Posts Tagged ‘moms

09
Sep
08

Raising Berlin

I seem to be low on thoughts.  School started last week, which saps my strength, sanity, time, and apparently all my innermost thoughts.  So…When all else fails, we can talk about our kids.  I have two – girls.  One is 14 (remember recent birthday?  It caused quite a stir).  She is the definitive first child – neat, organized, responsible, austere, and a little snooty.  Number two is 7 and in second grade.  For description, see the attached picture (see the crazed look?).  I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since she was born. Many nights it was because I laid by her crib listening to her asthmatic breathing, but as she grew, I began to lose sleep ruminating over the adventures (?) in store. 

Number Two starts 2nd grade.  Scene:  Established charter school with ex-officer of the Marine Corps at the helm.  Kids in uniforms walking in straight lines.  Frantic queen bee mothers, most of whom have actually E-Bayed their souls to raise these superkids in pleated skirts.  The queen bees are unafraid to E-bay me or anyone else who would foil their plans if there is one mis-step (the peer pressure is enough to give a mother a stroke!).  The school may be academically superior, but it is certainly not prepared for the tornado that is Number Two.  Before she started school, Principal Marine counted down the years until she began.  She was infamous at four.  Now she is seven – older, stronger…better. 

Day One:  She surprises me by telling me that she does not need any school supplies.  Her very sweet new teacher gave her everything she needs.  I am surprised and a little miffed.  It took three trips to Target to check everything off the list and to ensure that the inside of her pencil box had enough style to make up for her clothing.

Back Story:  Number Two explained to her unsuspecting teacher (first year, poor thing doesn’t stand a chance) that her mother donated all of the school supplies at our house to the Katrina victims.  Number Two fails to take into account that Katrina wiped out all her #2’s two years ago.  Nevertheless, Mrs. First Year pities the child whose mother cares more for unknown children than her own and offers her all the supplies from the “emergency closet.”  I have been around long enough to smell a rat, so when we get home, I pay a visit to Number Two’s bedroom where I find a stash of glitter pencils and holographic princess folders in record time.  I lay them on the kitchen table and wait for the explanation…She simply couldn’t bear to share all that glitter and there was a chance that sharing would go on.  What have I done?  Take heart, Mom, she did take her own scissors and glue.  She didn’t use all of the emergency supplies.

Day Two:  Backpack comes home with a note from the OFFICE.  Already?  Two days?  It is requesting that I re-submit Number Two’s registration since we changed her name over the summer.  Ummm…

Back Story:  Number Two refused to answer to her given name (not actually Number Two).  She told Mrs. First Year that she has her name is in the process of being legally changed because her mom wanted to name her Berlin, in honor of her mother’s favorite rock band of the ’80’s.  First, Berlin is not my favorite ’80’s girl band.  Second, I am not actually flaky.  I am a loafer, pearl and cardigan kind of girl – a style that perfectly reflected my personality EVEN in the ’80’s.  Third, Number Two – Berlin – is obviously disappointed in her very boring mom who by now Mrs. First Year probably thinks is one Bud Light away from going roadie.

Day Three:  Phone call from the school.  Actually from Number Two herself, which means she talked the secretary into some serious rule-bending.  That is one of her many gifts.  Maybe there was no talking involved, maybe she tied the secretary up.  Anything is possible – I can’t be responsible for that 8 hours.  Apparently the very cute wedgie-sneakers (what are those called?  high-heels, rubber toes like Chuck Taylors, sling back?) that she was going to DIE without simply are not appropriate for PE.  Would I please just go home and get her some pink Airwalks so she could at least walk back to her classroom?  I say no.  She suggests that I am not mother of the year.  Let me remind you – SHE’S SEVEN!!!

Back Story:  There is no back story – don’t stand between a fashionista and her wedgie sneakers unless PE is involved.  We can all relate to that.  Despite the fact that I am referring to her as Number Two, make no mistake – I LOVE this child.  My dearest friend told me when I found out I was pregnant that this child would bless me in ways I would never imagine – and a truer tale has never been told.  She is unruly, but underneath it she is determined, strong, willful, and fearless.  She has fun in any circumstance and carries a confidence that I have not seen in such a young child.  In fact, she has never been without that confidence.  When she was born, each nurse individually commented that she seemed so at peace, despite the fact that she cried herself to the verge of suffocation.  The greatest challenge in parenting her is bringing some discipline into her life without squashing exactly what it is that makes her awesome.  My goal is that she be socially acceptable and NOT lie about my acts of charity.  I try to remember that the goal in raising Berlin has nothing to do with easy.  When we raise children, raising them to be complacent should not be a goal.  While I may envy the mother of the quiet child, I would never trade.  The peace I would enjoy for the next few years would never be worth it.  Berlin is a tornado, like I said before, not because she leaves a path of destruction, but because she is a powerful force of nature.  If I can raise her to use these powers for good, this child will grow into the woman I always hoped to be.

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