“Over-parenting or fostering dependence, as she describes bailout behavior, has the potential to undermine children’s personal confidence and robs them of the grit they’ll need to succeed in the real world, after they’ve left the safe bubble of home.”
I will tell you, I never remember my parents bringing something I forgot to school. They were at work, at one point in elementary school my mom was teaching at my very school. She was not going to leave to bring something I forgot. As my dad would have told me: “Tough luck.” He was not going to go out of his way to take care of things that were mine to remember. That was my responsibility. He never thought of it as “letting me fail.” He just knew I would learn the hard way to remember — whatever the consequences of my choices.
For those of you that have read Random Olio over the last couple of years, you may remember that I am not big on holidays. Most likely a product of my childhood, they have never really been my thing. My dad was overzealous about Christmas, and so there are things that make me nostalgic, as there are memories I have where he seemed happy and completely into the moment. Yet most of those moments were things I witnessed not really things he taught me or I learned from his example.
He was all about Santa, in the decorate-your-house kind of way. Not as much as a kid but when I was in high school and college and no longer lived with him I would usually see him for part of Christmas day. His house, with haphazard furnishings throughout the year, would transform into a showcase for Santa and Father Christmas decorations. Some of them actually creeped me out in a wizard-like or scary old man way. Somehow as he got older, he would wait until after Christmas to purchase a Santa or two on clearance. Only to pack them away and bring them out for a few weeks the next year.
In any case, I am all for change and a new look on things. So when I heard about Fashion Santa I thought “why not!” He hails not from the North Pole, but from a shopping mall in Toronto, Canada. He is styled in clothes from stores in the mall in a lumber jack meets metrosexual St. Nick way. Along the way he is raising money for a charity that helps sick kids. So all in all the 2015 looking Santa is doing good.
Next I would be curious how the stylist would upgrade Mrs. Claus. Anyone up for the task?
I am not much of a crier. I have definitely had my moments these past few weeks which I think hormones have a part to play in the waterworks. Even with the hormones pulsing through this 37 week pregnant body, I think this video would still make me cry profusely.
A friend shared it on Facebook. It is from the German supermarket chain “Edeka.” I have to say they win the holiday-bring-you-to-tears video. It makes me think of my dad, who passed in his sleep, and who I can see maybe not doing what this man did, but wanting to. My dad loved having his family around him, loved everything about Christmas, and while you would not know it from the way he acted — loved deeply.
Did it bring tears to your eyes? Did you call your dad, grandpa, mom, grandma, kids, whoever you thought of when you watched it? Go get yourself a tissue.
Gratitude is on the mind — and not just because tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I just finished reading “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan. She spends an entire year focusing on gratitude in her life (her marriage, work, children, money, etc.) It gave me a lot to think about and was especially appropriate for this time of year, the holidays, Thanksgiving, and being at the home stretch of this pregnancy.
I thought I would share a list of things that are especially appropriate right now to me:
My husband: I wrote about him last week so you know all the good stuff, and if you did not read it take a peek at last week’s blogs. Yesterday I randomly said I do not know what I would do without you. His response was: “yes I am not sure what you would do.” So I started listing off all these things that would make my life miserable and he said: “You could just live in a hotel.” Ha. It is so much more than that my better half. So much more.
My health: It is not perfect — but I am making it through each day, and look forward to meeting this little man and taking the tests to find out how I am after delivery. If all goes well, then I look forward to getting back to my running and feeling like myself again.
My future son: I am just so excited that we have made it this far together. Your dad and I are ecstatic and cannot count the days to meet you. That and I would love my body back.
My family and friends: So grateful for each of you. Thank you for being a support to me, a listening ear, and an inspiration. I miss you mom, dad, and Granny Smith.
My team at work: You work hard and play hard, keep it fun, funny, and real. Thank you.
For all of you reading my blog I appreciate you too. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. Cherish each moment.
Just like a great movie, there are books that suck you in because the story line is so intriguing you are curious how it is going to end. It might be a novel, and it might be a memoir that showcases all the shit that happened to someone throughout their life. I am a fan of memoirs. While I read about the author, I learn about myself in the process.
I recently finished reading: “Pieces of My Mother” by Melissa Cistaro. A story about an adult woman who takes you through her childhood years while staying at her mother’s bedside as she dies. A mother who was not present in her life, and yet Cistaro has hope that in her mother’s final hours she will finally grab a glimpse of what she was missing all those years.
“A sitter, who is not our mom, comes to live at our house so our dad can go back to work. And when that sitter gets tired of us, a new one arrives. Everyone says that I am too young to remember what’s happened and that children my age simply don’t remember the details. I can’t blame them for saying that. But I am as quiet as a cat, watching everyone and everything.” Page 5-6
That last line was the kicker for me. I am nowhere near quiet now, but as a kid I would hide and listen. I was quiet when I needed to be. Invisible even. In my house you did not even have to be quiet, there was already a lot of noise. I could sit in my bedroom and through the heat vents hear the fighting and yelling coming from my parents room. They thought by having their door shut, we were not privy to their arguments. While I have never had the best hearing it was not hard to find out what words were passed between them. I knew at those moments when to hide and nestle up with a book. No good was ever going to come from being around after those fights.
My mom would often leave the house and get in the car angry. I was always scared that she would never come home. There was some sort of intuition that grew in me in a young age that her anger made her reckless, not enough to hurt someone else, but just enough to maybe not make the best choice. That never happened, but it did not make me feel any less scared. We knew to just leave my dad alone, or else be the next one that got yelled at that day.
I have at times been teased for being a “starer” but I think that happened because I spent so much of my time watching the world. I watched anything and everything. Trying to make sense of a world that often my parents did not know how to explain to me, either because they were just trying to survive and keep food in the house and the lights and heat on, or because they themselves did not have the answers for me. As with Cistaro, writing was my way of processing the world, and I am still doing it today.
“Like my mom, I write to understand myself and lure the voice inside me out of hiding…I want to set the words free, unearth what has been buried for so long…I had to get the memories and stories down on paper, and if I didn’t this history would be lost or—an even worse thought—repeated. Sometimes all I have is instinctual, obsessive need to put pen to paper—to set fire to something inside me that may or may not save me.” Page 285-286
I too feel that fire. To lure my voice, to find it when it feels lost, to document the memories I sometimes do not know were inside me. I am my history. Without my parents around, my writing is what helps me retrace it.