I woke up yesterday morning to the plaintive cries of my adult daughter who had discovered she was unable to put any weight on her right foot. Here is a woman with more stamina and energy than a ten year old…I’d say five but clearly her son does tire her (and me much readily) out. She also has a demanding job and is a single parent, so things are without saying, but I am right here, often stressful. To make matters a tad more complicated she is proctoring tests all week at the school where she works full time.
Okay, enough with the situation set-up. I knew immediately what i had to do. Feed dogs or their incessant barking might drive me to drink, if I did, or drugs if I did, or insanity which is possible, make coffee, wake grandson, who definitely did not want to wake up, or get out of bed, or eat the breakfast which I had somehow managed and then decided to throw a fit over spilled maple syrup. (One might suppose he had heard a distorted version of crying over spilt milk but whatever). I then made said child’s lunch, filled his stainless steel bottle with filtered water, packed it all in his unicorn lunchbox and deposited all into his backpack. Aside: Did you know small children in the USA have to schlepp a lot of stuff to school these days, besides books in backpacks? It is a ridiculous “entitlement” problem to be sure.
I am well aware there are small children toiling away in sweat shops in other parts of the world who cannot go to school, or kids here in the US who don’t have the luxury of giving orders for their lunch or have filtered water (think Flint, MI). Though i am a doting grandmother I am also a socially conscious one who works to raise the awareness of my five year old, extremely lucky, white grandson enough so he becomes part of the solution to world challenges, rather than a pain in the ass jerk.
Okay, so I got everybody ready, took grandson to school, bade goodbye to my hopping daughter whose thoughtful boyfriend fireman’s carried her to the car and then drove her to emergency. Came home to sort my day out until I could pick up said daughter, now on crutches and sporting an unfashionable black boot to then drive her to her job. Dedicated to her students is an understatement.
My family is lucky, as am I. I’m here, sharing our abode and to do this sort of thing, mostly. A couple months ago I had a strange bout of high blood pressure which landed me in the hospital and my daughter came to my rescue. I’m also here to live my life as an (I never thought I’d be one) active senior citizen.
Multigenerational households can be great, especially when the members of said residence have the skills to deal with daily stresses and can respond with a high level of emotional intelligence. This is the case for us at our place. But I have witnessed other situations.
Years ago I was part of a non profit organization that worked with women and children survivors of domestic abuse. There was always the discussion as to who we should help first, the mothers or the children. Obviously the answer was always both.
I say obviously because it is not apparent to many.
1. Parents are role models, be they good or bad, who teach by example if not also by word. We must remember that until recently, parenting classes were either not available, blatantly awful or steeped in distorted dogma…or a combination. I am saying until recently but though there have been some strides in the general evolution in parenting…it may be moving backwards. Now, I won’t get started on the religious dogma aspect except to say there is an awful lot of hypocrisy in the area of practicing what one might preach…but I suppose that can also be said about child rearing in general. I can remember my (atheist) mother telling me to do as she said and not as she did. Even as a small child I could see through that bullshit; that was not the word I used at the time.
2. Children – because even if mom or dad were getting support there was also the need to unravel the damage that had been wrought by the abusive parent, grandparents, social services or family members who had neglected the abuse, by teachers, police or medical personnel who were too busy to respond quickly, etc. The kids are going to repeat what they experienced because its stored in both their conscious and unconscious, ready to surface at just the right (?) time.
One might say I am hyper-sensitive to our culture because it continues to ignore and cripple the needs of most people, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, and even economic status. And its not just the crappy politicians who are supposed to represent us who are messing things up, its the other social institutions which enforce this emotional and intellectual laming behavior. Of course corporate media plays into this, in a big way, but sheesh how much can we cover in this essay without wanting to sit on a street corner and drink Ripple? Until we come to grips with this social dis-ease we are going to get more and more fucked up as a society. You don’t want that, do you?
Yeah, the evil Hillary said it takes a village, and she is absolutely correct. Every one of us plays an important part in our world. I sincerely hope that we, the human race, evolve into something much better than we are, as a current whole, today. In the meantime I’m going to keep plunking away on this keyboard and sending my words into the cosmos with the deep desire they do not fall on numb minds.