Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green but it has Potential

The days preceding this post have been filled with chaos and anticipation. This week marks the beginning of my new employment. It's a part time position to start off although the prospects of fulltime hours and a very promising career have lured me; despite a return to the art of job juggling. It's very unlikely that I will excel any better at it this time than in the past. However my arsenal of tricks is growing and improving. I have two teens at home who can step up to the plate with our young E-man. I think that very soon one or both will be receiving a crash course in the fine art of weekday dinner preparation. Why not, at twelve I was doing it my self; mainly because I was the oldest daughter of a newly separated mother. A mother who, in a desperate attempt to make ends meet, rented the basement apartment of our home to female college students in exchange for childcare; a very clever use of space, need and resources without argument. I am fairly certain that adequate cooking skills were not included in the job posting. Let's face it most college students are not culinarily equipped with much aptitude beyond toast. Our first was challenged even with that task. It became abundantly clear very early on in the experiment that if I was going to keep myself and my two little hellion brothers alive I would need to cook.

I was green, much like I am now in my new job. Unfamiliar with the tools and techniques required to produce edible or marketable results. Undeterred, I mastered mac & cheese, hotdogs and banana muffins, teaching our freshman sitter along the way. My brothers grew to be strapping young hellions and nobody died. With a little bit of luck and some persistence I am hoping for the similar results behind my new desk and in our home.

Lula will be the likely candidate for cookery. Being the oldest she is at an age where she is beginning to understand the need for household cooperation for the greater good. I believe she will handle 'green' well. She’s mastered being green at high school and in her first job. I cross my fingers that at her age she remains green in the area of relationships and sexual exploration. Although I do feel for this time of adolescence, remembering myself how I abhorred the "green" label. It was thrown about like a curse word among my peers. Meant explicitly to insult and belittle members of our social hierarchy. That was the instance of being green that I hated; not that undeniable fact the I was... but that it was a tool of persecution.

Asking KJ to step up to the hotplate would be a hit and miss experiment; one that would most expectantly end in screaming and tears. Not to mention latent hunger. Her 'green' is social. At a precarious age where she is not certain of her place in the social hierarchy and convinced that our inability to supply her with the proper fashion labels is to blame. Consequently her world is fury right now. Everyone is stupid and tasks are pointless unless they advance her social spectrum. (Side note for personal reference: Teachers, parents, homework = stupid. Facebook, texting, shopping = good) I do not think that we will add to her frustration by imposing the cooking chore. In truth she's really quite skilled in the kitchen; she has cooked at my elbow for sometime and enjoys it. However, with the current state of grounding from facebook, texting and shopping we would most assuredly be dining on purposely disastrous food.

E-man will be happy if he can sway our home into the green revolution. He is determined to raise us up to be environmentally responsible citizens. We try but honestly some days I can't get people to take their garbage to the can let alone sort, crush or break it down. Bless his heart he keeps on us. I think that's a big enough task for an eight year old. He does after all have bigger things like hockey to concern himself with.

Making the green and spending the green remains the mission of my Michael. Although I know regardless of training a new house chef most days I will arrive home to find him slaving over a hot stove, Crockpot or frozen pizza.

Green truthfully I believe is one of those pleasant uncomfortable positions is life. I always think of Kermit sitting on that log in the swamp singing the blues about being green when the rest of the world is red and orange and blue. That amphibian had it good actually and I wonder if he realized it. Sure he felt over looked and dismissed but the expectations were low too, right. No one expected amazing things from him. They didn't look to him for perfection or direction. He simply muddled through. Like learning to cook or learning a new administration job. It's best if the expectations of you are not too high, if people will accept over cooked pasta and misplaced files. I expect that the day will come, like it did for Kermit, where I will shine in my new job position. Lula will achieve culinary excellence and KJ will grow into new colours. E-man will turn us all green and Michael will worry less about it.

Green is something to be grateful for. It is the first phase on the way to the big production. It's the quiet swamp where nobody knows who you are. The space for us to learn, take chances, make mistakes and grow.