“It’s hell being alone.”
“No honey, hell is other people.”
~ Puccini for Beginners
“I can’t keep doing this on my own with these… people.”
~ There Will Be Blood
I don’t generally blog at night. I also don’t generally blog from bed.
Bed + Night = Zzzzzz.
But here I am, blogging at night, in bed.
Note to self: Don’t take any more afternoon naps on your day off.
I’m thinking about my daughter. She’s been asking about my work schedule lately. Wondering what mornings I have off so I’ll be home. So I can drive her to school.
She gets rides occasionally. There are mornings when just the right socks can’t be found, or her purse goes missing, and she misses the bus. So we find what’s gone missing and head out. No big deal, really; time spent with her or any of the other kids is special time, especially now that they are getting older and finding me more and more irrelevant with each passing day. Mornings like that are an opportunity to reconnect, if only for a few short miles.
But now she’s come out and said it . . .
Riding the bus is disconcerting.
She’s not a terribly social child. Not like my youngest daughter, whose all-go-no-quit social escapades tire me out. And she’s only nine. No, my middle-schooler is rather tentative is most social situations. She’s just not sure of herself when events are beyond her control. She hates most loud noises, and the boys who make them. And idle chatter, when not amongst her close-knit group of friends, is not something she’s even remotely interested in.
So bus rides pretty much suck.
And I can relate. While I used to be quite the entertainer in most social situations, more than able to hold my own and come out clean, I now find most group situations either loathsome or ridiculously boring. I can still fake it easily enough, for this is the most subtle of skills us adults learn to master. But she refuses to go there. So she crawls inside her cocoon every morning and emerges completely drained. My wife and I have struggled throughout this school year, trying to get a handle on why her grades have slipped. Why she seems so detached. So willing to detach. And now it’s starting to make sense.
I could give her – once again – the speech about how life is often shitty. How people and situations don’t always live up to our expectations. And how so much of what others think is important is often, in the grand scheme of things, nothing but chaff in the wind. The deal with it speech. And there is a time for such speeches, peppered with a dose of live and let live exhortation. But I am inclined to let her slide on this one. To simply allow her the freedom to decline. To come to me with her problems and not hear yet another banal platitude.
So I best wrap this up. School comes mighty early . . .