Every family has something they get dysfunctional about.  Maybe it’s grief, or maybe it’s money, or maybe it’s work or rage or alcoholism. 

For my family, it’s a discomfort that comes from unknown situations.  Unfortunately, with a teen, we get into a lot of unknown situations.

Last night was ‘parent’s get to visit night’ at the high school.  Groups and clubs had set up booths.  The vice principal was handing out schedules.  There was a pep rally going on in the  the quad. 

As usual, I did not want to talk to anybody.  That’s my way.  Rob is my voice in public.  He brings the people and then I can talk.  But, Rob wasn’t talking to anybody.  And, Sydney was sulking as far away from us as she could possibly stand.  And, even though we asked for information a couple of times, we had a really hard time getting it.

This made me more frustrated than I already was made by my inability to open my mouth to strangers.  We walked the perimeter.  I tried to get Sydney to join in and participate, if for no other reason than to give me a reason to speak.  Rob also tried.  And, that made Sydney sulk even more. 

I was ready to leave.  I sat on a bench. 

Rob tried to be funny and to laugh.  And, I sulked.  And, he wouldn’t leave.

And, the whole time, if you looked at us from the outside, you wouldn’t know anything was going on, other than a family waiting for something to happen and not knowing exactly what it will be, and therefore not knowing if it’s started or not. 

Okay, so this is where the night changes.  This is where I realize what makes our family function in the unknown, when we are uncomfortable.  We needed a fourth.  And, we found a fourth in one of Sydney’s friend’s Mother.  L. is a different bird.  She is also an aquarian, but without my shyness.  But, still very reserved.  She gave us the courage to walk the booths again the way they were supposed to be walked through. 

With her, we found out about the programs designed to help students prepare for college.  With her, we met the coaches for basketball and volleyball.  With her, Rob began to speak and I pointed things out because I have the quick and attentive eyes and Rob talked to the people and we shared information with L. and Sydney had someone to show off her maturity to.  We bought T-shirts and Sydney signed up for thespians and photojournalism.  We found out the gym is open all summer with coach supervised group workouts. 

But, we couldn’t do it alone.  We just didn’t know what to do in that situation.

No family is a vacuum.  Every family has things that make it not work…that turn it into a hot mess.  Ours just happens to be the unknown.  And, maybe it’s more about me than it is about them.  Whatever.  Don’t know if I can change this.  Don’t know if I want to try.  I like us being a bit naive and surprised.  It’s been this way for at least the 5 years we’ve had Sydney. 

Kids change things.

Everybody have a great Thursday.  Lane


Impera_Magna said...

School stuff like the parents night are tough... folks manning the booths should be welcoming and encouraging but often aren't....

Good for you for going in the first place and for not giving up and going home...

Becky said...

Glad your evening had a happy ending. I'm such a blabbermouth I haven't experienced that....but my sister is as quiet and shy as I am yackety and outward. She suffers. I suffer too, because I know when I leave a person they are wishing it had happened sooner!!!! lol

Elizabeth said...

I would hardly call that dysfunctional. But I hear you on not knowing what to do in a new and unknown situation. It is scary.

That fact that you went to the parents' night is a huge indicator of how functional you are. You care about Sydney and despite your own discomfort, were both willing to go with her to something that is important for her future. Good for you, I say!

xo -E

mary said...

I am the same and the only thing that brought me out of it was my kids and having to advocate for two with learning disablilities.

Cynthia L. said...

I love your statement, "kids change things." That is so true. Kids can give us so many things, most good, some bad. I think as parents we learn to roll with the punches and come out as best we can. I don't think you need to change at all. You showed up and your love Sydney, that is all you need to do. Each of you makes the other stronger and fills a void. That is what families are all about.

Denise R said...

Love your blog. I have been reading it for awhile now. Started for the quilting, but love hearing about your family. We have 4 kids, 3 teen (or pre-teen) girls , I can completely sympathize with your struggles. Raising kids is HARD WORK. Most of the time it is worth it, some times it takes a bit of effort to remember why you are doing everything.
Keep up the good work.

Vesuviusmama said...

Just an FYI, when Sydney is a junior in high school, I'm going to start recruiting her to come to the college where I work. If you guys ever need advice about the whole college application process (because it is MUCH different than when we were going through it), all you have to do is ask.

Carla said...

Oh boy is the college thing different. Everything is on computer and of course way way more expensive. At U of H you would walk around Hoffienz Pavillion booth by booth to sign up for a class now it's all computerized. There's of course other differences but that's the one I remember most.
If it weren't for a few of our friends I would have never been able to guide my daughter thru Middle School and High School.