In Carpool

In the school carpool line: Called M back to the car to remind her of something. MAJOR eye roll. She *knows* that already.

So… I rolled along side her with the window down, suggested that since we were moving at the same speed, we could talk (more) about sex. HORROR and screams and a little laughter as she told me she hates me. I told her I cracked myself up. She told me I am the WORST and hustled her laughing self into school.

I may be the worst. She may hate me. But I can still make her laugh.

Yesterday Can Go to Hell

Yesterday was a gorgeous day outside.  It was sunny and warm with just enough of a light breeze to keep it from being hot.  It wasn’t even humid.  Beautiful day.

And I got to play tennis.

But I lost.

And then everyone else on the team lost, too

And then a friend showed up to tell us she was moving.  To Germany.

Then a different friend called to say her grandson was going to the hospital because he had split his chin open (he’s ok– stitches and a bunch of bruising, but 100% perfect).

So I went to pick up my friend’s car to keep it safe in my driveway while she was at the hospital with her grandson (and 2 of her daughters and her son-in-law).

Then I went to get groceries.

And backed into the car I was keeping safe in my driveway.

This is actually the 3rd time I’ve done this. It is not funny. So not funny at all.  Well, not to me.  Other people find it HILARIOUS.  And I can see why.  I just can’t get there.

And then, one of my girls looked at me and asked me, “Weren’t you supposed to get a job? What ever happened with that? Why haven’t you?”

And then this morning, the scale said I gained 5 pounds yesterday.

So yesterday can go to hell.


Springtime Snafu

So, spring has been here for a while, and it is wonderful.  My toenails are painted, there are now 6 legs in my home being shaved (at least intermittently), shorts are showing up in the wash, and spectating spring sports requires flip flops instead of parkas .  Flowers are blooming, the bees are happy, and the sun is shining and everyone is a little happier.

It is all wonderful.

Except for the pollen and the sun.

The pollen means that 3 of us have general sinus issues (and the 4th has her days, but doesn’t believe it).  That means 3 Flonase spray bottles every morning, lots of tissues and me having to remind everyone that it is time to take the medicine that will get us through the week without dissolving into a puddle of sinus headache pain and things even less pleasant.

Somehow, this is not making me anyone’s favorite in the morning.

But the sun is the real killer.

Katie and Stagg have his more sun tolerant skin.  He contends that it is the Cherokee in his heritage.  I say it is luck and simply not very fair.  They will turn pink when they’ve been in the sun too long, but almost always, the next day, that pink turns a lovely bronze and the discomfort of the previous day his drowned out by memories of fun in the sun.

Maggie and I have what we call cheap, Irish skin. We tend to think twice about getting the mail at noon in the summer, because that 45 second trip outside could (and has) actually leave us a little pink.  A day at the beach almost always means a deep red burn that lasts for days.  Our memories of beach trips tend to be filled with aloe and trying to strike a balance between avoiding the sun while not making anyone else feel badly that we are avoiding the very thing people go on vacation to enjoy.

So, sunscreen.

It seems so obvious.  We both know that we burn easily, so why wouldn’t we have sunscreen with us at all times?  Mostly, we do.  It is by the door at home so we can grab it before we go out.  I keep some in my car, and Maggie has some in her lacrosse bag just in case we are in too much of a rush when we are leaving.

And, still, we end up burnt.  Even when we sunscreen at 30-45 minute intervals, UV rays sneak through and bite us. I managed to get a sock tan line in the winter. This skin of ours is very cheap and Irish.

Maggie didn’t have her sunscreen in her bag last weekend (we took it out for vacation backup) and didn’t want to ask any of the girls around her to borrow theirs.  She was already pink at the time. So she burned. Hard.

After the second game, Maggie had a deep red/white jersey border stripes on her neck, shoulders and back.  There are very few shirts that can disguise these streaks.  Even more conspicuous is the bright line on her forehead at the top of her goggles.  It is so attractive.

Just what every almost-14-year-old girl dreams of.

Someday, her fears of skin cancer and hatred of sunburn will kick in and she will be better about putting on sunscreen regularly.

And then she will burn a little bit less.

Why my kids have Snapchat

Every single list of Apps Parents should watch out for includes Snapchat somewhere on the list– usually near the top.

The basic idea is that because Snapchat allows users to send images that disappear after a pre-determined time frame of a couple seconds to a couple minutes that

  1. kids can use it for inappropriate pictures and
  2. other kids can save the “disappearing” images and use them for revenge.

This, to me, does not give our kids much credit.

Nor does it give parents much credit, either.

Are we really incapable to discussing these problems with our children and explaining why these things are a bad idea? Are our children truly incapable of understanding the difference between right and wrong when faced with an app that allows them to make a bad decision? Do we really believe that we are more internet/social media savvy than our kids?

Of course kids make mistakes. Of course kids make bad choices.

Both my kids have Snapchat, and so do I. Their accounts are set to private, and I am within my rights to look at their contact lists as the mood strikes me. Right now, they are far more interested in the Snapchat Faces than anything else.

I don’t believe that this app can or will override their good sense. We talk about social media in discussions about peer pressure, sex, friendship and life in general. It is no longer something that exists separately from their life—it is an integral par of their lives.

Of course there are risks involved in this mindset. But I believe that helping them learn to use these tools while I am more intimately involved in their daily lives will lead to better digital navigation as they become more independent.

stand-up-to-your-friends-quote-jera-skyRecently, there was an issue on an app where some kids were sharing pics of themselves that were…. less than ideal. It wasn’t Snapchat. It was one of the “safe” apps. The incident led to many (more) discussions about peer pressure and standing up to your friends (Thank you, Albus Dumbledore, for the words I needed to get through to my daughter in that moment.)

The risks are within our kids’ lives, and if we convince ourselves that it’s all about the apps, we are denying the true risk and will be blindsided by it.