More Musings in the Era of CoVid

So many musings this week.

The Democratic National Convention is on.

It’ll be a more sober convention this time around, fitting in this sobering time.

I’ve not actually watched it yet as I’m writing this a few days ahead. And I’m wondering now what it is that whomever-designs-these-TV-spectacles wants to capture. Will I feel the same sense of excitement I’ve felt in earlier years (well except for 1988 maybe; sorry Michael).

Right; not much to muse about there. Yet. Let’s move on to a more timely topic.

Today is my mom’s 91st birthday.

How to celebrate? That’s easy. We have certain standards when it comes to birthdays here in the US.

First, I choose a card.

We’ve been taken for sisters for sixty years now, at least. I think we both enjoyed it at first — I got to be older and she got to be a bit younger — but it does get wearisome. Except for once when we got, “Oh, you’re clones!” Now that was different. Unexpected. Funny. But back to her birthday.

I must decide when and where I’ll hold the (sometimes surprising) celebration. This is important for it will set the precedent as my birthday follows in less than a week!  I wanna make it a good one.

Some years it’s been a breakfast (if she’s getting a present that she’ll need during the day) ; some years it’s been dinner; some years it’s been a full day’s outing. Last year, for her 90th, it was an afternoon bash.

Stay tuned for my updates. Then you’ll learn all the various things she does to keep her out of trouble busy.

UPDATE:  my mom is the one in the long white sweater over the T-shirt that reads

Assume I’m just a little old lady. Yeah; that’ll be fun.

Woody and my mom conversing in her backyard before the guests gather.
Here’s the 2:30 group — Winona and Lois: friends from town. Where’s Laurie?
The 3:00 group — my mom has been treasurer of the local Democratic Party (county level) for a few years. Here are six of them.
My mom has been volunteering at the local hospital for a few years. When CoVid shut down the information desk, she moved on to guard duty at the door — temperatures and questionnaire. Here she is with NVRH’s volunteer coordinator.
The 4:00 group was her “church” group. Though it’s been a zoom group since CoVid came, before that it met at a bar. Hence it’s name: PubTheology. Here they are signing a smile.
Her most recent activity is as a census taker. Here she is with her boss, Michelle Rutman.

Next year, I hope I remember to NOT schedule the slaughter of our meat birds the day before a party.

I’m a soccer mom at 71.

Yes, it’s true. We have a new family member (whom I’ll write about some day; just not yet) and it turns out he LOVES to play soccer (football in his lingo). So off we went to the Sunday evening pick up game in our town. And wow; he’s really good. I hear that makes me a soccer mom, which called for some musing.

I can count on two hands (well, maybe three, each) the number of times I watched my sons play while they were growing up.  Why is that? I’m musing.

Maybe it was my own programming; my mother would not have made a good soccer mom, had we even known about soccer back then. And during my own motherhood years, I simply had no thought of it. We lived in the suburbs with two kids; I even had the station wagon and the dog. But this seeming obligation to experience everything your child did never crossed my mind. It appears I may have had little clue on what the norms of behavior were in our white, middle-class ‘burb.

After my boys launched, the phenomenon known as the “soccer mom” — a suburban mother of two, with a station wagon, who tends also to be what some call a helicopter mom — emerged. I assumed it meant these women did not have much else to do in their lives. Assumptions can be dangerous.

Fast forward another thirty years and I now find myself on the sidelines watching Jeffrey play.  (The name has been changed for privacy and other reasons I’ll get to some day.)  It was a perfect summer evening and the first time he’d played in over three years; he made two goals. I enjoyed watching him have fun.

How about you? What are you musing on these days? 

13 Responses

  1. Merril D. Smith
    | Reply

    Happy Birthday to your mom, and to you in advance. My mom would have been 98 next Monday.
    I hope you enjoy being a soccer mom, too. My girls were never into sports, and we never had a minivan, but I did go to all their music/theater shows, drive them to rehearsals, and to club meetings.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Hi Merril. Thank you for the greetings. A minivan? Yes, that’s what soccer moms have. Oh dear.

      I send you my heartfelt condolences as you go through your mom’s first birthday since CoVid took her. I trust you’ll have happy memories to help balance what must surely be a painful day. I send you a CoVid era hug.
      Janet Givens recently posted…More Musings in the Era of CoVidMy Profile

  2. Tim Fearnside
    | Reply

    The business of parenting has certainly changed a lot over the past 40+ years. Like you, my parents didn’t attend all, or even most of my games and events as a kid, and it didn’t strike me as all that unusual at the time. We were given more independence (I often rode my bike, even when pretty young), and our parents lives’ didn’t revolve around ours in quite the same way they seem to today. I can see both pros and cons to this generational parenting shift. Anyway, I’m glad to hear you’re finally getting to experience life as a soccer mom. Time to go shopping for a minivan!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      You’re the second one to mention the minivan. I’m so out of it. Thanks for understanding the dramatic cultural shift that’s taken place in just a generation. I’d like to understand it better.
      When you get it figured out, let me know. 🙂
      Janet Givens recently posted…More Musings in the Era of CoVidMy Profile

  3. Joan Z. Rough
    | Reply

    My son was not interested in athletics so it wasn’t in my contract to be a soccer mom. He was interested in books and music and to this day, I’m proud of his choices.

    Happy birthday wishes to both your Mom and yourself! Have a wonderful time celebrating!

  4. Ma
    | Reply

    Wondering what it’s gonna be this year. C’mon the day’s half over!

  5. Marian Beaman
    | Reply

    Congratulations to you for being a spry soccer mom at 71. And Happy Birthday to you Ma who appears to be 91 years YOUNG.

    When it comes to news, I’ve pared down to bare essentials.

    Me? I’m not so much musing as masking everywhere I go.
    Marian Beaman recently posted…The Astonishing Story of Little Ruby BridgesMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Thanks Marian. One down, one to go.

      Five groups represented, each to stay about 30 minutes, all masked (unless we were eating), all outside.
      It was gratifying to see how well everyone can adapt when necessary.
      Janet Givens recently posted…More Musings in the Era of CoVidMy Profile

  6. Susan Scott
    | Reply

    Happy birthday to your mum Janet and you next week! When my boys were at prep school we attended the matches/events etc. While they were boarders, not so much for obvious reasons (500 Kms) though we did make the trek a few times during the year.

  7. Pamela
    | Reply

    What a fun-loving beautiful mom you have. And that’s a compliment for both of you! Happy birthday to your mom AND to you soon after. Makes me muse about my own mom, who was 96 when she died in May. She was hoping to hang on until 100 at least, but in my musing, it’s no fun to be old if dementia takes away your memories. Musingly, I hope to age with a great sense of humor and an appreciation of family and love and the extraordinary in every day.
    I would have NEVER called myself a soccer mom, yet I did drive my son to his soccer practices and my guy and I attended all of his weekend games. They were fun, ’cause in CA the sun was out, the temps were moderate, and the boys played with such good cheer. I was there because I loved all of those things. We always have more things to do, but cheering on a child who’s being active, learning about sportsmanship, and making friends – an important use of his time and mine. I’m looking forward to reading more about your time/reason for being a “soccer mom.”
    Pamela recently posted…The Writing SecretMy Profile

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