Category Archives: children

Ahhhh, the weekend

Since I’ve been in corporate America for nearly a year and a half, after being a stay-at-home mom, then going to grad school, I’ve come to appreciate the weekend in an entirely different way.  I savor my weekends.  Of coure, there’s the anticipation that builds as the weekdays pass.  Thursday is especially delightful in knowing the next day will be Friday, and then . . . glorious weekend.  Fridays can be crazy busy at work, but I don’t let things get to me because I know in a few hours I’ll have two days entirely for my son and me.

And here it is Friday.  Lovely.  My son’s in bed.  I have a glass of wine, which I’m savoring also.  Breathe in the bouquet followed by small sips of utter enjoyment.  One glass.  Not enough to get tanked, but just enough to enjoy.  Fabulous.

I’ve been energized this week.  I feel like I’ve accomplished a great deal at work.  Tonight I started my weekend housecleaning that I usually start on Saturday morning.  I started laundry and already have that under control.  The kitchen’s in pretty good shape.  I’m feeling good about things.  I’m sure the nice weather we’ve had these past couple of days has helped.  The battle for spring is on.  Right now the warmer temps are in the lead, but winter’s going to do another smack down early in the week.  Back to frigid reality.  At least for a few days.  So for now, I’ll savor this warmer weather the way I savor my weekends and my wine.  One moment at a time.  Hope your weekend is enjoyable and you can spend some time with people you love.  Cheers!

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Filed under children, family, life, love, parenting, working mom

Public School Pest

When you think of pest, you probably think of a student, but in our case, I think it’s my son’s teacher.  He’s been complaining that she’s mean.  A few students have even cried, and these aren’t kindergarteners, they’re 5th graders —  Kiddos who are used to the school routine.  Except when your teacher is an intense 25+ year veteran teacher.  Normally I’d be grateful for an experienced teacher, but in this case, I don’t think experience weighs out.  I haven’t figured out if it’s just her personality, that she’s just abrasive, or if she’s burned out, or if it’s both of those and maybe more.

All I know is my normally happy-go-lucky little man has been stressed and anxious, and even crying at the thought of going back to school each day.  I called a meeting with the teacher and the principal, and I left having mixed emotions.  She’s definitely intense, and wanted to steer the focus of the meeting to what she wanted to talk about.  Definitely an overbearing personality.  We agreed to weekly phone calls.  Last night was the first of those.  I can’t say I feel any better about the whole situation. 

And she threw in a verbal slap in the face, saying she had heard that my son wanted to live with his dad.  I know for a fact this isn’t true, but what I don’t know is if she said that strictly as a jab, or as retribution for calling her to the principal’s office, or if she was digging for information.  Doesn’t really matter.  What I do know, is that as a mother and grandmother (as she told me she was) she knows full well the power behind her statement.  Shame on her.  I see thru her comment, but how many other parents has she wounded in her 25+ years of teaching.  Multiply that times ten and we might have a low-ball estimate of the number of students she’s traumatized over the years.

How is it that this woman still teaches?  I’ve been trying for a year and  half to get a teaching job and haven’t had any luck, but here’s this hateful woman interacting with innocent children on a daily basis.  It boggles my mind!

I’ve typed up an email to the principal outlining all of my concerns and requesting that my son be transferred out of her class.  I haven’t sent it yet, but I did send it to my ex-husband who was also in the meeting.  I want to see what he thinks about it, and I want to let it sit for a day.  I’ll look at it again tomorrow with fresh eyes and see if anything needs to be added or taken out.

It’s a stressful situation.  It’s so hard to see your child in misery.  So hard to drop him off at school each day knowing I’m sending him into such agony.  I know the school has a policy of class assignments being final, but in this case I think they have to make an exception.  He’s not focused on learning, and he can’t have a year of this level of stress.  I may be in for a battle, but they’ve got this mother hen riled up.

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Filed under children, family, motherhood, parenting, Public School, rants & raves, the kiddo, working mom

Circle of life

Life is a funny/amazing/complex/convoluted/wonderful thing.  A gal I work with has gone on maternity leave and could very well at this very moment be laboring to deliver her baby girl.  I told her the other day that I wasn’t sure what it had been like for her, but it seems like her pregnancy has flown by.  And now baby girl is on her way.  Such exciting news and I’m so happy for her.  This is the 2nd child for her and her husband.  They have a toddler also, so once her 12 weeks maternity leave is up, she’ll be returning to work just two days a week.  I have to admit a slight pang of jealousy.  Not about the two day a week work week, but yes that would be lovely too, but I remember those days at home with my son.  Such fond memories.  I’m so thankful to have my son, but I always thought I would have more children.  It hasn’t worked out that way, and there are moments when I grieve for what could have been.

Then reality smacks me in the face with a reminder to be grateful for all I have.  I work for an insurance company and today one of the groups I handle notified us of the sudden, unexpected  death of an employee who wasn’t even 40 years old.  I started gathering the necessary paperwork for her family to file a claim on her life insurance, and the enrollment form she had signed was dated exactly one year before the day she died.  To the day.  It gave me chills. 

We have no guarantees.  Babies are born, people die.  That’s every day’s business.  When we’re born a few people rejoice; when we die a few people grieve, but in either scenario the world keeps moving.  I guess the big decision is, How do you choose to fill the in between?

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Filed under babies, birth, children, death, life, loss, memories, motherhood

Back to Reality: or, more accurately, the post vacation blues

I’m back home now.  We traveled far.  We saw lots of scenery.  It was a grand adventure.  And I would share it with you in all its photographic glory, except I left my camera in Wyoming.  Yes, I set it down while watching a film on historic Fort Laramie and walked right off without it.  I didn’t know it was missing until somewhere in Nebraska.  (Chimney Rock, specifically.)  I tried not to panic, but we were on the homestretch of our trip.  Days of photos are on that camera, and these aren’t poses you can just recreate.  If they’re gone, they’re gone.  I tried calling the Fort, but was having trouble getting through.  Western Nebraska and my cell phone service weren’t mixing well.  I finally did get through, but by then they were closed.  I had a restless night.  I hoped that someone hadn’t decided they were the proud new owners of a digital camera.  Not that it’s special or really nice or anything exceptional.  But it held my memories of the trip thus far.

The next morning I groggily called the Fort again.  I was barely awake, sounded like a trucker who smokes two packs a day and hadn’t had her morning coffee, but I had to know if someone had been kind enough to turn in my camera.  Had I really left it at the Fort?  Or did I absent-mindedly toss it in the trash when I’d cleaned up after we had our picnic lunch?  Or did I leave it in the bathroom at the Bachelor Soldiers Barracks?  Where was it?  Would I get it back?  While we were at Yellowstone, I overheard my mother say to my father, “This might be our last time to be here” and those words stuck with me and haunted me as I wondered if I would have any photographic memories of this trip at all! 

I reached a real person that morning, who had me describe my camera, said it had been found and they would mail it to me.  Such relief!!  I wanted to cry.   That was a few days ago.  My camera hasn’t arrived yet, and I began to wonder if I dreamed the phone call, so this afternoon I called the fort again.  They assured me my camera was mailed and should be arriving soon. 

You may be wondering why we didn’t turn around and go back to get it, but we were several hours away and by the time we would’ve gotten there, they would’ve been closed.  Besides, who knew if it would even be there?  We just didn’t have that much time in our “budget” to backtrack that far.  I decided calling would be the most practical answer.

So now we’re back and I’ve been back at work two days.  They rearranged sections of the office while I was gone and now I have a nice corner cubicle with windows in front and behind/beside me.  I should be excited. Instead, I’ve got the post-vacation blues.  I’ve come to fully realize how much I dislike my job.  How mind-numbing and pointless it is.  Being there all day has me feeling like a caged animal.  But is it really my job?  Or is this merely a result of me being tired and road-worn and, as a result, less patient?  All I know is I don’t like feeling this way, and as trying as it could be at times traveling with family members who are used to a variety of schedules, I would take that any day over my day in the cube. 

Anyway, photos and stories to follow  as soon as I get my camera back.  I hope it’s soon!

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Filed under children, family, memories, travel, vacation

What I did during summer break . . . or, more accurately, things I want to do

Since summer is just getting underway, I can’t really write my end of the summer essay, but I thought I should start planning if I want to share something interesting a few months down the road.

  1. First and foremost, I plan to enjoy the week-long road trip family vacation that my son & I will be taking with my parents and my youngest brother.  I’m taking a week off of work, so I’m determined to enjoy every minute of it!  It will either be really fun, or by day two I’ll be wondering what I got myself into.  We used to go on these road trips when I was a kid, and we’re actually repeating a trip we made way back when.  (More to follow in future posts, so stay tuned!)
  2. Spend some time relaxing at the pool with my son, and doing other summer-time adventures too.
  3. Find a different job.  This could be  a blog post in itself and probably will be at some point.  But for now, suffice it to say I’m bored to tears and need something different.  Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy to have a job in this economy, but I would be oh so happy to find something else and let someone else do my job who might appreciate it more.
  4. This one’s related to #2 in that I hope to find a job in Texas so we can move back there this summer.  We haven’t lived there since my son was a baby, and as much as I enjoy where we are now, it would be great to be back near my old friends and be closer to my family.  We’ll see if that’s the case after our week-long road trip. 🙂 
  5. And last, but definitely not least, is to get my writing project underway.  It’s long overdue, and if not now, when?

Gee, a list of 5 isn’t that intimidating.  They actually seem like do-able tasks when they’re spelled out like that.  Granted, some of them are pretty involved, but with focus and concerted effort . . . just might work out.

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Filed under children, family, me, motherhood, parenting, travel, working mom

I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

I’ve figured out why I’m not getting as much sleep as I should.  My “eureka!” moment came the other morning when I woke to see a man standing near my bedside.  We were practically face to face and he was staring with a fixed expression, his hand reaching out to me.  Of course I was surpised, and you may be wondering if I screamed or called for help or how I managed to get this man out of my bedroom or house.  He’s still there actually, but don’t be alarmed . . .

Apparently my son thought my Eiffel Tower lamp needed a tourist.

My kiddo and his little jokes.  Love his sense of humor.  I recently bought a cast iron gnome for our flowerbeds, but I’ve yet to put him outside so he’s standing in our living room.  The other day I noticed his ears look a bit different than when I brought him home.

Not sure how the kiddo came up with that one, putting erasers on the gnome’s ears, but now our gome looks a little more elfish with those ear extensions.  What will my little practical joker come up with next?

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Filed under children, funny, motherhood, parenting, the kiddo, Uncategorized

Life is Fragile

This evening my son and I went on a walk, a really long walk.  He was on his bike, and I walked our dog.  We were gone for an hour and a half or two hours.  He’s such an outdoorsy boy.  Tonight I got to see what a big, compassionate heart he has.

We were on our way back home when he told me he was going to ride ahead and then come back.  He got too far ahead of me though, and I couldn’t see him, but I finally caught up with him and I could see his chin quivering.  My first thought was that he must’ve fallen off his bike.  I asked what was wrong and he said he saw a dead bird.  We had seen a dead bird when we were walking to the park earlier, so I assumed that’s what it was.

Later, back at our house just before he was going to bed, he said he saw a big black bird pecking on a smaller bird and the smaller bird was bleeding.  He tried to shoo the black bird, but it kept coming back, so he searched around for something to throw at it.  When he came back and threw a stick at the black bird, he said the injured bird died right in front of him.  He cried.  He was so upset, and said it reminded him of Ollie, one our cats, when he died about a year ago. 

My sweet little son.  So heartbroken over the loss of that small little life.  So tender-hearted that even the pain of a little bird makes him grieve.  It’s a small ripple, but life is altered when you realize the nearness of death.  As a parent, it’s hard to see my child hurting, but at the same time, I’m proud of his compassion & caring. 

Flowers for the little bird

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Filed under children, death, motherhood, parenting, the kiddo, Uncategorized