It's been said that I'm too soft on Alison and her friends. That I spoil them. That I need to take a harder line.
Today's photo will bear witness that I can sometimes cross the line. Even I think today's allowance might have been a step too far into the silly. But I'm not dragging them back to the sane.
Here's why: The world is all too often a scary, mean, unfair place. It's indiscriminate. It's scary, mean and unfair to everyone at one time or another. No exceptions.
I like to think I offer a safe haven from all that. I'm not indulgent 24/7 no matter what my husband might say. I even said no to something already today.
But how much damage can unadulterated -- and somewhat regulated -- fun do to a person?
I just read a piece in the NYTimes a about a man's recall of a childhood where his grandfather planted pumpkins that he and his brother sold to their neighbors. Their father took care of the leftovers and the boys just spent the money.
He doesn't remember how those boys, who contributed absolutely nothing to the labor and never once thought about giving a little of it back to the men who made it possible, spent their spoils. He remembers the pickup truck, his granddad putting ketchup on his fish sandwich and their conversations.
After all these year, he feels a glow everytime he sees a pumpkin. That's the payoff! I bet dad and granddad are happy with that ROI.
I hope that one day Alison and Jenna will be giving their kids a bath and think about the time they got to have breakfast in my garden tub.
Or when we rode with the top down even though it was crazy cold.
Or when there's a backseat full of kids and no one can agree on what fast food they'll feast on, I'll go through as many drive-in windows it takes (within a certain mile radious) to please every palate.
Is that spoiling them? Maybe.
I prefer to think of it as recompense for the slights -- real or imagined -- that will inevitably be visited upon their lives.
I can't fix everything. But I can be silly.
I think they'll come through it just fine.
The week's happyisms:
On Monday I was happy my kid can be funny in difficult situation. She's wavering with her unrequited crush and woke up thinking she might be over it. But she's not sure she's broken the fever. " It's like taste buds. You go along loving ice cream and then one day you wake up and like pickles. This sucks!"
On Tuesday, I pledge to be happy to have my own in-house tech support so I can focus on other stuff and still have super cool toys that work.
On Wednesday I wondered if it would be wrong to be happy that I might have killed the lawn mower this weekend?
On Thursday I was happy because even though the scoreboard read 23-2 and some jerky coach (not mine) had apparently fed his team Honey Boo Boo juice, our girls were happy and encouraging to each other the whole game. I think my coach is learning something....
Friday I was going to be happy to celebrate the weekend starting with a girls night out with Alison; tomorrow with Ali and Jenna; and another round of killer CYO basketball on Sunday. Plus I think the Democrats woke up last night. So that's good. (roar)
Yesterday I was happy just to enjoy this beautiful day with good friends who are my family.
There are lots of reasons to be happy today. Chief right now is the sound of my two favorite girls' laughter echoing through every part of my house.