yep, that’s me, enjoying the handbasket

So I got a card from my paternal grandfather, congratulating me on my graduation.  So far, so good.  But after the initial reading, I’m bothered.  He asked me “What are you going to do now?” and then said “Oh well, I suppose you’ll teach, and be happy doing it.”  Which is exactly what I hope to do, but why the ‘oh well’?  Did he mean to imply that there’s something else I should do, something better?  This is, after all, the grandfather who, when I took a class in Ethics as an undergraduate, told me I should be taking Business and Engineering classes, because those would be ‘useful’.  

Or maybe I’m just too sensitive.  But in light of what he says next, well, I think I have a right to be.  He writes: “I hope you can reunite your family and get your daughter back.  I was shocked by this and believe it is a further sign of decline of our civilization.”  Wait, what?!  Let’s break that down, shall we?  

“…reunite your family”:  my family is quite united, thank you.  If by this he means I should go back to being married to someone with addiction issues, who emotionally abused me, showed little ability to be responsible, and on more than one occasion jeopardized the well-being of my daughter, oh HELL no.  

“…get your daughter back”: um, as I write this, she’s in her room, sleeping (such a teenager).  She’s here through July.  Perhaps what he refers to is The D’s living with my mother this past year.  Is it a sign of the decline of civilization, or a sign that I care enough about my daughter that I sought an alternative to the excessive bullying and academic climate that caused stress-related problems for her?  I’m going with the latter.

Does this mean I’m contributing to the decline of civilization?  Maybe.  But I’m certainly enjoying teaching (oooh, I’m molding young minds to think critically…scary).  And both The D and I agree that our unconventional living arrangements actually work for us…she’s in a small school with people who appreciate her intelligence (how she learns is not nearly so important as that she does), and her abilities as an artist.  And I get to enjoy watching my daughter learn to love school again, and to blossom into a wonderful, warm, funny, and empathetic kid with a full head of hair and a huge leap in self-esteem.

So if I’m leading society to hell, I’ll enjoy every single minute of it.

Published in: on June 15, 2009 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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