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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kindergarden

Anyone else remember this taunt?
Kindergarden baby,
Stick your head in gravy,
Wrap it up in bubblegum and send it to the Navy.

My thoughts and feelings have been consumed by all things Kindergarden for the past few days.  Alexis started today.  Rode the bus to school like a big girl and everything.  Not one single tear.

She was just so goddamned BRAVE.  Charles wrote out for her on a piece of paper last night, "Mommy, Daddy, Elizabeth, and Charlie LOVE you!!!" for her to take with her.  I did a version of the kissing hand where I kissed her hand lots and lots so she could have them for when she felt scared.  And despite her begging me yesterday to allow her to take Beary to school, she did not even ask for him as we were walking out the door.

I barely held it together for her.

As I am wont to do, I was able to distract myself with seemingly unimportant details.  I could not find my camera, so all I have for pictures of this morning are on my phone.  That was enough to get me through.  Where the fucking camera is is still driving me nuts.  I used it yesterday to take a picture of Elizabeth (much to her irritation...see post on my compulsive picture-taking...)  A part of me wonders if she hid it from me today...

I cannot believe that she is this big.  I cannot believe that she did so well.  Not that I wanted her to cry...I am not THAT kind of parent.  She just continually amazes me with her ability to overcome her fears.  I truly admire her for that.  She is going to be a force to be reckoned with some day...

No one will be able to taunt her.  That was my fear.  And it is unfounded.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Romance

I recently read about a study that states that most married couples kiss less than once a week and that this kiss lasts less than 5 seconds.  To me, that is crazy.
Now my husband and I are not the most romantic people by any stretch of the imagination.  Our first anniversary was spent buying a new stove or dryer (can't remember which one, that is how memorable it was...) because we had just moved into our house.  We tend to be practical in the extreme.  We generally don't spend money on gifts for Valentine's Day or Sweetest's Day (an American Greetings Holiday here in Ohio, designed to pick up lagging card sales in October for those who aren't familiar with it...) because I generally refuse to participate in a holiday that exploits the very relationships that are supposed to be most important to people all to perpetuate a materialistic ideology that is so pervasive throughout our society today.  (Read:  We're too cheap.)  Hell, on our honeymoon our truck broke down and we ended up having to spend money from the wedding cards to have it towed and repaired.  That was an interesting start to married life...but I digress.

I am disclosing the above to illustrate the fact that while we are very much NOT traditionally romantic people, I simply could not fathom NOT kissing my husband every day.  We kiss at least twice a day.  He kisses me ever morning before he leaves for work (and I debated whether to include this kiss because technically I am not fully functioning and sometimes not even aware of it...though I will say that he does have my full consent to do this).  We also kiss every night before we go to sleep.  That is our minimum for a day, and usually only if we don't see each other all day.  We kiss every time one of us leaves the house.  We will kiss when we pass each other in the living room or kitchen.

Same thing goes for telling each other "I love you".  Every phone call ends this way.  Every morning my husband tells me this (again, debatable if it counts because of my non-conscious state...).  Every night before we fall asleep this is the last thing I hear from him.  And countless times in between.

Some will say that by kissing so often and by saying those three words so often, we are rendering them meaningless.  I would disagree.  Physical affection is important to a marriage.  If I am going to have to have sex with the same person for the rest of my life (though there are those who say you don't have to do this, I am not going there...), you better believe that I am going to have lots of it as well as lots of physical touching.  If I am going to have to be with a man that I will see at both his very best and his very worst, I am damned sure going to affirm every single fucking day that I love him.  It is a reminder for me and for him as much as it is meaningful.

So do we do roses and candlelight and satin sheets?  Nope.  Do we kiss and fuck and laugh and encourage each other a lot more than most people I know?  Yep.  You better believe that I am going to brag about this.  After all that we have gone through together in our short 7 years of being married...from the truck on the honeymoon, to my dad dying, to our son, to me going through school....we survived it.  And if we did this by not being traditionally romantic...I will take it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guilt

School is starting soon.

Alexis will be in Kindergarden this year.  She will likely be the youngest in her class.

I want to say that making the decision to send her was hard, but it was not.  It was a combination of finances (won't have to pay daycare and preschool for her anymore...), her academic progress (which has been GREAT over the past year.  She would be bored in a third year of preschool.), and the advice of her teachers (who I most definitely leave the educating to.  I make a lousy teacher...I subbed for a year and that is a year of my life I will never get back.)

Despite the fact that I am solid on this being the right decision, I feel guilty.  As though I am taking my very very anxious child and throwing her to the wolves (appropriate for a blog called "Sheep Among the Wolves, I guess).  I feel as though I am forcing her to grow up faster than for which she is ready.  I feel as though by sentencing her to be the youngest in her class, I am sentencing her to a life of always playing catch-up.  That she will somehow be even more disadvantaged in life.

I have been feeling this more and more lately.  I even mentioned to some friends how I sometimes feel guilty because we can't afford all kinds of private lessons and whatnot for our kids.  Hell, at this point we can barely afford our bills because my hours have drastically reduced at work.  I always, constantly feel as though I am somehow shortchanging my kids.

It appears to me, though, that a lot of mothers feel this way.  It is damned if you do, damned if you don't.  Put your kids in activities?  You are overscheduling.  Don't put them in?  You are going to turn them into obese couch potatoes who just sit and vegetate in front of video games all day.  Start your child in kindergarden?  You are damning them  to a life of constant catch-up.  Hold them back?  You are giving them an unfair advantage and making them be bored for the next year.

When will it ever be good enough?  When will we ever be able to accept that parents do the best job they can?