Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blogathon2010 Guest Blogger: Jan Udlock

It's guest blogger day! Please allow me to introduce fellow freelancer and homeschooler, Jan Udlock. Jan writes for a wide variety of magazines and homeschools her youngest three children (ages 10,13, 14; her oldest children are away at college). She lives with her family on a bit of acreage in the Pacific Northwest. Her vices include coffee, chocolate, anything pink, and checking her email too often. Catch her blog at IMP3RfeCt Mom. (I'm there today too, if you want to check me out!)

When my first-born boy was young and we were living in Southern Callifornia, I was not going to allow guns in the house. And yet, when he was around 18 months, he was eating a graham cracker in his high chair and took a bite out of it and proceeded to say bang! (I had never said that.) Because he was our first, he didn’t watch violent cartoons, etc. etc. Now, 21, he reminds me that I never allowed Power Rangers because I thought that the program was too violent.

We now live in a rural area in Oregon and as my boys got older, they shot BB guns. My oldest wanted to hunt with a bow and arrow. As the mom, I did not understand any of this at all. My family in Southern California do not understand hunting in the least. However, I definitely think it’s a regional tradition.

My younger son plays airsoft on our property with his friends. Why do you want to shoot each other while running around in the trees? He proudly shows me his welts when he comes in and brags about the welts he gave his brother or friends.

Competition between my sons seems to be the constant topic at our house. They brag about how much weight they’ve gained. They talked about the pounds they can lift, press, squat or whatever they do with weights. Our youngest son is taller than his older brother and when the oldest comes home from college, my youngest son takes every opportunity he can, measuring himself next to his brother and announcing the difference.

My boys can be a bunch of cavemen. But they can still have a tender heart. My youngest has a cat that he snuggles with every night in bed. And my oldest kisses me and all three of his younger sisters every time he comes home from school as they run to greet him. Raising boys was not what I expected it to be. It’s worrisome and always a stretch for me to understand their desires but I wouldn’t have it any other way. (I keep telling myself...)


  1. Airsoft guns are a hot topic at my house right now!! I have been resisting, which is something I try not to do, but for some reason this one has me more worked up than all the Nerf guns, BB guns and bow and arrows (which I didn't resist). I am glad to hear about your experince, how it can be a stretch for you, it will help me let go of my fear and focus instead on what is (obviously) important to my boys.

  2. I absolutely love the dichotomy between the tough and tender in our boys. I had to laugh how yours brag about weight gain. My 16yo was looking at a picture of himself from a mountain bike race and had to point out with a proud grin, "Look at my calf muscles." It made me want to hug him (which he still allows in private.)

  3. Hi Andrea,

    I can't stress enough about safety goggles with airsoft pistols or rifles. I have no idea why they want to self inflict wounds but they love it! If it makes you feel any better, my oldest no longer plays airsoft.

    Thanks stopping by, Carrie. My oldest, when he was about that same age, spent more time in front of the mirror flexing than his sisters...oh well.

  4. Funny and honest! My eldest, now 21, picked up a stick in the back yard and it was his gun...and like you, I'd avoided all weapon toys/violent TV--I still remember when he was 3, the Sunday circular he took to bed with him to look at the photos? The Kmart gun section...

    No 'splaining it.

    At 21, he's a pretty gentle soul...doesn't mean those early years were easy on me..