Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm Sick. Just Humor Me.

Further justification of the already irrational fear which I do possess:Yeah. Jellyfish do more total harm to humans than great whites. So there. I gotta quit reading EVERYTHING at museums.

Status Update

So we decided to move. We'd have to move eventually, and this way we get into a place that we really like, and then it's overwith. The big day is Saturday.

However, I've had the flu all week, and I am not a good patient. I'm one of those stubborn sickies... you know, the kind who won't admit they're sick. So until today, it was just a head cold. It hit me Saturday night. Sunday I powered through church and took care of my responsibilities there. Monday I went to work, packed a few things at home, and did what moms do. Tuesday I couldn't even lift my head, so I got a substitute, but still managed to pack a few things. Wednesday I went back to work, came home, took a load of stuff to the new house, came back home and collapsed onto the couch until I went to bed. This morning I got up, fully expecting to go to work. I washed my face and had to lay back down again. That was when it dawned on me that it might be more than a cold. I finally mustered up the strength to set up for another substitute teacher. By the way, let me just say, setting up for a sub is a pain. It's easier to just go to work. And don't think I didn't think about it.

I have spent more time on my couch this week than I would ever care to admit. In education, the occupational hazard is illness. We're only three weeks in, so I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. A couple of years ago, a fellow kindergarten teacher was hospitalized with pneumonia at this point.

No move ever goes smoothly, but moving while sick? Please.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Irony, Stress, and The Joys of Childhood

There has been so much happening lately... so let me sum up.

First of all, irony. Irony is one of those great writing tools that authors use to tell a story. O Henry was one of the best. Remember the guy who sold his gold pocket watch to buy his wife some combs for her long hair? His loving wife sold her long hair to buy him a chain for his pocket watch. That's irony. I've had real-world experience with it this week.

The house I'm currently living in has a nice, empty, upstairs family room. As long as we've lived here, I've wanted a table and chairs for it, where I could sew, the kids could do their homework, and it could generally be used and abused while my nice dining table was left alone. Last Wednesday I finally found such a set. I brought it home and immediately started sanding it, picturing it in a lovely shade of spa blue. While sanding it, I got a phone call. It was the real estate office (yes I'm living in a house that's up for sale). They wanted to schedule an inspection -- the house was sold.


In a further twist of events, we started looking for a new place to rent on Friday. We found one on the first try. And it has room for an extra table. The owner wants us to move in on October 1. That's in two weeks if you haven't heard. The buyer's son/agent told me today that his parents are willing to let us stay here until May 1 of next year. But we really like the new place.

That's not exactly irony... more like stress. Final decisions will be made in the next day or so. There will be much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, for sure.

On the bright side, upon seeing the possible new digs, my daughter Jessica came home and immediately started packing up her bedroom. Had I known that this was all it took to get her to clean her room, I would have threatened to move a long time ago. If we don't move, she's got the cleanest room in the house. Now THAT'S irony.

In other news, I took my son Jamison to the dinosaur museum on Saturday. His chosen souvenir was a sandstone "rock" from which one must dig the bones of a tiny T-Rex and then put the skeleton together. Yesterday as he was "digging," he exclaimed with much enthusiasm, "Hey! I found the crotch!"

Ah, the joys of childhood.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flying Shoes and Motherhood

So my son is on a big kick lately that he is going to invent flying shoes. He's serious.
"Do you really think I can do it Mom?"
"Wouldn't it be cool if I invented them as a little kid?"
"I could get to the bus stop in a microsecond!"

I, of course, am nothing but supportive.
"There's nothing you can't do if you focus."
"I would be so proud to be the mom of a kid inventor!"
"Why don't you just fly to school?"

Today he came in and immediately told me of all the naysayers out there. "Michael said you're just saying those things to be nice."
I wanted to punch Michael in the nose. He'll see what flying shoes look like then.
"All the kids at the bus stop laughed at me and said it was impossible to invent flying shoes."
Those bus stop kids? I'm not sure what their biggest ambitions are at this point, but I'm sure it involves manipulating their way into the latest DS game.

I am not going to dash the dreams of my seven-year-old, no matter what his dreams may be. I get to foster and support and nurture and encourage him because THAT'S my job. And if and when you commute to work in your flying shoes, you can thank me for believing in my kid. Everyone else can take the bus.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2001

Yowza. Has it been that long? Oh well, here goes.

I was wearing a white t-shirt that said "denim blues" across the chest, and a pair of black shorts with a white stripe down the outsides. I was planning to swap cars with my boss (back when I was an automotive journalist -- I was test driving a blue Chrysler Town and Country) and then I was going to the gym. I was making a piece of toast for my two-year-old daughter when my mom called. "Are you watching T.V.?" she asked.

"No, I'm just about to leave," I said.

"Turn on your T.V." she said.

As the T.V. flickered to life, the screen showed a live shot of smoke billowing from a sky scraper, somewhere in New York City, I assumed. What a sad day. What a sad and terrible day. We lived just outside of Houston and what I remember most is how quiet everything became. Nothing in the sky. No train horns in the distance (we lived about a 1/2 mile from a railroad crossing). Fighter jets would occasionally pass overhead, defending the Johnson Space Center. A few days later I met my sister at a Target store; we had both needed to tear ourselves away from the television. The place was deserted. It didn't seem right to be there.

But do you know what else I remember? The next day. The unity. The way perfect strangers on the street were a little friendlier to each other. The way our neighborhood looked. You couldn't see the trees for the flags. Everyone went to church to pray, sing, and cry. Life as we knew it had changed.

I put a flag in my front yard today. I'll leave it there tomorrow as well.