La La How The Life Goes On

Back At It

Posted on: May 16, 2015

Hey Fam.

It’s been way too long, no? So much happening Chez Jones that the writing time becomes non-existent. No matter! Next year Baby Sister will be in school full-time FINALLY and I will have actual time to perhaps get a job, write some adequate prose or some dire poetry. Who knows? All I know is that half-day kindergarten is the worst tease in the world. A friend recently asked me (and somehow escaped with his life) “So what DO you do when the kids are in school?”  Let’s review!

Drop kids off at school

Go home and shower (because all bathrooms in full use by husband and kids prior to this time)

Buy groceries or go to doctor’s appointment or work on school volunteer stuff or spackle and paint kitchen or whatever I can do in 2 hours

Make lunch for kindergartener who is hypoglycemic so has to eat the second we walk in the door

Go pick up kindergartener

THE END

Thus endeth the productive portion of my day. Having said that, I know from the experience of my 5th grader that once they are in school full time they do inch away from you little by little. You no longer get a breathless “Lucas peed on his chair! And the ladybugs in the class died! And I fell and cut my finger!” the second the school door opens and your effervescing little lovebug ricochets into your arms. You only find out about their days via what they grudgingly grunt at you. You no longer get slurped on and squeezed within an inch of your life anywhere at anytime. You get hugged and kissed in the comfort and privacy of your own home lest any friends see such an uncool spectacle take place. You no longer get asked to read the 100th Gerald And Piggie book for the 1,000th time while your child poops. Kids who can read tend to like to attend to their toileting needs solo. And certainly no 5th grader is on board for any discussion of anything bathroom related. Even my once-hilarious Scottish accented, “LIGHT A MATCH, CHARLIE!” is met with an Olympic-level eye roll and a “Seriously, Mama?”  So I do understand how lucky I am to have these days and moments with my little one, exhausting as they are. You really don’t get them back.

With my tween, the workload is just as intense but in a completely new and different way. We spend a lot of time talking (about stuff she wants to), listening to music (she likes), watching YouTube videos (that entertain her) and playing video games (with which she is obsessed and that make me want to stab myself in the eye).  I essentially feign interest in her interests because that’s where she is and so that’s where I need to meet her. Yes, she is a scam artist; always needing to chat right around oh, 9:30pm, when it’s really way past her bed time. Or making cute faces at her father when looking for the green light on some video game related in-app purchase. So we’re not total morons over here. But I’ve promised myself that I will always listen to her, even if it’s freaking midnight. I will always say yes to any request to hang out with her even if it’s the most inconvenient time for ME. I will always take an interest (even if I have to fake it) in the “small” things in her life, because to her they are big things. I remember being a pre-teen. I remember the desperate importance of so many now-obviously-not-important things. I remember the intensity of feelings, the confusion around other people’s actions, the sometimes overwhelming irritation at the adults in my life. I remember being mortified at any attention being directed my way, even the positive kind. I remember just wanting to do my thing and be left alone. So when my pre-teen wants to hang out with me, I am ALL OVER it, because I know my days as a credible activity partner are numbered until she graduates from college and I’m cool again.

It’s also the reason why you’ll be reading much less about Bambina in these pages. Telling cute stories of a chutzpah-filled little girl with no filter is adorable. Telling stories about my tween is not. I’ve always tried to find the line in my writing that divides what is legitimately my story to tell and what is not. Certainly, my stories have involved others, and so those people become part of the story that is mine. But I think, with our children, there comes an age when sharing funny-seeming anecdotes about them crosses the line into stealing something from them, to appropriating their stories as our own. Bambina is at such an age where my relating her exploits to the general public on a blog is, for lack of a better term, shitty parenting and a violation of her right to privacy. Don’t misunderstand: Facebook friends will still get the funny quips (with her permission for me to post). But the blog will be Bambina-less unless she tells me it’s cool.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since seeing a disturbing rise in those photos of little kids holding signs saying things like, “I’ve been in foster care for 1,213 days and today I got adopted!” And it goes viral, and people comment about God and Jesus and luck and fortune and warm hearts and kindness and charity. And I feel nothing but ICK and rage on behalf of these children who have no way to consent to such a public airing of their lives. If the adoptive parents want to hold signs that say, “Our kids were in foster care for 1, 213 days and today, We Adopted!” then go for it all day long. But to put your kids on the internet holding signs that laud YOU and bring attention to YOU? Nah, bruh. Remember that the internet is forever. These children are human people with hopes and dreams and fears and rights that exist beyond you and any extension of you. They have a right to privacy, a right to the details of their lives not being in the public domain at such a young age, a right to go to high school as a teenager and not have some a-hole classmate find these pics and private family details and use them against them. Because it happens, and when it does, it will be your fault.

So the good news is I’m back. The less good (but wholly appropriate) news is that there will be fewer episodes of Bambina hilarity for you to enjoy, unless she says you may enjoy them.

Until next time….

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1 Response to "Back At It"

So glad you’re back, I was going through withdrawal, Love ya, Grandma Donna

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