Friday, February 24, 2012

obligatory - Happy *insert new responsibility here* Day!

Valentine Mailboxes.  Oh, the elementary school expectations churned high in my jealous, greedy, sometimes kinda nasty little head at the age of 5-11ish when it came time to decorate a Valentine Mailbox.  I wanted mine to the best.  It wasn't: at least in today's memory, I wasn't the kind of kid nor did I have the kind of mom who could spend many patient hours pasting tiny bits of glitter onto a butchered cardboard box and have it come out looking like a work of art.  Thirty odd years later, though, I *am* strangely the mom who at least has intentions of doing that.  Last year's - my first, kindergarten - was a ladybug - you moved its wings to reveal the opening.  It holds treasures on the 7yr old's desk now.  This year when the email came from the teacher with the list of kids in the class, along came the statement, "we will be making our valentine bags together in class."

Monday, February 13, 2012

posterity - when is a bullet-ridden laptop like a valentine?

Bear with me. This is the first in a series of blog posts about parenting during “Hallmark holidays” like Valentine’s Day, but it starts with a father shooting his daughter’s laptop with a .45. If you managed to avoid exposure to last week’s viral video, you can read about it here. To make a long story (i.e., an 8-minute video) short, a 15-year-old girl dissed her parents on Facebook. Being grounded didn’t prevent her from doing it again, so Dad took a gun to her laptop.

I won’t offer my opinion of this man’s actions (though you can probably guess based on the link I shared). Frankly, beyond the extent that child and family wellbeing affects the common welfare, it’s none of my business how a father in North Carolina disciplines his daughter. Unfortunately, this dad made it everyone’s business by enacting his punishment on camera and posting the video to YouTube, where it has received more than 20 million hits. Both father and daughter shamed one another in a very public forum. Worse, in my view, their words and actions are now documented for posterity. And this is the connection to Hallmark holidays.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


You can't go home again. Can you? 

Honestly, I never thought I could. The house where I grew up is no longer where my parents dwell. Many people who surrounded me as a young person are far from the area. Even the familiar sights and sounds are colored by a different perspective – perhaps that perspective comes from maturity, new priorities, and/or additional experiences gained. In any case, perspective can be advantageous. Or not so much.

When I return to my hometown to visit my folks, I'm struck by how different I feel. I'm no longer the teenager that requires a curfew. I'm no longer a bored tween who impatiently waits for my parents to finish up their dreadfully dull small talk with a neighbor. I'm sort-of a member of the adult community.

And yet, I'm sort-of not.