Whenever I post something gloomy, I’m compelled to follow up with something cheerful. Maybe because I was raised to not be a bother on others and what’s more tiresome than burdening other people with your problems? Especially when so people are really suffering! (Not that I’m making anyone read these ridiculous posts!) Or maybe I need to bounce back from the sad to the happy because the taste of one makes me want the other, like when I eat something salty and immediately want something sweet. Or something sweet and want something savory. Chips make me want chocolate which makes me want cheese. (Maybe I just like to write and to eat.) (Maybe I have some kind of mental disorder.) (Maybe I use too many parenthetical asides.) (Do you think?)

Anyway, I switched up the WordPress theme, made some tea, mopped the floor and and poised for to-do list action. Which pretty much guarantees my attempts at life change will succeed!

Also been listening to Little Dragon’s “Ritual Union” repeatedly. Music alters my attitude even better than Maker’s – not that I was considering whiskey at 9:45 a.m. That would be a bit much, even for me. I’m sure some scientific reason exists for music’s amazing ability to put a new spin on the day, but mostly, I’m just so grateful that it works. That would be a cool line of therapy to go into. I should make a whole list of songs to counteract emotional problems experienced throughout the day.

Sad? Try The Drums, “Days.” Or Ryan Adams, “To Be Young.” Or pretty much any Prince song that makes you want to dance and/or have sex. Or AC/DC’s “TNT.” (It’s physically impossible to stay sad when hollering, “Oi! Oi! Oi!”)

Angry? PJ Harvey’s “50-Ft Queenie.” (Loudly.) (Obv.) (All music played when pissed off should be blasted.) (True medical fact: your heart can’t stay hurting when your ears are bleeding.)

I could go on (and on and on), but I might inadvertently admit my fondness for Billy Squier and where would my credibility be then? (I do love Spotify for the quick mental fix – I have a number of playlists mood-fixers set up for dire moments.) (Also for happy ones! I’m mostly a happy person!)

Anyway, the simple version is this: Parenting is hard because you love them so fucking much and sometimes that’s not enough. You learn quickly enough that bad things happen no matter how much of your life you’d give to protect them. So you have to do what you can, the best you can. That’s why you want them to listen to you. Because you know you can keep them safer than they’ll keep themselves. You’ve lived so much longer and been through so much more. If only they would do what you tell them, everything would be easier. But, stunningly, they want to be their own people. Even when it means doing dumb things. They’d rather learn the hard way than admit you might have a glimmer of knowledge to offer. Because they’re not you and the fact that they’re part of you means more to you than to them. And sometimes they don’t know what to do with their own hurt, but some part of them resents that you let the world hurt them. You’re the parent, after all. You should protect them. So they hate you for failing. And you hate yourself for failing, even when you’ve tried so hard and if they’d listened to you in the first place, they wouldn’t have gotten hurt. And then everybody gets mad and fights. Which makes you want to lie down on the highway. Or run away. But you can’t because you still love them. (So fucking much.)