I’ve noticed lately that many books for children, especially those aimed at 3-6 year-olds, are a little light on creativity and a little heavy on messages. Perhaps it’s time and age, but I don’t remember the authors of yesteryear taking it upon themselves to cram as many life lessons into our bedtime reading as possible. Sure, there were always morals and parallels that could be drawn, but as the reader we were allowed to use our imagination and sensibility to interpret as we might.
We are only two days into summer, and already I can feel my standards slipping. Bedtime has gone out the window, the Monkey has already watched two PG-13 movies that he’s NEVER been allowed to see before, and, most notably, we’ve eaten Oreos for breakfast.
Oreos. For Breakfast.
Now, while I’m lax about a lot of things, I do try to maintain some healthy influence over my children’s eating habits. But something about summer makes poor choices easier to justify. I try to ease my guilty conscience with a little game I like to call “Find the Food Groups”.
Last Sunday brought with it one of my favorite days of the year – Oscar Day! The Academy Awards have long been sacred in my house; the day when I can live vicariously through the glamorous actors and actresses that I admire. There were many years, growing up and into my young adulthood, when I would fantasize that I, svelte and glamorous, would walk the red carpet amongst the famous and fabulous.
In the vast sea of the internet, one can find “authoritative” articles on just about any subject. Who knew how to use mayonnaise to clean your furniture? Are you aware of the 103 warning signals that your spouse is addicted to Dr. Who? Up to speed on the best slow-cooker, gluten-free, pasteurized, kosher macaroni and cheese recipes? I am literally dizzy with all I should know, but don’t, from the internet.
I am writing this on the eve of your sixteenth birthday. I have to admit this milestone has me feeling a little weepy and very sentimental. I promise not to display any hysterical-like emotions within a 50-foot radius of your friends, per our contract. However, here, in the safe confines of the Moms Who Need Wine (your future therapist will thank me for that one), I feel the need to emote.
I recently wrote of my dear high school drama club friends, and the fact that I was in the midst of organizing a reunion, bringing us all back together from points across the country. In truth, there’s a little more to that story. I have a long and challenging relationship with the whole reunion concept. The fact of the matter is that, since high school, I’ve put on some serious weight. Enough to make a significant difference. Plenty. In Starbucks terms, I went from a tall to a venti. So I have spent the better part of the last decade letting the shame of my weight gain dictate my decisions. This means avoiding reunions at all costs. From the big class get-togethers, to invitations for small visits, I declined, double-booked and basically ignored all such requests. I was in hiding. But now, NOW was the time – I mean, I was a reunion organizer and I had a plan!
This month, we are celebrating Kids and the Arts with our sponsor, KRIS Wines. KRIS and Americans for the Arts are teaming up to grant up to $25,000 to Arts Education programs in the U.S. Vote for your school today at facebook.com/kriswines.
When I was first asked to write about the arts in our lives and the lives of our kids, I thought, “This will be a no-brainer”. No one is ever surprised to learn that I have spent most of my life as a “drama geek,” given my flair for the melodramatic, my outlandish outbursts, my delight in a costume party. And there could be no better timing as I am in the midst of planning a reunion of my fellow high school thespians (pause for giggles) this coming November. “Yes,” thought I, “I’ve got this.”
I’ve noticed a dark trend lately. I’ve begun displaying certain behaviors. Quirks, really. Quirks that are strangely familiar. Quirks that bring out distant memories of my youth; memories of annoyance or frustration, or sheer humiliation. Quirks that I once swore I would never engage in. And yet, as if surrounded by some geriatric vortex, I find myself getting sucked in.
Hey there, son. You don’t know me, but you are friends with my daughter at school. And by “friends” I mean she has a crush on you. And apparently you have a little crush on her, because one day, out of the blue, she informed me that the two of you were going “out”.
Better pull up a chair and a juice box, friend. We might be here a while.
Ah, June – the season of graduations. The ceremonial completion of a hard job well done. A pat on the back and the handing off of a piece of paper that says, “Congratulations – we recognize that you now have an accomplished level of knowledge in your field. You are prepared. You can relax a little.” For nearly every job one might hope to get, there is some kind of prep; a degree, a diploma, a week or two of training; for nearly every job except, of course, “PARENTING- THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB YOU’LL EVER HAVE.” We have more training on how to operate our iphones that we do in how to raise an actual human being.