All posts in the family category

Newtown shooting

Published December 15, 2012 by Kim

My family and I live hundreds of miles from Connecticut–even so, when the story broke, I felt such horror and anger as to come very close to pulling my own son out early from school. The news sickened me, quite literally, to the point of gagging in the bathroom and trying to hold in the tears while I worked. I sat for most of the evening with my little ones on my lap, each taking a turn snuggling up to mommy, knowing something was amiss, but not knowing what.

I cannot express my heartache and rage. Parents who cannot even claim the bodies of their young children, waiting for the investigation to wrap up, evidence be collected, and clearance be given to remove the remains from the classrooms. Parents who made breakfast this morning, bought or packed lunches, checked homework, snagged a quick hug and kiss…

And now there are presents that will never be opened, pictures with Santa that won’t ever be taken, Christmas dresses and suits and ties that will never be worn, milk and cookies that won’t be set out, stockings unfilled, and houses that will fall silent, or will lack that one voice in the mix–the laughter and the fighting and the whining and the questions about everything. All of it stopped. And it won’t come back, not for Christmas or ever again, and I look at my children just one more time, tonight, and my heart physically hurts for these parents, these grandparents, and the siblings and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends (but, oh, especially the parents!). I want to lock my babies away, keep them safe, stand between them and all the world—


Parenting is hard

Published August 12, 2012 by Kim

My eldest, L, is spoiled. Pain-in-the-rear spoiled. Some of it is related, I believe, to how lax we were with him when he was very small. (He had apraxia of speech and was effectively non-verbal–that made it hard to discipline him when we could hardly understand him.)

The problem I recurrently encounter is my MiL. Since L was born (he and D are her only grandchildren), she’s treated him as if he can do no wrong. Oh, there are the times where it’s “now, L, you shouldn’t do that” and–if she’s very exasperated–a firm “no.”

Other times, however…like two weeks ago. We were at Lowe’s, the kids had just finished their kiddie building project, and D found a decorative yard stake of a butterfly that she wanted. It wasn’t much, so I agreed. L decided he wanted something, so. Said to choose something–whereupon he marched off with B and returned with a $20 book. I said no.

Cue massive meltdown. I mean down on the floor wailing. It was horrifying and embarrassing. He’s seven years old for Pete’s sake! I was angry, and couldn’t do anything about it (there’s a whole ugly history about MiL not liking how I handle the kids), until I finally told him that I wasn’t buying him anything after such reprehensible behavior. We get out the door and halfway to the car, and MiL escorts him inside and buys him one of the yard stakes.

The tears and whining dried up like someone turned off a tap.

I was raging. I’m still frustrated, because I tried to talk to her about this whole thing, and she turned her back on me and started doing her dishes. Ten minutes later, she’s suddenly announcing that she likely won’t be going with us to Florida next weekend. No mention of feeling bad until now. Do I believe her? I don’t know. It was awfully convenient, but she’s not in the best of health…that’s not the point, though! Why, when I’m trying to address the spiral my son is in, do I get tuned out?!

Why can’t she recognize that we’re hard on him now so he’s not a disaster when he’s older? Why can’t she support our parenting, rather than undermine it?