What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

June 22, 2015 — 72 Comments

long trip


When Little Dude was infant, my Ex came home to find me nursing him, and crying.

“Why are you crying?” he asked.

I wailed, “He’s going to grow up and go off to college and leeeeeave meeeeee.”


My ex loves this story. Yes, I was hormonal and sleep deprived. ‘Cujo the Newborn’ was nursing every 2 hours,  drawing blood off my nips. But I was on to something.

That first year, when people told me to enjoy it became it “goes fast,” I wanted to force feed them their own elbows. The hours crawled by while I wandered around in a daze, feeling like a truck had run over my life.

It was not love at first sight.

Eventually, I fell fiercely, ridiculously in love with my child in a way that I can’t quite put into words, so I’ll just stop typing about it right here.


Little Dude is my favorite human being in the whole world, so the majority of my Facebook statuses are about him.

I frequently post “CONVERSATIONS WITH LITTLE DUDE” –  snippets of his insanely smart and hilarious comments.

Smart? He charges me one dollar every time I post about him. Kid is making bank.



LD:  Can you turn down your music? I’m trying to study for a science test.
Me:  Whose kid ARE you? Besides this is 90’s rap. You should know this!
LD:  Fine. I’ll tell my teacher I failed because my mother was reliving her “glory days.”



Little Dude had his Moving Up graduation ceremony from elementary school last week.

He’s not a little boy anymore. That phase of his life is solidly over. He’s very much a tween, practically hurtling towards being a teenager at warp speed.

The first year of his life may have crept by, but the last ten have whizzed by in a blur.


The inevitable baby picture montage actually eclipsed any I have seen before it its creativity. I would have appreciated it even more, had I not been weeping into balled up, mascara-stained tissues.

Despite my raunchy sense of humor and brash exterior, I’m a complete mush – especially when it comes to my kid.



LD:  Mom, can you make me some jello?
Me:  Sure, baby.
*gets stuff out to make jello*
Me:  What would you DO without me?
LD:  Um. Read the back of the box?



During the ceremony the students were asked to stand and be acknowledged for academic excellence and participation in various extracurricular affairs.

Little Dude’s name was called, over and over again. He was a goddamn rock star.

(Yes, I’m aware that I’m bragging. I could never do this in real life. Please indulge me?)

My heart swelled to about ten times its normal size that day.

The swelling hasn’t completely gone down yet.


I shared the whole day with Lizzi, via the Internet. She is Little Dude’s “Auntie Lizzi” from across the pond. She is as proud of him as if he were her blood nephew.

I sent her pictures and video clips, including the one of Little Dude receiving his diploma from the principal. His firm handshake and steady eye contact with the principal displayed a confidence that I certainly didn’t have at that age.

I still don’t have it.



LD:  Aidan and Jack got into a fist fight in the back of the bus, and got sent to the principal’s office.
Me:  And that is EXACTLY why you will never sit in the back of the bus. Nothing but trouble starts back there.
LD:  Right?  It’s like WOODSTOCK back there!


My kid has grown up a lot in the last year, since my Ex moved out. I have very mixed feelings about that.

Part of me wishes he didn’t have to take on so much.

He used to balk and give me attitude about all his chores. He doesn’t anymore.

And he’s changed in other ways, too. He’s grown quite protective of me. In many ways, he’s the man of the house.

It’s glorious, but at the same time it worries me. I had a lot of responsiblity when I was growing up, and I missed out on a childhood.

Is he getting enough time to be a boy?



Me:  We’ve seen this episode of Full House so many times I’ve memorized the dialogue.
LD:  Are you tweeting that?!
Me:  No, I’m just picking up my phone.
LD:  Good. Memorizing episodes of Full House is a victory you might want to celebrate in the privacy of our home.



He’s a safety monitor at school. He is assigned to help the little kindergarteners get to class in the morning and to the bus in the afternoon.

He likes to get in early. There’s a dad who brings his kindergarten aged boy to school every morning. They come early, because the dad has to go to work.
And he waits for Little Dude to show up every morning, so he can turn his son over to the care of a fifth grader, and leave.

My kid was never specifically assigned to do this. He just does.



LD:  Are you…twerking??!
Me: No, I’m dancing!
LD:  You’re twerking!
Me:  I’m shaking my butt!
LD:  I can’t tell you how profoundly disturbing it is to watch my mother twerk. Just take my college education fund and save it for my therapy


All of the things he was acknowledged for at graduation are amazing. But what I’m most happy about is that my kid is a soulful, compassionate person with a huge heart. He cares deeply about the people around him.

And goddamn is he funny.



Me:  Check it out! I’m getting a pumpkin coffee, you’re getting a turkey sandwich, and
        ‘Linger’ by the Cranberries is playing.
        Coincidence? I think not.
LD:  Mom, I can assure you WaWa did not organize a ‘Thanksgiving Trifecta.’
Me:  MUST you talk like that? You’re going to be the ‘weird kid’ at school, you know that, right?
LD:  Don’t worry, I dumb it down for school.
Me:  You DUMB IT DOWN for school? That’s priceless. Hahahahahaha


Graduations can be seen as a coming of age. It’s a way to recognize when a person steps into the next stage of life.

My son is stepping into a new stage and I’m excited for him.

But I also want to tell him, “Slow down, baby boy. I don’t want to miss a thing.”


Did your kid graduate from school recently?  Did you get emotional at their graduation?
Does time seem to be moving very fast? 
Talk to me.  I’m listening. 

72 responses to What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

    Helena Hann-Basquiat June 22, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Would you believe I have 1 in university, 1 in high school and 1 in kindergarten? I’m going through ALL THE THINGS at once.


      That actually sounds so stressful! You have all the big AND little problems at the same time!
      But the good so far outweighs the bad, doesn’t it? (she says in her ratty pajamas and stringy hair because she’s been cleaning up all his junk all weekend…)

        Helena Hann-Basquiat June 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm

        I go back and forth between sleeplessness and not being able to get out of bed


    You are such a wonderful mom to LD and I utterly adore him. I’m so proud of his accomplishments and of you, for raising such an amazing human.



    I knew he was funny. I didn’t know he was THAT funny.

    Congratulations, Little Dude. (And mom.)


    Your kiddo is precocious (in the best way possible) and hilarious, and I can only hope my future kid (s) are as awesome as that.


      Chrissy, you are such a kick ass, amazing woman. Just be true to who you are (maybe a tad more appropriate language in the early years, so your kid doesn’t say “motherfucker” from the back seat of the car) and you will raise a fantastic kid!


        I adore you. My poor kid is screwed in the language department. Fuck is my favorite word. “Cock-suckin’ motherfucker” is a phrase I repeat in the car daily.


    Samara, the whole world (at least our little weird on-line corner of the world) has fallen in love with Little Dude. He’s a special kid and I think you’re raising an amazing human. ((hugs)) Mama. Be proud and brag all you want. Blood dripping from your nipples and sleep deprivation give you that right.


      I am always so worried about taking credit for how he is turning out. Because if he turns out to be a hobo living off the streets of Key West, charging people to watch his cat dance, then it’s MY FAULT, isn’t it?


    My oldest son graduated from the sixth grade on Friday. There was a point as the vice principal gave her little speech, that all the emotions I had been holding in check broke free. She said, “The greatest thing to happen in 2003 for all of your parents was you being born!” I cried. I couldn’t hold it back. I am an emotional mom.. I can’t help it. I breath and live for my boys. And with my oldest, he is how I learned to be a mom, he is an example of strength, perseverance and respect for his little brothers. I am proud of all of them but that boy is my mini. My first. It’s just a different kind of first. I think every milestone for him will always be the hardest, because each time will be the first time with me. They grow up too fast. That first year crawls by but after that it is always so fast paced that I am terrified to blink. I don’t want to miss a thing!


    Kid’s got balls.

    But so does his mother.



    he is so funny! beats out awards, for sure. i hear you on the simultaneous fast and slow of parenting. unreal.


    You know you both rock, right?


    It sounds like you are doing everything right. You both sound like really happy people. And not the kind of happy that makes me want to slap a puppy but the kind that makes smile along and nod my head. Another lovely post.


      Let ‘s go to the pet store and slap some random animals.

      You always crack me up. My goal for the summer is to make sure I get to your blog at least a few times. xoxoxo


    Thank God there was no moving up ceremony from the 6th grade. And I hated that school. 6th grade brought about too much growing up, and now my kid is going to another school, practically a debutante. In the blink of an eye, my friend💗


      In the blink of an eye is right!

      So, it’s middle school for both our kids, I guess? My son is old for his grade, because he missed the cut off. He’s 11 and 1/2. How old is yours, Donna?


    Something we have in common….an incredible son with a bit of a rough start, growing into young men and moving mountains even while they sleep, happy, funny, strong, smarter than seems possible. And a mother that loves them limitlessly and effortlessly. It’s a beautiful thing.


      My kid DID a have a rough start. He barely made it through kindergarten!

      Yes, this was an emotional time for both of us. Our babies aren’t babies anymore.
      Thanks for reading, Sandy. xoxo


    He is hilarious and smart and witty and deep and thoughtful and amazing….just like his mama. They DO need to slow down! And you’re doing a great job!


    Yes, you are both hysterically funny! I especially love how he dumbs it down for school! Awesome.
    Apart from the music programs, I don’t get weepy about school ceremonies and stuff. But then, I have more kids. It’s goin as it should, I’d say. I cried when I dropped them all off for school the first time and I cry when the big kids left/leave again for college, but I think that’s normal, right? Bout die of pride and the tears do roll!
    I have these milestone moments with my youngest, like, “OMG the baby is reading chapter books!” or “OMG the baby wears women’s shoes now!” I think because she’s the last, she’s like the marker of parenthood. Your son is your only, yes? So he is your marker 😉
    Great, funny, sweet post, Samara!


      Yes, he is my only. But that’s not why I get all weepy at stuff. I am a big emotional mush in general! I know that seems weird, because of my tough as nails persona. But dude – I cry at Hallmark commercials!

      How old is your youngest?


    So… I have to confess something. Despite my snarky, assholish, irreverent exterior, I get all warm and squishy when I read about LD. It is apparent with every word how much you love him. Now I am in love with him a bit too. I can only hope that I am raising my little man half as well as you have clearly raised LD. ❤


      Awww. That is so sweet!
      I know from our interactions that you are an incredible person with a colorful past. I know your kid will benefit from all your past experiences, good and bad – as mine is. And he will turn out as incredible as you are!


    Hill-ya-rous, as usual. Your kid’s cool. We need more like him.


    So if LD charges you a dollar for any mention in this blog, you could probably deduct all blog-related expenses as LD’s college fund.
    And he is seriously funny.


    Wow, I simply adore this piece!!! My oldest is going to be a junior in high school, my daughter in 7th grade and my baby in 5th. It goes by so, so, fast!!!!! The conversations between you and your son are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing them!!


      Oh MY GOD, my heart just jumped out of my chest when I saw you on my blog. You’re a super star!!
      (fangirling moment over. Thank you)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this. And I can’t wait to get my ass over to your blog!

      By the way, I work with teenagers. Junior year- are you prepared for the Year of Academic Hell?


    LD is def. his mother’s son! Brilliant. Fabulous stuff.
    Recently my boys left for SF. I texted them & said, “I miss you. I’m so lonely. I’m sad.”
    One of them texted back, “MOM, it’s only been one day.”
    I HATE changed, man! HAAAAAAAAAAte! SUCKSS.

    xxx kiss from MN.


      Ugh. I just got a lump in my throat thinking about the day my kid moves to a city far away. But it’s all part of life’s journey, right?

      you are deliciously sweet and loving. My heart does a little happy dance everytime I see you on my blog! xo


    Gah, this is so sweet and funny. I love your relationship with LD. It reminds me of me and my mom 🙂

    (But I definitely blame all of my issues on my childhood – LOL)


    I loved this post ❤ Saturday my baby (she will always be my baby) took me out to dinner for father's day. I keep looking at a picture where I am holding her on my chest, she must have been about 2 months old. Now she is in her own place starting a life with her boyfriend. You see, after the divorce she came to live with me and those few years were the best of my life! Emotional? I cried at every graduation (covert cry), I cried when she had her heart broken by a stupid bf, I cried when she got really sick and I rushed her to the ER, I cried when she moved out with her bf (still cry a little). It appears you have a wonderful son and he is because of you 🙂 Be proud mom ❤


    Lmao between Woodstock on the bus and dumbing it down for school. That last is seriously true, though. School sucked until college. Where else do you go to read the same book for a whole freaking YEAR!! And God help you if you express that to the other kids! I guess I’ll have to wait a couple of hours to stop mis-hearing a Beatles ear-worm that’s going “We can twerk it out, we can twerk it out!” Lol Great post, smart kid.


    LD reminds me of my son – while my boy is ginormous, he is also incredibly bright, funny, and one of my favorite people to be around. However, unlike LD, he was only inadvertently hilarious when he was small. It’s just been the past 3-4 years that he actually makes the effort (and succeeds brilliantly). I love that you write down all these things that LD says — he (and his future wife) will appreciate it later!



    That’s one proud mama! I bet he is proud of you too 🙂

    Hearty best wishes for both mother and son..!


    How very exciting…
    I don’t remember what it was like to move up to junior high. Nor do I want to. School and I were not friends. I have high hopes for the munchkin though.
    The little prince got his first real haircut yesterday. If I was that proud for something as silly as his unruly hair getting trimmed, I don’t think I’ll survive his graduations.


      Ooh, did you video tape it? My friend and neighbor, who gave LD his first haircut took pictures!
      Of course I have no idea where those pictures are, which kind of defeats the purpose.

      I don’t remember any of my school day milestones, either. Like you, I blocked that out. Self preservation, ya know?


    I get excited every time I see your blog name pop up in my reader. And I absolutely love this post. Our sons are the same age and this story resonates with me so very much. Yes I got emotional at my son’s graduation into middle school, too. Their slide show was each child holding up a poster they made stating what they wanted to be when they grew up. Among all the gamers and pro baseball players and future you tubers there was my boy, professing his desire to be a firefighter and help people just like his granddad. Of course the string-filled music they played during the montage did not help. Music gets me ever time! Thanks again for sharing Samara. I’m right here with you!


      Jen, you were one of my very very first blog friends. Didn’t we start right around the same time?

      I just got tears in my eyes when I read your son wants to be a firefighter. What a kid!
      I have to make sure I comment more on your blog. I’m there. I just lurk. xoxo


        Thank you so much Samara. Yes you were one of my “firsts” too! I’m not so good at commenting either. I’m usually reading blogs in the morning over coffee with few minutes to spare. Still, I will try to be better. I love reading about LD. He and my boy would be a force to be reckoned with!
        Blog sisters, unite! xoxo


    I’ve added “Conversations with my own future LD” in the Pro column of maybe, perchance, perhaps, possibly I may have a child. Thank you for sharing!


    I enjoyed this post! 🙂 And I don’t even have kids!


    Reading this post has been the highlight of my day. Thank you. I laughed. Out loud. I haven’t been doing a lot of that lately. You and LD are lucky to have each other. xxoo


    Your kid is really funny.


    Well, I’m way down here at the bottom of all those other replies, but I guess I’ll say it one more time: that kid is funny. This is a really great post, nicely jig-sawed together. Creative.


    I think this might be the first time I’m commenting on your blog…I too have a Little Dude (and a Middle and a Big Dude) and I also refer to them as “dudes” on my blog. AND, my Little Dude is the same age as your Little Dude – he just graduated 5th grade and he was my last kid to graduate from the elementary school…I’ve had a kid at that school for the past 12 years! I thought I’d be emotional, but I’ve had other things to be emotional about over the past few years (that’s another story) so I think I was actually just thrilled that my LD was there and with his classmates (he had to be home-schooled last year – that’s part of that “other” story). Anyway, the funny thing is that my LD was actually the sentimental one. He didn’t cry, but I think he understood the larger significance of moving on to middle school. He sounds a lot like your LD — wise beyond their years! Well, enough babbling from me (am I one of your longest comments?!). I’m glad I’ve found your blog!


    Aww! You got me all mush too! Congrats, Little Dude!! My lil’ munchkin just graduated kindergarten. I got all mushy & misty-eyed too. It’s a mama thing. Guys experience it too but not like us. There’s some kind of special bond between mothers & sons that can’t be explained.

    Don’t worry, Samara – even when he’s 25-30 & older, he will always be your little boy. 😉


      There IS some kind of mother – son bond that can’t really be explained! So true!

      He’s leaving this morning to go away to sleep away camp. I’ll probably write about that, too.

      Love to you and the lil’ munchkin. xoxo

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. SAMARA SPEAKS TO THE NIGHT | hastywords - September 9, 2015

    […] What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been […]

When I see the orange light, I have a BLOGASM...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s