I am So. Excited. For. SUMMER! I’ve been neglecting laundry and my email this week, in exchange for road trip planning. Below is what I’ve come up with, and my thought process along the way. Our inspiration was Niagara Falls. (If you’re ever in the mood to sit a room of your family’s own farts,... Read more »
We gave away our dog. Our Sophie.
This post is six years in the making, because this happened in February of 2015. I will never forgive myself for giving away the perfect dog.
My husband reminds me that she wasn't perfect: she had separation anxiety and she would scrape the paint and wood off of the doorways. She'd bark for hours and really piss off the other apartment tenants. Even when we moved to the 'burbs, our neighbors on either side could hear her.
But she did all that because she loved us. Unconditionally. And I didn't return her unconditional love.
I'd get annoyed with her scratching, her barking, her being in the way all the time. After years of turning this over in my mind, I'm realizing that I have a hard time giving unconditional love. If you don't do as the world expects or as I expect, then watch out.
What the world gave me, right before we gave away Sophie, was my second son. The child that knocked me off my parenting pedestal. Nothing about him was or is
As it turns out, though, people frown on you for giving away your children...
We've been doing Family Meeting for over three years now. Just listen to testimonials from a few participants:
Husband: I like that we established it when they're young so that it's normal when they're older. I like that it allows them to give input on our weekend. I like the penguins. I think it gave a logical venue to discuss the race stuff.
9 year old: I kind of like the planning stuff and knowing what we're doing.
6 year old: Well, I don't know if I even think it's fun.
So, what IS Family Meeting...
My husband and I are raising three white, middle class, native English speaking, American boys. They will be the most privileged when they grow up. We talk about how privilege and responsibility go hand in hand; you can't have one without the other.
The question I often ask myself is: "If their voices will be heard the loudest, what do I want them to say?"
Here's what I've been doing with my white boys since George Floyd's death:
To state the obvious, shelter-in-place is wearing on me. I miss my friends. I am done exercising by myself. I yearn for hugs so much that I had a dream about embracing random people.
But every time I want to complain during this pandemic, I remind myself how truly good
my life is.
As I write this, family members of George Floyd are planning a funeral. Not only was his death unjust and unnecessary, but he and his family will be robbed of a "normal" service, due to the coronavirus.
This past month, Ahmaud Arbery's mom did not decorate his home with balloons or plan a Zoom call with family on his birthday. She mourned him. Others honored him by walking or running 2.23 miles.
Friends of ours have lost spouses and parents to COVID and non-COVID related illnesses. None of them have gotten to experience the full grieving process, surrounded by loved ones.
So, yeah: I'll remove my complaint of "boredom" from the pity pile...
"Coping" sounds a little dramatic to me, because I have it better than most. I'm used to my kids being at home, and my husband will now join us- AND keep earning a salary. We live in a house with a yard, so we can escape each other. No one is on any medications or has allergies. We're not in the stage in our lives where we'll be missing out on high school or college memories, weddings, or big travel. I feel very grateful.
But, I'm me, so I also feel much more sane and safe with a PLAN. God bless the moms and teachers out there who are creating and sharing content for our kids. We will all adapt and overcome with this e-learning in place. There are so many good ideas out there, so this post will contain a structure for implementation, plus a few creative ways to connect with people without physically being around them.
Weekday Schedule (explanations at bottom; outside time based on hourly weather)
My husband and I have come to the realization that some days are better than others. We used to get caught up on the bad days, feeling paralyzed in our negativity. And then, when the good days came, we'd feel a weight lift, like everything would always be okay. Inevitably, though, we'd have another bad day, and get down on ourselves...
These kids fight constantly. They're going to be the adult siblings that never speak to each other.
Wow- I can't believe how well they're building that Lego tower together. They're definitely going to vacation together when they're older!
We're having the same argument again. Are we just always going to resent each other?
Oh my gosh- he's making me laugh so hard. Maybe we can get the pre-kids "us" back!
This baby is never going to sleep through the night...
Huh- the baby hasn't woken in the night in forever. This is amazing!
What upset me most about my five year old's behavior in the Christmas pageant? Well...
To preface this, if we all threw our parenting problems in a pile, I would pull out "kid with ADHD"
again. Of all the things, there are way worse challenges that face my fellow parents.
My disappointment yesterday comes from the age-old mantra: "I know your potential. I've seen you accomplish this. I know you can do better. So...why didn't you?"
It's true: I believe that I'm a pessimist at heart. I work hard to be positive, but it IS work for me.
To be fair, I think it's human nature to notice the bad and overlook the good.
Here are six ways this pessimist practices gratitude:
Well, the longest summer ever is drawing to a close (three days to go)! Here's a recap of five summer #momfails,
and what I can improve on next summer...