Waking the Walker

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

Tag: Melissa McBride

Walking Among the Walkers

With the end of the regular football/marching band season the beginning of this month, I’ve been thinking about how valuable the experience of chaperoning 260 teenagers really is, particularly for a single Mom. I have truly been “walking among the walkers” for weeks now, and will continue to as long as the playoffs go. The funny thing is, I have for the most part gone unnoticed, kind of like when Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yuen) from “The Walking Dead” cover themselves in “walker guts” so they can go unnoticed in a horde of walkers in hopes of getting to a vehicle so they can escape the overridden city of Atlanta. Carol (Melissa McBride) does the same thing so she can mingle with walkers to get into Terminus in order to free Rick and his gang in the Season Five opener. The stunt worked in both cases and for the most part works for me too.Glenn and Rick, walker guts

Granted, I’m not covered in “sweaty teenager stink” but because these kids hormone riddled brains keep them stuck in their own worlds, they are oblivious to parent chaperones standing right next to them. That is until you catch them saying or doing something inappropriate and you make yourself visible, then, all it takes is the look and they know they’re being watched. At least when they become aware of your presence, they don’t chase you down and try to make you dinner like a walker would.

Remaining anonymous aids me in getting into the psyche of the teenage “aka walker” brain and reminds me I was once a walker too and I would never want to go back to High School. It’s allowed me to step outside of my role as my son’s Mother and try to look with empathy at the plight of a high school student. The world today is vastly different than my high school years and there are plenty more pressures put on kids today. Not just from the teachers but from parents, like me. Teen Horde

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Cardigan Carol and Carl. Watch out walkers we're packing heat.

Cardigan Carol and Carl. Watch out walkers we’re packing heat.

During a recent conversation with one of my Sisters, we got on the subject of my son and my cosplaying escapade at the Walker Stalker Convention in Philly the end of September. My son went as Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) from “The Walking Dead” and I went as Cardigan Carol (Melissa McBride); cookie baking, cardigan wearing Carol from the back half of Season 5. Since my Sister does not watch “The Walking Dead,” I gave her a little background on the characters, particularly Carol.

Carol - Season 1

Carol – Season 1

Carol - Season 5

Carol – Season 5

Cardigan Carol, with Carl

Cardigan Carol, with Carl

Explaining Carol’s transition from abused wife in Season 1 to a butt kicking, take no names, badass woman who rescued Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and company single handedly from the cannibals at Terminus. Noting once within the walls of the Alexandria Safe Zone she reverted back to the submissive, cookie and casserole baking housewife persona she once was, not because she believed it was safe to shed her badass mamma side, but for protection from the unknown. Not knowing who the people within the safe zone were and what they may or may not be capable of, she felt it best to hold back who she was at her core. Believing the old version of herself was the one the Alexandrians wanted to see. Plus, it would enable her to move around unnoticed, blending in, allowing her to be the watcher. Appearing to be just like them, not toughened by the walker world on the other side of the walls, Carol was able to fall right into place with the locals. Fortunately though, as we’ve already seen in Season 6, she has not lost any of her badass skills.

I was surprised when my Sister told me she sees me more as the badass Carol than the Cardigan Carol. Yes, I have on more than one occasion been the Momma Bear protecting my son, and even walked out of a dead-end marriage to save my sanity, but, comparing this to a character like the evolved Carol I would not. This made me ponder the “characters” we all play in our daily lives and how we see ourselves vs. how others see us. In addition, how much fictional characters may actually influence our behavior. Read the rest of this entry »

Gumby Mom

I find It very ironic that in this very merry month of May, with a special day dedicated to Mothers, I find myself volunteered well beyond any other time in my mothering life. As a single Mom I try hard to make sure I don’t spread myself too thin. I’m very selective about what I volunteer for because being home for my son is far more important to me than how much time I give up for school related groups. Not that being involved with school related groups isn’t important, I just feel it shouldn’t take an excessive amount of time away from my home. The situation I find myself in this month is rare to say the least and caused, in part, by the lack of action by any other parent. I saw a need that others agreed should be dealt with, but nobody wanted to take on the task, so, by default it became mine. This was in addition to obligations I had previously committed to. If I learned anything from this, it is to keep my mouth shut unless I know for sure the “I” will become a “we” really fast.


It is this over extending of myself that made me begin to wonder about all the ways Mother’s go above and beyond their every day duties. I don’t just mean all the volunteering, but the extra things Mom’s do for their children. The things we do to keep our youngins feeling safe, happy and grounded. Something we may think is nothing appears to others as a feat greater than they would have or could have imagined. I’ve been told the hoops I jumped through to protect and defend my son in elementary school were above and beyond and even brave. Although this is flattering, I don’t feel that way. I knew my son was not ADHD and I refused to just accept blindly what the school was telling me. (Momma Bear with her claws up.) I reached outside my comfort zone and challenged the school. By seeking outside council and educating myself about what it truly means to be gifted and spirited, I became an advocate for my son and all misunderstood children who’s processing centers operate at a faster pace than the norm. To me this is what every parent would do. If your child were sick, would you not go to any length to get him/her the medical care he/she needed? Wouldn’t you educate yourself about his/her illness so you knew what you were up against? Wouldn’t you donate an organ if that’s what your child needed? Read the rest of this entry »

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