It seems I didn’t jinx AJ McCarron with my last blog post. Thank goodness! In that case, I can continue to brag on his stellar passing game. This season, we have talked a lot about AJ, his passing game, his fellow team mates, his coach and all of his opponents. Heck, we even talked about his mom. I have talked about him SO MUCH, that I just can’t seem to think of a reason to stop now…and it seems that I am not alone.
This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with AJ’s mom. Yes, the hot one. Her name is Dee Dee and she granted me a phone interview to set the record straight. We discussed several topics, on everything from football to parenting and bullying. Dee Dee had a lot to say. Now I could have paraphrased her interview, but for my blog fans I am giving you the uncut version. I have paraphrased a few things, but I really felt if we wanted to know her, the REAL her, you needed all the details. And where does one go to get details such as how AJ became a perfectionist? Well right here to me of course! So I thought carefully about what I wanted to ask her and this is what she had to say:
Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your family. A: We are a very busy family. I am mom to AJ (22) and Corey (almost 20) and Step-Mom to Gage (about to turn 12) and Coco ( 9 ½). They are all involved in sports and always have been. My husband, Derek and I have been together for almost 9 years. AJ and Corey’s Dad – Tony and I get along great. We all do. We hang out together before and after games….makes it easier on the boys with everyone not only able to get along but actually be friends… We all work well together co-parenting and are friends as well… MY RESPONSE: I wish more families could be as close-knit as this.
Q: What do you make of the AJ’s ‘hot mom’ comments? A: This is tough to answer…For the most part I just ignore the comments but many things said have hurt. The fact that someone hacked in and stole pictures from my .. account years ago is frustrating and then to see them posted up in places without my permission is even more upsetting. With that being said…the pictures floating around I think are about 5 or 6 years old. I haven’t looked at them all to be honest. I believe there are a few pictures of me at Mardi Gras Ball’s from years ago. Not sure what else was stolen and posted…But, I can tell you these pictures do not define me. I am comfortable with who I am….I am a good person that tries to put others first. I am very involved in my community. I work year around with several different organizations to help those less fortunate including organizations that help the homeless, cancer organizations, poverty areas and others. MY RESPONSE: I told her I would never have ran a picture like that without her permission and I didn’t. To those people who do such things…YOU HAVE NO CLASS. You know who you are.
Q: I’ve been told you take a passionate stance on anti-bullying. Why is that important to you? A: I remember being in 4th grade and being bullied by a 6th grader. A really much bigger 6th grader. I remember the dread of going to school… My dad and I would horse play and he actually taught me how to punch..not fight “like a girl” as he called it but punch so going into that second week of school I decided to stand up for myself. Well we go into the lunch wave and by this point people would stare after this girl finished eating to see what she would do. Even most of the boys were scared of her. Well she finished eating, got up from her table walked over and hit me over the head with her tray really hard. I remember thinking I was about to start bleeding from my head it was so hard. But I stood up, all 4’ of me – walked to her table and threw her tray at her and I remember this because I said a curse word in school but I said to her “you take your own damn tray” and she stood up and asked me was I sure about that or something to that effect and I stood my ground and told her that she may beat me but she would know I was there and I would make sure she knew I was there every day she messed with me again. From then on she never threatened me, hit me or tried to bully me again. …so I would remind my boys to never pick on anyone. And if someone else is picking on someone else you don’t support it by just standing there. You help those that are either too little, too weak or too scared to help themselves. Always be a leader by showing how to treat others and never accept any less from anyone else that you are going to hang around. I watched my boys grow into people that would stand up and protect those that others would bully….and it made me so proud. I am instilling the same into our younger boys as well. A true leader doesn’t need to breakdown someone else to feel better about themselves.
“AJ and Corey’s father, Tony, and I always taught the boys to never see color, to never see economic status, to never see handicaps…to see a person for who are they on the inside. Ugly can come in all kinds of pretty packages as I like to say…So we taught them to see the person and treat all people with respect because you never know what they have going on in their lives. Derek and I are working to teach the same thing to the little boys….trying to teach them all not to judge.” MY RESPONSE: Amen for you! I try to teach my children the EXACT SAME lesson for the EXACT same reason. And as far as I know, it seems to be working.
Q: You may know, but since the year 2000, suicide rates have been on the rise amongst our youth. (Among society as a whole actually) Every year there are 4,600 deaths in youth aged 15-24. That is an alarming number. Do you think bullying and cyber bullying plays a part in this? A. “This is an extremely distressing number…The new age of Social Media has many positives…but it has some very alarming negatives. There needs to be some accountability for comments made on these sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or whatever). People are allowed to go on these sites and make comments either about someone or to someone and there is no accountability. Then you have other misinformed individuals reading their comments and/or post and they will form their opinion right then and there. Doesn’t matter if what is said is a total lie, only a small percentage of the truth or just an outright attack – it is out there for all to see. You have judge and jury taking place and no one is doing a thing about it…These teenagers are not mature enough to handle some of the hateful things that I have seen written….horrible things. I can’t help but wonder where are the parents of these other kids making the unbelievable comments that I read? But, then I remind myself that based on some of the comments we have received on AJ’s fan page where grown adults have stated “I hope his leg is broken and he can never play again” or comments made about children battling against cancer, that I can’t even repeat, I realize these children are probably learning from their parents. I think we need to push for tougher standards and punishments against individuals that make slanderous comments or attacks against anyone but especially children. I think we need to make it an across the board policy because it is apparent that adults are also spreading lies and hurtful information on these media sites…and the children see it so why wouldn’t they believe it to be acceptable behavior? Once you start holding people accountable to their statements and accountable for the results from those statements I believe you will see a quick change but until then bullies and those that like to spread lies will continue to have their moment in the spotlight. MY RESPONSE: I agree. Teenagers are not emotionally able to deal with these harsh realities. I hope at some point, there will be more accountability held for these people other than what they are going to get on Judgment Day.
Q: What do you think, we as parents, can do for our children? To help them not to become a victim but also not to become a bully themselves? A: Lead by example…that is the BEST thing we can do. Understanding and acceptance of those “different” than yourself. Show compassion for those with a disability – don’t make fun of them. And as much as I love football and appreciate the passion all teams have for the game For the Love of Pete just because someone is playing for a team that isn’t your favorite do not sit there in front of your children and make the remarks like so many folks are making now and days. Don’t post threatening and horrible messages on facebook or any other media site where others can see your true colors…especially your children.
It’s funny to me that many of the messages we get from “rival” teams which are the most shocking will have someone in a family picture as their profile picture. Many of them have children…and I can help but wonder how they would react if they were sent a message saying “I hope Little Johnny breaks his leg today and never gets up”. How they would feel? I imagine they would be extremely and intensely filled with anger and possibly hate towards the person that would dare say something about their child in that manner. Well I have news for them… every football player for every team on every Saturday is someone’s Little Johnny. So I would ask especially parents before you send such messages to ANYONE – think about your own children. And, if you still feel compelled to make such statements I would suggest before you open your mouth and prove you’re an idiot stay silent and leave doubt. MY RESPONSE: I think those comments are sick, but even having this blog, I get hate mail. It’s kind of crazy. As for our children, lead by example is one of the core principles of parenting, even though it is sometimes the hardest one to follow.
Q: What methods or ideas do you have about teaching our children how to behave and or respond to a bully or when they see a friend being bullied? A: Again, I think we as adults have to lead by example and teach the younger generation compassion and humanity. To care for others and not to be such a selfish generation. I have always told my boys whenever you see someone being bullied you are to immediately intervene and stand up for the person being picked on…I cannot imagine anyone being cruel to any disabled person but to physically assault someone who is disable is beyond my comprehension… MY RESPONSE: Compassion, compassion, compassion.
Q: Bus monitor Karen Klein was a prime example of how mean our society can be. How would you have reacted if that had been your mother/sister/friend? How about if one of the bullies had been one of your children? A: I am known to be a “Momma Bear” of my boys. I am also protective of my family and friends…If this were my Mom I would have wanted to have a face to face with them and their parents…If this were one of my children? After I had gotten done with them (which would not be good for them) I would have him accepting whatever punishments came from the school. If that meant no more riding the bus then he would be working to pay for cab fare to get to school. His free time – which there would be none so let me rephrase – his time away from school and working to earn cab fare, he would be at her house cutting grass – doing grocery shopping or whatever she needed done until Ms. Klein, her family and us felt like his lesson was learned. MY RESPONSE: Both of my children are bigger than most kids their other age, they always have been. Both of my children have been bullied on the school bus. Neither of my children got in trouble (at home) for those incidents . They were either standing up for themselves, or standing up for a child who was a friend. It is times like those that I am very proud of who my children have become.
Q: As a mom, what principles did you raise AJ on? He’s seems to me (a complete stranger on the outside looking in) to be a perfectionist. Has he always been this way? A: We raised <all of our boys> to be a good <people>. To be a good person. To give to others, not to be selfish, always have care and compassion and lead by example. Always be a leader…not a follower. MY RESPONSE: My Dad raised me on that very same line and I tell my children this all of the time. For my Son, I cannot express it enough, because he is a teenager…BE A LEADER, NOT A FOLLOWER.
On AJ’s being a perfectionist? “AJ being a perfectionist is just something he was born with..my Mom and Grandma would always say he was born with an old soul..was always very mature. And he is a perfectionist…if he is going to do something he is going to work to be the best at it and will give 1000%…there is no half effort from him…that isn’t acceptable and he has just always been this way. It could be annoying when he was little…not going to lie. I would be running late to get out the door and he needed his shoes tied and goodness knows I couldn’t help him with it…and then the laces had to lay a certain way or he would redo them. Lord that child would test my patience some days.” MY RESPONSE: AJ is probably going to request that I never blog about him again…ughhhh, thanks Dee Dee! 🙂
Q: If you could tell the world, the female Bama fans out there one thing about AJ, what would it be? A: Wow..this is tougher than I would think. One thing… I would say that he really does have a good heart…and cares for others. That is probably why my Momma Bear comes out because my boys are really good sweet boys..and for them to be judged based solely on playing for a team that someone isn’t a fan of and have such thoughtless comments made about them by people that don’t even know them is just shocking and disappointing. MY RESPONSE: That is why we are talking. I want my readers to know what AJ is really like. I want my readers to really enjoy reading about the players and getting to know them for something other than a stat or a jersey number.
Q: Last question, tell our readers what you want to people to think about you, what you stand for, instead of searching for you by “AJ’s hot mom”, what would you tell them? A: I hope that I would be known as someone that gives back to their community…tries to help others. Caring and compassionate person who hopes before leaving this earth that I make a difference for the better – no matter how small it may be. A mom that has unconditional love for her children and will absolutely stand up for them. Trust me I am aging by the minute so the “hot” title has long since passed. MY RESPONSE: Amen to that one Sister, I am right there with ya!
Check back later in the week to get my take on how this LSU thing is going to play out. Provided I do have power that is…however, my geek husband is around so I may have to transmit my blog from some broken down laptop behind a Starbucks somewhere!