Thursday, July 29, 2010

Preschool Perspective

Baby Lash Vegas Houston
My 4 year old is starting preschool next month and that fact is causing feelings in me I am not used to. I am not a very sentimental person. I am often the mom without the camera during a party or major life event. I am the mom who treats her kids like little adults causing other moms to describe me as “not very maternal”. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my boys, I am just not that sentimental about things. Until now. I think I’ve been caught up the last 4 years in the day to day care and survival of having two children that are only 13 months apart. Being with them 24/5 has left me a little burnt out on the whole “oh my gosh” of motherhood at times. Last week that all changed when I toured the first preschool for Lash and realized he was leaving me for the real world. I actually felt sick to my stomach during the tour and could not bring myself to register him that same day (Lash and I went back and took care of the registration together).

The school was great but the realization of how old my son really is hit me like the swine flu and I couldn’t deal. When did he get so big? Are the staff and other kids going to treat him the way he deserves? He has been in daycare 2 days a week since he was 1 but that is a small in home daycare which is more like family than daycare. School means many different people and kids, new influences and attitudes. It means others are going to help shape and create the mind I have had the major task of building over the last 4 years.
I think back to when he was small. When he learned to talk or walk and I wonder, did I appreciate that properly. Did I do enough with him in the short time I had him all to myself? I know I am not the only one who feels this because mothers go through it ever day but sentimentality is an unfamiliar feeling for me. In my mind the days when he is obsessed with me and me only are ending, he might like his teacher better. He may find a little girl with short chubby legs and pretty hair to take my place in his sweet little heart. Most of all, it’s knowing that he is not a baby any more. He is officially a little man out to find his way in the world (I know he’s not moving out or anything) and this fact distresses me a little. I never realized how attached to my sons I had become until Monday of last week when I realized this was going to change everything.

School is a good thing and I am totally excited for him. He is a smart outgoing little dude with much to offer any classroom but, up until this point, he has been all mine to mold. I guess I have been oblivious to the way the years have flown by and visiting and registering Lash in preschool was an official end to my whole head in the sand attitude. Though he will only be going 3 days a week this is a precursor to Kindergarten and then 1st grade. Preschool is just the beginning to a whole career of education away from me.

Because of this whole experience consider this sentimentally challenged mom schooled and reborn! I will have a camera on that first day of school and I will keep every preschool memento my husband will allow (he hates hoarding of any kind). I will appreciate the day alone preschool is giving me with my 3 year old Remy, and I will try to make those days as memorable as possible. I will remember that my boys are just kids and will therefore often act in a manner that shows no common sense or impulse control and I will try to readjust my expectations of them because of that fact.

My first course of action in my sentimental awakening will be to appreciate my kids and their firsts more. If my husband and I do this whole parenting thing right my boys will grow up to be secure and contributing men that do not live with us. Though, after the feelings that came with something as simple as preschool I can only imagine the temporary breakdown that will ensue the day I have to drop them off at college or help them move into their first apartment in another city.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fallout from the Housing Crisis or Karma?

I truly believe in Karma. Not in a overly new age hippy way, but I do subscribe to the belief that what you put out is what you get back. When I was younger I did not hold this belief and lived my life accordingly. But, as I’ve aged like the fine wine that I am, I have made decisions and dealt with people in a manner that is as honest and non destructive as humanly possible (sometimes fall out is unavoidable but I do my best to make it as small as I can). I think some of my earlier years are catching up to me though.

Recently our neighborhood has seen a rise in crime. My husband has lived here for over 10 years and though the neighborhood has changed rapidly due to the recession he has been slow to catch up. Feeling safe and usually being completely distracted (a phone grows out of his ear from morning till night) Dave had been less than vigilant with locking our cars. Now, he has done so in the past with no repercussions but in the last 2 years someone has marked our cars as easy targets (duh) and taken advantage. We have had about 5 “get ins” (cannot call them break ins when you leave it unlocked) which resulted in the theft of a wallet, GPS device, jewelry, and other little shit which didn’t matter. Though I was perplexed and felt completely violated I have started to think it might be Karma having her PMS revenge on my husband and I for past actions. As teenagers we both shoplifted. We never stole from an individual deciding instead to “stick it to the man” and steal from large stores. I don’t think we realized until later that shoplifting affects everyone because it costs the stores which in turn costs everyone. Needless to say, these actions were a part of our history and we learned valuable lessons from committing our petty crimes. We both ended our thieving ways before entering our twenties but, Karma, being the vengeful and lazy bitch that she is, seems to be paying us back now. The losses we’ve had hurt but if this is Karma, we have accepted our medicine and now are vigilant about our cars and belongings. We repent our sins.

I mentioned previously that it might be Karma because my second thought (and what I feel is the more solid theory) is that maybe these incidents aren’t Karma but the unmentioned after effects of the foreclosure boom. The reason I think this is because these thefts are happening to those who remember to lock up their shit as well as those of us that don’t. A recent example is my neighbor across the street took his son camping this past weekend and someone stole his box trailer from up the street. These fools pulled up with a truck and hooked that bad boy up rolling away like they owned the shit. My neighbor is the nicest guy and that trailer has been in this hood for years so why the hell now? Is Karma rearing her ugly head at our neighborhood collectively or has the explosion of renters and short sale procurements brought an element to our neighborhood for which none of us are prepared?

I am in no way saying all  renters and people lucky enough to swoop up a 250,000 dollar home for 50,000 are bad people. In fact, until I married Dave I was a permanent renter with no hope of ever owning anything (husband numero uno was not a productive team member). What I am saying is that the renters and short sale buyers we’ve seen move into our area recently are less than impressive folks (of ALL races). They’re the type of people who do not care for their yards or their children. They are folks who move 25 people into a single family residence and then take up all available parking. They are couples who move in with their teenage children then seem to disappear leaving said teens to roam freely into all hours of the night. It is a diverse yet disappointing group of newbies to say the least.

Since we live in Las Vegas many would think the criminal element would be everywhere but I have to tell you that the area we live in is pretty (or was) quiet until this whole recession debacle hit. Now we have thefts, loud people hanging out on the street behind our house at midnight, and beat downs of the poor old dude that works graveyard at the gas station on the corner. That is why I wonder if everything is Karma or if the news and government has left out a very important repercussion of the housing crisis.

If all of the bad juju was limited to my husband and I, I would attribute it completely to Karma but since it’s spreading like crabs in a nightclub bathroom stall I am beginning to think we need to get our move on. We have always discussed buying property and building our own little compound but it seems some unknown force is pushing us to stop discussing and start doing. It’s sad when having neighbors becomes the plague and all you dream of is enough property to separate yourself from everyone and anyone around you. To get your house far enough off the street and your property wall tall enough to block out the world at large so you can keep safe those possessions you may have forgotten to lock up but did not forget to PAY FOR. What happened to the days of neighborhood barbeques and occasional egg loans? Evidently our neighborhood has traded those days in for petty larceny and geriatric bullying.

What do you think? Karma or social deterioration brought about by the sudden easy access of shady individuals to quiet, law abiding neighborhoods?

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