Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

I just love this picture. These are our hands. Clockwise from right: the Man, me, my son J. and my daughter K.

It took a lot of work to get this picture. Some screeching, way too much laughter and ridicule, a little lot of pouting from me, and some dire looks from the Man. And fifteen minutes. Don't forget the full fifteen minutes it took to snap one lousy picture of a loving family. And we are loving. Despite the rolling eyes and heavy sighs. And "She touched me", followed by "I'm not holding HIS hand" that made me question why I was trying to do this. I thought about snapping pics of their hands separately and photoshopping them in. But that seemed a little stalker-ish. Plus, it's much more fun making them "hold hands". I live for these moments.

I needed this connection today. I needed to be reminded there are people in the world that like me, even if they have to because they're married to me or I'm their mother. Most days, I love my job. But today....whew... today was a wee bit challenging.

The middle school in town had a half day of school for teacher conferences. Half days of school are very bad. They result in hordes of tweens descending upon the library with nothing to do and lots of time to do it in. They usually involve running, tipping chairs, throwing things, non-stop giggling, and general all-around mayhem for the entire afternoon. I followed tweens around, chasing them out of dark corners, book stacks and meeting rooms. I gave a tour of our stuffed bird collection to one young man who jumped out and yelled "boo" at me when I walked down the hall. He looked like he needed something to do and I was happy to give him the tour. He couldn't get away fast enough. But he didn't yell "boo" for the rest of the day. I got on the elevator with them when they insisted on riding it up and down, non-stop, a dozen or so times. I asked them questions about school and their teachers. They couldn't get away fast enough. But I wasn't trying to chase them away. Really. They were just being tweens - bored, hungry and needing to show off in front of their friends.

The library staff was edgy, and by the end of the day all I really wanted was a glass of wine. Instead, I came home and attempted to take a picture of our hands. Am I a glutton for punishment or what?

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up
dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.
-attributed to Socrates, by Plato

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