Birthdays, Boomers, Bad Guys & Burgers

Posted by on Jul 10, 2010 in Baby Boomers, Faith, Setting Boundaries | 18 comments

Chris and me shortly before my 18th birthday.

In the USA you are “officially” a Senior Citizen when you reach age 65. However, what can only be viewed as marketing savvy strategy, the powers that be have courted the wallets of younger baby boomers, declaring age 55 as the season in life where you can obtain the holy grail of consumerism…

“The Senior Citizen Discount.”

It’s official. As of yesterday, I can now enjoy reduced rates and special offers at movie theaters, restaurants, retail stores, and a host of locations–if I’m willing to disclose my age and whip out my license.

Taking advantage of these cost-cutters would make my friend Ellie Kay proud of me. As America’s Family Financial Expert, Ellie is a staunch advocate of coupons. Ellie talks about the value of coupons and shares other fabulous cost-saving tips on her Half Price Living blog.

Happy 55th Birthday to me.

In honor of this most auspicious occasion, on my right-of-passage into senior citizen consumerism, I had the opportunity to go out for dinner and drinks with one of my favorite boomer babe gal pals.

I chose instead to remain home.

I chose instead to partake in the ultimate gourmet delight…a charcoal broiled black Angus burger with a side of wavy potato chips and French onion dip, prepared by my adult son.


Chris is a self-proclaimed Bad Guy Gone Good, and our dinner was a celebration not only of time, but of heart as well. Last year on my birthday, Chris called me from prison, as he had done the three years previous to that. Before his incarceration, I can recall many birthdays where I had no idea where my son was…or if he was even alive.

And so I begin the first day of my 55th year of life thanking God for the miracle of restoration and redemption. For the chance to get to know my adult child in a new way, and to try  my hand and heart at parenting in a new way as well. I thank God for the doors He continues to open for us to share the life-changing message of setting boundaries and finding SANITY.

And I thank God for the ever-increasing knowledge that if we obey God’s calling, He will provide the needed strength.

18 Responses to “Birthdays, Boomers, Bad Guys & Burgers”

  1. You chose the BEST Celebration for turning 55 and it was a dual celebration because the prodigal is now HOME for your Birthday this year, Girlfriend….NOW THAT is something to CELEBRATE!!! What a gift itself!!! Praising God with you!
    And the part about eating a broiled Angus burger on your day of birth….your son served YOU the fatted calf!
    Halleluia and AMEN!

  2. Allison… What a happy time for you! I wish you a belated Happy Birthday! And even more… congratulations for the new life ahead with your son! You have been such an encouragement to me. First, through your book “Setting Boundaries”, and also through Facebook and now your blog. While I may not be where you are in your relationship with your son, you have helped me to maintain hope and set boundaries. I can now look to future and know that this is not the end. Thank you so much and may God continue to bless you! 🙂

  3. Allison, This post brought tears to my eyes. I’m a mom too. My boys are 19 and 17 and right now things are good. Even through I have close girlfriends who have gone through the same trials as you, I cannot imagine what you have been through. What a blessing to have him home – yeah, I’d have gone for the burger too.

    I really like your last thought – if youobey God’s calling, he will provide the needed strenght. That is amazingly true.

    Hugs from your facebook friend, Deana

  4. Sandy Scipioni says:

    I loved your post, Allison. We mom’s always choose our kids over everything. It’s a perfect prodigal son birthday story. That is what gives us the courage to wake up each day and have hope that something really remarkable might just happen today. Without that hope some days, weeks, and months seem hopeless. Thanks for sharing that hope filled story on your blog. We Christian moms can never get enough encouragement. Love you.

  5. Thank you, Deana. I’m not sure what I would have these past years without the strength God has provided. There have been far too many times when I’ve had nothing left to give, yet God always provides what we need to get through it… whatever the “it” may be!

  6. Allison says:

    Sandy, you used a key word, and that word is HOPE! Even when my son was deeply involved in drugs and living on the streets, I had HOPE that God would make a way when there seemed to be no way. Through the years he was in prison I had HOPE that God knew what He was doing and that Chris was exactly where he was supposed to be for that season. Sometimes, HOPE was all I could cling to…that, and God’s Word that I wasn’t alone. Sorry to blabber on….thanks so much for your comment.

  7. Allison says:

    Thanks, Mary Ann! I was just writing about HOPE in a reply to Sandy’s comment. What would we do without HOPE? I can recall times when I was at the very bottom of myself….when there was no energy left, no understanding of the why, and no idea how things would ever change, but somehow I never lost HOPE. June Hunt calls hope, “the anchor for your soul.”

    I love the Scripture Romans 15:4, “…everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have HOPE.” I think it’s a CHOICE we make, to cling to HOPE…or not, what do you think?

  8. Allison says:

    Amen to that! Your comment made me laugh out loud, Char! I’ll have to tell Chris about serving me the fatted calf, he will get a kick out of that for certain! I second your Halleluia and Amen!

  9. And a gorgeous “senior” you are, my friend! Listen, to me you’re just a kid! I have seven years on you. And you know what? I celebrate every one of them. Love you!

  10. Allison,

    I’m sitting here weeping at your last two entries. It gives me TREMENDOUS hope for the future for my own Chris. Thank you for stepping out and writing a life-changing book that should be required reading for all parents and grandparents. I know all you hear from me is THANK YOU, but I don’t think you understand the validation and freedom I gained from reading Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children. I will pray for you and Chris in the upcoming days. I have NO DOUBT that the Lord will expand your territory even more to minister along side with your son and eventually him alone. Keep sharing and encouraging. You are making a difference!

  11. No way are you seven years older than me! Wow! All those book deadlines are making you younger.

  12. Chantelle, there is always hope, we must hang on to that truth. Thank you so much for taking the time to post a comment on my blog. It’s a daily journey as Chris and I travel through this unchartered territory. Prayers like yours are so appreciated! Thank you.

  13. I am so happy for you!!!! One of my favorite sayings is God writes straight with crooked lines.

  14. Happy belated birthday!!! Thank you for accepting my friends request and for this post. I have a son that is on his journey with God. I gave him back to God and trusted it was going to all work out. It has and still is. Our relationship is so much better now. To God Be All The Glory. This was an awesome post. Blessings!

  15. Patrice Wilsom says:

    Hi Allison,
    I am in the middle of this with a 20 year old son who is lost, angry, confused, depressed and rebellious. What happened to the sweet, kind and lovable boy that was my pride and joy? The things he says, the people he hangs around with and his addiction to stealing is so hard for me to believe is happening to my family. I am in this alone. May I please ask everyone to say a prayer for John? I need the hope that you have. I can’t even manage another prayer. My mouth is sore from praying constantly and my head is filled with fears…..where does a mother go when her heart is breaking? Thank you.

  16. Hi Allison, First…thank you so very much for your honesty in writing your book, “Setting Boundaries”..I have yet been able to finish it. I keep getting emotional and scared. I was widowed in 94, lost both my parents, and am an only child. That left my son and me..As you said in your book, “the stranglehold my son has on my heart”, made me weep. Although my son doesn’t do hard drugs(yet), he is lazy, gets into trouble, just got out of court ordered rehab (for coming up dirty for pot), and doesnt’ think he has a problem. He said “things would be different” when he came home from rehab, but alas, no change. Same disrespectful, lazy (almost paralized), non productive kid that left. He’s going to be 20, and still has no direction. He has asked for money, which I mostly stopped giving him. I have given him a in two dollars here n there, but I strive to give nothing. He had the audacity to come home yesterday to let me know that all his friends were going on spring break, and he felt bad he couldn’t go. SPRING BREAK REALLY? He still has court dates and legals over his head for stupid stuff. It all breaks my heart. Do you have any idea when your sanity support group will be back up? Thanks for being there. Lynn

  17. Hi,
    I am new here and found Allison on a internet search and just ordered the book. Read everything on google books that I could. I have a 23 years old son soon to be 24. He is my youngest. I have supported and done what I could for many years. His childhood was far from perfect and his father did parental alienation to me and about me but thru it all he was a good son and I have always been there for him always. Well Drugs alchohol hanging with the wrong crowd all became his life. The teen years came and went. Here I am and in the last 2 years he was busted for drugs, almost overdosed and is a person of interest in an attempted murder which I have no clue of the details but detectives calling. He is in jail now for a drug bust and as I started reading the book. Before that and reading the book I told him I am done.This book is perfect timing. I did say do you know right from wrong and he said yes. I said then do the right thing get your legal stuff out of the way I am not paying for an attorney or anymore fines . I cut off the money. Told his girlfriend off and took a stand. Ok so he is in jail and I did shell out 120.00 and 50 for phone service. The jail did not provide a pillow or blanket or ran out..he called and he was frantic depressed etc…there I am once more.
    I had cut his cell phone off during his last episode going to jail.Well During our visit today he asked me when I pick him up next week and by the way I am taking a few hours off work to do that, he does not have a ride and if I can get him a cell phone. I said ask your father. I told him I would take him out for breakfast and take him where he wanted to go that is it. Any thoughts to anyone out there? I purchased a pontiac grand am for him in 09 fairly new car and its smashed no liscense plates and not even sure where it is and that was his 4th vehicle and he stays at a property I own and I did turn off the electricity. Sent him out of the country twice to be with relatives to see if you could find himself and same pattern repeated but in there house and he came back just had a glorified vacation and gave mine up. My head is spinning..he threatens suicide. He guilts me about leaving his father and it goes on and on thousands of dollars later….I am just so drained. Emotionally financially and worried about my son at the same time. I am so happy to have found this website. God Bless Judith

  18. Judith, your story is not an unfamiliar story, alas many of us chronic enablers have similar tales to tell. They key at this point in time is to STOP the flow of money and STOP the insanity. I pray that the 6-Steps to SANITY will help you on your journey to learn how to love your son with open arms and a closed checkbook. Easier said than done, I know. I’m going to be hosting an online SANITY support group chat room soon, would love to have you join us. Stay strong and know that God is in control, you don’t have to be. Blessings.

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