Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

A Friday Evening Mom, on Childhood

May 20, 2016

Some people wish
To return to childhood
So they may remember
Carefree play
Unfettered by worry.

Others recall
The gentle protection
Of a grown-up, secured
By space on a lap
Or a pinky to hold
Across the street.

Still others long
For the innocence
The trust
The earnest honesty
That only children
Can achieve.

All very well and good.

But what I seek
Is for someone, right now
To just send me to bed
Without my supper.

 

Day #18: Ask

September 2, 2015

2015-08-13-20.14.35-300x300

Things I am good at asking for:
More cake
Snuggles
Directions
Forgiveness

Things I am not good at asking for:
Help

Day #14: Learn

August 30, 2015

2015-08-13-20.14.35-300x300

I’m a teacher. I’m all about the learning. I LOVE learning. It gets me excited. It doesn’t matter what subject area or topic. I can find a way to be totally jazzed about it. Here’s some of what I learned this summer:

  1. How to throw baseball pitches. I can throw a 2-seam, a 4-seam, a change-up, a knuckleball, a cutter and a curve. I’m not saying that they’re pretty, but I can throw ’em. Learning how to throw these pitches has taught me other things, too:
    1. I actually know what those pitches ARE.
    2. My sons can be incredibly patient and encouraging, even when there’s little reason to be.
    3. Really. I suck at pitching.
    4. But it’s fun.
    5. No matter how tired, sore or crabby I may feel, it will always, always, ALWAYS be worth my time to throw the ball with them.
    6. Always.
    7. For that matter, I will choose to accept any invitation from my boys, at any time. Frisbee golf? Got it. Open skate? I’m there. Dog walk? Let’s roll. Snuggle time? Can’t stop me.
  2. How to let people go. I had a friend in my former job. She is a great person, and is one of the sweetest, most generous souls I know. But after attempt after attempt after attempt after attempt, it turned out I was the only one who was trying to make any contact. It made me feel more insecure and needy the more I worried about it. So? I let the friendship go. I wouldn’t turn away if reached out to, but I have discovered that, for now, I have better places to spend my attention (see section 1 above).
  3. How to go upside down at the rings at my gym. Not a huge thing, but boy does it make me feel awesome to say I can. Plus it’s good street cred with my kids.
    10930187_10153410851942290_7085349927998260810_n
  4. That my kids will be just FINE. That when I sense myself getting worked up about one of my sons – about his achievement, about his skills, about his placement or play on a sporting team, about any of it – I tell myself the following:
    1. My worries stem from my insecurities.
    2. My worries are not about my kids.
    3. But my kids’ experiences are NOT ABOUT ME.
    4. And I can close my eyes and picture them at thirty, being wonderful people.
    5. And I realize there isn’t a need to worry.
    6. Because they will be JUST FINE.
    7. And I can calm down.

Of course, there’s much, much more to it. And there’s so much more that I want to learn. So much I need to learn. So much I’m going to learn, even if I don’t know I need to learn it yet.

That’s why I’m such a big fan of life.

A Month of Reflection – Day 15: Learn

September 11, 2014

Yes, I have skipped a few blog posts.

Back on the wagon now.

So…what did I learn yesterday?

Yesterday. I was in the kitchen preparing dinner. My 11 year-old came home from playing with a couple of friends of his. He started complaining about a couple of kids who showed up while they were hanging out. Kids he doesn’t really like, kids who bug him. He mentioned that one kid started telling racist jokes. And that some of the jokes were about Jews.

And then he told me the jokes. Both of which were of the concentration-camp variety.

I did my best to contain my anger, but I know some of it probably leaked out. Maybe that was actually a good thing. My kids need to see that racism and anti-Semitism are real, and terrible.

I almost called that mom right away, but I’m glad I’ve held off. For starters, it turns out my boy had joined in on some of the jokes to a lesser degree. I also don’t know that mom. At all. I wasn’t quite sure how to approach the whole thing.

I’ve been going over what happened yesterday in my mind like a stone I hold in my palm. I keep turning it over, looking at it from different sides. Watching as one point of view gets polished, and then another.

Was that kid a racist, or an Jew hater? Could be. Could also be he’s heard that joke from some other kid. Or from some dumb online source. Could be – praying not – that he heard it at home. I keep turning the possibilities over in my palm and can’t really come up with an answer to that one. I have a feeling I won’t get one, and I think I’m okay with that.

Do I need to call the kid’s mom? Still polishing up this one. I am not always going to be there to run in when someone hurts my child. My boy has learned what he needs to learn from this lesson. I lean towards it, then away. Towards it, then away. Most likely, I will call when I have found the words. Words which say we had some tough conversations in our house. That I would want to know if it were my kid.

And then?

I need to let it go, and pray that there will be some tough conversations in their house, too.

As for me and my boy?

  • We learned that it really IS hurtful when people tell jokes about you or your culture.
  • We learned that even if you live in a place where there are lots of Jews, there’s no guarantee you’re free from hatred of Jews.
  • We learned that a good response to rude or racist jokes is, “Dude. That’s not funny.”
  • We learned that if people are telling jokes about you, and you laugh, or tell one of your own, you’re telling people those jokes are both funny and okay to tell.

Chalk it up to a lesson learned the hard way.