I normally don’t have much empathy for the harried soccer mom protagonists of Connie Willis XMas stories. I always wonder “If all this stuff is such a burden, why don’t they just not do some of it?” Yesterday I had one of those, though. Errands all through Chicagoland, picking up presents, running the dog to the groomer to be prettified, etc. This included my first ever trip down to Devon Street. We never did go to the Indian section to eat, but I had an errand down near there. It seemed a lot like Tijuana, actually. The buildings seemed in about the same level of repair and had about the same garishness of sign.
If all the last minute XMas shenanigans weren’t enough, my Handspring Prism picked this morning to crap out on me! I was planning on using that for reading material in the car as we ride around. Oh well. It is really flaking, and I’m pretty sure it is physical inside the device. Pressing certain parts of the case made it throw a fatal exception. This doesn’t look good. I’ll have to backtrack to paper books for the holidays. Yowza!
2 thoughts on “XMas Wrapping”
“…why don’t they just not do some of it?” you ask, thereby hitting a nerve. This is a parent thing: we want to do what is best for our children, and we want to support them in all that they do. This means allowing them to choose activities to explore. Since the school systems have a hard time providing even the basics, we have to supplement with private music lessons, community orchestras, church-league basketball, neighborhood soccer, etc. This means we have to get them there, driving through the great suburbia, complete with traffic lights and Burger Kings. With any more than one child, it doesn’t take much to fill the schedule. Just pray that special events like holiday concerts and/or final games don’t overlap on the same day.
Now, with that in the background, throw in the occasional sick child, ailing grandparents, car maintenance, and other inescapable emergencies, and life gets very “exciting”.
Why not drop some of it? Because we want to give our boys all the opportunity to learn and explore that we can. Because if they are busy, they won’t get into the troubles that we got into. Because we want to do what we can to grow happy, talented, capable children.
Why not drop some of it? We have, you just can’t see it. Part of this teaches the boys that they have limits on how much can be worked in while still eating, sleeping, and doing homework. We teach them how to make their own time and activity choices so they have some guided practice before they are thrown into the world on their own.
Why not drop some of it? You don’t know how many things V and I give up in order to support the boys. I’d love to have a few weekends to myself. V would like to have a more consistent teaching schedule. There’s a choir that we would both like to be in. I still want to get into a blues/rock band. But we choose to spend our time to try to “teach our children well”.
Shannon, I really was talking about a special case, the Connie
Willis harried heroine. Every CW XMas story seems to have a protagonist that is suburban mother that has to make just the right cookies and get just the perfect gifts, etc. Maybe I’m just becoming a grumpy hardass in my old age, but I’d never ask anyone to put themselves out that far because of my brand loyalty. If you get them or do the errand or whatever, fine. If you don’t, we’ll all live and have a fine XMas regardless. People that are that picky never like what you do for them anyway, so screw them.
This is not to say there isn’t a discussion on the kids topic. There is, and I’ll come back to it when I’m not on a dialup.
Merry Happies to you and yours!
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