Friday, January 06, 2012

Principal's Office, Utah Symphony, and Not Carpe-ing the Diem

I have so much to write about, and even though I'd rather make each of my blog entries nice, concise, on-theme essays, it seems like my random posts are more frequent. I guess if I wrote more...? Oh, well. We'll just all have to deal, eh?


Yesterday I got a phone call from the principal. First time. Ever. #3 got into a small scuffle (the kid was making fun of him, my kid shoved the other kid, the other kid shoved back, it escalated, my kid elbowed the other in the eye --accidentally, it seems --and they both ended up in the principal's office) and the principal called me before he spoke to #3 about his punishment. I wish I could say I handled it with decorum and tact, but instead? I bawled like a baby. Completely cried my eyes out.


Luckily, our principal was very kind and even seemed to show remorse when I mentioned #3's 4S, my pregnancy, and the fact that we were already aware of #3's tendency to gravitate towards anger. It didn't help, though. I just felt like an idiot.

Long story short, he has detention during lunch recess all next week and wrote the kid a letter of apology (turns out the other kid has detention, too --and his mom was on guard duty at recess and took them BOTH to the principal; good mom!) and we had a nice talk after school about why we don't fight with kids at school. I figured it was all resolved. Done. Finished. But then he said:
"Yeah, Mr. Anderson (principal) is nicer than Miss G (our former principal)."
I stopped short.
"What? What do you mean he's nicer?"
"When I got in that fight last year and had to see Miss G."
"WHAT!? What do you mean you got in a fight and had to see her last year!?"
"I got in a fight with someone during recess and fell on the ice and I had to see Miss G and got detention during recess for 2 weeks while I was in 1st grade." (he said this all matter-of-factly)
"WHAT!?!?!?? I never got a phone call last year! I never heard about this!"
"That's because I didn't want you to get mad."
Trying to calm down: "Well, I'm glad Mr. Anderson called me!"
"Yeah, he's nicer."

So, it turns out, our kid isn't as clean on his record as we thought. Oh, sigh, sigh, sigh. We ended the conversation with honesty and telling mom EVERYTHING so she will know how to better help him in his life. Or something philosophical and logical like that.


Yesterday, before I got the principal phone call, a friend and neighbor offered us two tickets to the Utah Symphony. They were performing last night at BYU and my friend couldn't use their tickets (for some reason; I didn't ask) and so Brandon and I took them willingly. The symphony! I was very excited. I even showered, dear reader. I even put on make-up! It was that important. We barely made it in time, though --Brandon had to work late and rushed home, I jumped into the car (in a rotten mood because I was sure we would miss everything until intermission: "It's not a sporting event, you know! If you're late to the symphony, you have to wait in the hall!"), tried not to freak out when Brandon raced, raced, raced to BYU, and we walked into the concert hall just as they were tuning their instruments, headed to our seats just as the conductor walked out, and sat down just as the applause died down.
Phew! Brandon was one lucky man. ;)

It was a magical night, dear reader. Pure magic. I haven't been to something so perfect in such a long time! Here's the program:

Guest Conductor: Andrey Boreyko
Guest Pianist: Conrad Tao (17 year old prodigy who has been performing around the world for at least a decade. He BLEW MY MIND. I actually got emotional watching him play; it was breathtaking!)
*The Enchanted Lake, op. 62 by Anatoli Liadov
*Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, op 23
(Then we gave Conrad Tao several encores, so he came out and played Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody Number 6 (not the most familiar, publicly) and he amazed us again!)
*Shostakovich's Symphony No.5 in D-minor, op. 47

I was sincerely riveted for the entire two hours. Riveted. I've always been ho-hum about Shostakovich, but I am now a true fan. It was amazing! The whole thing.

You have to understand, though, dear reader, that I'm a classically trained musician. No, I'm not a prodigy, no I never got much past a few lessons in college (in other words, I'm not a concert pianist), nor have I ever performed professionally. However, I understand classical music, musical theory, and what it takes to be awesome. I enjoy it a lot. At the same time, I am pretty well-rounded in the music I enjoy and listen to. The other day, I had "Tears for Fears" radio going on Pandora. I enjoy some U2, Muse, Adele, Martina McBride, Enya, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pearl Jam, and Garth Brooks. But lately, I've been redrawn to Classical. In fact, as I'm driving, do you know what station I've been listening to the most? Classical 89. Yep. The BYU Classical music station. Three reasons why:
1. My Uncle Bruce (Bruce Seely) is the morning DJ (and has been for a decade or so)
2. It calms all the kids down; they seriously change moods within minutes after listening to that station
3. I think Baby likes it as much as I do. Maybe I'm growing a prodigy?

So, there you go. I love Classical Music. Here's the best part: So does my husband! He's also a classically trained musician, and he enjoys the symphony, Broadway, and the opera just as much as a Barenaked Ladies concert (we've seen them twice). Do you realize how lucky I am?

Maybe we should get season tickets to the Symphony next year.


Go read this post:

Don't Carpe Diem

I have been trying for YEARS to get the older women in my ward and neighborhood to admit that raising small children was not all peaches and roses as they claim. I've been trying to convince them that although they might miss their small kids, they really don't miss the poop, puke, dirt, tantrums, emotional outbursts, and constant disobedience. They won't budge, though. They claim that I need to just ENJOY EVERYTHING. If I don't, then I will regret it. Because they obviously regret it.

I don't believe them for a second.

I'm guessing they have either:
A. Repressed all the bad parts of motherhood
B. Denied themselves the joy of honesty
C. Just don't remember correctly

It's impossible to thrust current opinions upon the past. The past is past --it's done. If you had a hard time with it, just admit it! Who cares!? And instead of telling me how "it goes so fast, just enjoy every second!" they should say (much like the author of the link I just shared said) "It's hard with small kids, isn't it? Here, let me buy you chocolate and watch your children for the afternoon so you can take a nap."

Now THAT is something I would agree with!

I've also been accused of being ungrateful by women without children. They tell me just to be glad I have them! Because it's obvious I'm not...glad...? This confuses me. Having children is HARD WORK. It's not easy! It wasn't MEANT to be easy. Children are a blessing, a joy, and a gift from God --absolutely! --but really? I'm not allowed to admit how hard it is? I'm not allowed to confess that sometimes I just want to curl into a ball and take a vacation every once in a while? Anything worth having in this life takes hard work. Marriage, jobs, talents, skills, education, and CHILDREN. I'm eternally grateful for mine, but it still does not change the fact that children make life harder. Better, yes, but harder. I don't want to diminish another woman's struggle with her desire for children that haven't come into her life, yet, but please, please, please! Don't accuse me of hating my life because I admit children are hard work.

And now, that is all. Carry on!


Mia said...

Cheryl, you've brought up the "offended that you have children" women in your life a lot lately. I thought I'd share a recent experience I had.

I once had an old roommate that got married very young and complained about motherhood and marriage quite frequently and openly on Facebook. Even though I am single, I completely understand that everyone, no matter their circumstance, has a right (and even needs to) rant every once in a while. Unfortunately, my friend's frequent public rantings quickly became annoying and even offensive. Just as the single girl who is constantly complaining about her single life gets old, so can complaints about motherhood and marriage. I also found it disrespectful to her defenseless children and to her husband to be disclosing such private information publicly. On top of it all, I felt that I couldn't share my personal struggles and feelings about not being able to have a family when she seemed so unhappy with hers, or at least that's all I read on Facebook.

I've been guilty of complaining about my single status more than was necessary or appreciated by friends and family. I am grateful for those who have listened patiently. Jealousy is a natural tendency and so is complaining but I think there is much to be said about choosing to not be offended as well as for holding the tongue.

I am personally working on appreciating the blessing of single life at 25 (old in Mormon years) despite its challenges. I think the key is to be mindful that motherhood and marriage are a blessing and to try to appreciate it despite the daily grind. I have always admired women who were honest about motherhood but were slow to complain. They inspire me just as much as the single 50-year-old woman in my ward who doesn't hide from her reality but still smiles does.

I'm not offended by your writings. I'm glad you have an outlet to express yourself. I've learned a lot from you. But don't be offended by the women who don't always appreciate your comments. I've been guilty of crying looking at pictures of my friend's beautiful babies. We were made to be wives and mothers and so it can be frustrating! You understand inner pain more than most. I think you could use that understanding to help these women who are experiencing a lot of it alone.

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

I'm glad you were able to Carpe Diem and spend time with your son and husband. One-on-one time is so important. (Maybe I read this post too fast...)

sariqd said...

Is there a way to somehow set an alarm when we're old to re-read this? So we can be reminded to be sensitive to the young mothers? ;)

Actually, my mom said that we as women are blessed that we forget how painful & hard things can be because otherwise, we wouldn't have babies after the first time. This from a woman who had 11 babies. haha!

I do get both sides though, we just need to be mindful to not let our inner gripings rule the day. Which is something I have to relearn almost all the time. Sigh.

Cheryl said...

Sariqd - We do forget, don't we? Maybe I should remember that these well-meaning women have just forgotten. Hmmm...

Nope, not too fast. I totally did that, too! It fits.

First: I've only written twice on my blog in the last year (that I can think of) where I voice my frustrations with single women telling me to suck it up and be grateful I even have children. However! More than once can sometimes be too much.

I appreciated your comment a lot. Mostly because I know you so well and the struggles you've faced in your life. At the same time, I think it's a good reminder for all of us (regardless of where we are in life) to be more positive.

I'm not offended by women's struggles or frustrations --I get offended when they take it out on me. Luckily, it really hasn't happened that much. I guess I should have clarified that it's only been a handful of women (in fact, you are NOT one of them).

I've thought a lot about what you wrote today, though, and it's made me think a lot about how I portray my life and my family. I feel sorry for your friend who makes her life seem like a living hell. That WOULD be frustrating to read constantly. I really hope I'm not like that; I hope I report positive things as well.

I like women who are positive, too. But too much positivity and optimism, imo, is blantent lying. Life isn't perfect, no matter how we like to paint it. Covering up our trials with smiley faces and exclamation points don't help anyone, least of all the ones trying to pretend life is all roses. Blogs that paint life as nothing but roses lose my readership pretty quickly. And it's not because I'm offended or frustrated that they are HAPPY --I just can't relate. My life rocks, yes! Ohn paper, it's simply perfect. But life isn't ON paper; it shouldn't be. Maybe it's my crazed affection for honesty, but I simply can't live my life pretending like that --and I don't expect others to, either. In fact, Mia, I wouldn't be offended if you told me how hard it's been for you to see pictures of your friends' babies. But then, you and I are pretty good at sharing our true feelings with each other. ;)

Anyway, I don't even know if my comments made sense. Just know that I appreciated what you said, I heard you, and it's made me think. Thank you for telling me how capable I am in showing compassion --I sincerely take that as a compliment! And I will try to be better. Even while complaining about the crayon I found in #4's pants pocket (in the dryer) or relating another "my kid punched that kid" story. :)

evitafjord said...

I <3 the bullet point and/or rambling style blogs so much more than the essays. It's so much easier to read quickly (essential when you're stealing time to read it in the first place). Most of the time when I come across an essay blog, I have to set it aside for later and later never comes. So, bring on the random!!

Fisher Family said...

HATER!! Kidding of course. I wish more people would admit that children are hard work too. It irritates me to no end when everyone walks around all roses and peaches about their kids. Maybe they're better moms than me, maybe I'm missing something? Seriously?? I love my kids, don't get me wrong, but they can be REAL stinkers! Glad I'm not the only one that feels this way sometimes!

Amanda D said...

I really like the post you linked to as well. I do however look at you still having babies and think about how much I wish I was you and got to snuggle with a sleepy, milky-smelling baby. I certainly don't envy the diaper changing. I think women that tell you to cherish it are thinking about the things that I totally miss already as my kids are older.

vinestreet said...

Yes, old women can be interesting to talk to about mothering young children....very interesting.

I think I have stopped trying to connect with anyone older than about age 60 about raising young children. I just smile and nod, and then talk to a person I know who really gets it. :)