18 October 2013

7 Quick Questions

My son told me last night that he has been invited to go Trick or Treating with some friends at school.  I do not know these kids.  And because he attends a charter school for the arts, and not a neighborhood school, his friends live in approximately a 30 mile radius of the school, and we live at the far edge of one side of that radius.  I don't know them, I don't know their families, I don't know their zip codes.  I know nothing.

I responded with the usual: "Who are they?  Where will you be trick or treating?  What time?"  And then gave him the usual noncomittal "We'll see."  My fall back delaying tactic.

A few weeks ago, he asked if he could go with some of his friends to a football game.  Luckily, we had other plans that evening, so I could answer no without having to delve into the whys and why nots.

Also, my daughter, who goes to the same school, has not one but two invitations to slumber parties, again from friends I do not know.

So I've been thinking about my gut level HELL NO responses to all of this, which leads me to the following questions:

  1. Is it a problem that I do not want to let my middle schoolers go to football games, slumber parties, or trick or treating with their new friends?
  2. What am I really afraid of?  Am I really one of those mothers who would rather they never went out into the world and met new people and found themselves in new territory? (yes)
  3. The fact that I don't want them to go: does this mean I am inordinately suspicious about people in general?
  4. Will my suspiciousness towards all of humanity rub off on my children, thereby turning them into paranoid sociopaths?
  5. Will they take care of me in my old age if I never, ever let them go anywhere now?
  6. Do I have enough children that I can "play the odds" and bank on the fact that at least ONE of them will take care of me, regardless of the choices I make right now?
  7. Where is the nearest cloister?  And will they take boys?
Give me back my toddlers, please.  All this fledgling independence is giving me heart palpitations.

Also?  I need more delaying tactics.  They are on to "we'll see."

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17 October 2013

Kid President! Socktober! Down with Selfies!

There is nothing about this video I do not love, love, love.



I think I will be voting for this kid in 20 years.  I hope so.

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14 October 2013

Giving Myself Whiplash

I have teenagers.

So I find myself these days swinging wildly back and forth between being a high-energy, high-impact motivational speaker and being a hard nosed, hard assed, line-in-the-sand maker.

It's very disorienting.

And I think I have whiplash.

I really do think they have been invaded by alien life forms who have set up command and are calling all the shots.  My only question is whether or not I will outlast the occupation.

I hope so.  I really do love these altered-state boys.  But mothering them lately is requiring large doses of dramamine.

Mothers from the other side: tell me how it's going to be with the rabbits someday...


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04 October 2013

03 October 2013

Wherein I Confirm That I Will Never Know What is Going On

I went to Back to School night tonight for my 6th and 8th graders.  Two things occurred to me as I sat and listened to educational philosophies and grading policies and anecdotes about middle schoolers.

First, I realized that I have only a tangential idea of what is going on for my kids each day, and that a few minutes of "speed schooling" at Back To School night wasn't going to change that.

And second, I realized what I'm up against.

Five kids.
Between them, and not counting PE, they have 18 teachers.
Each of those teachers has a blog and/or website (or sometimes both), the purpose of which is to help students and parents keep track of all homework and classwork and test dates and project dates and everything.  So if you're counting, that's:

18 (minimum) blogs and/or websites to keep track of.
4 different powerschool logons.
3 school websites to stay on top of calendars and parent responsibilities.
1 first grade online reading website.
1 high school "Edmodo" site.
Various links each teacher wants my kids or me to "check out."

People, that's a minimum of 27 websites I'm supposed to check.  So, to all 18 of the educational professionals who are charged with teaching the AIRY5 children, please know that when you say "Just check my blog" or "Just check the website," my new response is going to be: "Just shoot me, please."

No wonder I never know what's going on. And maybe it's not my fault that I'm totally lost. Well, aside from the fact that I'm the one who had the five babies.

Good luck, kids.  Because there's not a chance in hell I will be able to keep up with keeping track of all of the websites and blogs that are supposed to help me keep up and keep track.  I feel like pinning a note to each kid's sweater tomorrow that says something like: "This child's parents cannot 'just check' pretty much anything, so do not suggest it."  Or maybe: "This child's parents had far too many children to be expected to check websites."  Or perhaps: "This child's parents are crying uncle.  Check your own damn website and let us know how it goes."

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Come to think of it, maybe that's the way it should be anyway.  Maybe parents are just too involved in checking on all of these things for kids who could and should do it themselves.  Maybe exhaustion and overwhelm are the secret weapon of modern parenting.

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