parenting

Raw Parenting

A week ago we had our first parent teacher meeting for the sixth grade school year. I always have a bit of anxiety around these meetings because I’m never sure what I’m going to hear, but I was going in with optimism since the school year had barely started.

Admittedly it did not start off uneventfully as we received email communication from a teacher within the first week about a long-standing issue with his talking in class. We addressed it and started anew. The next week we stopped in for a talk with his advisor who will help him navigate the year and this conversation was also mixed. He’s a good kid, a smart kid, but his emotions run high and he’s often in conflict with a few of his classmates. Deep breath. Start anew.

I’ve written on here about my ups and downs with parenting. He is an amazing kid. Smart and thoughtful. Has a strong sense of right and wrong and fully embraces our faith and treating others the way you want to be treated. He works hard and has shown unwavering dedication on his path for a Black belt in Taekwondo and continues working toward his second degree today. He makes me laugh nearly every day. But sometimes I cry.

He is persistent and argumentative. Strong-willed and extremely literal, which is the root of some of his peer interactions. We’ve seen a therapist for a couple of years to help guide him and us through these trying times. It’s been a roller coaster for sure and while I know we are not alone in these struggles, sometimes I just want to wave a white flag of defeat in the face of it all. I lose my patience. Sometimes I yell. I don’t like this about myself, but there it is.

So you can imagine the conference didn’t go so well because I’m not sure a blog post would be warranted if it had. Overall, we received an overwhelming number of positive comments but one was really hurtful and therefore took precedence above them all. And so like a new wound that covers over, I repeatedly returned to it in the past week to peel back the layers, making it fresh again with each examination. I have tried processing it from every angle to make sense of it. I talked to my husband, a friend and the head of the school. We received a note of apology for how the message was delivered from the teacher.

Now it’s time to move on. The only way I can think of doing that is through faith and prayer.

MC

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Life

Rage

I feel so much rage right now. Honestly, I don’t know where to put it. This is partly because my own #metoo story has been rekindled little by little since last fall and is now in a full-blown blaze of anxiety and hurt. After it happened, I packed it away because I didn’t know what to do about it 32 years ago. The thought of telling anyone – family, friend or trusted adult – was never of consideration. How could I point a finger at a beloved classmate, all-around sportsman, a boy who had suffered a devastating loss in the recent past of that time? I couldn’t do it. I can’t even do it now.

I think about all the brave women sharing their stories and I try to put myself in their shoes. How could I be that brave? Why not at least tell my husband? Does what happened to me really matter anymore? I’ve gotten past it, right? Dates are hazy, although I could pinpoint it easily enough as it happened on prom night of my senior year. I remember the setting (a car) but not where it was parked or why the two of us were alone in his car when we were going with other couples. Did I shun him for the rest of the evening? I honestly cannot remember. The words he said to me and the act itself are seared in my brain like so many others who have been sexually assaulted. He did not rape me so I told myself it was OK. It wasn’t.

The rage I feel right now is not for my attacker (this doesn’t even feel like the right word for what he was). It’s for the Republican Senators and the disgrace we call a President. These angry white men want to place a judge on the Supreme Court who, even if he didn’t do the thing he is accused of, certainly doesn’t have the demeanor or non-partisan temperament for the job. Why do they want to force this man on the highest court for the rest of his life? We don’t want it. We don’t want any of it.

I hope there are enough angry women AND men ready to march to the polls in the next few weeks. We are ready for a tide of change. We need to right the wrongs of 2016 and we need it to happen fast. The “president” continues to show us new lows of civility and decorum with every passing day. That people are still supportive of him is mind-blowing. There is more to life than financial success (if that is the reason for their support of him). I am trying to teach my kid that kindness and decency are the greatest assets we can have in life and I don’t see that reflected back at me from this administration.

I hope they surprise us all and pass over on this Supreme Court candidate.

MC