Tuesday, March 17, 2015

No Leprechaun Zone

Ah, St. Patrick's Day. Yet another day when we convince our children there are imaginary creatures  running rampant in their homes and classrooms. Then we instruct the kids to build traps to catch them in, so the creatures can then tell us where the pot of gold is.Via torture? I'm not sure, exactly. I'm unclear on that part. Does the Geneva Convention apply to leprechauns?

While I'm all for the magic of the imagination, I kind of think some of it is getting out of hand. I guess in all actuality, leprechauns are pretty inoffensive. Maybe I'm just more annoyed with the "trap" that my daughter brought home from school. It's made from empty cracker boxes, yogurt cups, tape and a Gatorade bottle. I have a suspicion that it's all just ploy from the school to get the kids to help with their trash removal.

I'm not a fun mom; I didn't leave gold coins or green glitter, or leave tiny leprechaun footprints all over the floor for my kids to find.  Honestly, I have a hard time lying about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny (I know, I know. The magic of childhood.) I know there are a lot of cool parents that do that, and my kids will hear about it at school, and then come home depressed because the leprechauns skipped our house. Then I'll feel bad, and end up making shamrock-shaped pancakes for dinner. (While I'll be having a Guinness float. )

My kids should be used to feeling bad; we have a lot of imaginary creatures that skip our house, and the ones that do visit are kind of cheap. My daughter doesn't understand why her friend's tooth fairy leaves $20 and toys, while she just gets a dollar. My kids also don't understand why we don't have a birthday fairy, and the neighbor does. We don't have an Elf on the Shelf. The cupid doesn't fly by. It's a no leprechaun zone. (But I may or may not have told them I stepped on one this morning.)

It's a boring house. But I am planning on having the kids help me plant some imaginary trees for Arbor Day.

Trees, trees, as far as the eye can see

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Best Friend Bullies

We attended my son's middle school orientation several weeks ago...middle school. He's nervous about it, and I keep telling him how much fun he will have, and how great it will be. I'm totally lying. Because of course it's going to suck. It's the law, the way of the universe. But I didn't think that would be helpful.

Perhaps somewhere out there, there is someone who loved their middle school experience; Yay! Best time of my life! Woo hoo! But I've never met that person. Personally, I don't remember my middle school experiences. I can recall little bits and pieces, faces, and names, but mostly without content. What I do remember is the emotional response it left on me. Stress, anxiety, inferiority, alienation, loneliness...I was convinced that everyone hated me. How could they not? I was a preteen. Everyone hates preteens. They are awkward, and snotty, smelly, gangly, and pimply. And plus, I had a perm. And hairy arms. I didn't stand a chance. 

I worry about bullying, and the social aspect of my son's next few years. I don't think I was bullied, and I could swear that I was never the type of person who would pick on someone else. Then a few days ago, I came across one of my 7th or 8th grade journals. I read a page at random; I had written (in my round, bubbly middle school handwriting, the i's all dotted with hearts) about how my best friend and I convinced our other best friend that we were both moving together, to another city, another school and we'd be leaving her alone. We made her cry. Just because. Just because. We weren't going anywhere. We were just...being mean. And I realized that is what scares me. There is something about being that age that makes so many of us mean, and unsure, and apathetic. Even (or maybe especially) toward our friends, and the people who mean the most to us. While there is the possibility that my son will deal with the stereotypical bullying issues, there is a guarantee that he will deal with the type that comes from his own friends. Sometimes that's the hardest to deal with.

So, to get a head start on the stress I've decided to go ahead and start worrying about it now.

And to my friend from middle school...I'm sorry I was so horrible. I really, truly am. 


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