How Do You Like Me Now?

Posted: 29th May 2012 by in Journal

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We Love the Budster all ways!    Our family, our fam-dam-ly as my friend would say– we get along, we support each other and we operate the way we operate – we created our way – started out there – found our way to now and I’m sure we’ll be different in the future. I guess you could say we’ve defined our “way” because for the most part it works for us.    We’re committed to each other, we love each other, we value each other for our strengths, and we acknowledge each other’s weaknesses.  This is a story of ONE of my weakness – every now and then I call my kids an asshole.  Dan says don’t share this story – but I’m gonna anyway.

(BTW – just to own my stuff – Dan’s dynamic with the kids is completely different than mine – much better.)

It was super to see Molly and Riley!  They went through the whole gamete – washing Taylor’s hair, assisting with meal set up, maneuvering the chair outside (with the tree of IV drugs that almost tipped over).  Riley trimmed up Taylor’s beard, rubbed his nubs and experimented with all sorts of objects / fabrics on his skin.  (Uncle Milo says it distracts the brain from the source of pain.)   Moll did her usual bombard with questions and engaged Taylor in conversations that Taylor found interesting.

Danielle, Moll and I got away too – after all – it was Happy Hour everywhere – and a walk in the sun and a bottle of wine, while sitting outside at a sidewalk café is just the ticket to bring back a care-free spirit and re-energize the soul.

Saturday and Sunday Taylor was not himself – which leads me to this story . . .

I was telling a story at work a while back – and in it I said to one of my kids – probably Riley – “Listen asshole . . . this is an executive order.”   Riley’s maybe 6’1” and I don’t say that often – but when I do he knows not to question me.

A co-worker said “You don’t really call your kids an asshole do you?”   And yes it stopped me in my tracks – and yes I do . . . occasionally – what’s more – I don’t even think I’m ashamed to say that I do.

When I got home that night I started analyzing it a bit.   I know families that maneuver their kids through guilt – I don’t like guilt – I never have.   We raised our kids to go after what they want, to acknowledge who you are – know you’re not perfect and focus on doing the best that you can every day – knowing that some days you’re gonna fall short.    AND to respect your elders – so every now and then when I’m not feelin the love – I use those words.

I see Molly, Claire, and Riley multiple times a week – so we have a very casual way of being.  However –  Taylor has lived away for almost 5 years – we see him about 2-3 times a year – and most of that time has been to support him in his goals – or to provide a calm space so he can unwind.  (ie – we’ve had minimal play time)

However – last fall when Dan and I went to Virginia Beach to help Taylor put a deck on his condo – it was fun – I guess for the most part I’d call it play time – the boys were working on the deck and Danielle and I were finding our “way” together, gardening and doing batch cooking.   Anyway – the words – Listen asshole came out of my mouth.   And I realized that “way” may have come to be after he’d left – I wasn’t sure.  Immediately I apologized saying that – Riley and I were used to flipping each other shit all the time and it wasn’t fair for me to assume Taylor would know I was playing.  I guess I got lost in the moment.

His response to my apology:  “No worries Mom – I’ve been called a lot worse.”

On Saturday and Sunday when Taylor was not himself – I couldn’t really put my finger on it – unsure, distant, sad, resigned – under under normal circumstances I would have postured – gotten into my stern voice and said to Taylor “Listen Asshole . . . snap out of it!” – but this isn’t normal – so instead I cried most of the day as they say 2 steps forward and 1 step back.    It was a fun and weepy weekend for me.



  1. Vicki Butler-Beckman says:

    I am an Army veteran as is my husband who was a Navy SeaBee. We are now grandparents whose son-in-law is serving in the Air Force. My family has fought in every war since the Revolutionary War. My vocab is a little “salty” too, but when my daughter called my son a “dick” I told her it was inappropriate. The next thing out of her mouth “penis wrinkle”, I could not punish her because I was laughing too hard. Our son was injured during basic training and discharged without the military repairing his knee. I am so glad to see you son doing remarkable well. I will pray for him and all who care and love him. I will be following his progress. He is a walking miracle as are the miracle workers helping him. You all are blessed to have so many caring people in your life.

  2. Patti Casper says:

    Dana he is the son of a childhood friend of mine Juli Morris from our old neighborhood in Cedar Falls.

  3. I am an EOD wife and have been for, well to darn long to remember, but my husband and I have been married for over 23 years. We eat, sleep and breath military, deployments and EOD. We are both originally from Oklahoma and were married for 2 years with a daughter before joining the NAVY in 1991. We really aren't close to our "real" families, however, being outside the USA nearly our entire career, we consider our EOD friends our true FAMILY. They are the ones that stand beside my husband during combat and the ones that hold my kids and I up while he is away. Taylor and Danielle are part of our family whether or not we have crossed paths. Tonight I shared Taylor's story with my husband David Frederick. I was shocked that he was unaware of such a tragedy hitting one of our guys. Ordinarily, he already knows and has chosen not to share such events with me knowing how close to home and how upset I get. Your post above tugged at my heart first because it is nice to know that I am not the only mother that might use the word "asshole" while speaking to one of her kids. My daughter was shocked recently when I referred to my son as a "dick". OOps! Secondly, after reading the "CHIVER" postings to David, I noticed he had become quite and seemed down. When I asked him if he had had a bad day or if something was on his mind, he replied "Hearing about Taylor makes me sad and worried about all my guys that are in Afghanistan right now". I am writing and sharing only to let you know that we are a close knit family and you have distant "relatives" all over the globe lifting your family, Taylor and Danielle in prayer. Hugz, Justine Frederick.

  4. Diane Mc Intosh says:

    Juli, you take me back to when Shawn was paralyzed… almost 13 years ago. A mother PROUD of her son's courage and strength when faced with a tragic, life-changing event…but CRUSHED when they pause to face the reality of their new "normal". Wish I could be there to hug you! Eager to welcome you all back to Iowa!

  5. Kim Juhl King says:

    Juli – we're praying for your family always . . . And I've also called my boys assholes . . . : ) – love to you all

  6. I'm not sure if I know who this is but this is such a touching story! Can't imagine going through this-what a tough warrior! Thank you Taylor for your service and sacrafice! You are a brave man!

  7. Patti Casper says:

    Don't worry my dear sweet friend you have reason to cry and it will help the soul.

  8. Whitney Smith says:

    I think you are an amazing mom. I myself am the mother of a 2-year old with one on the way. Your strength has been inspirational to me and I hope that I can be as good of a mother as you.
    Especially the last few months I have found myself losing my temper and having my not so great mommy moments. In the end, our children know we love them more than ourselves. The sacrafices we make as a parents are the greatest gifts we give our children.
    Taylor is blessed to have the support system that he does. Taylor and your family truly inspire me to be a better person.
    Thank you for your service, thank you for sharing your story and letting all of us be apart of Taylor’s healing process.
    God Bless.

  9. "Asshole" was a term of endearment in our family! Sometimes families need good and bad and sad times. At least you can be honest with your feelings. That is why there is so much love and commitment in your family! Hugs and prayers for you all! ♥♥♥

  10. We love you, as you would say, all ways! You who have taught us about honesty, exploring, not being afraid to try new things, or to even be opinionated once in a while. You and your whole Fam-dam-ily! oxoxo

  11. It is a rough road you are all traveling Sometimes the blows can knock us off our feet and like a boxer we need to take the count regroup and get back in there by the grace of God. Been there , done that. tears have their place in our lives even Jesus weeps. My heart goes out to you all I will keep you all in my prayers. Taylor is quite a guy I am sending a big hug.

  12. Lori Russell says:

    You are too funny my sweet cousin, Its nice to know that other families use the word asshole too. I know I've sure used it a time or too. It doesn't seem possible that we only saw each other a few shorts months ago… Our lives change so quickly. love you

  13. Sandra Holley LaManna says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, I loved it. I'm sorry Taylor had an off weekend and I hope he's doing better. I hope your stepping forward once again. Take care!

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