One week from today we will be in transit - halfway between homes. There is so much to do that I get the screaming heebie jeebies if I think about it too long. I want to navigate this transition as smoothly as possible for my kids. We are having fun with many aspects of it all, but there are distinctly hard parts to it. On top of that there has been additional emotional drama. One example is that the Ninja Princessa was forbidden to open a myspace account - clearly, expressly, and with lots of explanations as to why. In ongoing revelations coming from her mother's home in Colorado, we have been finding out that not only did she try to sneak in getting permission to open one there with her mother's blessing, but after her mom presented a united front with SH and said no - the Princessa did it anyway. Only now it turns out that she didn't just do it - that she opened her account in April and lied about it directly on several occasions. Not only that but upon reading email that has been sent to her - there is at least one troll that has sent her pornographic email. I suppose she gets credit for deleting that email - but it is disturbing that when she was faced with evidence of exactly what we'd told her we did not want her exposed to - that she covered that up and proceeded with her own agenda. It is not surprising in the sense that it is completely normal for kids her age and in her situation to push these boundaries, to try to sneak this type of thing past, and to learn about the consequences of lying. Just because it's normal does not make it easy. Adolescents experiment with a vast array of risky behavior. As parents, we expect it. We prepare as much as we can - forearming our kids with information and empowering them to make the best choices. We keep ourselves informed and on alert to detect what we can - knowing we'll miss something, knowing there are dangers that we can't even imagine, knowing that in some ways it's a total crapshoot. Somewhere out there - there is a kid who has done things a thousand times worse than anything our kid will ever think about and that kid (against ridiculous odds) is fine - maybe even stronger for having walked that particular road. Somewhere out there is also a kid who did nothing - or did something very minorly risky and that kid is dead or traumatized for life. Parenting is about staying open to information without becoming paralyzed by frightful possibilities. Somehow we frantically try to shepherd our kids through the Scylla and Charybdis of adolescence.
And for some of us - we are trying to do that while being attacked, evaluated, judged, and found lacking in our parental abilities. I am having some fun with my mom and my ex - can you tell?