03 September 2013

Drabbles from the Missing

We went on vacation the first week in August and I decided to take that time off from the cyber-world.  I ignored my e-mail, stayed off Twitter, avoided Facebook and neglected my blog/news reading.  It was nice.  In fact, it was so nice, that I only just came back to it all.  Having waded through almost 700 posts in my reader and caught up on the Twitter buzz, I am ready to get back to this world.  In a nutshell: not dead, feeling refreshed and ready to blog. 

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Showing some real personal growth, I put on my grown-up knickers and went to our neighborhood block party.  This is something that falls so far outside of my anti-social comfort zone that I still feel a little dizzy just thinking about it.  Add in that Chris was not there, he and Charlie went to another event full of RPI-grads so I guess maybe my gang was easier to manage (?), so it was just Liz and me.  However, I did it.  I met some neighbors, made polite small-talk and actually felt pretty comfortable by the time we wandered home.  This is a big deal for me because without the built-in social nature of having fellow Navy-spouses around I was a bit lost as to how to go about meeting people.  Now I feel like I know my neighbors and have access to several other families with kids so we can start building some kind of support structure here.

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On that note, I am noticing a trend out here among the civilians. For the most part, the other parents of kids in the 3-6 range are older than me.  Like by ten years or so.  Now sure, lots of people have kids in there late 20s or early 30s putting them staunchly in my age bracket with kids, but I am noting that a vast majority of the other mommies are in a very different place than I.  Not a huge deal, people have kids when they are ready and we are all still in this fight together, but it seems to provide a certain undertone to all  interactions with other parents.  While being 31 with two kids actually makes me part of the "older" crowd among Navy families, here it makes me the "younger" mom even though we have all been parents for the same amount of time.  Not sure if there is a point to this line of thought, but this issue seems to be winding its way into a lot of social interactions these days, so you know, worth pondering and all that.

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So now here I am "young-mommy," "new" to this neighborhood waiting at the bus stop with the gaggle of neighborhood kids and associated parental units.  We make small-talk, the kids burn off their nervous energy in the cul-de-sac and Charlie seems to be relaxing into the idea of the school bus.  All in all, I feel comfortable here.  Then the bus comes along.  The wrong way.  Our neighborhood is only three roads that connect in one big circle.  The bus had done the three stops in reverse order than listed on the schedule, or how it had always been done, or something.  No big deal for any normal person, just move to the other side of the corner and jump on.  The way I figure some state-certified and background checked driver plus a state-certified and background checked safety aide are going to pick my kid up, drive her to school then deliver her back to my block all for "free."  Just tell me where to stand and we are good to go.  As it turns out, that reaction would be wrong.  This is Armageddon people! The bus can the wrong way, the aide didn't assign seats, education as we know it has ended, it is raining frogs...the whole bit.  The other mummies accusingly tell the aide they are doing the route wrong.  They demand to know why the kids don't have assigned seats.  They are assured it will get worked out, first day and all.  This doesn't seem good enough.  No doubt e-mails and phone calls are in progress right now.  After all, if we don't micro-manage every aspect of our children's lives, who will?   As for me?  Eh, I just gave Charlie a kiss, said "see you this afternoon," called out a "thank you" to the driver and the aide and went home.

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Perhaps this is why I am not a huge hit with other parents...whatever. I am way more Sherlock than Watson.  Oh well.   Laters!



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