Friday, October 1, 2010
Driving me crazy
Driving and car pooling and running around relentlessly trying to keep up.
Mark bought one of those planner calendar things, to help keep it all straight.
There are postings all over Facebook about those kids that were bullied, the ones that committed suicide.
There are giant billboards of that missing kid, even though we all know the step-mother did it.
I feel distracted, by it all.
It makes me tired.
We are attempting to be organize, involved parents.
Which apparently means running from one open house to another.
Function after function.
I hate that big calendar thing.
It is ugly and doesn't go with anything in our kitchen.
I resent having to look at it. It feels like an intruder.
I resent that I have to worry about bullies, and child snatchers and whether or not my five year old's backpack it too heavy.
Is it a third of her body weight?
How the hell should I know?
A kid dashed across East Burnside yesterday, as I was pulling up to pick up Maxwell.
He just about made it all the way across all four lanes of traffic, but was clipped just before reaching the other side.
He looked sort of shaken up and stunned, but still standing, as the kid he was with pulled him to the sidewalk. I had to turn off and go around the block so I didn't see what happened next.
It was totally his fault.
I felt really bad for the woman that was driving the car.
She was probably rushing to some appointment, or lost in thought about bullies.
It could have been me crashing into a kid.
It could have been my air headed kid wading out into four lanes of traffic without a thought.
By the time Maxwell got into our car I was furious.
"PLEASE MAKE GOOD CHOICES! I CAN'T HANDLE ANYTHING HAPPENING TO YOU!"
It isn't good parenting, I know, but I can't help myself sometimes...
"AND IS ANYONE BULLYING YOU?"
"I NEED YOU TO TELL ME IF ANYTHING LIKE THAT EVER COMES UP."
"ummm, OK. Is there something going on?"
"A kid from your school just ran across four lanes of traffic, and got hit by a car, a block from a marked crosswalk, and some kids that were being bullied killed themselves and I can't handle the thought of anything bad ever happening to you."
"Mom, I think you need to take a breath. You need to breathe."
I took an hour out of my running around and met a friend for coffee, literally between work and picking from school.
He told me that his girlfriend is pregnant.
He is my age, so not young, planning on co-parenting the child, but not necessarily living with the woman.
He is somewhat foggy about the notion of parenthood, about what it will mean to be a parent, how what we do now is different from what it meant to our parents to "have kids", or why parents are so crazy about their children.
We were cartoon characters; an artist's absurd vision, aging intellectuals in a cafe, in the middle of the day, drinking coffee and theorizing about the meaning of having a child.
I have wrestled to have an identity outside of parenting, making a point not to talk about my kids to this friend and was secretly thrilled to no longer have to struggle so hard to keep up my end of the conversation, on topics outside of parenthood.
"You have no idea how much you will care about your child. You will love your child in a manner that is superior to all those chump parents out there, your love for your child will be uniquely organic and authentic and real. Your child will be miraculous."