When Jenna turned three, we bought her a play yard set which I have mentioned here and here. Before that, she used her imagination, making the broken lounge chair her slide and the Norditrack Glider her swing – unless we were at the park.`
Jenna was always so excited to spend time with friends or to go to birthday parties. She especially enjoyed the company of a cousin she would see only once or twice a year. She was especially looking forward to seeing her the year Melody turned eight.
Jenna had hoped to spend more time with Melody after her party, but as I mentioned in this post, there seemed to be some behavior problems on Melody’s end. Evidently, she had purchased a kindle or an I-pad or some kind of electronic device. She had earned all the money herself and was quite proud of her new purchase. Perhaps that was one of the downfalls of her attitude that day; the party had taken away precious time she could have been spending on her new tablet.
When she brought the tablet out, there were a lot of “oohs” and comments made and requests to take a turn. Jenna was crushed. She felt that she was less important than an electronic gizmo – not even secondary, not even noticed. It hurt not to be noticed. Melody would have that device even after Jenna returned home. It wasn’t often that she and Jenna were given the opportunity to get together. The situation had put even more distance between Jenna and Melody. The fact that Melody desired a material item over her own cousin – or having acknowledged Jenna’s presence at all had influenced Jenna to the point of actually despising electronics.
She hates it when her friends are constantly texting or paying attention to their electronics – leaving Jenna to wonder how it is that she received enough attention to become friends with them in the first place. I understand where she’s coming from. I have always put my children before the television or the cell phone. I haven’t been as good at leaving the computer when I’m in the middle of something – but I will. I don’t want Jenna to ever feel like she did at Melody’s party – I think the last one that we went to actually.
On Tuesday afternoon, Annett’s mother called to see if Annett could spend the night Thursday and go with Jenna to the school dance. She asked if we would take pictures of the girls in their costumes – though I wondered why as Annett is hidden in hers.
Her mom’s been good about allowing Annett to stay overnight with us – up until now anyway. This may actually be the last time this year as a situation seemed to get out of hand.
Nora (Annett’s mom) likes to keep a tight leash on her daughter (which is one reason why I have been grateful for the amount of times she’s been able to come over after school and occasionally spend the night) but requests that Annett call and say good-night – something that Jenna either didn’t understand or didn’t want to. Jenna does need to show more respect to others who are on the phone- because at times they really are necessary. Apparently, she was yelling at Annett while she was trying to talk to Nora – as to whether the phone got knocked out of her hand or not, I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Nora says that is what happened and she won’t be allowing Annett to come over anymore.
I understand where Nora’s coming from. I also understand Jenna’s frustration. I’ve tried to teach her to better understand the situation. She needs to have respect for whoever is on the other end of the phone. She needs to understand there are many sides to the same situation.
Nora isn’t happy with some of the choices she has made in the past. She does not wish for Annett to make the same bad choices that she did. She says Annett is a good girl. She doesn’t swear. I know she is a lot like my daughter. I have heard them laugh and play together. They are good together. I have not heard Annett swear. Jenna says she swears at school, but her mom doesn’t know it.
Annett wants to have a boyfriend. Both Jenna and Nora have told her she is too young. Annett told her mom about a boy she likes and Nora texted the boy that Annett was at school to learn not date. The boy made rude comments about Nora and Jenna defended her. I don’t think either Annett or Nora knows that.
I don’t understand how a family of five living in a small trailer (that appears too tight to hold five at a time) can afford to pay for the service on the cell phones. They don’t have a permanent address. Nora wants Annett to have a cell phone so that they can keep in touch. I get that. But at what cost?
I don’t know Nora. She doesn’t know us. I am saddened by this situation. I don’t think anybody knows the full story of why Annett isn’t allowed to stay with us anymore. I don’t know that telling Nora about Jenna’s lack of desire to compete with electronics will make a difference. It doesn’t seem to make a difference to Jenna why Annett won’t be coming over anymore. I don’t know if Annett will fully get it either.
It’s such a shame when we make snap judgments without fully knowing or even trying to understand the other’s viewpoint. It’s sad when only one is willing but the other refuses to even consider another option. I’m sure that I have done that a lot of times – well, I know I have. I’ve made snap decisions without knowing all the facts. I wish I would shut up and listen more. Many opportunities have been lost because at least one person has refused to listen. Sometimes I have been that person, not always. I hope I can make it Never.
Allow me to return to the simple things. Jenna had asked if I would take her to Stewart park in Roseburg so that we could feed the ducks. I looked at the clock and asked if she could wait until Roland got off work as he’d be punching out within the hour.
On the return home, we saw a zebra painted limo.
Jenna was enjoying the view of the sun and the clouds and I handed her the night vision no-glare glasses that I had on my face as told her how different the view was behind yellow hues.
Halfway past Roseburg and Myrtle Creek and all the way to Tri-City, Jenna yabbered about her discoveries in the sky. “Oh, look how cool this is.” “I really like ___” “Hey . . .” It was so fun listening to her joyful enthusiasm and I thought how grateful I am for a daughter who has such a great imagination and enjoys simplicity – and always has, really. I’m grateful that she would rather grow up in my era than her own (as mentioned in this post)