Tag Archives: Child’s Perspective

The Real Reality

Nothing like rising in the morning and encountering big pile of s____, as in the Newfie mother lode, on the indoor/outdoor runner. Fortunately our Newfs now overnight in the mudroom. I quickly tired of their heavy panting, nocturnal wanderings and occasional morning surprises—as in a pile of poop. One of them had a major case of diarrhea last night.

Of course it was I who cleaned it up. My 19-year-old son, you know, the one who is quite independent, passed through the mudroom just minutes before me. The evidence was present –> unlocked mudroom door by which he exited the house and the double–locked service door through which he didn’t. Yeah, yeah, yeah… He was on his way to work, likely rolling out of bed directly into the car. Yes, he left the dogs in. And, gosh, he left me that nice pile to deal with. I waved good-bye to him as he backed out of the driveway. No smile.

He and I will discuss this later…

This occurrence, like so many others in the daily fabric of our lives, underscores why I made my decision. I get a lot of requests—for interviews, to do book reviews, to be featured on this or that. But I was contacted about something else, so fascinating I had to read through the email several times and investigate the source, assess if it was the real deal before responding. It was.

Reality TV. As in a possible series. An offer to audition. The entire family. Can you imagine?!  “an outgoing, dynamic family comprised of interesting characters… this generation’s wilder, more entertaining Brady Bunch… all family members must have big personalities, be comfortable speaking on camera…” Trust me; we have this in spades.

I had a fleeting tug of  “Why not?” and experienced the thrill of  “fame” before true realization set in:

  • Reality TV exists for entertainment, ratings and consumption, all = money for the networks and mega-conglomerates.
  • Reality TV distorts “real” life, promotes moronic and negative societal expectations. Shows often feature the basest of human behavior. They fuel half-truths and risk.
  • One could argue that much of Reality TV perpetuates “dumbing down.” Dangerous stuff, folks. Think of your daughters and sons: education, critical thinking, taking responsibility for action, being held accountable, compassion for others, etc. The mind isn’t a terrible thing to use. Intelligence and values aren’t overrated.

Additionally:

  • My kids are not bridges, other than from their childhoods to their adulthoods.
  • Adoption continues to be misunderstood, and misrepresented, and  Reality TV is not the vehicle for “righting” the truths.

My kiddos and hubby we’re none too pleased with me, citing many weekend moments with, “See mom! This would make a great episode!”

I’ve emailed my response, and my counteroffer, back to the casting agent. While I eagerly wait in anticipation of hearing back (now I’m being snarky), I think we’ll focus on spending our summer together as we usually do—out of the glare of lights, camera and action—as a family.

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Filed under Family, Multicultural Families, Multiracial Families, Parenting, The International Mom

Coming Clean on Temptation

You know, we talk and talk and talk to and at our kids. Mostly with hope that our children will listen to our guidance and will be spared from harsh life lessons. We sometimes feel like “broken records.” We often feel unheard. And surely we are never fully aware of just what our kids are taking in at any given moment and turning over inside their quickly expanding and editing brain circuitry and applying to themselves, others and the world as they experience it.

Tis the season to be at church. Of course we’re at church most Sundays, sans soccer season, since Mark is the band’s lead vocalist.  The Lord’s Prayer is part of the service. Always. I know the words by heart and have since I was a very young child, and I am sad to admit that I don’t necessarily reflect on the meaning or intent of what is behind the words as I speak them, because I’ve been reciting the prayer for decades. It has become a broken record for me…

But gosh, all of a sudden that changed. Greyson whispered to Mark, “Daddy, what’s temptation?”

While other church members dutifully recited the remaining words, Mark explained to our youngest that temptation is when someone is morally tested. When a person is given the choice between doing the right thing or doing something that isn’t right. Then he provided an example–one of money, how people are tempted to take money that isn’t theirs.

Now this was simply the first example that came to Mark, however Greyson realized he had something to get off his chest.

“Dad, I took all of your change yesterday.”

“Well, thanks for sharing that. You can give it back to me when we get home, okay?”

“Um; I put it in my bank. I didn’t count it… I’m gonna pray for forgiveness.”

“Good idea.”

Note: Greyson’s parents found this admission quite refreshing and amusing .

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Filed under Adoption, Family, Growing Tweens & Teens, Parenting, The International Mom

A Meal With Us

This conversation is occurring literally in the middle of McAlister’s, amid people who already appear to find our family fascinating. We are, as we often are, being watched.

It is late. We are tired. The day has been long, as has the week and fall season. We are treating all of us to a dinner out. (And to be perfectly honest, the cupboard is bare because the recent days have indeed been rather “nuts.”)

I have just taken another bite of my sandwich when my daughter asks me if I have some old glasses she can borrow. I respond that I don’t. So, she goes on to narrow down her request to, “You know Mom, like…old reading glasses. Granny-style.”

Well, I do have reading glasses (fairly recent accessories…), but they’re kinda funky. That way I know they won’t disappear with the other adult in our home who also wears reading glasses, albeit a stronger magnification. I think for a minute and then ask her why she needs a pair.

“Tomorrow is ‘Senior Citizens Day.’ We’re all dressing up as old people.”

Out of the mouth of a teenager.

Huh? Uh, thanks…

“Mom, well… You’re old, but I didn’t mean you were that old!”

At this point I’m speechless.

Mark sits across from me and is sputtering into his plate. Fortunately his mouth isn’t full. The other two kids kick in, laughing.

The restaurant has become quieter. People are trying to catch what is being said that has us giggling and laughing so.

I glare at Mark when he looks up and tell my daughter we can look around the house. She wants to call her grandmother to see if she has a pair, after all, “She is a senior citizen.” However, grandma is out of town.

We get up to leave and I happen to glance over to my right. A woman is unabashedly taking us all in.

I wink at her and promise myself that tomorrow I will move my “old bones” and get to grocery shopping.

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Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Family, Growing Tweens & Teens, The International Mom