Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tagged! Seven Random Things About Me

1. If left to my own devices, I stay up later and later every night.
2. I feel better if I breathe in ocean air at least once a year.
3. In another life I’d be a songwriter or an architect. Or maybe it’s not too late?
4. I love going barefoot.
5. I dream about going to Spain.
6. The idea of getting a dog for Jack in the fall is growing on me.
7. My favorite reading genre: memoirs.

I tag Shelley W., Luann H. and Ann C. (who I think check my blog from time to time and who have blogs of their own).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Missing the Exit but (Hopefully) Making the Point

Yesterday Jack and I drove about 30 minutes north on I-15 to pick up a good friend of his for a day of fun. There are several exits we can take to get to her house. 

I missed all of them.

Jack and I were too busy having a serious conversation about civil disobedience. The subject came up because he's been watching Whale Wars on the Animal Planet channel, in which the crew of the Sea Shepherd tries to thwart the efforts of whalers. Sometimes their techniques put people in danger.

While I tried to help him understand the fine line between fighting for something worth dying for and failing to use good judgment, I was walking a fine line myself--teaching Jack to understand the consequences of our actions without squelching the budding passions of a boy who will one day be a man who believes in something worth dying for.

So I balanced my "lecture" that maybe throwing stink bombs onto the deck of a Japanese whaling ship could be misconstrued and result in the firing of deadly weapons ("But the captain didn't actually die," said Jack) with stories of my grandmother, who went to Nicaragua on a peace mission the year she turned 80, and my sister Maryann, who once took a class on how to handle being arrested at demonstrations.

And we laughed at the irony that the exit where we made our u-turn was the exit for the state prison.

I hope it was worth being late for Jack's friend.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Who Am I? Part Two

So months and months ago I posted the first in what was to be a series of blog posts pondering the question of who I am (click here for the first post). 

I'm finally getting around to exploring another answer to the question: birth order. According to Wikipedia, "birth order is often believed to have a profound and lasting effect on psychological development."

Technically I'm the second of four children. 

But here's the thing: I believe I have played the role of oldest, middle and youngest child in my family. And if there is any credibility to the birth order theory, it's no wonder I'm a little screwy sometimes!

I am nearly three years younger than my brother, the oldest child. He was a bit of a societal dropout. I was the first one to get a driver's license, the first to get a job, the first to graduate from high school, the first to leave home. I have a distinct memory of hearing my mother--in an effort to expand his self-sufficiency--offer to pay him a dollar if he'd break an egg into a pan. It was hard for me to understand why I couldn't have a dollar because I already knew how to do that. (He eventually did get a license, left home and learned how to break an egg.)

I am nearly nine years older than my next younger sister. Which meant that I was the baby of the family for all of my formative years and beyond. I didn't have to be a responsible older sibling. I didn't have anyone getting into my stuff. I didn't have to compete for attention with someone cuter than me.

But as soon as my sister was born I became a middle child. With an older brother in the throes of puberty and a needy infant, I felt an unspoken responsibility to lay low and not cause any additional stress in the family (not that I was always successful!). 

Then to top it all off, my youngest sister was born when I was fourteen and I became a second mother! I'm not complaining--we had a lot of fun together! But I do remember lots of diaper changes and babysitting.

A possible explanation for thinking I need to be all things to all people? The kind of thinking that can make a person crazy?