The Downside Of Being A Celebrity

My oldest son and I were standing in line at the grocery store the other night waiting to buy a few things. It was busy, and some guy two customers ahead of us was taking forever, paying with what seemed like nickels. Trying to pass the time, Zach picked up a People magazine. “Look what they do to celebrities.” He showed me a picture of Britney Spears – at least I think it was her. Whoever it was, she looked like she’d seen better days.

“When you are a famous singer, the same thing is going to happen to you.” I use the term “when” because you have to believe in order to make something happen. “Are you gonna be able to handle it?”

“I guess I’ll have to.” At this point, there is nothing that could dissuade him from pursuing a career in music. And like his bull-headed father, if he sets his mind to something, there’s usually no stopping him.

“You’d better get ready then,” I said, “because once you are a rock star, your life will be different. For one thing, I’ll be living in YOUR house instead of you living in mine. FYI, your dad and I like oceanfront. For another, people won’t ever leave you alone. You will be under the microscope. Paparazzi will follow you everywhere. Screaming fans will mob you when you go to Target. You’d better be prepared for the worst. And that People magazine, chances are, YOU will end up on the cover at some point, and it may or may not be to your benefit.”

I decided to show him what could happen. Yeah, I made this up…rockstar

“Oh my God,” he laughed when he saw this. “Where did you get that picture?”

“Don’t worry about where I got it. Just know that if I can get it, anyone can. Also, you can snicker about it all you want, but when you are calling me in the middle of the night to say that you are out of Xanax, and that you can’t handle all the stress of life anymore, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”

“You worry too much, Mom.” He walked away, a bag of Maltesers in his hand. That’s his favourite candy.

“I wouldn’t eat those if I were you,” I called after him sarcastically.

As for his “I’m a worrier” accusation, he’s got me there. I’m a mother. What does he expect?


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22 Reasons My Son Is Awesome

Today, my oldest son Zach – mister rock star himself – turns twenty-two. In honour of this special occasion, I would like to list twenty-two reasons why I think he’s awesome. I could come up with so many more, but these are just the first ones I can list off the top of my head…

First and foremost, he looks like a lion. And I love cats, so there you go. I meant to do that when I gave birth to him.

He has great hair, kind of like if Bob Marley and Lenny Kravitz had a baby.

mrrockstarHe can do an impressive Australian accent.

And a Jamaican accent.

And a not-bad, but possibly not completely convincing, English accent.

He owns a pair of “these look like they belong to the Devil” boots, and he wears them well.

He also owns a pair of army-coloured, tiger-striped jeans, if you can imagine what THAT looks like. They actually fit his personality perfectly.

He wants to make the world a better place. This is where I – as a parent – take partial credit.

He is a very fast runner. And he can jump like a large rabbit.

He loves animals, but then, how could he not with me as his mother?

He is a great cook. OK, I didn’t teach him that. It must’ve been my father – his grandpa – who passed along that skill, thank goodness. Now I don’t have to make supper all the time. I will say though, he’s not so great at cleaning up. Oh well, a person can’t be good at everything.

He can break kitchen chairs just by sitting in them. It’s a real skill to lean back and balance on the back legs for an extended period of time before then crashing to the ground.

He is genuine and caring; he is focused and determined; and he is very passionate about living life to the fullest. All these attributes were contributed by his father when I asked him to list three special things about his son. And yes, they are all true, but slightly predictable and somewhat boring. I was hoping for something a little more interesting, more revealing, so then my husband gave me this…

He can “Ninja Turtle” kick his brother in the head while eating a chocolate popsicle, which is also quite accurate. We have the video from 1996 to prove it, too bad it’s on a VHS tape. Someday, I’ll have to convert it to a Youtube video, and eventually post it – for all the world to see – on my son’s Facebook page.

He talks a lot during movies. He talks a lot in general. Sometimes, you just want him to shut the hell up. When he was in high school, he was banned from going on certain field trips, like to the National Arts Centre and such, where people are supposed to be quiet. He has trouble with that, and trouble sitting still as well. If you’ve ever seen the cartoon of the Tasmanian Devil, he whirls kind of the same, only in a happier way.

Because of this “Tasmanian Devil” type behaviour, he has ripped more clothing than you can possibly imagine, which isn’t always easy on the pocket book, but will surely keep him in style because he is constantly requiring new things.

He looks great in leather, but then, who doesn’t?

He can actually get himself to school on the bus. You laugh (because, yeah he’s an adult), but my other son – his brother who is a year and a half younger – isn’t always capable of doing that. (Charles has lots of his own redeeming qualities. Taking the bus just isn’t one of them.)

He can do a one-armed handstand. This is hard as hell. It also ruins my walls.

He is a free spirit. For example, he doesn’t mind streaking naked in front of a whole wedding party. He did that when he was four.

He has a six pack, which in and of itself is nice – I mean, the girls like it – but more importantly, it goes to show how hard he works at the things he cares about, his health being one of them. Also, the neighbours would like him to stop singing so much, or at least shut his bedroom window while he’s doing it.

He wants to be the next Freddie Mercury/Robert Plant/Bob Marley. That kind of dream is cool as shit. The neighbours will say, “I knew him when…he drove us nuts every single day, for four summers straight, until he moved out.”

He can eat a whole bag of Maltesers all by himself. Probably the most impressive of all the things I’ve said here today, which is why I saved it for last.

So there you have it, twenty-two reasons why my son is awesome. I wish him the very best on this wonderful day.

Now, if he could only learn to shut cupboard doors once he’s opened them, and if he could try to get his used dental floss actually INTO the garbage instead of on the floor of my car, that would be great.


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