Friday, October 16, 2009

Deft Parenting

Thank goodness there are other parents out there, hard at thought about what's best for their teen!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where's Waldo?

Okay, where's Scarlett?

Local readers: supposedly, the Matron's daughter is plastered on some billboard on highway 36, she guesses in the Maplewood vicinity.

Locate said billboard and earn nothing but the Matron's undying love, as Scarlett wants nothing more than to drive past her visage, 30 feet large. The Matron, who drives this child to the ends of the earth and back, has flatly refused to go out searching.

Grandma Sophie, are you reading this? You're not that far!?

Scarlett: "MOM? When will my commercial air and why don't I have a sitcom?"

Lord help them all.

Leaving Adolescence Behind

While Robert Epstein made some sweeping generalization on today's radio talk show (let's just take the one that nearly ALL teen depression is cultural rather than biological), the Matron was very much taken with 99% of what he had to say.

So much so that she forced her husband to listen to the hour. So much so that the parents of the teen? Veering in a new parenting direction -- actually, bearing down with more strength in a direction they instinctively have been discovering.

She knows that she has many readers with teenage boys. Listen to this. You can fold laundry or dust or paint your toenails if, like the Matron, you are a born multi-tasker. But Epstein's wisdom (or challenge if you don't buy in) is worth way more of your time than reading the regular Matronly wit.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Insanity, the Primer

First, the insanity is living in this godforsaken state. Let her drop one word from the sky, like a frozen flake of rain:


It is @%#$%^ snowing. The Matron must don furred boot and hood in order to transport youth from one locale to another. This is decidedly unfair and insane. Forget yesterday's "oh I'm all happy about life" sentiment. Today there is snow in the second week of October. What a difference a day makes.

Second, Annie rehearsals every night from 7-10 pm this week PLUS an audition for a holiday show tonight. She can hear you: just say no! Just say no!

Scarlett, with a big hug: "Mom, I am SO happy! My LIFE is acting!"


At least if this continues throughout high school, Scarlett will be too busy and too worried about her career to get into significant trouble. The Matron is banking that dime all the way through college.

Third, the Matron is living All Dog All The Time between Satan's Familiar, Snappy the Foster dog and geriatric Jekyll -- who is STILL bumping around. Saturday--remember, those good old days before snow? -- the Matron took SF on her daily run, as usual.

In a moment of complete insanity, she decided to let him off-leash. To frolic! Romp! Free to be you and me all 70s dog joy and such! So about two and a half miles from home, she unleashes the hound and returns to the riverside jog.

"Come on, Scruffy! Come on!" This would be the Matron, encouraging.

Satan, free, just sat there. He stared at the Matron. He stared at the wide expanse of space in which he was encouraged to leap and bound, even in slow motion like the movies because the Matron expected he would be that happy!

Instead, he turned around and RAN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. Away from the Matron!!!


This would be what she fairly screamed while chasing that damn dog -- who zipped across streets and through alleys well ahead of the wild screaming furious-beyond-repair Matron, sometimes pausing to consider the Matron as she sped toward him, resting to lick a leg while she gained ground -- only to TAKE OFF the second she got within ten feet.

Twice, he barely evaded getting run over! Slammed into the pavement like the road runner. Gone forever. Dead. . . sigh. Out of her life! Sweet dreams, said the Matron. But really all she could think of was: "the children will never forgive me!"

Of course, she ran into several neighbors during this enchanted engagement.

"Mary?! Are you looking for Scruffy? He's up there, three blocks ahead!"

"Mary!!! Scruffy just raced past here! I think he's headed toward Ali's house!"

No indeed, he was not headed toward Ali's house. He went home. Yes, SF fled from 2.5 miles away and hoofed it to his front steps, where he calmly sat waiting while the Matron dragged her huffing hysterical self home -- her peaceful run turned into an all out panicked sprint.

Considering Saturday's Olympics, the Matron is revisiting her 'turn the blind eye' policy toward a certain dog sitting on a certain child's lap during breakfast. Yes, every morning while Stryker (who she is NO not blogging about) is eating his before school brown-sugar cinnamon pop tart, Satan's Familiar is all nestled in on his lap drooling, plate-side.

Because this occurs around 6:30 am, the Matron has sorta pretended it wasn't really happening. You know, if your dog has a place at the dinner table but it's not dinner -- because it's not even an hour in which actual human interaction should occur -- then the dog really ISN'T at the table anyway.

And she can't upload photos of all this fun (and believe it, there are worlds to go with the moles in the basement and the current battle between Scarlett's room and Incurable Clutter Brain suck), because gremlins have invaded her computer and destroyed that feature.

If a dog sits on someone's lap during actual dinner, does that count?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


For the past couple of weeks, the Matron's daily run as taken her past a staggeringly beautiful dead tree. This dead tree--completely without leaf or fungus or any life--finally fell over, courtesy of autumn wind.

The tree is a perfect spiral of black branches, a sea leading out out out. She'd post a picture but her computer is best friends with a gremlin who decided a few days ago that she should never upload another photo again.

This is why she will never age on facebook.

Anyway, she was staring into the mystery of this beautiful dead tree while listening to Eckhart Tolle on Speaking of Faith, when she was struck by the power of this thought: I am alive.

Life is reason enough to be happy. Not just plod through the day, not just live. But be happy. Because one day, life will be over.

Jogging home, carrying the image of the tree, she heard Tolle chuckle about how people hope the future is better--work toward and yearn for the future, as the possible perfect - better--life.

But when the future comes? When the future is actually here, it becomes the present. But the present is the very thing we hope to improve upon, in the future.

The Matron heard the wisdom of this and saw her very own fine self caught in this mousetrap.

And when she got home? Memory of a purchase long past nagged at her - she went to a long forgotten bookshelf and discovered: two books by Eckhart Tolle.

Sunday night reading.

Alive! Alive! Why isn't this enough for us?