Before you go and jump on me for being a horrible adult with no heart to speak of, it was by no means intentional.
Every year for a week my little family goes ‘Up North’ on vacation. We pull along the boat and the fishing gear. I pack two or three bags of books to read, games, crafts and toys for my Little Lass. We invite another family to join us with kids of their own, and they usually make it for most of the week. Games are played, visits to the local candy store made, and pontoons rented. More often than not all the shuffling results in one of the adults looking after some or all of the kids alone. Today I was that adult.
As the kids have gotten older, they require less minding. So I half listened as the kids played a rather challenging game against each other. Even so, when one of the boys called his sister “Dumbo” my ears perked a bit and I mentioned that that wasn’t very nice. His response was to tell me that it was fine because she was “used to it” and some other boy they knew uses it all the time. I explained very pointedly that I never wanted to hear him call ANYONE that every again. I then waited for an hour or so before I mentioned anything more to his father.
What followed was, because it was agreed he was old enough to get the idea, a discussion about how speaking to anyone like that, and allowing others to do so without saying something or reacting, was showing that that kind of behavior was okay. That in doing so he was teaching his little sister that it was okay to be talked to like that, and telling her it was okay to be used to it sent a message she could carry with her going forward. When we told him we wanted him to be a better person than that, a better man and a better being he broke into huge tears. (Bless his sensitive heart.)
But listen, these are the conversations that need to be had sooner rather than later. Our boys need to learn that words and actions go out to the world and have an affect. Our girls need to understand that they are people worth being, that being smart isn’t a crime and they are equal in standing to their male counterparts. And they NEED to hear it and SEE it from the adults that influence their daily lives.
So I made a little boy cry today, it was heart wrenching and resulted in the need for cuddles from me and an assurance that he’s one of the greatest little boys I’ve ever met. But by god he heard us and got where it was going. It won’t be the last time this talk will need to happen. Children forget lessons as quickly as they learn them. We just have to keep teaching.
When things go dark it doesn’t always mean it’s over.
For instance this site went dark back in February. See I read this book on Adultitis and it got me thinking, which is always a bad idea. Once I start thinking I rarely stop. I cross the border into obsession and before I know it I’ve thought things literally into non-existence. I started thinking about the lessons I wanted to leave Little Lass with and what kind of memory of me I wanted her to have should something happen to me tomorrow that took me away from her. I started to think about how I live my life and how much not fun most of it is. I started to think about how the parts I love had everything to do with my family and my framily (friends that are like family). I then ran through the things I love to do that I don’t spend time on. Then I thought about this blog and what I should start to focus it on more.
I ran into a problem. I want to write about ALL THE THINGS, and this blog can’t handle ALL THE THINGS. It would become unwieldy and cumbersome and just lost. More than it already was. The answer? Multiple blogs. Why? Because I’m crazy and need help.
So in an effort to compartmentalize and write what I want without having things go absolutely insane, in process now is the set up of Geek Girl Reading, a blog about books and reading and writing, and Mahan-Miller, a technology blog and portfolio site for my actual work and journey to enhance my knowledge base in that arena. Look for the announcement they exist soon.
I’m planning things, thinking happy thoughts and working when and how I can. The road to the life you want to live is paved in trials and tribulations, but the end goal is there and I can see it in the rise and fall of the hills and valleys that will take me there.
A year or so ago my work place did a retreat/meeting and the key note speaker was Jason Kotecki of Escape Adulthood. Unfortunately for me I missed out on the actual talk since I was needed in my role of Resident Geek. So I did the next best thing and picked up the book There’s An Adult In My Soup.
It’s a quick read with each section being just a couple of pages. But it tackled a few topics about modern life and how we adults live it (or don’t as the case may be). It also gave me a few things to mull over.
- We live every day going to work. How many of us are doing something we really enjoy though? How many of us are just doing what’s expected and easy and not what calls to our soul and interests?
- Where, exactly, did we get the idea that that’s the way life had to be in order to be responsible adults? Does it have to stay that way once you realize the trap you’ve fallen into?
- Why isn’t it okay to play for a living? And by play we can include any thing that gives us joy. I love to code, I love to make web sites work and I adore social media and the way it affects the rest of the work I do. But nothing says I have to have a job that makes me miserable to do all those things, or that do any of those things I have to exclude the other elements I find joy in.
- The role model I want to be for Little Lass. Why can’t it be a woman who finds joy and creativity in her every day life and laughs at the same time as being able to pay the bills and take care of her family?
- Who says that reaching Adulthood means you have to forget the dreams and ideas that give you excitement because it’s not what society expects from Adults?
- And how do you fix it and change it? Build the life you want for yourself and those you love?
I know. I know I’m currently speaking from a place of frustration tinged with… well… more frustration. But they’re honest and worthy questions and considerations. Somehow the daughter of a man who will put on a full outfit made completely out of Minion cloth (Yes, the Despicable Me Minions. No I’m not certain where he found the whole get up and I haven’t asked.) and run around a mall in Vegas has found herself stuck in the realm of this Adultitis that the Kotekis speak of.
She desperately wants out, and she’s motivated. Someone should probably duck, I’m just not sure who yet.