Friday, March 1, 2013

Preparing My Children for a World I Don't Understand

I've had some rather odd experiences lately.  So get ready for a long read, and remember, to get the full experience you must remember that we live in the South.  All other characters in these experiences speak with a thick southern twang, and although I despise stereo types, these folks fit the mold.
I sit waiting on my kids often.  Whether we're at dance, hockey, church, the library,or countless other places, the scenerio is usually kids doing activity and me sitting, cheering, or waiting for event to end so I can shuttle them to the next great experience.  This gives me the opportunity to sit and listen to other moms who are chit chatting and waiting for their kids also.  I've always been a listener, never really a chit chatter.  I just feel so uncomfortable and awkward talking unless I know someone super well.  I never know what to talk about, and well, I in general can be rather awkward, so I just sit and listen or stuff my face into a book. 
There is a certain place that I go weekly where lots and lots of moms sit and chat about very southern belle type things.  Last week I over heard this little jewel of a conversation:
the crowd murmering  "Yeah I live on Butter & Egg right next to where Billy Joe's grandmama used to stay"  More murmering mixed with children screaming, and then rising up out of the choas....
Belle #1: "Well I have the fibromialgia, so I'm thinkin' about doing the gluten free thing, but I mean does mayonaise have gluten, cause if it does, I just don't know if I can do it."
Belle #2: "Well I almost had the celiacs, so I'm about 80/20 gluten free now.  I just have to have that bread when I'm cookin' it for my family you know and besides I love skittles. Skittles are full of the gluten right?"
Me: dumfounded, forcing myself to remain silent because anything that comes out of my mouth will surely sound condescending because I'm a little sensitive due to my interaction with Bell #1 last week:
Dance teacher: :This dance is based on such and such scripture about having joy in your hearts.
Bell #1: Leaning toward me, "Oh my, do you have that in your Bible?  I mean I know your Mormon and all, and I just don't want you to be uncomfortable."
Me: Leaning away from the uncomfortable lack of distance she's placed between us, "Ummmmm...... my Bible is your Bible, but I really think joy is more of a universal theme any way."
Bell #1: stares at me quizzically until I awkwardly start reading again.
I'm just so amazed.  These women are raising the world's future generation, and they don't have what I consider basic knowledge or social ettiqute.  Atleast I know I'm socially challenged and have the humilty to keep my mouth shut when I have no clue what I'm talking about!
Situation #2:
We were headed to the library to drop off all four Junie B Jones books that we managed to read in ONE day because Maddi is obsessed and I have no self control when it comes to books.  Library day is on Wednesday, but the books never seem to make it to the car on the day we actually go to the library, so I thought I'd drop them off early to avoid the pesky late fees.  I pull up to the drive through drop box and wait in line.  A few minutes pass and I realize the person in front of me has no intention of moving.  Hmmm... maybe they fell asleep in the drive through?  I give them a pleasant little beep beep in hopes that they'll sheepishly wave and move along.  No such luck.  Cars continue to pile up behind me.  I'm completely blocked in at this point, so I grab the books, roll down the windows (in case the kids choke or break an arm I need to be able to hear them like a responsible mommy) and walk up to the drop off.  I cram the books in and kindly tap on the man's window.  "Excuse me sir, I'm blocked in and this is a drive through."  Man rolls down his window and then screams at the top of his lungs covering me in stale, old man spit "what the F*** do you want you little B****"
Man:  "What the F*** do you want from me????"
Me:  "I just need you to pull forward so I can leave.  I'm blocked in."
Man: "Who the F*** do you think you are touching my car and talking to me?  I can do whatever the F*** I want you nasty little B***"
Me:  Backing up to avoid another interaction with the spittle that is growing along the crest of his lips.  "That's great sir, but I still need you to move your car."
Seventy year old man burns rubber and takes off squealing through the parking lot.  Awesome.
Situation #3:
At dinner table discussing current politics because we're weird like that.
Drew:"Obama is sooooo stupid!"
Me: "Ok, why would you say that?"
Drew: "Because, well, I mean, that's what my friends say."
Me: "Well, he's not stupid.  He's extremely educated.  He went to Harvard.  You might not agree with him or his opinions, but that doesn't make him stupid"
Drew: "Well, I don't agree with him then."
Me: "Well, I don't either, but he IS the President, and that office alone holds respect.  If we believe in the voting process then that means we respect the fact that sometimes our man wins and sometimes he doesn't, but we still respect the position of president until we have the chance to vote again."
Drew: "Yeah, that makes sense Mom."
Me: ***why do I have to have this conversation with a 10 year old??

We live in an ever changing world.  The world I grew up in is different from the world that I'm preparing my children to thrive in.  I want to teach my children to be opinionated, but to value and learn from the opinions of others.  I want to teach them to have faith, but to respect those that believe differently.  I want them to be educated and confident but to be kind and compassionate.  We live in a world that I don't always feel prepared to handle, and I have the responsiblility of giving my children the tools they need to succeed.  So, when I feel inadequate, I hit the books.  In my desperate search for better parenting skills, I found this little lovely little suprise.  Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World  I'm reading and loving every word, so maybe, just maybe, I'll be prepared to help my children navigate their way through this crazy, exciting, sometimes frustrating journey we share together.

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