Our little town has a Facebook group that is specifically for women, and for the most part it’s actually a great resource. I’ve gotten to know a few nice ladies through posting on there, and that is how we found Ellie’s lovely sitter, and it’s really good for things like getting recommendations for plumbers and finding out when free skate is taking place at the arena. Last week I was at the post office and one of the postal workers mentioned she had found a Blackberry (the phone, not the fruit) on our street near the mailboxes, so I posted about it on the Facebook group and the phone was reuinted with its owner.
Every once in a while things kind of … devolve, as they tend to do on the internet, and I rarely wade into the fray because I hate fighting with people in comments sections. Yesterday, though, someone posted what I thought was a very reasonable and gentle reminder that fireworks are supposed to be set off only on long weekends, as per the local bylaws. A couple of people commented that their dogs and/or children had been scared and/or woken up by the noise, and I chimed in with a jokey post about how I have a baby and a 3-year-old and am perhaps more protective of my sleep than people in other phases of life, and that I was not anti-firework but that they seemed to happen very late (often as late as midnight or even later) and that I found that a bit excessive. Another woman posted that it was probably teens setting off the fireworks, that those of us with little kids think we have parenting all figured out but we’re wrong, and that there was no point in even posting on Facebook at all about the issue because if it WAS teens, they’re not in this group and won’t see it. So. I don’t know. I think I am about to get into a fight with someone on Facebook, if a “fight” can be defined as “enthusiastic and friendly agreement with commenter’s point, followed by tentative reminder that I disagree just a TINY bit with one miniscule aspect of it, followed by smiley face emoticon, followed by obsessive refreshing of the page and anxious nail-biting for several hours in case of blow-back, followed by eventually deleting the comment because I remembered why I don’t tend to do this kind of stuff in the first place”. Hold my calls, I’ll be busy for the rest of the day!
It made me think of the kinds of things you swear you’ll never, EVER do as a parent that you reneg on pretty much at the first opportunity. I certainly do not for a second think my kids won’t occasionally (or even frequently) be obnoxious as pre-teens and teens, and I also don’t believe that I will always (or even frequently) be able to control their behaviour (inside or outside of our house) (okay, now I am panicking about having teenagers; what were we thinking having these adorable babies that will turn into adolescents?) but I feel reasonably confident that I will never, ever think it is okay for them to light fireworks whenever they want, nor will I defend them on Facebook if they do. I said to Mike at one point that I just want our kids to grow up to be kind people. If they are kind and compassionate and considerate of others, then I will feel like I’ve done a good job as a parent. I don’t really know how to get there, though. Parenting, man! There is so much to teach them, and even then there are no guarantees. It can be exhausting to contemplate.
Luckily you are about to be saved from several more paragraphs of commentary that is alternately despondent and optimistic, because I hear the sounds of my current baby (future adolescent!) stirring from his nap and engaging in his favourite pastime of raising his legs up in the air and slamming them down again on the side of his crib. It is surely a matter of minutes before one of his chubby legs inevitably gets wedged between the slats, speaking of things it is necessary to teach your children, so I should hit Publish on this and go rescue him.