July 19, 2012

Not in Public

My 11 year-old son and I went shopping for school clothes today, and when we were nearly finished we stopped to have lunch. I rarely go out with just one of the children, but I decided a little one-on-one time would be good for the kids, and for my sanity.

You see, they love each other dearly, but they fight and bicker. Oy!

One of the major activities they have been doing this summer is going to the community swimming pool, which is nice enough that it also has come slides. It's good for them to get out of the house, and I love them better when I don't have to listen to them all day long.

But, wait! Am I subjecting others to their drama?

So in casual conversation, I asked my son, "How are you and your sister doing a the pool? Do you get along, or do you fight?"

He shook his head like I was nutty and replied, "No, we get along."

"But not at home?"

He shook his head.

"Well, what the difference?" I asked him.

"That's public. We aren't going to fight in public." Again, the look that makes me think I'm crazy.

Well, isn't that bittersweet?

They know enough to act right in public, but it's absolutely okay to make my life miserable in the sanctuary of my home?

This parenting business is complicated.

July 18, 2012

Soliciting Guilt

It's only mid-July, and stores are already selling school supplies. Eep! I suppose I better get to it.

At few stores last week, I was solicited to donate supplies or money at the checkout for students in need. While I think this is a wonderful idea, and a cause close to my heart, I do not want to donate. At one store, I swear the lady at the checkout gave me a funny look like, "How could you be so cruel, woman? Just buy a $1 pack of pencils to add to the box!" It might have been my guilty imagination. I don't know.

I could have said, "Oh, I just spent $30 on basic supplies for my classroom at the teachers supply store. Please don't judge. Plenty of my paycheck goes to the children." I didn't, though. Sometimes I just like to be a normal person.

Perhaps donating that pack of pencils might have curtailed the lack of pencils students will have in my classroom. Unlikely, though. Las Vegas is huge, and I was technically in Henderson, which is miles and miles from where I teach. Of course, my magnet students are bussed around from everywhere. Naw. Still unlikely.

Will I end up buying that extra pack of pencils this year for the kids?  You betcha. I'll contribute to my  own cause. You'll find extra pencils--and paper, erasers, markers, colored pencils, stickers, glue, tape, staples, notebooks, folders--in my classroom closet.

Phew. Okay. I don't have to feel guilty for not helping the kids.