Or the elixir of the goddess as I call it. Ambrosia. What age is too young for coffee?
I was six. I hated school. And I especially hated getting up at butt *f* early to get ready for it. So, my great-grandmother introduced me to coffee in order to get me going in the morning. It has become a life-long addiction. With the exception of when I was pregnant or breastfeeding, I maintain a healthy three cup minimum. And even then I switched to de-caf.
I mention it because coffee is just one of the million ways that parents seek to control, command, and condition their children. Often without realizing what we are doing. Or perhaps knowing, maybe even feeling guilty for the disrespect we show this other human being, but justifying it all as our job to toughen them up, show them how cruel the world can be. And in the process, extinguishing that spark of creativity, joy, and compassion they were born with. Just as ours was extinguish by our parents. And theirs by their parents. And so it goes on…. But it doesn’t have to.
Coffee is just one of the parenting dilemmas that J. T. is facing this morning. Yes, he has been a ‘father’ for fourteen years, but he’s as new to this parenting thing as Chad was when Cassie/Rose showed up with Grace. But that does not mean they were not filled to overflowing with expectations of what a ‘good father’ should be.
Yesterday we celebrated my 56th birthday with a BBQ with friends. The numbers were pretty equally balanced between adults and children. The youngest with nine and I was likely the oldest. And I felt more comfortable with the ‘children’ than my ‘friends.’ They were more genuine, less inhibited, and quite frankly more astute.
It’s been a long time since we had a gt together at our @HomeCrazzyHome, of course. So everyone sort of forgot some of my ‘rules.’ I put out boxes of toys including water guns and bubbles. The youngest asked if it was okay to open them and play and I reminded her….
@HomeCrazzyHome we are all equal and if we have then we share it.
And with those waterguns, we actually had a conversation with the young men about consent. Of course, in this case, it was consenting to be squirted. But I like to think the emphatic way I presented the subject will give them pause for other things when they are older.
Not that I am perfect. Even as redical as I am and I was reminder a couple of weeks ago at a self-directed learning video conference that I am a Radical even among radicals. I am still unlearning all of that programming about being a ‘good mother’ that *f*ed up my adult offspring.
@PanKwake has discovered a Discord roleplay group. She forgets to eat. And sleep. While Alan and I have meal times and eat at the table, we don’t force @PanKwake, though she is welcome. For years, she has asked for food when she was hungry. But since discovering this group she had ‘forgotten’ to eat several times. That was an easy fix. Until she adjusts to this new normal, we are offering food around the times she would have asked.
But sleep? That’s when my ‘good parent’ button gets pushed. With this party especially. I mean what would people think if they came and @PanKwake was not even in attendance? We talked about it. I even asked, ‘Do I have permission to act all ‘parenty?’ The answer was a resounding NO. And you know what? No one thought a damned thing that she only poked her out twice for food and hid online with her new friends.
In the process though I was reminded of the time when I first discovered fan fiction and re-ignited my passion for writing. I was in my late thirties. In an abusive relationship, a single parent with a full-time job. There was a series of books about vampire like creatures (Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series to be exact). And there were Yahoo groups set up for writing fan fiction about the series. I quickly became the favorite ‘role player.’ Everyone wanted a storyline with me. I too got lost in it. I forgot to eat more than once. I wrote at work. And I definitely lost sleep.
Because I had discovered a group of people who valued my talent.
@PanKwake is a creator. But being severely dyslexic has impeded her ability to ‘write’ the stories in her head. In this group she has discovered a freedom to do so and people who recognize her talent. Screw sleep. I get it. Honestly, I do the same thing every morning…and I think ya’ll are glad I do.
Yes, there is loads of reimagining parenting in my books. And today’s installment definitely checks those boxes.
The question was – what else did you do with a teenager? J. T. might have been a father for over fourteen years, but he had little experience being a parent. He probably would do slightly better with Laura. At least when they were little, things were as simple as taking them to the park, letting them run and play while he worked on his laptop. But a teen?
J. T. smiled at the slightly ruffled version of his son that stood at the end of the hallway, peering across the living room into the kitchen. Jeb looked like he was still more asleep than awake. Was fourteen too young for coffee? Oh, fuck it. Who cared? “Want some coffee?”