Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rocking it out with Jag 4

Last night, my family was invited to a very sneak preview of an up and coming rock band. Their world premiere isn't until Friday but as groupies (that would be friends, family and neighbors) we were treated to their last rehearsal of their original composition. They worked it out. Jag 4 rules.

After the concert, I crawled around for two hours on a gymnasium floor with other moms, making huge paper murals to be hung in two days for the eighth grade dance. Why kids this age have been excused from planning and decorating their own dance eludes me. My knees say it's a bad policy. I'm told the parents "throw the party to celebrate the kids and their accomplishments." Because they finished their last year of middle school? The parents, that being five or six of us in total "celebrating" 150 kids? As a beloved teacher has said repeatedly to her students, "Really, folks? ". This is an event for young and pliant joints to plan and execute.

The last few weeks of school. Nobody in my house knows what they need right now, including me. Screaming lyrics about a boy and his dog into a microphone might actually feel like a good release. A quantity vs. quality time of the year for parents. Everything feels last minute and crisis averting, from studying for finals to getting ready for band concerts, dances and banquets. It could just be girls, but I believe the colic returns in adolescence. The arsenic hours from 3-5pm daily....crying, writhing, physical and mental discomfort, parents at their wits' end. Food doesn't help. Soothing doesn't help. Reasoning certainly doesn't help.

I have a fantasy of reinstituting the double stroller and the nap. Strapping Ally in the minute she walks in the door in the afternoon and before she can unleash her fury, giving her a Sippy cup and a baggie of goldfish and taking a long walk down to the high school to pick up Olivia. I can push them through the neighborhood while their complaints get lost on the wind. I used to push faster and faster until the pull of the Gs on their faces was too much for them and they fell asleep. Some parental strategies need retooling as kids grow up. Keep them moving to avoid the screaming.

I think managing a rock band comprised of second graders could be a welcome distraction for me right now and I might see about hitching my wagon to their rising star.

New challenges will present themselves once school is out and the Den of Slack opens. But we are ready for this school year to be done. It has felt like two years in one.


  1. You mean two years in one half! :)

    I agree with you in the matter of the dance. But it's not only that. Parental help, support, physical effort is all over the place. In school, in plays, extra curriculars -- I felt like I did the social side of school twice over as each went through the routines. I, too, wanted to say -- do the kids need the glitz that parents worked so hard to add to the room and dance floor? Really?

    Then, college came and I experienced The Great Dreadful Move In. Eight years running, moving each kid into her dorm room. I turned old in those years.

    Isn't it nice to have a motherly type several years ahead warning you of all that lies ahead?

    So, let me finish on an upbeat note -- when all is said and done, daughters are the greatest joy. Really. Nothing compares.

  2. Is it still possible just to go off to college and move in without your parents? Julie and I both did it. I actually packed my stuff in a trunk. That was 1981 - which I guess is closer to 1950 than it is to 2013 when Ally starts college.

  3. Here come the comments we're famous for as parents: in MY days, my parents hardly knew where I went to college (in my case, BTW, that's true).
    No, Chip, it's not possible. Kids, especially girls come with equipment and no place to keep it. You have to buy it, build it, unpack it, etc etc. At least eventually we made them pack it up and haul it away at the end of the year on their own (some parents travel for that as well).

  4. Back in my day we went off to college with all our gear packed in a single trunk. I also wore an onion on my belt. Which was the style, at the time.

  5. They didn't have white onions, because of the war; they only had those big yellow ones.