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Archive for October, 2007

Boo.

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I am still slammed with this office move.  Not only am I dog tired, I’m cat tired, too. 

— Mox

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Woof.

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I is tired. 

— Mox

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This week is Red Ribbon week at school, meaning there is a lot of talk going on about drugs, both in the classroom and at home.  And a six-year-old’s brain processes stuff at its’ own pace, ruminating and digesting information until the questions start coming like so many bolts out of the blue. 

“Mom?  Is alcohol a drug?” 

Oh, man.  At 7:30 in the morning, while I’m trying to get the both of us out the door?  I’ve got to get into this now?  Now? 

Stall. 

“What do you mean, honey?” 

“We’re talking about drugs at school.  Is alcohol a drug?  You and Dad drink alcohol.” 

Hm… thinking fast.  Because technically…..

“Well, alcohol is a little different.” 

“Different?  How?” 

“Well, alcohol is something that the law says it’s okay to have and drink, as long as you are over 21 years old.”  (Never mind the fact that I started at 19.  Let’s not get into that now.  Plenty of angsty teen years coming up to tackle that.) 

“21?  And 22?  And 23?  And 24?” 

“Yes, 21 and older.” 

This seems to satisfy Spawn for the moment.  I hustle both of us out into the rain, into the car.  But I feel like the conversation isn’t finished.  I need to talk about this, make a distinction between alcohol and “drugs.” 

Because I feel a little guilty. 

Because a six-year-old’s mind is a pretty simple machine:  Drugs are bad.  Alcohol is a drug.  My parents drink alcohol.  Does that mean they’re bad? 

Because I want to assure Spawn that Mom and Dad are not bad.  We are not bad.  We are responsible adults who don’t drink to excess.  And I need to make the distinction that alcohol is legal and okay, where other things, like pot, are not. 

Because Spawn’s “bubby,” my best friend’s oldest son, who Spawn adores, is a pothead. 

Here’s a challenge for you:  take what it is you believe and try to put it into language that is simple enough for a six-year-old to understand.  When you reduce your rationale like that, where you can’t hide behind big words and complicated logical arguments, it’s a lot harder than you think it will be.  Six-year-olds function best when what they are presented is in terms of black-and-white. 

So we’re in the car, slogging down the wet streets toward school.  I’ve got five minutes. 

“So, let’s talk about this drug thing.  Do you know what kind of drugs there are?” 

“No.  Like what?” 

“Well, there’s pot, which is also called marijuana.” 

“That’s bad.” 

“Yes, it’s against the law to have that.”  (In my mind I want to jump all over Bubby for being a pothead, but this conversation isn’t the place for that.  Spawn already knows that Bubby is doing bad things, things that are against the law.  No sense muddying the waters.)  “There are other drugs too.  Heroin, cocaine, crack, meth.” 

“Those are bad for your body.” 

“Right.  They are against the law to have, and they are not healthy.  They hurt your body.” 

I’m really trying to distance myself from the alcohol thing at this point.  Because God knows, I’m a legal adult who has never smoked pot a day in her life.  Believe that?  It’s true.  The closest I’ve ever gotten is inhaling the air at a REO Speedwagon concert.  But I do enjoy my adult beverages, and I am trying to set an example of what it is to be responsible when it comes to alcohol. 

And yet I still feel a little bit like I’m on trial here. 

But at this point we’re at school, so the conversation is over for the time being. 

I kiss Spawn and the kid jumps out and heads into school, and I hope that I have done and said the right things.  I hope I have eased the kid’s mind.  I hope I have rationalized my actions in the right way. 

I feel guilty for my rationalization.  I wish things could be black and white. 

It feels like I’ve just taken a massive parenting test, one that counts for 50% of my grade.  I hope I haven’t screwed up. 

— Mox

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Somewhere…

It’s been cold as hell here and raining for the past two days, but this was my reward yesterday: 

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Just gorgeous.  Now, if it were only about 80 degrees here, it would be perfect. 

— Mox

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Purging

My office is in the midst of a big move right now, and I have ripped the top off the time capsule that is otherwise known as my office.  There should be no logical reason for me to keep paperwork for ten years, right? 

Posting will be by necessity light, as I cannot wrap my mind around anything else except boxes and trash cans and heave-ho-ing a lot of really useless crap. 

I expect to feel about ten pounds lighter when this is all over. 

— Mox

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I have given birth to a creature that likes to be up early.  Obviously this is a case of genetics, since my husband is also something of a lark while I would prefer to laze about in bed until oh, noon. 

The thing I really hate the most about fall and winter is the getting up in the dark.  It’s unnatural to force my eyes open before the sun comes up.  Loud noises, such as those that come from the mouths of those who are up and at ’em, hurt my ears.  And consequently I am not a pleasant person to be around early in the morning.  Give me 30 minutes or so to come to, to deal, and I’m a lot nicer to be around. 

But Spawn is just so damn cute first thing in the morning, with the bedhead and the snuggliness.  I don’t mind that too much.  It’s when the kid gets up and is raring to go and asking me five million questions at six a.m. that I start to lose my shit a little. 

Most mornings I don’t have to bother with waking the kid.  Usually Spawn is up and moving under personal steam far better than I ever do.  It makes getting ready for school and work SO much easier. 

But there are the rare mornings, like this morning, where I have to actually go and rouse the kid from slumber, and it is during those times I see glimpses of myself.  The growling, the retreating under the covers, the whining.  All me.  And I can’t help but smile a bit because I get a little bit of perverse pleasure out of being the waker instead of the wakee. 

I’ll take my victories, however tiny, however weak, wherever I can get them. 

— Mox

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Man, I knew this week was going to be pedal to the metal, but how did we arrive at Friday so fast?  Seems like we just barely got started. 

And since I don’t have time for pith today, I leave you with a golden oldie, apropos for the season: 

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— Mox

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