Enjoying My Little One

I had a 3 day weekend, which was great.  What was even better was how much time I got to spend with Little One.  She is at that moody, sometimes unpredictable teenage girl stage (only moody with Husband and me, of course), so I’m never sure what to expect.  I know she’ll come out of it, but she started two years earlier than Oldest One…does that mean she’ll get out of it sooner?

Friday I went right from work to watch her cheer at first a Varsity girls basketball game, and then at the Varsity boys basketball game.  Fun, but exhausting.  I love to watch her cheer; she completely lights up and you can hear her loud voice over any yelling crowd.  Then we got to eat dinner at 10p at night while watching TV together.  All in all a very good day.

Saturday I took her shopping.  Again, I never know what to expect, but we had a lot of fun together.  She needed some new tops, some yoga pants for cheer practice, and some jeans.  We went to four places, and we stopped for ice cream.  We chatted, we were silly, and we just had a great time being together.  She even called her big sister to tell her how much fun she had.  I love the times when we are just together and bonding, so Saturday was an awesome day.

My Little One is growing way too fast.  I knew she would, but it was easier watching this happen with Oldest One, because Little One was still little.  Now I know this is it, and once she leaves for college my babies aren’t babies anymore.  They will still need Husband and me, and they will still will want to come home, but they are on the path to their lives.  It’s good, because that is what you hope to raise your kids to do, become independent adults.  But it’s staring me in the face, and as I’ve said before, I’m so not ready.  I doubt in three and a half years I’ll be ready.

So I actually try to enjoy the moodiness, the eye rolls, and the impatience with parents who aren’t too bright.  Because it will be gone all too soon, and although it is nice when they realize you do know things, it also means they are away at college and need advice.  I try to embrace her messiness (and she is one incredibly messy kid; I don’t know how she does it!) as much as I embrace her silliness.  I’m just trying to enjoy it all, because by tomorrow I’ll be driving her to college.  Which, again, is a good thing.  But I’m just not going to be ready for this, ever.

Entitlement & Idiots

I read an article yesterday about an 18 year old girl who moved out of her parents’ home into a friend’s home because she didn’t like the rules her parents set, and this girl is now suing her parents to get them to finish paying her private high school tuition, pay her college tuition, and something else monetary.    The lawsuit is being paid for by the friend’s father, who is asking for all of the fees he is paying to be paid back to him by the parents.  The rules she didn’t like were to be respectful, abide by the set curfew, and to maybe rethink the relationship with the boyfriend.  Those evil, nasty parents!

I’d like to think there is more to the story then this girl leaving because of three pretty standard rules.  Oldest One, who is still 17, has a curfew we expect her to keep, and we also expect her to be respectful with everyone.  No boyfriend, so we don’t have that issue, and I can’t say what I would do if she brought home someone who seemed to be bad for her.  But, going by just the few facts presented in the article, what I get is a spoiled, self-centered child who thinks she is an adult being guided by a so-called adult who is an idiot.

Husband and I have been in situations where the parenting is questionable, so we do what we can to help the child and have our home be a safe place.  It would never enter my mind to sue the parent for anything.  If a situation were so unsafe the child needed another place to live we’d be there.  If the parent was just having a hard time, and needed help we’d be there.  It’s easy to place blame on how other parents raise their kids, and us parents are the first to point fingers and whisper, but to go down the road of convincing a child to sue their parents seems way out of line.

An update to the article showed the judge ruled the parents did not have to pay the private school tuition or the fees of the parent paying for this, and put on hold the question of paying for college because he wants to see the family back together.  The parents reportedly have been in tears when talking about the situation.  I know I would be.

We all have our ideas of what a good parent is, and I’d like to think most want to be a good parent and take care of their kids.  I’d also like to think that for most of us helping a child out doesn’t include assisting them to sue their parents.  I feel bad for these parents, and I can’t imagine how awful they feel trying to get through all of this.  One day this girl will probably have her own kids, and as they approach the age of 18 I wonder what her feelings will be on what she put her parents through.

My Little One

Little One often feels like she gets less attention and less stuff then Oldest One.  This year is a big one for her sister, so I understand why she feels that way.  I’m the youngest, and growing up it often felt like I never had any milestones because when I did my brothers always had bigger ones.  I did reassure her that next year, when she is the only child in the house, she will have All of my attention.  Strangely, that didn’t cheer her up.

This week Little One has done things that make me sad at how fast she is growing up.  Not that she won’t do these things again, but as she enters high school, and the world really does revolve around her and she develops tunnel vision, she might not do these things as often.

Over the weekend I had a sinus-type of migraine, and I was taking Benadryl and Sudafed to help.  Saturday afternoon I got very sleepy, and I couldn’t focus on what I was reading on my Kindle, so I decided to snooze off.  I woke up a bit when Little One gently removed my Kindle from my hands and put it on the side table, and then tucked the blanket in around me.  What a sweetie girl!

Tuesday the girls cheer gym was supposed to be evaluated and their routines given feedback.  This required the girls to have full cheer hair.  I really don’t like the way the hair is done this year, because it isn’t that easy to do, and a real nightmare to take out.  Big pouf in front, and the high ponytail in back is curled, teased out with a comb, then hair sprayed into a ball.  There is also the required huge bow in it.  I had curled Little One’s hair the night before, and taken out the curlers in the morning, but Oldest One had to do the pouf (I have no idea how she pulled the hair out of the ponytail) and teasing because I couldn’t get home from work in time to do it.  I warned Husband he might want to leave the house while that was going on, because it generally involves crying and screaming.  Well, the evaluators never showed up, so it was all for nothing.  When Little One got home after 9p that night the first thing she did after dropping all her stuff on the dining room table was to come over and full out lay on top of me (I was in the recliner) so I could hug her and stroke her head.  She had a hard day, and she wanted Mommy.

She called me during her lunch yesterday.  She does this several times a week, sometimes with a real question, sometimes with a made-up question.  I think she just likes that she can call me on her cell phone when she is at lunch.  There is a ton of background noise (a school cafeteria) and often her friends are in the background screaming “Hi”.  It’s actually nice that she is still at an age where she wants to call me just to hear my voice.  I’ll be lucky if that lasts through the end of this year.

So, I may not mention her as much right now as I do Oldest One, but it’s not because I’m ignoring her.  There is just so much going on with Oldest One that Little One kind of gets a bit lost in all of the activities.  But I’m lucky in that she still wants to watch TV with me, read books with me, play board games with me, and best of all, she still likes me to give her a hug and kiss goodnight.  My Little One is an amazing girl, and I am so lucky to be her Mom.

They’re Children

I had a realization this weekend that was big.  At least for me.  And it was a good one that made me realize I am in my own way achieving what Husband and I have been trying to teach the girls.

We all have prejudices whether we want to or not.  It’s part of being human, and often learned from the environment around us as we grow up.  Husband and I don’t want to have prejudices, and try hard not to.  We are trying to teach the girls that it isn’t skin color or religious preference or things along those lines that show who a person is, but their actions and who they are inside.

The girl’s school, though small, is actually very diverse.  There are 5 or 6 different ethnicities represented, maybe more. My girls have friends from all of the groups, and I feel this has been important in forming how they see the world.  When Oldest One was in 5th grade, and in her first year of club cheer I remember driving in the car with her, and she asked me why the cheer gym was mostly white girls.  I was floored that she noticed, and that she cared enough to ask.

I know I have some prejudices, but I really try to take people for who they are.  I grew up in a state with a large Hispanic population, and I’ve always had Hispanic friends.  There is no black and white as far as the immigration issue for me, because it has too many shades of grey.  If I’m going to talk nasty about people, I’m probably calling them a type of bag or female dogs.  But like anyone I have a few triggers, and I know it, but I also know better than to judge a whole group of people based on the actions of just a few.  I don’t like being judged “one of those Jews”, whatever that might mean to the person, only because of my religious affiliation.

My realization came about because Husband and I have recently been in the position to help some kids from the girl’s school who are not Caucasion.  That didn’t enter my mind at all, although I didn’t realize it as it was happening.  What I was thinking was that these are children who need help, and Husband and I can do that.  When I talked to Husband about it later in the context of did the other parents care we were white, he agreed that the important part of this picture is that They Are Children And They Need Help.  Which means that to some extent and in some way, if these kids fit into any prejudices of mine, I broke away from them.  What they are is so less important than Who they are.  I’m worried about them and for them, and want to help them succeed and be safe.  I could care less if they had green skin and blue hair; They are Children and They Need Help.

The world is diverse, and that is a wonderful thing.  I am a part of this diverse world, and I am accepting and embracing it the best I can.  Yes, it is a small part of the world, and probably barely a ripple in the bigger picture.  But the part of me that was worried that I couldn’t carry out what I was trying to teach the girls understands and knows that I can, and that I am able to see past the what to the who, and make the what not matter.  I’m not saying my prejudices are gone, because I know they’ll rear their ugly heads from time to time.  But I know that I am able to see the Who, and that is really what I’ve been striving for the girls to do, and then I found it in myself.