Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ancestry

Thanks, everyone, for coming to the party yesterday. That was way fun. Place is a mess, but way, way fun. Y'all rock.



I think the stress of impending high school is starting to get to The Child. She's been rather, uh, testy, the last couple of days. I can tell by the way she's turning the simplest of situations into gut-wrenching drama that this is so.

Know what bugs me? Not the fact of her being stressed out; that makes perfect sense. Rather, it's simply that my little chatterbox who used to ask anything, who used to say, very matter-of-factly, "Mommy, I need a bed talk" (meaning, let's go sit on your bed while I unload) is starting to clam up. She's bottling things up until they explode. And while I know that teenagers are not universally known for their forthcoming and cheerful demeanor, what makes me wonder is if this is all a prelude to her becoming more Norwegian.

The Spouse is descended from mostly Norwegians. Nice people. They have a way with fish and lye and they look good in sweaters. In fact, over the years, some of my best friends have been people of Scandahoovian ancestry. Why, The Neighbor is the product of Finns.

But (and yes I realize I'm generalizing but it's my blog so deal) people from such places are, as a rule, not the most forthcoming of folk. They keep things inside. Everything is always "just fine", even when it isn't. Displaying emotion is a sign of weakness. Now, why in heaven's name would you bother someone with your little problems? Who does that sort of thing? No, we're going to just have some more coffee and maybe a bite of lutefisk and everything will be just dandy.

Ya sure, you betcha. You can always jump off a cliff later.

The Spouse has gotten better about being open. Better, at least, as compared to his brother, who is the King of Denial. But to the degree that he expressed concerns and feelings, there is still a deep place inside where he keeps a lot of stuff. And I don't want The Child to find that place. I don't want her to be one of those people who denies her fears or worries, who refuses to think anyone, professional or otherwise, could be of any help, who thinks she just needs to gut through it and maybe tomorrow it'll all be better.

I am descendant from wilder folk, emotional people. We talk. We yell. We find relief in bad language. We tell our troubles, ask for help and aren't embarrassed by that. This method has its drawbacks, too, of course. But I so hope The Child is going to end up more like my side of the family than dad's in this regard.

I wonder if she'd be up for a bed talk this morning.

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13 Comments:

Blogger danny/ink2metal opined...

oh no! the child is so bubbly and so delightfully gregarious. so to hear that that might be changing is sad. see? :-{

but i'm sure she shall not forget her wilder roots. just remember that these are the years when she will make deeper connections to people from school and that they will play a crucial part in keeping her secrets.

i know; you always want to be the first one she runs to, but we all kept secrets from our parents at that age.

she'll be fine. just look at who her mom is. hm, is that a good thing? you wild house party promotress...do you have a fresh pot of coffee brewing by the way?

August 20, 2008 10:42 AM  
Blogger jp opined...

I find relief in bad language too!

You probably already knew that. Dammit.

August 20, 2008 11:01 AM  
Blogger Molly opined...

"I am descendant from wilder folk, emotional people. We talk. We yell. We find relief in bad language. We tell our troubles, ask for help and aren't embarrassed by that. This method has its drawbacks, too, of course."
Yes. Yes. YES.
Don't worry. This time, this age everything sucks. I remember that passage of my life- not fun BUT she comes from a good family and good stock. She will be fine.

August 20, 2008 11:06 AM  
Blogger Jason Boskey opined...

Are Finns truly Scandinavian? Their language is much more like Estonian than Swedish/Norwegian/Danish/Icelandic.

Go ask some folks over in Ballard :) And get me a Viking while you're at it.

August 20, 2008 11:34 AM  
Blogger LostInCO opined...

i must be have Norwegian in me. Things are "just fine", show no emotion, and that just drives those closest to me nuts. In fact my therapist once told me that talking to me is like pulling teeth. sigh. I'm sure the child is just figuring things out for herself first...then she will come to you...

August 20, 2008 12:08 PM  
Blogger Anne opined...

wish my young'n open up, even just a little.

August 20, 2008 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

I blame it on Bush and it makes me feel better. The best way to handle these things is if you feel good. So get a few bottles oops i mean glasses of wine kick back and then cry on her shoulder for awhile. If she still talks to you afterward it has been a success.

Hmmm, maybe not a good idea. Oh well, I tried.

Peace

:+}

August 20, 2008 2:38 PM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

I am a quiet one. Never shared anything. I hope the child figures out that she is lucky to have someone to talk too. Not everyone is so lucky.

August 20, 2008 7:01 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

Take heart, Rainey...it's most likely more her "Teenageian" than her Scandinavian coming out. :)

August 20, 2008 7:47 PM  
Blogger The Idle Devil opined...

Hi, how about if you go for a bed talk and talk about something else that's bugging you? Maybe she'll just talk, even if it's about nothing at all, might help her to come out of that place she's in right now. Even for a while, might build up a habit of talking out her troubles instead of holding them in.

August 20, 2008 10:51 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

I'm sure you are right, Danny. Not to mention, this is why it is helpful to have friends who have already ushered their kids through teendom. Plan on keeping that up, btw, 'k?

You take your coffee black, right?

JP, yes, I frakkin' noticed. Hi? Still sharing a brain?

Molls, well, actually, I am hopeful that not everything will suck...in fact, it's not so much suckage at issue at the moment but fears/anticipations/stress. But yeah; not to mention that there are some decided touches of drama queen coming out. I knonw she didn't get that from her dad's side of the family.

Bosky, as I understand it, the true measure of a Scandahoovian is the claim to be somehow distinct and seperate from other Scandahoovians. The Neighbor considers herself one so that's what I go with. Trust, I'm not crazy enough to get into that debate with someone from Ballard, don'cha know? And you collect Vikings? Kinky.

You know, Lost, that is totally part of what has me befuddled...only that I very rarely kept things in and so I'm not as comfortable with the more close-to-your-vest sort. I guess as long as she knows she CAN come to me that's something, right?

Anne, I really think we need to start a support group. With rhubarb pie and coffee (tea) at every morning.

Anon: I blame that sort of stuff on Bush all the time, too. It's a completely legitimate strategy.

Sage, with the big blue eye, I'll tell you one thing I'm pretty sure of... and that is that she's not going to realize how lucky she is until she leaves home...possibly until she has her own kids. That's one of the drawbacks of being the worst mother in the world (wah wah)...the kid really doesn't get it.

Trust, MHP, that would be a comfort. Teenagerian is temporary; Scandahoovian is for life.

ID, that is a good idea and one I have employed before, come to think on it. Besides, parents are supposed to model behavior, right? Oooh, and I have the perfect subject...

August 21, 2008 7:23 AM  
Blogger Doralong opined...

Well Cuz, our people do tend to be a bit more on the forthcoming side. OK so we can be a little over the top sometimes granted.. She'll come back. The teen angst will subside and she'll talk to you again, in her own sweet time.

If there's anything I have learned, the harder you push, the more they clam up on you. She knows you're there for her. Backing off is really hard, I KNOW!! Given my own teenaged female issues of the moment, I really do feel for you.

Oh, and thanks ever so much for inviting me to the party, so sorry I have to leave before clean up started!

August 21, 2008 8:13 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

You are spot on with the Norwegians-clamming-up thingy (Ivar Haglund, get it? Pass the chowder...)

Perhaps her DNA can be mollified if she takes up some traditional skills like wearing horn helmets and conquering the seas. Or just take her Ballard for some cookies and clogs.

August 21, 2008 9:00 AM  

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