Friday, September 23, 2005

Not a Soccer Mom

I have three children that I absolutely adore. They brighten my days, they make me laugh, and they make me tear up when I think about how much I love them. They blow my mind with the interesting and insightful things they say, and stun me with their creativity and ideas.

My oldest just turned nine, so I've been at this mother thing for nearly a decade now. (My other two are 7 and 4.) Unlike some mothers, who love the cuddly stage and wish their children would never grow out of being cute babies (with dirty diapers, spit-ups, and late night forays), I've really enjoyed and promoted my children's growing independence. (No poopy diapers, no more gak-rags, 8 hours of sleep every night...and the return of an awesome sex life! Yippee!!!!)

I still get the hugs and cuddles, as much as we each want, and the kisses goodnight, and the curling up to read stories, but along with it has come the independence of self-dressing, self-feeding, and self-cleaning-up-their-rooms...along with some chores, even! Plus we have great conversations, full of humor and debate.

However. There is one part I really hate about being the mom of grade school children.

I hate sitting through soccer practices, baseball games, fencing lessons, school music programs, school picnics and curriculum nights, and scouting events.

It's nothing against my children and their skills at music/sports/camping/crafts/whatnot. It's my personality. I mean, I hate to be sitting doing nothing but watching. It's boring! Okay? It's boring.

Even if it's my own kid. Doesn't mean I don't love them, it just means I'm still a bit Type A. More than a bit, I guess.

I hate being bored so much that I didn't go to either of my college commencement ceremonies. I only knew for sure I'd graduated when I received my diplomas in the mail. I would have skipped my high school graduation if I could have!

Does this make me a bad mom? That I try and skip as many games and practices as I can? My children don't seem to mind--particularly since my husband is often involved as coach, or my parents or in-laws attend the games. If one of my kids really wanted me to attend, I would. I usually ask, "Do you mind if I don't come?"

And if I do go, if I'm the designated parent for the event, if it's a practice, I bring something to do. A book. A notebook. A phone to return calls. Whatever. But that doesn't work at school music events or performances. Ugh.

So, tell I the only anti-soccer mom out there? The only one who's completely bored at these events, and cringes when the announcements come home from school about the music program?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It Comes Back

Okay, so I've been a blog-slacker. I know it! And I have little excuse. But I'm back, and I want to share a story about something that happened during my month's hiatus (which included completing a manuscript, getting my children back into school, orienting our new au pair [a 22-year-old young man from Brazil :-)], and being attached to the news and Web during the Katrina disaster).

August was a slooooow month for my household financially, for various reasons, but when the Katrina disaster occurred, my husband and I of course wanted to help. We donated money to one of the charities, and also some clothing and household goods, but I wanted to do more.

When my friend, Dr. Debra Holland, who is a psychologist who has worked in crisis situations in the past, wanted to go to the New Orleans area in the wake of the hurricane, I wanted to help sponsor her. But we were even tighter money-wise than we had been a week earlier. (My husband is a piano tuner, and when everyone's watching the news in the wake of such crises like hurricanes, terrorist attacks, elections, nobody's thinking about getting their piano tuned!)

But my husband and I discussed it, and we decided we would send some money to Deb, because we thought her effort was selfless and beautiful, and it would also be nice to know exactly how our donation helped out.

So on a Wednesday morning, I sent Deb some money via PayPal. Not a lot, but something that would help alleviate her expenses.

And Wednesday afternoon, miraculously enough, I received a completely unexpected check for the exact same amount of money we'd given away that morning.

Talk about validation.

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