These are from Walt's sister's fridge
* Discussion *
Talk about it here.
WHAT I'M READING...
(not for the squeamish!)
WHAT I'M WATCHING...
Samples of two of the
Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.
Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.
That's it for today!
3 Sepember 2001
It would be nice to talk about the dinner we went to tonight. I'd like to talk about how we revived our old gourmet group, a group that grew out of some friends not going to Greece several years ago, leading to our having a Greek dinner to comfort them for having to cancel their trip. This led to a periodic international dinner, where we'd choose a different country and everybody contribute a dish from that country, the hosts providing the main course.
In the old days we would then sit around playing Trivial pursuit until we pooped out and went home.
We hadn't had one of these dinners in many years-- probably about 8. But when I was at my dentist's office the other day (she was one of the members of the original group), another woman from the old group was in the next chair and the three of us started talking about reviving the dinners. Several of the old gang have left the area, so it was a smaller group-- only 7 of us tonight. But we all made something Tuscan and it was a delicious dinner and nice to get caught up with everyone again.
As I said, I'd like to talk about the dinner and the fun of getting together with old friends again.
But that's not what's on my mind, unfortunately.
Among the people who were there, we are parents to about 12 children. Most of the kids are now adults and grown, married (some of them), and out on their own. Obviously some are no longer here.
One couple is still doing kids at home. They have two teenagers and one who is coming up on the teens soon. And they are experiencing the typical teen age problems, especially since one of the kids has ADD and has been a handful ever since birth.
Inevitably the talk turned to problems those of us with older kids had when our own kids were teenagers. And invariably when the talk turns to this subject, I get quieter and quieter.
The usual way it goes is that there is a litany of all the horrible/dangerous/stupid things our kids did. How many times the cops showed up at our door. The various scrapes they were in. How many times the school called with bad news.
Anybody who's ever raised a teenager is no stranger to these sorts of stories. One kid we talked about tonight had, at age 12, taken the parents' car, loaded it up with a bunch of friends, and went joyriding on the freeway.
There's the "I found cigarettes/booze/whatever hidden in the bedroom."
There's the "every time I looked around, money was missing from my wallet" or "I have to keep my wallet locked up and hide the keys to the car."
We all played "can you top this" for awhile.
But I get silent and a knot starts forming in my stomach. Because I know how all the stories will end: "It's happened to all of us, but somehow we survived."
And that's not true. Some of us didn't survive. Some of the kids kept doing those stupid things and as a result are no longer here.
But you can't say that. You can't yell "REMEMBER??? We have dead kids!!"
I sat there and got angry with Paul and David. Angry because I used to be so proud of ourselves for the parenting we did. How we seemed to have handled the crises well. We didn't have perfect kids--who does (and how dull would that be?), but I was proud of us because when there were problems, we got help and the kids seemed to pull through. We kept the communication open and felt we had a good rapport with all the kids.
I used to be the shining example to parents I met on the Internet, of someone who had successfully raised five children, who had survived all the angst of the teenage years, who somehow had the answers to how to cope with rebellious kids, with kids in trouble.
"How did you DO it?" was the question I was most commonly asked. And I didn't think we did anything special, but I was always willing to help someone just going through all the angst themselves and give suggestions of what seemed to have worked for us.
But no more.
I have no credibility any more.
Somehow it wasn't enough. And we have two dead kids to prove it.
No, we didn't all go through it and still survive.
But you can't say that at a party.
One Year Ago:
Some pictures from this journal
Created 9/3/01 by Bev Sykes