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Archive for the ‘football’ Category

Last year, as the girls were out the door to their father’s house, I checked out “Your Ten to Fourteen Year Old” to find out what I was in for this year.

It told me that 11 year olds hate their mothers.

Shit.

Don’t I have enough hardships with E? Do I need her hating me as well?

But for a really long time – MONTHS, even – she adored me, still. She thought I was the sun, the moon and the stars (okay, maybe just the stars … but she LIKED me).

Now, though:

  • I’m dumb.
  • Irrational.
  • Irrelevant.
  • Unfair.
  • Boring.
  • Annoying.
  • Embarrassing.
  • Rude.
  • Demanding.
  • Demeaning.

God, this list could go on.

She is now – and just now – at the point where she shakes off my hand if I grab hers at an intersection. She doesn’t want me talking to her friends anymore. It’s hard to get a hug.

Not impossible.

Not yet.

But, I sort of miss her. And I hate her yelling at me. And I find it a little hard – being a parent of a tweener. It’s hard to be really strict, knowing that her independent drive will respond to my strictness by pulling away a bit more – emotionally.

which is the goal.

I know this.

And being her friend is NOT what she needs.

I know this, too.

She has a lot of friends.

They’re 11, and 12. They’re not 35.

I know we’re coming up on years where we are strangers to each other. Where she looks at me and sees something I don’t feel like.

But those years will pass. And we’ll be okay.We’ll sit in a family room, munching on chips and watching football while her kids ask me for help on their school projects.* We’ll go places together. We’ll ask each other for advice.

I hope that our tumultuous time in between is short, and that our windows of fighting are smaller than our windows of understanding.

*yes, that’s what’s happening right this minute – my dad, building boxes and finding paint with E, while my mom looks at girl scout cookie order forms with J, and the Pats are winning, and I am this irrelevant middle-generation sitting with her computer on her lap – invisible.

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At approximately 5 p.m., someone in my firm sent out an e-mail offering Patriots tickets for tomorrow’s game.

The Patriots are my team.

I want to watch the Patriots play football, in person.

    But when the e-mail arrived in my box, I had a moment where 1,000 thoughts flashed through my mind, as follows:

  • I have approximately 90 seconds to reply to this email.
  • Where the hell are they even playing?
  • What would Beloved think?
  • I wish E were home – it’s her I’d really want to bring
  • Isn’t it supposed to RAIN tomorrow?
  • If they’re in New York (game’s against the Giants, that much I knew), I’ll have to get a zipcar for the whole day, and maybe more – this is a lot of money – I know I (for once) actually have it, but still.
  • We were supposed to take care of J’s computer tomorrow
  • What if the seats suck?

Well.

  • They’re here, in MA
  • The seats rock
  • Beloved if upset with me (as in, disappointed – not as in mad)
  • E is mad (not disappointed) – apparently preferring to hear first-hand accounts to nothing at all
  • We really can afford it (tickets were offered at $80/each …. uh?  yeah.  we can do $160).
  • This is an amazing year – probably not to be duplicated. 
Clearly, I didn’t snatch the tickets.  Someone had them within 60 seconds … and I could have, if I didn’t hesitate.  
I wish I didn’t hesitate. 

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A conversation:

E and I were talking about sports, and how she’s found herself enjoying them, and being better at them, this year.   I mentioned that she looked great throwing a football with a friend the other day.  She said she wouldn’t want to play football, because she doesn’t want to be “crushed.”

I told her that there had been a female football player, a punter.  She said, “really?  how did that go?”  I was honest.  I said the girl was a victim of sexual harassment and rape. E acted as if that were the most normal conversation/piece of information she’d ever heard.  I thought it was going to be APPALLING or at least – confusing?

Me:  Do you know what “rape” is?

E:  Yes.

Me:  Well, what’s your understanding?

E:  Uh, it’s hard to explain.

Me:  I think perhaps that means you don’t understand.

E:  No, I understand, I’m just not comfortable talking about it.

Me:  Well, do you understand that it’s [brief explanation mostly calculated to gage her reaction and see if she’s comfortable and has an understanding]?

E:  Yes, mom.  I told you – I know what it is.

Me:  Well, where did you learn it?

E:  I know it from the story of the Rape of Persephone.

Me:  ????

E:  You know how Hades kidnapped Persephone and brought her down to the underworld?

Me:  Uh …. yeah?

E:  Well, Mom, there’s more to the story.  I saw it in an art book.  There was a whole explanation.  The story was told on some vases.  The book explained it.

Me:  ….   E, you rock.

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I want Tivo.  The main reason being that it seems to be the only way I can watch Heroes, Season 2.  I want to watch it.

It seems dumb that I have to get Tivo in order to watch it, but it seems to be the case.  I used to download it onto the iPod, but since NBC and iTunes broke up, I can’t do that anymore.  NBC has free video, but only 5 or 6 at a time.  I checked it out a few weeks ago, and they had episodes 2-6 on line, but I wanted to see Episode 1.  I forgot about it for a while, and went back to look again today, and now it has episodes 4-9.  Or something like that.  It seems to run only 5 at a time … not the entire season.  Which sucks.

It’s also on Amazon Unbox … which I hear is pretty good.  But it is not compatible with Macs.

Which sucks.

And we’ve been wanting Tivo anyway.

But we’ve been doing well at not watching t.v. this year, and quite frankly – I want to watch Heroes on the treadmill … not on Tivo which is connected to my t.v.

Beloved says we shouldn’t get it, because we just upped our cable, and after paying $10/mo for 3 years, we’re suddenly paying $100/mo.  Which has benefits in the form of the WeatherChannel, CNN and ESPN (fooooootball!!!), but, really, is that enough?

We also pay some amount for Netflix.

So while it’s easy to say “oh, but Tivo is only $12/mo” – it does mean that we’re paying close to $150/mo for in-home entertainment.

Not including internet.

Will Tivo just mean I watch MORE t.v.?  When I am happy with watching less?

Or is it really something that I must own if I’m going to keep my calendars turned to 2007, and shortly 2008?

The box is only $99.

The monthly fee is only $12.

I could pay for a yearly fee, at $129.

Worth it?

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5 p.m.

E-mail to Beloved:  I am not seeing the apartment tonight – going tomorrow instead.  I’ll leave work at 5:45, and hopefully we can all watch the Patriots!

6:23 p.m.

Email from Beloved:  Great!  E finished her homework, J is home, I’ll have dinner ready by 6:30, and we can eat and watch the game!

Oops.

6:23?

How did that happen?

Easy:

5:01

E-mail from assignment-giver:  Why don’t we have a 1/2 hour meeting right now? 

5:02 p.m.

E-mail from me:  I am available and will be right down.

5:02 – 6:23:  Explanations of a very complex matter, negotiations over who will do what, discussions on how to get the necessary papers in the necessary people’s hands.

I was home by 7.

It was okay.

And the pork didn’t even dry out.  It was fantastic.

We are all now on the several squishy seating areas in the house, watching football, smelling a baking cake.  I was able to eat dinner with the family, soothe a headache for J, quiz E in prep for a science test, tell several stories about my day, kiss my Beloved, fill out umpteen million forms for their school, test out the remote connection to work, lick the cake batter off the rubber scraper and write this blog post.

All before 10 p.m.

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I now have a moment to blog.  But I have nothing to say.  Of course there’s a ton of stuff swirling in my head, but now that I’m employed, I feel cautious (overly?) about almost everything.

Then I have stories to tell about my kids, and about trust issues (which they have earned, and show me over and over that they’re trustworthy people), about their growing and maturing, and I think, “I can’t – they’re getting too old, I can’t share those things about them.”  You know, sort of how when they’re babies and you’re giving them in the bath it’s fine to snap a picture, but by the time they’re – I don’t know – 5?  It just feels wrong.

_______________________________

The sharable:

We went for a walk today – just us chicks – to the fun part of town in order to run our several fun errands.  We started at Starbucks for my caffeine infusion* and so that I could cave at the girls’ begging and change my “no” to a “yes” as an answer to their request for food.  I did not get them a frappucino, though.  Well, either did they ask.  J wanted a cake-y thing, and I had originally said it was okay for them to share.  But J was in a chocolate mood, and E in a “lemon loaf” mood, and so they could not agree.  Rather than saying no to everything, I just got them each their heart’s desire, and in anticipation of their ensuing thirst, I had them grab some organic chocolate milk.

We then took our sugared, caffeined selves over to T-Mobile.  E got a phone.  I am jealous of the phone, and on Tuesday (when my bank day has passed, and when the fun, nice boy who helped us today is working again) I am going to upgrade my own damned phone.

Which is reckless.  I haven’t decided yet what I want to do with the work-PDA and whether or not I want an iPhone (those two decisions are intertwined).  And if I upgrade my phone, it results in a renewed 2 year contract.  So I should really think on this more, and not be so easily swayed by E’s better graphics.

We then went to Gap, because E had a ridiculous amount of $$ on a gift card from my mother.  She made good choices, and got cute clothes.  J picked some as well, which I put on hold.  For one bank day.

Then we came home where E curled up with her cell phone manual and I turned on football and plunked some quarters, clothes and soap into some machines.

Boring day, eh?

I also spent time stressing over my wardrobe (or lack thereof).  I decided a couple of weeks ago that I am an old frump, and that regardless of pounds shed, I’m just not a trendy kid who can wear clothes from Gap or Banana Republic.  I was looking today at some classic styles, and realized that if I were to follow this path, I would not be able to afford to move.

Why is it so hard to get dressed?

* I had given up Starbucks in recognition of my dire financial position over the past few weeks.  Now I’m only one bank day away from freedom, and 4 bank days away from freedom plus.  So I’m back to my triple venti non fat lattes.  Mmmmm.  ALSO!  I learned over the past few days that regular coffee just doesn’t cut it for me.  Wanna know why?  I don’t like coffee.  If I drink a regular cup, I just don’t get the caffeine my body desires (please remember, my sacrifice in order to make full time work and mothering work is sleep.  No sleep does increase caffeine requirements.)  If I get a triple venti non fat latte, I can have 3 espresso shots super-efficiently delivered.  I also get the protein from a LOT of milk, which allows me to skip breakfast without feeling too-too bad about it.

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It’s time! I can relax with impunity on Sunday afternoons. I can sit on the couch with a book, or a notebook, or the computer, and not feel guilty. Because I’m watching FOOTBALL! [tie game!!]

We went to a party last night, celebrating a friend’s bday. I had a fantastic time with the adults. This morning, however, I’m unhappy about the evening. There have been times in the past where I’ve gone to parties and felt a little uncomfortable as the new girl in town, and then tried to combat my lack of comfort with more wine than was perhaps advisable, and felt unhappy about it the next day. That’s not the case today.

I’m unhappy with the way things went with the kids. There was some excluding, and some rough housing (which would have been minor, if they weren’t on a TRAMPOLINE) which resulted in E waking at 5 a.m. crying that her neck hurt. I was up with her from 5 to 8, and then again at 8:45, and again at 9:30 until I finally realized that I was not going to catch any more moments of slumber, and got out of bed at 10.

I am trying to find the right (effective) way to steer my daughter away from negative situations – to help her have the strength to walk away, or disengage. She has already made it clear that she does not feel she has the power to stop the negativity, and feels trapped by the fact that those involved are her friends.

As if the label is permanent.

I feel especially uncomfortable since the excluders and excluded are children of my friends.

Obviously (to me), this cannot be my priority.

My priority has to be teaching my daughter what is important, and what kind of person she should be.

She should be kind.

She should not behave in ways that makes people cry and say, “if you don’t want to be my friend, why don’t you just say so??!!”

She should learn that “private conversations” have no place at a party. If you want to have a “private conversation” then you should make a plan to get together with those you wish to speak with.

It also seems that I have to memorialize certain aspects of our family culture as “rules.” We don’t watch t.v. after school, for example. We don’t watch t.v. except for football (yeee ha!) and weekend mornings. This is no longer just the way things work in our house. It’s now necessary that it be a RULE. So that it can be cited when friends come over. So the kids don’t just have to feel like, “well, this is what they do at their house, so I guess it’s okay.”

Middle school is hard.

Apparently, the fact that my kids don’t switch schools upon entering 6th grade does not mean that I get to miss the pre-adolescent transitions.

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