I have been at Patty’s for a week now. Coming from Adrian and my sister’s household to Patty’s holds the same level of culture shock as when in Brasil Camillo and I go from the quiet and serenity of Friburgo to Rio with its chaos and confusion. The schedule here is total craziness. Schedules for two adults (three jobs), schedules for before school study groups and after school training activities, volley ball practice, volley ball games, Saturday tryouts for club volley, a weeknight trip to the mall to shop for a homecoming dress, and amidst it all, meals – did I mention homework assignments? Everyone is in their beds by 9 and up by five to do it all over again.
Needless to say, I have had difficulty with the sleep schedule more than anything else because Camillo and I pretty much adhere to a bed at midnight - up at 8 type of schedule, with maybe 3 or 4 parties or dinners A YEAR mixed into the quiet pace of three sit-down meals at home, a choice of going to the gym and to the grocery store for supplies, a few hours of TV a day, and playing on the computer or reading to pass the rest of the daytime hours. If you ever wonder why you don’t hear from your kids regularly, you have to go and live in their homes for at least a few weeks, become immersed in their lives, and then you will have a complete understanding that this silence isn’t about them not loving you but is a sign of the times.
It is possible that my days when the kids were young were of similar chaos, but I don’t remember them like this. When Pat and Marty were in high school in Houston, we lived about 3/4 of a mile from the school and they road their bikes to school – no hauling back and forth or fitting my schedule to theirs. Okay, I might not have been the best parent, totally involved in their activities as parents seem to be today, but I got up and went to a job every day, bought groceries and cooked dinner each night, and like my daughter kept my own home and gardens cleaned. When they were on the swim team, I made their home competitions but not the away. I thought what parents did was to provide a bed and cloths, and a place to study, good foods and quiet times and the rest was up to the kids to figure out. The way of those times.
Yes, Marissa is a highly motivated teenager. Giving her as much support as possible is the right thing to do. I am just saying that life today is a grueling list of things to do, and activities to get past. Just saying, thank God there is only one teenager in this household and for one or two months a year I can step in and be a part of the chaos (and then step out again).