Friday, July 20, 2007

My Life as a Facilitator

This is what I am going to tell people from now on. I am no longer a Mom and I have never ever been a little wifey. My parenting duties are finished. I refuse to sort and wash Dave's stinky socks. However, I am the facilitator. The other morning at the breakfast table the conversation went something like this:

"Mooom, Kaley is not being nice to me. She told me to (fill in the blank)!"

"But Mom, Lucas just asked me why I ruined all of our family vacations. That was mean. You guys just never realized I have a blood sugar problem and I need to eat something every few hours."

"Listen to me, you two. Tell me. How old are you Lucas?"

"Ah, 22," said with his dashing smile.

"And Kaley, you are....?"

"Almost 19 1/2!" she states assuredly.

"Yes indeed. Eighteen is adulthood. You can both vote. You can both go into the military. You can both drink.....in Vancouver. I'm done. I'm done parenting. I am retired but by grace we are letting you both stay in our home. Period. DONE! Deal with it."

Nevertheless, somehow I still must manage to make hubby's and children's and dog's lives easier. Believe me, I complain at times about my position but I have a big enough ego to believe that without me, the household would crumble. Some examples:

1. As I write this, Kaley is in Honolulu. The last couple of days while she put in extra shifts at the restaurant, I washed and ironed her summer clothes and sun dresses. I really did not mind helping her out. Many of her clothes do not go in the dryer and around here we need a couple of days on a hanger to dry. Mostly, I am pleased she was invited to go to Hawaii. She went with one of her best friends--just the two of them without parents. Her friend just graduated from high school and his aunt gave him the trip as graduation gift. Yes, her best friend is a boy and he is 19, too, though he was a year behind Kaley in school. Kaley became buddies with this boy when they were in middle school and part of the cast of "Peter Pan". Kaley performed as Mrs. Darling, the Mom, and Mike was the father, her husband. Again, they were leads in the Kamiak winter play when Kaley was a senior and Mike a junior. Together on stage they have a ton of charisma.

Like many kids, Mike had some difficult struggles in his high school years. I am proud to say my daughter was there for him throughout everything with complete unconditional love and understanding. Mike is an incredibly talented kid. He writes and directs plays as well as acts. He has been accepted with scholarships into a theater director's program at a college in New York City. He is not musical so the two of them have great plans for future collaborations. Kaley will be his musical consultant and frankly, I expect great things from the two of them. This trip is Kaley's reward for her unsurpassed support of her friend. And Kaley's boyfriend in Portland who I am realizing seems to "get" our complicated daughter, is accepting of the trip and Kaley's lifelong friendship with Mike.

2. My son finished a project-based translating job and now he has been hired by Holland America/Grayline to be a tour guide on the red double decker buses that do the loop around downtown Seattle. The fact he speaks French and Spanish was helpful. Grayline is also responsible for shuttling Microsofties over the weekend for their big annual shindig and Lucas will participate with that. They told him he needed a red polo shirt and khaki shorts as a pseudo uniform. Lucas, my hippie hiker son, had no clue what a polo shirt was. Rather than shop for him, I pulled a polo shirt out of Dave's closet so he had an example and sent him off on his own. Not only did he find a red one but it was on sale for only $15 at Macy's.

3. Finally, I am Apolo's Mom and this is a job I will always have. Part of my duties include cleaning up icky things in the back yard and of course, walking him and keeping him from eating icky things like squashed moles along our street. At the moment, there are two of them along our route. When we approach, I pull on his leash and yell, "Icky!" Yes, my dog knows what "icky" means.

Yesterday, as we returned from our walk and entered our back garden, a startled crow took flight from our bird bath. I noticed a black tail hanging out of the bird bath. "Geez. A dead rat? No, please, no." It wasn't a dead rat but it was a half eaten snake hanging half out and half in. Oh man. Disgusting and in view of all of our windows. I thought that perhaps the crow would return to finish his lunch so I watched from my bathroom and froze. Sure enough, crow perched on the fence and waited. I waited; he waited. At last, he swooped into the bird bath, had a little trouble gathering up his unwieldy prey but managed to take off with it into the neighbor's yard. Whew!

Last night, Dave confessed to me he has been finding dead baby birds in the bird bath and he didn't want me to know. Yuck! So the crows are cannibals, too. Thank goodness Dave knows he is responsible for cleaning up ickier stuff than dog poop.

Hmmmm. I think I will go sort his dirty socks now and wash them for him.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
The site of the crime--photo taken just a few minutes ago.