Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Where the ____ is Linda?
Once my children hit their tweens and teens this past year, my time and head and heart have been preoccupied. I don't talk about them here--to do so would be a form of privacy invasion. But what I will say is this: over the past year and continuing forward, I believe both my children have begun to recognize the loss of childhood and the beginning of adulthood--and they do not like where they find themselves. For them both, their antics and angst are not symptoms of disease or deviance but of mourning.
And who can blame them?
Appearances must be maintained in school, at the mall, on facebook. There are pressures none of my generation ever faced. Sure, school is tedious, boring, "stupid", filled with few applications relevant to real life. As when I was younger, much younger, their classmates brag about getting high, having sex, stealing.
But daily, my kids tell stories of their peers taking joy in making fun of others who don't wear "Ever Crummy and Bitch" shirts or who can't spike the ball over the net during gym. Of celebrating a kid who "finally killed himself" because he had been cyber-harassed. Despite all the attention paid by principals and teachers to counter it, bullying has become the latest style. Bullying takes many, often subtle forms: calling someone a ghost because they have pale skin, grabbing another's binder and throwing it on the school roof, peeing in a cup and telling another to drink it. My children have been on the receiving end of these affronts, and more.
My son tells my daughter high school is little better than middle school. It does not giver her too much hope. I think about pulling my children from public schools and sending them to private ones, but I fear similar problems are found there, just involving other drugs, other brand names, other forms of violence. Besides, public school is a cross-section of the real world, and where better to prepare for the real world?
Because, by golly, I see the same issues in my daily life, the same basic lack of civility and compassion and kindness.
I didn't intend for this post to take this form. I thought I'd talk about the process of revising PURE, of the constant snow, of learning guitar. Of the books I've read. But this is where Linda is these days, mourning the end of my children's childhood and trying to understand how that must feel to them.