“Smoking is all the rage, but it will kill you,” mixed messages, and boring people


Flora: “I can’t stand bossy people. But boring people, they’re okay.”

Jane: “Really? How do you figure?”

Flora: “Well—bossy people, obviously—they always tell you what to do, and who likes that? But boring people don’t force you to do anything. I mean, yes, you have listen to them talk if they trap you in a room, but thanks to you, I know how to totally zone out and just think my own thoughts while they blather on.”

So… I’m not sure. Parenting win? Parenting fail?

Yes, I’m a little bit defensive. Yes, I must own this quality and technique: she learned it from me. My disassociation capabilities are legendary. It’s how I stay sane. (Not to mention, productive.)

Still, it’s not the sort of thing you put on your resume, right? Or a quality that endears you to… um, well, boring people. Because every once in a while, they stop and ask you a question—just to check if you’re listening to their boring story.

(BTW, darling… are you reading? I’m still writing here…)

And when you’re not…

Flora: “Fortunately, we don’t know that many boring people. Why is that, Mom?”

I think it’s because we live in this really awesome community in this really awesome neighbourhood in this really awesome creative-edge bubble and…

Flora: “I guess it’s probably because you’ve offended and alienated most of their parents. Good work, Mom!”

Parenting fail. Definitely, parenting fail.

Sarcastic little titch.

She gets that from me, too.


I’m chasing happy. It’s right there—right there—just within reach—just two, three tasks away. 500 words away. A load of laundry away.

Ah, screw it. I jump. Grasp it with both hands… hold on to it for 30 seconds. An hour. Yes.

Let go. Put in the laundry. Write the words. Do all the things.



I’m writing so many things right now, in so many different voices, sometimes, the different voices start to shout at each other in my head.

Jane: “Shut! Up!”

Cinder: “Mom, please treat your computer with respect. And speak in an inside voice.”

Sarcastic little titch.

I don’t think he gets that from me. Oh wait. Yes, he does.


NBTB-Smoking is all the rage

Flora: “Mom! Take a picture! The caption is: ‘Smoking is all the rage,but it will kill you!’”

Parenting fail? Mixed messages. Mixed messages…


Flora: “Sometimes, I wish my life wasn’t so easy and so ordinary.”

Jane: “Really? Sometimes, I wish my life was…”

…so I was going to say, boring. More ordinary. But… really? No. I’d be lying. I was, truly, wishing for boring in the summer, fall of 2013.

But, I’m done.

Jane: “I accept the consequences of needing to live an interesting life.”

Flora: “What did you say?”

Jane: “Nothing. Why do you think your life is so easy and ordinary?”

Flora: “Because I don’t suffer. At all.”

Jane: “I can probably change that. I mean, if that’s what you really want.”

Flora: “Um… on second thought… I’m so glad I have an easy and good life.”

Parenting win.