John and I were both well-behaved children, responsible, excelling in school without parental prompting, never giving our parents worry or trouble.
That’s why I think Karma is bullshit.
No, seriously, my kids aren’t that bad. But they aren’t carbon copies of me and John either, which I guess is what I was maybe expecting.
I see this all the time in a multitude of ways, and I thought about it again last week at Lorelei’s 9th birthday party.
Lorelei had two parties: a fashion party (her idea) with her school friends, consisting of manicures and makeovers courtesy of her big sister, and then decapitating and beating a pinata to death with a croquet mallet, followed by a family party in the evening. I don’t remember my 9th birthday particularly, but I know it would have been a family affair, where we gathered with extended family around the kitchen table to sing and open presents.
Now I can tell you exactly what nine-year-old me would have asked for: Books, Barbies, and Breyer horses.
Lorelei asked for stuffed animals, stuffed animals, and stuffed animals. Lorelei has an Amazon Wish List, and roughly 95% of its SEVEN (!!) pages consists of stuffed animals.
Y’all, I had maybe two or three stuffed animals that I cared about even marginally as a child. We got new bunnies for Easter each year, which I’d carry around for a few days, and then forget about.
When people started giving our kids stuffed animals pre-birth, I turned up my nose. They’ll never play with those, I thought. How boring and unimaginative, I thought. What a waste of space, I thought.
By the time we had three kids, we had hundreds (I’m not sure that’s an exaggeration) of stuffed animals. So many that I hung three animal hammocks in the corners of the bedrooms to corral them all.
But those infuriating children kept EMPTYING THE HAMMOCKS. Yes, that’s right–they WANTED TO PLAY with the animals!
My kids named their stuffed animals, slept with them, carried them around with them everywhere. Jake and Emily STILL expect the Easter Bunny to bring a stuffed bunny along with their baskets.
And Lorelei and William have taken this to even greater heights. They don’t have as many animals but those they have are special, not just random gifts but ones they put on wish lists and were delighted to receive. From “the ostrich from hell whose name is Blood” (I swear William once announced this to a random man in Shoney’s) to a horrifying stuffed possum to an actual stuffed FACEHUGGER, William cherishes his collection and keeps them arranged on his top bunk.
Lorelei carries hers around and talks to them as though they were real. She dresses them up and gives them personalities for her make-believe games. And naturally, she sleeps with them. If I’m counting right, she received eight this year.
THANK YOU to the school friends who brought books. I knew she’d like them even though she wouldn’t think to ask for them!