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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summertime Blues

It hit me a little bit during the past hour or so.  Writer's block.  I have had a nice little run the past few months but today, as the rains wipe out the swimming party my daughter is attending, I am in a bit of a haze.

I think the main thing isn't the endless softball nights, or work days in the City.  Rather, it is the constant schoolwork and other obligations my daughter is consumed with.  I am wondering if she, like me, is becoming overwhelmed.

She slept til around 10 this morning and after a nice breakfast I have to put this little girl to work.  She has a tutoring service (www.kumon.com) that requires she do daily math worksheets.  As she is a lot like her father we find it IMPERATIVE she does not fall behind in math.  More importantly she needs an overall confidence builder.  The more folks tell her she can't do it she believes it.  I was unaware this trait was passed down from the generation before it.  Of course she objects to the work and fights it every bit of the way.  I bribe her or tell her how important it is in her development.

She does not want to hear it and who can blame her??  This is her vacation after all.

But wait, there's more.  She has about (30) math assignments on line that have to be complete by 9.7.11 (the first day of school.)  This is a mandatory requirement from the school.  It goes without saying the assignments grow more difficult as the summer goes on.  The questions jump from 10 to 15 too.  I can appreciate the need to keep pace, but it is still tough to pin her to the computer for schoolwork.  This is a girl who is using Spotify to hear songs from artists as varied from Miike Snow to Selena Gomez.  Her playlist these days goes something like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgT_us6AsDg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVWeqAPQUXc&ob=av2e
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLexgOxsZu0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlyXNRrsk4A&ob=av3e

I am curious when I am going to be asked what a "menage a trois" and "hickey" are?  I refuse to edit Katy Perry or anything else for that matter.  I am not going to show her 9 1/2 Weeks or anything.  But I do not see the harm in some profanity and innuendo.  Especially when it comes to sexuality.  We continue to repress and/or not engage in healthy conversations about sex with our kids.  You think this is part of the reason oral sex hardly counts in teenagers minds?  Keep it away from them folks and I can tell you they will be after it the first chance they get.  And stop pretending you don't know what I am talking about.

But back to my point, she can barely indulge in the music and film that I was digging when I was her age.  In fact, 30 years ago I was her age and MTV was hitting the scene.  I think I watched non-stop for months.  Now I am awakened by thoughts of Thomas Dolby, Thompson Twins, Eddy Grant, and Richard Marx (and is it me or did he look like every woman field hockey coach in 1985??)  Those were good memories.  I played with friends all summer long.  I headed out when I woke up, came in for dinner, then back at night for sleep.

What will she remember?  The stress that keeps her up at night wondering if she will finish 3 books before school starts.  We have one down!!  Oh, and we have to finish reports for 2 of them.  I say we because as I mentioned, she is 9!!!

She might remember the softball season that provided her some laughs, and successes.  Not to mention, it  have her a 2nd place trophy she displays proudly.

She might remember the trip to the lake or vacation in NC later this month.

But she might very well remember that this was the year things got real tough.  The window is closing so rapidly on her being a kid.  Will this be the last year she wants to have family movie nights?  Will she not want to sit on the couch with me after a long day and fall asleep in my arms?  How long until I get away with no tv in her room?  Or no cell phone?

She has been "adultified" for years and the majority of that blame falls on my shoulders.  Hell, what do I know about raising a child?  Let alone a female one???  August has a few more weeks in it and I have to start holding on tighter.  Her camps are over and she has been coming into NYC a few days a week with us.  Who can afford child care?  Bad enough it costs about $75 a day to work in the city.  Add in the never-ending collapse of our economic system and you understand my dilemma.

There are a few more weeks where she can be 9.  Somehow we are going to have to navigate through the homework to see it happens.  If not, she slips through my hands further.

That said, I am going to go watch her play at this party before it ends.  I mean really, at some point the 25 girl backyard parties stop too, right???

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