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  • Terry-Ann Zander

Love... Zander Style.

OK, OK no pressure, but I am a bit behind in my blog writing. To say I’ve been distracted is an understatement.

Distracted by what you ask? Nearly everything...I think I have an undiagnosed case of ADHD. If I were to put everything into buckets or categories it would look something like this: natural disasters/weather issues (fires, hurricanes, flooding, tornados), protests and injustices, COVID, virtual learning/school and family.

I am away since late last week on a quick trip to North Carolina to see my son off. You see, he joined the Marines and completed boot camp in May at Pris Island, South Carolina. Since his combat and job training in NC wrapped up two weeks ago, he is now headed overseas to his permanent duty station. I can't say where it is but, trust me, it's far, far away, but still within the galaxy. Anyhow, we loaded the car for a 48-hour visit, which centered around mealtimes and pool time and super competitive games of Jenga played in the room at the “inn.”

I also explored the local beach with my younger son and husband, and managed to log more than 15,000 steps walking from one pier to the next. Alright, I didn’t walk pier to pier, but it was over 15,000 steps! It was an emotional walk for me as I wrestled with a variety of emotions. The fact that I was separated from my younger son who insisted on walking alone to meet us at the pier we all saw in the distance, not realizing that there was more than one pier. And then, after realizing it, we decided to meet him in the middle.

My husband opted to take the road and I stayed on the beach, repeatedly calling his cell phone with no answer and a message that went straight to voice mail. Now I am thinking, “was he abducted? Did we put a tracker on his phone? If not, why am I paying more than $100/month for his line? We need a tracker.”

We didn’t send him out there with nothing, we did the right thing by sending him with his flip flops, a bottle of water and a cell phone with 59% remaining power.... we are not barbaric!

I received a call from a NC number, and on the other end, I heard his 13-year old voice saying, “Mom where are you? I’ve been waiting! Can you come pick me up?” Ahhh, someone still needs me. Yeah, and now I am needed to vacuum out the rental car because he brought the entire north end of the beach, caked on his person. I’m also needed to purchase a new cell phone to replace his defunct cell phone, that’s caked with sand and sea water in every crevice, and also stuck to the scalp of his head, belly and ass cheeks. To say he was a hot mess was an understatement!!

I’ve been a hot mess, too, this trip, but for several different reasons.

First, I got my f$%&%* period the day before we left on the trip. I should tell you that I am in menopause, pre-menopause, post-menopause or whatever. Either way, I shouldn’t be getting my f%^*# period! Period! So, I am very bitchy and overly- emotional!!

Second, my 13-year old is disappointed his big brother, the Marine, isn’t spending more time with him and he's going to be gone for 3+ years and he doesn’t know when he is going to see him again.

Third, I am trying to stay positive and upbeat for my son’s girlfriend (whom we had only met for the first time on the road trip south). By the way, she is a very kind, sweet and a lovely young woman.

Fourth, I am trying to remain stoic for my Marine, and not be a nag at the same time (Did you pack a toothbrush? Which shirt do you want? Did you call your PopPa and grandmother? Have you downloaded Zoom to your laptop? Which cell phone plan do you want?) You know, typical mother BS stuff.

Fifth, I am trying to have a private conversation with my husband, but we can't find a moment alone, since we have separate sleeping arrangements while we play chaperone to our Marine and his girlfriend. In case you didn’t figure it out, we are somewhat traditional, maybe even old school. BORING!

Oh, and I didn’t mention that even if I could have a private conversation with my husband, he is going deaf! He can't hear shit and I always have to repeat myself. It may be selective hearing, but I'm beginning to think it's more than that. There may be hearing aids in his future. One thing is for sure, I project when I speak, so no one has ever said they can't hear me. Well, except for him, and he has an excuse.

Sixth, I am grappling with my emotions. They’re all over the map. I go from complete and utter sadness, to disdain and disgust, to impatience to pride, but I think at the root of all of it is LOVE. Love for my family, love of freedom, loving to laugh heartily, love of Wendy’s french fries, and the semi-burnt edges of fudge brownies made from a box!

I love making others laugh despite all that happens in their lives. I love finding the lessons and the funny all around me. Even in my 13-year old, puking out the rental car window, while driving 50 mph, and finding it splattered all over the windows and side of car. I told him at least he will remember to keep his long hair tied back next time and especially when he’s off at college one day pledging a fraternity.

I even laughed watching people (more than one) allow their little dogs to shit in the sand on the beach and discreetly try to cover it up by kicking sand over it. To be honest, my initial reaction was anger, but the more I thought about it, the more I laughed. Now I am thinking about the family that will visit the beach tomorrow to uncover that little dog turd, while building their sandcastle. Perhaps they can use that little turd to build a bridge or a dam in the moat. Either way, there is just a little bit of funny in long as the kid doesn’t eat the sand. :)

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