Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer break: Days....Oh who the hell can remember?

I'm so tired.
Today started at 6:30 a.m. with the boys up and arguing, and it ended at 10:00 p.m.
Most days have been like this.  Long, fun.  LONG.
They have been mostly good, although today was rough, but that was probably PMS.

To quickly summarize these part however many days of summer break...

We've been to a splash park in the eastern part of the county.

N bought a fish.

We met Iron Man at the zoo.

N got bangs.

We tried blueberry picking.

We visited a downtown splash park.

Re-reading "To Kill a Mockingbird," Paula Deen and SCOTUS

I recently re-read To Kill a Mockingbird so all that is sad and powerful and triumphant in that novel is fresh in my mind.

Perhaps this re-reading is why I am bothered so much about the Supreme Court's decision on the Voting Rights Act, and why I am ticked that it seemingly got little attention from the nation as a whole, especially in light of the DOMA decision.

It took great restraint for me to not post on FB what I really wanted to say, which was that the SCOTUS apparently likes gay people more than Blacks.  It's not a PC statement, but sometimes I don't feel like being PC.

I realize the justices have actual law on their minds, but perhaps they should have paid more attention to what is happening culturally.  The culture of Paula Deen, I mean.  She is getting a lot of stink for her comments and alleged discrimination at her restaurant (which is warranted), and if in 2013 this is going on, perhaps the justices are a little optimistic to think that Southern states have come as far as they think they have.

I don't know anything about German law, but I wonder if any laws were passed relating to the Holocaust and whether those laws have been abandoned.  Whether anyone really thinks humans have "come so far" that they won't resort to genocide.  Poverty and ignorance are powerful things, and it takes more than 50 years for their hold to weaken.

Five decades is a drop in the bucket.  The South hasn't fully recovered from the American Civil War if the flying of Confederate flags is any indication.  Racism runs deep, deeper than the justices are able to see in their ivory tower.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

N's summer job (A mother pushes child labor)

N's "Neighborly Pet-Care" business has kept her busy this week.  She has been pet-sitting 2 dogs and a cat for a neighbor, as well as watering plants for another neighbor.

Because I am the "facilitator" of N's pet-care business, I too have been busy.

There have been at least a few times when I've thought that her "job" is really just one more thing for me to have to remember and how that really sucks for me (especially in a week that we've had an eye doctor visit, an unexpected orthodontic visit, an audiologist visit, an ENT visit and an open house for my teaching job for the fall).

But I remind myself that her "job" is helping her learn responsibility and giving her a chance to make and manage money without me having to fork over money.  There is value in me "modeling" responsibility in the form of saying, "Remember we have to check on the dogs" and helping her at the house by holding the bag as she cleans the litter box.

She makes a bundle (for a 9-year-old).  Even though her "fee" for this week's pet sitting is $29, the neighbors left her $40.

It works out well for everyone---very inexpensive pet- and home-care (since we collect mail and take in/out garbage/recycling) and a very happy girl who cannot put down the American Girl catalog as she plans how she wants to spend her income.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer break, 2013--Days 1-4

I grouse about it being summer break, but I admit I am very glad to be done with a schedule for a bit.  The evenings are ours which is wonderful except on a day when it rains, and we can't get outside.  The only downside of not having a schedule is that mine and N's piano practice, which we routinely did after dinner, is forgotten in our rush to enjoy the nice weather while it lasts.

It is funny to me how making one tiny little change can result in so much interest.  We have a little water/sand table on our patio that we now use only as a water table since we made the space under the wooden playground structure a large sandbox.  I added Spiderman bubble bath to the water table to try and up the fun, and the kids have been absolutely engrossed.

On Friday when M napped, N and G and I had craft time.  N made a flower fairy (using flower petals and leaves to make clothing for a stick figure fairy).

G and I used stencils and glass frosting paint to decorate glass jars which will eventually become decor for the patio/deck (with a little help from some beads and 24-gauge wire).  I found a $1 kid craft idea book at Target that we are using for inspiration.

This week will be busy with eye doctor visits on Monday, vacation bible school every evening, ENT and audiologist visits on Friday and gym visits/sanity savers for me on Tues and Thurs.  If it ever hits 85 degrees and is also very sunny, we might go bonkers and get to the pool too.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Just me (semantic distraction) and my devils/angels

I like it when friends/acquaintances post photos on FB to an extent.  When my feed is nothing but their faces or their kids' faces, my patience weakens and I take to emailing my best friend about it (as if she has nothing better to do at work).

What I very much do not like is the comment that is often tagged onto these photos, which is "Just Me."

I'm not entirely sure why this bugs the heck out of me.

I mean, obviously, the photographs are of just themselves so perhaps it is the redundancy of the caption.  Or maybe it is that there is something pleading about it, something like "Look at me.  Tell me I am lovely or that this is an awesome snapshot."  It is like the FB caption version of the Eric Carmen song, "All By Myself," which is whiny and hokey and "just dumb."

Anyway, the point of this is not really the photos at all.  I'm very badly segueing here.

I don't always like myself.  There is much to dislike.  The moodiness.  The anger that ramps up far too quickly for my taste (and everyone else's).  The inability to relax.   The over-sharing. Blergity blerg......

But I have always been moody.  I've always been obsessive.  I've always been a fidgeter who hates to sit still.  I have always wished I was more reserved.

Will I ever stop wallowing in my faults and weaknesses?
Will I ever fully accept that "If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well," (Rilke)
However much fault I may find in these traits, they are the gateway to some of my best qualities.

Maybe if I didn't fidget I wouldn't be as creative or get as much done in a day.
Maybe if I wasn't obsessive, I wouldn't be as thorough or detail-oriented.
Maybe if I was more reserved, I wouldn't write and share my experience (thereby making other people feel more "normal" about their own experiences and feelings).

This is, as it were, "Just Me."
And it drives me as batty at times as those photos through which I scroll.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Support for other mood-disordered mamas

Because I'm still dealing with fallout from my postpartum period, I'm going to participate in Postpartum Progress' Climb Out of the Darkness event.  Click here for more information.