My kid came home from school yesterday and told me all about the dangers of angel dust and how even using cocaine one time can give you a heart attack, like it did Len Bias, who wasn’t a bad person but someone who made a bad choice.
My 9 year old daughter is discovering what it feels like to have friends who, out of the clear blue sky, get pissed off and stop talking to her but won’t tell her why. Then the next day want to be her best friend again.
They both overheard me on the phone last week as I heard very upsetting news about something that happened to a family in our community. As I discussed the graphic details over the phone trying to parse out what had actually occurred vs. what people were saying had occurred, their level of anxiety grew, because to them, families are where things stay safe, not where things become unsafe.
My children have inherited their senses of humor from their parents. They have become, I am a little ashamed to admit, fans of Saturday Night Live. Totally inappropriate for a 3rd grader and probably for a 5th grader, but a lot of it flies over their heads (she says, crossing her fingers). The younger one is especially fond of Weekend Update. I confess to being a bit proud of that.
I don’t remember much of when they were tiny…not the day to day anyway. When I look at pictures I can recall details and their quirks and individual cutenesses, but the ins and outs of daily living with a six month old and a nine month old and a one year old and a…you get the picture, I don’t remember. This fact breaks my heart.
On the flip side, I have kids who ask me to explain the Arab-Israeli conflict at the dinner table.
On the other flip side – how many sides can we flip – my husband and I had a lengthy debate in hushed tones in the kitchen the other evening about how much it might or might not freak them out if they knew the reality of global warming.
This is one of my favorite poems:
Sentimental Moment or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road?
by Robert Hershon
Don’t fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge
My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?
What he doesn’t know
is that when we’re walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand