What a mixed bag independence is.
I’ve been writing a lot, lately, which is great. I’ve been reading a lot, lately, online, which is also great, despite the internet being an unrelenting source of every kind of unsolicited parenting advice you could ever not have asked for. I promise to try my best to curb my advice-giving in here.
I would like to think that I am in this for The Stories, and not to give advice. The Stories are what I like to read most and lately that includes a wealth of parenting stories which tend to focus on lists or snippets that depict the various stages of child rearing. I get to read about such-and-such’s first boo-boo. That time whats-her-face went off to Band Camp. “What I Would Tell My Future Daughter If That Future Were Now And I Were Still Me But I Was Also A Space-Bending, Wrinkle-In-Time, Worm Hole, Type, Oracle” type, stuff.
For the most part, I love it. Sometimes, when I read the ones that forecast what I’m in for, I feel The Future tugging on my belt loops a little too soon and she ain’t whispering sweet nothings so much as snickering at the shittier inevitabilities that lie ahead for me and my girls. The clique-ish, schoolyard snobbery. Poor boyfriend choices and the subsequent heartaches. The moment one of my daughters discovers my pest control tent/meth lab and shrieks at me, “Someone’s got to protect this family from the man that protects this family!” (Sorry, I marathon’d some Breaking Bad after lights out, last night.)
I understand that “growing up is a part of life.” I know I “can’t protect them forever” and that “one day they’ll, too, fly the nest.” It’s just tough to read about sometimes. But I’m a sucker for it. I open my tablet and click on my favorite dad blogger’s latest and, oh boy, commence the onion cutting.
Right now it is that elusive, overlap, nap time. The girls are painted in the monitor’s blue-grey and sprawled out on their beds, blanket-less in this too-soon California heat. No bay breeze to speak of today and ACs are things that only expats and people East of here have heard of.
We got outside early today, before the Sun started stunting. There was still some shade beneath the pear tree and in the underutilized patch of backyard dirt that the At-Home Toddler Daughter, J., likes to play in when she’s not feigning a deathly fear of bees and other winged buzzers. The At-Home Baby Daughter, N., is in the process of dropping her first nap and today she fought it pretty hard, so I stopped trying, and she joined J. in the dirt for a spell while I whacked some weeds and otherwise tidied up in preparation for our Mother’s Day guests. It was hot, remember, so J. had her usual good time dunking fish toys in water-filled planters and N. laughed non-stop, playing “quicksand” in a hole I’d watered for her, her muddy butt like a plunger in the hole’s HILARIOUS suction.
At one point I tipped my rake handle to rest against the fence and drew my phone from my pocket to take a picture of my girls. My ever-growing girls who are now just beginning an interminable, sibling friendship, the likes of which I’ve never, myself, known. My girls who are starting to prefer the company of one another, at times, to any games or races or silly faces that I might concoct.
It’s much the same at the playground these days. J. is starting to get to know the locals. The playground kids are drawn to her, and, finally, she is starting to use the force for good and, daily, rallies the troops for flower picking or slide stampeding. It wasn’t so long ago that there was only her and I. My best buddy. Inseparable during her Mom’s long work weeks. We played, we danced, we circumnavigated the coast by bicycle. We had incredible times together, a lot of which I hope to preserve in here, in time. And as much as I want for both of my Future World Leaders to grow, to be independent, assertive, poised and passionate people, whatever they choose to do. It does bring a little onion to the eye to see time flying just as fast as they all say it does. Damn them.
Anyway, thanks for letting me bounce some thoughts off of you. As always, feel free to subscribe if you’d like to be notified of future ramblings
Ciao for now,