Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why Parenting blogs are like Love - Seriously.

Parenting - it never ends :-)

Recently I've seen Parenting  Blogs mentioned offhandedly in the same way, with the same dismissive "oh, so not cool, so not cerebral enough" fashion that years ago might be reserved for "Peace, Love & Understanding".

Ok, let's reserve peace & understanding for another discussion. There's only so much this father's ineffective little brain can deal with in one go.

Often, I have been as guilty as the next guy of seeing a heart symbol and rolling my eyes & thinking "I love you. You love me. Isn't our love just sweet as can be?" blech.

But those of us who love big know love isn't like that don't we? To some of us the symbol of the heart, (think FLAMING HEART) is actually a symbol of no small import or strength, but rather one invoking recognition of great power, both light and dark. It's not all sunshine and roses, beer and skittles as they say. It's about such heavy duty stuff as compassion, sacrifice, hard emotional work, days and nights of hard fought battles with THE DARK SIDE, as it were.  Think Suzanne Vega's BOUND, or even Z Z Top's BREAK AWAY.  And of course it doesn't have to be about romantic love. Brotherly love or Parental Love can be/is just as big and powerful and full of potential heart break, doom, disaster, fall and hopefully rise as any romantic love, perhaps in many cases more so.

Yeah, yeah, I hear you(or maybe it's me) saying, tell us something we didn't know.

Parenting Blogs are as popular as they are for a good reason. It's BIG-HEAVY-STUFF. Just like Love, part & parcel, as they say, of same. If you're a long time parent you know this, or should, already. But perhaps if you're a non-parent, a new parent, maybe an empty nester now busy with otherwise real life or even are a busy parent who just thinks "Yeah, parenting - just something we do, why talk it to death?" you might not get the why of parenting blogs. Why is because, I think, that for many of us it's THE BIGGEST TRIP WE WILL EVER TAKE. We're filling up bandwidth, eating up disk space and brain space with it cause we're exploring it, trying to make sense of it all, looking for support and giving support, or maybe - just maybe - even just wanting to celebrate it.

All kids have, or are, issues to deal with. Some more than others - differently abled is one current term for some of it.  Take the above mentioned and now square it, upping the difficulty rating and attendant worry,
pride(or self shame), protectiveness, etc., etc., etc. accordingly. The same can be said for other factors - financial hardships, world weirdness, dangerous environments, or just plain head stresses. Yours or the child's.

Did I actually have a point here?  Oh, yeah, I kinda did. It's for myself as much as the collective "you".

The next time you see that cute little pink Heart, or a Parenting Blog mentioned, please, let us all remember, if we might tend to not.  Remember to Recognize & have a  little Respect, a little Pride and simultaneously a little Humility, before the awesome Power of love, and the burden of the Weight of the World, that is Parenting, that is Love.

And now, just for grins, here's Elvis Costello & friends doing a Nick Lowe song.
Yeah, that's Bob's boy Jakob(Dylan) with them.

(What's so funny 'bout) Peace Love & Understanding

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Bath

It's s Sunday evening and Aaron, 6, has just come in from playing across the street at A_____'s  house. It's time for THE BATH. This is always a big deal. He's six. It shouldn't have to be a big deal. It almost always is. We're talking full blown screaming, thrashing, takes two adults to wash his hair kind of big deal. It's bad enough that I sometimes worry that the neighbors might call the cops because they might think we're killing him over here.

Later-After tonight's bath - he shouted(no, screamed) from his room that if he has to take a bath after going to A____'s house, then he doesn't want to go there anymore and he's not her best friend(which he is), he's not going to any one's house, he's just going to stay here all day. I explained to him that whether he went anywhere or not, he still has to have baths.

Did I mention that's he's been diagnosed as mildly autistic (by one bunch, the other bunch isn't sure, I suspect because if they say he is then they have to allot a whole different, greater set of school district assets to him).

I wondering if this is par for this course, or if it's just his own personal weirdness.

Onward through that fog.

Monday, August 2, 2010


We are, most of us, surrounded by technical objects. Eventually they all break down. One of the problems with being poor, borderline in my case, is that when this happens you just have to live with it.

The little remote clicker for my car's locks/alarm quit working. Got a new battery. It didn't help. I can't unlock with the clicker and if I unlock with the key, the alarm goes off. I had to just disconnect the horn. Ho-hum.

The mp3 player on my blackberry has to be re programmed every day before I can use it. I use it a lot working by myself on boats. It helps my rhythm, and also drowns out the constant loud ring in my ears.

Now my laptop will only charge when it's turned off.  This really cuts down on how long I can be on it at a time. In the time it has taken to write this it's used about 10% of it's charge. No long sessions for me.

I should shut down now.

Sometimes being poor really sucks. Having said that, I realize that many, many people would love to be "affluent" enough to have the issues I've described, that "poor" can be a relative term. I guess what I'm struggling with is trying to get over that hump to not being "poor", to being "normal", at least by American standards.