Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back to School?! How About Back to Summer!

I knew it was coming, but I thought we’d get a little further into July. No, of course not. Last night, I saw the first official Back to School (BTS) sign. It was on our local Best Buy store and I have this feeling that it has been there for a while.

It used to be that students and parents thought about going back to school about a week before the actual event. These days, if you’re buying school supplies in early August, well, suffice it to say that your kid will have the ugliest notebooks and pencil cases in the entire class. Good luck dealing with that meltdown!

I’m all for planning ahead, but for God’s sake, I’m not even tired of watering my flowers yet. I’m not even pissed off at the bee population. And, call the newspaper, I don’t even mind being around my kids. Trust me, by the end of summer, I’m the first one to scream: “Let’s discuss year-round school as a viable option!”

But this is mid-July, people. I haven’t even had my first ice cream cone. (OK, fine, I’m avoiding it because I’m on a diet, but I haven’t even craved my first ice cream cone.) I’m all for small government, but can’t we outlaw talk of BTS until at least August 15th?

Maybe my problem isn’t so much this talk of summer ending. Maybe it’s because I know, that once we let loose the BTS beast, then around the corner will be Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas screaming closely behind. So join me, if you will, in a full-scale denial of all things back to school. Is it worth it? Yes, even if the folders are hideous and the protractors are picked over. Just say no!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Like Getting Blood from a Turnip

It’s no secret that raising teenagers is hard. And it’s not so much that you raise them, but rather that you survive their upbringing. And let me say that in the teen lottery, I’ve done extremely well. I have two amazing kids who rarely look for or get into trouble. For that, I’m eternally grateful. Yet even when you parent great kids, there are some tough times.

Currently, my greatest challenge is information. Regularly, my kids and I play a cat and mouse game of me attempting to get information and them doing their best not to divulge it. My feeling is that I need to know as much as possible. My kids’ opinion is that I’ll get that information on a need-to-know basis and they feel that I need to know as little as possible.

I believe that I’m not prying and any parenting expert will tell you that the best way to insure that your kids are OK is if you find out what they’re doing and with whom they’re doing it. Get to know their friends. Make a point of meeting their friends’ parents. Find out what they’re doing and where they went. Get details.

Ah, what’s that they say? The devil is in the details? Yeah, that right there is my problem. My kids are pretty good at giving me a bit of info about their plans, their friends and their relationships, but the emphasis is definitely on “a bit.”

And so I do what any other mom would do – I dig a bit. I’ve become an expert at asking questions – lots of them. I get creative with my interrogation. I pepper them with innocent little inquiries, usually while they’re doing something else such as eating or watching TV. I lull them into complacency and perhaps sharing a bit more than they intended. Sometimes it works, sometimes, not so much. Yet still, I press on and I’ll continue to do so, likely long past the days when they continue to live with us. Because the only thing more difficult than getting information from your kids is letting go of them.