(with apologies to Laura Numeroff)
Every year Dragon Con descends upon Atlanta. This is not a rogue meeting of twelve Dungeons and Dragons dudes. It is a huge, well coordinated event that draws thousands of people to parade down Peachtree in their most outrageous Sci-finery. There are zombie cheerleaders, the ubiquitous storm troopers and steampunks galore. Those people know how to let their freak flags fly!!
Donald Miller, an author from the Northwest, posted a blog the other day about leading through fear. If you haven’t heard of him, run to Amazon (or the library), and grab any of his fabulous writing. His post was focused on leadership of people through fearful situations, but it got me thinking about parenting through fear. Until I became a parent myself, it hadn’t occurred to me that my parents were ever afraid or might not have known what they were doing. They were confident and fearless leaders to the three kids in our family and we slept well knowing we were loved and well taken care of. But that wasn’t the whole story.
When my boys were somewhat innocent pre-middle schoolers, I told them that people use swear words because they were being lazy and couldn’t think of more creative vocabulary. I know, it’s a stretch, but I didn’t want my kids sounding like they were raised by the cast of Jersey Shore. I still flinch at the f word, but most teens don’t seem to think twice about using this particular adjective (or verb as the case may be). Maybe it’s being raised as the *bleep* you, reality tv generation that makes swearing no big deal. Ugh.
There is no research study (yet) but I am pretty convinced after talking to my mom friends that A.D.D. is contagious and I have caught it from my kids. I totally take the blame for their fair skin, love of all things carb and penchant for spontaneous dancing at home, but finally I realize that this family thing is a two way street. I am a planner and a list maker by nature, so multi-tasking is pretty familiar territory. However my attention issues have surfaced over the past few years as the schedules, necessities and chauffeuring duties have piled on. I can often be heard wailing in the mornings, “God never intended me to have to be a brain to more than one person at a time!!” This generally elicits an eye roll from my son and a yawn from the dog.
Has my hair turned completely white? Is my face frozen into a likeness of the mask from Scream? No? Are you sure? Okay, that’s good news because I let my son drive this weekend for an entire 45 minutes….in a large, empty parking lot….at 30 mph. I understand it’s not doing laps at the Atlanta motor speedway, but it was his first time (that I know of) behind the wheel of a car. I had been dreading this moment for years, but after a great week at school for him, I kept my promise and there we were.
I really enjoy cooking and baking and no, they are not the same thing. I love food-how it looks, how it smells and definitely how it tastes. I am not one of those poor souls who only views eating as sustenance. No, it is a purely pleasurable sensory experience and cooking is how I care for people around me. I try and stay away from weird foods like pates or terrines, anything that resembles the consistency of jello really, and make an effort to use fresh ingredients when I can. There is a conundrum in my house however, in that whatever I cook goes woefully unappreciated by my kids.
I stopped into Babies R Us to pick up a shower gift for a teacher I work with. She is adorable and VERY pregnant with her baby, a girl due in about five weeks. It had been a few years since I had been in this store as my youngest nephew is already three (and my own baby is eleven). My first stop was to print off her registry to find something she might like. It was fourteen pages long. Really. Did I mention this was her first baby? I am sure she was thinking, like we all did, that you actually need everything for all possible situations even before the baby is born. New mothers make boy scouts look like unprepared slackers. Our rally cry is “How will I ever live without that???”
The first week of school went by in a blink and we made it through relatively unscathed (see We have a winner folks). By Fridays, I am toast and I look forward to not doing too much of anything as I become one with the couch, but not this particular Friday. After school, I rushed home to let the dog out, get one kid to a doctor’s appointment and make sure my other kiddo was packed and ready for a weekend church retreat with hundreds of middle schoolers (pray for those chaperones !!) and then fulfill my football mom commitment to work concessions for the Friday night varsity game.
Monday was our first day of school, so Sunday night was spent stuffing backpacks with necessities, signing stacks of forms high enough to rival BP’s denials of guilt, and handing out money for lunch accounts. I smiled smugly to myself as I tucked in freshly washed p.e. clothes for my youngest’s middle school gym adventures. Feeling very self-satisfied, I climbed into bed feeling quite optimistic that for once, I had my crap together. Not so much.