Over the years I have learned a few things about parenting from my sister...
 (don't worry, it's not another one of those posts)

I have learned that taking a nap is just fine, as a matter of's a right.
I have learned that "creative consequences" like wearing church clothes to school is sometimes punishment enough.

And I have learned that it's just fine and dandy to STALK your children,
especially your teenagers.

One time Brooke called from the parking lot of her kids' school telling me she was watching the recess showdown between her son Danny and some other kids.

I have since adopted her affection for stalking the kids.

I have an easy time 'stalking' my littles
With them I feel more like the paparazzi.
All I have to do is yell out their names
and they turn in my direction and wave and smile for my camera.

Also, they freely share the lengthy details of their life whether I want to hear it or not.

River was practically begging me to take pictures of her second grade class at the end of school.

Lauren and her bff Taylor rode their bikes to school 
and knew to pause for pictures just like good girls.

As most kids these days, mine understand that a mom's job is to take pictures.
That and laundry.

The problem (as usual) is with my big kids. 

(Lauren posing for a picture just before saying 
"OK mom, but promise you wont get out of the car")

So they force my hand.     They force me to stalk them.

Brett is the worst.

At home or with the family he is very willing to let me take his picture.

But at school or around his friends, it's a whole different story.

(I called his name five times and he still wouldn't look at me.)

School is his turf, his friends are off limits. Who's life does he think he's living?

So imagine my delight as I was coming home from the Junior High one morning, 
driving past the High School just as Brett was arriving at school. 

I happened to have my camera with the zoom lens so I parked across the street, 
rolled down the window and seized my opportunity.   
"hey ladies"

"blah blah blah I'm so cool" 
 "...and funny too"
"shall I walk you to school?"
(wait, who's that? mom?) 

caught! gulp. 
Brett just shook his head, pretended he didn't see me and walked away.

we never talked about it since.

To my surprise a while back, Brett hesitantly asked me to take pictures 
of he and his friends at the Prom.

I started shrieking with delight! 

He said "I have a feeling I'm going to regret this..."

I was very well-behaved though.

 I didn't even put chocolate on my teeth. 

I took several hundred pictures and was enjoying myself too much 
when Dean finally said;
"Hil, no more pictures...they are going to be late for dinner" 

I looked at the time and sure enough I had made them late for their dinner reservations. 
I felt really bad, but ushered the kids on their way with calls of... 
"be safe, have a good time, buckle up!" 

They piled into their cars and left.

After they left, that's when I started to....
I worried that Brett wouldn't know where to park,
I worried he might need more money,
I worried he wouldn't know how much to tip,
I worried that their dinner would take too long and they would miss the prom.

After the pictures, Dean and I went to dinner (a belated anniversary) 
and all through dinner, I kept texting Brett.

I got no response.

I even tried to call him, he sent me straight to his voice mail.

Dean sat across from me at dinner cutting his Chicken Marsala, shaking his head and saying;
"don't do it...just leave him alone...he'll figure it out"

I couldn't stop worrying,
so I did what any normal and perfectly stable mom would do.

I called the restaurant directly.

Yep folks, I did.

My message to the hostess was simple;
"hi my name is Hilary, my son Brett is there with some friends for Prom, have they arrived yet?"

Hostess: "yes, they are here and seated..."

Me: "oh great, could you mention to the waiter that I took too long taking pictures and if there is any way to hurry dinner along so they can get to prom, that would be great."

Hostess: "sure no problem."

~ my message was delivered - whew, (I thought.) ~

Here is what really happened;

Waiter walks up to Brett (in front of everyone):  "Hey is there a Brett here?

Brett raises his hand: "I'm Brett"

Waiter: "uh Brett, your mom called and said you need to hurry up and eat your dinner 
so you can get to the prom and then she can take your picture..."

that is worth repeating; 

"Brett your mom called...
and said you need to hurry up...
and eat your dinner... 
so you can get to the prom and then she can take your picture..."

Later Brett said he thought in that moment,
 "why mom...

poor boy,
poor poor boy.

I think if he could issue a restraining order against me, he would.  

This week Brett and Lauren are at different camps.
I kinda miss them. kinda

Truthfully, I just would love to be there with them taking pictures and generally getting in their way.
Again, I picture stalked them before they left.

At this point you might think I am a little wacko jacko.
But, I know one day my kids will thank me. 

It's all about the memories.

I think I have a total of twelve pictures of me from Junior high through High School. 

Please tell me my kids will thank me someday.

I am not so sure now. 

I know it's hard to believe, but a few days ago I found myself really, really mad at Brett.

I mean super mad. 

My annoyance over something small that Brett did turned to irritation, 
which turned to aggravation, 
which turned to me being really ticked off, 
which settled into full fledged anger. Which lasted for days.

It didn't help that he knew I was mad and yet continued to be smug and smart alec. 

One night, I was getting ready for bed...
and realized that Brett had left the hall light on downstairs. 

I reluctantly walked down to turn off the light and I paused at the doorway of Brett's room. 
He was already sound asleep. 

I stood there at his open door, flushed with anger at the sight of his wet towel in the hall and thought of all the reasons I had to be mad at him. 
In a kind moment a thought ran through my mind to go over and tell him I loved him. 

That thought was quickly rejected because I knew just one step in his room would reveal dirty clothes on the floor, garbage in the corners, projects undone, and promises unkept. 

I cautiously stepped forward anyway, trying to avoid all the junk in the dark. 
In the shadowed light from the hall, I saw my oldest son sound asleep, 
                                                           sprawled out on his bed, 
                                                             feet dangling over the edge, 
                                                    and I could see his arms that were wrapped around his pillow, 
were scratched and tanned from a hard days work of hauling hay. 

My heart softened as I looked at my sleeping son. 
I tried to see him as the lazy, inconsiderate, teenage kid
with overgrown hair that I thought he was. 

However, the longer I stood there, listening to him snore, all I could see was my sweet, three year old cheerful, adventurous, kind-hearted little boy laying there.

Dean says I'm stubborn sometimes, but I'm not. Although I didn't want to forgive and forget right then. I knew I would eventually, but I felt it was my right to still be mad at Brett. 

But I couldn't. So I said softly, "I love you Bretty."

unbothered, he continued to I took that as..."I love you too mom, 
               I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings and have been neglectful and disrespectful, 
              and I'm sorry that I am growing up so fast and leaving you out of my life, 
and I'm sorry that I don't have much time for you anymore, 

and that pretty soon I'll be graduating 
and leaving for a mission and then college and then soon, 
I'll be all grown up...I'm sorry too mom." 

If Brett would've woke up in that minute he would've thought I was for sure a stalker.

I let a few tears run down my face, remembered the moment, 
 and picked up the wet towel as I walked out of his room. 

I think I just invented a new term: 
"stalker mom."


Allyson said…
I just so happen to have a Utah criminal code book. Here's a small portion of what a stalker is.
A person is guilty of stalking who intentionally or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person and knows that the course of conduct would cause the person
(a) to fear for the persons own safety
(b) to suffer other emotional distress
Stalking is a class A misdemeanor.
Stalking is a third degree felony if the offender has been previously been convicted of stalking
Bretty might turn you in!!!
It was so good to "come in contact" with you the other night!
Kim said…
Love your blogs. Your are an wonderful mom and wife with beautiful children who I'm sure adore you. Thanks for sharing! It always cheers be up to read about your amazing family. Your children will be back to thank you one day...really!
Diana Jensen said…
Hillary! I am laughing so hard I can hardly breathe! and tears are welling up my eyes! Love, love, love your stalker ways!

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