The Life We Rejected

Christine Lavin wrote a marvelous song about nasty relationships called "Regretting What I Said . . . ", in which she tries to take back some nasty words she gave to her ex-boyfriend when he told her he was leaving to go skiing with another woman. The song is written well enough that it applies across genders or sexual preferences.

The opening words are:

I didn't mean it
When I said I hope the cable
On the elevator snaps
When you step on board

And it gets better from there. My favorite part is:

You thought I didn't have a temper
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha - Surprise!
But I really don't want to see you
Dismembered by the marijuana-sniffing dogs
When a simple little nipping would suffice

And so that is the lead-in to today's pointless segue: Sometimes (like a marijuana-sniffing dog) life will jump up and give us a little nipping to validate why we do what we do.

Ginger and I got nipped last night.
Kade had his first-ever sleep over at Cameron's house (sniff, sniff), which meant that Ginger and I got to hang out with Kai all night (we missed Kade, but it was cool to be a threesome for a few hours!) Kai decided to watch some shows on the computer, and Ginger and I actually sat on the couch and talked like human beings for a while - some serious stuff, some silly stuff, just stuff. It got us thinking: if we were a "traditional" family with both parents working, and both kids in school, what would our night have been like?

The kids are picked up from the after-school program, and everyone finally comes home at 6:30pm.
Mom starts dinner right away so we can meet our family requirement of eating together.
Dinner tonight is a meat, a veggie, some rolls, and a desert (with a wholesome glass of milk for the kids, a glass of wine for Ging, and a scotch for Dad, no doubt.)
The "children":
Put away their school backpacks.
Change into "home clothes" and put their dirties in the hamper.
Wash their hands and faces.
Do some chores; setting the table and taking out the garbage first.
If they finished that before dinner, they may have been allowed to watch TV for a few minutes provided the parental controls were enabled.
Dad would have begun unwinding with his scotch while reading the paper (does anyone even read a freaking paper anymore?)
At dinner, we would have all eaten together and then asked the ADQs (American Dinner Questions): "So, how was your day? What did you learn at school? How much homework do you have? Better get on that!" Of course, we would have gotten the ADAs (American Dinner Answers) in response: "Fine. Stuff. A little. OKAY!"
Junior and Junior Jr would then clear the table and even do the dishes, if they wanted to get their allowance this week.
Mom and Dad then retire to their bedroom (no kids allowed) to change and discuss their days ("How was work today dear? Did you learn anything?" How come no one ever asks that when you're an adult, by the way?) Of course, they'll also discuss their kids in whispered tones, maybe even taking the entire five minutes.
Homework time for the kiddies now, while Mom and Dad watch "Survivor" in the den.
9:00pm now. Time for changing into jammies and brushing teeth while Mom makes lunch for everyone for the next day. A domesticated Dad might take this opportunity to put in a load of laundry unless there's something good on ESPN.
I can't even think about what the morning would look like!

Don't know about y'all, but I am so grateful that we have chosen the path we did: where we all partner in chartering our family course, where we have freedom and peace, and where no one watches "Survivor."


  1. I posted a typical morning :D in response to your, "I can't even think would morning would be like!" statement.

  2. I think about that sometimes as well. I'm so glad we not only don't watch "Survivor", but we don't even have cable or satellite tv *gasp*.

    Our evening was one of mom & dad making dinner, listening to NPR and talking about our days while the kid watched cartoons on PBS. We all had dinner together and talked some more (the kid likes to get done quickly and rush back to the tv).

    Then mom played video games while dad finished a monthly report for the neighborhood association and the kid was drawing star wars guys while watching an LBJ documentary. I watched some This Old House with the kid while baking cookies. Then we finished off the night with a wrestling match in the living room before dad collapsed in bed for work in the morning (I think the others went to bed shortly after me, but I can never be sure).

  3. We used to be that family. Thank God we changed when we did. Now, Charles is playing playstation with Ky. Kal and Tori are waiting for WOW updates to finish and I am blogging. Love the unschooling life.

  4. I watch Survivor - but am focusing on your blog while I do it - does that count? ;)

  5. As we say in the sailing world, "We gotta find some clear air." That "ordinary" life is the one which is smothered and blanketed, with nary a breath of fresh air t be found. Our unschooling life is (usually) clear air. I love it.

  6. sometimes i calculate how much more time we spend together than the average working family and it boggles my mind. we get to *be* with each other so many more hours .. hours that add up to extra years with our children, with each other. priceless.

  7. Uh oh. We watch (and enjoy!) Survivor. Does that mean we can't be in the club anymore?

  8. Yep - you're out. Sorry - gotta have SOME rules! :-)

  9. We know people who live *exactly that way*. Boggles my mind.