Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Entries from July 1, 2010 - August 1, 2010

Entries from July 1, 2010 - August 1, 2010


Parenting Teens: Now I Can't Read The Words

I have accepted that my kids and their friends listen to music that I can't understand the lyrics to. I accept that there are supposedly ring tones I can't hear because I am old and therefore defacto, so not phat. Ichabod's friend Nick, one half of the This Moment In Hardcore podcast team, had on a t-shirt with a cool looking logo. I commented that I liked it and he asked me if I knew what it said. Knew what it said, I didn't even know the logo had words in it!

Can you read this logo? Nick assures me this is a band worth listening to. Don't miss his podcast This Moment In Hardcore

With Blood Comes Cleansing


Aging With Grace: Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

I spend a lot of my life waiting. I am waiting for my cherry tomatoes to turn red. I am waiting for a book from my library (Jim Butcher’s Choices). I am waiting for a certain semi-adult to mature and become reasonable again.

I have had to learn patience again and again and again. The pleasure of a ripe red cherry tomato is worth waiting for. The joy of growing something (that didn’t die!!), and enjoying that first bite of sunshine is worth the wait. Besides there is nothing I can do to make those tomatoes ripen faster without compromising their flavor.

I could go buy the book. I would enjoy reading it but not $18 worth, and then I would have a little more clutter because the book would be too expensive to give away - but I would not reread it any time soon. So I am waiting. I am currently 56th on the libraries’ reserved list, but our library has 21 copies of the book. I thought I saw a copy in the used book store and about jumped on it, but alas it was not the book I am waiting for. Hope deferred is not hope disappointed..sigh.

As for that certain semi-adult, I suspect he will mature into a very nice adult. Patience, patience, waiting....waiting.....


Parenting Teens: A Basic Philosophical Difference

I am the finder of things in my home. I have never questioned why this is. I'd assumed that it was a MOM thing. A gene that gets activated at conception (theirs, not mine) that allows me to find stuff. I have now come to realize that it is not so much an innate ability as it is a fundamental philosophical difference in belief between the children and I that allows me to find stuff.

I operate out of the world view that material things do not move by themselves. Hence they can be found: if something is, and I know it is, in the house then it is findable.

An encounter with Ichabod caused me to realize that it is philosophy, not genetics, that allows me to find what my children can’t.

Ichabod attempted to walk off with my black flip flops because he had lost his. He avowed, he insisted, he stated without a doubt that the flip flops were lost. Anyone with teens knows that once you allow the exception, it becomes the rule. If I allowed him to “borrow “my flip flops I would never see them again. I insisted he take them off and wear his sneakers and go buy another pair of flip flops if his were well and truly lost.

While he was stomping around looking for his sneakers, I espied one black flip flop I knew wasn’t mine because mine were now on my feet. I told him about that one and the child assured me that the other was lost.

Here is where world views come into play. I know that material things do not dematerialize into thin air. I know that material things are not carried off by unseen forces. I know that things that are material, if they are in the house, can be found given some time and effort. I am willing to bet that statistically if one flip flop is in the room, the other is nearby. I would not bet my life on that premise, but I will invest some time looking for a flip flop based on it. Evidently my children do not share these beliefs.

I took me less than a minute to find the avowed, insisted without a doubt, lost flip flop.


Parenting Teens: The Do Not Wash Pile

I have an ongoing struggle with the wash. Not the clothes and I personally, but the kids and I over fabric things getting cleaned. Towels, do not get me started on towels. I removed 8 towels from one child’s room and 3 from another, after my husband informed me he had no clean towels and I knew I had washed them all that week.

I removed and hid all the beach towels so they would not get added to the weekly pile of used, not dirty, towels. Towels in our house are like potato chips. You can’t have just one. The towel battle will go on, but I am not willing to fight the blanket battle - so I have my unofficial “do not wash” pile.

The kids have always slept with a blanket, even in the summer. Even though it is hot in the south in the summer, I was never able to convince them that a sheet was cover enough to sleep with during the hotter months. Within the last few years the kids have started to treat their blankets like towels, one or two uses and into the wash. I do not know how we accumulated so many blankets over the years, but we have a lot. I noticed a cycle starting. I would wash a blanket, put it in the storage box for the summer, and the same blanket would be in the wash the following week. An abundance of towels to wash was bad enough, blankets were bankrupting. So I started the “do not wash “pile. I pile used (not dirty or smelly, just used) blankets in a corner of our basement for the summer. I just don’t wash them. I do stir them once and a while to discourage critters and bugs. Come September when it gets cooler, I will wash all the blankets. For some reason the kids don’t deposit used, but clean, blankets in the laundry chute in the cooler months.

Motherhood.... the grossness goes on.


Parenting Semi-Adults: The First Road Trip

A good friend is undergoing a baptism by fire. Her oldest, age 18, is taking his first road trip on his own. He is not alone; he is going with another young man of similar age. The first road trip is one of those parenting milestones not mentioned in child rearing books. There are books for talking about sex with your teen, or coping with difficult children or underachieving/ overachieving/ normal children. No one writes a book, or even a chapter, of the fear that comes into a parent’s heart when they first realize their child - who they have poured time, energy, love and prayers into raising - wants to get into a two ton machine and travel someplace, sharing roads with other people in two ton machines. Any one of who might smash into your child’s car - and they want to do this without you in the potential death machine with them!

I remember the time Haggai, then 18, wanted to drive to the beach for the day with some friends. That engendered a two day debate in our house. One parent wanted to let him go. The other wanted to wrap him in bubble wrap and lock him in his room (which didn’t have a lock) until the summer was over. One parent insisted Haggai, if he was allowed to go against her wishes, be one of the drivers. She later learned that was not the best decision, but ignorance was bliss at the time. I feel for my friend. Our first road trip experience was 3 hours away. Her child is 9 hours in a different state.

Princess’ first road trip involved a plane flight to another city, a big city, a big scary city. I threaten her dad with divorce if anything happened to her, for letting her go. I think I started holding my breath from the time my husband let her go until she arrived home safely, which she did (arrive home safely). I should be in the Guinness Book of Records for longest breath holding. Later that year she totaled her car on what should have been an uneventful drive to college. Safety is not guaranteed.

Ichabod is an excellent driver. When we were in Washington D.C. for a hockey match, he drove the beltline in the dark, in rush hour traffic. He loved it. He was 15 at the time. When he wanted to go to the beach for the day with his friends, the only debate was if he could take our car or not.

Nothing can prepare your heart for the first time your child speaks those dreaded words.... “Can I go to ­­­­­­­­­­-_______ with ________ for the __________? "

I know a good source for discounted bubble wrap.

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