Without Kids, What Would I Know Worth Knowing?

31 05 2008

What would I be doing now without kids?

In my life parenting has been a real education. So I guess without kids, I’d just be uneducated!

This is funny to me now, in light of all the formal schooling I had under my belt before I had kids. By 30 I had earned my doctorate and some worldly responsibility for other people’s children, for the structure and process of THEIR educations.

If I didn’t have children of my own to think about, I’d still be thinking about kids and education and getting paid for it, but my own education would have a big black light-sucking hole in it and I’d probably never even know it.

And without having kids who changed my life, would I be a systems thinker? What I’ve learned by living this life as mom to these children, is that moms don’t only give life to their kids. We give life to ourselves in the process. Family life IS life itself, not a separate unit or system apart from the real world, not a straight line with ancestors and descendants going up and down in a family “tree.”

Family is organic process, not inert structure. Ever see the movie Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking About Having No Children

30 05 2008

The latest Thinking Homeschooler topic is to imagine what you would be doing right now if you didn’t have children.

So there are these two wonderful people in my life who weren’t there 15 years ago and I’m supposed to imagine they aren’t here now. Almost impossible!

And sad. Because I had an OK life before the kids. DH was terrific, as always. We had bought a little house and I had my little job.

But it wasn’t a full life. There was plenty of time to party and goof off and not get things done. But there wasn’t much to point to and be proud of. Just going along, doing the next thing. Or not. There was a lot of “or not.” It was an unfocused life.

So, if I had never had children, would I still be wandering and unfocused? I don’t know. It’s so difficult to imagine that I would have suddenly found as much inspiration doing something else as I find in my children.

We briefly discussed the possibility. I was an older mother. I guess I still am. 🙂 But, at 36, there was the chance that I wouldn’t be able to have children. And so it was wonderful to hear DH say he’d still like to be married to me even if we couldn’t have kids, which was the reason we were even talking about marrying after 13 years of living together.

But if I hadn’t been able to get pregnant . . . after some time, I would hope I would adjust and find something useful to do with my time.

I suppose I could have become involved in politics. Becoming one of those wonderful people with no children who know that yours should be in public school and just how all that should be handled.

Or I could have found something that involved children — volunteering at the local Boys & Girls Club or school. All the while having no insider’s perspective on any of it.

Or I could have given a damn about work and made more money. And what? Had a perfect house — no posters pinned to the wall, no toys scattered in the yard, perfect grass and enough money to get new furniture instead of shopping thrift stores.

Maybe I would have had new clothes, too. And an actual hairstyle! Those things just don’t matter when a toddler is climbing on you or a teen needs to get somewhere.

Maybe I’d have traveled. That sounds like fun.

Damn, this is difficult to do. I think of traveling and immediately think about seeing some interesting landmark — with DH and DD and DS! Now, block the last two images out of the picture, leave only DH in — yep, I could do it. It would be fun.

I guess.

Doc’s Version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

30 05 2008

Current Thinking Parents wiki topic:
What would you be doing right now if you didn’t have kids?

What JJ thinks about this topic:
See Doc’s Domain for a better post on this than you’re likely to see, at least from me. Although hmmm, maybe I could take it in a completely different direction then, write a limerick or do a parody of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. . .no, wait, that literally WAS about what he’d be doing if he’d never had children . . .

Good Post From Holly at Unschool Days

28 05 2008

Go take a look and enjoy:
“One-hundredth Post– and Archaic Forms of Bagel Torture”

Aren’t we a fine community at that? 🙂

The second part of her post made me recall someone (Lynn at Bore Me to Tears maybe?) recounting how she once attracted a blog-surfer searching for “horse smegma” and imagined herself becoming the online headquarters for smegma fanatics worldwide. EEeeuuuuw!

And I could add that Katherine Harris has been Snook’s most popular search term this week (since HBO’s Recount aired.) Usually it is “lion” — why are lions such a perennial favorite for web searching, can anyone fathom a guess?

Need Some Input

27 05 2008

This is what I just posted over at the QVC forums:

Does anyone here know what QVC’s policy is about customers who are addicted?

My story: My MIL is a serious QVC addict. She spends at least $2000 a month on QVC stuff. Jewelry and small appliances and kitchen items and clothing — those are her big areas. Christmas decorations and food and miscellaneous household items show up, too.

She gets a delivery to her home almost every day.

DH and I spent a couple of weeks clearing things out and storing them in the garage and generally trying to make her home passable about a year ago. And we just spent another day last week doing what we could but it’s not nearly as cleared up as the first time as we are out of storage space in her home.

She is a 78-year-old widow and, even though she sees family members quite often (most of us live nearby), she has enough free time on her hands and enough income to stuff her house full to the rafters of this stuff she does not need.

And she really doesn’t have enough income to continue this. She has begun eating into a home equity loan she has on the house.

She knows she has a problem and will swear off for short bursts, like any other addict. But then she gets in a mood and the boxes start again.

She has health issues and may not be thinking clearly all the time and we just feel she is being taken advantage of but have no idea how to intervene. We talk to her but, as I said, she stops and then starts up again.

I suppose I could wrestle the credit card out of her hand but I was hoping there was some sort of QVC policy about this that might help her concerned family.

Thanks for any help!


So has anyone else been through this? Any pearls of wisdom?


HBO Recount Not One Movie But Neverending Series?

26 05 2008

Finally the movie version of the real recount aired last night.

Saw it, liked it, found it pretty accurate but as it “ended” I did wonder why there were no previews shown for the continuing story? And why just call it “Recount” when “Schrodinger’s Cat” would have been much better!

. . .this historical kitty has been put through a quantum ringer that nobody should have to experience. After all it’s tough work being both alive and dead simultaneously. . . If the outcome of a circumstance is presently unknown and by observing the circumstance you will disrupt it, then it exists in all possible states simultaneously… Simple!

After all, it’s been eight years of escalation since then, with no end in sight. Contesting which votes count more (or less) and where and why, and fiddling the numbers before, during and after every trip to the polls so there’s never a clear “winner” and “loser” has become serial psychodrama. Every campaign and candidate is both winner and loser in the past, present and future, never a clear end to the story, no satisfying power of knowing how the story ends at last, when the ballot box is actually opened and the fate of all is sealed-revealed. Read the rest of this entry »

She’d Better Just Be Shooting Off Her MOUTH

23 05 2008

Did you hear — can you believe — what she’s said now?

Her latest rationale for staying in the race is that Obama could always be assassinated like Bobby Kennedy was in the summer leading to the convention, and then she would “win” after all . . .