Archive for June 2010

Last weekend, at the tail end of an international conference for financial professionals, Kevin’s good friend and mentor mentioned how wives aren’t ideal accountability partners because husbands can’t always tell the difference between accountability and nagging.

Kevin thought for a moment, then told him I don’t nag.

BONUS POINTS FOR THAT. It came to mind, though, that I’m so averse to being accused of nagging that I may have swung to the other extreme. I think I’m too permissive. I let him get away with things I probably shouldn’t.


grad season

Posted on: 8 June 2010

Two years ago, in May 2008, I graduated with a BSc in cell biology and genetics. Convocation was somewhat overshadowed by my wedding, which was coming up in a week. Initially I wasn’t too interested in attending, but I did, because when I told my parents I intended to skip my mom got upset.

This month my brother graduates high school. The ceremony was even held at my alma mater.

Does it look like two years have passed? I scrutinize these photos, wondering whether I’ve aged. Then I berate myself for being shallow and silly.

I congratulate the many high school grads I know and wish them well. Certainly it’s a milestone achievement deserving of celebration. But then my inner cynic surfaces and quips that it’s not as big a deal as some people make it.

Because I’ve noticed that the big mainstream universities have a tendency to take students in eager and fresh-faced, then spit them out bitter and jaded. It happens over time, when they realize that their 97% in high school is only a 75% in uni. And even if it isn’t, even if it’s still an impressive 90%, no one cares anymore. The numbers have ceased to matter.

And this isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Still, I wonder whether such overemphasis on grad sets these eager, fresh-faced teens up for disillusionment. It is, after all, only a small blip in the story arc of their lives. Kind of like a wedding. All that fuss for one day so insignificant compared to decades of marriage.

My own high school grad occurred in the pre-facebook era, so it was surprisingly tough digging up pictures. Have I aged since then?

Even before our wedding, people were ambushing Kevin and me with the “When are you having kids?” question. We brushed it off with a casual, “Oh, in two years, maybe.” Now it’s been two years (CRAZY) and the thought of parenthood still terrifies me.

But I can’t help thinking about it, because I work fairly extensively with teens, and because Kevin’s sister-in-law is currently expecting her second child, and because I’ve been furtively reading so-called mommyblogs. (Hey, so many of them are amazing writers!)

In all likelihood I won’t be a mother for another couple years yet. And I know everything changes once I am one, that the post-parent me will probably sneer with derision at the ignorance of pre-parent me. But there are some things I’d like to think I will never do with my children.

Like accrue junkloads of stuff on their account. Furniture, gear, TOYS. Babies don’t actually need that much, do they? I hate clutter. I am the clutter police. When I moved in with Kevin, I brought two suitcases with me … and a few boxes of books.

Like use the “one … two … three” warning count. Chinese parents seem to do this a lot, and I think it’s beyond silly.

Like give them annoying kiddie tunes to listen to. Real music is fine, thank you very much. Although I have heard a quality children’s CD, once.

Like make a huge deal of birthdays and holidays when they’re too young to realize what’s going on. It’s not like one-year-olds can appreciate parties, or gifts …

Like brag about them, incessantly, to people who have no reason to care. Yes, like all mothers I will probably think my child is the most brilliant and beautiful little cherub EVAR. And I’ll probably enthuse about him, or her, periodically if not frequently. I’m just hoping for enough presence of mind to retain a reasonable level of objectivity … to remember, for example, that most kids eventually learn to sip through a straw, or blow saliva bubbles, or sing the alphabet on-key. That mine does at so many months does not mean I have a monopoly on genius progeny.

Just a few pre-parenthood thoughts, sneers of derision notwithstanding.