Another Blog about being a Parent
Today as I was driving back from picking Tyler up from the place he is living now, I had a frightening realization about our relationship.
I was driving him to his first day of work at Subway, then picking him up again and taking him back 'home.' I brought him a box of oatmeal because I know he liked that brand. We had an ugly parting of ways in June but I'm his parent and I love him and I guess I'll go out of my way, forever, to help him out. I realized that now, at 37, I fully understand what The Giving Tree felt like after that bastard kid swung on its branches and cut all the wood to build his own selfish ass house. What a dick. But that tree kept on giving and giving and that mother fucker of a kid didn't give anything in return. Hmmmm
When I was 5, that book was a favorite of mine. It's one of those kid books with a deeper social meaning but a 5 -year -old just knows the tree is sad and the tree was only happy when that damn kid was happy or so it seemed until the end when both the kid and the tree are just sad and lonely and dying. Fuck that book. Fuck that kid. The moral of that story is don't be a selfish asshole. The end.
That's not the only children's story that is sad and depressing. No wonder we all need therapy. I was scarred for life by being read aloud the book, Where the Red Fern Grows. My 5th grade teacher read us this book about dogs dying while we were all gathered in a circle around her stupid wooden rocking chair. Reading this book to a group of children is cruel.
First of all, the book builds characterization of the dogs so you develop a loyalty and love for them. Then, the author kills all the animals in the book so you are left bereft, devastated, and speechless while trying not to show any emotion in a group of bullying 10 -year -olds who will call you a cry baby at lunch or until you move away and go to a public school, where, I heard, everyone just punches you in the face.
Of course it's a depressing book. The problem isn't Silverstein, the problem is all the hippies...who thought it was so sweet 30 years ago. It's not sweet - it's as horrible as the real world. He just uses the cute cartoon/children's book format to present a horrible reality.
So welcome to the world, kiddies. And when you grow up, try not to turn out like that little shit.
Anyway, When I had Tyler I was 18 and I didn't know shit about babies or anything else for that matter. There wasn't Internet yet, so I guess he is lucky I kept him alive for this long.
Plus, I didn't have much guidance after the age of 12 so it seems pretty natural I would have my own kid to raise is a haphazard manner.
I felt inadequate as a kid and was afraid of most everything, especially adults. I like to think it's because of my religious upbringing that I feared authority and most of all, hell. As a result of my own insecurities and fears, I wanted my child to fit in and follow the rules partly, well mostly, so he didn't make me look bad and so people wouldn't find out that what I knew was nothing at all. This did not happen. Tyler made me look bad a lot. I mean all the time. Like every day. He didn't follow the rules. He didn't listen. He wouldn't sit or stand or do anything on command. He especially wouldn't work in a group.
Society, for some reason values group work. There's no I in team! Shut up. And when your kid won't do what society values, society blames you. Tyler is 19 now and, as delineated in my previous Tyler blogs, the kid has been no picnic. In fact, he has been a cluster fuck nightmare.
When I picked him up today we were talking about his new beginning, college and somehow group work came up. I finally told him the truth about group work. Group work sucks and it always will. It's totally an exercise in who will back down first and let the bossiest person in the group finish the work because the other people just start not giving a shit. I'm sorry I made it sound important.
It is fucking awful but something you learn how to deal with without stabbing yourself or others.
Working with other people amounts to a group of people trying to come to a consensus about a task and then putting that task in motion. The process is infuriating and frustrating. There are many, many, many things that I disagree with Tyler about, but what I admire about him is he always maintained utter disgust for things he deemed total bullshit. Whereas I tolerate bullshit and generally keep quiet (when I can), he has always railed against it with a fervor equitable to saving yourself from drowning in the ocean surrounded by sharks.