I am addicted to other people’s kids – so there is stuff on my agenda.
My own daughters are amazing polar opposites; like Yin and Yang. Jax is silent, serious and unshakeable. Darla is animated with strong opinions and feelings and she is silly. Of course they are also 20 and three years old respectively. Spending time with either of them is a delightful education.
However, my friends have some cool kids also.
As you well may have gathered from our time here together, I am picky, entitled and have high standards. Accordingly my friends are top notch. Mostly female, most of them are also mothers. They are kind ladies with good hearts, holding diverse world views and expert levels of proficiency in their chosen professions.
So just imagine what it looks like when this caliber of people spawn and have children!
It’s better than peanut butter and chocolate ya’ll. I am totally addicted.
Andrea has three hooligans who are wicked smart and ambitious. They top the list of people I am most want to kidnap and spend my life teaching how to toilet paper, houses frost shirt boxes and give them as birthday cakes, explain the proper way to “fork” a lawn or line up quarter cups of water on the porch. The absolute mayhem level would be off the charts. Arts and crafts like sewing zippers on to the back of their dad’s pants so he won’t know which way is front just sounds delicious. So does putting food coloring in the Crown Car Wash soap . . . But usually we just toss pebbles in the lake and explore.
Ali has this little sprite who is one of my favorite Disneyland buddies. She is still portable sized so I toss her on a hip and carry her around like a fashion accessory when we are not playing Hide and Seek in a super crowded public space where she could be trampled or carried away by plundering tourists. Also, This kid is the only child (not related to me) who understands the importance of getting ice cream all over one’s self on a hot day.
Becky’s kid will grow up to be a teacher. Just write this down somewhere and talk to me again in 20 years. She knows what she likes, what she wants, what she needs to get what she wants and the importance of explaining ideas with joy and making everything fun. As the oldest child she is predisposed to being a caregiver and introducing her brother to the world while guiding him through it. Her baby brother and I both like to hide under my favorite grey sweater until everything stops being to freaking loud, bright and overwhelming. I really identify with that boy.
You know those kids who are “too cool” except that they are really just very sure of who they are while always being aware of the needs of people around them? These are Lisa’s kids. When possible (meaning my day is clear and I have talked her into telling me the schedule) I like to sneak across town and watch Saturday baseball and soccer games. I suspect the oldest will run his own company from the way he organizes his brother and sister and analysis his parents. I only see them a few times a year ( if that ) but they are definitely my version of Kid Candy.
All of these kids are going to grow up and continue being fabulous people and more or less take over their corners of the world. Just like I would sweep my living room floors before they come for a visit – there is a little housekeeping I want to do in society before any of these kids are expected to navigate through it.
· I want them to have easy access to tools and technology that frees them to be more creative and productive – so I will encourage them to use my tech while I invest in companies building new computer systems and ideas.
· I don’t want them to have to avoid cruddy paying poverty income jobs. I want to get everyone paid a living wage right now.
· I don’t want them stepping over homeless people as they walk out of the Metro – I want to end homelessness now.
· I want them to be healthy, so I will work to make immunization and expectation and not a debatable topic even if it means I have to drag out photos of my grandmother in an iron lung while being treated for Polio.
· I don’t want them to not have the skills and ability to learn new tasks, nor do I want them to have uneducated coworkers to be trapped in the office with until 5 each day. I want to reduce high school drop outs and improve education now.
· I want them to feel safe in their communities, at any time of day – so I want law enforcement to be a positive force in society and not a group of (mostly) men with guns that they need to run away from.
· I want them to have legitimate reasons to be proud Americans, not just belligerent disciples of Nationalism so I will take realistic stock of our need to improve education, feed our citizens with food we grow, and to encourage Americans to invest in the fundamentals of art since we are the birthplace of the movie industry and the music capital of the world.
These kids are too quickly becoming adults and if they have to clean up what we and others have left lying around, they may not find the time and motivation to be as awesome as I expect them to be. What do you want to do now for their future?