mordwen: (Default)
There are bad things about insta-families -- like being so stressed that you forget all about the cool Writers With Drinks magazine tribute that [personal profile] anthologie invites you to the day after she invites you (sorry, I sooo wanted to go to that) -- but there are good things about it too.

Tonight, standing on our balcony with Doug barbequeing chicken skewers (free-range organic, of course) and me having just made potato salad, I looked back into the house. The kids had music streaming to our speakers that I actually kinda like[1], Tina was dyeing Cassie's hair (black cherry; it looks awesome) and AJ was lying on his belly in the middle of the living room drawing different tags in bright colors on art paper.

Tina sometimes says we have this crazy situation where it's like someone took one man, one woman and one kid and said, "Here. Be a family." and that's pretty challenging. There are times like this though, where I look at it and think, "How amazing. Just over a year ago, we were both single. And now look at us. Look at this." I told Doug that and he smiled and told me he loved me and that I should blog it so that all my friends know that if your new beau has kids, you never know how suddenly life might turn around so that they're yours too.

Another thing about the week I turned 17: legally, I was able to drive from that week if I passed the test. I imagine I took the test that week. I'd been learning since I was allowed to at 16 and nine months and Mum had loaned me her 1978 yellow Corolla. I have no idea who I was seeing at that point... I don't have a clear memory at all of my 17th birthday party. Mum? Do you remember?

[1] They're into the new country stuff like Little Big Town's Boondocks, interesting covers and mash-ups like Alien Ant Farm's cover of Smooth Criminal or the Federation's cover of "I wear my sunglasses at night"[2] and a little bit of R&B.
[2] And didn't that just lead me into an interesting exploration of Bay Area hip-hop!
mordwen: (Default)
People keep saying that this parenting gig draws a lot on your own memories of being a teenager and it's true.

Doug's daughter Tina turned 17 on Thursday, so we all headed out to an amusement park a few hours away and spent a crazy day on go karts and bumper boats followed by chinese dinner. She scored candles and soaps from her sister, a bracelet and a nape piercing from us (she asked for a tattoo, but it's illegal in this state if you're under 18, even with a parent's permission -- thank the gods!) and a keyboard with light up keys from her boyfriend and his Mom. Her sister Cassie is staying with us for a week so she could be here for the party.

She's super-excited that in one year, she'll be 18. She starts her "senior year" in September (Year 12, for the Aussies reading).

It makes me think a lot about when I turned 17, just before I went into Year 12. I wish I had my actual diaries with me: I'd read the entries for each week for the next year, I think.

Let's see if I can exhume it. January, 1988. Bicentennial year in Australia. I think my parents took my sisters up to Brisbane for some exhibition and I refused to go on political grounds because I disagreed with how the 200 year anniversary of the invasion of Australia was being "celebrated". (I did mention that I've apologized to my parents about my teenhood, right?)

As school started, I remember my sisters in Year 10 learning their instruments (clarinet and trumpet) and how absolutely impossible it was to study with them doing scales and parts to songs I couldn't recognize. Rather than go into the whole year here, I think I'll try and revisit this periodically as the year goes on...

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January 2011

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