Tuesday, March 10, 2015

the memories of my youth

Tonight I came out of work to a familiar smell. The air warming, but still slightly biting. The smell was one of damp grass, and flowing water. The creek behind the fire hall has thawed. It reminded me of a summer night roughly fifteen years ago. Its the night I made my first "grown up" leap of faith.

The apartments, and fire hall were still relatively new. Behind them, vast fields of hay, and mooing cows. Protected from the train tracks by a ten foot chain link fence. That incidentally, had various holes cut out of it by teenagers bent on trouble. I was fourteen.

It was great. I was old enough to do fun things past ten on a Saturday, but not so old as to go hunting for trouble. A friend had her cousin from North of Edmonton come for a visit because his mom was off somewhere with someone.

And he was hers to entertain. She decided he was going to meet and hang out with all her friends. We sat on her third floor balcony, while he played the guitar, she the bass, and I attempted to channel my inner Jewel. Which I have you know, was very cool at the time.

We wandered to the Mac's for banana slurpees while crisscrossing over wooden bridges in the park adjacent to her building. Over the creek, tossing stones, and startling ducks. I looked at him, tall and nearly sixteen, I loved the fact he didn't mind my silly jokes, and thought my super short hair was very cute. Black hair, blue eyes, and he played guitar-see where this is going?  We liked the same bands. Garbage, Hole, Edwin, Eminem who was new that year, the Cardigans and all other manner of mid to late 90's bands. He love astronomy, and read rolling stone. He'd read the same biographies as I had, and thought school was a waste of time. It was brilliant.

One night after Rocky Horror picture Show, and little Barber Shop of horrors, My friend had fallen, asleep. I needed to make the long 7 minute trek home, he decided I needed company. We walked, and talked. Both of us turning around and crossing over the creek in various spots. Only to repeat the entire process. My heart wasn't working right, It was beating to hard, but not in the right rhythm.  My stomach felt like a hole was trying to open up and swallow all sane thoughts.

On and on we journey'd. Back and forth. We finally stopped on a cute arched bridge to watch the mist float in.  The temperature had dropped, and a musk rat was swimming down the creek to the echo of crickets and trains. A meteor shower had started. So, we watched, standing as close to each other as we could with out being obvious.

I don't remember what was said, but I do remember thinking he was very pretty. No boy had ever been prettier in my eyes. I remember the feeling. The nervousness of letting him lean in, and worry on what it would feel like. His mouth was soft, and gentle and he tasted like Dr. Pepper and cool ranch Doritos. That was it, it was done. A few soft movements, and the smell of the night was forever imprinted in my brain, to be reviewed with a smile years later.

It was perfect.  Nicholas Sparks couldn't have written it better himself. It was smooth, and gentle. A glimpse into growing up. Proof it wasn't ALL bad.

 I never saw him again.

I had run through the entire memory before even starting my car. Ending my Monday with a glowing shimmer.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Thats not a girl sport!

My oldest daughter is in Taekwon do-she has been in the sport since she was four. So enough time that we are aware she will be seeing this through for an extended period of time. It is a generally male dominated sport, however girls and women are taking over. More women are joining as white belts, and more moms are putting their daughters in. For self defense, self worth, health, and affordability.

Essentially, for our family-it worked. She had fun, was good at it and was looking forward to each class.

The last few weeks she has been dragging her feet and refusing to practice. She's fallen a bit behind in her stubbornness in the subject. She's not even paying attention in class. Its the most remarkable thing, the 180 in her attitude. So in typical way I demanded to know what was up.

After much dragging, and out right threats it comes out

"Mom why don't I dance?"
"You hate it, we tried. You cried before every class" (I'd like to note she was 7 so we'd really tried-she could pick dance or Taekwon do)
"But-the kids at school say girls do girl sports, like dance or gymnastics. Boys do Taekwon do, or karate"
"That's crap if a girl does it its a girl sport, if a boy does it its a boy sport. So you can actually do what ever you want to do"

After more conversation with her-these girls (yes GIRLS). Have told her she's not REALLY a girl if she does these things, and won't be friends with her if she keeps going. THEY WON'T BE FRIENDS WITH HER. At 8 they've drawn their gender bias and were sticking by it. The lines of battle were drawn-do what they say or she can be ostracized. An outcast amongst the girly elite of grade three.

The child is EIGHT YEARS OLD, and she's being told to define who she is as a person by a group of girls her age with antiquated ideals. The only way these kids would have been aware of this stereo type is if they had been taught it from a young age.

My daughter is the girl who has played zombie hunter with the same group of kids since September-a group with boys and girls. A child who loves skirts, glitter, and video games.

I decided the talk it out method the school was so fond of wasn't working. So I told her she could say this one thing once with my blessing. ONCE that's it.

"Kiss my ass, I do what I want"

Guess who received an email from her teacher today-and guess who's daughter came home happy for the first time in weeks.

We win.