Friday, February 27, 2015

Is it Ok ......

This is the innocent question from my eleven-year-old the other day in the car.

"Why is it not Ok for boys to hit girls? Is it a manners thing?"
"It is a manners thing, chivalry. Think about our conversation the other night when everyone was wrestling - men have more upper body strength than woman, so imagine a man using all that force to hit a woman, that is not a fair fight. Plus you know that book your brother is reading about slavery - there was a time when woman had no more rights than a slave they were the property of their husbands and sometimes they would get beaten very badly.  We had to put a stop to that in society."
"So...then, why are girls allowed to hit boys?"

BAM! right to the gut - that's my boy

"Well, girls are not allowed to hit boys. Why?"
"Because they do. The girls in my class do anyway. I won't name any names but the other day I was holding the door for the whole class and when I went back to where Darin was in line one of the girls called me out and said get back. I told her I was holding the door and she said I don't care and kicked me in the shin."
"Did you tell someone?"
"It didn't hurt that bad."
"If it didn't hurt that bad, why are we talking about it? It sounds like you are still upset about it?"
"Well, it did hurt bad, for a little while. But I didn't cry or anything. The girls hit, and push, and kick  and stuff and I don't like it. I don't want to hit back I just want them to cut it out."

What a precarious precipice I am on right now. I hang on to the steering wheel for dear life- I feign exuberant interest in the traffic while trying to collect my thoughts.

"If anyone is ever touching your body in a way that is hurtful, harmful, or makes you feel awkward in anyway you need to make that stop.  If you are being attacked - fight back. Even if it is a woman. If you are being touched - get out of there immediately. Even if it is a girl you really like.  And if the girls at school are being mean - call them out, loud and clear in front of everyone. For example you could say loudly so that everyone around you will hear your words -
Emma stop kicking me. That hurts and I don't like it. Please keep your hands and feet to yourself.
It is really important to me that you take care of well as others. But if you are not taking care of probably can't take care of others."

I try to keep my voice steady and the tears at bay. I hope that I have given him a reasonable answer and appropriate tool.  I imagine my beautiful sweet boy who holds the cafeteria door everyday for the entire 125 students in his grade getting kicked for it. Literally. And what I really wanted to say is
"It may not be ok for you to kick her - but I can. Give me her name!"

Mama Lion won't make this better either.....but sometimes I'd like to try.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snow Week......and this is not Boston!

Because goodness knows if we were in Boston the kids would be in school right now. They had to get 6 feet of snow to get called off, we got 3 inches, and negative temperatures, and they are STILL home. Such is life in them Mid-America.

See what I mean? I know the people in Boston are scratching their heads right now, but that's probably more from the lice as they have been locked in doors, most without electricity and hot water from the 6 major storms in a row that have pounded the East Coast. No wonder they hate the Midwest.

I'm just totally bummed because had I known that we were going to get an early Spring Break I would have scheduled a vacation, from my family. Wrong preposition - with my family ;-)
We've made the best of it. Before the wind chill dipped into the oblivion we were able to have friends over, go sledding, get to the gym and the library.

Being the "mean" mother that I am I made the boys go down the street and check the driveways of elderly neighbors I know can not or should not be shoveling.  There was plenty of shoveling! My older son is usually ready to go earlier in the morning.  My younger son has to be coaxed, prodded, threatened really usually sometime after lunch and he's the one that got $25.00.  Which "mean"  mom said we should donate to charity.  But he just did a writing project where they researched non-profit charities that help children so he was pretty excited to be able to donate to Kid's CafĂ©.

I know that we will get back to school, eventually and that I will soon forget all the screaming and fighting....and long for another snow day.  Because despite it all I will remember the conversations we had while shoveling the neighbors driveways, the Hawk that swooped down at us and perched in the tree, the sun making the snow sparkle like a million diamonds, the squeals of laughter as they went head first down the hill on the sled, the hot coco, movies with all of us sprawled on one couch, and mornings all snuggled into one bed reading.  I hope they remember those things too....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Shakespeare was the first Reality TV

My youngest has a hard time getting up in the morning. Since he is now eight-year-old I have finally decided it may be time to stop enabling this behavior. (No one said I was a quick learner!)

The other morning I went in to wake me. He was on the top bunk. Something came over me. I am not sure what it was because God knows I am not fully awake until maybe 10:00 a.m. but seeing him up there on the top bunk whining for me to get him down made me think Shakespeare.

So I went with it. Not that I have ever read Romeo and Juliet. I've just seen it performed, on TV, like The Brady Bunch or Bugs Bunny.  My rendition was a little lacking, but what did he know!

"Romeo! Romeo! Where for art thou Romeo?
I am down here. Wait. Tis the sun and Juliet is east, no. Tis the East and Juliet is the Sun.
Deny my father and climb up here Romeo!
Yes Juliet I will save you from your tower - throw down your hair. I will save you from the wicked Queen who hath locked you in the castle with thine ugly Ogre. We shall ride off into the sunset and sing -"

"I'm UP NO SINGING MOM!!!" whatever works.

It did start me thinking that maybe I should read Shakespeare. Or maybe Google it, at read least the speech I so badly butchered.  And this got me to thinking how Shakespeare was really way ahead of his time. He was the original Reality TV.  What gets better than two 15 years-olds killing themselves for love - not that I condone that behavior.  If MTV did it I would be totally appalled. Unless maybe their names where Capulet and Montague.....just saying.