Monday, April 17, 2006

better late than never....

I owe myself an apology. I started this blog to record the events in my life and their effect on me, and then I let it go almost 2 weeks. This is partly due to my dead keyboard at home, restricting me to internet access at work - AFTER HOURS - and with my wife being gone not having much time to spend after hours, home time being more important. This is also due to the fact that, as indicated in my last post, I had prepared this huge post using my son's laptop at home and then losing it when publishing. So here are some odds and ends about the last two weeks.

I took the kids up to KC to see their grandma (and mom) two weekends ago. It takes 14 - 16 hours (depending on bladders and backsides) one way. Friday and Monday were trip days. I was exhausted, having driven the entire distance myself (my son forgot his wallet - and license - at home, my daughter has only her learner's permit and has had little interstate experience).

MIL is now at home, the care center discharged her only 4 days after checking in. There was a huge disagreement within the family about bringing her home, in short some (read one daughter) thought she should be admitted to an in-patient hospice - basically to die. However, since coming home she has gained some strength. She has sat up once or twice and has been able to roll herself onto her side - huge improvements from when she had the heart attacks/stroke last month. She's awake more (my wife thinks the hospital was fairly free with pain meds and tranquilizers) and, according to my wife, is bored. She kicks her pillows off of the bed and refuses tv, being read to, or even pictures - and she loves looking at family pictures. She is in a bed in the living room so she can see and be seen, which may help the boredom. My wife is the primary care giver and I worry about her. She sleeps on the couch to be near MIL and is up several times a night. And she gets VERY cranky when she doesn't get enough sleep! I wish I could be there to help, but someone needs to keep the home fires burning. I can't decide when to go up next. Daughter's college finals are over on May 6th, so maybe I should wait so they can go with me, but by then it'll have been 4 weeks since visiting. I can't really afford to go myself next weekend and then go again with the kids when school is out. If I wait and something happens between now and then......

Nothing much else is going on, work is the same; my car is still in the shop, so still driving the caddy! I'm getting a little too used to driving it, but I still will be glad to get my volvo back. It looks like I'll be about $1000 poorer for it, though.

On a completely different subject, I read a blog post about women raising daughters. In general, it was about how much more difficult it is for women to raise daughters than sons. People write books about this subject, so I can't hope to do more here than a brief comment. I was surprised to hear about this. I would have thought it would have been the opposite - women challenged by sons, men challenged by daughters. I will admit that I do not spend a lot of time thinking about gender roles in our society, in fact I tend to resent predefined roles arbitrarily based on gender. In my own experience, a good many of the difficulties in growing up is living up to society's expectations of you. I don't like being excluded from something because of that damned chromosome. I tried to raise my children as gender neutral as I could - i.e. no pink vs. blue, none of this business that they couldn't do something because only boys/girls can do that, etc. Maybe I made things more difficult for them in that my kids didn't always share the same interests as other kids their age, I don't really know. I've always thought that there should be gender equality in everything. I had an essay I wrote published in the local newspaper when I was in high school regarding women being long overdue for equal rights. As long as someone has the skills necessary for a job, they should be eligible for it and be paid accordingly. I might be taking the wrong tack here, maybe the opinion expressed in the blog wasn't that it was harder for a woman to raise a daughter, maybe it was that it is harder for anyone to raise girls vs. boys. I didn't find it so raising our two, but maybe I should talk to my wife - I certainly didn't do it by myself. I think maybe I should read the book referred to in the blog. It is, I believe, a collection of essays about women raising their daughters. As far as I know, there isn't anything in there from men. I know that many (if not most) women feel that they still do the child rearing in our society, and they pretty much do. But men do too. I know plenty of conscientious fathers who share in the raising of their children and I'm curious what they would have to say. I only know that I had fairly equal trials/tribulations/problems/whatever raising both kids. In fact, my son has been more of the "problem child" - he's had more than his share of emotional issues the past 2 years. All in all, I can't say that one was more difficult than the other, they are individuals and each raised as such.

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