Saturday, June 15, 2013

Kids Today

For the most part, this blog is just a collection of the thoughts in my head, a collusion of the world around me and the things that rattle and shake free from my mind.

Other times, I just feel like bitching. This is one.

I will preface this by saying that I know my kids are not perfect. They are wonderfully imperfect, often delightfully irreverent, and definitely sweet, funny, creative, and kind. They are NOT, however, aggressive. Even in their most irritating, whiny moments, they are not physically aggressive. Though I have certainly made mistakes, and often felt like throwing myself out a window during Emerson's infancy, I have never, ever raised a hand to her. So I do not tolerate it in other children. But today I dealt with the flip side. Today I dealt with the kids who walked away from my child, and wouldn't listen to her. And to me, it hurt just as much as a slap.

Yes, there are times when little kids will play together and get out of hand. they'll run, trip, clunk, et cetera. They'll reach for the same toy and screech "Miiiiiiinnnneee" until their voices are hoarse. But today, Emerson was ignored. My sweet, articulate little B was trying to talk to her friend, and the little creeps ignored her and ran away. 

As an only child, trying to reconcile these dynamics is a constant question for me, Is this normal? Do I get involved? Do I ignore this? How much/how long do I let it go? 

Let me also say that ours is a hearing-compromised household. My husband's profound hearing loss on one side affects us all. Some days, his hearing is perfect and everything is normal; we converse and laugh as all families do. Other days, we are not so lucky, and both my husband's and my frustration levels climb. In my deepest thoughts, I respect my tiny daughter for the way she handles her father's hearing loss - sometimes she is far more graceful and patient than I am. She has learned (mostly) to repeat things or say them in a different way to make my husband understand. She has been commended by all of her teachers for being a particularly articulate child, one who most recently employed "Speaking of..." into her verbal repertoire. She is a good talker and a great listener. And yes, sometimes, we fall prey to the "Just a minute, Em" when she wants to tell us something, we don't intentionally ignore her words. But today's encounter was with children who could hear everything she said, and chose not to.

Speaking of siblings, all of this frustration was happening as John was smiling with happiness at his first ride on the swing. His Royal Chubbiness was happily drifting back and forth on the same baby swings Em had loved, and his bliss was written all over those deliciously peachy cheeks.  My heart swelled for his first, and ached for Em's. I guess that's what parenting is all about. 

Summer sighting: Former student and parent-to-be, Cari Reynolds, our waitress at Burton's.

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