I made a change in how I raise my stepsons. I stopped having birthday parties. My inlaws think this is awful; they usually throw a party anyway.
I decided the boys need more experience and less stuff. We were going broke buying presents, junk food, and decorations. Within a few days that precious toy is lost or broken or hidden because it was broken out of spite. I never remember who gave them what. Months later, when making the boys clean, I would see the mountains of stuff pushed under the bed and wonder where it all came from.
The first time we did experience we went to the zoo. We still spent money, but it seemed more justified and I think we spent less on gas than in buying party food. We took lots of pictures. We bought a few souvenirs. The boys had never been to a zoo. They remembered what they saw.
When we got home, weary and travel lagged, my sister-in-law threw a party. Our 11 year old opened presents from grandparents and aunts, people who really didn't have money to spare. He tossed each present aside without much interest then asked, "Is this all I got?"
And still, my inlaws aren't understanding why we're doing this.
For the next birthday we went to Stone Mountain. We quickly realized it can't be done in one day. I recommend going up for a weekend. Both boys want to go back. I have to warn you, it is expensive. I got thirsty and swiped my card at a vending machine. No prices were listed, but I figured it couldn't be more than a $1.50 My bottle of water was $3.
While traveling home, I told my husband that I had done more traveling in the time that I had been with him than in 15 years of single life. (Our 3rd anniversary is in October.) I was merely stating a fact. When left to my own devices I stay home.
And we have yet another trip in June when we travel to Virginia to pick up the oldest son who's getting out of jail. And then, all 5 of our children will be living here with us. Yes, the 2nd oldest moved back in. Right after we told him when his brother was getting out. And yeah, I'm pretty sure that's some sibling rivalry thing.
In all likelihood, at least one boy will be living in a camper. We bought the camper for the 2nd, but immediately after purchase he decided he didn't want it. So we decided to put the oldest in it. Except it's in bad shape and needs remodeling. I got annoyed yesterday and told 2nd Son if he wasn't going to live in it then he would fix it for his brother. Suddenly he wanted the camper after all. He did more planning and budgeting in one hour than he's done in months. Not just planning a remodel, he started thinking about life choices. I wish I had said something months ago. I told him I wasn't kicking him out, but I was going to keep pushing him to meet goals. He has ideas, but he just talks vaguely. He never actually takes action.
But still, even if one child goes, the house is about to be in chaos. The younger boys will be out of school so they will stay with their aunt. Who lives in North Alabama. If we drop them off it adds hundreds of miles to the trip. Obviously someone else has to take them up but then there's the lack of a car problem. I offered to loan my mother in law our spare car but I don't trust my sister-in-law's driving. Mother in law doesn't want to go. I'm guessing I'm about to be accused of being unreasonable, impractical, and stingy. Oh, well.
2nd Son will be here but he's not very reliable which is why my niece and her boyfriend will keep house for us. This way I know the animals are fed and the garden is watered. But now I have to think about food, is my liquor cabinet safe, and if I will have the same number of Tarot decks upon return.
And then the parole officer or a deputy inspects the house. Fortunately, oldest son was charged with theft, not a violent crime. But still, it makes me think about repairs to be made, clearing clutter, oldest son finally using his clothes we stored in the closet, and do we really have enough beds?
It also brings to mind projects in progress, does our current furniture meet our needs, and how or what will change over the summer?
I decided to clean the whole house from top to bottom. I'll post my progress each day, talk about how I solve problems, and what magickal work I do along the way. I don't know how long this will take. I'm expecting at least 3 posts, probably 5 or 6.