On parenting and the speed of time…

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I was just speaking with someone who has a six year old.

It brought back memories of those days—long and full of Legos and questions and battles over getting in the bath followed by battles over getting out of the bath. Nights were filled with cuddles and kisses and remembrances of the day, as if the day had been a fairytale set in a long ago time with vibrant characters and morals easily extracted. Having witnessed that innocence so intimately brings me to tears, even now, especially now.

Six years old. That was my younger son’s age when my ex and I split, when we attempted to penetrate his naive determination that things are like this or like that, with an alternate reality, that things are really about to be a whole other way. An inconceivable way.

It’s impossible for me to know if time would have sped up otherwise, but our world spun off its axis and sparked a sort of chaos and warped speed that never slowed. It’s felt like skipping and tripping and sprinting and juggling ever since. Even in my quietest moments I don’t feel I have caught up to the present. It’s better. I’m closer to being in my skin again, like the younger me but with more humility and willingness to cede control.

My kids now tower over me (both more than 6 feet tall) with deep voices and man gestures. I find myself daily saying out loud, “who are you and where did you come from?”

And I think maybe that’s just how parenting goes, no matter how present you are, no matter how conscious of the adage that “time flies so fast,” there is no way to avoid the inevitable moment where you wonder where the time went and how these adult looking people are lumbering through your house, with insatiable appetites and distinct, passionately espoused interests and world views.

I’ll never know how things would have evolved if my marriage hadn’t ended. Life knocks us all on our asses in multiple ways. Perhaps there’s just a limit for how long one can remain in what feels like an intact, manageable existence, to the extent that time doesn’t seem to be running ahead of us.

You tell me? Do you relate? Is this part and parcel to raising kids in general? Specific to divorcees? I can only assume any trauma or upheaval can have such an effect. I’m interested to know how other parents have experienced the passage of time…

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Do you know your child’s best friend is a bad influence?!

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Childhood friends come and go. This is a good thing, as the fickle nature of children ensures that no particular friend will hold sway over our kids for too long. At least that used to be the case. Continue reading

Middle School, Oh how I Hate Thee…

Why am I, a 40 something year old, complaining about middle school? Because experiencing it as a parent of middle schoolers is ALMOST worse than having experienced it as a student myself.

Gee, I wonder why the following strategy is not working – Continue reading

Parenting in Ten Words

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1. Love

2. No Privacy (okay that’s two words but I couldn’t find one word that captures the sentiment)

3. Culpability

4. Fucking Homework (two again…so sue me)

5. Vomit

6. Vulnerability

7. Despair

8. Laughter

9. Worry

10. Growth

BONUS WORD- Exhaustion!!!

UPDATE- How could I have forgotten these whoppers?

Humbling

Expensive

Gross

Funny

Endearing

Food (they actually have to eat 3 meals a day!!! Always. And snacks. WTF?)

Feel free to add to my list. 😉

All you need is love … Bum bum ba da dum

MediaFile_269By now, I’m not supposed to be a romantic. My heart has been broken to the point of what I thought unfixable.

But, I still believe in love.

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Redefining Fatherhood

I had a birth father and I have a step-father. Both of them loved me. Both of them imparted wisdom. Both of them caused me some of grief. Continue reading

The Ten Rules of Divorce Mediation

Depositphotos_55786679_sSo, after the first grueling hour of meeting with a mediator, I learned quite a lot. Now, the question is, will the ex and I follow these rules? Continue reading

Parent Gushing Facebook Translation

In light of the recent flurry of verbose parents’ ranting status updates about their fabulous children on Facebook, here is my translation of the subtext of said posts:

My child is so utterly fantastically superior to most any other child and it must be my uncanny parenting skills that have facilitated such an undeniable fact. Thank goodness, he/she has achieved x, y or z and has a trophy, certificate, report card, beautiful face, exceptional talent or remarkable astuteness (or all of them) to exhibit as indisputable evidence that he/she is a gift to humanity. Actually, thank me for being such an extraordinary parent and being able to produce and rear such high quality offspring. And especially, thank Facebook for enabling me to alert the public to the greatness in their midst so they can be sure to start ass kissing my 2, 5, 9, 12 year old right now before he/she hits the big time. To be more concise, the world would spin off its axis without he/she/us. 

I just wonder sometimes who people are directing their posts to when they gush and brag relentlessly. I know they’re proud. But that takes one sentence to convey, if it needs conveying at all.  Of course I have occasionally, though rarely, been guilty of posting about my terrific children myself – still, I try to at least keep it to one sentence. I don’t think I’m better than the gushers, just get a kick out of pondering how awesomely funny it would be if they just went all out and posted my interpretation of their status updates. I wonder how many “likes” they’d get . 😉

Spare the rod, but don’t spoil the child…

I’m happy to report that my weekend from hell paid off. It was a small victory. My son learned a little about his powers of self-restraint, boundaries and the importance of staying connected in real life and not just electronically. I can’t say he has transformed. No, he had a tantrum last night and woke up a grumpy 10 year old this morning. But, hey, I wasn’t planning on a miracle, I just wanted to imprint on him that I am not a spineless, waffling, sap who will cave in every time. Continue reading

What to do (or not to do) when your son’s been Inhabited by a Minecraft obsessed troll…

You want to make your life exceedingly challenging? Do what I just did. Ban your child from accessing electronics for an entire weekend. Oh yeah, this was necessary. The original offense was playing on his ipad behind my back before his designated time. His original punishment was just “no more electronics for the day,” but the subsequent tantrum (including expletives, door slamming and extreme face contorting) led to a prolonged moratorium.

We parents have to watch what we say when we are punishing our kids. I had plenty of moments of regret over the past few days, starting with 5:30 a.m. yesterday when my son woke me up (my one morning to sleep in) and proceeded to vacillate between whining, stomping and protesting and cuddling, crying and professing contrition. I finally gave up on any hope of going back to sleep when he began pacing back and forth at the foot of my bed and chanting, “I’m on strike, I’m on strike…”

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