Future parenting

I got to escape from my regular “routine” (Its and extremely dynamic and frequently rearranged routine) today.I went out with a friend to help her shop in preparation for a party. It was so refreshing to actually talk with an adult. Particularly one who has been a mother of young children but isn’t anymore. She listens to me sympathetically without needing a turn to whine herself. And then I get to listen to her talking about teenager woes and think about all the stuff I have to look forward to. Okay, that piece is worrisome, but playing ostrich won’t make it go away.

I think many parents not only borrow trouble, but actually set it up for themselves by fearing the teen years. I had someone once tell me “when they turn 14 they go crazy”. No, they don’t. They go through some extremely predictable and understandable body changes and mental changes as they struggle to navigate the passage from childhood to adulthood. Why on earth do parents sabotage themselves into believing that teens are beyond comprehension? Instead parents need to be educating themselves on how to assist that passage. Rather than attempting to control their teens, parents should be seeking ways to guide them to rational independence. It’s a process that should begin well before a child hits puberty so that the pattern is in place. Give them as much freedom as they can deal with and they don’t feel like they have to fight for it. Let them know that you are willing to negotiate. Especially that you are willing to let them convince you that they are right.

Well, at least that’s the theory I’ve been working under for the last 9 years. Some time in the next 5 years I’ll have a feel for how well I did.

All in all I think I’m looking forward to having teenagers. There will definitely be some challenges, but I’m excited to watch my kids develop their own interests and to start being emotionally self sufficient. I’m sure when I get there I’ll miss being the major source of all their opinions, but on the other hand a 16 year old who needs his mother to tell him what he thinks is pretty pathetic and I don’t want that for any of my kids. Someday I’ll get to have adult conversations WITH MY KIDS. That will be really really cool and it isn’t that far away.

Gophers, Mallets, & Quantum Journalling

I couldn’t get this journal thing out of my head all day. Aside from startlement that within 24 hours after first posting I had 9 people who put me on their friends list, I was musing about what to write next. All day long I had big plans. I was going to wax philosophical about “quantum journaling” where the mere fact that I KNOW I have and audience changes the way I journal. Or maybe I was going to ponder the power of recognition as a motivator. I certainly felt its effects today when the comments and friend listing of others made me totally re-evaluate my commitment to this journal. I’d even thought about writing musings on life choices, how I’ve come to be where I am today (a stay-at-home Mom with four kids).

But here I am and I don’t know that I have enough mental energy left to give any of those topics proper treatment. Perhaps I’ll tackle them another day. This could be a long term problem with my journal. By the time I manage to herd all the children through dinner and family prayer and pajamas and teeth brushing and stories and into bed I’m ready to crash myself. It’s almost as much fun as herding cats. Oh and once they’re actually IN bed, then it is like one of those games where you hit gophers on the heads with mallets. Every time you get This One to go down That One pops up. There are nights where I think very longingly of actual mallets instead of metaphorical ones.

And here is the point where I feel the quantum journaling effect, because I feel compelled to assure everyone that I DO love my children and wouldn’t trade them for anything. No actual mallets are ever used in our household on anything other than inanimate objects. At least not by the parents. The stuffed hammer from Chuck-E-Cheese is a frequently misused and confiscated item around here.


Alright, I’ve found reasons to continue this live journal thing. It could be that overnight I ended up on the friends list of 6 people. That’ll be Howard’s fault. He’s like a seive I send out into the world. He comes back with a few gems of friends and they become my friends too. It’s really convenient for me, I don’t have spend all that time making small talk to people with whom I have nothing in common. Obviously most of the Schlock fans are just nice to me because I’m married to their cool cartoonist, but some become real friends and when that happens it is really cool. Good friends are treasures.

That leads me to the second reason for maintaining this journal for a time. I’ve already recieved two comments to my brief first journal and one was from a forum friend with whom I haven’t communicated in a very long time. I’m very glad to know that SomebodyStrange is still out there and glad to hear from him. I’ll have to go and check out his journal to see what life has done to him lately.

A third reason for this journal is to provide a parallax view of Schlock Mercenary for those who care. I have a unique viewpoint on the creation of the comic. To be honest though, I’m not sure how much Schlock will feature in this journal. I’m not even sure how much journalling I’ll be doing. I can see myself getting addicted to this and waxing philosophical and creative. I can also see myself getting busy (what do I mean ‘getting’ I’m already busy) and never having time or energy to write entries.

One drawback for this as a true journal is it’s publicity. I have thoughts that I don’t mind sharing with anyone, but I also have thoughts and feelings and events which could really use the introspection of a journal, but which I am disinclined to hang out here in full public view. And I do a disservice to Howard or to my children if I expose their private lives too far. I’m in a position to know many things which are not my stories to tell, and yet those stories change me. I must ponder on them and sort them out and a journal is ideal for that, but it won’t be here.

And then there is the danger of babbling. I get started and I just want to keep going without rhyme (Ick just the thought of trying to actually RHYME and entire journal entry makes me shudder) or reason. I’ve already rambled too far. Time to go back home and do the laundry.

The Begining

Lookit that. I have an online journal. Now I can spill my thoughts out here where everyone with internet access can read them. And I should do this why?