Archive for January 2013

Growing up should be optional   Leave a comment

So, there I was, moments ago, having a typical early morning conversation.. with myself.  I don’t know where the voice comes from, or how the thoughts decide to arrive, but there they are, and it’s like I’m truly trying to have a conversation about whatever topic has been planted in my head.  It’s a bit awkward, when my family is awake, and they are hearing me thru the bathroom door, mumbling, and wondering who I’m talking to.  This morning, it was the reality of how I’m not truly living.  I’m merely existing in this world, getting by, day by day.  A means to an end.  In my heart & in my mind.. I would have been.. an artist.  A musician.  A writer.  I am NONE of the above.  I lost imagination & creativity when I hit junior high school.  I blame society for this, putting pressure on children to “grow up”.  It’s true, as a child, I was never artistically talented, but it didn’t stop me from joining choir, and singing my heart out, even if it was off key and horribly bad.  I even took a stab at drawing.  Let’s just say, that didn’t last long.  I was one of the so called, “smart kids”, put in special classes for advanced thinkers.  It ruined me.  Or, I should say, it killed my inner child, who was.. really, still.. just a child. Not that I didn’t still enjoy school, but had they not stopped my creativity, who knows where I might have taken my life?  Maybe I would have been an artist, or musician, or writer, but now, we’ll probably never know.  My saving grace, is reading.  I love to read, and it’s an escape into another world.  When you can visualize what you read, and sit there laughing, crying, or screaming, and your family wonders what is going on, you get the weirdest looks when you explain, it was just something you read in the book you’re reading.  Thankfully, I think my youngest daughter gets this.  She shares my love of books, and we share most of the same books.

So, I’m rambling again.  I meant to go on about my own children, and how proud I am of what they are becoming, regardless of what expectations are put on them by society.  I want them to follow their dreams, and their passion.  You like art, I will happily buy you art supplies.. paint, brushes, pencils, paper, canvas, beads, styrofoam, whatever you want to work with, that you can express yourself with.  They both love music.. and would both LOVE private music lessons.  Sadly, this I cannot afford.  They both took a year of piano in high school, and wish they could continue taking lessons, and that is just not something I can do.  Marissa has shown interest in many instruments (much as I’d have liked to learn while growing up as well), and for about 6 months, taking guitar lessons in a group setting.  While she’d still prefer piano at this point, I’m thrilled that the adult education classes in our town offered this inexpensive intro to guitar class. For only $45.00, she received 12 hours of lessons in a small group setting. She’s done 4 sessions like this, and we plan to do more.  Alex took cake decorating classes from Wilton, also offered through our adult & community education classes.  That ended up costing a LOT more than we’d have thought, due to the extras you always end up having to buy.  But, at least it was spread out over several months.

I don’t understand why the schools push these kids to choose their career path, when they are 13 years old.  Before high school, they have to decide a career path, in which they will plan out their 4 years of high school & required core classes in order to graduate.  Alex chose “the arts”, and that wasn’t too bad, her electives were one she truly enjoyed, but her other core classes she was required to take, were beyond what she will likely ever need.  They did it as though she planned to attend a 4 year or more college, and she doesn’t even know if she will do that yet.  She’s basically been miserable most of her 4 years of high school, and it’s just sad.  Marissa, having a love of animals, thought she’d like to be a veterinarian some day.  So, her classes include electives in the agriculture field.  She misses chorus.  There’s not enough time to fit it in her schedule, since she is not in the arts.  She has so many wide and varied interests, she can’t fit all the classes she’d like to take in her 4 years of high school.  But now, her 2nd year in, she’s not sure if she really wants to be a vet, just because she loves animals.  But she is stuck taking those courses, or if she changes them, will not have the core credits she needs to graduate, due to the electives she is forced to take by choosing a career at the age of 13.  This, is RIDICULOUS.  I want my children to be children.  I want them to enjoy what they are doing, and have fun.  They have time to grow up later.  When I got to high school, we were required our core classes of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies.  We also had health & gym.  Anything else was pure elective.  Yes, prior to this, I’d been enrolled in extra classes for the so called “smart” students.  I decided to ditch that, and try to have fun in high school.  I may have lost my creative spark, but  I enjoyed high school, because I got to do things that I wanted to do.  I had all the credits I needed to graduate, and room for some fun too.  Now, there’s no room for fun.  And that’s just sad. I’m trying my best to make sure that my girls have some creative outlet, but it’s not always easy.  I work much too far from home to have anything but weekends available. And weekends is when I catch up on laundry, shopping, cleaning, and being taxi service to my kids when they need to go to the allergist, guitar lesson, friend’s house, or art supply / book store run (because, of course, we live in a town that has NOTHING, and we have to travel 20 miles this way, or 30 miles that way, to get to anything.)  I blink, and I’ve missed the weekend.  If I’m lucky, I’ve done something good for my family.. but I’m always left out of that.  Back to my sentiment.. I’m merely existing.    I just hope that my children are able to find their passion, and do something with it.  In my heart, I still dream of being a musician, or a writer.  But I can’t read music, and I swear I’m tone deaf.. and to write, well, you see how I ramble.  Rambling, does not equal “writing”.

To my children, follow your heart, and follow your dreams, no matter what they say.  Life shouldn’t be about simply existing, but truly, living.

Who doesn’t love kitties?   2 comments

Ok, so my hubby, who I’ve been married to for 23.5 years, and dated 4 years of high school prior, is not a cat person, at all.  I’ve had cats, don’t get me wrong.. I love them.  We had adopted 2 kittens right after we got married, before we had our first apartment.  I was gutted when they were gone.  He is a dog person.. me, not so much.  They are ok, I don’t hate them, I just don’t love them like I do the kitties.

We were without cats intermittently, as some places we lived, didn’t allow them, and that was the hardest.  And then found out my oldest child was allergic to cats, we kind of tried to not make her allergies worse by having them for awhile..

My youngest daughter was in kindergarten, when I was working for a friend who sold stuff on ebay, and they had a warehouse that they rented & worked out of.  We had a feral cat that lived there, she was super friendly, we named her, fed her, and cared for her, my friend & I.  She started getting fatter.. and we realized she was pregnant.  She had the kittens in the warehouse, and we cared for them from the time they were born.  When they had their eyes open, and were moving about, I was worried they would get out, and get hurt from the traffic, or other animals in the area.  I brought them home, with momma kitty, 4 in all.  I told hubby.. we’re “fostering” them, until we can get them fixed, and find them homes.  Momma got fixed first, and when she was able to be removed from the kittens, she was happy to be back at the warehouse, but my friend eventually took her to her home, where she had a farm, and she loved it there.  The 3 kittens remained with me, and the kids had named them, and loved them, and yea, we never got rid of them.  Hubby reminded me constantly, we were supposed to be finding them homes.  (Never happened.)  Youngest is in 10th grade now, so my oldest kitties are now about 10 years old.  There are only 2 left, the 3rd one became very ill, and had to be euthanized.  =(   I wasn’t home for this, nor were my children.. hubby had to run her to the vet, he gave me daily reports until the day that he found her in such bad shape, he wasn’t sure he’d be coming home with her.  He called to say he held her as they gave her the needle, and she died in his arms, and he actually cried for her.  A cat he never wanted, and reminded me constantly that we weren’t supposed to be keeping.

Forward a couple months.. we found a stray that was much too small to be away from it’s mom, but it was outside our house, crying, and we took her in.  She ended up dying about a week-two later, and it was very hard on the girls, after having lost the other one.  My oldest bawled, and said she never wanted another cat again, she kept losing them.  (The one that had to be euthanized just a couple months prior, had been “hers”.)  But, this tiny orange kitty that they’d named Sherbert had won hubby’s heart from the moment we introduced them, and she loved all over him. When she died suddenly, he was upset too, but then he said maybe it was fate, and he had something to show me.  He took me to his computer and pulled up an email from a day or 2 prior, and there had been a co-worker with 2 orange kitties that they had found and were caring for, but couldn’t keep due to severe allergies.  He asked me if I wanted him to bring them home.  I was shocked, that he would even consider it.  We had 2 cats still that he still  never wanted, and the 2 we lost tragically, and he is asking if he should bring home 2 more.  So, he did.  And they were HIS.  He loved them so much.  Go figure, it took an orange kitty to break him.  Forward a couple of years, he has been looking at videos on youtube of kitties.  Fluffy balls of fur that are very chatty- the breed – Maine Coon.  He had to have one.  He searched and searched, and finally found one, and BOUGHT a kitten.  BOUGHT.  We have never purchased a cat before, they have all been “rescues”, but he was set on this.  So yea, It took me about 20-25 years, but I think I finally can say, he is a “cat person” now.  And we currently have 5 of them- the 2 we have left that we rescued from the warehouse, the 2 he took in from the co-worker, and the Maine Coon he bought.  Daughter is still allergic, but we keep them mainly in our basement / family room, to keep them away from where she sleeps.  She is way more allergic to dogs than cats now though, and they don’t bother her too much, unless she spends a LOT of time with them over a few days.  She loves them though, and doesn’t care if they do trigger her allergies some.

No, he doesn't like cats.  Not at all.. riiiiight.

No, he doesn’t like cats. Not at all.. riiiiight.

He has a very comfy lap made for two.

He has a very comfy lap made for two.

 

Newest fur baby, Lacy.

Newest fur baby, Lacy.

 

Moo?

Moo?

 

 

4 of 5 kitties approve.

4 of 5 kitties approve.

 

My Tiger kitty.

My Tiger kitty.

 

 

 

Posted January 4, 2013 by Meg's Simple Life in life in general

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