Marathon Runner, Wooden Boat Enthusiast, and my best friend and lover for the past 30 years. Happy Birthday Babe!
This week I opened a bank account with my daughter. We got her a checking account with a card. We signed a dozen documents, her and I. 50 years ago that would not have been possible. In 1970 a woman needed a man’s signature, husband or father, to legally get a credit card. We also saw the movie about Justice Ginsburg, “On the Basis of Sex”. This movie highlighted what life was like under these laws that existed in my lifetime, for my mother, not so long ago.
Me: “The 1000’s of laws that existed that discriminated against women based on their sex were supposedly to protect them.”
Sophie: “Protect them from what?”
Me: “How did it feel to open up that bank account, to get that card?”
Sophie: “Like an adult . . . I had control . . . power.”
Me: “Laws supposedly to protect women portrayed women as weaker, in need of protection. If women were weaker and men stronger, who would continue to hold that power and who would be denied that power?”
Sophie: ” I get it.”
Yes my love, you’ve got it now, and don’t you ever give it up!
Trying to keep myself honest, and looking back over the statement I made in 2017 to see if I am keeping promises my first year in office.
So amazing to have Sam home for the break. He is in NYC with his Dad this weekend to run a 1/2 marathon, then home overnight, and back to school. So beautiful, my beautiful boy. Always a blessing to have him, happy and proud to see him off into the world but a little sadness each time to watch him go.
But the lack of change is stagnation and that is worse, it is certain death.
There are some changes on the horizon in the life of our family and in Sam’s life at Hampshire. But I’ll take a chance on change, and with it hope. Especially since fighting the change would be futile.
I have a temper, butI have gotten better in recent years I believe. Menopause has sort of ramped it up again I think. Though it’s not really fair to blame it on that. I yelled at my daughter this morning, and I just can’t get it out of my head. All the parenting advice, yelling at your kids harms them emotionally by undermining their sense of self and self esteem. I’ve read all the articles, some of them in professional journals that I subscribe to. I am a child and family counselor with a social work degree. It makes me feel like crap, and it doesn’t help the situation (this time the situation is getting out in the morning), and it makes my child feel like crap. That being said, yelling will happen. In every relationship it’s bound to happen at some point. I think it’s an unrealistic goal to try and stop completely. I recall recently my oldest child was upset and yelling, and I was about to react, then he clarified. “Not you, this is not about you. It’s about . . . “. I held back, let him work it out, then we talked (still not ok to misdirect his yelling at me but we talked). If I could be more specific about what frustrates me, allow myself to be frustrated or angry, and yet articulate about what is making me feel that, it might put the brakes on the situation and tame the beast known as angry Mom. She’s not around too often, but I really work to keep her visits infrequent and short. (Like any other unwanted household guest.)
After doing it for over a year I’m still not entirely certain, and from what I’ve read that’s not the usual way to go about things. But I hate following rules and I’m not usual. I don’t want to rant, judge, preach or preen. As silly as it sounds I just want to share, laugh, maybe connect. That being said the latest share is a laugh. My college age son, when asked, reflected on something that I had done for him when he was in High School. He said it was very helpful at the time. HELLLOOOO ! Need the 411 FYI ! Feel free to tell me when I actually did something right as a parent. My son, “What?” Me, “Parenting is like driving a semi down the interstate blindfolded. I’m going on instinct and trying not to hit an old lady or a bus. I don’t know I’ve done it right, until I take off the blindfold and I’m not in jail or the hospital.”
I’ve been doing this blog over a year and it is a real learning experience. For the first time I looked at other blogs, I mean really looked. Especially at ones that are like mine. About family, about life, about fun. Trying to be a good person and do cool stuff. HELLOOOOO! One, there are a lot of people doing cool stuff out there, and kudos to you, rock on! Two, I am impressed but not really shocked by the number of people who start blogs about being a parent and life and whatnot and there are 1 or 2 posts, then nada. It is HARD! No time! But it’s for me, and maybe some other parent who needs it, wants it, gets it or any combination of that. Alright parent people, and all the villagers who support your parent people, let’s do this. New Year and I’m here for life, family and fun.
Sam came back for the Holidays, as you can see in the picture from “Amazing Holidays” post. He survived the first semester, got some great evaluations and then waiting for some others still. He said the best part was finding people and making friends. Super cool having him home. He is training with Andy and they will do a half marathon in NYC in a week and then Sam will take the bus back to school. No wait! I mean ok, but . . Dang it! Happy he is returning and doing well, but will of course miss him. I swear we have not laughed as hard, he just makes us all laugh so hard. He’s super pumped to get back to school, got a class with one of the professors he really wants to work with. GO SAM GO!
Sophie and I are learning French, so cool, only a few weeks now. We planned a trip to Belgium for this summer then backed off that when we calculated coasts 🙂 But we will save, do some real planning and pick another good time. Meanwhile we have joined the Alliance Francaise in Philadelphia. We will be able to take intensive classes there this summer, and they have offices all over the world. That way when we do go to Belgium we can connect with the office there. Baby steps! Meanwhile Soph continues to do well in Spanish also and is contemplating a service learning experience between maybe Sophomore and Junior year in a Spanish speaking country 😉