Tag Archives: teens

Rapid recharge

Photo from MorgueFile free photos: http://mrg.bz/Qk0nbD
Photo from MorgueFile free photos: http://mrg.bz/Qk0nbD

Friday is usually my longest day of the week. I teach from 8:30 in the morning until 5:30. Though this is shorter than the number of “work  hours” I put in on any other day of the week, the busyness of the day and the number of social interactions take their toll on me.  Even with a couple of breaks during the day,  I’m drained both mentally and physically by the time I pull into the driveway.

When I am that  “peopled-out”, I want nothing more than to withdraw to my room, crawling into my bed with a book or mindless TV.  Thankfully, after his long week at work, my husband is willing to wind down and spend some quality bad-movie time with our 18 year-old daughter. While my husband or I pull leftovers out for dinner, “A” cruises the Netflix listings with a gleam in her eye, searching for 2 or 3 options to present.  As much as Friday nights have become my night to cocoon, they have become their time to  share low quality spoof movies, each movie seemingly worse than the one before; each one bonding the two of them with laughter and writing memories into their hearts. Sometimes, I’ll stay and watch with them, but more often I listen to their voices mixed with laughter and the noise of the movie slip under my door, and I smile as I sink deeper into the covers and my let my heart fill with gratitude.

Today, I am grateful for my husband and daughter and their understanding when I cocoon myself away to mentally purge the chaos of the day. But, even more so, I am grateful for their laughter that drifts up the stairs, reminding me of their special bond and rapidly recharging my weary spirit.

 

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You are alive when they start to eat you.

Champagne and dinosaur dreams. ;)
Champagne and dinosaur dreams. 😉

You may have read that title and assumed I’m talking about teens, but I’m not. Well, maybe not entirely. NaBloPoMo can take a toll on a family.

Here’s the deal. As most of you may know, our holiday celebrations traditionally begin on Thanksgiving Day. Boxes are pulled from the attic, holiday music is queued up, and the stash of holidays DVDs is pulled from the collection and piled by the TV. Throughout the weekend, we are relaxed and playful as we begin dressing our home in the holiday spirit.

Except this weekend, our plans were slightly derailed.

Our plans went south before the weekend even started. With not one, but almost every room in a state of chaos from the massive decluttering I’ve been doing, I was opposed to even one box of decorations being brought into the house until I cleaned up. What I thought would take only one day has taken 3. Additionally, my husband planned on spending only one day on a contract job, before it went south and cost him two additional days. My daughter, A, has been a trooper and has hung out without fuss, but she’s also been fighting a cold. Makes it easy to keep her in one place to ask the “love it or toss it” questions.

In some ways, like our appetizers and holiday movie kick-off, this has been a traditional Thanksgiving for us. However, in more ways than not, it’s been very different. Therefore, it wasn’t too difficult to stray further from tradition and ditch tonight’s holiday movie in favor of the film A was assigned (by me) for her Paleontology class. “Jurassic Park” is on the marquee so she can write a paper about the scientific inaccuracies in the film and how/why they are inaccurate. She’s been looking forward to this assignment all semester. She loved dinosaurs when she was little, and her curiosity only grew from there.

In particular, she loves raptors. I hate raptors. They’re vicious, but they are what fueled her desire to learn more and I, in turn, have been taught more than I ever wanted to know. But we’ve bonded over prehistoric creatures, making it worth ever last piece of trivia. And, as she sits engrossed in her movie, occasionally blurting out a falsehood, I sit grateful for this family time and, especially, for the fact that it’s only raptors that will eat you while you are alive and not teens, unless we’re talking about a juvenile raptor–then all bets are off.

Who knows, maybe this is the start of a new holiday tradition? Few things say festive like death by dinosaur when you live with an teen passionate about paleontology.