April 13, 2010

A History of My Child's Life

Not so long ago my kids were engaged in the kind of bickering that was certain to lead to hand-to-hand combat and I found myself lost in thought. I wasn't completely ignoring them but I had this hope that my lack of intervention was going to lead to their finding a way to resolve without parental involvement.

It wasn't a crazy idea nor would it be unprecedented. There have been more than one occasion in which they figured it out and I had some hope that it would happen again. Unfortunately it didn't happen this time. Such is life.

I find myself saying that a lot lately, "such is life." One of my many catchphrases it comes into daily parlance from time to time only to be switched with "it is what it is." Simple, trite remarks that are supposed to reflect the reality that some things happen and there is not much that you can do about them.

It is not something that I am happy about. The kids don't really like it much either. We want concrete answers that we can hold onto. We want to be at peace with ourselves, but it is not always easy.

The dark haired beauty is much better at it than her brother or myself. She does an excellent job of taking what comes and rolling with it. But we boys are no so good about it. It is not in our nature to just accept. We spend time thinking about these things, wondering if there is a way to defeat our adversary. There must be a weakness that we can find.

She doesn't get caught up in that. It doesn't mean that she is accepting of wrongdoing, just that she handles it differently. She lets it roll off her back. I have gotten better at it, but still struggle. And my son, well he is my boy. That fire in my belly burns in his too, but he doesn't have the benefit of life experience. I do what I can to help him with these things, but as my grandfather used to say, you can't screw an old head on young shoulders.

Sometimes I think that the blog has been good for my parenting skills. I can read old posts and take myself back to earlier times like when he asked me not to die. Sometimes I read them and cringe. But they also provide a context that I have forgotten about or launching points for a new discussion. They offer a chance to see just how much the kids have grown and how their ability to reason has developed.


Earlier this evening they asked me to tell them stories about my childhood. I talked about Sounds of My Youth and made them laugh with tales of how I teased their aunts.We covered a lot of ground and I shared bits and pieces of The Long And Winding Road and talked about how life really is a journey. They asked me to talk to them in Hebrew so that they could practice. They giggled at my thick American accent and asked me to tell them more stories about what I was like as a little boy.

I smiled and told them that some things would have to wait for tomorrow. It was received with the normal response of "no, just one more...please etc." I growled and said that I wouldn't acquiesce tonight. The lack of response made it clear that either I had used the word before or they understood what it meant from the tone of my voice.

And then the dark haired beauty made one more play. She asked if she could sing part of a song to me. I smiled and said ok and was showered with kisses and the chorus of Bad Romance. On a side note, she learned that song from one of the mother of a girl in her class. I wasn't too happy about that, but fortunately she has never seen the video.

I would have been more than irritated about that, but I digress. More on this later.


The Mayor said...

Have faith that upon reaching maturity they may end up getting along just fine, even loving one another.
It happened with my oldest three, who are actually living together (by choice) in Chicago right now.

It's really a comfort, to know they have each other to lean on.

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

excellent post, jack. i think it's fascinating that traditionally (stereotypically?) men let things roll off their backs and women try to analyze and re-analyze everything; but not in this case.

i wonder how much they're born with and how much they learn and emulate? not an original question, but an interesting one nonetheless.

i look at my kids and see so much of my husband and me in their personalities! my fingers are crossed for the good traits to be passed along!

Jack said...


That is very cool. If life goes the way I want then the two of them will grow up to be great friends.


We think about things just as women do. We're just far more logical and organized about it. ;)

Besides, we wouldn't make life too easy. You'd never appreciate us.

And yep, I wonder about the kids. Wish I could get inside their heads.