We had a big storm last Thursday, and a bunch of cities around and including ours had severe flooding. I hadn’t realized just HOW LONG it has been since we had some good rain until Max asked me, as we drove, what the noise he was hearing was — the sound of rain on the car’s roof. He asked again when he heard it on his umbrella. In three of his four years, our winters have been dry enough that he honestly wasn’t used to the sound of rain hitting surfaces around him.
One of my favorite childhood memories is of California’s rainy winters, spent inside and warm. When Caroline and I were young, we would empty the floors of our closets and set up little hidey holes inside, with pillows and blankets, and hide in there reading and listening to the radio. I also used to spend much of my winter vacations sitting in front of the fireplace and Christmas tree, reading and lounging around. I look forward to Katie and Max being able to read themselves, so they can do the same (Katie is on the cusp!). It also motivates me to clear out some of the kid cruft in our house (like, hey, diaper table in Max’s room) so we have a warm reading nook. :)
1: BrightRoll was just acquired by Yahoo, so I’ve been acquired twice now. One of the VPs who was part of the acquisition of Danger by Microsoft is a SVP at Yahoo… so I guess he’s following me around? :D
2: Katie got her first report card! It was not anything unexpected, and her teacher has really connected with her, which I feel fortunate about. The best part of the feedback was that she’s apparently a very good integrator, so she understands concepts and then explains them to kids in her class who are having a hard time with them using real-world examples. I like the idea that she’s helping other kids learn.
3: My children are ridiculously old. It’s funny that I can still remember when 6 and 4 seemed impossibly far away for either of them, and now they’re well on their way out of those ages. Relatedly: I got rid of all of my cloth diapers and I’m okay with that.
4: The kids seem to think that our money is communal. Katie said taking coins from the change pineapple (not a jar, but a pineapple) to put into her own piggy bank isn’t “stealing” because “it’s the family’s money”, and Max has told me to get “lots of jobs” so they can buy as many presents as they want for themselves.
5: Working with the kids on holiday stuff is so much easier now that they’re older. Decorating for both Halloween and Christmas has been much more communal, but it also means that I can see that the kids need to work on their boundaries (not touching all the ornaments but instead waiting for me to give them ones that won’t break) as much as I need to work on my patience (I literally can only decorate the tree with them in 20 minute intervals before I am so agitated from the near-misses that I’m going to explode). Their independence working on projects (mainly for Katie) means that things like building gingerbread houses goes much more smoothly than it has in the past, and the result is more of their own work vs. something we mostly did for them.
Otherwise, I really like my job, and my family and husband, and am generally smiley! WOO!
Last week, Katie came home with holes in her leggings. I asked her what had happened, and she told me she used scissors to cut holes in them, to show people she “had lived a dangerous life.”
I know that there are important times as a parent when your kid comes to you with ridiculously childlike, adorable comments, and you want to be moved to laughter, but you realize that your 6-year-old is deadly serious and that you have to NOT choose this as the moment that you teach them that their upper/middle-class life in a suburb is decidedly not dangerous. So, I did the responsible mom move and choked down my snort as I told her that I understood that she wanted to go for a new look. She looked at me, deadly serious, and said, “Mommy, we have to go and get me dangerous clothes. This weekend. This is not a choice. We have to.”
Things that I learned in the last week that “tough girls” do:
– they don’t care whether or not their clothes are pretty, they just wear what they want
– they wear dark colors
Originally, I decided to take Katie to Hot Topic because I read her desire as a cross between goth and punk. However, Hot Topic has turned almost entirely over to character clothing, and while I literally teared up that she immediately honed in on Sailor Moon (one of Jenna and my favorites from college), while Max whimpered into my leg that the Walking Dead bobble heads were scary, nothing they had was the right size. So, I took her to Justice for the very first time… remembering that moment when I first saw the store from across the way, at The Children’s Place, and never imagined my wee babe would be old enough to shop there.
Katie immediately honed in on a mannequin wearing distressed, paint-splattered jeans. They were cute, I have to say, but I believe this would qualify as the very first time that: a) we tried something on in a dressing room for a reason other than “for giggles” (we had to see if they actually fit), and b) I have bought my kid something marketed as “premium denim.” Then, she picked out this army jacket that was the couture version of the (real) army jacket I wore like religion in high school. MY KID HAS HIT MY HIGH SCHOOL STYLE AT 6. No lie, I teared up right there in the store.
Eventually we did hit The Children’s Place, where she also bought camouflage leggings, black studded leggings, a vinyl black laser-cut skirt, two black sweaters (one with jewel buttons and one with “Love” in multicolored embroidery), and a black shirt with a Santa skull from the boys’ section (where I had to explain to her that buying from a certain section of the store doesn’t make you look like the gender that side is marketed to).
Since then, she has also asked me to paint her nails black (although she asked for shiny), and described herself as “goth”, which I am sure she got from hearing me try to describe her style to a sales associate. Based on the fact that she still has epic tantrums, I think she’s far punkier than goth. :D
Max: “If you give me tees, I’ll give you a hundred dollars.”
Me: “Honey, I don’t want you to give me your money.”
Max: “I won’t give you my money, I’ll get it by doing a lot of jobs.”
When I was talking to a person I’ve known for upwards of 20 years last month, I said something to him about how it must be odd to know someone as long as we’ve known each other and see that person go through so many rites of passage — college, marriage, kids. I made a comment about how the longer I’m alive, the more I understand a lot of context around the adults of my youth that I didn’t have back then, and how much more I respect the elder people around me (although to be fair, I’ve always thought that the older generations were pretty fantastic).
I feel essentially the same in my mid/late-30s that I felt in my early 20s. There is a sadness, though, and an appreciation, that I didn’t have before… that I can link directly to the number of sad or tragic things that have happened to/around me since I’ve aged. (I guess I could also correlate it with the happy things that have happened, as well…) And let me be totally clear — I have not had an abnormal amount of things happen around me on either side of the coin, I’m pretty much a statistical average on either side. The longer we’re alive, the more we, all of us, experience these crushingly sad things. I keep expecting that something magical will happen to make me into the person that I’ve always assumed that older people are, when the real realization is that older people ALSO feel this way — that myth of adulthood is really totally a myth. It makes me wonder how everyone who is older than I am is managing to stay upright under the weight of their (totally normal, average, but cumulative) pasts.
I should have titled this post, “Oh hey, look, another session of online navel gazing from someone who should know better.” Essentially, here’s the major shit I’ve learned in my life.
1: There’s no point in being alive. I don’t mean that in any depressing way; I just mean that we’re just a happy accident of evolution. Let’s use our intellect to not be a bunch of assholes and instead attempt to leave everything better than it was when we got here.
2: Love everyone you can while you have a chance, because people are amazing (see #1), but they’re fleeting.
3: #1 and #2 are NOT EASY THINGS.
I finally decided to get hearing aids for my tinnitus and they are making me 300% less of an asshole at the end of the day, since I am less aware of the ongoing assault on my brain by three goddamn tones of awful in increasing intensity as the day goes on. That sentence needs help, but there it is.
However, these are not my final pair, and going through the process of getting the right ones is starting to be as irritating as the tinnitus. The place ordered top-of-the-line aids (these things are expensive as hell, good lord) and it only took one day of wearing them to know that like my audiologist found, I have better-than-normal hearing accompanied with frequency-specific hypersensitive hearing and thus I do NOT NEED AMPLIFICATION. So.
10/16: Get new aids that are way too fancy (Resound Verso 7). Decide to try one program with low amplification just in case, and then masking programs on the other channels.
10/21: Tell him about my experience and find out that the guy didn’t mute them when he added the masking in, which explains why every time my kids came near me I almost slapped them because they were making me deaf. Teach the guy how to mute the mics, tell him I want to downgrade.
10/28: Add new programs and talk about how I need to downgrade. I give him some models to look at, he says he’ll order the Resound 5s and some Widex with Zen programming.
11/6: Find out that he couldn’t get 5s with masking and that Zens were way too expensive, and he didn’t look at any other brands. We look up online together and find that the issue is that he is trying to stick with RIC when I am fine with mini BTE. Sigh internally.
11/13: Hopefully this process will be over?
Honestly, though, they are helping a lot, and they are very unobtrusive. The only downside is that by the end of the day I have to use louder masks, which means that I can’t hear my kids as well when they whine/cry from their rooms, so Brandon has to tell me. (Is that bad? Or a bonus?)
Alison: young lady in an old lady’s body.