Archive for September, 2007

Yesterday turned out to be a hard day, and the thing that put it over the edge was my mother giving me grief. 

That woman can work a nerve like nobody’s business. And sometimes it’s like she can sense me being down and she just can’t resist kicking me. 

Let me tell you something.  If someone says to you “I’ve just got to say this” they’re not doing it to help you out.  They’re doing it to get something off their own chest and make themselves feel better.  To hell with you. 

All this stuff I’m dealing with right now with Spawn and the problems at school is the stuff that’s uppermost on my agenda right now.  Which is as it should be, since I’m the kid’s mother and my job as mother is to go to bat for my kid.  I’m trying to get to the bottom of this.  I’m trying to find out if there’s a reason the kid is acting this way.  Is it a learning disability?  Is it a brain thing?  Hardly a moment goes by that it’s not on my mind. 

And yet my mother felt it necessary to call me last night — after a long day at work, after a strenuous homework session, after a painful visit to the funeral home — to tell me that I had better be doing something about Spawn’s behavior.  As if I’m sitting around whistling Dixie. 

Ordinarily I’m able to take it, this badgering from my mother, but last night it hit me crossways.  I just didn’t have the strength to fight it.  It was the cherry on top of what had become a spectacularly awful day. 

I love my mother.  But sometimes she dumps on me and I don’t like her very much.

— Mox

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First it was an out-of-the-blue email from a sorority sister, whom I haven’t seen since my wedding day.  Then it was an email from a friend I’ve known since junior high, catching up.  And on it goes.  I have heard from several old friends here lately, a pleasant surprise, to be sure.  But as with anything that seems to be happening regularly, I am paying attention.  What does it mean? 

Yesterday, my husband called me to let me know that the father-in-law of one of his fraternity brothers had passed away.  That set me off on a search for email and phone numbers for a good many people, so that the news could circulate amongst our extended list of long-lost friends.  As a result, I talked with a friend on the phone last night who I haven’t seen in ten years. 

What does it mean?  Why now? 

A gathering of friends who knew us “back then” is appearing in our lives again.  And while I love getting back in touch with them I can’t shake the feeling that something is going to be happening, where we will need each other again. 

The nice thing is, after we’ve caught up on the wheres and whens of our lives, our conversations take on the familiar cadence of years ago.  It’ s like not a day has passed since we last talked.  Good friends are like that. 

I am reminded of how I have been blessed over the years, and a new wave of blessings is washing over me now. 

If you read this and find that you have been wondering about someone from long ago, why don’t you get in touch? 

— Mox

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Ok y’all, I’ve got ten days until I jet out of here for the beach. 

I’ve also got six more days at Job #2.  Six very looong days. 

Already the list is forming in my head, that list of the things I need to do before I leave, the things I need to take with me, the arrangements I need to settle on. 

I guess at this point I probably should cross “develop six-pack abs” off my list. 

— Mox

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I know my car isn’t all that pristine anymore.  I know there’s a little beauty mark on the rear quarter panel where I backed into a pickup truck at the gas station.  (Sidebar:  the guy should not have had his tailgate down.  Clearly it was his fault.  I could not see it.)  I know there’s a scuff on the other rear quarter panel, courtesy of a shopping cart somewhere. 

But don’t you think you should have at least left me a note saying you were sorry for the big-ass white scrape you left all down the driver’s side doors?  And maybe some contact information? 

Moreover, it needs to be YOUR insurance company who fixes this, not mine. 

Don’t even tell me you don’t have insurance.  Just don’t. 

See, this car of mine, she’s all paid for and stuff.  I’m loving life, not having a car payment.  I intend to drive my car until the wheels fall off or the engine falls out or it disintegrates into a rust heap all around me.  And that last thing might happen, sooner rather than later, seeing as how stupid people keep scuffing into me in dimly lit parking lots and compromising the integrity of my paint job. 

Is this how your parents raised you?  To duck responsibility? 

I probably wouldn’t be the least bit upset if you had just owned up to your mistake and offered to take care of it.  But no.  YOU had to drive off into the night without even a backward glance.  Just because my car isn’t new doesn’t mean that I don’t want to keep it looking relatively nice.  It’s got to last me a long time, because I have a kid in Catholic school, and if you know anything at all, you know that something like that ain’t cheap. 

I know you drive a white car.  I’ll be looking for a white car with a bit of dark green paint on the bumper.  Heaven help you if I find you. 

— Mox

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So tonight is soccer, a makeup game for one that got rained out earlier in the season.  My husband has signed us up to be snack parents tonight.  Except I am doing it by myself because my husband is conveniently out of town this week.  Funny how that works. 

I am not one of those moms who thinks a Kool-Aid Jammer and a Rice Krispies Treat constitutes a snack.   No sirree.  At 7:30 in the evening the last thing I want my kid to have is sugar.  I’m sure some parents feel the same way.  Others, well, if they don’t give a rip the junk their kids eat then that’s their business.  But on my watch, I’m bringing healthy snacks. 

I recently discovered that my old friends at Chiquita have developed a line of pre-packaged snacks — Grape & Apple Bites, Carrot Bites, Grape Bites, and Snap Peas — that are ready to eat, no muss no fuss.  Toss one of those at a kid and let them take off. 

The temptation is there to go with the Snap Peas but somehow a group of five- and six-year olds in mutiny is not how I want to wrap up my Monday evening. 

— Mox

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So Spawn’s school is having a fall festival this weekend.  My husband and I have volunteered to man the funnel cake booth for a couple of hours.  Since he and I have never volunteered for anything together, that requires us to work together, this should be interesting.  It could be the hardest two hours of our marriage. 

Spawn was up at the crack of dawn this morning, getting ready for school.  With today being Fall Festival Day, the school has relaxed their rules about uniforms, allowing the children to have a Free Appropriate Dress Day.  Now, I challenge you to look at those last four words and not think “political correctness.”  Basically what this means is don’t come to school dressed like trash, but since in this brave new world of ours it’s incorrect to label people as such, and basic sense and common decency have been thrown out, this is what you get.  Now me, I would automatically think that you should dress appropriately, no matter what the situation.  But apparently I am in the minority, and people (parents and kids alike) need to be reminded that you have to leave the pajama pants and crude t-shirt at home. 

And speaking of which, let me just tell you that I am continually amused by the microcosms that people create for themselves.  The other day I was waiting in line at the deli and a few customers ahead of me was this young couple.  She looked presentable, not really dressed up, but obviously an office worker.  Her boyfriend, I’m guessing, was an unemployed goof.  Whoops, there I go making value judgements based on someone’s attire.  But really.  I can understand wanting to represent your team, but Indianapolis Colts pajama pants?  Really?  In public?  And hanging halfway off your ass, too?  Indianapolis Colts tennis shoes, unlaced, of course?  An Indianapolis Colts ball cap, on slightly sideways?  Chief, you could hold an MBA and be CEO of some company, and I’d still think you looked like a goof-ass. 

And it’s not just that.  Around here, there are quite a number of people living in a world created by themselves, in which they are cowboys/girls.  I mean, it’s one thing if you have to wear boots because you do work with horses, and it’s also totally fine if you want to get all duded up and go line dancing.  But as a script that you’ve written for yourself?  For how you meet the world and live your life?  Could you be more of a cartoon? 

Clothes make the man.  Indeed. 

— Mox

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So I had the conference with Spawn’s teacher on Tuesday.  

And she’s been seeing a lot of the same issues that I’m seeing.  Which in one way is a relief, that I’m not just bugging and creating issues where there are none.  But on the other hand, now I’ve got confirmation that yes, there just might be a problem. 

I have made an appointment with Spawn’s pediatrician in two weeks to do some testing.  My husband isn’t going to be too terribly happy about this turn of events, but if ever there is a time for me to buck him I think the time will be now.  He’s convinced that Spawn is fine because Spawn is just like him, and god knows there is nothing wrong with him.  He just doesn’t understand what it’s like to live with his special intensity.  And having attained the age of 40+, the intensity is thank heavens tempered by age and exhaustion, but a six-year-old (“and a half!”) is only going to get more intense for the forseeable future.  I just think that Spawn deserves a better chance at success.  The kid shouldn’t need to fight so hard for everything just because the kid’s old man did.  Where is the logic in that argument? 

I am so far resisting the urge to read everything I can about different learning issues, because obviously I got my medical degree off a cereal box and have no business diagnosing my own child.  I don’t want to hype myself up and be reduced to breathing into a paper bag.  Let the professionals handle this, let them tell me what’s going on, let them lay out some options for me.  Let them do what it is they do.  Once I get their learned opinion I’ll do that thing that I do so well:  research and analysis. 

God, it’s going to be a long two weeks. 

— Mox

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