7 Quick Takes: Volume 13, the 12th Birthday Edition
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We gave our son a cell phone for his 12th birthday today. He was thrilled, of course. When we were running an errand today, and I ran into a shop with him in the car, I got a text message from him: "Can we go home now?" So we may have some things to learn about responsible use of a phone. But shortly after getting this Holy Grail of tween life, he told me the following:
Mom, now I know that having a phone doesn't make me a better person or really feel better or different. I thought it would because my friends were giving me such a hard time about not having one. But now I know.Man, I love that kid! He is such a thinker and such a talker: I never, ever will have to wonder what he's thinking about. I may, every now and then, daydream about installing a filter between his brain and his mouth. But mostly, I will be grateful that such a device does not exist.
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My beautiful 12 year old has been looking forward to two things for the past several weeks: (1) His birthday and the attendant festivities, including watching a college soccer match live and going on a camping trip with buddies, and (2) playing a momentous soccer game against some players from his former team and stuffing a victory down their throats. Actually, he's not really that ruthless, so I'm embellishing for dramatic effect, but I can say confidently that he has never wanted to win as badly as he wants to win tomorrow's game.
He has been sick for the entire week. High fevers. A killer sore throat. Stuffy head. Wicked cough. He has been really, really sick. He can't eat, because his throat hurts so much, and even his favorite foods have no taste. Fruit loops -- his chosen birthday sugar cereal -- tasted like cardboard this morning.
So we had to cancel his party and the trip to the college match, and he will not be playing in his game tomorrow. Despair, thy name is 12-year old boy. He feels supremely cheated by the Birthday Gods. This is one of those times when pretty much nothing his parents say will help him; he'll just have to suffer through today and tomorrow, itching to be out on the pitch.
Life is not fair. But did it have to be not fair on his birthday?
~ 3 ~
Same kid: He told me today that he has had a recurring dream over the past several years. In the dream, he is trying to lift something that appears very light, but when he tries to lift it, it's really, really heavy. At first, I was flummoxed. My fears were that his dream was telling him lacks confidence to do easy things. I asked him if he is able to lift the things in his dream, even though they are heavy, and the answer was yes. So I started talking, and out came the following: I think that dream is saying that even though something turns out to be hard to do, you are able to do it anyway. Which means you are very strong and very brave, that you are able to do hard things even if at first you think they are going to be easy. Hard things do not stop you.
That's about the time I was thanking the Patron Saint of Thinking On Your Feet. If there isn't one, there really should be.
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We are electing a new governor here in California. I listened with great interest to their debate the other night. My chosen candidate did very well, I thought. That yahoo from the other side was annoying. But both of them get two enthusiastic thumbs down for their response to a question posed to them about immigration. I can't get this out of my head. The question was a two-parter, and I am paraphrasing from memory: First, do you see any positive impact on the state of California as a result of immigration? And second, do you support a path to legal status for those who are currently here illegally? Jerry went first. He completely ignored the first question, and gave predictable answers to the second. Next, Meg completely ignored the first question, and gave predictable opposite answers to the second.
What gives? It can't possibly be that our would-be governors see no benefit from having immigrants here. I can't believe that. Is it then, that they fear alienating those who might disagree with them? And is it remotely possible that a significant number of Californians do not see anything positive about immigrants in our midst? Do these people perhaps not eat any of the bounteous vegetables harvested in this state? Do they see hoards of non-immigrant job seekers lining up to take all those service sector jobs that immigrants take and do with integrity?
I'm curious. And disappointed in my candidate and in that other yahoo for not speaking directly to the question.
~ 5 ~
Having homeschooled for about one month now, I can safely say that there is one thing that homeschooling is not good for: having a tidy home.
If I had a working camera, I could document my dining room table and show you proof that curious minds wreak havoc. Instead, I'll just give you a list: Packaging from a National Geographic Bug Collector and Microscope set; the bug collector and the microscope; dead bugs from the collecting and microscoping fun; a Science View Digging Dirt set; a tupperware full of beads; buttons strewn across the tabletop; glue, some in the bottle, some on the table; scissors; markers, some with caps, some without; a screwdriver; an Anne Bonney action figure doll; a photo album; a thermometer and some fever medicine; a small beach ball; a half-eaten apple; a couple of plates and cups; a broken hair pin; a cardboard box partly covered with glued-down buttons and beads, a castle in the making; and today's mail. Oh, and ants. Because we are once again under attack from the little vermin.
I am living life according The Theory of Loose Parts, apparently, and I didn't even know it!
Thank you Nicole, for giving us the Nat'l Geographic set and the Digging Dirt set. They were warmly and immediately welcomed.
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Recommended reading this week comes from an article in The Huffington Post. It will make you laugh if (1) you are a mother or (2) you love a mother. Your particular brand of politics will not matter. As a little teaser, I'll give you my favorite line from the article: "That's the key to understanding Moms: we simultaneously control everything and nothing."
If you like the article, and you will, you will want to check out the authors' blog: Rants From Mommyland. It has become my surefire comic relief, and I thank my sister for bringing these two great writers and women to my attention.
You can thank me for doing the same.
~ 7 ~
I spent a good bit of this evening sitting at my computer, hands poised above my keyboard, searching my brain for a 7th take. Giving up, I instead joined my husband in clean-up supervision. It didn't go well. It rarely does. After repeatedly directing my erstwhile laborers to pick up the tupperware next to the fireplace, I was dismayed to see it still there. With no small amount of firmness, I sent Lady E's bad self into the living room to get it. I was clear with her that I was displeased.
Remember that ant invasion referenced above? Well, the other day, I placed an ant trap near the fireplace. Spying it on her way back from doing my bidding, Lady E shoved the tupperware at me and said: "I wish you would check in to that ant hotel!"
Thank you, Lady E, for my 7th and final take of the day. Thus closes another week of Motherhood.
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