of hard knocks.

    Now wrap that quilt around you again and remember how many care for you and please know we stand with you. Many of us have had to make the same hard decisions.

  7. Bonnie,
    Good thoughts coming your way.......I'm sure
    that everything will work out with your son.


  8. Bonnie,

    You are definitely NOT alone in raising young adults.

    Quilting is therapy. Since there will always be rough parts, I'm grateful to have wonderful quilt friends.

  9. Dear Bonnie,

    Let me start my post with a {{{hug}}}. I have two daughters who have grown up very nicely, but definitely not without bumps, potholes and detours along the way.

    Pray. When you think you have prayed enough, pray some more. Nothing helps more than letting our Heavenly Father handle our burdens.

    Try to remember that even though your heart is being torn out, you ARE doing the right thing for him by letting him taste his own defeats.

    Being a good parent is HARD work. Being a "nice" parent is so much easier, but the results aren't very satisfying.

    Don't be afraid to "rant" once in a while...getting it off your chest is a healthy thing. Also, if you ever want to email and do a rant, you have my email.

    Take care of yourself, dear.

  10. So sorry about your son problems. All a parent can do is the best they can. Some kids just take longer to "get" it than others. I hope yours sees the light soon, for his sake as well as yours.

  11. Hold to your guns- you are doing the right thing! The sooner, the better!

  12. Keep your chin up, and your head down....you will get through this, I will say a prayer for you...

  13. Remember the old saying "Insanity... you catch it from your kids!"

    The only way is the tough love way. My best friend growing up had the same attitudes. She went through some tough times and eventually realized the "errors of her ways".

    He'll learn, give him time (but no money) and keep quilting -- it's cheaper than therapy!

  14. Bonnie, I hate to tell you this but I have been there and I have done that with my son but tough love means letting him go and do what he needs to do .
    Believe me, he will come back a new person. I have lived it and though you will cry more tears than you knew you could make, you have to let him go. As I call it, live and learn.
    Right now my 18 year old wants to move away though college is only 45 minutes away. Pay rent, food, etc... I am letting her go. Live and learn is my motto and learn they do.I promise he will come back as a good friend and that is worth tons.

  15. We went through a tough time with my stepson...quit High School without telling anyone the day he turned 18 which was 1 month before graduation...He finally grew up around 21. Now he is doing Ok but reading your post reminds of the not-so-good ole days.

  16. Anonymous4:19 PM EDT

    Bonnie....hate to say it but lots of wisdom here. You and I have talked and I know in depth how you feel. I've also seen those who just keep giving and giving and giving....the child (now adult)NEVER grows up! What would happen something happens to you or Dave? (heaven for bid..but work with me) Jeff would LEARN QUICKLY how to fend for himself and I might add...grow up a wee quicker. Let him go....it will break your heart but let him learn a hard lesson...he'll be a better man for it. I've told you about my brothers. They are so responsible and own their own very successful businesses now! A far cry from all that they put my folks through. Holler at me if you need to cry/vent this one out!

  17. Bonnie, the quilt is really pretty, and quilting is really stress reducing.

    Now, you have my prayers & hugs along with everyone else's about your son.

    My husband has been dealing with his daughter's "growing pains" for the past 4 years. Part of the problem he has is that his daughter gets her head filled up with things that her mother tells her & she listens (in spite of the fact that her mother deserted her 6 years ago to live with another man!)

    Everyone keeps telling us that things will get easier, and in some ways it has --- but for us that meant going back to Court -- but we keep hoping she will "get it" sooner rather than later.

    Hang in there. Read some of Larry Winget's books (People Are Idiots, and I Can Prove It! is the one I'm reading now). . . lots of common sense, but in the end it is up to each person to make their own way in life. . .and, as Larry says, the life they get is "their own d--- fault".

  18. "Prepare not the path for your child, prepare your child for the Path"

    You are doing the right thing. You have to keep doing it, and not stop. Yes, it's hard. But, it has to be done. It up to him how long this lesson will take. And it's a lesson that has to be learned, or it will never change. (((hugs)))

  19. very very pretty, nicely alligned...designed...colors too.

  20. Bonnie - I dealt with the same sort of situation with my daughter when she was a teenager. It was the hardest thing I ever did to let her sink or swim on her own. But the good news is that after a lot of heartache and pain on both sides, she straightened up and became the most incredible and responsible adult with a real understanding of the way to live a happy, productive life - and be a friend to her mom. Keep hard on the outside and let the melting marshmallow stay on the inside. Raising kids is not for the faint of heart, but I know that you, your husband and your son will come through this. You are in my thoughts. Feel free to write if you need a "sponsor" to keep you sticking to your guns!

  21. oh Bonnie, I can only imagine the heartbreak you are feeling right now as you and your husband dish out some of this "tough love" to Jeff....too often the right choice is not the easiest to make.

    I just noticed recently taht it's been forever it seems since you had posted about him... a few years ago you had shared some things... and thought perhaps things were going great between you all. Sorry to hear that he's quiting so many things before his life even gets started and off the ground.

    I remmeber my teen years and it scares me to death to think how bad I really thougth I had it and how I too often thought about "quiting life" - I'm so glad I didn't!!! and very greatful I made it to college where I made some great friends who helped make high school a faded memory.

    It is hard to tell a teenager - that their problems are not a big deal in reality b/c to them in their mind it's is a BIG deal! the only deal...

    Prayers to you from Texas!!!!

  22. The end of the teenage years is hard...tough love is hard too...you do what you think is right and you can never fault yourself for that...eventually he will realize his parents know a little something! It will get better, I am glad you found some sewing today and that it helped lift your spirits...life should not be so dang hard! I am anxiously awaiting your next mystery coming out in the magazine--and THAT is what lifts my spirits!

  23. My heart aches for you. We had struggles with our kids at that age. Keep working on the tough love. I think it can be harder on Moms because we think with our hearts. But if you can be consistent, the rewards will be great. Real life is the best lesson of all.

  24. Bonnie, so sorry about your troubles with you dear son .

    I would keep the car ins. so he would have no excuse to go either to work or school but as for the phone I would take it from him. Its really not something he needs.
    Like someone here said let him go he will be okay .

    I have told my two children once when they were teens that it would be so much easier if I didn't love them so much.
    Praying for you

  25. Hi there Bonnie hon,
    I completely understand what you're going thru, especially after the morning I've had with Miss Amy. I just hope that a few years down the track they'll look back and realise that we weren't put on earth to make their lives rough, but we're just doing the best we can to help them get a good start in life.
    It's really hard sometimes, and some days are better than others. Lucky we have good friends to help us over the bumps.

  26. It's a hug-fest! We've all had or are going to have teenagers. Just when you think they've grown up they throw you another curve...SIGH. Hang in there.

    See you on Saturday in Goldsboro. :-)

  27. I don't know if this helps, but...My mother was always there to "Help" me, and I can tell you, it didn't help.

    I couldn't find myself when the folks were always bailing me out. I needed to do it on my own. know how I got to NYC? from a farm in MN? I packed a bag, had $200 in my pocket, and a bunch of paintings in a box. I was basically homeless from Nov-January, sleeping on people couches that I met along the way. Once I couldn't bum any money anymore, ($200 in NYC?gone in the first week), I had to get a job or go home. I was determined to do it on my own with no help. I got the job, and three months later I met my husband now of 10 years. that was 14 years ago.

    point? let him go, with love. He may struggle for a while. But he'll find what he needs for himself. If that takes living in a car, hey, at least he has a car to sleep in!
    with respect.

  28. Anonymous10:22 PM EDT

    I am praying for you! You are doing the right thing by your son. Keep your spirits up and know that you are much loved and thought about in the world!

  29. That's a real tough one and my heart really goes out to you...and I wonder if I will ever have to deal with that situation. You can give your kids all sorts of advice until you are blue in the face but it seems that most of them have to learn the hard way- by experience. Perhaps try a little reverse psychology- offer to help him leave home! Start making lists of what he will need, help him to work out a budget, look through the paper at what sort of accomodation is available....who knows? Maybe when reality hits he might realise just what a good deal he has at home! My prayers are with you.

  30. What a wonderful package to get. Sounds like it arrived right when you needed it. I am so sorry for what you are going through with your son. It seems to be the generation. Too much instant gratification in so many areas they don't understand working for anything. My 21 year old son quit college at Christmas with only 3 semesters to go until graduation. DH and I have had many long hard discussions about how much we do to should help him. And at what point it becomes more of a hinderence to them gaining an appreciation of responsibility. Our son was not allowed to use the car unless it was to do things for his grandfather or if he had a job. He has a full time job for the summer (away) and then we will see where things go from there. It is very hard give out that sort of tough love, but it seems that they don't really believe it unless they learn the hard way. Sending good thoughts your way.

  31. You're going through THE most stressful part of having children I think. All I can say is been there, done that........what I did learn is if you let them go, they will come back, having hopefully learnt something along the way.

    Thinking of you and thanks for a great blog.

  32. You must have realised by now that you're not alone! Personally we have a daughter who dropped out of her first term at Uni aged 19, was married 6 months later and now happy with a steady job - not at all what I imagined for her but it had to be her choice. You never stop worrying about your kids even when they've gone. Lots of prayers being said for you.

  33. I hear you loud and clear. Like Tazzie (Alexandra is the same age as Amy)I hope that in a few years time they realise that we were trying our hardest. I do think that boys are worse than girls - all those hormones running riot!.

    Hang on in there hun.

  34. Oh Bonnie as I read your post today tears just welled up in my eyes....I am saying a prayer for you and your family right now. Teenagers can be so hard...I have 3 daughters and I know what I'm talking about...lol

    Isn't it wonderful that we have quilting as our therapy, I don't know what I would do without it.

  35. You really do have a lot of friends who have shared their "kid" problems so you don't feel alone while you feel helpless. And, yes, tough love is hard. But being easy is even harder as your "child" learns that he is entitled to be taken care of and not take the "blame" for where he is in life. As a parent, grandparent and former therapist, I will tell you that in my experience children eventually have to learn to be personally responsible and it will never be easy but it gets harder as they get older because they have already learned to "blame" others for their failures. Keep on keeping on: we are all behind you, beside you and leading the way.

  36. Hi Bonnie, (I tried responding to your blog this morning, but I don't think it went through, so I hope this isn't a duplicate.) I've enjoyed following your blog and your quilts have inspired me to bring my machine out of the closet. After a bit of a hiatus, I'm trying to find time to quilt, and this morning I'm going to a sewing/quilting group!

    I'm so sorry to hear of the challenges you are having with your son. From your little bit of venting, I can tell how much you love him. I have no experience parenting young adult children (my kids are 12, 8, and 3), but I am beginning to understand the difficulties of helping them learn to become responsible for their own lives. When I'm struggling with our 6th grader, I like to remind myself that his frontal lobe won't develop completely until he's in this 20s, and maybe it's normal for him to be a little irrational from time to time. I really don't use that as an excuse, but it does make me smile. Take care, Kristin (Winston Salem)

  37. Bonnie,

    My heart cries for you. Isn't parenting the hardest job EVER??? My boys have been challenging to raise, my youngest being the hardest. I don't know what to say except it is probably time to be firm with your son. You have given him so much. It is his turn to take the reigns and decide the direction of his life. Remember, you have given him the tools, love and support to be successful. That is all you can do.

    Say someone tells you that they want to learn to quilt. You give them a list of tools....rotary cutter, mat, ruler, sewing machine, thread, fat quarters and one of your wonderful patterns. You spend a day teaching this new quilter all about cutting, pattern reading and a quarter inch. Then the new quilter does nothing with the tools, support and direction you have given her. Are you responsible for her not making a quilt? Or is she, for not taking the lessons you gave her and not acting upon them.

    All easier written than executed, for sure! Rest well, that you have taught your son life lessons. That you will always support wise decisions. And that you love him, now and always.


  38. Oh, Bonnie, this is so tough with your son. I had problems with mine, and perhaps they are not finished yet, but he has a university degree and a good job that he loves (still not quite what I would call grown up, though).......Your son has to realize that he is not going to community college for you and your husband, he is doing it for himself. Tough love is probably tougher on the parents, but it may be the only way at this point......I actually think nowadays kids don't grow up until about 25 (and some recent research seems to confirm that) and it is just those years from 18 to 25 that they can make the big mistakes, but NOTHING IS WITHOUT HOPE! You are in my prayers and thoughts.

  39. I think tough love is the hardest thing ion the world to do. We don't want ot see our littles one hurting but sometimes we have to let it work. I can say that getting counseling for YOU to help you go there this it will help you to stay tuff. Your will be in my prayers.

  40. Bonnie, you are doing the right thing. I know you are hurting. Just look at the big picture down the road. You don't want your son living with you in 10 years doing the same thing he is doing now. I know it is sure easier said than done though so you sure have my emotional support with you among many others right now. I bet it would only take a night or two on his own to make him turn around. Blessings and prayers going your way.

  41. My oldest son left home at 16 after turning to drugs and alcohol, and lived on the street. We told him he was welcome at home but his drug and alcohol use were not. I had a baby at home and felt the baby needed a safe environment. I gave him no money, but encouraged him to get clean and come home. He refused. I always told him I loved him and that he was always welcome. He never did come home. But eventually he realized I would not support his habit. He got sick of living on the street (although that took a while) and got a job. Eventually he went back to school, took a trade and is now a journeyman shipwright and loves doing it.

    It was very very tough, but he got through it - he's now 32 and engaged to a lovely, educated lady.

    The main thing I want to emphasize is that he really does still love me, and appreciates me. He knows I never stopped loving him. Make sure that Jeff knows you are being tough with him out of love - always make sure he knows you love him, and you just want the best for him, and want him to be happy in life. Keep being a good example. He will come around. Remember the story of the Prodigal Son. I think this story is pretty common, and is certainly ageless. Good luck.

  42. I too, had one of the 'entitled' thinking nitwits to cause endless days of stress and worry. Looking back I wonder why I went through all that. I should have said goodbye, good luck, be careful and let me know if you are sick or hurt and I'll be there. This same kid now has the light of my life grandchild and not a day goes by she doesn't call to check on me. She says she worries about me!

  43. Hang in there... it may take some time... but he will figure it out! He will find that things can be a lot tougher! Besides if and when he finds a friend that he can live with... time will tell b/4 the friend says... you've got it made! You need to go back home! Cause work is the only way that it happens... and at least a High School Education.
    I feel for you.
    The table topper turned out cute!

  44. Anonymous8:34 PM EDT

    Bonnie, my heart goes out to you and your family, I too am like you just wanting the best for our kids (all adults) and always worry.
    Not sure what the answers is to help you to help him, but hang in there, as I think he is just pushing to be pushed away to prove he is right.

    lots of quilting hugs

  45. hi Bonnie,
    I can relate to your challenges- we have one child -a son who is 21 and just beginning to find himself.
    My only advice is that you have to do the things that you can live with- He knows that you love him - he just needs to figure out who he is in all this.
    I used to think it was hard when our son was small but I learned that little children have small problems and big kids have bigger problems. At some point we had to let our son deal with his choices. We help when we can but some things we know he has to work through himself. It is part of hs journey of becoming a grownup..
    Hang in there- quilt when you can and wrap yourself in the support of your family and friends- You are surrounded by a loving community of people who care about you all.
    Warmest regards,

    PS. I keep getting a weird error message that is often not letting me open your blog and a few others. I know that Cootiebug was having the same problem!!
    Have others experienced difficulties getting to your blog?

  46. Oh kids. I can understand how you must feel and quilting away is good therapy! I hope you trust yourself enough to know you were and are a good parent, He only needs to remember... I will pray for you! Hope you will stay on your two feet ;-)

  47. Hi Bonnie,
    I'm not there yet, my kids are still preschoolers, but I'm the product of a mom who let go. At 18, we were completely cut off, money wise. We were allowed to live at home if we were going to school, and had to move out when we weren't. I remember when I was 19 I was considering putting school on hold for a year to take a job I thought would be fun. I called her up to talk to ask her about it and she basically said that she'd give her advice, but not her permission. I was too old to ask for permission. It really hit me then that I could really screw up my life if I wasn't careful. My mom's message to me by pushing us out of the house at 18 was a loud and clear "you can do it!" that made my siblings and I so successful (at least IMO!)

    You're not being mean by cutting him off, you're saying with actions that you believe in his own capabilities. He may not see it that way right away, but don't worry...he will!

    Prayers that God will comfort you when you need it!

  48. Stick to your guns. You've got the right idea. My sister is going through and gone through some really heart rending times with her son. IF, big "if", she had used tough love when her son was 19it might be different now. Her son just turned 30. He dropped out of high school at 17. Up until a few months ago she was letting him play on her guilty feelings. He's made some really bad decisions and now has to live with them. What he doesn't grasp is that his decisions affect the whole family.

  49. Anonymous3:24 PM EDT

    My husband and my brother and I each went through that when we were younger (oh, our poor parents!). We had to be on our own, learning the hard way, before we could Choose to go to school and Choose to make things better. We were so stubborn we wouldn't follow the smart path until it was our own idea. Just give him time and space (in his uninsured car, or wherever he wants to be). When he's forced to think for himself he'll figure it out.

    Thinking of you. I know this must be awfully tough.

  50. Oh, Bonnie, we are going through the same thing right now. Your post broke my heart because we are getting ready to have the same thing happen here. Not sure if he will graduate HS yet and then he has no plans. Keep on keepin on and with the help of God we will all get through it!

  51. Dear Bonnie,
    Your post is heart breaking.

    When I was 16 I gave my parents an unbelievable amount of grief. I was a rotten brat. But we got through it and I like to think that I am now the loving daugther well educated finally) that they wanted.

    Do what you think it right, tough love is hard. Kids have to learn the value of things and unfortunately they have to learn those lessons the hard way.

    Pray, Pray and pray some more, and tell him you love him.

  52. I am so sorry you are going through this. My daughter graduated high school 4th in her class and all was well--for about a year. At that point, she decided she couldn't live with the rules anymore and moved out. She went through some really rough times, trying to go to college and work, but we made sure she knew she was welcome at home. When she was sick and on a new antibiotic, I went over and stayed with her for several hours to make sure she didn't have a reaction to it.

    8 months later she moved back home, willing to live by the rules and continue classes. There were still some things to work through, and I came very close to throwing her clothes out in the driveway and changing the locks one time, but we got through it.

    This gal put herself through college and law school, graduated from both magna cum laude, and is a working, responsible adult. She works with criminals, and has told us over and over again how much she appreciates the stability and discipline and love we gave her.

    Hang tough, Bonnie. It really IS in his best interest, even if he (temporarily) hates you.

  53. Sorry not to see this sooner, but I went through a lot of stuff with both my girls. The older one is still operating on a different planet and chooses to be estranged from us...which hurts since I had lots of years of doctoring and surgeries to even HAVE kids. The younger one gave us lots of problems, but she has grown up and has many times told us how RIGHT we were to use the "tough love" approach as it was the only way she could learn the realities of life and that she needed to become a more responsible person. It's not easy to do the "tough love", but with some kids, it's the only way. I agree with those who said you will cry rivers of tears along the way, but ....down the road a bit (and it might be awhile), your toughness will lead your son to grow up and become a responsible adult. My prayers are with you.


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