Saturday, January 17, 2009

I woke up to April!

I never understood why anyone discussed the weather at length but when it's as bizarre as ours, I think it needs to be discussed. It's been like this since I moved to Anchorage in 1980-- but every year I am shocked. Our weather is cold for a bit, then freezing our tails off cold for a bit longer, then it warms up and rains, then snows, then nosedives into cold weather again. It's just not fun. We have green grass sprouting right now, mud puddles in the yard, and it's no fun. You can't send the kids out to play in it because it's not snow boot weather-- snow boots get caked with mud, but rubber boots are too slick. (I'm not discussing, I'm complaining!)

My brain is shorting out on me. Forgive my sentence fragments. I'm doing school work with Calamity Jane singing and trying to play Honkey Tonk Angels on her guitar (she's not good yet) and Mudd banging on a drum and singing Twinkle Twinkle. Calamity is funny because she knows nothing small. No Home on the Range for this kid, she goes for imitating Dolly Parton and k.d. lang and the finest. . . oddly this is what her mother listens to! Starshine likes to clap to the music, and she actually keeps time pretty well. Mudd? He deliberately gets out of sync. He's funny, too.

Peaches is gone. She can't handle high school. She signed herself out the other day-- she is 18 and can do this. She has all the credits that she needs to graduate. My husband wants her to stick around, but she is being obnoxious and texting me at midnight saying that she won't be home. I don't know what she has here now. She wanted to take me out for coffee, but I am afraid I will say something hurtful. After she accused me of only wanting her around for her dad's money, I don't know what boundaries she has or what consideration she feels up to showing. Don't get mad-- just love them. I dealt with worse on internships.

Now we are in the next phase of parenting. Cloud is going into her high school soon, and Guy is entering middle school. The next 5 years will be about getting the younger set up and ready to launch as well as getting the tiny babies into reading and being active. We have an insane sporting season coming up and I am tying up my classes.

I am at a loss on what to do sans child support, but my husband says we'll make it. I can't work-- they get sick and need someone home with them. Child support is an issue, but it wasn't why I wanted my daughter home. She says she wants to make her own mistakes-- on that one, you just back off. "Ok, make'm."

At my Facebook, I have encountered the kids who lived on my street who I grew up with. They were my brother's friends, but they'd come home and I'd already be there and I'd be baking cookies or brownies. They are very, very successful and I felt silly telling them about what I am up to, but they razzed me and are more interested in my work with a volunteer radio station. They remember me stuttering and getting into speech and debate.

I was apparently in indirect Cupid for a marriage! It was funny as my parents were selling their house and at this point I was 21 or so and back home post divorce. A very articulate woman called and asked about the house and we connected over the phone—I really liked her and she liked me, too. Right before she came over, a smarmy guy called and asked if we’d be willing to sell to “Japs.” I was ticked because of his term and asked if he was trying to get me into legal trouble because it was illegal to discriminate, then I started talking really fast at him, using my words like stones and hopefully maimed him for a week! He was calling from some place in Vegas and was just smarmy. She showed up right after that and I was still FUMING. I told her why. She happened to be Black and I was like, “You are human! If the money is green, you qualify.”

She kissed my cheek and said, “This is the house I want to buy. Bring me the papers.” I told her that she had to see the flaws by law and besides, my dad would kill me if I let her sign without knowing so she followed me around and signed a promise to buy right there. She was looking at the paperwork while I canceled other appointments for that afternoon.

I called a friend who said, “Her husband is White. She’s faced discrimination.” I told my friend she was full of it (she was White and married to a Black man and EVERYTHING was a racial issue to her) and she said, “You were set up by the phone call—she wanted to see if you were friendly and you passed the test with an A+.”

Sure enough, that night she signed the actual papers and said, “I want you to see my family!” and showed us a photograph. I started laughing and told her what my friend had said. Well, she had faced discrimination. My ‘hood was all white, upper class, and they are upper class—but neighbors would make some snide remarks to my father later. Well, their daughter married my brother's best friend who lived next door! She is beautiful-- and this guy is so laid back and nice.

One of the other friends who contacted me was into economics and now teaches. His brother is a lawyer, another friend lives nearby and instead of balking when I teased him that I'd dump my kids at his place, he said he'd coach them! These are people who I used to ride bikes with late into the night and watch them play basketball (my eye-hand coordination is nonexistent due to my vision) and they played sports with my baby brother. The brothers gave me a clock for my first wedding. The clock is long gone but I have replaced it and it is still "the clock that ___ and ___ gave me." I have thought of them all often in the past 15 years, but that clock made me think of those two in particular a lot.

The other day I received a note from a prof whose class I'd highlighted in my paper. She'd prayed for 10 students-- she got 18 signed up for her class, thanks to my help. She is a really wonderful person and she is very gifted-- I'm very happy that so many took the class!

I went with my church to the prison this past week. I'd been thinking of one of our ladies from Kairos and a lady knew her and let me know that she is in The Hole-- solitary confinement. They are put into a room alone with just a Bible.How the Hell does anyone read a Bible? Without understanding it is impossible and just words. She deserves to be there, but how they do the solitary confinement doesn't help the person out. Who decides how long they be there? They don't have any set guidelines as far as anyone knows-- it creates a psychological mess for the person.

I feel like a catalyst-- I don't know how long I will stay with my church group. Too many of us makes us too eager to talk to offenders. At the same time, if I am on a rotation I can't commit because I have other things to do. Still, I get with things, connect situations like getting my church into the prison, and then seem to need to move on.


Ropi said...

Hmm, well, American parents are so liberal. If I did what Peaches had done, I wouldn't have been thankful what I got from my parents in return. I think I can say it on the behalf of most of the Hungarian kids (except snobs because they let themselves way too much without "compensation").

Well, I didn't realise anything strange in your sentences so it is OK. I can't see why my teachers don't accept my simple style after so many years.

Palm Springs Savant said...

parenting is a journey, never one easy answer or clear solution while you are doing it. What is true, is that things always have a way or working out somehow. You'll be just fine! Keep on smiling.

Oh and I admire you for the church group...I just don't have the time for it

Tea N. Crumpet said...

Things will work out-- she is an amazing person and in a couple of years, everything will be all right.

Rick, you are an officer who goes to the fundraisers that groups like mine do-- for now I am doing the front-line grunt work. That you speak of charities at your site with the same enthusiasm that you do of the star-studded events speaks volumes of your good breeding and heart of gold. You are, I think, a citizen king and you are deserving of the good things that happen in your life! It's really enough that you care.