Thursday, December 3, 2009

Surviving Thanksgiving

I truly must be a survivor. After going to Turkey and living through numerous taxi cab rides(in Turkey there are no speed limit signs, no one sees lane lines, stop light are not laws but merely recommendations, and traffic police are there only to collect money if they actually care about how you are driving, catching some kind of bug that my oldest daughter so kindly shared with me (thank you Sesame Street for "It's Nice to Share" idea that it gave to all my children growing up), and having five extra boys in the house and three extra girls in the house for our Thanksgiving holiday I realize I can survive almost anything. Even 2012.

My perplexity comes from our now 17 year old daughter whom decided that she didn't like having extra people in the house at all. She didn't even like having her paternal grandparents here. "It's not like they care at all about me," she said. My concern was that she spouted off with her grandfather standing directly in front of us.

Honestly I can understand how young boys might get on her nerves, not that they paid her much attention. They were loud and energetic, but that's how boys are supposed to be. However, I can't understand her disdain over her grandparents and her aunt. She was a bit miffed by the fact that her uncle couldn't remember her name, but hey, he's a guy. He's lucky to remember his own name at times, I'm sure.

I think what it boiled down to is that she wasn't the center of attention. She felt the boys were more important than she was. She also didn't like the fact that her grandmother brought up her natural mother and was talking about her. She hasn't acknowledged her in several years now and doesn't show signs of forgiving her for past transgressions yet. It's a very hard issue to come to terms with. I know several women that have "mother" problems that they never have gotten over.

I think it's tough being a teenage girl. You have all those hormones running rampant and no where to release them. You feel like you're lonely all the time even when people are in the house. No matter what you say you are misunderstood. You have to constantly watch what you wear and what you say. Boys, on the other hand, can pretty much wear whatever they want. If they don't shower and jump out of bed crumpled it's still cool. If a girl tries that they get snickered at all through the day and rumors start running rampant.

But after saving the cockatoo and giving him therapy after new boys came in and thought he was carnival shooting toy, the smaller dogs and the cat were relieved and came out of hiding, and finding dishes and food in very clever hiding places things are getting back to normal... or as normal as it ever gets here.

Honestly, I do miss Turkey. It was wonderful there. I miss the people, mostly. But I love being home with my family and friends. I enjoy being in a place where I can drive to the store at a reasonable speed and where I can mostly count on people stopping for a red light.

Now that the turkey has been downed, two birthdays are almost out of the way, and the kids are back to the school grind we can get ready for Christmas. (sigh) But at least we'll have most of our family together, and for me that's the bestest part of the holidays.

***Note: The picture is of our favorite taxi driver whom we fondly call Benjamin. His name is actually Ebu Bakir which I mistakenly heard as "Abel Baker." I told him he looked like a Benjamin and he said, "Okay. I'll be Benjamin." He's totally awesome... :) and can drive better than most race car drivers I've seen.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pasty.

Thanks for sharing your thanksgiving.

I think a part of being a teenager is, as you say, being the center of everything. That is a part of what all those hormones and physical changes that happen at that time in life are supposed to accomplish.

As children we are busy trying to figure out what we need, as teenagers we are busy figuring out what we want. This idea of want is a much harder implicit image to understanding than the mostly explicit image of needs and is not easily shared with parents or even other teens.

Needs are simple to figure out. Set a baby on a nice lawn and everything goes into its mouth, leaves, grass, and much “stuff” that we don’t really want to think about. The parent of a child, as much as I can figure out by being an occasional uncle, just has to be fast. I must add that the baby also learns it needs a sense of humor, to be around these funny grown-up babies.

When the child becomes a teenager, there is not much a parent can do, except to remember what it was like as a teenager, which the teenager knows was nothing like what she/he is going through. The image of our despair is inside and not really outside, but it is the outside that is changing.

I hope she finds what she wants out of life (the next minute, hour, day, ect.), and I know you and Brian, especially both, will be there for her as she goes from one crisis to another in her search.

As Brian said he is quick to judge and but is also able to forgive.

I think this is very much a Dunbar trait, only I am not sure how quick we are to forgive—it is something we can all work on.

Love from,
Uncle Larry

Pasty said...

Uncle Larry, you are a very wise man.

Anonymous said...

Survival group against God?? LOL. Good luck with that. Truth is, no one knows the exact time this will happen except the man upstairs, however, I firmly believe that there are people placed here by God that post the warning signs and it's up to you to take heed.
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