Tuesday, October 23, 2012

debate, parenthood, peanut butter & crackers

We live, work & play in this strange world where our real life and our online 'second lives' collide.  How we engage & respond has morphed over the years to include this public format where love is declared, battle lines are drawn & score is kept by some illusive & ever-changing social sentry.  What did we all do before technology allowed us to 'write it out'?  We wrote it out : long-hand & private, in notebooks & journals .. with sloppy pages of self-mutilating-depricating angst. Well, that's at least what I did. Now, I will tuck it here for an immediate, cathartic release. Still angst-ish & full of remorse for the definitions & crumbs that, as a parent, I have laid along the path. Few will read it . .  maybe a few dear souls, but not the players in this melodrama. This immediate cathartic process now spent.

Where exactly is the 'Parenthood' moment? That argumentative tumult of hot feeling that bubbles & froths spectacularly during some barbed sibling battle ? All hurts & wrongs aired over a soft Bruno Mars ballad rising in the background . . . faces flushed with anger & mess, until someone storms out causing semi-confusion before being pursued, or the tension is broken by some innocent gesture ; the dog jumps on the table, a silly ringtone is heard, a child says something pointedly astute ... and after the Chanel #5 commercial, we find the Bravermans / Us, laughing & engaged ... once again seated around some colorful al fresco feast. Yea. I want that.

I think I had it with my dad to some extent.
I am an only child, so the concept of siblings not 'fixing' things ... not getting along is way beyond me.
What a bunch of lucky basterds you all are !! People with siblings.
Ready-made friends for life !
Family with a capital F.
So, after my mom died, when it was just dad & I ... well, we would fight. Hard & emotional & until I would find myself collapsed & sobbing against his shoulder, as he hugged me to him - hard. And emotional. Then he would say something like, "Come on, let's go have some crackers & peanut butter." And we would be better somehow, bigger & healed.

My husband has two brothers, each with wives & families. We have been estranged from them now for a couple years ... this was explained in a previous post & I won't go there.  It is relevant, but only so much ....
suffice it to say, there are vast political differences we seem unable to bridge.
But recently, ( ok, like tonight ) my husband's older brother, took it upon himself to bully my daughter on her social media page on a political statement she posted.
She liked Obama . She did not like the 'other guy'.
He called our POTUS an idiot, and he called her an idiot.
In the social media world, this is a troll move, though he was just being an ass. Where does this come from, this need to feel more powerful than another ? I don't understand. I am a deer in head lights a la tharn.
Who does this ... and why does it seem to so fall predictably along political lines ? I do not want this to be a truth, but it is glaringly apparent. This is not how we respect family, grow our children ... This is not how we learn to lean & listen across party lines, across divisions of any kind.
It got worse & it got better.
My daughter replied back with fierce passion & a resilient stance. Declaring her right to her own opinion, her right to say what she wanted & the ownership to the contents of her page. Yea, she dropped the f-bomb. Big fucking deal.
She was accurate & sassy.  Also upset.  I was pleased she walked boldly into her voice.
I did not jump in, did not fuel the proverbial fire.
Then it got worse ... he threw the family under the bus so-to-speak, well, me more accurately. Going back 25+ years, to a time when I commented a crime.  A significant act, under significant circumstances that I paid dearly & thankfully for.  I survived the consequences - I rose up & out.   It was a horrible, nightmarish time, that echoes still every day of my life, in sometimes unexpected ways, and in some surprisingly profound ways.
But to throw it in the rant, as this example my daughter is aspiring to ?
Wtf. This is akin to throwing pandas into a debate about Detroit.
This is an action based in hate, fear & bullying.
This is not something family does. Oh no no no …. And do not bully my child.  I will eat you.
My daughter is a warrior Celtic Princess of the highest order - capable, smart, beautiful & sassy. It is heartbreaking to witness someone over 50 attack someone not yet 22.
How fucking dare he, how small & fearful one must be to live & act with such vile emptiness.
This is family with a capital F.

I want a Partridge Family family, a wild & joyful Parenthood family, I want Eight is Enough, Dawson's Creek, and shit, throw in 41 Jump Street .... but I want a family that hugs it out, stays and sees it thru until the love hits ...
I want my father's shoulder & crackers with peanut butter waiting on the other side. No more hate. No more.
We will be our own family with a capital F, a family with enough love & fearlessness to always make it thru to the crackers & peanut butter.


  1. Awww Susie, this made me cry. I love this and xooxoxox

  2. Oh Marla … first of all : THANK you for reading this lengthy missive. Oh my … This was heart-breaking for so so many reasons, and that you listened & 'got it' … well, thank you & love ya .

  3. Oh wow Susie..this just crawled right inside me! All Family value pistons are firing with precision at your house...in your heart and that is a wonderful thing to behold!:

  4. Oh wow Susie..this just crawled right inside me! All Family value pistons are firing with precision at your house...in your heart and that is a wonderful thing to behold!:

  5. Thank you ... and thank . you , truly DiAnne ... again amazed that anyone can wade thru that piece ... hearts out to you <3