Parenting Moments

In this space I will take time to update parenting quotes that make (and sometimes likely break) my day. Enjoy from afar, dear ones. This area is rife with laughter and heartbreak all at once.

January 19th, 2018

I drive up to the middle school to pick up my son from basketball practice. They lost their first game last night by… well.. many, many points. This practice was likely brutal due to their loss.

He gets in the car, remarking “Coach said we played like sacks of potatoes. The other coach said we played like a bunch of little girls.”

“I don’t really like that comparison,” I say, ever vigilant to disrupt the idea that girls are somehow “less” or “weak.”

“Yeah,” he says. (WOO! He also doesn’t think girls are less than boys!) “The girls team is actually GOOD.”

Ha. Well, I’ll take what I can get… it’s a start, and he acknowledges the skill of the girls team. He doesn’t blame their skills on better coaching, height, or more practice time. They may have lost by a lot, but this I consider a significant WIN.

October 8, 2017

“Mom, let’s play a game,” Ethan suggests.
“Okay, I’ll think of a category and the first one of us to run out of ideas loses,” I say. “First: famous trios.”
“The Three Stooges,” he says.
“You beat me to it! Faith, hope, and love,” I offer.
“Peace, love, dope!” he brightly declares.

Well. OK, kid. You got me.

Evidently he was quoting Terrence Mann’s character from “The Field of Dreams,” but I was unprepared for this response. 

September 14th, 2017

Actual email I received today:
“While watching a video about the history of maps, your son decided to shoot off two fake finger guns, blow off the smoke, and holster them with incredible finesse. It had nothing to do with the content, but it was so dang funny, I didn’t even care. Kind of made my day. Thought you should know.  

So glad this ended positively, as I nearly choked on my lunch when “your son decided to shoot two…” scrolled across my iPhone notification screen in the faculty lounge.

September 12, 2017

I stopped to get donuts for a Student Council meeting this morning and saw a good friend on the way in.
Returning to the car, Ethan asks, “Who were you talking to?”
“Ashley,” I say. “Walton*? You know her.”
“Oh,” he responds. “I didn’t see her. So you’re not meeting up with any guys?” he slyly asks.
“Yes, Ethan. I often meet up with scandalous men in the parking lot of Walmart at 7 a.m.” I retort. 
“That’s where all the best ones are…” he notes. 

I am both impressed by his sarcasm and terrified of his sense of humor.

*Names changed to protect the innocent. 


August 24th, 2017

Ethan’s drawing tonight instead of reading, our nightly ritual.

“Whatcha drawing?” I ask from my reading perch, the couch.

“Myself… which isn’t that easy. I’m a very complicated person. Seriously.”

Nailed it.

August 3rd, 2017

“Trick shots for lyyyyfe, bruh… er, Mom.”
#hemightnotbemine #whatisthat #notabruh #nevergonnabeabruh

July 7th, 2017

Today, my son and I rode to a family member’s house. We passed fields of corn and huge swaths of hay bales along the way. I’ve always been a big fan of a field speckled with hay bales; I find comfort in the organization of chaos, I think. Somehow we got on the topic of Pegasus, and we decided that we’d like there to be a Clydesdale-Eagle hybrid Pegasus (with the tail of the American flag) that dispenses Budweiser and Dippin’ Dots at will.

I have no idea how we got onto this topic, but I’m very happy my son is goofy enough to continue this idea in detail. I pray he finds someone equally goofy to entertain him into adulthood, as surely I will be uncool quite soon.


During this same drive, I told him how sometimes in the hot summer months hay bales will overheat and internally combust from excess heat. He thought this was fantastic and then told me how much he loves to see a combine “destroy” corn as it harvests.

“Are you sure you’re not a little bit of a psychopath?” I inquire. “They love to destroy, too.”

“No, Mom. I’ve always considered myself more of an arsonist,” he quickly retorts.

I am 1.) impressed he knows what an arsonist is, 2.) equally impressed I’ve never seen him light anything on fire at our house… and 3.) terrified to find out how 1 & 2 coexist.

April 3rd, 2017

Ethan begins to play a Beatles’ song in the other room and comes in, looking suave.
“Know this one?” he slyly asks.
“Yup,” I say. “‘Come Together.'”
“Dang,” he sighs. He tries to trip me up constantly.
Several moments pass, and I hear him going through some newer selections. He settles on some new-ish JT. The song starts and I can see Scarlet Johannsen in my head from the first few notes.
Ethan comes in, again looking as if he can catch me.
“Nope. Know it, too,” I say. “‘What Goes Around Comes Around,’ bud.”
“Dang! Do you just know ALL Justin Timberlake music?!” he blurts out.

Ah, to underestimate pre-pubescent crushes. He’s no idea the extent to which this range goes… nor should he. 🙂

March 23rd, 2017

“Ethan, did you see that the tree in the yard is about to bloom? It’s all purple,” I ask.
“Cool! It’s like [our town’s] tree!” he responds.
“Well, I’m pretty sure it grows other places, but you’re right–the town’s school color is purple.”
He continues doing something else but I hear him mutter the following…
“I wish it was black. Like the darkness…. devastation… death. [He laughs.] I’m just kiddin’.”

There has literally never been a moment we were more related than this moment, our mirrored morbid senses of humor.

January 23rd, 2017

Ethan had one of his middle school friends over after school today, which was great because he doesn’t often get to have too many friends over with their busy schedules.

However, after over an hour of listening to various renditions of “Cake By The Ocean,” I think it’s safe to say I’ve over estimated the importance of my son getting bonding time with friends. #Oeuvre

January 22nd, 2017

Ethan received honor roll for his first semester of middle school—almost all As!
“Ethan, do you think $5 per ‘A’ will be a nice reward for your great report card?” I asked.
Pensive, with heavy side-eye, he asks “Do you think I could get $2.50 for the ‘B’ grades?” (I swear he could have winked.)
“This is not a negotiation. One does not negotiate with rewards. Nice try,” I laughed.

December 14th, 2016

Ethan talks with me about setting up a new model train set-up in our basement. He received a large “train table” for Christmas, and he discusses his thoughts. He says he can’t really explain it; he just needs to set it up in order for his meaning to be clear.

“It’s like how you can’t explain fireworks,” he says. “You just have to see it. It’s like an atomic bo–… wait, no, that doesn’t work.”

Good, kid. Glad you know that setting off an atomic bomb really doesn’t show anyone how it actually is made. So glad you’ve figured that one out already. 🙂

November 30th, 2016

As I drive home with Ethan after school, he does what he usually does and talks nonstop about his day. Sometimes I can’t listen to all of it, but I know he needs to get it out. Today, however, he brings up friends. “You can’t ever really trust anybody,” he says, “You never know when one is just going to turn their back on you.”

I wanted to say something positive, but I learned that same lesson several times in middle school myself. I let him keep talking, keep living, into a new topic. There is no point in lying and telling him they’re going to get better, that friends become better as you age. Instead, I pray to myself that he meets a friend as wonderfully supportive as my own.

November 12, 2016

I’d like to go back in time and smack silly the version of myself that ever thought owning an amplifier was a good idea. #guitarhouse #ethanhasafriendover #suddenlyheislennon #turnitdowntosixplease #honeydont #reallydont

November 8, 2016

On the way home from school, I grasp my son’s pre-pubescent and clammy hand, look at his lowered gaze, and ask, “Bud, what’s wrong? Did you have a bad day?”

He sighs. “No, Mom. I just have too many people that have a crush on me.”

Well smack me with a problem I’ve never had before, kid. Carry on with that lowered gaze because there ain’t nothin’ about that burden that’s light. Whew.

August 23rd, 2016

Work day in my classroom. I’m finishing up paperwork, and I ask Ethan: “Whatcha doing?”
“Writing a story,” he says while typing on my computer.
In addition, on the way here, he belted out some Hamilton: The Musical songs. IN TUNE.

Alright, everyone. I’m done parenting. Finished.

August 22nd, 2016

“I had a beautiful sleep.” – Ethan
“I had a weird dream about Sam Hunt.” – Me
“You don’t have to tell me. It was probably inappropriate.” -Ethan

Well done, kid. You know me well.

August 2nd, 2016

That moment you’re able to finagle another membership to Book of the Month Club through your son’s email account and get two free books out of the deal. It’s a sickness, and–yes–I’m aware.

July 29, 2016

“I’m gonna go have a drink of delicious [hometown] water.” -Ethan, upon returning home from Texas. He takes a drink, utters “MMMM… ah. I’m home!”

June 20, 2016

“Mom, you know what I’m going to do for you someday?” -Ethan
“Buy me a huge library with the fluffiest of pillows?!” -Me
“That’s a good idea but no. I’m going to Buy. You. An. OWL!” -Ethan
“Aw, yeah, honey that’s illegal…but I like where your head’s at.” -Me

June 15, 2016

“I could be a veterinarian someday, but I don’t really want to. It’s not going to be, like, my mid-life crisis or anything.” -Ethan, most brilliant mid-life-crisis-er of all time

March 28th, 2016

Ethan planned to ride his scooter to a friend’s house down the road. His classmate planned to walk with him. They decided to bring Ethan’s guitar, too, so that the three of them could have a “jam session.” Quickly realizing that the guitar could not be carried on the scooter, I said “Hey. Dude. It’s not [your friend’s] job to carry YOUR guitar!” to which Ethan responded, incredulously, “Hey. She applied for the job!”

I could not help but laugh. After watching them go down the road, it seemed to be a collective effort to carry the guitar/ride the scooter. Well played, son. Well played.

March 27th, 2016

Easter night, Ethan gave me a hug and thanked me for all of his Easter goodies–a real hug and a sincere thanks. I think I might not be a terrible parent after all. (Unless, of course, he’s just buttering me up for next year… or his birthday in five months… or… )

March 10, 2016

Ethan breaks the garage door. Frustrated, I say we’re having leftovers for dinner. He waits a minute, then comes into the same room saying “Look, I want to have an argument free night. Can we just let this go?”

Suddenly it’s very clear I’m raising someone’s husband.

Feb. 10, 2016

“It looks like a starfish exploded inside my ice cube!” -Ethan

Dec. 13, 2015

Getting older: Being sick all night from your child’s delayed virus instead of from having too many cocktails at the holiday Christmas party. #thankschild

Dec. 3, 2015

Parenting Quote of the Day: “No. You’re not going. I don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

Nov. 23, 2015 – Ethan made me a sign to advertise reading in my classroom.

'Ethan made me a sweet advertisement for my classroom. Totally unprompted, too! Might have to commission the kid...'
Ethan made me a sweet advertisement for my classroom. Totally unprompted, too! Might have to commission the kid…

Sept. 8th, 2015
Ethan and I were reading. This was our actual conversation:
*total silence*
E: What’s a glory hole?
Me: 😳 Bring me that book. RIGHT NOW. Faster than that!!! Turns out it’s about the Titanic—servants’ quarters—and now I feel awkward for thinking anything different.

Aug. 25th, 2015

Today, Ethan explained to me what gambling boats are. He told me, in detail, that in Florida it is legal to gamble on a boat that is three miles off shore. He said he learned this in the book he’s reading.

…Well, at least he’s literate.

May 18, 2015
I have my own mini Cary Elwes a la “The Princess Bride.” Example:
“I love you, Ethan.”
“As you wish… too.”
“Good night.”

May 12, 2015
Real Talk from Ethan: “Mom, know what keeps messing me up? Money and time.” …So young but so wise.

April 14, 2015
Oh, no. I just had to demand that my son go to bed so he doesn’t “stay up too late reading Harry Potter.” Someone write this down. In five years, god only knows what he’ll be up too late reading/watching/doing.

April 12, 2015
Today I blew my son’s mind by telling him he could finish the second Harry Potter book in 14 days if he read 30 pages a day. “WOW! That’s ridiculous! And easy! Numbers are weird….” I know, kid. I know.

April 4, 2015

Ethan has been playing guitar (The Beatles–of course) in his room for over half an hour. I must have spaced out for a bit because the most recent thing I heard was an emphatic “HOW DOES HE KEEP CATCHING ON FIRE?!” I was concerned. Then I thought, “Nope. Fire alarm hasn’t gone off. Not getting up.”

 March 4, 2015
Westermeyer Anxiety 101: Getting Ready for School Version
“My scallop is showing!” -Ethan
“Your scalp, Ethan. Scallops are seafood. Also, it’s everywhere, under ALL of your hair.”
“Oh. Well, don’t do that scalping thing, ok? I don’t want to lose it all.” -Ethan