I love babysitting. Now that I’m out of college and staring down the possibility of motherhood within the next decade or so, I am looking at babysitting as the ultimate in childhood education. It provides such an insight into the world of parenting. I get to see the kids at their shiny, smiling best and at their absolute, angry worst. I get to watch their minds develop and wonder; they blow me kisses and sign “I love you” when I put them to sleep; we giggle together. Children are truly wondrous.
But more than that, I get to watch different sets of parents actively making choices. Each household does things differently, and all they want is the best for their children. I’m terrified that I will somehow raise children that aren’t independent, free-thinking, and respectful. (See this article in the New Yorker for more on that…)
It’s good practice. It’s good exposure. And I honestly think that for all of my years spent babysitting, I’ll be a much better mother.
Denver has been HOT. Too hot. Whenever the summer gets like this, I always think of that episode of Hey, Arnold! where there’s the heat wave. Don’t ask why, I’m not even entirely sure what happens in the episode.
My apartment does not have air conditioning. The cat is angry about this, and is grateful for the fans we have set up in an attempt to circulate some of the air. So on Saturday, we bought a kiddie pool, some squirt guns, sunscreen, and a plastic jar with a spout and a handle! It’s the perfect combination for summer. Swisher has informed me that now that we own a hose together, we’re pretty much committed to each other.
After the stress that was our first fight last week, I had some more serious realizations: On Saturday, he helped me clean out my room at my mom’s house – she’s trying to reclaim our childhood rooms and I’m resisting. But there was no judgement as he picked through random piles of books and clothes and the knick knacks of my youth. I realized that even though there are things that I’m going to have to accept and learn to love about him, he’s having to do the same thing for me. Helping me clean is always going to be a labor of love (Maddie knows all about this), and one that I will be forever grateful for.
I’m going to try to be more patient and realistic in my expectations, but I also told him that I’m not going to let him slide on anything. I think it was good. Cooling off in the pool was even better. I can’t wait to spend the summer hanging out at the pool I’ve inflated in the empty lot next to my apartment building. (Hah.)
The view from the pool.
On Sunday nights, they do free jazz concerts in City Park. Since it’s within walking distance, last night we made a little picnic of lemonade, bread, cheese, meat, and grapes and headed over with some blankets. It was a lovely evening of lounging on the blankets in the cooling air.
(Swisher took this!)
Sadly, as the jazz was ending around 8pm, a police officer (and single mother of a 12-year old daughter) was shot and killed. We heard the gunshots, thought they sounded like fireworks, and then heard the sirens. Cop cars and an ambulance were all over the park. We weren’t very close to the shooting, and we didn’t really feel any sense of panic (I mean, it wasn’t the stampede-effect), but the stream of people out of the park was pretty consistent.
I seriously hope that this crime doesn’t deter people from coming out to the park. It’s such a beautiful place, and having free music every Sunday is a really great opportunity to feel like a part of the community. Maybe next week, they will have some sort of donation center up so that patrons can donate to the family of the slain officer.
I’m sad. Sad for the daughter of the officer, sad for the officer herself, and sad for the guy who killed her. Misplaced rage, or sad displays of masculinity, or something else led to a split-second decision that took a life, took a mother, and changed another’s life forever. This guy, who’s only 21, will have to spend the rest of his life reliving those moments. I only hope that prison for him is not so much a place of criminal education, but instead offers a place of hope and personal growth. (It won’t, but then again, our prison system has never really been about reducing recidivism. It’s more of a profit mill than anything else. I like hearing about places that really work for rehabilitation and optimism than those which breed gang violence and racially divided populations while glorifying violence.)
When we got home, there were a ton of people in our living room. By a ton, I mean ten, but expecting to see one and seeing ten is still overwhelming. After a while, Mike’s friends wanted to take a walk. Which was perfect, because I wanted to play night frisbee.
Night frisbee has been on my brain for days now. It’s harder, I think, to play night frisbee because all you see is the light, flying straight at your head. The color is nice, but it’s easier to miss. I’m still awesome at it, of course.
After everyone left, Mike, Swisher, and I continued playing on the side of the building. It was such a relaxing night, the perfect end to a very hectic week. (Or the perfect beginning to another hectic week?)
In unrelated news, I love my slapwatch. I do not actually use it to keep time, and so I don’t think it’s been accurate for like six months. (Bear in mind that I’ve only owned it for like 6 months.) Also, my childhood self cheers every time I wear it. Good for her.