Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: apocalyptic

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

By the time I post this, we will be a week into summer vacation and my son’s middle school years will be a blur in my rearview mirror, so, I thought it would be the ideal time to evaluate the impact my new “TWD Apocalyptic Parenting Tactic” has had on my son and myself. This experiment, as I like to call it, really just got off the ground in January, so I’m only pooling from five months, but, knowing that summer and high school (UGHHHH!) will bring on new challenges, I figured it would be good to review what works and what doesn’t. So, here we go. Note, if you haven’t read any other posts besides this one, the next couple paragraphs won’t make much sense, but hopefully they’ll inspire you to read my previous posts.

First I’ll start with the concept, “TWD Apocalyptic Parenting Tactic.” Knowing that I have hit a nerve with my son on more than one occasion, pretty much seals this as a valid method of parenting, at least for me. Plus, having “The Walking Dead” as a bonding factor has helped our relationship grow in ways I never thought possible. As a matter of fact, my end of middle school gift to my son was a trip to the Philly Wizard World/Comic Con, where we had our picture taken with Norman Reedus, AKA, Daryl Dixon in “The Walking Dead.” Then, later in the summer, we will be road tripping to Atlanta to do the Big Zombie Tours by Atlanta Movie Tours, Inc. These are tours of areas in and around Atlanta where “The Walking Dead” is filmed. I don’t know to many 14 year old boys who would be excited to spend their summer vacation with just Mom. It’s amazing what these zombies have done for us.

Carl in AMC's "The Walking Dead"


“What Would Carl Do?” worked well at first, but, when Carl’s character became a smart aleck brat teen in the back half of season four, the last thing I wanted was my son looking to him as a role model. Carl did start to redeem himself by the end of the season, but, until I see where the writers go with him in season five, I will back off a little on this one.
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TWD Apocalyptic Parenting Tactic

I’ve never been a fan of “doomsday” stories  and am far from a “survivalist” thinker. Not that I haven’t found myself in challenging situations, wondering how I was going to make it through. None of which, of course, were comparable to the “end of the world”, but challenges that I now realize, could definitely break the weak of spirit.

My biggest challenge, thus far, was becoming a single parent at a time in my life when being a Mom was the last thing on my mind. Recently divorced and forging ahead with my new found love, screenwriting, falling in love with anyone other than one of my characters was not even a consideration. I had spent way too many years in a deadend relationship to give even Brad Pitt a second glance. That was until I experienced real love. Not just any love, the kind that blinds you and makes everything around you stop. The kind you never thought existed. The kind that truly touches your soul. The kind that makes you decide to have a child at 38.

When the relationship fell apart after our son was born, I was upset, but never gave up hope of reconciliation. Ours was a destiny thing and meant to be, I just knew it. That was until the summer of 2003 when the love of my life died accidentally. Our son was 3.

Yes, at that point, it did feel like the end of the world, but I had a child to raise and harboring heartache wasn’t going to help. So, I went into survivor mode. Instincts moved me through the hours, days, months and years. My son is now 14, some how I’ve made it through the papoose phase, toddler tantrums, pre-school chapter, elementary school shifting (It was during these years that I discovered my son was gifted IQ. A discovery that has brought with it challenges I never knew existed and forced me to get creative with my parenting tactics.) and am now on the last year of middle school. Ouch! I’m exhausted thinking about how far I’ve/we’ve come and how far I/we still have to go.
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