Last weekend was great. This week has been kinda rough. Euphoric weekends tend to mean that I have slightly less energy the week after. So I want to do more retreating. Combine this with Calli going through some extra-needy period and whoa. Yesterday I probably spent five hours throughout the day cuddling Calli. Because she needed that much contact with me. She was pretty upset that I didn’t hold her more. I’m looking forward to the arrival of a back carrier that can handle her weight. My arms are numb.
I think this week has been kind of rough because I’m trying to shove Shanna through doing actual work. She signed up to send Valentine’s to all of her friends in the home school group. Great. That doesn’t mean I’m going to sit there and do 30+ fucking Valentine’s for you (including relatives). If you want to do this, then do it. But that’s a lot of work for a five year old. I have my part to play: I will do the envelopes and I will help when something is genuinely hard, but mostly if you want to do this then you have to do it.
I wrote all of the names down on her little white board and when she finishes copying the name onto a Valentine she erases it. She’s both enjoying and loathing the process, as life goes-right? But I am not being as patient as I could/should be. I’m working on it. I did screech once on the first day when she spread everything from all the craft boxes all over the living room and then left the room to go play dress up in a different room. I don’t f’in think so. Get your behind in here and clean this up before you move on. (Err, I don’t even say “f’in” in front of my kids much. I feel mingled horror and pride about the fact that I don’t cuss in front of my kids almost at all. I will rarely swear in front of them and I do not swear at them. That’s a boundary.)
So I snuggle Calli and hope that her development is doing what it should do. I alternate encouraging, nagging, and ignoring with Shanna depending on what I’m trying to get her to do/not do.
Mostly it was a good week. I don’t feel bad about my kids having the odd clingy week. It isn’t our norm and it makes me feel good about myself and so very loved and useful. It’s great as long as it isn’t every day for a month. If it’s five or six days a month then I can show up and meet the need and we both feel good about our relationship by the end. It’s nice.
I’m struggling with money feelings. I hooked up our investment accounts with my Mint account. So now I have a more real time picture of our net worth. I almost hyperventilated. We are more than likely going to be millionaires. We will have a net worth of more than a million dollars some day. If you hit one it is a lot easier to get higher than that. We will reach that point probably in the next decade. I don’t think it will take until I am in my 50’s.
That just blows my mind. In my head I’m still a dirty little street kid inclined to steal my supper. But I’m not any more.
I have enough assets that I could pay off my mortgage, remodel my house, and pay for all of the trips I have planned in the next ten years and still have money left over. I’m not going to touch those assets but I could. The money is there. Only it’s not really there. That money is about my future. Noah’s future. Forget the kids. That money is about Noah and I not having to eat cat food when we are in our 70’s. And more than half of our net worth is the value of the house which isn’t so useful in terms of preventing the eating of cat food. So I have a long way to go before our old age is secure and provided for.
This is a very different kind of self control. I have always had unusually good self control but this is different. Many of the people who have lauded my self control didn’t realize that I had self control because I knew that I didn’t have enough money to actually cover what I wanted and I’m not a big fan of buying on credit. There is one kind of “self control” associated with being poor and not digging yourself into a hole and there is a very different kind of self control associated with growing assets.
The middle ground is rough.
I mean, oh poor me now I have money. Err, or something. That’s not quite what I mean but it was the first thing I leapt to mentally after that last statement.
This is what people are talking about when they try to say that “there is no such thing as privilege there are just different life experiences”. Things are hard at every level of socio-economic privilege–they are just hard in different ways.
But I call bullshit. This may be hard but I’d pick this hard over my old hard every day of the week and twice on Sunday. That means they aren’t really equivalent. I see the privilege. I’m grateful and grateful and grateful for it.
And I’m very hyper aware that I didn’t earn this money and I would not be able to duplicate the earning of it. I could earn more money than I do but my max salary would always be somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of Noah’s potential max salary.
That means I feel much more impetus to save some for later. If something bad happens and I have to support my family we are going to need a buffer like mad because backing off our life expectations from this income bracket would be hard. I could get used to eating cheap shitty food again but my kids would rebel. They are spoiled entitled little things. I did that on purpose. My kids believe that they should have access to a wide variety of high quality food. They get kind of bitchy when they don’t have it. Their bodies don’t feel as good. Yeah, welcome to the life of a poor person. Suck it the fuck up. You will never feel “good” again.
But I want my kids to feel good. So I feed them well. Because I have the privilege. I don’t believe that people who have less money love their kids any less than I do but I think there is a real difference in how a body feels after eating a diet of high quality fresh produce and grass fed meat vs. mostly ramen and canned vegetables. That’s not about the love or caring of the parents. That’s the reality of food access. I have the privilege to provide my kids with better than I had and I want to so very badly. I prioritize spending obscene amounts of money on food because I want my kids to feel good in their bodies.
Maybe it matters less than I believe but I doubt it.
It’s going to be a fine day. We have some work to do. Noah is working from home. My mother’s helper is coming later.
I need to send an email to my potential editor. I’ve been thinking hard about my next response to her. I want to say it right.
I’ve been keeping up with my running. Tomorrow is 8 miles. I’m looking forward to the half marathon in March. I need to schedule the one in Portland. Haven’t done that yet. Bleh.
I’m having trouble figuring out when I want to go up there this year. Shanna vetoed her birthday weekend (which is when a cool unschooling conference happens in Dad’s town so *I* thought it might be a great time to head up there) and I don’t know that I want to be gone for over a week around my birthday. And if I went up to Portland around my birthday Noah wouldn’t be able to go and I wouldn’t be able to get 24+ hours off from the kids. So probably not early September.
Consult more calendars. Talk to Ms. Blacksheep. Figure it out.
I’m really looking forward to my birthday this year. My layers of disappointment and frustration and difficulty around my birthday are not the fault of a single solitary person in my life right now. But I still have the feelings I have. I can’t wish them away or successfully pretend I don’t have the feelings. I have them. They are shitty. I’m looking forward to being alone and not having my disappointment land on people who have not earned any disappointment. My kids and my husband are so unbelievably nice to me that I don’t want to be upset with them even a little bit for stuff that isn’t their fault.
If I could just fucking figure out what I wanted or needed from my birthday they would jump through hoops to provide it. This difficulty isn’t really about their failure. This is existential angst. I’m looking forward to keeping it to myself this year.