Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Moment in Time

One moment: I am sitting in a my comfy chair, laptop glaring in my eyes while I avoid cooking dinner to delve into the bizarre thoughts of a strangers monologue on abortion. Kyra is avoiding studying for a civil war exam next week and I have condoned her desire to flop in front of the television. Tasha is busily clicking away at the computer while she plays on pbskids.com.

Another moment: I am sitting in the same chair, the CFL bulb is spotlighting the stitching I am doing to mend a pair of jeans that still has some life in them. Kyra is creating a matching game to study her vocabulary. Tasha sat down to draw a thank you card for my aunt in NY. All was quite in the house except for the whirring of the ceiling fan and the occasional shuffle of a few markers.
Bill and I joked at the first scene, mostly because he walked in on it(all the way from the bus stop) after a long day of work and I asked him to fix dinner so I could finish the article. Apparently I missed the day in school where they taught us how to be a good wife. I think I'm supposed to meet him at the door in my high heels, hair perfect, with a smile on my face, and lead him to his armchair where I remove his shoes, serve him a drink and let him unwind from his day. I hush the children, send them outside to play and finish the preparations for a glorious 3 coarse dinner. Whatever. Even the second scene doesn't lead us to this scenario. A little closer maybe, but we don't live in the "Leave it to Beaver" age anymore. I'm not sure what my point is other than we don't have to be stuck in the same place for more that a moment. I could look at the first scene and really be depressed because technology ruled our life. But it was only for that moment. Although the fictitious June Cleaver did follow her duties for the time as wife and mother, she did rely on Ward quite often for help with the boys, and they didn't get into half the trouble our kids do!

That being said, I do wish sometimes that I had a little more June Cleaver in me. It seems to come and go in spurts and I feel a spurt coming on, if I can just hang on for a little longer. I was thinking about this time last year when I was on a completely different path. I was looking at a very hectic June where I taught art from 8-1:30, then tutored using a uniquely designed group tutoring method from 2-5. It made for some very long days and 4 long weeks. I was all for it. The challenge, the money, the dedication to my students. Now what? I'm looking forward to teaching the art class and then I just want to go home and be with my kids. I have the opportunity to teach 10 more hours during the week, taking me away from my family for at least 15 hours total, and I simply don't want to do it. I suppose if it was a typical kid that I really thought I could help I might be more inclined to do it, but it's not. I'm not sure this little guy is ready for 2 hours a day of reading and comprehension instruction. Am I crazy to turn away this opportunity, especially when we need the money? Am I letting my family, especially Bill, down when I don't help provide for them? What is wrong with me? I guess the worst let down is the knowledge that I won't be June and keep this place running in perfect order.

Well, this certainly isn't the post I set out to write. I was actually congratulating myself on the fact that our family could shift from 2 such dramatically different scenes within a 24 hour period. More importantly, we did it willing and without provocation. The kids don't even know that I noticed this change in behavior. My point was that even when we have momentary lapses in what we consider a good use of time we can bounce back. Just because we want to protect the environment doesn't mean that we can't use a paper plate every once in while, or buy something new because it's pretty. Just because we want to expose our children to art and music doesn't mean that we can't enjoy a Disneyland vacation. I'm reading a book on a completely unrelated topic but the author talks about trusting your instincts and not letting your intellect talk you out of what you want to do. I think this applies in a lot of situations. "Don't worry, be happy." Especially when the worry is unprecedented. My 9 year old isn't going to fail a test because she turned on the TV for 30 minutes and my 4 year old isn't going to have social issues because she interacted with a computer. Now, if I could only get over that awful article that I read!

Oh, and for those of you who don't know the Cleaver family...you are really missing out. Don't think I'm old enough to have caught the episodes live, the black and white re-runs ran on cable in my house and it was often times one of the few times my brother and I spent in the same room with each other. He was 8 years old than I was and we just didn't have that much in common. I don't know what he liked about the show other than Eddie Haskle being a manipulator, and Beaver being the biggest goof on the planet, but I thought Wally was HOT! Come to think of it, Eddie might have taught my brother a few too many things.

1 comment:

tempe turley said...

Pretty tough standard to compare yourself to a tv character. I feel bad every time I see a movie or show where even the poor people have these beautiful house much better and bigger than mine...