Sunday, March 06, 2011

I have the most wonderful child-- unless she is up to something. . .

With Esme's daughter in crises mode and quite scared about a pregnancy that no one is really worried about having happened, my own daughter has asked me about homeschooling next year so she can spend time doing what really matters to her. She doesn't want me teaching her anything, she has in fact looked online and wants to do a combination of math and science at her local school, and German, history, English, and whatever else she needs to do from home. She can use my help for German, but she says that she has been noting in class how much time is spent learning and actually doing anything and she said that she could get her day done in 2.5 hours if she was doing it alone, and then have more time to study what she wants. One of the things? She asked me to get with the mother's group at her church to find out about religious classes.

She is solidifying with the Catholic faith and told us this evening that she is hence forth crossing herself as a Catholic. Eastern Orthodox shouldn't mind, but they do, but I don't mind and I will lock pointy hats with any priest who wants to make an issue of it.

I played Devil's Advocate with her, and asked about abuses in the church. "Mom, I had nothing to do with those, and you are making a point with your ideas for abuse prevention. Besides, all I can do is to help prevent them from ever happening." She wants to learn more and I have to admit that I am happy for this. There are a few cradle Catholics who are her age who are baffled by her love for a faith they feel has been thrust upon them. (Of course Orthodox are stricter, so she probably feels like a rebel. Her godmother is Catholic and is really excited-- of course she has probably been behind this the whole time, praying for her conversion! There is a lovely church a town over that Esme loves that is a huge cathedral and she is planning her eventual wedding there!)

I know that with time that she will grow closer and then step back, then get closer still. For now I am enjoying her joy with it. This evening she asked what projects I will be doing with the kids for Lent. I was dumbfounded and she asked me, "How will you ever give us warm childhood memories of these holidays if you don't get it right and do them now?" I have always wanted to, but life has been swirling around us. I stammered out that we'll be making a salt dough Crown of Thorns and stick toothpicks in it and every time we do a good deed, we will break one off and throw it away? She liked that and suggested we put it on our Eastern Orthodox Pascha table at my husband's church.

My husband has sweetly agreed to let us do some events at the Catholic church over Lent-- his church isn't doing much as they don't have a priest.

Cloud proceeded to explain to her brothers and sisters what it means to give something up for Lent, and to take on a good new habit. She shouldn't have shared what she wanted to give up because Basil quickly goaded her and got her mad enough to yell at him, and he smirked. I made him put his nose on the wall and he was not that worried about his punishment and said he thought that I should perhaps give up punishing him for Lent!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Little curve balls in life

No sooner had my daughter and I completed our mandatory, pointless class with the Catholic church on relationships and abuse (that turned into a cheesy lecture on not having intimate relations) and I wrote a rant, than my friend, Esme (not her real name, but you knew that) called me up. Her 14 year old daughter was getting really, really close. And she was getting stalked by a boy who she had turned down.

Esme was not hysterical, she had also been at the class at the church in the next town over. The class did not spur the discussion, but rather, her boyfriend getting death threats scared her daughter into sharing. Her daughter is in no way a floozy-- but Esme would be a ding-a-ling to leave her alone with a boy at this point. (I offered to state that my son, Mudd, is to be her paid companion and to join them on dates and she is really considering it. Hey! Mudd is a fun kid!) Esme handled it with humor and has not slept since. Of course she told her husband-- couples don't keep secrets like that from one another. (He, having been sick, took to his bed and to the Wii. For four days. Wii basketball-- the best thing for an ailing person. He decided to make Esme handle it alone and he'd work with what she shared with possibly doing and then he will either agree or not. Esme's daughter swears her father will "want to kill" her, but he didn't when he found out. He was surprised that it was happening 2 years before he had expected it.)

The threats came via her text messaging. I went with her to the police. At first they didn't want to take it, but I have a degree in human services and since I am a mandated reporter, I pointed out that the suicide threats were something that had to be acted on immediately. It sounds like the kids' parents were relieved-- apparently he was already in the system for infractions of which were not elaborated on and they had numbers. His parents were called while we were there, and within the next week, the kid was sent to a residential facility for observation.

The Catholic church was not interested in my views on fixing the problem with the classes being so bad. Basically, they ignored me. I told the moderator of the class why I thought it was cheesy and not enough, and explained that I knew she knew of patterns of abuse and that sharing these with the teens would be another voice when the voices of the parents were being drowned out. Parents who found her class informative probably had their heads in the sand and wouldn't talk to their kids about abuse because they would not think it could happen. No comment from her, or the two people at the church to whom I spoke. I was disappointed, but not surprised. I later had breakfast with a group of moms who feel as I do and I may see about working something through a parent's club at one of the schools. (My party will be cooler!)

As for Esme's daughter, Esme has decided that 16 is the youngest she can be to date. The young man is a sweetheart and I even met him. It's not that he is bad by any means. Does a 16 year old have a better understanding than an almost 15 year old on why it is better to hold off on intimacy? (Does a 25 year old understand it any better?) She asked me about symptoms of pregnancies and I knew that she would be psychologically bringing them on in her worries. I told her of nerve pain shooting up the leg from the right big toe, mental alertness, and a desire to clean her area, be it her room or the entire house. Esme called to report that her daughter indeed is acting as I had spoken. (I am so going to hell for this. LOL) I do not think that she wants to be pregnant, but like many women, the posibility of a pregnancy is the posibility of potential and the sweet girl has names picked out!

I brought Esme some chocolate and tea and we knitted for a bit. She is still confused, but at least she has chocolate and yarn.