It is almost midnight. I can think of a million things I should be doing- not the least of which working on an article due in one of my Harvard classes that is supposed to maybe be published, if it doesn't totally suck. I could also be sleeping. I could also be slogging my way through the piles and piles of laundry on my bed (in the midst of which Avery is fast asleep).
Vi got in trouble tonight. I hate it when we have discord like this in the house. She was working on a project for school and I could see and hear her frustration building. I held back and did not try to diffuse her stress. Maybe I should have, but I keep thinking- if I am always buffering her tortured little self, what will happen to her out in the world? She ended up slamming one of our counter stools around the room and then making this huge, intimidating physical display where she flew across the room in a rage at Avery. Avery had been playing the piano and talking/singing to herself in the family room.
AT that point, I told Vi, in no uncertain terms, to get to her room, get pjs on and go to bed. I stood over her while she brushed her teeth. She came out a few minutes later, obviously having been crying, and said, "Please Mom, can I finish my homework?" Nope, not a chance. Sorry, homework does not take precedence over our family. If she is that frustrated, it seems to me that there is too much homework or too high an expectation.
Of course, I am pretty solid on the idea that our public schools are really just free daycare and you get what you pay for, at that. The few bright spots have been the amazing teachers we have encountered- who teach in spite of the system, rather than as a part of it.
I went in Vi's room and sat by her bed in the dark and talked to her. Really, I was probably talking to myself, but we worked it out.
Yes, despite the occasional potholes in the road, man, I love my girls. Viola brought home some cheezy flier from school on how not to turn your kid into a junkie. She said, "Mom? What is mary-who-anna?" I was like, "Huh? Oh. Marijuana. Pot. Weed. You know..?" So then I gave her my best serious-mom face and said, "Why? Do you want to try it?" She was like shaking her head and going, "Naw... drugs are bad. I'm just gonna say no." I gave her an evil arched eye brow and said, "Come on.. all the cool kids are doin' it. Let's go smoke a bowl! Hmmm, have you seen my bong anywhere?" Then she says in all seriousness, "Yeah, okay, why not?" Then I was like, "HA! What happened to just saying NO!!?? Total fail!" We then both started cracking up. I'm grateful that my kids have their senses of humor. I know kids their ages who have absolutely zero humor.
All humor, drug and otherwise, aside- the school thing makes me feel like I'm trying to bail out my rowboat with the proverbial thimble. I WILL BE DAMNED IF I WILL SACRIFICE MY KIDS AND MY MENTAL HEALTH SO THEY CAN DO WELL ON STAR TESTING.
And now it is a little bit later because Vi just had a night terror. It's been a long time since the last one. Another sign of the stress she is under...
I am marveling at the fact that tomorrow(er, today already but you know, like after-I-sleep-and-wake-up-tomorrow it will be March. Crazy! I'm glad it is March because March means that next it will be April, then May and before long it will mean long, sunny days and warm evenings filled with the promise of the next day's adventures lingering among the heady scent of the night-blooming jasmine.
I love the summer. I was born in the summer- on one of those almost sweltering evenings. My mom told me once when I was younger that when I was born, I was born with my eyes wide open and I didn't cry. Was that some portent? Some harbinger? I didn't cry when I was born- was I saving my tears? I was once told that the little divot in our upper lips, that spot just beneath our nose, was where an Angel pressed a finger and said, "Shhh!" and made us forget where we had been. Maybe my Angel was new? Didn't press hard enough or quite right? Sometimes I do feel as if there is something I am carrying with me that maybe not everyone does... But maybe that is the narcissistic nature of self-conscious beings, that we believe our joys and sorrows, our sunrises and rainstorms, our turbulent seas and precious nights full of stars are somehow deeper and more meaningful than those of others...
Life is full of wakenings and then reawakenings. As we set things ahead of ourselves, we also set them behind us. I'm in a thoughtful period right now- I suppose trying to amend where I am in my life, in this world, with everything I wanted to be-- what I still want to be. I've been curiously carrying something around with me of late and as much as I have tried to displace it... it won't go away. I'm not a super religious person- I haven't murdered anyone or coveted my neighbors ass-- but, well, I've broken lots of the rest of those commandments. I do have faith. I am certainly aware of wonder. I cannot reconcile the beauty of everything around me with a random, uncaring, unseeing, unknowing universe. Of course, I am also aware that I cannot necessarily conceive of what all the possibilities of the divine might be. For the most part, I am okay with not knowing- I suppose I harbor a hope that the tides of feeling in me are, indeed, the threads not broken of a tapestry I knew before I entered the world with my eyes wide open. I hope, even believe, that death is not the extinguishing of the lamp, but rather setting it aside because the dawn has come. Of course, what a wonderful adventure not to know, right? Anyhow, this thing that has stuck to me, I came across while looking up some biblical references- "...men are, that they might know joy." Somehow, I feel like if someone were to dive headlong into my heart and sum up what I think and what I hope for, these seven words somehow capture the crux of it all.