A Writing Mom's Mission Statement
|"STOP IT YOU TWO," their mom demanded as she rushed upstairs and opened the bedroom door of her two older sons, ages 15 & 16. The older boy had just picked up his younger brother and was preparing to body slam him WWE style onto the bedroom floor. "PUT HIM DOWN, PAUL," she yelled a second time at her older son, wondering again what had gotten into him to do such a thing. Paul and his 15 year old brother Martin shared one of three upstairs bedrooms, another bedroom shared by 13 & 14 year old Albert and Christoper, and the third bedroom occupied by 5 year old Erick, that bedroom strictly off limits to the other four boys. It was after 10 pm, and Erick had been put to bed by his mom more than an hour earlier. She was determined to shield the youngest boy from the hateful behavior of his older male siblings. Although she and her husband loved their sons dearly, she was often resentful they were an, "ALL BOY" family, ambiguously happy their last child was not female. "Who knows what these little devils would have heaped upon her?" she would think to herself or voice to her husband.
"We were just playing Mom," Paul responded as he lowered his younger brother to the floor, a snickering smile appearing on his reddened face, a result of tussling in the bedroom with Martin and alerting mom downstairs due to the resultant noise.
"I've heard that song and dance before," Maryanne replied sternly, her voice so laden with anger you could feel it in the room.
"You're an asshole," Martin barked loudly at his older brother, shoving him out of the way as he shuffled angrily toward and then out the bedroom door.
Maryanne was the stay at home mom of four rambunctious teenage boys, all of them in various stages of testosterone infusion, physical growth, youthful bravado, and a natural inclination to be the alpha male teenager. Age, size and strength gave the older boy the advantage, but the others were determined to thwart his efforts at every turn, always fighting, arguing, and hurling hateful insults at one another. The four older boys were involved in as many extracurricular activities as time and the family budget would allow in order to get them out of the home, away from the TV and internet, away from drugs and possible gang influence, and to help funnel the, "piss and vinegar" out of them through sheer physical exertion.
Maryanne's husband Harold was a recently promoted foreman at a local machine shop, and worked the graveyard shift as the junior foreman, supplementing his hourly rate of pay with as much overtime as the company would allow. With a wife
and five children to support, a mortgage and the recent purchase of a new and large SUV to accommodate his equally large family, he needed as many hours as the company would allow. He didn't have much time to spend with the boys, and this made the tension at home with the four older teens all the more difficult.
Maryanne and Harold were High School Sweethearts, madly in love and inseparable, deciding (against the advice and counsel of their parents) to marry as soon as they graduated. Harold was a naturally gifted mechanic and handyman, landing a job as an apprentice machinist immediately following graduation from High School. Maryanne found work at a local retail store, but soon discovered she was pregnant with their first child. Her pregnancy was difficult, and she soon decided to remain at home full time. Fifteen years as a stay at home mom, 5 children and countless sibling conflicts later it became abundantly clear, "I am the stay-at-home mom of four out-of-control male teens." She was simply exhausted with it all. Her husband understood the stress and difficulty she faced, and made as much time with the boys as he could outside of the many hours he worked, but could not afford to give up any of the additional hours he was offered. At times he would lose his patience (and temper) as a result of an argument or confrontation with the boys, and that would end it, as he was a large and powerfully built man, and his boys knew better than to challenge him.
Paying bills online one uneventful day, Maryann noticed an article about a writing website. She found it interesting, appealing, perhaps something she thought she might enjoy exploring further. Several weeks later she found herself writing about her experiences as a stay-at-home mom with four energy filled and hormone overloaded teenage boys, the constant fighting, yelling, screaming, and her attempts to maintain some measure of equilibrium. She found the writing to be therapeutic, to have a, "calming effect" regarding her emotions and overall outlook. She exchanged messages and read stories from other members who were living the same scenario and experiencing the same difficulties. And amazingly, her older boys took notice as well. She shared her writings, talked to them individually and collectively about all the family had experienced, and surprisingly, things started to settle down; the fighting and arguing gradually subsided, the atmosphere at home improving to the point Maryanne was able to go back to work, the boys helping around the home to include caring for their younger brother Erick, and ultimately allowing her husband to spend more time at home with her and their sons.
The boys said it best:
"MOM, YOU ARE OUR HERO!"