Wednesday, January 16, 2013

rolling with the punches

One of the things I've been trying to figure out during all these medical happenings is how to parent my other 3 children. To be fair, I've been trying to figure out how to parent my children for 13.5 years, and still, faking it. I would say that somebody should write a guidebook but everybody has and I hate them all. Not the people, mind you, but the books. Nobody around here does anything like the books consistently. They walk late and they talk early, and sometimes they don't talk at all. They teach themselves to read but some could only be defined as "toilet-trained" by the very loosest of standards, like the New York Subway Musician Standard of Toilet Training. They don't say "I hate you," but they  occasionally use an expletive they read on a Mario and Luigi message board, when they are very, very frustrated at a computer. They eat everything, which is great because they aren't picky but horrifying when it is a french fry on the floor at the movies. That's right, a french fry. They don't fall asleep at night until the wee hours, and they fall asleep in mid-play, in the middle of the floor. "All of this," you say, "is not the fault of the child, it is poor parenting." And maybe you're right. I will be happy to read your parenting book, as soon as you have more than one child. (exaggerated winky face)

One thing there is never a shortage of is or are parenting horror stories, secondhand ones. "Oh, yeah," they say, half-whispering, "they adopted that kid and sure enough, everybody got rabies." or "Well, I heard that Son of Sam killer was formula-fed. Just saying..." So I am going into what might be a prolonged illness with R2, hearing echoes in my head of grownups saying that the first time they considered selling meth was when their parents let them play video games all day to keep them out of the way during a crisis. This is it, I think, this is where it goes off the rails and their relatively happy childhood gets complicated. In reality, they have grown up this far with a very disabled brother, a dad who traveled half the time, and a mom who has the top half of a face and the bottom half is a computer screen, so maybe it wasn't all that idyllic. And I know we're good parents, I'm mostly kidding around. But I do worry, it's kinda in the job description.

For the first time ever, I'm strongly considering putting Toby and Brynn in school, in a small private school, if it is right and we can work out the details. Expect some insanely emo blog entries about letting go and rivers of tears and such if that happens, because I have never claimed to be good at raising and releasing. If I could make them stay 5 forever, and it wasn't some sick scientific experiment that spawned countless made for TV movies, I would. I am crazy about 5 year olds. This is one of those times when I'm having to let go of a dream, maybe for a season, maybe just a season, because life has shifted directions and I have to keep up. Rolling with the punches, they call it. I could spend some time wailing, "This is not what I wanted!" and maybe I will, but really, the sooner I adapt, the better for everybody.

In the end, however this goes, I know that I love my kids and somehow, we're all gonna be okay. OR, we will make a killing selling the movie rights to Brynn's tell-all, if she ever learns how to spell.


  1. If you're following this blog from near or far, and LOVE THE CLARK FAMILY please email me for a top secret way that you can help this rockstar, awesome family during this season they are walking through.

  2. No matter what your decision, you WILL be fine and your children WILL be fine. If anyone wants to put their "two cents" in, ignore 'em! YOU KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN.
    Sharon D

  3. Unless of course it is the two cents of your beloved mother in law..... in that case.... memorize each word and run it by your FATHER GOD and then consider whatever remnant remains.... and know that grandmothers can also be gifts from GOD :)

  4. It's so hard when circumstances are not what we want. At all. As a retired militant homeschool mom, I want to encourage you to do what feels right for your family (school decisions). May His peace reign during this season.

    Jenn's Mom


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