Friday, April 8, 2016

Straddle parenting and blog revival

I learned a new term recently (in the last half year or so): straddle parenting. And I thought of it again when I read my friend Sue's suggestions as to what to write on this blog, should I choose to revive it.

I asked on Facebook for suggestions and got responses from two people. One suggested as a topic "Why I do not write anymore?" which is interesting to ME, but not for answering in public. Short answer is that there were three somewhat-traumatic-to-me events within about four months, and those being all I could think about, but not wanting to write about them for the world (um, yeah, as if "the world" were reading this...), I couldn't manage to write about anything else. So that's that one checked off.

And incidentally, it's not that I don't write anymore, just that I haven't been blogging. Or writing creatively much. I HAVE written more in my personal journal in the last year and a half than in the previous 17 years, though (not added up, I mean, just much more often), so I haven't quit writing altogether.

Sue's response was this:

"Topics:(1) compare/contrast Cyprus and Germany after living in CY long enough to feel at home there. (2) Home ed for older children/teens, what happens as they grow up (3) Cute things H and E have said when they were younger, easier to access than FB."

The first one could be interesting, except that I have a tendency to live so very much where I am, that I have a difficult time comparing it to any place else except when specific questions come up. So if anyone has a specific question, ask away. I'm drawing a blank, myself! (And "compare and contrast" makes me shudder and think of high school, even though I was generally good at those assignments. Being good at something doesn't necessarily mean loving it. I'm very good at washing dishes, for example. I'm also very good at procrastinating.)

The second and third ones, though, immediately reminded me of that term, "straddle parenting." I so often hear and read about "this season of life," meaning ALL the children little, ALL the children in school, ALL the children off on their own, or whatever. I was talking with a grandmother today (while I was holding her 4 1/2-month-old granddaughter :-) ) who commented that her daughter had her three children very close together intentionally, because she wants to "get that part over with and go back to work." It wasn't a judgmental statement in any way, simply a statement of intention and fact. (The other two children are 3 1/2 and nearly 2.) She's clearly in the season of life of "little ones," and won't have a long break between "one in school" and "all in school," nor a long period of "teenagers and non-teenagers."

I, however, am most definitely in the midst of straddle parenting. My oldest daughter is 18 1/2 and although she is spending seven months in the United States at the moment, this doesn't let her off getting parented, and my youngest daughter is five. (Yes, she is FIVE! I refuse to call her almost six! Don't remind me that her birthday is two months away. Two months is a long time!!) No diapers/nappies in the house anymore, no baby-wearing or breastfeeding, but I still get to read "The Big Alfie and Annie Rose Story Book" out loud to a little girl cuddling in my arm, then answer the phone to hear my oldest son (16, and no, don't tell me that he'll be 17 in less than two months) asking me to check his e-mail for him to see if a customer has responded yet, because he needs to let the shipping company know if he can organize the heat-treatment of 1000 pallets. (Or something like that. I didn't really understand.) I have a daughter who has published a book and a son running a business and having three different people wanting to employ him this week and two daughters who have just learned to read "Hop on Pop." And two other children as well. And a husband. And two cats.

If I post again on this blog within another year, maybe I'll go more into detail as to what so-called "homeschooling" has meant for my teenagers, because yes, I would really like to. In the meantime, I'll include two quotations that Facebook is telling me happened on this date in previous years, to start on the third suggestion.

April 7, 2011: (Katie at 5 3/4)
"I know what the difference between us and eggs is. If you peel off the skin of an egg, it doesn't grow back." (Said by Katie as she peeled her hard-boiled egg this morning.)

April 7, 2013: (Marie 15 1/2, Elisabeth 2 5/6)
Marie offered to make pancakes for lunch, and Elisabeth jumped up and ran in the kitchen and pointed to my cookbook, and said, "This book says pancakes!" wrap it up, here's a photo of Katie, now 10, and Elisabeth, now FIVE thank-you-very-much, giving me a bike lock for my birthday last month.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for giving a name to what it is I do! With a 19-year-old (NOT almost-20-in-June), and a 3-year-old (NOT almost-4-in-June), and four others in between, I know JUST what you are talking about.

    This [straddle-parenting] stage of life is hard in ways I never imagined. Mostly because I never imagined it. Also, I don't see many examples of it modeled so I feel like I'm totally figuring it out as I go. I constantly feel as though I'm 6 to 12 months behind on my own life. For example, it took me many months to adjust to NOT homeschooling my eldest after she graduated. Every new step since then has thrown me through a loop. Hopefully I've learned something and this next graduation (my son, next month) won't be as traumatic for me.

    Thanks for your post. It's nice getting to know you!