Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How Do I Get Kids Like That?

As I have mentioned several times before, we have actively tried to expand our social circle this year, with more fantastic results than we ever thought possible.

Until recently, Osi's friend philosophy was, and I quote "You get 'em, I keep 'em." Well put, Mr. Charming. Although invitations were not flooding out mailboxes (and due to an altercation with my college roommate's then husband, we had been removed from THEIR social list because of Senor Charmingpants, but I digress...).

The Temple Crowd, as I have called them before, are just good people. They remind me of the folks my parents hung around with when I was a kid. All of them were involved with the church/school boosters and that is how all of them met. All of the kids knew each other and, generally, liked each other and - for the most part - were good kids (yeah, yeah, present company excluded, I can hear you, you know).

Our Temple Crowd is the same way. We have been so blessed to be included with these folks. Riotous senses of humor, all of them, hard workers and devoted to family and friends. And let me take a minute to talk about their kids, which is the whole point of this post.

Everyone in this Crowd but the Crabills, who have just started their family by birthing the Future Mrs. Jack Zimmer last May, have kids in their teens and then another one who is about 10. (Apparently we missed the memo here.) All of these kids are polite, comfortable holding conversations with adults and not only tolerant of, but incredibly good with, Jack. Of the older ones, I would use any of them as a babysitter (although I think Alyiah is 14 going on 28 in a good way).

Each group of kids have their own forte. The B kids have the most highly developed senses of humor I have ever seen for their ages and are just the coolest people under 20 I currently know. I want their parents' instruction manual on how to get kids like that. Seriously. Fork it over.

The S kids are incredibly active and yet very balanced - qualities that are tough to pull off today with the go everywhere, do everything culture. Truly cool.

The C kids are great as well. While Tyler seems like your typical "I don't want to be here" 14 year old boy, he comes alive playing with Frannie and he is just so sweet with Jack. And I could eat Arek up with a spoon he is so bright, funny and plain adorable.

Finally, the P kids, who, I think are tiny grown ups. Drew, I think is a frustrated stand up in the body of a 14 year old. His brother Matthew, I think, could be doing the books at PWC...and also has a beautiful singing voice.

I feel like I need to have a panel discussion with these people. Because, let's face it, most days I feel like a real fuck up as a mother. Whether it's because J gets McDonald's for lunch twice in a week for lunch because I know he'll eat chicken nuggets and chicken = protein in my mind or because the TV seems to endlessly be tuned to Noggin at our house.

This just isn't how I envisioned raising my kid. And yet, here I am. How about the Crowd? Is it what they thought it would be? Are their kids turning into the young adults they envisioned? What would they change about he last 10 or 14 years? I am trying to correct behaviors as I see them, but I pick my battles. All of these folks have kids old enough to have the hindsight and the wisdom to tell me which battles I should actually be picking. And I like their results. What do you think, should I "Nanny Cam" them?

The Cashmere Mafia is helpful, too, but we're all facing the same challenges at the same time. That is support to the umpteenth level, girlfriends, but if I can squeeze info from the Great Elders (and I say that with love) I will bring The Knowledge back for all to share.

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