Monday, August 27, 2007

I miss the snickerdoodles

When we first moved into this house twelve years ago, it was basically because my mother had passed away and left enough money for a downpayment on the bigger house we always wanted but never seemed to be able to afford. Crappy reason. But this house has always felt like a big embrace to us. Big enough. Cozy. Home. And the kid got to move to a new school and escape one of those teachers from hell you get every once in awhile, especially if you're a square peg type of person and have a great sense of humor and end up in a pod person's classroom.

But I digress.

So here's the thing. Life had been spitting on us for awhile. Economic downturns. Job down sizing. Money leaking out to pay for this and that. Enormous suckage.

And we move into this house for this very sad reason even though we love the house.

And on the first day of school, I drive home with my kid and discover that our new neighbors have a tradition. Couple of moms set up card tables on the one of the lawns. People bring out lemonade and cookies. And stay there as each wave of kids - elementary through high school - come home.

Can you picture it? Every kid from age five to eighteen gathered on the lawn, hanging out, sipping warm lemonade and munching snickerdoodles. Honestly, I thought I'd died and gone to cookie heaven.

Life had been giving us lemons. But now we had lemonade. Really.

Missed that today as I drove home just now from picking up my dry cleaning. The core group of kids has grown up. No more lawn parties. At least not this year.

Til next time...


Eva said...

I’m a conservative feminist. I think women should do anything they want to do and usually can do it better than men because, to be brually frank here, we’re not thinking about sex all the time. And, because we’re genetically built to be mothers, which takes incredible endurance and multiple skill sets, we’re fantastic multi-taskers.

But where the original feminists got it wrong was devaluing motherhood. For a couple of decades there, women felt a lot of pressure to go to work, even when they had young children. This produced a lot of tired, guilt-ridden, and self-loathing women because they missed their children, still were stuck with most of the housework, and had to keep looking good on top of it all! And there were the kids, often plopped in front of the TV and later the computer while their tired parents did the laundry, ate fast food, and vegged out so they could do it all again the next day. Tired parents also make easy-to-anger parents. Tired parents are also less likely to keep up with their kids’ homework and the kind of friends they have. Tired parents are more likely to give kids material things because they can’t give them what they really want: time with their parents (to do things like bake snickerdoodles together!).

Finally, in the last few years, more women are admitting that they want to be home with their young children for a few years. But it’s hard because this economy is now set up for two income households.
All the women working in the 70s and 80s inadvertently ran up home prices. (Before the feminist movement, one income was enough to buy a home.)

I have long advocated that women ought feel empowered to stay home with their young children for a few years.
We live plenty long enough to have our careers after they’re off to school.

So lemonade stands are mostly just sweet memories of a distant past….very sad and possibly even catastrophic for our society.

Anonymous said...

Except that - yay! - this lemonade party existed until about two years ago. But the youngest kid of the mom who spearheaded the whole thing is now a junior or senior in h.s. So I guess it was just time...

Anonymous said...

old? How about boys are now both in High School...and went to "Mr. Hennesey's" debate club meeting! Mr. Hennesey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I recall when he was called Ryan!


Kim said...

As "Mr. Hennessey's" mother - I can't even tell you how weird it is!! He has a key to the school!!!!